Jeanne Coughlin Appointed Vice Chair of The JumpStart Inc. Board of Directors

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CLEVELAND – March 4, 2019 – Jeanne Coughlin, founder and president of The Coughlin Group Inc., a consultancy specializing in strategic planning for family businesses, has been appointed to the position of Vice Chair, Board of Directors, JumpStart, Inc.

Coughlin was appointed to the JumpStart Board in August 2016 and serves as Chair of the Revenue Committee and as a business mentor. She joins new Board Chair, Gary Shamis, new Vice Chair Ellen Burts-Cooper, and current Vice Chair Patrick Pastore. JumpStart released the full leadership announcement on February 28, 2019.

Founded in 2003, JumpStart was created as a partnership between public and private entities charged with creating economic transformation in Northeast Ohio through the growth of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. The organization’s mission is to strengthen the economic vitality of Northeast Ohio and the U.S. by helping communities realize their entrepreneurial potential.

“I am excited to take this next step with the JumpStart Board and continue its mission to elevate the people and businesses the organization serves," said Coughlin.

About JumpStart, Inc.

JumpStart unlocks the full potential of diverse and ambitious entrepreneurs to economically transform entire communities. Learn more at www.JumpStartInc.org

About Jeanne Coughlin, President, Coughlin Group Inc.

Since 1993, Jeanne has worked closely with family business owners and management teams to help with strategic planning, to identify what actually needs to get done, to enhance operational efficiency, and improve culture. Her mission is to be a catalyst for the prosperity and success of privately-held and family businesses. To accomplish this mission, she created the CG one Process, a practical business planning and performance management system that gets the entire management team moving in one direction, with one vision, working from one plan.

    •    Certified Strategic Planning Facilitator, Peter Drucker Leader to Leader Institute

    •    Certified Stages of Growth Strategist & licensee of the One Page Business Plan System®

    •    Published Author: Featured Book Award from Harvard Working Knowledge Group, “The Rise of Women Entrepreneurs.”

    •    Certified Professional Certified Professional Behavior & Values Analyst

    •    Chapter Chair & Facilitator, WPO (peer advisory group for women business owners)

Coughlin serves as Vice Chair of the Board of JumpStart and chairs the Revenue Committee. She was chairman of COSE (Council of Smaller Enterprises) in 2004-2005 and was formerly a board member for GCP (Greater Cleveland Partnership), Team NEO, NSBA (National Small Business Association), and Mercy Hospital. She is a graduate of the 2003 Leadership Cleveland class, and was selected as a Women of Note by Crain’s Cleveland Business. Jeanne was also recognized with the Entrepreneurial Leadership Award presented by Cleveland State University for her “dedicated work advocating on behalf of small business.”

Learn more at www.CGroupInc.com.

This Simple Law of Physics Will Change Your Business

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“The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature.” —Arthur Eddington

Have you ever heard of the Second Law of Thermodynamics? Unless you were an engineering major probably not, but it’s a fundamental law of the universe which dramatically impacts your business every day.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the entropy of a closed system will never decrease. Entropy is the natural tendency of things to lose order. 

Here's the important thing about entropy: it always increases over time, which means that left to its own devices, life will always become less structured, everything will decay, and disorder always increases.

The article Entropy: Why Life Always Seems to Get More Complicated, by James Clear, gives a great explanation of entropy and how it impacts our personal and business lives.

As James points out, “You can fight back against the pull of entropy. You can repair equipment. You can clean a messy office. You can organize individuals into a cohesive team.  But because the universe naturally slides toward disorder, you must expend energy to create stability, structure, and simplicity. Successful relationships require care and attention. Successful houses require cleaning and maintenance. Successful teams require communication and collaboration. Without effort, things will decay.

This insight—that disorder will increase over time and that we must exert effort to create order has dramatic implications to your business.

Think of all the systems you’ve created in your business and then ask yourself what structure you’ve put in place to counteract the pull of entropy? We wouldn’t think twice about the need for continuous improvement and maintenance for the machines in our companies, and yet our systems related to people and planning often limp along without an eye toward continuous improvement or even a yearly refresh.  

I see this in the way many organizations approach their business planning. Teams get together for an off-site retreat and a plan gets created that everyone feels good about. And then entropy takes over—the plan ‘sits on a shelf,’ and isn’t reviewed on a regular basis. There’s not consistent, on-going energy expended towards keeping the plan current, relevant and responsive to the day to day disorder that affects it.

So, consider reviewing your planning system like a scientist, and ask yourself how you’re fighting the forces of entropy. How often are you checking back in with your team to solicit their input? What about adjusting the key performance indicators to respond to changing variables in the marketplace. Are you getting the team back together on a consistent basis to review and refresh the plan at least monthly or at a minimum quarterly?

If there isn’t a system in place to keep your plans fresh, then they’re already out of date and sliding into a state of being irrelevant.