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Category - Business Planning

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Four Steps To Simplify Your Message
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Dancing while watching from the balcony
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Leadership Vs Management
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Choosing, Implementing and Cascading Performance Measures
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The challenge of merging two corporate cultures

Four Steps To Simplify Your Message

Do you want to explain difficult facts to clients? Do you want to get a sales message across?

The first few seconds of any interaction is critical, whether you know the other person or not.

This is particularly important in any business interaction today where people’s time seem so limited, people seem so aware of “that sales pitch” coming and are ready to tune off. Today’s SMS and social media world seem to do nothing but ready for us to listen to tweets.

If you want to put your business message across, whether it is advice, technical information or a sales pitch you need to tune yourself and your communication to that frequency which is most clear.

I have found that the best way to do this is to use four simple steps in any business communication.
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Dancing while watching from the balcony

In any size business, but particularly in the smaller business, one of the traits the business owner or CEO or unit manager needs to keep in mind is the ability to focus on the task while keeping the big picture in mind.

What do I mean by keeping focus while having the big picture in mind?
Let me give you an analogy.
I was driving the back streets of my suburb last Sunday when I came upon a road signage crew training staff. This is a crew that puts up witches’ hats and “slow down” signs when roadworks are in progress. As I approached the intersection, I saw the care and attention they had paid to the task.
About 200 meters before the intersection they had put up signs slowing traffic and one sign even explaining “training” in progress. As you approached, they had beacons, people with “lollipop” signs saying “stop” on one side and “slow” on the other. All their crew were wearing high-visibility vests, supervisors were carefully spaced out and radios were being used. Clearly they knew what they were doing and all safety procedures were being put into use.

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Leadership Vs Management

harvard picHarvard Business School change management guru John Kotter outlines the fundamental differences between Leadership and Management as follows:-

– Establishing direction vs Planning & Budgeting
– Aligning people vs Organising and staffing…
– Motivating & inspiring vs Controlling & Problem-solving.

In Kotter’s view, while management produces an order of predictability, order, and the capacity to attain desired short term targets, the qualities of Leadership prodeuces change, often to a dramatic degree and often potentially useful change to create a future vision.

In my consulting, I use my own process called vision-driven planning, first creating a vision for the group (in great detail, to the degree that it is internally viable and credible) which is then quantified through a Balanced Scorecard approach (“If we were to achieve our vision, how must we look and behave in the area of…”). The quantification of the vision is converted into Performance Measures, and then these are redirected as Strategies. Read More

Choosing, Implementing and Cascading Performance Measures

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Implementing Performance Measures

Determining what to measure can take considerable effort, but it will probably be less than one-third of the total effort required to implement an efficient and effective measurement system. Data collection and processing systems will have to be implemented to produce the measures; everyone will have to be trained in using the systems and measures; and as the measures are used, some problems are sure to be identified that will require changes to the system.

Perhaps the greatest challenge faced when implementing performance measurement systems is changing an organisation’s culture. Using performance measures requires managers and employees to change the way they think and act. For most people, this is relatively easy, but for some, changing old beliefs and habits is very difficult.

Overcoming such problems requires strong leadership to provide appropriate direction and support. The best measurement system in the world will yield few benefits if the right knowledge, skills, abilities, and values are not developed in a company. An organisation doesn’t just interface with a measurement system; it is part of the system. Read More

The challenge of merging two corporate cultures

teik oh oldTeik Oh

The most challenging change management initiative is the proper management of a successful merger between two organisations. While the actual steps and processes in themselves are not uniquely different or any more complex than any other business reorganisation, the cultural environment in which a merger takes place creates a very different situation.

Unlike any other change management engagement where disparate groups at least work under one singularly identifiable organisation, a merger brings together two totally unique groups with different core values and working environments that need to go through the same change and emerge united. In a merger, while there are usually areas of “fit”, it is unlikely that the deeper indicators of corporate culture such as corporate history and corporate experience will have any but the most remote of matches. Read More

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