Book #2, Be Intentional: Culture, from The DYOJO publications is set to release SOON. This is a collaborative work and we wanted to introduce you to the concept as well as the talented contributors.
We know bad culture when we see it, yet it may not always lend itself to clear definitions. One common factor in the mindset and habits that lead to enhancing your culture is this:
Therefore, developing, adapting, and caring for your culture is vital to your vitality as an organization. Your input of time, effort, and resources towards developing an intentional culture is directly linked to achieving optimal business outputs. Be Intentional: Culture digs into this subject matter, asking the question: What are some of the small things that have helped to enhance, or undermine, culture in the experiences of our talented group of authors?
Contributor Bio’s (in alphabetical order):
Technician, Property Restoration
Technician with experience in water mitigation, fire mitigation, mold remediation, contents packing and cleaning, and tarps. Can take a customer from initial loss and lead them throughout the process to the end. I also have experience with back-end tasks, such as getting the proper paperwork and communicating in office with estimators and project managers.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/tiffany-acuff-21a525157
Editor in Chief, Restoration and Remediation Magazine
Award-winning journalist and communications specialist dedicated to top-notch, innovative writing to promote my company's brand while fostering strong B2B relationships and spreading knowledge among readers.
R&R is the leading publication for professionals in the restoration and remediation industry. As the thought leader in the restoration world, R&R provides expert information on a variety of topics including forensic restoration, drying, software, thermal imaging, moisture meters, media blasting, and much more.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-blevins-821bab22
Author page at R&R - www.randrmagonline.com/authors/2080-michelle-blevins
Michelle Blevins was a guest on The DYOJO Podcast Episode 25
Outside Sales, Aramsco
Outside sales representative for the largest supplier to the abatement and mitigation industries. Specifically, I have extensive knowledge of equipment and supplies pertaining to the disaster restoration field, ensuring I bring a high level of service to Aramsco's valued customers.
A·nom·a·ly: "Something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected."
I think this word - "anomaly" - describes me well. An English major with a heart for higher education, I found myself through a series of coincidences in the field of disaster recovery.
For eight years, I supervised and performed mitigation services in homes and businesses, encountering losses large and small. After nearly a decade of 2am phone calls, dealing with insurance claims, consoling homeowners, and swimming in lots and lots of raw sewage, I found I was ready for another challenge.
Through yet another coincidence, I found myself interviewing for the manager job at Interlink Supply of Seattle. The position proved to be one of the most challenging and rewarding of my professional life.
Following the acquisition of Bridgewater (Interink's parent co.) by Aramsco, I am taking on a new challenge as restoration sales manager for the Seattle region.
My approach to sales is unique. We hear all the time that sales is all about relationships, which is certainly true, and I greatly enjoy the relationships I'm able to cultivate each day, but I also think sales is about caring. I think sales is a lot about listening and responding with the heart of a teacher.
My truest passion is for writing. I maintain a blog at legionwriter.com, where I attempt to publish musings at least a few times a month. I also enjoy teaching others to write. I volunteer as a tutor through the King County Libraries.
Some day, that novel I've been pecking away at for six years will see the light. Some day.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/luke-draeger-892b4022
Website - www.legionwriter.com
Host, The DYOJO Podcast & author, Be Intentional: Estimating
For nearly 20 years Jon Isaaacson, The Intentional Restorer, has exemplified consistent achievement in leadership roles within the skilled trades including property restoration, construction, and abatement.
As a business coach, Jon is able to assess issues, identify creative solutions, and implement processes that drive long term success in an organization. You can read his monthly column, The Intentional Restorer, in Restoration and Remediation Magazine (R&R).
Jon regularly speaks, writes, and consults through his organization The DYOJO. He is the host of The DYOJO Podcast and recently published his first book Be Intentional: Estimating.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/jon-isaacson-izvents
Website - www.thedyojo.com
The Intentional Restorer monthly column - www.randrmagonline.com/topics/4576-the-intentional-restorer
The DYOJO Podcast - www.thedyojo.com/listen
Chief Operating Officer (COO), Restoration Technical Institute (RTI) and Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc.
Restoration Professional that is passionate about serving others. As Chief Operating Officer of a full service restoration company and training center, manages daily operations so as to deliver services that have a positive meaningful impact on the lives of others.
Oversees operations of Technical Training center serving restoration, insurance, construction, cleaning and related technical industries. We BELIEVE in inspiring happiness, pride, and innovation in others.
