Writen by Shirley Lee

Almost everyday people in organizations have to attend meetings. Has anyone at the organizations looked at those meetings to determine if they are productive? Does anyone in the organization know if the meetings were beneficial enough to be worth the investment? If the answer is NO, then please read on to determine how to verify the worth a meeting has to the organization.

Recognize the Productivity Level.

The value of a meeting to the organization and how productive a meeting is relates directly to how effective it is at accomplishing the meeting's purpose. If the meeting accomplishes more then 60% of its purpose, then the meeting was beneficial and the cost of the meeting is to be considered a good investment in the success of the organization. Most average meetings accomplish around 40% - 60% of the meeting's purpose. In this case the cost of having the meeting may be balanceable by its benefits; however this requires verifying that a benefit from the meeting is visible and verifiable. Finally, if the meeting accomplishes less than 40% of its purpose, the cost of the meeting is generally a loss to the organization.

Compute the Cost of Attendance.

How to figure out if the meeting has value related to its purpose and the investment in good meetings on future projects. Below is simple formula to use for calculations when weighing the cost of a meeting and against the potential benefits.

AC = (R x N)
MC = H x AC
To determine the actual cost of a meeting, find the following data: an approximate average hourly rate for each person attending the meeting (R) and a count of the number of people expected to attend the meeting (N). Then multiply those numbers to compute total attendee cost (AC). Then take the number of hours (H) the meetings may be to multiply by the total attendee costs to compute approximate meeting cost (MC).*

Verify the Productivity Level.

Use or create a meeting management evaluation that will help the group decide where meetings fall on the productivity scale. The evaluation should have some sort of numbering system. Then assign a percentage value to the numbers in order to compare each meeting to the productivity levels. For example on a 5 point scale evaluation, each point would be worth 20% on the productivity scale. Keeping track of productivity levels is the only way to verify that improvement is happening. Sometimes, just knowing the meeting will be evaluated at the end is enough to keep people on target to achieving the meeting purpose.

Conduct Research on Meeting Management Methodologies.

There are many great books and some good training programs related to managing meetings available on the market. Do research on the web or ask people that do led meeting well for their recommendations.

Take Improvement Steps.

As noted earlier, the best way to know meetings are improving is to track the productivity before and after improvement steps have been taken. Improvement steps may be as simple as specialized training for the leader and/or group members. Or it could be a mentoring program where a truly good meeting facilitator is used to demonstrate the required skills in group meetings and then coach future meeting leaders in how to do a better job. Either way, an evolution in responsibility and mindset for the entire group will be necessary because a change in how the meetings are conducted will have to follow.

This information should at least be a starting point for determining what meetings currently have worth to the organization. It will also help with determining which ones could use improvement in order to become more productive and beneficial to the organization.

Copyright 2006 Shirley Lee. All Rights Reserved.

Shirley Lee is a consultant/facilitator who helps organizations increase employee, communications, and system capacity to produce results. Shirley designs and facilitates a variety of team building, problem solving, and productivity improvement events. Her programs include managing time, facilitating meetings, project management simplified, workspace or group organization, the problem solving process, and team-building.


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Writen by Rich MacKenzie

So you thought hypnotherapy and business development make a rather odd couple, right? One is all about strange utterings and exaggerated facial expressions, while the other is about being cool, calculated and professional. How odd that they could even be considered compatible. How absolutely bizarre! But truth is always stranger than fiction, and I would like to break the myth that business and hypnotherapy don't go together. I would go on to say even as much that Hypnotherapy for business development is one of the fastest growing fields in this alternative sciences division.

Numerous corporates and organizations today hire qualified and experienced trainers to take their personnel through rigorous training modules to increase their efficiency. From communication skills, to sales & marketing; from EQ, to leadership and time management, there are a host of training requirements which are needed by corporates around the clock. The end result of all these trainings is that each and every employee should be more efficient and present timely results, they should have good communication skills to maintain harmony in the working environment; they should be able to eliminate stress and have the ability to work as a team. What if there was one single method of training which could teach the employees to do all this and more, at a continuous basis and provide excellent results, be cost effective and easily accessible. Well there it is…the answer is hypnotherapy for business development.

You would be surprised to know that more and more managers are signing up for hypnotherapy for business development classes every year. The benefits of such a class are manifold and people are beginning to realize that. The corporate world is rife with high tension jobs, immense stress and competition. Many people suffer from lifestyle disorders because of their hectic schedules, and some even suffer from a burnout. Such a situation would take a toll on anyone's performance, and this is exactly where hypnotherapy helps. First of all, it helps a person relax and calm down…and that is one of the most important things that managers at work need today. While you relax during a hypnotherapy session, your subconscious mind is being sent subliminal messages to repeat this calmness in a situation of stress. By auto suggestion, your mind is taught to handle stressful situations with calmness, it also helps a person to maintain clarity of thought and focus when under pressure.

Hypnotherapy for business development is also a method to increase motivation in people, as it works on the subconscious mind to look at the positives and build self-confidence. A person with confidence is motivated, and a motivated person can perform better, be it while making presentations, pitching for new business or when performing the role of a team player. Managers like hypnotherapy for business development, because it helps them manage their work relationships better, even while keeping their emotional wellbeing intact. It helps in increasing their basic communication skills and works on personal development. These personality changes can positively affect a manager's negotiating and leadership skills, while making them effective communicators.

Hypnotherapy for business development shows fast and effective results. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Richard MacKenzie spends much of his time working with Hypnotherapy for Business Development, check out his Hypnosis Downloads

Hospital in Tennessee Thailand Hotels

Writen by Megan Tough

Managing for Best Performance

In it's simplest form, performance management is a common sense set of discussions that make sure people are clear about what they need to do, have the support to do it and get open and honest feedback on their performance.

Any performance management process should answer 4 important questions for your employees:

· Direction: What do I need to do and how well?
· Feedback: How am I doing?
· Rewards: What happens when I do well?
· Support/Development: What happens when I need/want help?

Lets look more closely at each of these:


Employees are not mind readers. Just because it is clear to the manager exactly what is expected, doesn't mean the employee has the same understanding. Having a detailed discussion about exactly what the job requires and any specific priorities is the first step in good performance management. Key points to cover include:

- what needs to be achieved throughout the year

- what data or information (evidence) will be used to measure performance

- the key actions needed to achieve the desired outcomes

Both parties should have a written record of this discussion either in the form of a job description or a set of specific objectives for the next 6 or 12 months. Written documentation leaves little room for misunderstandings or confusion between manager and employee about the expectations of the job.


Observing the performance of your employees and providing feedback about it should be a routine part of the performance management process. Feedback is most effective in making a difference in work performance when the employee has confidence in the basis of that feedback. And you as the manager will be more confident if your feedback is based on information that you can support.

For this reason the most useful feedback should be based on observed and/or verifiable work-related behaviors, actions, statements, and results. If you can provide specific examples of good and "not so good" performance, your employees will be confident that you have taken time to notice what they are doing and sincerely support them in improving. This kind of effective feedback helps the employee sustain good performance, to develop new skills and to improve performance when necessary. Feedback should be given as it is required – it loses effectiveness if not delivered at the time an event occurs.


All employees need to have a clear understanding of how the reward and recognition system operates in your business. Most probably everyone gets paid a salary for doing their job to a certain level. What happens when an employee performs significantly above that level? How will they be rewarded, if at all? If there is no incentive for employees to be outstanding, then the likelihood is that they won't put in the extra effort. A well designed scheme will clearly identify the rewards and incentives available for strong or outstanding performance.

Support and Development

This aspect of managing performance focuses on current and future skills, behaviours and knowledge. Firstly, the discussion should focus on what training or other support the employee needs to be the best in their current job - identifying skills and behaviours that need to be improved. If you can support the employee in doing their job better, they will have reassurance that their contribution is valued by the business. The discussion should also focus on where the employee would like to go in the future and how you can help them achieve their longer term career goals. If they are being considered for other roles in the business then you will need to identify what new skills and behaviours they need and help them to develop those.

If you are managing people, then people management activities need to take up the majority of your time. Each business can only be as effective as the people that work in it. One of the best ways to ensure your employees are being effective is to monitor and provide feedback on their performance. Setting goals, making sure your expectations are clear, and having regular discussions will help people perform to their best. The payoff for the business is increased employee productivity, knowledge, loyalty and contribution.

