Active Training Sessions to Introduce Team Learning

Introduction

Training programs in organizations are often boring and end up with unproductive results. However, there are a number of organizations that spend billions of dollars on conducting training sessions. If you want to make the training sessions more interesting and active, then you should opt for active training strategies.

In this article, we will discuss about active training sessions that help you to engage the team members in an effective manner. This kind of approach involves game playing and other team activities.

Different Elements of Active Training

Trainers should understand that when the trainees are more interested in the training session, they are likely to grasp more information and understand the key concepts. The purpose of training will not be fulfilled, until and unless the trainees gain some knowledge and get benefitted from the training. If you want the trainees to retain the information for much longer period and perform well in their job, then you should incorporate active training sessions.

In active training sessions, the facilitator is supposed to give a short lecture using games, role playing and incorporate other structured activities. The team members should be involved in a variety of events and structured activities that make the learning process much easier. The team should be divided into pairs, where each pair is assigned with an activity.

For example – you can ask the teams to submit expense report on the new system. Whichever team will submit the report first without any errors will get a prize. By doing this way, the team members will show interest in learning and at the same time they will grasp the contents of the training session effectively.

Tips for Effective Training

If you want the active training sessions to be effective, then you should follow the below tips and tricks.

1. Give clear instructions

You should always start active training sessions with some kind of instruction. As a facilitator, it is your duty to present the information clearly, which helps you to lay a string foundation.

2. Keep the lectures short and simple

The training sessions should never be longer than 10-15 minutes. One should think about less talking and more doing. Keep in mind that the average tempo of the trainer should be 100-200 words per minutes. However, if you want to make the training session active, you should speak 100-150 words per minute. The reason behind this is – the trainees are thinking while you are talking. If you are talking at a fast rate, then they are likely to miss a few important points.

3. Make use of repetition

Training repetition mean that you distil the portions of training into images and slogans. You can include photos, icons, illustrations and other things to get the point across. Before you continue with new material, you should recap the previous sessions.

4. Develop the objectives and outcomes

The objectives the training session should describe what the trainees will be able to learn after the training. The learning outcome should establish the criteria by which the training will become a success. The objectives and leaning outcomes should be aligned with the current profile of the employee with the mission and vision of the organization.

5. Access multiple resources

Delivery of active training can be provided by using external as well as in-house resources. The in-house trainers can provide flexibility and great understanding of the issues that are required for training. Using external resources may create a simple separation between the trainer and issue at hand.

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6. Apply knowledge in right direction

It is very easy to forget something if you fail to use your knowledge properly. The team members will be motivated easily, if you can put the right information at the right place. When somebody returns from the training session, you should assign the team member some work related to the topics discussed in the training session. This helps them to recollect the points, which they learned through active training.

7. Set goals and expectations

The group should know the goals and expectations of the training session. This helps them to understand what skills you want them to learn. You can do this by creating a structure and presenting the background information related to the topic. You need to make sure that the groups stay on the assigned task throughout the training session.

8. Use a matrix and give every team member a chance

Many companies make use of spreadsheets. You can ask for help, if you don’t have knowledge of spreadsheets. This can give a motivating effect and will help you engage the trainees. Another important thing to remember is giving each member a chance to present their views. As a facilitator, you should have trust and confidence in them. You need to make them feel that their contribution is important, which will have a positive effect on the dynamics of the team.

The attitude of such environment gives rise to excellent and productive results. When everyone is expert in something, then we can say you have accomplished on achieving the main goals of active training.

Active Training Techniques

Active training allows the team members to learn new skills through a variety of techniques. Some of the popular techniques are – Jigsaw design, information search, learning tournaments, role playing etc. These techniques allow the team members to teach new skills and information. The jigsaw design can be used to support the learning process, and involves dividing the group into small sections. By the end of each session, everyone will be taught with the new skills in detail and are ready to apply in different scenarios.

Summary

Active training allows the people to get engaged in their learned and helps them to retain their skills in an effective manner. It is important to maintain a perfect structure during active sessions. As a facilitator, you should always remember to keep the session short and simple and leave the end to summarize the key points. One may need advanced planning to conduct active training compared to traditional method of training. You will be provided with more benefits in short term as well as long terms.

Exit Interviews – Categories and Importance

An Introduction

Employees are among the most integral stakeholders of a company. If you want your organization to be a dream company, you have to realize the importance of employees. In case an employee voices his decision to leave your organization, you must ask him the reason behind his resignation. In this article, you will learn about the exit interviews that are conducted when an employee declares his resignation.

What is Exit Interview?

Exit interview is a survey that is conducted when an employee leaves an organization. It helps in obtaining employee feedback. The answers that you get are stepping stones to improve the company’s performance and team management. You can also get to know how satisfied your employees are.

A departing employee has no inhibition regarding what he or she says so, he or she speaks the truth about management, recruitment process, work culture, development, etc.

On the other hand, it is a way to let the departing employee know that even though he or she is leaving, his or her opinion is valued by the company. This ends any kind of bitter feeling and people leave with a positive mindset.

Increase Productivity of Your Team Members during Holidays

Introduction

Holiday season is one of the happiest times of the year. You can spend quality time with your family; exchange gifts with those who you love and can appreciate numerous things in life. However, it brings several challenges at every workplace at the same time. One such challenge during holidays is- How to remain productive in holidays and meet targets? To put it in simple terms, your team’s productivity and focus can lessen during the holiday season. Yet several things can be done to alleviate stress of your team and make them productive even during the holidays.

Common Problems Faced at Workplace

Before getting into discussion about ways to maintain productivity of your team in holidays, it is must to know about the problems faced at workplace. Despite individuals enjoying love, peace and happiness in holidays, their productivity at workplace can be hampered owing to the following reasons:

Writing a Job Description – Importance and How to Do It Effectively

Introduction

An eloquent and well-written job description makes one comprehend properly what the company expects from him or her. It offers a clear understanding of the job as result of which, an employee can perform his or her duties methodically and capably. A good job description is useful for both the employee and employer. While creating job descriptions, it should be kept in mind that a job description is not just a list of duties and responsibilities. It contains the academic qualifications, professional skills and interpersonal qualities along with the responsibilities. In order to create an effective job description, it is essential to be aware of its importance. This article will explain the significance of writing a job description and how to do it with utmost perfection.

Creating a Job Description – Reasons that Validate its Importance

The following is a round-up of the remarkable reasons for writing an effective job description from the standpoint of an employer as well as a job applicant.

Mechanism, Advantages and Disadvantages of Transfer Pricing

The price at which different departments of the company continues their transactions internally can be considered as the transfer price. The transactions may contain the labor between various departments or the trade of supplies. The transfer pricing method generally occurs when the multi entity firm can be treated as the separate entities individually.

Purposes of Transfer Pricing

Let us go through some important reasons for which the transfer pricing scheme can be applied:

  • The transfer pricing method allows the company to generate profit figures for each division in separate manner.
  • The sales, pricing and the production departments can be coordinated through this method. The managers can also get aware of the value of the services and the products in other segments of the firm.
  • It helps in generating not only the reported profits of the entire center but also the resource allocation of the organization.
  • Performance evaluation of each department becomes easy as it can generate separate profits.

Understanding the Conflict Layer Model

Introduction

The Conflict Layer model also termed the ‘Onion Model’ deals with negotiating skills. Here the negotiation could also be with oneself. This model tries to explore human needs which often lay hidden under layers of embarrassment which are essentially mental. This embarrassment leads them to conceal their deepest wants and diverts their focus on something less important. Negotiations under such circumstances do not yield required results and the deepest desires remain unfulfilled.

It is here that the conflict lies. According to the Conflict Layer model, a person’s innermost needs remain hidden in layers of embarrassment which need to be removed. Normally, an individual does not reveal himself or his needs because of a feeling of vulnerability. He assumes a stance of perception; in other words a place from where he declares his needs. This declaration of what he wants comes from his ‘position’. His ‘position’ compels him to express his wants which might not actually be so. According to ‘Onion model’ this is an onion layer which does not exhibit actual needs.

Once this layer of ‘position’ is removed through negotiation, a layer of ‘interest’ is exposed. This also is a superficial layer where humans try to identify his wants through verbal expressions. These once again are not his actual needs which he still is not able to disclose because of discomfiture. Further negotiation is necessary to remove this layer of ‘interests’ for revelation of actual ‘needs’. In this layer a person discloses his actual desires.

The significance of this model is to find out the innermost desires of individuals by removing superficial layers of demands. This type of need revelation is apt for two parties who like to engage in business for mutual benefit. By using this Onion model both parties concerned could find out the truest desires of each other and thereafter agree to settle those. Not all negotiations are possible through this model but only in cases where two parties are engaged and both could put forward their ideas without any inhibitions. However such situations do not always exist and most people like to keep their innermost desires concealed.

James McGregor Burns: Transformational leadership

Introduction

James McGregor Burns’ theory on transformational leadership is based on ethics and ethical practices. Here the leader ‘walks the walk’ and sets examples by his deeds and actions. A transformational leader leads through moral practices and creates an atmosphere of transformation among each and every team member. Burns, in his theory focuses on human values while assuming power. He or she motivates team members by leading from the front and setting example in every step. We will learn more about this theory in this article.

About the Theory

This theory on transformational leadership is people-centric wherein, team members look up to their leader and try to imbibe his or her motivational and working habits. This theory has great similarity to Plato’s Republic where the leader is more of a philosopher like Gautam Buddha, Jesus Christ or Mahatma Gandhi. These leaders are capable of creating a sense of truthfulness through their actions and teachings. They are successful in guiding team members through value creation, goal setting and developing capabilities. According to this school of thought, these values are already within team members and are only required to be kindled. A transformational leader just shows the path to invoke these human qualities.

Burns’ transformational theory on leadership in based in two aspects.

  1. Attaining leadership and thereafter maintaining it
  2. Ways of attaining leadership

The theory attempts to answer the question as to why anyone should want to become a leader. This theory is regarded as an exception as it goes against the doctrine of ‘might is right’ for a leader. Often referred to as ‘transaction theory’, it dates back to Plato’s time when rhetorical theorist Thrasymachus propounded this theory. Later on, Socrates argued that humanity is a more superior quality which ignores the aspect of ‘might’ as the criterion of power. According to Socrates, the purpose of humanity is not just to exist but to achieve something more worthwhile, which is ‘wisdom’. It is because of this distinction that humans are the most superior species of the planet.

James Burns’ Definition of ‘Leadership’

According to Burns, leadership is circumstantial. Its function is to engage followers and not just activate them. Leadership is a process to interlink the needs and aspirations of an individual to those of common objectives thereby creating better citizens of leaders and followers. It is not just a description of somebody who is in charge, and its concept goes much beyond managing a team or achieving political objectives.

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Burns was critical about modern day definition of leadership which is just a technique in politics and management and ‘divorced from ethics’. Burns continued defining leadership as power ruled by principle and that which raised individuals to their highest levels of morality and personal aspirations. He categorically distinguished between leadership and power. Leadership mobilizes people while power only manages them; leadership engages while power impacts; leadership is creative as against power which is corruptive.

Burns’ ‘Circumstantial leadership’

James Burns cites three circumstances that create leaders. Circumstances vary in nature and degrees.

  1. There are times when it becomes necessary to mobilize people for realizing goals that are common to both a leader and followers. In order to realize this objective, it could be necessary to arouse and engage people institutionally, psychologically and politically for achieving this objective. For this type of leadership to materialize the objectives of both leaders and followers must be the same. Under such a circumstance, a leader and follower are one another’s complement. One motivates the other in achieving team’s goal. A very high level of morality is observed in this form of circumstantial leadership.
  2. Second form of circumstantial leadership stems from ‘followship’. Burns as a combatant of the US Army during World War II discovered that leadership was found among the ordinary soldiers. These soldiers fought more effectively in the absence of their commanders underlining the trust within themselves. Assuming the role of a leader in the time of need is another class of ‘circumstantial’ leadership.
  3. Circumstantial leadership also emanates from need assessment. Needs of humans begin from physiological or basic needs and goes up to self actualization needs. The better the need assessment of followers, the greater are the chances of meeting them. A capable circumstantial leader has total clarity about these different needs of team members and is able to offer situations that satisfy these needs.

The Positives

Transformational leadership theory of James Burns being based on social values aims at improving the intrinsic leader-follower relationship. It aims at enhancing the morality of a team and its members. Unlike other theories, Burn’s theory attempts at establishing a high moral character for a leader and its followers.

The qualities of leaders are well-explained in this theory. In Burns theory, the goal of leadership is thoroughly explained unlike in other theories where it is only an idea. Leadership in other theories is only a management process and no way is connected to setting moral values for a society. On the contrary, Burns correlates leadership with a societal process where both leader and followers are motivated for a noble purpose.

This theory is transcendental in scope. It is not a micro-process involving an organization on production unit, but a macro phenomenon that is concerned with overall transformation in lifestyle processes and activities. Burns’ Transformational leadership if followed correctly is capable of confronting major issues like economic collapse, global warming, or overpopulation.

Limitations

Burns theory is idealistic in terms of modern generation marketing economics and management processes. It aims to bring about a comprehensive change for a society which is mostly concerned with short term gains. It fails to inspire managers and management processes that are concerned with only productivity and profitability. Burns’ theory in all probabilities should be coupled with a co-relational motivational theorem.

Conclusion

Burns’ theory has a distinct social aspect and needs an audience that is already motivated for higher objectives. Further the essence of the theory is too difficult for an average manager or leader to understand. A serious drawback of this theory is its inability to cope with an emergency. Transformational leadership theory needs time and space for its actual fructification.

 

 

Understanding Persuasion and Motivated Sequence by Monroe

Introduction

There are many methods that help in creating a credible speech, but Motivated Sequence devised by Monroe has been hailed as the best one among them. It is used in several television commercials and is probably the most effective way to get people to act. However, it is not as effective as forcing someone to do anything while keeping at gunpoint, yet the motivated sequence stands out to be more ethical in nature, and shouldn’t arrest you.

Certain Crucial Considerations While Using Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

If you are required to deliver a persuasive speech and want to take help of Motivated Sequence in this regard, then you should consider certain things when choosing your topic in order to make it appear in a persuasive way. First, choosing some topic that audience will be able to accomplish in near future. For example, “wearing seat belt on the way back home from class today” or “giving blood at blood donation camp”. Lesser the time your audience takes to respond, there stand a greater chance for them to accomplish goals.

The second thing to consider when choosing a topic is about making it relevant to the lives of audience. It carries no meaning to convince audiences to stop smoking in case there are very few audience members who smoke.

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence- The 5 Steps

Motivational speaker can galvanize you into action with their thought provoking presentation. If you need to motivate, persuade and inspire others in your role then you must probably move the listeners into action. Delivering inspirational speeches without bringing about any action from listener is useless. Put together strong message and deliver it in exact sequence to charge the listeners.

1. The Attention Step: This is the equivalent to the introduction section of an informative speech or five-paragraph essay. You open with a question, a quote as requested from someone who is respected, a story (preferably true.). It is about directing your audience to listen and preview speech as delivered by you. Make use of stories, humor, shocking statistics, and rhetorical questions. The introductory part of the speech must establish your creditability. State clearly your purpose and let the audience know what to expect from the speech.

2. The Need Step: You need to show that the problem exists in the lives of your audience, clearly. Consequently, you must know your audience in depth. The problem requires to be narrated in negative terms and credible evidence used to demonstrate that this is something problematic. Students skimp frequently at this step because they mistakenly believe the audience members already see the problem like them. Do not commit this mistake. Audience is less aware of the problem than you are. The speaker needs to convince the audience about the existence of problem. Again, use statistics to back up the statement, speak about the importance of maintaining status quo while avoiding changes, and show how the problem impacts one directly.

3. The Solution Step: While determining the problem, the next step involves deriving a reasonable plan that can actually solve problem. Remember, with easier solution there lies a greater chance for your audience to follow it. Your speech must aim towards making your audience to act, hence if the solution is difficult or consumes more time then they will hardly follow it. The step requires addressing objections of audience. Address the objections while anticipating them earlier. Thus if one is trying to influence audience to wear seat belts, one objection they might face is that they don’t feel the need to belt-up if they aren’t moving far away. Raise the issue while backed by statistics about fatalities that occur close to home. Among the various parts of the speech this is the most important. You need to do that following:

  • Discussion of the fact
  • Give necessary details and elaborate on the points to make sure that audience understands your point of view, position and the solution.
  • State clearly what you wish the audience to do
  • Keep summarizing your point and information from time to time
  • Make use of examples, testimonials to prove the significance and effectiveness of the solution.
  • Prepare counterarguments to the anticipated objections.

4. The Visualization Step: This step requires creation of a visual image of audience acting towards a specific response. It includes two ways: Making audience members visualize how great the world would be if they do what you ask, or show them how terrible it will be if they do not follow. You have created a strong appeal while standing by the audience side by using statistics and number of steps, now it is time to question your emotions and desires. Help your audience to comprehend what the situation would be if they act in a particular way. Emphasize the positive aspects of your ideas in a contrasting manner by highlighting the negative picture of the situation if the idea is rejected.

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5. The Action Step: This would be similar to the conclusion portion of a speech that is informative in nature. You mark the end of speech; you repeat the need, visualization steps, satisfaction, and thereby directing them to act. It may give a weird feeling, but clear your intentions before the audience.

Remember to accomplish these five steps. Also, make sure that your topic is relevant to your audience, and undertake profound research to visualize the need to the audience to act accordingly.

The five steps can be summarized as follows:

  • Hook/Attention: The release and interest grabber
  • Need: Deal with the need of the viewers and produce perceptive dissonance (more on that shortly)
  • Solution: How your remedy (product/service) will fulfill the above need
  • Visualization: Offering the viewers a way to think about the way of life before and after remedy and the impact of inaction (life without your product/service)
  • Action: The summary and an immediate practical technique showing the viewers exactly how to take the next step.

Conclusion

By implementing Monroe’s persuasive speech, method organizations can gain customers without putting much effort as it creates an immediate and long-lasting impact. This method forms a strong impact on the potential customers who can become loyal customers.

DILO to Improve the Effectiveness of Team Work

Introduction

Are you concerned about the effective use of the team time or organizational time? To get answer to this question, one should track down what activities are performed by which team member and for how long the activities are performed. You can learn this by paying attention and recording the activities of people over a period of time.

In this article, we will know about DILO analysis and how it helps you to keep track of the team member’s activities.

What is DILO Approach?

The DILO (Day-In-Life Of) process can be defined as the method of discovery that is aimed at identifying the possible propositions for an organization. It comprises of the steps that develop deep understanding of the issues face by the customers. The approach comprises of interviewing and observing the customer at the same time. It is then followed by idea generation to get an insight into possible elements of value proposition.

The DILO approach was created by Francis Goulliant in the year 1994. Since then, this approach is being used by many managers, consultants and practitioners. The DILO practitioner uses the Lead Process, which was developed by Eric von Hippel. The primary focus of this process is product development in a compelling way. The DILO methodology focuses on the development of a unique value proposition for the organization. Most of the marketing approaches are aimed at implementing a defined value.

Managers and CEOs use this approach to transform their organization. This approach is also used by organizational development managers as a point for their development programs.

How to Perform DILO Analysis?

DILO analysis is a very useful technique to know about how the time is spent in your organization. You will get answers to a number of questions, such as –

  • Whether the majority of day was spent purposefully or not?
  • Is the work assigned to the team members effectively?
  • Whether most of the activities are planned or performed spontaneously?
  • Are the workloads and expectations on the same line?

Apart from this, you can also evaluate the effectiveness of different activities performed within the organization. DILO analysis gives a better understanding of the responsibilities and roles played by different members of the organization. DILO can also be used to –

  • Identify the activities or tasks that are getting done
  • Understand the obstacles that come across the effectiveness
  • Identify the future roles of people in your organization
  • Know how well you can share the resources
  • Identify job opportunities

You will be surprised to see the results after DILO analysis. The scope and size of DILO analysis depends on the number of people taking part in the activity, complexity of their roles, location of the personnel and many more.

Below is a step-by-step guide to perform DILO analysis.

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Step 1 – Determine the scope

The scope of analysis can be determined by the processes, activities, objectives and other functions. You should analyze the people who wish to participate. You can determine which teams need to involve in which activity, once you are ready with clear objectives. Remember that there are several people who perform same activities and you can learn a lot from them. It is also important to consider the time frame of DILO. The longer is the time frame of DILO analysis, the more accurate picture you will get.

Step 2 – Convey your objectives

Before you start with DILO analysis, you should explain the team members that how you are going to use the information or data. People often tend to get anxious at work, and misreport their activities if they believe that they are being monitored. For accurate results, you should let your team know that you are going to use this information to make the work life much better.

Step 3 – Identify core activities

The set of core activities need to be categorized under which people can analyze their time in a better way. The core activities depend on any particular work that is under analysis. The activities can be categorized into – routine job tasks, waiting time, meetings, interruptions, administrative activity, travelling and so on.

Step 4 – Prepare DILO worksheet

Prepare a worksheet for the DILO participants and ask them to fill it. You can either create a customized worksheet or download it from free templates available across the internet.

Step 5 – Analyze the activities of collate participants

Once the participants fill the worksheet, it’s time to ask them to record – description of each and every activity they perform and time spent by them on each activity. Ask them to describe the activities based on the categories described in step 3. You can even show the effectiveness of team members to use time on a scale of 1 to 5.

Step 6 – Analyzing DILO worksheet

The next step is to analyze the DILO worksheet, which can be done by collecting the completed worksheets and preparing the analysis. You can make a list of opportunities that help you improve or resolve the issues

Step 7 – Set plan for improvement

The main purpose of DILO analysis is to enhance the effectiveness of work environment. It is advised to share the information with the team members, when the analysis is completed. You can talk with the team members about the issues and opportunities, how can you increase the awareness of work habits, how to begin with a plan for improvement and so on.

DILO can be used to know the performance improvement as well as effectiveness of the reviews.

Summary

The bottom line is – DILO is a very effective technique that helps you know the effectiveness of your work activities. You can develop plans to address opportunities and possible issues. The process of tracking the activities allow team members to know how productive they are at workplace.

DILO analysis helps organizations to improve the effectiveness of workplace. Whether you want to maximize the effectiveness of present or future work within teams or organizations, you can opt for DILO analysis. In short, DILO can prove to be an effective method to get the desired information.

 

Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing: Group dynamics of Tuckman

Introduction

Bruce W. Tuckman, a psychologist and teacher devised a model for group development in 1965. From formation to completion of a task a group, according to Tuckman, goes through four stages, namely: forming, storming, norming, and performing. Any team while completing a task goes though these four stages knowingly or unknowingly. This theory is relevant for any team building process or for tasks undertaken by a team. Tuckman added 'adjourning and transformation' phase as a finishing touch to these four phases in group dynamics.

Tuckman's team building activities are in fact useful in observing group behavior within a given time frame. For any team there could be projects that last over months or even over years and this theory helps in analyzing group behavior during that phase.

Forming

Whenever a project comes the first step is to create a team for its completion and execution. In this team building process a leader has to play a crucial role as every member has to be selected thoughtfully. These members could be existing or new, with the challenges of the latter being obviously higher. Behaviors of members are amiable in this stage as they want to be a part of a team and accepted by other members. Conflicts and controversies are consciously avoided as members want to get acquainted in this phase. Each member tries to create an impression and gather information about others. Focus in this stage is more on organization building and learning about any new task. Team members are in their best demeanor in this phase.

Tuckman classifies 'formation' stage as 'comfortable' as conflicts are knowingly evaded. Members meet and become acquainted to the project, its opportunities, outcome and challenges. Goals are set and responsibilities of individual members defined. Formation stage is important since it is initiation to any new project. Members in addition to getting familiar with other members also familiarize themselves with the new project.

Storming

In this stage a group is already set with members knowing each other well. As members are comfortable about each other they begin expressing themselves. Conflicts and challenges are regular during this phase. However, unpleasant it might sound, this expression of discontent is natural and shows that members are behaving normally. In a group it is quite natural that opinions differ giving rise to disagreements even to the extent of destruction. It is the responsibility of a manger or team leader to prevent such disruptions. Disagreements are normal and should be sorted out with reasoning by team leader. Many teams try and arrive at a consensus in cases of such disagreements. This is not always justifiable as arriving at a consensus shifts the focus of a team away from actual objective. A manager or a team leader must never prioritize on arriving at a consensus, but focus on completing a task.

During this stage it is important for team leader to remain easily accessible to all members. However, for making decisions some bold steps might be taken. Tolerance and patience are the two main attributes that are visible in this phase. A manager must never allow discontents take precedence over other constructive functions within a group. Disagreements should be keys to members becoming more versatile and strong as a group.

Norming

Storming gradually leads to Norming. From a violent storming stage team leaders pacify and reason out with disagreeing members to attain normalcy. With team members knowing each other better in this phase, there are distinct possibilities of socializing among members. Opinions are exchanged and individual members are willing to help one another in working towards a common goal or team objective.

It should be noted that norming and storming have a tendency to overlap. Even when a team moves from "storming" to "norming" and situation veers towards normalcy, a new task or assignment could once again take the team back to "storming". Members run the risk of becoming complacent in "norming" stage and in the process loses their creativity or enthusiasm. A leader must ensure to keep team members motivated right through.

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Performing

This is the stage where hard work put in by team members matures as a result. This result is achieved by a team and a definite process in an agreeable manner. Practically a group reaches this stage when members are agreeable to a task and work in unison for completing it. It is assumed that a group reaching this stage is high performing and not impaired by conflicts. Members are motivated and work towards completing a task even without external supervision. A managers task becomes redundant as team members are self-motivated and competent. They are capable of handling any situation and independent to take decisions on the task at hand. Even though dissentions may arise they are sorted out amicably as focus of the members is on achievement of a given task.

Though a leader does not have much to perform his presence is essential. Absence of a leader could lead a team back to its storming phase. Dissentions and conflicts also arise when a leader is changed.

Adjourning and transformation

Bruce Tuckman added this stage to his already existing four stages in group dynamics. Normally groups are formed whenever a new project comes to an organization. Managers always try to create groups of like-minded people so that they get along well and help in completing a task as required. After a project is over team disbandment is natural. A team gets adjourned and members are absorbed in other capacities. It becomes difficult for team members to adjust to this sudden change in structure. In case of large organizations these members get suitably absorbed, while for smaller companies the future of employees is often uncertain when projects are over.

Conclusion

Tuckman's theory is only a model subject to testing in different kinds of organizational setups. Interesting aspect about this model is its distinct phases in group formation. This is true for organizations in every scale: small, medium, and large. This dynamics is even visible in clubs and homes.

Effective Recruitment – A Comprehensive Study

Introduction

Picking the best one from a large pool of talented aspirants is one challenging job. Publishing a job advertisement online or in a newspaper and then, selecting the promising one from several resumes to get started with the hiring process - this is easier said than done. Recognizing the most capable candidate who will do justice to the position he or she is considered for, who will get along well with the existing members of a team and work hard towards the fulfillment of the organizational goals is essential so that a recruitment does not prove to be a waste of time and money for a company. Effective recruitment is indispensable for the advancement of a company and the proper utilization of organizational resources. In this article, you will come across the different aspects related to effective recruitment.

Factors that Make Effective Recruitment Necessary

There is more than one factor that emphasizes the fact that it is extremely important to devote considerable amount of time for effective recruitment. The key factors are discussed below.

Appropriate candidates in apt positions –

Putting efforts for effective recruitment makes sure that right candidates hold the right positions. Satisfied employees show high productivity. They are less vulnerable to think about a change. As a result, the organization is benefitted from a congenial environment where employees perform their roles efficiently, maintains a smooth workflow and brings in high revenues unswervingly.

Good team spirit –

A hasty recruitment process can cost a company very badly. For example, if a new recruit lacks certain interpersonal skills like, team-working ability, he or she may affect team spirit, work ambiance and the productivity of other team members. That is why, personality test forms an important part of an effective recruitment process. Personality test helps to know whether a potential recruit has all the interpersonal skills required to work competently.

Efficient team management –

Effective recruitment helps a leader in successful team management. When talented people hold the correct positions and they have all the necessary skills, both professional and interpersonal, to achieve the business goals, it becomes much easier for leaders to manage their teams.

Correct utilization of time and money –

Making a hiring decision in a rush results into wastage of time and money. After the recruitment, when it comes out that the person hired is not fit for a certain role, is unable to get along with the team or cannot get accustomed to the organizational culture, it means carrying out the recruitment process once more which brings in losses for the company. Effective recruitment ensures that both time and money is being spent on hiring a candidate who is perfect for a particular position.

Various Methods of Recruitment

There is not just one, but multiple methods of recruiting candidates these days. The human resources (HR) department of a company resorts to different sources or methods to hire proficient candidates to fill up different vacant positions as well as to grow a department. The two chief methods of recruitment are internal recruitment and external recruitment.

#Internal Recruitment –

This recruitment practice takes place within the organization. When an organization conducts internal recruitment process, an existing employee is either moved to a new position or promoted to a higher position. Internal recruitment is also carried out through references provided by current employees.

*Types of Internal Recruitment
  • Internal ads – emails, forms and newsletters
  • Internal employee referrals
  • Word of mouth
  • Upgrading part-time or contract employees to permanent positions
  • Asking previous and retired employees for part-time/work from home/freelancing jobs

#External Recruitment –

As the name suggests, this recruitment practice takes place via external sources like, job portals and recruitment firms. When a company engages in external recruitment process, it employs a headhunter or an executive recruiter in order to manage the search, contact and hiring process meticulously.

*Types of External Recruitment
  • Publishing ads on job portals
  • External employee referrals
  • Collaborating with recruitment firms or consultancies
  • Posting job ads on newspapers
  • Walk-in
  • Campus recruitment

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11 Steps in Effective Recruitment

The following eleven steps are vital for recruiting new candidates effectively.

1. Defining the job profile –

Explaining what the job to be done is, the responsibilities involved in the job and how the job contributes to the accomplishment of the organizational goals

2. Describing the candidate profile –

Elucidating what professional skills, knowledge and experience, technical qualifications and interpersonal qualities are required for performing the job role with utmost perfection

3. Job posting –

Choosing the right recruitment method between internal and external hiring practices for publishing job ad and attracting potential candidates

4. Scrutiny of Curriculum Vitae –

Running a thorough check on all the job applications and short listing the most suitable CVs for the telephonic interview round

5. Telephonic interview –

Obtaining a first impression of a particular candidate and deciding whether he or she is appropriate for the in-person interview round

6. In-person interview –

Assessing a candidate’s educational background and professional as well as technical skills

7. Personality Test –

Examining a candidate’s ability to accept job challenges, work within strict deadlines and to work closely with team members as well as his or her leadership qualities

8. Documentation –

Checking the validity of the academic and professional certificates and the employment documents of the previous company (in case of an experienced candidate)

9. Making an offer –

Sending the final offer letter mentioning the employment terms and conditions, joining date, salary structure and job benefits

10. Finalizing recruitment –

Signing documents upon the acceptance of offer letter

11. Training –

Coaching the fresher candidates extensively and offering training to experienced candidates for working on a new project

Effective Recruitment – The Stepping Stone for Organizational Growth

An organization flourishes when its workforce is efficient, committed and focused to meet the organizational goals. It is possible to build a workforce by recruiting effectively. Effective recruitment assures that the responsibility of the fulfillment of the company objectives is shouldered by able people.

Top Tips to Implement Your BPM Initiative Successfully

Are you confused regarding how to implement a business process management (BPM) initiative with success? Are you looking for a winning solution to get hold of good IT stock? You do not need to worry much as you will be able to clear your confusion and get an effective solution with the help of the following tips.

Tip 1 – Keep an eye on the applications that are equipped with industry-specific elements and ensure best practices and then, convert into rigid applications that need only configuration and a little customization in order to fulfill the organizational goals.

Tip 2 – With the use of pre-built and recycled elements, developers in the field of Information Technology can create applications utilizing pre-built application components coarse-grained service elements thereby, saving time, increasing value and making proper use of the service delivery finest practices embedded into the elements.

Tip 3 – You need to recognize the importance of creating strong modeling setups in order to create applications with the use of BPMN-based process modeling tools or CMMN-based case modeling tools. There is also the requirement of a service-inclined and architecture-yielding structure to make sure that developers can build as well as use the web services repeatedly for the successful development of applications. This framework is required furthermore to utilize the organization service bus usability to fulfill more complicated assimilation tasks that surpass the standard web services incorporation.

Tip 4 – You should choose a solution which offer adequate resources and assistance to the developers. The resources and the assistance should be in the form of inclusive libraries, code clips, reusable components and communities where developers can interact, gain knowledge and be enriched.

If you follow these guidelines religiously, you will be benefitted in several ways. At first, you will come across a business process management solution which suits your requirements and in the second place; the solution can acclimatize to varying requirements at different times. Because of the flexibility of the solution, you will be required to spend less time, resources and energy in looking for different solutions to suit diverse requirements at varied time-levels.

It is worth mentioning that the system in which the applications are created is an amalgamation of the different business needs at different times for distinct solutions. Being aware and being knowledgeable helps to choose an ideal solution which will aid in the development of your organization.

One of the major stumbling blocks in the road of successful implementation of a BPM initiative has been the clash centering on process ownership between business stakeholders and IT. However, this obstacle (or the disagreement) seems to be disappearing as more and more organizations are showing willingness to work with IT to carry out successful BPM implementation.

Therefore, from the above discussion, you may have got an understanding regarding how to incorporate your BPM program effectively. You may have also realized that IT can help your organization flourish and touch the highest peak of success provided you choose and apply a comprehensive solution. Keep these aspects in mind and strategize well and wisely.

Project Development Schedule – An Analysis

Introduction

Have you ever started a work not knowing how exactly to complete it? You might complete it at one point of time, but the time taken to finish the work is great and you get frustrated by this fact. Moreover, you are at a loss about the required assets and use up everything at hand. Starting a small work without any idea is similar to working on an assignment without prior scheduling and planning. The project may be of any size, but the schedule is a prime section of project management. In this article, we will discuss about project development schedule.

An Idea

The schedule tells you when an activity should be conducted, what has been finished and the order in which things need to be executed. Scheduling involves a mixture of three phases. The three stages are estimation, forecast and knowledgeable guesswork.

Since, it is not a fixed path; schedules are regularly checked. It is often scrutinized while the assignment is undergoing. With the development of the project, the schedule too improves. Sometimes, there are risks and at other times they are identified and eradicated.

The Buy-Sell Hierarchy to Understand Customer Relationships

Introduction

Prices are too high these days and sales giving away our product. The arguing points between professionals who manage prices and who manage customers are increasing, and there is no conclusion on which group is right and which group is wrong. There is no correct answer to these questions. Whatever is the industry you are in; customers want to look at you and not your competitors to meet their needs. /p>

Organizations need to think about the relationships, which they have with their customers. You should think about what the customers feel about your business. You should know whether they consider you as potential supplier or as business partner who depend on strategic issues. Do you listen to their needs or just manufacture products with just some basic specifications.

In this article, we will look at buy-sell hierarchy that helps organizations explore the relationships they have with their customers. Through this model, one will know how to closely work with their customers and how to build strategic relationships.

Decision Matrix Analysis – An In-depth Elucidation

Introduction

Sometimes life presents you with situations where more than one good option is available. In that case you are required to analyze all the available options along with all the factors that need to be accounted for and choose the best option among the lot. Under such circumstances where there is no such thing as preferred option, it is most appropriate to use the Decision Matrix Analysis method for making the right call. In this article, we will learn about this effective model.

About Decision Matrix Analysis

Decision Matrix Analysis is the simplest form of Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) and involves highly complex modeling of the various potential scenarios with the help of advanced mathematics. The efficient use of this technique requires confidence and rational thinking. Mastering this method will take you that extra mile when others give in to indecision. Especially for business leaders, it often gets difficult to make the right decision with the risk of losing all that is riding on it. Such conditions require the Decision Matrix Analysis method for evaluating and prioritizing all the available options.

Decision Matrix Analysis goes by various names, including the following.

  • Pugh method
  • Pugh analysis
  • Decision matrix method, decision matrix
  • Decision grid
  • Selection grid
  • Selection matrix
  • Problem matrix
  • Problem selection matrix
  • Problem selection grid
  • Solution matrix
  • Criteria rating form
  • Criteria-based matrix
  • Opportunity analysis

How Does Decision Matrix Analysis Work?

A decision matrix is a collection of rows and columns showcasing the important values allowing analysts to systematically identify, analyze and rate the performance of relationships between sets of values and information. This method was first developed by Stuart Pugh, Professor and Head of the Design Department at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, who with the help of decision matrix took the subjectivity out of the decision which is generally made after carefully weighing all the factors and criteria. The matrix presents to you all the available options in rows and the corresponding factors that need to be considered in columns. After this, every possible option and factor is tried out and keeping in mind the relative importance of the factor,an overall score is appointed for each alternative. This might sound very complex, but the entire model can be summarized in few easy steps stated as follows:

  • A matrix is drawn. The size of the matrix depends entirely on the number of available options and the factors affecting the scenario.
  • All the possible options are appointed as rows of the table whereas the factors that need to be brought under consideration are chalked down under columns.
  • After this is done, every viable alternative is judged based upon all the available factors. These scores are written down the column corresponding to their respective options. The scoring is usually done between 0 (poor) to 5 (very good) and if none of the available possibilities satisfies your needs, you may as well discard them all with a 0.
  • When the scoring is done, the relative importance of each and every factor is scrutinized. Relative importance is generally ranked from 0 to 5 where getting a 0 will mean it is completely unimportant whereas fetching a 5 will prove that it is of utmost importance. Two factors might have the same relative importance. These values can be estimated using paired comparison analysis technique if it isn’t obvious.
  • In this step, the values that you assigned to the factors are multiplied by their corresponding relative importance value. Thus, the weighted score for every option-factor combination is obtained.
  • Finally all the weighted scores are added and the one option with the highest ratings is usually chosen as the best alternative. In case you doubt whether the best option is the one with the highest score, repeat the entire process checking the rates you previously assigned to the factors and their relative importance value and make any correction if needed. It may be so that a certain factor you thought was not that important turns out to have a higher importance value and vice versa.

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What is the Decision Matrix Analysis used for?

  • This method is used to evaluate different options compared against a common baseline.
  • This method is also used even if there is only one possibility. The various aspects of the option are thoroughly weighed. This is done to make sure that under the lack of options, you don’t end up making the wrong decision.
  • This method can also be used in situation where many alternatives are available and none of which are up-to-the-mark. Here, Decision Matrix Analysis is used to find out the best aspects among the available options and then, to come up with a hybrid which is better than any of the available alternatives.

An Example

Let us assume that there are four viable alternatives and let us call them A, B, C and D. Then, the criteria are to be decided and often the most important ones are chosen. Let us denote these notable factors as 1, 2, 3 and 4. A scale of 0 to 5 is chosen where 0 denotes ‘poor’ and 5 marks ‘very good’. For choosing relative importance, another scale is used which is again from 0 to 5 and only this time, 0 denoting ‘not important at all’ and 5 making it the ‘most important’ factor. The baseline is taken as zero as the comparison is done on a same level. The points and the relative importance value of the available option A, B, C, D are formulated accordingly. Finally, the table is constructed and all the gathered information and ratings are inserted into it. The assigned values are multiplied with their corresponding relative importance number and the weighted value is found out. These values are then added to figure out the best course of action i.e. the best choice among A, B, C, and D.

Conclusion

Decision Matrix method is used on an individual level. In case decision making requires group effort, individual decision matrixes are created and then they are compared among the group. The option having most of the votes among the members of the group is selected.

Boost the Productivity of Your Organization by Motivating Employees with the Situation- Behavior- Impact Feedback Tool

Introduction

Nowadays, businesses strive to meet new standards in order to satisfy customers. For that reason, you conduct brainstorming sessions and frame new marketing plans. As a considerate business leader or manager, you encourage your team members to come up with new and viable ideas that aim towards business growth. At the end of the presentation, you call upon the team member who gave presentation and you offer him with your feedback regarding improvements, which he should do. However, you discovered some weeks later that he has not overcome his drawbacks. This has happen because you could not provide effective feedback and that left him in confusing state. By using the “Situational – Behavior- Impact” (SBI) feedback tool, you can help your employees to improve their performance through delivering effective feedbacks.

SBI Feedback Tool in Detail

The Center for Creative Leadership developed SBI feedback tool for providing effective feedback to staffs regarding their performance. This kind of tool uses simple structure

  • Situation
  • Behavior
  • Impact

As a business manager or owner, when you frame your feedback in this manner, your team members will understand clearly the message that you want to convey. When you sketch the impact of an employee’s behavior on others, you are providing him or her a chance for reflecting on actions and help the staff to think on what is required to be changed.

The Role of CIO Starting from Execution to Development

Introduction

The CIO or the Chief Information Officer is a popular job title provided to the most senior executive in the enterprise who remains responsible for the Information Technology and the computer systems. He should direct the planning and implementation of the IT system in the organization.

Basic Concept

The responsibilities of CIO are changing and evolving through various phases. As the methods of activities in the organizations are changing, the role of CIO cannot remain constant throughout. With the new technologies, the methods of sharing information, buying and selling the services have undergone changes including the basic methods of the CIO’s activities.

Determine the Future Consequence with the Futures Wheel

Introduction

When you are required to explore all the future changes for exploring it with full impact you will definitely need to identify all the probable outcomes. In these cases, individuals may start to panic and can assume the list of first consequences with some tricky and incomplete ways for analyzing. Here, the Futures Wheel, which was introduced by Jerome Glenn in 1972, can come into use. The visual representation can provide you with a structured and the planned way for brainstorming out the direct and indirect results of the decision, trend or the event.

Basic Concept

Jerome Glenn basically created the Futures Wheel for identifying all the potential results of the events and trends. You can also use this tool in the decision making process or in the change management process. The technique can be very helpful for choosing between different options and determining the consequences of changes. During the impact analysis process, it can therefore be used as the brainstorming tool. It can develop the multi concepts and can also show the complex interrelationships. The future events and the trends can easily be organized with probable results of the strategy.

How can you use the Futures Wheel in Your Business?

Let us now go through the steps of implementing the futures wheel in your business.

Step 1: Recognize the Change

You are required to identify the changes of the future. You can take a note in the piece of paper or on a flipchart. It can be either be an event, or problems and the probable solutions of the issues.

Step 2: Determine the Direct and First Order Consequence

The next stage will involve brainstorming the direct results of the changes. All the consequences can be mentioned in different circles and the main idea can be connected centrally with the help of the arrow. These results can be considered as the first order consequences.

Step 3: Recognize the Second Order Consequence

All the possible second order consequences are required to be recorded from the first order consequences. You can add the additional consequences in the second stage just as the same way you have mentioned in the first stage. After that, you can keep on repeating the third and the fourth order consequences and so on.

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Step 4: Analyze Implications

After you have finished recording all the levels of the futures wheel, you can possess a clear understanding of all the probable direct and indirect consequences which can result from the changes required. You can make a list of all the consequences.

Step 5: Identify the Actions

In the cases where you have identified the negative consequences, you should think about the solutions and manage them in the right manner. When you can observe all the consequences as the positive ones, you can obtain full advantage from them.

During the process, you can use the color coding in the various levels of the wheel. It will help you to analyze and prioritize the results after you have gone through the brainstorming stages. All the consequences are necessarily not negative and you can be benefitted with the positive ones. It is always advisable for completing the impact of one ring of wheel before moving to the next level. If you can implement the primary impact with the secondary and the tertiary levels, you can move to a thinking model which is linear and are less probable in revealing the whole range of the possible impacts at different levels. This will help to prevent the negative results if you miss the important and the unintended consequences.

You are required to identify the consequence and the impact by asking what happens after the event? What if the event is not successful? What are the consequences and the impacts? What are the possible solutions?

The Futures Wheel can be used:

  • In small teams where a problem can be worked out with various strategy options. For example, introducing the method of user-pays.
  • Individually where the consequences are related with the individual shifting or the retiring jobs
  • In large collective groups where the facilitator can document the wheel on the whiteboard and all the participants can speak out about their ideas. The circles of the wheel can be filled with each of the ideas.

Example: Judith’s Future Wheel

Judith created a futures wheel for observing the impact of her team if she eliminates staff. If there is a budget shortfall, she will by trying with all the other options and trimming her employees will be the last resort. She can mention all the possible consequences in the wheel and can manage the expectations accordingly. There can be various positive consequences from budget shortfall which can be materialized.

The wheel can help the individuals for thinking about various issues for unfolding the consequences of the event or the strategy in a continuous improvement process. It always helps in avoiding the one dimensional or the linear thinking. It can shift your mind from the linear and simplistic process to a more organic and network oriented thinking. It can easily identify the unintended and the relationship consequences.

Therefore it is the simple as well as the practical tool for brainstorming the direct and indirect consequence of the trend or the event. You are required to identify what actually is required to change in the whole structure of the wheel. The changes can be edited in the circles and can be connected with the central circle with an arrow. After you have completed recording all the consequences, you will observe a visual map that can lay various implications for the problems or the events by allowing you to manage the solutions properly.

Key Points from the Article

From the article we now know about

  • The basic concept of the Futures Wheel
  • The process of implementing the tool in your business

Therefore the Futures Wheel can help you to see the future in a very clear manner with all the possible outcomes and their probable solutions.

Implementation of the Four Factor Theory of Leadership Can Raise Business Growth

Introduction

Nowadays, preferences of customers are changing at faster pace. So, only those companies can survive which can rightly predict such changes and realigns its strategies for fulfillment of business goals. In order to do that, you need to motivate people to get out from the stereotype environment, which is a challenging task. If you forcefully dictate your terms on your staffs, most of the time it will happen that they will quit your organization and you will be at loss. So, in order to handle a critical situation, you need to demonstrate effective leadership in place.

If somebody asks you about the basics of good leadership role, what will you say? Perhaps you will use terms or phrases like motivating people, building integrity, leading from the front and many more.

Effective leadership comprises of many different attributes. There are also some common factors, which link many of them.

One of the effective forms of leadership is the Four Factor Theory of Leadership that offers many advantages for attaining the best business growth.

Four Factor Theory of Leadership – Origin and Idea

The Four Factor Theory of Leadership was developed by the researchers Stanley Seashore and David Bowers in mid 1960s. The theory became public in 1966. The researchers observed that four factors were involved in implementing effective leadership. These factors are goal emphasis, work facilitation, interaction facilitation and personal support. Personal support deals at helping team members to value themselves and their respective tasks, so that they can build a sense of self worth and this trait will lead to increased business productivity.

Researchers Stanley Seashore and David Bowers reviewed the findings of other researchers as well who were finding out what it takes for becoming an effective leader. They observed that there were four factors, which emerged during studies at consistent basis.

The Four Factors

  • Personal Support – Helping other staffs to value themselves and their tasks, so that they can build a sense of self worth
  • Goal Emphasis – Motivating people for feeling enthusiastic as well committed to shared goals and performing well
  • Interaction Facilitation – Encouraging team members for establishing collaborative, close and successful working relationships with each other
  • Work Facilitation – Providing assistance to team members for fulfilling their goals and also offering materials, knowledge and resources

Seashore and Bowers came to conclusion that every business leader has to perform all these things in order to lead a team in effective manner.

Applying the Four Factor Theory of Leadership

It has been found that the recent idea of transformational leadership is often used as the best approach for handling critical business situations. But, it will be more helpful to you if you keep Bowers and Seashore’s leadership factors in mind, when you work with your team.

The Four Factor Theory of Leadership also helps you in knowing about various leadership styles. This helps you to select the best approach to address a given situation.

How to Apply these Four Dimensions for the Best Business Result?

The four factors of this kind of leadership theory include interaction facilitation, support, work facilitation and goal emphasis. Dr. Bowers and Dr. Seashore came up with such leadership model when they studied many managers, who were employed with different insurance companies.

The result of the research led to development of leadership theory, which is used widely nowadays for quantifying a manager’s relationship to his or her direct peers, reports and company. This kind of leadership theory is implemented during development training sessions. The four factors are also used for predicting organizational effectiveness.

# Providing Personal Support

Offering support is the first factor, which Seashore and Bowers observed. With respect to the leadership theory, support can be defined as acting in a manner, which increases self worth and feelings of value among persons who are around you.

As per Seashore and Bowers, it is vital to offer support as a leader for raising company’s morale, carrying out positive interaction with peers and motivating direct reports effectively. Companies, which do not employ leaders who can provide support, can predict lower compliance and morale with leadership directives.

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# Focusing on Goals

Goal emphasis is one the factors of effective leadership formulated by Seashore and Bowers. Managers who are proficient at goal emphasis can manage to behave in a manner, which stimulates dedication and excitement for attaining goals from team members.

Goal emphasis can also be observed as a leadership quality where team members want to work toward combined goals, instead of simply requiring working for earning a living. Companies can predict their output and in some scenarios, where their profit margins are based on how their leadership abilities measure goal emphasis.

# Encouraging Teamwork

Interaction facilitation is one of the factors of Seashore and Bowers leadership theory, which shows how a leader encourages team members or company for communicating and building relationships with each other.

Companies, which employ managers who are capable of carrying out interaction facilitation, can predict increased efficiency. This leadership model is suitable for those organizations, where many people learn the details and process services or products before they get delivered.

# Helping People to Work Efficiently

Simply showing enthusiasm for fulfillment of goals is not sufficient. As per the theory of Seashore and Bowers, a manager should also assist in actual accomplishments of business objectives. A leader can demonstrate his or her proficiency towards work facilitation, when he or she makes it a necessity for assisting the team through effective planning, operations management and resource allocation. Companies that deploy leadership, which is weak in implementing measures of work facilitation, can predict a wide gap between perceptions of employees and management and it leads to high attrition level and results in lowering of overall productivity.

Conclusion

It is a classic model which defines four basic dimensions of efficient leadership. As a leader, you will think how you can deploy these dimensions with your team for fulfilling your company’s business goals.

Developing Thinking Skills with the Disney Creative Strategy

Introduction

When you are assigned task of creative planning, it can be hard to find the apt way of transforming imaginative thinking into a sound business strategy. You have to dream with broad views in order to come up with the best possible ways for fixing a particular problem. At the same time, you should be in a position to focus on details, which are required to execute your plan successfully.

It has been found that striking the right balance between these two aspects is quite challenging. But, you can learn in broad terms from a person, who not only mastered that technique, but implemented it for creating a famous business empire worth several billions.

When you hear the term Walt Disney, can you say what you think about it? For many people, it will be the popular animated mouse that he created and all sorts of merriment he offered to millions of people through his series of films.

Many persons think that Walt Disney had strong business acumen instead of possessing creative qualities. When you give a close observation at his works, you will find that he attained success at various projects by using a strategy known as the Disney Creative Strategy.

How to Solve Issues of the Delegation Dilemma for Attaining Best Business Growth

Introduction

Nowadays, companies are vying to grab maximum market in order to survive. If you are the person who is responsible for the business development, then you can imagine how much work pressure you have to bear for meeting the deadlines. It is good that you have the required skills of handing complicated tasks, but you hesitate to distribute the workload among your team members because you think that by the time you teach them the necessary strategies for quick completion of task, you would have done by yourself. So, you suffer from the delegation dilemma. This, further results in surfacing of anxiety and you lose your productivity. But, there are ways to delegate responsibilities to your subordinates that will lead to business growth.

What is Delegation?

Delegation is a process through which senior level personnel teaches to juniors the skills and tricks for completing a task in time.

Why Managers do not go for Delegation?

Before you try to find out suitable ways of delegation, you have to know why most of the people avoid it. One reason is that, many managers think that by delegation requires putting of too much effort.

Consider a case. You decide which one is easier? Creating a layout and writing contents for advertising campaign for promoting a new service, which you organized by your own or inviting other team members to extend you their helping hands?

You are thoroughly aware of the content that has to be penned down in form of a copy. During your leisure time, you can think of the benefits of the new service. It may be easy for you to sit and write the entire copy by yourself and you can derive great fun. But, the question is whether will be good use of time?

While on surface, it is easier for you to do it by yourself than explaining the skills behind developing of compelling copy.

There are two reasons that state that you should delegate task to others.

  • If you possess the required skills for organizing a new campaign, then chances are there that, your expertise is better used for further developing the strategy along with creation of new ideas. You are failing for making the best use of time by performing the task by yourself.
  • By tactfully involving other people in your new project, you develop your team members’ abilities and skills. This signifies that when a similar project comes next time, you can delegate responsibilities with higher level of confidence as you are sure that it will be completed successfully without much of your involvement.

Importance of Delegation

Delegation helps you to make suitable use of time and skills and it allows other team members to grow and develop for maximizing the profitability of the company.

What is the Ideal Time to Delegate?

Delegation can bring win- win situation, when it is carried out in right manner. However, that does not mean you can delegate anything. For determining the right time of delegation, you need to ask yourself these questions.

  • Can the other person grow and develop skills by performing the assigned task?
  • Will the task recur in similar form in future?
  • Is the right task, which you should delegate?

If you find positive answers, then you can delegate the task for attaining the best business growth.

When you decided to delegate the task to your team members, you have to consider other factors too.

  • Take into account the skills, experience and knowledge of team members
  • See whether training can be imparted

Steps for Successful Delegation

Step 1

You have to clearly explain the expected outcome. Begin with the end in mind and articulate the desired results.

Step 2

Clearly identify boundaries and constraints. You need to figure out the lines of responsibility, authority and accountability.

Should your team members

  • Ask what is to be done?
  • Wait for your approval?
  • Offer recommendation regarding what should be performed and then act?
  • Take action and then report on periodic basis?
  • Take actions and then report to you immediately?

Step 3

Wherever possible, involve team members in the delegation process. Provide empowerment to your staffs to let them decide about the tasks that have to be allotted to them and the time- period for execution.

Step 4

Delegate the task to the lowest level of organization. Employees who are close to work are ideally suited for the task as they possess sound knowledge and details of every day work. This also helps in development of people and increment of workplace efficiency.

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Step 5

With the level of authority, you have to match up the amount of responsibility. You need to understand that you can delegate some responsibilities. However, the ultimate accountability cannot be delegated completely.

Step 6

Lay deep focus on result. Ensure that you are in a position to know about what has been achieved. Permit your team members to implement their own processes and methods. This helps in building trust and quick attainment of success.

Step 7

Make arrangements for providing adequate support and ensure that you should be available most of the time to solve queries. Establish right communication channels for successful completion of the project.

Step 8

You should avoid usage of upward delegation. If any problem occurs, do not allow your team members for shifting the onus back to you. Listen to the problem. Do not simply provide answer and ask for recommended solutions.

Conclusion

Many managers feel reluctant to distribute critical tasks among team members because they think that it will take too much time in making the staffs learn the required skills for doing such job. So, the senior leaders prefer to perform tasks of their own and suffer from the delegation dilemma. But, through delegation, results can be attained in short time. For delegating effectively, select the right task for allocation and right people to execute the project.

The Art of Filing – A Study

Introduction

Some people keep their colleagues and bosses waiting over the phone while they search for an important document among huge stores of paper. These are times when the person on the other end of the phone receives wrong impression about the person who has been asked for a piece of information. Filing papers is useful to save time when there is a lot of work. It may seem boring to a large extent, but at the end of the day it helps in making things appear smooth. In this article, we will discuss about proper ways of managing files, so that a professional can improve her personal effectiveness.

Idea

  • Even if this is a digital age, paper documents are still in vogue. There is a huge range of important information that is stored for later use. Professional people want things to be near their hands, so that they can get hold of them whenever required. Moreover, properly arranged documents also help in gathering information before preparing presentation or writing a report, therefore saving time.
  • When a professional cannot find out an important paper, she not only lets her colleagues or bosses down, but also gets stressed in the process. Thus, she should practice organizing her papers by using time management tools.

The Art of Concise Conversations – An Analysis

Introduction

Sometimes people call up their colleagues to discuss official matters. However, the professional on the other end of the phone starts discussing about personal things and the actual matter gets delayed. Again, there are times when a colleague states her point and keeps repeating it for half an hour. In this article, we will discuss about ways of keeping conversations short and at the same time entertaining.

Idea

  • The world of business is filled with people who do not understand how to stick to a particular subject. This attitude wastes a lot of time and hampers working relationships. But, being in an amiable relationship with co-workers is important.
  • Like all art forms, communication has a structure and like all efficient artists, good communicators are aware of the techniques that make communication effective. Learning the method to communicate in an effective way is not difficult, if someone wants to try it out. Once a professional learns about the basic things related to communication, she can handle critical communications without facing any problem.

Techniques to Follow

# Think first and then speak

  • If a professional wants to engage in concise conversation, she should think about the topic and what she wants to say.
  • Thinking helps in covering half the area before communication. People generally think before writing or typing, however, well thought out words while speaking is quite rare.
  • As a result, they cannot finish off in a short time. Thinking does not consume much time. It might not be possible for a person to think what she wants to say in a few seconds and reflect her thoughts word by word.
  • However, prior thinking gives the speaker an idea about what she is going to say. Thinking before speaking is very helpful when a speaker is supposed to speak among other speakers or when she is addressing many people, such as meetings in office.

# Come up with the actual topic in the beginning

  • The professional should start her conversation with the main topic. When a speaker starts conversation with the main idea, the other speakers get the time to think about the things they want to say.
  • The human mind goes through a lot of processing on the subconscious level and tries to put forward opinions on the topic which is being discussed.
  • As she develops the topic under consideration, the other speakers get a gist of the track followed by the former.

# Use only those supporting information that are necessary

  • A speaker should make it a point to avoid using irrelevant data when speaking.
  • An ineffective communication style is fraught with useless information which the speaker thinks are supporting ideas.
  • Conversation involves speaking out thoughts that come to the mind. When a person thinks, she associates her thought to various things that are relevant to it.
  • She should decide which of these relevant ideas are important and which are unimportant. She should not involve her thoughts to get much associated with all these ideas.
  • An effective speaker relates only those ideas that are most relevant to the topic in question.
  • Listeners and other speakers often pick up other associations to the topic.

# Use strong words

A professional speaker should use strong words and avoid the use of weak words. Weak words need more words to support their use. Passive sentences take time to percolate through the mind, on the other hand active and descriptive sentences are easier to understand.

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# Pay complete attention to the audience

  • The matter of discussion and the style of communication should be such that the audience understands it.
  • The extent to which the audience needs to learn about a matter should be decided by the speaker.
  • Social contexts are often interpreted in different ways by audience depending upon the situation, geography, age group, etc.
  • So, it is essential that the speaker structures the topic in a manner acceptable to the audience.

# Talk about a single topic at a time

  • People who speak about five things at a time confuse others. The listeners try to understand but cannot make out anything of what they have been told. Speaking about multiple things at a go is not the right approach, especially when all the topics require detailed discussion.
  • Elaborate discussion on a topic helps colleagues to learn about an idea in details.
  • When there are many topics to be discussed, the speaker should make a list in which the most important topic is kept at the top. This way, even if there is dearth of time, the important ideas are discussed before time passes.

Casual Conversations in Office

  • It is true that casual conversation and gossip are part of workplace culture and help in building relationship among fellow employees. But, if there is heavy workload an employee should stay back in office cabin. This way she can avoid meeting colleagues who talk for hours on end.
  • If in any case, the employee has to leave her cabin and is intercepted by colleagues, she should clearly tell them that she is busy, but in a polite way.
  • She can communicate with colleagues during lunch hour. She can go out for lunch with other team members and spend time with them. This way, relationship building does not hamper work.
  • A professional should understand the difference between productive conversations and conversations that build relationship because both are important for attaining success in career.

Face-to-Face Conversation

  • Talking face-to-face is often considered a power struggle. The person doing most of the talking becomes the winner. A professional should not try to control the flow of conversation. This leads to wastage of time and emergence of ego.
  • Again, a professional should not allow a co-worker to gossip for the whole afternoon.
  • A professional can follow tricks, like keep books on a chair in the cabin or stand until the colleague leaves. This gives the interrupter the indication that she is intervening.

To Wrap Up

From the above article, it can be deduced that while relationship building conversation is essential for success in career, keeping conversation short during the time of heavy workload is equally important.

Team-Building Exercises – Problem Solving and Decision Making – A Detailed Study

Introduction

Dealing with everyday issues and complex projects are tough. If the team leaders adhere to team management policies, solving problems and making decisions becomes easy. Team-building and dynamics develop problem solving capabilities in team members so that, they can reach the bottom of all issues. The team leader can thus, instill various thinking styles in the minds of her team members. In this article, we will discuss about team building exercise and how they assist in problem solving and decision making.

Decision Making and Problem Solving Exercises

# Drop the egg

This is a well known game played by team leaders to enhance problem solving skills of team members. The team members should make a container that can protect an egg, which is dropped from a certain distance. Before dropping the egg team members who are divided into groups have to demonstrate various solutions. They also have to state why they think the solution will work.

This is an entertaining game which helps in learning the skills of decision-making. Teammates have to indulge in creativity and negotiation.

Team-Building Exercises – Communication – An Analysis

Introduction

Communication is a core factor behind the success of a team. Poor communication leads to many team problems. Lack of communication leads to missed deadlines and missed opportunities. It also gives rise to conflict and errors. That is why it is necessary for managers to develop communication skills of their team members. The team members should interact with each other to create a good working relationship. In this article, we will discuss about the importance of communication and team building exercises. This is a study in team building and dynamics.

Team-building Exercises for Communication

# Pieces of cards

This game involves trading card pieces, so that complete cards can be formed. This game is useful to showcase the perspectives of other team members. It helps in building negotiation skills, generating empathy and communication.

Maximum Time

Fifteen minutes

Equipment Used
  • Playing cards (enough to cater to at least three people each having two participants)
  • There have to be at least six people.
  • There has to be a private room where the game will be played.
Methods
  • Each playing card should be cut diagonally four times, so that there are four triangular pieces for each card.
  • All the pieces of cards need to be mixed together and put inside envelopes in equal numbers. The number of envelopes should be equal to the total number of groups.
  • There have to be minimum three teams with at least two members in each team. There can be four people in each team.
  • Each team should be given an envelope.
  • Each team is given three minutes to separate the pieces and decide what are the pieces required to make complete cards.
  • They will then develop a strategy to bargain with other teams.
  • After sometime the teams are asked to exchange the card pieces. The teams are given a specific time period to complete them.
  • When the given time is over, the completed cards are counted. The team with the maximum number of completed cards wins.
  • After the game is over, the team members should discuss the strategies that worked and those that did not work while the card piece exchange was going on. Then they need to think about other strategies that can work.

# Human knot

Maximum Time

Ten minutes

Equipments Used

Nothing

Method
  • The participants are divided into groups. Each group has around seven people.
  • The groups stand in knots.
  • The participants should be asked to close their eyes and place their hands in the middle.
  • The hands must be linked with each other. Once all the hands are held the participants can open their eyes.
  • After this, the participants are asked to untie the knot and form a circle without leaving each other.

# Form a team

In this activity, team members form small teams as per the instructions shouted by the manager of the team. This activity helps in building strong communication skills. It assists team members in thinking by themselves.

Time Taken

Fifteen minutes.

Equipments Used
  • A room
  • The number of team members can vary
Methods
  • The manager should explain to participants that they need to make a team depending upon the instructions that are given by the manager. For instance, some instructions can be like this: “Join a group which has people with the same first letter in name as yours” or “Join a team that has candidates with the same preference of books as you.”
  • The manager has to give her instructions loudly. After the teams are formed the participants can make some sort of signal to the manager or shout out to her. This process should be done very quickly and the exercise should be practiced as many times as the manager wants.
  • When the game is over, the manager should talk to the team members and discuss how the activity boosted them to communicate with each other.

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# Listening

Time Taken

Thirty minutes

Equipments Used

Pens and chart paper

Method
  • The manager has to ask the participants about what they understand by a good listener. When they answer, she should take a note on the chart paper. The answers can be something like this.
    • Attributes of a good listener
      • A good listener makes eye contact.
      • A person who listens properly shows her interest in what is being told.
      • She asks questions or says certain things related to the subject being discussed.
      • She reacts to what is being said.
      • She does not change the topic being discussed.
    • Attributes of a bad listener
      • A bad listener makes no eye contact.
      • She looks bored and displays that to the speaker.
      • A bad listener keeps looking at her watch waiting for the period when she can leave the discussion. She also watches other things that interest her.
      • She either stays quiet or replies only in monosyllabic terms like, yes or no.
      • She tries to change the subject being talked about.
      • A bad listener does not ask any question.
  • The participants are divided into teams of two.
  • While one participant tries to talk on things that interest her, such as ‘her favorite book’ or ‘poverty in the world,’ her partner should try to look bored and uninterested.
  • The exercise should be repeated, so that this time the partner should act interested in the things told by the speaker.
  • Now the exercise has to be repeated with the roles of the participants swapped.
  • After this part of the exercise is finished, the following questions should be asked to them.
    • Did it feel good or bad while listening actively to the partner?
    • Did she like it when her partner was listening properly to what she was saying?
    • Did she like it when her partner was not listening seriously to her?

Through this exercise the participants understand the importance of being a good listener.

To Wrap Up

From this article, it can be concluded that communication plays a significant role in building a team. A manager has to plan accordingly, so that communication drills are practiced by her team members. This will bring them in contact and they will interact with each other.

Team-Building Exercises – A Detailed Study

Introduction

Team-building exercises act as weekend retreats at golf courts or restaurants. Such retreats, from the usual monotony of work are enjoyable for the entire team including the manager. However, the job of the team leader is to notice the difference in the behavior of her teammates after the team-building exercise. The team members may improve their manners towards each other or may go back to their usual bickering. In this article, we will discuss about team-building exercises and team management. In this study, we will learn about team-building and dynamics.

An Idea

Managers plan activities, so that they can help the team members cooperate with each other. However, if the plans of the manager are not fruitful and the team-building exercise does not help in doing what it is meant to be; team members lose respect for the manager.

These exercises can develop strengths and address weaknesses of team members. There has to be a strategic planning for conducting these exercises, for instance, inculcating creativity skills.

When planning a team-building exercise, a team leader should first find out the challenges her team members face. This will help in deciding the type of exercise for building the team.

Team Specific Motivation to Discover the Biggest Motivators of Team

Introduction

Each person in the team is unique and therefore, it is must to motivate each and every team member to succeed at work. There are a number of factors that help you tom motivate each and every person in the team. If you can discover the top motivators, you can focus on them to bring the best out of them. Now, the question is how to identify the top motivators and how to use it.

In this article, we will discuss about ways to identify the top motivators and make effective use of them.

How to Use the Tool

Motivation can be a determining factor that helps the team to achieve success. In most of the cases, a team has to be motivated from the beginning till the end. One of the first ventures to motivate is distinguishing the objectives and reason for the group and making them clear from the earliest starting point. This first step has been proved valid for some gathering pioneers and individuals. Managers and team members can see achievement when it is utilized and brokenness and disappointment when not utilized. Knowing the objectives and comprehension, and supporting them were the main contributing variables to the accomplishment of these specific groups.

Task Allocation – The Right Process

Introduction

If you observe any sport carefully, you will find that the team leader or the captain spends a lot time on distributing responsibilities to each player. The process also involves offering each player some suitable position where they can put their best effort on the field. A good captain knows the team well and he is also aware of the skill and ability of his team members.

Likewise, we can apply same strategy in business. There is a need to prefer right people for the right job. If you are a team leader or a concerned person who distribute tasks among others, then you have to assign tasks based on their skills and proficiencies.

