Writen by Brent Filson

William Penn (1644-1718),founder of what would become the state of Pennsylvania, was on the receiving end of a succinct Leadership Talk that still reverberates down the centuries and into your everyday leadership challenges.

In his youth, Penn became an ardent Quaker. When he asked George Fox (1624-1691), the founder of the non-violent religious sect, if he should continue to wear a sword, a standard part of the dress of Penn's aristocratic class, Fox replied, "Wear it as long as thou canst."

Fox's reply not only illustrates a principle of Quakerism but also a principle underpinning a leadership process I have been teaching to thousands of leaders worldwide during the past 21 years: the Leadership Talk.

Get the Leadership Talk right, and it can boost your job performance and career in many ways. But you can't get the Leadership Talk right unless you understand this principle.

What is a Leadership Talk? You can understand it by first understanding "the hierarchy of verbal persuasion." The lowest levels of the hierarchy are speeches and presentations. They are methods for communicating information. The highest level, the most effective way for a leader to communicate, is through the Leadership Talk. The Leadership Talk not only communicates information; it does something much more: it helps the leader establish deep, human, emotional connections with the people they're talking to, enabling them to be much more effective.

As to the principle: it goes right to the heart of Fox's reply to Penn. Fox ardently believed that every human has an "inner light and spirit." The Quakers were guided by that light which they believed came directly from God. They refused to bow to authority and endorsed pacifism. Implicit in Fox's reply was that it was Penn's choice, not any mandate from Fox or anyone else, that governed the situation.

The Leadership Talk recognizes that leaders do nothing more important than get results; and the best results happen not when leaders are ordering people to go from point A to point B, say, but when they are having them want to go from A to B. Instill "want to" in others is what the Leadership Talk does. That "want to" cannot be mandated; it is the free choice of the people. In other words, great results happen in the realm of free choice of the people you lead.

The Leadership Talk creates an environment conducive to people exercising free choice. In order to create this environment, you must first ask three questions about the people you'll speak to.

(1) Do you know the needs of the people? (2) Can you bring deep belief to what you're saying to them? (3) Can you have the people take action?

If you say "no" to any one of these questions, you can't give a Leadership Talk.

Asking and answering these questions many times daily throughout your career with people of all ranks and functions will help you create a fortunate environment of free choice leading to great results.

Let's see how these questions played out with Fox and Penn.

DO YOU KNOW THE NEEDS OF YOUR AUDIENCE? Fox's reply went to the heart of Penn's needs. Penn was the scion of an aristocratic family who in his youth had powerful religious experiences. Penn's needs were clear: He wanted to live by the imperatives of those experiences, which were deeply and personally felt. Fox's spiritual revelations, to use a Quaker saying, "spoke to his condition."

CAN YOU BRING DEEP CONVICTION TO WHAT YOU'RE SAYING? George Fox certainly spoke with conviction. Penn described Fox in his journal as ".... plain and powerful in preaching, fervent in prayer ... a discerner of other men's spirits, and very much master of his own." He added that Fox was able to "speak a word in due season to the conditions and capacities of most, especially to them that were weary, and wanted soul's rest .... valiant in asserting the truth, bold in defending it ...." The two met when Fox was being jailed frequently for his beliefs. Coming from a man holding such deep convictions and being repeatedly jailed defending them, the words "Wear it while thou canst" deeply impressed William Penn.

CAN YOU HAVE THE AUDIENCE TAKE ACTION? The next time Penn saw Fox, he was not wearing his sword. He said, "I wore it as long as I could." He would never wear a sword again. After he joined the outlawed and persecuted Quakers, he was exiled from English society, thrown out of Oxford University, and arrested several times. Yet he never wavered from promoting and living by the Quaker ideals. That action, NOT putting on his sword (sometimes the best action is no action) when all of social convention cried out that he should, was made all the more notable and instructive because it came from his own deeply-felt urging.

Mind you, don't mistake the Leadership Talk principle of free choice as some psychological delicacy. I'm talking results here. Leadership is all about getting results. The principle does and should have practical functions. The point is those functions are best manifested in environments of deep, human, emotional relationships. Such relationships can most effectively be established by your being open to and trusting in the choices people make. Guided by the principle of "Wear it as long as thou canst", you can markedly improve your leadership effectiveness.

2006 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. – and for more than 21 years has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at http://www.actionleadership.com. More about the Leadership Talk: http://www.theleadershiptalk.com

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to: brent@actionleadership.com

Writen by Philip Lye

Where there is people there is politics! Bullying is now a major workplace issue that has invaded our not for profit organisations. Take the following example.

Cheryl was the General Manager of a Not for Profit organisation in a major Australian City providing specialist supervision for young adults. She had recently received complaints of intimidation and harassment against a supervisor by an employee.

Imagine her surprise when within a week she received 3 more complaints from 3 other employees. All complaints appeared to hinge around the same behaviours.

The common thread appeared to be that the supervisor had publicly humiliated staff in front of other staff, scolded them for not doing expected work when they were not told about it, lectured them on nit picking incidences and often disappeared from the workplace for long periods of time leaving the other employees to carry the load.

This had been occurring for several years but had now come to a head.

What is Workplace Harassment?

In Queensland, Australia, the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 employers have an obligation to ensure the health and safety of all workers by managing risks at the workplace.

1. A person is subjected to "workplace harassment" if the person is subjected to repeated behaviour, by a person, including the person's employer or a co-worker or group of co-workers of the person that- is unwelcome and unsolicited; and the person considers to be offensive, intimidating, humiliating or threatening; and a reasonable person would consider to be offensive, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.

Abusing the person/s loudly, usually when others are present;

Repeated threats of dismissal or other severe punishment for no reason;

Constant ridicule and being put down;

Leaving offensive messages on email or the telephone;

Sabotaging the person's work for example by deliberately withholding or supplying incorrect information; hiding documents or equipment;

not passing on messages; and in other ways, getting the worker into trouble;

Maliciously excluding and isolating the person/s from workplace activities;

Persistent and unjustified criticisms, usually of the nit-picking variety;

Humiliating the person/s through sarcasm, criticism and insults, often in front of customers, management or other workers;

Spreading gossip or false, malicious rumours about the person/s with an intent to cause them harm;

Singling out and treating person/s differently from others, without good reason

Effects of Workplace Harassment on the Employees and the Business

Workplace harassment has detrimental effects on workers and the workplace.

Workers who are harassed can become:

distressed, anxious, withdrawn and depressed
physically ill, sleep deprived
aggressive, vengeful
less self-confident and develop low self-esteem.

Workplace harassment may result in:

loss of trained and talented workers;
loss of profits;
reduced productivity and morale;
an unsafe working environment; and
legal costs for a workplace.

Taking the 'Bully' by the Horns

Cheryl was in the middle of an important change management rollout when she received these complaints and recently the board had requested an updated strategic plan. Life was hectic for this Manager, Wife and Mother.

However, Cheryl was concerned about Bobs' behaviours and consulted her organisation's policy and procedures to see what she should do.

There was nothing specific on workplace harassment but there was a grievance policy, which Cheryl put into action immediately.

She personally interviewed all complainants and took notes followed up by external advice.

She spoke with Bob about her concerns and the complaints she had received and after several hours discussion had obtained agreement to contract a professional mediator to facilitate the grievances and hopefully reach a positive outcome for all parties.

The day of the mediation's arrived. Seven hours later the 3 mediation's were completed. Bob refused to acknowledge that his behaviours were inappropriate although he did concede that he was beginning to see his behaviours might have had some effect on his staff.

The following day Cheryl requested that Bob meet with her and discuss his behaviours privately. She had discovered that two of the employees had visited their Doctors the day before and were recommended taking anti-depressants and stress leave.

Bob arrived at his meeting. Cheryl placed before him incident after incident that had come to light explaining that there was a pattern in all these behaviours.

Bob refuted each incident believing that he had done nothing wrong.

After 7 hours of interactive discussion Cheryl asked Bob to leave the room and return in ½ an hour when she would let Bob know her decision.

Bob returned and Cheryl informed him that she considered his behaviour serious and that his employment was to be forthwith terminated for workplace harassment.

Time Passed

Within 2 weeks of Bob's departure the workplace settled down, the 2 employees did not take stress leave or anti-depressants. Some months have now passed and the workplace continues to be a place people enjoy coming to every day without fear of harassment or intimidation.

The organisation has not had to replace the previous supervisor as the workload has easily been absorbed by the current employees now they are empowered and not harassed.


Cheryl spent 5 days solid time investigating and dealing with the harassment complaints.

The direct cost's to the organisation was $12,000 in employee entitlements and the Mediators fees. Indirect costs amounted to the same and what about the loss in productivity, absenteeism and workplace counselling that followed?

Several staff had been traumatised which effected productivity and put at risk government funding that was an important component of the organisations' revenue.

As this harassment had gone unreported for 2 years the personal cost to several staff had been high and this explained the high staff turnover in that period.


Do not ignore workplace harassment and think it will go away – it rarely does. Deal with it immediately or the cost to your organisation and employees will be high both in personal, productivity and possible legal penalties and claims.

