Tuesday, March 30, 2010

HBR, Confront the Top 3 Excuses for Not Speaking Up

Whether you are a senior staff member or brand new to a job, it can be difficult to speak up when you see something wrong. However, not doing so can have deleterious consequences for your company, and your career. Here are the top three rationalizations for keeping silent and how to confront them:
It's not my job. You don't have to be a seasoned staff member, an expert, or have formal authority to raise a flag. Doing the best thing for the company is always your job.
It's not a big deal. If you're telling yourself that, it probably is a big deal. Instead of downplaying the severity of the issue, focus on trying to find a resolution.
It's standard practice. Even if your company has always done it a certain way, if it's creating a problem now or in the future, challenge the status quo.
Today's Management Tip was adapted from "Keeping Your Colleagues Honest" by Mary C. Gentile.




Monday, March 29, 2010

HBR, 3 Things to Do Before You Disagree With the Strategy

No strategy is flawless and it's likely you'll disagree with some elements of your company's approach. But no one likes a strategy naysayer. Before you voice your disagreement, do these three things:
Understand the big picture. An organization's strategy is often steeped in complex political issues. Don't assume you know how or why the strategy was developed. Use your network to find out more about the process and the assumptions and inputs used.
Contextualize your concerns. Ask yourself why you object to the strategy. Are you resisting change? Do you feel you know better? Understand the true source of your concerns.
Ask others for input. Look to your peers or other trusted advisers for guidance. Explain your concerns and ask them if they share them too. Hearing what others think can give you valuable perspective.
Today's Management Tip was adapted from "When You Think the Strategy is Wrong" by Amy Gallo.




Thursday, March 25, 2010

HBR, How to Be a Changemaker

The leadership skills that worked in the past are quickly becoming irrelevant in today's fast-paced, change-is-the-name-of-the-game world. To be effective, you need to know how to adapt to and drive change. Here are the six core skills that can turn you into a changemaker:
Bring people together who aren't connected.
Design new business models by combining players and resources in new ways.
Persevere with an idea until you see success.
Don't rely on credentials, but on the power of your ideas.
Persuade others to see the possibility of your ideas and join you in the pursuit.
Empower others to also make change.
Today's Management Tip was adapted from "Rodrigo Baggio's Persuasive Leadership" by Bill Drayton and Valeria Budinich.




HBR, A Cheap and Instantly Effective Social Media Idea

Many companies cite lack of time, budget, and experience as reasons for not venturing into the social media arena. However, there are options for building a low-cost and relatively low-maintenance online presence. For example, invite customers to submit ideas and suggestions about your products and services through an online suggestion box. Allow users to rate the ideas so that the best ideas rise to the top. It's cheap -- there are pre-fab solutions out there that you can easily adapt. It's effective -- while you're building an online presence, you're simultaneously doing customer research and building your innovation pipeline. To maintain credibility and customer enthusiasm, be sure you implement the top ideas.
Today's Management Tip was adapted from "Three Instantly Effective Social Media Ideas" by Alexandra Samuel.




HBR , 6 Steps to Sizing Up a Negotiation

Pre-negotiation homework requires that you understand the interests and positions of the opposing side. Just as critical is understanding and quantifying your side's position. Here are six steps for pairing data with the negotiation points you are trying win:
Understand the big picture number you are trying to achieve.
Set low and high values for each quantifiable negotiation point.
Develop likely and unlikely scenarios to reality check your assumptions.
Re-prioritize negotiation points based on the scenarios.
Total quantifiable points to see how they compare to the big picture.
Make adjustments that will help you win in the aggregate, not just on a specific point.
Today's Management Tip was adapted from "How to Size Up a Negotiation" by Anthony Tjan.




Monday, March 15, 2010

HBR, Contemplating a Job Change? Think Long Term

When making career decisions, it can be easy to heed the loudest, nearest, and quickest sources of information. Instead of listening to those short-term noises, focus on what a career move would mean long term. Ask yourself what your career goals are and what will make you most satisfied in three or five years. Manage the more immediate pressures such as the desire to make more money or the need to escape an unpleasant workplace -- don't let them force you to make a rash move. Instead, focus on your long-term economic prospects and accept that all workplaces have ups and downs.
Today's Management Tip was adapted from "Managing Yourself: Five Ways to Bungle a Job Change" by Boris Groysberg and Robin Abrahams.