Therefore, the question is how you would execute your task if you were the concerned person. In sports, to hand over tasks to a team, you should have sound idea about the game and about the skills and abilities of your team members. For instance, if it is a soccer game, then you cannot ask the goalkeeper to play as a midfielder if you are about to play a must-win game.

In the same way, in the field of business, we cannot delegate a task to a person who is less efficient on that particular job.

Here we have laid out some strategies that will help you in the process of correct role allocation.

# Break the target down

If you find that you have a large target ahead then the best thing you can do is divide the goal into several pieces and assign your team members with those parts.

Before doing this, you have to understand the task-solving ability of your team members, you have to read your team well if you want to deliver some suitable tasks to each member of your team.

Evaluate all the tasks based on their importance and distribute them to each of the team member, who you think is most suitable for the task.

# Make a list based on the capabilities of team members

If you are working with large team then it will be difficult for you to remember that who is efficient on which task. Thus, try to maintain a database that will always keep you informed about skills and capabilities of your team members.

We have often seen that newly recruited or inexperienced team leaders pass on tasks to his or her team members without taking note of their ability and proficiency, which broadly affects the team’s performance. Thus, if you are new in the profession or for the team, try to note the skills and proficiencies of each team member so that you can offer them suitable jobs.

# Try to train existing team members for better result

You may often find that the proficiency of your existing team members is just falling short in terms of executing a complicated task. In that situation, team leaders tend to hire some new employees so that they can fill the gap.

However, the process may cost a lot for the organization, when you can make your existing employees better by offering them some skill-enhancing and motivational training. By doing this, you can pump up more confidence into them and can make them eligible and suitable for some complex tasks.

# Figure out the non-performers

If you find that your team is not performing on the pace you would like see them. In these circumstances, you have to point out those people among your team who are performing at slow pace and letting your team down.

You have to be more active in this situation and have to manage the issue tactfully. We know that non-performers refer to poor example for a team and block the growth rate of an organization.

Talk to those persons and make them fully aware of the situation. Then the best thing you can do is, ask them about the reason of their poor performances, if it is for lack of some privileges, then try to fulfill their requirements and give them chances to be productive for the organization.

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# Make team members aware of their position

Every team member should be well aware of their responsibilities that have been assigned to them. They must understand the true essence of the job, when at the same time, the authority and accountability of an individual should be defined by the team head.

Try to look at the previous record of an individual and learn about his work efficiency. If you find the person better for any particular job that he or she has done with accuracy in the past, then try to allocate the person same kind of task.

# Try to keep strong back-ups or substitute

You might be satisfied with your team performance and happy with the work efficiency of every team member. However, depending too much on your existing team members can cost you a lot in the future, because you can lose any of your skilled team members at any time. Thus, try to find a deputy who can work for the team when it is required most. Select some employees and provide them training so that they can fill the vacant with their skills hands.

# Increase productivity with proper task allocation

If you are a team leader then you have to learn the art of leadership. Allocating tasks properly to the others is one of the most important roles of an active team leader. Giving right task to the wrong team member can simply spoil the team performance, thus, never underestimate one’s skill and capability and try to allocate tasks after availing full understanding of the basic skills of your team members so that you can help your team to increase productivity.

Conclusion

Proper task allocation is very vital for team performance and a team leader should read out his or her team well so that the leader can easily find the right person for a particular task. Good relation between the leader and the team helps the leader to remain aware with the strength and weakness of his or her team.

How to Survive the Effects of Business Travel?

Introduction

Staring at waiting list, cramped hotel rooms and the confusion about how much the body scanner at the airport will reveal, there is no doubt that several difficulties that are associated with travel. Whenever you plan to go out for a trip, such negative thoughts arise in your mind. However, despite of all these thoughts, you always love to go out for a trip with your family and friends.

But what would you think when you hear about a business trip? The first thing that comes to your mind is probably those inconveniences that are associated with the trip. For example, going out for a long business trip with your co-worker no matter how you hate him.

While touring for your company, you may have to attend several conferences and company meetings and client meetings during your trip. However, despite knowing the fact that the trip will offer you challenges and you may have to stay along with some unfavorable conditions, you might have no other option left than going to the trip without asking any question. So, what could be the best idea to deal with the effects of a business travel? Take a look at some key tips for surviving business travel.

# Plan carefully

A perfect plan is always the secret of a successful trip and the same thing is applicable for a business trip.

In the process of your preparation, you have to map out the hotel route and checkout the car reservation dates thoroughly. Keep your alarm ready so that you do not have to miss the flight or miss the scheduled meeting.

Steps to Apply Du Pont Analysis Method in Business

Introduction

In the year 1918, the well known electrical engineer F. Donaldson Brown of E.I Du Pont Corporation of Wilmington Delaware was given the responsibility of solving the financial issues of the company. Brown identified a mathematical relationship between the two popular ratios namely, the net profit margin ratio, the total asset turnover ratio and the ROA. The result of the ROA comes from the net profit margin ratio and the total asset turnover.

Basic Concept

The Du Pont Analysis is a performance measurement that can be calculated with the gross book value instead of the net book value for producing the higher rate of interest (ROE). Sometimes, it may also known as the ‘Du Pont Identity’ The Du Pont analysis clarifies that ROE is generally affected by three important factors:

  • The efficiency of the assets used , which can be measured by the total asset turnover
  • The financial leverage that can be calculated by the equity multiplier
  • The operating efficiency which can be considered through the profit margin

Therefore ROE = Profit Margin * Total Asset Turnover * Equity multiplier

Where the profit margin = profit /sales, total asset turnover = sales / assets, equity multiplier = assets/equity

Diversification – A Detailed Study

Introduction

A company owning another firm in good financial times is quite common. Some of the largest companies in the world operate a series of diversified establishments across many geographical boundaries and industries. For some companies diversification means increasing revenue and for others it means decreasing risks. Business owners diversify with the hope of making up for the loss in one section. In this article, we will discuss about diversification and its strategic tools.

Idea

Diversification decreases risk because it makes profits of the company less susceptible to specific changes in the industry. For instance, the rise of fuel prices leads to the increment of many consumer goods. If a business concerns transportation, the business owner may want to purchase a company that serves the oil industry. This keeps profit intact. However, diversification can also divert a company from success as the company can move away from its core competencies.

Features of Diversification

Diversification indicates bringing together a collection of business units and investments. This is done in such a way that total losses are reduced if a certain segment faces problems.

When seen from another perspective, diversification talks about an organization that enters into a line of business that is outside its arena of business.

It means that the company shifts into an area where it has less experience. This is an endeavor which involves a lot of risk and thus, it needs a lot of care.

Types of Diversification

# Vertical diversification

This diversification takes place when the organization goes back to former phases of its cycle of production or shifts forward to other stages in the same production cycle. Same cycle involves final product distribution and production of raw component. For example, if a firm is involved in reconstruction business of houses and office buildings, and the business owner begins to sell construction materials, the supply of raw materials is guaranteed at all times. Moreover the raw materials required to rebuild houses have low price and are good in quality.

# Horizontal diversification

This type of diversification involves developing or creating new products or rendering new services that appeal to the present customer groups of companies. Here, the firm depends on technological and sales relations to the current line of products. For instance, a dairy that produces cheese adds a new kind of cheese to its product line.

# Heterogeneous (conglomerate) diversification

Heterogeneous diversification involves shifting to new services or products that have neither commercial nor technological relation with equipment, present line of product and channel of distribution. This diversification appeals to new customer groups. The actual motive behind diversifying in this manner is the high investment return in the new industry. Moreover, the plan to opt for this kind of diversification leads to extra options that are not directly connected to further development of the main business of the firm. The extra options are strategic partnership opportunities, means to approach new technologies, etc.

# Concentric diversification

This form of diversification constitutes the process of increasing the portfolio of production by adding new products with the target of completely using the present market system and technology. As a strategy, concentric diversification is quite effective from the financial point of view. This is because; the business establishment can benefit from harmony in this model of diversification. It can enforce some investments that are connected to improving the current processes. Business owners who are small time manufacturers of consumer goods use this type of diversification. For instance, dough products or pastries begin to be produced in a bakery.

#Corporate diversification

This model of diversification constitutes the manufacture of profitable goods that are not connected to each other. In most cases, this model is related to large scale investments that offer high returns.

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Diversification Needs

Being a strategic approach, diversification is brought under thorough research that target to investigate its connection to the financial results of the firms. In most studies there is a comparison between related and unrelated diversification results. However, even after this the line of difference between the two is not clear. For many years, related diversification has been thought to be more advantageous than unrelated diversification. But, off late, large companies have tried to prove otherwise. In fact, they have proved that profits can be achieved by unrelated diversification.

Place to Undertake Diversification

Diversification is a significant tool for firms in any location or sector to develop business. But, it is important to keep in mind that successful diversification does not come with a pre-planned recipe. The most suitable diversification is determined by many external and internal factors that affect each firm. These factors should be scrutinized and then considered before being developed into a strategy of diversification. It is also essential that this strategy is applied and modernized as per the changes in the industry standards that are caused by high competition.

Industry for Diversification

Industry choice for business establishments to diversify follows a segmented and macroeconomic investigation to recognize economic fields with industries that are suitable for investment and expected fast growth. But, quite often, current skill plus experience of human resources, general condition of the economy and the personal contacts of the manager of the company decide the arena of diversification in future.

An appropriate diversification ensures competitive advantage to a firm in getting their goals. This will develop the business by entering new line of products and markets can decrease the risk by multiplying their investments. But, there is also a lot of risk involved when implementing diversification. It is the responsibility of the manager or the owner of the company to provide impetus to it and not prove it a failure.

To Wrap Up

From the article, it can be deduced that diversification helps a company in facing hard times in business. If one segment of the business fails, the other segments can make up for the loss faced. The five types of diversification are vertical diversification, horizontal diversification, heterogeneous (conglomerate) diversification, concentric diversification and corporate diversification. It is important that business owners are careful when implementing diversification because, while it can make a company strong enough to face financial changes, it can also take away the attention of the owner from the core competencies of the firm.

Overview and Implementation of Distributive Bargaining

Introduction

The distributive bargaining was first introduced by R.E Walton and R.B Mckersie in their negotiation theory ‘A Behavioral Theory of Labor Negotiations’. It is the process of bargaining where one party needs to give up while the other party gains. It is the win-lose negotiations where fixed amount of resources and assets that can be divided in the situations where there are no understanding between the parties.

Basic Concept

Distributive bargaining also known as the zero sum or win-lose bargaining is the competitive strategy for negotiation used for deciding the process of dividing the fixed resources , such as money. It is generally explained in terms of pie. When the disputants are working together then the size of the pie gets bigger. If the pie is divided, they can possess as much as they can if the as the size is enough for them. Unlike the integrative negotiation, the distributive bargaining is much more competitive in nature.

Dialogue Mapping Helps in Fast Project Execution

Introduction

When you are running a business, it is obvious that you enter into new deals. This shows that your company is growing. The next step deals with project planning. For that purpose, you ask your team members to participate in group discussion. During the meeting, your aim is to find efficient ways of executing the project within the deadline. When people speak together, it becomes difficult to identify the valid points and decisions cannot be made as per planning schedule. You can overcome this problem by implementing a dialogue mapping system, which gives you the overall scenario of the group meeting.

About Dialogue Mapping

Dialogue mapping is a tool, which creates a map that connects and captures comments of team members, when the meeting conversation begins. This tool is highly effective for solving problems that involve technical as well as social complexities.

Dialogue mapping also helps in solving inabilities and offers cost effective ways for execution of various project tasks within specified time. This dialogue monitoring tool helps in creating forward progress in situations, which have stuck.

Dialogue mapping paves ways for making robust decisions that have lasting effects on projects. This kind of tool is effective as it works in non- linear way people communicate, think and make decisions.

Developing Surveys with Right Questions at Right Time

Introduction

When you want to know views of the individuals on a particular topic, you will directly ask questions instead of making guesses. Now, the challenge comes when you require opinions from several groups of people. For example, you should assess the mood of the department or the team with response to the new initiative you have introduced. Whether it is some corporate culture issues or some customer satisfaction research, the best feedback source will be the primary stakeholders themselves. Here comes the importance of developing the surveys.

Basic Concept

Developing surveys can provide you the chance to ask the target group a set of questions about a specific issue, project or subject. The views can be used to customize the strategy or review the approach in a positive manner. The successful surveys will however include much more activities than only scribbling down some questions and finding their answers.

Why Developing Character in Workplace is Important?

Introduction

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy suggests the manner in which somebody approached ethics can be specifically linked to who he or she is as a person. If a person is having a good moral character, it is due to his or her ethics and virtues. As a business owner, good character is useful in developing employee-employer relationship, raising morale of employees and hence, it results in overall growth of a company.

What is Character?

Character can be related to moral and mental qualities, which are distinctive to a person. It can also be defined as sum total of ethical and mental traits that mark an individual.

Identification of Good Character

For determining what comprises moral character, you should understand the meaning of ethics, which include moral values or principles. The decisions taken by you or your employees can negatively or positively affect the organization as a whole.

For developing good moral character, a person must analyze the outcomes of exercising bad moral character in workplace and perform those actions, which are accepted ethically.

Building Loyalty

The business that you are running is your livelihood because your customers are helping you to sustain it. If you sport good moral character to your customers and treat them by showing respect, you can easily retain and deserve more referrals from your existing ones.

It is important that you need to have an appreciable personality trait. You should ensure that your good moral character should get reflected through the actions of your employees. For example, if a staff is untruthful or disrespectful to your customers, despite of you being ethical, it will be difficult to retain loyalty of your clients who are your valuable business assets.

Winning hearts of customers through quality products and decent pricing policies may be easy task. But, the way you service those clients determines whether you can retain them. This is equally true for your staffs. If you treat them well, you have higher chances that they will stay in your company.

Creating Trust

For effective running of business, you should ensure building trust between you and your staffs. If the opposite happens, then it will lead to dishonesty, conflicts, miscommunication and rise in exodus.

An untrustworthy staff always has the tendency of keeping you in suspicion while an empathic, trustworthy employee keeps your business interests in safe position.

For example, if a staff lies about a process, which he used for the completion of a particular task, it puts you on guard. In short time, you will find that you are doubting and micromanaging him for everything else he says. Due to his dishonesty, you question on his moral character. This equally holds true for and your staffs about how clients are dealt. If a client does not trust you, it may happen that he or she will deal with your business next time.

Raising Morale

A past research suggests that the indifference or low morale is the main cause for unethical conduct of employees. By retaining moral character in workplace, you can become the leader of kind, who can motivate the staffs.

Having moral character in workplace also helps you in staying informed about the requirement of employees and provides you the opportunity of rewarding them accordingly upon their achievements. By fuelling their drives for working harder, you do not take your employees for granted. Staffs having good moral can motivate others to work sincerely for the organization.

By this time, you have seen how good moral character makes a business. In reality, building this kind of character among employees is a bit challenging. Through character development sessions, you can raise morale of your staffs for better performance.

Many employees possess variety of good traits. But, among some employees vital character traits are missing that result in deterioration of productivity as teamwork gets affected. Monthly character session is the best way of helping good employees to perform better at their jobs.

Current Scenario

Many companies often hold discussions regarding character trait of the month at their board rooms every month. You can see that after explaining action oriented character definitions for few months, the performance of the respective departments will improve.

Many employees aim at improving their performance in order to reach the desired productive level. But, they are unaware of their limiting factors.

By conducting weekly or monthly character trait discussion, you can help your staffs for overcoming weaknesses.

Now, you will definitely like to know the way of conducting such meeting.

Conducting Character Discussion Session

  • In first place, you need to state clearly that this kind of meeting has been arranged for personal well being. During the session, you have to make your employees realize that everyone has to become successful for company’s growth.
  • You have to explain the character trait of month and the action based definition.
  • Then, you need to provide example of a famous person from history, who practiced that trait and how he or she got benefited.
  • Motivate employees to participate in discussion and know how they can practice the trait while performing their tasks.

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Character Development Leaves Its Influence In Following Areas

  • External communication
  • Internal communication
  • Employee training, hiring and promotional activities
  • Human and financial resources
  • Community relationship building

You can use internal communication ways for creating a friendly environment at workplace that praises a person for performing positive role at work. You can do this by using mailers, internal newsletters, etc.

Conclusion

Character can be related to moral and metal qualities, which are distinctive to a person. In other words, it is a sum total of ethical and mental traits that helps in identifying an individual. There are many ways for developing character in workplace. One of the popular ways of building good character is by holding character trait session where employees get motivated to perform better by overcoming their weaknesses. A good moral character provides suitable ground for building trust among employees and also develops loyalty of customers.

Deming’s Five Diseases of Management – A Study

Introduction

When a company launches new initiatives even before older ones are implemented properly, when managers leave the company and focus more on short-term profitability than long-term profitability; it is time these issues are solved. Otherwise, the business can be destroyed. In this article, we will discuss about Deming's Five Diseases of Management that a business owner encounters.

Origin

The concept of the five diseases of management was introduced by Dr W. Edwards Deming. He was a management thinker who built other tools like, Plan-Do-Check-Act and 14-Point Philosophy. The model by Deming gets its name from Mary Walton’s book published in 1986, "The Deming Management Method."

Decision Making Under Uncertainty – An Analysis

Introduction

Some experts opine that decision making is the technique of committing resources for an activity that is supposed to be done tomorrow. Most decisions are made in time of uncertainty because no one is sure, what will happen the next moment. If a person is trying to start a new project she will have to make new decisions. Since, the future is uncertain, the decision making process will also be uncertain and she does not know if the expenses she will incur will cover her costs. In order to make better decisions which are based on disciplined thought process she has to manage the extent of uncertainty.

Idea

The decision maker has no idea about the nature of outcome when she is making decisions under uncertainty. Sometimes, if it is expensive to gather information about the tentative outcome, the decision maker is under great uncertainty. In such circumstances, making of decision depends on the personality of the decision maker.

Dealing with Poor Performance

Introduction

If you find an employee performing less than you are expecting from him or her, you should look out for the root cause of the issue. There is no doubt that employee performance affects the growth rate of any organization and you would never want your employee to be an under-performer. However, if you are witnessing such issues in your organization, what would be the first step you would take for some reasonable solution? Would you send such employees for some training or just simply move them into different role in your company? Here, we will discuss some facts that can help in the process.

  • Boost motivation
  • Tough selection
  • Cause of poor performance

Try to boost their ability and motivation

Before going to the main fact, you have to understand the true essence of ability and motivation. Here in corporate sectors, the term ‘ability’ stands for a person’s aptitude and training and availability of resources. However, the term ‘motivation’ stands for the ability, as if an individual has 100% motivation that that means he will have 75 % working ability. But, if you find a person with below 25% ability, then you should consider him or her as a non-performer at your organization.

Always follow a tough selection process

Whenever an organization goes through the recruitment process, it should try all the possible tools to choose a proficient employee. If you are recruiting employee on your own then be sure to assess candidate’s ability, because his or her ability will determine their work efficiency. You should remember that minor deficiency could be addressed and improved through trainings.

Find out the cause of poor performance

If you really want to fix the problem of poor performance then you have to trace out the real cause of it. You have to understand that does it derive from lack of ability or deficiency of motivation. However, if you fail to trace out the real cause of the problem and offer it wrong treatment then it can create new problems.

If we find an employee performing less than what we expect from the person, then the most common thing that we do is, we increase pressure on him or her to deliver. However, if the employee is suffering from the lack of ability then increased pressure will make the problem more difficult.

A few points are given below that will help you to diagnose low ability.

  • Low aptitude, skill and knowledge
  • Putting best effort for minor tasks
  • Less improvement over time than other
  • Dissatisfied with tasks

Best Processes of Enhancing Ability

If you want to give your employee more chances to remain in your organization, then you should take some initiative through which you can enhance his/her ability to perform. There a few steps that you can follow in order to train your under-performing employees.

# Resupply of resources

To make your under-performing employee productive, you have to focus on resources that have been offered to them to do the job. Asking them about some additional resources would be a great idea if they need it. You can ask them if they are facing any problem to do their job or whether there is any lack of some facilities.

Note if your employees state that the kind of support they are getting from your organization is inadequate then verify their claim through investigation on your own. It has been found that under-achievers often blame other sources for their poor performance instead of admitting their own fault.

# Offer additional training

Providing additional training to those under-performing employees can be a better option through which you can explore whether they need any additional skill or not. It has been seen that people find themselves helpless when they are contacted with latest technology and lose their work efficiency.

Skill development training can make them updated with latest technology and motivated them to deliver more on duty. However, there several training options are available such as computer-based training, pursuing courses in subsidized college or university, conducting yoga class through you can make your employee more productive than before.

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# Repost

If you find these first two options are irrelevant to your problem, then you can put those under-performers into another job. You have to analyze that what kind of job is best suited for them and try to figure out their ability and disability in jobs you have given to them.

If your main objective is to retain the employee, then you have to rearrange favorable environment for the employee and should offer him or her some rewording work.

# Reassign the tasks

If those above mentioned tactics do not turn the situation around, you should look for reassigning the under-performer. We have seen organizations following the tactic of demotion of poor-performer but we never suggest a company to pursue the formula, because the tactic will even make your high performing employees feel insecure that can restrain the pace of their performance.

You have to remember the fact that the performance of an under-achiever is not intentionally poor; the individual may simply lack the skill that is required for the position.

# Let the employee go

This should be considered as the final and last option of those above mentioned plans do not work. If you find that there is no place for reassigned or repost or your organization does not have any other convenient alternative then you will have no other option than letting the employee to go.

However, you may consider some contractual terms and conditions, but throughout the process you can offer opportunities for the team and the under-performing employee, because the individual may get some better opportunity through a suitable job where he or she can work with 100 per cent job satisfaction.

Conclusion

Before following these steps make sure that you are running an organization where most of the employees are working with ease and they have job satisfaction, as you have created a favorable working environment for your employee.

Dealing with Lateness – An Analysis

Introduction

In most companies there are few people who come late regularly. It is an annoying habit and it becomes all the more annoying if the professional who comes late is a major figure and the rest of the team members have to wait for her before making key decisions. In this article, we will discuss about stopping consistent lateness by using time management tools and personal effectiveness.

Idea

  • Being late is quite an offence and making it a regular practice leads to irregularity in effectiveness.
  • A business owner depends on the capability and effectiveness of her employees to make sure that her business is succeeding.
  • When one of these employees makes it a practice to come late, it results in loss of money, confidence and time.
  • If one employee comes late to office regularly without being disciplined by the company authority, all employees get into the practice of attending office late. This leads to complete mayhem in the organization.

Understanding the Reasons for Lateness

# Determine the cause for late entry

The team leader or business owner should identify how serious the problem of late entry is. She should determine if the cause is really important or not. The occasional lateness from otherwise sincere and punctual employees should be considered. However, other team members should complain about the consideration doled out to efficient employees.

# Determine the attitude of the late comer

The business owner should determine the habit of the late comer and understand if it is her usual practice or if it is a distraction from normal punctual behavior.

# Try to find out simple solution

She should call the resource to a private meeting which is not formal and ask the reason for her late entry to office everyday. She should also try to see if there is a simple solution to the problem at hand. For instance, if the receptionist and manager both come in at 9 in the morning, but the manager has to come early to check the projects delivered the previous day before sending them to the client, both should be given a key.

# Identify a pattern

She should write down the reason of lateness and try to identify the pattern of late entry.

Actions to be Taken by the Business Owner

# Modify office schedules for productive and sincere employees

If the situation demands, the owner should modify schedules for the benefit of the company and the productivity of the employees. If the employee in concern is an efficient one, she should take steps to reschedule her office hours. For instance, a sincere resource is arriving twenty minutes late because of a change in her daily schedule. The owner can permit her to arrive twenty minutes late and leave twenty minutes later than usual time so that she can adjust to her new timetable.

# Financial punishment for offenders

The company authority can implement penalty in financial form, if she notices that late comers are repeat offenders. Her payment should be docked for the time she does not turn up or is late and she should not be allowed to work late if she wants to make up for her offence.

# Office vigilance

She should make sure that new employees are trained properly, so that they attend office on time. She should ask one of her most sincere and trusted employees to keep an eye on the late comers. She should be careful when asking her employees to be vigilant over late comers, because it can turn out to be uncomfortable for both the employees.

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# Tricky techniques

  • She can use peer pressure to make sure that employees are not late. If she notices that coming late to office has become a habit she should use techniques like rewards and bonus cards to those who come early. Many offices give a Friday off if all employees come on time for an entire week. If any one of the techniques works, she can stick to it to bring discipline in the company.
  • The owner has to determine the extent to which she wants to discipline the employee. This is because, she cannot afford to have irate employees in the company or even lose an efficient resource. If circumstances are such that she has to fire a good employee on issues of lateness, she has to explain the reason behind her decision. Otherwise, other employees may lose confidence and not understand what went wrong with the fired employee.

Some Important Suggestions

  • Even the most efficient employee may be a habitual latecomer. Instead of taking a drastic step at the initial stage, the owner should address the problem in a negotiable manner like, calling a meeting. This is because firing a good employee means losing employee morale.
  • Retaining a good employee is better than losing her. Recruiting and training requires investing a lot of money. Moreover, getting a trustworthy employee is not possible everyday. So at times, the company management should be a little flexible as far as efficient resources are concerned.
  • The owner should reach the workplace on time. Being the leader, she should set an example to the rest of her employees.
  • The appointment letter or a separate notice to employees needs to have a separate section where it should be mentioned that tardy employees in the company are disciplined. The various ways of disciplining them are also mentioned. The importance of punctuality should be highlighted along with other rules of the company.
  • Maintaining documents about the attendance of tardy employees is necessary if company policies support the firing of such resources. These documents act as a proof of the reason behind the decision made by the management, if the defaulter creates any problem later on.

To Sum Up

From this article, it can be deduced that the company owner has to be very particular about maintaining discipline in her company. She has to be punctual herself and make sure that all employees attend work on time.

How to Deal with Conflict of Interest – A Comprehensive Study

Introduction

There are people who deliver their time for “non-profit organizations” as board members. Hence, it is not so difficult to recognize or forget conflict of interest in such a scenario. Keep in mind that a possible conflict exists in situations where a person’s financial or other vested interests can directly and considerably affect his/her professional decisions or actions. As a board member, you get the authority to take decisions regarding anything. Say for example, you have decided your son to be handling your friend’s business who can do some contractual work for the company at good rate. Such things are okay but you should identify if there is any sort of conflict of interest and act aptly being under the law and constitution.

Conflict of Interest – The Definition with Illustration

So what conflict of interest is? To put it in simple terms, it can be defined as a circumstance wherein a corporation or a professional has personal interests making them an undependable source. Such personal interests can be:

How to Deal with Anxiety at Work

Introduction

Anxiety disorder is such kind of a disease that can draw the finishing line of one’s professional career, if not addressed in time. Many people who are suffering from anxiety disorder generally stay away from any kind of activities that involve going out of station or public speaking and for this reason they generally decline the offer of promotions in their work place.

These people often avoid parties, meeting with their co-workers and even staff lunches, just because they are suffering with anxiety disorder and their all activities are just the reflection of their psychogenic ailment.

Many wellness experts blame the unbearable work pressure for such ailment, when many accuse the unfavorable working environment. It is true that both the situations do exist and often toxic work environment are the root cause of the disease.

There is no doubt that the economy of the world is going through a tough phase and many people have become unemployed. There is no doubt that people who are losing their jobs are unfortunate, but people who have remained in the working place are now bearing more work pressure than before and that has become the main reason for most of people to develop the anxiety disorder.

However, staying away from the work-pressure is very difficult for us, but we can learn the ways through which we can get the strength to bear it. By bringing some changes in your daily activities, you can improve a lot and can develop stress-absorbing power within ourselves.

Customer Experience Mapping to Develop a Winning Marketing Strategy

Introduction

It is important for organizations to know how they look from outside. They should know about what the customers think about their organization, when they call them. Customer experience mapping is a strategy that helps companies know how to keep the customers happy and contended with their products and services.

When it comes to customer mapping, there are a number of questions that need to be answered. Some of the questions are –

  1. What do the customers experience, when they call the organization?
  2. How to resolve the issues reported by customers, and convince them?
  3. When they make any purchase, what information they get and are the information sufficient?

By getting answers to the above questions, organizations can see their business through the eyes of their customers and develop a winning strategy. The real experience of customer may not be anything like as good as organizations think of.

If you want to know what exactly the customers think about your products and services, then you should make use of customer mapping tool, which is one of the powerful tools that help you improve customer service process and resolve frequent complaints. This tool can help you build a better product, service or brand and help you win recurrent business.

What is a Customer Journey Map?

Customer journey map is a frame work that that help you enhance customer experience. The customer experience is documented through the perspective of the customers, which help you understand how the customers interact with you. It also helps you identify areas for improvement, as it is rooted in data-driven research and represents different phases of customer experience based on different dimensions such as goals, sentiments, touch points etc.

This is quite different from traditional marketing funnel, can be said as linear. Customers can jump from one phase to the other based on different factors. The customers are required to interact with some common touch points and miss the other points. The marketer’s job is to understand different moments that have an impact on the customer when engaging your products and services. The new approach to customer research is helping the organizations see the world from the view of the consumers. The customer centric approach to business is at the heart of reciprocal loyalty and helps organizations achieve success.

Why should Companies Use Customer Experience Mapping?

As mentioned above, traditional methods tend to be very linear in nature and often feel template. Companies have inherited funnels that come with a number of assumptions of the consumers, their needs and goals. The customer experience mapping is rooted in research and provides companies to explore new truths about their consumers. The customer experience mapping exists to enhance the customer experience and needs creativity. Companies need to revisit what they know about the customers, and understand what actually the customer thinks about their company. This is the key feature of the tool and creates a better customer experience.

# It helps to develop best product roadmap

Another reason why companies should use this tool is – the customer experience map helps companies to build the best road map. This is one of the biggest challenges companies face. Most of the companies have list of requests, new service opportunities, new products ideas and many more. The main concern is where to invest and what gets bumped to the top?

By mapping out how customers explore your products and services, you will be sure to know what they are actually missing, and where they hung up. Companies can start to see what they actually see, from where you can see the gaps. You should steer at the product roadmaps, instead of dreaming to build thousands of customers. Focus more on today’s customer rather than future customers. After all, 80% of the future revenues of the company come from 20% of the present customers. Companies need to make educated moves and map the journey in such a way that they succeed in future.

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# It helps to prioritize competing deliverables

Customer experience maps help the company to determine their main business goal. It can be possible by improving the customer service team or possible by dubbing down the documentation and education material. One can navigate through the prioritization decisions with real customer data and testimonials, instead of depending on the business intuition. When you take time to map the hurdles of your customer, you can communicate easily with your team to know what should be the focus of your business.

# It helps for team expansion and hiring

There is a great benefit of using this tool. One of the key benefits is it help the companies to prioritize the project that are going to have great impact, which eventually help you hire and expand teams. A great customer experience map will need a great deal of investigation of what isn’t working and what need to happen to keep the customers engaged. It helps to bring different teams together for common goal, which is developing customer experience. It is as important as the revenue goals of your company and customer personas. Each and every person in your company should be well versed with what the customer needs and how the customer feels at different points of the journey. By putting the relevant documents at work help companies achieve common goal, which is happiness of the customer.

Summary

Many organizations function with internal focus, which becomes essential when customers interact with different products, services and employees. Each and every interaction the customer has with the organization has an effect on loyalty, satisfaction and bottom line. In addition to the above suggestions, it would be great to include some of the best customer experience resources available in the market.

Organizations have their own business goal, and leveraging the customer experience is one of the supporting components that keeps customer at forefront when making decisions. They can be used in both the current state reviews as well as examining the future state. It helps you highlight the key points and uncover the most significant opportunities for building better customer experience.

Cross Training to Create Flexible Working Environment

Introduction

If you are running a business, then you should be aware that every team member needs to be trained to pick up the duties of other employee, in his/her absence. This may not be the case in big companies, as each and every team member has specific role and perform only those tasks that are designated to them. It is hard for small companies to operate this way, and they need to cross train their teams.

In this article, we will look at the benefits of cross training and it can be implemented successfully.

What is Cross Training?

Cross training is the practice of training the people in organization to work in multiple roles or training them to do the tasks that are out of their responsibilities. For example – you can ask the person who is in billing section to do collection work or vice versa. You could even move the team members from one group to the other, in case of staff shortage.

Many organizations operate with learner teams to emphasis more on the role of each person. The reason behind this is to make the people capable of handling multiple roles, in the absence of the key person. Managers consider cross training to teach employees how to do their jobs within the group. You should always have an alternate person who can do the job very well.

This can be very helpful in changing business environment, where the priorities change from one person to the other. At the same time, you will be able to build string teams. As the team members will be able to understand the challenges faced by other members. They are likely to work in a supportive environment and work effectively than the members who are not cross-trained.

Critical Thinking – A Study

Introduction

Most of the times, people do not think about how they think. However, people make decisions everyday and evaluate the each other’s opinions. Generating new ideas require careful thinking. Professionals use idea generating techniques to make better decisions. In this article, we will discuss about critical thinking and how it helps in decision making.

Idea

The style of using data and reasoning skillfully is called critical thinking. It helps to guide beliefs and actions.

  • This indicates that the decision maker questions her thought process.
  • She tries to reason her assumptions plus judgment and understand if the facts she has at her disposal are right or not.
  • This kind of in-depth questioning is called Socratic questioning after the Greek philosopher Socrates.
  • Idea generating techniques are helpful, but if the decision maker does not use correct assumption while evaluating, the final outcome may be filled with flaw.
  • If the decision maker permits her emotions to cover her analytic power, she can end up making a biased decision.
  • The lack of all necessary facts leads to low profile solutions.
  • If the decision maker accepts the ideas of others, she gets into the risk of being manipulated. This is the time when critical thinking steps in.

Critical thinking helps a decision maker in making the right decision. This also helps her to make proper judgments in all aspects of her life.

Crisis Planning Helps to Run Business in Safe Condition

Introduction

Uncertain incidents can have devastating effect on any business. Incidents like damage to stock, fire, failure of IT system or illness of staff members can make it difficult or even impossible for carrying out the everyday business activities. In extreme situations, you will see that you are losing your key customers. If these problems take place for long time, you will run out of your business. With crisis planning, you can formulate measures for minimizing the losses, which take place due to disaster and therefore, run your business in healthy manner.

Need For Crisis Planning

It is important to plan meticulously for protecting yourself from the impact of high level crises like flood, theft, fire, illness of key employees, etc. This kind of planning is very crucial for small businesses as most of the time; they lack the essential resources for coping up with a crisis.

Creating an Energizing Work Environment

Introduction

Employees feel motivated to work, if they like the work they are doing and the atmosphere in which they are working. They feel energized to work, if they find themselves in favorable atmosphere. Working in the presence of positive minded people, acts as a natural boost to perform well. In this article, we will discuss about building an energizing work environment through proper team management.

Need to Create an Energizing Atmosphere

When work environment is fun filled and motivating, it is easy to make people like their tasks. Employees are more productive and engaged, if they like their job. Being more engaged employees want to stay in their office and work for long hours. As a result, employee turnover and rate of absenteeism is also low. Getting energized by office design is one of the factors for motivated employees. Other factors that are not physical, but are important in motivating and energizing employees are leadership and culture in the organization. An energizing work atmosphere is advantageous for skilled employees. If the environment does not support facilities and creativity, employee development is not possible.

An organization that pays its employees less for a lot of effort, where the relationship between team members and manager is not sound and where people do not behave properly with each other, creating a favorable ambience is very essential. Rewarding people for the efforts they put also motivates them. Positive actions ward off anxiety and fear, as a result employees want to stay in that company for years. This leads to employee retention and low attrition rate.

How to Create a Healthy Workplace?

Introduction

A favorable working environment can bring the best productivity from the employees of any organization. Nowadays, many well-known organizations are taking initiatives to provide a healthy working environment where people can work in a good state of mind. Many people cannot work in unbearable pressure and companies based on such policies cannot retain their employees for a long period.

A favorable and pro-healthy workplace has become a major concern for modern job seekers, as they believe that companies that offer such privileges are more preferable than others that do not. However, a healthy workplace offers a lot of benefits to an organization and its employees and we will discuss some of its benefits and a few ways through which an organization can create a healthy and friendly working environment for its employees.

# Form a health and wellness committee

Before starting up the process of offering your employee a healthy workplace, you have to form a group or committee and give them the charge to take care of the issue.

The basic duty of such committee will be to conduct research based on available local opportunities, organize several recreational activities, offering weekly health tips and many other activities that will ensure the wellness of your employees.

# Ask your employees about their needs

The best way to offer your employee a favorable working environment is to ask them about their requirements that can let them to work in a healthy workplace. Make sure that your employees are not hesitating to express their thoughts and you should offer them the opportunity to come clear about their basic needs in terms of healthy workplace.

It has been found that employees want to feel and look better, but they can hardly manage some time for all of these. Thus, ask your employees and learn about their basic needs.

# Offer your employees fresh fruits everyday

Offering some fruits at a specific time can make a lot of changes in the workplace as by taking the simple step you can add more energy to your employees. Many farmers and groceries in your area are providing such service; you can call them up and can order a box of fresh fruits.

Purchasing a box of fruits may cost you a nominal amount of money, but such act will help your employees to develop the thought that their employer is taking care of their health and that will definitely encourage them to be more productive for your organization.

# Engage your employees in several activities

This can be a great opportunity for you to take care of the wellness of your employees, as several activities such as inviting them for a company- sponsored lunch, or encourage them to use stairs on a particular day of the week.

You can suggest your employees to take Yoga classes that can help them to fight with stress, anxiety or insomnia. By practicing Yoga for at least two to four days in a week, your employees can increase their productivity without putting too much effort.

# Provide occasional health checkups

You can make your employees happier if you provide them occasional health screening at the workplace. The simple move will cut down the health related costs of your employees and the important initiative will help to bring everyone together.

Many employees avoid medical checkups, just because they do not have time for it. However, it would be better for them if they can avail such facilities at their workplace. Many organizations take the issue seriously and conduct health screening once in every month. Moreover, some of them also offer some indispensible medicines to their employees.

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# Organize a sporting event once in a month

Offering some recreational programs, such as sports will add more energy to your employees. You can organize some light sports so that they can enjoy it. Sporting activities help to reduce stress, offer a lot of joy and at the same time induce the importance of team play. Such event will definitely refresh the mind of your employees and make them more productive in the workplace.

Many organizations arrange some competitions every year, where teams from other companies also participate and make the event more competitive. Winning companies often declare a special off day to celebrate their victory.

# Arrange some motivational workshops

Along with other physical activities, taking care of the mental health of the employees is equally important for an organization. You can hire some professionals who are experts in this field.

It has been found that many companies organize such events on Friday evening right after finishing the work. Motivational workshops recharge the mental energy of employees and help them to find solutions for on-job stress.

The Impact of Stress on Health

According to a survey, two-thirds of working people say that work influences a lot to their stress and one among four says that stress at work has made them sick. There is no doubt that stress has become a significant concern for people and it is simply reducing energy level as well as productivity of the employees of an organization.

However, to address the issue, every organization should come forward and prepare some plans that can take care of the matter.

Reputed organizations are the front liners who have initiated special programs to motivate their employees in different ways. However, many companies are not well aware about the cause of decreasing productivity of their employees and without finding the root cause, then tend to increase pressure on them and such moves force their employees to quit their job.

Conclusion

The initiative of enhancing employee wellness can be a challenging task and it will not be executed overnight. But by establishing a committed team that will take care of the issue, an organization can bring everyone on board. By suggesting effective ideas and setting up practical goals, any workplace can become most favorable and a pro-healthy environment for the employees. Thus, try to understand the seriousness of the issue and provide your employees a healthy environment. Moreover, by opting for several scientifically approved physical activities you can enhance the productivity of your employees.

Decide Quantitatively Through Cost Benefit Analysis

Introduction

In the year 1930, a French Engineer Jules Dupuit introduced the concept of the cost benefit analysis. It became popular in the year 1950 as a simple method of measuring the project costs and the benefits for determining whether the project can have a positive impact.

Basic Concept

As the name suggests, cost benefit analysis includes the benefits of the course of actions where the benefits can be added where the costs can be compared. The final outcome of the analysis can be shown as the payback period. It is the actual time that is used for the benefits of repaying the costs. Many individuals can use this particular analysis for less than specific period, for example; for 2 years. The technique can be used in various situations like

  • When you decide to recruit new team members
  • When you evaluate new or upcoming projects for changing the initiatives
  • When the feasibility of the capital purchase can be determined

For quick and simple financial decisions, the cost benefit analysis can be used.

Contingency Planning Maintains Operational Excellence of Your Business

Introduction

Most of the time, you relate situations like spreading of fire, occurrence of storms, or floods with contingency situations. But, what will happen if your key vendor suddenly becomes bankrupt or your staffs fall ill due to infection from food at the annual general meeting? Such uncertain incidents generate disorder and confusion if you have not taken suitable measures beforehand. Contingency planning is important for carrying out every day business operations in safe manner.

You can see that contingency planning not only takes care of tackling the risks of natural disasters, but, it also helps you in becoming alert of events like lose of suppliers, customers, data, people, etc. This is the reason; it is crucial for making contingency planning a normal part of way in which your business operates.

Assessing Risks

The requirement for preparing a contingency plan emerges from detailed analysis of risks, which your company faces. It is a useful tool that helps you to make decisions regarding ongoing and new projects.

Have you ever thought if your primary business plan does not go well, then what will happen? In normal scenario, primary plan deals with day- to- day business operation. In some cases, the primary plan can become your response for dealing with an unidentified risk. When this kind of plan fails to work, you press contingency plan into action.

Use the Following Principles during Assessment of Risks

# Address Critical Business Operations

An effective contingency plan identifies every critical business function and devises ways for minimizing losses.

# Identify Risks

For each business function, you have to carry out risk analysis for identifying different risks, which your business may face. Find out the intensity with which a risk can harm or disrupt your business. The end result or risk analysis comprises of various threats. While preparing a contingency plan, you may become confused. So, you need to prioritize risk assessments.

# Prioritize Risks

One of the biggest challenges of contingency planning is for making sure that you do not plan more than the required. You require careful balancing between adequate preparation and over preparing for something, which may never occur. In this way, you can respond effectively and quickly to a critical situation when it surfaces.

How to Study Risk Impact?

Risk probability charts can help you to study risk impact. These charts assist you in analyzing the effect of each risk and its possibilities of occurrence. You can then figure out the risks that need effort and expense of risk mitigation.

Contingency planning is not the only action, which emerges as an outcome of risk analysis. You can manage risks by using current assets more effectively or by investing in new services, which help you to manage them.

# Developing the Contingency Plan

Go through the following tips when you prepare a contingency plan for your company.

# Maintaining Business Operations

Your prime objective is maintaining the business operations. You should look closely at what you have to do for ensuring right level functionality and service delivery.

# Identifying Triggers

You have to note the things or situations that will require you for implementing the contingency plan. Decide upon the actions that you need to take. Also, you need to determine the person who will be in charge of each stage and the type of reporting system they should follow.

# Defining Time Period

What should be done during the first hour after the plan has been implemented. If you look at the contingency plan in this manner, you can cover up major details.

# Keeping the Contingency Plan Simple

You do not know who will study and implement the plan when it is required. So, use clear and plain language.

# Considering Related Resource Restrictions

If you are required to implement other plan, will the company be able to operate in same way? Also, you have to think whether the other plan can reduce capabilities.

# Defining Success

While defining success, you have to clearly state the decisions that are required for bringing back the business operations in previous forms.

# Identifying Everybody’s Need

In order to run business operations by implementing contingency plan, in first place, you should identify the requirements of your employees. After assessing the needs, provide suitable resources to them for fulfilling business objectives.

# Managing Risks

You should look for opportunities that will help you in reducing risks, wherever possible. This will help you to reduce or even eliminate the requirement for full contingency plan in certain areas.

# Identifying Operational Inefficiencies

Provide a standard for documenting the planning process and find ways of performance improvement.

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Maintenance of Contingency Plan

After you have prepared the contingency plan, you have to perform various tasks for keeping it relevant and practical. Do not just prepare a document to keep it in folder and transfer it to shelf. You have to review your plan after certain intervals and make updates accordingly.

Follow these steps for maintaining the contingency plan.

  • Communicate the plan to every employee of your company.
  • Make people aware of their responsibilities and roles with respect to the plan.
  • Conduct sessions that will help to become your employees proactive in case a contingency situation arises.
  • You have to analyze the results of training sessions and make changes accordingly.
  • Consider reviewing of plan after certain intervals, as there may be changes in operational and technological standards.
  • Discard the old plan and distribute the revised one to all employees.

Conclusion

Many organizations ignore the importance of contingency planning. It is difficult to take out time for preparing a good plan as the possibility of significant business disruption is small and every day operations are demanding.

However, if you implement proactive steps in short time, you can quickly and efficiently recover losses from operational setback in long run. You can save your company from failure during situations where risks dominate. Contingency planning requires investment of resources as well as time. This will also help you to make your employees aware of tasks, which they have to perform in case of an untoward situation.

Detailed Study on the Importance of Consultative Selling Process

Introduction

Have you ever asked yourself that how do you sell your product, concept of service? Whether you are aware of the fact that you are following a sales methodology and that is probably one of the most important factors that determine the growth rate of your organization?

However, it does not matter how big your organization is or if you are the owner of a solo enterprise with one sales executive, you have to follow a preferred way of selling through which you can take your organization towards the pick of success.

Understanding the Essence of Consultative Sales Process

If you are on the process of inbound sales then your main object will be to sell product that you have created and the process is known as consultative sales process, and it can make all the difference in order to make up your organization prosperous. The effectiveness of the consultative sales process is determined by the way you deal with your potential customers. It is about how you prepare your plan to offer proper value to the customers.

However, the consultative sales process is also determined by the market demand of your product and previous record of customer satisfaction. Along with this, several important principles can play the key role for successful consultative sales process.

Conducting Research on Available Data

Those days are gone when a salesperson used to visit an office building, establishing good relationship with customers and sell his or her product in a flash. Now customers have become smarter than they were before, as now they like to establish long-term and mutual beneficial relationship with a company and always expect good quality product and service from them.

However, if you are on the process of consultative selling then you can avail lead intelligence and the best way to do this is doing research. If you are doing inbound marketing, then you have to keep some important things in your mind such as gathering data on leads like the size of the company, your targeted audience, email preferences, social media activity, etc.

You have to keep in mind that you have to develop your service, based on the lead’s demand. Proper data analyzing will allow you to understand the real needs of your potential customer through which you can make your service better than before.

Asking Your Customers

Speaking with your customers and asking them on how you could serve them better can be a good option for make your product of service more popular in the market. Many organizations leave customers right after selling out their products. This should not be your ideology if you really want your business to grow and target long-term benefit. Customers love to opt for the company repeatedly that take are of their demand and never forget them even after selling a product or service. So, try to ask questions to your existing customers on how you can serve them in better ways through your service or whether they have found any indifference of ignorance from your side.

In case you are talking with a potential customer, you need to ask for their budget and you also have to discover his or her actual need and how the person would like to utilize his or her budget. Asking such relevant questions will help you to realize whether your customer is the decision maker in the house or not. You have to remember that by asking questions to your existing or potential customers during the consultative selling process you will allow yourself to establish better consumer-vendor relationship.

Listening to Your Customers and Analyzing the Market Demand

Listing to the customer carefully is definitely one for the great skills of a salesperson. If you are relying much on consultative selling process then you have to listen to your potential and existing customer with full attention and have to be ready to answer them. Your main goal would be to understand what the person from other end is saying and what is his or her view on the matter, and if you have the capability to address those issues.

However, conversing directly with the customer will allow you to understand the market demand and will provide you the idea of how you can present your product or service in a better way to the consumers.

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Qualifying the Lead Properly

You would definitely like to have some qualified lead and your qualified lead should have some goals to execute. But at the same time unqualified lead can also be a good choice for you if your are on the process of consultative selling. Unqualified lead can offer you the chance be more friendly towards your potential customers. There is no doubt that you can generate sales from a qualified lead, but you have to know the technique of how to transform the unqualified lead into a qualified one.

Closing Leads

By understanding the basic needs of your qualified lead you can convince them to purchase your product, because they have their set budget and the authority to buy something.

If you are facing some difficulties in selling out your product to the qualified lead then you have to let them know about the consequences and financial loss they may face if they do not purchase the product or the service from you.

However, you should not be worried about the consequences if you have not been able to close a lead, because the closing sequence should be taken naturally from the both end. If you put too much effort to close a lead then you may face failure every time. Thus, be natural and keep your customer retention rate on high.

Conclusion

However, by the exposure of comprehensive knowledge and communication skill with positive attitude a salesperson can move forward even beyond the role of a sales executive. Thus, understand the whole concept of consultative selling process and generate more lead for your organization if you have set your goal to become a successful businessperson.

Competitive Intelligence – A Detailed Analysis

Introduction

Businesses of all kinds have competitors vying for their customers. Competitors are companies that function in the same industry as your company; they even sell similar products or services. Competition can be regarding many factors like, quality of product or service, low price, type of product or service and type of promotions. In this article, we will discuss about the effectiveness of the strategy tools of your competitors. This is thus, a study about competitive intelligence and gaining competitive advantage by the knowledge of competitors’ market strategy and customer satisfaction level.

Idea

The method of gathering and analyzing data about the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of competitors in an ethical style in order that the decision making aspect of your business improves is called competitive intelligence.
Activities related to competitive intelligence are divided into three main categories; they are tactical, strategic and counter intelligence.

# Tactical

It focuses on short-term issues, like enhancing revenue and getting hold of market share.

# Strategic

This emphasizes on long-term aspects, such as main opportunities and risks that your organization can encounter.

# Counter

This involves protecting the secrets of your company. Just like you are interested to know about other companies, they too are interested to learn about your strategies.

Value of Competitive Intelligence

When starting to utilize competitive intelligence, investors ask themselves the following questions.

  • How to define the mission, strategic intentions, strategic options and strategic goals of the company?
  • What should be done to choose and improve strategies which are both sustainable and successful?
  • What new products and services should be built and what kind of market should be entered? How to enter the market?
  • How to utilize the competitive strategy?

Whatever may the strategic structure be for a company’s business management; nothing is more important for its competitive strategy than competitive intelligence. Competitive intelligence is more concerned about doing the correct thing than doing the thing correctly.

# Competitor analysis

Analyzing competitors involve the objective to develop a profile of the type of strategy alterations adopted by competitors, probable response of competitors to the strategic moves made by other companies and the reaction of rival companies to changes in environment and industrial policies.

# Objective of competitive intelligence

The objective of competitive intelligence should be single-minded. This helps in creating tactics and techniques essential for transferring market share in a consistent way from a competitor to your company.

An organization which does not monitor its main rivals is not equipped with useful competitive strategy and this leaves the organization and its market susceptible to attack. The basis for competitive intelligence surrounds decisions made by mangers about the way a business should be positioned to increase the value of the capacities that differentiate it from its rivals. If the company cannot gather, analyze and work on the information it gets on its competitor, it will lead to the company’s failure in the market.

Difference with Corporate Espionage

Competitive intelligence should however, not be confused with industrial espionage because the latter uses unethical methods to have competitive advantage.

  • Industrial or corporate espionage is often heard of. Companies send spies to rival companies for getting information about the activities in their research and development wing. In case of competitive intelligence, such unethical actions are not required.
  • By implementing competitive intelligence, you can assess the activities of rivals. This assists in getting valuable data and developing plans to decrease the chances of being overwhelmed by news like alterations in pricing strategy of competitor, etc.

Competitive intelligence is a part of market intelligence plan. The plan is devised to improve decisions of your business by keeping the company abreast of the atmosphere in the external market.

Uses of Competitive Intelligence

Competitive intelligence is used to monitor the actions of competitors. This helps in understanding what they are doing and might do in future. This also helps in gaining insight into the competitive position of your own enterprise.
For instance, if you learn that a rival is trying to acquire other companies, you must not compete on size of the rival company; instead you should improve the quality of your products or services.

  • Intelligence is a product on one hand and a process on the other. In this analytical method, information gathered about rivals is changed into knowledge about the capacities, performance, desire and final product or service of that method.
  • The emphasis of research about market is generally on the issues connected with the profitable marketing of services and products. On the other hand, competitive intelligence has a broader aspect and it is a value-added concept that puts a layer over research of market, strategic planning and development of business.
  • The objectives of research in competitive intelligence generally consists of matters, like, analysis of joint ventures in which rivals have entered, competitor’s capability to manufacture, future plans of the competitor regarding certain product lines and markets, the cause of change in corporate strategy, etc.

In the global arena competitive analysis occurs at two levels. They are business unit and corporate. There are a couple of things that come up when corporate strategy is dealt with:

  • the kind of business the corporation should be in
  • the way corporate strategy should be run

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The Competitive Intelligence Cycle

The cycle of competitive intelligence constitutes five steps. They are as follows.

  • Making plans and thinking about direction
  • Gathering information and conducting research
  • Processing and storing
  • Analyzing and producing
  • Circulating and Delivering

Before making decisions regarding investments in competitive intelligence you should think about the following questions.

  • What is it that you want to know?
  • What part of information is already available with you?
  • What is the reason to know?
  • By what time do you need to have the information?
  • What will you do with the information you gather?
  • What are the costs involved in gathering the information?
  • What will happen if you do not get the information?

To Wrap Up

From this article, it can be deduced that competitive intelligence helps in understanding the strategies of rival companies, so that your enterprise can have enhanced market share and ability to face changes in the industrial atmosphere.

Prepare Better Communication Plan and Build Trust among the Audience

Introduction

If you have received a memo and are clueless about its subject and purpose just because the sender did not prepare it carefully, then what kind of perception would you develop about the sender? What importance would you give to the memo? In another example, suppose you have been invited to attain a corporate presentation and the way the concept has been presented was baseless and confusing. Being a member of the audience, what kind of feedback would you prepare for the presenter? There is no doubt that such experience would frustrate you and always offer some negative effects towards the presenter or sender. However, no matter how small the information or message is, there should be a proper plan through which your message or information should be provided to the audience.

You should know that the best way of communication starts with good resolution. The first step that one should take to prepare a good plan to provide information to other party is to place yourself at the position of the audience and then try to realize what you would do if you were the audience. In addition, while considering yourself as an audience, you have to realize the most preferred way to receive information from the sender.

However, some good and effective methods are available through which you can offer a good memo or presentation to your audience.

Cognitive Restructuring Helps in Making Positive Business Decisions

Introduction

Your boss has asked you to prepare a sales report that covers past six months’ performance. You have consulted various employees of the sales department and through meticulous study of data, you have prepared the report and presented to your boss. Your senior goes through the report. He is quiet happy with your performance. But, he gives you some suggestions for further improvement. During that time, you become upset and you leave the cabin. Then, you realize that you need to control your emotions, as it will affect your team members. So, you take deep breath and then you write down how your boss suggested making those improvements. After sometime, you go to him and admit your mistake. It is the cognitive restructuring technique that has helped you to control your nerves to aim for perfection.

Cognitive Restructuring – Definition

Cognitive restricting is a technique, which helps you to understand unhappy moods and feelings and to challenge something that appears wrong. You can use this technique for reframing the unnecessary negative thinking, which many people experience from time to time.

Bad moods result into unpleasant experience. These types of emotions lead to deterioration of performance and ruin relationships with other people.

Cognitive restructuring helps you in changing the distorted or negative thinking, which often lies behind such moods. So, it provides with ways for approaching with positive mindset.

Coaching With Feedback – An Effective Tool for Performance Management

Introduction

Many people don’t know the value of coaching with feedback. Because of this, they provide feedback in such a way that it impacts the performance of team members in a negative way. Good employees are often left to themselves and poor employees are not considered as accountable. The team leader should know how to direct the discussions with employees with regard to their work performance. The main purpose of Coaching with feedback approach is to consider the employee for his own performance or behavior.

Organizations should conduct coaching with feedback workshops, where the participants learn the techniques that help them maintain the control of discussion. The techniques use in this workshop are applies to the performance conversations to maintain good performance. This kind of workshop is ideal for managers, team leaders and higher officials of the organization.

In this article, we will explain how coaching with feedback is treated as effective management tool and unlocks the potential of the team. If you are interested in moving from lower grade to higher grade, then you should be an excellent coach who provides feedback along with encouragement. This article teaches you how to maintain high expectation while coaching and providing valuable feedback.

Coaching to Explore Beliefs and Motives to Know What Drives People

Introduction

Coaching plays a very important role in creating positive environment and helps people to develop self-awareness. Coach is the main instrument of coaching who has the ability to recognize the weakness and strengths of people in an effective manner. People often opt for coaching sessions, as they want to develop self-awareness that helps them make right choices in life.

Beliefs can be said as the assumptions that people make about themselves and other people in the world. Beliefs are the thoughts about how we think really and what the consequences of our behavior are. There is a great power in positive belief. People get attracted to the experiences that match your existing belief system. One should change their thoughts to improve their life and expand the mind. The key to change your belief is to change thoughts and behavior.

In this article, we will see how a coach can work with people and help them understand their own beliefs and motives. This helps people make better choices in life, especially at work.

Define and Explore Your Belief Systems

A belief is a feeling of conviction that is related to you. Hey have a direct impact on your character and behavior. One can drive beliefs in 2 categories, namely positive and negative. A positive belief leads to positive actions, while a negative belief leads to negative action. The negative little mind is called as inner critic and is always important in small doses. If the balance becomes upset, inner critic can become a detrimental force. Due to this, all your efforts might get wiped away.

Your belief system has a huge impact on your life. It depends on the way you react to people around you. If you can control your behavior by fundamental belief about yourself, you will find it impossible to change your behavior without changing your belief. In order to define your belief system, you should write your life story since your birth. The degree to which our early history shapes our personality is to open to the questions that are related to beliefs and motives. The formation of your belief system from the beginning, middle and end help you know what you want in life. One should explore this right at the beginning of their coaching sessions.

The positive voice in your mind is called inner coach and is the voice of encouragement and confidence. It is the voice of hope that brings successful results. If you want to be successful in life, you should make your mind work for you. Human brain consists of limitless potential and instead of using it against you; you can use it for you.

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How Coaching Helps You Develop Strong Beliefs

Accepting yourself is about how you love yourself, rather than how much you feel valued. Developing string belief system depends on your ability to understand yourself and therefore, it is important to accept yourself with personal strengths and weaknesses. People who consider them having positive qualities may develop confidence and may feel that they can do things very well. There are a number of benefits of positive self belief, some of which are – better self-esteem, high self confidence, great sense of fulfillment and increased self-awareness.

If we talk about organizations, coaching in workplace has become one of important things of concern. More than 70% of the companies are using coaching as a part of leadership development. Organizations realize that managers use coaching skills to provide business benefits and direct services. Organizations believe that they can improve the performance and motivate people through effective coaching.

Coaches help people take cognitive steps that led them to a perfect belief system. People work with them to change their actions, but unless the underlying belief system is explored, one may not see any kind of transformational change needed in organizations.

How to Build Helpful Beliefs and Motives

It is true that many of our underlying beliefs and motives are determined by our experiences in past life. The strength of these influences is documented well in a number of psychological literatures. When the underlying value system is tracked back to its roots, we observed that they rooted deeply into the family beliefs. We cannot strengthen or weaken a particular belief or value. We can do this by focusing our attention and exposing ourselves to particular people.

Being a coach is an exercise that develops respect and optimism. It we do it in a right way, it will just encourage those beliefs and values that are more likely to be effective. And, so we led to the issue of coach’s motives for coaching. If people are experts at determining the intent of other people, then the motives of coaches are as important as their beliefs and values. If the coach has excellent technique along with motives, the coach is likely to feel unsafe. Coaching should not always be manipulative, as it reduces the power of a person being manipulated.

Coaching is always aimed at achieving the opposite, which is an increase in power and anatomy. So, one should always examine good and bad motives for coaching and how they affect the belief system. As a motive for coaching, the coachee need not have to feel threatened by the ambitions of coach. This motive can mean a trouble coaching relationship that result in a desire on the part of the coach to sell his recipes for success.

Finally, a coach should be sociable and show their affection, which is the key to stay connected with coachees.

Summary

The bottom line is – coaching to explore beliefs and motives doesn’t mean that you are challenging religious outlooks and personal philosophies of people. It means examining different sources of energy and how one can work with the energy for better results.

Most of the people think about beliefs and motives from time to time, and one can bring these qualities in life through coaching. The reason behind this is coaches ask coaches several questions related to their life that help them get a detailed picture of what they want to achieve in life.

 

Coaching to Develop Self-Awareness for a Fulfilling Life

Introduction

Self-awareness can be said as foundation of growth and success. Developing self-awareness doesn’t happen in one day by just reading books for following some tips. It is a steady process that takes time and constant efforts. Coaching is the best way to develop self-awareness. It is important for people to develop self-awareness, as it helps them to have better relationships at home and workplace. People can change their behavior and deal with the other person positively, by understanding how they relate to others.

We can improve self-control by understanding what makes us upset. We can learn to manage our weaknesses by understanding them well, which leads to self-development. In this article, we are going to look at different approaches that can be used to build self-awareness and life a happy and contended life. Some of the approaches described in this article are related to workplace, while some approaches are situational and should be used where the person you are coaching has close relationship with you. You need to choose an appropriate method from the below list, based on the situation.

Method 1 – Carrying out psychometric Tests

Psychometric tests give the people an objective view of how they behave and how they compare themselves with others. The answers provided by them are categorized according to the preferences or personality traits they show, and provide necessary commentary. By using this approach, it is difficult to capture the uniqueness of a person, but you can find some similarities and differences between the people.

Coaching the Employees through Strategic Change

Introduction

Today’s world is changing with a fast pace and, due to this; it became important for organizations to change their policies to develop new talent. Organizations should remember that coaching through change is one of the best ways to increase the productivity.

In this article, we will discuss how organizations enhance the performance of their employees by providing coaching through change. Change management is one of the key tools to get support from all the people who are affected by the change.

Why is Coaching Important?

Coaching is a vital process of any organization and results in successful change management. The coaching plan defines how the organization supports their managers during the change and how they will interact with the employees. The main aim of coaching is enabling the managers to sponsor the change, support the employees during change and help the employees in the changed environment.

Coaching through change provides venue for one-one interaction between people in group meetings. The environment allows employees to ask questions and receive the desired clarification about the change. It can be said as a great opportunity to get the feedback from the employees about the change and related efforts.

Change is inevitable for ever business, but the success and failure depend on how the change is executed. A change in business mean, the process, strategies, technology etc has to change. Most of the people consider change lightly and don’t take any initiative. It is the duty of managers to take the lead and motivate others to accept the change.

How Coaching can Bring Change?

Every organization is experiencing some kind of change which helps them stay ahead of others. Whatever is the reason, one should understand that change is a part of life for the people in organizations. Companies that transition through successful modes of change realize that such change is linked to all the employees who perform their duties and responsibilities differently. Remember that change occurs in one person at a time and it is only successful individuals who understand this change.

Coaching employees through the change process comprises of different activities, which include – why the change is essential, communicating positives as well as negatives for supporting the change, including their ideas and so on. Organizations should ensure that both the employee as well as the coach gets benefited from this process. Both of them should have proper understanding of each other’s critical behaviors and expectations. Employees need to be involved, supported and inspired, to make sure that they are performing towards the desired goals. You should make the employees an important part of your winning team and help the organization succeed in their goals. Below are some steps that one should consider when coaching the employees –

Step 1 – Communicate the need for change

Organizations should share the needs of business at individual level. The employees should be explained of the benefits they are going to receive as a result of the change. It is better, if the employees are changed to specific roles. One should always maintain a 2-way communication, so that the employees can ask questions and share their ideas.

Step 2 – Include employees in the process

Organizations should consider employees as a part of the change process. For these, you need to include the employees in the process of planning and designing. Engage the employees in the process of evaluation and give them the responsibility to train others.

Step 3 – Coach and mentor the employees

You should inspire the employees to achieve their complete potential by removing obstacles. Develop action plans that help the employee transition through the change easily. Provide necessary feedback on their performance and celebrate their success.

Dealing with the changing management is a daunting task, and it can affect a lot of things, such as – organizational structure, technology, processes and many more. As a coach, your role is to play a vital role before, during and after the transition. Whatever is the method of coaching they adopt, one should ensure that right messages reach mid-level leaders.

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How to Talk About the Change?

It is difficult for employees to accept the technical and operation aspects of change. Employees go through an emotional phase and it is difficult for managers to understand their emotional state and feelings when considering different aspects of change. Though managers talk to them constantly, change is always treated as an emotional situation for managers as well as the employees. Emotional state leads to resistance, and therefore, the manager’s confidence level should be checked by asking a few questions such as –

  • What are your feelings and ideals about this change?
  • Do you have any questions about this change?
  • What are the challenges?
  • What are your past experiences to deal with change? And so on.

Organizations should first coach the managers, which help them to talk about the change with the employees. Managers should be familiar with how their team will accept the change, which include – change in different processes, structural change, workload, staff transitions and so on.

If the organization is brining change in the technology they use, the employees should be trained accordingly to catch the speed. Though there are numerous factors to consider at the time of organizational change, one should remember the takeaways, such as – conveying the change in a positive way, providing coaching to comfortable levels, staying prepared and accept the challenges, and listening at different levels.

Remember that when the company needs change, employees respond best to emotional strategies.

Summary

The bottom line is – Organizations should utilize the way of coaching their employees by bringing necessary changes in the structure, policies, process and technology. The most common approach to coach the employees through change is hiring external coaches. This seems to be logically correct and is of key importance. Organizations are facing tremendous pressure to be more efficient. Fr change to be effective and achieve goals, one should make the transition to take place in a timely manner. Time is very precious and managers who are under pressure work hard to deliver results as soon as possible.

Coaching for Team Performance to Increase Productivity

Introduction

Teams can be said as the means by which organizations move forward. Organizations often forget the task of coaching their team. It is important to coach the team on a regular basis for better performance. Remember that you have to coach them as individuals to get the best performance out of your team. As a leader, one of your important roles is to coach the people in the best way. Your team members will be able to make better decisions and solve the problems easily rather than holding them back.

Organizations should encourage team leaders to conduct formal training sessions. You can become an excellent coach, if you are armed yourself with some better techniques and practices. Organizations employee teams as they want to organize complex work. An effective team will bridge the gap between organization and individuals. Unfortunately, team won’t show the desired results and fail to live up to their promise. This is where team coaching is beneficial and helps the organization to – review their performance, boost the results, build rapport and enhance communication.

In this article, we are going to discuss about team dynamics and what ways to improve your team. With good team coaching, you will be able to take your team to the next level. The key purpose of this article is to bridge the gap between the team members through effective team coaching and team learning.

Significance of Team Coaching

Team coaching help people understand how to work in coordination with other people. It is an effective method to show team members how to improve working relationships by reducing conflicts. Team coaching helps the members to focus on the important tasks, and achieve their goals. Team coaching fosters good quality communication and ensures that the dialogue between the team members is emotional and intellectual.

The team leader should focus on the interpersonal skills rather than individual development. It is the responsibility of the team leader to see how the team members interact with their team members, how they respond to each other and so on. All these factors affect the team performance. In order to bring productive results, one should not only have a highly performing team, but also a good team that how the members are related to each other. If you lack a team with well-defined goals, then it is essential to build a team with solid foundation before you start coaching your team.

