4 Team Power
Teams come in many sizes such as family, religious group, sports, friends, state, country, continent etc. Most legislatures in the world deal with division of people on trivial issues and miss the important issues like family, living
standards, education, food, and health. “This world in arms is not spending
money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children”- President D. Eisenhower. Teams have great impact on members and other teams.
Are you using team power to drive your business to the next success levels? The business organizational behavior and environment play a crucial role in the success of business operation including encouraging teamwork. Team effectiveness maximizes job satisfaction and it minimizes number of absenteeism and turnover. Cohesive teamwork has a great impact on your
organization performance and success.
An important aspect of business operation today is motivating individuals/people to pursue collective objectives by satisfying needs and meeting expectations with meaningful work and reward value added. This is possible through friendly ethical work environment and teamwork.
Four elements of powerful teams are leadership, cohesiveness, respect, and good effective communication. Team leaders, who are inspiring, serve by example and initiate teamwork. The success of a team member is the success of all, and the success of all is the success of individual members.
Successful teams learn from failures, are proactive, and seek to improve always. Team leaders encourage members to think outside the box to improve a process. Work towards a happy team that works like the physiological working of our bodies. When the team reaches a milestone, celebrate success. GO 4 TEAM POWER!
The market needs more leaders and not bosses. As our democratic society matures, the more we need leaders with directions and values. In a book called “A New Breed of Leader” authored by Sheila Murray Bethel, Ph.D., page 259, mentions six qualities of leaders who make things happen. They “...need to establish and practice a clearly stated set of values,…inspire others to serve…in selfless ways…positive energy, optimism and a passion that is infectious…bring people together around a meaningful purpose proudly…get the best players on their leadership team...and need to mentor others at all levels…”
"The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter
his life by altering his attitudes." -William James
Lost generations are veterans of World War I 1880s-1900s; greatest generations are veterans of World War II born 1901-1920s. Silent generations born 1921s to 1940s, Baby boomers are post World War II born in 1946 to early 1960s. Generation X was born later 1960s to 1970s. Generation Y also called millennial was born 1980s to 2000s and Generation Z called cohort born later 2000s to present. Each generational group of people is different and has specifics characteristics, ethics of working, and personal goals.
Understanding each group of generations will increase high productivity and managing human resources. Business environment has employed a broad spectrum of generational groups and it is amazing to watch the distinct differences. Baby boomers are considered hard working; tend to work long hours, loyal and very reliable. They work independently as long as they know what is expected.
Generations X seeks for challenge, diversity, learning opportunities and flexible work hours. They enjoy tasks that challenge their intellect or entrepreneurial and learning skills. Millennial will be loyal as long as their needs are met. They prefer where they get praises and coaching. They need clear detailed instructions.
Benefits of understanding your staff generational group assist you in determining efficient allocation of tasks and those that are most rewarding and productive for the individual. You get to create a win-win situation with your staff. A happy staff results in a strong business that could weather the storms. Each generation has something to offer businesses. Motivated, inspired staff leads to highest productive level all year round in the company.
"Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it." -John Quincy
My 2 Cents
There is power within; you do not have to be a super star to make a difference. Start within you by using your God given abilities to the fullest. Use your power within to face your fears each day and use your given courage to overcome fears.
Do not look at what you do not have, look at what you have, utilize it efficiently, and add as needed. Build from within and outsiders will not determine who you become.
Information is power and a critical part of successful business management. Collecting business information requirements is necessary to enable accurate panoptic planning. Information is data translated into useful format. Two amazing ways to collect data are interviews and brainstorming.
Interviews may set grounds for detailed discussions. We recommend asking open-ended questions that help you gather specific data. When planning
for requirement-gathering interview, identify the objectives and information
needed. This helps in identifying the business areas, topics, and interviewees
you need for the interview. Plan, schedule for time and place of the interview. It is important to be at ease with yourself and with others. Make the interviewee comfortable to provide you uncensored data.
Brainstorming is a session where ideas flow freely. Identify the objectives clearly, before you conduct a brainstorming session, which helps in identifying the participants. Brainstorming session is a group of people coming together to share ideas randomly to address a specific issue. We brainstorm daily and yet we are not aware of it. For example, when we have a cell phone issue, we brainstorm with various experts to determine the best possible solution. We receive many ideas ranging from fixing to buy a phone. We choose the idea that best fit our requirements.
