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    What stops you from being productive

     

    : What Stops You From Being Productive? Lots of things get in our way when we are trying to be productive. Most of these are easy to spot and tend to boil down to being distracted from our goals. We want to get something done, but the dog needs to go to the vet. The grocery shopping can’t wait. The car needs an oil change. And we get tired, and then everything seems like too much to do, so we don’t do anything and go watch television. Not much can be done about the daily minutia of our lives. Those things exist and we have to come to terms with the fact that there will always be “little things” to distract us from the things that we want to do. But there is hope. There’s a little secret to being productive, and you don’t need to buy a book to learn it. You don’t need to attend a seminar and pay someone a bunch of money to uncover this secret. The “secret” is that we actually do have enough time to get our tasks done. And we even have enough time left over to enjoy some relaxation. The secret is that we only think we don’t have enough time to get stuff done because we don’t actually know how much we need to do! Most people keep their task list in their head. And here’s our problem: our minds just aren’t very good at keeping lists of things to do. We very quickly perceive that we have too many things to do, so we become discouraged. The easiest way to get control over your own productivity is to start, and use, a simple to-do list. Keeping it simple is the key. Many people keep to-do lists that don’t help them because they turn into clusters of sticky papers just as cluttered as the lists we try to keep in our minds. What good is a list that looks just as daunting as you already feel? To keep a to-do list functional, you need to get rid of items when they are done.

    Don’t just cross them out – that just adds clutter and adds to the perception that you have too much to deal with. If you are using paper, then re-write your to-do list every night, leaving out the things that are done, so you have a nice, clean list the next day to work from. Once you get into the habit of keeping a clean to-do list, you’ll find that it’s not overwhelming to get your tasks done. The reason is simple: you’ll be able to just look at your list to know what you need to do. Tackle each task, one at a time, and remove it when it’s done. Before you know it, you’ll be in control of your own productivity.

    And there’s no substitute for the feeling of satisfaction earned by getting stuff done before the end of the day.

         
    What to ask before agreeing to attend a meeting

     

    Managers spend much of their time in meetings. But some junior staff use meetings to showcase themselves. Or they invite their boss to help with work that they should be doing. In either case, such meetings waste your time. Here are five questions that you (or your assistant) must ask before agreeing to attend a meeting. 1) Where is the agenda? A meeting without an agenda is like a journey without a map; it will always waste your time. Once you have the agenda, make sure that it consists of more than a list of words because this is almost useless. The agenda for an effective meeting provides a complete description of how the meeting will proceed. 2) What is the goal? Is the chair seeking an agreement, a solution, or a plan? Knowing the goal gives you head start on participating effectively. Be cautious of meetings that are held just "to talk about something," because this type of meeting seldom accomplishes anything. 3) What is my role? Make sure that your participation adds value to the meeting. Avoid meetings where you have a superficial role, such as to find out what’s happening. In that case, ask for the minutes. If you’re needed to work on only part of the agenda, ask if you can attend only that part of the meeting. 4) How should I prepare? Make sure that you know about any research, readings, or surveys required to participate. Ask about the expectations for the other participants because this could influence your preparation. Attend only if you can prepare adequately or suggest another time for the meeting. 5) What should I bring? Should you bring a laptop? Will you be asked to give a presentation? Should you bring reports, data, or other information? Make sure that you have enough time to obtain the tools and materials needed for effective participation. These questions will help you look like a success when you attend meetings.