Oversees the day to day operations of Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc.℠, a local provider that specializes in the restoration and reconstruction of residential and commercial properties damaged by fire, mold, sewage, smoke, storm, water, wind, or any other damage. Our complete restoration approach involves the coordination and supervision of every facet of the project, ensuring the best possible service. We deal directly with the insurance provider, helping to satisfy the needs of the property owner.
We are fully staffed with a team of restoration technicians, carpenters and tradesmen, providing 24 hour/7 day emergency service with a one hour response time.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/llavender
Restoring Success monthly column - www.randrmagonline.com/topics/4578-restoring-success
Lisa Lavender was a guest on The DYOJO Podcast Episode 36; you can read her monthly column Restoring Success in Restoration and Remediation Magazine (R&R)
Large Loss Claims Consultant & Xactimate Estimator, Claims Delegates & author, The 24 HR Tech
Andy has spent 20 years in the property damage restoration industry. He is an experienced water damage expert and licensed claims adjuster. He specializes in property damage insurance claims resolution and complex building envelope issues. Andy settled in Bend, OR which serves as his base of operations for national consulting operations.
"The simplest solution is the best solution." - Andy's derivative of Occam's Razor
Everyone has their own way of doing things. I'm always looking for the "right" way. That isn't always the popular choice. I would rather "get it right" than to be right. I'm poised to set the world on fire. I've been burnt along the way, but that just builds character. Don't you think?
I'm a property and casualty (P&C) claims expert, licensed property adjuster and Xactimate professional. I have served as an expert witness and appraiser in contractor disputes and insurance claim arbitration situations. My favorite thing is public speaking and education. I love to teach and inspire folks to be their best.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/andymccabe
Website - www.claimsdelegates.com
Andrew McCabe has been a guest on The DYOJO Podcast Episode 5 and 37 (Pro vs. Joe 009)
Nunery II, Leroy, Dr.
Founder & Principal, PlūsUltré LLC
PlūsUltré LLC Background and Qualifications
PlūsUltré’s mantra of “Inspiration. Imagination. Innovation” reflects our approach to enhancing the strategic and operational capacities of educational, non-profit, and entrepreneurial entities. Our breadth of experience and competence is demonstrated through inspired, objective, and creative problem-solving. Our clients engage us because we think and act objectively and critically, and with their interests in mind.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/ldn2educate
Website - www.plusultrellc.net
Mobile Equipment Repairs, Born to Repair
My mission is to transition the damage restoration industry to inhouse equipment repairs. Providing mobile equipment repairs for water damage equipment such as air movers and dehumidifiers. Born to Repair is also able to provide phone and video consulting to assist people outside of his service area.
Elan is preparing an online repairs seminar as well.
Website - www.facebook.com/borntorepairsd
Check out Elan Pasmanick’s water damage equipment maintenance and repair Tip of the Week as a regular feature on The DYOJO Podcast.
Principle Consultant, Advocate Claim Service
Specializing in Contract Analysis & Risk Management.
Results-focused strategist with 16+ years of progressive career growth in the Insurance and Risk Management field. Tenaciously persistent in determining and attaining optimal outcomes. Astute negotiator. Background includes value-added, comprehensive expertise in analyzing insurance contracts, claim practices, and managing complex claims.
Advocate Claim Service was founded to provide policyholders with a dedicated claim professional to develop a comprehensive claim presentation strategy. While ACS does not sell insurance, we do make it work for you. ACS's Principle Consultant, David Princeton, has resolved disputed claims resulting in total resolutions in excess of $25,000,000.
Specializing in the strategic presentation of claims, Advocate Claim Services looks to aid businesses in the presentation and resolution of doubtful and disputed claims. Our brand of advocacy focuses on the challenging claims that threaten to disrupt our clients' ability to do business.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/davidrprinceton
Website - www.advocateclaimservice.com
David Princeton was a guest on The DYOJO Podcast Episode 1, 32 and 35 (Pro vs. Joe 007 and 008)
Founder, IA Path & author, Independent Adjuster’s Playbook (and many more)
We help new adjusters get to work in 90 days with our online adjuster mentorships.
