Thursday, February 14, 2019

2019 Colorado Mentoring Summit Leadership Luncheon - May 17th

The Leadership Luncheon explores the value of partnerships in mentoring.

The Leadership Luncheon  features keynote presentations, discussions and networking opportunities and will focus on the role of corporate community partnerships to achieve significant community impact, advancing relationships for young people in Colorado. Discover how to get your employee group engaged with mentoring.

Join other corporate leaders, government officials, and nonprofit agencies on May 17th.

Help make a lasting impact in Colorado by expanding quality youth mentoring. 
Get engaged!

For more information on sponsorship or tickets, please contact Executive Director, Hannah Krieger or Dave Mead

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Why every company should be doing scenario planning: How well are you prepared for what you don't think will happen?

[Editor's Note: Happy New Year! I recently listened to several economic forecasts for 2019 and was struck by an interesting caveat made by the economists: When the economy is continuing to go up month after month, optimism about the momentum and duration of the economic upturn tends to blur our vision. History tells us that most of us tend to ride on our optimism and miss the turns in the economy until they are upon us. (Think the tech bubble of the late 1990's or the big surprise in 2008).
 
Do we really know how this is going to play out over the next few years? There are a number of different views of where the markets and economy may go. But, we all need to chart a direction for our companies. What is universally true is uncertainty. With great uncertainty and multiple different views of the future, a company needs to do scenario planning, so that it thinks about the different possible views of the future and how it would move or adapt to best position itself for success.

The Mead Consulting Group utilizes scenario planning to help clients build flexibility into planning and execution and to help leaders think "broader." This last recession was a game-changer. While scenario planning was once conducted primarily with our larger clients, today, over half of our clients (owner-operated, strategic, and private-equity- backed) have discovered the benefits of scenario planning. Contact me for more information,  - dpm]
 

Why every company should be doing scenario planning: How well are you prepared for what you don't think will happen?  
 
Why every company should be doing scenario planning 
If your business or industry is predictable, you need not continue reading. If, however, there is uncertainty about the future of your markets or industry, then your company should examine the way it plans. It isn't just healthcare companies, either. I would submit that there is little real predictability in most industries.
 
Making assumptions gives us a false sense of security and puts blinders on us. What is the old line about the word "assume" making an "ass out of you and me?" Not to be profane, but traditional strategic planning totally botched the economic downturn/recovery of 2008 - 2018. Traditional strategic planning is based on assumptions. The planning group makes certain assumptions about the future - about variables such as economic, political, social, technological, regulatory, environmental, etc. Making assumptions is just another way of saying we are attempting to predict the future.
 
Really? I would suggest that there are situations where economic, social, political, technological, regulatory, and environmental factors will drive fundamental change in every business and industry of every person reading this e-Letter. It's really only a question of degree, pace, and timing.
 
Various organizations/industries could have avoided significant market pain by utilizing scenario planning. Without being overly critical, these organizations/industries were complacent - and they made assumptions about the future that proved to be very wrong. Each was overtaken by disruptive forces that were not within their traditional industry competitive analysis.
 
Have the courage to consider the tough questions. How will your business be impacted by the following?    
 
*  Technology - How much will technology change your industry?
  • Example: Efficient visibility and management of supply chains (from end user order entry - directly impacting each step of the supply chain - think blockchain.
  • Amazon ....everywhere...
 
*   Geopolitical - Where to start - the list is endless. Tariffs, Refugees, Immigration, Changes in international influence....
 
