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Posts Tagged ‘corporate performance’

Life In The Start-Up Lane: When “Standards” Keep Changing…

September 25th, 2013 Comments off

As I’ve mentioned in some of my prior posts, whether it’s just another day in Finance or within the life of a start-up, there is no normal day. Take that a step further and you’ll likely find that there is no level of “normal” reporting that you can rely on to measure what is happening with the business.  At least not the “standard” level of reporting that you would have relied on at a prior company, which was likely much larger and more mature. As we are about to kick-off our sixth fiscal Quarter, the reporting that we relied on two Quarters ago is far different than what we are using now, and what I expect to be using in another few Quarters.

Part of the challenge within a start-up is balancing the integration of new systems while developing the rest of the business. This is not a sequential sequence of events, but a series that run parallel, often forcing business decisions based on experience and gut instinct. This is probably where I highly value the time that I spent in equity research covering 20 different retail and apparel companies. Monthly comp sales unleashed a flurry of data that had to be quickly assessed, reported on, and subsequently disseminated to clients. It had to add value, and above all, it HAD to be correct. Making business decisions in the absence of data, or at least incomplete data, is a very uncomfortable position for most folks.

So how do you measure the business when the standards are constantly changing? The absence of standards is not indicative of an absence of accountability or transparency, but part of the evolution that naturally occurs within a start-up. Yes, there is a Budget that is developed and based on certain assumptions, but it’s not long before that Budget becomes a distant reference point as you begin compiling data and assessing the potential trends that are developing within the business. However, one to two Quarters of data certainly is not a “trend” within a start-up, but it sure helps in refining the assumptions used in the Forecast. As with our business, while we are cognizant of the metrics that we will ultimately be using to measure our performance, some of those metrics are simply meaningless at this point since the business is still young and there isn’t enough data yet collected. That doesn’t mean that we’re not tracking our bookings, revenues, margins, and other macro indicators, but the detailed view is in a bit of a holding pattern at the macro level until we can drop down to the next level for more meaningful reporting.

As our business continues to grow and prosper, I absolutely expect a fundamental shift in our reporting abilities as we collect more data. We’ll move from the “spirit” of building the business to “fine tuning” the engine and driving increased performance through the data distributed to our key internal stakeholders. In these early stages of a start-up, it’s a delicate balance between giving the teams the latitude they need in developing the business, tracking their activities to the Budget, and determining whether their invested time and expenses will deliver an ROI in the immediate future. In the initial phases, that ROI may come in the form of customer satisfaction, referrals for new projects, potential new hires, and if all are executed properly….bottom line profitability.

Living the day-to-day life of a start-up is not the black & white mechanical structure most are used to working under. It necessitates the development of comfort in change and knowing that will be the case for quite some time. However, at the end of day, just take a step back, look at the evolution of your bottom line results, the trend in customer engagements, customer feedback….and you’ll know exactly how well you’re performing.

Thanks for reading…

Jeffrey Ishmael

Performance Metrics In The Absence of Standards…

August 20th, 2013 Comments off

One of the things I enjoy so much about my position and working within Finance is that there is no “average” workday and each day brings a new challenge and opportunity to drive the operational and financial performance of the company. One of the challenges I enjoy is developing a level of performance reporting to help the executive team measure the business and make the necessary decisions. What this does not mean is merely distributing the standard financial or accounting metrics that are spit out of the system on a daily or a weekly basis. There is simply no value added if that were the case.
What I am referring to is really rolling up the sleeves and measuring what makes the company tick and understanding its pulse. In the case of a start-up you can virtually throw the majority of the standard metrics out the window until you start assembling enough data to actually provide some relevance to figures. In the early stages it’s too easy to take a number out of context and start making assumptions about whether it’s good or bad. The one thing to keep in mind though is that once you start moving outside the standard working capital ratios, you have to be very mindful that not all measurements are created equal. While there are standards in place for revenue recognition, as well as the key spends that need to be rolled into your cost of goods sold, or the treatment of R&D spending, there are other elements where it’s a coin toss between classifying them in your cost of goods or rolling them into your operating expenses.
I came across this during my time with DC Shoes where I started to compile a benchmark study on gross margin performance with other companies in our space. Partly to show our corporate parents how well we were actually performing in contrast to their constant criticisms, but also to see what the performance trends were over the prior few years. The revenue part came together quite easily, but as I started to dig into the gross margin portion of the equation it appeared that there was a significant variance in performance within my peer group. As I started to review the cost elements that were being included it became quite clear that it was not an apples-apples comparison. Additionally, while there may have been some transparency in the elements that were being included, there were no figures cited that allowed for adjustments and the viewing of equitable figures.
In the absence of reasonable comparisons I turned the mirror inward to review our own results over the last 3-4 years and found that was also a challenge as well. I had inherited a collection of financial results that had been modified on a somewhat regular basis….either at the directive of corporate, or at the decision of prior management teams to include/exclude certain costs. Trying to have a clear story about our own performance was equally difficult. This situation makes it extremely challenging to communicate a company’s progress to the Executive team in a clear message, not to mention, it basically condones the constant change of reporting standards that makes reporting, accountability, and planning a huge challenge.
While having GAAP or IFRS standards for every calculation on the income statement or KPI scoreboard is not the answer, the Executive team shares a responsibility to have consistency in the reporting that is produced and understanding the business well enough that an internal set of reporting standards can be deployed and used to measure performance. It doesn’t do anyone any good in the end to have a continual string of asterisks noting changes in your reporting. The only thing that will drive improved performance is accountability supported by accurate and consistent reporting.
Thanks for reading…
Jeffrey Ishmael

