Cerius Experts: CEO Tips and Advice

Cerius Experts: CEO Tips and Advice

Cerius executive experts weigh in on tips and advice they are giving CEOs right now. 


Pamela Wasley: Well. Good morning. We have a room today full of experts. Today that we’ll be able to answer some questions that I have to tell you that companies are dying to know the answers to. I mean, this is such unfamiliar territory for companies today, and I really believe that some of the answers and solutions that you guys have around the table are going to help these companies.

Pamela Wasley: I’m going to go around the room and ask everybody to the best tip, the best tip that you can give companies today. What would you say to any CEO, no matter their industry. What would you tell them to help them move forward to get to that next step, to come out of this with a more of an optimistic point of view as opposed to where they are today, what would you tell them?

What tip would you leave with them? So, Ticki, let’s start with you.

Ticki Favaroth:  if I had to give one piece of advice, I would really focus in on what’s the strategy, how do we get there? And then who are the people we need to put into the organization, lift and shift, move, bring available to execute against that.

And so I would tell that leader, let’s not undermine or estimate the power of leadership.

More so beyond. I like Ticki, but really what’s the head, heart and briefcase? What are the skills and capabilities people are going to bring to the table because it is going to take more than great ideas. It’s going to take execution to get there.

Pamela Wasley: Yes. I have seen more and more companies now starting to reevaluate their staff to look to see if they do have the talent that they need to move forward. So good advice. Ticki. Thank you.

Alright, let’s go around the room here. So David.

David Berry: Well, maybe I’ll surprise people a little bit and try to put on a marketing hat and say, my advice would be, now’s a perfect time to think about what are the markets you’re serving and why.

Think about core capabilities and how is that is likely to change because everything else derives from what market are you going after and how are you going to do that? And for a whole lot of companies, that’s going to change in some and a lot of cases probably dramatically. That would be the advice that we give.

Pamela Wasley: Thanks David.

Patty Cox: So I think, my one piece of advice would be don’t forget about execution excellence. We’re going to keep our eyes open for disruption. We’re definitely going to look for ways to innovate and become more efficient, but I think that execution excellence is important to keep customers on board.

Keep them confident about your business and what you’re doing. I think it gives employees a shot in the arm when you know you’re doing what you’re doing really well. So I would just say, don’t take your eye off that ball while you’ve got all these other things that are, changing and swirling around you.

Pamela Wasley: Thanks Patty.

David Brown: So I think, really great conversation today, a lot of interesting comments that are made, but it really strikes me that how many of these things are really integrated and interdependent on one another. I had to sort of break it down into one thing, I’m about the moving people off the fear point.

And to, you know, a point where they can begin to collaborate and engage. Once again, I think there’s a lot of fear at the various levels. The employee level, particularly, certainly we’ve talked about the CEO is not sure where we’re going.  No one knows where this is going to end. But being flexible, communicating open and trying to address some collaboration either with suppliers or with, you know, your customers to find the right result.

Pamela Wasley: Great advice.

Jenn Henrickson: I’ll give one piece of advice, but I’m going to start by saying – breathe. We’re all human including the C suite. This is just an unprecedented time. Just be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with your staff.

Be open. I think that what we’re going to see over the next year is kind of akin to taking water, putting it in the freezer and taking it out back in the freezer. I think we’re going to see some expansion and contraction, and I think that’s going to continue for a while. So really it is stay in the moment.

Keep your eye on the horizon. Learn as much as you can about all the pieces that are impacting your business and what’s happening around that. And just be super flexible to pivot. A lot of these businesses right now are just in survival mode and some are in thrive mode. And then you’ve got different regions of the country at different places, at different times with lockdown and progress and shelter.

So, , just, just try to look at the macro and, and be kind.

Pamela Wasley: I think this is a good time to learn new things. Thinking outside that box, but learn from what is going on and are doing. So you’re right, Jen. Thanks. Okay. let’s go down to John.

John Gilboy: I agree with what you guys say and I think I like the don’t panic mentality. I just had that conversation with a group of people this morning. It’s easy to get worked up by everything you hear in the news, and it’s hard to believe and to know who’s accurate and who’s not. So, I think you have to be adaptable to, to the situation.

