Success Eats Charisma for Lunch

download (1)For many decades the phrase “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” has been floating around leadership development circles. It’s often attributed to Peter Drucker, the father of management, although that claim has yet to be substantiated. Nevertheless, I believe the phrase makes for some validate points. Strategy is generally a plan which is aimed at achieving success. However, every plan must be executed precisely to achieve the expected success. That takes people. Therein is where culture enters the picture. As I always say, “If you like logistics, you better love sociologistics because the complex planning, organization, and coordination of work is always superseded by human behavior and the ability to empower people to facilitate it. Without a positive workplace environment, and engaged as well as motivated employees, the greatest strategy in the world is destined to fail. Hence the quote, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” That doesn’t mean you should push strategy to the side and go all in on culture. What’s being implied is that you need both but culture must precede strategy.

When it comes to leadership development, I’m

Selecting Your First Project

imagesHaving completed your project management studies you may feel well equipped to take on anything, no matter how challenging. However, as I am sure you have observed, some projects are more difficult than others. It would not be a good idea to take on something that will have you quickly stressed and wondering if you’re ever going to be successful.

Project complexity is always important to understand and it is something to pay special attention to when you are starting out. When I look at complexity, I look at two major aspects of a project i.e. technical complexity and stakeholder complexity.

Technical complexity refers to the difficulty associated with delivering what you are intended to deliver. Clearly building a garden shed is a lot less complex than designing and developing a rocket. What is important for you, is to ensure that you take on something that you are confident you can progress from the technical standpoint. In this regard it would be good for you to project manage something that you personally know how to deliver. If you have been a developer

A Few Important Details About The Job Of A Management Consultant

downloadIn case you are concerned about how a business operates- its structure, strategy, operation and management, then a career in management consultancy will be the best option for you. The management consultants are really important for improving the growth and performance of the businesses by solving existing issues and finding better and new ways of doing things. It is not only meant for the private sector, but often these consultants’ work with the public organizations to develop the services and make savings while reducing the costs.

Management consultancy firms are well-known for offering services across different areas of business – starting from marketing and HR to finance and IT. The broad area of consulting makes management consulting a lucrative career option, while offering the consultants different types of challenges, opportunities and projects for personal development. This might include working all around the globe with the multinational clients, even if they don’t join any of the big organizations. The biggest consultancies mostly come with several thousand or at least hundreds of employees, but still a growing number of successful niche players between

Why Would Anyone Buy 36,000 KPIs

download (2)There is an ever-increasing supply of KPI libraries and lists available for sale. And they are HUGE. The collections are in the tens of thousands in general and in the hundreds and thousands for specific industries. They are meeting a trending demand in the market, but no one seems to realise the incorrect assumptions this trend is operating on.

Assumption 1: It’s quicker to bolt on KPIs than to design them.

That’s the delicious promise of spending a few bucks and instantly downloading a bunch of KPIs to pick from. Just search for your industry, your function, your activity and choose from the KPIs that are filtered out for you. But before long, you’ll discover that much more work is needed in getting the buy-in from people who the success of that KPI will depend on: the users, the data owners, and the process owners.

Assumption 2: It’s easy to choose the few KPIs that matter, from the many.

Even when you can shortlist the off-the-shelf KPIs with industry and function keywords, you still have to decide which of the dozens or hundreds

Must Haves in an Industry Analysis

As I have stated elsewhere in other blogs and articles, I believe that research is a critical component of good business and decision-making. Indeed, a business plan is worthless without solid research to back up statements and commentary on markets and the industry in which you operate. Furthermore, it is difficult to imagine strategy formulation without an understanding of your industry. Here’s a further thought: What industry are you in? I leave this question with you at this time!

We all bandy around the term ‘industry analysis’, but what is it, and what should a good industry analysis report contain?

Industry Analysis

Questions answered by an industry analysis include:

– What are the industry dominant economic traits?

– What competitive forces are at work in the industry and how strong are they?

– What are the forces of change in the industry and what impact will they have?

– Which companies are in the strongest/weakest competitive position?

– What key factors will determine success or failure?

– How attractive is the industry in terms of its prospects for above average profitability?

Industry Analysis Outline

Having identified the questions which should be answered by an industry analysis, the following list provides an outline of the report:

– Introduction

o Description

o Segments

o Caveats

– Socio-Economic

o

Brief Insight on Benefits of Inventory Planning & Factory Planning Over Spreadsheets

What are the disadvantages of using spreadsheet?