How to Start Team Coaching

In order to start team coaching, you should understand the dynamics of your team. You should be able to figure out how the tea members will relate to each other. Remember that every organization has different working and communication style, and when we come across a person with a style different from that of ours, we fail to recognize his unique strengths and qualities. This leads to unnecessary frustrations and conflicts in workplace.

Every team should have the knowledge to understand its dynamics. Behavior assessment is one of the key tools for improving the understanding of the team of its dynamics. This tool provides the team members a better understanding of their reactions at workplace. Moreover, they can think of ways to relate with their team members on a reliable and effective manner. If you want to help people understand them in a better way, you can make use of the 360-degree feedback. Remember that a leader will always bring the team members to discuss their profiles and help them find ways to work together.

With regular coaching, team members will start seeing each other differently, which helps them to change their behavior for better performance. Understanding the view of other members is the best way to improve relationships. However, there are some rules and guidelines that help you accomplish your goals.

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Establish the expectations

Developing a clear understanding and communication expectations is the main purpose of team coaching. These expectations help you build understanding, which help you to make sure that the individual preferences are not given much importance. Team charter is a one of the best ways to formalize the expectations. Team leaders and managers should outline a set of golden rules that every member is expected to follow. The best examples are – treating everyone with respect, talking to the person directly, defining the processes clearly and so on.

Reward and recognition system

People often have competitive values, which turns into a major obstacle towards the effectiveness and unity of the team. In order to promote team work, organizations should adopt reward system, especially for individual behavior. As a team leader, you role is to identify the places of competition and fix them for better results.

Encourage individual development

Remember that team members always need encouragement, and motivation to learn new skills. Each member has different level of readiness to accept the situation. Team leaders should behave sensitively towards these situations and find suitable resources to support the development goals of other members. Besides this, one should find ways to coach people in day-to-day situations. You should help the team members set individual goals, which should be followed up with unique training opportunities.

Summary

If you want to coach your team for better performance, you should make use of different approaches. The reason behind this is teams are comprised of different people and what works on one team and one person may not work on other team. You should build effective working relationships by understanding the need and preferences of each team. You should help the individuals understand their own styles and encourage others.

The task of improving the team performance is a lot more than the team process and may take time. One should always try to address the training, performance management, rewards and recognition in an effective manner. However, the end result is worth the process and will benefit the organization, if the communication and collaboration is improved. You should continue to coach the team, once the team completes their training. The reason is constant coaching improves the team performance, as both team and individual.

Coaching for Talent Development and Better Performance

Introduction

Organizations often face situations, where they are forced to achieve better results with fewer resources. This is not only the situation at the times of economic crisis, but, also when the organizations start to grow. To make this happen, organizations should help their employees work in an effective manner in their existing roles, to yield productive results. Coaching with comprehensive talent management strategy is an effective tool that helps organizations to achieve this.

In this article we will explain, how coaching helps you develop new skills and take the responsibility. The guidelines provided in this article will help you direct the coaching based conversions for better results.

Coaching as an Effective Talent Development Strategy

Coaching for talent development has gone from fad to basics. Organizations should teach their managers how to do it in the right way. To improve quality of your coaching efforts, one should start giving the individual managers tangible information on conducting coaching sessions. The purpose of coaching is to increase effectiveness and indentify the strengths that achieve challenging goals. You should seed your organization with a variety of coaching role models with some guidance on how’s of coaching.

Significance and Advantages of Cloud Computing in Today’s World

Introduction

Cloud computing can be defined as the kind of computing which depends on the shared resources of the computers instead of possessing local servers or personal devices for handling different applications.

Basic Concept

The word ‘cloud’ or the phrase ‘the cloud’ can be used as metaphors for ‘the internet’. So, the cloud computing can be explained as a type of internet based computing. In this process, different services like the storage, servers, and applications can be delivered to the devices and the computers of the organizations through the internet. Sometimes, the cloud computing can be compared to the grid computing, where the unutilized processing cycles of the computers can be used to solve the problems through the different networks.

Chunking Saves Time for Making Business Decisions

Introduction

Many times, you have seen that due to changes in external factors like competition, changing tastes and preferences of customers put you in trouble. In order to safeguard your business, you formulate new marketing strategies and frame other contingency plans. For executing your plans into action, you call a meeting with your team members. During the meeting, you start explaining about strengths, threats, opportunities and weaknesses of your business and make aware about the latest market trends and the course of action that you are going to take. When you ask your team members regarding your plan, you find that many of your employees have failed to recollect the points that you discussed some time back. This has happened due to memory clogging. This drawback can be rectified with the help of content chunking.

What is Chunking?

Memorizing and recollecting facts and figures are a challenge at every boardroom meeting. Remembering previous financial results and related events of the company can be taxing for many employees. In order to overcome this difficulty, learning the memory strategy called chunking can prove effective.

Chunking is a way of combining or organizing similar pieces of information into one unit, which is logical as well as rational. This helps your team members to memorize chunks instead of memorizing individual information. These chunks can act as cues and therefore, allows easy retention of information and making decisions accordingly.

Pioneer of Chunking Strategy

Research has shown that when information is presented in unorganized manner, people can recollect up to seven points. Information comprises of several parts. When these parts are regrouped into one unit, based on their traits and characteristics, then it becomes easy to retain and recollect the information whenever it is required.

The idea of chunking was developed by George A. Miller, who was a Harvard psychologist. The technique became popular in 1950s. He explained the details of the technique in his book titled “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two”. Miller learnt about the capabilities of short- term memory.

He researched, how many numbers people can remember easily within a few minutes after they were asked to do so. Many participants said that they could remember up to seven points.

The concept of Miller goes beyond numbers. For example, many people can remember seven newly learned chunks of similar, classified data.

According to Miller, information must be presented in small digestible unit. A digestible unit can comprise up to nine separate items of information. As the complexity of information increases, the chunking limit decreases.

Benefits of Content Chunking

  • Becomes easy to present ideas
  • Raises comprehending skills of team members

Chunking Helps in Accommodating Working Memory

Working memory is the active part of memory system. H. Lee Swanson of Graduate School of Education, University of California, suggests that the working memory is like mental juggling. When information enters the brain, you are processing as well as storing in same time. Therefore, chunking helps information to stay short and relevant and it helps your team members for quick recall.

Builds Knowledge among Team Members

Chunking helps you in prioritizing information that you present during a meet. If you aim that your team members should build knowledge, you need to organize chunks in logical manner.

Your Team Members Get Benefited from Bullet Points

Bullet points keep your presentation organized and simple. They make content chunking easy for you and helps listeners to develop attention towards the presentation. As they become engaged, the purpose for the meeting gets solved effectively.

Now the question arises how to chunk information.

Steps Involved

1. Identifying Chunks

Your team members need to identify patterns or similarities in information, so that it becomes easy for them to club it. For example, the participants at the meeting can categorize information based on dates, time of achievements, influencing factors and many more.

2. Grouping and Memorizing Chunks

When similarities are identified, team members can organize or group the information into chunks and memorize them without facing difficulty.

3. Retrieving Chunks

When it is required, team members need to remember the type of chunk for retrieving the information. For example, which events took place in 2014? Alternatively, what are the factors that led to company’s growth? In this example, “2014” and “growth” are cues or chunks by which your employees can recollect the information that have been learned so far.

How to Integrate Chunking As a Memory Strategy?

# Pictorial Method

In this method, you have to display various objects, like projector, laptop, keyboard, etc and ask team members for finding a common feature between two or more objects. For example, projectors and PC monitors can be chunked as “display tools”.

Now, you have to show your team- mates a picture of this chunk at the end of the session and ask them to recollect the items, which fall under this chunk.

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# Rapid Fire Round

Team-mates can use chunks in pairs. They have to chunk the information, make a note on index card and pass on to the respective partners. The other team member can quiz them on his or her index card and the whole group can know how much they have learnt.

# Index Card Method

In case of index card method, team members are required to memorize the various past events that took place in the organization. As a manager or business owner, you need to distribute few blank index cards among them during the session.

Instruct them for chunking the past incidents based on a pattern, which emerge from them. When the process has been completed, ask your team members to lay the cards faced down and list the happenings. When they need some help, they can use the index cards as cues for making decisions.

Conclusion

Human brains are subjected to continuous processing of information. This results in development of fatigue. When information is presented in vast form, people find difficulty in recollecting vital points during the meeting. Therefore, by chunking, information is broken down into categories, where similar contents are grouped into one digestible unit. Therefore, team members can easily recollect all points discussed so far and can make suitable decisions for raising profitability of the business.

Changing People’s Habits – An Analysis

Introduction

There are times when new employees or even managers, straight out of project management courses attend meetings on time and are very enthusiastic to attend or even conduct them. However, after passage of sometime, she realizes that her enthusiasm and interest does not influence others in the office. While the manager tries hard to be an enthusiast, her team members do not take much interest. In this article, we will discuss about techniques to change habits of people. This is thus, a study of change management.

Idea

In the process that important people do not attend a meeting or come late, the meeting though begins on time does not make much progress. At the end of a month or so, the manager becomes frustrated with the turn of events and gets back to her early mode of working.

Even when a professional is eager to change things at her office, her team members may not be. Thus, bringing alterations is not always easy. The way people behave at workplace depends on the organizational work culture.

Changing Habits

Mentioned below are some of the habits of people and techniques to change them

# Isolation

Some people think that office is a place where they solely go to work. However, if they do not speak to anybody, it might not be desirable for them as well as for the people working with them.

  • The manager should make it clear that it is not compulsory that a professional has to be liked by her colleagues, but she should have a friendly attitude, so that she is considered likeable by her colleagues. Small gestures such as wishing good morning and smiling at others in the office make way for better communication in future.
  • Taking part in office celebrations makes people social.
  • This attitude enables synergy that comes forward by the collaboration of many professionals.

# Work avoidance

The manager can come across a team member(s) who wants to hand over new projects given to her to other people who can be better performers. This way, she loses her chance to prove herself as well as the opportunity to learn something new.

  • Even though, it is true that at times there are people who can handle jobs better than others, when a resource avoids every challenging task delegated to her, it means that she is not interested. People who avoid work do not do anything at office.
  • The manager has to explain to the team members that while a resource should not say yes for every task, she should at least show her interest in solving issues faced by the company. It reflects positive work ethics and others want to work with that employee. She might even be recommended for projects in future. The manager should instill this attitude in her team members by practicing this approach herself. The manager should also ask her team members to have clear goals and link them to the objectives of the company.

# Negativity

The manager should make it a point not to fall prey to negative thinking. It is a contagious issue and if one person is afflicted, others won’t be far behind.

  • When negativity gets strong, professionals start to think that they are not suitable for a particular task. An employee may also resort to blaming external factors instead of improving her own attitude.
  • Dealing with a cynic colleague claims all energy and interest to work. Therefore, the manager should practice being positive and emphasize on the bright side of things. The team members should realize that focusing on things learnt from accidents is better than focusing on the bad things that happen. Change management teaches that it is always better to move on after facing negative things in life.
  • A positive culture in an organization leads to enhanced performance. The manager should provide constructive feedback on behavior that is important to the organizational capabilities.

# Gossiping

  • The manager should make it a point that the team members do not start gossiping inside office premises. When conversing with colleagues, it is important that a certain amount of privacy is maintained. Thus, it is better to avoid the company of people who gossip as means for communication.
  • It is important that team members realize the boundary between being inquisitive and nosy. Employees might get uncomfortable if their personal lives are interfered.

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# Procrastinating

There are some people who claim to work better under pressure. However, procrastination becomes an issue when it starts turning into a hindrance. Projects are delivered late and the resources are stressed.

  • Long breaks while at office, long drawn personal calls, surfing the internet for purposes other than work and playing games are some of the causes that increase procrastination. When the results come out at the end of the day, they are of average quality because they are completed in a hurry and under stress.
  • The manager must introduce solution for time management and good schedule that will guide the employees to high performance.

# Being clumsy

People tend to forget that the office is not their home. They use office properties like their personal properties, such as not flushing the toilet or strewing paper all over the floor. Employees should remember that they share the office with many others and thus, keep it safe and sound from others to be in.

# Being resistant to change

  • People are often not comfortable with change. They believe that if a certain task could have been done for the past ten years, it can be done for the coming ten years as well. The manager should explain to them the necessity of change to move on with the flowing time.
  • They have to realize that companies will undergo change at any cost, so it is better to accept it rather than resisting it. They should have a set of alternate solutions if they deem change as an unnecessary appendage.

To Wrap up

From this article, it can be deduced that it is essential that people change their approach to work and workplace. Managers must give their best to change them by utilizing change management techniques.

Cautious or Courageous – A Detailed Study

Introduction

The decision a person takes has impact on everything she does. Whatever decision is taken, a certain amount of risk is associated to it. To make the most suitable decision it is necessary that a business owner takes the correct approach to the decision making process. In every decision, unknown components enter that are beyond the control of the decision making person. In order to make better decisions, a person evaluates some of these unknown components and the potential result of each of these unknowns. In this article, we will discuss about cautiousness and courageousness. It will be a study in risk preference and risk propensity.

Idea

The amount of risk taken and the extent of success achieved are only estimates. They are thus, a part of the decision maker’s perception. If the decision maker has a tendency to take risks, her perception will be influenced by her attitude.

Prepare a Business Plan with Cash Flow Forecasting

Introduction

The cash flow forecasting is the approximation of the timing and amounts of the cash outflow and the inflows over a particular period of time. The forecasting can identify the organizational requirements for the amounts to be borrowed and the ways to repay the loan. It is sometimes known as the cash flow projection or the cash flow budget.

Basic Concept

Cash flow forecasting is a simple process which can predict the amount of money coming into your business and going out at a specific period of time. The cash flow can be depicted in the basic form in the spreadsheet where the income and the costs are listed in the monthly basis by summing the total of 1 year. The costs can be broken into categories where the seasonal variations can easily be identified. The cash flow forecasting can be managed with some golden rules:

  • Every cash flow item should be included
  • Multiple scenarios should be planned
  • Factors of fixed and variable costs should be considered
  • Definition of income and costs should be remembered
  • Seasonality plans should be properly scheduled
  • Realistic plans should be sanctioned

Business Testing in Projects – A Close Look

Introduction

More often than not projects are always tested for their viability before being executed. As projects are often time consuming it is segregated into smaller parts and tested. The process involves creating a life like environment and testing each of the segregated parts prior to their actual implementation. Ideally, any project if successful in a testing environment is also successful in actuality. Unfortunately, projects are not religiously tested before their actual implementation which often leads to their unsuccessful completion.

Testing outcomes are critically observed by stakeholders, members of management, and business analysts as they provide the future course of action. The usual objective of a project is to gauge its usability for end-users at a price that is affordable. Timely delivery is another major consideration for evaluating the feasibility of any new project.

Objectives and Obstacles

Projects are conceived and executed with definite objectives in mind. Every organization has its short term and long term objectives which are achieved through different projects. As meeting objectives are important for a company, carrying out project tests are thus essential. Tests should be conducted with sincerity and completeness as they are intimately connected with achieving company objectives. Scope of test, test data, testing methods, and test schedule should be in absolute order so that they are similar to established scope of a project.

Business Intelligence and Its Advantages in Organizations

Introduction

Business intelligence can be defined as the tools or the systems which plays great role in the planning and the strategic process of the organization. The company can collect, store, analyze all the corporate data through the business intelligence that is required in the decision making process. It can be considered as the data analysis process that helps in improving the business performance by guiding the corporate users and the end users with more concrete decisions.

Basic Concept

Business intelligence is a technology driven process, specially designed for the purpose of data analysis which can present information for the corporate executives, managers, and other end users for the decision making process. This software can extract essential raw data of an organization for enhancing the business and by providing some accurate decisions. It can also integrate the data throughout the enterprise and can provide the end users with the self analyzing capacity. The business intelligence software can provide with large number of analytics like the text and data mining, statistics and predictive analysis.

Taking Smart Risks with Business Experiments

Introduction

The managers can take steps for implementing various ideas. These ideas may not possess necessary support for the backup purpose. They can try different approaches by fiddling with the offerings and altering the methods in which the work gets done. They will act upon their common sense or the gut feeling most of the times. When they are not sure about the approaches and which one will work, they can go for business experiments, also known as the pilot projects and the pilot experiments.

Basic Concept

Business Experiments involve anything from the basic tests to various complex projects. For example; whether you should change the welcome message of your website or should test a new process in the telephone enquiries. You can also test new products or services with a small number of customers. After testing the ideas on the smaller segments, you will have a clear understanding of the method by which it can perform in the large scale. The failures and the errors from the tests can also refine the ideas to improve it.

Effective Ways to Create a Business Budget

Introduction

When you want to make money in the business, you should know the right ways of spending it. Creating a budget can help you to succeed in your business. Through the budget, you can easily monitor your business expenses, cash in hand and what should be your future revenue to continue your business in the long term.

Basic Concept

Business budget will help you to work out with effective ways to keep your business profitable. It is always essential to understand the distinction between the business budget and the personal budget. You can keep the business finance under control if you know the right ways of creating a business budget.

Building Trust inside Your Team – An Analysis

Introduction

Managing a team in which team members do not trust each other is a challenging and difficult task. A team without trusting members cannot be called a team. It is a group of people who work together. These team members battle over responsibilities, do not share data with each other and do not cooperate. Without trust a team cannot reach the full depth of success. In this article, we will discuss about the significance of trust and the techniques of team management by which trust can be built in a team. The article will be a study in team building and dynamics.

An Idea

The talent of each team member is manifested when she trusts others. When team members trust each other the team becomes a homogenous group where everyone cooperates with each other and is successful in achieving their objectives.

How to Build Leaders for Tomorrow?

Introduction

Today, most of dynamic organizations are conscious about advanced workforce that will carry their legacy forward. However, many of them think that from where their future leaders will come from and how efficient they will be. Modern companies are well aware of the fact that the environment of business has become more challenging and to survive in this highly competitive market, every organization must go through the process of continuous up-gradation.

There is no doubt that the challenge is urgent and organizations that are optimistic about bright future, must realize whether their bench strength is likely to deliver most talented workforce in the future or not. A recent survey conducted by American Management Enterprise suggests that many organizations have not any particular strategies to build up future leadership for their organization. Thus, we should say that if you are the concerned person for your company and have not thought about building tomorrow’s leaders, then you have to realize the importance of the issue that should take initiative to put light in the matter.

How to Identify Leaders for the Future

Every organization should feel the need of future leaders and should take steps to develop them. However, we have seen many companies for whom looking beyond next two years is impossible, so how do such companies will identify future leaders for their organizations.

As a tradition, many organizations like to carry out their old tradition of giving priority to the senior managers, executive or front-line managers. Such companies feel that those top ranked officials can be replaced with some better ones if needed.

However, most of such organizations are not giving value to the idea of preparing some individuals for future leadership from their own company even from some lower rank.

Highly productive companies always give priority and importance of finding efficient talent for the future. Moreover, high performing companies often try to put leadership on assignments where they interact with senior executives on their own. However, such experiential learning activity will allow those talented individuals to work on cross-functional assignment.

Develop Leaders in Various Ways

Those individuals who have been identified as potential leaders should be developed by the organizations in various ways such as

  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • stretch assignments
  • several learning activities or cross-functional learning

To make sure that the process of development is going towards the right direction, potential managers should go through corporate performance and benchmark skills and efficient knowledge about other highly productive organizations.

To design their program, future leaders might not wait for talent managers; they rather will seek opportunity on their own. They will probably rely on various resources to identify volunteers to seek external learning and for stretch assignments.

However, changes will not come automatically; leaders have to read out characteristics or competencies for the potential leaders. Future leaders are expected to be agile, ethical, technologically well aware, financially adept, and committed to transparency, skilled communicators, continuous learners, innovators, devoted team players and should be authentic in style and substance.

Should Have Clear Matrices on Basic Elements

To create an environment that supports the process of leadership development, talent managers have to make sure whether in the investment has been put effectively or not and they have to establish clear matrices on basic elements.

However, such key elements include success in job in the future, requirement of external hires, number of initiatives taken for development, time and effort given for senior recruiting and frequency of talent recruitment.

The Process should be Customized

A single clutch of courses will not help future leaders to emerge. The process of development has to be customized, must offer value to required business results, and should offer time to meet some important needs. For example, if a potential leader needs to become an expert in budgeting, then the person should be trained in that particular field and should not look for full financial course.

If the leader has been assigned to lead a global product team, then the individual should immediately take a course that will pursue on effective product management. Proper customized training for development will allow a potential leader to enhance his knowledge in right direction that will definitely be beneficial for the organizations too.

Building Bench Strength

A recently conducted study shows that many organizations are not willing rely on internal succession plans for recruitments. It has been found that 43 percent of companies hardly ever recruit from outside of their organization. However, the study also shows that near about 34 percent of companies often give priority to the internal succession plan.

However, it is not that hiring people from outside the company is a bad idea, but the fact is it is far from becoming an ideal decision. If a company has set its target to be conservative with money, then the company should give value to the internal advancement.

Several benefits can be availed by an organization as it relies on the process of internal advancement. Higher engagement and developed loyalty for the company is some of the most advanced benefits. But to achieve internal promotion, all development related practices should have senior management support and sufficient budget.

If the bench strength is weak, the organization has to bring future leader from outside which can cost some extra money for the organization. However, professionals who will come from outside the company may take some extra time to capture the working style of any particular organization. At the same time, the person who has worked in the company for several years will have the better knowledge in such issues.

Conclusion

In future or present, leaders have several key responsibilities and obligations that they need to handle effectively. It has been found that people who had run an organization with lack of clarity of their purpose have not succeeded. On the other hand, leaders at companies that have their own plans and ideas for a purpose have been successful. Thus, it is important understand the fact that building tomorrow’s leaders has become an important task for high performing organizations in this competitive world of business.

Building an Effective Team for Productivity

Introduction

Have you ever thought of the factors that make the team effective? Do you know how to ensure effectiveness of a team? You might visualize a team that work constantly as a whole. In this article, we are going to address a few such questions that will help you build an effective team. The ability to build effective team helps the organization to work in a productive manner. Before we proceed, we will have a look at the issues in today’s times that destroy a team and make it unproductive.

Factors That Break the Team

There are numerous factors that break the team before it is built. Some of the factors are spirit of jealous or envy, self-promotion, lack of respect towards the leader, lack of motivation and encouragement.

Building Rapport in Coaching for Better Relation

Introduction

The term ‘Rapport’ describes the amount of warmth in any conversation. It is highly affected by how the participants feel. You will feel relaxed and stay calm, if you have rapport with the other person. You can come up with open mind, if you are comfortable with the other person.

Similarly, in coaching relationship, one should look for ways to build rapport in coaching. Remember that coaching is not counseling and therefore, one need not have to look much at the private life of coachee or become their best friend. As a coach, your aim should be to create a different level of rapport that helps the people to talk in an honest way about their performance.

In this article, we will look at ways to build a rapport with the people you are coaching. You can bring out the best out of your coaching relationships.

What is Rapport and how do you know that you achieved it?

Rapport in coaching is about being able to turn your way towards the client. You should be able to know how they are feeling and to achieve this; you should be on the same wavelength. You can consider that you have established rapport, when the coaching conversations flow and you may feel as if you are talking with a close friend. Your coachee will open up with you and talk beyond facts and information, when you have a great rapport. The coachee will readily discuss his emotions and feelings.

How to Build Good Working Relationships?

Introduction

Every social interaction depends on communication. In fact, communication helps to develop reliability and integrity between people. One of the best ways to do this is creating a good rapport with others in society. This is because when you expect others to be friendly; you should make them feel relaxed and comfortable as well. Similarly, you should ensure creating a friendly atmosphere at your workplace so that you can find a positive approach to achieve your as well as organizational goals.

Building Good Work Relationships – How It Helps

Working relationships either negatively or positively affect your fulfillment in the job, your capacity to progress and be recognized in your workplace for attainments. When building a positive relationship, you can feel much comfortable in your interactions thereby being bullied less by others. Hence, it is very much needed for you to feel a close bond with your colleagues.

As per the Gallup Organization - individuals who have their best friends at workplace find themselves 7 times more engaged in their respective jobs. However, it need not be your best friend. Gallup Organization also found that people who could develop a good working relationship in their offices probably seem to be more satisfied at their work. Moreover, a good working relationship is crucial for someone to be successful in his/her career.

Good Working Relationships – Why It is Necessary

Human beings are a social animal and so they crave for positive interactions and friendship just like water and food. Therefore, it is sensible if you can better your relationships in workplace making you more happy and productive. Having a positive relationship in workplace has numerous benefits:

  1. It makes your work more fun-filled and exciting
  2. Sharing your ideas with others can enhance your creativity and innovative skills
  3. Good working relationships give you more freedom to focus more on opportunities
  4. It is even necessary when you think of developing a successful career

Good relationships in your workplace not only symbolizes people with whom you spend quality time but also others in your professional sphere. Important stakeholders, suppliers as well as customers are equally essential for the success. Therefore, it is must you should develop and maintain a healthy relationship with them.

Building a Good Working Relationship – How

Building a positive relationship in your office is a tough job to do and maintaining it is even more difficult. Here are mentioned a few ways that will help you to develop good relationship with your colleagues:

Respect – The term “respect” is something that you can get only when you show the same to others. Respect ideas, situations and feelings of your colleagues and you can expect the same from them. Remember it is tough to have any sort of relationship when you do not have respect for others. This, in turn, can develop a strong relationship at your workplace.

Admit Your Mistakes – None is perfect in this world and can commit mistakes. Yes, even you can make mistakes but it is must admitting those when committed. For an instance, if you have made a mistake for which any of your colleagues is going to be punished, then it will be ineffective on your part only. Hence, admit your mistake that will further help you to build trust in the mindset of your colleagues.

Show Interest in Your Colleagues’ Personal Life

Either at lunch break or post the office hours, it is advised to show interest in personal lives of your colleagues. Talk with your colleagues and ask them about their personal lives such as:

  1. Education
  2. Special Interests and
  3. Past Work Experience etc

Having a clear-cut understanding of personal lives of your colleagues will help you to gel up with them in a better way.

Take a Likeable Attitude – The very first mantra to build a healthy relationship is you should take a likeable attitude above everything else. Be supportive and show your love and concern towards all your co-workers equally. Picking your favorites might prove to be damaging when creating a stronger relationship.

Welcoming Diversity – If you seriously want to develop a good working relationship then you should welcome diverse people and their opinions as well. Here is an example citing the fact. When your co-workers have different opinion to yours then take time to think and consider their points and then finally feature their insights while making a decision.

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Build Your EI (Emotional Intelligence) – You should spend time to develop your EI (Emotional Intelligence). This is your ability to be familiar with your emotions and understand on what they are demanding.

Appreciate Others – Appreciate whenever somebody helps you. Right from your cleaner to your boss in the office, everyone feels happy when they are being appreciated for their work. So, try to compliment others, which will pave the way for good work relationships.

Be Positive In Your Approach – None prefers to welcome a person having a negative attitude every time. Hence, try to bring in positive attitude within so that it helps to develop a stronger relationship at your workplace.

Building a Good Working Relationship – In a Nutshell

The more you get into creating a healthy relationship within your workplace, the more you can be satisfied working over there. Building and maintaining a positive relationship is quite a difficult thing but doing it rightly can develop a great atmosphere at your workplace. Even if you find yourself in a situation wherein someone is not adjustable, try to be friendly with him or her to make your job satisfying.

Conclusion

At times, you do not prefer to work with a person you cannot relate with. However, it becomes essential on your part to keep up with that person for your job. If such instances take place, make efforts to know that person well. Although both of you are not at good terms yet approach first to improvise your relationship by getting into a conversation or even inviting him/her on lunch.

Remember when talking, you should not be guarded. Ask the person about his/her past successes, background or other things. It is advised to focus on looking up for the common things between you and that person rather than wasting energy in order to find the differences. Not every relationship is great but making it workable is just the right thing to do.

Why Building Confidence in Other People is Important?

Introduction

There is no doubt that lack of confidence is one of the most destructive things that can restrain the growth of any individual. Before going to further explanation, you have to understand the root cause of the issue called lack of confidence. If you observe a person living with confidence, you can assume that the person is either physically or mentally strong enough than others are. However, the fact is self confidence derives from knowledge in that particular field the person is working in and it translates into a sound physical and mental health.

It is easier for a confident person to execute even a complicated task without worrying much about it. At the same time, if an individual is suffering from the problem of lack of confidence or conviction, then even an easy task will be tough to execute. Thus, if you really want to succeed in our life, it is very important to do things with high level of confidence.

However, security and insecurity are the some important parts that play a key role in building up confidence in an individual. People with full of confidence have some quality such as

  • They dare to execute every task given to them
  • Always try to learn new things
  • Can stretch out their field of work
  • Love to take new challenges

Here in this guide we will discuss about some key factors that will help people in rebuilding their confidence level.

About Types of Budgeting Models

Introduction

Budgeting is an essential accounting process for every scale of organization: small, medium, and large. It essentially reflects the expenditure and revenue receipts of an organization for a definite period, usually one year. A budget is prepared annually, and used as a reference for financial operations during this said period. Even non-commercial bodies like government departments and hospitals form an annual budget.

A budget could also be made for any specific task or project; for instance an exhibition or construction of a road. A statement of expenses associated with such specific task or assignment is also termed a budget. This is an accounting tool that summarizes the monetary involvement of these works. A budget is used as a yardstick for measuring price rise or fall in successive years. There are normally six types of budgeting:

  1. Static
  2. Zero-based
  3. Incremental
  4. Flexible
  5. Rolling
  6. Centralized
  7. Activity based
  8. Performance based

Static budgeting

Static model is the conventional form of budgeting where projections for an entire period, usually one year, is drawn up. A statement of expenses and earnings is created and efforts are made to stick to these figures. Activities of an organization or company are monitored so that these earnings and revenue figures conform as projected.

Operation of this budget is rigid and does not allow leeway of adjustments. As it is based on a single projected outcome its achievement is difficult. In a dynamic environment exercising a static budget model is difficult and retarding to development process.

Zero based budgeting

Zero based budgeting is followed by non-commercial setups where outcomes are pre-determined and fund allocation is made accordingly. Money allocated is supposed to be used up during a given period followed by fresh outcomes drawn for subsequent year. A new set of outcome-expenditure budget is created for every year.

In zero budget model a detailed description of expenditure needs to be justified. The advantage of this form of budget is its cost regulatory capacity. In service industries, where waste is negligible, this form of budgeting is more meaningful. The drawback of this model is its lengthy preparation time and its thorough approach.

Incremental budgeting

This model of budgeting is ideal when time is a constraint. This model allows for a certain percentage increase of income and expenses in respect to previous budget. Unlike a zero-budget model where money allocated is to be spent within a given period, expenses could be rolled forward to consecutive year. This model is perfect for small organizations where there is not much scope of spending.

Budgetary process is short and fast. As avenues of expenses are not many, budget allocations for several years could be made at a time. This model is however not appropriate for medium or large organizations as their scope of expenditure are varied and complicated. As ‘incremental’ model does not involve detailed analysis of expenses made the method is not incisive.

Flexible budgeting

Flexible budgeting model is best suited for marketing organizations as sales behavior is not always easy to project. Though every marketing office has yearly projections based on previous years’ results and future trends, an element of uncertainty always remains. A sudden change in price or in preferences of consumers could lead to an abrupt change in sales of a commodity. In marketing companies where yearly budget is closely linked to sales volume or revenue, a static budget is a constraint.

This budget model allows for periodic modifications in revenues earned and expenses made during an ongoing budgetary phase. Flexible budgeting should not be used for companies that are involved in multiple functional areas.

Centralized budget

This is a common form of budgeting prevalent in educational institutes, government departments, and private enterprises. In this model of budgeting, decision making authority lies with the top management. This is so because only top level managers participate in financial decisions. These members have an overall view of the financial aspects of a business or service department. As they have overall control of an organization and oversee every functional area, it is easier for them to decide on avenues of revenue earning and expenses.

Centralized authority for an organization decides on sectoral spending or entire organization’s expenses. This budget model allows decision makers to choose between department-wise spending or centralized buying. On its flip side, this model removes competition among different departments thereby prompting them to show little interest in spending money.

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Activity based budgeting

Activity based budgeting model focuses on the biggest return to expenses made. This model of budgeting is once again useful for service oriented businesses and organizations like hotels, universities, and hospitals. Here a group of individuals is given the responsibility of budgeting and its implementation. For universities budget allocation among departments could be made based on their activity level. Departments putting in more effort expectedly are allocated greater sums for spending. As learning institutes and service providers have limited revenue sources, linkage of their revenues and earnings are done easily.

Implementation of activity based budget entails sufficient time and involvement. For an institute that does not operate on a commercial scale, finding avenues of revenue generation is difficult making the process for budgeting tough.

Performance based budgeting

Performance based budgeting is similar to activity based budgeting since in the former ‘performance’ determines budget allocation, while in the latter it is determined by ‘activity’. In this model, budgeting is easy as ‘performance’ (which is measurable) is the determining factor for fund allocation. As the element of accountability is very high in this method of budgeting, there is complete transparency in the entire process of earnings and expenditure.

Rolling budget model

The rolling budget is comparable to ‘incremental’ and ‘flexible’ budgeting in that it always adds to its previous budget. In this way a budget always extends beyond its scheduled term and develops a rolling character.

This is the least used model as formulation of any specific budgeting process is not possible. The only advantage of using this model is for companies that have limited financial operations and do not have many variations of revenue earnings or expenses incurred.

To Sum Up

Budgeting as an accounting tool is essential for any form of activity, commercial or non-commercial. This accounting instrument is mandatory for commercial enterprises irrespective of its scale. Budgeting being a meticulous process involves the best financial talents and accomplished professionals.

Preparation of Budgeted Balance Sheet in Easy Methods

Introduction

The budgeted balance sheet includes every line item which is similar to the normal balance sheet. Additionally, it also contains the projected items that are required for the future budget. It is compiled with number of supporting calculations, where the accuracy depends on the inputs which are collected from the budget model.

Basic Concept

A budgeted balance sheet identifies the estimated financial status of the company. After observing the budgeted balance sheet, it can be assumed that the same figures will show up at the end of each financial year. Though it is not the actual balance sheet, still it has benefits of preparing it for the proper analysis of your business.

How to Prepare Budgeted Balance Sheet for Your Business?

The budgeted balance sheet is important for testing whether the projected financial status of the company is realistic or not. It also identifies the scenarios which is financially supportable where the management can provide alternative solutions to the budget models.

The budgeted balance sheet should be created for the specific period which is determined only for the budget models. Instead of calculating just at the end of the financial year, the budget analyst can easily identify whether the estimated cash flows will be sufficient enough for providing funds throughout the budget period.

Now, let us go through the steps for preparing the budgeted balance sheet:

  • Take Data from the Real Balance Sheet: For preparing the budgeted balance sheet, you are required to collect all the data from the real balance sheet at the beginning of each financial year.
  • Collect Data of Different Budgets : You should collect various data from different budgets like purchase budget, cash budget , raw material budget , projected sales , fixed assets on credit etc. All this data will be required for the preparation of the budgeted balance sheet.
  • Adjustment with Data of Different Budgets with the Real Balance Sheet: You can easily prepare the budgeted balance sheet with the help of few adjustments in Excel. Here are some of the adjustments :
    • Sundry Debtors : Depending upon the sales budget and the cash budget , you can adjust this by Opening Debtors + New Credit Sale – Cash Received
    • Fixed Assets: On the basis of projected plan report, plant utilization budget and the cash budget you can adjust the fixed assets by deducting the cost value of the new sales from the summation of opening balance and new purchases.
    • Cash In Hand And Cash At Bank: Depending on the cash budget, you can take the closing balance of the cash in hand and cash at bank from the real balance sheet.
    • Finished Stock: On the basis of the sales, cash and production budget, you can adjust by adding the opening finished stock and the new production and by deducting the new total sales from the summation.
    • Sundry Creditors: By depending on the purchase and cash budget, the sundry creditors can be adjusted by adding the amounts of opening creditors and the new credit purchase and by deducting the new payment from the result of the sum.
    • Loan Liabilities: Through the cash budget, you can adjust the loan liabilities by adding the opening balance of the loan liabilities and the new loan taken, if any. Now, the repayments can be deducted by the sum.
    • Raw Material Stock : Depending on the basis of the material, production and the cash budget you can adjust the raw material stock with the help of this formulae Opening Raw material Stock + New Purchase ( Cash + Credit ) – New Consumption .
    • Accumulated Depreciation: On the basis of the overhead budget, the accumulated depreciation can be adjusted by summing up the new depreciation with the opening balance of the accumulated depreciation.
    • General Reserve: The general reserve can be adjusted by summing up the opening balance of the general reserve with the new general reserve of the specific rates according to the law.
    • Paid In Capital: According to the cash budget, the paid in capital can be adjusted by summing up the opening balance of the paid in capital with the additional paid in capital.
    • Taxation: Depending on the new income tax law reports, financial budget of Government, tax returns and the cash budget, the taxation can be adjusted by summing up the opening payable tax and the new payable tax. The TDS and the advances can be deducted from the new sum.
    • Retained Earnings : Depending on the cash budget and the budgeted income statement , the retained earning can be adjusted with this formula : Opening retained Earning + Estimated Net Profit – ( Estimated Dividend declared + Estimated Dividend Paid )

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An Example

Now, let us go through an example of the budgeted balance sheet. Say, the figures in the budgeted balance sheet show $100,000 in the asset column, $50,000 in the liabilities. Therefore the equity results to $50,000.

While reviewing your budgeted balance sheet, you should keep in mind that enough assets are present in your business. The asset amount may include the inventory, the production and the resources for the manufacturing purposes. It should also include the assets of selling and distributing your products. When you are managing your business, it will generate liabilities also. As long as you have a proper planning of paying your liabilities, your business remains in good shape. If your revenue does not supply you enough cash, which is considered to be the best asset, you should have a plan of raising the capital. You can raise capital by issuing debt or by selling equities to the share holders.

Key Points from the Article

From the above article we can easily understand

  • The meaning of budgeted balance sheet
  • The basic concept of the budgeted balance sheet
  • The methods of using the budgeted balance sheet in your business

Though budgeted balance sheet is not similar to the real balance sheet, it helps to understand the status of the business and its projected status.

Budget and Forecast Compared

Introduction

Budget and forecast though used interchangeably are technically different. These two decision making processes are distinctive but are dependent on one another. Budgeting is a monetary exercise for materializing a plan. Forecasting is estimation of results based on current circumstances and past experiences.

Both budgeting and forecasting are accounting tools that help in setting and achieving business goals. Budgeting as a process helps in managing the future course of action, while forecasting as a tool projects this future course. Forecasting could be considered as educated guesswork, while budgeting is an objective that changes once every year. A budget has two expense components: fixed and variable. Fixed costs include rent, leasing fees if any, insurance premium and any other costs that are fixed in nature. Variable components include wages, telephone bills, electricity charges, and all similar components. Forecasting depends on industry reports and economic data while budgeting is dependent on recent performance.

Characteristics of a Budget

A budget is a mandatory accounting procedure for commercial as well as non-commercial organizations. It is a financial representation of a company’s annual earnings and expenses. A budget is an ‘intention’ which is required to be followed. It is a financial target that is set every year and all activities are tuned to achieve this result. It sets the path of business of a commercial entity or activities of a non-commercial organization. A budget is an annual exercise and is needed to be done every year.

Breaking Bad Habits Leads to Promising Business Career

Introduction

Many people tame bad habits, which can harm their career or work. It has been observed by many psychologists and HR executives that some employees turn up late for attending client meets, check emails during meetings, answer personal phone calls while at work, etc. Bad habits if not checked at early stages, can have adverse effect on customer satisfaction and can make company break its valuable business. However, by analyzing the causes of such behaviors and implementing suitable strategies can help an organization to revamp its goodwill once again for business growth.

How to Define Habit?

It has been observed that a habit is a form of acquired behavior that you repeat number of times for deriving fun. Habits can be either helpful or harmful as per given situation.

Habits are advantageous as they are automatic. You engage yourself in habits without thinking, which allow your brain to focus on other things. When you inculcate good habits, you create ingrained, positive, forward motion, which you need not to think about.

You can use your energy for focusing on things, which need your special attention.

However, the same is also true for bad habits. You engage in such behaviors without giving much thought. They can ruin your career as well as personal life, without you being aware of them.

Determining Profitability with Break Even Analysis

Introduction

Break Even Analysis is that type of analysis where you are required to determine whether the revenue is matching the costs related with obtaining the revenue. This analysis can calculate the margin of safety, where the revenue amount outweighs the breakeven point. The revenue can decrease in this particular point while being above the breakeven point.

Basic Concept

Break even analysis is a particular business tool that is accepted throughout the industries in the world for evaluating the performance of the business with regards to the cost as this is the analysis of the supply side. It is also an important factor in creating a business plan as it helps in determining the cost structures. The analysis can also help in identifying the number of units that are required to be sold for covering the costs for making the profit. The analysis function takes place as an important part of the business plan for determining whether the business idea is practical or not. After the business set up process is over, the break even analysis can be beneficial in the promotion and the pricing process, along with controlling the costs.

Therefore, breakeven point can be identified by calculating the point at which revenue obtained equals with the total costs related with the production of goods and services.

Break Even Point = Fixed Costs / (Unit Selling Price – Variable costs)

How to Use Break Even Analysis in Business?

For applying the break even analysis, you should have some clear concepts about the costs that require operational activities:

Fixed Costs

Irrespective of the number of units the company is manufacturing, these costs remain the same. These costs may include the capital expenses or the start up costs which is not required to be paid periodically. The utility bills, repairs, rent can also be considered as the fixed costs as the variations are very negligible and the amount does not depend on the quantity of the of the items produced. For example, if a pen manufacturer rents a building for $3000 and decides to produce 500 pens per month, the fixed cost will remain same at $3000. It will be same if there is no production of pens at all.

Variable Costs

The costs that remain directly proportional to the production of the manufacturing companies are known as the variable costs. They are recurring in nature and needs to be paid in periodical method. The cost will increase with the increase of the number of manufacturing units. For example, to manufacture a tire you require rubber costing $5. If the company is not producing any tires, the cost will reduce to zero and if 100 tires are produced, the cost will increase to $500. The variable costs generally include the material costs, labor storage, direct sales and promotion etc.

Revenue

The money that is acquired by the business from the customers through the products or the services during a specific period is known as the revenue. After adjusting the discounts and the deductions, the final outcome i.e. the gross income can be obtained. The various costs are deducted from the gross income for measuring the profit and loss. Then the total revenue can be calculated the price of goods with the number of total units sold.

Contribution Margin

The amount that can be obtained by deducting the variable expenses from the revenues is known as the contribution margin. This margin helps in identifying the revenue of the company towards the contribution of the fixed costs. The per unit basis amount can be calculated and can be expressed as the percentage of net sales.

Now, let us discuss about the break even calculations, based on the units and the sales:

Break Even Points Calculated in Units

The breakeven point can be calculated depending on the units, where the number of units can be obtained for the breakeven point. The amount can easily be obtained by dividing the contribution margin with the total fixed costs :

Break Even Point (Units) = Fixed Costs / Contribution Margin per Unit

Break Even Points Calculated in Sales Value

Breakeven point can also be measured with the help of the sales value

Therefore, Contribution Margin = Contribution margin per unit / sales price per unit

Or, Contribution margin = (sales price- variable costs) / sales price per unit

The contribution margin can also be determined with the percentage of sales which is known as the contribution margin ratio.

There are various applications as well as benefits of using this tool in your organization. Let us discuss them now:

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Set Targets and Budgets

The break even analysis helps in setting targets and budgets for your business plans. It helps to determine the number of units to be sold for reaching the breakeven point. Therefore, it helps in setting realistic and achievable targets for the business.

Cost Calculation

For avoiding losses in the business, the breakeven analysis is used for determining the number of breakeven units. This calculation helps in determining the variable costs, fixed costs as well as the selling price. After all the amounts are determined with accuracy, the sale value and the units of the break even become easy to calculate

Tool for Motivation

The tool can add motivation in your company. The employees, specially the sales resources get motivated after this particular analysis. As the charts can clearly show the different profit margins at different points of sales, it can directly create an impact on the minds of the employees.

Pricing Strategy

The break even analysis can act as a good determinant for the selling prices. The break even charts allow access for determining the changes of the selling prices according to the profitability.

Key Points from the Article

From the article we can understand that

  • The meaning and basic concept of breakeven analysis
  • The application and benefits of this tool in the organizations

If the results from the break even can be interpreted correctly, the information can help in better decision making in business.

Better Public Speaking can result in Career Advancement

Introduction

The art of public speaking cannot be built in a day. Through consistent practice and dedication, you can become an admirable public speaker.

Know the Essence of Public Speaking

The job, which you are performing, may not require you making regular presentations in front of audience. However, you may come across many situations, where possessing right public speaking skills can help you to make advancements in your career.

Understanding Benefits Management

Introduction

Benefits management is a process that ensures that projects are delivered as they are expected. A project is born when a something new is to be started or anything existing is required to be changed for the better. The entire process begins with ‘planning’ and ends with ‘completion’. The process involves planning, initiating, implementing, managing and monitoring. Adherence to these steps only could ensure that projects are completed and delivered as desired. Non-adherence could lead to a huge gap between result produced and result expected.

Normally there is a considerable time gap between creation of a project and its actual completion. It is very likely that the concerns at the time of completion of a project are different from those at the beginning. Such deviations could be minimized if the needs of an organization are similar to the concerning project’s deliverables. Herein comes the significance of ‘benefits management’ which attempts to unite project deliverables with an organization’s expectations.

Typical Areas of Benefit Management Application are when:

  • Stakeholders subjected to change are required to become stakeholders involved in change;
  • Project implementation is slated to become a changed management plan;
  • Technology delivery needs to change to benefits delivery;
  • A substantial portion of unfocused investment could become sufficient to complete a job;
  • Manpower trained in technology could exploit technology;
  • Task monitoring could be changed to benefits tracking;
  • Technology delivery actually becomes benefits delivery;
  • Responsibility of manager changes from an onlooker to a controller.

Benefits management induces a company to adopt more holistic methods of business where projects play important roles in business transformation. Emphasis is put on how actually a business would benefit from changes introduced, with these benefits being measured and assessed. ‘Benefits management’ aims at finding answers to questions like ‘what business objectives would a project meet’, ‘is the project valid’, and ‘are the benefits relevant’ and so on. The primary objective of benefits management is to reduce the risk of any new project. This it does through tackling issues that could obstruct implementation of the said project. Once the end result is visualized removal of obstacles becomes easier and planned objectives become achievable. Benefits management ensures that a project fulfils a specific need and offers candid benefits. If success of project management lies in timely delivery of project then the success of benefits management lies in meeting expected outcome.

Benefits Management Phases

Benefits management is executable in four phases, namely: i) defining and developing benefits; ii) developing benefits plan; iii) monitoring benefits during project execution; and iv) project completion and review.

Phase 1: Defining and Developing Benefits

This is the first stage of any project and involves thorough enquiries and projection. For identification of focus areas of improvement a meeting with stakeholders, either personally or in groups, is mandatory. Such meetings are not only essential but demand a handsome presence of members. In these meetings, areas of concern are discussed and benefits revealed. Each member’s opinion about benefits and corresponding expected outcomes are noted down for future course of action.

These benefits are then listed out and classified under two heads: ‘must haves’ and ‘good to haves’. The ‘must have’ benefits should be in conformity to the company’s business needs and strategies. Priority should always be on achieving the ‘must haves’ and subsequently the ‘good to haves’.

Maximizing benefits – It is the primary objective every management action must be steered towards that direction. For this purpose changes should be brought about in organizational and functional setups if required. Also other ancillary projects if required should be introduced. Changes in infrastructure, publicity or human resource if necessary should be made for maximizing benefits.

Cost-benefit analysis – For any project, a cost-benefit analysis is of vital importance. Cost involved in undertaking a project and the benefits derived there from are both quantifiable. For stakeholders, business analysts, and management this is a crucial figure and given considerable significance.

Phase 2: Developing Benefits Plan

Developing benefits plan is also a part of initiation. This involves in making an overall assessment of a project and taking appropriate measures to guarantee timely benefits. Traditional management tools might be used for this exercise. While making this plan a watch needs to be kept for filling up gaps and earning additional benefits. Supporting actions are required to be indentified and delegated. Each of these supporting actions is needed to be quantified and completed within a pre-determined time limit.

It is necessary to determine the person responsible for making a delivery and a time ascertained for it. The manner of delivery is also crucial for these supporting activities. Reports of deliveries are maintained which also work as milestones for a project. Milestone reports are essential parameters for measuring the progress of any project that extends over a sufficient period. At the end a summary is created for the entire second phase.

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Phase 3: Monitoring Benefits during Project Execution

During delivery of a project it is important to monitor its progress regularly. If required, a benefits plan might be modified as project progresses and changes are citable. In case a planner is working under a manager regular communication between the two is mandatory for smooth execution of project concerned. For a manager it is important to keep his team motivated and informed about the progress of the project.

A manager must also ensure that expectations of members do not grow much. Too much expectation could result in disappointments and subsequent discouragement. Benefits achievable should not be imaginary as this could lose the focus of members.

Phase 4: Project Completion and Review

As a project comes near its end its benefits could be evaluated and gaps identified. Missed opportunities if any could be viewed as new milestones for forthcoming projects. These form the motivation for the next benefits management exercise.

A review of the entire project development and implementation would help in highlighting achievements as well as areas that need improvement. A proper record works as a reference for all future projects.

Conclusion

The significance of benefits management lies in the fact that it ensures maximum business return for any investment (including human capital) made. It assists a manager and its team to remain focused in achieving an objective. The process is continuous as one project becomes a learning experience for the following one.

Avoiding Psychological Bias in Decision Making – A Study

Introduction

Sometimes, business owners launch products on the basis of their research, which prove that the product will do well if it is launched. However, for whatever reason the market does not expand and the product cannot attract the number of customers the owner had expected. Since, the company cannot sell the products that can at least cover the cost of making it, the company incurs losses. In this case, the decision of the business owner was influenced by confirmation bias. In this article, we will discuss about different types of biases that affect decision making and find out solutions to make better decisions.

Origin

In the 1970s, Paul Slovic, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman who were psychologists spoke about psychological bias for the first time. They published their observation in their book, "Judgment Under Uncertainty,” which was published in the year 1982.

According to the psychologists, these biases are also called cognitive biases. It is the tendency that makes people illogical. For instance, the business owner or the manager might feel pressurized by powerful peers.

In other words, psychological bias is in contrast with calculated measure and common sense. It results in poor decisions.

Avoiding Groupthink – A Study

Introduction

Sometimes there are teams in which team members hesitate to express their views because they think that they might end up being unsupportive of the group’s ideas. If this is the case, it means that the team members are victims of ‘Groupthink.’ In this article, we will discuss about group thinking and how to avoid it.

Origin

The term Groupthink was coined by Irving L. Janis in 1972 in his book, "Groupthink." He reached his findings while doing a research on teams that make better decisions one time and poor decision at other times. He realized that dearth of contradictory ideas led to bad decisions as alternative ideas are not analyzed.

Avoiding Cognitive Biases in Meetings Can Lead To Business Growth

Introduction

Nowadays, businesses are going through stiff competition. Many companies put their best efforts in maximizing their market shares. In this race, those companies lose, which cannot utilize their available resources judiciously. This happens because decisions are made in a hurried manner without thinking about the devastating consequences. If you are facing similar problems in making decisions, there are ways to rectify them and bring your business back to right track.

An Example

McKinsey studied more than one thousand business investments of various firms in the past. It was found that companies that were capable of eliminating cognitive biases during decision- making process, managed to raise returns by seven percentage points approximately. This example shows how avoiding cognitive bias in meetings can transform the functionality of business.

Becoming Assertive in Work Place Leads to Effective Teamwork

Introduction

Many people become confused when they misunderstand assertiveness with being domineering and aggressive. Every person wants to feel empowered and acknowledged in her or his workplace. But, research states that many staffs feel subjugated and powerless. This happens because many of them cannot express themselves with confidence and clarity. This kind of situation gets worsened, when a person begins to climb up the corporate ladder and cannot find solutions to address the current situation. But, there are ways to overcome difficult situations. The best means to get your ideas and thoughts expressed in decent and positive manner is by practicing the art of being assertive.

What is Assertiveness?

See, what Dr. Randy Paterson, a clinical psychologist has to say about assertiveness. According to him, assertiveness is all about being present in relationship. In other words, assertiveness is a personality trait through which you can articulate your needs and wants to other people and you take care of their requirements too. Being assertive is totally different from being aggressive or passive.

Another psychotherapist Joyce Marter said that assertiveness comprises of advocating oneself in a manner, which is proactive and positive. She further said that assertiveness signifies being direct, clear and honest.

How Procrastination Can Be a Barrier in Your Professional Life

Introduction

Many people at some point or the other have experienced procrastination in their life. Irrespective of your commitment and systematic approaches towards your work, there is a probability that you might have thought to delay your project and spend time in trivial matters. Several procrastinators convince themselves having some good reasons on why they are delaying work. In fact, there are people who might not even realize that they are procrastinating and should overcome it accordingly. In such a scenario, it is better to take self-test and identify if you are suffering from such a problem.

Procrastination – Definition

To recognize if you are a procrastinator, it is must to know about what procrastination means. In simple terms, the term procrastination can be defined as the “act to put off important tasks” till lateral period. Mostly unimportant tasks are being carried out against the critical ones. The definition might sound simple to you but its effects are not. Procrastination can be considered as a big challenge that you need to get rid of at the earliest possible.

Thinking about the present day society, you will find very lesser time in a day. Therefore, it is must you should know about managing your time effectively and restrict this problem as much as you can.

Procrastination – The Negative Consequences

Human beings, by nature, are ache-avoiding creatures. Therefore, it is obvious to stay away from unpleasant things or something that is painful. At times, such a habit leads to procrastination. However, the things you avoid out of fear can bring in negative impacts in your life. Psychologists say that procrastination can ruin your life and your career.

In fact, procrastination can turn out to be too serious and result into chronic procrastination further. Such critical avoidance of the tasks can be characterized as OCD or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder as victims try getting into details, which falls them behind completing regular responsibilities. It not only hampers their productivity but also might be the reason for job loss.

Procrastination – The Reasons along with Measures

There can be several reasons on why people procrastinate in their life. Here are laid down some of the reasons of procrastination along with the remedies:

# Handling Complicated Projects

Have you ever experienced such a situation in your office? If yes then you will know that complicated projects seem to be overwhelming and it is a great cause on why number of people procrastinates. In such a scenario, it is recommended to divide the tasks of the project into small components and then deal with each one individually. This will not let you get bored and the project will continue, as it should be.

# Unpleasant Projects

Often the projects that are being considered unpleasant can lead to procrastination. This might have happened with you even. You were being assigned an unpleasant project instead of something you would have really enjoyed working on. Ultimately you have delayed working on the project intentionally. However, a task needs to be completed when assigned. Find ways on how you can make the task interesting like implementation of reward system after completion of the task.

# Incapacity to Prioritize

Your incapacity of prioritizing tasks can also result in procrastination. For an instance: if you divide all your tasks into variant categories on the basis of their significance then it really becomes difficult as you are continually shifting tasks or in fact, deciding on what to do next. This can leave all your tasks behind. To avoid the situation, create a list of all the tasks, rank those as per significance and keep a deadline of say 4 hours. Assess your advancement after the deadline and then reevaluate the condition based on left out tasks.

# Incapacity to Take Decisions

If you are not capable of taking apt decisions then it also leads to procrastination. It has been observed that number of people spend good time to take decisions relating to their projects. Although it is must to make careful decisions yet it can further delay your project. For avoidance of such a problem, keep one single day for the decision-making process. This will help you to utilize your time in coming to a perfect decision.

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# Fear to Fail

Another big reason that can lead to procrastination is the fear to fail. There are individuals who subconsciously or intentionally delay their projects, as they are doubtful about the outcome of project. One good way to overcome this type of procrastination is to instill self-confidence within to do it and visualizing yourself about the steps in project succession. Think of the steps that you can take to succeed. Nosooner you have formulated the steps; it is the right time to execute the same. You will surely be succeeded in the task.

# Distraction

One of the primary causes resulting in procrastination is distractions. Sometimes you might be tempted to take a break and drink coffee, chat with your colleagues or even attend an unimportant phone call etc. Such not so urgent tasks can make your project works delay which should actually be focused on. In order to combat such problems, you should establish your own workspace to lessen distractions and scheduling a different time to chat with your colleagues without hampering the work of your project.

Some other reasons resulting in procrastination are forgetfulness, care a damn about the task, not clear about what to be done, sickness etc. In general terms, human beings face emotional reaction when they either do not desire to do something, do not enjoy or think that they can never do the assigned task. Learning ways to acknowledge such emotional reaction will not only make you aware about being procrastinated but also motivate to fight the problem in effective manner.

Conclusion

Delaying an important task for the sake of your own reasons or against something unimportant things can make you procrastinate. Not only it can affect your mental well-being but also can be a big problem hampering your professional career. However, “where there is a will, there is a way. So, find out the ways by which you can beat the reasons of procrastination and overcome it.

Positive Thinking V/S Negative Thinking – A Debate

Introduction

Your mind creates thousand thoughts in a day. Some of the thoughts are positive while others being negative. You easily can judge the difference as each of the thoughts will make you feel accordingly. Yes, your thoughts whether positive or negative have direct impact on your feelings. So, experts suggest bringing in more positive feelings within – the more positive thoughts you build up, the more you will be happy in both personal and professional life.

Positive and Negative Thinking – Differences

From the perspective of definition, the term “positive” means to deal with facts confidently. The theory of positive thinking differs a bit. It implies the practice to embrace affirmativeness in your feelings, thoughts, reactions, actions and speech as well. Some examples of positive thinking include

Hire Right Candidates with Aptitude Testing for Attaining Business Growth

Introduction

Someone who is not fit to adjust with company’s culture or does not have the desired skills for holding a position, often lands up by getting replaced with an able candidate. So, you can see how much cost you need to bear while searching for suitable candidates and the time lost for the same reason, where you could have made a new deal. In order to reduce high job turnover rates and to hire right people, you need to adopt aptitude testing methods for attaining business boost.

Other Purposes of Aptitude Testing

Organizations also use aptitude testing methods for training and promoting purposes. The aim of these tests is to hire right people with right skills for performing specialized jobs.

Generally, the method for assessing prospective or current staffs has been subjective. Many managers use their judgments, life experiences, observations and feelings for evaluating candidates.

When you interview a candidate, you try to appear objective. But, you are aware of the fact that your personal values and beliefs, most of the time keeps you away from being totally objective.

Budgeting and Its Benefits in Business

Introduction

The most basic as well as efficient tool for managing your money is budgeting. It can clearly show you the ways in which you will allocate your money in different sections depending on your financial limitations. It will protect you from spending more and going into debts.

Basic Concept

A budget can act as an indicator of the employee’s performance and can provide goals and targets for achieving them. Both the organizational budget and the project specific budget should be planned in the proper way. To create a budget plan successfully, you require sufficient time in your hand. The lead time for the requests of the grants and the multi-year projects should be taken into account.

What can be the Benefits of Budgeting in Business?

# Control over the Money

A budget helps to spend and save your own money according to your control for the success of the business. With the help of the proper budgeting, you can control your money instead of the money controlling you. The tool can save you from the sudden lack of funds due to the lack of planning. If some short term benefits of the business can be sacrificed, then the long term financial goals can be achieved very smoothly.

# Forecasting

A business budget not only performs the projection of the annual expenditure but also helps you to observe the costs as they will occur. For example, if you can count the insurance premiums per month, you can rightly set your monthly goals of your revenue. It can also manage the cash flows for paying the bills of every month. By using more than one revenue situation, the budgeting can also forecast the annual bottom line of the expenses.

# Capital and Credit Procurement

To prove that you are a running concern, you are required to show the financial data to the suppliers, banks, lenders and the venture capitalists. Either the collateral assets or the financial statements can prove that you are involved into a stable business. If you have just introduced your business or have started to expand, the budget can help you to show the expected sales and the profits to the potential partners of your business.

# Price Setting

For setting your fees, rates and price, the market conditions such as the price of the competitors are not sufficient parameters. You should know the manufacturing and the overhead costs prior to setting your prices. The budget can help you to project rents, wages, health care, utilities, debt services and other ancillary costs that can help you to find out the cost per unit of manufacturing the products and delivering the services. After knowing the costs, it will be easier for you to set up the prices and then enjoy the profit as you wanted. If the price is getting too high, you can use the budget for identifying areas where you can decrease your costs.

# Performance Evaluations

By setting up the budget, you can help your employees to set up their goals for the budgeting period. You can also arrange bonuses and other incentives to improve their performances. The comparison between the budget and the actual reports can be provided to the employees with proper feedback so that they can understand their status towards the goals. This approach is generally common for the financial goals but can sometimes be added for the operational goals. For example, the budget can help to decrease the product re work rate. When the operational goals are added in the budget for the performance appraisal purpose, the evaluation system is also known as the responsibility accounting.

# Cash Allocation

As there can be a limited amount of cash available for investing in the working capital and the fixed assets, it should be properly allocated. The budgeting process will help the management to decide what amount of cash are to be allocated for different sections, which are the sections where the allocation is worth and which are the sections where the allocation are not so much worth for the business.

# Flexibility

The budget system helps you to monitor the performance of your business throughout the year. You can allow necessary changes where you can also increase the spending by taking advantage of the growth opportunities. The budget can help you to know whether you have available funds for increasing the budget of the advertising or not. If your sales are running very slow, you can curtail out some discretionary costs that will help you to stay competitive in the slow periods.

# Profitability Review

With the day to day management activities, it is difficult to record the areas where the company is making more money. A structured budget can help you to identify the areas where the business produces more money. You will clearly understand whether to drop some parts or expand few parts of your business by analyzing the profitability review.

# Assumptions Review

The budget process can help the management to figure out the importance of the business in the industry. The key assumptions of the business can also be determined through the budget depending on the proper business environment. The re evaluation of the business in a regular process can help in altering the decisions in which the business is getting operated by the management.

# Funding Planning

For supporting the operations of the business, a planned budget can help to derive the amount which will be required in the future. The treasurer can plan the funding requirements of the company through the budgeting process.

# Planning Orientation

Starting from the day to day management activities to the long term profits, the entire planning can be structured with the help of the business budget.

Key Points from the Article

From the article we can understand

  • The basic concept and importance of budgeting
  • The benefits of budgeting in the business

The budgeting process can help to expand the capacity of the bottleneck of the business and can help in improving the financial position.

Action Programs – A Study

Introduction

The importance of arranging actions in the beginning of career is essential in becoming successful in the long run. However, these prior arranged actions, also called to-do list become heavy with data when a professional does multi-tasking, for example, the job of a manager. In most cases, however, to-do lists are not planned. In this article, we will discuss about time management tools like Action Programs and how they help in personal effectiveness.

Idea

When to-do lists become heavy, it becomes difficult to use them. This is the place where Action Programs, are used.

  • Action programs include long-term, medium and short-term objectives.
  • They assist in planning time, so that the professional does not forget about her commitments.
  • They help in giving importance to particular work, so that the professional does not waste her time on unimportant tasks.
  • Action programs assist people in delegating tasks. As a result, she can save time and also increase her efficaciousness.
  • As such, they help in prioritizing activities of life.

How to Implement Action Program

# Collection

  • First of all, she should make a list of all things that needs to be solved.
  • She should then write down everything that she thinks is incomplete and requires action from the professional to get executed. It helps in deciding if the tasks are professional or personal, urgent or unimportant and small or big.
  • To a certain extent, this gathering of information occurs automatically. Mail gets deposited in mailbox; messages get stored in voice mail and e-mail requests get stored in inbox.
  • There are, however, other things that are present in the mind of the professional. Such things include items that are written on bits of paper and items that lie at the bottom of the file. All such small actions should be gathered in one place.
  • The personal objectives of the professional should also be interpolated in this list.

# Pruning

  • The list made in the ‘collection’ phase is processed after looking at each item properly.
  • She should decide if she should take action on the items.
  • Many things that a professional comes across are not always relevant to her. If she finds any such items, she should delete those things from the list.

# Arranging and Prioritizing

This phase comes in three steps.

Step 1

The actions and project inventory should be reviewed. Separate actions that form part of bigger projects are brought together.

For instance, at home she may want to improve her bedroom and repaint her living room. These activities go under the file of home renovation. At workplace, she may want to have a new cabinet. These activities will go under the office renovation file.

She slowly realizes that sorting the list helps her in getting more organized. The sorted out assignments help in reaching both personal and organizational objectives.

Step 2

She should review the assignments and prioritize them, as per the level of importance they enjoy. She can mark them as 1, 2, and 3 and so on, depending on their importance. Personal projects are also important and need to be prioritized.

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Step 3

She should incorporate the projects into the Action Program by implementing the approach mentioned below. The Action Program is divided into three distinct parts.

  • Next Action List - The small next actions that a professional takes to make her assignments move ahead is the next action list
  • Delegated Action List - This list shows actions and assignments that she has delegated to others.
  • Project Catalogue - This displays all the projects that a professional engages in and the small separate tasks that lead to the projects.
    • The good thing is that, by this phase, she already creates the biggest part of the Action Program, the Project Catalogue. The Project Catalogue has the prioritized assignments and actions that she has just completed.
    • The Project Catalogue is generally referred to while weekly review procedure goes on.
    • The Delegated Actions List is created after this. This is done by working through the Project Catalog and realizing the tasks that have been delegated. She should then record these under the person’s name to whom the work has been delegated. She should also record the checkpoints on which they have agreed.
    • Generally, in the document of Action Program, the Project Catalog sits behind the Delegated Actions List. This is because the professional needs to refer to Delegated Actions List quite often.
    • At last, she should make her Next Action List. This is done by working through the assignments to which she has given the maximum priority. The projects that she wants to move ahead as fast as possible are prioritized over others.
    • The Next Action List is brought to the front page of the Action Program because it will be referred to several times in a day.

# Using the Action Program

Action Programs are generally long. But, she does not have to go through the whole program on a daily basis.

  • In most cases, she deals with the top pages where the Next Actions list and Delegated Actions list are present. Some actions are day specific and some are time specific. Depending on the working style, she can either maintain these on the first page of the Action Program or mark them in the calendar.
  • The top pages are only a different form, of the old to-do list. The particular short actions are mentioned here and the main assignments associated to the actions are deposited in the Project Catalog.
  • She should update the Action Program after reviewing it on a regular basis. For instance, every seven days she should keep aside sometime in her schedule for reviewing the Action Program. She should either archive or remove items that have already been achieved.
  • As the projects progress, she can also shift items from the Project Catalog to the exterior pages and add new activities that she comes across.

To Sum Up

Action Programs are helpful in arranging activities, so that projects can be run smoothly.

Achieving Economies of Scale for the Improvement of the Business

Introduction

When you are working in a company and your sales are gradually increasing, you may manufacture more units for selling more products. When large number of units can be produced in a large scale with less input costs then economies of scale can be obtained. It may also mean that if the company grows with the large number of production units, the costs can be decreased in the substantial manner.