         
    What to do with an mean boss

     

    Question: "How do I get my boss to treat others with respect in a meeting?" Simple answer: "It depends." You see, we always have three choices when confronted by a dilemma. We can: 1) Change the situation. In this case we could talk to the boss about how disrespect undermines a meeting's effectiveness. Of course, this depends upon the boss. If the boss is a mean, vindictive person who fired the last person who made a suggestion, attempting to change this boss could be a bad idea. 2) Change ourselfs. Here, we find ways to cope. For example, you could avoid meetings held by your boss or you could ignore the painful behavior. In this case, such an approach may seem cowardly, but people do this because survival may be more important than valor. 3) Leave. If the first two options are impossible, then the only remaining option is to find another job. Admittedly, the cost of leaving may be large. And so once again this choice depends upon what you can do, want to do, and will tolerate. Complex answer: Every negative behavior reveals a flaw. That is, a boss who treats others with disrespect may be doing so for a variety of reasons, such as: 1) Awareness. Your boss may not know that respectful communication is possible. In this case your boss would benefit from personal coaching or a positive role model (both provided by his or her boss). 2) Skill. Your boss may not know how to communicate respectfully. This can be resolved by attending a workshop that shows how communicate effectively. 3) Choice. Here, the boss chooses to treat others with disrespect. This reveals a personal or ethical weakness that requires counseling to resolve. And such work can be effective only when the boss recognizes its importance and decides to undertake corrective action.

         
    What to look for when buying a conference table

     

    OFFICE FURNITURE PLACE Office Furniture With Amazing NY Deals What to look for when buying a conference table. I find that are two areas that are the most important in an office the reception area and the conference room. There are many choices out there when it comes to conference tables. There are different shapes, sizes and finishes as well as different styles of bases that hold up the tables. The conference room has to be a special area. I find that make a statement with there conference room are more prevalent survive. In the following I want to discuss the process as well and things to watch for when buying a table. The first step in buying any piece of furniture is to measure the space with a tap measure. One of the most common mistakes is counting tiles. This is not good because the tiles my have been cut down several inches or you may have additional creep of the holding rails in the ceiling. All this may reduce or add to a space and is at times deceiving. It takes several minutes but save a lot of time when looking for the right size of a table. The second is to leave space for the chairs. On several occasions, I have had clients buy wonderful tables were too big and had no room for the chairs or a credenza. Typically, it is a good idea to leave 36” to 40” on the longer sides of the table and 42” to 48”. If you want to add an end table or a credenza Just, add 20” to 24” for the depth. Some people will put tape down to make sure there is ample space to move. The third is of course style and purpose. Most people like to follow the motif of the office. There are various opinions on this concept. I am of the school that disagrees. I think the table should be make its own statement and should not necessarily be to match the other furniture. Although matching the doors or any additional furniture is important. Purpose is the more important of the two. For example if you are a computer company and will have several laptops to present to your client having jacks is important. Tables are of two finishes laminate or wood veneer. You do not see real-all wood tables any more. There are all pressboard tables and then veneer is placed or painted on the wood. There are different finishes to the laminate such as smooth, shiny, coarse and different edge details and thickness. To veneer there are less color options there a variety of finishes. Most people just look at the color and that is fine. The other is shape of the table. There are several common shapes. Racetrack - which is in a shape of a horse racetrack. Boat – This is parallel on the ends and bows out like a boat on the long sides. Rectangle – This is a rectangle shape table. Round – Round tables are usually smaller. There are also base configurations. Such as drum - completely round. Ѕ drum – half round. Panel – strait and wide base. V shaped – like the letter v. X shape - like the letter X. But I have seen hundreds of other table base designs such as free standing legs and there. These are the basic rules which I following when recommending a table to a client. Budget is also an important aspect. There are some other things to watch for. The height of the table. Most bases are a standard height. Getting a thicker table may look like a better choice but if you have tall employees or clients this may reduce there comfort level. Finally, the time aspect. many people procrastinate buying a table and suddenly have that supper important meeting and have nothing in place. Many times the great tables are not in stock or a popular one goes out of stock. Using these rules should help with the buying experience. Thanks Paul Pinchuk

         
    What you need to know about patch management software

     