Financial Reporting, Coaching, & Supporting the Team…

August 9th, 2013 Comments off

After taking a few days off this last week and having some time to think over a few of the companies I’ve worked with, it occurred to me that there is a distinct difference between many of the finance colleagues I have worked with and the approach they bring to their position. For some, and without trying to hyper analyze how their childhood is affecting their work approach, it seems that the process of reporting the monthly results & highlighting the deficiencies of others is something they enjoy a bit. What has puzzled me about these individuals is that they are also part of the same team and should assume a more vested interest in partnering with each area to ensure that their colleagues have the proper tools and information they need to succeed and deliver the expected results. It’s really a matter of balancing the needs of consistent financial reporting, enforcing accountability across the organization, and partnering with each area to ensure that you’re giving them the support they need.

For myself and my work with Cylance, there is a huge correlation between the Services business I reported on and partnered with at MGE. At MGE, we had over 150 field engineers and reported on almost 340,000 labor hours annually. While a mature organization, there was still the need to develop and refine our ability to accurately report on that portion of our business and have the information to make business decisions that would help us continually improve our performance. It’s no different here, except that we are a 1-year old start-up that has a smaller staff. We have incredible talent who bring a wealth of experience from some of the top companies in the security space, but as a start-up, it takes time to deploy the necessary tools and provide them all the necessary information. While it took a bit of time, we do have that information and are constantly using it to measure the business and make informed decisions.

Managing the Finance side of the organization, it’s not just my responsibility to throw a set of numbers on the table at the close of each month, but to partner with our Services team and ensure they have the proper reporting and can focus their efforts on customers and project management. I want to provide them the information so they can audit and tell me the system isn’t properly reporting…or it is and they can adjust their business as necessary. It’s not just hindsight reporting, it’s about a complete performance picture:

  • What is the current utilization rate and what are the trends you’re seeing over time?
  • What is the estimated proforma utilization based on the bookings pipeline being reported?
  • What is the current hourly cost rate and how do the actual results compare to the Plan?
  • Is the existing skillset of the staff aligned with the bookings that are being recorded?
  • What is the average billing rate and how does that compare to the Plan?
  • What is the cadence of new bookings and project kickoffs relative to available staffing levels?

In the end, the responsibility of Finance should be much more than publishing revenue or margin results. It should be an ongoing partnership with the areas that significantly influence the results and helping them optimize those results. When it comes to working within a start-up, we are all vested parties and need to drive towards the best result possible.

Thanks for reading…

Jeffrey Ishmael

Start-Up Fun. A Fiscal Year Review…

July 25th, 2013 Comments off

I think I have been living the adage of “time flies when you’re having fun…”.  I realized yesterday that it had been almost a full two months since my last blog entry and I was a bit mortified. Especially when I try and keep a strong discipline in all aspects of my life. However, when I look back on what has been happening the last 60-days, it’s easy to see how that could have happened. With the final wrap-up of an ERP implementation and the closing of our first fiscal year, it’s been a crazy few months. But it’s not just the last few months, it’s the satisfaction of looking back over the last year and seeing what we have been able to accomplish as a team. While I’m obviously not going to share financial results or product development achievements, the growth and operational achievements are something for the team to be proud of.

