Is Your Funeral Home In Danger of Becoming Irrelevant?

January 15, 2013
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Guest article from: Alan Creedy and originally appeared on the FuneralOne Blog

Are you in danger of becoming irrelevant?  Sometimes it’s easy to fall down that slippery slope.  Countless funeral organizations have achieved this dubious distinction.

Here are the warning signs of becoming irrelevant:

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  • Facilities are outdated and tired looking
  • Staff are disengaged, marking time and unmotivated
  • More time is spent whining than doing
  • Making the excuse that “customers just aren’t like they used to be”
  • Preoccupation with the past – and no time spent on the future
  • Expectation that tomorrow will be just like today…and it is
  • No one exploring the big issues like:
    • Where do we need to be?
    • What do we need to do?
    • How do we change?
    • How can we be better?
  • Feeling of being trapped
  • Absentee ownership

Wise words from Nick Saban, Football Coach, University of Alabama

Recently, I heard Nick Saban share one of the ways he motivates his Alabama Football Team, “We didn’t come here to be irrelevant!” he tells them. It’s a wake up call.  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t come here to be irrelevant. I don’t think you did either. Admittedly, things in Death Care have been trending negatively for several years now,  but when I listen to a lot of us, it sounds like we think it’s hopeless. I vigorously disagree. Nothing is ever so bad you can’t do something.  Maybe it’s time to sell.  But…maybe it’s time to decide you don’t want to sell.  Maybe it’s time to admit you aren’t a great leader, and find a mentor to help you learn to be a better one. There are lot’s of things we can do but the first step is to…

Look beyond your circumstances

You see, if you only look at your circumstances, your circumstances are in control. The burden of the present is simply too much.  Research shows that those who candidly face reality but never stop believing the future can be better, have a much better chance of succeeding than those who give up. Makes sense, doesn’t it?  When we look beyond our circumstances we start seeing things as they could be instead of the way they are. We gain a sense that it isn’t the beginning of the end… but only the end of the beginning.

The takeaway

Dying is one thing that will never go out of style.  People will always die. How they choose to interact with that event or process is the only thing in play.  Right now, we have the “Home Field Advantage”. What will we do with it?  So far…not much. But that can change.  And if history is any indicator, it will. Stand up, get back in the fight, learn to think for yourself and stay away from depressing people…you can’t afford to let them bring you down.   What are some other signs of becoming irrelevant? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Alan Creedy

In addition to the weekly Creedy Commentary, I frequently contribute to industry trade journals and speak at trade conventions.Among my affiliations outside the DeathCare industry are The Center For Creative Leadership, The Performance Institute and Human Synergistics.
I believe in giving back and so was recently honored to serve as Chairman of the Funeral Service Foundation.
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