28 Jan, 2009 | by Evan J Miller
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.
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22 Jan, 2009 | by Erik Luhrs
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.
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19 Jan, 2009 | by Peter Botting
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.
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15 Jan, 2009 | by David Kaufman
With advances in modern technology and the vast sums that organizations spend to implement cutting edge solutions, isn’t it odd that passing a folder from person to person in order to approve something is still so common? You’ve seen it happen; perhaps you’ve even been part of those long conversations on the color of the folder to make it stand out on a desk. Those discussions are usually preceded by an agreement made by all involved that the material will never sit idle but get immediate attention and route quickly. In the end, it falls to some poor assistant to walk the halls in search of this folder, trying to track down approvers and keep things moving, usually taking much longer than any initial agreement. To further complicate matters, fingers may begin to point at suspected sources of bottleneck. Tensions mount and the innovative “folder method” had done more harm than good.
Allow me to walk you through the evolution of a project to complete a form initiating the Personal Care Product Development Process and have it approved by associates in five functions across two business units in three states. These hand-offs were necessary to pull critical knowledge from the organization determining the feasibility of a program before time and dollars were spent against it. Bear in mind, any time spent completing and approving the form is time not spent on developing the product. continue reading »
8 Jan, 2009 | by Alan S Michaels
With the global recession, the debate is over, we are truly one global economy.
So where’s the global game board?
Wouldn’t marketing and strategic planning be easier with a global industry game board – a listing of all significant industries, with an industry analysis for each? And shouldn’t companies be analyzed at the line of business level using the same industry taxonomy?
Everyone answers “yes” to these questions because the answers are so clear.
But then everything gets cloudy with the one additional question, “Do you think such a global industry game board exists?”
For those of you who believe that a global industry information resource does exist, I would like to hear from you via a feedback comment – but first: the reason for the cloudiness is because of the definition of the word “industry.” continue reading »
2 Jan, 2009 | by Evan J Miller
I don’t know that I’ve ever met a business person who said, “I don’t care about data. Let me manage solely by intuition.” This isn’t to say that hunches and gut feel are not important (just see Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” if you doubt that), but that most of us understand that our hunches need to face the hard reality of data.
So it shouldn’t be controversial to say that business leaders strive to be data driven.
In the face of this, it is remarkable that so many business leaders do not have ready access to usable, actionable, real-time data. As one colleague put it to me recently: “Most people have tons of data everywhere you turn, but most of that data isn’t accessible or usable.” (Click here for supporting research by The Aberdeen Group). continue reading »
19 Dec, 2008 | by Erik Luhrs
Everyone has problems, but the real underlying problem is that nobody knows how to deal with them in a positive way to convert them into value. Today I’m going to show you how to turn any problem into a powerful solution. Once you know how to do that you can create a business that will go from zero to a billion dollar company in two or three years.
Most of the ideas that come across customer service phone lines – and almost all of the complaints that are registered with customer service representatives every day – could be turned into multi-million or billion dollar products or services. The strange sounding but absolutely true notion that problems are the answer is a concept that goes directly to the heart of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are, after all, people who figure out how to solve problems for a profit.
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11 Dec, 2008 | by Erik Luhrs
Photo by: Nadeem Chughtai
Especially these days, every choice an entrepreneur, business leader, or homeowner makes can be the difference between success and failure. Making the best possible choices is vital, whether it involves a stock portfolio or retirement plan, a household budget, or the future of a large corporation.
Fortunately, successful decision making is a skill that can be learned. Every day I teach it to people just like you at Make Your Business Boom, a unique hybrid that combines consulting and coaching with cutting edge concepts derived from psychological research. The synergy of this innovative approach is proven by the practical and effective way it motivates business owners and others to transform them into better decision makers.
Decision making is a complex process that requires time and training if a person wants to be empowered to make the best possible decisions in virtually any situation. But making choices is typically done from force of habit, as the mind accepts the easiest, most convenient, or most obvious option. Since poor decisions can cut off access to more desirable options and alternatives, it is important to train the mind to default to superior decisions and choices. continue reading »
4 Dec, 2008 | by Erik Luhrs
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 »
30 Nov, 2008 | by Peter Botting
Short-term discounts can help preserve cash flow in an emergency, or be used as a strategy to increase market share. But the impact of discounting on your brand, margins and future pricing must be included in your decision!
Commodities are assumed to be equivalent and are sold on price only. Most companies are able to add value and differentiate themselves from their competitors.
If price is your only advantage – don’t let your competition know. If they have deeper pockets, they will undercut you – and outlive you. Brands like Maybach, Bentley and Mont Blanc do not discount. (Do they?). They know their value and educate their clients about their value.
Identify, analyse and focus on the value that you (can) deliver and how your products or service add value to your clients. And if you are a Top 4 Accountancy Company pitching audit services to a UK based company – do not rabbit on about your global reach!!!! Fool’s Gold!!
Relevant added value, promoted to the right customer, in the right way and with the right customer service will always trump price!
If you do not add and sell value, price will always be your determining factor.