Writen by Kevin Dwyer

A performance appraisal should be the opportunity for a leader in an organisation to set the development opportunities for their employees alight. It should be an invigorating, refreshing occasion.

Admittedly, sometimes it may be a tough experience as some home truths are formally shared about performance and leadership. But it should never, never be a surprise.

Many organizations fail the most rudimentary test of a good performance appraisal system. The system becomes routine. A tick the box exercise that has as much to do about developing people's performance as macroeconomic theory has to do with customer service.

Performance appraisal systems which are routine and more about the system than the systemic and systematic development of people are a failure and should be stopped and overhauled for the good of the organisation.

A good performance appraisal system will have coaching at the heart of its structure and application. If an organisation has not set about teaching their leaders how to coach, it is not serious about having a performance appraisal system.

Not many people are naturally good coaches. They need to be trained. They need to be able to comprehend that the appraisal is not about them but is about the employee. The key to a successful appraisal is having the employee believe they have performance gaps and that rewards will come through closing the gaps. Belief is a powerful motivator.

Belief comes from your upbringing and experiences. However, when you are inexperienced it tends to come from people whose views you trust.

Less experienced people will believe they have a performance gap if they are told so by someone they trust. More experienced people will trust their own views most. They will be independent thinkers. A leader must have the ability to get the employee to believe through their own thoughts and not just tell them.

A leader must be able to avoid some common pitfalls of appraising performance, including biases, such as wanting people to be similar to me or positive or negative leniency; wanting to give everyone high or low scores.

Attribution; tending to see poor performance more within control of the individual and superior performance as more of an influence of external factors, is another common bias.

The forced bell curve; expecting in any group that there will be some poor employees and some great employees is another common bias.

A good performance system will also have structure that fits the nature of the business. A fast moving industry, such as telecommunications or advertising, may well have formal quarterly appraisal systems. A slower moving industry may have annual appraisal systems.

A common characteristic, however, in all industries is that appraisal must be continuous. Waiting until the annual or quarterly formal approach is not appropriate for the employee, the leader or the organisation.

Whether an employee's performance is below where it needs to be or above where we expect it to be, a leader must give immediate feedback.

When it is below where it needs to be, how can we as leaders have a conversation that says last year's performance was below par and never have told the employee? When that happens it is our performance we should be concerned most about. We have failed to lead and insist on performance until a year later!

When an employee's performance is above what we expect we need to let them know as soon as possible to get a repeat performance. Even good performers are not necessarily aware of what constitutes good performance, even if we have attempted to make them understand.

A good appraisal system will also have clear standards of performance below which no one in a similar role will fall and targets of performance which individuals will strive for. If these are not clear then what are we appraising and how can an employee expect to ever meet those standards?

Harking back to earlier comments on coaching, the leader must know how to go about setting standards which if reached, will assist the organisation in reaching its goal.

Excellent appraisal systems should be three hundred and sixty degree in their nature. That is, they should be as much about the leader as they are about the employee and data should come from peers, subordinates and superiors.

A word of caution though; if the organisation's appraisal system is not working well, a three sixty degree system is not a solution. They are difficult to make work well. Not only do the leaders need to be coaches they also need to be able to take criticism they have not heard before from people who are not expected to be coaches and deal with it.

Above all, good appraisal systems must be continuous. The quarterly or annual "appraisal" should be a formalisation of what has already been discussed, not a surprise.

Kevin Dwyer is Director of Change Factory. Change Factory helps organisations who do do not like their business outcomes to get better outcomes by changing people's behaviour. Businesses we help have greater clarity of purpose and ability to achieve their desired business outcomes. To learn more visit http://www.changefactory.com.au or email kevin.dwyer@changefactory.com.au ©2006 Change Factory

To see more articles visit http://www.changefactory.com.au

Writen by Kal Bishop

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

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

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

Psychological Reward

Psychological rewards and recognition are major factors in the motivation equation.

Status theory argues that every action, movement and inflexion of human beings is in some way related to status. There are compelling arguments that human behaviour is based on status seeking. In the animal kingdom, higher status individuals have more sex, more access to food and resources, more space and so forth.

The present day occupation with celebrities is a testament to the power of status. Big Brother and reality TV show how far people will go to get it.

Status is addressed in the corporate world in expressions such as "give the dog a bone." Consequently, there is a tendency to give people high-sounding names without considering the other motivational factors. People either resent this or are happy for only short periods.

Psychological rewards include an environment of psychological safety and freedom – accepting an individual as unconditioned worth; recognising that the individual is capable of producing but that their value is not based on producing; understanding empathetically; understanding the individual from their point of feeling and view (Vernon, 1970).

These and other topics are covered in depth in the MBA dissertation on Managing Creativity & Innovation, which can be purchased (along with an Innovation Management Bible, 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/

Writen by Alan Boyer

A few months ago I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Jack Welch, past CEO of GE. A fantastic opportunity.

Some of the things he said about who they hire and what they are looking for in managers sort of hit home with what I am telling clients, and what I am telling my teen leadership group (our Rising Stars program).

The Best Managers Aren't Perfect But They Keep Getting Back on the Horse

Jack Welch--"We look for people that are not perfect. People that have made mistakes, but know how to quickly get back up on the horse when they've been thrown off, and those that turn the loss around into a win. It isn't about never making mistakes, it's about getting back up and moving forward toward the results. If someone has never experienced falling off and shown their ability to get back up they might not be the managers we want."

"Leadership is about results, not experience, not education, or any of the other things that everyone claims is leadership. It's about

  • Being able to consistantly deliver results,
  • Being able to recover from falling off that horse,
  • And geting right back on until you ultimately deliver results."

    That's so in line with what I keep telling my clients and my youth leadership groups I work with. The path to your destination is almost never a straight line. There will be zig zags, side trips, and steps backward.

    Too many people slip off the trail, and just walk away telling themselves they just failed. The winners are the ones that learn from what took them off the trail, figure out how to get back on the trail, and keep steadily plodding toward the goal even with the setbacks.

    Failure Is a Choice--Choose to Win

    You only fail one time--when you say you have....and QUIT.

    When that happens there is only one guaranteed outcome--Failure. That makes failure a choice. Those that choose to not get back on choose to be victims.

    Those that win choose to get back on the horse, get back on the trail and plod along toward the goal.

    Alan Boyer, President/CEO of The Leader's Perspective, LLC is considered one of the world's leading breakthrough specialists. He has worked with some of the worlds largest companies, on projects in the multi-billion dollar area, and with single proprietor companies. He has worked on many hundreds of projects with companies that have resulted in multi-$100 million savings or gains. With over 35 years of business, quality, and process experience, he has catapulted businesses lightyears ahead in weeks. Some have doubled and some have jumped 10 times. He claims the key to that is:

  • Helping the business owners/employees develop the business skills
  • Helping them overcome the limitations and attitudes that they built between their ears (the self imposed limitations, I can't, this won't work for me, I'm different)
  • By helping them find the breakthroughs in their business and thinking

    He helps companies worldwide reach further than they EVER thought possible….FASTER



  • Writen by Chuck Yorke

    If your organization has people, then interpersonal skills are needed.

    I work with companies that are on a path they call the lean journey. Whatever you call it, it's based on the Toyota Production System. Some manufacturers embraced it and it became known as Lean Manufacturing, expanded into the Lean Office or Lean Enterprise. During this transformation the approach became focused on tools, but Toyota's approach is about people.

    The focus of Lean Manufacturing training has been on technical skills such as value stream mapping, 5S, and set-up reduction. People skills; also known as "soft skills" or interpersonal skills haven't been much of a priority. Difficulty in moving from a traditional to a lean organization is usually blamed on the culture of the organization. If this is true than interpersonal skill training needs to be a higher priority. Communication often determines if the transition succeeds or not. Could the "soft" stuff actually be more important than the "hard" stuff?

    Somehow, many companies seem to believe that training managers to "create a vision" and engineers to map the value stream, make work instructions visible and dictate how to clean and organize will magically transform the company.

    However, as we all know, it's the people who do the work, not maps or set-up calculations. In a Lean organization, it's the people who do the work that create the standardized work, not managers or engineers. In his book, The Toyota Way, Jeffrey Liker explains, "it's the people who bring the system to life: working, communicating, resolving issues, and growing together."

    Toyota, on its website, states that "Improvements and suggestions by team members are the cornerstone of Toyota's success." Managers act as coaches and develop their people. Once again, let's not forget, it's the people who do the work. Continuous improvement is part of the work.