Brainstorming involves a moderator and a group of experts in one profession. Leaders are encouraged to listen to all their subordinates. Good information comes from unexpected places. Many high achievers will attest to ideas collections using various methods including reading books. Manage
your business and projects with useful information and make informed
There are many marketing advertisements in TV, internet, emails, social media, and mobile ads that encourage more companies to use brands. Successful marketing campaigns increase product sales in disregard of their functionality. Caveat emptor [let the buyer be aware]. When considering making a business investment, study and learn everything about the investment. When considering hiring staff, screen who you employ and when making a huge decision, research, make inquiries, and continuously learn about both sides and possible risks of anticipated decisions. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ―J.R.R. TolkienMaximize Time
Short interruptions in business may end up cutting your productive time by a third. According to a study conducted by Industrial Engineer magazine, average interruption for a manager lasts 6-9 minutes. It takes managers 3-23 minutes to recover from the disturbance and regain their concentration in the task they were doing. Taken together, every single interruption plus the recovery time costs them 20.5 minutes in an hour that affect productivity. Productive time management would discourage interruptions; maximize, encourage prioritization and action orientation.
The law of vital few 80/20 advocates that you devote your time to most important 20% task that produces 80% results. Determine the tasks
that bring you closer to your goals. Do the right things at the right time. Say
no to time wasters. How much time do you spend checking mails, social media, and meetings or attending phone calls at frequent intervals while at work? Set a time slot for meeting, social media, email correspondence, and you shall notice a significant improvement in productivity.
Assess time usage. Find out whether your business is using the time, cost effectively on revenue generating activities.
Analyze your business process and the time it takes to complete tasks. Eliminate time Muda that is maximizing on time, it takes to produce value stream in your business. Each activity should be geared towards revenue generation and control of expenses. It is important to allocate stakeholders quality personal time. Effective time management help to create a successful business strategy, focus on important tasks, become more productive, and grab new business opportunities. “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ― Mother TeresaMy 2 Cents
The consumer has the power to control the markets. The market will always follow, influence, and encourage the consumer to buy. If a consumer buys more of a product, demand for the product goes up and so does supply to meet consumer’s demand. If consumers change buying habits, the markets shall produce consumer’s demands. Large group of consumers have buying power to demand for goods that best fit their needs. Consumers have dollar
It often appears as if budgeting is done at Fortune 500 companies, but not small, or personal businesses. Budgets are financial plans that guide business forward based on historical performance, and market benchmarks,
regardless of the size of the company.
They function best where a strategy outlines a company’s short and long-term goals. Budgets are a guideline, and are not one sided. They have several aspects and are used to implement an organization’s plans. I highly recommend an overall company budget with individual budgets for each operating area.
Operating budgets include income-generating activities while financial budgets include inflows and out-flows of cash. Budgets should include all aspects included in the company’s strategic plan from production to sales.
Making a budget is not as hard as most people think. What most may not tell you is that you need to have some resources and goals in place.
Highly consider budgeting with what you already have, explore options of using your resources and minimizing your liabilities. Handle what you have now, and you will be able to handle more later.
Budgets should not restrict business, rather they serve as guidelines to monitor performance, and direct the company’s activities. If you want control over your business, develop a strategic plan, and then construct a
budget to achieve that plan. Remember to budget each strategic area of the company, and optimize the budget to achieve company goals.
The market is moving fast. Tons of information bombards us. Technologies constantly replace manual jobs. Many futurists foresee robots working in homes and offices in the next few decades. In January Fortune magazine, Daniel Roberts reported that William Adams and Dean Kamen are working to develop a robotics-themed science center for youngsters in Los Angeles. Anne Vandermey reported that Iron Mans, mechanical outfits called exoskeletons commercialization is near. Considering that society has forever changed, eras come, and go, those who thrive are those that see these changes and position themselves to secure the future. Soon we will live Sci-Fi era.
“Our privileges can be no greater than our obligations. The protection of our rights can endure no longer than the performance of our responsibilities.” - John F. Kennedy
7 Aspects of planning
Planning is the beginning of many adventures and leads to execution of strategic goals. Plan big, and then put your plan to work bringing it to reality.
My seven tips of planning include asking: What? Why? How? Who?Target. Determine when, and then monitor results. Determine where you are; what you want to achieve, and then determine your goals. Identify alternatives that could lead you to achieving your goals, and then choose the option that best suits your situation.
The first plan is not always the best plan. Be flexible with your plan; review and then make changes, and as soon as you see new trends. A plan is like a
flowing stream, if the flow is blocked, goals change direction and pressure can break the plan completely as the dam breaks.
It is very important to create milestones and constantly evaluate where you are at any given time. This is the meter to determine if you are moving forward or regressing. Constantly monitor milestones and take appropriate action to ensure you are moving forward.
