Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence

How to Create an “Ownership Mentality” on Your Team

Recently I have had several clients ask me about how to create more of an “ownership” mentality among their staff. Although there are a number of factors involved, I believe that there are three key elements that are essential to getting your staff to think and act more like owners instead of just employees.

Continue reading “How to Create an “Ownership Mentality” on Your Team” »

The Foundation of Accountability

For the past several months my email in-box has been full of requests from clients to put together a special program on “Accountability.” In just that past few weeks I have zig-zagged across the country delivering custom sessions to State Farm, Verizon, Harman, and Abbott Labs. It is obvious that with the current business climate, companies are trying to do more work, with less people… greatly increasing the pressure on every employee to deliver what is expected of them – on time and done superbly.

Continue reading “The Foundation of Accountability” »

Strategic Execution Planning – the key to your success!

I was recently invited to return to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business for the fourth year in a row to teach a special class on strategic planning for the Securities Industry Institute. I called my contact a few months before the session to ask if it was possible to shift the class more from “strategic planning” to “strategic thinking” this year, but was surprised to find out that 98 executives had already signed up for the class based on the catalog description of it as “a solid look at how to write an effective strategic plan.” So, I decided to go back and take a hard look at the program and see if I could update it a bit and was surprised to have an epiphany of sorts…

Continue reading “Strategic Execution Planning – the key to your success!” »

Some Coaching on Execution

Here is a copy of a recent note I sent to a CEO I am coaching. He is a fantastic guy, really, really smart and does a superior job with his company. He knows all of the things in this memo well (as you likely do too!) it is simply that he needed to be reminded of it – and more importantly, pushed hard to do a better job of executing these key ideas in a consistent way throughout his organization.
Continue reading “Some Coaching on Execution” »


A word I have heard over and over for the past year or so… accountability. Company Presidents, CEOs, CIOs, managers; all asking me to please come in and give a speech to their people about taking accountability. What is their main concern? Continue reading “Accountability?” »

Keys to Success at Skinner Nurseries

In another entry on this blog you’ll see a list of key business strategies from a CEO I admire a great deal, Carl Rapp of Philadelphia Gear Corporation – an absolutely super company, very successful, with incredible employees. Now, with all of the praise I just heaped on PGC, let me introduce you to another leader and organization that I am truly impressed with. Skinner Nurseries is one of the country’s leading suppliers of green goods for the landscape industry – they sell trees, shrubs and plants – and they do it extremely well. The President of the company is a very talented guy named Kevin Van Dyke, who is nearly obsessive in trying to understand and improve the business. Again, he has surrounded himself with a deep bench of the very best people in their industry and he works for great owners, but I also must give a ton of credit to Kevin for the culture, focus and success of Skinner Nurseries – he is definitely a driving force in the operation. Continue reading “Keys to Success at Skinner Nurseries” »