Basic Concept

Economies of scale can be obtained with the cost advantage that arises with the increased number of output. The economies of scale can occur due to the inversely proportion between the number of products produced and the fixed costs as these costs are distributed with large number of goods. The variable cost per unit can also be reduced in this case as the operational efficiency increases. There can be basically two types of economies of scale: the internal and the external. The internal economies of scale generate from within the company and the external one arises from the external factors such as the size of the industry.

Accounting For Time Raises Productivity and Ensures Business Growth

Introduction

Time is a precious resource, and utilizing time in right direction helps in business growth. That is why employers need to know when their employees are reporting to work and see whether they are able to fulfill their tasks at prescribed timeframe. You can also see many lawyers and project managers maintain time sheet, which helps them to allocate time efficiently for completing projects. By implementing an appropriate system of recording time in place, you can easily raise bills for the hours worked for and improve the accuracy of fixed price quotation.

This article will guide you to learn various approaches for recording time and you can know about its benefits, which will be reflected in your business performance.

Why You Should Record Time?

It serves the following purposes.

# Payroll Management

Generally, workers track time that they spend at work by using time card for clocking in on a machine. This time recording machine records the hours spent during the work. This information is used by the HR department to process payrolls.

# Identifying Productivity

Professional services companies want their staffs for maximizing the amount of time for generating revenue, while minimizing the amount of time spent for performing administrative duties. These kinds of firms track time and record the level of productivity of each staff by measuring proportion of each day spent on chargeable work.

Recording the time that is spent on fixed price work helps a firm to analyze how accurate is its estimation process. If it happens that a particular is taking too much time for completion despite of deployment of efficient people, then it eats away the desired business profit. On the other hand, if the reverse becomes true, then a company may lose work, as its bids remain uncompetitive.

# Raising Invoice

Accountants, consultancies, law firms and other professional service providers need their employees for tracking and accounting for time correctly, so that they can raise invoice for their clients accurately.

# Analyzing Internal Costs

Companies need to know what various activities cost even when work is not being charged out to customers. This applies to business as usual activities such as accounts preparation and project based assignments.

Time recording in these types of cases assists firms for segregating operational and overhead expenses. This also gives idea how these expenses change over time. By recording time, companies can easily calculate the cost of conducting a marketing campaign. They can also determine whether a non strategic function like payroll becomes cost effective if it is outsourced to a third party.

Other Benefits of Time Recording

By collecting information regarding time, you will be in better position for planning future businesses and projects. By seeing such data, it will give you an idea how effectively your workforce will perform the assigned set of tasks.

# Time Recording Helps in Identifying Trends

Time tracking helps you in noting tends. You can see the categories of work, which are being performed less or more. So, more information you are able to gather about your company, you can understand and manage your business resources in better way.

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Know About Various Kinds of Time Recording Systems

  • Card clocking
  • Time sheets
  • Computer aided time recording

Card Clocking

This is a popular time tracking system. Conventional time clocks use punch cards, which are stamped with date and time during the beginning of a shift and then stamped again after the end of the shift. Time cards are sent to payroll processing department for every pay period. Nowadays, advanced companies deploy electronic card punching systems for recording time. This gives accurate results.

Time Sheets

These are time recording tools that keeping track of

  • Break time
  • Attendance
  • Billable hours
  • Project time

Time sheets may include expense information and hourly rates. They help you in evaluating time by task, project, worker and customer. These tools are customizable and can be used for meeting specific requirements of an organization.

Computer Aided Time Recording Systems

These are computer based applications, which track time of someone who works with particular customer or working on specific projects.

The software is of two kinds. The first kind of software helps you in switching back and forth between assigned tasks. With this, you can easily record hours spent on each project, calculate overtime, distinguish between non- billable and billable tasks and get automated, printed reports.

The second type of software runs in background of a computer and tracks every second you work for a day. This tool runs continuously by taking screen shots and helps you in recalling in short time regarding the type of work you performed and the time spent on it.

Many organizations use time recording systems. If you charge time to different projects or clients, you should keep track of hours spent. Most of the time, customers wish to know if you have reliable system in place, so that you can raise bills for them accurately.

For companies, which have choice, it is crucial for benefits of time keeping for outweighing the costs. Keeping track of your workforce and verifying what they are doing most of the day are not sufficient reasons for implementing a time recording system. If you are recording time due to lack of trust, then there are other issues that need to be addressed.

Conclusion

There are many time recording systems available in market. These range from manual operated time sheets to computer based solutions. Every time tracking system serves specific purpose. Before choosing a system, analyze your requirements, so that you can land up with the best choice.

Time spent by employees is a costly resource for many organizations. It often becomes essential for monitoring the usage of time within your company. By doing so, you can notice where and how the time is being spent. You can also observe various trends in its usage. By deploying right time tracking system, you can raise profitability, productivity and quality of customer service.

Determining Customer’s Perceived Value with Value Based Pricing

Value based pricing is the method of setting the prices of the products depending on their benefits provided to the customers. The main aim of this pricing method is to avoid the prices that are too high or lower than the customers are willing to pay for the product or service. Unlike the cost plus pricing , where the price is determined by the costs, the value based pricing entirely depends on the worth of the products or the services.

Identification of the Pricing Model

For arriving at the optimum price, the value of the product and the price of the customers are identified. Some factors are examined such as whether the customers are willing to save their money or time during their purchase, whether the products or the services can gain competitive advantage. The answers will help you to identify the actual value of the products or service and therefore their actual price.

Benefits of Value Based Pricing

There can be various advantages of applying the value based pricing method in your business:

  • Customer Loyalty: Though high prices are being charged, you can expect a high level of customer loyalty in this method. If the product or service is justified with the price then various referrals and repeat businesses can be obtained. The sales relationship with the customers should be very trusting and close before implementing the value based pricing.
  • Profit Increment: This method can demand the highest possible profit margin in the products or the services. The profit maximization can therefore be considered as one of the advantages of the value based pricing.

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Risks of Value Based Pricing

Here, you will find some risks of implementing the value based pricing:

  • Labor Costs: The labor costs become highly expensive as you are providing with high end skill sets in your end results. There lies a risk of high attrition rates when the employees start leaving the firms for competing with their unique skill sets.
  • Niche Market: The high prices of the products and the services can only be targeted to a niche market and is only acceptable to smaller numbers of the customers. Some potential customers may also leave by noticing the high prices.
  • on-Scalable: The method works best for the smaller organizations which are specialized in particular products or services. In the large organizations, the skill levels of all the employees may not be so high.
  • Competition: When the company is applying the high value price in its products or services with the help of value based pricing method , it is actually allowing enough room for its competitors to set prices lower than them and gain the market share easily.

Therefore, this pricing method entirely depends on the customers on determining the prices. It is the method which can only gain exceptional profits in the niche market. The companies will be well known for offering premium services to the high valued customers only. It cannot be applied in the businesses where the normal competitive pressures are present and value based pricing will therefore cannot be implemented.

Applying Time and Materials Pricing In the Service Industries

The time and material pricing is basically used in the construction and service industries to prepare the bill of the customers. The price is set by the cost of materials used with the standard labor rate per hour. The standard labor rates may not always relate to the labor costs but can depend on the market rates of the services for the certain skill set.

Uses of Time and Materials Pricing

There can be various industries where the time and materials pricing method can be applied:

  • Consulting services
  • Legal Activities
  • Vehicle Repair
  • Medical services
  • Auditing, tax and accounting services

Shadow Pricing – A Sneak Peek into Its Advantages and Disadvantages

When it comes to an apt definition of shadow pricing, it is important to explain this miscellaneous pricing strategy in two ways. On the one hand, shadow pricing is the practice of fixing a price of an intangible asset for which there is not a fixed market to obtain cost from. On the other hand, this pricing strategy is applied to set the highest price that a company decides to pay for a single additional unit of a specific type of supply or resource. Keeping in view the two definitions of shadow pricing, it can be said that at one point, this pricing strategy is implemented for cost-benefit evaluation where certain aspects cannot be measured in accordance with the market cost, while on the other, shadow pricing is deemed as the contribution margin and in order to maintain it, businesses need to carry on with a particular function.

Examples

A company decides to pay its employees for working beyond usual office hours i.e. overtime to make sure that a project is executed timely and successfully. With such a decision, the company can gain more projects from that client. So, the company allots a shadow price of a certain amount as the profit of the long-term association with the client. This means that the company is happy to pay that amount to the employees working late to complete the project on time.

Another instance of shadow pricing is a company that decides to sell one of their excess properties to the local government which will develop the property into a children’s park. So, the company sets a shadow price of the intangible item which is the benefit that the residents can enjoy after the children’s park is built. After that, the company compares the price with the profit it can earn by selling the property to the government.

How is Shadow Pricing Helpful for a Business?

This pricing strategy comes really handy when incremental decisions are required to be taken. For example, when a firm requires being aware of the benefits of investing on the long-term use of a certain resource, it can apply shadow pricing.

Is There Any Downside of Shadow Pricing?

Since shadow pricing is just a prediction, particularly when it is used for assigning a price to an intangible resource, it has equal chances of turning out to be an accurate or erroneous decision. No matter how much research you conduct to come up with estimates, there is a high probability of meeting with failure at the end as there is a hope of savoring success.

In conclusion, it can be said that since shadow pricing is not a versatile pricing strategy, it must be implemented for carrying out crucial financial analyses.

Psychological Pricing – A Brief Overview

You must have seen hoardings that urge customers to try out a product or service at "just $199 ". But, why it is 199 and not 200? How does a business benefit by pricing its products or services in such a way? Before exploring answers to these questions, it is important to know what this pricing strategy is called. This article will make you aware of all these aspects. Take a look at the following.

The practice of fixing a product’s price a little lower than a rounded number is called psychological pricing. This miscellaneous pricing strategy is incorporated by businesses with the hope that consumers will not round up the price and subsequently, consider the price amount lower than the rounded number (although it is just a dollar lower). Many consumers take heed of the cost of an item from the left-most digit of the price amount and do not pay attention to the last digits. Psychological pricing finds basis on this notion.

Example

An example of psychological pricing can be a company that has created a protein supplement. Then, the company finds out that there are numerous same products costing 1,999 dollars and some competitors are even offering the product at a price amount of 1,500 dollars within the price band of 1,000 to 1,999 dollars. So, the company assigns a price amount of 1,999 dollars to its new protein supplement. With this pricing strategy, it can stay in competition and position itself in the price band of 1,000 to 1,999 dollars.

Different Pricing Strategies for Boosting Sales and Profits

The identification and application of the right pricing strategy can bring out a great difference in your total sales and profits. But, what are the various pricing strategies that one has to make a choice from? Take a look at the following.

What are the Cost-Based Pricing Strategies?

The cost-based pricing strategies are made on the basis of the price of a primary product or service.

  1. Absorption pricing – It deals with variable costs and also, the allotment of fixed costs.
  2. Time and materials pricing – Customers are billed for the labor and the items sustained by the firm with a profit mark-up.
  3. Cost plus pricing ­– It deals with variable costs, allotment of fixed costs along with a preset mark-up percentage.
  4. Break even pricing – It is the practice of fixing a price at an appropriate level at which a firm gains zero profit. This pricing strategy finds basis on the evaluation of variable costs and the guesstimate of the total number of units to be put up for sale.
  5. Marginal cost pricing – A price is fixed close to the marginal cost that is needed to manufacture a product. This pricing strategy is applied to utilize an unused manufacturing capacity.

What are the Strategic Pricing Strategies?

The strategic pricing strategies are related to the application of product pricing for brand positioning or preventing competition.

  1. Predatory pricing – Fixing a price which is low enough to compel rival businesses to move out from the market.
  2. Limit pricing – Fixing a very low long-term price that will prevent prospective competitors from foraying into the market.
  3. Price leadership – A price point that is set by one firm and followed by its competitors.
  4. Penetration pricing – Fixing a price lower than the market cost for increasing market share.

What are the Value Pricing Strategies?

The value pricing strategies are based on the belief and idea of consumers regarding the value of a product or a service.

  1. Price skimming – Fixing a high price at the initial stage of a product launch in order to earn high profits.
  2. Premium pricing ­– Fixing higher prices than the market rate to offer premium experience to the customers.
  3. Value pricing – Fixing a price on the basis of a supposed value of a product to the customers.
  4. Dynamic pricing – Changing a price continually on the basis of the keenness of the customers to shell out.

What are the Teaser Pricing Strategies?

The teaser pricing strategies involve the practice of attracting customers by offering products or services at a lower price or absolutely free and then, cross-selling pricey products or services.

  1. High-low pricing – Fixing the price of a few items lower than the market rate for gaining customers and fixing the price of all other products higher than the market rate.
  2. Loss leader pricing – Offering attractive deals on certain products with the hope of attracting customers to purchase other standard-priced products.
  3. Freemium pricing – Offering an essential service absolutely free and charging a certain amount for a higher level of service.

A Look at the Miscellaneous Pricing Strategies

The pricing strategies mentioned below do not fall under any particular category.

  1. Shadow pricing – Assigning a price to an intangible asset that has no market value.
  2. Psychological pricing – Fixing a price below a rounded number.
  3. Transfer pricing – Setting the price of a product which will be sold from one ancillary of a mother concern to another.

Decide which one is the apt pricing strategy for your business after careful and wise consideration.

Price Skimming – Is it Advantageous or Disadvantageous?

In the simplest terms, price skimming can be defined as a strategy of selling a particular product at a high price when a new product is launched and its demand is quite inelastic. Price skimming is applied to gain a considerable amount of profit at the initial stage of the launch of a product. This helps a company to recover the amount it invested during the manufacturing of the product. Price skimming has its share of advantages and disadvantages. There are certain circumstances when this pricing strategy is best to apply. This article will enlighten you about all these aspects. Take a look at the following.

How can You Benefit from Price Skimming?

Price skimming can turn out to be helpful for your business in the following ways.

  • This pricing strategy can trigger a great profit margin.
  • If you decide to compete in a market where the longevity of a product is short, you can rely on price skimming to pick up the costs related to the development of the product.
  • Price skimming helps dealers earn high profits as they can obtain high percentage if the product price is high.
  • With this pricing strategy, you can create a super impressive image of your products provided you produce finest quality products to match with that image.

Price Leadership – A Brief Overview of Its Advantages and Disadvantages

When it comes to defining price leadership, it can be said that it is a practice applied by a company (commonly, a leading organization) that fixes prices that are very much followed by its rival firms. Generally, such companies have the lowest production costs which is why they have the power to reduce the prices set by a rival company which endeavors to fix prices lower than the one set by the price leader i.e. the leading company. The rival companies can choose to fix higher prices than that of the price leader. In that case, they will have to experience reduced market share.

Price Leadership – A Quick Look at the Concept

This particular pricing strategy does not turn out to be beneficial for the consumers when the prices fixed by the price leader are much higher than what would have been given a standard competition level. On the other hand, when the price leader reduces the prices using its production volume and purchasing power, the consumers are highly benefitted. In that case, the competitors need to match the price set by the price leader as this will ensure their survival in the industry.

An implicit cooperation among the major competitors is required to make sure that the price leadership remains at a high price point. But, the situation is not the same when the price leader drops the price point because rival firms see no option other than going with the low price.

Circumstances in which Price Leadership Functions Best

Price leadership works perfectly when

  • The competitors are ready to follow a company’s price leadership position.
  • The small-scale rival businesses find no other option, but to follow the prices set by a company enjoying the largest market share in a particular industry.
  • Companies are willing to follow the price leadership of a firm that has excellent expertise in identifying viable and valuable industry trends as they do not require investing resources to acquire that expertise. Here it is worth mentioning that this strategy is called barometric price leadership.

This strategic pricing strategy has its share of advantages and disadvantages.

Price Leadership – A Glance at its Plus Points

A company can gain an increased profit margin if it succeeds to fix high price points and the rival firms follow the price points.

Price Leadership – A Glimpse of its Minus Points

When a company implements this strategic pricing strategy, it will have to keep constant track of its rival companies and in case the competitors do not agree to follow the price leadership position of the company, it will have to take immediate steps. This is one of the biggest disadvantages of price leadership.

After years of savoring success with the price leadership position, a company may grow complacent. In the event of a price war, such firms may choose not to go for a lean cost structure.

Price leadership is not considered a viable pricing strategy since there can be only one price leader and there are a small number of companies that can go for this option. So, it is a wiser decision to find a feasible alternative.

Premium Pricing – Merits and Demerits

Premium pricing can be defined as the method of fixing a price which is higher than the market price thereby, hoping that the customers will buy a certain product driven by the idea that the product must be of high quality. A certain group of customers nurture the idea that a product costing a whopping amount is a high quality one. So, it can be said that premium pricing utilizes this idea and with this utilization, many sellers succeed in achieving high profits. This article will offer a brief overview of premium pricing, including its advantages and disadvantages. Take a look at the following.

What are the Benefits of Premium Pricing?

Prevents competition – Premium pricing can help in thwarting competition. When a company chooses to invest a lot in its top brands, it is actually a wise planning on its part to obstruct the entry of competitors. The company does not need to spend a lot in marketing and promotional campaigns and at the same time; it can hamper the launch of competing products at the same price.

Helps in attaining high profit margin – This pricing strategy can help a company achieve a great profit margin by preventing competition and utilizing the common belief of consumers already mentioned in the introductory paragraph. But, it is worth mentioning that if you are considering premium pricing, you must have adequate resources to cope up with the high marketing costs related to this pricing strategy.

Implementation of Predatory Pricing: Beneficial or Illegal?

Predatory pricing strategy is the technique of setting low prices for eliminating the competition. In several countries and Government jurisdiction, this strategy is considered to be illegal as it makes the market very vulnerable to the monopolistic situations. The firms can engage themselves in various activities for driving away their competitors by creating the entry barriers with unethical production methods.

Theories for Assessing Predatory Pricing

There can be various theories required for assessing the predatory pricing. Let us discuss some of the theories:

  • No Rule: According to the No rule policy, the predatory pricing strategy is applied so rarely, that no rule is required in the competition. There remains an argument whether the predation will be successful or not. Sometimes, the intervention of Government is not required in this rule.
  • Short-Run Cost-Based Rule: In this rule, the firms can be restrained as little as possible and the competitors can turn against the competitive pricing of the firm.

Penetration Pricing Strategy during the Market Entry

The penetration pricing strategy is generally used by the companies to attract the customers towards a new product or a service. With this method, high volume of sales can be achieved in the market penetration of the new product or the service. In the initial stages of the penetration, the prices are set to be low to attract more customers and to keep them away from the competitors.

Different Approaches

The penetration pricing strategy can be applied in different approaches:

  • The particular strategy can drive away the competitors away from the marketplace. This can help in increasing the price eventually with a very little obstruction from the price competition.
  • It can obtain a huge market share and the seller can decrease the manufacturing cost because of the large manufacture and buying volumes.
  • The pricing strategy can use the excessive capacity through the marginal cost pricing and can then remain in the penetration pricing method for quite a long time.

It is a very common strategy used by the market penetrators. This approach is generally activated to grab a huge market share very quickly. When the new entrants can produce similar quality of products and can only differentiated with the price, the lower prices can definitely attract large number of customers.

Marginal Cost Pricing Strategy for Managing the Production Capacity

From the economics point of view, the marginal cost pricing can be considered to be the strategy of setting the price equal to the additional expenses which is involved in manufacturing another product. With the help of this strategy, the business keeps the sales price reduced by encouraging the sales during the slack periods or simply to gain a huge amount of market share.

Marginal Cost Situations

There can be generally two situations where the marginal cost pricing strategy can be applied:

  • When the company possesses a very small amount of capacity of unused products
  • When the company is unable to sell at increased prices

In the first situation, the company is financially healthy and wishes to maximize the profits with some additional unit sales. The second situation is somewhat out of compulsion where the company is not able to increase the sales by any other means. In both the cases, the sales are intended to increase but not for the long term pricing strategy. The prices are set so low that it cannot offset the fixed costs of the business. The variable costs are however required to be created depending on the number of people working and the number of units produced.

Advantages of Marginal Cost Pricing

By using the marginal cost method, the following benefits can be observed:

  • Profit Increase: Some additional profits can be earned in this method when the particular section of customers reacts to the prices in a very sensitive manner. The group of the people may not buy from the company if they have not involved in the marginal cost pricing.
  • Accessory Sales: The marginal cost pricing will help in the situations where the product accessories and the services are bought by the customers in substantial margin. The technique can be applied in the ongoing basis to earn the profits from the future sales.
  • Entry in Market: When a firm is willing to earn short term profits during the market entry, the marginal cost pricing can be applied. The acquisition of price sensitive customers can be done through this method.

Drawbacks of Marginal Costing

Though there are several benefits in this method, you can also find some disadvantages like:

  • Market Price Ignorant: The marginal cost pricing generally ignores the market price. The prices are fixed at an absolute minimum point. The company could have gained more if the prices are set near to the market rates.
  • Long Term Pricing: For the long term pricing, this method is not at all acceptable. The fixed expenses of the company are not captured in this particular method.
  • Cost Focus: When the company frequently engages themselves in this particular pricing strategy, it can observe that the prices are kept lower and the transition to the high quality market niche is not possible.

The marginal cost pricing can therefore be useful in situations where the firms are possessing excessive capacity of production. The method will work well if the prices are set depending on the current market rates.

Loss Leader Pricing Strategy: An Excellent Marketing Tool for Business

The loss leader pricing strategy is an aggressive technique where the retail outlets intentionally sell the products below the market rates to attract the customers. It helps in increased sales and acquisition of new customers. In this strategy the products are being sold at near to loss prices for increasing the profit.

What is the basic theory?

The basic idea behind the loss leader pricing is to gain from the additional purchases which the customers will be attracted due to the lower prices. The loss can easily be covered due to the increased price at heavily discounted rates. Through this smart strategy, the customers will also feel good that they are obtaining a good bargain and the losses can also be covered.

Benefits of Loss Leader Pricing

The loss leader pricing can be helpful in the following ways:

  • Increased Sales: This is the first and foremost advantage that can be observed in the loss leader pricing. When the buyers are buying additional items, the sellers can gain large amount of profits.
  • Elimination of Merchandise: The process can particularly be used for eliminating the older merchandises from the stores, so that the new stock can be replaced with them.
  • New Stores: This pricing strategy can attract the customers in new locations. The customers may not buy from the stores in a particular location but the low pricing deals may attract them. Thus a wide customer base can also be developed through this pricing strategy.
  • Marketing Benefits: The loss leader pricing strategy can be considered as a marketing tool of the business. Here, the sustained losses can be covered through the increased purchasing efforts of the buyers.

Managing the Pricing Strategy with Limit Pricing Method

Limit pricing is a technique of setting the price mainly used by the monopolist for discouraging entry of the new firms in the market. In this way the monopolist can increase his price and the level of supernormal profit. The price of the product or the service will therefore be at the level which is just below the potential entrants to use the market.

Basic Strategic Model of Limit Pricing

To obstruct the entry of the potential competitors, the company should set the price lower than the market rate. On the spot rationality will prevail in this case with the help of the modern Economics. In this model, the seller determines the price assuming that the other sellers will keep their price same as previous. You can clearly observe the reasonable predictions of the price-cost margins and the cost effect changes in the industry.

Advantages of Limit Pricing

Limit pricing will help in decreasing the competition. The low limit price will always encourage staying in the market as a monopolist company without new entries of the competitors.

Leverage – An Analysis

Introduction

Lifting an object can be possible even when a person is not using lever. But, by using it she can make sure that she can lift it more easily and with far less effort. Moreover she can lift heavier stuff with the help of a lever. In this article, we will discuss about the different kinds of lever that are used to succeed in life and career. The lever is thus, used to improve personal effectiveness.

Idea

  • General idea says that by using lever a person transfers her weight, so that she easily picks up an object.
  • Leverage is very important as far as career is concerned. By using leverage a professional can enjoy a successful career and be more successful than she could be without using it.
  • A professional not using leverage may succeed by working hard, but the rewards she gets are restrained only till her working hours. This relationship between working hour and hard work can be broken if she uses leverage.

Implementing Level 5 Leadership Can Boost Business Performance

Introduction

You may have come across various corporate leaders in your work life. Have you ever given a though what makes them great? Is this their business skills, knowledge or the way of organizing and executing a task? Established leaders demonstrate specific blend of skills. They also possess some specific characteristics, which are hard to define. Such traits are prevalent in level 5 leadership. If you are assigned leadership role to execute a project successfully, you will be definitely interested in moving to that level for maximizing the business profitability.

Levels of Leadership

Jim Collin was the first person to research on level 5 leadership which transforms a company from good to the best. He classified leaders into five levels.

# Level 1 Leader

This kind of leader is a capable person. He or she plays an important role in the success of the company through his or her talent, skills, good working habits and knowledge.

Leading Equals – Lead Peers by Managing Relationships

Introduction

Leading Equals is the ability to manage and motivate diverse range of employees effectively without authority. The level of expertise of each employee will be different and there will be not be any specific way to get the job done. Some of the peers will not report to your directly and thus you will not be able to comment on their performance. However, their lack of performance will create an impact in the overall output of the team. So, there must be a bridge to reduce this gap, and this is known as Leadership Equals. It will help you to accomplish the goal of your team by building trust and resolving conflict among the peers. This will result in motivation, which will lead to effective communication.

Challenges that can be Resolved with Leading Equals

The subject of leadership is not easy. You will find various leaders such as value based leaders, charismatic leaders, empowering leaders and visionary leaders. Each of these leadership varieties needs to face varied situations and challenges. When the situation gets tough, a traditional leader usually exercises his power no matter what their situation or style is, they demand the completion of work exercising his or her level of authority.

However, this level of authority is not that useful when a leader is in a charge of a team of his peers. In fact, it is also possible that the leader also has a small status like the person to whom the work has been assigned. Hence, it is not effective to exercise authority in such a situation over the peers. So, what should you do for leading a multifunctional peer group successfully?

Learn How to Lead Successfully in Hard Times

Introduction

There is no doubt that we are living in a highly competitive marketplace where everything around us is on the process of transformation. To survive the process of modernization, everyone has to bring changes within. If we talk about leadership in corporate world then we can assume that leaders are such people who can show more composure than any other people do in a particular organization.

With the increased market demands and other competitive factors that surround the working environment, a leader should have dexterity and endurance to lessen the impact of uncertainty. Today, it has become a vital question that how modern leaders will respond to the growing pressure and how they will prepare themselves for the future challenges.

Tips to Lead Skillfully in Critical Times

The composure of an individual, who has been assigned to lead, can be found in his body language, attitude and overall presence. Today, it has been revealed that leadership is not all about enhancing the productivity of others, but a proficient leadership will make people feel secure within the workplace, because in most of the organizations, employees have become tired of working in tremendous pressure along with the fear of losing job. Thus, the leader will come to rescue the employee from their monotonous working environment.

New Generation Leaders – Where They Lack and What They Should Do

Introduction

Leaders have numerous responsibilities. One such responsibility is to create ideal leaders for the next generation as time changes quickly. Entering into a leadership role is not an easy thing to do. This is because leadership is significant at good times, but proves to be fruitful during the phase of:

  1. Reducing Budget
  2. Increased Pressure on Resources and
  3. Fundamental Transformation in working ways

As a new generation leader, you will have to put together the mission and vision of your organization with regular activities. A good leadership role can take a business at the peak without losing focus on well-defined goals. Learning from a true and experienced leader can help you to set a benchmark as a leader for the new generation.

New Generation Leaders – Challenges They Face

Leaders of the new generation have to face wide range of challenges that are very much different from former leaders. Have a look at them:

Krajlic Portfolio Purchasing Model and Its Uses

Introduction

In the year 1983, Peter Krajlic introduced a matrix known as the Krajlic Portfolio Purchasing Model which appeared in the article named ‘Purchasing Must Become Supply Management’ in the Harvard Business Review. The model can be used for analyzing the purchasing portfolio of the company.

Basic Concept

The Krajlic Portfolio Model helps the buyers for maximizing the supply security and to decrease the costs. In the process, the procurement can move from the transactional activity to the strategic activity. Generally, the model is based on two different dimensions where the products and the materials purchased can be classified:

  • Supply Risk: This risk can be defined from high to low in the particular matrix. You will get to know at what extent the supply will be available, whether the supply is scarce or abundant, whether the materials are up to date and are abiding with the latest technologies and what should be the logistics cost for the oligopoly and the monopoly conditions.
  • Profit Impact: This impact can be defined from the high to low in the matrix. Here, you will understand the importance of purchasing certain materials, the added value which can be delivered in the line of production and what are the effects of the material costs which are provided in the profitability of the company.

Kay’s Distinctive Capabilities Framework – A Study

Introduction

An organization can become successful because of many reasons. The reasons for an organization’s success can be strong market share, high profits, employees with extensive knowledge base, innovation, emphasis on customer requirements & quality of products or services. In this article, we will discuss about Kay's Distinctive Capabilities Framework and its strategy tools, from which the competitive advantage of a company can be assessed.

Origin

John Kay, economics professor at London Business School, developed the Distinctive Capabilities Framework and wrote about it in his 1993 "Foundations of Corporate Success."

The model was created after extensive research by Kay into the origin of corporate and industrial success. He interviewed some very successful business owners and analyzed corporate earnings, annual reports and case studies. Post research he deduced that success is dependent on the relationship a business maintains with its suppliers, customers, shareholders and employees.

Idea

  • As per John Kay, distinctive capabilities are three in number. These three capabilities forecast the success of a business. Kay’s Distinctive Capabilities Framework assists in improving and assessing the three sources that lead to competitive advantage. These relationships can become strong and sturdy when built in the appropriate way.
  • A company cannot achieve success in the long run only by coming up with better products or services, making the selling process more effective or by implementing better methods than their rivals. These approaches are easy and thus, cannot help a company to succeed in the long run. In order to achieve success, a company should implement at least one of the three capabilities mentioned by Kay.

Definition

Distinctive capability is a competency that is unique to a business establishment. It is a quality that is superior to the qualities of other companies.

  • This quality assists in the production of a unique value proposition in the operation of a business organization.
  • Distinctive capability is the platform on which complete competitive advantage can be built.
  • The uniqueness distinguishes this capability from all others, whether it is a simple capability or core competency.

The Three Capabilities

The three capabilities are as follows.

# Reputation

This consists of the experience of customers, guarantee, quality, word of mouth and association of warranty with other companies. It also comprises putting the reputation at stake once the company becomes famous.

# Architecture

Architecture is the framework of contacts inside or around the company with suppliers, customers and with employees.

# Innovation

Innovation can lead to competitive advantage and thus can prove to be a harbinger of success.

Sources of Distinctive Capability
  • Distinctive capabilities come from position of the business establishment in the industry, technology, relationship of the company with the market, processes adopted by the business, cost, employees, process of manufacturing and customer satisfaction.
Difficulties of Replicating Capabilities
  • The in-depth integration of related elements of business model is the sturdiest form of competitive advantage.
  • This is because it is tough for rivals to realize and more tough to do exactly what the company has done.
  • Replicating becomes all the more difficult when the components of purpose, value, culture, identity and vision are integrated in a strong business solution.

For instance, some companies have distinctive capability in development of management while others have capability in lean manufacturing. These organizations also possess core competencies that are aligned to the particular work they do.

Capability and Benefits
  • If a business establishment wants to create and maintain a competitive advantage, there should be a certain amount of competitive advantage which helps in creating value proposition. When a company has distinctive capability it is at a beneficial position than other companies.
  • If the business atmosphere is changing, the unique attributes of the value proposition created by implementing special capabilities and finally the distinctive capabilities become less special. Thus, in order that competitive advantage can be maintained, capabilities too should be dynamic and evolving. This helps in maintaining competitive advantage over a long period of time.

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# Dynamic Capability

Dynamic capability is the development of competencies in light of changing environment and deliberate changes brought to develop knowledge.

  • Distinctive capability should be described in details to make sure that it is understood properly.
  • The company’s management should be on the look out for protecting it from being lost to rival companies.
  • Distinctive capability can be protected in the form of intellectual property, trade secrets or by making it an important element of total competitive business model, such that competitors cannot imitate it.
  • The special capability of the company must constantly go through an evolution and nurturing, so that it can remain distinctive.
Change in Capabilities and Environment
  • Strategy connects to the changing perspective of an organization. This is because it has a tendency to adjust between environments and attributes.
  • Companies are created when processes render positive feedback to attributes. These companies have competencies that match to its needs.
  • The attributes include competitive market economies and biological change.
  • Modern understanding of changing processes focus on how little purpose is needed to create result.
  • Companies do not succeed because someone had in-depth knowledge of organizational design. There were rather several perspectives of the firm competencies a specific activity needed and the market was the main decider which selected the most effective match. Distinctive capabilities were created, not designed.

This idea is supported by detached history of business. The opportunity for proper strategic management choice was restricted by the past. Strategic choice can be both positive and negative. This is not done to harbor negative ideas about the capacity of executives to make significant differences or the potential for strategic direction. It is done to emphasize the absurdity of utilizing the blank paper sheet approach to corporate strategy.

To Wrap Up

From the above article, it can be deduced that the Distinctive Capabilities Framework pioneered by Kay contributes in realizing the competitive advantage of a company. In fact, advantage of an organization is created on distinctive capabilities of that company. There are three distinct capabilities, namely, reputation, architecture and innovation. A company has to use any one of the distinctive capabilities to be successful and sustain that success. These capabilities are unique and this is what renders the company an edge over its competitors.

Achieve Benefits of Continuous Improvement through Kaizen

Introduction

Kaizen approach was originally introduced in the West by a well known Japanese author Masaaki Imai in his book known as Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success in the year 1986. The word ‘Kaizen’ implies constant progress. It has been derived from two Japanese words, “kai” which means ‘change’ or ‘to correct’ and “zen” means ‘good’. Now, Kaizen philosophy is recognized throughout the world as one of the long term competitive strategies of the organization.

Basic Concept

Kaizen is basically a practice of continuous improvement in terms of quality, company culture, productivity, technology, processes leadership and safety. The system can involve all the employees from the upper level of management to the lower level staff like the cleaning crew. The improvement in an organization should be on a regular basis and the contribution should come from all the employees. The concept believes that large results can come from small changes gathered over time.

Jargon Busting – A Study

Introduction

If a person has to listen to the conversation of a pair of corporate executives, she will go tired trying to decipher the jargons they use. When executives use this language, a person not accustomed to its style does not understand anything that is spoken in front of her. In this article, we will discuss about jargons and how not to use it in order that communication can be speeded.

Idea

Jargon is the specialized language used by some people in the workplace. Jargon is useful to explain a certain meaning quickly. However, when others listen to it, they fail to understand. Even though jargons are meant to be used inside a group, other meanings come up and newcomers do not understand the conversation. This way, jargons can easily create hindrances inside the groups.

  • Jargons are a very bad style of communicating with general public. Public communication should be made in a way that is understandable. Jargons are obscure and confusing.
  • The reason for using jargons may be anything, but if the audience does not understand it, two kinds of problems can come up. On one hand, information cannot be conveyed and on the other the message that is conveyed can be negative. The audience tends to think that the speaker is not to be trusted because she has not given any effort to make herself intelligible

ITIL and Its Organizational Benefits

Introduction

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a guided framework which helps in planning, delivery and support of the IT services. The main aim of ITIL is to achieve improved service level and the efficiency.

Basic Concept

ITIL generally explains the tasks, checklists, procedures and the process which are not specific to the organization. But those particular tasks can be integrated with the strategy of the organization by maintaining a particular level of competency. It can allow the organization a base from where it can start the implementation strategy of the IT functionalities. It can also mention the compliance and the standards and also the proper measurement of the improvement.

IT Outsourcing and Its Benefits in Business

Introduction

IT outsourcing is the process of seeking resources outside an organizational structure for the entire or parts of the IT functionalities. The organization can use the IT outsourcing functions starting from the infrastructure to the software development, maintenance and the support. The external service providers can deliver the business process which is application based

Basic Concept

IT outsourcing plays a great role in the proper continuity of the business through the IT functionalities. For example, an organization may outsource the IT functions to a third party as it is going to be cheaper than the in-house IT management team. Sometimes the company may outsource the data storage functions as the data storage devices may appear costly to maintain in-house. Most of the organizations prefer to outsource a part of the IT functions to a third party.

IT Organization and Its Role in Business

Introduction

IT organization or the Information Technology organization is that specific department in an enterprise which is responsible in developing, monitoring and maintaining information technology services and systems with strategic planning required for the present and future IT implementations.

Basic Concept

The IT organization requires ensuring that all the IT initiatives are supporting the business goals and strategies. The organizational designs can either be centralized or decentralized varying according to the requirements of the company. In large companies, the IT organization is generally managed by the Chief Information Officer (CIO). The smaller enterprises however manage the IT operations with the help of Operations Manager or the IT director.

What is the Role of IT Organization in the Business?

The IT organization plays an important and integral role in all business plans. Starting from the multinational companies to the small enterprises, IT organization plays huge role. It can be effective throughout the modern business world as the computer systems are becoming omnipresent in nature.

Communication

Email can be considered as one of the principal methods of communications in most of the companies. It is used between the customers, suppliers and the employees. Though email was the only communication media in the past years, different other means of communication have also emerged in the business. The live chat options and the video conferencing tools have allowed the employees to communicate within themselves. The Smartphones and the VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) offers even modern and high tech methods for the communication between the employees in the organization.

Data Management

The rooms with large files, large number of file cabinets, huge mailing documents is gradually vanishing from organizations. Most of the companies have transformed their data management system into the digital mode through various servers and the storage devices. The documents can be available at any point of time according to the requirements of the company irrespective of the geographical location. Huge amount of historical data can be stored very economically and the employees can gain benefit by accessing the documents immediately when they need.

Customer Relationship Management

For improving the customer relationship management, the organizations are using the skills of the IT division. The CRM system takes note of the detailed interaction of the companies with its customers. This is done for improving the unique experience to the customers. When the customer calls any representative of the company, the call center executive must be ready with the shipping information, the information about the product purchased etc. He should be able to respond to the customer’s issue in a very less time. The whole interaction can be stored in the CRM system so that if the customer calls again, the reference of the previous call can easily be provided. The customer therefore gains a much focused experience and the company enjoys the increased productivity.

Inventory Management

A company should maintain a proper inventory management system so that they can meet the demands of the customers as well as to prevent any wastage in the inventory. You can manage your inventory through the digital mode by tracking all the quantities of the items, an automated setting can be activated where the quantity falls below a specific amount the order process will generate instantly. If the inventory system can be integrated with the POS system, the management process can be enhanced very easily. Every time one item gets sold, it gets deducted from the inventory with the help of the POS system. This can help in creating closed information loops between all the departments of the organization.

Management Information System

The data is being stored for an effective use in the future. Most of the companies can use the data as a part of the strategic planning process as well as proper execution of that strategy. The Management Information System (MIS) helps to track data and the levels of the production in very easy methods. It helps in increasing the return on investments by identifying the improvement areas. The daily sales report can be tracked by the managers with the help of the MIS systems. This helps in boosting the productivity of the employees for increasing the sales of the company.

Like many other aspects and the structures of the business, the positions of the IT organization can experience changes in the enterprises. The IT leaders sometimes find difficulty in implementing the right positions for meeting the requirements of the customers. The difficulty level may increase if the companies possess a large number of business units in different geographical regions. For strategizing the business and implementing the solutions in a proper manner, the IT organization can play a great role. Now, let us know how:

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Tactical Technology Management

This type of management depends on the IT efficiency. The products or the services can be delivered to the customers depending on the promises.

Strategic Technology Management

Strategic technology helps in aligning the IT performances with the business plans. It can support the drives with the IT strategic decisions.

Business Systems Leadership

The main focus will be on the strategic assets of the information and the overall business information. It will enhance the ability of the business and help in the continuity.

Information and Process Leadership

The strategic assets of the information and processes can transform the business from inside as well as outside.
IT Dispersed in Business: The business unit line management helps in owning the whole IT sourcing with no specific roles of IT.

Key Points from the Article

From the article we can understand the

  • The basic concept of the IT organization
  • The function of the IT organization in the industry
  • How can the different sections of IT plays different roles in the business?

Therefore the IT organization can easily create strategic goals with value contribution in the business. In the long term, it can use the goals and objectives with the help of different management tools.

Developing an Effective Strategy with IT Governance

Introduction

In today’s IT world, business managers and decision makers face various risks and uncertainties. This mostly happens due to the lack of proper guide with relevant advice and practical standards for updating the personnel with the business revolution. So a proper strategy with IT governance is in a high demand in this industry.

Basic Concept

The IT governance is not only confined to the IT related issues, it covers the whole governance strategy of the entity. The organization policy and the practices of the IT management can control the five areas like:

  • Value Delivery: Ensure that the IT organization is so designed that it can impel maximum value from the IT. Therefore the value delivery is one of the important factors for accessing the return on investment.
  • Resource Management: The IT resources should be used optimally with high level effectiveness. You are required to ensure that there are sufficient amount of fund for the IT at its enterprise level. The infrastructure should be modified for supporting the present and the expected future requirements of the business.
  • Alignment: The alignment and the strategic direction of IT should be designed with concern to the services and projects of the business.
  • Performance Measurement: With the strategic compliance, the performance can be measured whether it aligns with the IT objectives or not. The performance can be reviewed according to the contribution of IT to the business and it should be checked the promised business values are delivered within the time.
  • Risk Management: All the processes must be properly in place so that it can ensure that the risks can be managed properly. The risk assessment factors can be managed through the IT investments.

How can IT Governance Work for Your Organization?

The IT Governance includes a number of realistic process and organizational issues. While planning for the IT governance, the enterprise wide approach can be adopted in the following methods:

  • The IT and the business should go hand in hand while defining the control requirements
  • A particular control model can be applied with the business units and the divisions where the IT needs to be developed.
  • For setting up, monitoring, directing and agreeing, the committee approach is always recommended.
  • The IT governance should be shared throughout the enterprise with a common language
  • A clear understanding and approval from the stakeholders can be included within the scope of IT governance

The highly effective commitment with the clear accountability is very important:

  • Right from the executive level, the IT governance require a mandatory standard for practicing successfully
  • The accountabilities and the responsibilities of the management should be clearly stated

A control framework and the agreed IT governance is required:

  • Though there are obstructions and challenges, a consensus is required for defining the IT processes and to manage the functions in the right process.
  • The IT governance processes can be integrated with all the government practices that take place in the IT organizations.
  • Through the effective communication and awareness campaigns, the framework of the IT organization requires to be supported by an effective communication.
  • All the incentives are to be considered while adhering to the frameworks of the IT organization.
  • The IT organization can maintain a proper balance between the central policies and the implemented practices.

Trust is very important for the IT functions:

  • The IT service providers can supply their services in the organization and can gain trust. Joint workshops, awareness programs can really be helpful in gaining the trust.

The performance measurement systems can own or monitor the objectives:

  • The IT scorecard will emphasize the achievements of the IT governance objectives
  • Creation of standards of measures can be an effective way for raising awareness of the IT governance programs
  • The effective measures can be used in business terms that can be approved with the stakeholders

The focus should always be on the cost effectiveness:

  • With the implementation of the IT governance rules and the standards, there can be opportunities of the financial savings. The improvement initiatives can gain a lot of support with this implementation process.

Now, let us go through the stakeholders and their actual requirements in the IT governance:

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Investors : business partners, business and IT managers

  • The investors actually provide the funding for observing the return on the investments and the alignment of the strategic objectives.
  • The requirements can be financial which includes the ROI, budget, productivity, and the realization of benefits. The customers will include the feedback, strategies and the strategic objectives. The process requirements can include performance exceptions, transformational capability and the benchmark of the capability. The learning skills will prevent attrition, resource short fall and will enhance the training and development.

Controllers : internal and external audit, industry specific regulators, risk and compliance officers

  • The controllers are responsible in monitoring the risk and compliance in the due processes. The regulatory and the legal requirements of the risk management can be accomplished with the proper strategy.
  • The financial requirements will control all the improvements of the losses and the investments. The customer’s compliance will include legislations and the regulations. The control effectiveness and the compliance management can be controlled by the process. The learning skills will initiate risk identification and risk prevention.

Providers : procurement and management staff, IT service suppliers

  • The providers can meet all the customer requirements with their effective delivery process.
  • The financial requirements may include the allocation service, project and operational costs, credit optimization etc.

Key Points from the Article

From the article we can understand the

  • The importance of the IT governance
  • The basic concept of the IT governance
  • The process of using the IT governance in your organization

Therefore, a proper organizational strategy can be delivered with the IT governance which covers every sector like the investors, controllers and the providers of the IT organization.

Creating Value with Integrative Negotiation

Introduction

You can imagine a situation where two brothers are fighting for the last piece of orange in their refrigerator. There can be various solutions in this particular scenario. One can sacrifice the whole orange; the orange can be equally divided. But if one brother wanted the peel for baking purpose and another wanted the fruit for the juice, then both can enjoy the win-win situation. Similarly, the integrative negotiation is the business strategy where both the potential parties can enjoy win-win situation.

Basic Concept

The basic idea of the integrative negotiation is to take part in the activities together and find out the final outcome which can be beneficial for both the parties. It can be considered as the co operative process of negotiation which can create value from the outcome. Both sides may require substantial amount of compromise to prepare the deal successfully. When both the sides focus on the main point of the deal instead of coming with various secondary issues, the integrative negotiation can be successful.

Implementation Process of the Integrative Bargaining

# Separate the Person from the Problem

When you can observe a problem, you should try to attack the problem and not the person involved with it. The communication, perceptions and the emotions can help the parties to for the creative solutions that can maximize the overall gain.

Role of Emotions:

If one negotiator attacks the other, it is more likely that he/she will reciprocate back. These types of responses will only move towards a conflict. The negative emotions will make the negotiators to pay less attention to the benefits of the other parties. It eventually diminishes the accuracy of the judgment and the final outcomes remain less favorable. The emotions can be managed in the following ways :

  • Identify and understand all the emotions that are included in the negotiation process
  • You should not attack the other parties though it may provide you with a temporary relief. But you will not gain jointly in this case.
  • If the other party is attacking you, take the attack on the problem and not on you. This will enhance your self control and the confidence.
  • If your emotions are strong, you can take a short break. Continuous negotiations with strong emotions may not help you to provide wise agreements.
Role of Perception:

When different parties possess different opinions, the integrative negotiation might create problems. You are required to put in other’s shoes to understand their perspectives. After going through this process, all the perceptions can be discussed individually. Different viewpoints can be reconciled for an improved agreement.

Role of Communication:

Like the misperceptions, communication problems are also common during the negotiation. Instead of talking with the parties, negotiators can talk at the parties or can simply stop conversations. Proper communication is required and can be managed in the following ways :

  • Involve yourself in active listening. This will help you to understand the situation better or make other parties know that you have understood.
  • Open ended and probing questions are to be used for gathering and clarifying the information in the right manner.
  • If the other negotiator cannot understand, just reframe or restate your message in a different way.
  • You should look forward and not backward. As you cannot change the past, blaming the other parties or other parties blaming you will never be fruitful.

# Focus on Interests

You should try to focus on interests instead of the positions. The interests can be divided to various substantive terms of negotiation or the process. The substantive interests may involve the tangible issues. These may include delivery dates, price etc. The process interests can involve as the different methods through which the dispute is being settled. The relationship interests tell you about the type of relationship you are possessing with the other parties. Principle interest is intangible in nature and involves what is right and what is wrong. For satisfying your own interests , you can ask the following questions to yourself :

  • How will the process help me?
  • What will happen if the other party says no to me?
  • What are the purposes served for me?
  • Did I get the position as I wanted?

# Prepare Options for Mutual Gain

The negotiation process may start by identifying the issues and then hammering out the solutions. With this process, the joint gain will not be possible. So the situations should be defined for associating the issues and the interests with them. If the issues are ignored, the agreement will not be reached to the consensus. Capitalizing a new opportunity or solving a problem will be difficult if the clear and shared understanding is not present in the negotiation.

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# Brainstorm

When the interests and the issue of all the parties are identified, the process of searching the solutions may begin. The process can be done by the brainstorming activities. While brainstorming the options, all the parties should possess open and creative minds. They should avoid the following mistakes:

Premature Judgment:

The ideas are acceptable or not should not be judged at very early stage. You should look forward to generate as many solutions as possible and not judge them by evaluation or criticism.

Separate The Inventing And Evaluating Functions:

You are required to invent first, if evaluation is required, you will revisit the options another time.

After your brainstorming activities have provided with a huge list of possible solutions, the negotiators can start evaluating them. Initially, you can begin with the options which seem to be more promising. There can be solutions which will satisfy interests of both the parties. You can combine both the options for creating even improved solutions.

Key Points from the Article

From the article we know

  • The overview and basic concept of integrative negotiation
  • The process of implementing the integrative negotiation

The integrative negotiation strategy can produce wise agreements after satisfying the interests of all the parties.

Integrate Employee Satisfaction Survey Tools into Your Business

Introduction

It is very important for the organizations to keep their employees happy and content, so that they can maintain a congenial and healthy workplace. Companies should ensure to provide a fulfilling work environment, and have the desired tools and resources. It is therefore recommended to complete employee satisfaction survey.

In this article, we will discuss about employee satisfaction survey tool that help you know the thoughts and opinions of your employees. The answers are usually kept confidential so that the employees can participate in the surveys without any hesitation.

Importance of Employee Satisfaction Survey

Employee satisfaction surveys provide the management with a variety of tools and resources that help companies to build a positive work environment. By using these tools, the management team will know about employee attitudes, passion factors, workplace climate, burnout tendencies and many more. Properly constructed employee satisfaction surveys provide the managers with insights that act as a foundation to reinforce positive and pleasurable work environment.

Instructor-led Training to Create Effective Learning Experience

Introduction

Organizations often face the situation where they need to create training programs for the staff. It is essential to conduct classroom-based training for employees and ensure that each session is productive. Most of the people are not aware of the procedure and don’t understand where to start from.

In this article, we will discuss about the best way to set up instructor-led training that helps you to make the training session effective and productive. It is not so easy to set up instructor led training program, and one needs to put 100% efforts and devote significant amount of time.

What is Instructor-led Training?

Instructor-led training is a special kind of training program that is conducted in a training room, which is usually a classroom, office or conference room. This form of training can have multiple instructors. They teach to the other people by using a variety of resources, presentations, demonstrations, discussion and lectures. This kind of training is beneficial in the case where the material is complex.

The instructor is supposed to explain the key concepts by using relevant questions and answers which enhances the learning experience of the trainees. This kind of training program is often used to instruct a group, where the trainer delivers many training hours for each hour of the instructor’s time.

Informal Coaching for Managers for Effective Team Management

Introduction

Coaching is one of the important activities in any organization and should be conducted on a regular basis. Usually, managers are supposed to conduct coaching sessions for their team members and other employees. This helps the managers understand how people think about the career and what importance they give to the organizational objectives. It can also help managers to improve the performance of their team members and deal with the issues in the organization. Managers often conduct formal coaching sessions to guide their employees. In some cases, they face situations, where they need to conduct informal coaching sessions.

In this article, we will discuss how the managers identify situations, where they need to adopt informal coaching approach. It makes a lot of difference to the effectiveness of the team. The below guide help managers identify informal coaching opportunities. With proper practice, the informal coaching approach becomes an instinctive skill.

Step-by-step Guide of Using Informal Coaching Approach

Managers often consider that the purpose of informal coaching is to increase their performance, but the purpose of coaching is not performance improvement, but is to help the managers identify different situations. Managers can use the below guide in your day-to-day approach –

Managers should change their perspective

Managers should take time to explore the present and upcoming workload on their team. This is one of the best ways to gain awareness of what the team members are doing. The most talented employees are those who don’t recognize their workload and work hard for the benefit of the organization.

Managers should make sure that they adjust their schedule as per the demand of their team. This helps you to stay ready, when someone needs coaching. It is beneficial to know that the team members are working constantly on some or the other task. Remember that the team members may need your help any time, and you should be ready to guide them in an appropriate manner.

Know the mood of team members

It is one of the essential qualities of managers. They should know the mood of their team members. This can be quite easy and one can become more sensitive to the emotions of other people with little practice. If you are a manager and want to initiate a coaching conversation, it is better you recognize the changes in body language and behavior of the team members.

The team members may find the feedback unhelpful or there may be sudden changes in the work pattern of your team members. Therefore, before you start the coaching session, it is better to know their level of enthusiasm and interest. You should make use of informal coaching opportunity for better team performance.

Ask for permission

Being a manager, you may feel that it is time for an informal caching. But, it could be the time when the team members least need it. For instance, the team member may prepare for a sales meeting, rather than attending informal coaching. So, it is better to ask the team members whether it is a good time to conduct a few coaching conversations. This is a professional way to approach informal coaching.

Make the best use of time with informal moments

Use informal moments such a – passing the person in hallway or sitting in the break to start a informal coaching conversation. If the meeting ends early, you can make use the time for informal coaching. The spirit of informal coaching should be professional and spontaneous. Remember that informal coaching works well in small doses. If the person likes to have a coaching conversation, you should keep it short and restricted to the issue.

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How Informal Coaching is Beneficial?

Informal coaching can happen as a part of regular conversation between the team members and the manager. In this case, neither of the parties considers the process as coaching, even if it is happening actually. This kind of coaching is used by managers to develop a particular aspect of developing a task. It helps the managers demonstrate that they want to promote the atmosphere of trust, willingness and new ideas.

Creating an informal coaching environment within the organization help you to face today’s challenges of managing organizations change. They can deliver attitudinal changes and improve confidence in team members. It leads to a great level of motivation and help the employees achieve job satisfaction. The coaching managers are located in organizational context with focus on the priorities.

Managers can help the team members to visualize their future and generate options for achieving individual goals. Solution-focused coaching is useful for coaching managers, as it is directive than other coaching approaches. The coach will help the employees align their intrinsic as well as extrinsic drivers with the goal of the organization. With this kind of alignment, the team members may complete the tasks mechanically without any argument.

Effective coaching conversations between employees and managers help people make progress towards individual development as well as organizational development. There are a number of web sites that provide a wide range coaching session templates. These templates will help managers to maintain focus of each coaching session and provide a record of progress. Depending on your preference, you can choose an appropriate template.

Summary

Informal coaching is a bit daunting, if approached implicitly. Some team members may not be comfortable with the word coaching, but respond well to the managers who take time to listen carefully. The managers who are familiar with the tactics of informal coaching may schedule appointments in everyday workplace conversations.

As the informal coaching is not restricted to formal coaching sessions, one should not use of exclusively but according to the requirements of the situation. It should not be considered as a part of different management styles. Sometimes, the manager may switch in and out of the coaching mode during the conversation. Some managers love the idea of having a particular time period dedicated to their own development. For a manager, coaching is a smooth process that neither begins nor ends. The leadership style is simply the way managers do things in their workplace.

Improving Group Dynamics – How to Do It?

Introduction

When a group is made of the brightest people in the world, the manager hopes that about the performance of the team. However, if the team does not perform and is not able to make decisions, it becomes frustrating for the manager. There are many factors that are responsible for the lack of performance and incapability to make decisions. In this article, we will discuss about improving group dynamics and team management. It is a study in team building and dynamics.

An Idea

If one person does not like the performance and opinions of others, the manager realizes that her attitude discourages the performance of other team members. Team members might be cowered by the dominance of the critic and may not come up with her own opinions.

Group Dynamics

The term “group dynamics” was coined by a change management connoisseur and social psychologist Kurt Lewin in the early 1940s. He stated that when people work in a team they take up distinct mannerisms. The study of group dynamics is about the influence of these mannerisms on other people in the group.

There have been more studies based on Lewin’s research. A team which has positive group dynamic is built on trust, hold each other responsible for the decisions made and work collectively. Research has proved that when a team has positive minded people it is very creative. A team with negative group dynamic has poor performing members because they are discouraged to make decisions.

Reasons of Poor Group Dynamics

There are certain kinds of mannerisms that check the development of a group and it cannot reach its goals. Both team members and manners are responsible for negative group dynamic. Mentioned below are some of the issues that give rise to group dynamic.

# Excessive regard for authority

This occurs when team members are too eager to be noticed as people who agree with their leader. This way, they do not express their views.

# Leadership is not strong

This takes place when the leader in the team is not strong enough and one of the dominant team members takes over. As a result, power struggle, infighting, directional challenge in the activities of the team and emphasis on all the wrong activities takes place.

# Blocking

This behavior entails hampering of flow of information in a team. The various blocking roles are as follows.

  • Negator - This member has negative thoughts and blocks the appearance of others’ opinions.
  • Aggressor - This member has a habit of disagreeing with each other and is unnecessarily outspoken.
  • One who seeks recognition - This member dominates meetings because she is boastful and is always looking for opportunity.
  • Joker - This team member has a tendency to crack jokes at odd times.
  • One who withdraws - This member does not take part in discussions.

# Ride free

This situation is created when some group members leave their tasks to be completed by others. Free riders are people who are hard working when they do anything independently, but when they have to perform in a team, they do not show their mettle.

# Groupthink

This takes place when team members want to achieve consensus and give it more importance than their desire to meet the correct decision. As a result, team members cannot reach other solutions.

# Apprehension of Being Evaluated

The perceptions of team members also bring about a negative group dynamic. Fear of evaluation occurs when team members feel that they are being judged unnecessarily by their fellow teammates. This results in holing back of views which might have worked well for the organization.

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Phases of Team Dynamics

There are five phases of improving team dynamics. They are as follows.

# Forming

Forming is the phase when the team comes together to realize the objectives it has to meet and how they can be met. Team members at this initial stage are formal and polite to each other. Everyone tries to assess the role she has.

# Storming

This is the phase where the ideas of team members are challenged and the leadership norms are brought under scrutiny. This is a difficult situation as team members start feeling, that they are not a part of the team. They may give up on the idea of reaching the objective. Some team members might not even want to do what is expected of them.

# Norming

This is the stage where the team begins to create a single plan for meeting a common objective. Team members often sacrifice their own opinions for the development of the group and each member understands the other better than earlier.

# Performing

This is the phase where the team members can work to achieve the common objective with minimum assistance from external sources. The team members realize the needs of each other and understand the ways to work effectively in order to achieve the objective.

# Adjourning

This is the stage where the group is dissolved and the team members think whether the work they did was successful or unsuccessful. They also assess if the outcomes received from the other tasks can help to perform in future.

How to Improve Team Dynamics?

The following steps are used to improve the dynamics of a team.

# Leader has to know her team properly

A leader has to understand the stages through which her team goes. This way, she will be in a stronger position to deal with negative group dynamics.

# Handle issues as fast as possible

The manager should challenge disruptive behavior of one of her team members as quickly as possible. She should provide feedback to the disruptive member, so that she realizes the negative influence of her actions.

# State responsibilities

Hen team members do no understand their individual roles and responsibilities, they tend to lose direction.

# Communication

The team leader should emphasize on communicating with her team members. This leads to proper conveying of messages.

To Wrap Up

From this article, it can be deduced that improving team dynamics helps in making a team more efficient than it was before the manager introduced team dynamics techniques.

Impromptu Speaking Skills – An Overview

Introduction

Impromptu speech is quite different from that of prepared ones. However, it is an important skill as there are situations often wherein you need to speak for a few minutes with no preparation. Impromptu speech sessions often are found in small informal business meetings, class works, politicians responding to voters or reporters and college communication sessions, etc.

Impromptu Speech – The Concept

Impromptu speaking generally takes place when a speaker is almost not given time to be ready with the speech. Suppose a topic is being given and the speaker needs to start speaking without planning the flow of his/her speech. Although this skill is quite a difficult task, yet the fact is what you speak most of the times on regular basis is considered as an impromptu speech. Hence, no such background research is needed when you are speaking for a few hours with your friends or colleagues.

However, delivering such speech on a specific topic is obviously a challenge. One of the common examples of “real world impromptu speech” is elevator pitch. While being in an unforeseen scenario wherein you are conversing with someone having the capacity to progress your career or give you opportunity in a new arena, it becomes quite tough to deliver a great impromptu speech.

How to Organize and Execute an Ice Breaking Event

Introduction

Today, in this highly competitive world, it has become very important for us to work as a team rather than seeing each other just as a competitor. A team having a great rapport between each member can enhance the productivity and work efficiency for an organization. There is no doubt that an individual can be a proficient leader, but without proper work force, a leader will never be able to utilize his or her idea for any business.

However, to build a better team, it is very important to have a good understanding between all team members so that they can be well aware with each other’s weakness and strength. People from the corporate world have heard about the ice breaking process that helps people within an organization to know each other.

A well-organized and facilitated ice breaking session can be a good start for a team building process. Such programs bring people together and help them to know each other in an organized way. Along with the introductory session, such event helps people to know the primary objective of the event that make them more engaged in the process and for this reason the participants can contribute more efficiently for a successful outcome.

If you are going to organize an ice breaking session, you should prepare the plan with specific objectives and make sure that it is appropriate for all the participants.

Right Time to Use Ice Breaker

Ice breaking session is not about any kind of celebration or just like a party that has been organized for nothing. There are some specific purposes for such event and organizers should know those facts well. Sometimes, such events are held to bring those people closer who usually do not work together. It works well for an organization to help the staffs to know each other for a common purpose. Look at a few aspects that will provide an idea about when one should consider an ice breaking event or meeting.

  • When people need to get together quickly to work for a common objective
  • If the team is newly formed and filled with people from different backgrounds
  • If the essence of objective is new and need to be discussed within the team
  • A facilitator needs to get introduced before the team for better understanding
  • If any contradiction of principles have been found among the team members

# True Essence of Ice Breaking Process

If you feel the need of organizing an ice breaking session for your team or a group of people connected by a common purpose, then you should have a clear idea about the process.

If you have invited a group of people for the event who have not met before and do not know each other, then you have to think that there will be a huge information-gap between them and that can be described as ‘ice’. However, you have to break the ice by bringing those people together.

If you are trying to bring people different from background, culture and outlook to work towards a common goal, then you have to introduce them with each other first and then make them engaged in a conversation where they can unfold themselves.

You have to manage the task sensitively and should focus on the main objective of the event.

# Design your Ice Breaking Event Efficiently

To be successful in the process of ice breaking, the organizer has to make sure that the event has been organized to meet some objectives and people who have been invited for the event are appropriate.

If you have invited people to make them aware about the future plan of your organization or any common goal that you want to achieve during the next fiscal. Then you should try to build up a productive work force and you have to make sure that all the participants who have been invited for the meeting can be included in your project.

With a clear vision or objective, you can design the ice breaking session. However, while talking with all invitees, you can ask them that how you can reach your goal within a specific time and what should be the most convenient way to reach the target within a small period of time.

Such aspects will make the participant more involved and force them to think about your objectives.

# Use the Method of Topic Exploration Ice Breaker

Let all the participants explore the topic of conversation and see how they make themselves more involved in the event. To get a better result, make a list of words that are related with your objectives for the event. For example, if the event has been organized to make participants understand about product manufacturing issues, then throw some words related with the subject and ask them to explain.

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# Encourage Participants to ask Burning Questions

While trying to bind all participants for a common purpose, you can encourage them to ask some key questions related with the objective of the meeting. You can use the method to discuss about the key measures that should help you to reach your sole purpose of the meeting.

If possible, try to give the answers on yourself, but allowing other participant to response can also be a good idea to make them more involved in the event.

# Ask Participants to Interview Others

Ask participants to know each other by conducting interviews on their own. The process will allow them to know more about other participants and help them to generate questions. There can be no other way better than knowing someone personally and such interviewing process will allow each one of them to become more informed about the other team members.

Conclusion

The process of ice breaking can be very effective if it is organized skillfully. Businesses that tend to value teamwork should follow such methods that can bring out the best productivity from every team member working for a common objective. Ice breaking method can bring up truce among team members if there is any moral contradiction. Such event helps to build up good relation between older employees with newer ones as well. Thus, learn about the method and apply it for better result.

How to Help Your People Develop Emotional Intelligence

Introduction

When it comes to workplace, emotional intelligence plays a very important role. It is the intellectual ability that helps the team members build strong relationship, succeed at work and achieve career goals.

In this article, you will learn why emotional intelligence is important and how can you enhance emotional intelligence by mastering a few skills.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

People in organizations have different wants, needs and personalities. There are different ways to show our emotions and one should navigate through this to succeed in their professional life. Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize emotions and how your emotions affect the people around you. Emotional intelligence allows you to manage your relationships more effectively, as you will be able to understand how the other people feel. People with a strong emotional intelligence are more successful in their life and achieve their goals with ease.

How to Develop Long-Term Focus?

Introduction

Professionals often have small goals and after they are achieved they do not know which way to direct the team members. In fact, several times company managers stop trying to attain a goal because they think that it is useless. Again, there are managers who have long – term goals and even though they do not receive much recognition at frequent intervals, the ultimate success makes a lot of difference. In this article, we will discuss about the techniques of long – term goal settings to increase personal effectiveness.

Idea

  • The capability to provide complete energy and attention on a particular activity for a very long period of time is called focus.
  • Setting short – term objectives is easy for a manger in a company as the results are obtained quickly. Recognition too comes along quickly which results in highly motivated team members.
  • It is, however, tougher to focus on long – term goals which sometimes take decades to be fulfilled.

How to Communicate Organizational Uncertainty – An Analysis

Introduction

In today’s world, communicating with employees can result in different kinds of interpretations from different kinds of employees. Keeping people informed is necessary in an organization. If employees are not informed of situations in the company, there will be lack of information, which is considered no information. In this article, we will discuss about the technique in which negative thinking process can be restrained in a company through proper communication.

Idea

  • When a manager speaks to her employees about possibilities, some resources consider it a promise for a better future and hold the manager responsible if things do not work out. Again, if she does not talk to the employees unless she gets confirmed information, employees start feeling that they are not being told anything and thus, they resort to rumors.
  • If the manager delays for a very long time, the impression created among employees is that, the former does not know what direction to take because she has not been proactive to react.
  • Robert DeKoch, Phillip Clampitt and Thomas Cashman, three communication consultants have coined the term "the terrible triad." According to them, this situation entails three kinds of thought processes: the staff thinks that the management of the company is stupid because it had no idea what was occurring, helpless as they waited till the last moment to react or even evil because they kept back information.

How to Build a Positive Team That Is Happy and Engaged

Introduction

Organizations need to create a positive work environment, to bring the best out of their employees. Employees will become motivated when they fell encouraged and accepted. Building positive team is a nice formula and generates much better results without costing much.

In this article, we will discuss how to build positive teams that are highly motivated and accomplish their goals in an effective manner.

Different Ways to Build a Positive Team

Building a positive team is more than creating a buzz and is very critical to your success. Building a strong and collaborative team is one of the popular business strategies these days. If you don’t have the desired skills to build a positive team that is together in each and every step, then you are at big risk. When you have a team that falls apart, then your business will be going to take a big hit. Building motivated teams need a lot more than just sophisticated programs and team meetings. It is all about breaking the barriers and knowing about how to communicate with other. Here are some tips to get you on your way of building a positive team –

1. Positive communication

This may seem obvious, but remember that positive communication helps you create a string bond between the team members. The team members can share their ideas with others openly in a positive work environment. The team leaders should not only contribute their own ideas, but ask the team members to share their ideas. This will ensure employees that the company encourages open and positive communication.

2. Creating team spirit

One should look for ways to create a positive team spirit and make the team members feel that they are valued. Companies can build a positive team and work environment by reinforcing each team member that the role they play at work is of great importance.

