Phil Hauck's TEC Blog

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Great Blue Zones COMPANY Success!

   As we know, many organizations care about creating a fitness/wellness culture because it improves the quality of employees' lives, cuts medical costs, increases energy, and adds to profitability.  But they're not sure how ... so don't create the excitement that can come with it.
   Click on the following, and see what one company in Minneapolis did using the Blue Zones concepts.  This is in only SIX MONTHS!
    (I know, the 19% increase in profitability is probably a bit misleading ... but we do know that greater energy does result in greater productivity and effectiveness.)
"We grew our bottom line revenue 19% year over year during that Blue Zone initiative time frame," said Gwen Martin, founder of Numberworks.

     Generally, the Blue Zones organizations work with communities, but they're now structuring themselves to work with individual companies, apparently like Google.
     For more information:

Monday, September 2, 2013

On Medical Cost Middlemen

     Great article in recent WSJ regarding how a doctor worked with a patient to reduce his surgery cost from $20,000 down to $3,000. The hospital quoted a charge of $20,000 (his share, after insurance) based on the patient's insurance-negotiated pricing. He rebelled and told the doctor he was cancelling. The doctor worked with the anesthesiologist, and another hospital's outpatient department, and got it done for $3,000 (all out-of-pocket; no use of insurance).
     The lesson: Eliminating middlemen wherever possible will greatly reduce our costs ... probably in many "industries." When the provider works directly with the patient/consumer, with ability of the patient/consumer to pay, great pricing can be worked out. Middlemen de-personalizes the process, and hikes costs.
     Here's the link:


No, not jobs.  "Jobs:  The Movie"  About Steve Jobs
It's not a great film, but what it does do is demonstrate the importance of a Leader CLEARLY and FORCEFULLY expressing the MISSION of the organization.  The CAUSE.  WHY we're doing what we're doing.  He does it in spades ... all the time ... sometimes brutally!
People want to buy in to what you are doing emotionally!  Allow them to do it.

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.  Early in the recovery, our job creation rate was in the 40s of the 50 states, but last year ended at a rate in the 20s, and we finished the year at 33.  We're still progressing well ... but not as well as we'd like. So, why?
First of all, Governors/Mayors/Presidents/Legislatures don't create jobs.  They work together 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 not doing really well.
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 low skilled!), not the higher-paying, hard-to-duplicate high tech jobs.
A recent study also noted that from a productivity standpoint, Wisconsin ranks lower.  Work ethic is good, but it's not everything.
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.