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If we always do, what we’ve always done…

If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always have, what you’ve already got

We know the quote, yet so many people in business and in life continue to do the same thing time after time after time expecting a different result.

I remember vividly joining the army.  I was a couple of years older than the majority of other lads joining into my platoon that September morning, as I’d already completed 2 years at college rather than joining straight from school.

I’d lived in my own flat, earned and managed my own money; I’d be independent for a few years already and thought I had a ‘head start’.

However there is a specific way to do everything in the army, from folding blankets to brushing your teeth, from ironing, shaving, polishing boots and walking EVERYTHING had to be taught to us as a ‘body of men’.

There is also the phrase “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” but the Army were adamant they would try anyway, and so rather than teaching ‘kids’ straight from school what an iron was, I had to unlearn everything I’d previously done, to then learn the ‘right’ way of doing things.

It’s funny that when we learn something, or often teach something to ourselves, we find A way of doing it that works for us, but then become so entrenched in that being the ‘right’ way that we defend it to the hilt whenever challenged without considering whether a different way might actually be easier, less time consuming, less costly and simply BETTER!

I’ve learnt over time to subscribe to another well know quote:

Before you have an opinion, walk a mile in the other persons shoes

At least your then a mile away, AND you have their shoes!!!

Never be fearful of change, its actually the new constant!

Management Vs Leadership

Leadership and management must go hand in hand. They are not the same thing. But they are necessarily linked, and complementary. Any effort to separate the two is likely to cause more problems than it solves.

Still, much ink has been spent delineating the differences. The manager’s job is to plan, organise and coordinate. The leader’s job is to inspire and motivate. The Author Warren Bennis composed a list of the differences:

  • The manager administers; the leader innovates.
  • The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.
  • The manager maintains; the leader develops.
  • The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.
  • The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.
  • The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.
  • The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
  • The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader’s eye is on the horizon.
  • The manager imitates; the leader originates.
  • The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.
  • The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.
  • The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.

Perhaps there was a time when the calling of the manager and that of the leader could be separated. A foreman in an industrial-era factory probably didn’t have to give much thought to what he was producing or to the people who were producing it. His or her job was to follow orders, organise the work, assign the right people to the necessary tasks, coordinate the results, and ensure the job got done as ordered. The focus was on efficiency.

But in the new economy, where the value comes increasingly from the knowledge of people, and where workers are no longer undifferentiated cogs in an industrial machine, management and leadership are not easily separated. People look to their managers, not just to assign them a task, but to define for them a purpose. And managers must organise workers, not just to maximise efficiency, but to nurture skills, develop talent and inspire results.

The late management guru Peter Drucker was one of the first to recognise this truth, as he was to recognise so many other management truths. He identified the emergence of the “knowledge worker,” and the profound differences that would cause in the way business was organised.

With the rise of the knowledge worker, “one does not ‘manage’ people,” Mr. Drucker wrote. “The task is to lead people. And the goal is to make productive the specific strengths and knowledge of every individual.”

Outside of my role as international speaker and author of both Battlefield2Boardroom, The Road to Utopia and #ADDAZERO.  I am also the founder of My TrueNORTH the Ethical Coaching Consultancy.  We work with business owners to significantly and sustainably grow them and their businesses.  For a complimentary success strategy call, just email Enquiries@Mytruenorth.biz

7 Steps to Effective Communication

Effective communication is an important part of business success. To establish good business communication, it helps to have a blueprint of the 7 C’s of effective communication. You can use your list of communication “C” words to create efficient communication at all levels of your company, and to help make interactions with customers more effective as well.

In business it pays to get to the point quickly. Effective business communication uses concise and straightforward language that gets the point across completely and in a manner that encourages efficient action.

