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Delegation for Business Leaders – How Letting Go Works*

To create the time for the specific role of a leader, as much as possible of the day to day delivery must be handed over. This level of delegation is very important, not only to create the space for the leader to develop visions and longer terms strategic goals, but also in encouragement of key individuals who will both be challenged by new activities, but will also be developed for the future benefit of the organisation. A leader's role is to focus on those areas of operation where he or she ...more

Communicating CEOs

I see a PR firm has done a survey on the amount of time Canadian CEOs spend on communication, and found they spend almost half of their time on communication. I think we're supposed to be impressed that CEOs spend that much time on communication. But, quite frankly, what else does a CEO do? And, if you consider both direct and indirect communication, wouldn't that be more like 90%? So, what do CEOs do, and how much of that involves communication of one kind or another? Well, they make decisi ...more

Why Write Down Your Ideas?

Whether you're a manager, professional, or entrepreneur you need to think ahead. When you do it in a formal sense, it's called it planning, when you do it informally it's something like speculating. Whether you're planning or speculating, the exercise represents just the tip of the iceberg. For the plans or scenarios to amount to something, they have to be implemented. In turn, that usually involves other people. Which takes us to the subject of communication: How do you convert those ideas i ...more

Secret Grant Money!

The art of researching, writing and being awarded grants has evolved into a competitive sport in recent years. There is one area, though, that gets very little attention. These are the corporate grants that are offered by thousands of large and mid-sized companies around the United States and the world. Did you know that Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, and Allstate Insurance all offer grants? It's the same with Microsoft, Sears and Sprint. The list is ridiculous, and many completely overlook the immen ...more

INSTANTLY UNCOVER YOUR CORPORATE CULTURE

Best Definition of "Corporate Culture" If you ask 10 people to define "organizational culture," you will get 11 different answers! Fortunately, from my consulting and writing on leadership and organizational change, I created my definition of organizational culture: "Corporate culture is how every employee knows she or he must act – even if no one is watching." Knowing your company's culture proves crucial for multiple reasons, including: + Only organizational changes that fit into your c ...more

Alcohol and Events

Naturally alcohol is an important part of many events. People associate having a few drinks with relaxation and enjoyment. Obviously participants must not drink before taking part in dangerous activities, particularly motorised and shooting events. All insurance companies specify that no alcohol at all is taken before or during any such events. It is impossible to police a situation where people are allowed 'one or two' so usually soft drinks or tea and coffee is provided during activities. Wh ...more

Dialogue vs. Discussion

Have you ever sat in a meeting where everyone is busy giving their point of view and trying to prove why they are right? Where no one is actually listening or trying to understand other individuals' points of view. The alternative meeting format is where everyone listens to and agrees with the meeting leader. No one contributes or adds ideas, they are just compliant. In my experience most meeting are either one or the other. But when you think about it, what is the point of most meetings? Mee ...more

Activities vs Results

You have two employees, one that comes to work early and is always the last to leave. They always seem to be busy rushing here and there. The second employee doesn't ever work late unless asked to and really doesn't seem to be that busy. If you had to choose one, which employee would you rather have in your company? In my opinion, the amount of activity they seem to be doing tells me nothing. I am not interested in how much an employee runs around and how many hours they work. What is importan ...more

What is the CMMI?

WHAT IS THE CMMI? The CMMI is a model for improving and appraising the performance of development organizations. It stands for "Capability Maturity Model Integration". It is published and developed by the Software Engineering Institute in Pittsburgh, PA. The CMM (the original version of the CMMI) was originally commissioned by the American Department of Defense to help them qualify software vendors' capabilities. From there it quickly evolved into a powerful tool to guide process improvemen ...more

Chunking the Routine Essentials

Chunking a large project into small parts is a great way to tackle an overwhelming project you keep putting off until a large block of time is available. The problem is - that opportunity seldom presents itself in your busy schedule. Chunking is an effective method for getting these large tasks done. Small business operators can apply this chunking idea to small routine tasks that tend to accumulate until some crisis forces them to use a block of time better applied to other activities. Small ...more

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