Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

Taking the Planning Plunge

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Plan-Perform-Score

Do’s & Dont’s

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

SOME DO’S AND DONT’S OF THE PROCESS

You’re finally going to do it. You are a born again believer in the benefits of business and strategic planning. To prepare you for the plunge here’s some rules of the road to guide you through the process.

The planning process can be exhilarating, frustrating, enlightening, demanding and a host of other descriptive adjectives. Hopefully you’ll find a nugget or two in these do’s and don’ts that will keep the emphasis on the positives of your unique organizational growth experience. Carpe Diem!

“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.“-Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Criteria For Your Management Information

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

What should I look at?

Look Carefully

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

HOW TO EVALUATE WHAT YOU NEED

We all need good information to monitor and manage our organizations. We need timely, efficient and effective management information to drive the decision-making process. To meet these needs, managers should be aware of the available criteria for a proper evaluation.

“You can not feed the hungry on statistics.“-Wilfred Laurier

The following 14 evaluative criteria are offered as a frame of reference for the planning, developing and monitoring of organizational information needs.

It is important to note that proper use of the criteria will involve the assessment of qualitative as well as quantifiable attributes and will require dealing in the unfamiliar and uncomfortable qualitative arena. Also, since the criteria will not generally carry equal weight, management will need an adequate grasp of the critical criteria of its own organization. Use of the evaluative criteria should, however, provide a framework for “relative ranking” of competing data requests and thus allow for a rational allocation of available organizational resources. The evaluation job will still be difficult, but a systematic approach should increase the likelihood that all the “bases” will be covered.

WHAT CRITERIA  TO LOOK FOR: 14 TO BENCHMARK AGAINST (more…)

Keep Your Pulse On Developing Tools

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

What's new in the Crystal Ball?

What’s New?

Use Tools Wisely

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

SEVEN QUESTIONS FOR YOUR PLANNING MODEL

Technology and alternate ways of doing things are always in a state of flux. Whether it’s outsourcing some of your operations or looking at techniques that aid your decision process, it’s important to keep emerging tools and practices on your radar screen.

One example is the evolving nature of financial planning and analysis software that transcends beyond traditional spreadsheet tools. Do you ever wish you had a crystal ball to aid your business decision process? Would you use such a tool if it was available? With operations becoming more and more complex, having the ability to anticipate, analyze and assess alternate strategies BEFORE committing valuable time and resources is becoming vital.

Anyone who says businessmen deal in facts, not fiction, has never read old five-year projections.“-Malcolm Forbes

Does your current financial forecasting model provide answers to these  SEVEN TYPICAL INQUIRIES? (more…)

The Art of Balance

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

What's the Best Path?

Wobble Wobble

I’m King of the World

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

LIFE IS EVER CHANGING & DYNAMIC

Do you remember the challenge, the fear, and the thrill of learning to ride your bike as a child? Do you remember how proud you felt when you finally got the upper hand on gravity? Didn’t you feel like standing on your handle bars and screaming “I’m King of the World!” You had acquired the “art of balance” to keep your peddling in a mostly forward, albeit erratic, direction. Life was grand.

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you need to keep moving.“-Albert Einstein

Well, balance remains a big part of our lives. It just takes on different forms when we grow up. I emphasize the art of balance since feeling might be more relevant than logic in determining the current state of balance in our lives. Although it’s a personal process and a private journey, here are a few questions to kick-start your assessment:

First, what does your gut tell you? Are the various components of your life in balance? Do you work to live or live to work? Are you becoming multi-dimensional or one-dimensional?

At Work: (more…)

It Looks the Same to Me!

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

What's the Best Path?

It's in the eye of the beholder

What do you see?

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

OUR PERCEPTUAL BIAS

Do you tend to see what you’ve always seen? Do your past experiences prevent you from seeing things from a fresh perspective?

Beware: limited perceptions can create some powerful mind traps. They become subtle tendencies in the way we view the world and can impede our ability to find creative solutions to problems and opportunities.

Let me share a few related stories from Robert Pirsig the author of the philosophical masterpieces Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and Lila.

“For every fact there is an infinity of hypotheses.” -Robert Pirsig

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Managing Change: The Paralysis of Inaction

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

What's the Best Path?

What’s the Best Path?

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

MOVEMENT HAS IT’S OWN BENEFITS

“I used to think I was indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.” Does this describe your organization and how it deals with change? One could make a pretty compelling argument that General Motors suffered from this type of malaise for decades. Whether it is too little or too late for GM is certainly up for debate. But you have to respect their recent proactive course of action. The former giant is now in the role of the underdog but at least they are doing something. Commitment and execution are excellent attributes to embrace.

“Indecision may or may not be my problem.” -Jimmy Buffett

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Be Careful How You Keep Score

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

What's the Score?

What’s the Score?

