Saturday, 25 December 2010


Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, today (Christmas) day is a great time to think about presents.

What would your organisation really like? A new product? A new brand? Lower costs?

Only you can deliver! So, get your elves working.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

What's this blog called?

This is the run-up to the holiday season. I hope you are really busy ... working hard.

However, I really hope that you are working effectively.  Don't confuse hard work with effective work. Too often we end up at the end of a long day ... we look back and think ... what have I really achieved.  I've been so busy clearing the backlog, I haven't had time to think about the really important things.

If this is you, then the holidays provide an ideal time for a bit of reflection .. about priorities & plans, about what really matters to your customers - and therefore your business.

Come back refreshed and refocused ... and continue to keep things simple!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Wot! No Balanced Scorecard.

How many of you have implemented a performance management system such as a Balanced Scorecard?  Few, I expect.  They are a bit 'sophisticated' (and a bit expensive) for most small businesses.

However, it is worth reading up about how the BS works.  Essentially (and I apologise if my 'executive summary' omits some key features) it suggests you take your business strategy (and its aims and objectives), translate them into key success factors (what do you really have to do to be successful), establish goals for each of these factors, and then measure how well you actually do as you progress towards those goals - taking corrective action when you need to in order to remain on track.

Now you are probably doing all of those things in your own way ... but adding a bit of formal structure wouldn't go amiss.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Whatever the weather

In the UK we are suffering from heavy snow falls and travel and trade have both been badly disrupted.

What is your policy on this?  You don't have one!  Well, perhaps you should .... before you need it.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Return on Effort

If you are in business, you know all about Return on Investment (ROI) - perhaps not in 'accounting' terms, but you know that every investment you make, every penny you spend has to pay you back within a defined timescale.
Yet, I bet there are things going on inside your company that are dragging you down, slowing that financial return.  I can't tell you what they are (without coming around and observing what goes on) ... but I'm sure they are there all the same.
Sometimes we forget that business is essentially simple ... find out what your customers value and do more of it ... find out what they don't value and do less of it.  But all sorts of things tend to get in the way ... especsailly as a business starts to grow ... and we spend more time organising rather than doing - a necessary but sometimes ineffective evil ... if we have not been trianed  - or not trained ourselves - to organise.
One simple pproach to addressing this is to think through what you - and your staff - actually DO in a day .. and think about the Return on Effort relating to each activity. Why do we do that? In what way does it -directy or indirectly - provide value to our customers. If you can't answer the question, stop doing it!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Do you know where the time goes?

Do you know how your staff spend their time - which tasks and activities consume most of it? If not, try collecting this data for a week. Get the staff to record for themselves each half hour what they are doing and use this as a guide to how they spend their time. Then ask the questions: "Is this how I want them to spend their time?" "How much of what they do adds value?"

You then have the ammunition you need to start making informed changes.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

What did i do today?

What did I do today to add EXTRA value to my business?
I am sure that you work hard every day.  if you are an entreptreneur and/or small business owner, that is undoubtedly true. But sometimes, hard work is not enough.  Sometimes we work so hard we forget to think about what it is we are doing ... and more importantly, what we shjould be doing tomorrow.
Think about what you have done today ... and how it will change the business going forward. If there is nothing can think of that is significant, ask yourself if this is simply because you have been too busy on operational activity. If it is, you need to find some way of passing these operational chores on to someone else, while you do the really important job of planning ansd shaping the future.  No-one else will do that!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Look like you mean it

Do you have an office visible to your workforce?  If so, it sends out signals about you and your attitude to 'organisation'.  If your office is (continually) cluttered and untidy, you are saying (subconsciously) that you don't care about organisation, effectiveness, discipline and order.
Is this what you want to say?