You can effectively manage workplace harassment by adopting some of the following procedures

Introduce a workplace specific harassment policy

Arrange for an in-house seminar on workplace harassment and have employees sign to say they will comply with the policy

Include in your employees employment contracts (new starts) a clause about the company's workplace standard policy and procedures.

Appoint a workplace harassment officer.

Deal with all complaints immediately, confidentially and thoroughly.

Remember you may be vicariously liable for the actions of your employees.

Do not ignore workplace harassment and think it will go away. Silence may give the impression of tolerance and tacit acceptance.

For more information visit http://www.biz-momentum.com

Philip Lye is Director of Biz Momentum Pty Ltd providing professional services in

• Strategic human resource management
• Employee Relations Advice
• Workplace Health Safety Compliance Strategies
• Management Skills Training

Philip holds qualifications in Accounting, Leadership, Human Resource Management & Industrial Relations and is a qualified accountant. For more information see http://www.biz-momentum.com

Writen by Terry Freedman


The aim of this document is to provide advice and guidance in choosing a consultant in the field of education. You may be the headteacher or principal of a school or college, an officer in a local education authority (LEA) or school district, or the director of a private company wishing to undertake work in the educational sector. This article focuses mainly on information and communication technology (ICT), but the underlying principles also apply more generally.

Using a consultant

Consultants, at least in the UK, have a poor reputation as a species, and yet they are in greater demand than ever. Why? Why would any organisation elect to use a consultant rather than hiring someone? There are several reasons for this.

Short-term work

Some work is, by its very nature, short-term. If, for example, you are having a new computer suite installed, you might want some advice from an external person who has no axe to grind – and whom you can blame when half the staff complain about the design, the equipment and so on!


In a specialist area, such as ICT, it's quite likely that the school doesn't have the expertise in-house to do what it needs to do within a particular time scale.


Although consultants can be expensive, it is (or should be) a relatively short-term expense. And don't forget that you don't have all the on-costs, like pension contributions. These can add up to 20% of the salary costs. Also, if the consultant goes on holiday or falls ill, you don't incur any extra expense.

Choosing a consultant

When choosing a consultant or adviser to assist your school in ICT, whether for Hands-On Support, training, strategic development or any other aspect of ICT, it's important to get the right person or company for the job.

To help you do so, here is a list of questions you may wish to ask before hiring someone. You are unlikely to find any person or company who can answer "yes" to all of these questions, so you will need to bring your own professional judgement to bear on your decision.

1. Is the consultancy independently accredited by a quality assurance scheme, such as by NaaceMark or similar scheme? If not, is it seeking accreditation? Note that an answer of "No" in either case is not necessarily a bad thing. In my own experience, the work itself is so time-consuming that it's quite difficult to go through the hoops required to prove that you can do what you're doing! That's why the next few questions are important too.

2. Is the consultant a member of a relevant organisation, such as (in the UK) Naace or the Society for Education Consultants? These types of organisation provide a certain degree of quality assurance in the sense that they won't accept just anybody as members, although they will give no guarantees about the quality of work undertaken by their members. Also, they often provide useful information about the sector in which the consultant works, which in theory at least keeps the consultant up-to-date on current developments in the field.

3. Ask for details of similar work undertaken by the consultancy, and for details of satisfied clients – but bear in mind that a reluctance to supply such details may be due to considerations of confidentiality.

4. Ask for references, testimonials, or details of evaluations, ie evidence of quality assurance of the consultants' work.

5. You can also ask how the consultant gets most of its work. Word of mouth is a good sign.

6. Ask for the CVs of the consultants who will be working in your organisation if you decide to sign up this consultancy.

7. Is the consultant qualified to undertake the work? This could be an academic qualification, accreditation as an inspector or training provider in one or more schemes, or qualification by experience.

8. Has the consultant been on relevant training in the last year?

9. Ensure that the consultancy agrees not to subcontract the work without prior discussion with you, the client.

10. If you are considering the consultant for staff training, ask if you can attend one of their training sessions in another school.

11. Ask for other evidence that will help you decide if the consultancy is the best for this particular work in your school, such as a client list (but note point about confidentiality above), examples of video work, published work or a website.

Using a consultant

Once you've decided on a particular consultant, have an agreement drawn up that ensures, for example, that you will be kept informed of progress. For example, it may not be unreasonable to ask for a summary every 2 weeks, if you are an LEA and the consultant is working in your schools.

Once you've hired a consultant, make sure you get the best value for money. This means some or even all of the following, depending on the particular circumstances:

Have a clear set of aims and objectives that you are both agreed upon. This may be developed in discussion with the consultant before signing on the dotted line, but there must be a clear set of expectations by the time the consultant starts work.

Make sure that the consultant has the tools needed to do the job effectively. This could mean access to the computer network, desk space, essential contact information and so on.

Ensure that you have all the contact information you need too: phone and fax numbers, a mobile phone number too, perhaps, with the facility for leaving messages, and an email address.

Put in place whatever is needed to enable the consultant to "hit the ground running". If, for example, you spend the first morning discussing what the consultant should do, you're throwing money down the drain: all that should have been agreed beforehand – unless, of course, there is a need for a sudden change in plan, although even in those situations there should have been a contingency plan (a "Plan B") in place.

Don't keep asking the consultant to do more and more in an unplanned kind of way. If more work is needed, discuss whether it could feasibly be done well in the agreed time, or whether more days need to be allocated for it.


With proper groundwork when choosing a consultant, and sound planning, hiring a consultant to help you with your ICT work can be an excellent means of achieving the aims of your organisation.


Based in the UK, Terry Freedman has nearly thirty years' experience in education. Specialising in information and communication technology (ICT), he has taught in inner city schools, been Head of Department, worked at the Qualification and Curriculum Authority (a non-departmental government body) and held a 3rd tier officer post -- Head of E-Education -- in a London local education authority (LEA). He is also an Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) inspector for ICT and Business Education, has worked with the private sector on devising ICT courses and bidding for government funds, and advises schools and LEAs on educational technology matters.

In his spare time, Terry is currently the Vice Chair of the Executive committee of the advisory body, Naace, in which capacity he has edited British Educational Computing Technology Association (Becta) newsletters for ICT teachers, and is a member of the British Computer Society, having previously been invited to join the British Computer Society's Schools Experts Panel. He is a Mirandanet Fellow, has been an e-mentor, and is now a train

Writen by Carl Mays

Do you know someone who tends to ask a lot of questions? Maybe he or she gets on your nerves because of the questions you have to field and because it seems you can't get through a conversation without numerous interruptions. Don't despair. This may be a very creative person from whom you can learn and someone who might help you increase your own ability to be creative.

In my "A Strategy For Winning" book, principle number three is Be Creative. I define creativity as doing a common thing uncommonly well. It is taking what we have, where we are, and getting the most out of it. It is looking at old things with a fresh pair of eyes and seeing them differently. When aptly applied, the questions "Why?" and "What if?" can change one's life and change one's world.

In 1901, H.C. Booth was sitting in a rocking chair on his front porch in America's rural Midwest watching the sun set. He was also watching the dust blow across the prairie. As he relaxed and rocked, he asked himself, "What if we could reverse that wind and pull the dust rather than blow it?" H.C. Booth invented the vacuum cleaner.

Have you asked, "What if?" lately? "What if we tried it this way?" Maybe, "What if we changed that procedure?" It could be, "What if I changed my attitude?" There are many areas in which we can ask, "What if?"

Most people can learn to be more creative by learning to be more in touch with their subconscious minds. The subconscious mind is similar to a VCR or DVD. It records everything we experience directly or indirectly. We can actually set aside some time each day to relax and let those stored memories come to the surface in different combinations – like H.C. Booth.

Individual creative people may be quite different from one another, but most also share common characteristics. As mentioned previously, most are infinitely curious. They seldom take for granted what they are told. That's why sometimes they may get on people's nerves or appear to be "difficult." They are independent in the way they think and act. They take risks, take advantage of the unexpected, and are not afraid of being wrong or falling on their faces.

A large number of creative people have told of being highly influenced by another person. It might have been a parent, grandparent, teacher or some other mentor. The influencer communicated to the creative person: you are somebody; you matter; you have worth as a unique human being.

Sometimes we get the wrong idea of what true creativity is. You don't have to write soul-stirring novels, create music that moves people or paint scenes of pure magic. As a creative person, you can stir souls, move people and show your magic by, as Henry David Thoreau said, "affecting the quality of the day." You can be creative in business, family, community and life. You can be a creative parent, spouse and friend.

Creativity is not limited to a particular field or profession. In fact, it is possible that a writer, musician or artist can be less creative than a salesman or auto mechanic, because a work of art created by an uninspired, routine formula is really less creative than an imaginative sales campaign or an ingenious solution to a mechanical problem. Artistic output may be one expression of creativity, but it's not necessary to be a writer, musician or artist to be creative. A person involved in creative programming, creative management or showing creativity as a teacher is just as creative. The only difference is the ball park.

