News and Updates

Payment Processing

Invested in Your Success

Heartland serves businesses of all sizes and is dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. Fairness and transparency are our core values. We created the Merchant Bill of Rights to promote fair payment processing practices on behalf of small to mid-sized business owners. We focus on customer relationships and take pride in serving as your advocate.

Ready to go beyond accepting major credit cards? Heartland offers the latest in flexible payment processing options from Apple Pay and PayPal to POS, mobile card readers… and more.

Source: Payroll Processing

To learn more contact Michael at Introduction

CONTACT INFORMATION
Michael J Rutherford
Direct line: 562.706.3637

Payroll Services – Heartland Payment Systems

Payroll has to be done on time, and done right.

Heartland provides employee payroll services to entrepreneurs ranging in size from small to large. Whether you are looking for a turnkey payroll service for your expanding employee base or offering a 401(k) for the first time, our full-service employee payroll services and HR services for all businesses offers reliable solutions you can trust.

Payroll + HR

Heartland Payroll+HR takes the guesswork out of processing payroll and managing the intricacies of HR regulations and issues. Payroll+HR is a turn key payroll service with a full range of HR tools to support your business.

Source: Payroll Services

To learn more contact Michael at Introduction

CONTACT INFORMATION
Michael J Rutherford
Direct line: 562.706.3637

Merchant Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights - Heartland Payment Systems.jpg

Source: Bill of Rights

Heartland Payment Systems Calls For Merchant Bill of Rights

Heartland Payment Systems has announced it is launching a major initiative to help owners of small and mid-sized businesses manage the cost and complexity of credit and debit card acceptance. “The Merchant Bill of Rights” is proposed as an industry standard to inform and educate business owners about card processing costs and drive savings for small and mid-sized businesses.

In an environment where card usage by consumers is growing, security issues such as identity theft and identity fraud are commonplace, and card processing has become mission-critical, The Merchant Bill of Rights provides owners of small and mid-sized businesses with the same competitive edge major retailers with sophisticated internal purchasing organizations enjoy.

The centerpiece of this initiative is http://www.MerchantBillOfRights.com, an interactive website which will serve as an information clearinghouse. Here, business owners can learn about the mechanics of card processing, receive industry tips, share best practices, ask questions and stay abreast of industry news.

“For many small and mid-sized business owners, credit and debit card processing costs are one of the most significant expense items on their income statements,” notes Robert O. Carr, chairman and CEO of Heartland Payment Systems. “Yet, most business owners and entrepreneurs do not fully understand the factors that drive card processing costs or how to manage them. Today, with the launch of The Merchant Bill of Rights and http://www.MerchantBillOfRights.com, Heartland Payment Systems empowers business owners to learn how card acceptance works and take an active role in controlling these growing costs.”

The Merchant Bill of Rights calls for:

1. The right to know the fee for every transaction – and who’s charging it. Today, card processing services can be the third highest expense many small and mid-sized businesses incur, following right behind labor and product costs. Yet, many merchants are confused by the complexity of interchange rates, markups and other related fees. Likewise, because fee structures are rarely clearly disclosed, most merchants are unaware of the many different entities profiting from each transaction. All businesspeople have the right to know exactly who is getting paid – and the total amount.

2. The right to know the markup on Visa/MasterCard fee increases. Visa and MasterCard adjust rate categories 1-2 times each year, usually in April and sometimes in October. When rates go up, many merchant acquirers (contracted by the merchant to handle its card transactions) and their agents seize the opportunity to inflate them even more – and then blame the increase on Visa/MasterCard. Small and mid-sized merchants have the right to know the markups added to rate increases.

3. The right to know all Visa/MasterCard fee reductions. Annual fee adjustments by Visa/MasterCard may also include reductions in some card transaction categories as well as incentives for certain categories of merchants and card types. Yet, small and mid-sized merchants often do not receive them. In 2003, for example, Visa/MasterCard settled the Wal-Mart class action suit which called for hundreds of millions of dollars of fee reductions. While all large merchants received their share, most small and mid-sized businesses did not because of a loophole in the settlement agreement that allowed merchant acquirers and their middlemen to keep the reductions. Small and mid-sized merchants have the right to know about these incentives and fee reductions.