Friday, 29 October 2010

Let them Play

Do you let your employees play?  On the Internet, for example .... or do you lock things down so they have to work, work, work.
We want our employees to work - but we want them to work productively. One way of doing this is to create parameters within which play (of some kind) is allowable - perhaps at lunchtime, perhaps on Friday afternoons, perhaps for 5 minutes every hour.
What 'play' can do is allow staff to recover and re-energise ... or deal with small domestic issues (like booking a plumber) that might be distracting them from their work.  If you don't give them 'playtime' they'll probably take it anyway - by working more slowly and less effectively.  
So, take control of that playtime - build it in safely into daily or weekly routines ... and then you both reap the benefits.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Be like a Boy Scout - Be Prepared

I often talk to students about their future careers - pointing out that almost everyone I know (or indeed have met) simply 'stumbles' through their career - very few can claim to have planned it.  What students are doing by getting educated is to increase the range of opportunites that thay can seize as they 'float by'.
This is exactly the same strategy adopted by good businesses.  They develop their infrastructure, their systems, their technologies and their people - so that they too are prepared for a wider range of opprtunities.  Some of these opportunities canot currently be foreseen or even imagined.  But the agile firm is ready when they emerge.
So think what you should be doing inside your copnany to make yourself better prepared to seize future opportunities.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Management by Walking About (but take a camera)!

MBWA - Management by Walking About - works.  If a manager walks his or her domain regularly - with eyes and ears truly open - he or she is likely to see and hear things that would otherwise go unnoticed. One way to enhance this process is to walk with a camera and take pictures of 'waste' and 'clutter'.  It is much harder for people to defend themselves when faced with a photo ... and much easier to show improvement if you take 'before' and 'after' photos.  Besides which, when you look through a camera lens - or at a resulting photo -you often see the world differently. You are more likely to see 'the truth'. When you simply walk past, even though you think you are looking, you often see what you expect to see ... or what you always see.
Depending on the relationship you have with staff, you can even open drawers and cupboards and take pictures.  You can then either insist people tidy up ... or ask them what they need in order to be more tidy - better filing systems, desk tidys, etc.
The aim is to make things accessible when needed - quickly and efficiently.

Friday, 8 October 2010

When you can't see it ....

Can you see knowledge?  Well, in the form of books, papers, etc ... I suppose you can.  But what about the output of your non-manual workers - the salesforce, R&D, designers, etc.  If we can't directly see their outputs how do we raise their productivity.

Well, sometimes we have to improve the processes they work with - and assume (as an act of faith) their productivity rises.

So make sure all your staff have the information they need to do their job, make sure they have the communications technologies they need ... and make sure they have the time to think, to interact, to learn and to grow.

Then sit back ... and think about the results in 2 or 3 years time!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Procrastinate .... properly

Is procrastination ever productive? Of course it is – when we put off something we shouldn’t have been doing at all.

So, next time you’re feeling really busy, think about what you might leave for another day … then think why you selected that item.Because its not urgent …. or not important? If its not important, could someone else do it instead of you – someone with more time … and who costs less.

It might cost you 2 or 3 minutes to work out whether something can be delegated or even ignored … but that’s a one-off time hit … and ever after you’ll be glad you took those 2 or 3 minutes.

Saturday, 25 September 2010


Uninor is a joint venture between Telenor, of Norway, and Unitech in India.
All 60 Uninor offices in India are “open offices”. There are no private cabins and there is complete flexibility. A trainee can sit next to senior professionals and even besides the MD. The few small rooms are for meetings and conference calls.

The 2,500-employee strong Uninor says team play and levels of collaboration are much higher amongst employees than in other organisations. It also claims the highest employee productivity and the lowest attrition rate in the industry.

“It is as simple as removing layers and barriers. We have demolished the walls and the rooms within rooms. Problems get solved faster. New ideas come up freely. Basically, when you need to talk, you don’t need to knock,” says Thulin.

So think about how you structure your team and you office  in more ways than one.

Monday, 20 September 2010

The Elevator Pitch

The 'elevator pitch' is so-called because it is designed to be brief, upfront and high impact so that if you make the pitch in an elevator, the listener(s) will stop the elevator to hear more rather than getting out at their selected floor.
What it really is of course is a discipline that you should apply to presentations to make them more productive.  You have to think hard about what you really want to say and about your audience (and what they want to hear).
So very quickly you need to say something about you, your offering and why this is of benefit to the audience. If you can do this in under a minute, you might hook your audience for a longer timeslot.  If you can't, why should the audience listen?

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Non work costs

I used to be a work study engineer ... studying work to see where improvements can be made. A useful discipline with many successes.

However I became aware that more often than not, what was wrong with an organisation - or a process - was not the work ... but the 'non-work' .. the waiting, the delays, the waste.