Megan Tough - published writer, coach, facilitator and speaker - works with business professionals to create outstandingly satisfying and truly successful professional lives. Make more money - have more fun! To learn more and to sign up for more FREE tips and articles like these, visit http://www.megantough.com

Hospital in Tennessee Thailand Hotels

Project Management The Plans

Writen by Michael Russell

When you put the bid together, one of your most important pieces of documentation was the Project Management Plan. This document will be your bible from now on, in particular the programme plan, which will take the form of a bar chart or similar and which you will probably want to pin onto the wall of your office. This will show you the state of the project at a glance, including all the important dates and milestones, especially payment milestones. If your plan was formulated using detailed activities for each milestone, you will need to check with the milestone owners that these are still valid. If you didn't use detailed activities, you might want to start now. I firmly believe that the secret of successful Project Management is attention to detail. In a complex project, it is all too easy to lose track of some seemingly insignificant little job or item which turns out to be vital to the conclusion of a milestone. Get your team to think of every tiny little thing that they will need, especially for the early milestones and make sure that the plan is always up to date.

One of your early milestones will almost certainly be to formally issue all your other documents as well as the Project Management Plan, as these will have been at draft issue only for the bid. This means organising the review and signing off by senior personnel of your Quality Plan, Development Plan (if any), Sub-Contract Management Plan and Configuration Management Plan, to name but a few. These will then require delivery to and acceptance by, your customer.

Your Risk Management Plan is another priority and will also need constant update and review. Make sure that your Risk Manager checks with all risk owners that they haven't any new information which may affect the handling of an early risk. For example, say one of your risks was that one of your software engineers would only be available to you part time because Project X was approaching a crucial milestone and might need extra resources. Your Technical Lead now tells you that Project X has achieved that milestone with no problems and won't need your software engineer. You can now knock that risk off your list, you don't need to worry about it any more and you won't need to put the fall back or mitigation plans in place. Risk Management is a complex subject so we won't delve into it further here, suffice to say, it is crucial to good project management.

Lastly, on the subject of plans, make sure that your Procurement Manager is monitoring the plans needed from your sub-contractors, if any. These may be stand-alone plans for complex sub-contracts or may just be a contributory paragraph to some of your project plans. Either way, they still need to be delivered in time for project management review and inclusion in the delivery of your document package to your customer.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Project Management

Hospital in Tennessee Thailand Hotels

Writen by Karen Schmidt

People are the biggest cost to any organisation and their performance has a direct impact on your bottom line. The most successful organisations are the ones that can get the people right and in turn get the culture right. It's not enough to have the right products or services you need the right people with the right attitude!

Let's face it, not all staff have attitudes that are productive. So how do you change their attitude? You start by changing yours. If you change your attitude to them, you will change their attitude to work!

Let's take a look at some typical workplace attitudes of managers and show you how they have an affect on the productivity and profitability of your organisation.

What hat are you wearing?

There are 4 basic attitudes that managers can take. See if you can recognise yourself or others in these descriptions. I know I've had all these types of managers in my career.

Do as I say not as I do – the crown

I like to think of this as the Royal attitude. There is one set of rules for management and another set of rules for the staff. Royal decrees are made from up high and the subjects are expected to comply.

This type of manager uses their position to gain loyalty and force staff to comply or maybe it's off with your head! The result is people start to act like helpless subjects, loosing the ability to make decisions.

Do as you are told – the hard hat

The manager is in charge and simply tells the labour what to do. They take on all the responsibility for decision making, hence the need for the hard hat for when things start to fall down around them. They use fear to get the job done and on the surface it appears to work but consider this. In his book "Emotional Intelligence", Daniel Goleman found that 7 out of 10 American workers are afraid to question their manager even when they know they are wrong and could cause the company to waste money. When people act out of fear they make more mistakes and spend time trying to hide them.

Do what you think is right – the mask

On the surface it seems like a great idea to give staff more responsibility but if overdone it's not managing or leading, it's showing you don't care. This manager shows no emotion and never lets people know what is going on. Their favourite saying is "come and see me if you have any problems". There is a major lack of communication as they hide behind the mask (or the closed door). Some managers justify their behaviour by saying their team are all professionals and know what they are doing. This approach doesn't work because even trained professionals like some feedback on their performance.

Let's do it together – the baseball cap

These managers have the attitude that it's a team effort. They are the coach and their people are the players who get the real job done. The coach knows you can't be successful without making the best use of your players. They see their role as making sure the team is free of distractions that might get in the way of winning the game and keeping their motivation to win at a high.

On the other hand, they know enough about the game that they can jump in and become one of the players where necessary. Their staff appreciate their willingness to pitch in and help when required.


I believe that the right management attitudes are vital to the success of any organisation. The first step in developing the right attitude is recognising your behaviour patterns and modifying them where necessary.

So tomorrow morning when you get ready to go to work, put on your leaders hat . . .and watch out for a change in the attitude of your staff!

Karen Schmidt is the speaker with attitude! She believes that success at work is directly related to your attitude and her mission is to create positive workplace attitudes that help people and organisations grow!

Whether your people arrive at work wearing high heels, a hard hat or carrying a hand gun Karen can help you find a way to get the best out of them.

From Sydney to Shanghai, she has delivered her award winning blend of entertainment and information to a wide range of industries.

Karen focuses on 2 key topic areas:

Her F.R.E.S.H approach message shows you how to reinvigorate you and your team in 5 simple steps.

Generations at work. Forget the "generation gap" and let Karen show you how to multiply your organisation's success by tapping into the power of multiple generations.

Her range of services include keynote presentations and interactive workshops for conferences, tailored inhouse workshops, consulting services and an expanding range of book and CD products.

Contact Karen at www.letsgrow.com.au

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Your Greatest Asset

Writen by Robin J. Elliott

I talked recently with a fellow who has a staff of eighty-five people. They're not his sales team. He wants to increase his sales, and I suggested he consider turning these employees into salespeople. "But that's not their job!" he protested. Exactly. And that's why most business owners overlook their greatest underutilized asset – their non sales employees. I got very excited when I realized that there were 85 people who could help increase his sales with no cost or risk!

Every person on earth wants to feel important, recognized and appreciated. We want to feel that our contribution is important and that our ideas and suggestions are valued. Plus, we want to feel that we get rewarded for any value that we create. I have found that our employees at the coalface often know more about our businesses than we do. Their suggestions are based on real life, real experience and real opinions. They have insights and recommendations which could radically improve our bottom line profits, if we only gave them a reason to share those ideas, listened, and rewarded them accordingly.

Your employees want to feel a part of the business. They want to feel that they have secure jobs and that they can increase their income without moonlighting and arriving at your business half asleep. By listening to their ideas and providing them non-threatening and easy to use, understandable sales tools with a system to measure and reward results, you can unleash massive sales! When we understand that our businesses provide products and services that relieve pain and create value, we can train our employees to perceive "sales" differently. Use this massive, neglected resource – the cost is miniscule and the results are extraordinary – improved productivity and loyalty, decreased employee and customer attrition and increased sales and profits, innovation and motivation.

Zig Ziglar said, "You can get anything out of life, if you're prepared to give enough other people what they want." Most employees dread going to work and we can change that. Give your employees what they want: a voice, an ear, an opportunity, security, self esteem, reward, motivation, purpose and recognition, get your ego out of the way, and the sky's the limit.

How workers ranked what they considered important, starting with the most important:

#1: Appreciation for good work,
#2: Feeling "in" on things,
#3: Help with personal problems,
#4: Job security,
#5: Good wages,
#6: Interesting work,
#7: Possibility for promotion,
#8: Loyalty of Management to workers,
#9: Good working conditions,
#10 Tactful discipline.

Apply this knowledge to your management systems and win!

"Unless you move, the place you are is the place you will always be."

About Robin J. Elliott

For more than 19 years, Robin J. Elliott has worked with thousands of businesses in over 49 industries across the United States, Canada, and Africa. He specializes in helping small business entrepreneurs build wealth and gain access to new markets and profit centers through Joint Ventures. Through his Joint venture Seminars across North America he has thought thousands how to create increasing, multiple streams of income without cost or risk and very little time.

Get Robin J. Elliott's FREE: "How To Grow Serious Wealth Using Joint Ventures" Mini-Course, and The Prophet of Profit e-Zine along with video blogs, world class articles, free video, and access to top Joint Venture Partners at http://www.jvwisdom.com.

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Writen by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.