Many people fail to change plans due to the time invested in creating the original plan. Consider the cost of failure when determining whether to change your plan or continue down a wrong course of action.
While planning, consider all risks that may be encountered, and be proactive to minimize those risks.
Your plan must include buy-in from all stakeholders and especially those who will be implementing and executing. This makes workflow and communication across the organization flow towards set goals, and objectives for each project to execute the master plan.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
My 2 Cents Corner
What do you want? What roles do others play in your life’s business? I am learning that it is very important to clearing examine self and determine what you really want in life. Your life’s decisions based on your core esteem values. What you want you must ask? Others become your support pivot cushion. Self attracts others that will fulfill self. Never say you can’t or never Try!
There is nothing like a crystal ball in life to wish for everything. It is important to plan and forecast. Forecasting includes, relying on past results and market trends. Survival of your business depends on how you can predict the future well.
Goals of financial forecasting are to:
- Predict financial positionof your business at the end of the fiscal year.
- Identify the resources needed to attain your goals.
- Recognize and identify financial commitments.
Financial Forecast is often a key element of business planning process. It helps prepare, and plan. Planning is an evolving process. It includes Business Strategy that requires short-term and long-term plans. Among the plans there is financial plans and forecast reports. Often prepared by a financial analyst, forecasting reports are a way to assess your future business growth prospects and identify risks.Importance of Financial Forecasting: Key to Making Smart Decisions
Your business strategy design is a road map for future growth. It is important to identify growth opportunities, evaluate feasibility, and plan the resources needed. Like weather forecasting, future forecasting is difficult.
However, using your experience, right training, and historical financial performance data, you can forecast correctly.
Examine the history of similar businesses and indicators. Look at current market trends and find out similarities in the past. Base your financial predictions on your goals. To determine market performance in the past and at present, consider all the historical and present market information. This will help assess your anticipated financial needs and control expenditure.
process provides a business with the means to set its priorities and goals. It ensures the goals are internally consistent, and identify asset requirements. Sales forecast
is one principal aspect of financial forecasting. It assists businesses to assess current and fixed assets use, to support the forecasted sales level. It determines if there is need for external financing.Financial planning
allows you to propel your business to the right direction. Financial forecasting identifies possible risks and cash over/short. It enables control of cash flow to prevent the business from future financial trouble.Forecasting process
helps businesses determine whether their forecasted growth rate is consistent with the desired dividend policy and capital structure.Financial Forecasting
helps businesses estimate future earnings. To make projections about future direction they are heading. This enables them to direct their activities accordingly. In addition, it helps outside analysts and investors to make informed decision if they want to invest in the company.
Designing a business strategy is the first step to creating a financial forecast. This helps you identify the finances needed to start an organization, convince your lender of the viability of your business, and arrange the resources to keep your business profitable. It helps growing and mature businesses to stay in business.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when starting a business or before beginning projects is not creating a business plan or having a process plan in place. Why is planning crucial? Planning is an important aspect of any project, whether it is a business, an event, or a marketing campaign. It helps in understanding your business or project better and enables you to deliver accordingly.
Several aspects of planning to considered, encompasses conceptualization, troubleshooting, and implementation or execution. Considering these aspects, you will create a plan focusing only on specific requirements of your project, event or and business..
The 7 Crucial Aspects
This is the initiation phase of planning, considered the most important aspect of any business plan. What is the aim of the project? What is the mission of the business? Whether you take help from a professional planner or are creating process plans in-house, you need to start by determining the need of the business or requirement for the project.
The second important aspect of any projects plan is to know why. Why work on the project? This will also help you understand the core focus areas of the project. Guide you toward formulating specific process plans.
The third aspect of a business plan revolves around identifying the available
resources to implement the project. How will you achieve the goal of your project or business? For example: while formulating an event plan, you need to know whether you have the required manpower to execute the event. Apart from this, you need to know what all resources you can allocate to the project like computers, space, and digital equipment.
In this aspect of a business plan, you need to identify who all are going to be
involved in the execution of a project or business goals. This will also help you to identify the shortfalls if any. Provide you with alternatives for troubleshooting any problems or bottlenecks that may arise.
This aspect of projects plan will help in determining who your target audience is. Knowing your customers will help you build your business around them in a better way. It will also help you create marketing and promotion strategies that target the customer psyche.
This is one of the most important aspects of any event plan or business project plan that takes into account the final deliverable and close-out report. In this part of the planning report, you need to draw the period within which the project needs to deliver or the time for achieving specific business
This is the final aspect. It revolves around creating a process for monitoring
deliverables. For example, during process implementation, you need to monitor the performance constantly so that you address any problems and risk as they arise. The monitoring aspect in a business plan will help record customer impact and market reaction as well.
