Archive - February 2015

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7 Steps to develop a high-performing Team in your Business
How To Build Innovation Into Your Business
Know your REAL Product
Does my business need a Board of Directors?
A Day-to-day HR Issue

7 Steps to develop a high-performing Team in your Business

teik-oh-standing-leftTeamwork is essential in any business, no matter how big or small.

Even if your team were only two people, teamwork is important in co-ordinating your roles, ensuring you support each other in multi-disciplinary skills, and operating at an optimal level.

Teamwork is not just about being friendly with your co-workers, it is a very disciplined approach to working effectively together. Businesses need to develop real teamwork in a disciplined and structured way.

From my experience businesses, and especially small businesses, can best work on their staff to create a high-performance team by following the 7 steps of the “PERFORM” model. It is a simple set of steps where you work in a disciplined way on each of the characteristics of a high-performing team, layering one characteristic on another and building up optimum performance.

Watch this video and you will learn about the 7 Steps to Develop Teamwork in your Business and how to implement these 7 steps, no matter what size business you have.

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How To Build Innovation Into Your Business


I have facilitated many strategic and business plans, and read many more, where either embedded in vision and mission statements or spelt out in goals and objectives, is the desire to “be an innovative company”.

Why? What does this mean? Why is innovation important to your business?
To many businesses, when they say they are “innovative” it just means they are flexible and helpful in their service. You want a cashflow projection when you get your tax done? Sure we can do that. So you want a flexible payment plan after we provide you with our legal services? No problem we can tailor one for you. You want a house built off plan but you need a wall repositioned? No problem.
Well, that’s not innovation, that’s just giving good service!
However to some businesses, innovation is critical to the business’ development and growth – innovation that keeps it one step ahead of the competition; innovation that creates a point of difference; innovation that ensures the business and its staff keep developing and growing. In such businesses you need to build innovation into your business model.
To start with it is important to be clear why innovation is necessary in your business and what you mean by innovation. Your staff need to be clear whether they are required to come up with the cure for cancer or whether it is about small but significant change, say to customer service systems. It is also important to realise that innovation means change, particularly if innovation is to be a constant. Are your staff and systems ready to cope with that? Stress is not conducive to innovation so a madly busy office will not be a hot bed for innovation.

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Know your REAL Product


In order to market your product or service effectively, you need to understand what is your real product.

Your product or service is not a list of features. I have heard so often people describing their product or service to me as a whole bunch of features:-

“It’s made of the hardiest materials”

“The design of the micro-circuits came from Germany”

“Our accountants prepare your tax return using their skill”

“The contracts our lawyers draw up include all the legal requirements”.

Features don’t sell products. Customers don’t look for features, they look for the benefits your product provides them and that meets their needs. No one needs “hardy materials” or small German circuits or a skillfully prepared tax return, or even a contract that contains everything it should. People buy something that “lasts forever”, a device that’s small, a tax refund, legal peace of mind.

This video below provides the how and why of getting to know your real product.

Does my business need a Board of Directors?

Larger companies have Boards of Directors to provide governance over the company. The question is, does your small or micro-business need a Board?

Boards of Directors have different roles from company management. Directors provide a layer of governance while management provide the leadership over the operations of the company. Directors provide strategic oversight not operational management. Directors set the company’s strategic goals, vision and direction, its limitations of purpose, and the accountability frameworks, and assess management’s performance in following strategy and accountability. Management on the other hand oversee the day to day operations and allocates resources in the pursuit of strategy.

Clearly larger corporations need this distinct role, especially if they report to shareholders who do not have a working knowledge of the day to day operations of the company. In this way Boards provide transparency for stakeholders.

On the other hand, in a small business that is owner-operated, the manager is usually the owner, and they may also be nominally “on the Board” if the small business is incorporated. Other micro-businesses may not even be incorporated and may only have family members as employees. Do these businesses need a Board? Read More

A Day-to-day HR Issue

Here’s an every day HR issue that whether we are business owners, managers, colleagues of another team-member, or just simply friends with another worker, will come across.

You come into work one morning and you inter-act with another team member on a job-related task. They are usually careful and attentive at work. They may or may not be a “leading light” in the workplace but they are certainly dependable and will complete their tasks while mindful of deadlines and outcomes.

Today however they seem to be “off their game”.

You ask if anything is wrong. They tell you that they had an argument with another team member about a personal issue, and the incident is affecting him/her. In fact he/she feels that it is so serious it is affecting his/her work.

What should you do? The normal efficiency of the team is obviously at risk. Do you see it as a personal matter and leave it alone? Do you advise the person you are with to sort it out with the other? Do you go to see the other person and see what you can do? Do you bring both together and mediate? Do you go up the ladder and tell the team leader there is an issue? Read More

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