3. Be accessible

Companies should have an open door policy to create a positive work environment. This will make employees feel that you are always there in case of any issue. Closed office doors reinforce hierarchy and create barriers.

4. Have an encouraging environment

One should keep the workplace neat and clean to promote a cheerful attitude. Yu should focus on little things such as – proper light & ventilation, air circulation, temperature, decorum of the office etc to create a positive environment, which will eventually help you build a positive team.

5. Include fun and entertainment

You should never leave out the fun and entertainment in life. You should never forget birthdays or special occasions of your employees. One should always look for ways to celebrate the success of other person. This will improve bonding between the employees, which help them turn into a string team.

Benefits of Building Positive Team

Building up a positive team can make a real difference to the success and well-being of a person. In a survey, it was found that individuals who are happy and contended are likely to perform well at their life, especially at workplace compared to the people who are not happy. Moreover, there is a great level of positive impact ability of people to think creatively, cope up with challenges and progress in the careers. All these things are essential ingredients for success at career.

Another benefit of positive team is it beings long-term benefits, as it broaden the behavior of employees over time. The more positive emotions you experience at workplace, the more you tend to exhibit positive behavior such as – awareness, creativity, curiosity and creativity. All these things are essential for success at workplace.

In other words, the happier you are, the more creative you are. This is true in case of individuals as well as work groups.

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How to Become a Positive Leader

Teams tend to become positive if and only if they have a positive leader. So, you should start with yourself and focus more on your own happiness, emotional intelligence and well being. The key characteristics that you need to have to become a positive leader are – engagement, positive emotion, meaning, positive relationship and accomplishment.

You should start by thinking how to increase these qualities in you. You should think about the work you do and understand the unique abilities you have. You should also have the ability to remove obstacles to ensure that your team is nit running into series of roadblocks. This will even help you determine the sense of motivation of your team. Once you have removed the obstacles, you should work towards managing your team in a positive way. There are a number of ways to do this. The below tips help you manage your team effectively –

  • Teams that understand the complete purpose of what they do is more engaged compared to the teams without focus.
  • You can create a team charter to define the role of each member and your expectations from that member. Team charters are beneficial for happy teams as they provide right direction and focus.
  • Look at the objectives, which you have set for the team. Make sure that you align the objectives of your team with that of the organization, as the members don’t understand how their roles benefit the organization.
  • Keep the team updated with all the activities and events happening in the team and organization. This gives the team members a chance to voice any issues or concerns they have with the organization or at work.
  • The team members can stay positive and focused, if and only if they have all the resources needed.

By following the above tips, you can become a positive leader who can easily build positive teams.

Summary

There are numerous benefits of building positive team. The important thing is that people who are in positive team are most creative and productive compared to others. They are likely to live a happy and healthy life. Remember that positive teams are created and led by positive leaders. So, one should start with themselves, and the try to remove the obstacles that could have a negative impact on the team. One should manage their team positively by creating objectives so that the team members know what they are supposed to do.

Being Tactful can Create Positive Work Environment for Business Growth

Introduction

Many times, your team members give presentations. They include all-important data to make the presentation purposeful. But, sometimes, the way a speaker expresses cannot be easily understood by others. When that speaker asks for feedback, you express clearly, what you felt about the seminar. It may happen that your team member does not take your feedback in positive sense. As a result, he or she gets de-motivated and the work-flow deteriorates. If you can tactfully understand emotions of others and handle them, it will lead to increased teamwork and hence the business growth.

How Tact can be defined?

Tact is the capability of expressing truth in a manner, which considers other person’s reactions and feelings. This kind of personality trait helps you in providing difficult feedback, communicating sensitive information and saying the right things for maintaining a relationship.

Top 5 Ways of Practicing Patience for Maximizing Business Growth

Introduction

Nowadays, the business climate has become unpredictable. There are external forces that add up to this kind of uncertainty. If you find that your competitor has rolled out a new marketing strategy and will pose threat to your company’s survival, you cannot sit quiet. So, you call an emergency meeting and ask your team members to come up with full proof solutions in short time. Some staffs may get annoyed as they are pre-occupied with previous tasks. As a result, they lose their temperament and it creates a chaotic situation. As a responsible leader, you should devise ways to accommodate sudden work pressures and make your employees get adjusted to such changes. So, the art of practicing patience can take your business meeting challenges smartly and result in sustainability.

Signs of Impatience

Do you have right skills to detect about your impatient behavior or reactions? When you become impatient, you will experience one or more of the following symptoms

  • Muscle tension
  • Short breaths
  • Tightening of hands
  • Outburst of anger
  • Restless feet
  • Losing control on nerves
  • Making quick decisions
  • Rushing

Stress at Work – What are the Symptoms and How to Overcome?

Introduction

Numerous employees experience stress at their workplace. This can be owing to much pressure at work or rapid shift in hours. Change in nature of job with passage of time has considerably increased the need for a great performance and competition everywhere. In fact, stress now is being regarded as a great concern at every workplace. Such situations often lead to unpleasant feelings like headaches, lethargy, anxiety attacks, backaches, etc. Further, this can result in lack of efficiency and long-term diseases, if not taken proper care.

What is Stress?

In general terms, stress can be applied to numerous physiologic and psychologic pressures that people experience in their life. Stress can either bring out the best in you or make situations worse accordingly.

Pessimistic and Optimistic Sides of Stress

# Positive

Stress can be considered positive when it provides you with an opportunity to achieve something. It actually works as motivator to peak your performance up.

# Negative

It is negative when you face severe problems in relation to social, emotional, organizational and physical.

In most of the cases although, it has been seen that stress has affected negatively in lives of people mentally and physically. Factors resulting in stress are known as stressors.

How to Know that Stress is Affecting Your Physical and Mental Health?

Below mentioned are some symptoms that signal you are the victim of stress.

# Weekend Headaches

Do you suffer headaches during weekends? This can be the result of stress from huge work pressure. Even such headaches can convert to migraines in lateral period. So, you should keep a check on your sleeping during weekdays and eating habits to reduce the triggers.

# Disrupted Sleep

A famous old rhyme – “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. Very true and even it is said that you should get at least 6 to 7 hours sound sleep so that you can get up afresh in the morning. However, when you are stressed; it is quite obvious to wake up more often, which disrupts your sleep. So, try to imagine good things of your life to welcome sleep. Try to prevent alcohol or caffeine when going to bed.

# Cognitive Symptoms

Often the cognitive symptoms reveal the possibility of stress at work, such as the following.

  1. Indecisiveness- If you are facing hard time to make decisions and even if you make any decision finally, you are not confident about it, then it is a sign of stress.
  2. Forcefulness- If you tend to be forceful towards your subordinates or co-workers unnecessarily, then it might be a symptom of stress. You might be relying on forcefulness to hide your lack of confidence or stress.
  3. Negative thinking- Stress may cause lack of self belief and it can drain your energy. Ultimately, it leads to negative thinking and you start to lose confidence even doing a normal work.
  4. Memory- Many studies have revealed that acute stress can an impact on your memory. If you are struggling to remember small things lately, then it might be a sign of stress.
  5. Judgmental error- Like indecisiveness, stress can also lead to judgmental error. If you are not able to judge situations properly at work, it might be stress affecting you.

#Behavioral Symptoms

Certain behavioral symptoms are also noticed such as

  1. Increased or Decreased Appetite- There is an unusual connection between stress and appetite. You might feel temporary loss of appetite or feel like overeating. Anxiety symptoms will definitely affect your appetite.
  2. Neglecting responsibilities- Have you been neglecting responsibilities at work? Stress might lead you do so because it makes you feel less confident and affects your decision making ability.
  3. Feeling isolated- Are you feeling lonely and isolating yourself from the world? This is a symptom of stress that can hamper your performance as a team player.
  4. Depression- Too much of stress at work can lead to depression. Stress affects natural appetite, sleep, energy and many other important aspects that results in adverse changes in normal moods and emotions, which often leads to depression.

How to Prevent Stress

Learning how to identify stressors within and finding ways to overcome it can help you to live healthy in both personal and professional life. Here are some ways on how you can ease out stress:

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# Humor

It is a quick and great tool to kick out stress from your life. This works as laughter generates valuable chemicals in your brain and helps you to think differently. To put it in other way, it diverts your mind from being stressed. Hence, many people feel much different and notice a great transformation after laughing at their heart thinking about something humorous.

# Understand What Your Organization Demands

Organizational goals are often being expressed in mission statement. Accordingly, you should determine how you could help the organization acquire its mission. Identify your objectives that can directly contribute to fulfill the organizational goals specifically. Make a note and then proceed.

# Change Your Way of Thinking

The more negative thoughts you will have in mind, the more it can effect on your physical and emotional well-being. Therefore, experts always suggest bringing a change in your way of thinking and you will get the results faster. Try to bring in positive thoughts in your mindset and your body will release chemicals that can make you sense better.

# Exercise Regularly

Exercising is an effective solution to get rid of many diseases and stress as well. The more you exercise, the more your brain will feel good and make you happy from within.

Other than these, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet and good sleeping habits can also work well in relieving you from stress.

Conclusion

Stress has now become a part of every man’s life. There can be several occasions when you can feel stressed out, but learning ways to overcome can relieve you from the problem completely.

Let’s Discover How Good Are Your Listening Skills

Introduction

Listening something carefully is definitely one the most important skills you need to have in your professional career. Listing is the basic skill of communication, without which no one can build up his or her career. Many people listen poorly, which hampers their career. Lack of proper listening skills means missing one of the most effective tools in the life.

Why Some People Ignore the Importance of Listening Skills?

It has been found that many people do not care about what other people are saying or they do not want to pay attention towards them. The most probable reason for this is they think they know everything on the subject and the speaker is not better than they are, or they are thinking about something else while sitting on a meeting or attending any class.

Good listeners, on the other hand love to listen other people and let them finish their words no matter how effective the speech was. If most of the members in a team are good listeners then they can understand each other well and can establish a good relationship.

However, it is not that you cannot develop your listing skill. By following some simple steps, everyone who wishes to be a good listener can fulfill his or her dream. What you should do?

Understanding the Effective Steps of House of Quality

Introduction

The successful companies will always contain essential data and information for helping them in the planning process. If any company is planning for a new product, the engineers of the company will definitely go through the history and the performances of the existing products. The data obtained from those products can be compared with the products of the competitors. Sometimes with the incomplete data, the comparison results may contradict with one another. The House of Quality matrix is the widely accepted method that can be used in this case.

Basic Concept

The House of Quality matrix helps in determining whether the requirements of the customers are being met or not. It can store and compare large amounts of data. The whole structure of the matrix simply resembles a house and so it is named like this. In the central portion of the matrix, the customer requirements are compared with the product requirements. Similar to the structure of the roof, there is a triangular section determines that the product requirements are supporting each other or they possess any negative relation among them. The customer rating section is situated in the right side of the central matrix where the customer can rate the products by comparing with the competitors products. Just below the central matrix, one row is situated for recording the organizational difficulties for the product requirements.

How the House of Quality Matrix can be Implemented in Business?

For building the house of quality, the initial stages may include identifying, clarifying and specifying the customers’ needs.

# Clarify Customer’s Needs

The manufacturers offer various features and the customers by them if they seem to be the benefits. Unless the manufacturers and the consumers are thinking in the same line, it will be difficult for anticipating the beneficial features. The wishes and the desires of all the customers can be represented in the tangible forms with some engineering specifications. Some of the features may include functions, costs, parts, tasks, processes, reliability and quality character.

# Specify Customer Needs

After you have identified all the products that are important to your customers, you can translate them into the engineering specifications. As nothing can be maintained without specific standards and specifications, you should simply define particular set of standards. The weights, heights and the torques and other measurements are to be clearly defined. These values can be derived from various locations. The organization can use the data from the secondary market research or can conduct new studies with the available information.

# Technical Requirements

When the requirements have been identified, efforts should be provided for fulfilling the customer’s needs. The additional standards and the requirements laid by the management are required to be identified properly. When all the requirements are identified properly, the product designs are to be modified for fulfilling all the requirements.

# Planning Matrix

The planning matrix will ensure that the team performs up to their standards to fulfill the needs of the customers. The customer’s ratings generally range from 1 to 5. The ratings will be provided according to the overall performance of the organization. The planning matrix is a part of the House of Quality matrix.

# Interrelationship Matrix

The main aim of the interrelationship matrix is to create a well established connection between the product requirements and the measurement of performances for improving the product design. The initial steps will include obtaining the opinions of the consumers about meeting the requirements of a specific product. The views are then recorded from the planning matrix and placed on the left side of the interrelationship matrix. The company can start formulating the strategies for improving the product. While involving in this process, the weaknesses and the strengths of the company gets revealed and are weighted against the priorities of the customers. This can indirectly help in determining all the aspects that are to be changed during the competition and what are the aspects to remain unchanged.

# Technical Correlation Matrix

With the existing designs, the performance measures can possess conflict with each other. The roof in the house of quality is often referred to as the technical correlation matrix where the customer requirements and the product requirements are identifiable with different units avoiding all the design conflicts. The impacts can vary in various categories like strong positive, positive, negative strong negative etc. If any cell can be identified with high correlation it can produce strong signals to the team. The engineers will immediately communicate and co ordinate with various changes. If there are negative impacts between the requirements, the design should be modified until all the negative impacts get erased. As various technical requirements are related to each other, the beneficial positive impacts can provide effective result. Working for the improvement of a single negative impact may affect the other requirements.

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# Technical Properties and Targets

The technical properties and targets can use some specific materials for recording the primary technical properties. For developing the degree of difficulties in every requirement, the technical properties matrix can provide technical performances. Therefore the final output of the matrix is a valid set of target values for each of the technical requirements for creating new improved designs. Sometimes the organizations are not able to create the most unique designs because of cost constraints, or the constraints from technology and other related items.

# Setting Targets and Benchmarks

The customer requirements are distributed with the quality characteristics and the relationships. The high quality characteristics indicate all the technical issues that are to be delivered to the consumers. It can help in creating strong relationship between the high quality characteristics and the high priority demanded quality items.

Key Points from the Article

From the article we now know

  • The overview and basic concept of House of quality
  • The process of creating the matrix
  • The different elements of the matrix and their uses

The house of quality matrix consists of various parameters that can ensure that the customer’s requirements are being satisfied with the products or the services of the organization.

High Performance Coaching to Achieve Full Potential

Introduction

The term ‘coaching’ was restricted to sports and athletes in olden days. Today, the term ‘coaching’ is used in several domains. Coaching has become an essential activity, not only for athletes, but also for managers and other professionals of an organization. No matter how good the team is, it is always important to have a good coach for the team. When it comes to business sector, managers don’t do coaching with consistency. Leaders and managers in an organization don’t like to become coaches, but want to develop a coaching management style that helps them unleash the full potential in their organization.

In this article, we will discuss how high performance coaching in an organization help the employees reach their full potential. Managers work with the team members to improve their work performance. High performance coaching also involves the way you work with other employees of the organization. Through this kind of coaching, managers will learn how to collaborate with other managers and leaders in the organization and enhance the performance of the organization. This helps the employees to perform at their best and achieve desired results.

The techniques that are used in high performance coaching are borrowed from the world of military and sports, as these are the areas where optimal performance is needed. High performance coaching always starts with finding the life ambitions and vision of people. The next step is to explore the direction of movement, which the people need to do to achieve their goals. This kind of coaching session offers a unique opportunity to develop powerful leadership in the organization that integrates purpose and performance. High performance leadership is about facing the challenges and yet making things happen.

Evolving New Strategies of Business with High-Low Pricing

High low pricing is nothing but a kind of practice where most of the products are higher priced than the market rates and few amount of products are offered with prices lower than the market rates.

Benefits of High-Low Pricing

In the high-low pricing strategy, the benefits can be observed in the marketing and profit section.

  • Increase of Profit: If the strategy can be properly implemented, the high-low pricing can yield huge profits. It is applicable in the situations where the customers purchase the additional items which are fully priced.
  • Marketing Benefits: This technique can easily become the marketing method of the business. The low priced items should be continuously advertised in this method.

Risks of High-Low Pricing

Besides the advantages, you can find few risks of applying the high-low pricing strategy in the business:

  • Customer Loyalty: When the customers are aware that bulk products are being sold at increased rates, they may shift their loyalties.
  • Risk of Loss: If the business cannot implement the strategy in the right way, or dealing with the price sensitive shoppers, then it can easily face loss in their low-price promotions.

Examples of High-Low Pricing Strategy

In the high low pricing promotions, the high-priced items generally focus on the quality of the products and the low price are used to attract the customers. Here are some practical examples of this strategy:

Skimming: It is particularly a short term strategy used during the time of the launch of a product. The short period can enjoy high demands from the market. At this point of time, high prices are set and the eager buyers are not concerned about it. They are ready to pay any price they are being charged. This discriminatory pricing helps in gaining your short term profit.

Market Penetration: This approach is just opposite skimming used during the launch of new products. In this strategy, you enter the market with a low price for attracting a wide range of customers. You can gain a huge market share and loyalty from your customers during this time period. As soon as the market share is gained a bit, the prices are raised to sustain in the long term.

Premium: In the premium strategy, the price points are generally established at the top of the industry with luxury images of the brand. Here the price is associated with quality. Thus if you can promote your brand with the quality and can reach the upper class buyers, you can definitely expect the higher price points.

Loss Leaders: During the resale businesses, the loss leadership techniques can be used. The discounts and the sales promotions are offered for attracting huge traffic into your business. The cross marketing techniques are used to place the premium products for the higher profit margins.

The high-low pricing strategies are basically designed to attract customers. In some cases, the customers can be offered both the promotional price and the regular high priced product and allowed to choose from them. The shoe and the fashion industry use this strategy extensively.

Can You Help Your People Find Purpose in Their Work?

Introduction

When a team member tends to lose interest in her work, her team leader should inspire her to find interest in her task. She should help her team members find meaning in their work by proper team management. In this article, we will discuss about the idea of understanding the meaning of what people do and the significance of their actions at their workplace.

Importance of Purpose

Everything that a team member does has a reason behind it. Purpose in job can be found by a professional when she realizes how her job helps others and makes life better for others. In 2010, Dave and Wendy Ulrich wrote a book "The Why of Work," in which they discussed about the benefits of making people understand the purpose of their work.

A professional who realizes the purpose of her job is happier and more committed than one who has no idea about the purpose of her job. An employee with the knowledge about the good that her effort does to improve the life of others, is more creative and dedicated to her work. When seen from the point of view of an organization, if employees notice that the roles they play fit with the objectives of the company, productivity of the company increases and employees are retained. As a result, employees work harder than usual and make appropriate decisions about their work. This leads to efficiency and enhanced functionality. The positive influence of the understanding of purpose is visible in the reaction of customers to the highest ranking executive in the company.

How to Assist Team Members to Find Purpose

The manager working in a non-profit organization needs less effort to explain the importance of purpose. They have greater understanding of the help their work does to others. However, the manager of a profit earning company, where employees are motivated by rise in salary has to work a little hard to explain the importance of work purpose to her team members. All professionals have to understand that every work they do, helps people in making life easy. The following measures can help in finding purpose.

# Create an apt mission statement

The mission statement is an appropriate thing from which they can start explaining the importance of purpose to their team members. The employees realize the requirements of customers. The manager also realizes the standards by which the success of the company is to be measured from the mission statement. The company’s mission statement cannot be changed, but a manager can write a separate mission and vision statement for her department. The new statement will display the deeper purpose of the department.

Before the manager starts writing the mission statement he has to ask the ‘5 Whys’ to himself. The first thing which she needs to ask herself is why the department exists. She has to keep asking questions to herself until she comes across the core meaning and purpose of her team. The manager should ponder the objectives of the organization as she moves through the process of writing new mission and vision statements. She has to learn about the objectives of the company that are being met. With the knowledge she gathers by asking questions to herself and by learning the operations in the organization she can write the new statements.

# Connect personal goals with organizational goals

The next thing that a manager has to do is make a connection between the personal aims of her team members with the objectives of the department and the company. She can call meetings on a one-on-one basis and listen to them before assisting them to understand the factors that help to get motivated. She should then encourage the team members to think how they can link their own goals with the objectives of the organization. The manager should not try to influence her team members into thinking the way she wants them to think, she should instead act as a facilitator.

# Explore Capabilities

When a task uses the strengths of an employee, she gets into the flow of the job. In fact, she is determined to perform the best in the team. If a manager comes to know about the strengths of her team members, she can give them tasks that promote personal satisfaction. The manager should help them realize the best qualities and strengths they possess. Once, the manager realizes the strengths of each person she can insert tasks that cater to the capabilities of the subordinate.

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# Create affirmative work environment

A good working environment is capable of bringing out the best qualities of a professional. Thus, a manager should ensure that she provides her team members the best possible atmosphere where they can prove themselves. For instance, if a manager wants her team members to be on good social terms with each other at workplace, she should make sure that they socialize with one another at outings or before the commencement of meetings. She should not be a micro manager. The subordinates should get enough autonomy over their work. They should also be provided with enough opportunities to learn new things and advance in their career. When team members realize that the environment they work in is supportive, they automatically get an insight into the purpose of their work.

# Gather feedback

Feedback is important in boosting an employee as well as to make her understand the mistakes she does. Positive feedback is effective as far as motivating resources are concerned. An employee when provided positive feedback feels that their effort makes a positive difference to the profitability of the company. The manager should provide feedback on a regular basis and inform them about feedback from customers. If employees realize the difference they make to their company they feel more connected and want to help more.

To Wrap Up

Helping team members to find purpose in their work is a way of rewarding them. This is because they learn more and become more engaged in their job.

Helping People Take Responsibility – A Study

Introduction

When a team has escapist members, it becomes difficult for the manager to control that team. Such team members do not take the responsibility of mistakes or delays they do. Other team members do not want to work with such people because they always put blame on another person. These people also do not want to change their attitude. The manager can take measures to make things right. In this article, we will discuss about the techniques of helping people take responsibilities of their work. These techniques help in team management.

Why do People Avoid Taking Responsibility?

The practice of avoiding responsibility has many reasons. It can range from fear of failure to lethargy. If employees do not want to take responsibility, they tend to fail in their jobs and also as team members. Thus, it is important to be a responsible team member.

Handling People’s Retirement to Transfer Your Knowledge Effectively

Introduction

Retirement can be said as one of the important events in life that every person will be eagerly looking for. However, when retirement comes, the happiness transforms into a dragon that devours the happiness out of our heart. Every day millions of people in the world come across this event. If you are one of those employees who are in their last year at work, then the biggest concern of yours should be how to guide your team throughout this period. You need to make sure that the younger generation employees have all the resources and tools they needed when it’s their time to handle things.

In this article, we will discuss about different retirement issues, and help you to start prepared during the early months of your retirement.

Adjusting to Retirement

Retirement ought to be an energizing time. For the first occasion when, you have the relaxation and opportunity to pursue travel or make different investments openly and enjoy. However, for some men, retirement can be testing. It is not simply adjusting to the loss of a stable work routine and it is related to a feel that is hard to digest. Retirement brings new relationship issues, and for men who don't discover new significant exercises to supplant work, there is a feeling of purposelessness that can prompt gloom and other wellbeing issues.

Half-Time Review – What Makes the Strategy Important?

Introduction

While watching sports, you have witnessed that experts bring up several issues related with the game on break time. This analysis is known as half-time review. However, these experts give us current updates of the game and they often get the chance to talk about other issues and their opinions on the ongoing event.

However, if you look at the locker room at the first half of the game, you will see that many players are resting while others are concentrating on how they can make rest of the game better than whatever they have done in the first half. After preparing some plan for the second half, they might think whether any changes will have to be made or not, so that they can have a best team on the field.

In most of the sporting events, players, captain and coach consider the break time as a good opportunity to have a re-look at the entire game and assess what have gone wrong in the first half and in which area they can make progress.

Thus, utilizing your break time and conducting a review can ensure that you are going in right direction. You will also be able to bring some changes in your game plan, if needed.

Golden Rules of Goal Setting – A Study

Introduction

It is essential that a professional understands the main goals that she has to achieve in a given time period. The only way to succeed in life is to set goals. A professional who has no goals has no direction in life. Goal–setting also helps to realize if the track taken by the person is right or wrong. In this article, we will discuss about techniques to set goals, so that a person can enhance personal effectiveness.

Idea

When setting goals, a person should know how to set them. Goals cannot be achieved in a second. Setting goals require thorough consideration of what a person wants to attain. Achieving goals require a lot of hard work.

Learn to Praise Others and Witness How it Makes Difference

Introduction

We always tend to pay our attention towards what is going wrong around us and we put our best effort to fix them, because we believe that disorder should be fixed quickly before it damages the productivity of the organization.

However, in our way to maintain balance between order and disorder, we often tend to ignore issues that are going right around us. If you ask yourself that how often you praise other people for their right actions, you will find that you always forget to do that.

Some people do not like to appreciate other people for their good actions, but come hard if there is something wrong around them. However, you should know that everyone, including, manager, team members, clients and suppliers always love to get appreciation if something good has been done by them.

A study has shown that employees of those organizations that offer rewards and appreciate good actions work in better and favorable working conditions, compared to those companies that always ignore the strategy.

However, you should know that a little praise could bring a lot of changes at working environment. Thus, no matter what is your position at a company, you still have the chance to praise others to motivate and enhance their productivity. In this article, we will talk about how you can help others to recognize their actions.

Understand the Need of Praise

If you look at the people at your organization, you will find that employees who are appreciated and respected for their actions are more motivated and productive than those who believe that they have been going unnoticed.

Motivated people always offer more than what they can do and they are more devoted to any organization, because they think that they have the ability to make real difference within their workplace.

One of the most important things about praise is the chemical reaction that it creates on one’s mind. Study shows that when people hear something that they always love to hear, their brains produce dopamine that provides more mental energy to them. The chemical dopamine works as neurotransmitter and determine the state of mind such as happiness, pride, well-being and satisfaction.

If you rely on the strategy of praising people for their good actions, you will find that it is helping you to build good relationship with people around you and those people will offer you feedbacks through their works that will definitely be good for an organization.

Learn to Receive Praise

Praising is not a difficult task to execute. While doing this, you just have to be careful about people’s feeling and business they are involving with. But here the question comes that what you will do when you are receiving it?

When it comes about receiving praise, the best way to deal with this is applying gymnastic rules. You have to learn to keep balance between the praise and other discouraging words. For instance, if someone is telling you that you are amazing, try to keep calm and do not give too much stock in it. On the other hands, when someone is saying any discouraging words to you, then apply the same strategy as you did with the good one.

However, if you always expect other to offer you some good words for your actions, then this can make you habituated and decrease you productivity. The best thing you should follow is; accept the praise and try to forget it as soon as possible. Praise can encourage us to repeat the work for what we have had been praised, but we should move out from it and try to find the better version of the task.

Best Ways to Praise Others

Offering praise is so important for the prosperity and welfare of the people within an organization, but knowing the limit of appreciation is equally important. For instance, if you praise others regularly, it will definitely decrease the value and the impact of your message and will put questions on your integrity. Here we are mentioning some important strategies to offer memorable and sincere praise.

1. Be Specific with the Note

We have heard comments like “well done” or “nice job” and we consider those comments as better than nothing, but if you want to offer some different and specific words, then you have to use some unique notes, like “your proficiency has made my task an easier one”. However, this will make your message more memorable.

2. Praise Occasionally

If you praise others very often and repeatedly, then you can lose your importance. You should maintain a well-balanced ratio between positive and negative interaction. However, a study shows that if you offer more positive emotions to other, they will become more productive and flexible.

3. Use Appropriate Words

There is no doubt that everyone within an organization has different personality and different kind of motivation is needed for each one. You could find a few people who love to be praised ostensibly when others prefer to have it privately. You have to understand the mood of people around you and apply appropriate words for them.

4. Apply Various Ways

Choosing several individuals based on their talent and experience for suitable jobs will be a great option. You can put responsibility to several team members and praise their actions in different segments.

5. Praise Others Too

You should not praise any particular individual repeatedly in public, as the strategy can lower the confidence level of others. Try to evaluate others based on the essence of their job and make them realize how important they are for the organization.

Conclusion

Praise is an important part for any organization that wants to keep its workforce motivated and the strategy helps to build sound relationship with the staff.

Gaining the Trust of Your New Team

Introduction

A new team leader finds it difficult to become a part of her team. They do not know her and do not want to trust her. But, if she begins the relationship in a cordial way and acts like a responsible mentor to her teammates, she can build trust. If she falters in the initial stage, she should try to win back the trust of her new team members. It is necessary for a manager to gain the trust of her team members because she has to work with them. In this article, we will discuss the techniques of gaining trust of team members. It will help in understanding team management as well as team building and dynamics.

An Idea

With trust, a team leader can build a team that inputs maximum efforts to achieve success. Without trust she will not be able to make them do anything. Unless team members start trusting their manager, they will not be motivated to work for her and with her. If they do not want to work with her, they are not a team. Unless a team leader creates trust among her team members regarding herself, they will not consider a leader. Once, the new manager gets them to trust her they will work with diligence and enthusiasm.

Calculation, Benefits and Risks of Full Cost Plus Pricing

The full cost plus pricing is the technique of setting the price including the direct labor costs, overhead costs, direct material costs, selling and administrative costs and can be added with markup percentages. This pricing strategy is mainly used for creating profit margins. Too high or too low price can result in decreasing sales and lowering the profit.

Formula and Calculation

The formula for the full cost plus pricing is

Total Production Costs + MarkUp+ Selling And Distribution Costs
Number Of Units Expected For Sales

Generally, this method can be applied in the situations where the products and the services can be offered according to the requirements of the customers. Therefore no standard products can be found and so competition is present in a very passive nature. This pricing method can be used for setting the long term prices.

Implement Freemium Pricing to Increase an Additional Customer Base

Originated from the words ‘free’ and ‘premium’, this pricing strategy can be used in business models which both offers free and premium services. Though this pricing strategy cannot gain success on the Internet, services by the sellers can be offered near to zero variable cost. With little or no incremental costs, the company can gain a huge increase in the customer base.

Why Use Freemium?

Freemium is a business model that helps you to make more money. It is the process of adapting to your business with the changing situations of the market. The software companies and the Internet service providers can use this policy without any hesitation.

Circumstances of Freemium Pricing

Freemium pricing can be applied in various circumstances like:

  • Sometimes, the students are allowed with free services while the corporations are paying for them. This will help the students to get attached with the services and later when they enter the workforce will definitely buy them. This can be considered as the long term strategy as students may take long time to enter the workforce and gain positions.
  • Some limited usage may be allowed in this strategy. For example, a single free download every month can be allowed. When the users get involved with the service, they can pay for the increased usages.
  • Few features of the services can be utilized for free of cost. But if expanded version with improved features can be used, they should be charged with a price.

Four Dimensions of Relational Work for Improving Teams

Introduction

Most of the executives in an organization assume that the people whom they know are team players who know everything about the personal life of their colleagues and can smooth over interpersonal conflicts easily. However, being interpersonal savvy is very critical in every area of business, and are not limited to just HR and sales. A team functions to its best when it comprises of people with different qualities and complements other team members. It is a daunting task for managers to compose such team.

In this article, we will discuss about the four dimensions of relational work that help managers to find this. These four dimensions provide point of reference in search of employees with different skills and qualities. Managers can increase the happiness in their team using good interpersonal skills and improve the productivity of the organization.

What are the Four Dimensions?

The concept of ‘Four Dimensions of Relational Work’ was identified by Timothy Butter, who was the director of career Development Program at Harvard School of Business. The ideal of this concept can help you match the natural aptitude and skills of team members related to specific project or task. In this article, you will learn how to make best use of this tool and build up a team that is capable of giving its best. According to the findings of Timothy Butter, the four dimensions of relational work includes – influence, interpersonal skills, team leadership and relational creativity.

Force Field Analysis and Its Implementation

Introduction

In the year 1940, Kurt Lewin created the concept of Force field analysis. He originally used this tool in his work as social psychologist. Today, however, this tool is used in the analysis of the business for communicating through the go-or–not go decisions.

Basic Concept

The Force Field Analysis is a helpful decision making tool which helps to analyze whether to go or not to go for a specific change. It also helps in finding out the logical reasons behind your decisions. It includes activities like listing, discussing and evaluating the various forces for and against the proposed changes. Whenever a change is planned, the Force field analysis can help you to look at the bigger picture and weigh all the pros and cons of the change. You can develop the strategies according to the pros and cons. This can help you in opposing all the negative impacts. The forces which are for the changes are known as the driving forces and those work against the changes are called the retraining forces.

Financial Analysis – Its Utility

Introduction

Financial analysis is the process of evaluating the business, projects, budgets and other different finance related entities for determining the suitability for the investment. It can be considered as the performance measure of the effectiveness of the funds where the investments and the debts are employed in the firm.

Basic Concept

Financial Analysis is the assessment of the efficiency and the profitability of the financial operations. It can be defined as the value, the debtors can claim against the assets of the firms. Techniques like the ratio analysis and the fund flow analysis are employed which clearly understand the opportunities and the problems of the financing decisions.

How to Financial Analysis Benefits Your Business?

Financial analysis can provide you with the status of your business in the right method. With the help of the reports and the analytics, you can get a clear view of the present financial condition of your business.

Trend Analysis

The trend analysis, also known as the time series analysis helps to determine the performance of the business over a period of time. This analysis is based on the historical data from the financial statements and the forecasted data from the pro forma of the business or the financial statements which are forward looking. The financial ratio analysis can be used in the trend analysis. If you want to calculate the financial ratios of a company, you are required to calculate minimum two year’s ratios for coming to a proper result. Ratios can only be meaningful if you have previous year’s data in handy. If the previous year’s data are not available, the financial ratios will be of no use. For example, the current ratio can be calculated by analyzing the ratios of the short term assets to the current liabilities. If the ratio results in 1.0, then it will mean that with every dollar of the short term assets, you have one dollar of current liabilities. The short term assets will include inventory, accounts receivable and other liquid accounts.

Percentage Change Financial Statement Analysis

This financial statement analysis can be calculated with the growth rates of the items from the income statement and the balance sheets related to the base year. As this is a very strong form of analysis, you can easily calculate the overall growth rates and can observe the changes in the balance sheet and the financial statement. You can easily notice the changes in the sales and the total assets whether it has risen or declined. Here is an example of the percentage change analysis. Say, ABC is a company which has $800 as inventory in 2013 balance sheet and $1000 in the 2014 balance sheet. Therefore, you can observe that the inventory has grown $200 in 1 year. The formula for calculating the percentage is Change in the inventory / Beginning balance = $200/$800 =0.25 = 25%. Therefore the change in the inventory of ABC Company is 25%.

Common Size Financial Statement Analysis

This type of analysis takes place by analyzing the percentages of the balance sheet and the financial statements. The line items of the income statements can be considered as the percentages of the sales. The balance sheet items can be measured as the percentages of the total assets. For example, the line items are divided by the sales in the financial statement. In case of the balance sheet, the line items are divided by the percentages of the total assets. Therefore, you can create a common sized financial statement analysis by applying this formula. If you can calculate the net income of the total sales, you can apply that specific formula for every line of items and can develop your common sized financial interest. If you can combine the financial ratios with this analysis, you can easily find out the data for year after year and can easily understand the performance of the firm. By using the percentages, you can easily compare instead of using the absolute numbers.

Benchmarking

The benchmarking process or the industry analysis can involve the comparison of different companies with one another. All the companies are within the same industry and their performance is measured with comparison to other companies in the same industry. The financial manager may feel any requirement of financial changes in his company after this analysis.

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Efficiency

The efficiency ratios are those which help in showing the performance measurement of the company where it turns the inventory into the revenue. The outstanding sales per day can focus on the total time required for converting the inventory into the cash. The inventory turnover ratios can show the speed at which the company is moving its merchandises. The ratio of accounts payable to sales can clearly show the percentage of the sales which is contributed with the supplier’s money.

Liquidity

The liquidity ratios can show the worth of the company by measuring its liquid assets in the balance sheet. The current ratio can exhibit the working capital relationship of the current assets and the current liabilities. Similarly, the quick ratios can also calculate the assets that can be easily converted to cash. The debt to equity ratios signify whether the creditors or the shareholders owning the company more and by how much share.

Profitability

The company’s success by generating profits can be measured with the help of the profitability ratios. The profit margin of the company can be determined through the hindrances and the adverse conditions. The return on assets can disclose the profits earned for each dollar of assets. The net worth can focus on the financial returns from the invested capital.

Key Points from the Article

From the above article we can easily understand the

  • The definition of the financial analysis
  • The basic concept of the financial analysis
  • The advantages of the financial analysis in the business

Though there are various advantages of the financial analysis, there are also some limitations. If the numbers are manipulated a little bit, the whole state of the company can show wrong through the analysis.

Establishing Credibility – A Study

Introduction

Credibility is an essential trait that creates trust in others and inspires respect from them. This quality could be labeled for organizations as well as individuals. Credibility is not established on a single day or by a single event, but earned over several days and through multiple actions. Credibility is not a mono characteristic but a combination of several factors.

As already stated, credibility is important for both organizations and individuals. As trust is the basis of establishing credibility it should be the endeavor of persons and companies to create this for themselves. For a pragmatic approach, credibility could be viewed at from both micro and macro levels. Like any other management processes it is always easy to pursue a micro path and then proceed towards a macro level.

Once credibility is developed at an individual level its impact is certain to get reflected on a larger scale. Fundamentally there are five traits that need to be grown to become creditable: character, transparency, expertise, communicability and professionalism.

Character

A strong character adds to a person’s core value and remains through lifetime. Honesty, integrity, authenticity, empathy and loyalty are attributes that contribute towards building a strong character.

Honesty – People love to interact with honest individuals irrespective of his capability or credentials. Being honest not only increases your worth within an organization but also outside. It is equally important for a person to stay honest and truthful not only to colleagues but also to outsiders like customers, vendors, and dealers. An honest person is trusted easily.

Integrity – Integrity is the capability of doing what you promise. There are several occasions where you need to make commitments. A person with integrity would honor his commitments under every situation. In case a promise or commitment in made it should be protected under all circumstances. Commitments that cannot be honored must never be made. Integrity also means the courage to own up for any mistakes made. A creditable person must have the ability to own a mistake and take remedial measures.

Authenticity – An authentic person is very clear about his or her intentions. There should be no element of hypocrisy or duality for an individual with strong character. Actions of an authentic individual must never be against his thoughts; there should be complete parity between thought and action.

Loyalty – Loyalty towards a company, peers, and stakeholders is a vital attribute of a credible person. As long as you are associated with an organization it is expected that you only think for its good and direct your actions likewise. Loyalty should also be there towards your responsibilities and ownership.

Empathy – Not many individuals have this quality. This is distinctive from sympathy and makes a person more sensitive to others’ worries. It is the capacity of a person to visualize other individuals’ concerns and tackle them accordingly. Sympathy is momentary while empathy is lingering.

Transparency

Transparency is an extension of a person’s character. A transparent person is honest and with clear thoughts. There is no element of doubt in such an individual’s ideas and actions. People always prefer to deal with open minded and fair individuals. A member working in a responsible position in a company is required to interact with outsiders as well as insiders. Insiders would include superiors, subordinates, peers and staff. Outsiders comprise customers, suppliers, dealers, retailers, advertisers, and stakeholders.

An able person not only needs to be transparent about his thoughts and actions but also about communicating ideas. You need to be totally transparent about your company’s goals with your team members, suppliers, and clients. A transparent person gets all the support he needs to fulfill his organization’s objectives.

Expertise

In this generation of globalization a professional cannot afford to remain ignorant and unaware. It is essential to stay up-to-date irrespective of your field of operation or your organization type. Improvements are being made daily in areas of manufacturing, marketing, logistics, maintenance, and human resource development. These are broadly the functional areas in an organization and members are distributed in any of these. Similarly enhancements are regular in banking, health services, manufacturing, metallurgy, education, aviation, construction, food processing and so on. It is vital to remain thoroughly informed about advancements that are getting integrated on a regular basis.

To stay ahead in this era of cut throat competition it is essential to be knowledgeable and well informed. Expertise building is a regular activity of a responsible professional to stay ahead in a competitive environment. Not only gathering information is important, protecting it is equally crucial. Every industry and every single functional area has its own distinctive areas of interest and peculiarity. An expert would be qualified to identify these areas and accordingly integrate and implement them to a company’s system.

Communicability

Effective communication is among the most essential requirements of a credible person. One must possess both verbal and written communication skills for becoming successful as an employee and as an individual. Communication is among the fundamental lessons taught to learners in an institute or employees of a company. A good communicator must put his ideas across in a manner such that it is understood by listeners.

Communication is an essential skill and must be acquired for becoming effective managers and co-operative team mates. Communication is not only about expressing but also listening. You must master the art of listening to become a successful communicator. The main essence of communication is that you are understood thoroughly by your listeners or audience. A regular feedback from your audience is crucial to establish whether you are being understood properly or not.

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Professionalism

Professionalism is a term defining your dedication to work. Members of an organization are given responsibilities with the expectation that they be completed as per requirement. Professionalism is all about caring for your work under any situation. Here it needs to be noted that anger and frustrations are not expressions of professionalism. A true professional would never allow emotions to overcome rationale in work place. In case some tasks remain undone a professional approach would demand to find its cause and get the job completed in proper time. Small gestures like proper dressing and cheerful disposition add to your professionalism.

Conclusion

Thus, to build credibility it is essential to exhibit integrity and honesty in whatever you do. You must stay updated and create an environment of positivity all around. It is necessary to be transparent in all your actions and thoughts, and all ideas need to be communicated appropriately to all concerned.

Creating the Foundation of Organization through ERP

Introduction

ERP is an acronym for Enterprise Resource Planning. It is actually management software used for the business process. It allows the enterprise to apply an integrated application for managing and automating various back office functions. Both the external and the internal information flows can be used with the help of a single and comprehensive solution.

Basic Concept

Enterprise Resource Planning can be explained as the enterprise planning for large organizations where dedicated teams are required for data analysis and managing the upgrades of deployment. The ERP applications that are used in small businesses are lightweight software solutions that are customized for the specific industry you are working into.

How to Enjoy Your Commute

Introduction

Travelling to office everyday may be a time consuming affair. However, the journey is not always boring and useless. It can be made entertaining and useful if the commuter uses her time reading books or listening to songs on smartphones. This approach also makes the commuter feel less stressed. By making preparations from before, daily travelers can make sure that they have a useful time while travelling. In this article, we will discuss how a commuter can use stress management and coping strategies to spend time in public transport.

Advantages of Travelling

A study in United States of America has proved that around 8% of Americans commute for above thirty minutes, each way. Among these people, more than six lakh travel for over 3 hours everyday. In The United Kingdom, on an average, commuters travel for forty one minutes.

  • People often consider traveling time a waste. However, while going to work, they can prepare themselves for the day and relax while returning home.
  • People often utilize this time to learn new things and entertain themselves. This helps in improving the mood of the traveler when she arrives at the workplace or home.

Engaging New Recruits can Result in Enhanced Business Productivity

Introduction

It is nice to learn that you have spent quiet a huge amount of time for recruiting right people for right jobs. During the screening process, you have also figured out whether a candidate can match up with your workplace values. Is it the end? No. When you assign these candidates with specified tasks, then it may happen that some of them will become overwhelmed. This situation will spoil the coordination among your team members and therefore, you will be at loss. Do not worry. By engaging new recruits, you can fulfill your business goals.

How To Engage New Recruits?

  • Mentoring
  • Motivating
  • Giving proper recognition
  • Collaborating
  • Establishing proper communication
  • Making aware of corporate culture and many more

Scheduling Time for Training

It is sure that new recruits will take time to perform their assigned tasks and to understand the policies of a company. So, you should set aside some time for professional development training for ensuring that they have time for learning the essential skills that are helpful for holding their position.

Motivating New Employees

Promising and offering handsome pay hike during interviewing process generates willingness to join that company. But, its effect is short lived. When a candidate steps into a new environment, he or she can receive cultural shocks in many ways.

So, you need to act as an effective leader, who can influence and motivate candidates for understanding the importance of their role. You have to make sure that your organization’s goals are clearly stated and you can work with your new team for attaining those prescribed goals.

Offering Mentoring Support

New employees are almost like freshers who only have basic knowledge. These candidates do not know how your line managers work or what type of temperament they possess. So, you are required to deploy a mentor to task, who can solve all the queries of such candidates, which they cannot ask to their line managers due to some reasons. So, you can see that the productivity of an individual rises gradually and you can expect the desired performance out of him or her.

Providing Recognition

As a responsible leader of your organization, you have to ensure that the new recruits, who have received motivation during the induction program, should be able to take it at next level and become productive, communicative and engaged in their respective role. For that purpose, you need to constantly reward them publicly. Their efforts should not be taken for granted. They are the people who will help you to attain success for fulfilling your company’s goals and they will also motivate others to become engaged.

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Collaborating With New Recruits

When you joined or floated your company, you might have worked with many of your subordinates or franchisees for fulfilling the vision of your firm. Your past- experience has definitely helped you to capture the personal inputs of your employees for future growth. So, you have to treat new recruits as your partners, who can come up their own views regarding certain business practice. So, from time to time, you need to conduct meetings with them and engage them to share their opinions regarding company’s progress. This kind of move will definitely help your new recruits to feel that they are engaged and will result in enhanced productivity.

Take Note on Meritocracy

In addition to rewarding for hard work, it is required that you reserve the power for those candidates who earn it through their merit. It is vital for your organization to have diverse talents at every point.

Someone with more power or diverse talent always cannot be an inherent leader. As a guardian or custodian of new staffs, you should always have an open mind set and this can help you in recognizing the true potential of candidates, which will provide suitable ways of promoting from within the department.

Giving Responsibilities to New Recruits

You can use this kind of strategy to assure someone that he or she is the integral part of your team. If you do not give assignments or responsibility to new recruits after they have joined your company, they will lose initial excitement, which they had about new opportunity, feel discouraged and may quit your organization.

Creating Goals and Career Plan

Creating career plans and goals are efficient ways of capturing excitement of new recruits. Employees love to know what goals they are striving for and how they are working to attain them. Providing them a path and definitive goals is the best way for harnessing their excitement and making them a functional member of a team.

Establishing Effective Communication

By simply bombarding a message will not solve the purpose. A person can become an effective leader to run a successful company, who intelligently establishes two – way communication. It also signifies that you should not keep on speaking. Allow others to speak and note the points being made. Without establishing proper communication, you cannot build understanding, trust and collaboration, which are important for engaging employees and running of successful organization.

Promoting Responsiveness

Along with the power of good listening, you have to promote responsiveness to new recruits at every situation. Responsiveness as well as open communication and honesty help discussing with employees with various issues and creates environment for working together to overcome hurdles.

Taking Innovative Measures

It is always desirable that you learn new things. But, it is equally important for you implement new policies or changes that have taken place shortly. Adapting to changes or new demands not only keeps an organization relevant, but also sports exciting challenges for new employees, which can make tasks appear enjoyable. Challenges not only help a company, but they provide ideal ways for employees to grow.

Creating Sense of Enjoyment

You need to ensure that the new recruits should not develop fear from their assigned tasks. Generating an enjoyable and comfortable space, mentally and physically, where new recruits feel supported and welcomed by their team members is important for raising productivity.

Conclusion

Hiring new candidates for your company is an exciting opportunity. For your organization, it represents new perspective, vision and ideas. Engaging your new recruits with proper planning and strategies can lead to enhanced business productivity.

Energize Yourself to Work Efficiently

Introduction

There are times when a professional becomes tired and wants to take rest. These are times when an employee cannot deliver quality and gets irritated on simple things. The main idea is that to do anything she needs to be energized. In this article, we will discuss about low energy levels and what can be done to eliminate them. These strategies give full concentration on increasing personal effectiveness.

Causes of Low Energy

There are many reasons for low energy levels. Mentioned below are some of the causes.

  • Unhealthy food habits
  • Less opportunity to sleep
  • Consumption of medicines
  • Deficiency of vitamins and iron
  • Dearth of exercise
  • Depression
  • Lack of motivation
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Stress

Quick Solutions

# Walk

  • Short walks enhance oxygen flow to brains.
  • A change in atmosphere helps in increasing energy level.
  • She can walk with a friend, so that she does not get bored while walking.
  • She should walk in areas with light surroundings to benefit the increase in energy levels.

# Utilize Light

  • If the office has a window, she should remove the curtains, so that ample light can get in.
  • If there is no window, she should make sure that the lamps are bright. Lamps that emit strong light can make professionals feel more alert.
  • The light from the monitor also has impact on the energy level and can deactivate hormones that induce sleep.
  • Daylight lamps, which are used for increasing mental alertness, can be used to excite energy levels.

# Music

  • When a person listens to high-energy music, her body gets excited and she responds to it in a faster way. She starts tapping her feet and her spirits rise.
  • Music has a deep impact on the level of energy. Some categories of music make people feel energized, alert and awake, while other categories make them tense, drowsy and annoyed.
  • The sort of music that a person can like depends on her personality. In most cases, jazz and classical music brings back energy while some people feel energized by hard rock or pop. When she realizes that her energy is reducing, she should turn on the music and feel revamped.

# Consume water

  • Lack of water hampers the energy level and people do not want to work. A professional who is suffering from low energy should drink lots of water to be able to work efficiently.
  • The moment she realizes that her energy is decreasing she should drink some water. A human being on an average should drink around 2.5 liters of fluid a day.
  • The fluid she drinks may not be necessarily water; however she must be aware of the fact that the other liquid she drinks does not offset the quality of water. For instance, fruit drinks with high sugar content provide energy for short period of time, but it is followed by more tiredness. On the other hand, caffeine can cause anxiety problems in the professional.

# Take rest

  • The professional should take sometime before she starts her day when she does not do anything and not think about anything regarding her work. She can observe the way she breathes.
  • This helps in relaxing the body muscles and the professional feels content. She feels refreshed and ready for the day.

Long–term Solutions

# Exercise

  • Regular exercise has the capacity to increase the energy level in a professional. Over the years, studies have proved that exercise is necessary to lead a healthy and fulfilling life.
  • Exercising regularly also introduces a sense of happiness and well-being.
  • The professional may be very busy, but she should make it a point to exercise on a daily basis.

# Keep an eye on the schedule

  • The extent to which the office schedule and office work can affect the energy level of an employee should be observed. For instance, if the professional is an early riser, she will be filled with energy in the morning. After lunch in the afternoon she will have low energy. It will again be regained in the evening.
  • The professional should in this case, keep the most critical tasks slotted for the morning, which is the time when she is at her maximum energy level.

# Have healthy diet

  • The diet of a person impacts to a great extent the energy level of a person. When she eats food that is poor in quality like those rich in salt, sugar, artificial ingredients and fat, she does not consume the nutrients that are needed to give her best.
  • Some of the unhealthy food and drink like, ice creams, chips or candies render a quick gush of energy because they raise the level of blood sugar. But, such levels drop as quickly as they come and leave the consumer feeling lower than before. Having three balanced meals a day is better than constant devouring of sugary or briny snacks. Mid – afternoon and mid – morning snacks, such as low - fat cheese, almonds, vegetables, fruits and yogurt can be consumed by the professional.

# Find interest in work

  • Energy often lowers when the professional finds a task meaningless and boring. When a task is conducted everyday it indeed becomes monotonous and she feels lazy.
  • She should identify the tasks that drain her the most. These tasks are often not important, but not urgent enough to be done on a regular basis. She should also be aware of the time spent on these tasks.
  • She should then determine if she really has to do those tasks. If not, they can be delegated to someone else who might find them interesting.
  • There are times when an employee loses interest in the role she is assigned to. She can then go through the purpose of her role. This will help her recollect her objectives and the influence her activities have on the company.

To Sum Up

From the article, we have deduced that there are many causes to have low energy. However, certain measures like, music, a healthy diet, a meaningful task, exercise, proper rest and proper utilization of light can render a professional energized and revamped to start a day.

Understanding Employer Branding

Introduction

Employer branding is essentially a company’s goodwill as an employer. This is comparable to product branding, where a product becomes identifiable with a brand. The term ‘employer branding’ began to take shape in the 1990s where organizations started to be tagged as ‘great places to work’.

Crucial Facts

After the 1990s money was not the only motivation to a good job. High salary and successful career were no longer the motivating factors. Instead people wanted to work where they felt like and where they believed they would be contented. Their career was the new identification and they mould their personality likewise. Towards the beginning on the present decade young job aspirants wanted to identify with jobs that they were doing. For them career is a part of life and an identity. Money was not the prime motivator but a desire of getting identified with a career or an organization. Nearly 85 percent respondents of a survey on young workforce revealed that they were not just working for earning money.

60 percent of these respondents further asserted that work is their identity and they were is the pursuance of a career which offered them a proper work-life balance. Job security or earning money no longer remained the primary motivator for job aspirants. After the 1990s and particularly in this century, job-employee identity became paramount and aspirants started working for companies which were great places to work.

Employer branding is a conscious process where companies not only look for candidates who love their job, but offer assignments that are engaging. Further, these organizations normally have strong employee augmentation and retention programs.

Follow a Few Effective Strategies of Email Marketing and Target Your Audience Easily

Introduction

You will be astonished to know that approximately 144 billion emails are sent everyday worldwide. The figure is huge just because email marketing has become the most effective way for several business houses to reach consumers. A new study that has monitored over 120 campaigns suggests that emails still have the greater ability to bring new customers compared to social media sites.

Often, it gets very difficult to manage a large number of mails. If you are facing such problem, this article may help you with an effective solution. In this article, we will discuss about some useful email strategies through which you will learn about the most effective way to target your audience via emails.

Identify the purpose of your mails if you are the recipient

It is not that every email in your inbox to bother you, as you can get some important email from your boss or business partners also. However, classifying emails based on their importance is the most effective way to manage your inbox. Here a few points are given below that will show some purpose that your company might choose to let you know via emails.

  • Sell my product
  • Generate revenue through advertising
  • Convince people to register for any particular event
  • Enhance company’s reputation by mailing customers
  • Keep your company at top of your mind

Personalize emails without recipient’s name

There is no doubt that the most effective tool of email marketing is relationship. You may have to face questions like, does the recipient know you or does he or she trust you much? We know a lot about intimacy in our personal life, and we must know that the same thing happens with the emails too.

The strategy of personalizing email is a meaningful and effective way and if you try to follow the method, you should have little knowledge to use someone’s name in your emails and it demonstrates greater care when a person sends personalized emails to some particular recipients.

Try to send emails between 8 p.m. to midnight

You may think that official emails should be sent in working hours, but the top email strategy says that sending email at night is the most effective way to target audience. Here are factors that will determine the performance your email if they are sent at night.

  • It often depends upon customers’ mood, inbox crowding, and activity time of other marketers
  • The strategy will not work if the recipient work in night shifts
  • Familiar topics may divert recipient’s attention towards others
  • Attractive titles also influences the recipient’s mind

Maintain proper length of subject line

Subject with 60 to 70 characters is considered as the dead zone of the subject line. However, research shows subject lines that come with 60 to 70 characters have greater rate of response and subject line with 50 or less character have much lower rate of response. Thus, if you want to boost clicks by the recipients, then try to maintain a balance in your subject length.

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Weekends are the best time to send emails

If you are gaining nothing from sending emails at night, then the best way you can try is, send emails on the weekends. A study shows that senders get more response in weekends than weekdays and most of companies are keeping their activity level high on those days.

However, the volume of per email should be kept low so that people do not have to spend much time on it. The content of the email should be attractive and firm so that it can drag the attention of recipient easily.

Try to reconnect with inactive subscribers

You may have huge customer database, but the question is how many of them are active subscribers! Research has found that the average percentage of inactive customer is 63 percent. However, if you have decided to focus on those inactive subscribers, then re-engagement campaign will be the perfect strategy to start with. If you work on you 63 percent inactive subscribers and manage to draw the attention of at least 20 or 30 percent of them, your overall percentage will be above the average level.

Conclusion

Email is considered as the most effective way to communicate within our community for several purposes. Most of the companies today are using emails in order to spread out information about their product, service, and concept of any other events. However, if someone, who is pursuing the process, moves forward with right strategies, then the person or the organization could embark on the track of success. Thus, follow those strategies that appear suitable for your needs and see how your approach can draw the attention of large number of target audience.

Know About the Eight Common Goal-Setting Mistakes

Introduction

Sometimes a professional sets goals and is excited about future prospects. But, as time passes she realizes that things are not as smooth as she thought them to be. In this article, we will discuss about increasing personal effectiveness by looking at and realizing some common goal - setting mistakes.

Idea

The goals set by the professional take a lot of time to achieve. Since, she had never looked back to see how much and what she had achieved, she loses track of what she wants to achieve. Objectives are forgotten and she loses her focus.

Managing Price with Market Conditions through Dynamic Pricing Strategy

The dynamic pricing strategy is the process of changing the prices according to the circumstances of the market. In this process, the price is never being firmly set and it entirely depends on the market conditions. Often called as the real time pricing, the price can increase due to the rise in demand.

Applications of Dynamic Pricing

There can be various situations when this particular strategy can be applied. Now let us go through few of the types:

  • Service Time: If service time is very fast, the price can be increased in the dynamic pricing policy. For example, the same day delivery of the dry cleaned clothes will charge you more than delivery after 2 days. Printing services at late hours can charge you more than the regular price. This strategy can help in increasing the profit margin by increasing the customer loyalty.
  • Segmented Pricing: Some customers may be willing to pay more for the customized services. For example, some businessmen may be ready to pay more for the airline tickets for flying in the mid-week. Some customers may pay more for faster services, more features or improved quality. A product can possess high price with warranty and low price without it.
  • Time Of Purchase: The pricing strategies may offer the customers different prices at different times. For example, the airline companies use this policy very frequently. The ticket rates for low demand games can be cheaper than the high demand games.
  • Peak User Pricing: This strategy is mainly used in the transportation business. The rail and airway companies can charge high prices during the rush hours from Monday to Friday.
  • Changing Conditions: In different market conditions, different prices can be set. For example, the profits can be increased by lowering the prices during low demand and increasing the price with the rise in demand.

Drawbacks of Dynamic Pricing

Though there are various applications and benefits of this pricing strategy, you can find some drawbacks also:

  • Increased Competition: When there is less amount of loyalty within the customers, with the increased competition, they may move to another company with better rates without any hesitation.
  • Irritation Of Customers: If the customers can realize that there is a price discrimination strategy, they will surely get irritated. For example, an airline ticket may be sold through the travel agency with discounts at $500 and the same ticket may cost $600 for the normal buyers. When both the passengers discuss their rates, the high priced passenger may get highly irritated.
  • Less Loyal Customers: When the customers get irritated with the price discrimination strategy, the brand loyalty of the company may get hampered. If the customer realizes that the company is offering dynamic pricing strategy, they will surely switch to the competitors for better rates.

Dynamic pricing strategy is entirely legal in nature. The improved personalization services can earn a huge amount of profit with the help of this strategy. It is therefore gradually gaining grounds to the business owners by replacing the traditional fixed pricing method.

Calculation, Advantages and Disadvantages of Cost Plus Pricing

Cost plus pricing is the method of setting the prices depending on the cost factors. In this method, you add the direct material cost, direct labor costs and overhead costs of the product and then can be added with the markup percentages for creating the profit margins. This pricing method can be utilized within the contract of the customers where the seller gets reimbursed by paying negotiated profits by adding the costs incurred.

Calculation of Cost Plus Pricing

Let us assume that the XYZ company has manufactured a product with the following costs:

  • Direct material costs = $ 10
  • Direct labor costs = $ 4.50
  • Allocated Overhead = $ 9.25

The company allows a standard 20% markup to all of its products. For deriving at the price of the product, the ABC Company can add the costs for reaching at the total cost of 23.75 and then the amount can be obtained by multiplying with ( 1 + 0.20 )

Finally, the product price can be calculated at $ 28.5

Analysis and Benefits of Implementing Break Even Pricing

The price setting method at the point where the business will earn zero profits after sale is considered to be the break even pricing. The main aim of the particular pricing method is to decrease the prices and apply this marketing tool for gaining a substantial amount of market share.

Definition of Break Even Pricing

The breakeven price can be defined as:

  • The particular amount of the money for which the assets can be sold for covering only the costs of acquiring it.
  • In the trading options, the break even pricing is that stock price at which the investors will not lose by exercising the stock.
  • The specific amount of money at which the products can be sold at no profit and no loss.

Big Data: Its Definition and Importance

Introduction

Big data is a term that can be explained with the availability of structured and unstructured data and the exponential growth. The data is considered to be so huge that it is not possible for processing it through the software techniques and the traditional database.

Basic Concept

In the year 2001, the market analyst named Doug Laney defined the big data with the help of three Vs, namely Variety, Velocity and Volume.

  • Variety: The data can be presented in various formats. It can either be structured or numeric within the traditional database. The information here can be created with the line of business applications. The audio, video, email, unstructured text documents, stock ticker data and the financial transactions can also be included. Most of the organizations can involve in activities like merging, managing and governing the different types of data.
  • Velocity: The data streaming activities can be managed in a timely manner if there are unprecedented speeds. The sensors, smart metering techniques and the RFID tags are increasing the need of data torrents to be activated in real time. The quick reaction against the data velocity can be the challenge for many of the organizations.
  • Volume: Different factors can increase the volume of the data. All the transaction based data can be stored for many years. The unstructured data streaming can be done within the social media. Large number of sensors and machine data can be gathered. Many years back, there was storage issue for huge volume of data. When the storage costs decrease, different other issues can appear. The analytics can be created with large volume of data and the relevance within the data can be easily determined.

Learn the Effective Applications of Absorption Pricing

Absorption pricing is the particular process of setting the prices where the price possesses the variable costs as well as the proportionate fixed costs. Here, the fixed costs are being absorbed within the prices of the products as each of the products reflects the variable costs as well as the relevant share of the fixed cost. This concept is the modification form of full cost plus pricing where the full cost is being charged to a product, but the profit is not considered as one of the factors.

Calculation of Absorption Pricing

The absorption pricing of the individual units can be divided separately to the administrative costs and the total overhead costs by the total number of units produced and then adding the result with the variable cost per unit. The formula can be explained as:

Variable Cost/Unit + (Total Overhead + Administrative expense )

Number Of Units Produced

The additional markup of the profit can also be added with the formula according to the discretion of the specific company.

The pricing method is generally used to calculate the long term price of the product for paying all the expenses. The process definitely ensures that the business maintains profitability for the long term.

Evaluating Potential Suppliers with 10 Cs of Supplier Evaluation

Introduction

You may sometimes select wrong suppliers for your business function. Though the supplier is providing you with good price, but later you may come to know that the quality standard is not matching your requirements. To avoid this mismatch, you are required to evaluate the suppliers in the proper method before finally selecting them in your approved list of suppliers. In this article we will discuss about the 10 Cs of Supplier Evaluation model.

Basic Concept

Ray Carter, the director of the DPSS consultants originally introduced the concept of 7 Cs of effective supplier evaluation. The original concept was expanded to 10 and now it is better known as the 10 C’s of supplier evaluation. This particular evaluation can provide a clear understanding to the individuals who are involved in the performance measurement of the suppliers.

10 Cs of supplier evaluation is the standard framework for choosing the suppliers. This criterion will help to provide a benchmark by giving some standard procedure and eliminating the guesswork from the entire process. It is a thorough method for all the potential entrants in the supply field. The evaluation can take place through the form of site visit, questionnaires and the interviews. The assessment can go through the quality standards, financial stability, organizational structure etc. The existing and the potential suppliers can compete to get listed in the approved supplier list (ASL). This helps in improving the performance of the existing suppliers and also ensures you that you have the right list of suppliers in your approved list.

Know about the 10 Common Presentation Mistakes

Introduction

Preparing a good presentation and presenting it in front of your seniors and higher management is quite a common practice in the business houses. In order to be successful in this challenging task, some careful planning is required. Your first step to ensure success in this task is to get familiar with certain common presentation mistakes. In this article, we will discuss about the 10 most common mistakes that can ruin a presentation.

What are the 10 Common Presentation Mistakes?

Try to avoid the following common presentation mistakes:

  1. Unclear Objective
  2. Too Much Detailing
  3. Crowded Slides
  4. A Disorganized Content
  5. Not Knowing Your Audience
  6. Improper Design Theme or Template
  7. Lack of Preparation
  8. Using Monotonous Voice
  9. Failure to End Presentation Strongly
  10. Failure to Answer to the Questions Asked

10 Common Mistakes Leaders and Managers Commit

Introduction

Leadership and management skills are important for running a business successfully. Lots of studies have been made in relation to leadership and management skills, but the fact is that not much of it has been used in practical life. This is because several new entrepreneurs do not realize that a business can run smoothly with overall team efforts. At some point or the other, it turns out to be just impossible for a person to handle the entire business single-handedly. It has been observed that when new entrepreneurs get to a stage having the authority to recruit employees, often commit some common management and leadership mistakes.

Common Leadership and Management Mistakes

Trying to avoid the following common leadership and management mistakes can help you to run an organization effectively:

1. Giving No Feedback

Feedback is one of the most important aspects that every leader should give to his/her team members. It has often been observed that employees who do not get regular feedback from their seniors continue the same without an inch of improvement in their performance. Remember, if you are waiting for the right time to deliver feedback then you are hampering your business as well as overall teamwork. So, try to sit with your teammates once a week and let them know where or what they lack. This is really going to work.

6 Physical Relaxation Techniques to Alleviate Stress

No matter how much you love to immerse yourself in work, you need to take out some time for relaxation daily. Trying out some easy and helpful physical relaxation techniques regularly can prevent you from developing stress symptoms. This not only helps in preventing stress, but also gifts you a healthier and happier life. Contrary to popular belief, relaxation is not just about indulging in a leisure time activity or spending time with family and friends. So, what is relaxation actually? What are the physical relaxation techniques and how can you benefit from them? This article will offer answer to all these questions.

What is Relaxation?

Relaxation can be described as a process of shrinking the effects of stress on body and mind. Following right relaxation techniques everyday can prepare you to tackle stress effectively. It does not take up a lot of time. You need to devote just 10 to 15 minutes every day. You can keep many major health troubles like, heart disease and even cancer at bay with this daily routine.

Before talking about the six physical relaxation techniques, it is important to explain why you should practice them every day.

Corporate Social Responsibility – A Detailed Study

An Introduction

In the twenty first century, companies have more responsibility than to merely earn profits and pay taxes. They are responsible towards the society in a more broad way. The society demands ethical treatment of employees, fair trade and protection of environment from companies. This expectation does not only rest on big companies, but smaller ones too. In this article, we will discuss about strategy tools used by corporate social responsibility and see how companies can manage society’s expectations and enjoy profits at the same time.

An Idea of Corporate Social Responsibility

Organizations are influential and they can wield their power in influencing both the community and the national economy. They have a lot of money that is meant to invest on programs that are socially conscious. There are some companies that pretend to be socially responsible. This attitude is called "greenwashing." However, companies that want to earn goodwill, devote time and money for environmental programs. They implement initiatives to benefit customers, employees and the community at large.

Business Process Reengineering- An Analysis

An Introduction

Cases are heard where companies have to lay off employees, yet suffer from losses. Their profit percentage and revenue keeps decreasing even though they introduce newest technological innovations. However, even after taking cost effective measures, the revenue of the company is not rising. What is significant in this case is whether the measures taken by the companies are correct or not. There are different ways to think about earning profits. Instead of worrying about the production line by reducing the number of employees, companies can look into other ways such as customer preference and redesigning manufacturing process. In this article, we will discuss about business process reengineering, which is one of the strategy tools that helps in process optimization.