    It's easy to see (but somehow difficult for some of us to embrace) that any organization can effectively follow Toyota's lead. Managers only need to coach and develop their people. Communication is the key. Interpersonal skills training, the "soft" stuff is actually more important than the "hard" stuff.

    Copyright © 2005 Chuck Yorke - All Rights Reserved

    Chuck Yorke is an organizational development and performance improvement specialist, trainer, consultant and speaker. He is co-author of All You Gotta Do Is Ask, a book that explains how to promote large numbers of ideas from employees.

    Chuck may be reached at ChuckYorke@yahoo.com

    Writen by Joshua Feinberg

    Does your business need the services of a computer consulting firm? Before you rush out and hire the first techie or slick-salesperson that knocks on your door, be sure to consider these favorite Computer Consulting 101 hiring tips for screening and interviewing local computer consulting firms. In this first in a two-part series, we'll look the root of the problem, as well as the four most basic criteria that you'll need to ask about when searching for computer consulting vendors.

    Computer Consulting 101 Preventative Medicine

    Many small business owners have a tough time knowing how to deal with difficult computer consultants. However, if you're able to uncover potential problems at the start of your computer consultant/client relationship, you can avoid many of these unpleasant issues altogether.

    Root of the Problem

    While most entrepreneurs and small business managers know exactly what to ask when it comes to hiring for internal staff positions, hiring a computer consulting firm can be more difficult.

    So on top of dealing with the myriad legal issues surrounding how you retain the services of contractors (best advice: consult with your attorney), as opposed to hiring employees on your payroll, you'll need to know how to ask the "right" questions. Don't make the ultra-common common mistake of focusing on the wrong things. Use these Computer Consulting 101 Hiring Tips as your checklist for doing your homework before you sign on the dotted line.

    Part-time or Full-time Computer Consulting

    Do you have a "day job"? Are you moonlighting?

    Solo Practitioner or True Computer Consulting Business

    What do you mean by the "we"? Are there any other people who work at your company?

    Are they employees or contractors? What are their names, specialties and backgrounds? How long have they been with the company? Will they be involved with this account? (Tip: The more pointed questions you ask, the more you'll flush out the B.S. and hyperbole.)

    Small Business or Large Company Computer Consulting Experience

    What "size" is your typical consulting client, in terms of number of PCs, employees and annual revenue?

    Generalist or Specialist Consulting Company

    What industries or vertical markets have you worked with? And in what particular aspects and software applications?

    What kinds of products, services, and platforms does your company shy away from? Do you work with any specialty hardware, software or services vendors?

    The Bottom Line

    In this first of a two-part series of these Computer Consulting 101 hiring tips, we looked at why small business owners and managers find that computer consulting companies are so difficult to hire, as well as four basic issues that you must confront when searching for a new computer consulting vendor. In the second installment of this two part series on Computer Consulting 101 hiring tips, we'll look at how you can get your hands around the true costs of using a computer consulting firm, as well as how you can more objectively evaluate the computer consulting firm's suitability for the task of servicing your company's technology needs.

    Copyright MMI-MMV, Computer-Consulting-101.com, All Worldwide Rights Reserved.

    Joshua Feinberg, co-founder of Computer Consulting 101, is a 15-year veteran of small business computer consulting and an internationally recognized expert on small business computer consulting. He has appeared in dozens of business and IT trade publications including CRN, VARBusiness, Microsoft Direct Access, TechRepublic, American Express OPEN Platinum Ventures, Entrepreneur, Inc, SCORE, Small Business Computing, and USA Today. To get immediate online access to Joshua's proven sales and marketing strategies for growing your computer consulting company's profits, sign up now for the free one-hour computer consulting training recording at http://www.computer-consulting-101.com

    Writen by Kevin Dwyer

    Ever been involved in a project that was a high risk, high return project that never got off the ground? Or the high risk project that did get off the ground, briefly. Before it disappeared with much acrimony as the potential risks were realised and the hunt commenced for the guilty?

    Opportunities are wasted and investments frittered away through the lack of even the merest attention to risk management. The deficiency of application of risk management principles either sends organisations into paralysis by analysis or riding their luck to whatever consequence fate seems to have in store.

    Risk analysis can be complex. However, simple risk analysis is not difficult to carry out and is very effective. It begins unsurprisingly with an analysis of the risks attendant to the desired outcomes of pursuing the opportunity. Analysing these risks, clarity about the desired outcomes is necessary. Sometimes this is a stumbling block with opportunities presenting a range of favourable outcomes.

    Whilst it is not mandatory to arrive at a singular outcome, the more outcomes that are considered to be desired, the more difficult it becomes to analyse the risk. As a rule of thumb, have no more than three outcomes to analyse for risk. Desired outcomes need not all be numeric in nature, but it helps if they are.

    Having determined the desired outcomes, next complete a brainstorm of all of the things which could go wrong and prevent the opportunity being realised. Ensure that all the possible, not just probable, external and internal events such as poor processes, personnel changes, poor quality, government decisions, competitor actions, supply disruptions and natural events are taken into account.

    For each event listed as one of the "things which could go wrong", determine the probability and the impact of event, from high to low, against each of the desired outcomes. The probability of each event occurring is assessed against norms in the organisation, industry, country and geographical region in which the risk analysis is being carried out. The impact is assessed directly against the desired outcomes.

    The probability and impact allow the event to be placed in a two by two matrix of low to high probability and low to high impact.

    Low probability, low impact events are unlikely to occur often, and even when they do they don't have a large impact on the desired outcomes. They are best monitored to ensure continued low levels of risk.

    High probability, low impact events occur often, but don't have a high impact associated with them. These events are sometimes called "nuisance events" and are best tackled using a quality improvement program such as Six Sigma.

    Low probability, high impact events don't occur often, but when they do there is a serious impact. Because they don't occur often, it is sometimes difficult to effectively manage these events to lower levels of probability. These are the events to take insurance against, for example with process failure events by ensuring there are backup processes or capabilities available in case of failure.

    High probability, high risk events are identified as having a high probability of failure and a high impact on the desired outcome. These events are prime candidates for urgent re-engineering of processes, procedures, policies and design to eliminate the probability of the event occurring.

    A trap that organisations undertaking risk analysis fall into is basing their analysis on poorly quantified data. Data can be categorised in four increasing levels of reliability. First is internal opinion, the equivalent of a few sales people sharing opinions about their sales market around a bowl of grog. Second is external opinion, the equivalent of a few sales distributors expressing an opinion about their supplier's market. Third is internal fact, the equivalent of internal sales data. Fourth is external fact, the equivalent of census figures.

    Being reliant on only internal opinion puts the risk analysis process at risk! Organisations need to prepare for a risk analysis by gathering as much data as they can across the range of data reliability. If internal opinion is to be relied upon, then organisations need to tap a wide cross section of opinions and use a strong facilitator who is able to surface all opinions and then challenge inconsistencies in opinions.

    Having completed a sound risk analysis and developed a contingency plan for the risks some organisations still take poor options. Some leave it at the analysis and do nothing about the high probability, high impact events, implementing a project thinking the analysis is enough. Sounds stupid, but it happens. Conversely, in risk averse organisational cultures, decisions are made to do nothing about the events and carry out more analysis.

    The correct option, having analysed the risks and determined the opportunity is still viable, is to feel the fear and do it any way, and implement the contingency plan.

    Kevin Dwyer is Director of Change Factory. Change Factory helps organisations who do do not like their business outcomes to get better outcomes by changing people's behaviour. Businesses we help have greater clarity of purpose and ability to achieve their desired business outcomes. To learn more visit http://www.changefactory.com.au or email kevin.dwyer@changefactory.com.au

    ©2006 Change Factory

    To see more articles visit http://www.changefactory.com.au

    Writen by Chris Stowell


    In globally competitive environments, organizations are seeking information about obstacles to productivity and satisfaction in the workplace. Survey feedback is a tool that can provide this type of honest feedback to help leaders guide and direct their teams. Obstacles and gaps between the current status quo and the desired situations may or may not be directly apparent. In either case, it is vital to have a clear understanding of strategies for diagnosis and prevention of important organization problems. If all leaders and members alike are clear about the organizational development and change, strengths, weakness, strategies can be designed and implemented to support positive change. Survey feedback provides a participative approach and enables all members to become actively engaged in managing the work environment.


