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In This Issue
A Little Lucite Goes a Long Way!
Talent Show on the Tarmac
How SCS Can Help Your Firm
SCS e-xpress Mar/Apr 2010
compass-2A Message from Sarah & Chris:

The theme of this issue is "values."  
 
Why are values so important?  Values are an integral part of our lives.  Corporate values, along with meaningful vision and mission statements, provide the strategic direction for a company.  In a well-constructed business plan, a company's vision and mission statements tell the employees where they need to get, while the company's goals, objectives and strategies tell them how to get there.  A company's values foster a culture in the workplace and serve as the compass to guide the employees along the path to success.  Similarly, our own personal values provide a moral compass to guide us in both our professional and our personal lives.
 
As you read on, think about whether you can clearly identify your company's values or your own personal values.  Have you taken the time to write them down to ensure that you live each day by those values? 

We hope you enjoy our free SCS e-newsletter.  Please let send us your ideas and suggestions for future issues.  Have a great day!  
Where We'll Be
Chicago, IL
05/10/10 - 05/12/10
 
San Antonio, TX 
06/02/10 - 06/04/10
 
Amelia Island, FL 
06/06/10 - 06/08/10
 
Los Angeles, CA
07/18/10 - 07/20/10
 
Matrix U Sessions
Keystone, CO
08/22/10 - 08/25/10
 
Chicago, IL
10/06/10 - 10/08/10
 
National Harbor, MD
10/17/10 - 10/20/10
Today's Tips
The 2010 edition of the
ERISA Outline Book, by
Sal L. Tripodi, is now available 
in print or online format.      
 
Distinguish your firm by earning the ASPPA Recordkeeper Certification.  To learn more about this quality program and how it can elevate your firm to a new level, click here...
Today's Quotes
"It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are."
 - Roy Disney, producer and film writer (Walt Disney's nephew)
 
"Values provide perspective in the best of times and the worst." 
- Charles Garfield, author and motivational speaker 
Today's Laugh
"If we learn from our mistakes, some of us are getting a great education!"
 signs 
 
A Little Lucite Goes a Long Way!
Communicating Values

"Integrity - We work with customers and prospects openly, honestly and sincerely.  When we say we will do something, we will do it; when we say we cannot or will not do something, then we won't do it."  

"Excellence - We are satisfied with nothing less than the very best in everything we do.  We will continue to raise the bar for everyone.  The great fun here will be for all of us to discover just how good we can really be." 

Can you guess the company that published the above values statements?
Enron Corporation (circa 2001).   A shocking reminder of what can happen to a company when values lose their meaning.  How can you keep the corporate values alive in your firm?  Here's one retirement services firm's approach:        
 
Three brightly painted Lucite panels - INTEGRITY, LIFE-LONG LEARNING, OBJECTIVITY - greet customers and employees who walk into the TPA's office.   Displaying the company's core values in a creative, bold and larger than life way underscores their importance to the firm's success and reminds everyone of what the company values most.  From day-to-day work to employee performance reviews, these values are core to everything that happens in this firm's workplace.
                                               
    Talent Show on the Tarmac   
           Living the Values
 
Chris was trapped in a plane on the tarmac.  The prospect of being the 26th plane in a long line waiting to take off once the weather cleared didn't paint a pretty picture. Fortunately, Chris was flying Southwest Airlines.  But this time while she was stuck on the ground, "time flew by."  Why?  Because Southwest Airlines empowers their employees! 
 
The lead stewardess took charge and used the "down time" to host an impromptu talent show.  Passengers were encouraged to come up to the microphone and sing a song or tell a funny story or joke. Of course, there were rules:  keep the content kid-friendly and politically correct. A few of the stewards and stewardesses got the show "off the ground" with their own talent displays.  Audience participation was overwhelming!  When the pilot announced that the plane would be cleared for takeoff soon and everyone needed to take their seats, Chris admits she had mixed feelings about the fun coming to an end.  However, as it usually does with Southwest, the fun continued in other ways during the flight.  
 
How does Southwest empower its employees to be so creative "on the fly?" Their mission statement reads: "The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit." Their Web site also tells us that their number one priority is safety, and beyond that, they believe in living by the Golden Rule and the "Southwest Way" - which is to have a "Warrior Spirit, a Servant's Heart and a Fun-LUVing Attitude."  The company and the employees live these values every day.  Read more about the "Southwest Way" here...
How SCS Can Help Your Firm...
 
From vision, mission and values statements - to identification of goals, objectives and strategies, SCS can help you create or update and document your business plan.  We can also help you prepare for the ASPPA Recordkeeper Certification process.  Learn more about the SCS business planning process here...
 
What Our Customers are Saying...
 
"SCS provided a framework and a focus to help us create a living, breathing document that is a roadmap for our firm's future. In most companies, people at the top know where they are going - but the employees struggling to get the work done are often in the dark about the company direction. If you don't tell them where you want to go, you probably won't get there. A written business plan allows you to do that."  
- Ken Ingham, President and CEO, Ingham Retirement Group
                              
"SCS helped us organize and document a comprehensive business plan. SCS's general business consulting experience combined with their knowledge of the pension industry made our business plan specific and relevant. The plan was a critical piece in our successful completion of the ASPPA Recordkeeper Certification."
- Craig Suemori, CPC, QPA, QKA, Suemori & Inouye
   
Power of 3 Retirement Industry Update Workshop
   
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