The People In The Process

The People In The Process

Featured, Process
To get the most out of your business, you need to have processes in place. Manuals that explain how to do each part of your business so that whoever does the job can deliver high quality results to your clients. The problem with that is that all people are not meant for all processes. You may have written down step by step how to do books, but you still don't want someone who isn't good with numbers performing the task. Putting the wrong person into a process will give you bad results. It's also bad for the person in the process. People twist themselves into knots to deliver if the process does not work with the skills and behavioral traits that they have. That causes stress, burnout and miserable employees…
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3 Work Skills That Are Useful At Home

3 Work Skills That Are Useful At Home

Featured, Process
Is your home life more chaotic than your work life? If so, you’re not alone, and some of the skills you use in your job can help. Planning and scheduling. Do you struggle to finish your personal to-do list? Block out time in your calendar for the things you need to get done (even mundane tasks like laundry and errands). You’ll feel more in control and more productive.Decision making. is about understanding how your actions affect other people. To improve, pay attention to how your colleagues react to things, and ask yourself (or them) what could be behind their behavior.Putting people first. At work, would you idly check your phone while a client speaks? Of course not — and our families deserve the same respect. Try to give people your full attention at…
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At Your Next Meeting, Use a Shot Clock

At Your Next Meeting, Use a Shot Clock

Featured, Process
Tired of being in meetings that drag on and on? It may sound unusual, but the answer is a shot clock, much like the ones used in professional basketball. Here’s how it works: Before a meeting, explain that you want to devote a certain amount of time to each agenda item. If you’re leading an annual budget review and have 10 investment proposals on the table, say, “We’re going to spend exactly 5 minutes discussing each topic. Speakers will have two minutes to present, followed by three minutes of discussion.” If different topics warrant different amounts of time, try to determine that in advance. Then set up the shot clock — a smartphone timer works nicely. It should buzz (loudly) when time runs out and keep buzzing until people stop talking. While it’s…
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Putting Things In The Right Order Matters

Putting Things In The Right Order Matters

Featured, Process
In school there are courses that have prerequisites. The reason is that the courses build on each other. To get the most out of the second course, you must have completed the first. To get the most done you have to consider the order in which you are doing it. Many projects have several parts where later parts rely on the first ones being completed. When planning an event, you don't advertise an event before a location is secured. More commonly, organizations take on projects that could succeed, but fail to fix problems first, which dooms the project. For example, a project is started before budget shortfalls are fixed. This makes the costs of the project, which would have been manageable, too much for the organization to bear. Make sure…
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Your Favorite Holiday Tradition

Your Favorite Holiday Tradition

Featured, Process
Think about your favorite holiday traditions. Whether it has to do with gift giving or what you have for dinner or who you spend the holidays with, that tradition evokes an emotional response. It brings up memories of past holidays and good feelings in general. A holiday tradition is comforting. What is a tradition, though? It's something you do every year in a specific way to achieve a specific feeling. In other words, it's an operational process. You do the same thing, feel the same way, and get the same results year after year. That's exactly why you should be creating processes for your business. The same feeling of comfort that you get from your holiday tradition is felt by your client when they get the same level of service,…
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How Clean Is Your Bathroom?

How Clean Is Your Bathroom?

Featured, Improvement, Process
The bathroom tends to be one of the most overlooked areas in a business. This also makes it one of the most telling places. Your bathroom tells a lot about how you do business. The bathroom represents the attention to detail. Is it clean? Is it pleasant to be in? What about the storeroom? The coat closet? These aren't areas that people think of as having to be presentable to customers, but it says a lot about your business if they are. If you are paying attention to all the little things, the big things are done better. If your filing system is impeccable, when a customer calls with a problem, you'll be able to find all the information they need quickly and effectively. If your customer feels secure that…
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The Key To Success Is Action

The Key To Success Is Action

Featured, Improvement, Process
For many years, books like The Secret have popularized the idea of the law of attraction. The idea that putting your thoughts out into the universe to create results is a compelling one. It is also an important way to maintain a positive mindset. However, despite what many books and coaching programs would have you believe, it is not a complete solution. It is the starting point, not the end point. Putting your thoughts into the universe is useless if it is not followed by a strategic plan to achieve your goals and the action necessary to implement that plan. You can think that you want more customers all you want, but if you don't let people know about your business, no customers will come. Your positive mindset and visualizations…
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Be Prepared To Adapt How You Get Things Done

Be Prepared To Adapt How You Get Things Done

Featured, Improvement, Process
by Eric Lopkin In the military, there is a concept known as the commander's intent. The commander's intent succinctly describes what constitutes success for the operation. It includes the operation's purpose and the conditions that define the end state. The purpose of this is another military concept that says no plan survives contact with the enemy. It is understood that the details of an operation may have to change once it is underway. The important factor is what needs to be achieved. Your business is the same way. The best laid plans may go astray once they have to contend with real world conditions. When creating a process, you must clearly define what you are trying to achieve. Then be prepared to change the way you get there as conditions warrant.…
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Know Your Why

Know Your Why

Featured, Planning, Process
by Eric Lopkin Business people focus the majority of their energy on what they do and how they do it. The most important part gets lost. That part is why. Why you do what you do is the most important part because it decides the what and how. Why allows you to connect with people on a visceral level. Why you do what you do is not to make money. If the only why you can focus on is to make a profit you might as well close up shop and take a job flipping burgers. You'll make money doing that. Why is your mission, it is your vision, it is why you get up in the morning. It is what inspires you. Simon Sinek's book "Start With Why" explains that…
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Keep Security In Mind

Keep Security In Mind

Featured, Improvement, Process
by Eric Lopkin The internet and cloud software have made it easier for business to operate. However, that convenience comes with a cost. While monetary costs are spread out to make it easier for business to use these services, every one of them comes with a security risk that has to be taken into account. Google recently announced that there was a security flaw in Google+ that allowed access to their systems. That flaw could conceivably have given hackers access to you Gmail accounts, Google Docs, and other software that you are using for business. While Google is far from alone, the fact that their systems (including Android and Chrome) are all geared to collect data makes them a tempting target for hackers to steal your information. The same goes…
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