A Q&A With Foord, Van Bruggen & Pajak Financial Services
We recently had an opportunity to sit down with one of our clients, Elfrena Foord with Foord, Van Bruggen & Pajak Financial Services, where she shared her firm's personal experiences and benefits of working with Jeanne Reaves Consulting. We hope you enjoy learning more about Elfrena, her company and the successes we achieved together.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and Food, Van Bruggen & Pajak Financial Services.
Foord, Van Bruggen & Pajak Financial Services specializes in Personal Financial Planning and Investment Management Services since 1986. Elfrena Foord, President of the company, has a background as a CPA, and has been doing financial planning and investment management since 1981.
Q: Why did you decide to employ Jeanne Reaves Consulting (JRC)? Tell us about your experience working with JRC, and the services you utilized.
A: Jeanne Reaves had shared the impressive results of her work with other companies and their teams to better understand one another and optimize the team's results. Elfrena and her two team members took Jeanne's personality tests individually, and saw the composite of the team's profile to see not only the individual strengths and weaknesses, but also those of the team's.
Q: What was the most valuable outcome for you and your business as a result?
We uncovered several areas that needed attention. We clarified job descriptions to better fit the individuals on our team. Here's an example of an action taken from employee personality specifics. One employee would always say yes to more work even though she didn't have the time to take on more. Now we can check in to see if additional work fits into her current work load and, if not, spread out the work. This has allowed us to better meet our deadlines and reduce stress.
Q: Anything else you'd like to add?
We highly recommend Jeanne Reaves consulting for companies that want to optimize results, have less stress and more fun in the workplace.
Are you interested in learning more about our services? Contact us today, for a free consultation!
What Is Business Performance, And How Can You Measure Performance?
When I think of business performance I think of several variables. It isn't just one matrix or the CEO. Rather, it's several elements, including: planning, data and people.
Let's take a look at each one of these factors.
First and foremost, you have to have a plan in place. If you don't have a plan, then it's impossible to know where you're going, and how to measure success. An enormous amount of money can be lost simply because there isn't a plan in place for the current year, the next year or beyond. Think of it like this: how can people follow you if they don't know what the plans are for the organization? Some companies say they don't need strategic planning, but I am here to strongly suggest the opposite.
Strategic planning is a critical process that helps you to understand where you are, and evaluate the company's strengths and weaknesses. From there, you look at the opportunities that exist, how you can enhance your business, and the threats that may hinder you from getting where you want to go. Threats are not to be used as an excuse as to why you can't achieve a goal. The purpose of identifying threats will help you prepare for challenges should they occur (and they will!). This is one of the many reasons why strategic planning is so critical for every organization, regardless of industry or company size.
When preparing your plan, include your people. If you have a board of directors, they should be part of the planning session. A well-organized planning session with a board and staff makes for a successful road map. Also important to stress is not to leave your plan on a shelf. Make sure to follow your plan, and make sure it includes goals, required times for completion, and people responsible to get the measurable goals completed. Senior management (and your board if applicable) should meet no less than quarterly to review the plan and make sure it is being followed and the goals achieved.
Data, what does that mean? It means you look at measures ((key performance indicators - KPIs) that are relevant to you and your company. Evaluating your KPIs allows you to better understand what is happening within the company. One such measure may be the cost of food for a restaurant. Or, perhaps it's production costs, supplies, or the workforce. Whatever measures you select, make sure they are relevant to assisting you in understanding your success.
Data also provides
executives the chance to communicate the mission and focus of the organization to team members, and other stakeholders, who are all working together to improve results. Sharing these measures throughout the organization will capture employees' attention to make sure that everyone is moving together in the right direction, and delivering value to the business. Employees want to be part of the successes and help turnaround the pitfalls. Visualizing and measuring through
finance and operation dashboards
makes it easier to quickly get a sense of how well the organization is meeting its goals. The most effective companies also incorporate their measurements into a
rolling forecasting process
so they can continue to monitor and act as the business evolves.
I was fortunate to work with two very strong CFOs, Jim and Anker, during the course of my career. The CFO position is critical for every organization, and I would urge you to make sure that your CFO isn't just the right person sitting on the bus, but that they also know how to drive the bus. While they're not the person responsible for the actions taken within the organization like the CEO, the CFO must be the person questioning the financial effects of everything going on within the company, and work with the CEO to create success. Too many times I have seen CEOs that are not well versed in the financial side of the business, but conversely very good in operation. If a CEO is in this situation he or she must get assistance on how to read the financials, and how to question the actions within the financials. After all, financials tell the story!
It isn't just the CEO and/or the CFO who makes the company successful - it is the entire team. Every person matters within an organization, and every team member needs to know how much they are appreciated. We often forget the two words that are most impactful, "Thank you," which truly does go a long way. Also too often, staff is not appreciative of other departments, even though it takes every department to make the company successful.
Communication is 80 percent of an employees' contribution to the work place, which is why it's so important to invest in your people. Here at Jeanne Reaves Consulting, we are so drawn to what we do, offering both leadership and business coaching, as well as team development, because we've seen our clients benefit first hand from our services. Coaching and team development services have resulted in stronger team cultures, a better understanding for how the team operates, and yes, a significant boost in both productivity and your bottom line. Believe me when I say that teams who learn how to engage in trust, healthy conflict and recognizing team contributions will make your organization run much more efficiently.
Supporting Sacramento's nonprofits is
Capital Public Radio is the listener-supported, NPR member station serving California's Capital Region, Central Valley and Sierra Nevada. With seven frequencies,
more than 500,000 listeners on-air and online, CapRadio has one mission: to build stronger communities by listening deeper.
While newsrooms nationwide have been shrinking and arts coverage has been reduced to a minimum, CapRadio has found opportunities to grow our audiences by delivering thoughtful and thought-provoking news, music and cultural programming. Now in our 40th year, we have over 37,000 active members.
CapRadio's Engaged Journalism
The continued decline of legacy news organizations has given way to journalism that is increasingly tweet-sized and polarized. At CapRadio, we're working to cultivate an informed and engaged citizenry that is at the core of a functioning democracy.
We do not advocate; we seek to inform through fact-based, thoughtful, long-form journalism that tells the stories of these times. We provide people access to the information they need to make informed decisions that impact their lives.
At the heart of our journalism is the process of community engagement. We build long-term relationships, we listen, we learn and we give back. This process helps us discover and report the stories that impact and inspire. It's how we surface a wide array of perspectives and make sure the voices in our stories are as diverse as our community.
It is an approach to storytelling that's respectful, participatory and transformative. It manifests in broadcasts, digital media and public events where everyone - our team, the subjects of our stories, project partners and audiences - come together in civil discourse that generates empathy and understanding.
CapRadio's Music, Arts and Culture
Deep in our identity, CapRadio is an arts organization with an entire format devoted to Classical and Jazz, along with specialty music programs broadcast during the weekends on CapRadio News. But we're so much more than a typical music station.
Through feature stories on the arts, performer profiles, interviews and Insight signature segments, we cover the arts in a way that makes us a unique force for amplifying the cultural life of our community, especially in light of the decline in local arts coverage by traditional media. We also bring the community together to experience the arts in unexpected ways by partnering with fellow arts organizations throughout the region.
In our 40th year,
Capital Public Radio
is at the beginning of our journey. We will continue to provide a trusted and indispensable source of information, music and entertainment, while strengthening the civic and cultural life of our communities. We are committed to being an invaluable resource for the communities we serve...for 40 more years and beyond.