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

WHAT YOU SCORE CAN IMPACT HOW YOUR TEAM BEHAVES

Does your score keeping drive desired performance? Or does it produce individual and group behavior that conflicts with your primary goals and objectives? Finding the right metrics is not always an easy task. Be aware of the pitfalls that can happen if they are not the right ones.

People can and do change their behavior when they are measured, but it’s not always in the desired direction. Let me share with you a few related stories I’ve heard over the years:

“Tell me how you’ll measure me and I’ll tell you how I’ll behave.” -Famed management guru Eli Goldratt

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The Inherent Value of Competition

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

What a Blast!

What a Ride!

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

COMPETITORS  SHARPEN YOUR FOCUS

A few years ago I remember watching the on again, off again, on again, launch status of  the space shuttle Discovery over the July 4th holiday. Having grown up in the 60’s I still marvel at each launch and think of the millions of events that take place with each flight.

In recent years it seems NASA has been dealing with an increasingly skeptical public and vocal policy opponents who want to severely limit or eliminate NASA’s future projects.

Maybe I’m in the minority but I’m nostalgic for the excitement, optimism, and commitment that President Kennedy triggered in America in 1961 when he challenged us to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade. What a vision and what a mission! And what an exhilarating time for every citizen of the country to witness and enjoy the patriotic pride of the remarkable progress towards the achievement of that lofty goal in July 1969.

“When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.” -Leo Burnett

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Score Only What is Helpful

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Are you working on the unnecessary?

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

TRACKING ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Does your score keeping track useful metrics? Or does it produce data that no one really uses? Finding the right metrics is not always an easy task. A good place to start is to challenge what you are currently producing. Who gets it? Do they use it? Is it what they need?

Times do change! What might have been helpful in 1975 might no longer does the trick. Let me share with you a story about a new plant manager we’ll call Tom who was assigned to turn around a troubled manufacturing facility several decades ago.

“We are glutted with data and yet there is a shortage of wisdom”- Michael Toms

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Can Banks Be Values-Driven?

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Vancouver, home of 2010 Olympics
Click more

enlightened orgs: inspiration

IS THE WORD -VALUES-AN OXYMORON IN THE BANKING INDUSTRY?

VANCITY IS PROOF POSITIVE -IT IS NOT

VanCity, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, is in its sixth decade of operation, offering a form of social and spiritual capitalism that proves doing business in alignment with high values and integrity can also be profitable.

This unique blend of more than-a-credit-union and more than-a-bank, is a breath of fresh air in the midst of the tornadeo of devastation wrecked by banking institutions whose operating philosophies are more of a testament to the capitalistic prophecies born out of the ancient Greek myth of Erisychthon.

NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE MYTH?…

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Unintended Consequences

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

The Main Road has many Off-shoots.Beware the Road Ahead

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES: SOME GOOD & SOME NOT SO GOOD

It is the nature of human decision making that no matter what course of considered action, there generally are some resulting unintended (and generally unforeseen) consequences. You don’t have to search to far for many examples that permeate our society.

For instance who could have foreseen the chain of events a few years ago from Don Imus making his insensitive remarks on the air…………. to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine being badly injured in a car crash while on the way to hear Mr. Imus apologize to the Rutgers Women’s basketball team?

“You cannot always predict the results of purposeful action. Life is frequently too complicated and unpredictable, the universe too random, to bend to the will of any individual or group of individuals.”- Steven Gillion

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What Are The Disconnects In Your Organization?

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Are you missing some pieces?Are you missing some pieces?

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

WHAT ARE THE PEBBLES IN YOUR ORGANIZATIONAL SHOES?

Every organization has some disconnects in their business model or operations. Acknowledging that fact is a healthy first step. Some are obvious while many lurk undetected due to complacency, cultural blinders or simply bad habits.

Some are internal inconsistencies which in theory are easier to fix while some are due to external factors which might be beyond the control of the impacted organization.

If you have the courage to look there are some steps your can employ to improve the situation.

Our team is well balanced. We have problems everywhere. – Tommy Prothro

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Will Health Be The Biggest Erosion Of Your Wealth?

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

When Health Erodes Wealth

corporate mindshift: management

MARKET DECLINES ARE NOT YOUR BIGGEST THREAT

Baby boomers are quaking over the 30 – 50% erosion of their retirements funds, while the biggest threat facing the status of their long-term financial well-being may be closer to home, and within their control.

The winning secret of hockey’s all-time great, Wayne Gretsky, has been much quoted and has relevance in being on top of your financial-future game. Gretsky said the key to his success was simply, “I don’t go to where the puck is…I go to where the puck will be.”

Today we have a lot of pre-retirees, baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964, now ranging in age from 45-63, anxiously looking over the shoulders of their financial planners, wondering how to recover the retirement loses they have seen in the past year.

