Unleashed® Summit 2019: Monica Blackwood – Westsound Workforce

Monica Blackwood, CEO of WestSound Workforce, will be speaking at the 2019 Unleashed® Summit on September 17th on how to better recruit and retain employees. Watch the video to hear one of her strategies.

Learn more and Register

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© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Unleashed is a registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: The Rebound

I’m spending this weekend with about two dozen returning exchange students from my Rotary Club district. I’m taking over the role of what is called a “Rebound Coordinator” for the district. The team of Rotarians I’m working with spend time talking with both returning students and parents about the year the kids were gone, and importantly, how to re-adjust back to “normal” life. You see, being gone to a new culture – with new language, experiences, and even some challenges – requires a bit of debriefing for everyone to assure a smooth transition back for everyone. That’s a key reason parents are required to attend at least part of it. Making sure all stakeholders are taken care of is critical to ongoing success.
In your business, that same care and concern must occur after a crisis or calamity. All stakeholders must be included in a debrief of the event. Now this calamity might not be dramatic; it can range from a loss of power that stopped operations for three hours (and maybe had employees stuck in the elevator for that period of time); flooded your office space and created chaos; or forced a building evacuation due to any number of perils.
We all experience some level of crisis regularly. Whether they be large or small, we need to do a good job of examining what we did well and what can be improved. For every minute of lost time due to an event that stops your regular operations, you risk losing between $1,000 and $10,000 of lost productivity, opportunity, and profits. That’s worth finding a better way to deal with them! By going through this process, you might prevent another event, and at least improve recovery time for the next one.
Here’s your assignment: Create a process for debriefing after any event that you believe caused a loss for your business. It doesn’t have to be complex, but it should include all stakeholders (including clients, if necessary). Identify ways you could have improved your response to recover more quickly, and then integrate that into your Business Continuity program. If you need help with either of those, let me know.
Bottom line: You should never let a good crisis go to waste. Invest some time and resources into finding a way to debrief and improve from every calamity. Your bottom line will then be happier and healthier!
Quote of the Day:
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
~ Dr. Seuss
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Unleash Your Company’s Potential

Learn more about the upcoming 2019 Unleashed® Summit being held on September 17th at the High Spirits Classroom in the brand new Centennial Building in Poulsbo, WA. A great lineup of speakers to help you grow and protect your business and life.

You can register on this blog site. Space is limited so reserve your seat today!


© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Unleashed is a registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: Expanding Your Brand

We all have a message to tell in our businesses. That message is disseminated out in an effort to target current and potential clients and customers (there is a difference). How do you know you’re getting the most bang for your buck?

I’m a visual learner. Given a choice, I will invest in learning by watching a video. In the last week, I’ve done this to learn a new recipe and cooking preparation, to watch the news in order to stay current in world and local events, and to improve my golf swing. I also am aware that many other humans like to learn in different ways. It’s inherent for my business to touch them all in a manner that they understand my brand and my services.

Are you doing the same?

Visual learners prefer to learn by watching. That’s why I now have Extra Points on video (see above). I post them on You Tube, Twitter, Facebook, and now Instagram. I also have a new course on LinkedIn Learning (my third) which you can check out below. Do you utilize video to expand your message to visual learners?

Auditory learners prefer listening. I have a podcast (with an accompanying video – see how this works?) for people that like listening while they commute. In the golden age of radio, commercials needed to be powerful in order to create curiosity. Some people still need that, even though television and social media is tilted to visual.

Kinesthetic learners are tactile; they like to touch things. These people might still like to hold a brochure or fill out a questionnaire with an actual pen or pencil. That’s why I still have assessments that require someone to fill in the blanks.

Regardless of your business, you have a message to share. If you’re in sales (and truly we all are to some level), it’s incumbent on you to be creative. Find different ways to advance and expand your voice and message; thus ultimately your brand. Your assignment this week is to see if your marketing and sales process has any gaps that need to be filled.