Birds of a Feather May Be Turkeys
By Gene Griessman, PhD

 Birds of a feather do flock together. It's true. Given a choice, most of us will seek out people who think like
we do, people with whom we feel comfortable, those we won't quarrel with. Visit any company cafeteria and you will notice
that the people at the tables will be in groupings from the same discipline, department or ethnic group.
 As a general rule, relationships do not usually thrive when there are profound differences in values, abilities,
temperaments or lifestyle. Differences attract, but -- more often -- they repel. Individuals sometimes get involved in
relationships with unlike individuals, occasionally even conflict-ridden ones. These may be
exciting for a while -- but unless the principals agree on core values, such relationships
become artificially polite or unravel over time.
 Ways to work together. This general rule, however, needs fine tuning when it comes to science, engineering and
business. Skillful managers often deliberately create teams comprised of very different kinds of people. They are willing
to forego the comfortable, easy feelings associated with clone-like groups in order to bring diverse skills to bear upon
a problem. Such a team might include designers, engineers, physicists, marketing people, social scientists and lawyers.
 Managing diversity is not easy. Accountants, engineers, computer specialists, lawyers, psychologists and marketing
people do not speak the same occupational language. Each field has its argot, its own version of alphabet soup. Specialization
always produces groups with proprietary feelings about concepts and terminology. Even if two members of a team are engineers,
there will still not be one-to-one correspondence. They will have some problems with vocabulary if one is an electrical
engineer and the other is a mechanical engineer. But those vocabulary problems are minuscule compared with the ones that
occur when accountants talk to engineers or designers. A skillful manager will be needed.
 Cultural chasms need bridging. The differences go beyond vocabulary: values, goals and objectives many be different
too. As more businesses globalize, team members are more likely to come from different cultures. They will differ not just
in the way they approach a technical or marketing problem, but in the way they view the world. We will have more of this,
not less. Unfortunately, what we know about managing diversity is more an art than a science.
 If managing diversity is so difficult and so potentially stressful -- even disrupting -- is it worth doing? Absolutely.
Warm, comfortable, birds-of-a-feather groupings may actually be dysfunctional in business, science and engineering.
 If you want to do the job right, consider choosing people with different languages, experiences and perspectives.
The group may be hard to manage and the outcomes difficult to predict, but such a strategy offers the potential for
unexpected brilliant solutions. When everybody behaves as a clone, someone is probably unnecessary and the group may come
to resemble a flock of turkeys.

Gene Griessman, PhD is an Atlanta-based motivational speaker, author and time management expert. His books include Time
Tactics of Very Successful People and The Words Lincoln Lived By: 52 Timeless Principles to Light Your Path. To learn
more about Dr. Griessman's products and speaking engagements, visit him online at www.presidentlincoln.com.

Hospital in Alabama Thailand Hotels Booking

Writen by Marcia Zidle

How do you as a manager, supervisor or team leader hire winners? One very successful interviewing technique is behavioral interviewing---selecting the right person for the right job using a job-related rather than a gut feel approach. A job-related approach is asking for a behavioral example of skills and traits that are required for a position.

A behavioral example is a description, by the job applicant, of a specific event that shows in detail how she did something or handled a problem or made a decision. The rationale for asking for behavioral examples is the notion that the best predictor of what individuals will do in the future is what they have done in the past.

Let's take a typical interview question and turn it into one that leads to getting a good behavioral example of a specific trait required for a position.

Q. "What is one of your strong points?"

A. "I feel that one of my strong point is that I 'm very determined and hard-working."

Q. "Can you give me an example of when you went the extra mile to get your job done?"

A. "Last October we were facing the most demanding time of the year when a flu epidemic struck the office. Out of seven people in the office, five were sick, leaving one secretary and myself to get all of the work done. What I did was commit myself to working 12-hour days, straight in a row for a week, in order to be sure that we were dealing with all of our customers' needs. My boss, who was one of the sick people, afterwards thanked me personally for going the extra mile and put a highly recommended letter into my file."

The key to behavioral questions is that you ask for specific examples of past performance. Behavioral questions typically contain phrases like:

  1. "Tell me about a time when....."
  2. "Give me an example of......"
  3. "How did you.....?"

Note how the following question has been rephrased so that it will elicit a behavioral example:

Original: "Have you had experience training new supervisors?"

Revised: "Tell me about a time when you had to hire and train a new supervisor. How did you go about it? Would you do anything differently?"

By using this technique of interviewing you can also gain behavioral examples related to specific skills. For example:

Motivate Others
"Tell me about a time when you needed to motivate your staff and had to deal with morale problems."

Time Management
"Tell me about a time you had a very busy day at your last job. How did you organize your day and get your job done?"

"Give me an example of a decision you had to make quickly under pressure. How did you approach it, and how did it work out?"

"What was a problem that you had to deal with in your last job? Tell me how you went about solving it."

After the person has answered your initial question, you can then probe for more detail---what they did; how they felt; what they said; etc. Probes encourage the applicant to elaborate and to clarify.

For example, an applicant may indicate having good rapport with a supervisor by saying, "We got along pretty well most of the time, but then, like most people, we occasionally had disagreements."

The probe---"Can you tell me more about the disagreements" will clarify ambiguous meaning. A disagreement could mean anything from a bloody nose to a mild difference of opinion.

As you hear answers to the various questions and probes, begin rating the applicant on the basic of evidence of the skill, knowledge, trait or experience. This could be a simple 1 to 5 scale from little or no evidence to very strong evidence that the skill/knowledge/trait/experience is present. These ratings can give you a more accurate assessment of the person's suitability for the position than just a gut feeling you have about the person.

Remember in hiring winners, always have your goal in mind---getting and clarifying information to make a smart hiring decision.

Marcia Zidle, the 'people smarts' coach, works with business leaders to quickly solve their people management headaches so they can concentrate on their #1 job ­ to grow and increase profits. She offers free help through Leadership Briefing, a weekly e-newsletter with practical tips on leadership style, employee motivation, recruitment and retention and relationship management. Subscribe by going to http://leadershiphooks.com/ and get the bonus report "61 Leadership Time Savers and Life Savers". Marcia is the author of the What Really Works Handbooks ­ resources for managers on the front line and the Power-by-the-Hour programs ­ fast, convenient, real life, affordable courses for leadership and staff development. She is available for media interviews, conference presentations and panel discussions on the hottest issues affecting the workplace today. Contact Marcia at 800-971-7619.

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Writen by Steve Kaye

Communication is the key to your success at work, at play, and at home. Here are six tips that will make a difference in your life:

1) People judge others by their actions. This means you are being judged by the perceptions you create with your words and actions. For example, if you act angry, even though you feel otherwise, you will be judged as being hostile. If you sound helpless, even though you feel otherwise, you will be judged as being ineffective. Thus, choose actions and words that convey the impression you want to make.

2) People judge themselves by their intentions. Thus, acknowledge that the other person's actions or words are correct and proper (as seen by that other person). Even when someone's behavior appears completely absurd, that person most likely believes it is justified.

3) Everyone deserves courtesy and respect. Diplomacy gains more than hostility. It is always the best way to begin a dialogue. After all, no one has ever had to apologize for being courteous. When you treat others with respect, you set the standard for how you want to be treated.

4) Everyone has valuable ideas. Everyone is an expert in some area. Everyone has unique talents. A leader helps other people excel at expressing their ideas.

5) You can accept anything without agreeing with it. Thus, acknowledge amazing requests with statements such as:

"That's an interesting idea."

"That's a novel request."

"What an intriguing question."

6) Realize that you can always learn more about the other person's needs, priorities, and situation. Ask questions. Seek solutions. Think positive. Quick reactions often lead to apologies. Start by being thoughtful and seeking to understand fully.

IAF Certified Professional Facilitator and author Steve Kaye works with leaders who want to be more effective. His innovative workshops have informed and inspired people nationwide. His facilitation produces results that people will support. Call 714-528-1300 or visit his web site for over 100 pages of valuable ideas. Sign up for his free newsletter at http://www.stevekaye.com

medical health hospital

Writen by Kevin Eikenberry

The annual performance review.

Stating this phrase guarantees some reaction for anyone who has ever had one, or had to give one as a supervisor or manager. In my experience in working with organizations, that reaction is seldom positive.

The concept behind the performance review or evaluation is a good one. It is a chance for someone to discuss their accomplishments, get feedback on their progress, and build a plan for continuous improvement. The idea makes sense, which is why every organization I've worked with has these meetings between a supervisor and an employee.

