Building better businesses

From start-ups to third generation companies, The Berkana Company’s Ann Elliott helps businesses save money, improve efficiencies, and keep happy customers through professional coaching, training, and leadership development.

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Rotary International
Women Presidents Organization
Toastmasters International

How Dysfunction Is Draining Profits and Productivity

Although many business owners enable dysfunction in their companies, they do not do it on purpose. No leader would intentionally drain the profits from his company. No leader would diminish productivity in her company intentionally.  “Failure in the function of a system” defines dysfunction. Simply put, things aren’t working right. For example, a small but growing company has two partners who cannot be in the same room. One of them disagrees so fiercely with three recent hires that he has vowed never to come back to work in the office so long as they are there. Please bear in mind, after these employees were hired, work got done faster and with fewer errors. Plus, the atmosphere dramatically became more positive. Consider how expensive it is to operate in a dysfunctional culture: Unhappy employees, especially good ones, leave to work elsewhere Infighting among employees is the norm Work is below standard Leaders are not respected Deadlines mean nothing People avoid accountability Silos are common Despite its cost, companies and leaders tolerate dysfunction for multiple reasons. “This is how we do things.” “We know how to work with it.” “We do not know how to fix it.” “It’s too hard to change.” These are a few reasons leaders allow dysfunction to take root and to continue. How do you create a culture that’s working right? The short answer is one step at the time. 1)      Own the dysfunction. Be honest about the situation. It’s the only way to move forward.   2)      Build trust. Admit no one has all the answers, including the leader.   3)      Focus on critical areas of...


Ann Elliott helped us redefine our mission and improve our profitability. She accurately and quickly assessed the corporate culture. She helped RMC draw a road map to success. The map I was using prior to The Berkana Company led me in circles! My work is more fun now. Chris Ray

CEO, Receivables Management Corporation

Thanks to you I am more excited about my business than I have been in a long time. You have a way of working with people that never makes them feel like they failed or disappointed you. With your coaching and consulting I have achieved things that I had been putting off for a long time. Until I started working with you, I didn’t have the tools to make these changes. Initially this was like jumping off a cliff for me. Look what we have accomplished! Now I am able to dream of all sorts of possibilities. With gratitude and a new attitude… Debbie O’Farrell

President, Kamis Construction


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