Kevin Nolan from Nolan Consulting joins Gogan on this edition of our webinar series. Being the CEO, Kevin has the responsibility to generate profit. In order to do that, his company must have direction, structure, and accountability. In this webinar, Kevin walks us through all the tips on keeping a fast-paced business organized and functioning.
What is Nolan Consulting:
Kevin Nolan is the President and CEO of Nolan Painting Company. Kevin has partnered up with his brother and formed the Nolan Consulting Group. Nolan Consulting Group helps initiate structure to contractor businesses around the nation. In addition, they assist in business plans and HR marketing. And as Kevin likes to say, “have problems? Eat problems for breakfast.”
What is CompanyCam:
Founded in 2014, CompanyCam is a photo-based solution created for contractors, by contractors. Users can take unlimited photos — which are location and time stamped, sent to the cloud, and stored securely. Every photo is organized by project and instantly available to your team, allowing you to see what’s going on anytime, anywhere. With CompanyCam you can work smarter, avoid costly mistakes, and get paid faster.
Kevin provides seven steps on how to build muscle within your organization. Here are three of them:
- Extreme ownership/accountability
- Cascading leadership
- Vision, mission, and values
One word: accountability. Being accountable to one another inspires “extreme ownership.” Nolan recommends the book, QBQ by John B Miller, which gives practical advice on how to bring personal accountability into work daily. To engage in healthy and productive accountability and ownership, there are three steps. First, ask the right question. Contrary to popular belief, there are bad questions! A bad question would be, “why is this happening to me,” according to Kevin. Instead, ask “what?” and “how?” Focus on what you can do about it; what actions will solve the problem. Second, no victims are allowed at this accountability playground. Third, blame ain’t welcome either. To solve the real problems, one must take ownership instead of blaming others.
It can be hard to hire people to assist you with your job — “that is absolutely, positively NOT true. That is head trash!” says Kevin. The key is identifying the correct role for the individual. Establish who is the visionary or who is the integrator. And, similar to the military, delegation is imperative to company efficiency. Kevin uses the term ‘decentralized command’ — train people to make decisions on their own. This will lead to cascading communications. Information will go through several channels and it is important it doesn’t become a game of telephone. You must be confident that messages will spread accurately.
Other ways to implement cascading leadership is setting reachable but ambitious goals and staying focused and motivated. Being honest and genuine contributes to the team’s productivity. Kevin says “this transparency is really what makes [his] company work.”
Vision, Mission, and Values
Your company’s core values are important — so, talk about them. Talk about them all the time. Make it a frequent conversation within your company. For example, create a welcoming environment and engage in friendly co-worker interactions. Make your company the “best place to work!” And with that — don’t beat around the bush when it comes to turnover. In Kevin’s experience, turnover can still be friendly and civil. The key is establishing expectations and sticking to them. At Nolan’s Painting Company, workers have 90 days to learn to paint. If it takes longer, “we force them out.” It is simply a matter of expectation; no hard feelings, just business.
Another value, that ultimately assists in company organization, is creating teams. Forming teams and squads within your company will increase company identity and commitment. Make it fun! Nolan’s Painting Company has official team names, such as Team Bravo or Team High Reach, and each team has its own logo. Similar to the Navy Seals, each team leader is only responsible for 3 – 4 people. This keeps the groups small and communication stronger.
Hiring the right people will help you establish your values and priorities even further. To figure out if your people are committed to their work and company, ask questions about their future. Ask if they have planned a vacation, because “privates don’t plan vacations; they just take vacations when they are out of work.” Ask about specific leadership situations. Kevin emphasizes not to explore hypotheticals — discuss real, genuine events. And then once an employee is hired, they can “rise in the hierarchy through promotion” — yet another value of Kevin’s company: work hard and you can rise to the top. Needless to say, the company’s mission and values are the foundation of its functionality.
To learn more about Organizational Muscle, watch the full webinar here! Special thanks to Kevin Nolan and Nolan Painting, Inc., for collaborating with us on this webinar.
We host webinars with our partners and other industry experts twice a month, so keep an eye out for announcements on how to register over on our Facebook page.