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Building Upon Ideas

Posted by Dave Rothacker on Mar 26, 2017 5:00:00 AM

Shoulders slump forward as they pull along an imaginary ball and chain in the dreadful hallway on way to an inevitable fate. They walk a version of the Green Mile every Monday, Thursday and Friday morning. That would be the day of your sales, service and install meetings. An outsider’s look at this motley crew?  Prisoners on their way to the torture chamber. An insider’s look? Pretty much the same.

Did you ever get into an exciting conversations with your friends? Perhaps you were sitting around a fireplace on the first day of vacation. The relaxing notion of five more days of freedom, a few cold ones and no one looking over your shoulder sets the stage for a spirited exploration on launching a make-believe company. Ideas build upon ideas and soon everyone starts raising their what-if? / could we? eyebrows.

Perhaps it wasn’t make-believe. Maybe you, the warehouse manager and one of your installers started talking about ways to improve your warehouse operation. Ideas started building upon ideas. Like a rock climber who gains a toehold over another building upon his ascent; incremental progress leads to new vistas.

Being aware

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Topics: Building a Business, Management, Employee Engagement

Don't be Corporate

Posted by Dave Rothacker on Mar 19, 2017 5:00:00 AM

As an HVAC, Plumbing and or Electrical contractor, do you employ human beings? Are your customers human beings? In your world of work, isn’t it really humans being with humans?

Why then do we continue to make it so mechanical, so corporate, so impersonal?

IDEO is a global design company: “We create positive impact through design.”

Design companies like IDEO create, make useful stuff and make stuff better.

While every company in one way or the other solves problems, design companies are paid to solve specific problems. So we shouldn’t be surprised to learn of the science, sophistication and thought that goes into problem solving.

The intellectual firepower of a design firm like IDEO is equivalent to the business and player talent it requires for an NFL team to win seven or eight Super Bowls in a row. In order to design and problem solve effectively IDEO, in spite of its world class arsenal, breaks down a problem to its bare essence. On its way to a clear understanding of the problem, they seek a clear understanding of WHO is involved, they seek to understand those humans being humans.

Let’s explore a company trying to make stuff better. Its goal? To make their workspace more creative.

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Topics: business culture, Management

Parallels in Time

Posted by Dave Rothacker on Mar 12, 2017 5:00:00 AM

Will taught English at Cornell University for 46 years. Seeing the need to assist his students, Will economized his English textbook. Instead of listing all of the English language’s why’s, wherefores and rules, he created and self-published a little book of frequently misused rules of usage and principles of composition in 1919.

Will identified a problem and then designed a solution. He didn’t seek to change the world, only to make his immediate world a little more effective.

What change might you make in the environment to increase your effectiveness?

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Topics: Building a Business

Business Design

Posted by Dave Rothacker on Mar 5, 2017 4:56:00 AM

Books to Grow By was a Comanche Marketing article listing a portion of my favorite marketing authors. Inspired by your positive feedback I list here today my favorite authors from the field of design. Well, not exactly.

Why? Because I’m not sure there is one field of design. Design is integral to ductwork and dresses. It incorporates industrial, graphic and architectural sectors. Design is multi and interdisciplinary, it should not be restricted to one field.

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Topics: Business Design

The Simple Business Problem Solution

Posted by Dave Rothacker on Feb 26, 2017 5:13:00 AM

“Problems, problems, problems all day long

Will my problems work out right or wrong?”

The Everly Brothers’ 1950-related problems are summed up in one more line from that classic song:

“My love life just ain’t swingin’ like it should” 

If only your hiring, recruiting, marketing, payroll and vehicle problems could be solved by song and getting your love life in order. On second thought, let’s tread lightly around the love life issue*. It might be that some would welcome the hiring, recruiting and etc. issues.

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Topics: Management

Let's Barn Raise Some Ideas

Posted by Dave Rothacker on Feb 19, 2017 5:05:00 AM

”How do you get ideas Bob?”

If you’re a writer, you’re asked this question - a lot. It’s the same for graphic designers, advertising folks, copywriters and content marketing people.

Why don’t HVAC and Plumbing owners hear this question more often?

Probably because people figure you just sell, fix and maintain stuff, why should you need to generate ideas?

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Topics: Business Design

John Wooden On Leadership

Posted by Dave Rothacker on Feb 12, 2017 5:02:00 AM

How vast is the sea of leadership education?

Recent search results: Google over 800 million results, You Tube over 5.3 million and Amazon over 218 thousand - that’s a lot of books!

Lately you’ve heard folks in your contractor support organization talking about the importance of sound leadership. You know this. You also know that courses taken in college and sporadic seminars attended over the years have little relevance today.

Where to start? Where should you launch your vessel and in which direction should you sail?


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Topics: Leadership

The New Attraction Model for Business

Posted by Dave Rothacker on Feb 5, 2017 5:39:00 AM

A few weeks ago, in an article titled Are You in or Out?, we spoke about Inbound Marketing. There are many marketing professionals who believe that Content Marketing is a subset of Inbound Marketing. I agree.

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Topics: Business Growth, Marketing

Show Your Character

Posted by Dave Rothacker on Jan 22, 2017 5:05:00 AM

Walt Disney thought and then acted like Mickey Mouse.

When trying to convey a cartoon character’s behavior to his animators, Walt Disney submerged himself in character. Although Walt could verbally communicate his wishes, when he acted them out his animators could tell exactly what he wanted.

So pack up the tool belt, jump in the truck and get into character. Show your service techs exactly what you want them to do.

I was going to say, “just kidding.” Now I’m not so sure...

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Topics: Leadership, Motivation, Character

Be the Spark

Posted by Dave Rothacker on Jan 13, 2017 4:00:00 PM

Walking down the steps; landing awkwardly with a rebound; or a misstep between second and third base. BAM! Instant searing pain in your knee. That happened twenty-years ago. Your knee thinks it was yesterday.

The teacher humiliates you in front of the class. BAM! Instant searing pain in your soul. You were wounded in school twenty-years ago and it’s still fresh in your psyche. 

You endured seemingly hundreds of teacher-drones throughout school. Except those who inflicted searing pain, they all blend into a sea of “what was that teacher’s name?” Except for those who didn’t. Three teachers made a difference in your life and you will never forget their names. Why?

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Topics: Leadership, Training

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