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 »

23 Apr, 2009 | by

increase_business

There has never been a more important time than now to re-assess business development, sales and marketing programs to ensure your marketing focus is very selective. That’s best done by test marketing your service or product.

Major corporations never think about introducing a product without first testing it. Professional service organizations, on the other hand, never test market their services. They’ve been cruising on a development bubble for years and felt it wasn’t necessary. It is now.

There is a way to test market your services and respond directly to client needs with minimum marketing and business development costs while still increasing business.

You must begin with an unbiased audit of your present marketing and client retention programs. This is best accomplished by a seasoned, independent business development consultant. Once the audit has been done the consultant will have a clear understanding of exactly how you market your services, what your key people see as your strengths and weaknesses, how you see yourself in the marketplace and how you feel you are perceived by potential clients. This is the basic information you need to start the process of blending your present marketing and business development initiatives with client trends, past, present and future, into a marketing program that is so focused, so accurate and so successful that it never fails to increase business and profits. continue reading »

17 Apr, 2009 | by
flowchart_image

 
All the talk about Recession and now DEPRESSION can make anyone nervous. Wall Street “ Pros “ make their  predictions, and in doing so, create more chaos. This sentiment is probably shared by most folks on the main street.  The market is behaving like a Yo-Yo. To get a perspective, let’s look at the rallies we had in the past week. One wonders, is this a sustainable rally or a one off, I want to feel good BEAR market rally. We are seeing markets rally despite of all the negative NEWS. One might argue that the Market is always FORWARD LOOKING. Which begs the question, is it forward looking or just SPECULATING?  Let us just look at some of the headline stories of March 09, to get a perspective. GE downgraded; Germany’s growth collapsing by a record since world war II; UK and France Industrial output at lowest in over four decades; Jobless rate in the US reaching 10% in at least three states; U.S. household net worth plunging by a record $ 5.1 trillion; Japan’s GDP shrinking by over 12% annually; World Bank is now predicting a negative global growth in 2009. In spite of all these very negative news we saw the markets rallied.

Though, we saw the markets back in the RED again on 27th of March 09 after 5-6 days of consecutive rallies one could argue, what was the basis of this rally? Well may be some “INVESTORS” were expecting the worst and they believed these news were not that BAD after all? The launch of TALF and TARP program also probably helped carry the positive sentiments. The consensus view is that these programs would help but the reality is, we have a lot of continue reading »

12 Apr, 2009 | by

finishline

I have officially ended my transition; it lasted just over 230 days.  As I sit and look back at more than seven months of uncertainty, I thought this would be a good time to share some ideas that might help others facing their own journey.  Please keep in mind that I am not an expert.  I have no advanced degree in psychology or training as a career advisor, I am just a guy that made it through to the other side and has a point of view.

Network
The key, and you already know it, to surviving transition is networking.  Groan all you like, but there are plenty of statistics that show how few people land jobs through the online job boards.  Use them to be sure, just don’t count on them.  Recruiters aren’t the sure source they were in times past; companies are cutting corners everywhere, including the usage of staffing firms.  It all comes down to who you know.  And don’t wait until you see an open job to start your calls, it’s just as critical to get in the door for the job open today as well as being there before tomorrow’s job is even posted. continue reading »

3 Apr, 2009 | by
Topics: Sports, Strategy

Soccer

I have been spending many sleepless nights over the years watching the FIFA World Cup on TV and I can’t wait for the latest one coming up in South Africa in 2010. Between the occasional dozing off and celebrating the beautiful goals, I have been inspired to link up the soccer business with entrepreneurship, in particular startup business. I see that there are many important learning points that are useful for startups and small businesses.

The people business
The most important asset that any soccer club has is its people. So who are these people? They are the board of directors, the coach/manager, players and club supporters. Many of the clubs understand this fundamental aspect of their business and that is why they have scouts, agents, brokers, etc. scouring the globe for the best talents.

Now for the startup case, it is similar in the sense that they don’t have many assets in the new company except for its people. That is why it is imperative that the founders spend a large amount of time scouring for talents. I have some experiences putting together new startups and have also received kind advice from folks who tell me that it would be best that I get the people from my social circle, or plainly, people who I know. Despite this, I feel that it would be good actually for me to expand the talent search to outside my circle. This would not only reach out to other great talents but also to diverse views and styles. It is useful to understand that one’s personal circle is never adequate in the search for the talents of the world. The only challenge here is that managing a team of people you haven’t gotten to know very well can be a test of the person’s man-management skill. continue reading »