    “What is Patch Management Software?” Patch management software uses a system for scanning, management and applying of patches in a network environment in order to make it secure and free from vulnerabilities. Patch management software allows for the approval and denial of patches used on desktops, laptops, servers, and other mobile devices. It is software that detects weak and possibly susceptible infrastructures that may be present in software applications and varying operating systems that threaten the security of the network. “Who is Patch Management Software for?” Patch management software is for anyone who wants a secure network, easy management of changes and updates, and efficient network management. IT professionals in small businesses to large organizations are prime candidates for patch management software. The larger the organization, the more important it is to have patch management software. “What are the main features of Patch Management Software?” * Patch approval or denial * Automatic and recurring scans * Policy based patch management * Complete automation for patch location, discovery, and deployment * Reliable and up-to-date patch databases * Complete rollback to pre-patch environment * Rapid, easy, & automated deployment * Flexible configurations * Multilingual consoles * Complete & comprehensive local/web-based reports and history * Multi-OS vulnerability scanning and patching * Cross platform product installation * Client-side aptitude “Why should you use Patch Management Software?” Here are 7 good reasons: * To ensure that the most appropriate software available is installed * To seal security ambiguities in systems that can be exploited by malicious attacks * To reduce system downtime and keep up with system changes, bugs and issues * To limit attacks that target known software vulnerabilities by hackers * To be the last line of defense and secure networks from security threats * To evaluate and choose the proper patches for each computing platform * To defend your IT infrastructure and keep up with ordinary maintenance “What kind of financial investment can you expect to make for Patch Management Software?” Here are a few guidelines to help you: * It’s usually on a volume system license basis. For example if you need have less than 100 systems on your network, it may cost you anywhere between $200 -$1000 for the license. On the other hand, if you have more than a 1000 systems on your network, it may cost you somewhere around $2500 – $5000 for the license. * There are companies that provide unlimited licensing, but that can cost $6000+. Generally companies provide yearly licenses. So when you are trying to figure your budget, make sure you calculate these figures in for a yearly basis. * Many times the licenses are by seats (which is still the number of computers on the network). The prices for seats can range from $150 - $300 for up to 5 seats or $3500 - $10,000 for 100 or more seats. * The most important thing to understand is that price varies by company and need. Be sure to ask a lot of questions and use the guidelines you find on this page before you make your final decision or make any financial investment. _______________________________________________________ For more information on patch management software or other types of management software, visit Management Software Review (managementsoftwarereview. org). Your SOURCE for management software info.

         
    When are background checks a good idea

     

    Background checks can be used for a variety of purposes and are a good way to have confidence that someone with whom you are involved personally or professionally is disclosing all necessary information. Employers often use background checks to get verification of previous employment, driving records and to ensure there is no criminal activity. This is an important step in the hiring process especially in positions where employees may handle sensitive information or who may be working with the public or with children. Having the security that background checks were made will not only allow the employer to feel better about their hiring decision but it may also reduce the liability of the company should something happen in the course of employment and the company is sued. Background checks are not only for employers, though. People will do background checks on other before getting into a personal relationship with them. This is becoming even more common with the increasing popularity of online dating services. Because the Internet lends a certain amount of anonymity to a person, the other party can get information and check their story by doing a background check. This is a good safety precaution especially with the news stories of abductions and abuse at the hands of people they met online. Knowing the person on the other end of the computer is telling the truth is not one hundred percent guaranteed that something bad might happen but it reduces the odds significantly. A person can determine if they want to meet in real life after the back ground checks are complete. Background checks can also be conducted for people who are trying to search for long lost friends or relatives. Even if there is only a little bit of known information, you may be able to get previous addresses, employers and criminal history that will help track the other person down. There are a number of back ground check services available. They can be found in a local telephone directory or online. Many employers who hire frequently subscribe to these services to do background checks on all prospective hires. They will get a discounted rate for the number of checks that are done each month.