We set the stage for volume two, in January 2013 newsletter
. A brief of topics covered:
Resolution of the Year
Happy New Year- what does this statement mean? Does it mean we continue to do the same things we did last year? Does it mean we need to make some changes or and we need to take chances? What is New Year to you?.....moreThe dreaded "T"
We cannot avoid the dreaded “T”(Taxes). 2013, several legislatures laws passed over a few past years namely, American Taxpayer Relief ACT of 2012[ATRA], The Affordable Care Act, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) and Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 Tax Provisions has vast tax implications on you.....morePeople vs Clutter
Does appearing busy mean you are busy? How do you spend your time at work? Do meetings, phone calls, and emails take up most of your day’s hours?....more
Happy New Year!
Let us start this year with positive attitude, plan to do constructive work and make 2013 a masterpiece of wonderful memories. Do not shy away from challenges. Give yourself a chance and take the courage to be you. Remember you live but once- why not make it the best of it now, each hour of the year. Make attainable goals, act upon achieving them, and be flexible to change.
If you continue doing the same thing as 2012, you will get the same results as 2012. Aim for the Sun and at least get to the moon on your way to the Sun. Consider several options available for change to get better results than 2012. Research on current requirements and decide if you want to streamline, improve, or and re-engineer your actions and systems to give you the desired results.
Make 2013 a hopeful year that will be full of wonderful surprises. Human beings have a history of meeting challenges head on. The outcome of any challenge is highly determined by the frame of mind, attitude, and aptitude for passion to want to succeed in what you desire. Most people considered honestly successful have positive attitude, a vision, a principle, and each day counts towards their vision.
Setbacks have never deterred a passionate person wanting to make a difference, a person wanting to fulfill their inner most desire in disregard of fears and opposition. Following characters in history teach us a lot.
Abraham Lincoln: He was born of poor family. He lost more than eight elections and failed in business several times. Adding injury to insult he suffered depression. Yet he became the 16th President of United States and made history. So many have written about him, I would not be mentioning his name if he had quit during his time. No matter what, if you have a vision, please do not quit.
Nelson Mandela: A militant anti-apartheid activist, sentenced for 27years in prison. With an option to forego his dreams and be set free from prison, he stood his ground and continued to fight for the freedom of his people. From prison, he became the first president of a free democratic South Africa in 1994. He sacrificed his life for all and he gained it to lead all. The last shall be first and the first shall be last. This year, consider acting for social justice or help a neighbor in need.
Jesus Christ: is the founder of Christianity and the only leader to sacrifice his life to save humanity. He was killed for his believes and teachings, he rose again from death the third day. Christianity has spread all over the world despite constant persecutions. It has given hope, faith, and love to those who embrace the teachings. Christmas is one season in the year that you truly see Christians’ spirit of giving and love. Christianity teachings assist us to get our priorities in order [God, Human Beings, Money, and Things]. If you do not make money your servant, money will be your master. Consider getting your priorities right. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all this other things will follow.
All Self-Made Billionaires: have a story to tell. All appear to have begun from humble beginnings like Bill Gates, Sam Walton, and Steve Jobs etc. These characters developed or modified a concept and changed social consumer behavior. They communicate and seek for those who will progress their course. There are all risk takers, they continue to experiment with new ideas, and we get to read their achievements later. This year consider thinking outside the box and exploring ideas that may change the world for the better.
In conclusion, we all have a tall order to rethink or have others think for us. I
believe in you, us and myself. Therefore, let us go to work, not only for others but for us and our future generations. Let us be who we are. Be alive to live life fully. Spark Your Success! Call for Professional Business Services.
We have a Solution!
Businesses are always seeking for answers to how to operate with less and sell at a premium. How does a business obtain more with less effort? For this reason, most businesses look at Information Technology (IT) companies for answers.
Most IT companies parade themselves to have a solution and best practices for your business. They tell you, “We have a solution for you.” You purchase the product you are thinking is best fit for your business. Shortly after you implement the software, you discover several whoops. These include; software does not provide you with reports that best serve your business, the software crashes so often that you go for hours waiting for a fix, support cost, long process duration despite automation etc. To add salt to injury, your implementation cost skyrocket higher than budgeted.
Some IT gurus reckon that businesses do not know what they need despite, the business existing long before IT. Consider, identifying your current business process gaps by performing occasional independent business process reviews. Establish a baseline and a benchmark over a given time period. Encourage businesses to clearly understand their requirements and work with IT to determine Information systems that work best within budget and time given.
