Tag Archive | Leadership

The Dangers of Silo Thinking in Business

SilosThink about each of the product or service lines your company offers. When a company expands beyond one, confusion tends to set in on how to market the business. Should you market each product/service line, or the company as a whole? Most often, one or two product/service lines are marketed, while the others don’t receive any attention and the company marketing as a whole falls by the wayside. Suddenly, prospects think the company only has one product/service line and there is little to no cross-selling happening.

This predicament can be dangerous for a company. Not only is the client not being serviced to their full potential, as there is likely more value that your company can provide them from other departments, but you are also losing potential revenue to your easiest target audience – your current clients. Even worse – what if the other departments actively prospect your current clients without knowing they are already current customers? Looks pretty bad, huh?

These scenarios are happening every day. Below are three things you can do to break down this “silo thinking” that could be happening in your business:

  1. Hire a consultant to meet with each department head and identify their top three goals.
  2. Host a strategic meeting with the department heads to review everyone’s goals. Identify commonalities among the goals and see where departments can help each other to reach their goals. One department may be looking to grow in a market already tapped by another department.
  3. Assign goals to the company as well as the departments. Each of the department heads has a responsibility to think beyond their department. Consider how the company as a whole should be presented. Is the company brand presented before the departments or is the company secondary to the department offerings?

If you have questions on this process, then please reach out to us at 515-868-0240.

3 Ways to Find More Employees

It’s no secret that the top problem for companies of all sizes is recruiting and retaining their workforce. Often times, the challenges of finding new quality sources of employees’ lies in the famous words of Albert Einstein – “We are doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.”

Oftentimes, employers will say to use that they feel like they are scraping from the same small pool of people and aren’t getting what they need. They feel that way because they are!

Everyone wants good workers, whatever that definition is to the company. It could mean highly skilled, moderately skilled or someone that will just show up and give it their best.

Many perceive that people don’t want to work anymore. This is untrue. What is true is that for many companies, their potential pool of employees they are trying to attract may already have jobs or are unable to work. So it’s time to accept that you may need to look beyond your “usual suspects” to fill your pipeline. This new pool of candidates may have different colored skin, speak another language, have a few blemishes on their record or need some help with their social skills. But they all have a few things in common: they want to work, contribute and be self-sufficient.

Our communities and populations are changing and not just in age. In order to grow, we have to look at different strategies for recruiting and retaining employees. It’s important for all companies to have a workforce strategy in place – and not just one in yours heads, it should be a written plan.

Below are three strategies to consider to fill your workforce gap.

  1. Newer immigrant communities – Immigrants came to the United States looking for a better life and seeking the opportunity to work and achieve the “American Dream”. They’ve dealt with hardship and they’ve overcome a lot. They aren’t expecting handouts and appreciate being given a chance. You can find some of these folks by contacting local faith communities. Get to know religious leaders, invite them into your facilities and talk to them about what opportunities exist for good paying jobs with opportunities for advancement. You may need to hire some interpreters for certain shifts, you may need to translate some safety signs into a different language, but given the chance and if shown you care about them and their families, these folks will acclimate and could become some of your most loyal and hardworking employees.
  1. Disabled – Most disabled persons just want a chance to be self-sufficient, contributing members of society, like us all. When given that chance, employers report they can be the most loyal, honest and hardworking employees at the company! Think creatively about what jobs you have that could be served by a person with certain disabilities. How wonderful for a “disabled person” NOT to be disabled at their job! Connect with local social service agencies that can help you identify people who would thrive at your company.
  1. Past Offenders – People make mistakes and some people get caught. For most, they want to move forward in a positive, responsible and law-abiding way. The company that gives them that chance will be one they are likely to feel great loyalty to for a long, long time. Talk with social service agencies about how you can tap into this market of folks looking for a chance at a new life with which they can be proud.

Have you had success with other populations filling your workforce pipeline? Do you have more ideas on how to tap into these populations? We’d love to hear from you! Visit our website and contact us today.

Start Living in the Present in Four Easy Steps

Written By: Kathleen Riessen

Live in the presentA mere month ago I couldn’t scan Facebook, open a newspaper or read a blog without reading about someone’s New Year’s resolution. Now that we are almost through January, I wonder how many people are actually sticking to their resolution? According to Forbes, 40% of Americans make resolutions. That’s an astounding number considering 33% of Americans watch the Big Game (a.k.a. the Super Bowl). Unfortunately, only 8% of those resolutions will be achieved.

Instead of feeling like a failure because you have already quit on your New Year’s resolution (or you are part of the 60% of us that never even made one), I ask you to join me and be a part of my yearly resolve. Instead of making a resolution to change, I choose to celebrate the successes I have made in both my personal and professional life and commit to living in the current time. When you are always focused on the future, you can’t be happy in the present. To be happy in the present, you have to study your past.