Spreadsheets have many disadvantages. Firstly, it cannot work or produce results when the products are mixed. Spreadsheets always assume a lead-time that is fixed which isn’t the case in real-time. Apart from this, there are many restrictions like product attributes, tool availability and setting up of times. All these features are not available in spreadsheets. Spreadsheets also allow users to change and manipulate the data very easily.

This is not good with respect to the aspect of security of data. The answer to this is specialized planning software. Even though some investment might be required in purchasing the software, yet they remove most of the problems and discrepancies present in spreadsheet.

What is meant by inventory planning and why is it important?

According to a few researches, Inventory Planning & Inventory Management is very important. Increasing the inventory efficiency and optimizing it can help to increase the share values as well as the share-holders of the company. This is because levels of the customer service will increase very quickly and the levels of inventory will be lowered throughout the chain of supplies. This project has very little amount of risk as is very likely to give good

Just How Important Is Gratitude To Your Team

As an IT manager, it is your job to motivate your team to accomplish great things! The big question that you have to answer is how to use your IT manager skills to get your team to work together. You have a lot of tools at your command: raises, promotions, bonuses, etc. However, what all of our IT manager training has been designed to teach us is what works best. What’s the answer to this question?

The Power Of Gratitude

It turns out that it’s not always easy for IT managers to express gratitude to those members of their team who work for them. It’s not necessarily that we don’t want to express gratitude, but it’s just that it’s so easy for us to forget to do it. About 80% of us understand the power of expressing gratitude to members of our team. However, only about 10% of us do it!

In surveys, workers have revealed that if the work that we are doing gets us both excited and interested in what we are doing, then we’ll give our best effort. This is especially true if we believe that the work that we are doing provides meaning and purpose and if others are

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Management Consultants How These Professionals Can Help

The term management consulting mainly indicates the practice of assisting companies to primarily improve their performances through in-depth analyzation of the existing issues in the businesses and therefore by offering the company people development plans for improvement. A management consultant is the person, who mostly does things, which are not complementary to what the client’s leadership is doing; in fact it actually makes up for the deficiencies.

The management consultants propose important ways to improve the efficiency of the companies. They also recommend the managers about the ways to make the companies more profitable through increased revenues and decreased costs.

Therefore, the companies that employ these consultants admit that their executive team members were unable to meet with the challenge before and after hiring the consultants, they have gained from the inflow more than what they have lost from the outflow of the details.

The management consultancies offer the services like development of coaching skills, organizational change management assistance, strategy development, technology implementation, operational improvement services and many more. Generally, the management consultants bring their own frameworks or proprietary methodologies to find the problems in a company and therefore to serve as the basis for the recommendations for more efficient or effective methods

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The Importance of Employee Management Software in a Modern Office

Former chairperson and CEO of Xerox Corporation, Anne Mulcahy, once said,

“Employees are a company’s greatest asset- they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission.”

If you are an organization that uses the Internet for everyday business practices, then there should nothing stopping you from going one step further and applying technology provided on the Internet to employee management.

Under piles of workloads, appointments, and meetings, it often becomes understandably difficult for a manager to give employees the time and attention, encouragement and stimulus that they deserve.
Making use of a company’s greatest assets – its human resources – to their fullest potential sometimes means adopting technology that efficiently tackles time constraints, management challenges, a employee dissatisfaction.

Has it Ever Worked? Yes!

Ever wondered what goes into making candy? The answer should be a large number of very satisfied workers. Or at least that’s what the Jelly Belly Candy Company of California believe.

The family-owned company takes its employee performance and job satisfaction very seriously.

They recently decided to make the switch from its antiquated talent management process to a far more modern and

Why Your Workplace Needs to Be a Classroom

I’ve written quite a bit about how and why leaders need to be continuous learners. I believe that, as a leader, if you’re not continuously – and intentionally – learning, then you’re not really a leader.

I mean, c’mon – would a real leader ever think, “Well, that’s it. I’ve learned everything I need to. My brain is full, so I’m done.” Outside of Congress, that is.

But let’s leave aside for a moment the question of whether you, the leader, are actively pursuing continuous learning, and let’s ask a different question:

What are you doing to foster continuous learning within your team?

Why is it so important to ensure that your team members have the opportunity to learn and grow in the workplace? Consider this:

  • Employees who feel that their workplace gives them an opportunity to grow are more engaged in their work.
  • Employees who are given the opportunity to learn and grow become more and more valuable to the team and the organization.
  • Employees who feel that their workplace gives them an opportunity to grow are less likely to leave, which increases retention and decreases the costs of replacement.
  • Continuous learning and growth throughout the organization is a major, sustainable competitive advantage.
  • Employees who are continuously learning

Did You Notice That All The Good IT Manager Jobs Are Going To Indians

Just to be very clear about things: this article has nothing to do with bashing Indian managers. You will not hear me complaining that “they are taking all of the good jobs”. You won’t hear this, because it’s simply not true – there are a lot of good IT manager jobs out there for all of us. However, when Google announced that they were reorganizing and promoting Sundar Pichai to the CEO position, it suddenly struck me that a lot of guys from India have been doing well lately. What’s up with this?

