Tag Archives: business ownership

When a Customer Outgrows You

There is nothing that quite matches the excitement of landing your first really big customer. It often brings with it the confidence that comes with knowing, really knowing, that you can compete in the big leagues. There could be the added security of … Continue reading

Posted in Customer Relations, Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Sales, Sales, Strategy and Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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Is Your Business in the “Neutral Zone?”

As Baby Boomers business owners approach retirement (the youngest of them turned 50 this year) they face a unique challenge. The market for small businesses is increasingly a buyer’s smorgasbord A shrinking middle-aged population, corporate competition for talent and less interest … Continue reading

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Exit Planning, Leadership, Selling a business, Strategy and Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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Police Deadly Force and Management

The outcry over the use of deadly force by police officers has dominated headlines. Ferguson Missouri, New York City, Virginia, Texas, Florida. Although incidents involving unarmed black men have dominated the headlines, the total number of deaths by law enforcement … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership, Managing Employees, Politics and Regulation | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

5 Responses to Police Deadly Force and Management

  1. Kyle Whale says:

    So what are some examples of “nightsticks”?

    • John F. Dini says:

      Sorry, I guess even the term is antiquated. A piece of hickory, cured and hardened, round (about 1.5 to 1.75 inches in diameter) and about 30 inches long. Longer than a Billy club, harder than a truncheon. Grooved handle for a good grip, with a strong leather thong for wrapping around your wrist. Formerly standard issue for every police officer in the country. Later “improved” with a second handle that came out 90 degrees from the side about 1/4 of the way up, but my dad never cared for those.

      • I don’t want to put words in Kyle’s mouth but I think he might have been referring to a “nightstick” in the context of what examples of a “corrective action” to mete out to an employee instead of the big threat of “deadly force” that results in termination.

        • John F. Dini says:

          Oh. Duh! Thanks Russ. A structured system of progressive discipline gives supervisors the ability to assign penalties without being accused of arbitrariness. Docked pay, deferred raises, forfeiting PTO (which in most states is only controlled by company policy), exclusion from an incentive pool and suspension are all options, but the supervisor needs to understand what is available and when it is appropriate.

  2. Chris White says:

    Perhaps some commercial examples might illustrate the point?
    1. Most serious examples short of termination might include probationary status, docking pay, demotion.
    2. Less serious examples might include a letter in the personnel file, attendance at a seminar on the topic causing the problem, loss of privileges such as parking space, etc.
    3. Least serious might just be a verbal reprimand without the “or else” attached to it.

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Don’t Train with Customer Pain

I have lot of favorite books. In business, they range from cutting edge theory to some of the little “quick reads” that build a single management or behavioral point around an allegory. One of the best in the latter category … Continue reading

Posted in Customer Relations, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Managing Employees, Sales | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Don’t Train with Customer Pain

  1. Brent Lane says:

    You can usually recover from your pain, but not always from your customer’s discomfort – and especially if you do not know about it.
    With my firm, I would call every client every month just to say “How are we doing”? 99% of the time, I was met with appreciation. The other 1% sometimes involved yelling and occasional unpleasant suggestions. My response was always, “Thank you – now that I know about it, I can fix it.” And we always did.
    In 15 years our collection period was always less that an month and I never had a claim for any cause. I attribute it to good will and the ability to solve a problem before it resulted in slow payments, or worse, lost business relationships.

  2. I think they used to call it customer relationship management

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Why Health Insurance Isn’t

Last week I wrote about the success of Obamacare in driving people from the private insurance market towards a national healthcare system. Clearly, I touched a nerve when I look at the tone of the responses received. Although I don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Trends, John's Opinions, Leadership, Strategy and Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

5 Responses to Why Health Insurance Isn’t

  1. Jim Marshall says:

    I had a great uncle who practiced medicine from the turn of the century until the mid 20th century. In the last chapter of his book “Doctor Do Tell” dealing mostly with his experience delivering medical care to the people of rural Wisconsin……he warned of the evils of “socialized medicine”. Much has changed since the time he practiced….including the willingness of health care providers to be “paid in pickles”. The evils of non “socialized medicine” have become crystal and painfully clear.
    The present health care system based on the idea that competition brings about the best result is a failure if for no other reason that there is and will not be true competition. Nationalized health care can minimize system costs….if design and operation remained focused on the goal of efficient, results oriented care measured by and paying for results. A single payer system that assures and pays for results oriented care (as opposed to pay per procedure) is probably the only way that a nation can bring about maximum care per dollar expended. The only logical single payer is government. If a clear goal (as mentioned above) was the standard to which any plan was held….much better product (our health care) could be brought about for all.

  2. Jim Marshall says:

    I neglected to mention his book was written in 1945.

  3. David Basri says:

    Except that not everyone is going to use all they did (or should have) put in. My mother will turn 99 early next year. She is in an assisted living center that costs thousands monthly, but uses just a small fraction of the services the price is meant to cover. This is good thing. Others use much, much more than they ever did (or could have) put in.

    The only solution is something based on the underlying concept of insurance. Many put in
    X and a fewer number take out Y. Even in countries where there is universal government provided healthcare, the concept is the same with taxes substituted for the bulk of premiums.

    The problem in the US is that the insurance paradigm is private and discretionary. Not everyone has to pay in, so healthier lower cost people opt out at a disproportionately high rate. The insurance companies are profit driven, so left to their own they simply do not want to cover those who represent a higher risk.

    Average life span in the US is into the 70s. That means both individuals and companies have to think very long term to justify the equation. In a system where participation is discretionary, and the actuarial pool is private and focused on making shareholders and executives happy the following quarter, the actuarial numbers will not to add up.

    Human nature simply does not work well in multi-decade time frames. Only an external entity can make the health care actuarial equation work. The ACA is bending the curve, but it is a poor mishmash trying to influence an inherently unworkable model based on private insurance and discretionary participation.

  4. Mike Weaver says:

    I have always thought it strange that people expect routine doctor visits and long term prescription medications to be covered under a health insurance plan. When you buy car insurance your tires and oil changes are not covered are they?

  5. David Basri says:

    It is only strange if you try to equate health care with consumer goods. Same basic problem as trying to force market principles to “control” health care costs. It is not a market or a consumer good, and should not be.

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