    1. Identify project plan and objectives
    2. Brief team leaders and employees about the process
    3. Administer survey
    4. Conduct interviews and focus groups
    5. Train leaders on facilitating team discussions
    6. Analyze the data and construct a report
    7. Provide feedback to leaders
    8. Team leaders conduct feedback action planning and meetings
    9. Leaders present reports on progress and results to Senior Management
    10. Follow-up by senior leadership to ensure progress and accountability

    Once the data has been collected and observations have been clarified, it becomes the leader's responsibility to familiarize the team with the findings. Next the leader involves the team in outlining appropriate solutions and strategies that members can "buy into" and support over the long-haul. When leaders can facilitate collaborative teaming and become an organizational development and change agent, people in the team will contribute creative ideas to enhance their work environment.

    It is important for leaders to not underestimate the time and facilitation skills needed to pass on the information and foster an action-oriented environment. The initial meetings and communication sessions are just the start of a development process, not a single event. If the survey feedback is to be effective, it must be implemented into a comprehensive strategy that includes goals, responsibilities, time frames, revisions, and reviews.

    Prior to the action meetings, leaders need to gain a full understanding of the survey data and begin to structure a plan for the first meeting. Once the meeting begins, the leader should guide the group's evaluation of the results and development of solutions. Following the initial meeting, a summary should be documented and action plans circulated. Follow-up meetings are necessary to coordinate and evaluate changes and progress. Action plans are the means of fully utilizing the survey feedback, without it we simply have a snap shot of where the organization is, with no plan for positive change.

    If the team feedback meeting is poorly handled, there will be low front-end commitment on the part of the team. Of course group dynamics will be unique in every situation, and the leader will need to consider this as the survey data is disseminated. Tailoring sessions to meet the group characteristics will provide for a more effective discussion. In any case, consider a few of these ideas:

    • Be optimistic and excited about the information and how it can be used to better the organization.
    • Verbally express positive points.
    • Ask for participation by all members and reinforce their openness and contributions.
    • Invite them to explore with you the areas that need improvement.
    • Be supportive and clear about action and follow-up plans.
    • Establish a clear commitment to utilize the survey feedback long-term and seek further feedback from the group.
    Most importantly, help the group understand the purpose and mission of the survey feedback As a leader, feast on the opportunity of having clear data and truly listen and involve members in your organizational development and change endeavor.


    The Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness (CMOE) was founded in 1978 with the vision and mission to help improve individual leadership and team member skills within organizations.

    If you would like to speak with someone regarding organizational development and change, please do not hesitate to call us at (801) 569-3444. We will be more than happy to share our experience with you in more detail.

    Writen by Navneetkumar Kumar

    What is document management: When we think about "Document Management" we usually see a picture of paperless office. It is not an easy task to make an office paperless due to several existing problems based on Industrial needs. Even it is very much difficult to make a shop paperless using document management. Document management is about to manage the document in such a way so that it can be within our reach whenever needed in the desired form without wasting extra time and space. Since computer is a wonderful device and much useful in document management.

    How document management work: There are several software which can help in document management. There are some terms which is useful to know for document management.

    Electronic Document Capture (EDC) for document management.

    Scanning, Text recognition & image conversion are comes under this category in document management. In this we simply convert paper media to soft copy. This is a very useful activity to do document management. By this our reach towards any document becomes more easy and cost effective. Take an example if you want to search a particular paper from a bunch of thousand papers. Using soft copy it is very easy and cost effective. If you want to give a copy to any other person then too it is very quick and economic.

    Optical character recognition (OCR) for document management.

    Just what will happen if your document is a normal document typed using a simple typewriter font. Optical character recognition plays a role to understand what is it exactly. Simply saying it recognize the characters printed on a physical media you can say a normal paper.

    Electronic document management system (EDMS) for document management.

    If you have a big collection of electronically created documents then electronic document management system is the basic need to correctly locate and display the required document. There may be several requirements to manage the electronically created documents with respect to searching and some other similar operations. There may be a need to maintain summary of all documents and different versions of source documents.

    Electronic Record management system (ERMS) for document management.

    There are several application where there is need to maintain the records in highly ordered way like payrolls & patient records. This system manage the documents in such a way so that these are easily accessible effectively.

    Web content management (WCM) for document management.

    This system is used to manage websites in a very systematic way. There are so many web documents which needs to store and publish to any website defining several permissions. This document management system take care of all such needs.

    Workflow management (WFM) for document management.

    If a document is created after passing several highly ordered steps then this work flow management system is used for document management. We use very efficient software for this document management. Every document should be within reach of correct person timely and that's done by this type of document management.

    Knowledge Management (KM) for document management.

    FAQ are the good example of this type of document management. Any information should be communicated to relevant person easily. This is very useful in industries where this type of document management system fills the bridge of communication gap.

    These are general terms which are used for document management. Now it may be very easy to decide which type of document management is best suited for any need. Afterwards you can search and implement the particular document management.

    Author is an engineer and is running a website http://engineering-updates.com, you can reproduce this article if all the link are alive.

    Writen by Stanley Epstein

    The operational risk requirements of Basel II (International Convergence of Capital Measurement and Capital Standards) place a heavy emphasis on the identification, assessment, monitoring and control of operational risk. The ultimate requirement for reserving capital against operational losses are closely linked to the actions that a bank needs to take to manage these risks. Keeping a banks capital allocation against Operational Risks is a hands-on business, based on controlling and mitigating risk.

    Credit risk is well catered for in exceptional detail. Credit risks are clearly understood by all players, for credit is the reason why banks exist. In the current mad scramble to meet the Basel II requirements, credit risks have been getting the lion's share of attention while far less attention has been given to the operational risk issues. Basel II is more than just reserving capital against credit and operational risk. Now for the first time, banks have to take into account the operational risk aspects as well.

    To start with, Basel II provides a range of options for determining the capital requirements of credit and operational risks. This allows banks and bank supervisors the opportunity to select the most appropriate option for their operations and their financial market infrastructure. Additionally, allowance is made for a limited degree of national discretion in the way in which each of these options may be applied.

    Based on the Basel II requirements, I summarize briefly what needs to be done to effectively implement the operational risk aspects of this important international standard.

    The starting point is the board of the bank and the creation of an appropriate "Risk Management Policy". It should be remembered that bank boards generally do not have members with operations experience. Very often board members are drawn from business areas within the bank whose primary concern is revenue generation. Operational risk controls cost money and generally reduce profits – which means that they are not really a popular boardroom subject. Bank boards need to be educated and coaxed into the role they have to play in the mitigation of Operational Risk.

    To effectively implement operational risk controls it is first necessary to identify the risks and then to establish appropriate written board policies and procedures to reduce these. These policies are the foundation for the development of risk control measures and need to be established for the whole range of operational issues including products, processing, IT & security and business continuity.

    Risk mitigation can only be effective if a centralized risk management unit controls the whole risk reduction process. Most banks internal risk functions are fragmented and split over numerous areas (such as IT security, internal audit, physical security etc.) that tends to render a common risk policy ineffective. A critical element in the whole approach to operational risk control is the centralization of this function at a director level within the bank.

    Once the appropriate policies are in place the next step is to undertake a risk assessment. Risk assessment is the process that identifies and evaluates the internal and external factors that could adversely affect the achievement of a banking organization's operational, information and compliance objectives. In the full sense of the word this should cover all the risks such as credit, market, liquidity and operational risk. For our purposes we limit our focus on operational risk alone. Under Basel II operational risk is defined as "… the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people and systems or from external events". This definition includes legal risk, but excludes strategic and reputational risk.

    Basel II is specific on the actions that need to be taken in operational risk management. These actions are based on international risk containment standards, most of which have been developed through the Bank for International Settlements. There is a strong emphasis on detailed definitions and documentation relating to the use of the methods, the development of policies and their implementation. There is less focus on technology and more on doing.

    Once the Risk Assessment has been completed the previously defined risk reduction policies need to be implemented.

    Implementing Basel II is not a once off operation. It is an ongoing process aimed at limiting a bank's exposure to risks. In the operational area reducing and containing operational risks so as to control the amount of capital that will have to be reserved. This ongoing process can only be achieved through the following steps;

    •Fine-tune Operational Risk controls – New products, process and techniques will need to be brought under appropriate controls. Existing controls will need to be reviewed and changed where necessary.

    •Feedback on Policy – Experience will indicate whether the Operational Risk policy is both effective and appropriate. This may result in the need to refine the Policy and the Controls over time.

    Stanley Epstein is a Principal Associate and Director of Citadel Advantage Ltd., a consultancy dealing in bank operations and specializing in Operations Risk and Payment Systems. Further information and details can be found at http://www.citadeladvantage.com.

    Writen by Wally Bock

    If you think that giving workers what they want means giving them extra high wages, lots of free time, and no pressure, think again. Giving that to the people who work for you probably won't have an ounce of effect on productivity.

    But there are things that workers want that you can deliver and that will make a difference. Here are some of them.