We offer this article on a nonexclusive basis. You may reprint or repost this material as long as the following information is included: Carl Mays, author of over a dozen books and speaker at over 3,000 events, may be contacted at carlmays@carlmays.com. His books, including A Strategy For Winning, Anatomy Of A Leader, People of Passion and Are We Communicating Yet?, are available in stores, on http://www.carlmays.com and http://www.amazon.com (You are invited to book Carl for your next meeting!)

Writen by John Savageau

The objective is to beat the competition and make money. Everything a business organization does should be focused on that simple objective, with interpretation through various Vision and Mission Statements. However if we take a survey of how our organizations spend our energy, often that objective is lost in a web of internal politics and positioning. Of course competition is normally good – regardless of whether it is internal or external – to the point we do not lose focus on company objectives as the ultimate outcome of our competition.

We often use the phrase "winning battles and losing wars." That phrase really hits home when we record all the things we do, every day of our business lives, that result in a situation where we are struggling with more fervor for internal positioning then committing energy in activities to beat our competition. What does "winning battles and losing wars really mean?

Perhaps the sales and operations groups are having difficulty with product and contract provisioning. Sales of course wants to sign contracts, get acceptance, and quickly start customer billing – their commission depends on shortening the book to bank process. Operations is unhappy because the contracts tend to stray from the letter of a product or service. Thus, operations may dig their heels in and not expedite provisioning while the "bring the sales guys into line."

What is the result of this little battle? Of course, the customer does not receive service within the want date and the company does not get paid as quickly as they would with a fast implementation and acceptance. And I, as your competitor, will be aggressively spending my time eroding your market share. The customer is angry, the sales and operations people are angry, and your image in the industry is tarnished while the competition quickly moves to exploit your weaknesses.

Let's use a different example. Your organization has the same challenge every other organization around the world has – a need for higher compute power, and a need to lower capital expenses on IT-related equipment. So we look into our bag of tools and determine a few relatively easy innovations could meet both objectives. You determine you can save money and increase compute resource through:

Server consolidation Disk consolidation/virtualization GRID computing Easy, right?

In Platform Computing's recent study "Organizational Politics as a Barrier to

Implementing Grid Computing" 79% of company managers indicated that resource consolidation and virtualization should be considered high priorities for an organization's IT planning, however 89% of the same companies indicated organizational politics and other issues could pose a major barrier in accomplishing consolidation.

Why? Operating units, managers, and individuals have an inherent desire to control their own resources. Moving an application to a consolidated server platform may result in the application user being denied the level of priority they believe is due them is cited as a major concern. In addition, if existing resources are identified as potential contributors to a virtualized disk or compute platform, there are strong concerns another division or operating unit could even grab priorities and deny processing at existing or desired levels.

An even greater concern may be the potential for losing additional operating budgets – resource consolidation by nature reduces the cost of doing business, thus it is expected individual units will require less funding than they currently receive.

Of course in most cases this is simply not true – however it is a strong perception.

Now let's talk a bit more about GRID. You have probably heard about it – and have a nagging thought in the back of your head eventually you are going to have to deal with it. You know it is going to seriously disrupt conventional ideas about systems management and resource utilization, and it may be one of those thought s that you want to put out oif your mind until the last possible minute.

Let's look at some simple GRID facts:

Properly employed GRID will greatly increase the amount of compute resource available to your company. In the article "GRID Computing," Royal Bank Insurance gives the example that actuarial calculation requirements were reduced from 18 hours to 32 minutes upon employment of their enterprise GRID. Monsanto claims in the same article they have reduced their new server purchase year over year by 90 percent Morgan Stanley, Charles Schwab, Wachovia, and others have announced consolidating enterprise desktops into an enterprise processing GRID With this level of enterprise adoption of GRID technologies, it is clear this is a technology we are all going to deal with within the next couple years. So if the statistics mentioned in Platform's survey are true, there is potentially going to be a lot of organizational trauma. However looking at the money savings, it is very clear that the benefits of employing GRID resource virtualization within an organization are tremendous.

Thus the question should not be whether or not an individual or section will lose control of a small number of resources, but rather how much more work they can potentially do if their existing applications and strategies can make use of the compute power of the enterprise GRID. Once the power of the corporate compute resource pool is addressed and registered, all compute intensive applications within the organization will have much greater flexibility and have greater potential for building innovation into their product or service designs. With GRID resource, applications can be better written to solve problems and tasks, rather than simply be written against the limitations of a piece of hardware or operating system.

Just as email had a major impact on the way we viewed business communications, GRID computing will have a similar effect on how we approach business planning. As employees, leaders, and professionals now is the time for us to start thinking with long term vision – don't think about winning petty battles within the organization – concentrate on winning the war. Your resources contribute to the success of the organization in winning the corporate and global economic wars.

(About the Author – John Savageau is a managing director at CRG-West, responsible for managing operations and architecture for several of the largest telecommunications interconnect facilities in the US, including One Wilshire in Los Angeles)

Writen by Philip Lye

Many of us go into business with unbounded enthusiasm, fervent passion and great ideas only to have 'people issues' confront us sometime, somewhere down the track, assertions of unfair dismissal being one.

These 'people issues' always seem to raise their ugly heads when we least need the accompanying grief. After all we are in business for lifestyle and enjoying the journey and this wasn't part of the deal.

Being regarded as the softer skill's employee relations is usually placed on the back burner and considered a waste of effort and certainly not an investment and almost like well 'throwing money down the dunny'.

Thud!!! We are often bought back down to reality when we are required to roll up our sleeves and enter the fray of employee relations when something goes wrong and often when the issues have progressed to the critical and emotional stage where it is harder to resolve.

In my day to day practice I regularly counter business owners who tell me that 'it will never happen to me', 'you don't know my people' only to receive a call several months later asking if I could assist them.

Mr. / Ms. NOT ME is a frequent visitor to business today, as employees become more street savvy and 'take the boss on'.

For starters we can get our employment practices in order and ensure that we are investing in the success of our business….people.

Products, Services – great, but people represent who you are and what you stand for and have an amazing capacity to make or break your business or cost you considerable time and money down the track.


There is a parable about a person who built their house upon rock and the rain and storms came but the house stood. Another built their house upon sand and the rain and the storms came and the house fell to ruins.

We need to recognise that we must build our business (house) upon rock and not sand, principles and not preferences, be responsible not blame and take the initiative and not have it imposed upon us by others.


When the employee begins with you introduce them to the workplace environment, work colleagues and custom and practices of your business.

Have an Induction Checklist Form that contains key employee and employer responsibilities and rights and walk the employee through the responsibilities and rights prior to them commencing. Ask them questions, do they have any concerns, have they understood? If so ask them to sign the Induction Checklist confirming they will comply with the responsibilities and rights and have had the opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification.

This process goes a long way towards minimising misunderstanding and at a later date if the employee becomes forgetful show them the induction sign-off.


Role Descriptions simply set out the Role of the employee within your business and the Job details for their particular position. It must contain core skills and competencies required for the employee to discharge their duties competently.

Employees who fail to demonstrate these skills and competencies can be performance managed through guidance and training and in certain instances where appropriate, have their employment terminated. In this way you effectively manage your employees.

The area of Role descriptions is one that is severely lacking in most businesses today and is a major reason why many employees are successful in their claim for an unfair dismissal.


The employment contract sets out the conditions of employment, rights and responsibilities of the parties and the boundaries in which you will conduct your relationship.

This becomes the legal and binding contract between you and your employees / contractors.

You should not put together an employment contract or have it altered by someone who is not trained in the nuances of Employment Law.

The employment contract should to be specific regarding a variety of employment policies and procedures.

Remember: What is out in the open and clear can be measured and not easily misunderstood.

Common Employment Contract Clauses should include; position type (permanent, casual), hours of work, overtime arrangements, applicable award, payroll, remuneration package, annual, sickness and long service leave if applicable, superannuation, code of conduct. grievance procedures, termination (voluntary and summary dismissal) procedures, discrimination and harassment policy, induction policy, performance management process, confidentiality, electronic e-mail and computer user policies including private usage. This list is not exclusive of other relevant industry policies but is provided as a general guide only.


This Manual is critical for your business. It openly lays out accepted and approved business policies and procedures by which you govern your business. It should include your Business Mission, Vision, Procedures and Policies. Policies include employee benefits, leave, discrimination, harassment, retirement, personal safety, employee and employer responsibilities, workplace health & safety, grievances, termination, and other clauses outlaid in more detail and should conclude with an employer and employee sign-off clause.

The sign off process is important part of minimising your business risk in that it confirms the employee has had the opportunity to ask questions clarify concerns and signs that they will comply with these processes and procedures.

By now you should be getting the picture that nothing is left to chance and is progressively signed off so that there is a clear understanding for all parties to work within.


Biz Momentum recommends that all employees are performance appraised semi-annually.

This process is one which employers find the most difficult and is often left to a tick and flick system or a general chat.

In this day and age it is vital that you take time out and learn how to performance manage people. Employees who perform well deserve rewarding and employees who have diminished performance require performance counselling.