         
    When choosing bookkeeping programs

     

    My organization recently decided to update its bookkeeping programs. Though it will probably improve efficiency in the long term, but presently, it puts me, as the office manager in an uncomfortable position. Over the years, the firm have tried several bookkeeping programs, but finally settled on Quickbooks, which frankly speaking, I am very indifferent to, but have gotten so used to it in the last few years. We probably won't know the fellow that took the decision to adopt a new bookkeeping program; nevertheless it was a wrong decision. There was nothing wrong in the existing bookkeeping program, and setting up a new one was created new problems, that has was never envisaged. First, everything had to be recorded to the new bookkeeping programs, and for this task, the boss hired a computer expert, who also happened to be his son. The task involved writing a macro that will convert all of the files from the old bookkeeping programs into the new one, and unfortunately, the project failed - just like everything the boss and his family do, on top of this is the problem of lack of compatibility between the QuickBooks and the new bookkeeping programs, which was a kind of general public access thing that was obviously produced by Linux nerds in their spare time. Though it is very stable and well coded, it is just not a user friendly interface. Of course I bore the brunt of the whole thing, so I had to learn how to operate this graphics free, all text interface, before entering the old bookkeeping program data. Of course the new program is more stable, and perhaps faster, but the point is it is boring and takes a longer period to learn. Even now that I have a full grasp of it, I still prefer one of the bookkeeping programs where I can click on a few icons and not bother about keyboard shortcuts. I resent this new program because I will have to use it all day, so I think I deserve something pleasant to work and interact with. But it seems no one is interested in that, as long as it is free, fast, and occupies less hard disk space, then it will do just fine.

         
    When do you need dictation equipment

     

    Dictation equipment is a method to record ideas rather than writing them down. It is also used in business as it allows for quick and accurate recording of information. In addition, it is used when writing isn’t practical such as in medical services. There is a variety of dictation equipment on the market and it’s important to choose the correct one for your needs. There are two main situations for dictation. The first is when note taking is too time consuming or difficult, such as when one is traveling. In these situations a recorder can easily record a necessary conversation. The second situation is to shift the burden of typing from highly paid executives and professionals to lower salaried employees. Executives and professionals such as doctors dictate. Transcribers then transcribe the work to document form. There are two types of Dictaphone equipment available – analog and digital. Analog is the older technology and it’s pretty straightforward. You can choose from either desk units or pocket recorders which have a built in microphone. Micro-cassettes are the standard recording device. One very important feature to have is indexing. This lets the user add a tone at the start and end of a dictated message, which makes it easier for the transcriber to find the beginning and end of a document. Voice activation is another feature to consider. With voice activation, when you speak the recording starts automatically. However, the first couple of words are usually distorted. Digital dictation equipment is the new kid on the block, and it’s a great deal more complex than analogue equipment. It offers many different capabilities depending on what is needed. Transcription equipment is used to convert messages that have been dictated to written documents. You should purchase equipment that lets the transcriber modify both the speed and volume of the dictation, as well as rewinding and forwarding. The best machines have foot controls so the transcriber doesn’t have to stop typing to backup or adjust the tape. Also look for units where the buttons are placed so that the record button can’t accidentally be turned on; thereby erasing a dictated message. Dictation equipment can range in price from under $80 to over $100,000. Yes that’s correct! Low end units can be purchased online at many sites that offer office equipment and, of course, you can also find them at local retail outlets. Most users will be looking for a fairly basic Dictaphone but larger systems, like those $100,000 systems, are going to need support and installation. They will need to be purchased through specialized firms that can provide these services. Dictation equipment is an important part of many business environments so give it the attention it deserves.

         
    When is negotiating not negotiating 4 tips for improved success

     