4. The right to know all transaction middlemen. Card processing is a fairly simple process that requires four entities at most: a bank, Visa/MasterCard, a telephone or Internet connection, and a processor. In some cases, however, as many as 12 additional, but different, entities get involved … each taking a cut from every transaction. While the transaction process does not change, middlemen only increase costs for the merchant. Small businesspeople have the right to know how many middlemen are receiving a portion of the cash automatically deducted from their checking account.

5. The right to know all surcharges and bill-backs. Visa/MasterCard charge as many as 110 different interchange rates depending on the type of card used and how it’s used. While the rates for different transactions and cards vary, they are set by Visa or MasterCard and cannot be changed by a merchant acquirer. However, many merchant acquirers or their middlemen significantly inflate these set fees with surcharges. These fees – often called “bill-backs” or “enhancements” – frequently are deducted the month following the actual transaction without disclosure, making them difficult, if not impossible, to monitor, reconcile and track. Small and mid-sized merchants have the same rights as big merchants – to know what markups are going to their merchant acquirer and their middlemen.

6. The right to a dedicated local service representative. Without the backing of a sophisticated purchasing organization, small and mid-sized businesses rely on their merchant acquirers for initial and ongoing training, deposit tracking and reconciliation and on-site technical support. Yet, after the initial sale, instead of helping their customers successfully manage the complexities of card processing and build successful programs, many merchant acquirers never visit them again. Small and mid-sized merchants have the right to a dedicated local service representative.

7. The right to encrypted card numbers and secure transactions. Hundreds of thousands of attempted system hacks are foiled every day by large card transaction processors. Yet, not all merchant acquirers guarantee encrypted card numbers and secure transactions. Many have not made the financial investment required to completely protect their systems. This puts every merchant – especially small and mid-sized ones who don’t have internal safeguards – as well as the millions of consumers who use credit and debit cards at risk. Small and mid-sized merchants have the right to encrypted card numbers and secure transactions.

8. The right to real-time fraud and transaction monitoring. Credit and debit card fraud costs American business billions of dollars every year. As such, real-time fraud and transaction monitoring are critical to a merchant’s business success. Unlike large merchants who have entire departments and controls devoted to detecting and preventing fraud, most small and mid-sized businesses rely on their merchant acquirers to provide the tools they need to do this required monitoring. Yet, many merchant acquirers don’t offer these tools and resources, leaving their clients exposed and vulnerable. Small and mid-sized businesses have the right to the same real-time fraud and transaction monitoring systems of larger companies.

9. The right to reasonable equipment costs. Availability of card processing equipment has become widespread – with warehouse clubs, consumer electronics stores and online auctions routinely providing this equipment at very reasonable costs. Yet, many merchant acquirers sell the concept of multi-year leasing, locking business owners into costly, non-cancellable long-term commitments. Small and mid-sized merchants have the right to reasonable equipment costs – and reasonable financing if they need it.

10. The right to live customer support 24/7/365. Today, card processing is mission critical for all business owners. As such, equipment failure during a busy period can be a debilitating blow to revenues, reputation and customer service. For merchants who don’t have the internal resources to immediately respond to and minimize service disruptions, a simple phone call with a support professional can often quickly resolve an issue. Similarly, emergency access that connects only to an automated phone line can turn a speedy resolution into a disaster. Small and mid-sized businesses have the right to effective, live customer support 24/7/365.

Rob Finley, Senior Vice President of the California Restaurant Association says, “We applaud Heartland Payment Systems in its effort to promote The Merchant Bill of Rights. Since its founding in 1997, Heartland has been a tireless advocate for small and mid-sized business owners. Today, its activism on behalf of our members has been taken to a new level, and The Merchant Bill of Rights gives our members – and merchants everywhere – the right to fair and equitable treatment.”

Carr concludes, “By promoting fair credit and debit card processing practices, The Merchant Bill of Rights will be a driving force for industry change. Its singular objective is to establish a level playing field where owners of small and mid-sized businesses have access to the same card processing resources and cost structures as large national retailers. We look forward to working with our colleagues in the card processing industry, our partners and merchants to standardize best practices and promote acceptance and adoption of The Merchant Bill of Rights.”

The Merchant Bill of Rights was established in 2006 to promote fairness and transparency in credit and debit card processing. The Merchant Bill of Rights provides small and mid-sized business owners with the same competitive edge major retailers with sophisticated internal purchasing organizations enjoy. For more information about The Merchant Bill of Rights, visit http://www.MerchantBillOfRights.com.