In the event of diminished performance being able to demonstrate that you have gone through due process and procedures will greatly minimise your risk of financial compensation on an unfair dismissal charge.

Remember: What's measured gets done.

Your performance appraisal system should be designed to encourage open dialogue between you and your employee/s and to effectively 'nip conflict in the bud' before it potentially gets out of hand.


In an age of discontinuous change we need to take time out ourselves and keep abreast of changes in all areas of business. This is especially true of employee relation. Changes are occurring rapidly as the dynamics of the workplace change in response to environmental, financial, industry, government and other triggers

Subscribe to periodicals, develop peers relationships that are mutually beneficial and take time to be updated.

Remember: Ensure that you, the head wag the dog and not the tail.


By taking time to incrementally introduce sensible and practical employee policies and procedures you are able to minimise your people risk and ensure that they work with you and not against you.

Remember: Take the time or do the crime.

For more information visit www.biz-momentum.com

Philip Lye is the founder of Biz Momentum providng small to medium enterprises with strategic human resource management, workplace health and safety consultation and business management advice. Biz Momentum is based in Brisbane Australia and operates nationally.

Visit http://www.biz-momentum.com for other helpful articles. Drop by and say hello and email us your feedback.

Writen by Eddie Blass

If you were to take the people out of an organisation you would be left with some stock and machinery that would be of little value, and possibly some property. It is the people that make an organisation function, so having the people functioning to the best of their ability must surely be best for an organisation. Yet much of what is undertaken in the field of HRM actually serves to detract from people functioning at their best. Evidence from studies of wellbeing in the workplace reveal some interesting findings that raise questions as to whether the current focus of HRM will adapt to the evolving future workplace, or whether it will need to be redrawn along different lines, focussing on maintaining wellbeing above all else in the workplace to enable people to be successful for their organisations.

Much of the literature on wellbeing focuses on work-life balance (WLB) as potentially the most important element that affects people and their behaviour at work. Hence it is the most high profile and most highly legislated area in consideration. However, the evidence in this area is mixed and far from conclusive.

While a measure of organisational health is being heralded by the likes of Henderson Fund Management to allow investors to make more informed decisions about the companies they are investing in, quite how this will be calculated, or what its value will be are yet to be determined. City analysts already take a keen interest in voluntary staff turnover rates, especially in service/consulting businesses where valuation is contingent on the ability of a business to scale quickly and in high growth periods. They see voluntary turnover as a good but crude indicator of employee satisfaction and engagement. They also look to indices such as Gallup Q12 scores that measure engagement. Other measures are emerging in the marketplace. Vielife, for example, has a range of organisational health audits both at the whole organisation and individual employee level, and aim to develop the standardised metric for the measurement of employee wellbeing. Ironically they find that a health and wellbeing index is higher on the agenda of the financial and managing directors' than it is for the HR director.

The current UK Labour Government is also on the health and wellbeing bandwagon with its current white paper 'Choosing Health' devoting a whole chapter to workplace health and wellbeing. They claim that stress-related conditions and musculoskeletal disorders are now the commonest reported causes of work-related sickness absence, and that 3.74 million workers clock up more than the 48 hour limit under the Working Time Directive, which is 423,000 more than in 1992 when there was no long hours protection.

Work in this area by the CIPD and The Tomorrow Project has identified what appear to be four key characteristics that contribute to an individual's wellbeing: autonomy, relationships, the physical environment and the individual's disposition. This remodels HRM away from the traditional relations, resourcing, development and reward model which is functional and outcome based, to one where the individual becomes the central concern. Does the individual have the appropriate level of autonomy to allow them to function best? Are the significant relationships in their work enhancing rather than detracting from their performance? Is the physical environment contributing to their productivity, or is it making them sick? How can the work environment be managed to ensure that it is a positive experience for people, contributing to a positive rather than negative disposition? Arguably any activity which does not contribute to any of these four is not contributing to the success of the individual, and hence the success of the organisation, and the organisation should therefore question abandoning them. If you were to ask these questions with regard to the policies and practices that HRM currently employs, it would be interesting to see how many passed the test and remained.

Dr Eddie Blass is a freelance academic and ghostwriter specialising in business and management, education, law and futures studies.

Inventory Management 101

Writen by Steven Ronsworth

Inventory management may seem complicated to some, but if one truly thinks about what the words "inventory management" mean, it is a simple concept. Inventory is basically a list of goods and materials that are held by a business and are available in stock. Inventory management is the process of keeping track of inventory, and having the delicate balance of supply and demand firmly mastered. When having inventory, a company does not ever want to have too much of a product, nor does it want to have not enough of that product to meet demand. Inventory management helps to ensure that a proper inventory is maintained at all times.

Benefits of Inventory Management

Inventory management has many benefits for companies. Companies are required to have a certain amount of inventory, but they do not want to have too much. Inventory costs money, so a company with too much inventory is wasting money and hurting itself. Inventory management can help make it so that a company has the exact inventory needed. No more, no less. Inventory management is also an effective way to keep track of exactly what products a company has. If a company sells 100 different products, it is important to know how much of each product they have. This knowledge can be obtained through inventory management. Inventory management appears as an asset on the balance sheet for a company, but it also ties up money. That being said, managing one's inventory is essential. Well-organized inventory management can help save a business unnecessary costs, while delivering products and services to customers more quickly and efficiently. This will eventually lead to increased customer satisfaction, giving a business a greater chance to retain customers and gain new customers. Successful implementation of inventory will improve the entire business significantly

Inventory Management Software

Who manages the inventory? Naturally, businesses have jobs specifically designed for monitoring inventory. Today, as business technology becomes increasingly important and prevalent, inventory managers use software. Inventory management software may consists of a variety of programs. Most generally, inventory management software has databases in which information can be entered easily. Inventory management software also provides a central hub to find out information on all of the inventory a company has. This is quite useful for any inventory manager, or a company deciding how much additional inventory to purchase.

Suggestions for Successful Inventory Management

Inventory management is a wonderful idea, but it has to be carried out correctly. Some suggestions for successful implementation of inventory management are to have the best software available for one's company. This does not necessarily mean the most expensive, or technologically advanced. Rather, having the best software to suit the needs of the particular company. It is also important to have highly trained personnel working on inventory management. Employees must be able to adjust to changes in demand and supply as quickly as possible. There are many inventory management seminars available. Sending inventory managers to these seminars is always a good idea. The better the employees understand and successfully implement inventory management, the better off the business will be.


Inventory management is important for keeping costs down, while meeting regulations. Supply and demand is a delicate balance, and inventory management hopes to ensure that the balance is undisturbed. Highly trained inventory managers and high-quality software will help make inventory management a success. The ROI of inventory management will be seen in the forms of increased revenue and profits, positive employee atmosphere, and an overall increase of customer satisfaction.

Steven Ronsworth writes about inventory management frequently. Learn more at Inventory Management Review ( http://www.inventorymanagementreview.org ).

Writen by Hans Bool

Article marketing is just like a real business; there are the employees or freelancers (authors), the publishing system and the editors (together the internal organization) and there are ... the clients (the readers). The goal is to get satisfied clients.

And there is always a problem. For example the article-parts-problem. This is a normal business problem. An organization should arrange its business between internal efficiency requirements and external (client) demands.

The employee (the author)
Certain authors write their articles in parts, for example – "How to color your presentation (1)," is the first part, followed by "How to color your presentation (2)," the second part. There could also be a third part. This is what I personally like about these sequels; that when I think there is something more to tell about the subject, I just add another article in the same sequence. At whatever moment.

The problem
The problem is however that there could be a time lag between article part one and part two. The article system is placing the articles in a sequential order. Like a normal library, the article directory is ordering the articles per author and on an alphabetical order, but (unlike a normal library) this is not visual for the reader, nor are the different parts linked together.

The client (the reader)
It appears that articles – as they are pure content – are most of all retrieved through the search engines. In which case it could be possible that a client hits an article that is one in the middle of a series – for example the reader gets article two (2) not knowing that there are many more articles. In this case, the reader is in the middle of a short story, that is to be continued, but he would not know where to follow it.

The solution
What you normally see in business is that the employees are guided by the limitation of the system. In many cases there is some kind of an information system and as any system these are always limited in their functionality, because it would make these systems too expensive to solve all possible exceptions. The system is leading the organization in these (and many other) cases. The author in this situation should learn to cut his or her articles up in autonomous parts with a singular start and end. That requires training, but would also require that "broken" articles get rejected by the editors. This will diminish the internal efficiency.

Or, the system should be tailored to the needs of both the employee and the client. In this case the system should search for a sequel and present a little button with the text – "continue reading next part," or "read previous part." This is a more expensive solution.

To solve issues like these you need to balance between internal efficiency and external client demands. Most of the time you will end up somewhere in the middle.

© 2006 Hans Bool

Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management tools. Have a look at some of our free management tools

Writen by Harvey Chichester

In today's competitive environment, factories and other production facilities need to operate around the clock in order to maximize the use of the company's resources. But heavy usage means increased damage to the plant floor since even the hardest cement deteriorates under constant friction. With floor damage comes difficulty in cleaning, maintaining rolling equipment, and presenting a positive corporate image. Shutting down the plant would be too costly to the business operations, so the damage must be repaired on the fly--and it must last. This is where a new breed of wear-resistant and easy-to-use epoxy patches and laminating products can save the day.