Business Process Reengineering - Origin

Former MIT professor, Michael Hammer, published an article in 1990 where he described business process reengineering (BPR). This management approach became popular in course of time.

According to Hammer, BPR is the fundamental redesign and rethinking of the process of business in order to attain considerable improvements in contemporary performance measures like, quality, cost, speed and quality.

After Hammer’s article was published, Tom Peters and Peter Drucker supported transformation of business as a technique for attaining large scale improvements across many performance measures. Large scale companies soon started selling this new strategy of management to their clients. By the middle of 1990s, all corporate managers were talking about business process reengineering.

Beckhard and Harris’ Change Equation for Organizational Transformations

Introduction

Implementing change in organizations is not an easy task. However, there are some changes, which are given importance following the role model of an organization, and those include mergers, downsizing, and thereby implementing new ERP systems. Incorporating such a change usually causes workforce to fear about the uncertainty in workplace and eventually they lose focus, moral and most importantly the performance that is counted at the end of the day. In this article, we will talk about Beckhard and Harris’s Change Equation Model, the most trusted theory for organizational development and change.

Beckhard and Harris Change Equation

Organizational Change and the Problems

Public-sector firms as well as the business organizations have reported tremendous failure towards implementing transformation strategy in organization. This is something quite unexpected even after investing money in considerable amount. As per the diagnostic survey declining trust of low cadre employees on management and dissatisfaction in workplace have been considered as some of the reasons for such a massive failure. However the problem can only be addressed upon carefully addressing the issues through proper management intervention.

Number of Budget Scenarios to Prepare

Introduction

It is a normal practice for companies to prepare a single budget based on expected earnings and expenditures. Such budgets are centralized and created towards the end of a financial year for forthcoming 12 months. It is assumed that both projected earnings and expenditures tally with actual figures.

Expenditure and Earnings

For a budgetary period, expenditure and earnings must remain the same. In case expenditure exceeds earnings a budget is considered as deficit; whereas if earnings exceed expenses then the concerned budget is treated as surplus. Very rarely do expenditure and earning tally resulting in a deficit or surplus budget. In a normal scenario an ideal budget is considered where expenditure and earnings are equal. However such is not the case and alternative scenarios must be considered. Two such contrasting scenarios are when a company faces the threat of bankruptcy and when a company achieves unprecedented and unplanned sales.

Evaluation of Net Present Value and Internal Rate of Return

Introduction

When any investment decisions are taking place with the help of discounted cash flow analysis, the difference between the Internal Rate of Return and Net Present Value becomes very difficult to detect. To understand the distinction, you are required to understand the basic concept of the NPV as well as IRR.

Basic Concept

The Net Present Value is the measure which tells the investor about the right investment decision. It determines whether the investments are going in the right track and achieving right goals after a specific period of time. The net present value also helps in quantifying the adjustments done during the initial investments stage for acquiring the desired targets, keeping all the other things as constant. Therefore the NPV can be defined as the summary of cash flows during the holding period and the required rate of return of the investors.

Multitasking – A Study

Introduction

Professionals often multitask to increase their productivity. For instance, a resource talks on the phone to her superior while at the same time typing her to-do list for the day. Then she reads the instructions of her superior while starting the day’s work. In this world of fast activities, a person who can perform more than one task at a time is considered efficient. However, multitasking can claim the quality of the work done and thus, time taken to complete it properly. In this article, we will discuss the problems that are attached to multitasking and identify the reasons of not doing it.

Myth of Productivity

Multitasking has been studied by many analysts over the years and most of them have reached the same deduction that multitasking is not a means to become more productive.

  • Studies have proved that multitasking results in wastage of about twenty to forty percent of the time. It is not possible for a professional to focus on more than one task at a time. However, most people do not realize that and end up multitasking.
  • When a professional tries to do two things at a time, she tries to focus on both of them. If while writing an email to a colleague, she has to listen to another colleague, she cannot concentrate on both things at a time. It is true that these activities consist of different skills, but when she tries to send an email she cannot concentrate on what the speaker is trying to tell her. Again, while she tries to speak to someone she also endeavors to send an email. Both these activities require communication. The professional cannot properly focus on both the acts properly. As she tries to shift from one task to the other, her mind gets overwhelmed with the information at hand
  • The greatest issue with multitasking is that it reduces the work quality. People try to do two or more things at a time and at the end cannot render complete efficiency to any one of them.
  • When a professional switches task; her mind reorganizes to handle the new set of information. If this shift of concentration takes place rapidly, she cannot focus on any one of them. Thus, the work quality of the professional is compromised. The more complicated the type of work, the more difficult it is to make the shift at rapid rate. For example, it would be quite impossible to prepare an effective presentation while engaged in an important conversation with a colleague.
  • Moreover, multitasking has negative effect on the mind of the professional. Not only this, people also become physically exhausted.

On the other hand, if she focuses on one just one task, she can show more efficiency. She gets the feeling that the quality of the work is also good. As a result, she gets into the flow of the work.

Understanding Tendency to Multitask

  • It is difficult to understand the tendency of multitasking. However, some indicators actually help in identifying the tendency.
  • If a professional keeps open many tabs on her computer, it proves that she is multitasking. People tend to multitask when they have less interest in a task. For example, a professional might not be much interested in preparing a spreadsheet. In that case she might rapidly do research on other topics or even check her email account. This, she does to reduce the pressure of the difficult work.

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Stopping Multitasking

If professionals desire to decrease their stress level or enhance her efficiency, they should get rid of the habit of multitasking. Mentioned below are some of the techniques that can be followed to avoid multitasking.

  • She should maintain a record that tells her about the people who interrupt the most while she is at work. Depending upon the urgency of the interruptions she can deal with them later on. She should also approach them in a polite way to make them realize that not all interruptions are welcome at the time of work.
  • If she feels like doing something else while she is at work, she should focus all her attention on the work at hand.
  • She should gather knowledge on techniques of improving her concentration, so that she comes to know how to focus on a particular work at a time. If she is in the habit of multitasking, she may feel somewhat awkward initially. But, in course of time she realizes the positive impact of the practice on the quality of her work.
  • If, in the middle of multitasking, the professional realizes what she is doing, she should immediately stop herself. She should take small breaks or meditate for a brief period of time in order to refocus her mind. She can meditate by looking at a point in the room for five minutes. This helps in increasing level of concentration and lowering the level of stress.
  • In the event that she has set an audible alert when her messages or emails come in, she should turn the sounds off. As a result, she will not check her inbox every time she learns about the entry of a new mail.
  • If the professional is doing something and finds her concentration drifting from that task, she should acknowledge the moment. For instance, she is having an important discussion with her superior and she loses interest in it. She should put herself back in the moment. This will help her to stay focused on the situation at hand.
  • There are times when the professional has to do another work while she is doing one task. In these circumstances she should carefully note down the techniques she had been thinking about to take ahead the task she was doing. Then she should do the urgent work.

To Sum Up

From this article, it can be deduced that time management tools help in increasing personal effectiveness and multitasking is not always the best way to increase efficacy. In fact, it often leads to low quality of work being delivered by a professional.

Monte Carlo Analysis – A Study

Introduction

Business owners make a careful research of cash flow for their business. She has to make sure that the inputs of business have the cost that she had forecasted. In this article, we will discuss about the Monte Carlo Analysis.

Origin

Monte Carlo Analysis gets its name from the principality Monte Carlo, which is known for its casinos. The nomenclature was done by S. Ulam in 1946. He was the first mathematician to provide this approach a name of its own to honor a family member who had an uncanny attraction towards gambling.

Improving Your Business through Mobile Technology

Introduction

Mobile technology is that type of technology which is generally used for the cellular communication. As the name suggests, it is that technology which is portable in nature. During the past few years, the CDMA technology (Code Division Multiple Access) has improved rapidly. The transformation started when the two way pager converted to cellular phone, a web browser, an instant messenger, video gaming device, GPS navigation system all in one. The experts in this field predict the computer technology will depend on the mobile computing and wireless networking in few years.

Basic Concept

The mobile operating systems can be available for Blackberry, iOS, Android and Windows which is present in all the modern smartphones. Among all, Android is the latest which was introduced by the Google as an open source mobile application that can be freely used through any mobile network. Different applications can easily be downloaded like various utility tools, GPS tools, gaming applications etc.

Understanding Minority Influence Strategy

Introduction

Minority influence is a type of social influence when a smaller group influences a larger group to accept the former’s ideas or beliefs. In group dynamics the acceptance of majority’s decision is through compliance and conformity while acceptance of minority’s ideas is through conversion. When a minor group accepts the decision of majority it is through compliance, while the acceptance of a decision of a minority by a much larger group is through conversion.

Minority influence is a more creative form of group behavior as it involves changing public opinion towards a private viewpoint. A typical example of this type of behavior was the introduction of voting rights for women in United States in early 20th century. This idea was initially generated by a small group of suffragettes. In a conforming environment compliance is a common phenomenon. This compliancy might however be rejected in private. This is not such with conversions. Conversions involve acceptance in both private and public. It is a tough task for a minority to convince majority to come in agreement to their viewpoint.

For creating an impact on majority group members by a minority group four factors have been identified, namely, behavioral style, identification, style of thinking, and flexibility.

Minimizing Work Space Stress Enhances Business Profitability

Introduction

Every person likes to work in a renovated office environment. When candidates arrived for interview, they found that the ambience was bright, cubicles were positioned in rows and many other things. Fine, most of them got selected and they resumed your work soon. But, after few days, you find that they are suffering from stress. This may have happened due to overcrowding of work space. So, they feel weak, cannot control their temper and this kind of behavior leads to conflicts, which hampers business prospects. So, if you take into account some work space stress minimizing strategies, you can keep your employees happy and can attain best business productivity.

Causes of Work Space Stress

Work space stress comes from physical conditions, which you perceive as frustrating, uncomfortable, unpleasant or irritating, such as

  • Unhealthy air like smoke, air pollution, unpleasant smell, etc
  • Inefficient lighting arrangements
  • Loud background noise like conversation, traffic noise, music, etc
  • Faulty designs of desks and chairs
  • Unclean office area

A person may think that these factors are quite small. But, when they are clubbed together, one can find the effects are alarming.

Meditation is the Safe Way to Overcome Stress at Work

Introduction

Every person wants to lead a happy life. But, the happiness cannot be guaranteed, as it depends on the situation that a person experiences. Whether it is a product launch, client meet, monthly closing sales, arranging performance analysis meet, your mind suffers from stress if things do not go in right order. As a result, your productivity falls and that affects the business growth of your company. Many times, people spend money on costly medications for getting out of stress. Over long run, these kinds of medications can leave adverse effects on your body. So, if you go for natural remedies like meditation, it will not only save your money, but will also lead you towards progress in your career.

Meditation Reduces Stress at Work

Many stress therapists have recognized that regular relaxation and meditation can help to reduce stress at work in great way. In order to understand the importance of meditation, they are themselves engaged in performing meditation procedures. This tactics is also helping them for teaching well.

Managing Project Uncertainties – A Close Look At It

Introduction

Uncertainties are inherent to any project and even the most efficient management team cannot avoid or overcome them. The best that they could do is to stay prepared and counter these uncertainties. The real challenge for a management team is the ability to take wise decisions even in uncertain times. Managing uncertainties is not the same as risk-management and in fact goes beyond it. Businesses involve risk and its management is among a regular management function. These risks are known and could be foretold. Uncertainties on the other hand, are unforeseen and could catch an organization by surprise.

These uncertainties could occur during any phase of a project lifecycle, namely, planning, initiation, implementation, and completion. The superiority of a manager lies in the ability to recognize the different forms of uncertainties and formulation of strategies to counter them. Projects are subject to uncertainties as there are several external factors that determine their execution and completion.

Managing in a Matrix Organization can Boost Business Performance

Introduction

Nowadays, competition among businesses is soaring and companies are working hard to satisfy customers in every possible way. For that reason, many companies are ensuring that the information flow, whether internally or externally should take place without any hindrance. For that reason, many business firms are adopting Matrix Organization Model for managing their resources efficiently. For achieving that goal, these companies deploy best technological tools for speeding up the work process.

Importance of Matrix Organization Model

A reputed talent management organization of the United States conducted a research in the past and it has found that many companies are following the Matrix Organization Model for enhancing their competencies. Determined for getting closer to customers and becoming more innovative and agile, global giants like GE and IBM are implementing this model for raising productivity as a whole.

But, the transition for adopting this model is not so smooth. In matrix organizations, managers or business leaders have to face many challenges like managing international, cross- divisional teams over whom they cannot exercise their influence totally. You will find that skills that are required for effectively navigating the matrix are different from those, which are required for managing the old, hierarchical organizational model.

Managing Emotion in a Team – An Analysis

Introduction

There are times when some team members are very frustrated and complain to everyone about the work pressure they have. The negativity of such people has the capacity to sow seeds of skepticism. The attitude of some of these dissatisfied team members does a lot of damage to the development of other team members and the team. Innovative ideas are destroyed by these team members. Meetings held in the presence of such people cannot go very far. In this article, we will discuss about the art of managing emotion in a team. It is a study about team management as well as team-building and dynamics.

An Idea

Negative emotions spread fast from one person to another. If one of the team members experiences negative attitude, the performance of the whole team is hampered.

Managing Conflicting Priorities – A Study

Introduction

Often professionals have to face situations when they have to submit more than one project within the same timeframe. She can either stay awake overnight to complete all the tasks or she can keep one project to be completed urgently, and keep the rest for later completion. However, approaching a client to say that her work is less urgent than another one is difficult. Moreover, completing all the projects in the given time also leads to stress. In this article, we will discuss about managing conflicting priorities to increase personal effectiveness.

Idea

  • When a professional puts all her efforts to complete all the work, it becomes multitasking, which again leads to poor work quality and late delivery of task. This results in disappointment among people who depend on her and she gets lesser opportunities in future.
  • The problem of conflicting priorities comes into action when a professional is very good at her work and is committed to it. The expectations and demands of superiors as well as colleagues increase. In the process, the professional makes mistakes and has to do the work again. This kills a lot of time.

Prioritizing Work

Mentioned below are a few techniques that make sure that work prioritization is practiced and everyone is kept satisfied.

# Take control of the activities

  • She should try to avoid procrastinating her tasks.
  • She should have complete control of her workplace.
  • She must avoid interruptions in office.
  • She should have an efficient filing system which is easy to use.
  • She can find out the old practices that claim her time and eliminate them.
  • She should have a clear mind before sitting down at her desk.

# Go after the priorities

  • She should make maximum utilization of resources that provide excellent service
  • She should be able to understand the technique of making her priorities, the priority of others.
  • She should not compromise on the quality of her service even the work pressure is overwhelming.
  • She should be able to understand the efficiency of each team member and recognize the projects that she can delegate to them.
  • She should reduce the time she spends in meetings and conferences.

# Combine between tasks and deadlines

  • She should learn about proper planning and organize methods that are guaranteed to increase productivity.
  • She should complete her work within the stipulated time period and not lose control over her mind.
  • She should handle high pressure work load even when it gets more demanding.
  • She should have an eye for the hidden shortcuts in the assignments she handles, so that quality is not much compromised.

# Deal confidently with colliding demands

  • She should try to impede projects from colliding with each other.
  • She should learn about techniques that save both labor and time.
  • She should have the guts to say ‘no’ when necessary.
  • She should be aware of the techniques that help her satisfy more than one superior.

# Maintain strong positive relationship at workplace

  • She should find out solutions to colliding demands with a system that earns respect as well as avoids making clients or superiors irate.
  • She should learn about the correct technique to ask for what she needs and make sure that no one is annoyed by her approach.
  • She should deal with a superior with less experience and not get stressed.
  • She should arm herself with techniques that help her to fall back on something when she commits errors.
  • She should measure the stress level on exact terms and apply quick ways to decrease stress.

# Create strong defenses

  • She should get a checklist to ensure balance in her life.
  • She should be aware of the techniques to get rid of tiredness and sickness.
  • She should try to reduce burnout and get rid of stress.
  • She should know how to develop personal goals, so that personal priorities get importance.
  • She should decrease stress with a system of prioritizing that keeps her in control.
  • She should invest and defuse her unique pressure to perform properly.

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Establish Time Goals

  • When a professional has to handle many projects she should create proper time schedule, so that she can give priority to each project. For instance, if she has prioritized working for a project on Monday and another client wants her to do their task on that day; she should say that she has set aside Wednesday for them. This way, she can make sure that the client with whom she is currently speaking does not burden her with more work on other days.
  • The main idea is that multitasking is not a good idea when a professional has to deal with many projects. Repeated research has proved that the more a professional moves from one place to another and the more she tries to do many things together, the less efficaciousness she can show. When she creates a particular time schedule for working on a specific assignment, she can render complete focus to the project and complete it in lesser than the stipulated time.
  • If, while doing one project she suddenly remembers about something she missed in the other, she should make a note of that.

Ask Appropriate Questions

  • Once the goals are clear and a time schedule is created for separate projects, she should understand that she has to think about other projects, needs of others and new opportunities. She can ask the following questions to herself.
  • She should ask if the urgency in work is for her or for someone else.
  • She should ask if the project she is about to be handed over serves any of her purposes and objectives. If it does, she should ask which objective it serves.
  • She should find answer to the fact that by doing the project she would move towards something or move away from something.

To Sum Up

From the above article, it can be deduced that conflicting priorities come up when an employee shoes efficiency at workplace. She can use various techniques to come over the problem, but not use multitasking.

How to Manage Business Conferences and Events Effectively?

Introduction

When talking about the world of business and its mode of communication, we will find that vendors are now meeting their clients virtually through social media, VoIP and webinars.

You may wonder, if you get such efficient options within your reach then why you will spend our money by hosting physical events or business conferences. Physical events might sound backdated for us, but it is still conveying same value as it did years ago. Live physical event is still a powerful and effective way for building strong customer relationship even in this technically advanced age.

Physical appearance offers more reliability than virtual existence and that is why major corporations in the world still believe in physical existence along with several advertisement campaigns. Live events often create huge buzz around the product or any service and it also helps to draw the attention of consumers.

In this article, we will focus on some factors that make physical events and business conferences beneficial for any organization.

Linear Programming – A Study

Introduction

If a business owner has limited resources with her, she should try to make maximum use of them. The resources can be space, money, time, labor, etc. If she has only 1000 square feet of area for her office or only 2 people to complete a tedious work in 3 days, she should calculate the best way to enhance the resources. In this article, we will discuss about maximizing resources through linear programming and how entrepreneurs can make better decisions that lead to resource optimization.

Idea

  • Suppose a business owner manufactures some products by using same components. However, given the fact that different quantity of raw materials is used in the products, some are more costly to produce. Therefore, the decision making process should be such that she manufactures in such a way that the company does not suffer loss and minimizes the total cost.
  • If the business owner is not aware of the techniques to optimize her resources, she should use linear programming. Linear programming is a technique used by mathematicians. It determines the most useful technique to utilize available resources. Managers utilize the procedure to make maximum use of resources, such as materials and machinery.
  • Optimization provides the best solutions among many solutions. The idea of the best solution depends on the issue faced by the business owner. The best solution might mean using minimum resources or even the solution that renders maximum profit.

Delving Deeper into the Idea of New Year’s Resolutions

Introduction

It is natural for people to make resolutions on New Year. But, there are also many people who have stopped making New Year resolutions because they have become tired of planning them and then failing to maintain those resolutions. This might be because of the fact that people have a lot of pressure on themselves regarding the resolutions they make. People fail to maintain their resolutions because they are more concerned with what they should accomplish than the way they should accomplish. In this article, we will discuss about making New Year’s Resolution, setting goals and personal effectiveness.

Idea

  • There are two mistakes that a professional commits before she makes her New Year’s resolutions. The first is that she thinks about the activity she should do and the second is that she thinks about the things she should not do anymore. The main focus is always on what ‘should’ be done and not on what she wants to do.
  • She forgets that she cannot feel motivated unless she is committed to a certain activity. Then, she quits after the first few obstacles. Thus, the first dictum of New Year’s resolutions is that they should be ones that the professional will be committed to.
  • It is important to make New Year's resolutions because it is a famous practice. Given the fact that everyone is aware of the fact everyone is making resolution acts as an external source of support. With this external support and the internal motivation of the professional, she can make the best and succeed or the may not make the best and fail.

Rules to Follow

Mentioned below are some of the rules that a professional should follow when making New Year’s resolutions.

# Talking about resolutions

Research shows that public announcement of resolutions take away the tendency to work hard to attain a goal and also creates an inflated image of the person announcing them.

Low tendency to work hard

A group of law students were asked to participate in a survey where they had to rate statements like ‘I will make the best use of law to help the homeless,’ from yes to no. The researchers then surveyed the effort of the students. The students were given an option to participate anonymously or publicly.

Outcome

The survey showed that students, who dropped the questionnaire anonymously, stayed put at the task for longer time than who had publicly solved the questionnaire.

Inflated image

Another group of students were asked to come up with two things they would do to become successful politicians. Some students stated their activities publicly, while others kept it secret. After that they were shown four pictures of a successful politician and asked to choose one. The pictures were in various sizes.

Outcome

The students who chose the bigger pictures had made their activities public and those who chose the smaller pictures where the ones who worked anonymously. This means that the students who acted publicly have greater self image. Inflated self image can be harmful because it makes a person work less hard.

# One resolution at once

A professional should come up with one resolution at once. This is because human willpower is a limited resource and the presence of many resolutions makes it weak.

Two groups were asked to do two separate things. One group was asked to think of a tiger and manifest their thoughts. They were also asked to mark on the board every time they thought about the tiger. The other group was asked not to think about a tiger and to suppress their thought process. After this, all the participants were asked to solve puzzles.

Outcome

It was found that participants who were not allowed to express their thoughts did not fare well in the puzzle. On the other hand those who expressed their thought fared well in the puzzle game. This is because they did not have to restrain their thoughts. Their mind was not overwhelmed with more than one activity.

# Writing down resolutions

Research says that those who write down their resolutions have a greater chance of fulfilling them.

Around a hundred participants were gathered and divided into two groups. One group was asked to write down their goals and the others were not.

After a month, the participants were asked to review their activities and measure how far they have accomplished after the resolutions were set.

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Outcomes

It was found that those participants who wrote done their goals had greater accomplishments after a month.

# Speak about resolutions to a friend or a close cousin

If a person speaks about her resolutions to a close friend or cousin, she stands greater chance to maintain her goals.

The participants were divided into three teams. The first team was asked to write their objectives. The second team was asked to write done the objectives and decide to inform a friend and the third group was asked to do both the above actions and inform a friend at the same time.

Outcome

After a month it was found that the participants who had informed a friend had fared better in maintaining their resolutions than the other two groups.

# If she is really serious about making alterations she should make the resolutions

A research has shown that people who are really serious about the resolutions tend to maintain their goals and achieve them.

The participants were divided into two groups. One group was asked to resolve to achieve the goals they had and the other group was asked not to make a resolution to achieve the goals they had.

Outcome

After a period of six months, it was noticed that those participants who resolved to achieve their goals are more successful in attaining them than those who did not resolve.

To Sum Up

From the above article, it can be deduced that if a person wants to make New Year’s resolutions she has to maintain certain rules that makes sure that she achieves them.

How to Survive a Stressful Job?

Introduction

A lot of people today have become the victims of stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, the most common reason behind this is excessive work pressure. To survive in this highly competitive world, everyone needs to work very hard. On top of that, the increasing global economic crisis has forced employers to cut off the number of employees and put more pressure on the existing ones.

However, workplace stress is derived from the mode of tasks and the working environment. For instance, if an employer wants to achieve its target by giving the responsibility to only a few men than its actual required work force, then we can assume that the employer is building pressure on his employees.

Unfavorable working condition also can be the reason of stress for the people who are working under such situation. Offering inappropriate task can also create stress on employees.

Succession Planning to Transform Knowledge and Skills

Introduction

Succession planning is a means by which the organizations ensure that employees are recruited in such a way that they fill each role in a company. Through the process of succession planning, one can recruit superior employees, develop their abilities, skill and knowledge, and get promoted to challenging roles. By pursuing succession planning, one can ensure that employees are developed in such a way that they fill each needed role.

Many organizations have the concern of losing higher executives in their organization. However, there are a number of key positions in the organization and people in these positions possess great level of knowledge. So, it becomes difficult for organizations to replace them quickly.

In this article, we will discuss how succession planning helps organizations to plan actively for corporate success if the key people in the organization leave.

Successful Induction Boosts Organization’s Productivity

Introduction

Recruiting right work force is a time consuming affair. When recruiters finish the recruitment process, their job is not yet over. They need to make the new recruits familiar with the company’s work culture, workplace values and many other aspects. So, in order to make the new candidates productive and feel comfortable with their new job, the organization conducts employee induction program.

In the past, an employee induction program aimed at new candidates to fill in personnel records, conducting ice breaking sessions with other fellow workers and making familiar with other things. But, these things do not work nowadays. Candidates demand more these days.

The common complaints that new candidates have about induction program include- this kind of session appears boring, they become confused, etc. The results of induction program are confusing and new candidates take lot of time to become productive. As a result, the new recruits suffer from frustration and quit their job.

How Success Profiling Helps in Business Growth?

Introduction

Have you heard of the term success profile? This tool is used for selecting candidates for an organization. How your company can hire right candidates for right job? You have probably heard of this term in white papers, at conferences and at various HR forums. However, you can see little agreement regarding the components and definition of success profile and how it should be developed and utilized for getting maximum benefit for your business growth.

Success Profile – Definition

Success profiling is a method of transforming a business strategy into human strategy. Success profiling involves all efficient HR practices including development and recruitment, through to succession planning and performance management.

Strategic Alliances – An Analysis

Introduction

A company should develop new capabilities to grow in future. If a business wants to function successfully in a different market than the one in which it operates, it has to make changes in its strategy tools and organizational design. It has to produce more efficiently than before. The business owner can try to come up with an in-house solution. But, she must have adequate infrastructure and time to support it. Moreover, if an entrepreneur wants to focus on the core competencies of her company, she may not want to steer time and resources away from them. For this reason the company must enter into an alliance with another organization. In this article, we will study about strategic alliance and its criteria.

Idea

In strategic alliance abilities of two or more companies are brought together. All parties are benefitted from this alliance. This trading of products, technologies and skills helps both companies to grow. In such alliances all involved organizations solve each other’s problems and stay independent at the same time. Strategic alliances are useful and less risky than creating in-house solutions. Joint ventures and merger & acquisitions are useful options.

“Stop – Keep Doing- Start” Tool Helps in Improving Business Productivity

Introduction

Large-scale companies have well-organized evaluation systems for measuring performance. Small organizations lack such feedback systems that aim for improvement. If you, as a manager or business owner, want to understand the value of interaction, then you should start asking for feedbacks regarding your actions from your employees or team members. Asking for feedbacks may be a daunting task. Before you initiate the process, you should think from the business’s perspective and then proceed ahead for accomplishing the business’s goals. You can use the “Stop- Keep Doing- Start” tool for collecting feedbacks from your employees and frame decisions for attaining business growth.

About “Stop – Keep Doing – Start” Process

The psychology professor at Brigham Young University Phil Daniels devised the feedback tool. The “Stop – Keep Doing – Start” (SKS) process comprises of short set of questions that you can use for collecting feedbacks.

Top 4 Ways of Speaking to an Audience

Introduction

When the time comes for delivering a presentation in front of huge audience, you need some preparations in order to make it impressive as well as functional. This will help you to strike best business deals in right time.

Number of times, it has been observed that people fail to understand the importance of public speaking and they land up in chaotic situations. This kind of failure not only drains away the valuable resources of the company, but also the goodwill.

How to Prevent an Unsuccessful Presentation?

The answer to this question is the “preparation”, which is key to the success of any presentation.

In order to ensure the effectiveness of the presentation, you need to determine your objective in first place.

Solution Focused Coaching for Effective Results

Introduction

These days, managers and employers look for ways to increase enjoyment in work and lessen their problems. As a result of which the need for external coaching has become extensive and growing rapidly. One may consider coaching themselves without hiring external coach. If you want to coach, there are numerous options that one needs to explore.

In this article, we will discuss about solution focused coaching that help you conduct the coaching sessions in a brief and, yet effective manner.

What is Solution Focused Coaching?

Team leaders and members often face the problem of hectic schedules and tight deadlines. As a result of this, they may not be able to take enough time to conduct coaching sessions. Coaching session has become one of the important tasks that are must to be performed by team leaders and managers on regular basis.

Solution focused coaching sessions emphasizes on assisting the manager to define the future state and to construct a pathway that assists the manager to achieve that state with ease. In other words, the manager who is going to play the role of a coach need to think about what he/she wants to achieve and plan how to achieve it. Managers can come up with a practical approach to do this by identifying the requirements and outlining the plan to achieve it.

It is worth knowing about its features, which are simple and yet effective. Anyone can pick this kind of coaching session, and use it wisely. It offers a practical route that is different from routine culture and helps you get the results quickly. Solution focused coaching was developed by Steve De Shazer at the Brief Family therapy Centre and was built on the ideas that produce a change and finds what is going in the employee’s life. It is based on the principles, which are described as below –

It is better to focus on solutions and not problems

Managers often forget on what they need to focus on. Understanding the problem won’t help you reach the solution. The time that is spent on talking will not help you move towards the solution. Solution focused coaching engage in conversations with clients about what they are doing or what they are going to do. This help the clients form a mental picture of what they need to solve. By focusing on positive solutions, rather than negatives, the clients are more likely to bring positive changes.

Remember that changes always happen in small steps

The small changes in an organization are going to have big consequences that led to organizational development. People always make use of same steps to change different situations. By using the solution focused coaching mode, clients are empowered with a belief that that can find different solutions to different tasks.

People have to change the resources they already have

One should find the resources that are beneficial for them. People need to change the resources they already have. The emphasis of solution focused approach is not on the maintenance of the problem, but the capability of the individuals to change the problems.

Work at different level

One should focus on working at surface level, instead of understanding someone else’s problem and trying to find out solutions. People sometimes get stuck into the expectations that expectations don’t represent real solutions. They may seem to be inconsequential, but their way of thinking at different level help then find real solution.

Clients show how changes occur

If the clients don’t want to do what the coaches say or do some other thing, we believe that they are non-resistant. We don’t realize that they are thinking about the best thing to do at the time. Coaches help you talk their word, and they are in touch with the approach of the client to change and not their own approach.

Coaching is a solution focused endeavor

According to solution focused approach, the client is knows what he want and what he don’t want. Remember that clients have store of data that will be examined in coaching for traces of solutions, which they have already worked on. At last, the client is the expert who knows what to do and what not to do.

Techniques used in Solution Focused Coaching

A coach who is solution focused coaching makes use of different techniques that work well with different client to identify their goals. The main aim of the coach is to focus on what the client needs, and not what the coach thinks about his needs. Coaches are encouraged to use a flexible approach in suing solution focused coaching techniques.

The most common techniques used in solution focused coaching are – miracle question, exception question and scaling question.

  1. Miracle question is the one that is used to paint the picture of what the client actually needs. The coach asks the client a few questions that help him to know what he wants. This not only helps the coach know the requirements of the client, but also help the client t perform better.
  2. Exception question is another technique that is employed to find out the strengths of the client from his past experiences. These strengths may be applied to the current situation of client rather than teaching new skills.
  3. Asking scaling questions is another technique, where the client is asked to rate an issue on a scale of one to ten. The questions help you determine how the client sees things and how he will implement change if small amount of changes have occurred.

Summary

Solution focused coaching is to discuss about the solutions, rather than the problems. Once the client finds a solution, they can easily identify the path to reach it. Solution focused coaching can be brief and is focused on achieving specific goals. Clients prefer this simple method to deal with problems as it is very fast and provides effective results. You will be surprised to see how positive results take place over the course of few coaching sessions. Clients will learn to focus on finding solutions rather than worry about the problems.

Snyder’s Hope Theory Leads to Business Success

Introduction

In daily life, you come across many hurdles. How do you cope up with them? Do you find ways to overcome them or simply give up? If you can manage to find alternative ways of fulfilling your goals, you will see that your life has become cheerful as well as purposeful.

As per findings of Charles Richard “Rick” Snyder, who was one of the reputed positive psychologists, hopeful thinkers can attain better results and these kinds of people are psychologically and physically stronger than pessimists.

By studying Snyder’s Hope Theory, you will learn the ways of successfully achieving your goals. This theory also discusses about various strategies, which you can implement for taking positive approach, when time gets tough.

Snyder’s Hope Theory - Origin and Idea

Snyder got inspiration from the concepts of forgiveness and hope. All throughout his career, Snyder has written approximately 262 articles regarding the impact, which hope can have on aspects of life like work, health, education and personal meaning. In addition, he has written six books on Hope Theory.

Hope Theory suggests that there are three things that help a person to carry out hopeful thinking.

  • Goal – Visualizing life in a goal oriented manner
  • Pathway – Finding different avenues for achieving your goals
  • Agency – Believing that you can trigger changes that will help you to fulfill your goals

Snyder found that hopeful thinkers are those people, who have the capability for establishing clear goals, stick with their mission during hard times and can work out various ways for fulfilling their aim.

The Essence of Hope

It has been found that even the best thought out plans sometimes do not yield the expected results. Whatever skill or talent you may possess, hope is a kind of state of mind, which assists you in navigating twists and turns of life. It also keeps you moving during tough times.

You can see that hope not only brings you a sense of happiness, it is also the mechanism of human survival.

Your ability to think hopefully starts developing in early childhood. Since your birth, you start to find correlations, until you begin developing an understanding of causality or the notion, where one thing can lead to another. This is the principle of pathways thinking, which is one of the elements of Snyder’s Hope Theory.

Application of Snyder’s Hope Theory

You can apply Hope Theory for helping your staffs to put their talents for good use, making best use of opportunities and becoming successful in life by setting and sincerely following meaningful goals.

Now, it is time, where you need to focus on three vital elements of Snyder’s Hope Theory and you will learn the strategies, which will help your staffs for achieving their goals to attain business profitability.

Set Atmosphere for Goal Oriented Thinking

Goal oriented thinking and goals are foundations of Snyder’s Hope Theory. Goals can be short or long term in nature. These can be statements or mental images like picturing yourself.

When Snyder conducted interview with his subjects, he found that those people reported sense of hope when they found that their goals were achievable. But, some of their goals showed degree of uncertainty.

You should think about your own objectives. See, whether they are challenging or easy to attain. You can set SMART goals, which are

  • S – Specific
  • M - Measurable
  • A - Attainable
  • R – Relevant
  • T – Time-bound

You can also use success programming tools for envisioning the goals which you wish to fulfill in life and imagining the future success.

If you are assigned with leadership role, you need to motivate your staffs for setting their own goals or work them for writing personal mission statement, which defines what they should attain.

Find Pathways for Goal Fulfillment

Pathway thinking states your belief with which you find suitable ways for fulfilling your goals. If you adopt creative and determinable ways for fulfilling your goals, you can become more hopeful.

It in mean time, you can come across situations that will hamper your goal fulfillment objectives. During that time, you have to think of alternative routes towards mission attainment.

You should look at a goal with which you would like to work first. Analyze things that will help you to transform your vision into reality. Prepare a list of measures, which are required in order to make it happen.

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Indentify Hindrance

Now point out any complication, risk or barrier, which may surface on this path. Then, you need to formulate a contingency plan for preparing for the most likely ones.

Trigger Change

Agency is your unrelenting belief, with which the pathways that you have identified will eventually lead you towards your chosen goal, if you keep on moving steadily along them.

Agency thinking is crucial when the path, which you are following for goal attainment, becomes blocked. It provides you the willingness and flexibility for moving to a more successful pathway.

It has been found that the biggest hindrance towards goal fulfillment is the scarcity of time. You should find out time for developing good habits, which will allow you for moving forward. Devote most of your time to prime goals by blocking out a regular slot in your daily schedule.

If you feel that your motivations are becoming weak, you need to create vision board or treasure map for acting as a constant reminder for the goals, which you are working for.

Conclusion

Hope is a belief, with which you can attain your desired goals. It is a force that keeps you moving forward during tough times. According to Snyder’s Hope Theory, hopeful thinking comprises of three vital elements. They are goals, agency and pathways. Snyder found in his studies that hopeful thinking is the key of attaining success.

Hope is power, which can motivate your staff members to work for the benefit of the company with positive mindsets. The best thing about hopeful thinking is that it acts as learned response. Therefore, any person of a company can improve his or her hopeful thinking ability by implementing right goal setting, motivational approach and planning.

Enhance Your Business with the Six Sigma (6σ) Process

Introduction

In the early 1980s, the Six Sigma ((6σ) methodology was developed at Motorola Company. The concept was later popularized by the General Electric, which also provided a powerful framework for providing better products and the services and overall being efficient in the operations of the business.

Basic Concept

Six Sigma is the process that provides various tools to the organizations for improving the capacity of their business processes. This particular improvement in the performances and reduction in the process variation can simply lead to the reduction in the defects and help in improving the profits. It will also increase the quality of the products and the services with the employee morale. It is basically a qualitative term that can be used for indicating the process control in a better way.

Discovering Excellence with the Shingo Model

Introduction

The hunt for progress is always intuitive. To be successful in the long run, the businesses and the organizations engage themselves in the constant pursuit of improving things, if the organization is not making the improvement activities as their top priority, they are sure to get a declining phase at a very early stage. All the great leaders must thrive for excellence. The constant search for perfection can bring the best for the individual as well as for the organization. There are various improvement initiatives which have failed with various negative consequences. Some of them are Just in Time, Business Process Re engineering, Quality circles, Six Sigma and Lean. These are some of the initiatives which under delivered with their promises.

Basic Concept

The Shingo Model for the operational excellence is dependent on the systematic study of each initiative approaches. The model is based on the teaching of Dr. Shiego Shingo who identified the business improvement is possible through the clear understanding of the relationship between principles, tools and the systems. The approaches get over the tool which focuses on the guiding principles rather than the supporting key concepts revolved around them. As we can recognize the necessity of improvement, we will try to enable systems with better principle depending upon the behaviors. The Shingo house will provide an overview of all the guiding principles and the supporting concepts. If the entire concept can be taken as a whole, the principles can become the basis of creating a long term cultural excellence with the execution of fulfilling the mission of the business. The operational excellence cannot be only a single program; it is rather a set of tools in the new management system. It can be explained as the result of the enterprise behaviors depending on the correct principles.

Incorporating Servant Leadership Raises Overall Productivity of Organization

Introduction

The term servant leadership is nothing new. But, still, its importance is not felt by many small-scale and medium-scale enterprises. However, big corporations have embraced its principles and that is the reason, they are doing well. The importance of servant leadership lies in growth and development of individuals and ensuring the proper allocation of power and resources to attain highest level of customer satisfaction.

What is Servant Leadership?

Robert K. Greenleaf was the pioneer of servant leadership. He coined that term in his essay titled “The Servant As A Leader” in 1970.

According to his theory, a servant leader should be considerate. It means that the person should take care of the needs of other team members, before considering his or her own requirements.

As a servant leader, you have to acknowledge your team members’ perspectives and provide them the necessary supports, which they require for completion of tasks and their personal goals.

Methods and Preparation of Sales Budget

Introduction

A budget is essential for every business. Without a proper budget, the companies will not be able to track the business process and measure its performance. To succeed in a particular business, you should be able to create the sales budget. A sales budget is a financial planning process where the different methods can be applied for allocating different resources to achieve the target of the forecasted sales.

Basic Concept

The sales budget can project the number of units of sales and also the estimated earnings from them. It is the budget which includes all the items involved in the sales expectations of the company both in the monetary terms and in units. If the company possesses large number of products, it generally accumulates the expected sales from smaller product categories or geographical regions. Otherwise, it will become very complicated to calculate the sales budget.

How Can You Plan a Successful Webinar?

Introduction

In order to carry out professional events other than just video chat, you can host webinars. Webinars can be sales presentation or informative talk for converting concerned parties into probable buyers. Recorded webinars are a reactive income generating equipment for both trainers and speakers and even people leading the workshops. In fact, webinars are primary element in online programs. It can also form as online library for both small-sized and large-scale enterprises freeing time of employees from different tasks that range from orientation of newly recruited staffs to training.

Webinar – The Concept

Webinar can be defined as “web-based conference” using Internet to link up to the person hosting conference to audience (listeners or viewers). It is quite same as Skype yet, at times, hosts display computer screens owing to professional reasons. There is a wide range of interactive sessions to be used by audience for questioning depending on the webinar service form you may choose to use.

Rolestorming: Looking Inwards for Winning Ideas

Introduction

Rolestorming is a modification of brainstorming where participants take up roles of different individuals. The term was first coined in the 1980’s by Rick Griggs and subsequently described in 1988 by Dr. Arthur VanGundy. He later elaborated ‘rolestorming’ in his book ‘101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving’ published in 2004.

Background

Rolestorming is a technique particularly developed for shy and introvert employees to be more participative in group discussions and activities. It is a way of overcoming inhibitions that bog down many during usual brainstorming session. The fundamental idea behind rolestorming is that people when pretending to be others feel more at ease while putting forth any new idea. It has also been observed that people come with new and better ideas to a problem when viewed from another individual’s perspective.

From the viewpoint of team participation and group behavior, rolestorming makes every member comfortable and participative. The level of confidence rises among the shy or withdrawn members and a general environment of amicability and warmth are created.

No fear – There could be members in a group who are apprehensive to speak out or share their ideas. They are usually afraid of being ridiculed or ignored. So when these members are prompted to view a problem from another’s perspective, they could open up and share their opinions. In this way their creative ideas could be brought out in the open. Removing fear from the mind of individuals could encourage them to be creative and participative.

Creating a virtual distance – Griggs observed that people are less ashamed to put forward a suggestion or share a creative idea in someone else’s name. While role playing they assume to be another entity and in the process create a virtual distance from their real identity. Once this virtual distance is created it becomes easier to disclose ideas more freely.

Using Rolestorming

Alike a brainstorming session, a rolestorming session requires a moderator. To begin a session every candidate present should be asked to impersonate someone else within a team. As a start, questions such as: ‘what are the strengths and weaknesses of the person you are impersonating’; ‘in case of a problem how would he react’; and ‘what would be his/ her approach to the problem’, could be asked.

These questions help in beginning a rolestorming session and engaging even the quietest candidate. Greater the understanding a member has about the person being impersonated the better would be the representation. Ideally, while speaking a participant should be encouraged to utter ‘my character’ thereby increasing the virtual distance from his or herself. The moderator should persuade role players to repeat ‘my character’ or ‘my person’ as much as possible. Every participant must be allowed to speak so that fresher ideas could be generated.

Identification of Roles

Participants in a rolestorming session should be allowed to take on roles that they would be comfortable in. It could be your boss, colleague, public figure, character from history, a family member or even a friend. Sufficient knowledge about the individual impersonated is the only concern in these sessions. Role identification should be such that its enactment is spontaneous. Correct role selection makes a participant confident not only in portrayals but also in being innovative. Impersonation of any person present in a session should be avoided.

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Playing the Character

Thorough knowledge about a person is the primary condition for role playing. To make the part more convincing it is advisable to spend some time thinking about the character. Understanding of this character becomes easier if its attitude or personality is known. Its strengths, weaknesses and other behavioral traits are other areas of concern. The character’s perception of his world and environment adds to fuller understanding of the role. Given a situation this chosen character’s problem solving ability should also be studied.

These are different facets of a person’s character that make him or her distinctive. A deeper understanding of these various aspects would give an in-depth impression of a role thereby enabling a near perfect enactment. Here it needs to be stated that perfect role playing is not the ultimate objective of rolestorming. Rather it is an exercise aimed at removing inhibitions among members, and a process of making them more interactive and participative within a team.

Rolestorming Changes to Brainstorming

This is the ultimate objective of rolestorming. As a rolestorming session progresses its participants begin to feel more free and communicative. New ideas about organization behavior, marketing techniques, or human relations open up. Problematic situations appear solvable as untried methods look feasible. Any difficulty seems removable through multiple solutions emanating from participants’ ideas. This rolestorming session is capable of transforming problems into opportunities; not one but several.

Repetitions

For any organization rolestorming should be made a regular feature of corporate culture. It is an exercise for enthusing creativity among members of a company. Regular such sessions improves interpersonal relationship, strengthens bonding between team members, and inspires people to contribute new ideas for betterment of an organization.

Points to Remember

Rolestorming like all other motivational exercises should be organized from time to time. For companies that have tight quarter endings and year endings, such sessions should be confined to beginning of quarters. This is particularly true for commercial organizations as they have quarterly and yearly targets to achieve. These sessions add value to members who in turn add value to the organization they are working for. It is a win-win situation for both employees and employer. A more innovative work force is always an asset for a company. Another vital feature to note is that these sessions enrich and empower human capital, the most productive of all resources. This is one resource that has no maximum limit to its capability. It varies from situation to situation.

Conclusion

Rolestorming is now a regular feature in professional setups, especially those that have several members. Instead of looking outside for ideas, managers now groom local human resource for opinions on various issues. Even critical functional and operational hurdles are being overcome through these storming sessions.

Role of Team Briefings in Sharing the Organizational Information

Introduction

In this world of technology, we have a number of communication options such as – phone calls, emails, and text messages and so on. Due to this face-to-face meetings seem to disappear. Though it is easy to communicate through phones and emails, the ease of such communication is creating lot of confusions and misunderstandings. One may overlook important information in a hurry to gather people and communicate.

In this article, we will discuss about team briefing guidelines that help you communicate in an effective manner with the team members and colleagues.

Rewarding Your Team – An Analysis

Introduction

When a team member does something that brings success to her team, her manager rewards her with informal gifts such as a small party or an outing with the team. While the manager feels happy for being able to acknowledge her, the team member also feels satisfied for the recognition she received. In this article, we will discuss about the right techniques of rewarding people and how it aids in team management.

An Idea

However, it is important that the manager takes the effort to learn if her subordinate likes the reward she is being gifted. If the gift given to her is something she does not like or has already experienced, she will appreciate your recognition but will not enjoy it. In fact, it might have a negative impact on her later performance. Since this is not a formal recognition; the manager must see to it that the employee likes what she is given.

Significance of Recompensing Employees

There are, however, some managers who do not practice the habit of rewarding their team members. They feel that by doing this other team members might feel jealous or their own importance is reduced. Some managers think that they are too busy to recognize the efforts of their team members. When the efforts of a team are duly recognized by its manager it is successful in meeting its objectives. Since this creates a strong relationship with the manager; chances of employee turnover are bleak. Moreover, teammates are also loyal to their managers.

Managers all over the world should keep it in mind that there is a dearth of efficient workforce. Except in certain nations, the birth rate of most developed nations has decreased giving rise to aging population. As a result, companies are finding it tough to recruit efficient employees. A manager who realizes this problem takes measures to retain her team members. One of the most appropriate ways to retain employees is to appreciate the hard work given by them.

Understanding the Efforts Put in by Team Members

If the manager does not understand what the team members want to have as token of appreciation, she might end up upsetting the very people she is trying to satisfy. To avoid such a circumstance, she should sit with her team and ask them what they would want to have.

For instance, if the team is going to start working on a project, the manager should ask the following questions to her team members.

  • What kind of reward would each teammate want?
  • Whether they would celebrate with one big party at the end of the project or would they celebrate the small hurdles they pass on their way to the final goal.

When a manager takes the effort to learn about the preferences of her team members, it shows and team members are also happy.

Saying Thank You

Employees whose work gets appreciated by their superiors feel more attached to the company for which they work. If they are not appreciated they tend to leave that company. It is important that a manager realizes the importance of recognizing the efforts of her teams. This is because hiring a new team requires more fund than recognizing the work of existing team. Low employee turnover saves a lot of company fund. Thus, recognizing the good work of employees is pocket friendly for companies.

A manager can appreciate her team members only by saying ‘thank you’ to them. It is a pair of words that can never lose its importance or novelty. But, the manager should not convey her gratitude while on the move. She should make it a point to call them to her cabin or go to their section of the office and praise them. This leads to enhanced conveying of message.

Techniques for Rewarding Team Members

Though team members look for a salary hike for larger achievements, small accomplishments demand a more subtle approach. Most of the time, subtler gestures make employees happy. Mentioned below are some ideas to manifest appreciation.

  • Send thank you mail to the team member who performs above her usual limit and copy the message to the immediate superior
  • Provide work from home facility or ask the team member to come late to office.
  • Provide paid half day
  • Offer the team with coupons to a restaurant or park where they can spend a day. It won’t be considered a day off.
  • An efficient team member may be given off on a Monday. This too is not considered a day off.
  • Take the team out for dinner or picnic.

Things to Remember when Thanking Team Members

# Particular

It is essential that when a manager praises one of her team members she mentions the particular reason for doing so, instead of saying that the team member did a very good job. This breeds jealousy as others do not understand the actual reason behind the appreciation. If the manager mentions the specific reason, not only does the praised team member feel good, but others in the team also realize that the manager pays attention.

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# Continuity

When a manager starts appreciating her team members she should make sure to continue this practice. If she does not recognize their efforts for some days at a stretch, team members will think that something is wrong.

# Relevant Reward

The reward gifted to team members should be relevant to the effort that she had given. For example, she had stayed for long and made sure that a project got completed before its delivery time. She can be rewarded with a dinner coupon for a week.

# Preferences of team members

Managers should know about what each team member likes. She should ask them to fill up forms that state their likes and dislikes. She should keep the information and use them when rewarding her team members.

To End With

It can be concluded that rewarding a team leads to enhanced performance of that team. A manager should praise and reward her team. When she rewards a specific member she should do so by mentioning the specific reason. Otherwise, it may lead to emergence of envy among other team members.

Rest, Relaxation and Sleep – 3 Essentials for Healthy Mind and Body

We live in a time when almost everyone is striving to survive the cut-throat competition in the industry they are involved in. So, these days if someone says that she is not stressed, she must be lying or is very fortunate. Stress is a bit tricky to manage and rather than giving in to its destructive effects, it is wise enough to take up this tricky job and explore every solution for successful stress management. Ignoring the symptoms of stress is the first and foremost thing you should not do in order to be successful. Next, you should pledge to give yourself adequate rest, relaxation and sleep, the three fundamental and vital ways to proper stress management. In this article, we will delve deeper into these three essentials for dealing with stress. But, before getting started with that discussion, let’s know about the signs and symptoms of stress.

What are the symptoms of stress?

Below mentioned are some common symptoms of stress.

Request for Proposal Documents – An Analysis

Introduction

Organizations often get into problems with their suppliers. Starting from slow delivery to bad quality of goods, irregular supply chain and high prices have a negative impact on the success of an organization. So, the entrepreneur has to decide how it can overcome such issues, how the lowest possible price range can bring the best possible product. She also has to make sure that the needs of her business are fulfilled on a timely basis. The company can reach a solution by beginning the relationship with her supplier with a competitive bidding process. In this article, we will discuss about documents for Request for Proposal (RFP) and strategies of project management. The framework and process of Request for Proposal is discussed in this chapter.

Idea

  • The competitive bidding process tries to come across the best possible quotes for services or goods from vendors. The process is calculated by utilizing common set of standards. The RFP is also called Invitation to Tender or Request for Information.
  • The Request for Proposal was a formal document that underlines the data regarding the company and the details of the services and products that are to be sourced from outside vendors. It states the requirements that vendors have to remember while responding to the bid and also states how the organization reviews the proposals it receives.
  • Request for proposals are very time consuming for both suppliers and company, thus, they should be used carefully. For complex assignments, however, they can be considered the most effective way to source the services or products.

Using Request for Proposal

  • Those who purchase should not use Request for Proposal while requesting for only pricing data from suppliers or if they only want to be a part of a competitive bidding activity.
  • Request for Proposal may be an efficacious way to source, but it should not be utilized when cost is the only evaluation criteria.
  • It should be used when a project is really complicated and deserves a proposal from a supplier.
  • They are useful to devise innovative approaches to issues. It should be kept in mind that the Request for Proposal may take a lot of time and thus, can lead to delay in the completion of the assignment.
  • Therefore, it is suggested that it should be used only when the advantages of receiving supplier proposals are more than the extra time it takes to create the Request for Proposal.

Advantages of Request for Proposal

  • If the process of Request for Proposal is handled properly, the company will have a good control over the project risks for a complicated project.
  • The company will also realize the benefits that it can gain while the project is going on.
  • By utilizing the Request for Proposal, suppliers are also encouraged to put forward organized proposals that are evaluated using a methodology, which is quantifiable.
  • By using a Request for Proposal, the suppliers come to know that the situation is going to be competitive. The bidding activity which is competitive in nature is at times the best procedure available for getting the best value and the best price.
  • A Request for Proposal also provides the purchaser and stakeholders of the project the capability to understand the track of the project and the approach the suppliers utilize to execute it.

Disadvantages of Request for Proposal

  • There are many disadvantages of using Request for Proposal
  • They are very time consuming for the person who is making the purchase.
  • Request for Proposal is time consuming as far as suppliers are concerned. Some suppliers will look at it and choose not to be part of it. These suppliers may also lose interest and feel that reduced chance of winning hinders from investing the time that is needed to create the proposal.
  • It is often difficult to exactly summarize the needs of the project. This leads to poor responses from supplier or bad pricing. This is because the supplier was not exactly aware of the requirements of the project and what the company wanted to buy.
  • It can be tough to exactly assess the responses of the supplier to a Request for Proposal. This is due to the reason that they can be elaborate or need special knowhow to evaluate.

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Main Features of Request for Proposal

# Services or goods descriptions

The Request for Proposal should have a logical and comprehensive description of the services or goods that are required. In most cases of Request for Proposals, the services or goods are complicated and tough. Thus, they are difficult to describe elaborately. Yet, a proper description of these services or goods will aid in developing a highly focused proposal.

# A summary of problems in business

There should be a clear description of the issues of the business that are the reason behind this specific buy. It should be mentioned in maximum a couple of paragraphs and should provide suppliers an overview of the sourcing assignment and the reason behind its initiation.

# Miscellaneous data required for proposal

At times, there is extra data that suppliers will require in order that they can create a proposal. This data is generally the information about the internal operations of the company that the writers of the proposal will require. This data may consist of demand projections, usage metrics, internal survey outcomes and data of recent performance. The reason for this section is not to render suppliers with very little or a lot of data. In fact, it is to render them with the data that they require.

# Approach Suggestions

For Request for Proposals, in which the person buying know what she needs, it can make sense to suggest a track for the suppliers. Many organizations will not have this department as they are searching for creative ways to look at the problem and do not want to compel suppliers into a pre-planned framework.

To Wrap Up

From this article, it can be deduced that the Request for Proposal documents helps a business to get the best products at the best price.

Reidenbach and Robin’s Five Stages of Corporate Ethical Development

Introduction

Reidenbach and Robin have identified five stages of moral development with every higher stage bringing an organization closer to more ethical business practices and sacrificing profitability. At the highest stage a company is driven by business processes that are moral rather than profitable. Reidenbach and Robin’s model is based on Lawrence Kohlberg’s notion of personal moral development.

An Idea

American psychologist Kohlberg opined that moral psychology of humans developed through three levels, with each level having two stages. A person for complete moral development needs to go through these six stages. They start from a stage and gradually move upwards. However, some individuals cannot move to higher stages as they get stuck at lower levels. The three levels described by Kohlberg are: i) pre-conventional level; ii) conventional level; iii) post-conventional level

Delving Deeper into the Model

Pre-conventional level – Pre-conventional level of moral development is found in infants. In stage 1 an infant is motivated entirely externally in form of fear of punishment. In the next stage or stage 2, a child gets inspired by rewards such as chocolate or toys.

Conventional level – In this level an infant grows up and matures as a school goer. In stage 3, a child wishes to be a ‘nice girl’ or ‘good boy’ and takes approvals of tasks from parents, teachers and elders. As a child grows up, he or she approaches stage 4, where following of social customs and abiding by law and order seems right. At this stage a person moves beyond satisfying egoistic needs to recognizing and respecting others’ concerns. According to Kohlberg most adults do not morally develop beyond this stage.

Post-conventional level – This is an autonomous level of morality. In this level, moral values are not just abided by because they guide a society but because these rules are considered to be right and worth adhering to. This is stage 5, where morality is like a contract to keep a society together. Stage 5 sets the groundwork for stage 6 where morality is taken for granted and totally justified. Morality is not merely seen as an idea of mutual advantage but as a part of everyday life.

Reidenbach and Robin based their corporate behavior morality exactly according to Kohlberg’s observations. This author duo argued that organizations show specific behavior that reflects their actual moral development. According to this behavior exhibited a company’s stage of moral development could be adjudged. In creation of a moral standard, the work culture of an organization is crucial. It has been observed that culture of an organization is the determining factor of its morality and also helps in its shaping.

Defining work culture involves analyzing of several terms that are closely associated with organizational behavior and also behavior of its individual members. As an organization is made up of several people its collective behavior is an amalgamation of behaviors exhibited or professed by these individuals. Their individual beliefs, moral values, and attitude towards colleagues all help in carving a work culture and hence moral basis of a company. On analysis it was found that principal sources of corporate values and beliefs are:

  1. Individual members, particularly those at the top;
  2. Reinforcing impact of the company’s success in achieving objectives and solving problems.

The second source stems from the type of job a company does and the rewards that follow. Selection of company objective is vital in establishing its morality. A company’s objective could be profit maximization, while for another company it could be welfare for all its employees. Obviously the company with employee welfare as its principal objective would be at a morally higher level compared to the one with profit maximization as goal.

However, Reidenbach and Robin lay emphasis on behavior of top management members as determinant of the level of morality of the concerned organization. It is a known fact that the character and behavior of leaders and mangers has a commanding influence on other members of an organization. Like the moral development of an individual, a company also follows a developmental path. This path could start from any stage but ultimately ends in a totally ethical organization. Ideally there are five stages of moral growth for an organization:

  1. Amoral organization
  2. Legalistic organization
  3. Responsive organization
  4. Emergent ethical organization
  5. Ethical organization

Each of these stages has its own set of characteristics.

Amoral Organization

For an amoral organization the primary objective is making profits at every opportunity. There is no concern for ethics except when caught on the wrong foot. The concern for such an organization is to survive. Single person setups or unorganized companies belong to this category. These organizations do not survive long.

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Legalistic Organization

This is the second logical step towards gaining in morality as a company. The organization gets a legal identity and abides by existing laws and regulations. Its focus is still on profit making though is a legal way. The stress here is on sticking to law rather than on morality of an action or procedure. In this case the legality of business and its processes is its morality.

Responsive Organization

After an organization reaches its ‘legalistic’ stage it aims for the next higher stage of a ‘responsive’ establishment. Though profit making still remains the primary objective, the management attempts at maintaining a balance between profit making and performing right duties. It starts showing interest in societal demands which are more reactive in nature. Mentality is still not proactive, which is a parameter for an ethical organization.

Emerging Ethical Organization

This is the fourth stage in the moral development of an organizational setup. The company starts setting up a greater balance between profit generation and ethical practices. The management begins giving importance to moral values and ethical practices. Conducting business ethically becomes a concern for the organization which also reflects in its work culture.

The Ethical Organization

This is the ultimate level a company could reach morally. In this level the concerned company sets up a perfect balance between ethical business practices and profit making. In this stage doing ‘right’ is given precedence over profit making. Leadership is principle driven with strong stress on ethical practices.

Conclusion

These different stages in moral development of a company represent corporate maturity under a capable leader. A distinct change in values, attitudes, and corporate culture is observable once an organization transforms into an ethical body.

Re-Engaging Team Members – An Analysis

Introduction

When a new manager asks some of her employees about the norms and policies of the company, she might come across a de-motivated and disinterested team. The reason for their disinterest may be lack of interesting projects or indifference of the company towards their problems. It may also happen that the company does not give importance to their efforts. In this article, we will discuss about the techniques of re-engaging team members. It leads to enhanced team management and rewarding people becomes easier.

An Idea

The manager might feel uncomfortable because she does not know what she should do, if she is in a problem. She does not know whom to turn to when in need. Disengaged people exist in all kinds of industries and in all businesses. These people are identified by their indifferent attitude and their dislike for the responsibilities they have. They emit negative vibes wherever they go.
Disengaged people have a bad influence over other staffs. But, it is important to notice that employees do not start off as negative professionals or disinterested staffs. It is a habit that grows in course of time as expectations of both employer and employee keeps growing.

How You should Get Ready for a Real Vacation?

Introduction

Can you remember when you took a vacation last time? Taking leave from the work to go out for vacation has become a serious concern for working people in this modern world. Now, it has become very difficult to get relief from the increasing work pressure and people are slowly forgetting those days when they could enjoy their vacations with family and friends.

When we talk about real vacation, it means the time when we enjoy our holidays by leaving everything related to our workplace behind (like there will be no checking emails or receiving office calls or talking about your work with others). If you have decided to go out for vacation, you have to make sure that this is going to be a real vacation, so that you can enjoy it thoroughly.

Difficult to Get Paid Holidays if Working in the US

In most developed countries, employees in almost every sector are getting more than four weeks of paid holidays, but if we look at the US, we find fewer vacations than any other industrialized countries in the world. In most of sectors in the US, there are zero guaranteed vacations. However, to change the current scenario, a bill had been introduced in May 2013 before the Congress to consider a single week paid vacation for those organizations where at least 100 employees are working.

However, a couple of years have almost gone, but the bill is still getting examined by the committee. Although a few organizations are taking care of the welfare of their employees, but most of the industry in the US are following their traditional rules.

Realize the Importance of Vacations

Many people just waste their vacation period by doing their job, just because they want to earn more. This is really a bad practice and people should refrain themselves from doing this. We have to understand the importance of taking vacation from our work, as only vacation can reenergize our productivity and make our mood fresh so that we can avail a great start again. Staying away from the work for a while can help us to maintain the sense of well-being.

Why you should go for a vacation?

#1 To Reduce Stress

There is no doubt that continuous work pressure can snatch your sleep and can make your life a difficult one to live. People who are working under unbearable pressure are well aware about the fact that it is not possible to reduce the workload from their shoulder, but they can enhance their ability to bear the burden of stress.

However, going out for a vacation can reenergize your mood and enhance your ability to work under pressure.

# 2 To Boost Energy Level

You will experience a renewed energy level once you return from your vacation. Too much work pressure reduces our physical and mental energy level and that is why you need to revitalize our physical and mental state by giving it a wonderful experience of vacation. Thus, never ignore the reducing energy level and try to revitalize it in time.

#3 To Increase Productivity

We tend to suffer from low productivity with time and continuous work pressure makes the way smoother than its normal pace. We have to address the issue if our ambition is to work for long period of time, because without the power of productivity and creativity no one can survive in this highly competitive world. A few days off from work and enjoying quality time with family and friends help us to develop our brain cells and we find ourselves more creative and productive at our workplace.

# 4 To Strengthen Bond with Family and Friends

Unfortunately, many people cause a stain in their personal relationships due to lack of quality time. People who work most of time in a day cannot provide sufficient time to their families and as a consequence, they have some relationship problem. We can say same thing about their friends. However, going out for vacation once or twice can help people to rebuild their sound relationship with their friends and families.

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# 5 To Enhance the Quality of Life

You can enhance the quality and standard of your life by taking occasional vacation from your working life. To be more proficient in the workplace, you need a motivated mental attitude and vacations can offer a good piece of mind through which you can build up our confidence level and be more proficient at workplace.

Always keep in mind that no one will make the way for you so that you can go out for your vacation, it is only you who can make it happen. If possible, make an early declaration that you are going out for vacation, try give your boss and colleagues occasional reminders so that they cannot spoil it by imposing some extra work on your shoulder.

Moreover, you can politely tell your co-workers that you will not receive any phone calls and even emails during your vacation.

Conclusion

People should maintain a balance in their personal and professional life so that they can enjoy their existence. Occasional vacations are very important for all working people so that they can get relief from stressful working environment and reenergize themselves for a better tomorrow. So, go out for short trips whenever you get time if it is not possible to go for a long one.

Reactive Decision Making – An Analysis

Introduction

When people encounter danger they react in an impulsive way. In these situations, the best decisions are those that come after a lot of thinking. A rigorous pre-planning helps in dealing with situations that occur accidentally. For instance, a pre-planned evacuation scheme for fire drill helps in dealing with an accidental fire attack. In this article, will discuss about reactive decision making and how it helps to make better decisions.

Idea

A normal decision making method consists of the following steps.

  • Describing the problem
  • Gathering information
  • Creating a plan
  • Implementing the plan
  • Following-up after the plan is executed

Reactive decision making leads to bad decisions because the decision maker is under tremendous pressure to make a fruitful decision in a limited time period.

  • Actions taken in emergency should be planned from before, so that the professional can make proper decisions. This problem may arise when the office premises get burgled and the company is working to meet a tight deadline.
  • In case of career advancement reactive decision making may be quite hazardous. In some cases, reactive decisions are made to satisfy the immediate grounds of requirement. That may not always be fruitful in the long run.

Reactive Decision Making in Exceptional Situations

When involved in making decisions in an exceptional case, the professional should at first observe the risk and realize the chances taking place.

  • This can be done by using the Risk Assessment Matrix. The matrix is created by drawing a graph with a horizontal axis marked ‘probability’ and a vertical axis marked ‘consequences.’
  • The scale should run from 0 to 5 where 0 equals very small and 5 equals very large. While probabilities are assessments that state individual consequences will take place, consequences are worst outcomes that might take place.
  • The decision maker now has to think about all the consequences she has to face and then asses the risk she has to encounter thereafter. She can also base the risk assessment on real life experience.
  • Then she should plot them on the Risk Assessment Matrix. She will realize that as she draws them on the matrix, her priorities for contingency planning become clear.
  • She should, however, remember that the matrix is a useful device to look at the comparative significance of each risk. As a result, planning is better thought out when decision making becomes reactive.

However, in the absence of a plan, one cannot rely on the use of a Risk Assessment Matrix. In such circumstances, she has to make use of proper reasoning that is based on the most appropriate result.

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Making Sudden Decision when Under Pressure

  • If a team leader suddenly quits her job, the company and the project will be in big trouble. Her action has a great impact on the future of the company. In the light of the event the management has to make a quick reactive decision that saves the company and the project from further jeopardy. The reactive decision is made on the basis of risks that are perceived to take place and the consequences that are perceived to occur.
  • In this case, the management can re-assign the tasks in the team, so that the work left incomplete by the team leader is completed by rest of the team. The management can also appoint a new team leader. The management has to keep in mind the profits of the company, goodwill, risks, consequences and last but not the least interests of all those who are involved in the project. In this case, the authorities in the company cannot achieve the exact outcome they desire. The maximum they can do is control damage.

Decision Processing in an Automatic Way

It is not possible to stop accidental events, such as a manager leaving a company in the middle of an assignment, from occurring because there is nothing called zero risk. However, the possibility of risk can be decreased. The following techniques can help in reducing risk.