Follow @PaymentsNews on Twitter!

To learn more contact Michael at Introduction

CONTACT INFORMATION
Michael J Rutherford
Direct line: 562.706.3637

Introduction

Michael Rutherford represents Heartland, a fortune 1000 company and their proven solutions. He is a pro-active, highly-qualified, and self-motivated professional with a history of cultivating and maintaining Win/Win relationships.

Michael provides services for merchants who want to talk about solutions for their business. It is Michael’s intention to understand your needs and recommend solutions that can assist with improving your operations, sales, and financial performance.

Source: Introduction

Expanding Business is my Business

Michael.Rutherford@e-hps.com

Domain Knowledge Matters

image2

BUSINESS CONSULTING INTRODUCTION

Michael Rutherford started in the Restaurant business in 1977. Since 2000, Michael has been helping restaurants operate, market, and manage their assets more effectively with information technology solutions.  Michael’s resources and management consulting significantly improves the performance for his clients restaurants with increased efficiencies and net profits through automated SaaS business solutions.

Over the past 18 years, he has worked with over 600 clients, independent and chain restaurants with 10 to 5,000 employees.

He is one of three Global Partner Sales Manager’s for Benseron Information Technology, developing partnerships with ISO’s, Resellers, and White Label Partners. Michael co-founded Local Merchant Solutions in 2014, as a Consortium of local technologists to serve the SMB community. These resources help to deliver highly trained and experienced subject matter experts and independent contractors in your local area. These resources are available nationwide who are ready to determine and solve the specific problems and issues in your business.

michaelrutherford.com navigation artifacts and project links

Other navigation links Michael’s Social Websites

WHITE LABELED PRIVATE SOCIAL NETWORKS
POWERED BY ACCREDITED PORTFOLIOS, LLC
A sophisticated social learning platform for professional development, performance improvement & capacity development.

FOR WHITE LABEL SALES CONTACT INFORMATION CLICK HERE

To learn more about Michael’s history for introducing kowledge-transfer enterprise solutions visit his [8] ePortfolio webpages below:

  1. THE MILLENNIAL WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
  2. WEB 2.0 SOCIAL MODERN MENTORING PLATFORMS
  3. Private Social Networks for Associations
  4. Leadership and Developing Diversity
  5. Tracking Education and Credentials
  6. Technology Powered by Accredited Portfolios, LLC – Contents
  7. Technology Powered by Accredited Portfolios, LLC – Video
  8. The Millennial Workforce Development Community – Video

For more up-to-date Articles & Activity visit LinkedIn

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND STARTED IN 1985 (it really started back in 1976′-77′, at some point you stop counting)

1985 – Michael’s experience as a certified chef spans over a 7 year period shown in this video. He won several awards, medals and was a mentee under several highly skilled trained mentors. – Read More

ONLINE EXPERIENCE STARTED IN 1989 – THE 3 EXAMPLES EXPLAIN TIMELINE

1989 –
Michael’s first personal experience with the Internet started back in 89′ –
Read More

2000 –
Michael’s personal experience of automating the World of Commerce
Read More

2011 –
Michael’s personal experience of introducing the World of Web2.0 White Labled Private Social Networks. Read More

Other navigation links

For background information visit: Domain Knowledge Matters

Just Smart Guys

TURN KEY SOLUTION

The eCommerce is an ever changing environment as service providers use big data to create ways of buying & selling for seamless integration to digital media & social platforms.

TODAY through the use of the Cloud we have developed Community-based Directories for implementing discount loyality programs.

Our services encompasses the design, scope and management when assisting Merchants witb digital content media.

Our customers based on our sit down interviews have shared their thoughts of the need for useful tools for restaurant managers to help to determine who are their ideal customer and what they enjoy.

“Create the best experience possible.”

Recruite more local buyers.

A merchant handing out a business card to every customer and letting them know they are available for these specific services goes a long way.

Imagine if more people shared this attitude.

Just ask Mike; “hand me a card”.

What is unique about this technology from your average free coupon app is:

You register as a member

You enter a 10 digit number assigned to your contact information

The consumer opts into the most awesome rewards marketing program that allows the consumer to search for rides and venues that offer incentives at their favorite restaurant, lounge and venue.

