Saturday, 25 May 2019

Throw away your task manager

Do you use a task manager to help you schedule tasks and activities?  Many people do.  There are many apps out there to help you.

So, many people wake each morning, look at their list of outstanding tasks and feel overwhelmed by thew sheer number of things they should achieve that day.

At thew end of the day, they look at the list again and find they are carrying over quite a few of those tasks until the next day.  They therefore feel they have 'failed'.

This is repeated each day, increasing the sense of frustration, of pressure, of failure.

This is no way to become productive.

What they should do is to determine which of the tasks should be done by them - and which by others.  They should maintain 3 or 4  important tasks to be done each day - others should be eliminated, automated or delegated.  They can then complete those tasks ,tick them off and feel sense of achievement,  Their morale will rise, their stress lower - and they become more productive.

They cam also, then, throw the task manager away.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

The most important thing you can do?


What is the most important thing to be done in a business?

Is it creating the vision?
Is it setting strategy?
Is it managing people?
Is it building a supply chain?

Well, all of these are important - but perhaps the biggest single thing to be done is to build relationships - with all stakeholders - other managers, investors, employees, customers, and people in the local communities affected by the organisation’s activities. All of these have an interest in what the company does - and how it does it; some have the ability to influence the outcomes.  We need to share information with them, understand their concerns, recognise the contributions they have to make and listen to them when making decisions - especially those decisions that affect them.  We should treat them as a valuable resource - able to improve the decisions we take and increase our chances of success. We need to recognise when conflict may occur - and take steps to avoid or minimise it.  If we build positive relationships, we do indeed maximise the chances of success - and we build trust and confidence.

If you are unsure of the quality of the relationships you have with your stakeholders, or not confident in your ability to build positive relationships, then you owe it to yourself - and your business - to seek out support, training or other forms of help that can transform your ability to build those positive snd supportive relationships.

It might be the most important thing you ever do!

Saturday, 11 May 2019

How do you think

We are often asked to reflect on 'what we think'.  But, rarely, on how we think.

Many of us are charged with making improvements, with innovation, with important planning and decision-making.  How we think - and how well we think - is therefore important.

Yet most of us don't know.  We think how we think - how we have always thought.  We haven't had thinking lessons.  We developed our thinking processes based on our education - but, even there, there were no lessons on thinking.

So, we may think illogically, with bias, with pre-conceived (perhaps out-of-date) notions and on the basis of insufficient or imperfect information.  If we have the occasional 'flash of brilliance', we congratulate ourselves - forgetting that the rest - the majority - of our thinking is far less than perfect.

So, perhaps it is time to do some basic research (reading) about critical and creative thinking - and start to think about how you think, why you think like you do - which leads to why you behave like you do. It might change what you do (because you've changed why you do it).

You might thank yourself for putting in the effort. So might your employees - and your shareholders.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Unhappy employees are poor performers

"Our people are our greatest assert:".  So say most companies.  Yet few of them behave as if they really believe it.

They fail to involve, empower - even train and develop - their employees and then are surprised when those employees fail to maximise their contribution - if they stay at all ... they are much more likely to seek an employer who will look after them.

So, treating your employees well makes all kinds of sense  - especially financial.  The costs of poor performance coupled with the costs of high labour turnover might break your business. they will certainly make you less competitive.

So, take the time to think about how you might improve the participation and performance of your employees.  It makes sense!

Saturday, 27 April 2019

VR will soon transform training.

I have been involved with training individuals and groups for many years.  I think i know something about what works - and what doesn't.

My main lesson is that 'doing' works - getting trainers to undertake activity to reinforce any knowledge they might have gained.  The closer the activity is to a real-life work situation for which the trainees are being prepared, the better.

This is why I am really looking forward to the impact that VR and AI are going to have on training.

When we can put trainees in a near-to-real-life situation and observe how they get on , the more we can tune our training, mentoring, coaching and skills development processes to deliver maximum on-the-job impact.  VR is about to enter the mainstream - getting cheap enough to deploy practical -sized  training groups.  It will then take a while for we trainers to learn how to exploit it ... but the results could be amazing.

So, keep your eyres peeled for trainers that are using VR - and take a look at what they are doing. If you think they have got it right, think how it might benefit your organisation.  If not, you'll have to wait a little longer.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Becoming efficient is the start ...not the end!


Efficiency is not enough.

I have spent much of my life urging companies to become more efficient - and helping them to do do.

But, of course, I know that some do not go far enough.

Becoming more efficient should not be an end in itself.

Becoming efficient creates capacity - it will give your organisation the headroom to start thinking about doing different things, adding more value, innovating.

So, regard your journey to greater efficiency as a stepping stone. 

Refine how you do things to create that capacity to transform your business in the longer term.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Recruit well!

Recruitment is perhaps the most important function you ever undertake.

If you don't recruit talented, skilled, flexible staff, you can't expect your staff to exhibit talent, skill and flexibility.

But you also have to create an organisation in which that talent, skills and flexibility can thrive and grow.

You have to impose your will ,your way of thinking, your values ... but leave 'room' for your staff to demonstrate their own values, their own commitment, their own drive.

Then, think about what you are trying to achieve, communicate this strongly (and often) to  the team, set them goals and targets - and hold them accountable for their performance in achieving those goals and targets.

Your job is to identify barriers to high performance - and remove them; to engage and motivate the staff, to reward good performance - and deal appropriately with underperformance. Not forgetting the importance of recruiting the right staff in the first place, of course.

All of this is not easy ... but it is necessary.  
EvanCarmichael.com