Most new adjusters struggle to meet hiring companies' experience requirements and have no way of getting started. At IA Path we created a mentorship program that gets the experience requirements waived with over 20 companies so you can start working in the next 90 days.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/iapath
Website - www.iapath.com
Chris Stanley was a guest on The DYOJO Podcast Episode 38
Director of Customer Experience and Support, NumberBarn
Proven visionary leader, seasoned manager, and lifelong learner experienced in building both customer service teams and customer experience programs. Capable of creating a customer service operation from scratch and technically savvy enough to scale it with a rapidly growing business.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/jtwatkin
Website - www.customerservicelife.com
Jeremy Watkin was a guest on The DYOJO Podcast Episode 42
South Sound Connection (SSC) LIVE - Episode 008 - Part A
SSC LIVE is brought to you by The DYOJO Podcast (thedyojo.com) and All American Restoration Services (Tacoma, WA - allamericanres.com).
Recorded on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 9am PST - LIVE
Ken Brown - Community Relations and Engagement, Rexius (Eugene, OR)
Ken is active in his outreach efforts and has worked hard to make the Rexius name synonymous with community service. He is also the Executive Director of The Hope Project.
Mr. Brown shares his thoughts on:
Kevin Hussey, CEO & President of United Fire and Water Damage (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), joins The DYOJO Podcast to discuss his entrepreneurial journey. Kevin started his adventure in the skilled trades when he opened a carpet cleaning business in Colorado. Like many in the industry, that venture evolved into adding services for water damage mitigation and property restoration.
Many growth minded professionals think that there is money to be made in water and fire damage restoration. They are right, but there are also many tough lessons that must be learned if you are going to be successful in building a company that will be profitable and sustainable. Kevin moved his operation to Louisiana following opportunities that presented themselves in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
As Mr. Hussey made roots, he continued to evolve as a person in a position of leadership and recognized his need to add an integrator. In his book Traction, author Gino Wickman talks about the importance of pairing an innovator with an integrator, "The Visionary/Integrator relationship is a two-piece puzzle. Even the most inspiring Visionaries cannot do it all, and the ideal Integrator will fill the void, seal the gap, and complete the winning formula." Kevin shares many of his thoughts in this hiring process, joining a national network, as well as the local marketing efforts that have helped them remain independent from the preferred vendor programs common in insurance claims repairs.
Discussion Topics from TDP 44:
TDP 44 Breaks and Announcements:
In 2021 we will be focusing on a LIVE format and moving our release date to Thursdays at 9am PST. We look forward to our listeners being able to interact with the show more. Our first LIVE Pro vs Joe will be Saturday 1/16/11 at 8pm PST and our first LIVE The DYOJO Podcast will be Thursday 1/21/21 at 830am PST with Ken Larsen.
TDP 44 Guest:
Our previous video provided you with some early reading suggestions from the property restoration ranks. Now its time to tickle your ears with the silky voices of podcasts made by and for property restoration professionals.
Apologies if we missed you and/or your podcast, shoot us a message and a link so that we can add you to our list. If you listen and/or watch any of these podcasts be sure to subscribe, like, review, and share as these simple actions go a long way in helping the creators to better distribute their content.
The DYOJO Podcast - www.thedyojo.com/listen
This first appeared as Garbage In, Garbage Out (Part 2): The Imperial Order of the Work Order for my monthly column, The Intentional Restorer in Restoration and Remediation (R&R) Magazine.
Manager 1 complains, “I can’t get my workers to stop going to the hardware store multiple times in a day.”
“How detailed are your work orders?” the friendly neighborhood restoration coach asks.
For this segment of “Garbage In - Garbage Out” (see GIGO 1), we will discuss how an organization can align their processes with their vision to ensure they are not undermining their goals. We will take a trip down memory lane and construct this article in the fashion of the Choose Your Own Adventure Series paperbacks that were popular in the 90s.
As I have said before, I am a bridge millennial. I am technically Gen Y but I believe that my perspectives and experiences are more in line with Gen X. With The DYOJO Podcast, my goal has been to help growth-minded professionals to shorten their DANG learning curve, which often requires listening to and learning from those who have been there, done that (BTDT) and lived to tell others about it. By utilizing a structure that will bring some nostalgia to 90s kids, let’s see if we can unpack some of these common dysfunctions in the skilled trades.
How do you think Manager 1 answers the question we posed above regarding work orders?
Paragraph 1 - Definition of a Work Order
“What’s a work order?”
Define a work order: what should be in it and why it is important.
My second-ever article submitted to R&R was a little expose titled Peeling Back 5 Layers of Communication in a Restoration Business. In this article, we dug into the many layers that contribute to a customer calling your office wondering what the heck is going on with their project. Another common dysfunction in the skilled trades.