BUT WHERE WILL THE PUCK BE?…

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Perception Is Powerful

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Perception polls for your organization
click to enlarge

law of attraction: responsibility

HOW THE WORLD SEES POWER

In an annual perception survey, international polling firm, Globescan, released results for 2009, finding the US reversing a previous downward trend in how the world perceives its ability to exert a positive impact, from a low of 28% in 2005, to a new high of 40% in February, 2009. The improvement is believed to be linked to the election of Barak Obama.

With the question, “Please tell me if you think each of the following are having a mainly positive or mainly negative influence in the world,Globescan, in partnership with PIPA, the Program on International Policy Attitudes and the University of Maryland, have compiled results of “perception of influence” of approximately 16 states (varies somewhat annually) as ranked by 13,000 (at times as high as 33,000) people in 26 countries since 2004.

IS IT TIME FOR PERCEPTION CHECKS IN YOUR BUSINESS?…

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And The History Will Rock…

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Ongoing History of New Music with Alan Cross
Check out episode transcripts, schedules, and more!

music & arts: The Ongoing History
By Nick Corsi

What is alternative rock?

I have always been a big Alternative Rock fan. What is alternative rock? Well, you could categorize it using a number of sub-genres such as grunge, punk, indie, hardcore, metal, or any off-shoot that isn’t completely mainstream. The last 40 years have provided an explosion in the amount of genres rock n roll has to offer. Classifying, categorizing, and placing different artists in the proper labels is incredibly difficult. But I know a guy who can give you a little help if this is something you want to tackle…

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Nature Can Trigger A Mindshift

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Jasper, Alberta
amazing sunset

corporate mindshift: management

HOW DOES A MINDSHIFT OCCUR?

As difficult as it may be to grasp, solutions to business and personal issues will come from places you least expect…when you are in the right mindset.

In our current global economic reality, things can seem overwhelming. Are there really any new ways to resolve seemingly complex issues?

“How will I keep my company afloat when it seems the problems are of such a magnitude that I cannot even relate to them.”

“How will I keep my job when the solutions seem to be so out of my control?”

FIRST…FORGET ABOUT WORKING HARDER!

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We Deliver ‘Wow’ Through Service

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Passion for Service
click zappos.com

enlightened orgs: inspiration

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PASSION

I discovered our Enlightened Corporation for this week while watching a segment of the Oprah show in which she interviewed young, self-made millionaires.

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, was one of the guests. He is a great inspiration, a model CEO of a model corporation, for our Enlightened Orgs directory.

His business achievements are certainly significant for such a young man. While still in his twenties, Hsieh (SHAY), a computer undergraduate from Harvard, co-founded an internet advertising agency called LinkExchange, which was sold to Microsoft for $265 million in 1998. But it was actually his business philosophy or mindset, that really caught my attention.

“I AM NOT NECESSARILY PASSIONATE ABOUT SHOES…WHAT I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT IS…

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Get Thee Some Advisors

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Who's Helping You?Who’s Helping You?

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

AN ADVISORY BOARD

King Arthur had his Knights of the Round Table. Shouldn’t you have a similar team of sage advisors? Keep in mind that even Tiger Woods has a coach.

Most business owners have an aversion towards a formal board of directors and in today’s litigious society, formal board members are harder to entice. But there is an attractive alternative. It’s called an Advisory Board. The informality and flexibility give it it’s power. Here are some suggestions to consider in the formation and continuance of such a group.

Teamwork is essential. It allows you to blame someone else. – Finagle’s Eighth Rule

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Slow Money

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Will YOU save the planet for me?

enlightened orgs: inspiration

SLOW AND STEADY

Will we sleep better knowing we have made a few million dollars on a “paper” orsecurity” that is not tied to something tangible and could collapse at any minute? … or will we leave this world pleased we have restored the planet to the beauty and abundance it once held for all?

We had the Slow Food industry, as a backlash to unhealthy eating, now Woody Tasch has initiated his Slow Money movement to offset the lust for speedy profits, at any cost. Tasch is our honored CEO of Enlightened Orgs for the work he is doing to bring sensibility to a world made giddy by financial greed.

THE MOST POWERFUL SOLUTIONS ARE OFTEN THE SIMPLEST…

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Is Your Style a Good Fit?

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Do You Have the Right Hat On?Do You Have On The Right Hat ?

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

How does your management style impact the success of your organization? Is it beneficial or does it hinder performance? Do you realize how significant your management style is to your image, culture and overall achievement?

These are powerful questions that require an honest assessment, some time to reflect, a focused insight on the implications and consideration for possible change.

“The secret of successful managing is to keep the five guys who hate you away from the five guys who haven’t made up their minds.” -Casey Stengel

TWELVE  QUESTIONS FOR YOUR MANAGEMENT STYLE

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