The App is real-time. Where each venue and taxi service can turn on or off the open or closed sign. It is like real-time billboard advertising on steroids.

The data allows different platforms and receivers (3rd party apps) to interface through an API.

 

SAVINGS CARDS
“Invest Locally – Buy from a locally owned business”

MY HOT PERKS

Sales-and-Marketing-dream-team-header.jpg

TRY IT!

Merchant Digital Marketing – Help Center, Web Services, Social Media and Email Marketing.

Visit the following link for information on the Features, Functions & Benefits: The Source CARD TECHNOLOGIES

BUSINESS CONSULTING INTRODUCTION

Does your Brand Communicate?
We manage online media, organize data, analytic tracking, commercial email advertising, SMS, media marketing, mobile marketing, web development, web hosting, web design, video creative and production. We also offer viral media, business branding, custom software services, PHP development, print media and new business strategies. We cover just about everything and work with all types of local businesses and startups who want to grow fast. We offer fortune 500’s ideas with the best solutions at the right price.

Talk with us, we have a solution for you

NETWORK
All advertising media solutions are turnkey programs for companies and resellers with complete plug and play applications that are up and running in a few days. We support your needs and the personalization of your identity.

For the most advance local solutions ask about our network marketing to get the most from your investment.

MEDIA CONCIERGE
Our concierge media service can assist and manage any arrangements for services that include TV, radio, PPC, billboard, magazine and print publications.

We do extensive research before we open up vendor negotiations with our media partners. We not only build strategies to benefit your outsource advertising investments, we do it right.

MANAGED DATA
Our advanced data verticals that allow us to target and market products or services, capture people of interest and obtain orders at a lower cost than traditional advertising.

Digital media with managed data creates complete accountability with tracking reports and a call to action movement for a higher ROI.

Project Management /SaaS Deployments

As a leader for sales, marketing, accounts, and project management we deployed 30 to 40 projects per month. The specific technology served the needs for process management, cash control, marketing, customer CRM tools, financial accounting, and labor scheduling, inventory, and order entry for product preparation. The enterprise solutions included modules for above store reporting, performance improvement and business intelligence.

The projects & deployments represented the following technology:

Web 2.0 – Performance improvement services
Web 2.0 – Resource management services
Enterprise – Business Intelligence services
Enterprise – Business process management services

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Sales Manager – Western Region

Company NameRadiant Systems /Acquired by NCR

Dates Employed 2003 – 2011

Employment Duration 8 yrs

Location Irvine, California

• Annual revenue contribution went from $2.5MM to $17.5MM in less than 3 years
• Achieved 100% quota each year – as high as 125% from 2004 through 2009
• Sales Manager/Trainer for coaching and developing sales people in a consultative selling environment
• Responsible for partnering with resellers, project & program managers
• Developed regional tactical plans to successfully sell, service and support enterprise software, hardware, professional services to independent, franchised and corporate chain accounts.
• Sales processes using CRM, KPI, and territory management strategies (SPIN, TAS, Miller Heiman)
• Managed client & IT Engineer relationships to maximize service expectations by aligning strategies with service expectations through RFP, SOP, SLA’s & MSA’s
• Developed and manage financial projects, incentive plans, forecasts, budgets, territory schedules, application specialists for CRM, HRM & Enterprise managed services
• Managed and designed graphics and print production for sales & marketing.
• Received numerous awards and commendations for superior sales performance and contributions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Source details: Project Management /SaaS Deployments

Major Account Strategic Planning Guide

Be Inspired Read

Three Strategies for Achieving and Sustaining Growth

by: Bill Liabotis Issues: July / August 2007Strategy.

STRATEGIC PLANNING 

25+ years of high-level strategic leadership experience to develop sales targets, goals, and expand an organizations customer base, fiscal revenue and profitability, budgeting processes and business best practices.

INVEST TIME TO LEARN & DETERMINE WHERE YOU ARE.

An accurate assessment of where your business is, conduct external and internal audits by experiencing the current processes on how you serve customers with their products & service needs. Time needed to get a clear understanding of the marketplace, the competitive landscape, environment & differences (strengths & weaknesses), and the organization and team’s competencies.

IDENTIFY WHAT’S IMPORTANT.