Final note: Lack of steady business and revenue is a crisis. If you want to avert that in your business, be strong in marketing. This concept will help you. Contact me if you’d like to learn how I help my clients accomplish this. Be unleashed.

Quote of the Day:

“A somebody was once a nobody who wanted to and did.”

~ John Burroughs (19th century American author)

© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: The MVP

Ken Griffey Jr. was the most valuable employee in the history of the Seattle Mariners. Not only was he a first-ballot Hall of Fame player, but he also had his greatest years in a Mariners uniform and may be the sole reason the team is still in Seattle. As the Mariners marquee public figure, he helped lift the team to it’s first-ever playoff run and defeated the New York Yankees in a five-game playoff series in 1995, where he slugged five home runs and scored the winning run in the deciding game. Over his career with the Mariners, he was always the best-known player nationally, and the best player on the field.
You might call him a key-person in the organization.
All businesses have Most Valuable Players in their organizations. They range from top sales people, to savvy executives, to potential successors. Often, they are the CEO or President themselves! Bottom line, the loss of that key person has deleterious consequences long-term for a company.
The two years after Ken Griffey Jr. left the team, the Mariners had highly successful years going to the American League Championship Series in back to back years. But since then, they have missed the playoffs for over two decades and have never been able to ably replace their best player. The initial success was a mirage.
The loss of your key employee(s) may not have immediate poor results (though often it does). But over the long haul, that person is hard – and sometimes impossible – to replace.
An important aspect of business continuity and succession planning is dealing with the retention of key employees. There are three perils to consider: death, disability, and disengagement. The first two are as obvious as a ham sandwich; the last means disengagement from a company in any form. That might mean they were hired away by a competitor; won the lottery and ran; or simply retired.
Having a plan in place to retain and compensate important executives and employees is critical to business continuity. That includes the sudden loss of the CEO. If you own a business – or maybe you are a key employee yourself – your assignment is to identify ways to most effectively manage the retention and development of these people.
Had the Mariners been able to keep Griffey, they may have won multiple championships. We will never know and neither will they. What we all acknowledge is they have never been the same without him. Can your business afford that loss within your own team? What can you do to take best care of your MVPs?
Quote of the Day:
“If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing And believe in what you are doing.”
~ Will Rogers
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: Fresh Eyes

Barb and I are hosting our nephew Hunter for the last two weeks of July. Hunter is a college sophomore from Indiana and is visiting the Northwest for the first time.


This past weekend, we journeyed to Spokane for a family event. Hunter now has experienced Poulsbo to Spokane with stops in Seattle and Tacoma in between. He’s taken ferry rides, enjoyed the mountains, and reveled in the “milder” climate. You could say he’s experiencing Washington State with Fresh Eyes.
I find myself often taking these things that Hunter has enjoyed for granted. In fact, I’m typing this missive out on the ferry on a gorgeous day with Mt. Rainier smiling at me! But I have a deadline…
It’s human nature to do this in your life and in your business. How often do we look at our business daily and take for granted what we do and become oblivious to both opportunity and obstacle.
You need Fresh Eyes.
Fresh Eyes will allow you to take a fresh look at your business. You’ll be able to uncover potential obstacles and calamity. By doing this, you’ll be able to better prevent and mitigate. You will also be able to spot opportunity. By dragging yourself out of the daily grind which is a trap for all of us, you can more effectively find opportunity to improve innovation and accelerate growth.
How do you get Fresh Eyes?
It starts with you. Create the discipline to not accept the status quo; to challenge age old accepted practices; and refuse to be ensnared by normalcy.
Second, get help. Find experts that automatically bring fresh perspective because they are outside the organization. These people offer the best resources to both grow and protect your business.
Bottom line: Be like Hunter in Washington State. Refresh your eyes and aggressively seek out ways to better grow and protect your business and unleash your life.
Quote of the Day:
“Less is only more when more is no good.”
~ Frank Lloyd Wright
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: The Ripple Effect

This past Friday, Barb and I were guests of friends at their lakefront property. They have a dock perched just on the water and had placed some chairs there for the guests. I was sitting there when a speedboat towing a large inner tube with kids came rushing by. The effect of the boat was to be expected; the little dock rocked and swayed gently from the wake. There was a ripple effect from the speed of the boat.