Again, in order to fix this, we will need to address the system from top to bottom and will need every layer of our organization to be invested in the restoration of our process. Communication is our organization showing our customers that we value them. Clarity and consistency is our organization showing our employees that we value them.
In order to achieve the ever-coveted, rarely-achieved accountability in your organization, we have to communicate clearly and consistently at every level of your organization. In the layers we discussed:
Younger readers may be surprised that even in 2010, I arrived at one of the largest restoration companies in our industry and they were still using carbon copies for hand written work orders. There is nothing wrong with old tech; use what you have and make it work. But, if your handwriting is illegible (which is the case for most people in the skilled trades), then you're not setting your team up for success if you are creating work orders that no one can read.
We quickly adapted our process to printed work orders which were much easier for everyone to read. As we added team members who were more tech-savvy than me, we further adapted our work orders and scheduling to Google calendar. I can tell you that we tried almost every app and software available at the time and found most of them took more time to manage than the actual work.
The shared calendar allowed us to put job relevant information into the hands of those serving our clients. A good work order does not have to be complex, but it must contain key details such as customer name, contact information, jobsite address, scope of work, and should even include budgeted time so that your team has a target to shoot for.
Now that you know what a work order is, you will want to advance to paragraph 2 to learn about creating clarity and/or advance to paragraph 4 to learn about developing consistency in your process.
Paragraph 2 - The Importance of Clarity
“They’re pretty good. Why are you busting my chops?”
For a work order to be effective, it needs to be clear enough to provide the details necessary for the receiver to be able to work from the orders. When the person assigned to the work reads the document, they should be able to comprehend:
It is important for people in a position of leadership to keep in mind that the goal of a work order is to communicate with the person(s) who will be assigned to complete the work assigned. It is not enough to document what the writer thinks is clear; those composing the work orders must work to ensure the information can be understood and executed by those on the receiving end of the transmission.
I heard a great analogy in regard to instructing a child to clean their room.
Parent: “Clean your room.”
Fifteen minutes later the parent returns and finds that the child has not cleaned their room to the parent’s satisfaction. Who is at fault for this failure? Many managers, and parents, might say:
Parent: “It’s common friggin sense, what’s wrong with you child?”
If you are in agreement while you read this segment of the article - advance to paragraph 1.
If we take it seriously, that effective communication requires those in a position of leadership to work at clearly and consistently transferring information, then we can clearly see that the child was not set up for success in the scenario above.
George Bernard Shaw aptly states, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
So, what should the “clean your room” work order look like in order to enhance the opportunity for a better outcome?
Parent: I want you to clean your room. By this I mean, I want all of your clothes put away or in the dirty clothes hamper, your toys put away in their bins, and your bed made nicely. I will return in fifteen minutes to check on your progress. Do you understand what I have instructed you to do?
If you are ready to work on improving the process, advance to paragraph 4.
Paragraph 3 - The Illusion of Competition
“I’d like to see how Company X does their’s any better. Give me a break.”
Why would it matter what other companies are doing? If the bar is low among your competitors, making yourself feel good about your own lack of clarity doesn’t solve anything to prove that you are on par with the status quo. You are in competition with yourself. Your ability to make progress towards your goals is dependent on your ability to motivate yourself, your management team, and your technicians to raise the bar internally for your organization.
It’s time to return to the start and select the answer that most closely reflects your thoughts on the matter. For example, if you are deflecting because you don’t actually know what a work order is, advance to paragraph 1.
Paragraph 4 - Developing the Process
If this is true, why is it that you are not getting the results that you seek in reducing waste by curbing the unnecessary trips to the hardware store that opened our story? You may believe that your communication is clear, but this dysfunction is revealing that there is still work to be done either in truly creating clarity in your work order (paragraph 2), developing consistency in your process (paragraph 5), or holding people accountable through a plan of improvement (paragraph 6).
I have written at length on the process of developing the right mindset and habits for yourself and your team to succeed with estimating insurance claims in my first book, Be Intentional: Estimating. If you have a desire to dig further into these principles, as well as prepare your team to communicate scope more effectively from the estimating stage onward, you may find this publication to be of value.
To review the scope communication process advance to paragraph 5.
If your work order process is clear, as outlined in paragraph 2, and you have developed a consistent process, as outlined in this section, it may be time to move into the discipline phase.
If it’s time to discipline - advance to paragraph 6.