*   Social/Environmental
  • Power moving to the consumer (away from institutions)
 
*    Changes in culture, attitudes (Millennials and i-Gen or Generation Z vs. Boomers and GenX)
 
*    Demographics - Is your customer base affected by demographics?
  • Aging population in certain markets
    • What does the negative birth-rate and aging population mean for European economies like Greece, Spain, Italy, or Iran and Iraq. What about Japan?
    • Baby boomers retiring, selling businesses, eldercare, etc.
 *    Economic
  • Is the U.S. facing a period of long-term labor shortages?
  • Will increasing labor rates continue to make China less competitive? How will outsourcing look in 5-10 years?
  • What will happen to Europe after Brexit?
  • Impact of trade wars
  • Impact of Cryptocurrencies 
*    Regulatory - This list is also endless...
  • Healthcare / Affordable Care Act
  • FDA
  • EPA
  • Trade
  • Future of taxation)
 Companies can no longer ignore uncertainty or try to assume it away. Some organizations will say scenario planning is too difficult and elect to take a simpler course.  Most organizations perform traditional strategic planning or business planning/ budgeting because it is comfortable and addresses a short timeframe. However, we now know that the world is uncertain and interconnected. Companies can no longer ignore uncertainty or try to assume it away.  As author H.L. Mencken is quoted, "For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

That is your opportunity. Since the 2008 downturn, the number of our clients that are doing scenario planning has more than tripled.  Companies that are scenario planning are examining different possibilities of the future and determining their competitive response. They are modifying the trends and information that they monitor so that they can develop "early warning" signs. These companies are building flexibility into their planning and adaptability into their leadership and culture.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Did you accomplish your goals in 2018? What's your plan for 2019?

Did you accomplish your goals in 2018? What's your plan for 2019?

As we begin a new year, it might be a good time for reflection. Did you accomplish your business and personal goals for 2018?  If not, what will you do differently in 2019?
 
What changes are you planning for 2019? 
Is your plan for 2019 just another financial plan? Is your plan merely a rehash of last year's? Are you taking new steps to ensure solid execution?
 
Do something bold and different. Does your plan for 2019 position your company to take advantage of competitive advantages and opportunities? Does your plan allow you to be successful without depending on a rising economy? (Many believe the next recession may start as early as the 4th quarter.) Do you have the right people and resources in place to execute the plan? Have you broken the plan into actions with specific metrics, dates, and responsible people? Have you subjected your plan to the reality test? Have you thought about both positive and negative scenarios of the future and what steps your company should take in each case? Is there an element of fun and adventure to your plan? Does your plan make your company more valuable at the end of this next year?
 If you can't answer YES to each of these questions, perhaps you are planning more of the same in 2019. As the saying goes: What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. 
 
Think it's too late to affect 2019 -2020? Don't you expect more from yourself and your company? It's not too late to put a different approach to work that elevates your company and its prospects. It's not too late to act to maximize the next couple of years. Uncertainty makes many of us uncomfortable - but it also brings opportunities to those who can get in front of the market disruptions.
 
Perhaps 2019 should be the year you start planning to sell? Many knowledgeable people expect that 2019 will continue to be among the best years of any over the next few years for business owners to sell at greatest value. The dynamics of many potential buyers, low inflation, lots of available private equity capital, higher valuations for performing companies - all bode well for sellers over the near future. These dynamics are expected to change for the worse during the next few years as inflation rises, recession looms, and the stock market adjusts causing lower valuations, etc. One veteran of many company sales explains it this way: "If you are planning to possibly sell over the next 5 years, you should be planning to sell in this market - or you may wind up missing the window."
 
Start preparing now - run your business for value. Whether or not you plan to sell, it always makes sense to run your business to increase value. If your business in recent years has become more of a lifestyle business than a growth/value business, make 2019 the year to change that. Learn what adds value to prospective buyers, and reduce or eliminate the discounters of value. How ready is your business to maximize value?  

  to set up a no cost conversation. We have coached many businesses to achieve better market positioning and greater value.   

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Why every company should be doing scenario planning: How well are you prepared for what you don't think will happen?

[Editor's Note: I recently listened to several economic forecasts for 2019 and was struck by an interesting caveat made by the economists: When the economy is continuing to go up month after month, optimism about the momentum and duration of the economic upturn tends to blur our vision. History tells us that most of us tend to ride on our optimism and miss the turns in the economy until they are upon us. (Think the tech bubble of the late 1990's or the big surprise in 2008).