    Copyright © 2006 The National Learning Institute When you left home for work this morning, did you feel ready to face the day knowing that you were going to have a number of successful negotiations? Chances are, the word "negotiation" never entered your head. Perhaps it should have! We often think of negotiation as a formal process conducted behind closed doors by high powered executives, politicians or world leaders. Yet everyday all of us negotiate. You may have to agree with colleagues on the content of a report or presentation; with a customer over a disputed invoice; with a supplier on the terms for goods or services; or with your partner on what to have for dinner tonight! All of these things are negotiations. Our problem is that we don't recognise them as negotiations, nor ourselves as negotiators. As a result, we enter these discussions less prepared than we could be. The result? Sometimes a less-than-successful outcome! To help make all our daily negotiations more successful (for both you and the other party), you need to: - State your case clearly and appropriately - Organise your facts - Control the timing and pace of your discussion - Properly assess both yours and the other parties needs How do you carry out these four points successfully? First, you need an understanding of some of the key principles of successful negotiation. Try this quiz to test your knowledge of negotiating by answering "True/False" to each question. 1. Should you ask for twice the amount you need? 2. Is your aim to prevent the other party from saying "No" 3. Will a small concession relieve the pressure? 4. A "Win/Win" result is always possible. 5. Is admitting to an error or omission a sign of weakness? The following answers will provide some useful tips for your negotiating situations. 1. Should you ask for twice the amount you need? False. You will have to back down and will lose an important opportunity to influence the other party. Research clearly indicates that negotiators who make large concessions end up worse off. The secret of successful negotiating is to first identify your needs, then work out a range of options that will satisfy those needs. Start the negotiation by asking for the options that best meet your needs. 2. Is your aim to prevent the other party from saying "No"? False. In fact getting a "No" from the other party can be very useful because it gives you the opportunity to ask "Can you give me your reasons?". This leads to uncovering the other party's real needs and some options that will satisfy them ЎV options which you can probably supply. 3. Will a small concession relieve the pressure? False: If you make a small concession, chances are you are negotiating over options rather than needs. Additionally, the other party may think you are weakening and put more pressure on. Far better to state or restate your needs and then explore as many options as possible to satisfy them. As part of this discussion, you may come back to the offer that was just rejected, or you may find some even better options. Either way you have gained a lot more information and not weakened your position. 4. A "Win/Win" result is always possible. False: It's desirable, but not always possible. Sometimes, even the best of negotiators have to "agree to disagree". The way to improve your ratio of "Win/Wins" is to focus very clearly on your own real needs (not positions) and the needs of the other party. Searching for many different options to satisfy both party's needs generates more "Win/Win" situations. 5. Is admitting to an error or omission a sign of weakness? False: Research shows that disclosing such information demonstrates honesty. In psychological terms, it breeds what is called "reciprocity" - if you do something for me, then I'll do something for you. People are far more likely to be honest with you when you are honest with them. Pulling the wool over someone's eyes may give you a short term result at the expense of a long term relationship. Four tips to help you negotiate successfully 1. If you want a better deal, ask for one. You'll never know unless you ask! Remember, make sure it will satisfy your needs - do not get locked into bargaining over positions. 2. Argue to learn, not to win. To meet your own needs you need to learn as much as possible about the other party and their needs. The more you learn, the better chance you have of getting a good deal. 3. Make proposals regularly during the negotiation - proposals move the negotiation forward. Use proposals such as "If you will provide . . . . then I might consider . . . ." The other party's response to these proposals will give you a lot of information to work with. 4. Ask for, and give as much information as possible. For example, questions such as "Can you explain your reasons for . . . . ?', "What are your priorities? and "What else is there that you think I should know?" are excellent ways of gathering the information you need. Successful negotiating! If you would like some more tips on negotiating, feel free to contact me via nationallearning. au

         
    When it pays to use incentive programs

     