    Workers want to be treated fairly. They want fair compensation, not necessarily the highest salaries around, but fair relative to other people they know who do similar work.

    Workers also want to be treated fairly compared to how they perform. In a fair workplace, the consequences match the performance. Good performers do better. Poor performers get reprimanded and get better or leave.

    Workers also want a fair shot at doing a good job. Make sure your people have the training and the resources to do what you want before you hold them accountable for results.

    Workers want to know what's expected. This is only logical. You can't expect people to do what you want if they don't know what you want. So lay out your expectations and check rigorously for understanding.

    Workers also want to know about company values and how they're supposed to act. Make sure everyone is singing from the same hymnbook. Tell the values story over and over.

    Workers want to know how they're doing. So tell them. Check on performance frequently.

    Then give usable feedback. Telling a worker that he or she should "do better" won't help much. Be specific about what needs to change and when in order for performance to be acceptable.

    Workers want to enjoy the workplace. This doesn't mean parties all the time. It doesn't mean shiny happy people holding hands. Workers want to feel safe in the workplace, free of harassment and unfair discipline.

    Workers also want to work with people who pull their own weight. That's why bad apples, slackers and nay-sayers spoil the barrel. Give your bad apples the opportunity to reform. Fire the ones that don't.

    Workers want a rewarding job. For most adults that means they want reasonable challenges on the job. They want respect from their boss and their co-workers. And they want to work in a place where they can learn and grow.

    Workers want to do something important. If you're the boss, part of your job is to help your subordinates understand how their contribution matters. Tell them how it matters to the team. Tell them how it matters to the company.

    Workers want the maximum control possible over work life. Give qualified workers control over basic work decisions as much as possible. If you have doubts about whether they're qualified, try giving them control to see how it works.

    Workers want to grow and improve. Help them do that. Part of your job as a boss should be to help everyone who works for you do better.

    There's really magic about all of this. Part of it is simple human nature. Part is common sense. But if you can give your workers what they want, the rewards can be great for all of you.

    Wally Bock is an author, speaker, consultant and coach who helps leaders improve the performance and morale of their teams. Wally is the author of Performance Talk: The One-on-One Part of Leadership (http://www.performancetalk.com/) and the Three Star Leadership Blog (http://blog.threestarleadership.com/). You'll also find tips and resources about all aspects of leadership at the Three Star Leadership site (http://www.threestarleadership.com/).

    Accountability Giuliani Style

    Writen by Sharon Youngblood

    Over the past 7 to 8 years, I've heard a lot of execs tell me they don't have time to "set up systems", "hold meetings", and/or "measure results". Imagine my delight when I picked up Rudy Giuliani's book and found that he did all of that during his tenure as Mayor of the greatest city on earth. That's a big enough job in itself but Rudy's preparation paid off in a huge way both in managing New York City and in the aftermath of the September 11th tragedy.

    For those of you who complain that it is too much time taken to hold meetings every week – please read Giuliani's view on DAILY meetings of key executives. That is, action packed, accountable meetings – not, paper shuffling dead donut stuffing mind numbing – well, you get the point.

    I lived in New York City pre Giuliani. I know how terrifying it was in the early 80's – how lawless and in many ways, hopeless. Everybody thought there was just nothing that could be done about crime, graffiti – you name it. After leaving the city in 1988, I didn't return to my beloved NYC for some years and when I did I couldn't believe the changes.

    Giuliani, with a leadership drive that is unequaled, cleaned up New York. Is there still crime? Well of course but believe me the city is nothing like it was in the early 80's. For those who have never lived and or traveled in NYC, it really is hard to imagine the sheer magnitude of the "continuous improvement" in the city. Nothing escaped the eagle eyes of Hizzoner the Mayor. Even it if is a myth, the results of speak for themselves.

    How did he do it? One important component was the organization of his departments. Equally important is the idea that everyone who heads up a critical department or group is as the table and accountable for results. If you don't want to go to a meeting you'll hate this but Rudy insisted on a morning meeting – EVERY morning. On September 12, there was a morning meeting. Problems had no opportunity to be shelved "until the next meeting" where reports of being unable to do anything are given. If a problem came up one day – the next day better show some movement! Total Accountability. Total Commitment to improving operations. No chance to "table" issues until the next ineffective meeting.

    But it wasn't just the meetings. It was setting standards and measuring results with thorough data. No B.S. artists need apply – the data shows who is focused on their job. This is nothing new – TQM works the exactly the same way – Continuous Improvement – Process Improvement – whatever you want to call it you have to organize around purpose, know what results your after, improve the process and measure your results. Most A/E companies that say they want to improve collect data in a half hearted hit or miss manner – then they say it doesn't work for them. Maybe but I'm betting they don't do the work!!

    Why don't more firms do the work? It's a lot of work and it's not project work. But duh, if you do the work, the projects are better and more profitable. Most of us will never be tested the way the mayor of New York was tested on September 11, 2001. But we are tested in the performance of ourselves and our teams as leaders. How good are your test scores?

    If a city as complex as NYC and an event as momentous as 9/11 can be dealt with as well as Giuliani did – what are you waiting for? Surely you can create the leadership in your company to do what most want – be profitable, provide a good living for other people, contribute to your community, develop capable leadership in the ranks and make a difference in your company.

    The tools are readily available – if you need help, get it but get going on developing the leadership you need today. We all benefit from it and we all need stronger more capable leaders.

    Sharon works with organizations and individuals to dig deep; to discover and strengthen their core abilities. As a business consultant since 1992, she has worked with over 55 different product/service categories, ranging in size from start ups and small businesses to billion dollar corporations. Sharon Youngblood is a Certified Management Consultant, coach and speaker. She may be contacted at say@youngbloodconsulting.com or (520) 795-7498. Additional articles are available: http://www.youngbloodconsulting.com

    Writen by Kal Bishop

    There are a number of critical issues to master in the art of creativity and innovation management:

    • What are the critical differences between creativity and innovation? Are different competencies required?

    • Do "creative people" have common characteristics and, if so, what are they? Are they stable across situations?

    • Can creativity be learned and developed or is it a special gift? Why is it that some people just are more creative?

    • Why is motivation more important than nature or nurture? How can it be enhanced, measured and managed?

    • Blocks and unlocking. Organisational culture. We can all be more creative, so what is stopping us? What properties of an organisational culture cultivate productivity?

    • What properties of an organisational structure foster creativity and innovation? Organisational structure results from a number of factors and modifying it is often not desireable, so how do we get around this?

    • What is the most effective team structure?

    • What is the role of knowledge? How do we effectively collaborate and use networks to frame-break and reduce path dependency? How do we tap into tacit knowledge? Does mastering all the literature foster creativity and innovation or does over-specialisation cause blinkered vision?

    • What are the differences between radical and incremental creativity and the consequences for structures, processes, skills and resources? Is it wiser to target radical or incremental ideas?

    • Is there value in structure and goals or is "do your best" more effective?

    • Is there a process that makes insight, eureka, the aha! experience more likely? Does this process allow us to produce a stream of consistently good ideas?

    • How do we value an idea, so as to decide how to invest resources? How do we risk manage the innovation process

    Learn more…

    The Complete MBA dissertation on Managing Creativity and Innovation can be found at http://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. His specialities include Knowledge Management and Creativity and Innovation Management. 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 at http://managing-creativity.com

    Writen by Dr. Laureen Wishom

    As an entrepreneur, solo-preneur, or business owner you are by position a leader. As a result, it only makes sense that you strive to improve your leadership skills and get the most out of life for everyone in your sphere. Here are 10 ways to improve your leadership skills:

    1. Have a clear vision of yourself, others, and the world.

    Who are you? What do you stand for? What is your life's purpose? What is your business purpose? How do you want to influence others? How do you want to contribute to others? Start by answering these questions to formulate a concrete vision of yourself and your business.

    2. Know and utilize your strengths and gifts.

    Each of use has unique gifts that we were born with and personal strengths we have developed over our lifetime. Utilizing these gifts and strengths will assist you in being a terrific leader.

    3. Live in accordance with your morals and values.

    Make choices and take actions that align with your morals and values. By doing this, you will succeed almost effortlessly.

    4. Lead others with inclusiveness and compassion.

    The greatest leaders are those who include everyone in their sphere of influence by recognizing each person's greatest value.

    5. Set definitive goals and follow concrete action plans.

    You have to know where your destination is before you can map out a plan to get there. To improve your leadership skills, first set specific life and business goals with a time line that includes milestones.

    6. Maintain a positive attitude.

    No one respects a grumpy or negative person. Always maintain a positive attitude, it shows that you are looking at the bright side of life. People are naturally attracted to people who have a positive attitude.

