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Leadership Unlimited

Leadership Unlimited is a career column by Terry Wall, MBA '97. Terry is a recognized expert on strategy, leadership, and productivity, who will share his experiences and tips each month.

Alumni are encouraged to send comments, questions or suggestions for future column topics to

5 Strategies to Improve Company Profitability
January 2015

Interested in improving your organization's profitability? Let me share five strategies guaranteed to help.

The first strategy: Focus on your purpose-define it, then live it. You, as the leader of the organization, must know the organization's purpose. Then ensure that everyone else understands it so that you, and others in the organization, use the purpose to guide important decisions.

If you already have a purpose statement, you need to decide if it's up to date, and really reflects your organization today. If you don't have a purpose statement, develop one. It isn't about what you do, but why you exist, and how your organization makes the world a better place.

A second strategy is having the right processes in place. Processes include everything from workflow, to finding customers, to running meetings-all the "things" you do to run your organization.

Evaluate your current processes to determine which are working, and which aren't. For working processes, look for ways to improve them. For the others, decide if they require modifications, or if they're so antiquated that you should eliminate them altogether.

Getting the data that is the lifeblood of your company is the third strategy. What are your productivity measures? How, and in what proportion, do different parts of your organization contribute to your bottom line?

You also need hard numbers about your customers. Where is your business coming from? How many customers do you have? Who are the most profitable for you? What do those customers have in common?

The fourth strategy is to focus on marketing, and rigorously apply strategies 2 (processes) and 3 (data) to those marketing efforts. Here you need to look at everything from how you find prospects to what your marketing copy says.

What methods are you using to get the word out about what you do? How can you improve using the various forms of media, including social media? Tracking your marketing efforts is especially important. This will tell you what works, and what doesn't.

Finally, the fifth strategy-establish SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time frame oriented), and hold yourself, your direct reports, and your organizations accountable for achieving them.


About the Author

Terry Wall

Terry Wall, MBA '97, accelerates success for individuals and organizations. For individuals, he accelerates success through coaching. For organizations, he accelerates success by building winning teams, working with management teams in groups. Either way, Terry teaches people how to improve how they manage and lead, so that they and their direct reports are more engaged in their work, more committed to organizational goals, and more productive in what they do.

That accelerates success. That improves profitability.

Terry specializes in strategic planning, leadership development, change management, corporate culture, and productivity improvement. He works in a wide range of industries, including service and manufacturing, non-profit, and large and small organizations. He is a skilled facilitator who provides coaching on individual, executive, or team levels.

A recognized expert on strategy, leadership, and productivity, Terry has a B.A. in psychology from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, and an MBA from Drexel University in Philadelphia. He is a professional speaker, and a professional writer who coauthored a book on teambuilding, and has been published in many publications.

Terry Wall accelerates success, and improves profitability, for individuals, teams, and organizations.

Issue Archive

October 2009
4 Best Practices to Destroy Employee Retention

January 2010
What is Responsibility Based Management, Engaging Leadership?

February 2010
Do You Have a Leadership Deficit?

March 2010
Trust is the Foundation of Leadership, Teamwork, Sales

June 2010
Look in the Mirror First, but Beware of Blind Spots

August 2010
Five Strategies to Improve Company Profitability

October 2010
The Leader's Role as Teacher, and the Threat to Put My Hand in the Shredder

December 2010
The First 48 Principle of Conflict Resolution

January 2011
Talk Makes People Do Awful Things

March 2011
3 Reasons to Pursue Social Responsibility

April 2011
Visibility is a Great Leadership Strategy

July 2011
Casey Anthony and 4 Dysfunctions of a Team

August 2011
Choice is a Key to Motivation, Engagement

September 2011
Labor Day, and Engagement's Missing Ingredient

February 2012
3 Trends, 4 Questions for Developing Innovative Strategies

September 2012
Mastering the Art of Public Speaking

December 2012
Leaders Use Purpose to Increase Profitability

January 2013
Leadership Model Accelerates Success, Focuses on 5 Areas

February 2013
Look in the Mirror First, but Beware of Blind Spots

March 2013
The Most Powerful Phrase in Leadership

June 2013
Public Speaking As an Important Leadership Skill, and Three Improvement Tips

July 2013
5 Tips to Avoid Snore-Filled Meetings

August 2013
The Adapt or Get Zapped Approach to Innovation

October 2013
Relentless Communication About Purpose
Engages, Motivates Employees

December 2013
3 Rules to Uncover Your Purpose

January 2014
Increased Employee Engagement Leads To Improved Profitability

February 2014
Leaders Should Embrace Conflict

March 2014
To Promote Values, Preach What You Practice

May 2014
Avoid Death by PowerPoint Presentations

July 2014
14 Strategies for Better Time Management

October 2014
Four Best Practices to Destroy Employee Retention

December 2014
Building Trust Requires the Human Touch