How to follow my resolve in four easy steps:

  1. Dedicate 45 minutes to you. Book a meeting with yourself away from others. I try to have lunch away from the office and by myself once a month just to clear my head and think (Side note: This is a great practice any time of the year).
  1. The first 15 minutes. Take a piece of paper and write all of the negative things that happened to you in the past year. What do you wish you could have done better? What happened that was out of your control?
  1. The second 15 minutes. Take a separate piece of paper and write down all of the positive things that happened in the past year. What surprised you? Which of these items do you want to have happen again?
  1. The last 15 minutes. Pretend it is a year from now and write a letter to yourself. What exciting things happened this year? What things surprised you? Write about the growth of your company or your personal growth. Be sure to put your letter in a place where you can find it in a year.

Key takeaway: It’s never too late to live in the present.

Try these four easy steps and let us know what you think!


Women in Leadership

Women leadership is not a new concept, but it’s one that is gaining more visibility and acceptance quickly.

The stereotypes are being torn down and women are achieving as much, if not more, than their male counterparts in many industries. While many think these are beauty, fitness, and fashion-led business owners only, the truth is that every industry is now seeing achievements and successes with female leaders at the helm.

Measured Intentions is proud to be a women-led business. To make us even more unique, we have a staff of mostly women, most of whom are working moms. So we know a thing or two about multitasking and prioritizing.

We were even featured in the latest edition of DSM Magazine – Women Who Mean Business. Check out the article here!

Move Over Oscar’s, The AAA’s Were This Past Weekend!

So The Oscar’s may have been Sunday night, but Saturday night was the event not to miss (at least here in Des Moines, IA).

Saturday evening was the annual American Advertising Awards (AAA’s) hosted by the American Advertising Federation of Des Moines (AAF DSM). If you’re not “in the know”, this event showcases and highlights the best of the best in regards to work, but also people in the advertising and marketing industry.

Our very own Kathleen Riessen was a nominee for Silver Medalist of the Year (a HUGE honor)! And guess what?! She won. We knew she would, she’s only been involved for the past million years in the organization!

But in all honesty, Kathleen is very deserving of this award and it reflects her dedication to the advancement of the industry as well as herself in regards to professional development.

Check out her extensive bio below and make sure to say “Congratulations” when you see her next!

Silver Medalist of the Year – Kathleen Riessen!

Kathleen RiessenKathleen is a partner at Measured Intentions, a strategic marketing consulting firm she founded in 2008. Measured Intentions partners with small to medium-sized businesses to act as an outsourced marketing director or marketing team. Kathleen and her business partner (Michele Farrell) serve on the boards of many of their clients and get involved in their day-to-day activities.

Kathleen has been involved with AAF at all levels. She began as a member while in college at Iowa State University. She participated in the National Student Advertising Competition and led the first ISU IMC Conference, which gave students from around the Midwest the opportunity to create an integrated marketing campaign for a real client alongside advertising professionals. After graduating from Iowa State University, Kathleen joined the AAF board and has served in about every capacity. Under Kathleen’s leadership, AAF of Des Moines was named Club of the Year and Kathleen was awarded the President of the Year from the American Advertising Federation in 2010. Kathleen then joined the District 9 AAF Board where she served for four years as the National Student Advertising Competition Director, District ADDY (AAAs) Director, Governor and Chairwoman. Kathleen also served a term on the National American Advertising Federation Board in 2012-2013 representing both District 9 and the AAF of Des Moines.

Kathleen co-owns the Farrell’s Beaverdale and Farrell’s Waukee eXtreme Bodyshaping locations and Farrell’s United States Martial Arts. Kathleen also holds a CPA license.

Kathleen is a proud mommy to Caden (6), Noah (4) and Andrew (2) and wife to Josh Riessen.


What Can We Learn From Disney?

Think about your business. When you boil it down, you have employees, customers and best practices/processes. Which are most important?

We always hear, “Your Customer is #1. Your Customer is Never Wrong.” According to the Disney Institute we attended, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Your employee is #1. Once we create a culture that breeds employee satisfaction, employee retention and employee productivity and performance, then we get customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and, ultimately, revenue, growth and profitability.

So what does this have to do with marketing? We spent a day at the Disney Institute to see what we could learn from a world-class brand. The key to Disney’s success isn’t just a marketing strategy, it’s a business strategy: be intentional where others are unintentional.

Last time you logged 30,000 steps on your FitBit with kids in tow on a 90-degree day while maxing your credit card all in the name of family fun at Disney, did you notice the janitor that led the impromptu parade at Magic Kingdom? Did you appreciate the FastPass that allowed you to slide past the hours long line at Tower of Terror? Did you notice the hidden Mickeys placed all around the park to add an extra level of detail and entertainment? When you turned to your spouse and neither of you could remember where the car was, did your jaw drop when a cast member could tell you down to two rows where your car was? Thirty days after your magical trip when you ripped open your credit card bill, were you reminded of the great memories . . . after you dried your tears from the shock of the bill, that is?

Many of these tiny details that make Disney a repeatable magical experience for thousands of people each and every day came from the employees.

We all have rock star employees at our business. If we made them #1, could we be a little more like Disney?