Our Thinking on Management, Leadership, and Organizational Performance

Our Thinking on Management, Leadership, and Organizational Performance

What We Do

Magenta Ocean Management Consulting helps small and mid-sized businesses – SMBs – build and increase organizational performance in areas that matter most to them. Through its services, including management consulting, executive coach, team coach, and project manager. Magenta Ocean’s capabilities allow it to positively impact individual and organizational performance.

Whether your specific goal is to increase revenue, scale profitably grow, build brand recognition, amplify management know-how, drive operational performance, or plan and execute strategy, the Magenta Ocean team can help deliver your organizational objectives.

From owners and managers to front-line workers, Magenta Ocean partners with clients to help their organizations achieve the objectives that matter most to them. This requires robust communication, disaggregation of problems, analytics and smartly crafted solutions integrated into core processes. By increasing capabilities, creating proficiencies, and executing, we help businesses flourish in an ever-changing business climate. Leaders of small and mid-sized businesses come to us for company-specific solutions utilizing one or more of our three capabilities: advisor, coach, and project manager. Our comprehensive model to business solutions and management performance enables structure, coordinates activities, and delivers sustained organizational performance.

Management Insights

Magenta Ocean provides insights on various leadership, management, and organizational issues. Insights contain our latest thinking on issues that matter most to small and midsize businesses including snippets and podcast clips on a wide range of topics such as hiring and promoting, sales and marketing, organizational culture and performance, revenue generation and profitable growth, information technology and cybersecurity, and more.

"A leader’s performance is solely that of his or her team. There is no other material measurement."

“Empathy is an important leadership characteristic and contributes to the decision-making process - but it should not lead it. Leaders, at every level, are hired or promoted to win - honestly and ethically, but to win. Often, tough decisions accompany that objective.”

"Safe spaces, safe zones, and safe harbors, now commonplace, are faulty underpinnings for addressing life’s uncertainties. Perseverance. Pluck. Performance. And Purpose. Collectively, these are the antidotes for many of the ills that accompany life."

"Pressure is neutral. It is neither good nor bad. Our response to pressure determines its outcome. Pressure, when confronted with preparation, produces high-performance. Consider the high-stakes of Olympic Games competition - and the four years of preparation athletes endure in order to ready themselves. It’s no wonder that more records are broken during the Olympics than at any other event. On the other hand, the confluence of pressure and under preparedness threatens emotional control - and ultimately produces stress."

"Mental toughness (often referred to as grit) has eroded as an essential skill. A skill that plays a significant role in achieving goals and overcoming adversities in all aspects of life: health, business, school, and personal/family lives. Many of the individual and collective challenges in today’s society can be prevented or resolved by being mentally tough. It’s a skill that can be taught and learned - but ultimately, a gift that can only be given to one’s self."

"The best senior executives know what's happening on the front lines, and that means sometimes getting ground-level insights directly from the source. However, they also understand the importance of letting direct reports know they will communicate levels below them - periodically. Inculcating this 'good meddling' communication approach into an organization's culture plays an integral role in augmenting senior managers understanding of field level performance, challenges, and issues. In most instances (nonurgent), senior leaders should avoid giving directives to non-direct report, but rather ask questions to gain deeper understanding - and then discuss those insights with direct reports allowing them to communicate necessary directives."

"Many factors go into first-class customer service – and a company’s ability to consistently deliver it. However, in whatever manner a business prioritizes each service element, communication with customers should be at the top of the list. And that communication begins with how customers are addressed – from the initial interaction throughout the engagement, including post sale. In the not-too-distant past, customers were greeted with a friendly smile accompanied by sir or ma’am followed by, “How can I help you?” (Again, with a smile and friendly tone). Somehow, this simple and respectful greeting has devolved into sloppy and overly familiar approaches, including, “What can I do for you, boss?” Or, “Hey, chief looking for anything in particular?” Or, “What’s up, playa?” And of course, several other similarly loose greetings. Big Box retailers and nationwide restaurant chains are especially negligent when it comes to quality customer service – however – SMBs are not immune to indifferent customer service. Many companies, large and small and in all industries, take their eyes off the most important element of any business – customers. Customer service, including how potential customers are addressed, is consequential to attracting and retaining customers and consumers."