Unfortunately, while the idea is sound, far too often, in execution, these meetings are ineffective at best, and counter-productive at worst. While there are many reasons why this is true, one of those reasons is that supervisors don't know how to do one of the most critical parts of this event effectively – setting clear performance expectations.

Without clear expectations from the previous year, the discussion becomes too subjective – one of the major (justified) reasons employees don't find these reviews valuable. Without clear expectations set for the coming year, people don't know what to work on throughout the year, beyond vague generalities or assumptions. This then sets them up for yet another largely subjective review next year.

Some Criteria

These expectations should be:

- Connected to the goals and objectives of the organization

- Clear and agreed upon

- Developed jointly

Applying these three criteria to the expectations you set during these meetings will improve the relevancy and clarity of the expectations. And by jointly developing them you improve the commitment of the employee to both the process and the expectations themselves.

Getting There

Once you know what successful expectations will look like with the criteria, the next question becomes, "how do we get there?" Here are some tips to help you identify, clarify and agree to performance expectations.

1. Start with organizational goals. Help the employee understand department and organizational goals. Discuss how their work can positively impact the achievement of those goals. Use that perspective to develop any performance expectations that directly link their work to those goals.

2. Ask questions. One of the biggest mistakes you can make during a performance review meeting is to do all of the talking. Get the employee to discuss their expectations and goals for the coming year. Start by asking questions – especially open ended ones. Perhaps you have some very specific things you want to include - you can add your items later in the conversation. Ask first and ask often.

3. Be quiet. If you are going to ask… you have to be quiet and listen. Be patient. They might not have an immediate thought – or they may be scared to say much if this is a different approach than they have experienced in these situations before. Ask the questions expectantly, rephrase them if needed, be patient and keep your mouth shut. If you are going to jointly create these expectations, you have to let them talk.

4. Acknowledge their feelings and perspective. You may not agree with everything they say. You may see their proposed expectations missing the mark slightly. Remember this is a conversation. Don't judge too quickly. Even if you want to influence them to a different view, acknowledge how they feel, even if your feeling is different.

5. Challenge them to stretch. One of the best things we can do for people is encourage them to stretch their performance. Help people raise their expectations a little bit more. How do you know it is a stretch? When is feels like a challenge, but isn't unbelievable. Setting expectations of improvement levels that people can't visualize achieving is likely beyond a stretch. Set expectations that raise the bar a little – and that drive people towards their potential.

6. Be specific and descriptive. The expectations need to be descriptive and clear. If they are vague, they are open to interpretation and won't be met to anyone's satisfaction. Make them specific and write them down.

7. Restate and clarify. The meeting can't end until you have agreement on the expectations, and you can't get agreement unless they are clear. Review the notes that have been written down, and make sure that you both agree that they say want you want them to say, and that when you both read them in 2 days or 2 months, that they will still mean the same thing.

8. Gain agreement. Get people to commit to the expectations that have been created. Give space for them to share concerns or frustrations, but leave with a commitment to work towards these expectations. Your organization may want people to sign their performance reviews or plans. Beyond those requirements, having people sign their expectations and agreements is a powerful piece of people committing to achieve something. So consider having people sign, even if it isn't a part of your organization's process.

Taking these steps will help you create job expectations that will meet both the organization's and the individual's needs. It will also be a springboard to helping make those performance reviews more valuable – for everyone.

Final Note

Perhaps as you read this list you didn't see anything earth-shattering or new. If so, my question to you is - are you doing all of these things, even though you know them?

Kevin Eikenberry is Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group (http://KevinEikenberry.com), a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services. To receive your free special report on "Unleashing Your Potential" go to http://www.kevineikenberry.com/uypw/index.asp or call us at (317) 387-1424 or 888.LEARNER.

medical health hospital

Group Discussion Guidelines

Writen by Andrew E. Schwartz

DISCUSSION METHODS: There are two basic types of discussion methods; the conference method and the workshop method. The conference method involves meetings of staff members, usually from the same organization, and is convened to pass on information, communicate management policies or decisions, or to solve organizational problems. These meetings are usually held for only one or two days, and generally consist of large discussion groups. The workshop method, on the other hand, is usually utilized when there are participants from a range of companies meeting for periods of longer than two days, for the purpose of devoting their attention to a specific problem or shared interest. The discussion groups tend to be small, and techniques such as role playing, case study, critical incident are commonly used.

GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDELINES: 1. Planning and Preparation. Research and prepare your lesson plans beforehand, just as you would for a lecture. Identify your objectives, and check for the availability of materials and training rooms. 2. Opening the Session. A good beginning, with opening comments carefully made and discussion objectives clearly defined, will eliminate misunderstanding and lay the groundwork for the session. 3. Presenting the Topic. Specifically define the purpose of the discussion. State the problem with the use of visual aids, then identify its importance for the participants. 4. Conducting the Discussion. During the course of the discussion, the trainer should try to encourage full trainee participation, and the greatest possible self-expression from each individual. It is helpful to ask pertinent, leading questions, as well as to give occasional summaries. You must listen carefully and attentively, for even a small lapse in attention may allow the conversation to move in the wrong direction. 5. Summarize the Discussion. At the end of the discussion, restate highlights that occurred during the course of the session. Paraphrase any conclusions.

TRAINING THROUGH GROUP DISCUSSIONS: In the end, the only certain way to learn the art of handling discussions is to try them for yourself — see what works and what doesn't, what seems to encourage new ideas and behavioral change and what serves only to use up your valuable time and that of trainees. The best guide for the beginner is to simply watch and listen, observe common rules of courtesy in speaking, and avoid an obviously manipulative role when you are influencing the course of the discussion. Once you have mastered the technique, you may find that you never want to use a lecture again!

Copyright AE Schwartz & Associates All rights reserved. For additional presentation materials and resources: ReadySetPresent and for a Free listing as a Trainer, Consultant, Speaker, Vendor/Organization: TrainingConsortium

CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates, Boston, MA., a comprehensive organization which offers over 40 skills based management training programs. Mr. Schwartz conducts over 150 programs annually for clients in industry, research, technology, government, Fortune 100/500 companies, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. He is often found at conferences as a key note presenter and/or facilitator. His style is fast-paced, participatory, practical, and humorous. He has authored over 65 books and products, and taught/lectured at over a dozen colleges and universities throughout the United States.

medical health hospital

Writen by Tony Jacowski

Six Sigma in manufacturing is completely understandable. For the same logic to apply to software products, it still has a long way to go to establish itself. However, for the moment it is safe to assume that there exist factors within the software industry that contribute to the shift that we discussed above. This also makes way for examples such as constant changing tools like hardware & software, decline in adherence to procedures, etc.

Level of CMM© At Which Six Sigma Can Be Applied

Six Sigma needs to be applied a bit differently when it comes to software service companies. For a company intending to streamline their processes, Six Sigma contributes well by way of helping to refine the mechanism.

It may not seem too practical to talk about defect-free processes so that you can begin implementation. The need here is the road map for organizations to work on defect control targets in stages. CMM level 1 and level 2 companies may find Six Sigma to be ideal to augment their framework application procedures for defect reduction. Levels above 3 will have attained the maturity levels sufficient for immediately implementing framework of measurement practices and will proceed further. At the mature levels of CMM 4 and 5, you can establish the complex metrics of 'true' Six Sigma to maximize leverage.

Techniques of Six Sigma for Software

As with manufacturing, the fundamental step is to begin with 'the customer is always right' approach. You can use a number of metrics, tools and charts to define customer specifications for critiquing and analyzing various parameters such as cost, quality and schedules at different levels.

There is no reason why Six Sigma will not go beyond cosmetic improvements and changes in the software industry. The 'goal questioning metric' or GQM, may be made use of in combination with other tools. The GQM technique combines well with the DMAIC model of Six Sigma. This is especially helpful, especially with Six Sigma being more focused on data- driven techniques.

However, you must keep in mind that when applying Six Sigma in your organization, it is necessary that suitability of a chosen tool or technique is established beforehand.

The Big Question

The big question as to whether Six Sigma can really be applied as successfully in the software industry as it was to manufacturing is still being debated. The real challenge is to see if it can be implemented without reinventing the wheel. There is also disagreement among leaders in the software industry about the need for Six Sigma.