When I first started with Cylance, we were all of 7 employees, I was given a laptop with Quickbooks installed on it, and the company had signed on with a PEO to administer our payroll and benefits. The company’s founder, Stuart McClure, had just started to implement his vision and we were working out of a living room. At that point, you couldn’t have asked for a cleaner slate to move the company forward. Fast forward to now and you realize how much of a transformation this company has gone through.

While I continued to use Quickbooks for a short amount of time, we put tremendous effort into bringing a sales management platform online to manage the opportunities we were already seeing coming into the company. Once we had the confidence we had effectively installed the first phase of our automation, we moved on to implement an additional platform aimed at the management of our professional services business. How do you make effective business decisions if you don’t have the ability to measure your business? A rhetorical question I know, but those needs can easily be lost in a hectic start-up environment. Once we were about halfway through that effort, we already knew that we were going to have to upgrade the Finance side of the house so we could have seamless integration of all three platforms. Hence, the process started to interview ERP candidates. I started having bad flashbacks to the SAP implementation I had carved myself out of a year prior. However, we aligned ourselves with a great partner and the calendar was set to bring the final piece online. As with everything else, we committed to the calendar and executed to the exact day and brought all elements of the business online with platforms that will support us for years to come.

Time for a break…right? Not even close. The next big step, with a VERY underestimated effort of what it would take, was to extract ourselves from our PEO parent on payroll and benefits and bring that entire effort in house. This might have been more painful than the SAP implementation, but a worthwhile endeavor. Again, a full interviewing of partner candidates. In the end, we were able to achieve savings, enhance our benefits offering to employees, and be the master of our destiny with regards to program management. We successfully brought our benefits offering online and on time, as well as bringing all payroll processing internal.

What a year it’s been. But wait…there’s more. Toss in the scouting for a new corporate office, 3 different office moves before we settled permanently, an increase in our employee count from 7 to 60, the development of a remarkable team, customer base, and marketing results that would make most established companies envious. Ok, now for a break….right?

We’re not just knocking on the door of our 2014 fiscal year, but we’re kicking it in. It’s still a target rich environment and the task list is longer than Santa’s naughty & nice list in December. At the end of the day, you need to look back on the day, the week, and ultimately, the last year and feel satisfaction with what you’ve accomplished. Start-ups are not for the faint of heart and you need to stay motivated and driven. It’s easy to stay that way when you have a mission you’re committed to and a team that is equally committed.

Thanks for reading…

Jeffrey Ishmael

Is Corporate Influence Impacting Your Brand Performance…?

May 17th, 2013 Comments off

In my last blog entry I provided an overview of all the areas that could potentially impact the value and performance of the company or brand that you are responsible for. Essentially, are you squandering brand value through your own actions, or conversely, are you having to work through parent company influencers that are impacting your results?

At DC in particular, I was hired one month on the heels of a new President, who in his words, “was not brought in because things were going well”. Very true words, and in the beginning, we were given all the corporate support we needed to make the necessary changes. Gradually, as we continued to improve our results, we began to see an increasing restriction in our available resources. Not because our results were deteriorating, but out of support for the other brands who were not performing as well and the need to post a strong consolidated result. The availability of resources started to become scarcer as we consolidated locations and became an embedded brand at a corporate level as opposed to our previous situation of operating as an independent brand…down to a geographic level.

Now to be clear, the issue wasn’t fiscal accountability at a corporate level, but the frustration in the inability to deliver the value that we knew we were capable of. A level of performance that would not have been at “any cost”, but a level of performance that would have easily been achievable while still showing improved financial results, a methodical leveraging of our expense base, and an investment in headcount that would have supported the necessary growth initiatives.

For our brand team, we had complete transparency on our goals, our financial performance, and the mapping of what would get us to that point. So when the brand was denied the resources to perform, the entire team felt the same level of frustration, as well as sharing the common question of why there wasn’t the same level of fiscal accountability across all brands. It was pretty easy to see where there was a prevalence of “legacy” management and staffers across the other brands that held their positions as a result of their tenure with the company, as opposed to the value they actually delivered on a daily basis. It was necessary to accept that the environment we worked in was one of lifestyle, as opposed to the responsibility of driving corporate performance & drive shareholder value.