So when you look at your own organisation, look for this 'non work' ... and fill the time with work by re-arranging the processes. The work will then take care of itself.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Information loading

We know two things about information.  One - we need  it ... as the basis of decision-making.  Two - we get too much of it.  The latter has got worse over recent years as it has become easier to disseminate information.
So - when you get the time between reading all the information that lands on your desk - do a simple information audit.  Ask one or two employees about the information on their desks - and how much of it they need - and use. Then work out how to get rid of some or all of the rest ... and you'll have a grateful - and more productive - employee.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Coach to success

Coaching and mentoring is now big business ... presumably because it is effective in changing (and improving) the performance of those being coached and mentored.  After all, if it works in athletics, why shouldn't it work in business.
In small businesses, owner/managers often need mentoring but do not have ready access to suitable individuals ... and often (claim that they) don't have the time.  Improving your own performance is something you MUST have time for ... so make the time available.  If you can find the time, you can also find a coach ... go to a business club ... or just use yellow pages.
Jus talking through issues with a confidante often helps in itself ... but a coach also has knowledge of perofrmance improvement techniques.
Try it - it might make a big difference ... and the risk is very small.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Take a look at the conditions under which your staff work

You can perform good work in poor space and under poor conditions, but it is always easier to do so when the 'environment' is conducive to prolonged effort, provides what is necessary and makes the workers feel good about themselves.
So take a look at the conditions under which your staff work. Are they 'up to scratch'?  If not, is it because you really can't afford better, or simply that you haven't bothered to look before ... and have accidentally shackled your workers by not bothering to think of their real needs.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Small may be good ... but its not an easy fight.

Small is beautiful. Right?  Well, small businesses are the backbone of most economies. They end up growing ... or failing ... or, just occasionally, staying as stable, small bushinesses.

Thomas Friedman, in The World is Flat, suggested that technology is a real boon to a small business ... no-one knows you are small from your website .. and you can do things now that only the big boys could do 20 years ago.

However, tech costs. So, small businesses have to borrow (and then they are owned by the big guys ... and especially the banks) ... or they have to tread very slowly (and they get overtaken buy the big guys coming late but with lots of money) or they have to be innovative ... doing things the big guys haven't yet thought of.

What's your 'edge' ... why will you succeed in the face of competition from the big guys. If you don't know the answer, your chances of success are slim.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Keep it simple

Innovation is often very simple.

You will have seen LED lights - strong light but a bit harsh. Philips has gor round this probem (of harshness) by painting the inside of lightbulbs with yellow paint to soften the light.  Cheap, effective ,,, and (pardon the pun) brilliant!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Poor returns

I recently read some research which suggests (not surprisingly) that 58% of shoppers will abandon an online retailer if they suffer a bad experience with deliveries or returns. After all they get little direct pleasure from the purchasing process (though they do get the sense of anticipation) ... so delivery is a major part of the overall transaction.

Get it wrong and this research says you're half way to losing a customer ... and you might have had to work very hard on marketing and promotion to get that customer in the first place!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Don't be surprised by surprises

I was reading through some press releases recently (yes, I know I have a sad life) and came across one that referred to Dolly Parton ... pointing out that a particular air cargo handler had secured the contract to move books for her charity which distributes books to libraries and to kids.  The juxtaposition of 'Dolly Parton', 'books' and 'charity' almost surprised me .. but I've learnt to expect the unexpected.  Its how you spot opportunities!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

When did you last go to a conference?

Entrepreneurs and owners of small businesses do not attend conferences ... for one thing, they are usually too busy to take a few consecutive days out of their schedule.  However they do have to keep up with new developments, new technologies, new products, new competitors, new ways of thinking and so on.  How do they do that?

A lot of them simply rely on 'having my ear to the ground' believing that in their day-to-day activity they will come across most relevant news. A risky approach?

Luckily there are new avenues available. LinkedIn offers a range of services ... though many people think its some kind of advanced recruitment agency - a job shop.

The groups, on LinkedIn, however offer a great way of peer-based learning ... and since you can ask questions and start discussions, you can direct your focus to topics of particular interest. Look through the list of groups and find one that (almost) matches your area of interest.  'Almost' is better than 'perfectly' since you need new ideas coming from off the agenda, from left-field.  Its your job to absorb and then to identify opportunities - and to do it faster than others!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Simple problem, no easy solution

I am a director of Juice e-Learning - a new, very small company. As such we have the same problems as other small companies ... we are so busy 'getting the job done' that we don't have the time or resource to do the marketing necessary to secure the next job (and the one after that).