One possible solution is that the proven processes of CMM, PSP and ISO can always contribute while Six Sigma can be used a complimentary tool. Six Sigma in the software industry must have caused a few eyelids to bat in its early days.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solutions – Six Sigma Online ( http://www.sixsigmaonline.org ) offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

medical health hospital

Test Your Hiring Iq

Writen by Marcia Zidle

The purpose of any selection process is to discriminate (albeit fairly) among job candidates. Your goal is to select the right people, with the right skills, at the right time for the right position. Have you hired anyone recently? If so, how well did you do? How many of these ten questions can you answer 'yes' to? Did YOU:

  1. Avoid hiring in a hurry just to get a body on board
  2. Know what you really needed – not what looked good on paper?
  3. Get the word out to a variety of sources so that the best candidates could apply?
  4. Pay attention to the right things during the interview – the required competencies?
  5. Prepare for the interviews ahead of time and do your homework about what to look for?
  6. Ask focused questions to draw out the candidate's skills, knowledge and experience?
  7. Develop a system to compare candidates so as not to get into legal hot water?
  8. Have real proof that the candidate can do the job – get behavioral examples?
  9. Make a timely decision and not procrastinate for fear of making a wrong choice?
  10. Use both your head and gut in determining the best candidate for the position?


8-10 'yeses' indicates you're the tops. Keep up the good work.

4 –7 'yeses' is OK. Brush up in certain areas.

0-3 means you have work to do. Make this a top priority to develop your staffing skills.

Great hires are always the result of good preparation, good information, and good decision making. You can probably teach a turkey to climb a tree – but it is easier to hire a squirrel.

Marcia Zidle, the 'people smarts' coach, works with business leaders to quickly solve their people management headaches so they can concentrate on their #1 job ­ to grow and increase profits. She offers free help through Leadership Briefing, a weekly e-newsletter with practical tips on leadership style, employee motivation, recruitment and retention and relationship management. Subscribe by going to http://leadershiphooks.com/ and get the bonus report "61 Leadership Time Savers and Life Savers". Marcia is the author of the What Really Works Handbooks ­ resources for managers on the front line and the Power-by-the-Hour programs ­ fast, convenient, real life, affordable courses for leadership and staff development. She is available for media interviews, conference presentations and panel discussions on the hottest issues affecting the workplace today. Contact Marcia at 800-971-7619.

medical health hospital

Hourly Pay Counterproductive

Writen by T.J. Schier

When employees are paid the same hourly wage whether the restaurant is slow or busy, many simply hope it is slow - because it's less work for the same amount of money. To follow the logic then, the business owner has a frontline of employees who really want the opposite of what the owner does.

What would prevent you from looking at your sales data and putting the cashiers or entire front-line sales team (if you have a production line for subs or burritos) on a commission or incentive program?

For example, if a cashier sells $1,000 worth of product over three hours at $7 per hour, they earn $21, but wish they only had to sell $800. Put an incentive program in where the cashier can earn 2.5 percent of everything they sell. Make sure the percentage ensures they earn above minimum wage. Now, they are motivated to sell more --- whether it's moving more customers thru the line or improving the check average. It's all about total sales.

Imagine the next shift where employees work harder and sell $1,200 worth of product. They earn $30 (2.5 percent x $1,200) instead of $21 by giving you $200 in extra sales. That's a financial win for you and the employees. An additional $9 per shift for them over the course of 200 shifts in a year is a $1,800 raise and, more importantly, gives them a common focus with the business owner --- to make more money!

In the back of the house, take more of a bonus approach. Set a food-cost hurdle near the ideal cost you should be running and offer a 10-20 cent per hour bonus for the week to the team if they achieve the goal. It promotes teamwork (everyone focused on lowering costs) and individual efforts (the more hours you work, the more money you make).

Additionally, you could run the shift short one employee and offer everyone a $1 per hour bonus for the shift. It's amazing how the kitchen can run even better with 5 employees instead of 6 and you save labor dollars.

Today's generation wants to succeed. You just have to design the right system to get them motivated to have the same goals you do!

T.J. Schier is service professional, consultant and speaker with over 20 years experience in operations and training. Founder and president of Incentivize Solutions and podTraining, T.J. has helped numerous clients enhance their service and training programs and spoken to tens of thousands of managers, franchisees and operators in various fields. Visit http://IncentivizeSolutions.com/ for more info motivating today's employees, training today's generation and delivering outstanding guest service; or http://podTraining.us/, a unique new system and the foundation of 'i-learning' - using the device of today's generation, the iPod - to train your workforce.

medical health hospital

Writen by Steven Chabotte

Data mining is the art of extracting nuggets of gold from a set of seeminngly meaningless and random data. For the web, this data can be in the form of your server hit log, a database of visitors to your website or customers that have actually purchased from your web site at one time or another.

Today, we will look at how examining customer purchases can give you big clues to revising/improving your product selection, offering style and packaging of products for much greater profits from both your existing customers and an increased visitor to customer ratio.

To get a feel for this, lets take a look at John, a seller of vitamins and nutritional products on the internet. He has been online for two years and has made a fairly good living at selling vitamins and such online but knows he can do better but isn't sure how.

John was smart enough to keep all customer sales data in a database which was a good idea because it is now available for analysis. The first step is for John to run several reports from his database.

In this instance, these reports include: repeat customers, repeat customer frequency, most popular items, least popular items, item groups, item popularity by season, item popularity by geographic region and repeat orders for the same products. Lets take a brief look at each report and how it could guide John to greater profits.

  • Repeat Customers - If I know who my repeat customers are, I can make special offers to them via email or offer them incentive coupons (if automated) surprise discounts at the checkout stand for being such a good customer.

  • Repeat Customer Frequency - By knowing how often your customer buys from you, you can start tailoring automatic ship programs for that customer where every so many weeks, you will automatically ship the products the customer needs without the hassle of reordering. It shows the customer that you really value his time and appreciate his business.

  • Repeat Orders - By knowing what a customer repeatedly buys and by knowing about your other products, you can make suggestions for additional complimentaty products for the customer to add to the order. You could even throw in free samples for the customer to try. And of course, you should try to get the customer on an auto-ship program.

  • Most Popular Items - By knowing what items are purchased the most, you will know what items to highlight in your web site and what items would best be used as a loss-leader in a sale or packaged with other less popular items. If a popular product costs $20 and it is bundled with another $20 product and sold for $35, people will buy the bundle for the savings provided they perceive a need of some sort for the other product.

  • Least Popular Items - This fact is useful for inventory control and for bundling (described above.) It is also useful for possible special sales to liquidate unpopular merchandise.

  • Item Groups - Understanding item groups is very important in a retail environment. By understanding how customer's typically buy groups of products, you can redesign your display and packaging of items for sale to take advantage of this trend. For instance, if lots of people buy both Vitamin A and Vitamin C, it might make sense to bundle the two together at a small discount to move more product or at least put a hint on their respective web pages that they go great together.

  • Item Popularity by season - Some items sell better in certain seasons than others. For instance, Vitamin C may sell better in winter than summer. By knowing the seasonability of the products, you will gain insight into what should be featured on your website and when.

  • Item Popularity by Geographic Region - If you can find regional buying patterns in your customer base, you have a great opportunity for personalized, targeted mailings of specific products and product groups to each geographic region. Any time you can be more specific in your offering, your close percentage increases.

As you can see, each of these elements gives very valuable information that can help shape the future of this business and how it conducts itself on the web. It will dictate what new tools are needed, how data should be presented, whether or not a personal experience is justified (i.e. one that remembers you and presents itself based on your past interactions), how and when special sales should be run, what are good loss leaders, etc.

Although it can be quite a bit of work, data mining is a truly powerful way to dramatically increase your profit without incurring the cost of capturing new customers. The cost of being more responsive to an existing customer, making that customer feel welcome and selling that customer more product more often is far less costly than the cost of constantly getting new customers in a haphazard fashion.

Even applying the basic principles shared in this article, you will see a dramatic increase in your profits this coming year. And if you don't have good records, perhaps this is the time to start a system to track all this information. After all, you really don't want to be throwing all that extra money away, do you?

About The Author

Steven Chabotte is president of Big-Web Development Corp, specializing in the development of email productivity and marketing tools for the web. Steven can be reached at webmaster@maxsponder.com or you can visit our websites at http://www.maxsponder.com or http://www.maxsvc.com

medical health hospital

Writen by Wendy Maynard

It's the middle of the night. You've woken up with a brilliant idea on how to improve the way your business product is delivered to your customers. You scribble it down and can't wait to share it with your co-workers during your morning meeting.

