1 | Number 1 | October 2013
to Just The
F.A.C.T.S., my new monthly newsletter. It's published
on the third Friday of every month and offers practical approaches to
executing strategy for executives of small and mid size companies (if
that's you, keep reading!).
With Fall here, we get
to engage in some of my favorite activities: leaf-peeping, football,
apple picking and (more) golf. Today's newsletter looks at how a
lesson learned in golf - how a small change can lead to a big
improvement - applies to your business as well. Fore!
Analysis and Control Technology Services LLC (F.A.C.T.S.)
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There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious
- Arthur Conan Doyle, The Boscombe Valley
Looking for other small changes that make a
Tony Tsieh, CEO of Zappos, describes how he helped
create a service-oriented culture in his book "Delivering Happiness."
've been playing golf since I was 15, growing up in
first set of golf clubs, Kroydons, were purchased by my dad at
Korvettes, one of the first discount department
stores in the US. It was a good thing I was big for my age because
those steel clubs were heavy. But, that also allowed them to
less than country club conditions found at Kissena public golf course, a couple
miles from my home.
These days, most of my golfing occurs as a substitute
at Stow Acres CC in the former Digital
(DEC) Golf League (now called the
Maynard Golf League), something which allows me to stay in touch
with friends and slow the rust in my swing.
A few weeks ago, I was playing in a match but despite
having practiced earlier, my game had really taken a bad turn. I
couldn't seem to get off the tee or hit anything even close to
straight - we lost our match decisively.
The next week, however, I made a small adjustment to force my hands to work together using a more
overlapped grip, turning my right hand just slightly over the left.
Wow! The improvement was instant and significant. I birdied the next 3 holes (something I'd never done
before), hit some terrific shots along the way and, on the final
hole, sank a 25-foot putt to seal the match win. The league
secretary, whose team we were playing, threatened to suspend my
In business, as in golf, a seemingly small change can
have significant impact, sometimes transforming
an organization and its operational or financial performance.
Consider the example of Marissa Mayer, CEO for Yahoo,
who recently made headlines by banning telecommuting company-wide.
Not a big change, but one with marked impact. Worker productivity
increased, as did the company's employee and shareholders'
perception of Yahoo overall. All
in all, a small change that achieved short term gains at little
cost to the company.
Now think about this: What could you
do to achieve similarly big results from small changes in your
a department to clearly define responsibility and increase
a product feature set to enhance customer value?
a new metric to improve underperforming operations?
Or something else entirely?
Remember, while these types of minor adjustments are
not always a guarantor of long term success (business, unlike golf,
is a contact sport), as an executive you
need to be constantly on the lookout for ways to improve
performance, build on your successes and make measurable changes as
needed to win in an ever-changing marketplace.
As we say on the golf course, "You're Away!"
With our unique insights and expertise, F.A.C.T.S.
provides practical, cost-effective solutions to clarify and execute
your business vision and objectives.
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(but feel free to forward onto others who may find it useful)