Focus on where you want to take the organization over time. This sets the direction of the enterprise over the long term and clearly defines the mission (markets, customers, products, etc.) and vision (conceptualization of what the organization’s future should or could be). From this analysis, we can determine the priority issues—those issues so significant to the overall well-being of the enterprise that they require the full and immediate attention of the entire management team. The strategic plan should focus on these issues.

DEFINE WHAT WE MUST ACHIEVE.

Define the expected objectives that clearly state what the organization must achieve to address the priority issues.

DETERMINE WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE.

This is how we are going to get to where we want to go. The strategies, action plans, and budgets are all steps in the process that effectively communicates how we will allocate time, human capital, and money to address the priority issues and achieve the defined objectives.

REVIEW. REVIEW. IT’S NOT OVER. IT’S NEVER OVER.

To ensure the plan performs as designed, we need to hold regularly scheduled formal reviews of the process and refine as necessary. When involving all managers suggesting at least once a quarter,

When managing each department or as in the sales operations team, preference is to manage weekly meetings – first thing Monday morning to kick off the week. These meetings last anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours periodically pending any special training or resources needed to move the sales forward that week, month or quarterly. They are to compare, contrast and manage actuals sales to ideal sales performance path plans.  If applicable, manage weekly Installation meetings where both the sales and technical service teams discuss each particular sold account contracts, expectations and deliverables to assure resources are in place.

ACHIEVING STEPS FOR GROWTH

THE STARTING POINT

The commitment of key employees at all levels, individuals who are willing to step forward and lead.

Strengthen the execution infrastructure by investing in proven Team know-how.

  • Eliminating departmental silos by implementing transparency.
  • Utilize leading key performance indicators and drivers that align with the strategy.
  • Growing leaders at all levels – managerial and non-managerial for succession planning strategies.

Initiate a FOCUS Group process to identify and complete Team strategies with a high probability for success.

  • Growing the core business
  • Growing by sub-segmenting customers
  • Growing adjacent opportunities

Begin the process by considering the growth potential within the present core business and/or the opportunities and growth potential associated with creating innovative value propositions for underserved customer groups. As the FOCUS Group moves through this process, it will become clear if and when adjacent growth options should be considered.

CUSTOMER-FOCUSED GROWTH STRATEGIES

Core Business and proportion of revenue and profits:

  • Products
  • Services 
  • Customers
  • Channels
  • Geographic areas  

STRATEGY TO MEASURE

The overall performance of the core business

Benchmark profitability, rate of revenue growth and the service reputation

For example:

  1. In what direction is each of these key indicators headed and why?
  2. Who are and who are not the core customers? Why?
  3. What is the firm’s key competitive market differentiator? How can it be strengthened?
  4. Is the core business under major threat?
  5. Are there attractive growth opportunities within the core?

Processes are created to help refocus on the core business – Define the number of market platforms on which the core business is based:

  1. IT CONSULTING
  2. HARDWARE & SOFTWARE
  3. CLOUD SERVICES
  4. PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
  5. SERVICE & SUPPORT

Define and if necessary eliminate products and markets that don’t fit on these platforms, adding new products to augment the core and strengthen market coverage with significant investments in the major marketing channels for distribution.

  1. Direct Sales
  2. On-line digital media – website & social networks

STRATEGY TO ASSESS

The organizations existing customers

This strategy involves creating High Impact Value Propositions for new opportunities through existing customer relationships or new customer’s sub-segments. Underpinning this strategy is the willingness to view customers through a different set of lenses.

A process can be created to assist both managers and specialists at the customer interface gain fresh insights into customer needs and preferences. This is a necessary first step in discovering underserved customer groups and hidden growth opportunities. (Senior leaders who frequently interact with customers can make a significant contribution to this process.)

Key elements of this process include:

  1. Sub-segmenting existing customer groups based on newly discovered needs, buying patterns and contribution to profits and/or revenue,
  2. Creating innovative and high-impact value propositions for the most attractive sub-segments,
  3. Field-testing the new value propositions and
  4. Scaling-up based on the results of field tests.

In addition, choosing to focus on lower end customer sub-segments where these are usually a group of customers for which the cost of supplying and servicing exceeds the revenue the customer generates. In such cases, value propositions when using return on investments can be designed which will move the customer to a profitable position or at least minimize the losses. For example, direct sales calls can be replaced with web online ordering systems for supplies, product/service features that can be easily purchased through digital websites.