The appointed hour arrives and you get your idea onto the agenda. Unfortunately the meeting proceeds without focus and at the speed of really good ketchup—slow. The person directing the meeting has gone over the same things you've already discussed ad nauseum, and your co-workers are mired down in dissecting ideas before anything tangible can be accomplished. By the time your agenda item is up for discussion, everyone is tired and frustrated. The nitpicking has drained all the energy out of a potentially terrific idea.

What is happening in this meeting? While it might be easy to blame it on your co-workers, the boss, or your team leader - the real culprit is process, or lack of it. A good meeting must be orchestrated like any other; it's a creative group effort. If you start with an unfocused agenda, add group members who are unclear of their roles, and mix in a lack of clear guidelines about participation, you have a recipe for a snoozefest...or worse.

Traditionally, companies have asked their leaders to have all the answers, take control, and make tough decisions. The result has been a directive leadership style where one "boss" is in charge, and employees are often reluctant to openly express their opinions. This system places tremendous pressure on management, and the organization loses out on many valuable ideas. Meetings tend to get bogged down in minutia with few tangible actions taking place beyond the initial discussion.

Thankfully, this command leadership model is in decline, becoming a thing of the past. Increasingly, organizations are turning to all members for their energy, commitment, and brainpower. Input from all employees requires a shift in leadership from controlling to facilitative. This change may take time in your organization because many of us have been conditioned to put the person in the front of the room in control.

Skillful facilitation can significantly improve your meetings. And, your brilliant product idea will actually have a chance! Effective facilitation will not only rev up your company's meetings, with patience it will lead to a more collaborative way of making decisions.

Team members learn their ideas are valuable, they gain new interpersonal and leadership skills, and they begin to become more engaged in team projects. Employees become less reliant on management for answers and begin to draw on their own resources. They begin to bring solutions to meetings instead of coming with questions.

Managers can learn to use a facilitative style, team members can be trained to facilitate, or the organization can hire an outside facilitator to help meetings become more effective and participatory. Ideally, each team member will ultimately become leaders and skilled facilitators.

Here are 10 tips for facilitative leadership you can incorporate into your meetings. Used consistently, these guidelines will turn your meetings into events that everyone highlights on their calendar.

1. Stay on Track: Create an effective agenda to keep the action moving. When discussion strays, the facilitator has the responsibility to keep things on track by referring to the agenda and reigning in off-topic discussions.

2. Develop a Parking Lot: Side comments have their place. The facilitator can record side issues on a "parking lot" flip chart. At the end of the meeting, determine when the team would like to address the parking lot issues.

3. Create Rules: Decide on ground rules for your meetings and hold team members to them. For example, a rule such as "No team member may interrupt another" or "Comment periods are limited to 10 minutes" can be ways to ensure your meetings don't get dominated or bogged down.

4. Give Everyone a Voice: Draw out shy members by taking turns until each group member has given his or her input. Ask individuals for their opinion if they are not talking. When dominating members speak up, the facilitator keeps their comments controlled so others have a chance, too.

5. Break the Ice: Try creativity games and teambuilding exercises to liven up your meetings and discover new insights. Particularly if you have cross-functional teams, this can give people from different departments and management levels a chance to know each other.

6. Create Action Items: As agenda topics are discussed, the facilitator should take notes that include tangible action items, a person who is responsible for following through on the action, and a deadline. Action items can be e-mailed to everyone after the meeting as a reminder.

7. Build Consensus: Facilitative leadership is about building agreement and cementing teams. Work to create outcomes that reflect the ideas of all team members. Treat all participants as equals and work hard to create an open and trusting atmosphere.

8. Be Firm and Impartial: A good facilitator is not passive. It's important to use assertiveness to keep people on track and on time. When a team member is facilitating the meeting, he or she is NOT a participant. If the facilitator must make a comment about the discussion at hand because they are a key player, he or she must make it very clear they are momentarily taking off the facilitator "hat."

9. Work to Understand: High stress levels at the workplace can create cynicism among team members. A facilitator should pay careful attention to group dynamics, listen attentively, maintain eye contact, and manage conflict.

10. Cultivate optimism: The facilitative leader does not allow disinterest, shyness, pessimism, or other negative behaviors to throw off the course of the meeting. Instead, the facilitator helps the group to succeed and work hard to stay positive, even when team energy is at a low point.

Wendy Maynard, your friendly Marketing Maven, publishes REMARKABLE MARKETING, a free weekly ezine for entrepreneurs, business owners, and freelancers. If you're ready to skyrocket your sales, easily attract customers, and make more money, sign up for her FREE ezine and marketing report now at http://www.gomarketingmaven.com

medical health hospital

Writen by Hans Anand

With numerous isolated initiatives running concurrently within an organization, there is often little idea of how they interact or overlap, leading to no clear overview of the benefits. The result is duplication and the need to repeat initiatives on regular intervals. Research shows that on average 40% of value of an initiative is not realized. However, having a logical way of structuring the same initiatives can lead to enormous benefits and a lot more realized value.

Types of Initiatives
The different types of initiatives in an organization can be categorized as follows:

  1. System improvement initiatives: Such projects involve using technology to streamline, automate and/or integrate processes and systems across the organization. There has been a strong focus on such projects since middle of the last decade, especially to introduce enterprise resource planning systems and during post merger system integration.
  2. Performance improvement initiatives: Initiatives to improve the performance of the business are a recurring theme, especially when the business environment is challenging, e.g. during a recession. Typical initiatives include process improvement, cost reduction, efficiency drive, risk management etc.
  3. 3. Change of strategy led initiatives: Such initiatives are a result of a change of strategy focus, e.g. concentrating on growth, entering a new market, becoming more customer focused, complying to government regulation etc. Examples of these types of initiatives include CRM (customer relationship management), Sarbanes Oxley implementation initiative, ISO9000 certification etc.

Reasons for Failure
While such initiatives do deliver some value, the interesting question to understand is why they are a continuous feature of organizations. Why is there a requirement to have similar projects running over-and-over after every few years with enormous amounts of resources spent on them? The reasons lie in the manner in which these projects and initiatives are viewed, instigated and their scope defined.

  • Taking a Static View - Essentially these initiatives are one off exercises that take a static view of the business and its strategies, i.e. a snap shot of the organization in time as a base. By the time a project is complete, and often even before that, the business environment has changed, thus limiting the potential benefits of the exercise just undertaken to a short period of time. The organization then introduces a new slightly changed strategy, calls in consultants all over again, and goes through a similar initiative under a different name.
  • Working in Isolation - Most of the time such initiatives are viewed in isolation, largely due to the level of their complexity. However, in reality most initiatives are integrated and affect each other when operational. The consequence of which is that multiple projects often have redundancies in their scope and the effects of their interaction are not realised. The result is more wastage. Fox example, an initiative to introduce CRM will warrant a business process re-engineering exercise. However if an organization is going through a process re-engineering project now, they will have to repeat parts of the project again once the CRM initiatives have been completed.
  • Initiatives without Strategy - With many initiatives going on at any one time, there is generally no logical clustering and thus there is no overall view of them. An organization ends up with numerous initiatives, some going in opposite directions. We recently came across a division of a UK Footsie 100 bank which had initiatives in the hundreds running in parallel. Needless to say, they struggle with keeping track of the projects, their alignment to the high level objectives and their benefits, especially in the long-term. As a result the initiatives are repeated in the future without an understanding of the benefits the may bring.

How Value is Destroyed?
Since these initiatives do not reach any where close to their full potential and use resources that could otherwise be used on higher value-add projects, they are effectively destroying value for the organization.

Take a Strategy Lead Approach
Instead of starting by looking at initiatives, organizations need first to look at their strategies. By structuring and prioritising their strategies, a clear overview of what is needed to be achieved is determined and initiatives come out as a means of achieving those strategies. By managing a portfolio of strategies rather than a complex combination of initiatives, organizations can eliminate most of the issues mentioned above. Taking an integrated approach allows organizations to structure their initiatives inline with their strategies. So what does it take to achieve such as approach:

  1. Clarify objective at every level – By making explicit what the objectives are for an organization at every level, employees become clear about what they are working towards. Being explicit requires an objective with a numerical, time and quality dimension, and a means of measuring it. E.g. not "We want to have a major market share is the market we operator in", but "We must achieve a minimum of 25% of market share in the telco market targeting large organizations in Germany, within the next five years. The profit margin must be above 7%".
    Vision > Core Objectives > Critical Success Factors > Operational Objectives
    These objectives must be defined such that the causality between the objectives at different levels is obvious. So achieving the Operational Objectives successfully satisfies the CSFs, achieving the CSFs satifies the Core Objectives and achieving the Core Objectives satisfies the Vision.