Just like a boat leaves a wake behind it, a crisis or calamity also creates a ripple effect on a business. Here’s how:

Research shows that 25% of an employee’s valuable time is spent dealing with a crisis for days, weeks, and months after it occurs. Leadership teams must deal with employees, clients, investors, the media, and often attorneys. The ripple effect will even include loss of business and opportunity in the wake of the disaster.

You can’t prevent speed boats on a lake or crisis in business. However, you can brace and prepare yourself. I watched a woman with her young daughter on her paddle boat rowing for home when the boat made another pass off in the distance. I watched her slow down and brace herself and her daughter as the strong ripple came through. I also noticed they both were strapped on to the paddle boat for safety in the event they went in the water. This woman was demonstrating both preventative and contingent actions. Are you doing the same with your business?

Understanding and preparing for the ripple effect are two different things. Once one is concerned enough about the consequences of the size and scope of the ripple effect, then action is taken. The best time to do it is well before the boat comes speeding by. My guess is the woman and her daughter knew what to do when the boat came to manage the wake. Are you prepared to deal with the next ripple effect in your business? If you’d like to learn more about how to brace yourself and your company, call me. I have ideas to help you.

Your assignment is to uncover one way you can reduce the ripple effect both in your professional and personal life (because it happens there, too). By doing this, you’re taking great strides to avoid exacerbating the problem and keeping afloat!

Quote of the Day:

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

~ Helen Keller

© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: Calamity Doesn’t Call

This past week, Southern California and Nevada were rocked by two earthquakes. If you were watching the news, you saw plenty of video footage of people at home, at work, and recreating when the last quake on Saturday night hit. Having been a part of several earthquakes in my life, I know that sinking feeling when you realize the world you are standing on is no longer stable. The duration seems like forever; and in fact the last one did last 30 seconds, which must have felt like an eternity!
These incidents serve as reminders for all of us, whether we experienced it or not. Yes, if you live in an earthquake zone (especially on the West Coast), then you are likely reading news reminding you about readiness and safety. However this quake should serve a reminder to business owners that their employees must be prepared for ANY calamity because calamities don’t send a calling card ahead of them. They just show up unexpectedly.
Your business – whether you are CEO or employee – must be prepared to respond quickly to any calamity. Each one has different response requirements for safety and business continuity. In earthquakes, safety means getting under tables because falling objects are the biggest concern. Get away from windows, even if you’re outside. From an operations standpoint, the building and contents might be fins, but what about the infrastructure, communications, and transportation?
Here’s the deal: It’s never the wrong time to prepare your employees, co-workers, and family to respond to calamity. Safety is job one, continuation of business is second. My analogy is if no one knows how to use a fire extinguisher, that resource is useless. There are plenty of perils to be concerned of: earthquake, fire, water, wind, and weather. You might have to evacuate or shelter in place. How confident are you in your team? How do you know?
Here’s your assignment for this week: Pick one peril to prepare your team for and do it. Then update your business continuity plan. If you don’t have one, then call me because that plan is a necessity to run a business.
Calamity never sends a calling card, but is always expected to come when you least expect it. Why not be ready for it?
Quote of the Day:
“The return we reap from generous actions is not always evident.”
~ Francesco Guicciardini
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Unleashed® Summit Speaker: Brenda Wall

Brenda Wall is one of my outstanding speakers for the 2019 Unleashed Summit in Poulsbo, WA on September 17, 2019. To learn more and register, click here.

© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is a registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.