Saturday, 31 March 2012

email trumps work

You know that feeling when a phone rings. it just has to be answered. email is like that. An email in your inbox has to be opened. It 'trumps' whatever else you are doing. You have to check ... it just might be the 'killer email'. Most of course could be left. They are not urgent. But somehow, you open it .. and then leave it for later. But the damage has been done. You've been distracted. Your productivity is down. Now multiply that effect by all of your staff. Then, think... set so me rules and disciplines for email (perhaps some 'no email' hours) ... and regain some of that lost productivity.

Saturday, 24 March 2012


I've often said that I've built my career on asking stupid questions. Questions are how we learn ... as long as we take note of the answers. So, behave like a kid ... when someone tells you something, ask "Why?" (and "How?", "Where?", "When?" an "Who?") and keep asking until you understand what is going on and how it might be changed for the better. Sometimes people will think you're a bit stupid ... but I guarantee you will have the last laugh.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

5S for your business

5S is a tool in the Lean armoury (where each 'S' stands for a Japanese word).. but what it boils down to in essence is to making sure that each workplace and workspace is clean, tidy and safe.

So make sure everything has a place and is in that place (so it can be found next time it is needed) .. make sure nothing is there that should not be there (otherwise it may distract) and make sure everything is fit for purpose. 

Sounds very simple (and it is) .. but take a look around your business and find out how often these simple rules - that lead to increased productivity - are broken.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Work It Out

There is quite a bit of evidence that a mid-day workout helps both efficiency and well-being ... and improves job satisfaction. Not all companies can afford corporate exercise facilities ... or allow staff the time to take advantage of them. Perhaps, however, you could find ways of incorporating exercise into people's work roles ... surreptitiously, if you like, encouraging them to exercise If it is for their own good (and yours) does that make it OK?

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Write the Rules

Does your workplaces have rules? Most do, but often they are 'conventions, unwritten but largely abided by. This is OK until someone decides to break those conventions. Unless the rules are codified, it becomes very difficult to enforce them. (Think about public establishments that have a dress code of 'smart casual' ... who defines smart ... or casual for that matter. So it is worth writing down the rules - what do employees do with their coats when they arrive, can they eat and/or drink at their workstation, what should happen at break times, when can those breaks be taken .. and so on. It will make the organisation more productive if people know how they should behave under a range of circumstances. There is no need to be heavy-handed with this ... just issue a 'reminder' of the already-established rules - for everyone's safety, convenience and efficiency.