    Non-cash incentive programs and fringe benefits can have a powerful influence on attitudes, which should in turn improve results. You can give employees the greatest incentive program, but by impairing a sense of ownership in the organization. If you don’t know what kind of incentive programs to employ so as to motivate your people to work and increase productivity, here are some tips that you can use: 1. Sharing the shares. Use share schemes as an incentive program to reward people for contributing to team success. An employee who sees his or her efforts rewarded in company shares will, in theory, identify with the company, be committed to its success, and perform more effectively. In reality, it may be hard to tell whether the company’s success is due to employees owning shares, or whether the success itself has led the company to issue shares. It is also difficult to know whether employees would have performed less effectively if no shares had changed hands. Nevertheless, by giving people a stake in the company as an incentive program, you are making a highly positive statement about them, which encourages them to feel positive in return. 2. Gifts are not just for Christmas. Surprise people with gifts they do not expect. Expected remuneration has less impact than the unexpected. Even generous pay rises are taken for granted after a while, as salary wishes increase accordingly. Incentive programs like a far smaller “payment,” in the form of a gift, have an unequal worth in the eyes of the recipient. An employee could use a cash award to buy a gift, perhaps a weekend vacation, but that would provide less satisfaction than an incentive program in kind from the management as a reward for work well done. Consider this, which incentive program is better: A company called for a special meeting for all of the employees that had achieved the sales quota for the month. In the meeting, the company announced that the incentive is a gift certificate. They went to the Accounting Department, as instructed, signed their name, and off they go. Or: The company gave them a specialized mug embossed with the word “Congratulations,” plus a special card with a special message personally written by the manager. Between the two incentive programs, the latter is more appreciative. Gift certificates could be a good incentive program but it is sometimes taxable, so they get only a fraction of what was written on it. Plus, the first incentive program is more rigid, lacks personalization and appreciation. On the other hand, the second incentive program is far more favourable. A more specialized and personalized gift idea as incentive program can be more appreciated. It makes your employee feel that they are individually valued especially if it comes with a “thank you” note. Best of all, presents are also a better incentive program and a cost-effective method of motivating staff when cash is short or when competition does not allow an increased pay. 3. Optimizing benefits. Fringe benefits have become a much less effective incentive program financially in many countries because of tax charges, as mentioned earlier. Good pension schemes, however, have become more attractive as an incentive program wherever state-funded provision falls. The same applies to medical insurance. The knowledge that the company cares for its people in sickness, health, and old age is a basic yet a powerful factor. Other benefits, such as company cars, paternity leave, vacations, and help with children’s education and care as incentive programs can improve the quality of people’s lives. Electronic devices, from mobile phones to computers, directly benefit the company, but as an incentive program, the individual also gains personally from their availability. Ultimately, loyal and happy employees tend to work harder, leading to increased overall productivity. 4. Bequeath status. The modern company, with its flat structure, horizontal management, and open style, avoids status symbols that are divisive and counter-productive. Reserve parking places and separate dining rooms are rightly avoided. However, important-sounding job titles are easy and economical forms of incentive program at the same time a better way of providing recognition and psychological satisfaction. So, now you know that incentive programs don’t necessarily mean it has to be in the monetary form. Do remember that giving people incentive programs of any kind sends a very positive signal. As they say, it’s the thought that counts.

         
    Who needs employee motivation anyway

     

    Knowing how to motivate those who work for you is something that everyone needs to learn if they want to be a success in any industry that they are in. The people that work for you and the ones that make your product and/or provide the services that you are selling so make sure that they enjoy what they do and they will do it that much better. Sounds pretty simple huh? Well, it is and you can learn these things in just a little bit of time. You would be surprised to see what a differenced these types of tips can make to your over all company performance. By taking the time and energy to motivate your employees you will find that not only do they work better for you, they are happier as well. Proper motivation means teaching people about themselves and what they want to get out of their lives. Your motivation will teach them what their own personal goals are and how they can achieve or even exceed them with ease. This is a great service that you will be doing them and your company. You will find the money pouring in when you do these types of things and that is always a good way to run a business right? No matter where you live you can find some great motivational workshops that are set up specifically with the employee in mind. These are group activities that you can get everyone who works for you into. They are usually quite fun and the employees will not ever have to pay for them. In essence they are getting free lessons on how to live more happy and healthy both physically and emotionally, it is perfect! Talk to some other businesses in your area and see what kinds of motivational services they have used in the past and how much they cost. Take the time to search out the very best motivational speakers as these will give you the best course for your money. They can change everything, even the home lives of your employees. The more innovative the ideas that these motivators have the better they may work. Don’t let yourself be boxed in by expectations, think outside the box and let the imagination soar. Be willing to try new things with your employees and watch things get better and better in the workplace. You may also want to get a couple of good books on the subject. Books are full of some great info that you can use each and everyday in the workplace. They are affordable and if you go to a used bookstore very cheap indeed. Don’t worry about money as these motivational workshops are well worth it in the long run. They will bring in more revenue and get your workers working much more efficiently and productively. Motivations truly is key to a successful business, just you wait and see.