There Seems To Be Something Going On

So the promotion of Sundar to lead Google is a major success for him. However, it turns out that he’s not alone. A lot of Indian IT managers have been doing very well for themselves lately. The most famous of these is probably Satya Nadella. It was not all that long ago that he was promoted to become the CEO of Microsoft. When this happened, I suspect that there were a lot of people like myself who said “Who is Satya?”

I guess that I really should not have been all that surprised. For you see there are more and more big name

The Fourth Pillar of Financial Success

Growing a business takes lots of methodical planning which is why Financial Strategy is the final pillar of Financial Success. It focuses on analytics, pricing and strategies to grow your business once the record keeping is complete and once the financial management, solutions and systems are all in place.

See most people think that you can just put up a shingle and poof business will come. But it’s just not that simple. So if you think that’s the way it’s going to work then you should just close up shop now. Strategy is all about figuring out how you are going to reach your goals. Not throwing a dart into the dark and hoping to hit the mark; actually sitting down and figuring out what steps needed to be taken, what marketing strategy needs to be in place. For me this is the part of my business I enjoy the most – whether it’s for my company or my clients. I get excited about coming up with a plan and seeing the results of it actually working.

When developing your strategy, you need to sit down and figure out the who, what, when, where, why and how.

  • Who within your company will take

5 Steps to a Better Pet Boarding Business

Running a pet boarding business is both rewarding and exhausting. As a small business owner, you don’t have a lot of time to make extensive and chaotic changes to your business strategy. We’ve put together a few easy, and fairly quick, tips that you can use to increase your visibility, communicate more efficiently with your clients, and manage your business more smoothly.

Create a Successful Website

Optimizing your website does a variety of great things for your business, such as creating a positive first impression when people visit. When your site is easy to navigate and encourages people to engage with your content, the odds are that they will spend more time there. If your website is responsive and has a clear “Call to Action,” your visitors will know exactly how to proceed to the booking step when they are ready. A “Call to Action” is a clear prompt for your customers to proceed to the next step, such as booking a service with your business. Some small improvements that you can make to your website to optimize it are:

    • Create a “Call to Action” button on your website that allows clients to book services online quickly and easily. After looking over your

Did You Notice That All The Good IT Manager Jobs Are Going To Indians?

Just to be very clear about things: this article has nothing to do with bashing Indian managers. You will not hear me complaining that “they are taking all of the good jobs”. You won’t hear this, because it’s simply not true – there are a lot of good IT manager jobs out there for all of us. However, when Google announced that they were reorganizing and promoting Sundar Pichai to the CEO position, it suddenly struck me that a lot of guys from India have been doing well lately. What’s up with this?

There Seems To Be Something Going On

So the promotion of Sundar to lead Google is a major success for him. However, it turns out that he’s not alone. A lot of Indian IT managers have been doing very well for themselves lately. The most famous of these is probably Satya Nadella. It was not all that long ago that he was promoted to become the CEO of Microsoft. When this happened, I suspect that there were a lot of people like myself who said “Who is Satya?”

I guess that I really should not have been all that surprised. For you see there are more and more big name

Your Best Cattery, Right Meow!

Summer is here and you might find yourself thinking to yourself that making any change to your cattery is insane. Your facility is at maximum capacity every day, and you’ve got to ensure that your business runs smoothly. Fortunately, large changes aren’t necessary to ensure that you keep up the busy holiday momentum throughout the year. You might be surprised to learn that by making small changes to the way that you market your cat business you can attract more clients and increase your revenue. When prospective clients search for catteries, they often choose the one that has great amenities and that makes a positive first impression. So, the easiest way to make sure that your facility is seen in the best light is to optimize your website and social media. Your best cattery already exists… so let’s talk about how to market it to attract more customers and increase your revenue.

Clarity is Essential

Your cattery can benefit immensely from examining the wording on your website and other social media platforms to ensure that it conveys the right message. You want to make sure that your wording is clear and easy to understand. This can be achieved fairly easily by simply

Financial Strategy The Fourth Pillar of Financial Success

Growing a business takes lots of methodical planning which is why Financial Strategy is the final pillar of Financial Success. It focuses on analytics, pricing and strategies to grow your business once the record keeping is complete and once the financial management, solutions and systems are all in place.