Of course, the web helps. Our web presence serves as showcase and promotional 'stand'. But we have to ensure that people visit our website ... and we have some ideas for that!

We have been looking for e-Learning materials that might help us move to the next level ... after all we should practice what we preach ... but most of them are 'get rich quick' promotions or 'academic' courses. 

So, there is a gap in the market ... which we could fill ... on behalf of ourselves and other small companies. But we need to identify those companies ... and we're back in our quandary .. in our vicious circle.

As with all such problems, there is no point waiting to find an escape route.  As a small company, you have to take the time and energy to build one yourself.  Don't push your problems away - tackle them ... now!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Small companies sometimes don't get bigger

I've just been in Pakistan where there are thousands of small companies. As new Pakistani companies stabilise, they seem to reach a point where the owner can satisfy the demands of his (even extended) family ... and so he (and it is almost always a 'he') eases off into his comfortable lifestlye.  the company never gets big enough to take advantages of scale or to make real investment ... and sooner or later a technology or a new product comes along ... and the company fails.

So, the question you have to ask yourself is ... How do I keep myself and my staff hungry for more?  What gets them up in the morning?  What keeps them awake at night?  Am I sure we are not just coasting into oblivion?

(And a question for my Muslim friends.  is the pakistani situation a result of people treating this earth and their place on it as a waiting room for the greater world and greater riches to come?)

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Make me happy, Infolinks

Infolinks is the organisation that puts adds on this blog (and lots of others) ... unobtrusively, of course. They are a model of customer service ... when they communicate with me they do so in a way that is always useful (they only talk to me when they need to) and always entertaining ... and they give me money. What more could I ask?

Well, since you asked (oh, it was me, wan't it) ... they could add to my future level of happiness by allowing me to ride a llama in any country where they are native. I'm sure that's not beyond them.

In the meantime, I suggest you check them out if you have a blog or website ( ... and see, in particular, how they operate.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Always ask ... Why?

Most of us are very busy ... sometimes too busy to think about all our activity and how much it is contributing to our longer-term goals. (Of course we all have crises to deal with but I'm talking here about our regular day-to-day activity.)

Why are we doing what we are doing. (We can ask later about how we are doing it!)

Always ask yourself the following question ...

Is this task really something that I want to, and need to, accomplish, or am I confusing activity with productivity?

Saturday, 5 June 2010

To do ... or not to do

There are lots of 'to-do' applications around for your computer but many of them are little more than static lists of pending responsibilities. Teux Deux, though, is a slick, simple, and free online task manager that visually groups your upcoming chores by date, giving you a clear view of what you need to accomplish in the coming week. It was designed to be simple but visually appealing.

The site's interface works particularly well with the popular Getting Things Done method for enhancing productivity. Each date acts a bit like a folder, keeping all of the tasks for the day contained and compartmentalized, so you can focus on what matters most at any one time. If you have tasks with no specific due date, you put them in a ‘Someday' box on the main screen, so you can put them off without forgetting about them.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

email is not dead

Technology is not one-size-fits-all. It is important to find what works for your organisation. This is especially true of communication technology where the choice has mushroomed over the last decade.

Is sending an e-mail more efficient than making a phone call?

If you just need to pass along information or ask a quick question and don’t need to discuss the topic, e-mail may be the most efficient way of doing so. E-mail also has the added benefit of leaving an 'audit trail', a record of correspondence.

If you find that you often need to call someone back to confirm information you previously discussed, or are often in situations where you cannot take notes, using e-mail would enable you to have all that information available in one place for quick reference. And now that we have email available on our smartphones, it is a much more flexible form of communication.

Friday, 21 May 2010


So the hype over the iPad is dying (or at least slowing). What does the iPad mean for productivity? Almost nothing. Eveything that can be done on an iPad can be done on a Netbook. Sure, the iPad looks great .. and 'instant on' is a real convenience ... but it won't improve your business!

So, as ever, sort out reality from hype .. and test out the words of others. People get paid lots of money to make new products sound really good. Of course, sometimes they are ... but more often than not the hype fails to stand up to your testing.

The second lesson is, of course, that your hype - when you talk about your own new product or service - should not overdo the hyperbole. Reasoned information is more effective in the longer-term.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Don't read the paper

Documents on your desk that have not been used for a month can be considered clutter. Clear them off the desk and recycle them – they are clearly not needed.