As we evaluate 2012 performance, be grateful for achievements and lessons learned. Next projects, consider documenting your current state, create your future state, and gather business requirements. I encourage, test solutions given against your benchmark first.
How will the “Fiscal Cliff”affect you? “Fiscal Cliff” is a term used to describe the events to occur when budget control Act of 2011 goes in effect end of 2012. December 31, 2012 will mark the end of temporary payroll tax cuts = 2% tax increase on employees, end of business tax breaks and beginning of taxes related to Obama’s health care law. “Tough times only make tough people.” I highly encourage change of habit to create a cushion for what
is to come.
Many thanks for joining me on the road less travelled. I had fun sharing Spark your Success! tidbits.
Green is another word for environment protection. For many years, we have studied the three Es (Environment, Energy and Economics) and evidence show that the three are interwoven. Ayn Rand quoted, “we can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality”
Historically, we appear to deny facts, then we are forced by consequences, to change our ways. E.g. In 1842 after so many people have died of cholera and other diseases in England, a report linked disease to filthy environmental conditions and this helped launch “Age of Sanitation.
“Environmentalist everyday reports “1860-Residents of Washington, D.C. dumped garbage and slop into alleys and streets, pigs and dogs roam freely, and rats and cockroaches infested most dwellings including the White House” It took state officials to realize that waste management was causing disease and enacted laws to stop people from dumping waste on the streets, and water ways.
Different forms of waste today are: defects, waiting, overproductions, motion, transportation, extra processing, and non-utilized talents. Green wastes are; water, energy, materials, garbage, emissions, transportation, and biodiversity.
Each of the waste cost dollars that dig deep into your profit margins. I experimented on reducing my water waste in my house, and saved 1000gs a month since June. I reduced on paper usage and started recycling resulting to 66% savings on cost of printing. I reduced energy bill by 30%. I became very aware of different wastes and associated immediate or future costs. Idling a vehicle cost more than if you shut it off and on again.
Greening your business has double benefits, it will save money into your profits, and it will save environment and increase overall resources’ sustainability levels.
Steve Job and other business people think customers do not always know what they want. Do you know what you want for your information system? Companies adopt other people’s systems because of vendors’ sales activities. How can firms find out detail needs first, and then shop for the system that best fits those needs?
Consider, one brainstorming meeting a month. Allow employees to brainstorm ideas on how best to improve the business processes they perform. Create an environment where ideas flow freely with no correct or wrong ideas. Evaluate and focus on great business improvement ideas.
One particular case scenario, the leaders encouraged their employees to come up with at least one creative idea and put it into practice. If the idea stopped the production lines, they performed an evaluation of the business process and improved to ensure that the idea does not break it again. The leadership team took responsibility to ensure that one mistake does not happen twice. They encouraged each staff toward continuous improvement
With this synopsis, if businesses know what they want, the vendors will have a tall order to prove that they have the correct product to meet the companies’ business needs requested.
Advantages of this method are there will be less complains about software because of missing functionalities, better match for vendor and customer, improved business relationship with all human stakeholders, save cost, create a win-win scenario all year round, and perform projects within budget and allocated period. “...A company is only as good as the people it keeps”
What are your thoughts and experiences?
In most cases, businesses are always looking for avenues to improve and so they are constantly on the lookout for ways to add or maintain competitiveness. So, do you wonder, when a person tells you that they can increase your business’s efficiency, effectiveness, and profit margins?
In Susan Page’ s book titled, “The Power of Business Improvement” she mentions steps to increase effectiveness, efficiency and adaptability. She identifies ten steps as: develop a process inventory, establish foundation, draw the process map, estimate time and cost, verify the process map; apply improvement techniques, create internal controls, tools, and metric; test and rework; implement change and drive continuous improvement. I liked her steps because planning and preparation all came before implementing the change. Like in any project, we engage in, we initiate, plan, execute, monitor & control and close.
Initial inventory enables the understanding of what takes precedence over another. You learn what your business feeder is. What truly makes your business what it is and provides you the market niche. Is it the processes? Is it your human resources assets? Is it your customers and /or competitors? Are there other external factors? My business, feeder includes: desire to add value using knowledge, experience, and resourcefulness. Now you know my initial business feeder, what is yours?
Highly recommend that you take an inventory of your business in depth and establish a foundation, which you could share with stakeholders. The stakeholders include employees, investors, customers, vendors, and shareholders. The ultimate why you do business is what will keep you