Do we really know how this is going to play out over the next few years? There are a number of different views of where the markets and economy may go. But, we all need to chart a direction for our companies. What is universally true is uncertainty. With great uncertainty and multiple different views of the future, a company needs to do scenario planning, so that it thinks about the different possible views of the future and how it would move or adapt to best position itself for success.

The Mead Consulting Group utilizes scenario planning to help clients build flexibility into planning and execution and to help leaders think "broader." This last recession was a game-changer. While scenario planning was once conducted primarily with our larger clients, today, over half of our clients (owner-operated, strategic, and private-equity- backed) have discovered the benefits of scenario planning.  - dpm]
 

Why every company should be doing scenario planning: How well are you prepared for what you don't think will happen?  

Why every company should be doing scenario planning 
If your business or industry is predictable, you need not continue reading. If, however, there is uncertainty about the future of your markets or industry, then your company should examine the way it plans. It isn't just healthcare companies, either. I would submit that there is little real predictability in most industries.

Making assumptions gives us a false sense of security and puts blinders on us. What is the old line about the word "assume" making an "ass out of you and me?" Not to be profane, but traditional strategic planning totally botched the economic downturn/recovery of 2008 - 2018. Traditional strategic planning is based on assumptions. The planning group makes certain assumptions about the future - about variables such as economic, political, social, technological, regulatory, environmental, etc. Making assumptions is just another way of saying we are attempting to predict the future.
Really? I would suggest that there are situations where economic, social, political, technological, regulatory, and environmental factors will drive fundamental change in every business and industry of every person reading this e-Letter. It's really only a question of degree, pace, and timing.

Various organizations/industries could have avoided significant market pain by utilizing scenario planning. Without being overly critical, these organizations/industries were complacent - and they made assumptions about the future that proved to be very wrong. Each was overtaken by disruptive forces that were not within their traditional industry competitive analysis.

Have the courage to consider the tough questions. How will your business be impacted by the following?    
*  Technology - How much will technology change your industry?
  • Example: Efficient visibility and management of supply chains (from end-user order entry - directly impacting each step of the supply chain. Think blockchain.
  • Amazon ....everywhere...
  • AI, Machine Learning, 
  • Electric Vehicles
*   Geopolitical - Where to start - the list is endless. Tarriffs, Refugees/Immigration, Instability of certain governements...

*   Social/Environmental
  • Power moving to the consumer (away from institutions)
*    Changes in culture, attitudes (Millennials and i-Gen or Generation Z vs. Boomers and GenX)
*    Demographics - Is your customer base affected by demographics?
  • Aging population in certain markets
    • What does the negative birth-rate and aging population mean for European economies like Greece, Spain, Italy, or Iran and Iraq. What about Japan?
    • Baby boomers retiring, selling businesses, eldercare, etc.
 *    Economic
  • Is the U.S. facing a period of long-term labor shortages?
  • Will increasing labor rates continue to make China less competitive? How will outsourcing look in 5-10 years?
  • What will happen to Europe after Brexit?
  • Impact of trade wars
  • Impact of Cryptocurrencies
   
*    Regulatory - This list is also endless...
  • Healthcare / Affordable Care Act
  • FDA
  • EPA
  • Trade
  • Future of taxation)
Companies can no longer ignore uncertainty or try to assume it away. Some organizations will say scenario planning is too difficult and elect to take a simpler course.  Most organizations perform traditional strategic planning or business planning/ budgeting because it is comfortable and addresses a short timeframe. However, we now know that the world is uncertain and interconnected. Companies can no longer ignore uncertainty or try to assume it away.  As author H.L. Mencken is quoted, "For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

That is your opportunity. Since the 2008 downturn, the number of our clients that are doing scenario planning has more than tripled.  Companies that are scenario planning are examining different possibilities of the future and determining their competitive response. They are modifying the trends and information that they monitor so that they can develop "early warning" signs. These companies are building flexibility into their planning and adaptability into their leadership and culture.

