Phil Hauck's TEC Blog

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Random TEC Member Insights ...
•  I've been very surprised  to learn recently how far 3-D printing has developed!  I thought it was just a technical concept which would have impact far into the future, but now I find it's being USED today ... and I found out that two of my members, fairly large, high tech operations, already have and are using them.
•  Getting a lot of good PR from members who are involved with the E-Business Consortium coordinated through UW-Madison.  A great learning opportunity, with thrusts for technical understanding, marketing, and social media.  Several hundred company members, including all the forward-looking ones in the state.  Great sharing/learning mechanism.  Go to
•  Several members are talking about how high tech companies are organizing their work areas on the two coasts.  Whereas we're still into cubicles, they're organizing work groups with no panels or walls; people work in close proximity with each other, with frequent interaction.  Energy, they say, is palpable when you're nearby.  Everyone helping each other, interacting, working towards the goal.
•  ObamaCare:  A lot of analyzing and waiting going on.  But one action step being taken by MORE THAN A FEW:  To set the effective date of their next annual insuror agreement BEFORE Jan. 1, so that it extends a year to late next year.  Buys time to see how the initial thrusts of ObamaCare shake out.
•  We're used to talking about salespeople as either Hunters or Farmers ... Hunters driven to find the next customer, Farmers are the account servicing people.  Now, I'm hearing about Carpenters ... not in sales, but the type of person who gathers materials and does the job!  A Farmer has to plan much further ahead, dealing with the ambiguities of seed availability, weather, fertilizers/weed chemicals.  All this is important in the interviewing process, to make sure you're getting a habit/mentality that fits the job needs.   Requires open-ended questions, where you know the responses you're seeking.
•  At one meeting, got onto the topic of company picnics and lack of attendance.  Opinions were that some people like them, and others don’t ... so do it for those that do.  Regarding “Holiday” parties, one success story was to have it at noontime on a day the afternoon would be free, for employees only, and have a program and treats.
•  TEC members are attuned to following the economic forecasts of Brian Beaulieu and his team at ItR Economics in New Hampshire.  Right now, we're watching his forecasts of a boom in 2015/2016 followed by a downturn in 2017/2018 ... and how the current energy explosion (fracked natural gas) would impact it.  View was that subsidized alternative power would continue, but never be a major energy factor for the U.S.  Lower cost energy would be offset by implications of the federal debt debacle.  He's also forecasting a global debacle eventually due to so many countries letting their welfare states drive incredibly increasing deficits, and creating a financial/economic doomsday.
•  Safety:  A new member reports that he fosters workers to build a collage of photos of family members and remembrances at work ... as a reminder of why they want to go home in a safe condition every day.  They also publicize photos of unsafe conditions.
There's lots more ... for next time!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Executive "Presence"
    Just about every conversation a leader or speaker has, the intent is to convey information in an impactful way that will move an opinion or belief.  Studies show that what we say is only 7% of the impact, that 55% of the impact is how you present yourself, and 38% is how you say what you say.  In effect, you can't be your normal self.  If you want to be a leader, you have to have a "presence" that impacts.
    Gwen Resick-Rennich of Colorado is a TEC presenter who provides these pointers in her workshops with members:

•  Start with a Story, and a Bang!  Don’t explain what you want to talk about, as we often do; Don’t provide initial perspective.  Instead, tell a very short story that tells about the Pain that you will be talking about, the Pain that they recognize.  That immediately gets to the audience’s emotions, and commands their attention.  Then ... you can provide additional perspective.
-- Also, at the end, end with a Story that is a Bang(!) as well ... that further illustrates your main point.
-- Even use Stories to illustrate your solutions.  Describe what the solution will look like, feel like, experience like.
-- Make the Stories PERSONAL to you ... explaining “what you’re on!”
-- Stories are SHORT ... 30-60 seconds.
-- Exhibit PASSION!
•  Indeed, if you can’t exhibit PASSION:  Don’t show up!
•  Space Fillers (“Um,” “Uhh,” etc.) ALWAYS diminish effectiveness.  Have others tell you when you use them inadvertently.  They tell your audience you’re not prepared, haven’t been thoughtful ... both characteristics you want to convey the opposite of.
-- Replace them with .... SILENCE!  Silence makes you appear thoughtful, even impactful!  Even creates Drama.
•  If what you are conveying is analytical ... and much of what a CEO explains is (what the P&L is saying, why the market will allow our expansion, what competitors are doing that will allow a price increase, etc.) ... then you need more VOICE VARIETY ... emphasizing important words.
-- Includes putting “feeling” into words ... by minorly “stretching” them out.
•  The Content:  Make sure how you talk is ALL ABOUT “THEM” ... how your audience will be better off.  It’s not about you.  Period.
-- Asking a question is good:  “What kind of risk did you take?”  Even if rhetorical.
•  Projection:  Get POP.  Now ... Is    The ... Time ... For ... Change!
•  Articulation:  The Brain wants Completion.  Both in what it observes and what it hears.  So, DRESS completely (buttoned, zipped, together).  FINISH your words ... ALL the letters.
•  Eye Contact:  Small groups, make contact with each individual for 1-1.5 seconds.  Large groups, look at each quadrant for 5 seconds.
•  Physical Presence:  Be Solid/Upright ... and OPEN.  Shoulders wide, arms bent and hands gesturing; At worst, one hand in a pocket, never two.
•  Movement is good ... but not too much.  Don’t sway.  Don’t constantly be moving.  It distracts the brain’s concentration on your messaging.
•  “Rehearse” = Re-Hear!  Do it again, and again, and again ... until ...

In addition, Gwen provides a handout with additional key points.  They are:
1.  People receive too much information.  Provide no more than THREE concepts in a 30-min. presentation.
2.  People’s attention and retention spans are short.  So, stick to Guideline #1.
3.  Effective speaking requires not only good content, but also some ENTERTAINMENT.  Can be physical ... but also “light additions.”  “Why is the word for ‘one syllable’ “monosyllabic”?  “What are the first four letters of “analytical”?
4. The very reason for a presentation is to convince the audience, to change thinking.  Early, cue the benefits/advantages for the audience members ... WIIFY.  “What’s In It For You.”

On Wisconsin's Low Job Creation ...
Much has been said about Governor Walker's pledge to create 250,000 jobs coming out of the downturn.  During his administration, about 70,000 jobs have been added on a net basis, about half of what was lost in the downturn years prior.  Once our job creation rate was in the 40s of the 50 states, but recent improvement has us at 33rd.  Still, not good.  So, why?
First of all, Governors/Mayors/Presidents don't create jobs.  They work with legislatures to put in the environment that will foster/incent people to want to create businesses that can grow and need workers.  Or not.
So, I asked "those who know" why we're doing so poorly.
One theme is that much is now in place in Wisconsin, but it's also in place in other states ... and they are more appealing and effective.  It's a question of degree.  We're doing most of the right things, just not as well ... either due to culture or situation.
Their answers:
1.  We have a very high percentage of manufacturing jobs, which took the biggest recession hit.  Productivity increased, so they're being added back at a slower rate.
2.  We're not a Right To Work state ... meaning that if your company is unionized, that all workers must belong to that union.  24 states are, and they happen to be most of the fastest-growing.  Where would you locate a new business/office/plant?
3.  We're still not a strong state for rapid siting and permitting requirements, slowing and defeating expansion decisions regarding Wisconsin.
4. More of the jobs we create are low tech, not the higher-paying, hard-to-duplicate high tech jobs.
A recent study also noted that from a productivity standpoint, Wisconsin ranks lower.
We do have much going for us; we're focusing where studies say we should to achieve growth.  We just need more entrepreneurialism, more world-class operators.