See most people think that you can just put up a shingle and poof business will come. But it’s just not that simple. So if you think that’s the way it’s going to work then you should just close up shop now. Strategy is all about figuring out how you are going to reach your goals. Not throwing a dart into the dark and hoping to hit the mark; actually sitting down and figuring out what steps needed to be taken, what marketing strategy needs to be in place. For me this is the part of my business I enjoy the most – whether it’s for my company or my clients. I get excited about coming up with a plan and seeing the results of it actually working.

When developing your strategy, you need to sit down and figure out the who, what, when, where, why and how.

  • Who within your company will

Getting Your Team On Board With The Time Tracker

Time trackers helps many companies to realize successful time tracking policies in their businesses. This had certainly influenced the efficiency of their businesses a great deal. The most fortunate of them are the ones that got their staff to understand that the time tracker is a positive addition to their working style.

Tracking employees’ work day can be a difficult case to get people to buy into. There can be a slight disturbance among your workers. They might feel a bit annoyed that their work process is tracked because a manager or a CEO doesn’t trust them to do their assigned work.

However, there is no need for them to feel so. To convince your employees that it’s important to track time is critical if you want them to get on board with what a company or a project’s team tries to get to finish.

There are some useful tips you can make use of to get employees on board with the time tracker:

Point out that it is in place to make a company more successful through keeping track of project costs.

By having employees track their time on the tasks that they carry out, the project manager can readily point to their team

The Appearance of Non-Leaders

I suppose it is not surprising that when there is a leadership vacuum all sorts of non-leaders seek to fill it! Much has been written about leaders but what about non-leaders? Well here is my attempt at identifying non-leaders in a leadership contest. Use the following eight descriptions to weed out anyone applying for a leadership role in your organisation. I am going to focus on non-leadership language!

Here are eight descriptions:

A non-leader is someone who says:

1. ‘I am not really a leader’. Intriguing! Then why are you standing for a leadership role?

2. ‘I would not describe myself as charismatic.’ Great! Then how would you describe yourself? Perhaps dull?

3. ‘I don’t rely on specialists’. Really! Then who do you rely on… idiots?

4. ‘I can deliver a better future.’ Interesting! What exactly is this better future and for whose benefit? Yours I suppose!

5. ‘My theory is this… ‘ Go on, tell us more! Theories are like arseholes, everyone has one!

6. ‘Let me say what a great job my predecessor has done.’ Oh, right! That’s the predecessor you have insulted in public and stabbed in the back!

7. ‘My plans are laid out in this 5,000 word document.’ Gosh, that’s impressive. But powerful plans

The Questions Which Will Undermine Your Training

You’re just about to start a training session. You’re all prepared, you’ve got all your resources and materials. You know exactly what you’re going to cover and how you want to deliver it. Your group are sitting in front of you waiting for the session to start.

But wait… what’s that above their heads? It’s a giant thought bubble! And what’s in that thought bubble? Questions! Oh no, what’s happening? How can you start your session when all these questions keep appearing? How can you get rid of them?

What are you going to do?

One thing you have to accept when you are about to start a training session is that your group will have a lot of questions in their heads. And, if you don’t do anything about them, they will get in the way of your training. In fact, they may completely undermine all your efforts.

So one of your first tasks has to be to address these questions and get them out of the way.

What are these questions? Here are the most common ones:

  • What is this about?
  • Why am I here? (Or maybe) Why was I sent here?
  • What will I get out of this? What’s in it for me?
  • Who is this

Six Leadership Lessons From Game of Thrones Season Six

**** SPOILER ALERT****

****Contains Spoilers from Game of Thrones Season Six****

Game of Thrones is a world of alliances and competition, politics, powerbrokers, fair and failed leaders, trust, deception, limited resources, plus a few dragons. It shouldn’t be surprising that it’s a world filled with leadership lessons delightfully delivered by our most loved, and hated, characters. In honor of Season Six, here are six lessons all business leaders can learn from Game of Thrones.

Lesson 1. Be self-aware.

Know who you are, warts and all. As a leader, this is a critical characteristic for your success. Tyrion Lannister advises Jon Snow, “Never forget who you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness.” This bit of wisdom served Jon well as he grew into the leader we love today. The advice serves just as well for you, whether you are a leader of a team, or the leader of a business.

Good leaders have an accurate understanding of their own selves, their motivations, values, weaknesses, strengths, vulnerabilities, and needs. Great leaders use this understanding to make changes in themselves. Jon didn’t set out to be a leader. He changed and grew. Tyrion helped by encouraging