Thursday, March 11, 2010

HBR, Improve Customer Service with 3 Ts

Advances in technology and pressure to cut costs have changed the customer service experience. Companies now push far more function and responsibility to the consumer. Here are three ways to support and involve your customers in this new paradigm:
Be transparent. Show your customers your company's internal systems so they feel part of the experience, not separated from it. For example, consider how shipping companies now allow customers schedule pick-ups, print labels, and track packages on their own.
Convert or capitalize on tribes. There are groups of people who are going to blog, tweet, and find other ways to praise or complain about your products. Find your company's tribe and make it an ally in delivering a positive message.
Open the door to new talent. Some of your customers may be so enthusiastic about your product that they can sell it better than you. Find ways to discover who these customers are and capitalize on their talents, and passions.
Today's Management Tip was adapted from "Better Customer Service Through Transparency, Tribes, and Talent" by John Sviokla.




Tuesday, March 9, 2010

HBR, Answer these Strategy Questions Simultaneously

The two essential strategic choices are where to play and how to win. Answering these questions requires analysis and logic, yes, but most importantly, creative integration. Many good strategists only focus on one of those questions, trying diligently to figure out how to globalize or deliver a new product. A master strategist addresses both questions simultaneously and ensures the answers fit together. Don't rely on a single logic or analysis, but creatively integrate your company's choice about what market to play in and how to win there. The integration is what sets superb strategies apart from those that go nowhere.
Today's Management Tip was adapted from "Why Most CEOs Are Bad at Strategy" by Roger Martin.




Friday, March 5, 2010

HBR, Don't Get Defensive, Ask Questions

When you are criticized or told "no," your instinct may be to immediately fight back and defend your position or project. Next time you face resistance, instead of articulating all the reasons why you are right or why your project should be funded, ask a few simple questions. Questions like, "Why did you say that?" or "What led you to that conclusion?" can help the other person rethink his assumptions and help you understand more about where he is coming from. Asking questions allows you to get beyond the immediate disagreement and deeper into what is driving each side.
Today's Management Tip was adapted from "Overcome Resistance With the Right Questions" by Kevin Daley.




Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Now it is information safety time

Now with teams effort data can be stored in the database safely. But that is not all.
When we use the data they are information.

Know we must make sure that we can minimize the number of mistake we can do in producing information.
It is again based on layered and simplicity.

For example The way you store the data can affect the way you will use them. I saw that in our design for example in finding some kinds of clients we were assuming a not very good and mistake prone way of having null/undef in fields.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

HBR, Define Your Company's Purpose in a Sentence

Great companies have a single purpose that drives them toward success. That purpose is simple, straightforward, and no longer than a sentence. For example, Google's is "We organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," and ING Direct's is "We lead Americans back to savings." This is not a tag line but a single idea that defines the company's reason for existing. Discover what your company is best at and put it into a sentence. Don't settle with being the middle of the road, but strive to be the most responsive, most colorful, or most focused. Then, make sure that everyone in your company knows that sentence and uses it to drive success.
Today's Management Tip was adapted from "What's Your Company's Sentence?" by Bill Taylor.




Monday, March 1, 2010

HBR, Why You Should Hold Office Hours

Office hours are for busy, distracted professors who want to offer their students an opportunity to receive their undivided attention. Business leaders who are similarly busy and distracted should also make the time to connect with their employees. Maybe it's time that the office hours concept crossed the academic-business divide. Clear an hour or two each week and let your employees know that you are available by phone or in person for an unscheduled meeting. Tell them you want to hear what excites, worries, or confuses them. This may well become the most productive hour of your week and put you at the head of the class.
Today's Management Tip was adapted from "Should You Hold 'Office Hours'?" by Bill Taylor.