30 Apr, 2009 | by

CB047389

As a manager, do you conduct meaningful performance appraisals with your employees every 6 or 12 months? Do you collaborate with your employees to develop and set meaningful goals? Do your employees only receive a performance appraisal or are they a part of the process?

Many managers and employees view the performance appraisal process as an annual or semi-annual HR process in which the manager delivers feedback, often without the employee knowing what a “satisfactory” level of performance is. In reality, the performance appraisal process should be a year round collaboration in which the manager and employee are constantly communicating, adjusting based on the business, and sharing tools that enable the employee to grow and be successful. There are 5 keys to successful year round coaching and feedback.

1. Year round coaching and feedback must be just that – ongoing. Managers and employees must make an effort to ensure that they are openly communicating throughout the year about the employees work performance and areas of both strength and development. By doing so, managers and employees are always on the same page with regards to work performance, giving the employee the opportunity to learn, grow, and be successful. It also ensures that there will be no surprises during the annual or semi-annual appraisal process. continue reading »

28 Jan, 2009 | by

On every coin and every bill issued by the United States Treasury you’ll find the words “In God We Trust”.  In recent years that slogan has been extended to say: “In God We Trust – All Others Bring Data”.

This clever twist is especially popular in Lean Six Sigma and Total Quality Management circles, where the data-driven decisions are the holy grail – the means to reduced costs, improved efficiencies, reduced downtime, and driving waste out of processes.

Now it seems neither of these adequately represents how business actually operates.

According to CIO.com research published by Accenture found that nearly half (40%) of major corporate decisions are based on the decision maker’s ‘gut’, not on data.

While this number (40%) surprised me, I was not at all surprised to read that the top reason (61%) these managers rely on their gut is that good data are just not available.

Recently I visited one of these businesses. Like two thirds of survey respondents, these leaders recognize the weaknesses of their data systems and they’d love to fix them.

continue reading »

22 Jan, 2009 | by

I created the model of 4 Mind-Sets and 7 Stages of Business Life in order to give you a simple but proven roadmap to success. Here’s how it works.

First identify which mind-set is yours right now:

  • Technician: In this mind-set you do as you were trained to, depending on leadership and decisions from others. Those dissatisfied will soon become inspired to move to the next level.
  • Entrepreneur: With this attitude you venture out on your own. But once you become established, you need to delegate work to others and manage time and energy more effectively in order to grow.
  • Business Builder: In this mind-set you increase success by putting human resources and technical and managerial systems into place. You expand your business – and your profitability – exponentially, freeing up more time and money to look toward the future.
  • CEO: The CEO mind-set is characterized by abilities, tools, assets, and resources to plot your own course – both professionally and personally – and do whatever you want to in life. You can dream big and then fulfill those dreams because you have reached the pinnacle of success.

    continue reading »

19 Jan, 2009 | by

I wrote this 70 days before Inauguration Day

Will the downturn persuade British business people to learn from Barack Obama and the Germans?

German white collar workers who are not sent on at least 2 weeks training a year fear that they must be on the redundancy short list and will soon face the chop. (Their company is not investing in them – so they must be on their way out!). Their British counterparts (with some exceptions) consider that an offer of training implies a personal or professional deficiency and gingerly start checking the post for their P45. 

Is this the British fondness for the effortless amateur – the smooth-but-not-stirred James Bond? HR and PR departments are patronised with “I have 20 years experience giving speeches old boy – no need for training!” More like 1 years experience – repeated 20 times. 

Practice and preparation are the absolute life-blood of a good performance – even those in the Public Speaking Premier League like Winston Churchill and William Hague.

continue reading »

4 Dec, 2008 | by

These unprecedented economic times present challenges that require innovative and powerful solutions, and for that reason I want you to pay close attention to two aspects of business leadership – confidence and mastery.  With them you can go out and create a billion dollar business while enjoying the kind of lifestyle and life experiences that you have always dreamed of, but without them we will all succumb to fear, insecurity, indecision, and lack of fulfillment.

Confidence and mastery combine to feed each other in a symbiotic way, and I witness the results all the time through my consulting and coaching business, Make Your Business Boom.  Numerous studies show that those who are confident experience an increase in technical mastery and expertise that they would not otherwise have, because a confident mindset drives skill levels higher and enhances performance.  Similarly, mastery of a skill automatically increases your confidence.  Combine both mastery and confidence and it is a recipe for success in any personal or business endeavor. continue reading »

12 Dec, 2007 | by

About a month ago, a colleague and I were discussing the challenges associated with our respective engagements at the time. My colleague, whose name I will elect to leave out (I’ll refer to him as Master Yoda or Yoda for short), is one of those seasoned professionals who touts over 20 years in the IT industry along with an impressive string of credentials and unique experiences. He’s as sharp as they come and I find myself reaching out to him for professional advice periodically; he also boasts a humorous and engaging personality which makes for a great dialogue every time we speak. Not only do I consider him one of my most valuable mentors, I also consider him a friend who has doled out some important personal advice in the past which I still appreciate to this day. OK…Enough! I’ve inflated his ego enough and I will now proceed to move forward with the point of my trivial little blog entry.

The outcome of our therapeutic work debrief (that’s code for venting session) concluded with Yoda making a book recommendation. He said he was very much interested in my thoughts on the book so 5 minutes later, I logged onto Amazon and made my purchase. He then said: “the book will be very different then any book you’ve read before… continue reading »

1 Aug, 2007 | by
Topics: Leadership

I’ve always taken pride in personal and professional development. It’s something I’m very passionate about. Ever since I was a child, I’ve always set forth stretch goals to improve myself. I vividly recall practicing soccer in the back yard with my father, at a very young age. I remember at the end of each week I’d put together a mental checklist of things I needed to improve on in order to compete. It’s a trait I’ve carried with me over the years and I like to think it’s served me well.

Over the past few years, I’ve begun a new personal challenge which is geared towards giving back professionally via informal mentoring. I’ve had many mentors over the years, many of which I still communicate with on a regular basis. Words cannot express just how valuable those interactions have been and continue to be. continue reading »

7 Oct, 2005 | by

The following is a summary and assessment of an article I read from the New Zealand School of Management by Des Dearlove called “MANAGING Purpose, Process & People: The new management philosophy”. 

This was a very interesting article that discussed a new management philosophy that claims will one day become dominant. It is called the purpose, process, people philosophy. It is expected to replace our current dominant philosophy, which has driven business for the past 50 years and is based on the idea that a company is purely an economic entity. The current trend indicates that there is almost a paradigm shift from financial capital to human capital, which in itself carries major repercussions under the current model. This new philosophy or trend will move beyond strategy, structure, and systems to purpose, process and peoples. It is a very different mentality that really brings value to an individuals net worth, which in turn puts the onus on employers to realize this value. continue reading »

10 May, 2005 | by

A new approach to strategic management was introduced in the early 1990′s by Drs. Robert Kaplan ( Harvard Business School ) and David Norton. The system was dubbed the ‘balanced scorecard’. The inception of the balanced scorecard was caused due to the weaknesses or ambiguities left from previous management approaches. These known weaknesses of managing solely by financial measures was a commonly understood vice for years. The balanced scorecard approach is intended to provide a clear formula as to what companies should measure in order to balance the financial perspective.

The balanced scorecard is more then just a measurement system. It is a total management system that provides a framework to organizations that helps maintain and clarify a sense of vision or strategy. Along with the vision and strategy that is essential to a company’s growth, the balanced scorecard provides usable data that can be leveraged to take appropriate business action with surgical precision. It provides vital feedback around both the internal business processes and external outcomes in order to continuously improve strategic performance and results. continue reading »