  2. Create a Value Delivery System – The VDS is the functional map of the organization. At every level, this determines the organizational unit or department or task that will work towards the objectives at the respective level.
    Corporate > Functions > Tasks > Steps
    The corporate level has the responsibility for working towards and achieving the Vision; the Functional (product management, sales, marketing etc.) targets the Core Objectives; Tasks are defined to achieve the CFSs and so on.

  3. Define initiative – Once the objectives are clear, define the initiatives that are required to achieve them. Only initiate projects that work towards achieving one of more of the objectives.

  4. Accountability - Allocate responsibility and assign resources for each of the initiatives.

  5. Track initiatives – Ensure that there is a method for tracking the level of implementation, performance and benefits for each of the initiatives.

  6. Recalibrate regularly – In the volatile environment that organizations operate in, objectives and ways of achieving them change constantly. Thus there needs to be a process of regularly checking to make sure that initiatives still serve the purpose that they where started for. If the objectives at any level have changed, continuing with the old initiatives is a waste of resources.

Following the steps above achieves:

  • Alignment between the various business units, functions and department within the organization
  • Cascading of objectives against the now aligned organizational units. This brings the clarity and understanding of who does what and why, into the organization.
  • Prioritization during resource allocation

  • The consequence is a high level of transparency to view initiatives, their alignment to strategy and the ability to track the performance of initiatives. At the same time, by having a process of monitoring progress and recalibrating strategy continuously, an organization can make its strategy and initiative execution process more dynamic. Hence it does not have to wait for the annual strategy planning process to make a step change in direction, but rather make more manageable incremental changes all the time.

Hans Anand is the Director of Strategy and Bus Dev at Stracienta. He is an experienced management consultant, having worked independently and with PwC (now part of IBM) and independently. He has also been a Design Technologist at Rolls-Royce Aerospace. His interest in aerospace is due to his academic background - Aeronautical Engineering from Imperial College, London and Mechanical
Stracienta is an innovator in Enterprise Strategy Management, and have developed a holistic methodology and web-based enterprise tool. http://www.stracienta.com

medical health hospital

Procrastination And Jdi

Writen by Martin Haworth

In a management role procrastination can seriously hold back progress and demotivate individuals and teams who, full of innovation and drive to move forward, get frustrated and confused when action is held up.

There are a number of steps that will help the procrastinating manager.

  1. Firstly, recognise it is a good and reasonable defence mechanism, which relates to the things which might have occurred in the past. A hurried decision which might have had an unsatisfactory and upsetting result.

    It is part of your character and maybe just a little too strong a behaviour for those who are around you. It can often be a great asset if you are surrounded by 'gung-ho' types who just go for things - there is value in caution and it is all relative!

  2. Secondly. Get Real! Many of the 'Fear' writings, such as 'Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway' by Susan Jeffers and 'How to Stop Worrying and Start Living' by Dale Carnegie, extol the virtues of realistically assessing the potential downsides. Often, asking yourself 'What is the worst that could possibly happen here?', gets you able to see how unlikely your decision is to be life-threatening. So have a think and be realistic - then do it!

  3. Third and finally, consider the effects of putting off decisions. How much harm does it do to the organisation, your nearby people and above all you, as decisions lie there at the back of your mind, unmade? The result is most often not the negative outcome that your worst fears suggest, but the subliminal worry that NOT having made the decision, i.e. it is still to be worried over, is often much, much worse when added up than the decision itself!

So, in most cases, a good chunk of information, weigh up the potential downsides and then, JDI. Just Do It - works a treat!

As a final example, I once, in my early management days, worked with a middle manager who became a real challenge, with his behaviour and attitudes - even I was intimidated by him! It took me 18 months of fear of confrontation and worry to tackle him about it - the evidence was never really that strong - I told myself...

The interview took an hour, during which time he completely apologised for his behaviour.

He had not realised that the way he was experienced by others was so damaging. Once pointed out, he accessed feedback regularly on those days when he was 'off on one', and he encouraged his supporters to bring him down to earth quickly. I took 18 months worrying about that conversation.

Looking back, I learnt that it is far better to get these things aired early on, for everyone. And never once has this backfired on me since.

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. This article may be edited for use in your publication or newsletter as long as a live link to the website is included)

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

medical health hospital

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 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.

One of the useful methods of valuing ideas is to analyse whether the firm, team or individual responsible for turning an idea into a commercial success has the required fit.

Fit with the firm can be measured in a number of ways:

a) Does the idea have a strategic fit with the company? It may be a great idea but if lacks strategic fit, its development and commercialisation may cause long term problems. In this case there are three choices: drop it, license it or create a joint venture.

b) Does the firm have the technical expertise to make it work? If not where can it be found? What is the cost of importing the technical expertise?

c) Does the organisation have the business competencies to make it work? These include competencies in marketing, new product development, the ability to manage widely diverse and scattered employees and facilities. Again, is the idea big enough to justify the expense?

These 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.

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.

medical health hospital

Writen by Martin Haworth

Whilst the very best coaches have undertaken independently accredited training and or have years of experience with clients, new self-assessment questionnaires are coming available which is evolving coaching into a far more focused activity. And that is to the benefit of coach/client relationships for the following reasons:-

  1. Key Areas
    Results from assessments enable the coach and client to understand key areas for development and the client can then choose which will be most beneficial.

  2. Focus
    Assessments focus the coaching conversation on where it best adds value both to the individual and the organisation.

  3. Build on Success
    As well as areas when underperformance might be an issue, strengths are also identified and can be utilised to improve areas needing attention. Thus making progress easier.

  4. Starting Point
    With an initial assessment process, there is a 'stake in the ground' for where the client is starting from. This can be reassessed later in the development process to show development is happening.

  5. Cost-Effective
    Focusing on just where need is greatest means that value is created most cost-effectively for both the client and the organisation.

  6. Quick Progress
    By really focusing on key development needs, identified accurately using the assessment process, results are seen quickly, which builds the client's confidence.

  7. Link to Workplace
    Organisational requirements can easily be taken into account whilst deciding where best to work with each individual client. This tailoring of focus avoids the 'one-size fits all' principle of many training programs.

  8. Step-by-step
    Development activities can be planned progressively, using assessment results to both identify those areas where growth is needed and also where it is not. In some cases additional resources might be needed. Indeed, where there are significant indicators, there may be the opportunity to review roles.

  9. Ease of access and Use
    Online self-assessments can be accessed anywhere in the world where a PC is available and ongoing coaching is effectively carried out by phone.

  10. Advanced Levels
    Progress can be gradual with most important areas in the first program, followed later by an extended relationship where time and resources allow. This 'growth-on-growth' escalates an individual's progress depending on need and role, offering scope for career advancement.

Whilst it is important to understand that the realities of a coach/client relationship means that this is ultimately a personal and human to human thing, technology is accelerating the pace of employee development in organisations throughout the world, large and small in an increasingly cost-effective and focused manner.

© Martin Haworth 2005. At Coaching Businesses to Success, we work with clients from all sorts of business backgrounds worldwide, often entirely by phone, using Intercept® ID, a proven online self-assessment tool. For more information, checkout the http://www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com website for more details.

medical health hospital

Writen by Martin Haworth

Getting into the detail of everything each of your people does, will really damage your relationships with them. Sure, there are times where their hand needs to be held, and then there are times when you have to be sensitive enough to their needs to back off and let them learn for themselves.

Indeed, sometimes you have to brace yourself, but that's how a child learns, from getting things wrong – so it's OK to step away and let it happen.

However, if you have your nose in everyone else's work, you are going to have no space to do the managing, because it will be filled with doing!

It will lose you staff and exhaust you. You cannot and must not do it.

So, what's this about, 'Micromanagement Works' I hear you ask?

Well micromanaging works if you micromanage yourself. By getting into the detail of just what you do, how often and why, you will find out some nasty dirty habits that need to stop.

Looking at them from someone else's point of view (ask someone, anyone!) sometimes works well - as does sitting down with yourself and finding out what problems keep coming up, time and time again.

