It's hard to keep pace these days and the pace is getting faster:
"My business is having problems: Should I invest in more technology? Or do I need to look at my business practices and processes first?"
"How can I manage my knowledge base to grow my organization?"
"Where can I get the advice and expertise I need?"
Sometimes a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective can give you a running start--and get you back into the fast lane so you can avoid the speed bumps and potholes and get on with a smooth path to doing what you do best.
This site has a collection of articles, papers, and other information on the topics of Information Technology, Business Process Consulting, Project Management, Knowledge Management, Finance, Education, and Business Management.
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I once finished a engagement with a company that had a difficult time with decision-making. Managers and directors would say to their employees, "I need you to get this this number, or change the system to do this." But they would offer no context on why they needed that number or change.
I've lost count of the number of articles that have come across my feed with titles like, "Reaching out to Millennials", "Understanding your target market", or "What Boomers need." Traditional marketing models are based on carving up the universe of all potential customers into age, race, gender, and income levels. If your product or service can appeal to a large enough subset of this universe with sufficient buying power, then you have a shot at being successful.
The best managers are the ones that add value to the organization. They don't just assign work, make sure people show up for work on time, and tell people when to get their assignments finished. They are also invaluable in identifying how to do work smarter, how to become more productive as a team, and how to align the work their team does and the skills their team possesses with the actual business goals and directions of the organization.
But the longer a manager serves in his or her role, the more likely that fatigue will set in; management will erode to the point where the manager gives up his or her strategic vision and eventually goes through the motion of making sure people show up for work on time, assign work, and make sure that assignments are finished on time.
Wheeler, Michael. 2013. The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World". Simon & Shuster. New York. ISBN: 978-1-4516-9042-2
I'd become acquainted with Michael Wheeler's book some time ago and put it on my professional reading list. When I finally got around to picking it up, it did not disappoint. He maps out his book into four sections:
Probably one of the least enjoyable parts of management is dealing with an employee or direct report who is just not meeting expectations. What makes these difficult discussions so hard is that we often put them off simply because they are so unpleasant. As a result, when we do finally sit down with the person, the discussion either turns into an adversarial rather than a constructive conversation; one or both of us either blows up, talks past each other, or seeks to win the argument rather than solve the problem.
The scenario in our head usually plays out something like this: