Showing posts from February, 2013

How You Can Make Meetings Productive

Meetings That Make a Difference I have written and spoken about the importance of contributions made by cross-functional groups in business. The reason I believe in meetings with participants from across the organization is because the best new ideas and solutions to old problems come from discussions that provide input from the widest array of viewpoints. Limiting solutions to one or two individuals simply limits the ability to have optimal solutions. As the English philosopher Theodore Zeldin said; “Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. When minds meet, they don’t just exchange facts: they transform them, reshape them, draw different implications from them, engage in new trains of thought. Conversation doesn’t just reshuffle the cards: it creates new cards.” In most organizations pulling a group into a meeting means taking those individuals away from other important work. Some participants will question the need for anothe

How Do I Improve Cash Flows in My Company?

Loan Cash to Corporate Operating Units To Improve Cash Flows In most corporations the cost of money affects the ability to compete successfully. If money has to be borrowed then the financing cost has to included in the cost of operations and ultimately will affect the cost customers have to pay for goods and services. This, of course, impacts the ability to compete in price aggressive markets. There is always a demand for cash in a corporation and there are many ways it can be used.   Every manager will have programs that are deemed important and will be viewed by that manager as being most worthy of being funded. In the budgeting process cash needs are generally forecast based on projected sales and the expenses required to support those sales. When there is a need for cash beyond normal cash inflows, debt is usually employed to fill the gap. A particularly vexing challenge is deciding how to maximize cash usage.   GWR Research developed a system that allows a man

How Can You make the Competition Irrelevant? “Hit ‘em where they ain’t.”

I was recently asked to write a blog on Blue Ocean Strategies that was introduced by +W. Chan Kim and +Renee Mauborgne in their book Blue Ocean Strategy . Everyone should read the book if they are looking for ways to grow their business by creating uncontested market spaces. The book is an excellent read and gives many compelling examples. If I were to give a summary of the book it would be by using a quote by Wee Willie Keeler, a great baseball hitter in the late 1800s and early 1900s, who said, “I hit ‘em where they ain’t”. At 5’4” and 140 lbs., Willie was a batting champion and is in the Baseball Hall of Fame. For businesses, the Blue Ocean Strategy is a study on building a strategy for any business to “hit ‘em where the competitors ain’t”. “Blue Oceans” are areas where there is little competition from rivals. “Red Oceans” are where rivals are congregated, fighting for customers using similar business approaches. A place to begin a “Blue Ocean

Five Steps for Developing a Strong Workforce

        Five Steps for Developing a Strong Workforce Having a capable workforce is critical to building a successful organization. Here are five steps that can improve the workforce building process. Screening – Assembling the “right” group of individuals for your workforce is important. You can test for competency but being part of a team means that individuals must have personalities that can work together. Assuredly this means that some subjectivity will enter into the screening process. It may also mean that wrong choices will be made and will need correction. The subjectivity and chance for errors can be reduced with the introduction of 10 tips from Human Resources at Defining job responsibilities – even with the “right” personnel, the workforce can be dysfunctional if each member’s responsibilities are not clearly defined. It is management’s responsibility to understand