Even more difficult than maintaining clean, smooth floors with out chipping, lifting, or pealing, is fixing holes, cracks, and erosion. Some facilities suffer from shaking concrete floors. The shaking is most often caused by rolling equipment crossing expansion joints cut in the concrete when poured. All these problems can be remedied with 100% epoxy fillers mixed with quartz that can be feathered to blend with the surrounding undamaged surfaces. With some careful preparation, and the use of grinders, the damaged floor can be brought back to level quickly and without interruption to operations. The patching materials have compression strengths exceeding 22,000 lb. per sq. in., can be feathered to a fine edge, and will not wash or knock out of the holes and cracks that they fill.

Mixing 100% epoxy with color quartz to 28 lb. per gallon gives a trowel mix with a peanut butter consistency. This mix can be placed in holes using a trowel or putty knife. Small vertical surfaces are best filled by using a heavy rubber glove and applying the mixture by hand with a rubbing motion. Small holes can be quickly filled simply by pouring syrup-consistency liquid epoxy to the surface and grinding flush once hardened. Uneven surfaces can be matched by bridging from the higher surface to the lower surface with a trawled-on mini-ramp that transitions from one level to the other.

Photo examples of the joint sealing process are available at www.concrete-floor-coatings.com/photos/jointsealer. They are provided by Durall Industrial Flooring of Minneapolis, MN, the only industrial flooring manufacturer that also makes over 500 specialty cleaners, allowing them to produce special preparations and application systems designed to assure optimum flooring adhesion and wear results.

For more information, contact Harvey Chichester at harvey@concrete-floor-coatings.com

Phone: 1-800-466-8910 or 952-888-1488 (24/7)


Harvey Chichester is a principal of Durall Industrial Flooring, a company with more than 40 years experience in developing special flow-coatings for industrial and residential floors. He has experience with Automotive and shopping centers, breweries, food processing plants, manufacturing plants, airplane hangars, car washes, kennels, warehouses, printing plants, residential basements, pool decks, and condominiums are among some of the facilities that benefit from these non-porous, moisture- and wear-resistant cement floor coverings.

Writen by Michael Gatt

Individual and corporate security stand in the center of the Sarbanes Oxley Act summary, as they are the areas that suffered most changes. New criminal and civil penalties were announced for security violations and a new system of certification of internal audit efforts was set. With the new auditor independence provision, auditors from outside the system have been granted more access to company data. Other items comprised in the Sarbanes Oxley Act summary focus on an increased disclosure of compensation methods and systems, especially for upper management.

This new act brought a lot of unrest and insecurity with companies, who had to adapt their work methods to comply with it. However, the benefits of the Sarbanes Oxley Act to the investors and the general public are obvious, so even those company managers who faced compliance problems understood the importance of the new laws. Most companies begin by starting an external audit of their company, so as to see if it is compliant with the Sarbanes Oxley Act. After the most risky areas of the company have been identified, the company usually proceeds to install and implement software solutions. The need for increased security is taken seriously by all companies that wish to ensure maximum compliance with the act.

Here is a section of the Sarbanes Oxley Act summary which points out the most relevant prohibited activities:

"Section 201: Services Outside The Scope Of Practice Of Auditors; Prohibited Activities. It shall be "unlawful" for a registered public accounting firm to provide any non-audit service to an issuer contemporaneously with the audit, including: (1) bookkeeping or other services related to the accounting records or financial statements of the audit client; (2) financial information systems design and implementation; (3) appraisal or valuation services, fairness opinions, or contribution-in-kind reports; (4) actuarial services; (5) internal audit outsourcing services; (6) management functions or human resources; (7) broker or dealer, investment adviser, or investment banking services; (8) legal services and expert services unrelated to the audit; (9) any other service that the Board determines, by regulation, is impermissible. The Board may, on a case-by-case basis, exempt from these prohibitions any person, issuer, public accounting firm, or transaction, subject to review by the Commission."

Michael Gatt is the webmaster of several successful business related compliance websites. For more Complete and Daily Updated News and Information about the SOX Act please check out his website at Sarbanes Oxley Act Summary

Diversity In Organizations

Writen by Craig Hickman

Organizations have enormous power to focus efforts on collective goals, objectives, issues, problems, and results, if they so choose. It's the power of an organization's convergent effect — people coming together in a planned way to accomplish something mutually beneficial for all involved. That's the theory of organization.

If organizations exist to unite diverse perspectives, capabilities, and talents in pursuit of common purposes and mutually beneficial results, why do they stifle diversity, seek sameness, discourage individuality, promote conformance, reward uniformity, and punish nonconformity? Because managing diversity is harder than managing uniformity — managing diversity is more challenging, expensive, time consuming, demanding, stressful, and prone to fail.

Managing uniformity requires little more than an authoritarian hierarchy, strict enforcement of procedures and performance standards, command and control management styles, and a conforming workforce — the allure of uniformity lies in its ease of administration, stability and predictability, efficiency of operations, low cost and on-budget performance, minimal volatility with few surprises and quickly conforming culture. However, an abundance of research and experience shows that organizations and work environments with high levels of required uniformity inevitably stifle creativity and innovation, retard initiative-taking, prevent widespread accountability for results, limit freedom to expand and create value, and weaken individual motivation, commitment and fulfillment. A truly diverse organization or work environment, on the other hand, unified through common vision and purpose is healthy, strong, innovative, dynamic, and capable of blending a multiplicity of perspectives, experiences, and abilities, and it is able to weather significant competitive challenges.

An abundance of diversity exists in nature until it's altered. An untouched acre of ground in Maine, for example, may contain up to 10,000 different varieties of tree and plant life. Such diversity is not only inspiring and beautiful, but also ecologically robust. If you were to level an unharmed acre of ground in Maine, removing all indigenous plant life and then letting it sit untouched, new growth would bring less than 10 percent of the former diversity in terms of tree and plant life. The trees and plants that first gain root in the newly leveled ground would dominate the space, preventing additional diversity from developing. Once removed, diversity rarely returns on its own. The uniformity mandate of the dominant species makes it impossible for diversity to flourish naturally. The lesson for modern organizations and their management teams is obvious: Diversity must be carefully and constantly nurtured, because creating an organization is a lot like leveling ground. Both activities create new space where the initial staffing or first species will attempt to dominate and control diversity. The very act of establishing and staffing an organization begins a process of limiting diversity, unless diversity is genuinely valued and vigilantly nurtured. Diversity by definition is the attempt to bring together competing interests into a single whole, Without constant nourishment, vibrant and productive diversity will eventually fade into ineffective, unfulfilling uniformity. Organizations with high levels of uniformity are ineffective and stagnant — ultimately producing inbred corporate cultures that lack the new perspectives, pioneering capabilities and fresh ideas necessary to survive. That is the curse of uniformity.

Organizations and their management teams often define diversity too narrowly by tolerating, rather than embracing, government guidelines about inclusion of gender, racial, and sexual diversity in the workplace; focusing on the avoidance of legal risks, rather than the benefits of diversity; and doing the minimum necessary, rather than the maximum, to promote diversity. In the end, they promote uniformity rather than diversity, and understand only those customers who are most like their employees.

Craig Hickman is the author or coauthor of a dozen books on business and management, among them such bestsellers as Creating Excellence; The Strategy Game; Mind of a Manager, Soul of a Leader; and The Oz Principle. After receiving his M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, he worked in the areas of strategic planning, organizational design, and mergers and acquisitions for Dart Industries and Ernst & Young. In 1985, he founded Management Perspectives Group, a consulting and training firm that helped companies implement the business strategy, corporate culture, and organizational change principles set forth in Creating Excellence and Mind of a Manager, Soul of a Leader. His clients have included: Proctor & Gamble, American Express, Unilever, AT&T, PepsiCo, Honeywell, Amoco, Nokia, and the U.S. government. He has lectured throughout the world for the U.S. State Department as part of its American Participant Program and is currently CEO of Headwaters Technology Innovation Group, a subsidiary of Headwaters Incorporated (NYSE: HW).

Writen by Anna Johnson

As an outstanding manager, you won't just "manage" people; you'll also assist the members of your team develop to their true potential.

This means helping team members utilize their talents, develop new skills and knowledge, overcome fresh challenges, become more and more productive, become happier, and in all respects grow as employees and people.

To fulfill these responsibilities you'll need to develop coaching -- as well as -- managing skills.

The essence of being a coach is to help someone reach beyond his or her own perceived limitations and achieve his or her full potential. (I'll now interchange the male and female pronouns for the purpose of readability.)

Unlike other aspects of managing, when you coach someone, you are focused on her as a person, not on the task or tasks you want her to complete.

You have many "tools" to accomplish this. You can give advice and direction -- on the individual's career, on how to complete certain tasks, on how to work within the political framework of the organization, and so on. For the most part, however, coaching involves prompting the person -- asking questions -- to help the "coachee" discover her own answers.

You may coach via your regular, day-to-day, interactions with your staff as well as during your more formal meetings (including the performance appraisal).

Ideally, however, you will schedule some specific coaching sessions with each team member. These aren't for giving feedback or for appraising her performance; they're for coaching. During these meetings -- which may last for 30 to 60 minutes -- you'll ask some questions and let your employee do most of the talking. Your aim is to find out if she has any specific goals or challenges, and help her find a way to overcome them.

You might kick off a coaching session by explaining how coaching works. Then you might ask the employee what she would like to be coached about. She might have a problem working with someone else, or she might want to know how she can get promoted faster, or she might want to change roles. (If that's the case, relax. Remember, you want the best people working for you, not people who want to be somewhere else!).

Your next question may be to ask her what outcomes she wants. After she answers -- and remember to give her as much time as she needs to do so -- your next question might be about the difficulties or challenges she perceives in pursuing those outcomes.

You might then ask, "How can you overcome those difficulties?" in order to prompt her to work out her own solutions. Of course, she might be looking for answers from you at this point... and although there is a place for giving her advice... ideally she will come up with her own ideas.

Finally, you might ask your employee to give you her "game plan" for overcoming the problem or achieving the goal, ensuring that she has covered off all possible roadblocks to her success.

You can also coach people on a more informal basis. In fact, all "feedback opportunities" are coaching opportunities.

For example, if someone hasn't performed a task very well, he will learn where he went wrong and how to work better next time if you coach him through the problem rather than simply tell him what he did badly.

Instead of saying "You should have done this..." "You should have done that..." you might ask him lots of "what" and "how" questions like, "what went wrong" and "how would you do this next time?"

There are also situations where you may wish to engage a professional coach -- from within or outside your company (as the case may be) -- to work with members of your team. For instance, if they want to make dramatic and difficult changes in their working lives... or you think they need an outside perspective... or you want them to have coaching on a more regular basis than what you can provide...

There are no special qualifications required to be a coach, so it's critical for you to select one carefully. In particular, look for someone who specializes in coaching executives and who has been through a rigorous and highly regarded training program.

Incorporate coaching into your role as a manager and you're almost certain to develop a closer relationship with your staff that leads to greater productivity, better results and higher morale.

Anna Johnson is the author of the How To Manage People System, including her book, How To Manage People (Even If You're A Control Freak!). Get Anna's FREE 12-page report How To Be An Outstanding Manager -- The 8 Vital Keys To Managing People Effectively

Writen by Jeffrey Magee

"When the student is ready, the teacher will reveal themselves." - Unknown, as told by Jim Stovall, CEO, Narrative Television Network

Where have all the leaders gone? How do you cultivate a leader within? In today's demanding work environment everyone must have a little leader within themselves and at times a real leader is needed to step forward and lead others to greatness.

To do so, takes an active and systematic approach to developing those within an organization. A model for an effective "Leadership Mentor Development Program" may incorporate a five-step approach.

1. Mentor Level One – would be an elementary mentor, whereby the mentor possess great basic knowledge and patience of a subject matter, which needs to be instilled into another person.

2. Mentor Level Two – would be the graduation of the mentee to a secondary mentor whom can provide opportunities to the mentee to apply this new knowledge or skill. This secondary mentor serves as a contact person for the mentee while they are being drilled in the application of this knowledge and assists them in becoming both comfortable and proficient with this knowledge base.

3. Mentor Level Three – would be a post secondary mentor that has the capacity to challenge the mentee constructively to seek new applications for this basic knowledge base and encourages them to seek greatness with it.

4. Mentor Level Four – would be a master mentor, that person whom has a well positioned network of stakeholders and decision makers across organizational lines that can serve to promote and sale the mentee to others, unbeknownst to them!

5. Mentor Level Five – would be that level which a mentee has been grown and developed from level one through level four and now that mentee has demonstrated a grasp and application of knowledge and experience and has therefore earned the right to become a mentor themselves and grow another person. Now the process reverses, with a reverse mentor relationship ability!

This model may serve as a powerful template to dictate very specifically what the responsibilities may be for each level in the mentor-to-mentee development life cycle.

Another critical question lies with who has the right to serve as a mentor, now that there is an objective means of how to measure the developmental progress of a mentee. First level considerations in selecting, recruiting or accepting nominations/applications for mentors is:

1. A willingness on the part of the mentor to invest ones' time and energy into the mentee is critical for this growth relationship to develop present and future leaders for organizations today.

2. A reservoir of knowledge by the mentor, both in terms of formal and informal knowledge/training/skill attainment/certifications, that can be deposited into a willing mentee and thus enable a shorten learning curve to develop!

3. An accomplished and dedicated senior member who may be of the present mindset that because of their tenure they are no longer valued and appreciated can be an ideal candidate and this participation opportunity may be just the prescription for a renewed energy.

4. A person with genuine vested interest in the organizations success and core survival will be an exceedingly diligent mentor and take the mentee's interest to heart.

A fast track to "Leadership Mentor Development Program" failure is expecting or accepting any individual into participation that do not adhere to any of the above benchmark suggestions.

An Ohio State University study indicated that professional women in the work place with mentor relationships were as much as 68 times more promotable and marketable in their careers among individuals with no mentor relationships. The question for organizations and for managerial-leaders to ask now is, "can we afford not to invest in our personnel asset by not having a mentor program?"

"If a man empties his pyres into his head, no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin, Inventor, Statesman, Writer

Dr. Magee is a Certified Speaking Professional, a Certified Management Consultant and a Certified Professional Direct Marketer and has been recognized as one of the "Ten Outstanding Young Americans" known as TOYA by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce. Today, Dr. Magee is the writer of the nationally syndicated Leadership Column that you may have seen in your own local business newspaper, serves as the publisher of PERFORMANCE Magazine, and is the author of more than 20 books, including 4 best-sellers. In fact, his text, Yield Management, was the #1 selling graduate management school textbook in 2000.

The Truth

Writen by George Ebert

The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple. Oscar Wilde

The truth. So alluring. So promising. If we only knew the truth, everything else would just fall into place. Sadly, the "truth" of a relationship, situation or event is always hard to come by.

The fact is that no matter what the relationship, situation or event, what you see is never what you get --WYSINWYG for short. No matter how new your software, fast your computer, good your analysis or frequent your focus groups, you will always operate on partial information. You'll never fully know the "truth." But there is real power in WYSINWYG. It reminds us that there is always something more going on. There's always something just out of site that will transform the routine into the wonderful. WYSINWYG requires that you never lose touch with your capacity for surprise and remain vigilant for opportunity. Leaders, who confidently declare that they have "seen it all," have lost more than their capacity for surprise. They have actually lost the ability to anticipate change and prepare for it. You'll never completely know the truth, so remember WYSINWYG and take a second look.

George Ebert is the President of Trinity River Seminars and Consulting, a firm specializing in the custom design and delivery of team building, personal growth and ethicaldevelopment programs. Mr. Ebert is a highly sought after speaker, educator and consultant with over thirty years experience in both the public and private sectors. He has presented widely throughout the Unites States. He is the author of the management cult classic, Climbing From the Fifth Station: A guide to building teams that work!

Writen by Jimmy Sturo

Employers have rapidly begun to understand the importance of stress relief in the workplace. Stress free employees have a higher retention rate and higher rates of productivity. It is no wonder, given these facts, that many corporations have been encouraging chair massages in the workplace.

Corporate chair massages involve the visit of a licensed massage therapist for on-site massage sessions. The therapist brings along a portable massage chair and usually gives 15 to 20 minute massages for all interested employees. Employees enjoy getting a break from the monotony of their day and can go back to work with greatly reduced stress levels.

Corporate chair massages are different from other types of massages. Workers can receive the massage dressed fully in their office attired and the therapist does not use oils or other ointments in the process. The therapist can target tension-prone areas to relieve the pressure of those who sit at a desk all day.

Companies can choose to offer this as an employee benefit. Some larger corporations will pay the full price of the massage while others pay a portion. The employee is then responsible for the rest of the fee. Some companies allow therapists on-site but do not contribute the cost. This is becoming one of the most popular employee benefits in addition to traditional benefit packages.

Some studies have even reported that implementing corporate chair massages lowers illness in the workplace. With reduced tension, happier employees and a lower absenteeism rates, it is surprising that every company hasn't jumped on board the on-site massage bandwagon.

A massage therapist could probably spend all day informing you of the benefits of corporate massage. It is proven that massages release tension and can help to prevent common neck and back problems. Employees that work with computers for the majority of their day may also suffer from tension headaches. Massage therapy is also an excellent tool to deal with this and a host of other common ailments.

Massage Chairs Info provides detailed information on shiatsu massage chairs, portable massage chairs, massage therapy chairs, massage recliner chairs, vending massage chairs, massage chair reviews and manufacturers, and chair massages. Massage Chairs Info is the sister site of Adjustable Beds Web.