If concerned they might come in useful eventually, use document conversion technology to convert paper piles to digital files.

Stored electronically, the miscellaneous reports, presentations and memos that often clutter a desk, are easier to file, quicker to locate, take up less space and less time is needed when searching for them.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Plan It - and Do It!

Occasionally leaving something undone works ... circumstances overtake you and the original task is overtaken.

Much more often, however, leaving a task undone simply piles on more pressure ... so make sure you have a system of task planning and reminders.

This may not be a formal system - it might be a set of post-its pinned to your PC though I would recommend one of the many systems that link to your smartphone so you get reminders wherever you are ... I use ToodleDo but there are plenty around ... for free.

"If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it." Olin Miller

Friday, 30 April 2010

Keep your eye on the big boys

You've all heard of the Apple iPad. How many of you have heard of Fusion Garage's JooJoo. Much the same kind of device, much the same price ... but which one would you buy? The JooJoo could have been a big seller if it had been first to market ... but it wasn't. Now it looks like a 'copycat' (though it isn't) and I wouldn't bet on it being around in a year's time.

The moral: be aware of what the big boys are doing. If you're making a big investment in a new product, make sure you're first to market. The big guys can be second and survive; you can't.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Just say NO!

All of us are busy. Some of us are focused on doing what we REALLY need to do. Some of us can't seem to help doing things we shouldn't really be doing.

You need to decide on your goals, map out the actions you need to accomplish them and say NO to everything else (except having a bit of fun when you're not working of course).

So be clear about what you are going to do ... and what you are not going to do.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

If at first ...

Attended an innovation event yesterday.  One of the speakers was the guy who designed, manufactured and marketed the 'Trunki' - ride on luggage for kids ... now a major success.  Rob explained the journey from first concept (when a student) to success .... on and off development, minor success, minor failure, setbacks, and so on ... over about 15 years.

So, as we all probably knew, a good idea is not good enough.  You also need the drive and determination to overcome the obstacles .. and you probably need to want it (success) enough in the first place to provide that drive.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

You do not know best

Obviously every entrepreneur thinks he or she knows best what to do with their fledgling business. But of course those who have passed this stage know that the only person who really knows best is the customer.  If you do what you think is right and forget to ask the customers what they feel is right, you are doomed to failure.

So ask your customers - in whatever way you can - what you should be doing with your business!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Dont' ban before talking

Do employees using social media (especially Facebook) cost you money?  Almost certainly you don't know.  Allowing them some freedom to incorporate such things into their working day might actually make them more productive.

So if you are thinking about banning Facebook or Twitter or any of the other potential distractions, talk to your employees first.  Find out why they want to access such things in your time ... and get them to agree a 'code of conduct' that you all can live with. They become better employees, you become a better boss ... and almost certainly you both win.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Head in The Cloud

Its often hard for a busy entrepreneur or a small business to focus on technology - they are too busy focusing on core parts of the job.  However, sometimes it pays (literally - in terms of cost saving) to consider what new technologies are available to help a business plan and execute.

'The Cloud' is becoming important.  it is now possible to run quite a lot of technical services at low cost, with almost no in-house expertise, by 'plugging into' services 'out there' (or 'up there').

Google Docs is just one example.  Free (or very low cost) word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software along with free storage.

Must be worth a look?

Friday, 19 March 2010

Its OK to take your eye off the ball

We all work hard.  that means we concentrate, we put in effort ... and mostly we get the results we expect. 

But sometimes its good to step back, take a breather and let our minds think of something else.  this gives our subconscious time to work - to churn, to reflect, to process.  Then we start to see things (perhaps ever so slightly) differently.  We see the context, see the bigger picture and give ourselves time for innovation.

So take some time off - indulge in your hobby.  come back refreshed with fresh thinking.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Don't read this

If, like many other organisations, you are trying to climb out of the pit that is the (recent) recession ... then concentrate on what you used to do well ... and do it better.  now is probably not the time for big changes.

So, forget this blog and other advice you might look at ... stick with what made you successful in the first place.

Friday, 5 March 2010

email should help not hinder

We all know people who complain about the numbers of emails they receive ... and often its us!  But it is up to us to make sure we manage it so that it helps our businesses, not hinders them.  We need to build in the disciplines that we expect in other areas of our lives. 

