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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Removing Distractions by Design

Today’s world is full of distractions and noise that can inhibit one’s ability to focus and apply serious attention to the most challenging issues. Take for example the proliferation of social media or how the media relegates important topics to one-minute sound bites. Couple this with the barrage of ads that inundate you from all angles and it’s no wonder that most of us lack the ability to put deep thought into our work and daily lives.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

I Prefer to Deal with Facts

Today’s world is full of talking heads, all professing some degree of expertise across a wide range of issues. What seems to get lost is a solid understanding of the facts and how to deal with hard evidence in a meaningful way. Part of the problem is that facts are dry and boring, not very appealing to a mass audience thirsting for entertainment. And needless to say, many media sources fuel the problem by elevating extreme viewpoints to obtain ratings.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Feeding and Starving the Right Parts

Getting a business owner focused on value requires some basic logic that for some reason is incredibly difficult. It has to do with the fact that no-one likes being told their baby is ugly. Many business owners are too attached to certain parts of the business, making it hard to grow the company. Think of it like a garden which produces different vegetables. Some vegetables are more profitable than others. Those vegetables that sell the most fail to get fertilizer and attention because the gardener is so in love with his tomatoes, but tomatoes make no money. Farmers who are good business people change crops according to what will bring in the highest income. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Improving the Budgeting Process

One of the most non-value-added activities within financial management is budgeting. Budgets are prepared to allocate and control how resources will be used in the future. Unfortunately, the future is hard to predict and upper-level management doesn't always communicate with people who prepare budgets. Because of poor communication, budgeting becomes an exercise in futility. Some of the problems associated with budgeting include:

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Gamification 101

According to the Gartner Group, over 70% of the global 2000 companies now have at least one gamified process. Gamification is a way of improving how you engage with end-users. This typically takes place on some type of online platform – making the experience more fun and rewarding for customers, employees, or business partners. Many gamification applications will issue badges, points or some other incentive for active participation. A simple example is to allow users to vote thumbs up or thumbs down or Likes on Facebook.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Getting out of the Quantitative World

The world is highly quantitative – it’s all about the metrics and meeting the numbers. Everyone is counting something – number of customer complaints, number of web visits, percentage increase in sales, and the list goes on and on. With so much emphasis on the quantitative side, the qualitative side gets lost and it is the qualitative stuff that is becoming more important. One reason qualitative information gets de-emphasized is that it is difficult to measure. If we can’t measure it, then it gets ignored. This is one of the fallacies with financial reporting; things like talent, leadership and brand recognition are no-where to be found on the financial statement. But these qualitative characteristics are the real drivers of performance and they warrant more attention in today’s quantitatively obsessed world.  

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Embracing UX Design

Growing and maintaining a product now requires recognition of User Experience or UX Design. Even service oriented companies should pay attention to UX Design because the world is so digital and connected – your online presence requires great UX design.  Regrettably, many companies have yet to embrace the concepts of UX design. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Putting Emphasis on Knowledge Assets

Knowledge workers are a critical source of value and in today’s world of intellectual assets, they represent your only competitive advantage. The fact that so many companies struggle to attract and retain top talent attests to a much deeper problem – your existing knowledge assets are poorly managed. There is enormous waste every day in every company. It stays hidden out-of-sight with too much emphasis on the day to day operational stuff. It has to do with not leveraging your knowledge and people like you should.

Monday, June 6, 2016

BADIR: A Simple Approach to Analytics

The best companies in the world have embraced data analytics. They know how to capture and analyze data for continuously solving problems and improving the bottom line. Unfortunately, analytics is often lacking for less sophisticated or smaller companies. One way to put analytics into your business is to follow the BADIR Formula:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

SEO: An Inconvenient Truth

If you expect to get noticed in this global connected world, you are going to have to embrace something called Search Engine Optimization or SEO. It seems every year someone declares SEO is dead. Yes, SEO is very difficult and it does require a serious commitment of time and money. But take a hard look at your competition and see how effective they are over the internet. They haven’t updated their website in over six months, they still have fixed tables for presenting content and they continue to ignore the mobile world. Also think about the fact that there are over a half a trillion web sites online. So even if you do just basic SEO, you are bound to realize some big benefits that can help your company in the long run.