Thursday, October 22, 2015

Three Frameworks for Higher Productivity

Increasingly we live in a world where we have to get a lot done and since no-one can change time, the key is to get more out of the time we have available. The good news is that several frameworks can rapidly increase your productivity. This article will discuss three: 1) Eisenhower Box, 2) Lewin’s Equation, and 3) the Zeigarnik Effect.   

Certain people seem to get a lot done in an effortless way. One such person was Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States, serving two terms from 1953 to 1961. Eisenhower followed a simple principle based on what he once said:  “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Measuring Human Resource Capital

One of the most under measured parts of a business is the human resource capital and it represents one of the biggest challenges facing business; namely finding the best and brightest people. It is these human resources or people who ultimately create value for the organization. People generate value through their application of skills, talents, and abilities. The key is to invest in people so that human resources are productive, knowledgeable, effective, and efficient. This is what separates the average company from the exceptional. Getting a return on this investment or ROI is extremely important.

Monday, October 5, 2015

How to Capture Useful Feedback

Capturing feedback is important to the success of every business. Feedback represents a conversation with your employees and your customers. These conversations keep you within a zone of reality and best of all, these conversations create relationships. And in the world of business, relationships matter.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Organizing the Competitive Intelligence Effort

The development of strategies to compete is essential for the survival of every organization. Competition is increasing from everywhere, ranging from small startups to global companies leveraging resources in the shared economy. Understanding this external global environment is now part of how you must strategize. Competitive Intelligence (CI) is the process by which you collect and analyze information to understand the external environment. The product of Competitive Intelligence is knowledge that facilitates decision making, both strategic and operational. Therefore, CI is both a process and a product.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

How to Use the Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Over the last few years, successful entrepreneurs have pointed to the Minimum Viable Product or MVP as a roadmap for creating long-term success. MVP is about creating a product or service with just enough value to make it attractive to a small group of customers. In some cases, the product or service is released on a test basis. This allows you to move incrementally without committing huge resources. A strong development team will be needed to capture feedback and turn out new releases. If you are releasing something very unique, you should validate the offering with a private or internal group well in advance of going to a larger test market.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Appreciating 'Appreciative Inquiry' (Part 2 of 2)

Simple things often work best – easy to design and implement. When it comes to strategic planning and getting the organization to move, Appreciative Inquiry can be the preferred approach because of its simplicity. In an effort to get Appreciative Inquiry working, we can follow the 4 D Model: Discover > Dream > Design > Deliver.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Appreciating 'Appreciative Inquiry' (Part 1 of 2)

In order to plan and look forward in a meaningful way, we need to first look back, appreciating the things we do well. It is those things that we excel at that gives us a strategy for a bright future. In a rapidly changing world, traditional approaches to planning often don't work. We assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, developing strategies to address a multitude of issues, only to have wasted resources and time trying to address issues that are difficult to control. Instead of this long exercise in planning, we need a much more rapid and direct approach to getting the organization and its people mobilized for the future. When we focus on the “positive” things that we do well, not only do we galvanize our resources better, but we also energize our people around things that they can accomplish. This simple and powerful approach to planning and change management is called Appreciative Inquiry.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Everyone Should Have a Dashboard

Distinguishing high and low performance often requires a common set of metrics. Applying standard metrics across different positions can drive exceptionally high levels of performance across a company. This is often found in the world of sports. Examples include a baseball pitcher’s ERA (Earned Run Average), a football quarterback’s passer rating (QPR), or the average per game metrics applied to basketball players – Points per Game, Rebounds per Game, Assists per Game, Steals per Game and Blocks per Game. This standard framework binds the company, allowing managers to quickly size up individual players and identifying those who need coaching.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Want a Superior Workforce? Hire Women

It goes without saying that people make the difference in great companies. Author Jim Collins brought this point home in his book: Good to Great. One reason this can be challenging is that people are different and they may not work well with others. So how do you reduce the selection process and find people who can add the highest value across the entire workforce? Well you may have to be somewhat bias in favor of women.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The ABC's of Competency Models

As you drill down the drivers of performance for most organizations; things like great customer service, efficient processes, and empowering technology, you reach a base level for making these drivers happen. This gets you back to the qualities of your human resources – knowledge, expertise, experience, and those things needed for successful execution. And the combination of skills, expertise, knowledge and other intangibles will vary from job to job, function to function. For example, what we need for executing for securing new customers is not necessarily the same as what we need for efficient processes.