A number of companies are so concerned that they are doing scenario planning in Q1 of 2019 because they did not get to it in 2018. If you want to discuss scenario planning or want more information on the Mead Consulting approach to scenario planning, please 
contact me at meaddp@meadconsultinggroup.com.  

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Business Case for Youth Mentoring -- The Value of Mentoring Youth to the Business Community

The Business Case for Youth Mentoring
The Value of Mentoring Youth to the Business Community

By David Mead
[Author’s Note:  I typically write about the issues facing business owners and C-level executives. While some of you might be confused about the linkage with the topic of mentoring, I maintain that mentoring young people is a critically important business issue! – Dave Mead]
As we enter the season of giving, I thought it might be appropriate to share an article about giving back. Many of us have long been concerned about the lack of role models and adult guidance for many of our youth and it has been demonstrated that youth who have a formal mentoring relationship do better in school, have better graduation rates, have lower incidence of substance abuse, and lower incidence of crime, not to mention an overall better future. As I have become familiar with the statistics about the value of mentoring, I found that the results are compelling. Mentoring benefits not only the individual and the community, but also employees and businesses.

Most successful people know the value of mentors - I know I have been fortunate to have had several key mentors over the course of my life and career.
One of the things my mother used to say: "If something concerns you, stop whining about it and do something to make it better." Years ago, I was a youth mentor for a number of years and it was very rewarding. I saw the impact on my mentee firsthand. But, I also realized that there are far more young people needing mentors whose needs are unmet. In Colorado, almost 300,000 young people aged 5 to 22 need a mentoring relationship. Currently, fewer than 20,000 have an engaged mentor - Less than 7% of the need is being met.

I joined the Board of
  Mentor Colorado (Colorado Mentoring Partnership) in 2014. Mentor Colorado is the support organization for the 65+ youth mentoring organizations across Colorado (like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Denver Urban Scholars, Gunnison Valley Partners, etc.) to help them in scaling their activities with the adoption of best practices in recruiting, training, and supporting mentoring relationships. There are mentoring partnerships in 26 states. Colorado is one of the most recent states to form an organization. The models Colorado is following are the organizations in Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania which have dramatically increased the number of quality mentoring relationships.  
MENTOR (The National Mentoring Partnership) and Ernst and Young sponsored a 2015 report,   The Business Case for Mentoring : Mentoring at the Crossroads of Education, Business and Community, which demonstrates the value of mentoring to the individuals, the community, and to business. As the report states it, "Mentoring is changing the trajectory of thousands of young people's lives." Especially in this period of talent scarcity, there is an increasing need to focus on workforce development – and that starts with making sure our young people are equipped to join the workforce.
 The case for business involvement in mentoring is simple. Mentoring adds value to individuals, business, and the community
  Value to the individual and community.   Some of the benefits to the individual and the community include:
  • Better school performance.  Improved attendance,  higher graduation rates, and more likely to go on to college or learn a trade
  • Less Substance Abuse. Mentored youth are less likely to start using illegal drugs and alcohol.
  • Lower Crime rate. Fewer disciplinary problems and lower incidence of criminal behavior
  • Better jobs. Better jobs and much less likely to be dependent on entitlement programs
 Value to companies and employees Key reasons companies and employees engage in youth mentoring: 
  • Fostering employee engagement, satisfaction and retention. Today's employees are strongly attracted to companies that are purpose-driven and that offer opportunities for engagement.
  • Cultivating and developing the future workforce. Prepare a more productive workforce
  • Supporting vibrant communities (which include your customers) 
  • Branding
    • Improve your company’s image in the community
    • Increase community awareness of your company’s mission
Mentor Colorado can help your company get started. Many companies have a fragmented approach to not-for-profit activities. Other companies may not know how to get started. Mentor Colorado is helping sponsoring companies with the development of mentoring programs, training, and organizing mentoring activities for their employees.

