The Power of Starting Something Stupid

As I read new material I’m always looking for books that will work well in our company’s Education Plan
Richie Norton has a new book coming out in March. Richie is a brilliant, big thinker and I know that his new book, “The Power of Starting Something Stupid” will be one of those books I will use in our meetings.
I’m anxiously awaiting my copy. Pre-order your copy on Amazon

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Kodiak Mountain Stone – Small Business Superstar

Small Business Superstars

I’ve dedicated a lot of my blog to our Education Planat Kodiak Mountain Stone.  This week I want to thank all those who took the time to vote for us in the Alberta Venture and ATB Financial Small Business Superstars contest.  Over 160 businesses were nominated for these awards and we were lucky enough to be chosen as one of the finalists in the HR Superstars category due to our Education Plan.  Throughout October and November people voted online for who they thought were the most deserving of this award in each category and we (Kodiak Mountain Stone) were fortunate enough to be the winner in our category.

Please take a moment to read our story on the Alberta Venture Website: Kodiak Mountain Stone Education Plan

I’m very proud of our Education Plan and feel that even though it has been great so far, we can develop it into something much more than it already is.

If you are interested in finding out more about our Education Plan and how it might fit into your company, feel free to contact me: jeff@kodiakmountain.com

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My Personal Life Plan

One of my co-workers got me listening to the podcast of Michael Hyatt.  I’ve really enjoyed some of the podcasts that I’ve had the opportunity to listen to.

Recently, that same co-worker sent me a link to an e-book from Michael Hyatt called, “Creating Your Personal Life Plan.”  After reading through the book quickly I decided that it would be a good subject for one of our Kodiak Mountain Stone education meetings, and I would be the one to present it.  As I was preparing for the meeting I felt that in order to present it with some meaning to our team I had better go through the process that is outlined in the book.  That is when the book hit me in a different way.

In the beginning of the book he asks you to identify some of the most important constituents in your life.  Then he wants you to write down the answer for each of them, “what will they say when I am dead?”

I didn’t think too much of this until I actually started to write how I hoped my spouse, my children, my friends and associates would think of me when I’m dead.

I not only suggest you go to Michael Hyatt’s website to find out how to get your own copy of the book, I suggest you go through the processes in the book and create your Personal Life Plan.

 

 

 

Education Plan

One of the things that I (D. Jeff Heggie) like about being an entrepreneur and running my own company is that when you have an idea, you can implement it however you want.

I remember sitting in my office one morning reading the most recent business book that had been suggested to me.  A while later my first employee of the day showed up to work and poked her head into my office to great me good morning.  As I heard her footsteps coming down the hall I put my book away and began working on the project that was sitting on my desk.  I’m the leader in my company, I need to set an example for everyone.  They need to see me working every time they look in my office.

That was then.  I had a meeting with my CFO (Dave) a short while later that changed my perspective on this situation.  Yes, it’s still very important for me to be an example in my company.  It’s still very important for my staff to see that I have a good work ethic, etc, etc. But the thing that made me question my actions was, “why am I hiding from my staff that I’m reading or studying material that will make me a better leader or improve our company is some other way?”

Dave is someone that I enjoy having meetings with.  We work well together and we often look at things from different perspectives.  So from our meetings we often come up with plans or solutions that are much better than either of the plans or solutions we each entered the meeting with individually.  Dave is like me in the fact that he loves to continue learning.  We love reading and/or listening to new materials and ideas.  In this particular meeting I told Dave about the habit I had gotten into.  The habit of coming to work early to spend time reading, but hiding my materials and rush to get my work in front of me as soon as I heard any staff coming down the hall each morning.  I was constantly doing it, but it really wasn’t something I should have been ashamed of or trying to hide.  That’s when Dave brought up Google’s 20% Rule.  Google’s philosophy of giving their engineers one day per week (20% of their time) to work on projects that are not necessarily in their job descriptions.  Why not use 20% of our time to learn and study?

That’s where Kodiak Mountain Stone’s Education Plan was born.

“One of our core values is that employees continually learn and improve.  Employees at all levels should be encouraged to continually learn and improve themselves…

…team members have the opportunity to participate in an educational development program with two components:
1. Required readings within a certain time after joining the company.
2.  30-60 minutes per day of free time to study material that covers information related to our industry &/or the role of the team member.We decided that not only should it be OK to be reading and studying things that will improve us individually and benefit our company, but we wanted to encourage the rest of our team to do the same thing.

Our hope is that we are adding value to the lives of our employees through our Education Plan.  Dave and I are both advocates of personal development and continued education.  Our hope is that with this plan our team members will benefit in their professional lives at Kodiak Mountain Stone, but also that they will take things from what they learn to improve and benefit their personal lives away from work as well.

The part of the Plan that I really enjoy is our monthly Education Plan Meeting.  Each month one of our team members will host a meeting that is focused around the current book or materials they have been studying.  They will teach the rest of the team about the things they have learned that they feel will benefit the team professionally as well as the things they have learned that will help all of us in our personal lives.

Our meetings are great because we can learn so much from each other.  We have had a number of meetings with Ken Blanchard’s book Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service as the topic.  Each meeting has been great and each meeting has been given from a different perspective that has helped each one of us in customer service.  I think that if you really want to learn something you need to teach someone else about it.  When our team members know they will be teaching the rest of the team about the current book they are reading, they get a lot more out of it than they would if they were just reading it in their leisure time.

In this blog I will write about many things.  I love being an entrepreneur and I love continued learning.  So I’m sure many of my blog topics will be focused around those things.  I think that our Education Plan is something that could benefit any company.  If you have any questions about our education plan, please feel free to contact me for more information at jeff@KodiakMountain.com

 

Check out our reading list: HERE