Author Archives: Liz Walz

We have clunkers too

I was recently forwarded an e-mail discussion between two dealers, both of which said that the government's Cash for Clunkers program was hurting their marine sales. One suggested marine manufacturers look into a similar program that would lure boaters into upgrading to newer models. The marine industry has been working hard to take advantage of stimulus programs originally intended for ...

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What I did on my summer vacation

After the alarm went off this morning, my husband and I were talking about how fast the summer is going this year. This is an annual conversation, and as usual, I'm reluctant to acknowledge that it's almost over. The difference this year is that I'm much more satisfied with our summer. Last September, we decided we would devote this summer ...

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Influence the outcome

Two weeks ago in a martial arts class, I accidentally hurt one of my best friends. Beyond the pain of the injury, it had real potential consequences for her. She was only a few weeks away from one of the many exams required to get her black belt, something she has been working toward for more than three years. I ...

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Telling your story

A few months ago, I contributed to an article Boating Industry magazine published on competitive advantage. The core message of the article is that dealers need to be constantly reassessing their competitive advantages, especially in this economy when the marketplace is changing so fast. Then, they need to go out and tell that story to their employees, their business partners, ...

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The culture to get you through

Ever since I visited powersports dealership West Hills Honda last month, I've been thinking about how vital a company's culture is to its success, especially in today's economy. In a recent blog on HarvardBusiness.org, Peter Bregman described a company's culture as "a complex system with a multitude of interrelated processes and mechanisms that keep it humming along." "Performance reviews and ...

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Collaboration: The better option

Tough times have a way of either pulling people and companies together or splitting them apart. While both can be beneficial when they occur for the right reasons, collaboration has the potential to deliver much more dramatic results.

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Overcoming instinct

As evolved as humans are, there's still plenty of evidence that we're driven in part by animal instincts. Just look at our reaction to the threats posed by the downturn. Many of us, like possums, have responded by curling up and playing dead. We've cancelled all unnecessary activities, we're spending as little money as possible to keep the business alive, ...

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The power of diversification

Over the past week, it has been hard for the marine industry to avoid the bad news. Genmar Holdings' Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing last Monday - and predictions of more to come - has deflated some of the hope created by recent positive economic indicators. But regardless of the fall-out we're likely to see as the year progresses, we know ...

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A good competitor

In my last blog, I mentioned I'd been thinking about how my martial arts experience translates into the business world, particularly today's boating business. Here's another example. I got schooled by a teenager last night during a sparring class. He happens to be a second degree black belt, one level higher than me, so I went into the match with ...

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Black belt attitude

Last September, I became a black belt in martial arts, and lately I've been giving a lot of thought to how the philosophies we use in the dojo apply in the business world. I've found, for example, that I'm definitely not in the same shape I was when I first tied the black belt around my waist. Work and home ...

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