These actions not only lower the costs of serving customers but they often speed up the service for the customer. After the initial shock, many customers welcome the new value proposition. Many growing businesses often owe their success to delivering attractive value propositions to different customer sub-segments.

STRATEGY TO BUILD  

Strategic relationships and links to core adjacent businesses

When the core business is approaching its full potential, operates efficiently and generates surplus cash for reinvestment.

  • Focus on current customers. A series of meetings with the most innovative customers can be a valuable source of opportunities. Alternative channels, new products or services or even new joint ventures may be suggested as well as entering new geographic markets, serving different customer segments and redesigning the customer’s value chain.

 Another alternative is to consider the non-core businesses of the organization. Is there the potential to leverage present positions into attractive growth opportunities?

  •  When considering adjacent growth alternatives, the relationship to the core business requires special consideration – specifically an assessment of the major strategic differences and similarities with the core. Too many differences can overly tax the organization’s capabilities. To minimize this risk, the organization may wish to test their capacity by piloting adjacent growth initiatives in stages. 
  • Adjacent growth options can be an opportunistic one-off. This often results in disappointment. Initial successes with one or two close customers can soon fade under the onslaught of strong established competitors. To prevent this, “organize to suit the new business as much as the core”.

 In the short term, adjacent growth initiatives that leverage a strong position with existing core customers have a higher probability of success. The alternative of expanding into new geographic markets provides the advantage of building a larger customer base, but often at the cost of a longer payback period and higher risk.

EXECUTING GROWTH STRATEGIES

The strategies to Measure, Assess and Build described above require a supporting infrastructure to increase the chances of successful implementation. It is important to have an adequate infrastructure to achieve these growth objectives.

 A supportive infrastructure includes:

  1. Organization capabilities that are valued by customers.
  2. A management-performance system scorecard which focuses on leading key performance indicators and the drivers of growth.
  3. Strong leadership best practices at every level of the organization.

CAPABILITIES & PROCESSES

Strategic and deliver a high level of value to customers

 For example:

  1. Successfully entering new markets.
  2. Create excellent new products or services which appeal to customers.
  3. Provide an outstanding level of customer service.

Each of these capabilities is rooted in processes that move across the organization and require the expertise and commitment of various individuals and departments.

Strategic positioning requires the team to Measure, Assess and Build to clarify and continually strengthen the organization’s strategic capabilities. An important aspect of clarifying and assessing process is to step outside the organization and evaluate both the companies and the competitors’ through the eyes, mind and heart of the customer. Success is rooted in the competitive-edge and organizational capabilities.

The following guidelines will help with such an assessment.

The capability should be:

  1. Highly visible to key individuals within the customer organization, and acknowledged as providing exceptional value.
  2. Difficult for present and potential competitors to replicate.

As an example, the capability to provide an outstanding level of customer service in a manner that would make it difficult for competitors to replicate. In order to provide such a high level of customer service, employees from different departments (not only the Customer Service Department) must be involved in service delivery.

  • Employees throughout the organization should connect quickly and collaborate willingly. Collectively, relevant information and insights about customers and product or service delivery must be shared.
  • The high level of cross-departmental collaboration can prove challenging, particularly those with rigid vertical structures. Such structures make it difficult for employees to adapt and respond to special customer service requirements. *Note that under these conditions, an employee’s loyalty often shifts from the company to their department or profession.
  • Delivering a superior level of customer value requires uninterrupted flow across the organization. Eliminating barriers to flow – breaking down departmental silos- is necessary to build organizations strategic capabilities, regardless of the specific capability.

BUILDING STRATEGIC DIFFERENTIATING CAPABILITIES

How difficult should it be for a competitor to replicate a best practice?

  •  It should be very difficult! The organization capabilities are the key elements of the business strategy continually building and leveraging the organizations’ capabilities to drive new business growth.
  •  Performance management processes, software and systems provide the capabilities to track, manage, support, and coach individuals, teams and partnership through scorecards. (Note: A Performance Management system provides the accountability and in many cases the transparency of “what gets measured gets done”.)

THE PROCESS STARTS BY ANSWERING THE QUESTION, WHAT SHOULD BE MEASURED AND WHY?

