Archive for the “Management” Category
So many of us from time to time reflect on how little time we have. Our life seems to consist of running from meeting to meeting, taking care of urgent issues, answering a never ending flood of emails, answering phone calls and sms’s, attending teleconferences, reading truckloads of documents…
I am supremely confident that many of you know exactly what I am talking about. Have you ever wondered why you sometimes feel overwhelmed and question your efficiency? Well, well, well, it’s about time that we started talking about the difference between efficiency and effectiveness. We all know that I hear you say. Just a second, do we really? If we did would we have so many issues with lack of time?
Here are few tips on how to address it:
- To Do, or not To Do? All jokes aside, writing a “To Do” list is a simple yet powerful tool. It allows you to see what needs to be done, prioritise tasks and see if you are making progress.
- Not everything that you do can be equally urgent, so prioritise. Develop your people by allowing them to step up and take some of your responsibility. It will allow them to get a better understanding of the business. They may also come up with good ideas on how to make things better. I know that this is very difficult but you have to. You know you can.
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Could those of you who prospered during the GFC please stand up? No? Not you?
The majority of companies did not. You are in good company. Quick look around and think… major banks, corporate, manufacturers had the same problem your company did. This comparison makes you feel better, it is not only you. You are starting to look for justification. It’s the government, the economy, competition, the CUSTOMER! Don’t they know that your product/service/offering is superior? You spent time, invested in research and development. But “THEY” don’t get it.
You use web, you Google… John and Ann (your employees) suggested that your company should allow the use of iPhone, facebook, YouTube, twitter… They suggested that it can be used to promote your company, market products, stay in touch with customers… You know better, they just want to stay in touch with their friends at company expense. You have no time for this “kids stuff”. You can hardly keep up with your email and answer them all. Sounds familiar?
Now for the reality check:
“Facebook Is the Main Web Source for Product Opinions. In online social networks, 62% of all messages about products and services are posted via just one platform: Facebook”
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This is a must read. This short story was prepared by HBR and I thought I should share it with you.
A leader who pushes a change agenda too hard risks building resistance and resentment, or even alienating his people. Here are three ways you can challenge the prevailing wisdom and make change happen quietly:
- Model the change. Demonstrate the way you want things to change through your own language and behavior. Often, seeing a leader do something first gives people the courage to try it themselves.
- Turn negatives into positives. Find ways to reframe people’s resistance as opportunities for change. This requires that you listen carefully, understand the underlying reasons for the opposition, and address them directly.
- Find allies. Chances are someone else in the organization wants the change as badly as you do. Find that person and pool your resources and ideas
Today’s Management Tip was adapted from HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Change.
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We all have been there… at times we wish for more privacy. This HBR advice is worth a read.
With offices becoming more physically and metaphorically open, the privacy of a room with a closed door can be difficult to find. More often, everyone from the CEO to the receptionist is visible to everyone else.
This level of exposure can encourage transparency but can also put you on display in fragile moments when you are stressed or upset. Next time you feel like you might lose your cool (and who hasn’t had these moments?), take note of where you are. If you might be observed by others, take a deep breath or a drink of water. If that doesn’t do the trick, get outside. In these new open work spaces, it’s critical to maintain professionalism by being calm and supportive of others, and by doing your venting somewhere private.
Today’s Management Tip was adapted from “The No-Drama Rule of Management” by Peter Bregman.
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We’ve experienced the global GFC and hopefully learned from it. One would start to wonder what got us there? What went wrong? Many prestigious business schools are busy collecting data. I am sure that we will start hearing more and more of their opinions and the initial results of studies.
Let me be a little controversial here.
My belief is that we need to search for and develop new leadership skills. Skills that we do not have, skills that will allow us to be agile yet pay attention to risks and be able to see the consequences of the potential of another crisis.
I see you shaking your head and saying…
Why do we need “new skills”? What is wrong with the “current skill set”? After all we invested in our current leaders, paid handsomely for their various degrees (Law, Accounting, Leadership, MBA…)
There is a danger that once the GFC pain is over we may revert to doing what we learned in 20th century and the first decade of the current millennium. In a nutshell those were the skills we relied on and skills that got us into the GFC pain. Read the rest of this entry »
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Do you want to know how to fail with your projects? In this light-hearted view of project management, I’ll tell you how to go about everything wrong! Yes you heard me right. That way, you can learn what NOT to do on your project. Hope it helps!
Step 1 – Never Plan. “What’s the point of planning when no-one follows my plans anyway? My plans get printed, forgotten and put on the shelf. I’m just going to roll my sleeves up and get stuck in to the project?”
Step 2 – Don’t Communicate. “Why do I have to tell everyone what’s happening all the time? It’s pointless. All they have to know is what their daily task list is. Communication takes too much time. It’s not worth it!”
Step 3: Forget leadership, it’s over-rated. “My team had better do their job or else they will get a kick up the bum when I come into the office tomorrow. You have to constantly crack the whip to get your staff to work effectively.”
Step 4 – Fall in love with Scope Creep. “Who cares if the customer has asked for more changes. If the project is late then it’s their fault. If they want to constantly change the scope of the project, then I’m not going to stop them.”
Step 5 – Forget your customer once the project has started. “Once I have my customer’s approval, I don’t need to hear from them until the project’s complete. The less I involve them in the project, the less havoc they can wreak. If I don’t talk to them then they won’t hassle me.”
Based on advice from Method123
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So many of us know person X or person Y or person Z. What do they have in common? They are always busy, have little time for anything and anyone. They are often subject matter experts who know more than most others. They try to help everyone and as a result end up with more things to do than they can handle. We try to help them by allocating resource (say Paul) to help them. Do they appreciate our help? NO. “I’ll do it faster if I do it myself” they say, another classic is “I don’t have time to teach Paul, I am simply too busy doing (enter here long list of tasks that they have to accomplish)”. By now you will have realised that I am talking about “Hero”.
To be a Smart Leader “Hero” may consider the following strategies:
- Learn the art of delegation. There is only so much you can handle. Spend time teaching others and share your knowledge.
- Start small. Break complex projects into smaller tasks and delegate them.
- Trust and empower your employees. They will perform better with your encouragement.
What are your suggestions for transforming “Hero” into a Smart Leader?
Today’s post is based on the HBR Management Tip Of The Day.
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We’ve all experienced times when things slowly fall into place and everything seems to be going well. What a fantastic feeling… finally we have everything working like clockwork or a well oiled machine. No problems, no complaints, squeaks or even little noises. This is every Smart Leader’s dream. Total serenity (an Australian joke related to the movie “The Castle”).
Suddenly though, someone wants to talk to you. You find yourself sitting in a glass conference room and listening to “constructive feedback”. You think to yourself… what happened to “serenity”? What went wrong? How come suddenly everything you do seems to be inadequate? What about the good things you did? If you don’t have good a coping mechanism you can feel emotionally overpowered.
How would a Smart Leader handle surprise criticism? Read the rest of this entry »
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