GET ENGAGED!  Become a sponsoring organization and make a difference.
If you would like more information about how you and your organization can get involved, please contact Executive Director, Hannah Krieger or Dave Mead 


Donate - Remember Colorado Gives Day is December 4th. You can make your donation now.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Youth Mentoring and the Business Community: 3 Powerful Reasons for you to Get Engaged


  

            Get Engaged


Youth Mentoring and the Business Community: 3 Powerful Reasons for you to Get Engaged

There is a long tradition, going back centuries, of strong societies nurturing the next generation of workers and craftsmen — using structures such as apprenticeships, internships and formal guilds to reach out to youth and help them find fulfilling, meaningful vocations. By intentionally guiding and educating young people to find and develop rewarding careers, communities and even entire nations can help to ensure that there is a stable social foundation, a continuity of goods and services, and a citizenry capable of pursuing their dreams and contributing to the greater good.
Listed below are three powerful reasons that companies and employees should get involved in mentoring.

1. Fostering employee engagement, satisfaction and retention - One representative from Intel noted, “We find that in terms of employee engagement and retention, there is a reputational pull of doing this kind of [mentoring] work, especially for potential hires coming out of the universities where they have experienced mentoring relationships.” As one representative from Citi said, “It’s that piece around the desire of individuals to work for an organization that is socially responsible and civically engaged … this resonates with our employees and they want to be a part of it.”

2. Cultivating and developing the future workforce - Much has been written recently about the difficulty some industries are having finding qualified and well-prepared employees. Companies work in mentoring fits into a new paradigm of creating and fostering pipelines and pathways rather than focusing only on training once employees arrive. For example, Bloomberg’s growth as a company has led it to be more proactive about finding future employees: “As we’ve evolved and then become a much larger company with more and more stakeholders, the business case for us is really about talent development and diversifying our talent pipeline. We recognize that today’s youth are the future of our company going forward and we need to take responsibility for better preparing them for tangible roles in the corporate workforce.”

3. Supporting vibrant communities (which include viable customers) - Companies also recognize that they are part of the communities where they are located, that their businesses will struggle if educational systems or the community itself is struggling. A representative from American Express framed this as their “commitment to service and giving back to communities where employees live and work, helping in your own backyard.” IBM explained its emphasis on education this way: “We live and we work in these communities where these kids live. We have a responsibility to do as much as we can to help them and make these communities thrive — and education is certainly a big factor in that.” With national partners like the NBA Cares, Starbucks, LinkedIn, Deloitte, EY and Bank of America and state contributors to the mentoring movement like KPMG, Richey May and Home Advisors more and more companies are recognizing the power of mentoring. 

Mentor Colorado is leading the youth mentoring effort in Colorado. Give the power of mentoring today finding a mentoring opportunity with one of our mentoring agency affiliates here, or a partnership opportunity with MENTOR Colorado’s Executive Director, Hannah Krieger.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Mentor Colorado is pleased to welcome Hannah Krieger as its new Executive Director


HannahK-headshot.jpeg
Mentor Colorado, which helps 65+ youth mentoring affiliates to increase the numbers of quality youth mentoring relationships across the state of Colorado, is pleased to welcome Hannah Krieger as its Executive Director.



EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Hannah Krieger 

Hannah Krieger joins Mentor Colorado as Executive Director on November 12, 2018. Previously, Hannah was the Director of Strategic Relationships for WeCOACH, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving, empowering and connecting women coaches of all sports and levels across the country. Prior to joining WeCOACH, Hannah Krieger served as Executive Director of Sportswomen of Colorado, a non-profit focused on empowering and celebrating girls and women in sport in the state of Colorado.

During her time with the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club, Hannah started and oversaw Soccer for Success (a U.S. Soccer Foundation program), which served K-8 students in under-resourced communities throughout the Denver and Aurora areas. She also managed over 3,000 youth soccer players and 350+ coaches and volunteers in their 4-Under through 10-Under programs. Hannah has continued to serve as a National Facilitator and Trainer with the U.S. Soccer Foundation since 2013, where she works to train Soccer for Success coach-mentors and trainers around the country.

Hannah earned her B.A. from Smith College, a Master’s in Sport Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University, and was a Fulbright scholar in Saarbruecken, Germany.