         
    Why are trophies and plaques important

     

    Almost every home in America has a showcase of the family’s achievements manifested in trophies and medals. Some people who glorify such achievements even create altar-like tables and cabinets for those medals and trophies which they or a member of their family has won either in an intellectual or a sporting match. There are also trophies garnered from beauty contests. People will always put a premium on anyone’s achievement and the appreciation that goes with it can best be expressed by giving him a plaque or a medal. There are plaques and trophies that are made of gold but most are made of fiberglass, wood or any other not so expensive materials. But no matter what trophies and plaques are made of, they will always be special to those who receive them. So why do people and organizations give out trophies and plaques? Trophies and plaques are the favorite gifts or tokens for athletes during sporting events. They are also widely used by educational institutions especially during commencement exercises. However, plaques are the favorite tokens of small companies and even big corporations that want to recognize the achievements of their employees and staff. Plaques are also given to speakers and guest of honors during company or school affairs. Giving a trophy or a plaque is an acknowledgement of the achievements of the receiver even these are given on account of a good performance in sales and marketing, debate, oration or a simple quiz bee. Some companies give out plaques of appreciation to their loyal clients who have helped them build the company’s reputation over the years. The plaque creates good public relations for the company because it shows their clients that they are valued by the company. Companies or institutions planning to give out trophies during special occasions or milestones should consider the types of people who will be receiving the trophies. Generally there is no standard requirement on the size of the trophies but if it will be given for team activities then size should be a consideration. Trophies for individual star players should be unique no matter what the sizes are. Yearly tournaments for bowling or basketball sometimes require roving trophies or trophies that are passed on from the present champions to next year’s champions. These kinds of trophies should be bigger and special since the awarding body will only need to have it made once every three or four years. People who want to order trophies and plaques can do so by visiting specialty stores. If they want the job to be faster and more efficient they can look for companies who accept made to order trophies through the internet. There are various samples and these are shown on the company website so clients can just take their pick or they can send in their own designs and specifications. Most companies give discounts for wholesale purchases so make sure you order all the trophies you need from one company. Developing a long term relationship with a company that manufactures trophies and plaques will also be more profitable for both the manufacturer and the client because they can already establish a rapport as to the quality of work required by the client.

         
    Why bosses don t get all the news

     

    Not long ago, a friend who works in television complained that the industry has no interest in real business stories. And, I have to agree with him, since we don't see much on television that doesn't involve stock prices or some sort of scandal. Well, with one exception, perhaps. The British Broadcasting Corporation and PBS in the USA aired a popular business show called "Back to the Floor." Fast Company magazine first told us about the program, which sees CEOs leaving their corner offices for a stint on the front lines. And, as they work on the front lines, the cameras are rolling. For many, if not all of the CEOs, the experience is a great eye-opener. And, according to the magazine, "Almost without exception, CEOs learn a lesson in communication. 'We find people at the heart of every organization who know exactly what's right and what's wrong with it,' says Thirkell [Robert Thirkell, the show's producer]. 'But between them and the bosses is a layer of people -- those whose careers depend on sanitizing that information. Bosses are always surprised at how much knowledge exists further down the ladder.' " With that in mind, let's spend a minute or two thinking about the barriers to good upward communication. And, rather than blame middle management, which seems to be one of the themes of the article, we'll look at the structural issues. First, upward communication calls for the collecting of information or data. For example, a supervisor might report on the efforts of five front-line staff, a manager then aggregates the data of five supervisors, and a vice-president pulls together all the information provided by five managers. As the information aggregates this way, it loses most of its context and richness. By context and richness, I mean the anecdotal and personal knowledge that front-line workers gather and build from continuous interactions with customers or users. Obviously, most CEOs don't have time to read reports comprised of hundreds of anecdotes; they want summaries of the information. Second, as information or data moves upward, it tends to be slotted into pre-existing categories. Employees on the front - lines know and understand the nuances of each customer story; it reflects, to a lesser or greater extent, the personal relationship between worker and customers. But, there's no place for nuance in weekly reports. Third, upward communication normally deals with compliance, rather than competitive or operational intelligence. Managers use information moving up the hierarchy to determine how well their instructions have been followed. When they want competitive or operational information they use different means, such as bringing in consultants or commissioning studies. It's always tempting to attribute communication failures to moral failures by managers, but if you really want to understand communication failures, you should start by looking for structural hurdles. In summary, CEOs who spend time on the front lines will undoubtedly be in for many surprises. But, if they want to stay abreast of the action at the front lines, they'll need to address the structural nature of upward communication.