Conversely, if there was a common drive for performance, knowing that we all designed, developed, and sold a similar product, the allocation of resources should have been a very straightforward process.

  • We should have been looking at the growth rates across all brands, both at a realized level, as well as a forecasted level. We also would have been looking at the historical ability to deliver on previously committed results as opposed to who delivered the most favorable presentation.
  • We should have been looking at the allocation of operating expenses and whether each of the brands was achieving the necessary leverage in their forecasted results.
  • We should have been looking at headcount levels relative to our existing revenues, forecasted revenues, as well as the impact on forecasted OpEx. Would we be looking at an increased revenue per employee metric with the impact of new hires? We’d be looking at that metric across the brands on both a current and proforma basis.
  • We should have been looking at brand level inventory performance and whether we were showing an increased turn versus prior seasons. We should have been measured at a brand level on our performance with reserves, past season inventory, and not merely arbitrary opinions that inventory levels were too high because overall corporate inventory levels had become bloated.

In the end, it’s important to understand the environment that you are working in, or being forced to work in, and whether it fits your own approach and what motivates you. Regardless of whether you’re being forced into a position of compromising the performance of your brand, it’s still important to track what the capabilities are for the brand and to still strive for those levels, even if it is in the face of headwinds that are over and above the normal market, product, and customer challenges.

Thanks for reading…

Jeffrey Ishmael

Take It As An Opportunity To Learn…

April 11th, 2013 Comments off

It never fails that you have those conversations with somebody in your network that talks about how much they dislike the company there are working with, how bad things are, how severe the silos are, and how bad the political climate is. All of this in consideration to the fact that they are working at an industry leading company or within a company that most would aspire to hire into. I’ve certainly experienced that in my own career history, and while frustrating at the time, has always left me with a fantastic perspective that I could take with me to a new company and use it to improve the environment and financial performance. Or consequently, you have that experience to draw on in your considerations to joining a new company and ensure you don’t repeat the “sins” of the past. The analogy that I like to use with my friends is to take it all in and put yourself in the position that you’re living a day-today case study and it’s up to you to process the experience in a beneficial manner.
From a Finance perspective, one of the more frustrating perspectives is that these situations have a tremendous impact on the ability of the company to truly perform to its financial possibilities. The presence of deep silos and highly political environments ultimately focus energy on all the wrong areas, thus diverting from achieving top performance. If you’re prepping for a hard race are you going to divert your energy towards activities or diet that will ultimately hinder your performance on race day? I know…a rhetorical question, but the same dynamic. If you continue to perpetuate a bad diet or deviate from your training regiment, your simply not going to perform to your best potential. Period.
While most of my posts have usually been single entry topics, I’m drafting a multi-part series that is focused on how easy it is for a company, or brand, to squander value on such negative contributors like silos, politics, and the tolerance of hiring sub-par talent, and working in an environment without accountability. I’ll speak to not only the financial implications of these issues, but also the impact it has on staff and their ability to stay motivated. That in the face of a lack of motivation, it becomes not just a productivity issue within the office, but a diversion of productivity as they channel their efforts into a job search to leave behind a situation they feel will never change. Looking forward to sharing these perspectives.
Thanks for reading…
Jeffrey Ishmael

Are You Part Of The Solution or Part Of The 62% Non-Operators?

March 28th, 2013 Comments off

If you have read my blog over the years, you know how much I have advocated the involvement of CFO’s in the day-to-day operations of a company. Maybe not necessarily leading the charge with the assumed role of COO or VP of Operations, but collaborative involvement with other members of the Executive team who oversee this area. When it comes to developing the budgets and forecasts of a company, it needs to be more than just a spreadsheet exercise. It needs to be based on a solid knowledge of the flow of resources through a company and what levers can be pulled to improve the operating results of the company.

This is why I was a bit surprised by a recent poll posted on CFO.com, which perceived most CFO’s to be poor operators and having very little involvement in that area of their company. A surprisingly high 62% were only “somewhat involved” or “had little or no involvement”. Regardless of whether you are overseeing a services-based firm and your operations involve labor productivity metrics & similar KPI’s, or you’re part of a manufacturing entity with a dynamic flow of resources, it’s your obligation as a CFO to be involved and have an intimate knowledge. If you have a COO or VP of Operations on your team, it’s your obligation to work EXTREMELY closely with that individual and not only ensure they have every level of support they need to perform to plan, but they are transparent in their results with you so that you can accurately forecast the results of the business.

