Saturday, 27 June 2015

In the UK, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI - which represents British business organisations - especially larger ones) is asking the government for tax changes in the forthcoming budget to allow further investment in machinery/equipment and in skills development.

If you are (or if you were) UK based, do you (would you) support the CBI in this plea? 

Of course you would - it would give you more to invest ... or it would help boost your profits.

But as a taxpayer, is it the right thing to do ... or should entrepreneurs and employers be sorting out their own problems?

Think about your own skills agenda. Are you having trouble finding people with the skills you need? And, if so, is this a fundamental, underlying, skills infrastructure problem ... or a more temporary issue of 'right skills in the wrong places'. 

We all want help with our businesses ... but we have to be sure that what we ask for us in the best interest of the country. That is our responsibility and duty.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

What;s your timescale?

There are often 'quick fixes' we can apply to problems. There are also often improvements we can make to get yield up or improve throughput.  The problem is that some of these can have negative impact over the longer-term.

Global agriculture seems to be caught in this trap.  Yields per hectare are rising.  Good!  With a growing global population, this is not only desirable - but essential.

However, there is increasing evidence that underlying soil performance is falling.  This means we need more and more 'treatments' to maintain yields (putting costs up) - but it also means that there might come a time when the soil refuses to support effective growth.

So, though we might want to improve agricultural productivity, we need to be wary of the timescale over which we expect improvement to occur - and be sustained. Traditional agricultural practices managed to maintain soil quantity and slowly improving yields over centuries; our need for growth has resulted in massively increased yields - but for how long?

Next time you have a good idea for the bjusiness - think about its effects over the next few weeks, the next few months and the next few years.  Does it still seem like a good idea?  If so, implement it!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Now start

Last week I urged you to identify those things that you are doing, that you should stop doing - because they are not effective or not productive.

But hopefully that gives you some time to do some new things - to start developing new strategies, new processes, new procedures, new approaches ....

Starting is perhaps more important than stopping.  Starting something new - especially new thinking - takes real effort.

Identifying what we should start doing is harder than identifying what we should stop doing.

So, start now!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Stop it!

You are an entrepreneur and are therefore probably good at starting new initiatives, new ventures - and creating new teams.  Of course, it is good that you can do this speedily and (hopefully) effectively.

The problem is that most of us are not very good at closing down those initiatives, those teams when the job is done - or has proved to be ineffective.

I would bet that your organisation has the remnants and rumps of what were once effective projects, effective teams - even, of course, effective products ..... things that you should have positively closed down but have left to 'wither on the vine'.

So, take a look around you and see what you should stop doing.