Live from the Violand Executive Summit – Business Management Issues with the Experts from Violand Management Associates & Kent State University

Air Date: 6-21-2013| Episode: 289

This week “Radio Joe” and the “Z man” come to you LIVE from the Violand Executive Summit…

Full Description:

This week “Radio Joe” and the “Z man” come to you LIVE from the Violand Executive Summit. They will be interviewing Chuck Violand, and several participants and instructors at the summit. Our focus will be on how to take the type of information being presented at this leadership conference and apply it to your business or project management. We want to express our thanks to Chuck Violand and his staff for inviting us to join them and do a live show from the summit. We know our listeners will pick up great free tips that will help them become better business people and leaders in the industry.The Violand Executive Summit is a very popular annual event with over 100 attendees. The instructors are excellent and the facilities are first class. We hope listeners will consider checking it out in the future. Being the best technical person in the industry does not do much good if you don’t know how to manage your business.

Z-Man’s Blog:

Executive Management Summit

The summit was held at Kent State at Stark in Canton, Ohio an excellent meeting venue and conference facility.

A Venn diagram visually depicts all of the possible logical relationships between a finite collection of sets. Chuck Violand opened the event by explaining that a successful and growing business is a balance of 3 dynamics: Executive Development, Personnel Development & Business Development.

The Summit offers a unique opportunity, after attending 4 years, completing the mandatory course work and electives attendees receive a Diploma in Small Business Management given jointly from Kent State and Violand Mgmt.

General comments:

1. The VM summit program is practical and results orientated small business management training. Instructors kept their promise to not waste attendee’s time and to provide take away solutions that could be immediately implemented. The program is focused on practical application not theory.

2. Over 2+ decades of consulting with cleaning and restoration firms VM has the opportunity to cull and share best practices.

3. It was good to see families at the event, spouses and children. Family dynamics are common in small business and must be effectively dealt with.

4. It was very interesting to see business competitors from the same markets willing sharing information.

5. A significant number of attendees were Canadian.

6. Many women in management capacity attended the event.

7. Perhaps it’s a Canadian thing…my observation is that Canadians seem to work together in groups better than Yanks.

8. It’s easier to overcome the fear of change when someone that you know and trust confirms that it will work. First a jump of faith and then a leap of faith.

9. Z-Man’s theory on consultants: hire consultants based not on what they have done for others, but on what they are going to do for you.

Highlights from our panel discussion with: Chuck Violand, Stephanie Beattie, Jim Ryerson & Holly Bognar, PhD

Stephanie Beattie, At the summit women have a place where they feel safe and have a voice. Women always have better attention to detail. The plan will reveal whether or not there has been enough planning. A consultant is another set of eyes looking at the business.

Jim Ryerson, Business owners aren’t ever alone others have the same problem(s). Solutions to individual business problems can’t be learned from reading textbooks. Small business owners need trusted allies with whom they can discuss business challenges.

Jim shared his analysis of why entrepreneurs have difficulty dealing with their sales staff. The entrepreneur started the biz and was the primary sales person who dealt with key clients. The entrepreneur needed to learn from mistakes and as they grew the business very often they make the key mistake of not recording the sales process. So when they hire salespeople, new hires often are unsuccessful because they don’t know the business, don’t have a written roadmap and the entrepreneur expects them to “just figure it out”. One on one sale interactions with customer without prior practice often don’t go well. Mistakes will happen and are part of the learning process. Jim advises that business owners start small, glean from industry peers who have successfully sold within the environment the best practices and package them in a usable format which provides salespeople with a head start and along with some coaching during the first several months provides better odds of success. Don’t practice on your customers, role play, practice improves performance. Video tape yourself making sales presentations. Try leaving a message on your own voice mail and listening to it, listen to it to improve.

Holly Bogner, PhD, says that entrepreneurs are little kids in grownup clothes. Holly who spent 10 years in higher learning and taught business at the collegiate level for 4, much prefers working with adult learners. In textbooks business theories are always perfect, the big difference is the reality of business in the real world is imperfection. Entrepreneurs need to be able to dissect and reconfigure concepts.

Inside the learner’s head, if it doesn’t make sense and I don’t know how I’m going to use it I will likely not pay attention. Course work must make sense based on the world I see myself in. Business concepts are best learned through application.

The learner must see the path between the idea and using it. Learners will rather jump before leaping.

Many entrepreneurs have difficulty handing over the reins. On the challenge of letting go, Holly opines that staff needs enough rope to fail and learn by doing but not enough rope to hang themselves. It’s easier to let go when we teach and coach like teaching a child to ride a bike, step by step, with the employee knowing that someone caring and knowledgeable following right behind. For staff, learning to fit in and learn the corporate culture is harder to learn than mastering the technical.

For entrepreneurs the hard stuff is self analysis critically looking at oneself. Managing people is hard when entrepreneurs are faced with something difficult they default and revert to what is most comfortable for them.

Holly suggests recording thoughts in a business or leadership journal, conversation with self about what you faced today and how it went, results. Themes will emerge and show what you need to work on. Networking allows entrepreneurs to refuel.

Chuck Violand, says that our businesses are who we are and what we believe. Managing money was learned as a kid. If we aren’t profitable, look in the mirror and you’ll see why. Entrepreneurship involves human beings, their characteristics, and patterns of behaviors. The strengths which entrepreneurs need to launch a business eventually impair growing the biz. Owners of small businesses need to recognize their own shortfalls and mend them. Many small businesses are family businesses in which difficult conversations are required.

Chuck’s process is to work on the business from the inside out. Often the owner opines the cause of pain is the business, Chuck opines the cause of the pain is the owner. Chuck works on getting to the source of the problem by fixing the owner and people first.

While much good technical training is available, small business owners generally don’t spend sufficient time and resources on executive and staff development.

Chuck advises to avoid panic hiring. We develop a loyalty to employees even when they aren’t performing. Don’t hire people like yourself. Hire slowly fire quick. Pull trigger and fire sooner than later. In business, numbers and money follow, they don’t lead

The Violand Management Executive Summit was well planned and well executed.

Z-Man signing off