With the companies that I have worked with, it has not been the home run sales contracts that have typically allowed me to report stellar annual results, but more the sustainable changes in operations that have led to an improved bottom line. Those changes will obviously be different for every company, but it’s diving in and analyzing all of the individual contributors and how they can be improved. If you’ve assumed the CFO role within your company, you are not in a position where you can just sit back and wait for the results to post. You have a team that you should be working with, supporting, and identifying the areas that can be improved, thus influencing the bottom line. If you’re part of that 62%, expect an eventual lesson in Darwinism and don’t be surprised if you’re no longer part of the herd.

Thanks for reading…

Jeffrey Ishmael

The CFO Is Not A Scorekeeper…

March 19th, 2013 Comments off

I was reading a recent blog post by Cindy Kraft, who is one of the leading CFO coaches out there and is very active in helping CFO’s manage their careers and improve their online profiles. One of the comments that had been posted to her blog defined the role of the CFO as that of the “corporate scorekeeper”. Cindy had not suggested this was the role of the CFO, and I know from following her over the years, that she does not share that view of the role of CFO. Personally, I can’t think of a bigger disservice to an organization than just assuming the role of a scorekeeper. This is essentially a non-value add position that leads to the role being an expense, and not an investment as I have always promoted.

So what is the role of the CFO? That’s not entirely an easy question to answer and will depend on the type of organization that you have been hired into. In general, you are assuming the role as the primary strategic partner for the CEO and essentially quantify the anticipated results of the strategies he has mapped out with the rest of the Executive team. You are responsible for the broader back office operations and ensuring that the plan to monetize those strategies becomes a reality. You are responsible for identifying, and mitigating, any of the operational risks that might potentially derail that plan. You are responsible for working closely with your Sales teams, Product teams, and other key functional areas in the execution of the plan and making sure they have the proper resources to deliver, as well as instilling the proper level of accountability. You are responsible for distributing the appropriate levels of information to the Executive team so that they can make informed decisions and fine tune their activities to deliver on the plan.

Scorekeeper? Hardly. The role of scorekeeper is to sit in the booth, or in this case an office, and regurgitate system generated reports and add some token level of commentary. The role of the scorekeeper is ensuring that the debits and credits are properly recorded so the auditors are happy in the end. There is no lever pulling, no collaboration with other departments, nor is there any type of influence on the operational aspects of the business. This couldn’t be farther from the CFO role. The scorekeeper is the necessary expense you have to have to conduct the game. The CFO is an investment that is made with the expectation of receiving a return for that investment…bottom line.

The expectation that I have always placed on myself, and promised to any company I have worked with, is that I will deliver a significant return on the investment made in me. We’re not talking about a 20% or 30% ROI, but a multiple of what my total compensation package is for a company. That return will also come in number of different manners. From a topline perspective it will mean working closely with the Sales department to improve the actual sales figures, as well as the processes that drive the revenue engine. Additional ROI is achieved through tight management of the entire costing structure. Whether labor efficiencies, raw material inputs, quality, or inventory management, these are all key elements that have to be actively managed…not just recorded and reported. Further return is achieved in the ongoing management of operating expenses. Here there is a need to determine the proper balance to support the expectations of the Executive team and executing on the strategic plan. This will involve benchmarking to internal history, peers in the industry, as well as ensuring that existing partners are still representing the best interests of the company.

So you still believe the CFO is the scorekeeper of the company? You might want to rethink that position…

Thanks for reading…

Jeffrey Ishmael

Are You Incessantly Busy or On A Defined Path…?

March 8th, 2013 Comments off

Regardless of whether you are working corporate environment or a smaller start-up, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of what you’re actually working towards. The fortunate position of working with a private company is that you’re not slaving to, and managing towards, previously disclosed public guidance for revenues and earnings. Rather, you’re committed to delivering on the longer term commitments made to your shareholders and financial backers. Generally, if a deliverable has a slight calendar shift it’s not going to result in dire quarterly consequences. However, if you were to come in on any morning and pause for a moment, would you be able to review what your top deliverables are for the Quarter? What the game changing tasks are that are going to move your company forward?

