Study: Most managers are ineffective

January 30, 2012

ByMargaret Heffernan  Article

” Power is the ability to get things done. You could say that management is the art of ensuring that things get done. Yet what’s so striking about most organizations is that so little management is effective.

That’s what academics Heike Bruch and the late Sumantra Ghoshal discovered when they investigated what they called “decisive purposeful action.” Most companies, far from being hives of busy, effective executives, could instead be seen as “a few isolated islands of action amid an ocean of inaction,” the researchers found. Does this ring any bells? It certainly reminded me of many places I’ve worked — and run — where a small number of people always seemed to be doing the majority of work that mattered.

Bruch and Ghoshal’s study quantified my impression. “What we found in our research surprised us,” the authors write. “Only about 10 percent of the managers took purposeful action.” The remainder were busy, just not very effective: 40 percent were energetic but unfocused; 30 percent had low energy, little focus and tended to procrastinate; and 10% were focused, but not very energetic.

No wonder most businesses are so unproductive. What all of this suggests (and there’s plenty of other supporting evidence), is that we waste most of the human resources we hire.”


Creativity rocks opposites

January 30, 2012

By Michelle James  Article

“Creativity comes to life at intersections. It thrives on opposites. It engages paradox until something new emerges. This transfers to the design of projects, processes, workshops, teams, organizations, etc. If we design for space to accommodate opposites (just like nature does) we have a more creative system. This is part of a presentation I’m giving on the yin/yang of creative process: ”

Your business needs a good SWOT

January 30, 2012

By Steve Baker  Article

“To continue the growth and success for your business, you need to periodically step back and analyze what’s going on. One of the best tools I have used for years is the SWOT Analysis. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

SWOT analysis was developed from research conducted at Stanford Research Institute in the 1960s and is an extremely useful tool for a deeper understanding for all sorts of situations in business and organizations. I have found it helps me balance the decision making process. …

The SWOT analysis has multiple uses. The brains at Stanford Research Institute spent 10 years using SWOT with over 1,100 companies verifying that SWOT analysis is a powerful model for many different situations and is a valuable aid in the decision making process. Some of important Stanford examples of how companies use a SWOT analysis are:

• A company’s position in the market, commercial viability, etc.
• Methods of sales and distribution
• Competitors
• New products or brands
• A business idea
• Strategic options, such as entering a new market or launching a new product
• An opportunity to make an acquisition (or be acquired)
• A potential partnership
• Changing a supplier
• Outsourcing a service, activity or resource
• Project planning and project management
• An investment opportunity
• Personal career development – direction, choice, change, etc.

You’ve probably guessed by now that I’m sold on SWOTing my business decisions. Completing a SWOT analysis is very simple, and is a good subject for workshops and brain-storming sessions.”

The truth about leadership: A book review by Bob Morris

January 30, 2012

By Bob Morris   Review

“Kouzes and Posner’s purpose in the book to identify and examine several basic truths about great leadership that have endured throughout human history.  After I read the first three chapters, I paused to compile a list of those I consider to be the greatest leaders. When the totals reached 25, I reviewed the Kouzes-Posner list of ten truths. However different the leaders on my list are in most respects, all of them

1. Made a positive difference both during and beyond their lives
2. Were credible
3. Values-driven
4. Focused on what could, indeed should be done
5. Attracted followers who shared their vision
6. Were trusted
7. Were strengthened by severe challenges
8, Led by example
9. Were voracious learners with insatiable curiosity, and
10. Cared deeply, passionately”

The 6.5 steps of financial self-defense: Part 1

January 30, 2012

By John Kyle   Article

“Have you ever taken a self-defense course before? Many people have. They learn to block, punch and kick their way out of a situation. I’ve studied and taught martial arts for more than 30 years; I’ve learned a lot and had the opportunity to use it as well (in competition, of course).

Yet in all that time, no one has ever taught me how to defend my finances. So, as a martial arts instructor and a licensed and professional financial advisor, I do what I can to educate my clients, as well as my community, about simple steps that anyone can take to help defend their wealth for the long haul and grow that wealth at the same time.

I’ve developed 6.5 simple steps that help accomplish just that.

1. Be an Investor, NOT a Saver.

Most of us know that the majority of savings accounts give less a 1percent return on your money and inflation is almost 3percent. If we do the math you realize that you’re actually taking more risk by not investing because you’re guaranteed a loss. Simply by understanding that simple truth, you’ll be more likely to get off the sidelines and back in the game and getting your money to work for you to help you reach your goals.

After the drop in the market in 2008, millions of Americans lost 30, 40percent or more of their wealth, and the biggest drop of all came in the way of investor confidence, we don’t trust the market anymore. “I took my money out and haven’t put it back.” “I hear there’s another recession coming, I think I should wait.” …

2. Create a safety net

Another thing that became very apparent to many investors, is that when the market dropped back 2008, they had nothing to safe guard their investments. There was no safety net in place. ….”

Three signs your company culture is going down the tubes

January 30, 2012

By    Article

““That’s not my/our responsibility.”  Translation:  You’re screwed!  Well, maybe it’s not completely over but unless you take drastic action immediately you might as well just close up shop.  Seriously, this is like the DEFCON 5 of culture.  Somehow you ended up with an employee(s) who are more concerned with their own piece of the puzzle instead of caring about the good of the whole or who are no longer connected to the mission and vision of your company.  Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for this one.  It requires a full stop – re-clarifying the mission of your company and re-connecting your people to it and getting rid of those people who don’t. “

How to create buy-In before you blowup

January 23, 2012

By Dan Rockwell   Article

“The hardest thing to change is an organization’s culture. It’s exponentially more difficult when you see the need but othersdon’t. Some organizations die in the process. Others start, struggle, stagnate, and revert to mediocrity.

Changing organizational culture destroys leaders.

Implementing culture change produced the biggest mistakes of my leadership career. One thing I learned is people go along in silent agreement until change hits them personally. The moment of pain is the moment resistance begins.

The thing that motivates change stops it, pain. …

Buy-in only happens if people are actively involved in the culture change process.

  1. Talk with them.
  2. Ask them to be involved in the process.
  3. Listen to their ideas.
  4. Give them projects to work on themselves.
  5. Implement some of their proposed changes.