Paragraph 5 - Establishing Accountability
Whenever information has to translate from an estimator, to a project manager (sometimes one in the same), to a site supervisor, or carpenter, your scope communication process must be clear and consistent before employees can be held accountable.
A work order, as defined in paragraph 1, is a transfer of critical information so that all parties are clear on the scope of work. Before you can hold team members accountable for multiple trips to the hardware store, you must confirm whether they have been set up for success at the project start up.
It’s one thing when management holds people accountable, it’s another thing when team members understand the vision and values and are empowered to hold each other accountable.
The author of Necessary Endings, Dr. Henry Cloud, has said,
“If you are building a culture where honest expectations are communicated and peer accountability is the norm, then the group will address poor performance and attitudes.”
Many years ago, my beautiful wife went to work with my team on several large school projects. We needed people we could trust to do what they were instructed by the team. My wife was more than capable. She worked well with the team and has some fond memories of her time with people who stand out as some of the best that I have worked with over my career. They weren’t the smartest or the most talented, in truth, we assembled a rag-tag group of people who fought for each other and worked hard to do it right.
One cool story that came out of the experience was my wife seeing more of what went on behind the scenes. She confirmed what I already knew, that our team was committed to doing it right, doing it efficiently, and doing it excellently. Because our process was clear and consistent, the team held each other accountable to the standard that we all believed in. I am reading The ServiceMaster Story by Albert M. Erisman, in which he has a great quote from the founder Marion Wade,
“Don’t expect to build a super company with super people. You must build a great company with ordinary people.”
If you want accountability, focus on clarity (paragraph 2) and then build consistency in your process (paragraph 4). Even if you have an accountable team, there will be times when you have to discipline - advance to paragraph 6.
Paragraph 6 - Effective Discipline
My next book, Be Intentional: Culture, is a collaborative effort with several talented authors who have been there, done that (BTDT) and lived to tell about it. Our goal is to share real world experiences with those mindsets and habits that either enhance or undermine your efforts to build on your vision and values. In the opening chapters I discuss how those in a position of leadership need to understand that in many ways people are like banks - you have to make emotional deposits (credits) if you want to effectively make emotional withdrawals (debits).
As a person in a position of leadership, you often have to address issues in your organization (correction). Before you can build or expect accountability in your culture, you must build a foundation of clarity and consistency:
If we return to our opening scenario, our manager, like many people in a position of leadership, is frustrated by a clear example of waste. When workers make multiple trips in a day to the hardware store, you are losing on so many fronts. You are losing productivity, money, trust, and the list goes on. Lisa Lavender and I recently teamed up to share some thoughts on reducing common areas of scope creep in property restoration.
In our market, a trip to the hardware store consumes at least one hour. If you can reduce one trip to the hardware store, you gain one hour of productivity. Over the course of a week that is five hours of productivity gained. That’s almost an entire shift that your worker is either losing productivity or gaining productivity.
But before we can put all of the blame on our worker, people in a position of leadership have to face the music and ask themselves whether they have created a process of communication that is clear, consistent, and thereby facilitates accountability. We are quick to use, “Garbage In, Garbage Out,” as an indictment against our technicians when this responsibility starts with the organization, the management team, and the internal processes of the company before it ever reaches the ground floor.
*Credit: This article written with the help of Tiffany Acuff applying her keen eye for editing
South Sound Connection 006
Chad Kerlegan Radio show host on KMUZ.org Tuesdays 7-8pm, MEM Show - Men, Emotions, and Music Show out of Salem, Oregon. Chad takes you on a personal tour of man’s journey to embrace emotions in a healthy way. Talking about the deep stuff of the heart, mind, and soul, mixed with music inspired by the topic of the day.
Meg Hawks Local, family owned, screen printer with Single Speed Screen Printing out of La Grande, Oregon. They have been the screen printer for The DYOJO Podcast from day 1 and now are printing up the first batch of South Sound Connection t-shirts.
South Sound Connection is brought to you by The DYOJO Podcast (thedyojo.com) and All American Restoration Services (Tacoma, WA - allamericanres.com). Watch/listen live every Tuesday at 9am PST on The DYOJO YouTube channel - youtube.com/thedyojo.
Intro Music by Pat Effin Brown of Cosmonaut Coffee fame in Tacoma, Washington
Jon Isaacson, The Intentional Restorer, is an 18 year veteran of the property restoration industry and a business coach through his organization The DYOJO.