The following guidelines help answer this question.

  1. Scorecards depict key strategic relationships, particularly between the desired performance outcomes such as revenue and profit growth and the drivers of performance (e.g. new market entry, service quality, customer loyalty, and employee engagement).
  2. Performance of both individuals and departments is directly linked to the growth strategy and successful execution.
  3. Company scorecards should provide a balanced perspective based on the needs of key stakeholder groups and/or major organizational processes – internal operations, value provided to customers and employee development.

Let’s assume that the overall strategy of the company is to grow the core business and that growth will be achieved through increased market penetration of existing products. What are the drivers of growth that must be measured, monitored and managed?

This question is best answered by those directly involved.

Precise measurements are not always possible but proxy indicators established in a thoughtful and open manner are. Let’s assume that increased market penetration will be driven by the strength of the company’s brand and customer loyalty.

  1. What drives customer loyalty and brand strength?
  2. Is it the quality of service provided, the reputation of the sales staff or the depth of knowledge of the customers’ business and requirements?

When there is confidence that the above questions have been answered, the process shifts to:

  1. How and when will performance be measured,
  2. How will those directly responsible access the performance measurement and
  3. What follow-up action, if any, is necessary?

Performance Management System based on the processes described

A brief description of the approach:

Company utilizes performance-based scorecards to link execution with overall business strategy. The performance-based scorecard is aligned with major support teams, workgroups & partnerships:

  1. Customers
  2. Employees
  3. Vendors
  4. Communities

The focus is on measuring and monitoring leading key performance indicators for example:

  1. The drivers of customer loyalty
  2. Employee engagement
  3. Financial results

Considerable input from many expert resources are solicited & collaborated before these measures are set and appropriate action undertaken to continually improve performance.

A key ingredient of a supportive infrastructure is Leadership 

  • Who are the leaders and what do they do? Leaders throughout the organization, who influence, coach and develop the attitudes and actions of colleagues.
  • Organizations should consider all employees’ potential mentors, making everyone both advisors and learners.
  • As such, they help colleagues understand the many why’s of organizational life. 

For example:

  1. Why the organization must perform at a high level in the increasingly competitive and global business environment.
  2. Why barriers to cross-departmental collaboration are harmful and weaken the organization’s ability to adapt.
  3. Why, when a colleague’s performance appears to fall short, it may be preferable to view this as an opportunity for learning and professional development rather than expulsion from the organization.
  4. Why the ultimate success of the organization is rooted in its ability to continually be innovative in delivering value to customers. 

WHEN GROWING AN ORGANIZATION OF LEADERS

All employees’ are potential leaders & mentors, who are found at all levels in the organization, including, non-titled, non-managerial positions. They are best identified by their behaviors and influence rather than the hierarchical position. Together, such leaders create a network that reflects the very essence of the organization – ‘who we are, where we’re going and how we’ll get there’.

  • Companies owe their success to being able to recognize that the organization is a lab for leadership development. The process of leadership development starts with an assessment of an individual’s emotional intelligence. Hands-on learning experiences with one-on-one mentoring & team coaching are vital elements of the process. 
  • Senior leaders ultimately set the overall direction and create conditions that encourage others to join in and lead – particularly with respect to executing the strategy. 
  • The expectation that all employees should exhibit leadership behaviors. With persistence, the growing network of leaders will tip the scales as other members of the organization from every level and in every role join in and commit. 
  • When employees share identical values with the values of the company founder and connect at a very basic level with the organization’s core business strategy, it can be expected that each employee will step forward and lead. 

The process of expanding the organization’s leadership mindset and behaviors. 

  1. Teaching employees how to think like a business person.
  2. Provide all employees access to information & tools to perform job.
  3. Employees at all levels and in every role receive performance-related information and discuss how to solve problems and capitalize on opportunities.
  4. These beliefs are continuously demonstrated at well-attended regular scheduled meetings.
  5. Diligent efforts are made to make all employees feel they have vested interest as a company owner.
Notes and References: Bill Liabotis is Partner, Incite Leadership and the practice’s leader in developing processes for creating and executing strategy.

Be Inspired Read

Three Strategies for Achieving and Sustaining Growth

by: Bill Liabotis Issues: July / August 2007Strategy.