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Teams 5 steps to Success November 29, 2012

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College football is winding down the NFL is still vying playoff positions.  Have you ever watched kids on teams? It’s especially interesting to watch the younger ones as they learn how to work together and rely on each other.


If you have ever studied teams you have learned about forming, storming, norming, and performing but there is a lot more to creating successful teams than that.


I have had the privilege to work with a wide range of teams from the AF Space and Missile Command to a global advertising agency, to teams in small businesses and non-profits and they all have similar traits if they want to succeed.


  1. Purpose.. Why was the team created? What is its reason for existence?  How does that fit with the company mission?  If the team is aligned in its purpose it will be better focused on achieving the desired outcome.  Is everyone on board wit the strategic direction?
  2. Analysis..   How does the team perceive its current level of functioning as compared to what it would like to be?  What is the gap?  What can be changed and what can’t be changed? Discuss the current and how it will affect the future along with how to correct issues to enhance success.
  3. Composition.. What are the strengths of the team?  Are there individuals who are strategic? Detailed? Leaders? Managers?  Look at what people like to do as well as what they are good at doing and add others if needed
  4. Roles/ Responsibilities… What are all the tasks the team needs to accomplish to meet its directive? Who has primary responsibility? Who is the back-up? Who needs to be consulted at the beginning? Who needs to be informed afterwards?  Everyone can not be a chief so be clear on the roles to avoid conflict.
  5. Action plan… What is each team member committing to complete by when with what level of competency?   What will each member start doing? Stop doing? Continue doing?  Everyone needs to be accountable for success. 


When creating successful teams the answers to the questions listed will help teams focus on the necessary procedures that need to be accomplished to achieve the desired goals.  Go team!!!

Buy Local November 21, 2012

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When did the holidays become so commercial?  I know holidays are not as they are depicted in Hallmark stores or Norman Rockwell paintings but it seems the holidays have now become an excuse for conspicuous consumption.  In Torrance people lined up since Sunday in front of a Best Buy, for what? One woman said she can get a deal to save $200.  Others want Ipads and tech toys. 


I know I’m dating myself when I say I remember when but here goes.  I remember looking forward to the store windows decorated in fantasies after Thanksgiving.  I remember watching the Macy Parade then football games; enjoying family and friends and just relaxing.  On Friday and Saturday we went to local stores first because we already knew what we had been eyeing there for a while and they helped us get something unique and special.  Eventually we made it to the department stores oohing and ahhing over the décor. 


Today I want to tell you about some great local businesses if you are looking for the special gifts (They all have websites) 

In Ventura/Ojai/Thousand Oaks/ Westlake/Santa Paula

www.Modernfolkliving.com  great hostess gifts & gifts for men, women & the home

http://bestofvc.com all sorts of gifts jewelry and food from Ventura County 

www.harperblue.net  upscale consignment having 60% off sale

www.redbrickart.com original art and jewelry great gifts for the guys in your life

www.kamasutracloset.com  Lovely lingerie to make you feel sexy and fun toys

www.connexionsdancestudio.com  and www.dance4wellness.net  ballroom classes give the gift of fun to yourself or others

 vomfasswestlakevillage.com great oils vinegars wines spirits and gift baskets.

www.Shellspetals.com from weddings to table settings to bouquets and more.

http://www.brucarlocksmith.info  safes to keys

http://www.sarahhorowitz.com the most amazing fragrances and she will customize.


For those of you who have questions or concerns about your business my offer to you is a 1 ½ session with me face to face or by phone to discuss target marketing, SWOT, hiring, strategic direction, goal setting or any other foundational issue  for only $100.

Contact me at harriet@trainingsolutions-hlc.com


Have a wonderful holiday weekend and enjoy whatever you are doing in the moment.



What I Learned. November 7, 2012

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Like you I have had enough of all the ads and everything else related to the elections but I also learned something by watching the players.


First there has to be a strategy and that has to be related to your target audience.  Obama knew the race would be close and he had to gain the electoral votes.  Yes he won the popular but by a slim margin.  He knew who his target market was and not just the demographics but the psychographics as well.  He appeared to have a plan to go after the target in the states with the highest electoral votes.  Additionally he did not forget the states like California that had many of his supporters. 


In your business is your strategy related to your target market or are you continuously responding to competitors?  Who drives your business?  There is an old line if you fail to plan you plan to fail and this is so true in business today.  You need a plan, a road map, a blueprint. You have to know your audience and your direction so you know the resources and the structure.


Second you need to be persistent.  There are times storms will arise and you will need to batten the hatches and focus on being secure and safe.  At these times your plan and your foundation will enable you to rebuild what may have been damaged and allow you to be persistent in your pursuit of your goals.


Third is stick to the message. Know your brand and your identity.  You can’t be all things to all people but you can be the right one for your target audience.  When you change your brand, image or message you confuse your customer and they don’t know what you are selling.  Confused customers may go to the competition.


The moral, have a strategy, be clear and concise in your message, and persistent in the achievement of your goals and you too will find success.


I am revising my e-books and they are on sale now for $2.99 each check the titles on the website e-mail me and happy to sell  them to you  www.trainingsolutions-hlc.com

The Power of Human Persistence November 1, 2012

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I just got back from DC.  I was fortunate not to have been in the devastation of NY and NJ.  Having grown up on the east coast I had forgotten the power and fury of a hurricane and combine it with a full moon for high tides and a lower jet stream for cold and you have what was affectionately called Frankenstorm. 


I also learned to power of FEMA and local governors and how fast they had emergency programs in place before the storm hit.  Utility companies from all over the country including CA are sending trucks and crews to help out.  From TSA to the airlines everyone was so helpful and calm.  It was weird seeing National airport so empty because many people couldn’t get there since the Metro didn’t open until late Tuesday.   


I saw neighbors checking on each other, making sure everyone was safe and if someone didn’t have power, offering water, batteries or even ways to charge essentials. 


If you have ever been to the Jersey Shore it was a fun place as a kid.  Just to put things into Hollywood perspective if you watch Boardwalk Empire the background is Asbury Park not Atlantic City.   Many of the rides and places will need to be rebuilt and they will be; maybe not as the governor said the same way, perhaps better.  But the power of human persistence not to let Mother Nature destroy them is phenomenal.  The power of people helping people is the backbone to our culture and survival; nurses carrying NICU infants down 9 flights of stairs making sure they had oxygen and support.   Equally nice was nobody was talking politics everyone was just being human and helping.


Humans will persist and the Eastern seaboard as well as inland will be back, maybe not the same but it will be back and we will remember how we all came together.