Meeting Your Corporate Needs

Writen by Ray La Foy

So you have decided to make a career belonging to a corporation. Being part of corporation require you to be a team player and at the same time require you to take full responsibilities for all your actions. The sense of urgency and making deliveries on time are essentials in making it on any corporation. Another unwritten essential aspect of being in the corporate world is the ability to recognize the cutthroat competition out there.

In order to have your head above water and out of the chopping block, you would need resources to help you get valuable corporate information to keep you ahead of the others.

Then look no further, welcome to corporateuser.com.

Corporateuser.com does understand the compartmentalized way of thinking that people in the corporate world have and thus present the information needed by the user in an easily searchable and accurately indexed websites. At the main page you could recognize right away that the information you need is available. And with just a few mouse clicks you can get to that information. Corporate user.com does more by giving you related topics on the information you need, in doing so broadening your options in order for you to make that all important decision.

At corporateuser.com you can also find information about corporate events, corporate finance corporate housing and a lot more. Topics and articles that cover issues ranging from everything corporate to those that are something corporate related.

Corporateuser.com is fully aware of your needs like getting into corporate events. These events are a necessity for someone like you, they help you get to know what's going on in the corporate world. With a section devoted to these events you could plan your schedule way ahead of things and avoid canceling and rescheduling appointments. It would also help you get invites by providing you more information and tips on these events.

Finances play a major role in your career, corporateuser.com also have a section fully dedicated on every aspect of corporate finance. Need a mortgage or loan? Corporateuser.com have listings on companies who would be able to help you. Need articles on financing? They have up-to-date and timely articles. Want to know of the latest financing buzz? Corporateuser.com have it here.

People at Corporateuser.com are well aware of your personal needs like housing and have a section that has a listing of housing related topics. You can find actual apartments for rent in various locations in the country. Corporateuser.com have apartment directories, tips and guidelines in searching for an apartment. Also available are listings of corporate apartment and hotels rentals for your vacation or out of town events.

Corporateuser.com also has a section that could help you find the right job by listing job vacancies at the corporate express page. You can find job vacancies all over the 50 states and maybe just one in your neighborhood that you're not aware of. And if you're the jet-setting, state-hopping kind of person they also have postings for international job vacancies.

Maybe you need something like a letterhead design, a new name for your product, a promotional gimmick, corporate gifts for the holidays. You can find it under the something corporate section. You can get free downloads, blogs and news articles. Any topic that is related to anything corporate can be found here at corporateuser.com.

Move up a rung higher and get ahead, corporateuser.com is here to help you. Better yet put corporateuser.com in your favorites menu.

Satisfy Your Corporate Needs Learn more at http://www.corporateuser.com

Writen by Lance Winslow

Writing a Business Plan for your next entrepreneurial endeavor is crucial. You will need sufficient capital and a guide to keep you on track. One important part of any business plan is to size up the Industry and attempt to figure out your pecking order and specialty niches for your best chances of profitability. Having written more business plans than I care to admit and having read hundreds of others, it always amazed me how easy it was to attempt to "wing it" when it came to the Industry Analysis section. You know read a trade journal and look at a graph put it into Microsoft Excel and shove it into the business plan. If you have done this or are tempted to, you are not alone. But let me warn you that the Industry Analysis section is crucial. As a serial entrepreneur I have had some great successes and victories in the market place and of course as Babe Ruth will tell you, some strike outs also. You must know the truth and understand the trends of your Industry to properly position yourself for the stage win. This is why Lance Armstrong has a whole team to cover for him as he rides into the record books. You must know your competition, the course and have a clear strategy to be successful in business and it all starts with your business plan.

Now then without sounding like an academic, which I am not, nor do I posses a fancy diploma or have the letters MBA next to my name; let me show you a sample of an Industry Analysis. I want you to win, so copy this article and slightly modify the sample below to fit your particular business model while covering paragraph by paragraph in your own work exactly the state of your Industry Sector. Identify the trends and niches which are currently being exploited, as well as those things you are worried about and/or know will be your challenges. Take a red pen and write in the margins and then when you think you are ready and have collected the data online and read every single thing you can find on your industry, then take all your notes and formulate your own Industry Analysis, as it is one of the most essential elements of your business plan. This sample is for a mobile car wash business of a franchise company and it is a simple business, your industry may be more complicated, but this serves as a good example for you to get started.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Industry Analysis:


As more and more people are buying or leasing cars for three to five years, which cost $30,000 or more, they have to maintain them. After all, why would you lease a brand new beautiful Lexus or BMW to keep up with the Jones', if you are not going to keep it washed. The automobile is a status symbol in California now more than ever. It is so important to people that they will mortgage their house in order to own the car they want.

In California there are over 25 million vehicles. That's 1.2 cars, boats, trailers, trucks, R.V.'s, motorcycles, etc. for every man, woman and child. A car wash truck can wash 100 cars a day, 700 cars per week. Seven hundred cars per week is less than 2% of the average population of 40,000 for a California city. That percent of market penetration is two out of one hundred people. Obviously, at least one out of every ten people would like to have their cars washed on a weekly basis. That would be ten percent market penetration or 4,000 vehicles per week or six car wash trucks per area. This is achievable.

Position for Growth

With personal services on the rise and community owned businesses (mom and pop shops) making a strong comeback, this is a perfect time to open a mobile car wash business. There is also a growing trend of two bread winner families, creating less personal time. During recession periods, our crews will be less affected than other competitors because we go to where people have jobs. These people have money. People eventually have to get their cars washed and we are already there. Many fixed site car wash customers switch to a mobile service to save the extra one to two dollars because our prices are consistently lower. During recessions people hold on to their cars longer and have to keep them up as they are not able to buy a new car as often. During an economic expansion more customers sign up for monthly services and fleet sales double. Due to our lower overhead and efficiency our business, like McDonald's, is reoccurring. Cars get dirty every week, just like people keep getting hungry.

Our society is filled with credit card users. Our business plan calls for one-third of all generated sales to come from these customers. Fifty-five percent of all monies borrowed in the United States are done so by credit card. The number has increased for ten years and now with everyone using credit cards on the Internet in virtual stores this trend will continue over the next decade. Customers are able to order car wash services through our web site http://www.carwashguys.com. Check it out sometime. This is another service that is provided for by our franchisor. Our site is easily found on most major search engines such as Google, MSN and Yahoo.

Lance Winslow

Writen by Kal Bishop

Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation whilst innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialisation.

There are other useful definitions in this field, for example, creativity can be defined as consisting of a number of ideas, a number of diverse ideas and a number of novel ideas.

There are distinct processes that enhance problem identification and idea generation and, similarly, distinct processes that enhance idea selection, development and commercialisation. Whilst there is no sure fire route to commercial success, these processes improve the probability that good ideas will be generated and selected and that investment in developing and commercialising those ideas will not be wasted.


Many consultants will argue that the best organisational structure to foster creativity and innovation is a flat one. This is tending towards the truth but is not absolutely accurate.

Reality tells us that there are many reasons why an organisation's structure has its shape (logistics, organic growth, history, size, market share, future strategy) and is, like organisational culture, not easily changed or restructured. Often, there are valid reasons not to make structural adjustments at all.

Thus leaders require, not recommendations for complete restructure, but knowledge of fostering properties that can be easily adapted into the existing structure. This fits with research that indicates that people who generate ideas on a regular basis find structure to be unimportant as long as some criteria are met. These include:

a) Direct access to decision makers – provides fast feedback and immediate go or kill decisions.

b) Short lines of communication – if communication gets filtered there is a loss of momentum and corresponding loss of control.

c) Tangible progression – if ideas are not picked up at all, motivation suffers.

These and other topics are covered in depth in the MBA dissertation on Managing Creativity & Innovation, which can be purchased (along with a Creativity and Innovation DIY Audit, Good Idea Generator Software and Power Point Presentation) from http://www.managing-creativity.com/

You can also receive a regular, free newsletter by entering your email address at this site.

Kal Bishop, MBA


You are free to reproduce this article as long as no changes are made and the author's name and site URL are retained.

You are free to reproduce this article as long as no changes are made and the author's name and site URL are retained. Kal Bishop is a management consultant based in London, UK. He has consulted in the visual media and software industries and for clients such as Toshiba and Transport for London. He has led Improv, creativity and innovation workshops, exhibited artwork in San Francisco, Los Angeles and London and written a number of screenplays. He is a passionate traveller. He can be reached on http://www.managing-creativity.com/

Managing After Downsizing

Writen by Rick Maurer

So, you survived the downsizing. Your company did something that will probably show minimal, if any, return -- and will make your job as a manager a living hell. Your life has changed dramatically. People on your staff are frightened, fearful that they may be next to go. They will lie low hoping that they can be spared the next swing of the ax. (You may be feeling the same thing as well.) Teamwork will decrease as people begin to view the person next to them as a threat to that increasingly scarce resource -- a job.

At the same time, you will be encouraged to build a strong work unit capable of handling the challenges -- you know the drill. Your financial targets will get higher. You will find that everyone is expected to do more with less. Hours and stress will undoubtedly increase. Welcome to the new world of management.