Complete

Plan your business communication carefully so you get all of the information to your recipient the first time. If you leave out important information in your initial correspondence, that will cause a series of problems that will take time to repair

Conversational

It is important to present your information in a conversational tone that invites interaction, rather than a confrontational tone that can cause an argument. Effective communication presents the information in a manner that is not emotional but instead professional.

Clear

With a business communication, you sometimes get only one chance to make your point. If your information is misunderstood, you may not have the opportunity to correct it before it escalates into a problem. When you present your information, be sure to do so in a clear voice that allows every word to be understood.

Considerate

When speaking to business associates or customers, always open the conversation to questions and clarifications. When you finish a statement, allow a moment for the other person to ask a question before you go on to your next part. When you answer a question, be sure the answer is understood before moving on in the conversation.

Confidence

An air of confidence in your conversation helps add credibility to your information. Present your data with a clear and commanding tone that indicates that you know the subject you are speaking about and that the information being presented is valuable.

Check

Always check your data and facts before giving a business presentation of any kind. You may have useful ideas, but if they are accompanied by incorrect information, the power of your ideas is lost.

Outside of my role as an International Keynote speaker and author of this book, I’m also founder of the Ethical Coaching Consultancy, My TrueNORTH.  We work with business owners to help them overcome the hurdles they are currently facing to enable the significant and sustainable growth of both them and their businesses.

Having won a Global ‘Big Impact to Business’ Award as a keynote speaker specialising in the Clarity of your communication. I’m often billed as the speaker thats combats your conversion communication.  To learn more simply email Enquiries@MyTrueNORTH.Biz and ask about our complimentary coaching call offer.

4 Step Business improvement process

The demand to improve your business continues to increase as expectations change, new technologies emerge and competition grows. An effective way to establish continual improvement within your organisation is to conduct regular Business process improvements (BPI)

Business processes can be informal or formal and touch a variety of company functions: information technology, employee development and training, customer service satisfaction, etc. Regardless of the process you are trying to enhance, the improvement procedure follows a similar path. Today we will cover the four steps in the business process improvement cycle.

1) Identify the Need for Change: The first step in the BPI process is to identify the need for change. A useful way to discover improvement opportunities is by conducting a process audit. The audit will identify current issues or potential risks for your company. From the audit report you will be able to prioritize your areas for business improvement. At this stage, you should also review how each process impacts your organization, resources and stakeholders (employees, customers, students, partners, suppliers, etc.).

2) Analyze Current Process: Once you have decided which process you are going to improve you need analyze the current procedure. This way you can fully understand the process from A-Z and set realistic improvement objectives. Regardless of the tool you choose for analysis (process mapping, operational surveys, cause/effect analysis, etc.)  you should consider the following questions:

  • What in the process is broken?
  • Which steps in the process create roadblocks?
  • Which step requires the most time to complete?
  • Which step causes the most delays?
  • Are there any steps that cause costs/resources to go up?
  • Are there any steps that cause quality to go down?

3) Obtain Commitment and Support: The third step in the process is to solicit senior management commitment. This is possibly the single-most important element in the process as the success of the project hinges on managerial support. At this stage you need to clearly present the necessity for change and how it impacts the organization. It is crucial that management understands the need for change to ensure they will support recommendations. As process improvement can be time and resource intensive upper-management support is a must.

4) Create Improvement Strategy: With the process analysis phase completed you need to develop your strategy. It is recommended that you include what steps in the process are broken, why and how they should be improved and any financial and resource implications. Answering how the process can be improved is a springboard to create your improvement objectives. It is recommended that you set realistic and measurable objectives that align with your overall strategic goals.

So how robust is your current system? You need to have the assurance that if ANYONE or EVERYONE didn’t show up tomorrow, a brand-new team could follow a series of instructions and the wheels of commerce would keep on turning!

We use an online based system named Touchstone to facilitate all our systems and processes, you can visit them to see more by clicking here: Touchstone

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Copyright © 2016 - Jay Allen | jay@jayallen.uk | www.facebook.com/JayAllenUK/