November/December 2009

In This Issue
Thank You
Maximizing Performance
Pushing Forward


erry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thank you for choosing TTE for your transcription and translation needs. To express our appreciation, we have included a special gift for you at the end of this newsletter. May this holiday season be filled with special moments of joy and blessing. May the year ahead abound with possibility and success!
 -- Terry Thompson, CEO

Terry Thompson

You already know the economy is tough. Phrases like "operating in a downturn," "accelerating revenue," and "innovation," have surrounded us for months in the media, our companies, and our communities. The word "performance" may not have received as much public acclaim, yet it is a common denominator to all of these issues. It is also what Jeff Sucec, co-founder of the company Performance Potential, is passionate about - helping companies and individuals maximize their performance. TTE recently had the opportunity to learn more about that passion and garner some tips for today's economy and businesses.
     "Enhancing performance is not something that has to be subject to chance. There are predictable strategies that you could employ that can move individuals to increasingly higher levels," Sucec says. "You can isolate the right factors and get people, independent of backgrounds, to learn skills and abilities." He believes that there are practical strategies to help people "enhance, sustain, maintain, and then move to a higher level of performance" - no matter what the economy.

Responding Creatively
We've all seen them. Two typical, and extreme, responses to change and challenge. On one hand people tend to expect the worst and cut, cut, cut. Sucec compares this to the view of Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh. On the other end of the spectrum, some people tend to respond like an ostrich - sticking their head in the sand and hoping it will pass.
     Sucec refers to these responses as non-adaptive responses and says there is a third option - a creative response. According to Sucec, creative responses are those that are both behavior and strategy driven - "the judicious balance between left brain thinking and creative right brain thinking."  For example, instead of making financial cuts haphazardly everywhere and anywhere, be strategic. After prioritizing what is and isn't important and defining your company's core competencies, systematically cut back only in the areas that aren't relevant to core competencies.

Knowing Your Customers
"Have an extraordinary passion to focus on your customer," says Sucec."Understand how this environment has impacted them and retrofit your offering to align with what they need." To do that, he suggests the following:
  • Communicate with your customers on a regular basis, but not to sell them something. Instead, focus on their company and understand what they need.
  • Encourage every person who has contact with customers to embrace a mindset of not only being task-oriented, but also discovery-oriented to discern what is happening in the customer's world.
  • Put logical, easy-to-use, and accessible channels, formats, and structures in place to enhance communication and to allow information that is learned to flow freely at every level.
  • Make core values actionable.
Creating Metrics That Work
"Focus on the metrics that matter," says Sucec. "Most organizations typically focus their measurements on financial things. But sometimes that's a misnomer in terms of the health of an organization. You also need to have measures that have to do with customer metrics, process metrics, or innovation metrics."  In addition, organizations are filled with people performing at different levels. What do you do to maximize their performance and get them off a sales plateau? Sucec recommends:
  • Recognize that you have differential performance in your organization.
  • Realize that different performers need different things.
  • When your exemplary performers plateau, give them more time, not less time.
  • Develop contingency plans for non-performers.
  • Set individual minimal, realistic, and stretch goals. Goals that are challenging, but not outside of where they can go.
  • Create an environment for individuals to exceed their personal best, not someone else's best. "All of the incremental, small movement of everybody exceeding their personal best in the aggregate really obliterates the plateauing effect," says Sucec.
  • Create specific, non-ambiguous,behaviorally based job descriptions to concretely show what it takes to move to higher levels of performance. To keep those job descriptions from becoming punitive, Sucec recommends managers focus on progress, rewarding approximations of the end result, rather than only talking about met or unmet goals. 
Accelerating Revenue
Not just a product issue. Not just a customer service issue. Not just a salesman or marketing department issue. Like many other company issues it is tied into management and employees as a whole, as well as the economy. Are the employees engaged? How do they feel about management and how are they being treated by management? Will the company weather the storm? Will I have my job tomorrow? That uncertainty builds frustration, anxiety, and a divided focus. All of those things make it difficult to accelerate company revenue. Sucec suggests:
  • CEO's increase their transparency; be realistic about the company and economy with your employees so they can put in place effective personal strategies to weather the storm.
  • Discern how engaged people are and actively seek to foster full engagement.
Turning Obstacles Into Opportunities
  • Use obstacles as an opportunity not to assign blame but instead creatively solve.
  • Re-evaluate pre-conceived notions on how you do business and "think outside of the box."
  • Examine pre-conceived notions about what you think people in your organization or company are capable of doing.
  • Look for creative ways to expand people's knowledge and open up opportunities for them.
  • Actively seek to uncover the untapped potential of your people.
  • "Think expansively about the internal resources you have and believe that your people can do a lot more than what your pre-conceived notions are," Sucec says.

Jeff Sucec co-founded Performance Potential in 2001.He has over 30 years experience working with Jeff Sucec
businesses and organizations to help them "move to the next level" of performance. For many years, Sucec consulted in the banking industry. Today Performance Potential services a wide variety of industries, and all size companies. Recently the company has come up with an instrument called "Revenue Acceleration Inventory." Sucec is also an adjunct professor at the University of Notre Dame. He is passionate about performance, people, and business and enjoys speaking whenever he gets a chance.


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Recently, TTE CEO Terry Thompson has had the opportunity to hear presentations from several business and management consultants. Thompson was encouraged to look at TTE's services from different angles and perspectives and do an indepth analysis of the company's services.
     In addition, Thompson has been working with the company's IT Partner to improve TTE's technology infrastructure in order to provide the best service and product to its customers. Thompson is also working with the sales and marketing team exploring ways to expand TTE's services. If there is a transcription- or translation- related need you have that is not being met, let us know. 


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