    7. Improve communication skills.

    Great leadership skills include being able to clearly and specifically communicate your vision, goals, skills, intentions, and expectations to others. Join a toastmaster group; it is a great way to involve your presentation and communication skills.

    8. Motivate others to greatness.

    A leader is as powerful as his team. As a leader, you will want to surround yourself with a powerful team by assisting others in recognizing and utilizing their strengths, gifts, and potential. Remember the more your give, the more you receive.

    9. Be willing to admit and learn from failures and weaknesses.

    No one is perfect, and everyone has made one or two mistakes in their lifetime. The most successful leaders know that the key to success is not in avoiding falling or failing, but in learning how to get up and start again.

    10. Continue to educate and improve yourself.

    Great leaders continue to improve themselves in every possible way. The person who thinks he is an expert has a lot more to learn. Never! Never stop learning.

    Copyright 2005 Dr. Laureen

    Dr. Laureen Wishom is a contagious and ebullient person who has touched the lives of thousands through her powerful seminars and workshops. She is the Founder and CEO of Masterpiece Solutions, LLC "business consulting at its finest". This Houston and Dallas-based practice specializes in Business Development, Setup and Growth Consulting; Career, Life, and Business Coaching; Business/Life Success Training; and Empowerment/Enrichment Motivational Speaking.

    Dr. Laureen is known as an electrifying motivational and inspirational speaker and a pulsating writer, mentor, trainer and strategist in the areas of non-profit development, for-profit business start-up, expansion and development, fund development, re-careering, workplace change, networking, brand identity and self-empowerment.

    Writen by Hans Bool

    A project is like the realization of a dream. At the beginning your team is full of energy that it gained from the picture of a new world. But after a while and after some first difficulties the initial high level of energy is reduced to its normal proportions. And to implement Business Process Management (BPM) you also should scale a rather large project.

    BPM came to life in order to measure the performance of business processes. The term is introduced as a solution to the functional approach of organizations. Before the BPM insights, business management was about managing a functional organization. There were various departments and each department was responsible for the function of a certain system; invoicing, debts, new acquisitions, administration, etc.

    Before the internet area, this approach was good enough. The client was not able to look in the kitchen and although the result of a client request could take quite long, the client itself was never able to see why this (process) took that long. Nor could the client (easily) notice the fact that department A had a different view on the situation than department B.

    With internet, this has changed a lot. Because of new communication channels or medium, the client is able to perceive inconsistencies. And the result was a strengthening of the client relation ship (management). All the various departments ought to be seen as one (from a clients viewpoint) organization.

    To facilitate this, business process management could be a solution. But the introduction of BPM is not a minor operation. One of the main challenges for a successful BPM implementation is the optimal granularity of the business designing approach.

    A logical first step – before implementing BPM and before going into too much details – would therefore be to start with a simple company profile. this profile shows you the main processes that are at stake. Your consultant will be able to offer you this.

    © 2006 Hans Bool

    Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management advice. Astor Online solves issues in hours what normally would take days. You can apply for a free demo account

    Writen by Jeff Altman

    The July 17, 2006 issue of Businessweek carried a terrific column from Jack and Suzy Welsh entitled, "So Many CEO's Get This Wrong" that describes how HR should function and the mistakes that corporate HR makes.

    Responding to a question that points out the HR is often felt in a negative way vs. The Welsh's claim that it is the most powerful part of any organization, they acknowledge that HR is often marginalized in organizations into the people who issue the newsletter, plan the company picnic or, at the other extreme, "the cloak-and-dagger society."

    They then call for HR to be "the killer app" within a company but acknowledge it seldom is, laying the blame squarely upon the CEO who does not put HR at the table the same way as the CFO.

    They recount a story of speaking to 5000 HR executives in Mexico City and asking how many of their organizations were on the same footing as the CFO and getting fewer than 50 hands to go up. They then ask whether the Boston Red Sox would be better run by the CFO or the Director of Player Personnel (as a Yankee fan, I encourage the Red Sox to try the Welsh's suggestion and report back in a decade or two).

    So what do they suggest?

    Part pastor (who can hear all sins and complaints without recrimination) and part parent (loving and caring but giving it to you straight when you get off track), they are men and women with stature and substance.

    Their job is not to make people warm and fuzzy. The job is to create ways to motivate and retain people; they create review and appraisal systems that let's people know where they stand and monitor it with the rigor that is invested in SOX compliance. Third of all, they need to be able to confront charged relationships like those with unions, people no longer delivering the goods, or those with egos as large as all outdoors but who have stopped growing.

    They exhort CEO's to elevate HR to the same level of professionalism as is expected of their CFO's while acknowledging that few organizations are currently pointed in this direction. They ask, ". Since people are the whole game, what could be more important?"

    So, what's the focus of your work? Is it attracting and retaining great people? What are you doing to put systems in place that motivate, inspire and reward (yes, reward) talent. You know, the people you say are at the crux of the organization and its achievements and success.

    And what are you doing to support people when they stop growing or stop performing. How do you get them on track or get them out?

    Jeff Altman

    The Big Game Hunter

    Concepts in Staffing


    © 2006 all rights reserved.

    Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter, is Managing Director with Concepts in Staffing, a New York search firm, He has successfully assisted many corporations identify management leaders and staff in technology, accounting, finance, sales, marketing and other disciplines since 1971. He is a certified leader of the ManKind Project, a not for profit organization that assists men with life issues, and a practicing psychotherapist.

    If you would like Jeff and his firm to assist you with hiring staff, or if you would like help with a strategic job change, send an email to him at jeffaltman@cisny.com (If you're looking for a new position, include your resume).

    Writen by Michael Russell

    The long and winding road of medical billing and the GD0 record is starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. If you've been with us this far, hang in there just a little longer. We're picking up our review of this generic CMN with field number 41.

    GD0 fields 41 - 44, positions 160 - 179, are the diagnosis codes. Many people don't understand why diagnosis codes are required for a CMN since these codes are transmitted in the FA0 record. Well, the reason that diagnosis codes have to be transmitted with the GD0 record is because these diagnosis codes are specifically for the CMN itself. To understand this, a brief example is required.

    Let's say a patient is billing a carrier for a procedure involving surgery for a broken leg. The diagnosis codes for the surgery will be specific for the surgery itself. Now, let's say that same patient because of the surgery can no longer walk and needs a wheelchair. When the CMN is transmitted, the diagnosis codes that go with the CMN are not the ones pertaining to the surgery but are the ones pertaining to the reason why the patient needs a wheelchair.

    GD0 field 45, position 180, is the nursing home indicator. This indicator tells the carrier if the patient is currently residing in a nursing home. If so, the field is filled in with a Y. If not, it is filled in with an N.

    GD0 fields 46 - 47, positions 181 - 196, are the nursing home from and to dates. These are the dates that the patient resided in a nursing home if the indicator in field 45 is transmitted as a Y. If the patient is still in the nursing home at the time of this transmission and is not expected to be discharged, then the field is left blank.

    GD0 field 48, position 197, is the respiratory tract indicator. This field tells the carrier if the patient has mobilizing respiratory tract secretions. If so, this field is transmitted with a Y. If not, this field is transmitted with an N.

    GD0 field 49, position 198, is the equipment supervision indicator. This field tells the carrier if the patient is using the equipment that the CMN is for with or without supervision. If with supervision, the field is transmitted with a Y. If without supervision, the field is transmitted with an N. This field is very important because with certain equipment and under certain conditions, if the patient is not supervised and something should happen directly related to the operation of the equipment, there is a good possibility that the accident will not be covered by insurance.

    GD0 field 50, position 199, is the propel/lift wheelchair indicator. This tells the carrier if the patient is unable to propel or lift a standard wheelchair. This needs to be sent for patients who are given motorized wheelchairs, which is typically what these CMNs are for. A Y entry means the patient is not able to operate a standard wheelchair.

    In our next installment of medical billing, we'll continue our review of the GD0 record with field number 51.

    Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Medical Billing

    Show Me The Money

    Writen by Skip Shuda

    Are you ready to raise money for your startup?

    Leslie Mitts, Managing Practice Leader at the Wharton SBDC and Lead Advisor for the Wharton Venture Initiation Program, tells us that most entrepreneurs coming through her programs are focused on raising capital, even though there are higher priorities in many of their businesses. Since fresh dollars help drive the business engine, this is a natural entrepreneurial concern.

    But are you ready to raise money?

    Going to investors before you are really ready can damage your reputation and may actually hinder future funding efforts.

