Saturday, 26 April 2014

Give Yourself a Pat on the Back

If your company has survived the last 5 years, you deserve a pat on the back.

You should also give your staff a pat on the back (even if you can't yet afford to increase their wages).

This has been a difficult time for many businesses.  Survival equals success for many.

But, of course, you can't afford to rest on your laurels.

So, having given yourself that pat on the back, then put it on the tiller - and steer through what should be slightly better conditions.  Oddly, many business owners find survival easier than growth - it (survival) is a single focus; growth requires decisions and strategy.

However, if you've made it this far, you are probable well-set.  Good luck.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

I’ve recently returned from Greece where I was privileged to visit the site of the oracle at Delphi – a major centre of  world communication in the 5th century BC.  The size and scale of what was the Temple of Apollo is staggering – this was both a communications and commercial centre of real magnitude.

It is good to be reminded of past civilisations and their power and influence – and also good, of course, to be reminded that such civilisations often collapse or fail.  ‘Success’ is a fragile commodity – and the world changes around successful organisations – and nations.   Those who fail to ‘read the runes’ and fail to adapt to the changing environment are doomed to fail.

So, every time something goes wrong in your business - you have to figure out why ... and then stop that happening again.  Learn - and act on that learning. 

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Blame Yourself

Are you critical of the performance of your workforce - citing their reluctance to work harder as a major reason for low productivity.

My many years of experience has taught me that this is rarely the case.

If productivity - and labour performance - is low, it is almost always entirely down to the 'the system' - the processes, procedures, and working conditions set by managers and supervisors.  Workers end up with low performance because they spend too much time waiting for work, using poor tools, dealing with inferior materials and operating unreliable machines. It is rarely because they are not working hard enough.  They are not being allowed to work harder.

So, before you blame the team - take a good look at these factors ... and then take the responsibility (and any blame) on yourself.  Your workers cannot change these things. You can!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Careful who's advice you take

In a recent trawl across productivity writings - papers, blogs and so  - which I find useful both just to keep in touch and occasionally inspire me to new thought -  I came across the following..

Decide on a plan, get your supplies and ready your team. This is how you set yourself up to take advantage of the Virgo full moon of productivity.

This was in a respected publication. I was appalled.  Not by the advice, of course.  Though it may be a bit over-simplified, the 'plan and prepare' message is essentially sound.  But to couple that with astrology, suggesting that the alignment of planetary objects somehow affects what you should do to improve productivity, is at best inappropriate.  I am a scientist by background and believe that to make such claims requires evidence of causality.

Whether your business improves and succeeds is down to you - and the decisions and actions you take.  Take advice by all means - but from educated, informed, experienced sources - not from those who profess to have deep secrets based on information only they can interpret.