Why do Suggestions Schemes Flop? The Seven Big Mistakes.

Employee suggestion schemes can be a powerful engine for new product growth, for cost savings and for improvements in all areas of the company. Your staff can see all sorts of ways that things could be made better for the customer and the company. They have plenty of ideas for process improvements, produce enhancements and thrifty savings. So why not put all that creativity to work? Many companies... Read More--

Get Rid of the Cynics

You don’t want happy people working for you – you want passionate people.  You want people who share in the vision and believe that the goals of the organisation justify extraordinary efforts.  Passion, belief and enthusiasm are great qualities – especially if they are allied with constructive dissent.  The ideal companions on your journey want to achieve the same ends as you but they are... Read More--

Seven Tips for a First Business Meeting

Let’s say you have an important meeting with someone you have never met before.  Maybe it is a job interview, a call with a potential client or a meeting with the head of a department in your organization.  Whatever it is there are some important steps you can take ahead of the meeting to increase your chances of a successful outcome.  For our purposes let’s say the person you will meet is called... Read More--

Sports have Limited Lessons for Business

A recent article on the BBC Business pages examined the question of whether sporty women make better entrepreneurs.  There are growing claims for the parallels between sport and business.  Many motivational speakers and personal coaches with a background in sport insist that sport is a fundamental metaphor for business and that the two are similar in the skills and attitudes needed for success.  ... Read More--

If your organization were an animal, what animal would it be?

Here is a short management meeting icebreaker that leads to an instant assessment of some of the good points and improvement areas for your organization. Assemble a mixed team from different departments and then ask everyone to write down their answers to three questions. At this stage people need to work silently and on their own. We do not want discussion or consensus – we want individual ideas. 1.... Read More--

Let Your Best People Know That You Value Them

Which members of your team do you spend the most time with?  If you are the manager, then the natural thing to do is to delegate tasks to the best people and let them get on with the job.  This then frees you to spend more time with the poorer performers who need the most help and support.  This might be the obvious approach, but it can also be the wrong approach. How would you feel if you went... Read More--

Ask These Two Questions to Learn your Strengths and Weaknesses

We may think of ourselves as rounded individuals who are good at most things at work and even-handed in our dealings with people. However, the reality is that most of us have significant strengths and significant weaknesses both in job competence and in people skills. This matters. The trouble really occurs when people are blind to their weaknesses. This is particularly true for managers and the more... Read More--

Hire Great People – And Exploit Them!

Woody Allen Talking about his new film , ‘To Rome with Love’, Woody Allen said, ‘I’ve got great people, and they make me look good.  That’s the thing; you hire Penelope Cruz, Ellen Page, or Alec Baldwin and they’re great.  They were great before they met me, they’ll be great after they leave me.  And I exploit them.  I look like a hero, but you know, that’s... Read More--

How to cope with a Difficult Boss

What should you do if you really cannot get on with your boss at work? Maybe there has been a breakdown in trust, in communication or in respect. In any event it is ruining your time at work and making you frustrated and unhappy. Let’s call your manager John and see how we can approach the situation. (The advice here works equally if your boss is a man or a woman). 1. How do other people find... Read More--

Use a Fake Failure to Boost your Chance of Success

I heard this story from creative thinking expert Jurgen Wolff.  Steve Loranger, CEO of ITT Industries, shared this technique with Business 2.0:  “If you’re working on an important contract, a ‘must-win’ program, give your team a much shorter deadline than actually exists. Afterward you tell your team, ‘I just got a phone call from the buyer today and he told us that... Read More--