    Team and a Dream uses a unique Fundability Diagnostic to help companies assess their strengths in four key areas:

    Team - This is the most frequently cited attribute examined by investors. Many investors will invest in an A-level team and a B-level product, but not the opposite. Having your Seed Team nailed is crucial.

    Traction - Showing momentum is a critical element to demonstrating progress and your ability to execute.

    Perceived Pain - Do people really need your product? Why? Will they need it in the future?

    Product Eco-system - How does your product fit into existing and emerging landscapes? Who else is out there and how big will this market grow?

    Find out what you need to succeed and discover your roadmap to getting there. Take the quiz below to see how well you might expect to score with investors. For each of the four sections outlined above, see which hurdles you can clear given the current state of your business.

    PROCEED WITH CAUTION: Only self-aware entrepreneurs should take these results seriously.


    Part A:

    If you or any member of your current team are not planning on being the CEO, give yourself two points and proceed to Part B.

    If someone on your team IS planning to continue on as CEO, then you'll need to answer yes to both of the next two questions in order to score two points; otherwise, take a zero.

    A1. Our CEO has significant, previous management experience in a startup or comparable operating environment (i.e. middle management in a large company doesn't count!) ( 1 point)

    A2. Our CEO is able to rapidly assess and prioritize our work with the respect of the team ( 1 point)

    Part B:

    Score one point for each answer.

    B1. Someone on my team has significant experience in the domain space in which we are starting the company ( 1 point)

    B2. Our team understands and acts as if they understand the difference between tasks that are urgent, urgent and important, important, and none of the above ( 1 point)

    B3. This team has terrific chemistry ( 1 point)

    Your score (0-5) is your Total Team Score.

    If you scored three or more, you pass the Team Hurdle.


    Score one point for each item you can answer positively.

    1. We have made a few initial sales and have positive indicators from the marketplace for additional sales growth ( 1 point)

    2. So many good things are happening I am bouncing off the walls with excitement ( 1 point)

    3. I have added a significant team member (besides myself!) in the past two months ( 1 point)

    4. In the past two months, I received press coverage that would be acknowledged by my prospects as legitimate business coverage ( 1 point)

    5. We recently have achieved a significant product or marketplace milestone (includes a single, initial sale) ( 1 point)

    Your score (0-5) is your Total Traction Score.

    If you scored three or more, you pass the Traction Hurdle.


    Award your Team the number of points indicated after each question that you answer positively.

    1. My product or service solves an important problem for a well defined group of people ( 2 points)

    2. My product or service will be in great demand in the future in order to solve problems emerging from a new trend that has a large population of prospects ( 2 points)

    3. My product or service takes advantage of newly available market forces (technology, demographics, societal). The result is an offering that will clearly appeal to an existing, well-known market demographic ( 1 point)

    Your score (0-5) is your Total Perceived Pain Score.

    If you scored three or more, you pass the Perceived Pain Hurdle.


    Score the stated number of points for each item you can answer positively.

    1. My product is unique in a clearly defined (i.e. I can describe the difference in one or two clear sentences) and useful way ( 1 point)

    2. My product is patented or can easily be patented or I have another competitive barrier (e.g. trade secret, unique manufacturing process, etc.) that will make it difficult for others to compete directly ( 1 point)

    3. My marketplace is well established but fragmented or my product has "category killer" potential because it is so unique to the market ( 1 point)

    4. My marketplace is either very big (> $5 billion/year in sales) with clear room for a product like mine or is rapidly growing with well documented trend lines ( 1 point)

    5. My marketplace is wide open and there are no competitors ( subtract 1 point)

    Your score of (-1 to 4) is your Total Product Eco-System Score.

    If you scored three or more, you pass the Product Eco-System Hurdle.

    Now that you have completed the scoring, we shall take a look at how "fundable" your company is. Before we do, it's important to realize that this is a snapshot in time. If you are not satisfied with your score, there are plenty of things you can do to improve it. I've seen many of my clients make tremendous progress along these dimensions by extending their team, focusing on sales or tweaking their offering.


    Number of Hurdles Cleared: None


    If you received this score and hope to receive funding, then you have a lot of work to do. Perhaps you just know you want to start a business and are looking for ideas. If so, keep these criteria in mind as you formulate your plans.

    If you already have a business concept, you should think long and hard about "re-conceiving" some elements of it to improve your scores.

    Many perfectly good "lifestyle" businesses may fall into this scale – you just can't get funding for them.

    Number of Hurdles Cleared: One


    Funding from your rich uncle may be possible

    Number of Hurdles Cleared: two


    Funding from family and friends network may be possible

    Number of Hurdles Cleared: three


    Professional investors will consider this, but you'll need to be prepared to explain how you'll address your gaps.

    Number of Hurdles Cleared: all four


    Put the finishing touches on your business plan and hit the funding trail!

    You will have the best chances of success in fund-raising if investors see that you can clear the hurdles in all four areas.

    NOTE: Team and a Dream offers a professional version of this assessment that offers additional detail and examines nuances that aren't possible to convey in a simple quiz. If you have an interest in the professional assessment, please visit us at http://www.teamandadream.com/contactus.htm

    Contact Information:

    Copyright (c) 2005, All rights reserved by Post Destiny, Inc. d/b/a Team and a Dream(SM)

    As an advisor-builder with a sense of adventure, founder Skip Shuda has worked with numerous startups since 1983, including Destiny WebSolutions, which he founded in 1994. Destiny was named Startup Company of the year in 1998's Philadelphia Area Enterprise Awards. Destiny grew to $25 million in annualized revenues in 2000 and employed over 120 people. Today Skip enjoys working with technology startups and using his experience, lessons and tools to assist fellow entrepreneurs. He works with private clients as well as Wharton SBDC clients as a VIP advisor. Prior to founding Destiny in 1994, Skip worked as a software architect with data communications and object oriented database development firms. He also ran a successful consulting practice with clients that included The Vanguard Group and Unisys. Skip has spoken at numerous industry events and has been published and/or quoted in top trade publications on technology-based strategies. He has an MS in Computer Science from Villanova University where he specialized in artificial intelligence and natural language processing.

    Writen by Lance Winslow

    Managerial efficiency is often the stumbling block for older operator franchisees in large franchise systems such as; mobile carpet cleaners, mobile screen repair, mobile auto detailing, Mobil oil changing or even mobile decorating and interior design. No matter how hard you work to train your franchisees once they are out of field often they are overwhelmed with business and fall down in either scheduling or sales.

    In our franchising company we were able to fix this problem using creative tactics and royalty reduction incentives. From an abstract standpoint is very similar to tax incentives to give small businesses and middle-sized businesses to body from certain types of industries or to help allow for a change in overall policy by government. Below is an excerpt from a speech that I gave to a regional franchisee association within our company in an effort to help them help them selves in improving managerial efficiency;

    ". . .Also on the royalty reduction list will be the full cost of a Franklin Day Planner, with pages and binder. If you already have a binder go buy new pages for your Day Planner, whatever brand it is. Send us a copy of the receipt. If you use an electronic version like a Palm PC, then we will trade this reduction for a copy of Microsoft Publisher for your computer (send copy of receipt)."

    Additionally, we always had our franchisees write out their business and personal goals and submit them to us. And to make sure they get it; for both their benefit and ours we made optional however, we also provided a royalty reduction for this;

    "If you run out of pages to write your goals, but still wish to take advantage of your $350.00 discount then we will also give you $50.00 per page off for suggestions to improve our services to you and ideas for us to streamline our system. We received great feedback last year from our Franchisor Evaluation Royalty Reduction Program and we made significant changes that have streamlined our system."

    It is truly amazing what you can do with a little entrepreneurial creativity in a franchising company and I submit to you that if you are wise you will in fact consider this case study for your company. Think of this in 2006.

    Lance Winslow

    Writen by Marnie Green

    In the old days, respect came with the title. Managers were respected because they were managers. Heck, we even addressed them as "Mr. So and So." Today we are wise to that scam. Or at least we think we are. The reality is that today's employees have clear expectations of what they want from their leadership. And, if they get what they need, they'll respect you. If they don't get what they expect, they can make your life as a leader difficult. Here are a few of the most common expectations I hear from employees who don't show much respect for their managers:

    "Don't treat us like mushrooms. Give me the big picture." As I conduct focus groups and employee interviews, I am amazed that employees just don't have the big picture. The staff I talk to have a great sense of their own duties. They want desperately to contribute in a positive way to the organization's goals. Employees respect leaders who give them more information than they need, rather than less. Giving employees only the information you think they need deprives them of the opportunity to contribute to the big picture.