And I think the reality is that it’s not going to get fixed overnight. And the new normal is going to evolve over time in ways that we’re probably not even contemplating. And I think that some kind of hybrid environment is what we’re all going to wind up with, whether it’s being the purchaser and the consumer, or being the supplier or consultant. And I think the ability to work in a more hybrid environment that requires you to be flexible and adaptable, in every aspect is what it’s going to take. I think, you just mentioned, Pam, it’s a great time to learn and I think it’s also a great time to evaluate where you are and what you need to do to be flexible and adaptable in the future and start replanning. I don’t think you have to replant in a panic, but I think you should be looking at a strategic approach to replanning on a go forward basis and maybe even more frequently to adapt to go with the ebbs and flows and are inevitably going to come our way.

Pamela Wasley: Thanks John. Well said. Doug.

Doug Linn: Well, those are all good comments. And my, my thought was really along the same lines to me to try to keep this positive. I think, companies really need to look at the positive that this brings, really, it’s the fact that how is it going to impact your, employees and I was going to, in fact, your suppliers, your customers.

And especially when it comes to your employees. Take the positive thing that occurred because of this, and see if he can keep as many of those as possible. Like remote work. If people love that, we already know they’re more productive, they probably work more hours at home and they’re more productive than they would be coming in because now they can set their own schedule.

That’s probably the biggest thought. The second thing is don’t I feel like you have to change the world when you come back to work. Then it goes even as I think John said, people are in survival mode. A lot of companies are in danger of going bankrupt. So tell me the farthest thing from my mind is how can I change my business model?

We’ll do all these new strategy things or implement policies and procedures. Well, manage your business. Make sure you’re using the time now before you fully come back in operation to really figure out what you need to get ramped up again and make it work and incorporate as many of these positive things back into your business processes as you can.

Pamela Wasley: Russ,

Russ Brown: you know Pam, I read an article yesterday that brought up a great point that I would make to any CEO. I’d look them in the eye and say, listen, you can’t predict but you can prepare. Lord knows any one of us understands. No one could have had a crisis management plan in place that accounted for what has taken place now, not anywhere close, but you can prepare for tomorrow.

You can take the next step with your team, with your employees, with your customers. You can do the right things, put the right things in place, be flexible, but make sure you’re doing everything you can possible. If you’re doing that, you’re doing everything you can. Your team, your company is doing everything it can and it will be successful in the long run.

You may have some ups, you may have some downs, but you’re going to get there.

Pamela Wasley: Great, great advice. And Fred, I’ve left you the last because you’re coming from their seat. You know what they’re going through. So what advice do you have for companies today.

Fred Ketcho: Well, I think it’s an aggregation of what the team here has said, quite frankly. As the CEO, you have to be looking, for the gem in the rough.

And it’s pretty rough right now for a lot of companies. But there’s opportunities out there. And I come back to what Russ mentioned, and Dave talking about the markets. Really making sure that you understand the markets that you’re currently in, where your offerings can also play in other markets. But I think the real opportunity and value creator is going to be overlaying technology on those markets of interest and really driving yourself, whether you’re in a technology based business today or not, to figure out a way to get closer to customers through digital technology.

And I think John hit it really well. The value is going to be created in, an increasing demand for recurring types of services and a managed service kind of model. So once you know, kind of where your aim is, figure out how to get closer to the customers through digitization, and then figure out a way to build a recurring model.

There was a company here in town that does some work, exterior siding for residences. And I’m thinking there, boy, it would be great to figure out a way to get from my Honeywell days, smart homes, smart buildings. How do you take aluminum products and steel products and in terms of siding and roofing and be able to integrate some type of technology that’s a value to the consumer in that home.

Whether it’s indoor air quality, whether it’s through, adjustments in windows, in terms of shading automatically through your app. You know, I really think it’s going to require this kind of cross cutting nature of looking at your markets coupled with technology and then thinking about the consumer, B2B, B2C, and then ideally, if you could build a recurring revenue model around it, you have a really good value creator.

Pamela Wasley: Thanks Fred. I want to thank everybody for their time today. This has been a very productive hour, and your advice to companies and the thoughts that you shared today are fantastic, so thank you again and that we’ll sign off. Thank you guys.

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