  • First of all, the decision maker should take up and apply some preventive measures. Some common preventive measures are hiring good drivers for tourist buses, having legal and financial documents for a business ready, getting effective antivirus for internet, etc. This does not stop the risk from occurring, but checks its possibility of occurring.
  • She should then plan for the most appropriate emergency outlet depending upon the assessment of risk.
  • Once an accident occurs, people are frightened. In such a situation, the best plans cannot be applied because people are emotionally blocked to use them. This indicates the fact that the decision maker has to build a series of automatic decisions that everyone can pursue without thinking much about it.
  • These are automatic processes which help people in acting without worrying about consequences. This way, things will turn easier and the level of risk will be reduced.

However, in a person’s career automatic reactive decision may not always be useful. For example, if a professional is failing to succeed in her work repeatedly, she should try to change her mindset and not follow the same mindset. It is an automatic reactive decision making process which is not allowing her to succeed. For instance, if a professional constantly works under pressure and fear, she makes disastrous and ineffective decisions reactively. Even if she makes changes to her approach, she might not succeed. This is because she is under tremendous pressure and is afraid that she might be fired from the company if she gets wrong. Thus, she should change her mindset and not follow an automatic reactive system.

To Wrap Up

From this article, it can be deduced that in certain cases, decision makers have to make reactive decisions. However, if they asses risks and their consequences beforehand and plan accordingly, the actual risk can be reduced to a great extent. In some cases, people are not prepared and they are bound to make reactive decisions for which, they have no prior planning.

Rationalizing Project Portfolios – A Study

Introduction

There are often several projects in hand, but not enough resources to complete them in time. Even though these projects might be approved they cannot be initiated due to paucity of funds. Though a portfolio might be worthwhile, lack of resources prevents it from being initiated and completed. Under such a circumstance, reworking on your portfolio becomes imperative so that projects could be prioritized.

Broadly, there are two stages in rationalizing of projects with each stage being further subdivided into multiple sub-stages. For a manager, it is important to follow each of these stages and sub-stages for complete rationalization of portfolios in hand.

Stage I – The Preparation

In a preparatory stage, it is essential to understand your company’s business plan fully in both short and long runs and the resources available to meet these plans. For any organization, there are several plans at any point of time and you need to implement them according to their priority. For execution of these plans, an assessment of available resources is essential. In case of scarcity, these resources are needed to be realized.

What Questioning Techniques You can apply?

Introduction

You may ask questions for a number of reasons in different situations when looking for information, solutions, and answers. Apart from this, asking questions can help you clarify your doubts, gain knowledge, make difficult issues simpler and to know the fact behind any incident. To put it in simple words, questioning is a basic tool that not only helps people grow their knowledge, but also find solutions to handle many critical situations. However, you are likely to get wrong answers or information when your question is wrong. Asking the right question, therefore, is very important.

Benefits of Asking Right Questions

Asking right question according to a specific situation can improve a wide array of communication skills such as building strong relationships, effective management of people, gaining more information and you can learn more as well. There are some other benefits of asking right questions, which include:

Project and Program Governance – An Analysis

Introduction

Sometimes, projects may fail to be successful even if the required components that can make it a success are present. Starting from team to other resources, time of delivery and quality of the project is there, but the project fails. In such cases, the company must implement governance of projects. In this article, we will discuss about project and program governance as part of project management.

Idea

  • When a project does not run smoothly, several unexpected things begin to occur. The resources disappear one after the other, as a result of which expert knowledge is distributed to other projects. When this happens an important tool for data storage is provided to another assignment which was stalled because of the project that failed to deliver and the company also loses its financial resources.
  • These things can be checked by implementing project governance. This is not essentially going to prevent the problems from happening but, it will make sure that the company has optimum support from senior management and helps in smooth conduct of the project. Senior management also assists in solving problems successfully.

What is Practical Innovation- Why is It Important?

Introduction

For an organization, the ability to transform itself with time determines its longevity and that it why we see some businesses to survive for a few years while other last for decades. However, here the fact is, many people who are the top ranked at their organizations do not like to rely on innovation of creativity rather they like to run business on their pride and old traditions. You might even hear them saying “we always do things on our ways”.

However, we should let them to do things on their way. Organizations that always give value towards innovation and want to keep creative people with their business will definitely last for longer than those that have been ignoring such serious issues. The true essence of innovation is to grow up with time by thinking differently about the product, process and employees.

We can relate to the term innovation with change. If we observe a modern top ranked multinational company, we will find that the company has been going through the process of continuous change since the time of its emergence. Organizations that will not transform their business strategy and have been ignoring the prospect of continuous innovation and creativity will succumb and perish by the erosion of time.

True Meaning Of Practical Innovation

The term ‘practical innovation’ signifies developing creative ideas with modern thought process than putting them into a direction for the final execution. In other words, if you have ideas to work on, then develop a strategy or plan and then start to work on the project.

Powers of Persuasion – A Study

Introduction

Capacity to persuade is a great quality to possess. You need to persuade several people every day at home or office to get a task done. Persuasiveness is a quality that occurs in humans in different degrees. There are individuals who are persuasive by nature while there are others who imbibe this trait through training. Power to persuade is an asset for individuals that need to interact with people and convince them.

6 Elements of Persuasion

Together with ‘persuasion’, ‘scarcity’ and ‘reciprocity’ are complementary terms. Without these two ‘persuasion’ could be difficult to achieve. A customer purchases a good or service when he or she is able to relate to it and has a demand for it. Reciprocity helps in increasing a customer’s relation to a product. In other words, a customer feels drawn towards a product for which there is a personal requirement. Secondly, humans have an affinity for owning something exclusive, for which he is even willing to pay a premium. The ‘scarcity’ factor is the second most important factor in making a purchase decision.

‘Authority’ is the next aspect that a buyer looks for in a product. This arises from trust a consumer has on commodities offered by a certain company or belonging to a particular brand. Based on trust a long lasting relationship could develop between users and sellers. Many companies offer products on a trial basis free of cost or sell it on cost refund basis if found unsatisfactory. Such exercises increase ‘trust’ of consumers and help in establishing an authority for a specific brand or company.

There are primarily six elements of persuasion that could sway customers towards you or the commodity that you sell.

Reciprocity

Through this principle in persuasion the key is to give first something that is unexpected and personalized and wait for it being reciprocated. In a study of restaurant waiter and customer behavior it was observed that a mint from the waiter increased his tips by 3 percent. When the number of mints was increased to two the tips increased by 14 percent. In the next instance, the waiter left one mint for the customer and went away for bringing the second one. While offering this second mint he uttered: ‘for a nice person like you, here is another’. The waiter’s tip increased by 23 percent.

Here persuasion worked on the basis of reciprocated feeling. The important point to note is not ‘what’ was being offered but ‘how’. Courteous presentation, tidy packaging, clean ambience, personalized care are things that increase your power of persuasion through reciprocation.

Scarcity

Humans have a tendency to acquire services and goods that are scarce as it gives them exclusivity. Designer dresses, antique furniture, auction purchases are typical examples of scarce materials that attract customers easily and sellers could even earn premiums for these. Ownership of a scarce item offers a satisfaction of standing out from others.

Theoretically speaking, scarcity is comparable to marginal utility of a product or service. As the marginal utility of a commodity in the initial stages of its consumption is high, so also is a product as long as it is scarce. Once the availability of a service or good becomes extensive it loses its scarcity quotient and hence the craze for its acquirement. A seller or manufacturer should always attempt to keep the scarcity value of a product high so that its persuasion power stays intact. It is thus not only important to speak about the advantages and benefits of a commodity but also highlight the losses if it is not bought or used.

Authority

The power of persuasion increases when people begin to trust you. To win this trust it is important to instill a sense of authority among users. This authority comes from experience, credentials, and a positive impression about a service or product being offered by a seller. An architect should ideally display his awards and certificates in office so that customers walking in feel confident. It also helps the service provider in gaining the trust of service seekers or product buyers.

There are several examples worldwide, where brands have become synonymous with products. The level of trust is so deep that a commodity becomes famed as a brand and establishes itself as an authority. The same is true even for professionals. There are medical practitioners and lawyers who are considered authorities in their respective fields and trusted blindfolded. For sellers it is essential to establish their credibility to buyers before trying to persuade them for offering a product or service.

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Liking

Humans are inclined to agree to someone who is liked. Marketers and producers of goods and services should always try to be likeable to end users so that persuasion becomes easier. There are two ways of doing business; either by hitting an idea repeatedly, or identifying the likes and then offering a similar item. Studies have shown that negotiations started after establishing a liking led to 90 percent of prospects being converted to customers, while those without setting up a liking resulted in 55 percent conversions.

People are inclined to say ‘yes’ to something or someone likeable. Sellers should always try to identify areas that a buyer ‘likes’ and persuade him accordingly. For best results, these ‘likings’ need to be praised and genuinely complimented. The remaining portion of selling cycle becomes easy and fast.

Consistency

Consistency in quality, service, and overall performance of an organization helps immensely in persuading buyers of further business. Consistency is irrespective of value or volume of business transacted. This persuasion tool is a way of engaging existing customers in motivating prospective buyers for a commodity or service. Appreciation of a product from a user acts as a stimulus for its seller and helps in creating more customers. While attempting to persuade others using consistency principle a marketer fundamentally looks for voluntary support.

Consensus

This is a powerful persuasion tool. People speak to others or look into their habits before trying out any new product or service. In other words, the actions of any individual are inspired by those who are around. Taking ideas from others is a scientifically proven way of persuasion.

To Wrap Up

These six ways of persuasion are costless and effective. They are ethical ways is bringing about significant changes in purchase habits and hence a change in market behavior.

How Can You Make an “Away Day” Successful?

Introduction

“Away day” is the most powerful and well-liked way to develop a strategy, improve overall performance of a team and people along with addressing present company issues. Best part of planning an away day is that you get a complete different atmosphere without any interruption. However, to ensure that you have utilized your away day effectively, it is essential to know about what actually you desire to obtain. Hence, it is important that you plan your away day in advance so that your purpose is met.

Away Day – The Concept

Planning an away day is a great approach that can assist your staff to relax jointly and recharge themselves following business or conference sessions. Even this is a strong method of prize distribution to your team members for their general achievements or the completion of a project successfully. There are as many as unlimited activity alternatives to plan your away day perfectly.

Performance Appraisals Drive Organization towards Profitability

Introduction

Nobody knows, when and how businesses adopt new standards. In this cut- throat world of competition, it is required that you utilize your available resources in best form for attaining customer satisfaction. The main challenge lies with analyzing the productivity of your company. Generally, most of the productivity is achieved through human capital. Now, it is your time to understand and find out those employees, who add value to your business with their hard work. Performance appraisals can help you identify true talents of your firm and these methods can guide you to take decisions for future business growth.

Performance Appraisal – Definition

Performance appraisal is a systematic evaluation of performance of your staffs and understanding the abilities of an employee for further development and growth.

It is generally done in sequential ways, which are as follows

Performance Agreements Help In Meeting Organizational Goals

Introduction

Many times, it happens that an employee is not able to perform up to the desired expectation. HR personnel or the immediate supervisor sits with the subordinate and tries to find out the reason of poor performance. In this case, the concerned employer makes some workplace adjustments and motivates the candidate to deliver best result. But, after some time, it is found that the employee has not been able to cope up with internal crisis. So, what is to be done? The efficiency of the staff can be raised through performance agreements.

What is Performance Agreement?

Performance agreement is a formalized plan, which is developed by the employer and the employee and it records what is to be fulfilled and how and when the goal has to be attained.

Expansion of Performance Review Process

One of the ideal ways of expanding the performance review process is by implementing a performance agreement strategy. This signifies accountability for specified organizational and personal goals.

Delving Deeper into ‘Perfectionism’

Introduction

Do you regard yourself to be a perfectionist? Or have you been given the name of a perfectionist ever? No doubt that every task you carry out should be of high quality yet too much perfectionism can be harmful at many times. It can not only damage your sense of worth, but also affect your personal and professional relationships. In some instances, the result is even more critical as this small word has been observed to cause health related problems. Before you lose everything, find ways to put an end to it.

Perfectionism – The Concept

Every time the word “perfectionist” is heard about. In fact, there are people in this world today who are considered perfectionists. But what do you mean by perfectionism? In simple terms, perfectionism can be defined as a series of “self-defeating thinking patterns” which perk you up to attain some unrealistic goals. Perfectionists are of the view that perfection can be acquired in everything and should be. They can be classified under two heads stated below:

Adaptive Perfectionists – The standard for perfectionists continues to rise and they see their work with contentment, hopefulness and the urge for improvement. As an adaptive perfectionist, you will always try to develop your skills. Adaptive perfectionism is considered to be healthy as it will give you scope for improvement in life and proceed further towards developing a successful career.

Maladaptive Perfectionists – Talking about maladaptive perfectionists, they are not at all happy irrespective of what they acquire. If they feel something will not work, they immediately give up the idea and try out some other thing instead. They always experience fear in mind. Be it doubt, failure, painful emotions, unhappiness etc. So, it is clearly understood that these can affect your health considerably.

The biggest difference between adaptive perfectionists and maladaptive perfectionists is the former see their mistakes a prospect to flourish. Contrarily maladaptive perfectionists cannot accept their mistakes and think others consider them hopeless. From the discussion, it is clear that maladaptive perfectionism can ruin your life. Hence, you should understand the difference between the two and avoid yourself from turning into a maladaptive perfectionist.

Perfectionism as a Negative Attitude

Perfectionism can have negative impact on your life when you have set a high standard for yourself but failed to attain it. This mindset will prevent you from taking unnecessary risks, challenge yourself or move up to the ladder of success. Here is how:

Stress And Anxiety – Stress is a hot topic presently. Every person is said to suffer from stress, which turns to anxiety, and then to depression further. A great factor resulting in stress is perfectionism. It saddens you when there is no need actually. You might feel stressed out when have completed a task less than acceptable standard. Not only is this but also it can beat yourself against minor hindrances.

General health Disorders – As per an analysis made, perfectionism can also affect general health disorders. These can include:

  1. Eating Disorders
  2. Personality Disorders
  3. Migraines etc

This quest for your perfection will further lead to decreased productivity and troubled relationships as well.

Not Open To New Experiences – When you are not ready for newer experiences, you can miss out wide range of opportunities like discovering new interests, passions and people. Nosooner you close off; such limits can make you feel stressed out. These further make you neglect good things that life offer.

Hampers Your Creativity – For sure, you won’t want this to happen to you, right? Yes, trying to be a perfectionist can hamper your creativity as well. Creativity should be valued the most. However, without any experimentation, no creativity exists in today’s fast-paced life. It prevents you to take risks, restrains your playfulness and the urge to live upto a new dream.

Self-Esteem – Perfectionism can have a negative influence on your self-esteem. Whatever perfectionists achieve; they see their sense of worth in it. They cannot accept the fact that their team members have equally put up efforts to complete a task. They never feel satisfied at their accomplishments and so cannot meet up the standards being set.

Procrastination – It is well known that procrastination is an enemy and makes you fall behind often. For example, you feel anxious about unable to meet the anticipated standards rather than taking your first step towards initiating a project. You fear to start afresh to avoid the mistakes in the long run. Paying attention to every detail can leave a project unfinished, which further affects your reputation and work relationships.

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How to Turn Negative Attributes of Perfectionism into Positive Ones

Identify Your Strengths – Identifying and focusing on your strengths is the very first step towards turning your negative attribute of perfectionism into positive ones. Rather than thinking about your weaknesses and failures, make yourself believe on what you can attain. Your strengths will let you go far and allow learning as well as building up your skills further.

Stumble upon New Opportunities – Expose yourself to stumble upon new opportunities that will pave up the path for new learning. Try to explore new interesting projects even if you have experienced failure in the past. Make yourself understand you can improve and grow your skills.

Be Flexible in Your Thoughts – You have to be flexible in your thoughts. Accept the fact that perfection is not identical to excellence. If you consider excellence personally then it is to strive out the personal best from within whereas perfection is just to meet an unrealistic goal.

Indulge Yourself into the Activities – Try to live in your present paying attention to details that you indulge into. Enjoy yourself and think about the happiness it brings to you. At workplace, enjoy the procedure to reach your goals rather than just the final outcome. Everyone can make mistakes and even you. So, forget such things and proceed to learn and develop.

Conclusion

Working as a perfectionist in every job you do is not at all a bad thing. However, when it turns out to be affecting your relationships at home and office then it is better to put a check on it. Learn on how you can get rid of the problem and be happy in what you achieve.

Perceptual Mapping to Understand Customer Perceptions

Introduction

Most of the companies don’t think about what customers really feel about their products and services. For example – you should check if the customers think your products as luxury items or budget items. You should know if they see the items as stylish or novelty. No matter how well you think you know about your customers, you will be surprised with the answers provided by the customers. It is important to understand how the customers see your products and services, and how they view the products and services of your competitor. This will directly have an impact on how you are going to market your products.

In this article, we will discuss about perceptual mapping, which is a simple tool that helps you understand how your customers view your products and services, compared to that of your competitors.

Definition of Perceptual Mapping

Perceptual mapping is also known as positioning mapping, and helps companies to analyze how your target market perceives your products and services. One can trace perceptual mapping on a graph with horizontal and vertical axes that represent the dimensions to analyze. Each criterion is labelled based on the requirement of the consumer.

For example – if your organization sells breakfast related products, then you should know how your customers perceive your product as well as your competitor’s products. The customers may consider the health and fun dimensions to make their purchase decision. To explore this, you should label the left side of x-axis as ‘unhealthy’ and right side of x-axis as ‘healthy’. Similarly, the top of the y-axis should be labelled ‘fun’ and the bottom should be labelled ‘boring’. Plot the graph of your product and your competitor’s product based on the answers provided by your customer.

Types of Perceptual Mapping

Basically, there are 3 main formats of presenting perceptual mapping, which are described as below –

1. Joint perceptual maps

Perceptual map is also defined as map that maps the preferred needs of different market segments based on same attributes. This kind of map is referred as joint perceptual maps, where the product positioning is presented with the needs of the segment. The addition of market segment that are being placed on perceptual map allows the organization to identify how well they are positioned relative to their target markets.

2. Multiple product attributes maps

This kind of perceptual mapping is a statistical technique known as correspondence analysis. Companies can make use of statistical analysis tool such as SPSS to map multiple product attributes at the same time. This type of mapping is difficult to interpret and is a bit confusing, but is capable of providing an overview of how the target market views and connects different attributes. There is no defined axis in this kind of mapping, where the different product attributes are scattered throughout the map along with perceived positioning of the products.

3. Determinant attributes

This kind of perceptual mapping uses two determinant attributes on the graph. This kind of presentation format is very simple to construct and interpret. Remember that there are only two attributes to consider.

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How to Draw Perceptual Mapping

Companies make use of perceptual mapping or positioning maps to help them develop a market strategy for their products and services. As the maps are based on perception of the buyer, they show where the products are positioned in the market so that the firm can decide where they would like to place their product. Companies can either position their product in market in such a way that they fill the gaps in the market or they compete against the competitor.

Theoretically, perceptual map can have multiple numbers of lines to keep things. But, to keep things simple and easy, they have 2 lines on x-axis and y-axis. Any criteria can be used to plot graph on x-axis and y-axis. Once the 2 lines are drawn, the existing products will be placed on the map. Perceptual can help you identify where the organization can position their new product or service in the market. It will also help you identify gap in low quality and high price. Remember that consumers are not going to pay high for a low quality product. Similarly, if the graph shows low price and high quality, the manufacturers find it difficult to manufacture high quality product for cheap price.

Benefits of Perceptual Mapping

Companies make use of perceptual maps to know what consumers think about their products and their competitor’s products. It helps companies to show their business in a position in market relative to their competitor. In addition to identifying new products, one can use the information to build an effective competitive strategy, brand strategy and communication strategy. To make the perceptual maps more useful, each axis should measure the attributes that consumers use in making the purchase decision.

This can be said as the best way for companies to find how their potential customers view their products and services as. It is truly based on the surveys conducted to know about the brand preferred by customers. To obtain most useful information, researchers need to present the attributes clearly and accurately in such a way that the consumers are rating only the intended attributes and nothing else.

Summary

The bottom line is that perceptual maps are based on the perception of the buyer and is quite challenging. It can be said as what one consumer views the product as quality product may not be viewed as quality product by another consumer. Perceptual mapping help organizations understand how customers view their products/services and is very subjective.

Companies need to ensure that the data that they use to plot the map is accurate. If the data is inaccurate, the map will be wrong and will have a string effect on the success of a marketing strategy. Perceptual maps help organizations identify possible gaps in the market. Before you choose to fill the gaps in the market, you need to ensure that there is likely to be a demand for the product you are going to position in the market.

Overcoming Procrastination – Steps You Can Try Out

Introduction

It might be noticed sometimes that several people tend to put off their important tasks to be done in the lateral period. This condition can be treated as procrastination. Briefly, it can be stated that procrastination is a tendency of mind that impels any individual to put off his/her due works that are important actually and need to be focused at. Instead of that, the person becomes more involved in performing tasks that seems to be more enjoyable or comfortable to him/her.

Dodging those priority based works often lead to a person becoming unable to fulfill his/her goals in the professional life. As an obvious result, their careers become hampered big time. According a renowned psychologist, procrastination occurs in human being when a significant period of time appears between when a person is intending to perform a job and when that person is actually performing it.

How to Overcome Procrastination in Your Professional Life

It is quite likely that you might have come across the problem in your professional life. If the answer is yes then there might remain a high possibility for you to become unable to work at your full potential and disrupting your bright career in the process. Hence, it will be great if you go through and follow the steps discussed henceforth to overcome the problem and have upper hand at the same.

Know How to Overcome Fear of Failure

Introduction

Are you influenced by fear of failing to do something that you have never desired? Or do you feel driven by uncertainty, which is undermining your overall performance in the professional career? Today many people are witnessing such unwanted aspects in their personal and professional lives and eagerly looking for some ways through which they can cope with the issue.

Fear of failure results into self-destruction

It is true that the fear of failure can stop you from taking action, but you can also end up all unwanted happenings determined by the fear of failure. You should keep in mind that the fear can affect your capability to fight against it and can bring an end to your professional career. Moreover, when you allow fear to get on your life, you probably miss some huge opportunities that could have changed your life.

Overcoming Cultural Barriers to Change – A Study

Introduction

It is important that a company realizes the way in which its people react to changes. Corporate culture is a strong force that runs through most companies. It is defined as the experiences, beliefs and values that are functional in an enterprise. These internal cultural practices describe the attitude of people and how a company operates. In this article, we will discuss about overcoming cultural barriers that hinder changes in the corporate culture. In this article, we will also learn about project management and change management.

Idea

Culture as such refers to the ethnicity and practices of people from different backgrounds. However, the way a company makes use of the best practices to achieve its objectives underlines its culture.

  • When a person desires successful change, these cultural factors have a significant role to play. If a company has had a negative experience earlier, it will be tougher for her to accept changes. Again, if the work culture of a company is such that if something is not ruined completely, then there is no need to repair it, making changes becomes difficult.
  • Bringing change is not possible at all times. When a person faces cultural resistance at her workplace, she finds it quite frustrating. Culture presents hindrances in the path of change, but also supports in achievement of goal at the same time. Cultural barriers can be removed by learning about the attributes of a culture that performs well. Once a manager knows what she should promote, she will be in a better position to improve the existing situation.

Organizing Disorganized People – A Study

Introduction

There are times when people do a lot of hard work and send it to their colleagues for checking. The duty of the colleague is to correct the mistakes in the work and make strategic decisions, before finalizing the content. The professional who created the project hopes that it will be checked very soon and delivered to the client. However, the colleague entitled to check it makes delays and is unable to check the content within the stipulated timeframe. In this article, we will discuss about the different ways to get people organized and increase their personal effectiveness.

Idea

  • Even after the professional and the manager reminds her colleague about the project, the latter returns it to her without the correction, just before the deadline. This means that the professional will have to make the changes in a very short time. The delay in the attitude of the colleague has created quite a stress for the professional and she has to complete it by hook or crook.
  • If, this is a habit, chances are that productivity is hindered almost always.

On-The-Job Training for Business Expansion and Development

Introduction

Employees are usually trained at a different place from where they work. The traditional approach puts wall between what the employees learn and what they do. This wall can be broken by on-the-job training or OJT approach. Through on-job-training, companies can think of using a mixture of training methods.

In this article, we will discuss the significance and advantage of on-job-training. We will look at the places where it works best and how organizations can get benefited from on-job-training approach.

What is On-the-job Training?

On-the-job-training is the process of teaching the employees with essential activities that are needed for their job after they are hired. It is also known as OJT and teaches the employees through online mode. On-job-training makes use of regular tools, documents and devices available at workplace. The employee will be taught how to use necessary skills that help them perform their job effectively.

Understanding Online Brainstorming

Introduction

Brainstorming is a regular practice in professional organizations. Several members from single or multiple departments of a company meet together for discussions and sharing of opinions. These are highly effective sessions as new and better ideas on various topics of business operations emanate from here.

The significance of brainstorming lies in the multiple ideas that get generated from these sessions. These sessions include members from different departments or divisions of an organization. Members of different divisions have separate perspectives of any single event. For instance opening of a new market in a foreign location could be inspiring for a marketing team but a matter of skepticism for finance team members. An open brainstorming session attempts to find solutions to such critical and tricky situations.

An Idea

In this age of online communication, brainstorming sessions have also become digital. With offices existing in different corners of the globe the easiest way of interaction among them is through online communication. Internet or cloud computing allows offices in different locations to connect instantly and regularly. Distribution of notices or instructions through post and courier has largely been replaced by online processes. Online communication is safe, fast, and cheap and therefore has assumed a universal status.

Off To the Right Start- Why It Is Important?

Introduction

The success and the prosperity of any organization are determined by the work efficiency of its employees. More skilled and laborious employees mean better production and customer satisfaction. Organizations filled low-motivated employees grow comparatively less than the organizations that always try to keep their employees motivated.

Therefore, it is important to get off with the right start for every employee. In this article, you will get to know how an organization can develop important skills of its new recruits by imparting special training and how a few additional training programs can motivate one’s professional career.

Measuring Current Skill Level

Before planning to enhance the basic skill of your employees, you have to identify the areas of their strength and weaknesses, so that you can address the proper area. You need to incorporate a training plan in order to boost the efficiency of your employees.

Zero Defects for Delivering a Perfect Product

Introduction

Will you go for the same brand again from which you received a defective product earlier? The answer is a big ‘No’. Quality management is essential for an organization due to various crucial reasons like the following.

  • Delivering finest quality products and services
  • Ensuring top-notch customer satisfaction and gaining customer loyalty
  • Paving the way for higher revenues
  • Reducing waste and inventory

Overlooking the importance of quality management results into defective products and low-quality services and some really mighty costs are related to quality defects like, the wastage of time, money, resources and bad reputation, of course.

When you are vying for the top slot, disregarding the significance of quality management and spending time and money to remove quality defects are not the options at all. The quest for perfection leads to the summit of success. The concept of ‘zero defects’ emphasizes this idea. This article will provide an insight into Philip B. Crosby’s Zero Defects.

Personal Goal Setting – To Succeed in Life

Introduction

“No matter how diligently I work, success always eludes me!” Many people go through this feeling. Are you one of them? One of the major reasons why you and others feel like this is overlooking the importance of goal setting. Setting personal goals is important as it gives a meaning to the life and what you want from it. Life is a journey which you need to embark with an objective or a goal to reach. Personal goal setting helps you with a path to follow in order to fulfill your wishes and desires. It helps you take an insight into what future holds for you and encourages you to accomplish that. When you are clear about what you want to achieve in life, it becomes easy to focus on the target, face challenges and overcome them, and drive away all the obstructions that come in the way.

Why Set Goals? - Explaining the Importance of Personal Goal Setting

If you want success never to elude you in spite of hard work, you need to set goals. Personal goal setting offers an aim to life and helps you live life to the fullest. Goals comprise of a long-term vision and inspire to fulfill that vision at each step of your life.

How to Do More Work in Less Time? – Strategies to Work More and Efficiently

Introduction

As a professional, when it comes to time management you must realize that you have to take your job seriously. If you don't commit to completing your jobs on time, you will let your competition get the better of you. Effectively managing your time is a skill that can be learned with consistent practice. There are several areas that you need to improve if you want to have good time management skills. This article will examine three crucial tips that you should apply if you want to see the positive result from your hard work.

Follow the steps below to finish more tasks with efficiency in less time.

# Prioritizing Tasks is Important

Writing down a list of your tasks will help you to monitor your time, better. What you should do is to write down a list of your priorities. If you know what job is the most important, you can finish it first and then do the others that are not too important. Also, when get the most important job completed at first; you won't have to deal with the pressure.

# Maintain a Planner

In order that everything is being completed on time, make sure that you utilize one main planner. This will make it simple to monitor things and not become overwhelmed. Besides that, every step that you take towards making your business successful has to be tracked effectively. You cannot lose important information just because you did not plan properly.

# Act like Your Own Manager

When you work alone, it can be hard to remember your goals and manage your time properly. Therefore, proper time management will be the result of properly managing yourself. For example, if you want to generate a certain amount of sales or send a certain number of visitors to your site, you have to take a work approach that will allow you to see progress.

# Feature Your Workspace

It is very vital that you have a healthy, as well as comfortable workstation. According to the studies, when you set up an ergonomically-correct workspace, your output as well as productivity can improve in a larger way. It will also be easier for you to focus for a longer time-span. Start by making sure that your desk and chair are comfortable. It should also inspire you – you spend all day here, so it should be somewhere you enjoy being! Creating an energizing work environment will give you more ways to create a comfortable place to work.

# Utilize Wakeup Call and Reminder Service

Your alarm clock may fail to wake you at the right time due to battery problems. You may forget to charge your mobile phone properly before going to bed as a result of which, your mobile alarm may not be able to wake you up at the appropriate time. Can you afford to miss an important meeting or conference just because your alarm clock or mobile alarm failed to wake you up at the proper time? Certainly not, then, you must be wondering what’s the solution. Do not worry as there are several wakeup call and reminder services to help you with this. There are many reasons why one should opt for these remarkable wakeup and remainder calls. Let’s get to know about them in the following.

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Reason 1 - This special call service rings you on your landline phone so that if you have a significant flight, meeting or event in the morning or at any other time. You do not need to depend on alarm clocks or mobile phones preserving a sufficient amount of battery life during the night.

Reason 2 - Through wake up calls, one can also book computerized appointment reminder calls up to six months in advance. Moreover, one can also book reminder and wake-up calls on a daily basis, for example, all Tuesdays and Fridays at 6:00am for 7 weeks, without manually setting the alarm for both days.

Reason 3 - These reminder services are unique as it facilitates users to set alarms for others as if you can set a reminder for your relatives, staff, partners or clients. Moreover, this service has online functionality, which allows you to set reminder call for any mobile phone or landline and for any country. These companies will not ask for any extra charge.

Reason 4 - Moreover, one can also use these international reminder or wakeup call service for himself whenever he is traveling overseas. This means you can also avail such service even if you are in a completely different time zone. Search for the reliable wakeup and reminder call service providers and get all your work done on time.

To Wrap Up

When you do not know how to manage your time, you will find it hard to achieve success in your profession or business. So start working on your time management skills and use them to benefit more from online marketing. How often have you spent hours on a task that, with more focus, you could have finished in half the time? What else could you have done that day if you'd be sharper?

Most people want to be more productive. However, the trick is to learn how to get more done in less time, without sacrificing quality.

How Can You Improve Your Writing Skills

Introduction

Budding writers share some common fears and some even call this insecurity. Even many people refrain from publicizing their writings because they fear of being mocked. The fact is, however, their fear is just baseless. To be honest, you do not have to get your name encrypted in the list of famous writers, but still there are ways with which you can enhance your writing skills.

Tips to Enhance Your Writing Skills

There are several ways on how you can work on improving your writing skills. Have a look at them:

  • Check Spelling
  • Grammatical Errors
  • Follow Active Voice
  • Eliminate the Chaff
  • Study Literature
  • Attain Perfection with Practice
  • Structure Your Writing
  • Do Writing Exercises
  • Be Well-Versed About The Topic
  • Edit and Proof-read

# Check Spelling

One of the common mistakes often made by writers is overlooking the spell checks. However, the very first tip to enhance your writing skill is to check each spelling in details. Although many spell check software are available to check for small spelling errors yet they will not be able to catch grammatical errors such as ‘form’ & ‘from’ in proper perspective. Therefore, you should be careful enough to check the spelling mistakes thoroughly.

# Grammatical Errors

If you really want to enhance way of your writing, then ensure your work has no grammatical errors. No, you need not have specialization in English, but it is important to be aware of the basics. You should know where to use ‘is’, ‘are’, ‘was’, ‘were’ etc. rightly. There are more to it. To learn the fundamentals of grammar, you can refer many books written by experts or simply get into some reputed reference websites. This will help you to make your work grammatically correct.

# Follow Active Voice

The most common sign of poor writing is over usage of passive voice in sentence construction. Using passive voice can make your material appear like ‘X is being attacked by Y’. For example, check this sentence - James wrote this novel when he was 18 years old – This novel had been written by James when he was 18 years old. Which of the previously mentioned sentence you would prefer to listen? Obviously, you would say the first sentence written in active voice, right? So, try avoiding usage of passive voice to the extent possible.

# Eliminate the Chaff

A good writing should feature three main things:

  1. Direct
  2. Clear and
  3. Simple

You make a sentence structure hard by writing it in 50 words instead of just 20. Keep in mind that a good writing is about exercising suitable words rather than just filling up entire page. At first instance, it might seem to be good to find lots of information in one sentence, but it can be difficult enough to read. If a phrase/s is not at all important then just eliminate it from your writing.

# Study Literature

To enhance your writing skill, it is essential that you should study well. Reading helps to develop your vocabulary and good understanding of language i.e. being written. There are plentiful structures as well as phrases appearing in written language. Knowing & understanding those structures can enhance your writing in the years to come. You will observe a change even if you are using native language for the write-up. You can also go through newspapers, magazines and all other things from wherein you can seek ideas.

# Attain Perfection with Practice

Practice makes perfect – a small line that has great meaning. Schedule a particular time regularly to practice writing, say, at least 30 minutes. Follow this and make sure that nothing in the world can stop you from practicing the habit. It is essential that you get proper surroundings to get into action. Make yourself comfortable and work in undisturbed mode to bring a change in your writing.

# Structure your Writing

Structuring is a crucial part that you should follow while writing. Many people tend to structure the whole thing before even writing one word. Try to use mind maps. They not only make your writing process simple, but also improve it as well. Once you can get hold of the entirety, you will not have to think about what you desire to write. Rather, you can solely focus on your writing and assemble them altogether rightly. This is a great exercise, if tried out on regular basis.

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# Do Writing Exercises

There is availability of some writing exercises. One of the most common among them is the writing exercise having a set deadline using a pen that cannot be erased. The exercise even urges you to write whatever that comes into your mind to prevail over the writer’s block. This is undoubtedly a wonderful exercise but you can find them in number. If you are writing for the internet then look for some common terms in the search engines and try writing as many words as you can on the topic given. Try out this exercise and you will benefit for sure.

# Be Well-Versed about the Topic

Another most important tip to improve your writing skill is being well versed about the topic. You should research more on the topic to be acquainted about the topic. Sometimes, reading works of other writers come to your rescue. All these give you a competitive edge to make your writing better.

# Edit and Proof-read

If you are working on improving your writing skills, then it is evident that you are well aware of editing your work. This is specifically true when you are masters of web or writing content for personal blog. After you have prepared a rough draft, you can go for a break. When you come back, make sure to read your write-up. Ensure to check everything – spelling mistakes, grammar, punctuations etc. Take this advice and you will see a great transformation within.

Conclusion

Writing style takes into account grammar, spell checks, voice and many other essential aspects. Learn the ways on how to improve your writing and you can observe a change in your writing. Following the tips will surely make you a great writer.

Working in an Emotionally Demanding Role – An Analysis

Introduction

Sometimes, employees work hard, but have to cope with emotional demands. For instance, the employee has to maintain certain behavioral parameters when they are talking to clients. She has to read from a script when talking to customers over the phone. She needs to be sympathetic when customers are upset. She also has to steer clear of showing negative attitude like frustration and anger when talking to illogical customers. In this article, we will discuss about working in an emotionally demanding role. It is a study in stress management and coping strategies.

Idea

With time, an employee becomes emotionally drained and unattached to work. She becomes exhausted and is left with no energy. She begins her career hoping to make a difference, but after some months she thinks of shifting to a different position. Such pressurizing roles are deterrent to health.

Emotionally Demanding Role

Roles in which employees have to interact with others in a voice-to voice and face-to-face basis, are called emotionally demanding roles.

The employees are expected to build an emotional response in the customers.

The company also expects that the team member behaves in a perfectly positive way without expressing her emotional upheavals. This is called emotional labor. For instance, waiters in restaurants are cheerful to customers who go to dine at the restaurants. Doctors and nurses are expected to be attentive and patient with their patients, even if they get anxious over something. A professional team member is one who does not express her emotions and feelings before her customers.

Emotional Demand in all Jobs

Even though, emotional labor is majorly related to customer service executives, in reality all jobs are emotionally demanding to a certain extent. For example, many team members work hard to be team players. This means that they do not show their annoyance with their team members and display happiness even if they do not like their teammates. There are some firms where employees are expected to follow display rules. This means that they have to exhibit some emotions and body languages.

Emotional Demand and Managers

Managers have an emotionally demanding role. There are many managers who feel for their teams and stay optimistic before their team members. Managements expect managers to suppress their feelings while team members expect to see a happy manager. Positive attitude from the manager motivates her team members.

Emotionally Demanding Role and Emotion-rule Dissonance

Emotional demand is considered as the most important reason for stress in job.

Employees often go through Emotion-rule dissonance which is a tiff between genuinely felt emotions and the emotions that employees are expected to show at their workplace. Emotion rule dissonance is often deteriorating for the health of an employee.

There is however, another school of ideas which states that employees facing emotional labor are efficient and have good health.

Emotional labor apparently leads to satisfaction in job, as it assists in monitoring workplace interaction and makes the interactions predictable.

It was also found that employees, who enhanced their positive reaction after facing interactions that can charge a person emotionally, are more satisfied with their job. Positive emotions also lead to personal achievements of employees. Some studies have also proved that employees, who face emotional labor, are more motivated in their work.

Personal Resources

Affirmative aspects that refer to a professional’s capability to monitor and have an impact on their work atmosphere successfully are called personal resources. Along with job resources, they are the most important factors that inspire work engagement.

Employees with high personal resources have a greater tendency to give more energy, so that they can experience agreement between expectations of the management and their own objectives. They are thus, more involved and more engaged in their work. There are two types of personal resources. They are positive attitude and self-efficiency.

# Positive attitude

It is the attitude of an employee to think that she will come across good and positive experiences in life. Such people try hard to achieve optimistic results. They are more likely to believe in their capabilities even if they have experienced failures in the past. These positive aspects keep the employees energetic, as a result of which they are determined to achieve success even when they are facing emotional demands.

# Self-efficiency

The perception of an employee regarding her capacity to meet the requirements of the company is called self-efficiency. These professionals can give the needed effort to meet objectives they have and stay calm in the face of trouble. This results in achievement of goals and finally engagement.

Job Resources

The attributes of work atmosphere that decrease demands and associated costs are called job resources. These resources act as ways to stimulate development and learning as well as techniques to accomplish work objectives.

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Personal Resources and Job Resources

It is sometimes said that personal resources and job resources have similar functions. The common functions are as follows.

  • They serve as ways to attain goals.
  • They protect professionals from related costs and demanding conditions.
  • They lead to development and growth.

There are again two types of hypotheses, one being the buffering hypothesis and the other is boosting hypothesis.

  • As far as the buffering hypothesis is concerned, the connection between engagement and demands is negative for employees who have low resource level.
  • As far as boosting hypothesis is concerned, high demand in jobs is a challenge which shows that the optimistic effect of resources on engagement is more important.

These very assumptions are implemented on personal resources.

It is often suggested that personal resources buffer the impact of emotional demands on engagement and boost engagement in workplace specifically when situations are emotionally demanding.

This is in line with the idea that when employees consider job demands as obstacles especially when resources are less, demand and engagement are negatively related.

On the other hand if employees consider demands as challenges, work engagement is made possible.

To Wrap Up

From the above article, it can be deduced that working in an emotionally demanding role might sound hectic and deteriorating to health of a professional. However, recent research has also proven the fact that an emotionally demanding role is often the reason behind employee engagement.

What is the Need of Implementing Rules in Workplaces?

Introduction

Every company has its own set of rules, which staff needs to abide by. It has been observed that adults have the habit of getting annoyed to follow rules. Have you thought why the rules are there in workplaces? The reality is that not every person possesses same level of aptitude or common sense for analyzing a situation. In order to create a sense of trust among each other, which raises productivity and customer satisfaction, rules are implemented.

What happens when Rules are Imposed?

You love to perform your task with honesty, safety and integrity if your workplace is well disciplined. This is also beneficial for stakeholders of the company.

Not everybody can be trusted. There are people who always tend to take undue advantage of their position, which may result in exploitation of sub ordinates or drainage of the firm’s valuable resources. Therefore, by implementing rules, you can save your company from becoming bankrupted.

You have seen why rules should be implemented and how they protect employees. When you appreciate such move, you can help yourself as well as others to follow rules and establish harmony in workplace.

What a True Leader Means in Real Terms?

Introduction

Life connects you with many relationships in different stages – your parent, teacher and boss perhaps – who had changed your perception of life as well as the world. Somebody had set high standards that inspired and motivated you in every walk of life. Somebody taught you to establish goals and encouraged you to attain those further. Such an individual is an example of a true leader.

True Leader – The Concept

Presently, you will find people calling themselves as leaders in every field including:

  1. Government
  2. Education
  3. Arts
  4. Sports and
  5. Business

However, to be honest, there is lack of a true leadership in real terms. Observing much treachery and mistreatment of power frequently, a number of people have stopped relying on their leaders. Yet, the fact is that you will always feel the need for someone to guide you while making crucial decisions at some point of your life.

So, what do you mean by a true leader? Or say what can you expect from a genuine leader? Simple answer to this is – A person can be called a genuine leader only when he/she provides you with new perspective and motivates to dispose of your narrow vision.

True Leader – Great Characteristics to Be One

Here are mentioned about the characteristics that a true leader is expected to possess:

Effective Decision Making Skills

Decision-making is one of the important aspects irrespective of which sector you are in. It can be defined as a thought process to pick up a logical choice from a number of alternatives. You will see that an effective leader uses responsive and practical methodologies while making a decision. For an example, there are times when a person needs to make a quick and clever decision to come out of a problem. This also shows how much confidence the person has within and his/her problem solving skills as well.

Connects Regular Work Setting Great Goals

It is easy to focus on urgent things than important ones. A manager only spends his/her energy on regular work and harasses team when they fail to achieve short-term goals irrespective of its long-term significance. Contrary to this, a manager but a genuine leader will hardly care about such short-term goals. Rather, he/she will approach towards achieving long-term goals that matters the most.

Has Clear Identified Goals

Every person has a goal in his/her life. It is the goal in life that drives you to move forward. This is true in case of a leader as well. In fact, without having any goal, one cannot be called as a true leader. Sorry to say but many people desire to become leaders for their own reasons. Even some of them believe they know it all and for others, it is just to grab attention or gain recognition. A true leader will care a damn about such things and focus on achieving goals for self and organization by any means.

Takes Pride and Appreciates Team at Their Achievements

If you have observed a mere manager closely, he/she does not have any aspirations in life other than enjoying bureaucratic role. As a consequence, the person will always fear to lose his/her role. For example, such a person will never feel happy when a member of his/her team achieves anything rather will fear of being outshone. The difference with a true leader lays here as the person will not only take pride for his/her team’s good work but also appreciate them at the same time. Even might reward them as well.

Man Management Skills

Effective skills regarding managing your teammates or fellow colleagues properly can be treated amongst one of those vital characteristics an ideal leader should possess. It is quite an obvious thing that any team might consist of members having different specialties and skills. The job of a true leader is to encourage them and assign each member a particular role for the job that suits him/her the best. For doing this, the leader should have ample communication skills so that he/she can gel up with each and every member of the group and get necessary information regarding the fields of their specialty.

Ability to Take Pressure

Showing your back and running away from any severe situation is not the sign of a real leader for sure. A true leader not only should have the guts to take any on spot decision be it in sports or other field but also need to own the courage to face the outcomes accordingly, no matter whether it could be positive or negative. A leader needs to take the whole work pressure upon him/her and let the fellow workers feel a lot easier. Hence, those workers will not only become able to work even faster but also you can expect the best ever effort from them as well.

Motivating Skills

A real leader should have proper skills of motivating his/her fellow team members. However, some leaders often motivate others by giving several examples of any past activities done by any great person that can be considered as a benchmark. Some leaders take the way of offering influential motivating speech to the group members. No matter which way should be taken, an ideal leader should be well aware of the ability of his/her team and should know their goals to be achieved. Sticking to the basics, do not try any newly made weak strategies and keeping trust on one’s own abilities should be the motto of a successful team. Obviously, the leader needs to play a big role as the captain of his/her ship and show fellow members the right path.

A Good Friend

Being a good friend is also one of the key attributes of a true leader. If you wish to be a true leader of a team then first of all you have to become a true team man. If any member of a group or team feels shy or afraid of talking to the leader then the aspect of effective communication might be affected big time. A real team leader also should not put the blame to his/her fellow members for any failure and should take the entire responsibility upon his/her head and face the upcoming consequences.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, the above discussion can be put like this: no matter which type of field it may concern, if you wish to be a real leader, all you need to have is sum up of all the qualities that will help your team dodge any severe situation and reach the desired goal within given time. That is what expected from a genuine leader.

Valuing Your Time – An Analysis

Introduction

It is not easy to measure the importance of the time spent by a professional at work, unless she works at a place where clients are billed by the hour. But, it is important to associate tasks to monetary value. This helps professionals to emphasize on tasks of high value and get rid of actions with low value. In this article, we will discuss a unique way of valuing time with the help of time management tools to enhance personal effectiveness.

Idea

Calculating value of time is an interesting task. Financial freedom provides flexibility and opportunities. However, the absence of time can mar financial freedom and the flexibility that comes with it. Time is a useful resource that should be utilized properly.
Mentioned below are the reasons for which learning about the value of time is useful.

Value Stream Mapping and Its Profitable Applications

Introduction

The value stream mapping is a tool used in lean manufacturing process for documenting and analyzing every step with detailed information of the process. It is considered to be a useful tool for identifying the waste and by reducing the cycle time of the processes. Some organizations may identify this process as the benchmark of the lean efforts of the manufacturing process.

Basic Concept

The Value Stream Mapping is a special kind of flowchart that uses different diagrams and symbols for identifying and improving the inventory flow with information. The symbols used in the flowchart are mostly known as the ‘language of lean’. It can provide the optimum value to the customers by adding value and reduction of wastes. It can therefore design, build and sustain throughout the lifecycle of the product or the service.

How the Tool can be used in Your Business?

Prepare for High Cost of Participation:

Though value stream mapping can be considered as the efficient process, you should be prepared for its high cost.

USP Analysis – A Detailed Study

Introduction

Business trainers have always stressed the presence of USP or Unique Selling Process. USP is the element that a professional has to offer for enhanced future prospects. The USP is what gives a business and a professional a competitive advantage. It provides a business the customers it gets. USP has led to the success of many organizations. It also helps professionals to get the recognition that they deserve. Without USP, an employee is bound to a life of struggle and a lot of hard work. In this article, we will discuss about the strategy tools that a company uses to apply its USP.

Idea

However, the concept of Unique Selling Process is quite difficult to come by. This is because, when a company introduces a USP in the market, its competitors imitate it.

Before a company can sell its products in the market, it has to sell itself on it. This becomes all the more important when the competitors sell similar products. There are few companies that are completely different and have no competitor.

Pinpoint USP

When a company decides to pinpoint its Unique Selling Process, it has to do some research and implement creativity.

Understanding Workplace Values can Boost Business Performance

Introduction

Nowadays, organization is working hard to stay ahead of competition and aspire of generating the desired customer satisfaction that helps in driving their business further. For that reason, companies hire professional-minded people. But, sometimes, problems arise if a candidate is too much ambitious. In such a situation, he or she does not pay attention to other team members and this result in conflict among the team. This further leads to poor performance of the team as a whole and results in customer dissatisfaction. So, it is required that you take out some time and select those candidates who can understand the value of your workplace and become a precious asset for your organization.

Know the Essence of Workplace Values

Your workplace values are guiding principles, which are crucial to you about the way you perform your tasks. You can use these principles for selecting between wrong and right ways of performing tasks and they help you in making career choices and vital decisions.

Workplace Values Include

  • Giving stress on details
  • Marking a difference
  • Delivering the expected quality
  • Keeping promises
  • Being honest
  • Holding positive attitude
  • Helping other team members
  • Being reliable
  • Showing tolerance
  • Abiding company’s rules and policies

Your company’s workplace values showcase your organization’s culture and they also signify how your company cares for its employees. For the successful performance of the company, it is required that the organizational and people’s values should match with each other.

What is the result?

When this happens, employees understand feelings of each other for performing right tasks backed with right reasons. So, over long run, the sense of empathy helps in building strong relationships and establishing synergy to perform challenging tasks.

When values do not align with each other, employees work for satisfying their own goals that result in surfacing of different outcomes. This can tarnish creative potential, job satisfaction, work relationship and productivity.

The important thing that you need to do while interviewing a candidate is to know about her or his workplace values. Accordingly, you can impart training sessions for developing skills and help him or her for gaining experience.

How can You Identify the Crucial Workplace Values?

Before learning the ways of identifying values of other people, in first place, you need to understand your own values.

Once you have got idea about the values, which are important to you, you will be in better position for identifying and understanding other’s values. Your aim should be to identify these values, spread awareness and encouraging good habits and behavior.

First Step for Understanding Workplace Values

As a facilitator, you can talk to your team members regarding workplace values, which they feel are important to them. You can conduct brainstorming session to identify values that good performers believe. As the session progresses, note down those values for future referencing or implementation.

Next Step

Start a discussion where your team members can discuss the ways people demonstrate these values every day. Then you should think how these kinds of behaviors could be encouraged?

If it is not possible to hold group discussion, you talk to your team members individually and collect best idea of workplace values. You need to provide coaching for exploring values and beliefs. You have to check your employee rulebook or handbook. Companies often make a list of their values in these types of documents. Ensure that you pay huge attention to these issues.

You can identify workplace values by seeing how people perform within the company and observing the actions, which the company has taken over past few years.

How to Understand Workplace Values of Staff?

For building a strong team, you have to identify candidates who can adjust in best possible way with organization’s values and culture.

Ask Focused Questions during Interview

When you are judging potential candidates, you have to identify their workplace values. This is important for selecting right candidates for right job.

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Ways for Identifying Workplace Values of Candidates

In first place, you need to ask questions that are related with your company’s workplace values. For example, you may want to know how a candidate can adjust himself or herself with other workplace culture. You can do this by asking questions on how the candidate handled a project along with team members at the previous company.

Conduct Role Play

When you are conducting an interview session, you can use technique like in tray assessment or role-play for assessing the capabilities of the candidate.

You can set up problems or scenarios, which are related with workplace values that you are looking for. Candidate in role-play scenario has to think on his or her feet. It means that it is difficult for him or her to adjust with behavior of other people. In this way, you can know how best they can adjust with other members of your team.

Using Psychometric Tests

Psychometric tests are useful for measuring beliefs and values of potential candidates. Through these tests, candidates can tell you the things you want to hear. They have to answer those questions, which will point to their deepest beliefs, motivational factors and values. You can conduct test like California Psychological Inventory for identifying many aspects of candidate’s values, interpersonal experience and feelings.

Looking At Past Work History

You should also look at the potential candidate’s past work history. Examine the companies for which he or she worked for and find out whether any clash took place regarding workplace values.

You need to keep in mind that many people can be provided training for adapting a new work culture. Some professionals find difficulty in shifting their priorities, as deeper values seem hard to change.

Conclusion

Workplace values drive the behaviors and attitudes, which you want to see in your team. These kinds of values include keeping promises, respecting others, providing customer service, demonstrating personal responsibility, etc. It is important for identifying and understanding the workplace values of potential team members, so that you can easily hire new candidates who share these values and you can aim for business growth.

Understanding Turnaround Management

Introduction

Turnaround management is a process of corporate revival from a position of bankruptcy or near bankruptcy. This management procedure involves processes review, analysis of causes of failure, activity oriented costing, and SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat) analysis. After analysis, a strategic plan is devised and restructuring initiated. The job of a turnaround management team is to bring a bankrupt company back to its solvent state. A fundamental assumption made in this process is that a company is capable of making a comeback if the reasons of failure are addressed appropriately.

For a turnaround manager it is important to ascertain the reason for a company going insolvent or bankrupt as that might help in the recovery process.

Reasons for Bankruptcy and Turnaround

Revenue downturn – This is a common cause of insolvency in debt ridden economies or during times of economic depression. Loss in revenue because of reduced market demand leads to suspension of production and unutilized resources. The normal consequences are retrenchment of employees, closure of manufacturing units, and selling out of capital. All these are genuine causes of bankruptcy which could be avoided if a global approach is followed. While operating on a global scale the market reach increases which could help an industry to sustain even if there is a slump in domestic economy.

High operating costs – Excessively high operational costs such as wages, interests, rent, and depreciation could cut into a commercial organization’s profitable earnings. Increase in fixed costs without a corresponding increase in revenue is a plausible reason for insolvency. Such increase in an environment of tough competition is a warning signal for companies demanding immediate attention. Way out of such a situation is deployment of latest technologies and manufacturing processes.

Insufficient resources – In a global playing scenario it is crucial to have sustained supply of resources and that too at reasonable cost. The essence of globalization lies in procuring resources from the most viable sources to keep cost within control and price of goods competitive. Without adequate access to these cheap sources sustenance becomes difficult in a competitive environment. Procuring from expensive sources being a losing proposal for a commercial body could lead to its insolvency and bankruptcy. To overcome this problem there should be a continuous supply of resources both human and material so that production and marketing does not suffer. Global procurement is the key to such shortage issues.

Overtly optimistic projections – Future projections play a vital role is determining production planning and business strategy. Overtly optimistic projections could be suicidal for businesses particularly in highly competitive marketing conditions. Even a slight change in price or market demand could bring about significant changes in production planning. Strategic planning is an essential part of current generation management. There is not much space to play around with as competition is tough and even a slight hesitation is enough for bringing in competition. Highly optimistic projections could lead to wastage of resources and revenue crunch. Surplus production caused by erroneous projection amounts in huge losses of revenue and increased debt burdens. Turnaround managers to tide over such situations look towards overseas market to sell their excess production. Trained professionals and experts in determining future trends estimate a marketing pattern and hence are able to fix production levels. Too aggressive marketing could result in consumers’ apathy and hence affect a brand’s popularity.

Inappropriate financial control – Often faulty financial monitoring could lead to insolvency. Misappropriation of available resources, excessive rents, uncontrolled expenses, and fixed overheads add to a company’s cost. All these abnormal causes could lead to bankruptcy. Financial control is mandatory for manufacturing and marketing organizations especially in a competitive environment. This becomes even more pertinent while addressing a global clientele.

Powerful competitor – In this generation of liberalized trade the existence of competitors in any market is natural. Organizations need to be armed accordingly to ward off such intrusions or face the trouble of insolvency. Competitors should be matched with pricing or quality product. Customers are always willing to pay small increments for superior goods. Competitors must never be allowed to enjoy dual advantages of low price and superior quality of goods.

Excessive debt burden – This is a common cause of insolvency for commercial organizations. There could be several reasons for debt which only result in bankruptcy or selling out.

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Processes involved in overcoming debt ridden state

From an insolvent to solvent stage an organisation has to go through a certain sequence:

  • Assessment stage – This is the first stage when decline is first observed. The cause or causes of decline are identified and assessed.
  • Acute needs stage – In certain cases the cause of insolvency could be temporary and remedied through a corrective action. Acute measures of recovery need to be adapted which could set the course for recovery.
  • Restructuring stage – Some cases of insolvency is of a severe nature and cannot be overcome by short term corrective measures. More deliberate and conscious efforts of recovery may be solicited. Here performance needs to be scrutinized and analyzed thoroughly. Wherever needed, a restructuring could be done.
  • Stabilization stage – From ‘restructuring’ an organization moves on to ‘stabilization’ stage in which it begins consolidating its recovery. In this stage a company’s management plays a stellar role by deciding on the course of recovery to be followed. Path to recovery could be decentralized and participative; centralised and secretive, or rational and analytic. The strength of an organization lies in the time it takes to stabilize and begin its course of recovery from bankruptcy.
  • Revitalization stage – In the revitalization stage, a recovering company concentrates on the chosen stabilization route. Customers, suppliers and employees could all be party to such a revitalization process. Here it needs to be noted that in certain cases turnaround could be difficult because of political pressures.

To Wrap Up

In turnaround management, the performance of private enterprises is much better when compared to public sector undertakings or government concerns. The principal reason for this is politicization of the entire process of recovery in government concerns. Outstanding case studies of recovery are observable for privately owned organizations.

Training Needs Assessment – To know if the Team is Properly Trained

Introduction

Organizations often look for ways to learn about the training needs of their employees. Training needs assessment is an ongoing process that helps organizations to gather data and determine what are the training needs and its results. Some organizations develop and implement training without conducting needs of analysis and run the risk of overdoing training or providing insufficient training. Sometimes, organizations don’t think about who needs training and provide training to the people who actually don’t need it.

In this article, we will discuss about the Training Needs Assessment or TNA tool that help you conduct productive training session. You will know how to gain better understanding of the training, which your team or employees need.

What does Training Needs Assessment Mean?

Assessment is the process that acts as a diagnostic tool to determine the needs of training. It helps organizations analyze what kind of training is needed and how it helps the employees. This survey conduct for assessing the needs of training accumulates information to figure out what needs to be produced to help people and the association achieve their objectives. This is an appraisal that takes a look the knowledge, aptitudes, and capacities of the employee and organization to recognize any gaps or areas of need.

Implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM)

Introduction

The total quality management or TQM is the particular management approach which was originated in the year 1950. It became popular in the early 1980s and from then on, it was implemented in various ways in different firms. It is the explanation of the culture and attitude of the organization that provides the customer satisfaction with the products and the services. The culture will need quality in every aspects of the operation of the company. The processes should be done in the right method by eliminating any waste during the operations.

Basic Concept

The Total Quality Management (TQM) can be defined as the holistic approach for the long term success which can be visible in the ongoing development in every aspect of the organization process. The overall transformation of the organization can go through various changes in different systems, structures, practices and the attitudes.

Primary Elements of TQM

Total Employee Involvement:

The total employees of the company can involve themselves for achieving common goals. The total commitment can only be acquired if the management has provided an appropriate environment. If the teams can self manage their operations, it will definitely lead to empowerment and achievement of goals easily.

Customer-focused:

The level of the quality of the performance is ultimately determined by the customers. The firms may train their employees, improve the design process by integrating high quality systems, and acquire new measuring tools, upgrade software and lots more. But it is the customers who will decide whether the efforts are worthy or not.

Process Centered:

The process thinking is one of the important parts of the TQM. It is the series of different steps starting from the suppliers’ inputs and transforming them to output which is finally delivered to the customers. The steps involved in the process are clearly defined and the performance measures are incessantly monitored for avoiding unexpected variations.

Integrated System :

The integrated systems of the organization can be structured into both vertical and horizontal processes :

  • The micro process system can contribute to larger processes where it can be aggregated with various processes and implementing strategies. All the employees of the organization should clearly understand the guiding principles, vision, mission and the quality policies of the organization. The overall performances of the business can easily be monitored and communicated in a continuous manner.
  • The integrated business system can be incorporated with ISO 9000 standards. As different organizations possess different work culture, it is very difficult to achieve excellence in all the products and the services. Therefore the integrated system can easily be connected with the elements of improvements for exceeding the expectations of employees, customers and other stakeholders.

Fact Based Decisions:

To understand the position of the organization and how well it is working, the performance measure of the data is to be done in a regular basis. The TQM needs that an organization can collect and analyze the correct data for improving the accuracy of their decision making. The prediction for reaching to the consensus is allowed depending upon the past history.

Communications:

For the day to day operations, communication serves a great role in motivating the employees by boosting up and maintaining their morale throughout all the levels of the organization. The communication can involve various strategies and methods for successful completion of the business process.

Ongoing Improvement:

The improvement should be a continuous method which will drive the organization to be both analytical and creative and find various ways for becoming more competitive in nature.

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How to Implement TQM in Your Business?

In the initial stage, the TQM will evaluate the current reality of the organization. The condition of the assumptions can be the history of the organization, present requirements, events leading towards TQM, present working life status of all the existing employees. If all the preconditions are available with their correct data, the implementation of TQM will not take much time to succeed.

When the organization has a track record of efficient responsive towards the environment, flexible towards the operational process and can be changed whenever required, the implementation process of TQM will be much easier. If the organization possesses no skill of improving their operational systems since a long time, it may invite skepticism from the employees. If the conditions prevail for a long time, the leadership and the management can institute a comprehensive program for the organizational benefits. Before beginning the implementation process of TQM, the firm should be healthy in nature. The TQM will not be suitable for the firms who possess lack of managerial skills, poor employee morale, and unstable funding base and weak administrative systems.

When the individuals can realize a requirement of change in the organization, TQM can be implemented in a smooth way. In 1983, Kanter has described this process as different building blocks where effective organizational changes are present. The traditional processes can be replaced with the modern strategic decisions. When the entrepreneurs avoid the general ways of resolving a problem, then the traditional activities of the lower level of the organization can be easily departed. A crisis may sometimes create a sense of urgency in the employees mind and can force them to act immediately. In case of TQM, the crisis can act as threat or various demands from the consumers for improving the quality of the services. The leaders may interfere in the strategies after a crisis and can provide a new vision of the organization. The leader must act as the prime mover in implementing the TQM strategies.

Key Points from the Article

From the article, we can be aware of the

  • Basic concept and the background of Total Quality management
  • Different elements of the TQM
  • The implementation process of TQM in your business

The TQM encourages participation starting from the floor workers to the managers. It is the philosophy of the management where the continuous improvement is required throughout the process.

Use TOGAF for Improving Business Efficiency

Introduction

Introduced in the year 1995, TOGAF is a global standard for the enterprise architecture framework. It is an open group standard which is used by the leading organizations in the world. It is the most reliable standard that can provide consistent techniques for uninterrupted business solutions.

Basic Concept

The enterprise architecture professionals can enjoy improved business efficiency and higher industry credibility with the help of TOGAF standards. The experts can utilize large amount of resources with higher return on investment if they are conversant with the TOGAF.

How TOGAF can help in Improving Business?

The TOGAF helps in developing the enterprise architecture for supporting the business through the fundamental technology and implementing the process structure of IT strategy. This process can create IT as a responsive asset and can be implemented in the decision making process. The architectural framework can help in simplifying the architectural development by completing the whole coverage of the intended solution. The architecture that is created through TOGAF can be allowed for the future growth and the requirements of the business.

The heterogeneous designs of the architecture can be a complex process with multiple vendors. Here, TOGAF can play an important role by demystifying the development process of the architecture, by helping the IT users to build the systems for the business needs.

The IT users who do not prefer investing in the IT architecture, can be forced to use the single supplier solutions for integrating business solutions. The single supplier solution may adhere to the standards but cannot match the benefits of using the multi vendor open systems. Now, let us go through the best practices of TOGAF:

  • It has been developed by the members of the Open group , a non-profit body of the world’s major IT vendors and the Fortune 1000 companies
  • It does not imply or prefer any particular technology or computing paradigm.
  • TOGAF is based on the open standards based on the commercial off-the-shelf ( COTS)
  • The framework is developed by the experienced users and the vendors who can work in combination.
  • It is completely neutral with vendors and do not have any preference
  • TOGAF can be practiced freely with the organizations whose case studies are available for the review purpose in the public domains.
  • It can be supported by different tools and the professional services which are independent of the specific solutions of the technology. These practical tools can help in decreasing the costs of creating, designing, planning as well as implementing architectures depending on the open system solutions.

TOGAF has been published in the public web site by the Open Group. Therefore it can be represented freely by any organization for developing any information systems within the organization.

The specific customers can therefore easily access the methodology for preparing the project documents for the consideration of the customers. The customers who create the designs and implement the corporate architectures can use TOGAF by ensuring the design and procurement. This can enable the benefits of the open systems for accruing the organizations with decreased risks. The TOGAF can mainly help in:

  • Simplifying the related process of the product procurement , design and implementation of the open system
  • The IT functions can be communicated with the improved goals and the strategies with the corporate management
  • It enables the users for implementing and gaining the benefits of the open systems at the decreased cost

TOGAF will generally contain:

Foundation Architecture: The TOGAF foundation architecture can provide generic services and the functions that can implement the basic foundation of the specific architectures. The building blocks of the architecture can be created with the help of TOGAF. The TOGAF Standards Information Base (SIB) is the open industry of the database standards which can be used for defining the particular services and other elements of the organization-specific architecture.

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Architecture Development Method (ADM): From the foundation architecture, the TOGAF can be improved with the Architecture Development Method (ADM). The ADM process can provide:

  • The practical and reliable way of creating and developing the architecture
  • The business scenario method for understanding and defining the business requirements by properly addressing the architectural methods.
  • It can provide guidance for developing the views of the architectural methods and for ensuring the set of requirements if properly addressed.
  • TOGAF can provide various tools for the architecture development
  • The examples and the case studies can be linked with TOGAF

Therefore, in short TOGAF can provide prudent and effective methods for developing the IT architecture. It can provide various benefits to the end users:

  • Cost and risk development of the IT architecture with reduced time
  • The business benefits of the IT infrastructure and development can be realized very quickly through the Building Blocks Information Base
  • The avoidance of locking into a particular tool can be implemented easily

It can also be helpful to the IT architecture tool vendors:

  • As there are bigger markets, the market share can also be big
  • The growing demands of the customer requirements can be supported through the open standards of the architecture
  • The export / import of the architecture can be defined with the Building Blocks Information Base

TOGAF can play a great role to the IT solution vendors:

  • A huge share of procurements can be offered to the IT solution vendors
  • The customer awareness can be increased through the vendor commitment with the open systems
  • The bidding and the responding costs can be used with the open standards depending on the IT architecture

Key Points from the Article

From the article, we can understand that

  • The basic concept of TOGAF
  • The use of TOGAF in the business
  • The benefits of TOGAF for the end users, tool vendors and the solution vendors

Therefore TOGAF can be applied in the structuring and restructuring through the global standards. It can represent the best practices of the architecture development in the organization.

A Look into the Triple Bottom Line (TBL)

Introduction

TBL or Triple Bottom Line is an accounting concept that takes into consideration the impact an organization has not only on its stakeholders but also on other members of a community or society. Under normal circumstances the ‘bottom line’ of any business organization is the profit or loss it makes during a definite period. However, on a broader perspective a business involves other costs: costs towards society, and cost towards protecting environment. Thus TBL considers economic, social and environmental costs of a business organization.

Origin

John Elkington was the first to explain TBL or 3BL in 1997. In addition to evaluating ‘profitability’, this framework also endeavors to measure a company’s responsibility to ‘people’ and ‘planet’. These 3Ps were referred to as the ‘three pillars of sustainability’ of by Elkington. These three pillars measure the impact an organization has on stakeholders, society, and environment.

