Sustainable Business

Anything for a Buck

Entrepreneur: a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risk. So how does Trilogy Partners help manage potential risk? We help owners fully understand the financial story of their business including the danger of “Anything for a Buck”. It starts with an idea, for a product or service that you can do better than anyone else. This idea will make you more money than you’re earning now PLUS, you make the rules and set your schedule. So, you make the leap. You buy the domain, create a website, and hang out your shingle. You are open for business. The phone rings! It’s a friend who needs X. Now X isn’t exactly what you do but after a brief conversation, you accept the […]

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Anything for a Buck

Entrepreneur: a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risk. So how does Trilogy Partners help manage potential risk? We help owners fully understand the financial story of their business including the danger of “Anything for a Buck”. It starts with an idea, for a product or service that you can do better than anyone else. This idea will make you more money than you’re earning now PLUS, you make the rules and set your schedule. So, you make the leap. You buy the domain, create a website, and hang out your shingle. You are open for business. The phone rings! It’s a friend who needs X. Now X isn’t exactly what you do but after a brief conversation, you accept the […]

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A Rosy View of Business

One day many summers ago, the founder of Trilogy Partners, Hal Levenson, brought a bunch of varied colored roses from his garden into our office.  Sitting in a bucket, the unshorn flowers were wild with bits of soil clinging to them.  Instinctively, I grabbed the roses from the bucket and started cleaning them, taking off the thorns, disposing of dead leaves and neatly assembling them into separate vases.  I thought of our team members as I constructed each display.  Who would like the tall vase? Who would appreciate yellow roses instead of red?  Once completed, I distributed each bouquet and after an initial sense of gratitude, I noticed that each team member coveted the arrangement by showcasing it in a perfect spot.  As days passed, I witnessed people filling their […]

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What’s the “Real” Business Challenge?

What holds a business back? Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see even successful companies struggle to grow. When working with Trilogy clients, challenges typically surface in the following categories: Fundamental business issues Culture of the organization Attitude towards change Let’s explore each of these critical areas in more detail: 1. Fundamental business issues can be defined in two categories: Growth: Strategy, Sales/Marketing and Organizational Sustainability: People, Financial and Processes Examine the company and ask the following questions: Is there a clear, concise written strategic plan that is aligned by all members of the team? Are marketing and sales efforts being tracked, measured and getting consistent results? Is there a current and future organizational chart outlining expectations, gaps and opportunities for advancement? Is recruiting, training, onboarding, and compensation putting the right […]

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School Smarts + Street Smarts = Success

When working with Trilogy clients, I often tell them the story of Mitch and Jack, two high school friends with contrasting personalities.  Mitch was a loner, a straight-A student who always completed the extra credit homework and was essentially the pompous, go-to answer man when the rest of us stared back at Mr. Carmen with dazed expressions. Jack, on the other hand, was a good student who finished his homework during lunch, right before class.  He often showed up a few minutes late, usually detained by friends seeking his brotherly advice. Jack was a very good listener and involved in many school and community activities. Many years after graduation, I saw both men at a high school reunion.  I found it fascinating to learn how their lives had evolved. Mitch […]

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Navigating your Family Business from Conflict to Accomplishment

When working with family members in business with one another, something reveals itself over and over – the ties that bind also serve as stress points for potential unraveling.  With expertise in group and family dynamics, conflict management, and behavioral science, I am often asked to provide consultation and coaching to Trilogy clients with family-owned businesses who recognize that “things could be better” from both business and personal perspectives.  Does your family experience any of these issues causing conflict and misunderstanding? Decisions about the future direction of the business. Differences in leadership styles, practices, and core business values. Permitting undesirable and potentially destructive workplace behaviors to (erroneously) maintain harmony. Differences in performance and time commitment. Compensation of those actively vs. passively involved in the business. Fairness, equity and expectations around […]

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It’s Time for a Plan!

Companies large and small often deliberate on the need and/or depth for a strategic plan or roadmap. Is there really any reason not to have a formal plan documenting where you are; where you want to go; and how you will get there? At Trilogy Partners, we guide business owners through the strategic planning process, allowing the organizational leadership to get out of the day-to-day and look at the business from “the clouds” or using the cliché, “working on the business, not in the business.” There is an essential difference between tactics, operational effectiveness, and strategy and we have seen first-hand how strategic planning improves overall organizational performance. In the past, strategic plans were onerous to develop and often sat on a shelf; dusted off only when the plan was […]

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Fix the Toaster

At Trilogy Partners, we often have to ask, do you want to fix the toaster or keep scraping the burnt part off the toast? It seems like a simple question but hear me out. How seamlessly does your organization really operate? Can you cite examples of non-productive behavior caused by the way you’re doing business now? Where are people in your organization falling further behind serving customers, making shipments, or completing their work because process improvements were not put in place? I am prompting you to go much deeper in your thinking process than whether or not you have an up-to-date organizational chart. You and your top team need to examine if your organization is really coalescing around the best ways to get things done. Do you need to fix […]

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A Business Case for Courage

Business growth is directed through strategy.  This should not be news. Most business leaders have varying levels of implementation around strategy, but most agree that something has to be done with forethought and purpose.  But what really fuels this? At Trilogy Partners, we believe that COURAGE leads to passion that inspires growth. In August 2015, Forbes published an article (A Measure of Courage) highlighting the American Courage Index.  The article outlined business-related questions geared towards courage, as well as those questions that spoke to the social, moral and emotional aspects of courage.  Not surprisingly perhaps, the results showed that business owners are more courageous than the rest of the US population.  And further, emotional courage increases with age.  Conceptually, these outcomes make sense and jive with many of our personal […]

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Visionary and Integrator: The Most Valuable Relationship in an Organization

In October, Hal and I had the opportunity to speak about our Visionary/Integrator (V/I) relationship on VoiceAmerica’s radio program “Operationally Speaking” with Sergiu Simmel.  It was a chance to explain our unique roles at Trilogy Partners as well as showcase the benefits of having a Visionary and Integrator within a company. The terms Visionary and Integrator are used in the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®) and are also explained in Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters’ book Rocket Fuel.  Visionaries, generally business owners like Hal, are creative, big thinking, idea generators while Integrators like me are analytical, process oriented and drivers of the day-to-day operations.  Integrators are responsible for implementing the ideas of the Visionary. A valuable aspect of this relationship is its complimentary yin-yang dynamic.  To put it simply, Visionaries […]

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