Posts From June, 2016

Can Confucius really Improve Your Business...?

From time to time you’ll see quotes from great visionaries who lived many years ago.

One of the quotes you’ll see a lot is the one above by Confucius which in my opinion, applies equally to us today as it must have done all those years ago; even with all our technology and modern techniques, the principle holds true in Business and in Life…

First time I saw the quote was at the school I was studying; which was sometime in the middle of the last century…

I was engaged on a four-year Programme to become a Civil Engineer. The study involved 3 years in school and 1-year internship. The internship was divided in two sessions of 5 months each.

So when I discovered this quote I could immediately see how it applied to my studies.

During our classes the teachers told us a HUGE amount about the world of Civil Engineering, large amounts of data, principles and concepts. Imagine, sitting in a classroom and being TOLD all this information; it’s overwhelming and the brain simply can’t cope with it, so that’s why we don’t remember very much when we are simplyTOLD things… 

It also explains why I fell asleep a few times too….

It’s because this style of teaching only affects our Short Term Memory – which lasts around 30 seconds, hardly surprising that we forget most of what we are told…

A few times each year during the Course we would visit a construction site, concrete factory or exposition where we’ve been SHOWN how certain processes actually work in the real world.

Some were interesting some really weren’t, and as you know we tend to remember just the most interesting ones.

The one I remember being the most interesting was the building of the second ‘Brienenoord’ bridge near Rotterdam. Entering the cellar of the bascule bridge we experienced a sense of amazement and WOW factor….!! It was an impressive sight...

The experience of participating in this meant that the memory became locked into my Long Term Memory – much more powerful than simply hearing about the bridge – we actually experienced it…

Throughout the last year of the study I was working the first half at the Province Zuid-Holland and the second at the Commune of The Hague, both as Supervisor.

Can you imagine, just coming out of College with not a single day experience, and then working outside checking up on people with years of experience to make sure they were doing their job correctly…?

Me neither…

So, I simply remembered the quote of Confucius. I let them INVOLVE me into their work. I helped with driving a road roller, placing guardrails, even digging holes in some of the worst weather conditions possible.

And because they involved me into their work I learned so many things I didn’t find in school books and it really made me understand how the real world of Civil Engineering actually works.

Back to the present and this famous quote of Confucius is applied to our PEP Talk Program launched at the beginning of the year to enable you to make dramatic improvements to your business performance...

With the PEP Talk Program, a 7 step business improvement program, we are not onlytelling and showing you what we are going to do, we will involve you and your team into the program.

For me it’s normal to involve people in Business Improvements.

Amazingly enough I still hear from some companies where the people weren’t involved in any of the Business Improvements being made.

No surprise that the improvements in these companies didn’t work out as they hoped for – short term memory applies to businesses as well as individuals…

It’s pretty simple…

Involving people will make them understand which will lead to success and business growth – the PEP Talk Program is about long term sustainable improvements…

If you’d like to find out more about our PEP Talk Program and how we can transform your Productivity, Efficiency and Profitability to improve YOUR business, just send me an email to arrange a time for a coffee and a chat…

Which would you like to improve in 2016 – ProductivityEfficiency orProfitability…?

Or would you like all three…?

I look forward to hearing from you…

And yes.... Confucius can really Improve Your Business !!

Kind regards,

Frits Steketee


72% of Business Professionals get this simple Test Wrong…

Of course you want to improve your Business results – but you’d be amazed at the responses we get to some very simple questions when ask Business People about how they should go about it..

Here’s a little quiz, with possible answers based on real life conversations – see how you get on…

1. What is the #1 thing you can do to improve your business?

    a) Fire the CEO.
    b) Get rid of moaning Clients.
    c) Analyse all processes to establish where positive changes can be made.
    d) Have a new Logo designed.

 2. When is the best time to start improving your business?

    a) Next Quarter.
    b) Now – before our competitors do.
    c) Our business is perfect and cannot be improved.
    d) When we start getting complaints from clients.

3. Can everything in a business be improved?

    a) No, we’ve always done it that way and it works just great.
    b) Absolutely, with the right approach and know how.
    c) But my team are a bunch of idiots.
    d) Don’t need to – we are fine thanks.

4. What’s the best way of reducing costs?

    a) Drive Efficiency and Productivity to grow Profitability.
    b) Get rid of the work force – they don’t like it here anyway.
    c) Screw our suppliers to the ground.
    d) Pay people late.

5. How can you reduce the unproductive time of your employees?

    a) 24,000 Volt Cattle prod would help.
    b) Involve the team in the processes and identify associated costs.
    c) Discipline and warnings are the best way.
    d) Shouting, bullying and passive aggressive management techniques.

6. How can your employees work more efficiently?

    a) Make them work longer hours.
    b) Give greater responsibility, control and flexibility to them.
    c) See 5d above
    d) An upgrade from Windows 98 would be a start.

7. How do you get more profit out of your business?

    a) Don’t pay invoices – just ignore them.
    b) Cancel the Christmas party.
    c) Improving the Productivity and Efficiency of every aspect of it whilst       building Sales and Margins
    d) Who cares – it’s not my money anyway.

8. When changes have been made should you…

    a) Go on holiday and relax.
    b) Keep on monitoring the processes for more improvements and refinements.
    c) Buy a Ferrari.
    d) Drink a bottle of Jack Daniels.

9. How would you encourage your customers to keep coming back?

    a) Hope.
    b) They only come back to complain.
    c) Discount everything.
    d) Through service excellence such that they become raving fans.

10. What help do you need to succeed with your Business Improvement program?

    a) I don’t need anything we can do this all internally – we are all geniuses.
    b) Our CEO knows everything about that stuff.
    c) An experienced Business Improvement company with a great Business Improvement Program.
    d) YouTube has some cool videos. 

Note: You can find the answers at the bottom of this page.

If you got all 10 the answers correct, then we are on the same wavelength and we could do some great work together…

If you got 7 – 9 answers correct, you probably need us more than you think.

If you got 6 or less answers correct, you definitely need help – right now, immediately and instantly…

At AliaVita Engineering we deliver the PEP Talk Program.

A 7 step Business Improvement program based on the principles of Productivity, Efficiency and Profitability to improve YOUR business. 

No matter if you´ve got all questions correct or just one, we are here to help you and your Team achieve great results in all areas.

Just have a look at our website what the PEP Talk Program can mean for your business.

The first stage is to simply drop me a note and arrange a time to talk and see how we may be able to help – it’s quite painless and there are no injections or anything…

Looking forward helping you improving YOUR business.

With kind regards,

Frits Steketee


Answers:  1c 2b 3b 4a 5b 6b 7c 8b 9d 10c