At the front end of each Quarter that is exactly the drill that I go through in determining what the company and the staff need from me every Quarter. It has nothing to do with processing A/P, processing payroll every two weeks, or even providing oversight on the Forecast process, but the key foundational or strategic items that our business will need to thrive down the line. For me, those key items have been the implementation of CRM platforms, financial reporting platforms, labor utilization forecasting, and the establishment of internal operations that will ultimately support our Sales & Development team. While not necessarily financial or accounting in nature, they are the core foundation of what will allow our company to prosper, and in the end, will also have a drastic impact on our current and future cash flows. There’s nothing more critical.

Like today, you tend to have those moments where you’re getting nickeled and dimed with tons of smaller items. Smaller items, that while tedious, are necessary to moving the company another step forward. It’s at that point that all you need to do is run a quick check on how you’re progressing against those quarterly goals and if you’re tracking to deliver. While every day is an important day in the life of a start-up, taking a day to address the general minutia shouldn’t derail your ability to deliver on what is promised for the Quarter (oh that nasty “promise” word again…). Ultimately, you just need to be able to come in each morning and run that quick assessment on how you’re tracking. In the end, you can be incredibly busy on a daily basis, but at the end of the Quarter, are you going to be happy with what you’ve delivered and have you put your company in a stronger position?

Thanks for reading…

Jeffrey Ishmael

There Is No Immunity From Accountability…

March 1st, 2013 Comments off

Idealistic and possible or just a pipe dream? I’ve never started off one of my blog entries with a question, but I started thinking about this statement while out on one of my training rides. I started thinking about some of the past companies I had worked with and some of my “peers” that were responsible for specific divisions or line offerings, who Quarter after Quarter, continued to report results that were not only below an original Budget, but below what they had previously made a commitment to achieve. Not at just a revenue level, but at every level of the P&L. Dare I say “promised” to deliver? Ultimately, what led to the continued support of these individuals was either their relationship with a key executive, or in other cases, a lack of motivation and performance by their Director to make the necessary change. Without an inherent drive for results and improved performance there emerged a tolerance for mediocrity, which ultimately, affected the overall performance of the company.

Don’t get me wrong, it would be a pretty challenging situation to have a company full of relentless Type-A, performance driven individuals. There does need to be a balance in the composition of the staff, but there are also key positions, that in the absence of delivering on key initiatives have much broader implications to the performance of the company.

Whenever I have made a hire that comes from my direct network it’s a direct reflection on not only my responsibility as part of the executive team, but also a reflection on my reputation should that person not work out. Unfortunately for that person, they’ll actually have an even higher level of accountability to perform as I don’t want to have to walk out a hire that I was responsible for. I know it will happen eventually, but I’d like to delay that situation as long as possible. Regardless of whether they are part of my network, or I’ve grown up with them, or ride with them, they need to deliver on the roles and responsibilities for the position that they are being hired into. Without their delivery, they risk impacting the results of the company. There’s obviously an inherent responsibility on my part to ensure their skills are a match for the position, they possess the appropriate motivation, and if there are any deficiencies discovered in certain areas, it’s my responsibility to develop a development plan.

Moving forward, what happens when a hire is made and you’ve realized that the either the skills have been misrepresented or they are simply lacking the proper motivation to deliver what is expected. Very simply, it’s time to make a change before more resources are squandered and you’ve potentially jeopardized timelines or the commitment you’ve made to others. The situation is seldom black & white and easily interpreted. Is it a smaller start-up, as I’m currently working, or a multi-divisional corporation, as I’ve experienced in the past.

In the case of the start-up, there is little room to hide. There are no firewalls. Your deficiencies will quickly be seen if you fail to deliver. Make no mistake about it. You better be taking an honest look in the mirror before committing to a start-up.

A larger company? There’s certainly plenty of room to hide and work under the radar. In fact, if you’re a “friend of” someone, you can usually exploit that situation to do only what is needed to get by and likely sustain a stellar level of mediocrity. The other damage done here is that the skills shortfall is recognized sooner by surrounding colleagues and usually results in a lack of peripheral support in accomplishing departmental goals, which then further erodes morale. More often than not it either isn’t addressed or can take years to play out before a new catalyst is present to make the necessary changes.

I can only hope that in the future that I would promote an environment that allows a colleague to speak openly with me if one of my hires or a recommended candidate was not performing. My responsibility is to delivering the results that I have promised and not to create a de facto subsidy for colleagues who don’t have the skills or motivation to find a job on their own. I want to hire motivated, resourceful and performance driven individuals. What about you? Are you promoting immunity from accountability?

Thanks for reading…

Jeffrey Ishmael