Then do something differently - because there is an old adage that says that 'if you keep doing the same thing, you will get the same results'.

Micromanaging yourself will ensure that you really get into the detail of what you need to change - and then try something new. Watch or even ask others about how they are successful and give it a go.

The important thing here is that you might want to checkout the what of 'what you do' and see if it can be improved upon.

Really dig deep on this one and you will find some interesting challenges to your existing ways of working - but you have to be brave and honest about it or you will stay doing the same, with the same...well, you know the rest, don't you!

Once you start, you will see more and more little things you do, that could be changed, step-by-step.

Starting change with yourself shows the way and generates an inner belief that you can make a difference - even with things that have been a challenge in the past.

Copyright 2005 Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide, mainly by phone, with small business owners, executives 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...

medical health hospital

Writen by Barbara Bissonnette

Although everyone in business agrees that innovation is vital to continued growth and success, creating work cultures that encourage creativity is easier said than done. Bowing to competitive pressures, we demand immediate paths to profitability and 100% success. "Doing more" is confused with increased productivity, even though it's well documented that negative stressors like anxiety and fatigue lower performance.

An article titled "Who Needs Nature?" describes the "free-range expeditions of discovery" experienced by those of us who, growing up in a different time, spent hours of unstructured and unsupervised time "messing around" outside as kids.(1) Beyond lamenting the loss of the archetypal American childhood, the article serves as a reminder that "messing around" is a crucial part of innovation, and has its place in the adult landscape of work.

Writing about insight in his book, Scientific Methods, Richard Jarrard explains that, "…the combination of mental relaxation with either physical relaxation or mild exercise…" creates the conditions that are conducive to insight.(2) We've all experienced this phenomenon when the answer to a problem suddenly pops into our minds as we're driving to the store, gardening, or otherwise distracted from thinking about it. Conversely, "I have seen anxiety … cut worker productivity by about 50% and cut discoveries by nearly 100%..." Jarrard continues. (3)

Ensuring that you and your employees have some time to mess around with what ifs and why nots, without pressure to produce results, is a prerequisite for creating a culture that fosters innovation. So is making your work environment conducive to insight. For instance, are employees encouraged to use all of their vacation time and to take it without checking email? Do people take a break at lunchtime and eat away from their desks? Is your organization "right-sized" in terms of staffing, so that people have enough, but not too much to do?

Frenzied schedules fueled by adrenaline inhibit creativity,(4) and while the above suggestions are simple, they can have a profound affect on people's ability to think outside the box. Here are some additional tips to keep the inventive ideas coming:

● Keep your options open. Instead of choosing between two solutions, think about how you can have both. One trick is to use "and" instead of "or," asking, for example, "How can we lower marketing costs and generate more leads for the sales team?"

● Save the analysis for another day. Limit your brainstorming meeting to just that – the rapid generation of good, bad, and crazy ideas. Debating the merits of each one as it's presented slows down the process, and may result in some inspired ideas never making it to the table.

● Don't assume that silence means agreement. People may not feel confident expressing opposing viewpoints, particularly if they contradict those of a senior manager. Ask people what they like and don't like about an idea.

● If it didn't work in the past, don't assume it won't work now. Remember that market conditions, technology, and customer appetites change, so don't be afraid to revisit ideas that may have been ahead of their time.

1 Who Needs Nature? By Chris Leahy and Gerard A. Bertrand, Connections, A Newsletter for the Members of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Volume 4, No. 3, August – October 2006

2, 3 Scientific Methods, © 2001 Richard D. Jarrard, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University if Utah

4 See the previous Forward Motion Coaching newsletters, "More Effort, Fewer Results" (January 2006), and "Attention Deficit Trait" (April 2005), in the archives section of my Web site, www.ForwardMotion.info.

Barbara Bissonnette is a certified executive coach and the principal of Forward Motion Coaching (http://www.ForwardMotion.info). She helps executives and business owners manage time, stress, and other people more effectively. Her guide, The Case for Business Coaching, How It Can Improve Your Performance, Productivity & Profitability is available at no charge through her Web site.

Writen by Paul Lemberg

How owners and managers hurt employee performance

Most discussions of management and leadership talk about what to do to help people be their best. Here are six ways executives and entrepreneurs routinely do the opposite.

1)They don't provide a vision for the company.

Today, most companies have a vision, and most of these visions wind up as nicely written statements on wooden plaques. These are the "visions and missions" employees scoff at. But without a clear and compelling company direction, employees have no real freedom of action. Without a north star to follow, the best they can do is what they are told - a rather low performance position.

Everyone knows executives need a vision, but it is not just having a vision that's important, it is sharing the vision, bringing people into the vision, bringing that vision alive--which makes the real performance difference. When people align with themselves with the company goals, they are free to invent, to improvise, to innovate, to inspire each other. They are free to do great work.

2)Saying things once thinking that's enough.

Many executives think that if they say something once, it needn't to be said again. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Should I say that another way? People forget. Don't you? People don't listen. Do you hear everything that's said? People don't understand everything the first time. Did you ever hear something in passing and not know what it meant?

If something is important, it bears repeating. And repeating. This goes doubly--perhaps trebly--for sharing a vision. Repeat it over and over again. Repeat until you are sick of hearing yourself say it. Reiterate those goals. Restate the product strategy. Revisit the customer care policy. Repeat everything important.

3)They don't hold employees accountable.

Do the people in your company keep their word? Do they say what they will do and then do it? When you ask someone to do a job and they commit to getting it done, in a certain way, by a certain time, do you expect action? Do you expect results? Of course, but do you follow up? Do you make sure? Either people are held accountable or they aren't. Either they keep their word or they don't.

Accountability is built into the culture. People need to know you expect them to do the things they say they'll do. Otherwise, anything that is perceived to have a higher priority, or worse--anything that is easier to accomplish-- will get done instead. It's that simple. Start by doing all the things you said you would do. Then make sure everyone else does. This will pass through your organization like a virus.

4)They try to improve people's weaknesses.

You think, "If only they did such-and-such, they'd be perfect." So you set out to improve someone's weakness, testing them, evaluating them, training them, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Don't. Don't worry about weaknesses--instead, figure out what they are already really good at and train them to be brilliant. Not only does this create more value for your company, it is far easier.

Wouldn't you rather have a brilliant salesperson who was poor at customer service, or a brilliant field engineer who couldn't fill out a report to save their life? Sure, it might mean a few more staff positions, but so what--each person is performing at the maximum in one thing that makes you money, instead of wasting time doing all those other things poorly.

5)They keep people in the wrong jobs.

You start with a great performer--an employee who is smart and effective. Then you have an open position, and naturally slip that great performer into the open position, thinking, "They're smart, they can handle it." The difficulty comes when that great performer doesn't perform, and out of loyalty, inertia or a simple unwillingness to admit mistakes, you leave them in place--causing great harm to both the employee and the company. Their poor performance totally ruins their self-esteem and harms the performance of those around them. They know they aren't contributing at a high level and finally they leave, or you fire them.

Are there people in your company who could perform better in a different position? Are there employees in your company who are simply not performing at all? Do them and everyone else a favor. Move them or ask them to leave. Quickly.

6)They change goals and direction informally, and never it official.

Flexibility is critical to your success in today's fast paced ever-changing world, but when you decide to change direction, make it official. Why? If you don't announce new goals, and admit you are no longer pursuing the previous ones, it becomes too easy to slip and slide from one set of objectives to another. Management loses credibility, accountability suffers, and your company develops the culture I call "The Path of Least Resistance." Your people model this behavior- they slip their own goals without telling anyone, and start to do whatever's easiest. And it's all right, because no one was serious about those goals anyway. Were they? You have to make it official.

I wish these were the only ways bosses hold back employees, sadly they are not. My list currently has 23 more ways and I know I'm not done counting; I simply stopped here when I ran out of room. I'm not even sure these are the worst ways, but they are easy and productive to fix.

If you currently do any of these things--stop immediately.

Good luck.

Paul Lemberg is the president of Quantum Growth Coaching, the world's only fully systemized business coaching program guaranteed to help entrepreneurs rapidly create More Profits and More Life(tm). To get your copy of our free special report with detailed steps on how to grow your business at least 40% faster, even when you aren't sure what to do next, go to Paul's business coaching website.

Click here if you are interested in Quantum's Business Coaching Franchise Opportunities.

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