    "Show an interest in my development." Recent studies have shown that on-the-job learning keep people interested in their jobs. In addition, using growth or individual development plans help employees stay focused and committed. Managers can develop trust and respect by showing an interest in the individual interests and development needs of each employee. Sitting down with each employee on a regular basis to talk about their career can only develop better relationships.

    "Have the guts to hold everyone accountable." One of the fastest ways to destroy morale and the employee's will to do more is to allow the slackers to slack. Managers who address performance issues head on are seen as strong leaders with clear vision. Those managers who allow poor performers to continue in their ways face the impacts, not only from the poor performers, but from those who perform at the highest levels. Who wants to work hard when a colleague slacks off and gets the same or similar rewards? It's an equity issue.

    "Get into the trenches once in awhile." I worked with a team whose biggest complaint was that their manager did not know what they did. Their function was clerical in nature and the manager, when asked, said, "It's simple. They greet the public and file paperwork. How hard can that be?" In reality, the manager had never done the job. He had no idea what kinds of complaints the staff heard everyday. He had not experienced an eight-hour shift standing behind a counter. He had not experienced the rush of a brief 30-minute lunch period. He lived in a different world and they did not respect him. Had he spent one day a month or one hour a week behind the counter, working side-by-side with his staff, his perspective about the job would have been different and their perspective of him would have changed too.

    "Be human." In today's complex world, we cannot afford to not recognize that employees have a life outside of work. And, in some cases, this life presents difficult challenges. The respected manager shows compassion, listens, and makes allowances where possible to show a human side. This doesn't mean that the manager is a counselor or therapist. On the contrary, the manager must keep the goals of the work unit clearly in mind; however, the respected manager is flexible enough to help employees through the rough times.

    All of us want to be respected. We want people to believe what we say—to trust us. To ensure that your staff has genuine respect for you, consider these five requests as the starting blocks.

    Marnie Green, Chandler, AZ, USA

    Marnie E. Green is Principal Consultant of the Arizona-based Management Education Group, Inc. She is the author of Painless Performance Evaluations: A Practical Approach to Managing Day to Day Employee Performance (Pearson/Prentice Hall). Green is a speaker, author, and consultant who helps organizations develop leaders today for the workforce of tomorrow. Contact Green at http://www.managementeducationgroup.com

    We offer this article on a nonexclusive basis. You may reprint or repost this material as long as Marnie Green's name and contact information are included Mgreen@managementeducationgroup.com, 480-705-9394, http://www.managementeducationgroup.com

    Writen by Anthony Licate

    I was in the middle of a sales meeting when I was asked, "Anthony, what is a server, anyway?" Those within the field of business hear this word thrown around all the time. Some business owners know their companies have servers and know their companies need servers, but are unclear about what a server really does. If you're like many people and are confused about this whole "server" thing, I will attempt to explain what a server does to help businesses.

    Let me start with an analogy, which is the easiest way I can explain what a computer server is. I want you to think back to the last time you were at a restaurant…maybe you were there with some friends or family. Upon sitting down, you were given menus. You and your party looked through the menu and found the items that were of interest to you. You were then greeted by your SERVER. The server welcomed you and asked what you would like to order. After the server took your orders, the server processed the order for food. When the order was ready, the server distributed the food to you and your party. At the end of the transaction, you were left with a receipt, auditing everything that was processed.

    Computer servers are very similar to the tasks of a waiter or a waitress. A server does just that…it serves up information. A server is a single, specialized computer that is used to centralize information and resources. If your business has about 5 or more computers, you can achieve significant time and cost savings, while increasing the efficiency and productivity of your employees by using a server. Consider these dilemmas faced by similar businesses that do not have a server within their company:

    Do you want to centralize and organize your files because you can't always find the right information when you need it?

    Can you efficiently share ideas and information with your colleagues?

    Do you need access to e-mail, data, and files while you are away from the office?

    Can your employees share equipment and resources such as printers, fax machines, and Internet access?

    Do you have a plan for creating backup copies of important information if a disaster happened at the office?

    Is your business information protected from unauthorized users?

    Oh, and one more thing…if your company is interested in learning more about whether a server is right for your company, give Spidernet Technical Consulting, LLC a call. We'll give your company a free technology assessment!

    Anthony Licate is the President of Spidernet Technical Consulting, LLC (http://www.spidernetconsulting.com). Spidernet Technical Consulting helps companies operate more effectively by means of reducing their computer support issues and streamlining how they work. He has worked with multiple types of businesses to strategize, re-align and implement technology. Anthony can be reached at aj@spidernetconsulting.com

    Writen by Alan Fairweather

    Many business people and managers are spending too much time trying to change the underperforming people who work for them. They seem to believe that if they train people - tell them what to do or even threaten them with the sack - then the performance level will go up.

    The successful manager concentrates on developing the strengths of his team members - not trying to correct their weaknesses. Sometimes you have to manage around a weakness, but you can't make people what they're not.

    Some years ago I decided to improve my golf by taking some lessons. A friend and I spent some hours with a professional golfer and coach at a local country club. This was really useful to me and I did get better. However my friend Robin hadn't a clue. No matter what the pro told him to do, how to change his stance and his grip, he could hardly hit the ball.

    If you'd given Robin a hundred lessons and threatened him with a gun, I doubt if he'd ever have completed a round of golf in less than two days. Robin is a successful lawyer and makes a lot of money, however a golfer - he is not.

    So if you have a sales person on your team who isn't bringing in the sales or a production engineer who isn't making his quota, then you have to make a decision. Is this person not producing because they don't have the ability - because they need more training or - because there's another reason?

    You can read more about coaching and other reasons for non performance in my book - "How to get more Sales by Motivating your Team" but for the moment it's important to understand that the individual may not be able to do the job.

    They may tell you they can do the job because they're unwilling to accept defeat; however I've known people in sales jobs who shouldn't be in sales and doctors, plumbers, lawyers and engineers who were also in the wrong job.

    What you need to do is get people who can't do the job into a job that they can do or get them out of your team.

    I joined three companies as a manager and in each case I inherited team members who didn't have what it takes to do the job. I'd usually find three categories of people in the teams - The first group were the 'good guys,' the ones I knew could do the job and wouldn't give me any hassle.

    The second group consisted of people who needed a bit of looking after, watching closely and definitely some coaching.

    The third group were the ones didn't have either the skills or the characteristics to do the job and no amount of training, or anything I could do, would change that. I would often find that these people, due to their lack of success, weren't exactly happy in the job anyway and were sometimes only too pleased to be transferred to another position.

    I hear you saying - "easier said than done Alan" and you're right. But the successful manager needs to address these issues for the good of the team and the business.

    The successful manager concentrates on strengths not weaknesses. It's vital to give your people feedback on their strengths and also on their weaknesses. However these should only be weaknesses that you know the individual can do something about.

    It's a waste of your time and effort trying to sort weaknesses that can't be sorted. Some people just can't build relationships with customers; others can't work as fast as you need them to and others can't write a report to save their life.

    Your most productive time as a manager will be spent giving feedback on strengths and how to develop these even further. Many managers spend the majority of their time with team members trying to resolve weaknesses. They then don't have the time or sometimes the capability to give feedback on strengths.

    Discover how you can generate more business by motivating your team! Alan Fairweather is the author of "How to get More Sales by Motivating Your Team" This book is packed with practical things you can do to get the best out of your people . Click here now http://www.howtogetmoresales.com

    Writen by Martin Haworth

    To get the best results you have to be very good at Managing People...and it's not as hard as you might think. Here are the secrets of the very best managers:-

    The best at Managing People...

    1. Manage!

      They focus on getting their people to deliver the key activities and don't attempt do too much themselves. The best managers delegate widely, using the ethic 'Ask for forgiveness, not for permission' to free their people from blame or wrongdoing.

    2. Build the Best Teams

      Leveraging the exceptional talents of all the people around them, managers develop and utilise capability fully - and glue it together.

    3. Focus on Delivery

      Managers are there to deliver the day to day tactical results the business or organisation needs. Here, there is little space for strategy or vision as such, but those great at managing peoplewill keep a reference point there. Every manager's defined goal is measurable results.

    4. Build Relationships

      As it's all about people, great managers build relationships easily and make it a priority, day-in-day out. They spend a lot of time with and listening to, their people.

    5. Accept Feedback

      Actually, they don't just accept it, they suck feedback in - they use their excellent listening skills to seek out feedback all the time - in every interaction.

    6. Develop Others

      Grasping the opportunities, the best managers quickly link them to those who can make progress in their own development - and in line with ongoing Succession Planning, prepare for the future well in advance.