Don't respond to emails as they arrive - set aside 30 minutes a day to handle and deal with them .. and do deal with them.  Handle an email only once!  Don't put it aside for later and have to handle it again.  Deal with it or delegate it.

You might be surprised about how much less of a burden it seems when you handle it properly.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Plan the day ... and start early

I talked to a guy recently who was meticulous in the way he planned his day.  It actually started each evening when he laid out all the things he needed to take to work the next morning - so that he wouldn't forget anything AND he would take less time.  This went on through the next day until he started again in the evening.

You might think this a bit 'nerdy' but it reminds us that planning ahead does save time and does result in fewer errors. 

Think through your work routines and see what simple things you can do (checklists, reminders, etc) to make sure you don't forget anything .. and to make sure you are efficient.

Friday, 19 February 2010

What do phones do?

Modern 'smartphones' do calls, texts, email, social media, photos, videos, music ... and so much more.

But to they do business ... or are they distractors.

Make sure you know what you need (not want) from a phone before you make the decision about which one to get.  As a general rule, if its been on the market for less than 6 months, its too new and possible buggy.  Forget it.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

The End of Office

Microsoft Office continues to get bigger and ....   Well, I'm not sure its getting better.  We know most people only use a handful of the features, yet they are still using a very, expensive piece of software.

If Office were a 'normal' product, we would be suggesting its at the end of its life cycle, bloated by the need to keep revenues turning .... and bloated beyond most people's comprehension and convenience.

So are you using Open Office or Google Docs or Zoho?  Probably not ... like everyone else you are paying lots of money for things you don't need.

Who's the mug?

Sunday, 7 February 2010


When talking about (American) football, commentators often talk about the productivity of a team, a player or a position.  They rarely mean productivity ... they mean performance.  It would be useful if they DID talk about productivity - the value of a player - the output relative to the costs.

And you should look at aspects of your business in the same way.  Not, what do I get from it?  But what do I get relative to what it costs me?  This changes the way you look at production processes, sales teams, outsourced services, maintenance .... everything!

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Control ... everything

Apple has (at last) launched the iPad ... following their tried, trusted and tested approach of employing good functionality and great design.  However the 'ace up their sleeve' is the control they retain over both hardware and software.  No other manufacturer does this.  Apple knows that every iPhone app will also work on the iPad - they control all aspects.

The iPad is far from perfect - for me, the lack of Flash support is crippling.... but I am prepared to bet it will be a success and that users will find the experience 'smooth sailing' because of all that control.

The lesson!  Control everything you can ... either by doing it yourself or issuing firm specifications and testing to make sure others stick to them.  it might not be the best solution in the short term .. but like Apple, you might find it works very well in the longer-term.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Know what you do

Have you ever taken stock of the myriad tasks that you complete in a typical week.  If not, try writing down every hour - very briefly - what you have done in the last hour - and what you accomplished by doing it.  You might find out what makes the business tick ,,, and what you should be concentrating on in the future.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Online Productivity Tools

I am indebted to my friends at Mashable ( for pointing me in the direction of some useful personal productivity tools.  You might find some of these useful.

Take a look at:

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Think tomorrow today

Sometimes while struggling to keep up today, you forget about tomorrow. Dangerous! There are things happening today that will affect your tommorow - new laws and regulations, new competitors, new technology, etc. Take some time in your schedule to think about how today's changes might,impact you tomorrow. I lay aside at least 30 minutes each week ("Friday Futures") and force myself to consider what I have come across in the past week that might have future implications.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Listen to me

Visionary leadership creates organisational excitement ... if that vision is effectively communicated. Not all of us, however, are visionaries. If you are not, you can still be a good communicator. That implies listening to what is going on around you as well as pontificating.

You might not create 'excitement' but you will get buy-in to plans and progress!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Reminders work

We're all back at work .... but are we all working in the same way. Do we all remember the regulations, specifications, parameters and guidelines we are supposed to be working to. There is no harm in reminding people - as long as you do it carefully (and not patronisingly). And, of course, if you do it regularly, it becomes easier to avoid being patronising.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

No resolutions

Don't resolve to change your ways or do new things in the new year. Just do it!

But do plan where you are taking your business (after first understanding why that particular direction is important). What you needed for Xmas was a business satnav where you could have entered the direction and it would have told you how to get there. Unfortunately, they don't exist ... so its down to you.