"Change, whether through new leadership or strategic and tactical shifts, often creates uncertainty across an organization. This is especially true with organizational culture. New and incumbent leaders must take the necessary steps to communicate, ad nauseum, the whys and how-tos regarding the changes - along with the expected benefits for both the organization and employees. Early adopters and high-level resistors are easy to identify - the former demonstrates engagement and enthusiasm, the latter, visible withdrawal, or worse, brazen opposition. Employees who early on embrace change are individuals who should be retained, developed, and if performance merits, promoted. Conversely, leaders have an obligation to the company and its associates to sack both high-level and low-level resistors (if they are unwilling to align behaviors with the new company direction). Individuals with high-level resistance, because they are more easily identified and cause immediate disruption, should be exited quickly. On the other hand, low-level resistance - and its lingering and insidious characteristics - has the potential to harm the company more significantly. It will take a little longer, but low-level resistors will eventually be exposed. You have to exit them, too. This may appear callous, it is not. It's a necessary step in creating and optimizing a successful culture - one that simultaneously influences, and responds to behaviors. To not terminate resistors is to cripple an organization - and is a disservice to its employees."

"Trust is the foundation linking vision, strategy, tactics, and objectives with the people responsible for achieving them."

"Sales is the financial lifeblood of an organization, cost containment it’s vasodilation."

"Courage, candor, measured risk-taking, decisiveness, and adaptability – characteristics essential to a vibrant culture - are tethered to self-confidence. Learned and developed over time, confidence fuels energy and action. It allows people and organizations to set unrealistic goals – and achieve them. Coupled with self-worth, self-confidence is its own safe place. It acts and responds without need of cover nor approbation."

"Key Performance Indicators and Financial Statements are linked. And the importance of each to a business is undeniable. Unfortunately, many small businesses operate – ultimately unsuccessfully – without the essential feedback offered by these documents. Establishing, monitoring, and measuring KPIs, along with reviewing accurately prepared monthly P&Ls, cash flow statements, balance sheets, and statements of retained earnings provides performance and financial outcome visibility – and with it, the opportunity to improve organizational performance."

"Being grateful for business success – and thanking those who’ve helped along our journey is admirable – maybe even noble. In public proclamations, we thank our parents. Our spouse. Our family. Our mentors. Our colleagues. Our universities. Our instructors. Our circumstances. Our good fortune. Often left our is God. Whatever measure of success achieved, be thankful to God. Whatever adversities endured, be thankful to God. Each experience, when combined with introspection, reflection, faith, and renewal, draws us nearer to Him and closer to His purpose for our lives."

"Long-term remote office work is unsustainable. Whether written on the back of a napkin, typed onto a work doc, or memorialized in company policy, an organization's culture requires shoulder-to- shoulder experiences: observation and interaction with others, being part of formal and informal work practices, knowing about company role models - past and current high-performers, understanding how and why certain language is used, and storytelling - passing on rituals and memorable past events, those embodying company values - especially to each new-hire cohort. Culture is built and sustained through persistent in-person experiences. Remote work simply cannot offer the face-to- face frequency necessary to imbed organizational DNA with that of remote employees."

"Effectively leading people is not clinical nor easy. In fact, it is often messy. After all, human beings make errors - and those errors frequently produce negative outcomes, large and small. Sometimes mistakes occur due to a lack of experience or know-how, including from poor training. However, underperformance is regularly linked to substandard behaviors in key areas involving accountability, communication, effort, collaboration, coachability, and change resistance. Behaviors, that for many, over time have become etched in DNA and exhibited in the workplace. And while termination of the most ardent resisters and those employees unable to meet performance measurements is clear, the majority are capable individuals who require consistently present, competent, and engaged integrators - often a COO and other line leaders. To propel positive change, engagement is essential - the willingness to “get in the arena” every day. When sound strategy, tactics, and execution are connected to robust engagement, an organization and its employee’s flourish."

"Single digit index golfers know it is not enough to swing each club adeptly. They also have to select the correct club for each circumstance (distance, terrain, weather, and leaderboard context). Succinctly, the best golfers have the skill to strike the ball successfully with every golf club in their respective bag - and critically, they know which club to use in a given circumstance. Similarly , effective leadership also requires both skill, contextual understanding, and right choices. What does a situation call for? Demanding or empathetic? Over communicating versus radio silence? Centralized decision-making or autonomy? Rote execution or creativity? Do-it-yourself or delegate? Urgency or patience? Discipline or encouragement? And so on. Knowing which approach to take and when to take it is as important as the skill itself."

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