You have a choice. You can give in to the strong temptation to say "what's the use" or you can attempt to create a productive and worthwhile workplace from the ashes of the downsizing. Lying low has its own risks. Your contribution diminishes and makes you a likely target for the next round of firings. Attempting to rise like a Phoenix is very difficult, but ultimately is better for you as well as your team.

Resistance -

Downsizing and other unilaterally inflicted changes create resistance. Knowing how to work with -- and not against -- resistance is an essential key to rebuilding your work team. Yogi Berra once said, "You've got to have deep depth." I find that most don't come close to heeding Yogi's admonition when it comes to resistance. Here are some things I've learned:

Resistance is good. From the point-of-view of the person resisting, it is always positive. People resist to protect themselves. It is a natural reaction to any changes that people perceive as threatening.

Our common reactions to resistance usually make matters worse. When people oppose us, we tend to try to make people comply. We use power, manipulation, cut deals, or try to convince them why they must change. None of these approaches shows any respect for those who resist. None of these approaches allow us to be influenced by their concerns or opposition. These responses build an even larger wall between us.

Rebuilding -

We need to develop strategies that both respect resistance and rebuild the organization. Working with both sides of that paradox is the challenge and the hope. As I studied managers and project leaders who were good at rebuilding teams, I found that they were adept at helping people examine their resistance to these changes and create a new vision for a possible future together.

Often they began by allowing people to acknowledge the loss. We think of ourselves as rational animals, but often forget that we are more than our intellects. We possess hearts and souls that can be wounded by changes. One healthcare organization was trying to rebuild after a downsizing and restructuring. Months had gone by. The changes had taken place on paper, but people were still locked into the old ways of working. Although we never thought of this image at that time, my colleague and I helped them hold a funeral. Staff had an opportunity to talk about what they lost and gained during this change. Many people were amazed to learn that others felt the same way they did. Departments that seemed to be the winners, sometimes felt a tremendous loss. In looking at the collective lists of losses and gains, it was easy to see there was far more commonality than difference among the lists.

You might think that all this depressing talk would enervate them, but it did just the opposite. Conversation began to switch naturally to ways they could join together to make the change work. The meeting ended with people developing sound strategies for making this new structure work.

Sometimes it is necessary to go even deeper and explore the resistance. The downsizing may have caused people to distrust management. And, as a manager, they may now distrust you. Doesn't seem fair, but that's life for you. They need to be able to express these fears out loud without threat of reprisal. If the fear stays underground, then efforts to rebuild the team will falter. An interesting thing happens when people see that we are truly interested in hearing what's in their hearts and on their minds, they open up. And, for the managers who have the courage to listen, as jazz musicians say, with big ears, they can learn a lot.

Getting resistance up on the table makes dialogue on the real issues that block productive change possible. I worked with a team that was all-but-overwhelmed by changes occurring to it. We spent an hour just identifying the changes and their reactions to them. The reason this conversation didn't lead to a gripe fest, was that the manager in charge put it in the context of finding ways to work together more effectively.

If one side of the paradox is getting resistance out into the light of day, the other, equally important side is getting people involved in shaping their own future. This does not suggest that all decisions are made by consensus, but that people can help shape how the work will be completed in their units. Corning senior management develops corporate vision and values statements that are sent to each department. Each unit works within the boundaries of these statements to create visions and strategic directions that fit into the overall corporate direction. I think of this like nesting boxes, in which each progressively smaller box fits snugly inside the next larger one.

Working both sides of the paradox is only the beginning. A day spent on listening to resistance, attempting to create a plan for meeting the future won't absolve you from ever having to listen to resistance again, or make you immune from future problems. Life is changing too quickly for that. Even as you begin to see results, something will appear about a related industry downsizing, and that will send ripples of concern through the organization. But, by staying in conversation with your team, you have an opportunity to keep the dialogue and teamwork alive.

Rick Maurer is an advisor to organizations on ways to lead Change without Migraines™. He is author of many books on change including Why Don't You Want What I Want? and Beyond the Wall of Resistance. You can access free articles and tools at http://www.beyondresistance.com

Writen by Martin Haworth

It's been a pretty good weekend around the place - not done a lot, but I have done what I've wanted to do - and that makes the difference.

I changed my role when I first left the employed world. Having been a manager for over 25 years. I became a true employee with a manager breathing down my neck. It was the most difficult thing to accept. It wasn't because I could do it better (although, then again...!), more it was that I had just no control at all. And I realised that most people who have jobs are total employees and have little say in what they do or how they do it. They are 'done to' rather than deciding for themselves and getting creative and involved.

Sadly I didn't realise this until I was a manager no longer, but what I did realise and share with you now is that to be totally disempowered in your role is demoralising and depressing.

Whilst I realise that perhaps I am more creative and need space to think and 'invent', which some people may not feel quite so intensely, I don't want to assume that. I recognise that everyone needs a little involvement, at least, in what they do and how they do it. Empowerment/engagement whatever you want to call it - it makes that difference.

If I can leave you with a thought to take back into your businesses and workplaces, it is this:-

"What can I do today that will empower at least one person in my team like never before - and how can I build that into our culture from now on."

A big challenge? Maybe. But what a gift you will give to your people - and ultimately yourself and your business too.

And I got loads of stuff done in the garden, that I chose to do. And gardening is not normally what I do much at all! Interesting.

If you want more on this - there is a page on the website that tells you more. Click the link below.

Copyright 2005 Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide, mainly by phone, with small business owners, managers and corporate leaders. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, http://www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com.

(Note to editors. Feel free to use this article, wherever you think it might be of value - it would be good if you could include a live link)

...helping you, to help your people, to help your business grow...

Writen by Rachna D. Jain

In running any kind of business, it's inevitable that sometimes business will slow down. This might occur due to an upcoming holiday, seasonal variations, or uncontrollable circumstances. As a small-business owner, you have a choice in terms of how you view the slowdown - it can either be a time of increased stress, frustration, worry - or you can view it as an opportunity to upgrade your business processes or improve the quality of your life.

Here are ten strategies you can use to work through a business slowdown:

1) Market more concertedly. Statistics suggest that new businesses spend (or should spend) about 40-60% of time in marketing and related activities. If you are experiencing a business slowdown, it's always a good time to create and launch another marketing initiative. It is important to continue to promote your business creatively and cost-effectively. What better way to spend a slow period than in taking actions to attract new business? (Plus, taking action will keep worry or stress from overwhelming you.)

2) Relax. This strategy works if you are feeling good about your business and your accomplishments. Use this time to catch up on some sleep, read a few good books, in short, take some time off for rest and relaxation. Sometimes, time away can help spark creative ideas or profitable insights.

3) Get ahead. Use slow time to get ahead on weekly or monthly projects. Look ahead to future months and see if there are any steps you can take, today, that would position you more solidly in the future. This can help you feel more in control as the pace picks up again.

4) Invest in additional training/learning. A business slowdown is a great time to upgrade your knowledge and skills, you have the time and the incentive. Take classes, learn more about your industry, become even more valuable to your customers by adding new products or services based on your new knowledge.

5) Follow up with old/existing customers. Most small businesses focus more on getting new customers rather than retaining old ones. A business slow down is a great time to get back in touch with your customer base to find out what needs they have, to remind them of your service, or to offer them special discounts for reactivating their accounts. It's always easier to sell to someone who has bought from you before - so make the extra effort to stay in touch.

6) Offer free samples or giveaways. If your business needs to attract new prospects, use the "slow time" to offer free samples, hold contests, or offer giveaways to bring new energy and potential customers to your door.

7) Plan. Take time to review your progress so far, checking it against your goals, and making any necessary adjustments. Use "slow time" to plan for how you'll tackle new projects, or expand your business or offerings. This can be really fun.

8) Relate. Use this time to add a little extra to the "bank account" of your important relationships. Spend more time with your spouse, significant other, child, or friends. Put some extra kindnesses into your close relationships - you'll have more to "withdraw" when you need it.

9) Network/socialize. Use "slow time" to get out and meet more people to talk about what you offer, learn what they need, help them connect with appropriate resources. Take this time to increase your contact base, and to attend meetings or events you might not usually have time for. An added bonus to this tip is that you might perceive new trends in your industry which can help you guide your business.

10) Upgrade equipment or processes. During a business "slow down", it's a great time to find easier, more efficient, and better ways of running your business. You might upgrade equipment so you can serve customers more effectively. You might automate parts of your sales process, or invest in additional training for your staff. You might use this time to make sure you are in compliance with all the relevant state laws, or to paint your office space.

While occasional business slowdowns might be inevitable, these strategies ensure that you're making the best use of the downtime - allowing you to attract and keep your ideal customers.

(c) 2003. Dr. Rachna D. Jain. All Rights in All Media Reserved

About The Author

Dr. Rachna D. Jain is a sales and marketing coach and Director of Operations for SalesCoachTraining.com. Sign up for her free email newsletter, "Sales & Marketing Secrets" To learn more or to contact Dr. Jain directly, please visit http://www.SalesandMarketingCoach.com; coach@salesandmarketingcoach.com

Newer Posts Older Posts Home

Blogger Template by Blogcrowds