The 3Ps Examined

Profit – This forms the basic bottom line of every business. From a financial standpoint any business needs to be viable. The purpose of making profit is not just for keeping shareholders and directors contented, but for sustenance of a community as a whole.

People – This pertains to the cost towards the society. For instance, carbon dioxide fumes from a blast furnace results in thousands getting affected with asthma and other respiratory diseases. Cost for medical treatment for the diseased constitutes social cost of producing iron which rightfully should be borne by the factory owner. Health care for the affected, creating a safe work environment, provision of education for children of employees are societal costs that forms the second bottom line for a business enterprise.

Planet – This could be treated as an extension of societal costs. Here concern for environment and conservation of ecology is the lookout of a responsible organization. Effluents flowing into a river from a jute factory harm marine life and also humans using the river water. The third bottom line involves removing carbon footprints or efforts towards creating a ‘green’ environment. The efforts and pains taken by an organization to preserve nature and protect biosphere constitutes the cost towards sustaining a habitable planet.

The challenge of TBL lies in calculating the cost components of societal protection and environmental protection. Quantification of social and environmental projects and evaluating their sustainability is a worry of social scientists and environmentalists. As things stand there is no standard method for 3BL calculation. This could be an advantage as companies might adapt TBL according to their business policies and their geographical area of operation. This adaptation could be at a micro level for a small factory by maintenance of a water body, or at a macro level for a giant conglomerate undertaking by preserving a reserved forest. Triple Bottom Line is also applicable for government infrastructure development projects that could involve rehabilitation of displaced villagers for construction of highways.

Geographic scope, project type, and its scale are the principal determinants of creating TBL. Based on these determinants, stakeholders and experts frame economic, environmental, and social measures for creating TBL.

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Economic Measures

Economic measures form the first or basic bottom line of any commercial organization. It deals with variables like income, expenditure, taxes, employment generation, and business diversification and so on. Some common variables that are normally considered while evaluating economic bottom line are:

  • Personal income – This is the easiest of all measures of economic well being. This data is easily available and acts as an important indicator of improvement or worsening of living standards.
  • Job growth – Creation of new jobs within an organization or through establishment of new companies is another vivid indicator of economic betterment. Job growth in secondary and tertiary sectors is more desirable than a growth in agricultural sector.
  • Underemployment cost – This is a very prominent factor in less developed economies, or economies based on agriculture. Job growth in agricultural or primary sector is not encouraging as it contributes to underemployment. In such instances, an individual produces much below his level of capability.
  • Size of establishment – A growth or reduction in size of an organization in terms of number of employees is a definite indicator of growth or retardation of opportunities.
  • Employment distribution by sector – Sector-wise income distribution according to economists is a relevant indicator of economic growth at both micro and macro levels. Greater employment generation in industrial and tertiary sectors is indicative of a high growth, while creation of job opportunities in the primary or agricultural sector is an implication of low growth.
  • Revenue by sector – Each of the sectors operating in an economy makes a certain contribution to GDP (gross domestic product). The contribution of each sector to GDP determines its importance on a national level. A higher contribution from manufacturing and services sector is always encouraging.

Social Measures

Social measures take into consideration factors like availability of health and education facilities, quality of life, and access to resources, and distribution of income. The parameters that are considered while evaluating second bottom line are:

  • Rate of unemployment – For any social scientist unemployment rate is a prime indicator of well-being. A higher rate of unemployment is implicative of income disparity, poverty, and greater number of crimes. A responsible government or organization should make efforts to reduce unemployment rate.
  • Relative poverty – This is a direct impact of unemployment. The question of relative poverty arises when there is inequitable distribution of income. Organizations seeking to establish social parity create income slabs that are justifiable and sustainable.
  • Participation of women – Women participation in organized sector is an indicator of a society’s progress in socio-economic field. An effort for more job opportunities for women is a positive gauge for a society.
  • Increased life-expectancy – An increased life expectancy implies healthier living conditions and better medical facilities. Life expectancy and infant mortality rate are critical measures of societal wellness.

Environmental Measures

Concern towards environment forms the third bottom line of TBL structure. It is concerned with environment pollution, land usage, availability of drinkable water, use of natural resources, and waste management.

To Wrap Up

In conclusion it could be said that TBL is fundamentally a reporting methodology which on its own does not have much of significance. It works as a guide for entrepreneurs, economists, environmentalists, and social scientists to focus on areas that need an impetus for bettering the life of people as a whole.

Steps To Apply the Theory of Constraints in Your Business

Introduction

Irrespective of the type of industry, there is always a chance of improving the overall performance. An excellent way of doing this activity will involve all the constraints and the bottlenecks that are holding you back. But you are required to identify the bottlenecks at first before trying to eliminate them. Here comes the use of the well known approach which is known as the Theory of Constraints. The concept was introduced by Dr. Eli Goldratt which was published in his book known as ‘The Goal’ in the year 1984.

Basic Concept

The theory of constraints is the process by which the weakest links can easily be identified in the business process. The constraints that create obstruction in achieving the goals of the business can be identified and resolved until it no longer remains to be a limiting factor. The constraint is often called the bottleneck in the manufacturing process. It is basically a scientific approach of improvement. It assumes that the complex manufacturing process which is multilinked with various activities, consist of a single constraint which acts as weakest link in the entire chain. Therefore optimizing the areas of non constraints will not be helpful unless the constraint is identified and improved.

The Technology Life Cycle – A Study

Introduction

All products have a life cycle. But, technological products seem to grow, mature and wither at a faster speed than other product categories. A new technology will give competitive advantage to the producing company for lesser period of time than any other kind of product. When a company comes up with a new technology, it should think about the various stages the product will go through and devise a plan, so that the product can deliver profits at every step. In this article, we will explore about the stages in the life of a product.

Idea

Technology life cycle talks about the costs and profits of a product from the stage it gets technologically developed through maturity in market to decay.

  • The cost incurred in the research and development (R&D) phase should be overcome when the product is launched in the market.
  • Varying lifespan of products indicate that business establishments must understand and use the returns on their investment for research & development on longevity of product in the market.

Using Well-Formed Outcomes in Goal Setting – A Study

Introduction

People set goals at the start of the year or when they come across something that can change their lives. However, sometimes people do come to a halt, even if they have the strongest intentions. Even after months pass by they do not achieve their results. In this article, we will discuss about goal setting and improving personal effectiveness through NeuroLinguistic Programming.

Idea

  • The goal setter has to think of a strong result, so that she has a strong urge to move forward. She should create a holistic picture of the goal she has and try to speed up the success. The idea of Well-Formed Outcomes is based on the principles of NeuroLinguistic Programming. In this tool, the goal setter needs to come up with a set of questions and make her intentions, thoughts and actions clear.
  • NeuroLinguistic Programming or NLP is a very popular technique of therapy and increases performance level through the determination of well – formed outcomes. It is often used in the professional arena.

The Value Net Model – An Analysis

Introduction

A business owner should involve herself in competitive analysis of her company. In this article, we will discuss about strategy tools of value net model. The Value Net Model is a framework that helps in doing competitive analysis. This study will show the competitive advantage of the company. There are many layers to this framework that will assist in understanding the competitive forces that surround a business.

Origin

Inspired by Porter’s Five Forces Model, Barry Nalebuff and Adam Brandenburger developed The Value Net Model in 1996 in their book ‘Co-Opetition.’

The Psychological Contract – A Study

Introduction

There are always some expectations and rules that act between an employee and her company. These expectations and rules are unwritten, but are still maintained by both the parties. Employees expect their employers to be fair to them and provide them good working conditions. Employees expect that the company maintains rules of informing them beforehand, if anything goes wrong. Companies too expect loyalty from their employees. They want their resources to maintain rules of the company and display good attitude. In this article, we will discuss about the idea of psychological contract and how it helps in team management.

Origin

The concept of 'psychological contract' was pioneered by a Harvard Business School professor emeritus in 1960s, Chris Argyris. He proved that when employees were treated in a way that went with their expectations their performance level was improved.

Before the recession of 1990s, there existed an employee company relationship in USA. People believed that a good job brings good opportunities in future. When recession occurred, companies realized that understanding psychological contracts and rewarding people was essential to maintain smooth working relationship in critical times. Distrust peeped into the US market when the expectations of the employees were destroyed and employees were being laid off. Employees expected training to develop their expertise, however, when they did not get training because of lack of fund they got angry and showed low productivity.

After that phase went away, companies realized that maintaining good relationship with employees is very essential to satisfy them and get the best out of them. Every generation, employees feel psychological contract between themselves and the company. Not everyone has the same kind of expectations from their employers. Employees also sacrifice a lot for the companies for which they work. There are many employees who prefer change in workplace rather than stability. These various kinds of expectations should be catered to by the organizations.

Psychological Contract

An Idea

These rules and expectations are unwritten, but they emerge from the feeling of 'psychological contract' that exists between an organization and its employees. This contract consists of the expectations that exist on both sides. Expectations based on psychological expectations are not bordered by advantages and wages. Some of the instances are:

  • Since a person is a government employee, she will get a stable job.
  • Since she has a good position in a good company, she will not have to stand in the queue to get her things in the market.
  • Since she is a senior manager in a company, she will get a handsome package when she retires.

When these expectations are met, employees are satisfied and their productivity increases. If expectations are not met, employees become frustrated and their productivity lowers. As a result, they tend to withdraw their commitment to the company.

A psychological contract at times has more impact then a formal contract. Since, it is a result of practical thought process of people involved in a company it tends to have more influence. A psychological contract is not applicable in the court of law, but courts can be moved by underlining the importance of an employee and company relationship.

Reasons for Psychological Contract

  • The relationship created after a professional becomes a company’s employee has been individualized in recent years, especially after the recession of the 1990s.
  • The concept of traditional deal has been disintegrated. Initially employees were paid for a day for the performance they showed that day. Employee loyalty was important to get her a promising career. Moreover, professional autonomy has also reduced in importance.
  • The need to look for innovative ways, so that the interests of both company and employees are met has given rise to psychological contract.
  • Violating organizational norms and changes in the management style have lead to the emergence of psychological contract

Changes in Psychological Contract

According to experts, the changing faces of business have modified the psychological contracts that take place between employees and organizations. The stages of psychological contracts are mentioned below.

# Phase of emergence

This stage occurred in the early period of industrial production and the tentative time is late eighteenth century. This phase was attributed by a workplace at the core with high profile managers who control everything. There are some companies that have survived from that period. Some tea growers in China can be cited as examples.

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# Phase of bureaucracy

This stage came into being in the 1930s and it was attributed by a labor market that was created internally. Other features of this phase are allocation of spare resources for unpredictable times in future and extreme hierarchy in organizations that checked employee attitude. In this phase, organizations followed a psychological contract that was paternal inn nature. Employees were rewarded with lifetime employment because of the loyalty they delivered.

# Phase of adhocracy

After the emergence of internet, many computer manufacturing companies started following this phase. It took place in the 1990s. This style was later adopted by companies with websites as these companies do not have boundaries. These companies give stress on the utility of knowledge and horizontal shift in career is common. These companies follow a variety of psychological contracts for dealing with various categories of employees.

Bureaucratic style is becoming history in light of modern appearance of business. Psychological contracts are going through a continuous change. This is happening because of the constant change in business management strategies.

Many people have realized that the designations they had joined as beginners do not exist anymore. For instance, many clerical posts have been replaced by call centre employees who are ready with information if they are called. These changes have brought about alterations in psychological contracts between organizations and employees. A research has brought forward the fact that now-a-days, employees search for any of the three types of psychological contracts, namely disengaged, traditional and independent. The first is where employees do not want emotional attachment with employers, second one is in which employees seek long term jobs and the third one is preferred by highly qualified employees who seek reward in a short period.

Conclusion

From this article, it can be deduced that psychological contract is more effective than formal contracts. It is however undergoing changes because of the changes taking place in the world of business management and styles of operating.

The PERMA Model – A Study

Introduction

Everyone wants to be happy. Happiness makes people productive and good at relationships with everyone around them. However, if someone emphasizes solely on attaining happiness, she will feel unfulfilled. In this article, we will discuss about the PERMA Model. This helps people to realize what they should do for stress management.

Origin

Martin Seligman, a positive psychologist developed the PERMA Model which was published in the book “Flourish."

The PERMA Model

Idea

The five necessary components that should be present to make people feel good form PERMA. They are as follows.

  • (P) Stands for Positive Emotion
  • (E) Stands for Engagement
  • (R) Stands for Positive Relationships
  • (M) Stands for Meaning
  • Stands for Accomplishment/Achievement

PERMA in Details

# Positive Emotion

For a person to feel good, she needs to experience affirmative emotion. It is significant that a person enjoys herself as long as other components of PERMA are in order. The positive emotions are thankfulness, peace, fun, satisfaction, hope, inspiration or love.

# Engagement

  • When a professional is completely engaged in a task, she goes through a condition of flow wherein people lose any sense of time and concentrate on the project at hand.
  • The more engaged a professional is more are her chances of feeling good.

# Positive Relationships

Good relationships are important for the well-being of human beings. It is quite evident that those who have positive relationship with friends and family experience well-being.

# Meaning

Meaning is achieved when a professional serves a cause that is larger than her own self. Whether it is a particular religion or a cause that assists in the development of humanity, everyone needs meaning in their lives, so that they can feel good.

# Accomplishment/Achievement

Most people want to improve themselves when they are trying to attain an important objective or win a competition. Achievement is another significant thing that assists in a person’s capability to flourish.

Implementing PERMA Model

# Positive Emotions

A person cannot be happy all the time, but she should ensure that she experiences affirmative emotions like peace, contentment and inspiration. If a professional thinks that there is lack of affirmative emotions in her life, she should think if her career lets her use her qualifications.

  • She should also think about things and people that provider her pleasure such as family members. She can keep pictures of her family members on her desk.
  • She should try to bring positive emotions in her life and make sure that she does not avoid doing these things till the next time or she will never be able to do them.

# Engagement

It is important for a resource to be engaged in her tasks.

  • Work engagement can be increased by reducing distractions. As a result, the resource is engaged in work and able to face challenges in work.
  • She should also spend some time for pursuing her hobbies. Personal time is very important which people forget when they are much stressed.

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# Positive Relationship

An employee should maintain positive relationships with people around her, be that family, friends or colleagues.

  • Since, a resource spends most of her waking hours at work; she should make it a point to have good relationship with her colleagues. If friends or family are not supportive or positive, she should try to identify the reason behind their negative attitude. She should try to get close to those people who matter and make the relationships strong.
  • She should spend time with a friend or a family member at least once a week on a regular basis. Since, engagement builds relationships; they are made strong when a person makes an effort to maintain a connection with others. She should also realize how far her relations are positive. If they do not want to be positive she should not waste much time or effort on building them.

# Meaning

The resource should understand if her life and work are connected. This means that she has to connect her own objective with the objective of the company.

  • Most people want to believe that they are working for the greater good. Thus, employees should be able to find meaning in their work.
  • For this to happen, finding meaning in personal life like, spending time with family members, volunteering to participate in charitable activities, etc are important. These things add meaning to life.

# Accomplishments/Achievement

Achievement and accomplishment is the most interesting part of PERMA.

  • In many places, achievement is very important to gauge the capability of a resource. In these societies if a person is not busy trying to pursue her dreams, she is considered to be lazy and not fulfilling her own and the society’s expectations. However, if a person constantly pushes herself to achieve her dreams she might get tired. If an employee thinks that she is not devoting enough time in pursuing her dreams, she should get started.
  • She should also try to identify what she wants to achieve in her life. If a person feels that she is devoting a lot of time to her achievements and not giving any importance to her personal life, she should pull back and think about the other components of PERMA. This can provide a better balance in life.

To Wrap Up

From the above article, it can be deduced that if a person has to be successful in her life and career, she has to follow the PERMA theory. The theory talks about the importance of positive emotion, engagement, relationship that is affirmative in nature, meaning in life that is connected to the objective of the employee in the company with the objective of the organization and last but not the least is the accomplishment of achievement. There are also different ways of implementing these components of PERMA. However, the professional should make it a point to understand that excess use of any of the components is not always good. For example, if she is constantly trying to accomplish her dreams and in the process ignores her personal life, it is harmful to maintain positive relationships and stay engaged in hobbies. Again, staying positive is also very important to be successful and happy in life.

The Life Career Rainbow – A Study

Introduction

People move through different stages in their life and also in their career. Demands at work vary with time just as in personal life. When demands in one area occur in cohesion with demand in another area, life becomes comfortable. However, when the demands in both areas are equally high, she starts suffering from anxiety, depression, stress and dissatisfaction. Thus, it is important that the professional balances her life. In this article, we will discuss about the Life Career Rainbow and how it helps enhancing happiness.

Origin

Donald Super pioneered a theory in 1980 that talks about development in career as far as Life Stages and Life Roles are concerned. Super commenced work on development of career in the 1930s and in 1957 wrote a book "The Psychology of Careers." In 1980, he adjusted his theory by keeping in mind the fact that people no longer follow a straight path to develop their career.

The theory was called "Life Career Rainbow." The article here, speaks about Super’s work which deals with life pattern of modern professionals.

Life Career Rainbow

Roles of Life

Donald Super introduced eight roles of life. They are child, student, leisurite, citizen, worker, parent, spouse and home-maker.

# Child

This is the energy and time a person spends with her parents. The role starts at birth and stays till any one of the parents live. Initially a person spends a lot of time in this role which reduces in course of time as parents get older and the person grows up. In the later stage, people spend a lot of time looking after their parents.

# Student

A person can become a student when she is around three or four years old. However, the age of commencing education depends on the culture in which she belongs. Student role continues till the age of twenty. Even though in recent years it has gone up to thirty because of the professional courses in which students enroll. In fact, in recent years people are keeping themselves engaged in studies throughout their lives.

# Leisurite

Leisurite is a term introduced by Super to describe the time spent to pursue leisure. There are several people who indulge in leisurely activities they are children or after they retire.

# Citizen

Citizens spend their energy and time working for social welfare. They indulge in volunteer work for which they do not get paid. This kind of activity is practiced when children grow up and people have more time to spend on other things.

# Worker

This is the time spent by a person as a paid resource.

# Parent

Parenthood is the period when people spend their time for their children. Parent role carries its significance till children attain the age of sixteen. However, many children study long after they attain adulthood and stay at home. Moreover, adults move into their homes and look after their children. In such circumstances, the parent role acts for a longer period of time.

# Spouse

This is the time spent by a person in a committed relationship. Activities that help in maintaining the relationship are also a part of spousal role.

# Home-maker

This is the role in which people spend their time in homely activities like, cleaning, cooking, shopping and repairing. This role commences when a person starts living without her parents. The homemaker role is not associated to any specific gender.

Stages of Life

When Super modified his model, the lives of people tended to move around five stages of life. The five stages are associated to the model. Since, the life pattern of people have changed, it is suggested that they modify them as per their life style. The stages of life are as follows.

# Growth

This stage is till the age of fourteen. This is the time when a person grows physically and starts having ideas about their worth. During this period they realize their interests and abilities.

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# Exploration

  • The age of exploration is generally from fourteen to twenty five. This is the stage when people begin to know about various kinds of work and try to learn about ways that make them successful. During this stage, the more people learn about new things, the more committed they become to a few choices. She starts to narrow the field to those tasks that she likes. During the end of this stage, a person analyzes the career options that she can select as per her skills and expectations.
  • Superficially, it may seem to be a smooth and properly thought-out process. However, people often make strange choices in career. Though, the first experience in the exploration stage occurs between the above mentioned ages, it is likely that she will return to that stage at least one time in future, when she thinks through her career options.

# Establishment

The typical range for this stage is from twenty six to forty five years. This stage begins when people have a good career and settle in their professional lives as productive society members. People become responsible and attain satisfaction from their work.

# Maintenance

  • At this point of time, people maintain their present career and take part in activities that develop their career and also keep themselves up to date.
  • In recent years, however, people aged between fifty to sixty years face discrimination at workplace. Thus, they tend to leave the organization and take retirement. Laws that are anti-discrimination in nature reduce this attitude towards elderly employees.

# Disengagement

At this stage, people prefer to slow down their pace and retire from work. At this stage people choose to keep themselves away from paid tasks, so that they can spend time in indulging in leisurely activities and as responsible citizens. This stage acts as a time to implement stress management.

To Wrap Up

From this article, it can be deduced that life career rainbow describes eight roles in a person’s life and five stages. The five stages come from the model of Super. Given the fact that the life pattern of people has changed in recent years, the roles and stages should be modified according to people’s living style.

The Business Model Canvas – An Analysis

Introduction

A manager should be aware of the business model of her company. She should understand it and realize its importance. The business model of a company decides how the revenue of the company is generated, how it makes profit and how it functions. The manager should make sure that the business model of the organization is as per the market condition or else it will fail. Understanding business model is a significant way to develop awareness in commercial field. This understanding will also help in making useful decisions, solving issues and becoming a trusted manager. In this article, we will discuss about the strategy tools in a useful model and consider it as a business model.

Origin

The idea of Business Model Canvas was pioneered by Yves Pigneur and Alex Osterwald in 2010. The idea of the Business Model Canvas is based on Osterwalder’s book ‘Business Model Ontology.’ Creation of the Canvas was a collaborative effort from four hundred and seventy members of the Business Model Innovation Hub, who contributed critical comments to their own research and case studies. The organization is a virtual forum for researchers and business professionals.

Idea

The Business Model Canvas is a reflection of the total experience of people in a business community. The Model looks like a template formed of nine building blocks. It is a blueprint on which business models can be designed and explained. Business models can also be challenged based on the blueprint.

How to Assess and Evaluate Team Effectiveness?

Introduction

It is likely that most of the tasks performed in any organization handled by effective teams. But, do you know how effective your team is? Do you want to know whether your team is doing productive job or not? Remember that team work adds advantage, if and only if the team is effective.

In this article, we will discuss how to access and evaluate the effectiveness of your team. An effective team can help your organization achieve desired results in a short span of time. The assessment methods described in this article help you identify common problems in work area. After reading this article, you may be able to assess the effectiveness of your team and guide your team to work in an effective manner.

Know How Good Your Team is

Teams have a significant influence on the performance of any organization. It makes sense to have an effective and efficient team. Many of us might have experienced ineffective teams, which increase the issues in team. We may find one or two occasions where we say firmly that the team is really effective. The below key tests help you assess the team to evaluate its effectiveness –

Six Thinking Hats – A Study

Introduction

Six Thinking Hats is a useful way to look at decisions from many perspectives. The Six Thinking Hats helps a manager move outside her usual perspective and make better decisions. She gets a wholesome view of the situation. In this article, we will discuss about the Six Thinking Hats and its role in decision making process.

Origin

The tool was created in the book '6 Thinking Hats’ by Edward de Bono.

Idea

  • There are many successful people who have a positive perspective. This is one of the reasons that make them successful. These people often do not look at things from a negative perspective. This means that they underestimate limitations to plans, do not make necessary plans and cannot participate in creative actions.
  • Similarly, those who think in a negative way are defensive and emotional. They lack the capacity to think rationally and make decisions in a calm way.

If a professional observes a problem by using the technique of 'Six Thinking Hats' she will be able to find a solution by using all approaches. The decisions made by the professional combine skill, ambition, pre-planning and creativity.

Six Thinking Hats

Using the Tool

By using Six Thinking Hats in meetings the professional can bring a stop to the limitations that occur when different thought processes sit to discuss the same issue. The team leader and her team members can gain knowledge about the manner of thinking separately into six different roles. Each of the thinking roles are attributed by colored thinking hats. If the team leader wears the hats in her imagination and switches them as per need, she can redirect her thoughts or the meeting she is conducting.

# White Hat

  • This hat helps a professional to emphasize on the information she has. She needs to look at the data at her disposal and see what knowledge she can gain from it.
  • She should then search for obvious gaps and try to fill them up.
  • If she cannot fill the up the gap, she should keep in mind that the gaps exist.
  • This is the place where past trends are analyzed.

# Black Hat

  • Black Thinking Hat helps in looking at the negative points in the decision made.
  • She should observe it in a defensive way.
  • It is important that she sees the weak points in the plan, so that she can remove them when required. She can also change them and prepare plans to face those weak points.
  • Black Thinking Hat contributes in making plans more resilient. It aids in spotting dangerous mistakes before the decision maker starts acting on the plan.
  • Black Hat technique has its benefits as it helps in finding out flaws and brings people out of an all positive thinking process. If decision makers are not aware of dangers and risks, they will not be prepared for problems in future.
  • Black Hat thinking is required in contingency plans.

# Red Hat

  • The Red Thinking Hat helps in looking at problems by using emotions, intuition and gut reaction.
  • She should try to understand how others can react emotionally. The decision maker should endeavor to realize the reactions of people who are not completely aware of her reasoning.

# Green Hat

  • Green Thinking Hat indicates creativity.
  • This is the place where she can build creative answers to the issues faced by her.
  • Being an indicator of creativity, there is hardly any criticism of ideas and the decision maker can think freely.

# Blue Hat

  • The Blue Thinking Hat indicates control of process.
  • The blue hat is usually used by those who preside over meetings.
  • When a decision maker faces problems because of lack of ideas, she may direct her attention to Green Hat thinking.

#Yellow Hat

  • The Yellow Hat assists the decision maker to think in a positive way.
  • The positive perspective that grows in her helps her to see the advantages of the decision she takes and the values attached to it.
  • The Yellow Hat thinking contributes in thinking ahead when things appear difficult.

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Benefits of the Six Thinking Hats

For a team leader, the use of The Six Thinking Hats is very useful. It helps in bringing discipline to a process in the following ways.

  • They look at difficulties, chances and decisions in a systematic manner.
  • They increase interaction that is productive in nature and reduces interaction that is counterproductive in nature.
  • They make meetings more productive and shorter in duration.
  • They help in generating more solutions by using parallel thinking.
  • The Six Thinking Hats help in bringing out innovative skills
  • They decrease tiff among participants in a meeting or among team members.
  • They discover useful solutions by thinking beyond the obvious.
  • The Six Thinking Hats assists managers to conduct result oriented meetings, so that team members want to attend them.
  • They help in thinking in an objective manner.
  • They make the team leader find out opportunities in problems.
  • They make detailed evaluations
  • They look at problems from unique angles.
  • The Six Thinking Hats do not let ego intervene in performance.
  • They help in accomplishing meaningful outcome in a short period of time.
  • They make team leaders look at all sides and angles of a situation.

Implementation of the Six Thinking Hats

  • They are used in communication, productivity of team and alignment.
  • They are implemented in developing leadership.
  • They are used to bring together decision making process with leadership.
  • They are implemented to think in an innovative style.
  • The Six Thinking Hats are used for solving problems and thinking in an analytical as well as critical way.
  • They are used during the time of project management, improvement of process and product.
  • They are applied in places where high profile thinking and activities are needed.
  • The Six Thinking Hats are used during the time of change in performance or alterations in the organization.

To Sum Up

From this article, it can be said that by donning the Six Thinking Hats, a team leader and her team members can make better decisions in meetings. They can go beyond the obvious and think in a creative manner.

Understanding Pyramid of Purpose

Introduction

For professional organization it is essential that it follows a business strategy and that this strategy is understood by one and all in the organization. It is not only important to have a strategic plan for success of an organization’s business but also that it is communicated to every individual. Management of a company must ensure that plans are not only communicated across rank and file, but that it is understood by all. Planning and communication go hand-in-hand for a convincing effect on employees of a company, and also on their customers.

This correlation between planning and communication is best understood by using ‘pyramid of purpose’. This is a diagrammatic representation of an otherwise complicated process which could take several pages for its explanation. Strategic plans pertaining to any field; marketing, finance, administration, or after sales support could be explained more effectively by using this pyramid structure.

Communicating ideas through Pyramid structure

A pyramid of purpose is highly effective in communicating important information to different levels in an organization. Like in any organizational setup where it is easier to go top down, a pyramid’s structure always cascades down with the apex showing the highest level of strategy making. This pyramidal structure attempts to answer several questions in a comprehensive manner. Using the pyramid we get to know ‘why we do what we do’; ‘what is needed to be done to achieve our purposes’; ‘how exactly should we do what is needed to be done’; and ‘who or what should ensure that the job is done’?

The entire mechanism of pyramid of purpose could be understood if we could make an attempt to answer these four questions: why, what, how, and who. All these questions are correlated and not mutually exclusive. Answer to one question leads you to the next and subsequently to the following question. This pyramidal structure begins at the apex with the question ‘why’ and ends at the base with answer to ‘who’?

Each of these questions pertains to an activity or task entrusted to an organization as a whole or to a department. For all practical purposes the macro viewpoint is considered and this pyramid is used in analyzing the strategic planning and communication system of an organizational setup.

  • Why – this refers to an organization’s vision, mission, and its inherent values;
  • What – this question attempts in making an insight into an organization’s short term goals and long term objectives;
  • How – through this question an answer to the actions required for achieving objectives and goals are sought;
  • Who – this refers to the resources such as manpower, systems, infrastructure that could deliver these objectives.

Pyramid of Purpose

Once these four questions are answered a team could work in unison and in the desired direction. This pyramid of purpose should be referred to during the course of an assignment so that focus is not lost. This intermittent checking is for keeping track of a work process and ensuring that the pyramidal structure remains relevant. As a check for this structure a VMOST framework is set where ‘V’ represents ‘vision’, ‘M’ implies ‘mission’, ‘O’ stands for ‘objectives’, ‘S’ implies ‘strategies’, and ‘T’ represents ‘tactics’. For any type of task for an organization, be it a marketing campaign, or budget preparation, these aspects remain unchanged. This tool firstly enables members to remember a company’s business objectives from time to time. In the second place it helps in creating and evaluating future plans and aligns them with prevalent business processes.

VMOST tool

The VMOST tool forms the framework of pyramid of purpose.

Vision – This is the long term business objective of a company. It works as a guideline to chart out an organization’s policies, work culture, and customer relations. It is a source of inspiration for employees and a trust for clients.

Mission – This implies short run goals that need to be achieved to fulfill long run objective. It is usually a quantifiable attribute that helps in gauging an organization’s progress.

Objectives – Objectives are components of a company’s mission which are connected to specific goals. These objectives must be met to achieve a mission.

Strategy – A strategy is a comprehensive plan which guides an organization towards meeting its objectives.

Tactics – Tactics are definite tasks or actions which are undertaken for fulfilling a company’s strategy.

Thus, whenever this VMOST tools is referred to, members of an organization are reminded of its purpose and the path to pursue for achieving this purpose.

This VMOST tool could be viewed from two perspectives: bottom upwards and top downwards. A bottom upwards view gives a pragmatic orientation to VMOST tool. It helps in lining business processes and actions that ultimately lead to achieving long term objective. A top down view, on the other hand, offers an unobtrusive sight of a company’s objectives and consequently assist in devising action plans.

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Using VMOST in understanding Pyramid of Purpose

The most important consideration of using VMOST tool is to have all these five components in perfect alignment with one another from both top down and bottom upwards perspectives. It is essential to check the scope of each of the components of this tool. While checking it is vital to correlate an organization’s day to day activities. Individual contributions of each member as well as a team’s contribution in this daily activity are essential parameters of calculation.

Perfect compatibility needs to be established between short term goals and long term objective for this model to work perfectly. While achieving long term objective care needs to be taken that short term goals are not bypassed or overlooked. For achieving both, a company must follow a definite set of strategies supported by compliant actions and methodologies.

The most convenient way of following the pyramid of purpose is to align an organization through PMS. This process is simple and involves selecting an objective, aligning it at each functional level, and implementing the same with regular reviewing.

To wrap up

Pyramid of purpose is not subject to any stringent rules and regulations. It is just a way of conveying a strategy or plan across all levels in an organization in an effective manner. There are always ways of improving on this system.

Product Diffusion Curve to Target Different Groups

Introduction

Are you planning to introduce a new product? Do you know who your target client is? Can you draw demographic picture of your client? If yes, then you should know about product diffusion curve that help you determine where your product fits into the lifecycle of existing products and what is the means with respect to your customers.

Diffusion theory is one of the widely held theories of communication and is a special kind of communication that is concerned about introducing a new or innovative product. Diffusion process has four key elements, such as – innovation, social system on which innovation impacts, communication channels of the systems and time. The main focus of diffusion theory is on the means by which information about an innovation is disseminated. The influence of interpersonal communication is considered as a key factor for the shape of product diffusion curve.

What is Product Diffusion Curve?

The product diffusion curve helps organizations to think about whom the organizations should target at different stages of product lifecycle. Product diffusion plays a very important role in targeting different client groups at different stages of product life cycle. Organizations can use this model focus on which kind of client you are trying to address at different stages of product development. Diffusion can be defined as the process of communication by which new products are accepted by the market. The rate of diffusion is defined as the speed at which new ideas spread from one consumer to the next.

Job Enrichment – An Analysis

Introduction

Good managers want to offer interesting jobs to others. They can do this by motivating them to perform well. Employees feel motivated when they have an enriched job experience. As a result, team members render enhanced quality and have more control over the work they do. In this article, we will discuss about job enrichment and how it works as a source of rewarding people. It also helps in team management strategies.

Origin

Good job design is characterized by job enrichment. This idea was initiated in 1968 by Frederick Herzberg. He was a psychologist who wrote an article "One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?" The idea of job enrichment speaks about rewarding employees for the work they do. This type of job design inspires employees to perform well.

When a job gets enriched, the task that an employee is supposed to do also gets enriched. Team members find the task interesting and more challenging than it used to be.

Job Embeddedness – A Study

Introduction

An employee stays in a job because of many reasons. A professional may have many friends in her company or may be respected by her colleagues. The company where she works may be a good payer and it may be close to her house as well. When an employee is motivated by the recognition of her manager she stays in that company for a long time. The happier an employee is in a company lesser are her chances of leaving it. In this article, we will discuss about job embeddedness and its influence in team management.

Origin

The idea of job embeddedness was initiated by Brooks Holtom, Terence Mitchell, Chris Sablynski, Thomas Lee and Miriam Erez. The theory was introduced in the Academy of Management Journal paper of 2001, “Why People Stay: Using Job Embeddedness to Predict Voluntary Turnover."

Job Embeddedness

An Idea

It is generally believed that satisfaction in job is related to employee turnover. Analysts are of the view that dissatisfied employees tend to leave companies and this leads to attrition. It is often believed that an employee feels that the next job she is going to join can make her more satisfied than her current role. But, the people associated with the study of job embeddedness state that this is not entirely true. There are actually many things that determine whether an employee stays in a company or not. The concept of job embeddedness deals with some factors mentioned below. There are three elements of job embeddedness, namely, links, fit and sacrifice.

Links

The connection that an employee has with her colleagues or activities is called links.

Fit

It is the extent to which the work culture and the task suit an employee.

Sacrifice

Sacrifice deals with the idea of the things that an employee has to leave behind if she has to shift to another location.

The stronger the link an employee shares with her fellow workers and her job role stronger are her chances to stay committed and engaged to the company. Mentioned below is an instance of job embeddedness.

Example

When an employee joins a company, she starts learning about the people with whom she works and also about the job she does. In course of time, she gets attached to the job and the people in that company. The objectives of the company become objectives of the employee and she is committed to the organization. With the passage of time, the company provides her with all kinds of facilities to live a comfortable personal life. The company reimburses all her medical expenses. As a result, she is engaged to the company to a great extent. The employee becomes embedded to the company as she received all help from the organization to build a strong career and a comfortable personal life.

These activities of the company make her attached to its values. Thus, her chances of leaving the company are bleak.

Unlike traditional employee turnover models job embeddedness focuses on the reasons that do not have an impact on the cause of employee retention. The three situational dimensions of link, fit and sacrifice are considered both on-and off-the-job.

The Three Aspects of the Theory

# Links

Organizational links are both informal and formal connections between an employee and other team members or the company. This link is caused after working with the company for sometime.

Community links are those connections that a person has with the people in her locality. The links may be with family members or friends. Just like organizational links it is hard to give up community links, if there is a strong relationship with the community. Community links include the friends of a person’s spouse, children and the hobbies that she has.

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# Fit

The compatibility of an employee with the organization, in which she works, is organizational fit. The extent of compatibility depends on the perception of the employee. The theory of job embeddedness says that if the knowledge of the employee matches with the requirement of the job, perception of organizational fit is accurate. Organizational fit increases with the ability of the employee to match the needs of the company. Organizational fit also envelopes congruence between the values plus objectives of the employee and the company. An employee who perceives that she is fit for the organization cannot easily sever ties with that organization.

Community fit is the perception that a person holds about how much she is compatible with the community in which she lives. It depends on the culture of the community and the facilities she gets from it. Job embeddedness says that more is the compatibility between the requirements of the community and the needs of the person more are her chances of staying with the community.

# Sacrifice

Organizational sacrifice refers to the benefits and material costs that an employee has to let go when she leaves a job. When an employee leaves her job she has to leave behind her cherished position, cordial work relations and the amenities offered by her company. This theory states that even if an employee is thinking of leaving her job, the very idea of losing the facilities she gets and the social relationships she has built over the years will not allow her to quit her job.

The perceived sacrifice that a person has to make when she has to leave the community in which she lives is called community sacrifice. When an employee leaves her community to join a company in a different location she has to sacrifice the friends she made, her family, sell her house or even let go of the easy transport she had. If the importance of her community is greater to her than a new job, she is likely to leave the job and settle in a different geographical location.

Conclusion

It can thus, be concluded that these three faces of the job embeddedness theory and the on- and off- job life of an employee form a mesh which leads that professional to be embedded in the company or community to which she is attached. The three aspects of links, fit and sacrifice form a retaining power that pursues an employee to stay with the company.

Helping People Flourish at Work – A Study

Introduction

There are times when team members are not motivated to work. They are either absent for a long time or there is a lot of infighting. A manager would never like her team to be dissatisfied and immersed in negativity. For this reason, she wants to keep her teammates happy, so that they flourish in their career. In this article, we will discuss about team management techniques that help managers to allow their team members to flourish at their work.

An Idea

A team needs to flourish and thrive because happy people are more productive than dissatisfied and unhappy people. They are more creative and more engaged in their work than unhappy resources. These people also enjoy going to office. As a result, absenteeism reduces, performance enhances and staff turnover decreases. These people have good personal lives and emit positive behavior. They have a lot of confidence and this leads to a lot of positive atmosphere in the group.

PERMA Model

The PERMA Model helps managers in understanding the ways of helping people flourish in their career. It thus, assists in team-building and dynamics. The Model was developed by Martin Seligman, a positive psychologist. The model was first published in his book “Flourish” in the year 2011.

Adizes’ Corporate Lifecycle – An Analysis

Introduction

As companies grow, they go through life cycle procedure that is quite predictable. With every stage, the organization experiences more and more problems. Every stage in the lifecycle has a unique framework, strategy tools, objectives, level of delegation, procedure to operate and system of rewarding. The extent to which the leadership is capable to address the demands of each stage determines the success of the company. In this article, we will explore about Adizes' Corporate Lifecycle and how its different stages affect the organizational design.

Origin

The Corporate Lifecycle model was pioneered by Dr Ichak Adizes in his book, "Corporate Lifecycles,” which he wrote in 1990. The framework was updated in 2004 in the sequel to the first book "Managing Corporate Lifecycles." Adizes founded the Adizes Institute.

Idea

It is important that the business owner guides her company through its prime and avoids the problems that can lead to its decline. Adizes showed ten stages on the corporate lifecycle. They are as follows.

A Detailed Study of Fiedler’s Contingency Theory

Introduction

According to Fred Fiedler, there is no unique leadership style that is universally effective over all categories of employees. He also emphasizes that interpersonal relationship or leadership style and situation control are the two principal aspects that determine the effectiveness of a leader. This article talks about Fiedler’s Contingency Theory which states that the effectiveness of leadership is situational and varies from case to case and from one leader to another.

Contingency Theory – What it deals with?

Fred Fiedler in his Contingency Theory explores a leader’s behavior in a particular situation. In this theory, Fiedler tries to explain that effective leadership is dependent less on style of leading and more on the ability to control a situation. This situational control is dependent on three factors - nature of task, leader–team member relationship and leader’s ability to reward or reprimand.

Contingency Theory – Style of Leadership

To determine leadership style, Fiedler introduced a LPC (least preferred co-worker) scale and rated it 1-8. On this scale, the parameters are tested to know whether a leader is either task oriented or relationship oriented. This scale does not classify a leader as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but as a ‘task master’ or ‘relationship builder’. According to this theory, both types of leaders are necessary depending on situation. In certain situations, a ‘task master’ is needed, while in other particular situations, a ‘relationship builder’ is required.

# The LPC scale – The attributes measured are

Unfriendly 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Friendly
Unpleasant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pleasant
Rejecting 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Accepting
Tense 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Relaxed
Cold 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Warm
Boring 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Interesting
Backbiting 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Loyal
Uncooperative 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Cooperative
Hostile 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Supportive
Guarded 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Open
Insincere 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Sincere
Unkind 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Kind
Inconsiderate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Considerate
Untrustworthy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Trustworthy
Gloomy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Cheerful
Quarrelsome 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Harmonious

Each attribute begins with a negative trait and scales up to the corresponding positive trait. This scale is supposedly maintained by a leader and applied for every team member. Each member is evaluated with these four parameters. A high score signifies a leader who works more on relationship building, while a low score implies a task master.

Fiedlers Contingency Theory

# Significance of the LPC scale

Score on this scale is an indication of leadership style. A relationship builder avoids conflicts and is better equipped to tackle difficult situations. This type of leader performs well under favorable situations. At times when decisions are required to be made fast, a high LPC leader fares better. In contrast, a low LPC leader performs well in both conducive and unfavorable conditions. This is because a low LPC leader is task oriented and places less emphasis on relationships. When productivity becomes the objective, a low LPC leader is desirable.

Thus situation demands the type of leadership that is applicable. If it is important to take fast decisions, high LPC leadership is desirable. In case situation necessitates high productivity, low LPC leadership would be appropriate. For a ‘task master’, productivity is more important than relationship building. This is the essence of situational control in Fiedler’s Contingency Theory.

Contingency Theory Fiedler’s Considerations

Fiedler’s theory stresses on a leader’s personality. A leader’s psychological disposition is the key to his ability to guide and motivate his team. For a high LPC leader, each member is given ample freedom to perform his part. In assignments where end-result is not very well- defined, such as in a research laboratory, a ‘relationship building’ or high LPC leader is more desirable. In such cases, research results of each team member are equally important. Team members must feel comfortable to carry on with their experiments and research. A ‘feel good’ factor is very important in such situations.

Alternately, for a ‘task master’ or low LPC leader, a task is always well-defined. Achieving sales target or meeting deadlines are typical areas where low LPC leadership is desirable. Leaders with low LPC scores are effective irrespective of situational advantage or disadvantage. These leaders are always assertive and more successful in having a job completed on time. LPC scores according to Fiedler helps in identifying leadership style in a given situation. If a leader is capable of controlling situations, completing tasks in time and executing sufficient power and influence on a team, a favorable environment is created.

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Contingency Theory - Advantages

This Contingency Theory is a tool for managers for creating different task groups under leaders. For a large organization there are sectors that rely on human relationship for effective functioning, while there are other sectors where measurable tasks are required to be achieved. This segregation of different tasks and their end-results guide in appointing an appropriate leader for a project. According to Fiedler, there is not only one type of situation in a large organizational set-up. These different situations demand different categories of leaders.

This model helps a company to engage the right leader for the right kind of assignment. For instance, a ‘task master’ would function best when given an environment where assignments are well-defined and measurable. Alternatively, in a situation where it is necessary to allow freedom to team members, as in advertising, a ‘relation building’ leader would be advisable. This distinction in situation needs to be realized by managers thereby, enabling appointment of the most suitable leaders for different teams.

This model is situational and takes into consideration general situations. Though specifics are not defined, the results are flexible enough to fit into any group or situation connected to an organization. For example, if a group leader is of low LPC type, but with an intention of rewarding successful team members, he or she could also build a strong interpersonal relationship.

Contingency Theory - Drawbacks

The LPC scale in consideration is subjective and could vary from one situation to another. The scale fails to discriminate between situations and assumes same behavior from a member in similar situations. This might not always happen as team members’ thought processes are affected by several factors many of which are not related to work process. It has been found that Fiedler’s Contingency Theory holds good for small closely supervised groups. For large groups, where supervision becomes an issue, such definitive leader–team member associations are difficult to grow. LPC score as devised by Fiedler is only applicable for groups with limited members. Also in most large scale organizations tasks are not very well-defined making it difficult to draw a contingency plan.

To Wrap Up

Fiedler’s Contingency Theory has its share of merits and demerits. Before applying it, you must scrutinize the situations discreetly to know whether this theory will help you by clearing your ambiguity regarding the best leadership style depending on different situations.

Expectancy Theory – A Detailed Study

An Introduction

An employee works hard to achieve success and a manager should identify the expectation of an outcome in the employee. If the manager does not realize the effort a team member gives in order to accomplish a task, it is of no use. This article is about Expectancy Theory which links high effort with excellent performance. The theory states the means for motivating team members that lead to successful team management.

An Idea of Expectancy Theory

The Expectancy Theory states that an individual behaves in a specific way in expectation of a certain outcome. The very desire to achieve the outcome acts as a motivation for performance.

Origin of Expectancy Theory

Victor Vroom developed the Expectancy Theory in 1964. This theory was created in adherence to management concepts. He came up with this theory while he was studying about motivation behind making decisions.

An Explanation of Expectancy Theory

According to Vroom, motivation controls the choice made by a professional. When a person makes a choice, he has an estimate of the desired outcome. This is his expectancy. The choices made by an individual increase the desired result and help to decrease the problems faced while putting an effort. He also believed that factors, such as knowledge, personality, abilities, skills and experience are responsible for an employee’s performance. To explain his theory, Vroom has taken the help of variables like Valence, Instrumentality and Expectancy.

Eric Flamholtz and Yvonne Randle, Leadership Style Matrix- A Detailed Study

An Introduction

When a leader starts managing people, she is not aware of the leadership style she should use for them. Depending upon the type of people she needs to manage, the type of project she has to handle and the situation she is in, the leadership style varies too. Other intricate factors include the space to be creative and the opportunity to be democratic. In this article, we will discuss Leadership Style Matrix, proposed by Eric Flamholtz and Yvonne Randle. The article will render a clear idea about the leadership styles most suitable for separate projects, people and circumstances.

An Idea of Leadership Style Matrix

The Leadership Style Matrix is divided into four segments. These segments are called quadrants. Each quadrant consists of two styles of leadership that are most suitable for specific teams and situations.

The vertical axis which is the Y- axis denotes the programmability of the task.

A Close Look at the EPRG Model

Introduction

There are a number of companies that are operating on a global scale than national scale. New parameters are added to the management decisions that compelled the business owners to rethink organizational strategies as well as planning procedures. International marketing managers are thinking of new ways to cope up with the new operations. Companies that are planning to expand globally need to overcome a number of challenges. One of the biggest challenges is getting adjusted to the new market. Your organization is more likely to succeed if you can embrace the global culture. EPRG Model is one such tool that provides guidelines to these issues. In this article, we will take a close look at this framework which can be used by the international organizations to develop a strategic approach to global expansion.

An Idea of EPRG Model

This framework identifies four types of attributes that are associated with successive stages in the evolution of international operations. These attributes are – ethnocentrism, polycentrism, regiocentrism and geocentrism. These orientations reflect the goals and objectives of the organization with respect to international operations. This leads to different management strategies as well as planning procedures with respect to international operations.

Achieve Expert Consensus with the Help of Delphi Method

Introduction

When you are a project manager in a company, you must have a responsibility to manage your future projects successfully. There can be various positive as well as negative events in the future that can affect your project. If you are a successful manager, you are required to forecast the events and plan accordingly. The Delphi method can be introduced in this forecasting process in your business. So, the experts can take help of this tool before coming into a consensus.
Delphi Method

Basic Concept of the Delphi Method

The Delphi method is a systematic forecasting technique used with the structured communication technology and can be relied by the panel of experts. It is the tool which helps in forecasting the future events in a proper way. The experts can share their views and ideas in a particular group and their assumptions can be reviewed with a summary report.

The members of the group can discuss with the summary report and can present their forecasts and the assumptions to the facilitator of the group. He can then review all the issues and can prepare another summary report. Unless all the members reach in a certain consensus, the process will keep on continuing like this.

All the experts are aware of all the assumptions made by the other members. But, the forecasts remain anonymous so that they are not able to identify who has provided which assumption. This helps the experts to express their views freely and also the errors can be avoided from the previous forecasts that were not so successful.

The process involves obtaining various views from a large panel of experts. It follows with several rounds of questionnaires and the answers will definitely help in coming to the consensus.

How to Use Delphi Method in Your Organization

When you want to use the technique within your organization, you need to follow some simple steps:

Step 1: Select a Facilitator

You should find a person in your organization, who is neutral in nature. The role of the facilitator can also be managed by you, if you are accustomed with research and data.

Step 2: Recognize Your Experts

This is the tough step where you need to identify the right experts who can perform the method in a proper way. Your panel of experts may include members from your project team, your customers or other experts within your industry. The expert must possess deep research knowledge and have relevant experience in this particular field.

Step 3: Explain the Issues

You are required to explain all your problems in front of the panel. The experts must understand whatever you are conveying to them before commenting anything on them. Therefore, you should explain the issue in a very comprehensive way.

Step 4: Present 1st Round Questionnaire

The first round of questions should be presented in front of the experts so that they are ready with the answers. The first round can include general questions regarding the future events. The questions can be created in the form of surveys and the results can be summarized according to a common topic. All the irrelevant answers are to be reduced and only the important ones can survive. All the common ideas and viewpoints are collected and gathered in the report.

Step 5: 2nd Round Questionnaire

After the first round is over, the questions of the second round can go a little deeper into the topic. The answers will clarify various issues in the questionnaires and the surveys. This is the first stage where the consensus building is started.

Step 6: 3rd Round Questionnaire

This can be the final questionnaire round where all the reports can be arranged for the decision making process. But, if you want to reach a more concrete consensus, you can take several rounds of questionnaires.

Step 7: Take Action

After all the rounds of questions, this is the stage where you are required to take action. You can easily get a view of the future events and can analyze your projects for your future success.

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Proper Selection of Subjects during Delphi Method Research

The selection of the subjects during the Delphi method research is very important. The appropriate subject selection can help you in forecasting in the right way. Though there is no specific criterion to select the study topic, it needs to be closely related to your future projects. If the sample size is very large, there can be a drawback of the low response rates in this particular method. As the Delphi method consists of a lot of statements, the whole process can be very time-consuming. The proper use of technologies like audio conferencing, tele conferencing can be used to make the process a little faster than the average speed.

During the data analysis, the judgments and the insights should be assembled for the research. If the quality of the information is not judged properly, they can surely contain errors. The subjects of the study may stop providing answers in the various stages of the questionnaire. It has been proved from a study that the Delphi responses can be molded according to the convenience of the projects. If the subjects receive wrong responses and feedback, they can easily change their responses according to that. Therefore, the researcher who wants to involve themselves in the fact finding and the issue solving process can easily go for this technique. The subject selection and the time-frame of the study should be carefully chosen. If the panelists are obtaining low response rates, they can rearrange the subjects of the study.

To Sum Up

After going through the whole article we can easily comprehend that

  • Why Delphi Method was introduced
  • What is the basic concept of the tool
  • How to use Delphi technique in your organization to achieve consensus
  • The overall process on how to set up the questionnaires for the study

The Delphi study can critically be applied in the areas where the data collection is required with the real time response with the help of modern technology.

Corporate Governance – A Detailed Study

An Introduction

Whenever a company faces problems such as corruption issues, fraud issues, etc it is natural that the company lacked corporate governance. In this article, we will discuss about corporate governance which can be used for implementing strategies in a company. It is one of the strategy tools that help in ensuring proper conduct and transparency of company policies.

History of Corporate Governance

Corporate governance became familiar after the collapse of the energy company Enron and the WorldCom in 2001 and 2002. The collapse of these companies brought the internal activities of these companies to public scrutiny.

The Beginning of Corporate Governance

Companies started forming in the industrial age. At this point of time lack of ethics and greed among owners was rampant. Company executives took advantage of the gullible nature of customers, employees were often poor and those who invested money in the business lost money. It was thus, clear that in order to protect the interests of stakeholders the introduction of laws was important.

CAGE Distance Framework- An Elaborate Study

An Introduction

Many companies have been forced to bring down their shutters of overseas ventures because of certain infrastructural issues. Businesses are started with lots of hopes. However, when they stop operating, entrepreneurs realize that the venture was a mistake. The reason for failure might be difficult roads, harsh terrains or even cultural difference. In this article, we will look at the Cage Distance Framework, which is one of the strategy tools used to identify the strategic opportunities and issues that are related to foreign expansions.

Cage Distance Framework - Origin

The Cage Distance Framework was developed by Pankaj Ghemawat, professor at IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. It was first published in Harvard Business Review in 2001.

Cage Distance Framework – An Idea

When a company has to withdraw from the market, it earns a bad name among investors. If the management looks at prospective oversea ventures only from a particular angle, they will miss out more important perspectives. For example, if management sees only the large amount of disposable income in the hands of the population of a certain country and the huge untapped market, they will miss out other factors that might increase the cost incurred by the company.

Business Process Management-A Study

An Introduction

There are instances when companies have to let go of their reputation and sales because of diminished service quality. If these companies improve their performance, they can achieve the desired result and increase sales. In this article, we will discuss about business process management and learn about the strategy tools of business and process optimization.

An Idea

Business process management is a systematic approach to make organizational flow of work more efficacious and more capable to accommodate to a changing environment. A business process is an action that helps in achieving a particular goal of the company.

Critical Decisions Made Easy With Bain’s RAPID® Framework

Introduction

Decision making process is very important in every organization irrespective of its size and complexity. Though with excellent strategy, your business can get stuck with the lack of the right decision at the right time. The high-performer organizations can always take up the right decisions in a very little time. So, what are the qualities that can differentiate your organization from any other company? It’s the quick execution of the decision making process. The Bain & Company introduced RAPID framework, a particular tool for clarifying the accountability of critical decisions in organizations. The framework can be applied in fulfilling functions like, critical decision making, deployment and ownership.

RAPID

An Idea of RAPID Framework

RAPID is basically an acronym that stands for the following.

(R)Recommend: This section involves all the people who create the proposals or the recommendations. The input providers can provide information to them and they can always negotiate with the people who agree.

(A)Agree: This group of people requires agreeing with the proposals provided by the recommend persons. They can modify the negotiations and can proceed with the dispute issues to the Decide persons.

(P)Perform: The performers will actually execute the process after performing the recommendations and will finally deliver the modified process.

(I)Input: This group of people will provide information and facts to the recommend groups. This will definitely maintain the risk and viability involved with the proposals.

(D)Decide: The person or persons involved in this group is accountable and in-charge for the whole execution process. They can resolve all the undisputed issues and make the commitment to the final changes.

From the whole process, we can easily understand that the process owner can be D, the manager of the process can be R, the A group can include all the stakeholders, customers, suppliers, and sub process managers, P can be the performers or the process delivery persons and the key process operators and business process analysts can be I. If all the processes can be clearly mentioned and assigned to all the people of the organization, the decision making process will definitely improve in terms of speed and accuracy with successful proposals.

How can you use RAPID in your Business?

Whether large-scale or small-sized, every business requires a right decision making process for success. There are some companies that use the RAPID throughout all the hierarchies in the business. It can be used to redesign the whole decision making process or can be focused on a single blockage in your business.

  • Local or Global: Every company is getting global nowadays. As they are obtaining the raw materials from one country, shipping somewhere else and doing the business throughout the world, the local presence is getting obsolete. The critical decision making process is required in creating the connections between the local and global managers. The decisions should not go extremely global or extremely local. There should be a thin line managing both of them equally. To perform the process with the right balance, the company must recognize all the sources of the real values and can take up the decisions depending on them.
  • Center or Business Unit: This is a big question whether the decision making should be in the business unit or in the main centers. If a huge number of decisions start flowing in the centers, the decision making process can definitely face bottlenecks. Therefore, the proper balancing activities are to be performed with all the managers of the business units and the centers. There may be cases where the small or the mid-sized organizations are being managed by a single leader only. Therefore, he or she will be the only person in the business unit who will be responsible for all the decisions taken for the organization. The issues can come into place when any senior executive changes the position, for example a new CEO has joined and the new successor is not following the previous decisions. With the change in the personnel, the decision making authority should also change in the centers.
  • Functions or Decisions: There can be a single function or a range of cross-functional decisions present in your organization. Different cross-functional teams can come across different decisions. For example, one team can think that it will be better to arrive at decisions irrespective of various functions, while another team may believe that the functional process, either right or wrong should be included in the decision making activities. The managers need to monitor whether the cross-functional roles are being carried on properly or not. He has to assign the decision making responsibilities at the right time to the right people.
  • In or Out Partners: You are required to decide whether you will work with only the inside partners or will include the outside partners in your decision making process. When you are taking decisions within your organization, it may seem an easy process. But, when several partner organizations come into scene, you cannot take a proper decision without the right strategy. For example, an US based company delivering your raw materials may decide to increase their production. The Chinese partners who are manufacturing the equipment may not be ready with the huge cost of production. Here comes the conflict. Now, the managers of both the companies are required to take up the critical decision and can pass through the obstructions.

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To Wrap Up

So, from the above article, we gain awareness about

  • The basic concept of the RAPID tool made by the Bain’s and what does it stands for.
  • The functions and benefits of this particular tool.
  • How your organization will be benefitted through RAPID?
  • What are the activities where RAPID can be used extensively?
  • Whether the decisions shall be based on local or global business, centers or business units, decisions based or functions based and whether dependent on the inside partners or the outside partners.

You need to decide how you want to use the tool in your business and then, proceed with the process.

Alderfer’s ERG Theory – A Study

An Introduction

The requirements of people vary with their circumstances. A person who has not eaten for days wants food, while a person with no one to accompany him or her wants to communicate with friends and family. In this article, we will discuss about the requirements that people have and the simultaneous existence of different requirements. We will also learn about the fulfillment of such needs with the help of Alderfer's ERG Theory. The article will give an insight into team management and techniques of motivating team members.

An Idea

Alderfer’s ERG Theory states that the needs of an employee may overlap with one another and they can appear simultaneously. The hierarchy of needs stated by Alderfer was as follows.

  • Existence - These needs include physiological and material desires such as air, water, food, safety and clothing.
  • Relatedness - Relatedness envelopes the need to gain social esteem. It is about the relationship an employee shares with his or her co-workers and employers. The needs of relatedness also include feeling attached with a group.
  • Growth - Growth needs consist of self-actualization and self-esteem. These needs make an employee productive.

Alderfer's ERG Theory

Origin

In 1943, Abraham Maslow forwarded a psychology theory called Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, in his paper, "A Theory of Human Motivation." This was a study on motivation and speaks about the hierarchical levels of human needs. According to Maslow, in order to experience higher level needs, one must first go through lower level needs. The five stages of need, starting from the bottom are physiological, safety, social-esteem, self-esteem and self-actualization.

In 1969, Clayton Alderfer, a psychologist compressed Maslow’s hierarchy theory and came up with the ERG Theory of motivation. It was published in the article, “An Empirical Test of a New Theory of Human Need." Through his study, he proved that needs may have a simultaneous presence. For example, an employee who wants to be social may also want to do challenging tasks.

Relationship between Maslow’s Theory and ERG Theory

Existence Needs

The needs at the bottom of the framework are existence needs. They correspond to safety and physiological needs of Maslow’s Theory.

Relatedness Needs

The relatedness needs correspond to social needs and to the external section of self-esteem needs. External part of self esteem needs, refer to the feel good effect that a team member goes through because of what others think about them.

Growth Needs

Growth needs are equivalent to the internal part of self-esteem and self-actualization. Personal growth and skill development, to deliver high end job is the essence of these needs.

Alderfer agrees with Maslow’s Theory, that there is an order to go after needs and that one experiences the requirement to pursue higher level needs only after he or she fulfils lower level needs. However, the order he talks about is not as stringent as that in Maslow’s Theory. He stated that the priority of an employee for one category of need may change according to the situation he or she is in.

Relationships among the different categories of ERG Theory

The three different categories of the ERG Theory are related to each other in the following ways.

Satisfaction-Progression

This means that the needs of an employee progress to a higher level, after the lower level needs are satisfied.

According to Maslow, a team member whose lower order needs have been satisfied, move up the ladder to higher order needs. However, in case of ERG Theory, the movement from relatedness need to growth needs; does not necessarily entail the satisfaction of existence needs.

Frustration-regression

If higher order needs are not satisfied, a team member will resort to lower order needs that are easier to satisfy.

According to frustration–regression, when a team member cannot satisfy a higher level need, he or she regresses to lower order need, which has already been satisfied. Hence, it can be said that if growth needs fail to motivate an employee, he or she can resort to relatedness needs for motivation.

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Satisfaction-strengthening

The satisfied needs are being satisfied again to make them stronger.

According to this aspect, when higher order needs cannot be accomplished, satisfying a need which has already been satisfied maintains satisfaction or even makes lower order needs stronger.

Difference between ERG Theory and Maslow’s Theory

  • Unlike Maslow’s Theory, the ERG Theory states that people can be motivated by requirements from more than one level. The needs do not essentially progress from lower level to higher level.
  • If a higher level need is not satisfied, a team member will have more intensity to satisfy a lower level need, which is more concrete.
  • The order of the needs may differ from person to person and the situation he or she is in. For example, a team member with low social communication has more relatedness needs than existence needs.

Financial incentives and ERG Theory

Monetary incentives often help in satisfying growth needs and the need to be recognized by others, i.e., the outer part of self esteem. In this theory, monetary incentives can satisfy human needs indirectly, through the value people attach to them. So, in spite of providing monetary incentives, other needs of employees have to be met, so that workers feel motivated.

To wrap up

Managers and team leaders should realize that employees have many requirements that need to be satisfied simultaneously. As far as ERG Theory is concerned, if a manager keeps trying to satisfy one need, it will not be effective in motivating an employee. Moreover, the aspect of frustration-regression also has an effect on workplace motivation. For example, if an employee does not get growth opportunities, he will try to satisfy relatedness needs by socializing.
However, he or she cannot socialize without money, so he or she will try to revert to the need for earning money. The sooner a manager or team leader discovers this, the quicker measures will he or she take to fulfill the needs, which an employee is trying to fulfill, in order to satisfy his or her growth needs.

Action Centered Leadership – A Comprehensive Approach

Introduction

It is a leader’s responsibility to build a team, train team members and motivate them to complete a job. Selection of team members is crucial for a team leader as his failure or success depends on the performance of individuals making up a team. In this article, we will learn about John Adair’s ‘Action Centered Leadership’ model.

Action Centered

Action Centered Leadership – Origin and Objective

‘Action Centered Leadership’ model was propounded by theorist John Adair in 1970’s. This renowned theorist under this hypothesis stated that leaders in every sphere are accountable for a task, an individual and a team. These three aspects could ideally be represented by three overlapping Venn diagrams. A leader needs to achieve a task either individually or with a team.

John Adair proposed that leadership essentially has three basic aspects:

  • Achievement of objectives – Leaders are expected to complete tasks with the help of a team. Often, a task requires formation of a team.
  • Formation of a team – Most assignments could only be achieved by teamwork. Once an objective is set for a leader, his immediate step would be to have a team which is capable of realizing this objective in the best possible manner.
  • Motivating team members – Together with the leader, every team member must be motivated to achieve a common goal or objective. Even a single de-motivated member could become a hindrance for a leader and his team. It is the responsibility of a leader to have members motivated and focused on achieving an objective.

Action Centered Leadership - Leadership Functions

According to John Adair, the foresaid leadership objectives are achievable by following certain actions also termed as leadership functions. Though it is commonly said leaders are born rather than made, there are certain parameters that define leadership. For a leader it is important to have these criteria fulfilled.

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# Defining objectives

For a leader it is essential to define an objective appropriately to team members. In short these objectives need to be S.M.A.R.T. Here S represents ‘specific’ wherein a task needs to be focused and not all-pervasive. M stands for ‘measurable’ in the sense that task in hand is quantifiable in tangible units; it could be revenue target in ‘dollars’, or production target in ‘tons’. A implies ‘achievable’. This is crucial for any kind of target. Target of any form should be achievable as setting an unachievable target is meaningless as it would fail to motivate team members. R represents ‘realistic’, which also is another expression of achievable. T stands for ‘time-constrained’. Any target or objective is bound by time. Targets are fixed for a day, a week, a quarter, or a year. Most business houses and manufacturing units work on an annual target broken into quarters.

# Organization

Organization is an essential quality of a leader. Here organization refers to both on personal and team perspectives. A leader at the outset must be personally thoroughly organized so that other team members follow by example. An unorganized leader sets a poor example for his team and also fails in inspiring them. If a leader stays disorganized, it is difficult to have other team members committed and motivated.

# Planning

Planning is essential for any form of activity. There is a common parlance stating ‘plan your work, and then work your plan’, which in effect is the best way to have your objective fulfilled. Any task requires meticulous planning for proper execution and completion. During planning process, contingencies should be reserved for unexpected occurrences. In absence of such provisions, a plan could fail in case exigencies arise during a work process.

# Communication

Effective communication is an extremely vital component of good leadership. A leader must be able to communicate his or her ideas clearly to the team members both orally and in writing. Communication is an art and must be perfected by a leader. A leader should ensure that instructions are understood fully by team members. For effective communication, a feedback should be solicited for every instruction given. A gap in communication is dangerous and must never be allowed to happen.

# Evaluation

For a leader, it is necessary to evaluate a planned process at regular intervals to check progress of work and make changes if required. Evaluation of individual as well as team performance is vital. For instance, for achieving an annual sales target, it is necessary to have review sessions at the end of every month or quarter. Such interim evaluations help in assessing the progress of work.

# Delegation

This is another management process by which an entire task is broken down into smaller fragments and distributed among team members for effective completion. Delegation and accountability work hand in hand. When a work is delegated, accountability for it sets in automatically.

# Control

Delegating tasks necessitates close monitoring of the different fragments. The principal reason for delegating responsibility is to have a particular fragment completed to its fullest. All these fragments being part of an entirety need to be completed in unison for completion of a project or fulfillment of an objective within a defined time-frame. Whenever tasks are delegated, a strict control over them is expected of a capable leader.

# Motivation

No task could be pursued without motivation. Though motivation is self imbibed, an external stimulus always helps. A leader provides this external stimulus or inspiration. Team members need to be kept positive and focused at every point of time. Digression from focus is harmful both for the team leader and team members. A leader must not allow negativity to set within a team.

# Leading by example

Leading from the front is an excellent motivation for any team. Only when a leader leads by example, he or she is looked upon with respect and obeyed. If a team leader stays focused and committed, the other team members are expected to behave likewise.

To sum up

Adair’s Action Centered Leadership concept is not a standalone model, but part of a comprehensive approach. It takes into consideration external factors like team building and working environment. Work environment is very important for a leader to function ideally. There should be a favorable platform for a leader to act and perform with a dedicated team.

The Concept of Lean Manufacturing – A Study

Introduction

Lean assembling includes ceaseless endeavors to wipe out or diminish "muda" (Japanese for waste or any action that devours assets without including worth) in outline, assembling, circulation, and client administration forms. The concept was developed by the Toyota official Taiichi Ohno (1912-90) amid post