         
    Why bother with distributed leadership

     

    I'm an alumni of Boston University Graduate School of Business, so I receive the Alumni magazine Bostonia. To be honest, that doesn't mean I read it faithfully at all. But this issue was different. George Labovitz, a professor in organizational behavior at the school wrote an article recently on his research into the application of alignment to achieve extraordinary results in organizations. He caught me with the first sentence: "More than thirty years of research has shown that aligned and integrated organizations outperform their nearest competitors in every major financial measure." He admitted not many organizations do it, but those that utilize it well also realize a significant competitive advantage! By definition: alignment is the optimal state in which strategy, people, customers, and key processes work in concert to propel growth and profits. When business leaders implement this kind of alignment, the whole organization enjoys greater customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, greater returns for investors. To do this, they de-emphasize hierarchy and distribute authority, information, knowledge, and customer data. As a result, every employee top to bottom, understands the strategy and goals of the business. Consequently, everyone knows how his/her work contributes to it. There are many ways to measure alignment. But you can only achieve alignment across the board through distributed leadership. Implementing such strategies develops leadership in each unit of your operation and at different levels of your organization. You actually end up empowering employees to act and give them the knowledge about what must be done. With this kind of clear vision and strong communication, you can allow your team to run with tasks and projects independent of your day-to day management, freeing you for higher level leadership tasks and responsibilities. With this kind of clear vision and strong communication, you can allow your team to run with tasks and projects independent of your day-to day management, freeing you for higher level leadership tasks and responsibilities. * Keep people connected - so they know what is at stake. * Help people think holistically. You can't expect them to make good decisions if they can't see the big picture. * Keep people connected to the company vision, mission and goals - raise the horizon of understanding so they are not limited to seeing only department or job specific goals. * Reward and recognize people for working toward the main goal - not just department goals. * How you bring this into the review process will drive it home for future behavior. *Create opportunities for people to interact - they work better with people they know personally and can empathize with. * Make the process iterative - taking action is not a one-time thing. To answer the question I posed: Why bother? Is it worth it? I think so. These are the same tactics we all need to cultivate in business and organizations, to make the leap from good to great. Excellence is like the family silver, the more you use it and polish it up regularly, the better it looks.

         
    Why change management training is essential for your company

     

    : Let’s face it: Your company or organization is likely to go through a major transformation at some point. Whether it is in a division, within a function, or across the entire organization, you as a leader will need the skills to facilitate the change and help your business continue to thrive efficiently. Sometimes the reason for change is external; perhaps the change is pushing you. Other times, the reasons for change are internally generated; you are driving and moving the transformation. Either way, change is now the norm, and senior leaders need to be able to handle it with focus, commitment and energy. Whether your company’s leaders have gone through some sort of formal leadership training or not, a change management program might be the way to make the changes happen as painlessly as possible. An executive leadership program can provide your company with leaders who are creative and driven. And as part of the training, or as a separate one, leaders can be trained to handle a cultural transformation. A good change management program will be interactive, and tailored to suit your company’s needs and goals. Look for an executive coaching company who is willing to take all aspects of the change into consideration. Not only must one consider revenue; but also communication, performance, and accountability. It is likely that almost everyone and everything is going to be effected by the change and leaders need to think on a broad scale. To learn more about change management training, visit maxcomminc.

         
     
         
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