    7. Are Accountable

      They are very clear that they are 'where the buck stops'. No blame elsewhere, not upwards deflection of decisions; no 'someone else's fault'. They are where the action is and they accept it. It's down to them.

    8. Set Standards

      To ensure that everyone is clear, great managers have simple and clear standards throughout their area of operation - ideally created in collaboration with their people.

    9. Are Determined

      Focusing entirely on value-creation, they stick to plans, policies and change programmes like glue. They have a skill to know and deliver what is right, without veering from their Vision.

    10. Can Be Trusted

      The best managers are ethically sound, fair and honest. They make promises only when they know they can deliver. Everyone is treated equally and their own behaviour models fairness and transparency.

    Simple steps, using them can make 90% of your management very, very effective. Checkout the website for key information in 40 different people skills to develop your management skills fast!

    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. and a regular blog right here (Note to editors. Feel free to use this article, wherever you think it might be of value - it would be good if you could include a live link) ...helping you, to help your people, to help your business grow...

    Writen by Peter McLean

    A key element in business process consulting is understanding the nature of the business. Successful business owners and effective managers pay careful attention to the "character" of their own organizations. In so doing, they ensure that they lead their organizations to where they ultimately want them to be. They know that they cannot simply let their organization wander along in some vague hope that it will achieve high performance and outstanding results as if by magic.

    For instance, even in world-renowned jazz ensembles, which may appear to be "jamming" in a free-form manner, the leader of the group is constantly paying careful attention to all the highly variable elements present in the group for which he or she is responsible. The leader of such a group, even in the most fluid of environments, does not simply let the group go wherever it likes.

    Instead, a dynamic and "magical" character is deliberately controlled through leadership skills development, self-awareness, interpersonal communication skills (often just a look, a smile or a nod), practice, interpretation, style, planning and great skills for negotiation. The leader incorporates and employs all of these elements to provide direction to the group, as the way forward emerges.

    In today's highly competitive business environments, business leaders must exhibit these qualities of good leadership and pay careful attention to all the factors that compose the character of their own business, in order to ensure that it is driven relentlessly toward achieving its envisaged success.

    The intention behind thinking about the character of an organization is to provide the required insight, as well as the implementation of business development and risk management plans that:

    - Address the cultural shifts that are occurring and that need to be managed

    - Help people manage and deal with the changes that are occurring across time

    - Identify organizational development needs

    - Build on business strengths

    - Develop mechanisms to manage and/or compensate for weaknesses

    - Point out future directions.

    Every business has unique and distinctive characteristics that set it apart from other businesses, even in the same industry. The more that is known about the ethos of a business and the greater the clarity that is articulated by the business owner or effective business manager, the more readily the people around them are able to address, interpret and develop the elements that will improve organizational effectiveness in and around the company's mission, vision and values. This is the road to high performance.

    Peter McLean is a highly experienced Coach, Senior Manager, Consultant, Business Owner and Company Director. He successfully coaches top Executives in some of Australia's leading multi-national companies. One such Senior Executive recently won an International Award for Excellence within his particular field. In addition, Peter works extensively in the Public, Private, Commercial and Not-for-Profit sectors, delivering outstanding results for his clients. To learn more of how you can benefit from Peter's experience, visit the Essential Business Coach web site!

    Writen by R.G. Srinivasan

    Managers are often confronted with high employee attrition. For most managers the easiest solution when a valuable employee resigns his job is to offer more benefits in terms of money and perquisites. But rarely does it work. Exit interviews often point out low moral due to infrequent appreciation and recognition of the contribution of the employee leading to de-motivation and disenchantment with the job.

    Improving employee motivation and morale is the easiest method of improving organizational productivity and cut down employee turnovers. Replacing good employee could be expensive in terms of recruitment costs and time.

    Research has conclusively established that the major reason for attrition in an organization is not money. It is more a matter of lack of recognition and rewards. You may be able to reduce attrition considerably if managers are trained to recognize and reward good performance. In fact every opportunity must be used to appreciate the work of the employees. Easier said than done, it takes a dedication and commitment towards the employees.

    Here is a list of the ways one can motivate employees

    Find every opportunity to appreciate good work

    Recognize contributions in public forums and employee get together or meetings

    Offer opportunities to learn, improve skills and knowledge through training

    Create scope for sharing success through with others through narrating best practices adopted

    Token gifts and invitation to a Dinner with family

    Offer opportunities for rest and relaxation on attaining goals and good performances

    Feature in house journals. If house journals are not available make sure to write out a appreciation and put on notice boards and circulate to all members of the organization

    It only takes imagination to create a list as long as you want. Plan and create the list for frequent use.

    Employee motivation is a complex subject and generally a neglected area. Whatever recognition and rewards are conferred are very mechanical and lacks warmth and spontaneity.

    It is easier to theorize than practice employee motivation programs. It would not be a bad idea to train your managers extensively on this area. The rewards for the organization could be less employee turnovers, high levels of motivation, increased productivity, commitment and team work.

    R.G. Srinivasan is a managerial professional, Writer and Author. He writes a regular blog on management thoughts with interesting articles, resources, personal experiences and links useful for any manager at http://management-thoughts.blogspot.com

    Writen by Mike Shannon

    The other day someone asked me for one of my informational brochures. As I was giving her the piece I stated that if I were printing these today it would be a little different. The piece was only about two months old and already the way I wanted to communicate things had changed slightly. Then I got to thinking. If I were to print informational brochures six months from now, they would probably be a little different too. Don't get me wrong. I am a big believer in consistency of marketing. However, in today's business environment especially as fast a pace as our business develops, things change...sometimes minutely and sometimes in a big way. What do you do?

    What I do is to keep my printed materials updated with my current thinking on my computer. That means if I have a new idea or thought or way of saying something to my prospects I put it right in my pieces even though I may not print off more for a month or longer. Developed a new product? Put it right in your flyer now instead of waiting until the last minute. Come up with a better way to explain what you do? Update your brochure while you are thinking about it rather than waiting until you need to print 500 more and don't have time to change the copy. Keep your marketing pieces current at all times and you will save a lot of hassle when you need them.

    As a matter of fact, why not jot down an action task in your list to review all of your pieces as soon as you can. Update them with your current thinking. And then practice keeping them updated between printings as your business evolves.

    Mike Shannon is the owner of Shamrock Business Coaching, a coaching practice that helps business owners increase profits. You can visit Shamrock Business Coaching on the web at: http://www.ShamrockCoaching.com.

    Writen by Peter Fisher

    We all complain about meetings which are a waste of our time and the truth of the matter is that so many are exactly that. We've also seen the "corridor" meeting that takes place afterwards where it seems the real decisions are taken, or the agreed decisions are overturned.

    You'll get your chance at some point in your career to run your own meeting - is yours going to go the same way? or will you make sure it's effective and does the job it is supposed to?

    Well run meetings contribute to team building and high morale; badly run meetings are at best a waste of everyone's time and at worst potentially damaging to relationships and the business as a whole.

    Here's how you can get it right:

    All successful meetings depend upon a number of independent factors and if you approach each one methodically you'll find that your meetings are the ones that get action.




    Structure & control

    Records & action


    What is the meeting intended to achieve?

    what will the meeting actually achieve?

    what happens if you don't hold the meeting

    who needs to attend and why?

    is there a more effective way of communicating?


    prepare and circulate an agenda in advance;

    invite agenda items before the meeting;

    arrange agenda logically;

    consider the important - v - the urgent issue;

    arrange the timings and set limits;

    clarify objectives for each item.


    tell those involved what's expected of them;

    tell everyone time, date location etc;

    circulate any required pre-reading or information.

    Structure & Control

    Discuss each item in turn;

    seek contributions but keep people to the point;

    avoid going over old ground;

    be aware of thre needs of the group;

    prevent splinter discussion groups;

    summarise often to bring back to the point;

    commend contributions;

    confirm any conclusions;

    stress actions and who takes it.

    Records & Action

    record discussions, actions and responsibilities;

    produce clear simple minutes immediately.

    There are a number of points to learn about the effective handling of meetings:

    invite the right people;

    set an agenda that's do-able;

    control timings and people;

    encourage members to listen to each other;

    note actions;

    review and record

    So if you want to avoid the "let's all turn up and see what happens" approach it just means you need to take the time to think through to what you really want and need to achieve, and then get on with it. People will thank you for not wasting their, or your, time.

    Peter Fisher is a Director of Career Consulting Limited and provides pragmatic career advice at all levels from junior staff to executive directors. Visit http://www.your-career-change.com/index.html for help with career change issues from self-marketing to CV writing and Interview techniques.

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