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Maximizing Meeting Effectiveness

According to an article published by MIT Sloan Management Review, “Meetings are a central fact of organizational life.” They can be invaluable as a mechanism to disseminate vision, craft strategic plans, develop responses to challenges and opportunities, brainstorm and gather ideas, and generate higher levels of employee involvement. They key words there are “can be.” So many meetings end full of promise and momentum… and then nothing else happens. Even a skillfully organized and expertly managed meeting can end up being a total waste of time. Why? Because it is only what happens AFTER a meeting that really matters. That is where the proverbial rubber meets the road. So how do you maximize meeting effectiveness? Here is how. Continue reading

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To Meet or not to Meet, that is the Question

“Business” and “meeting” go together like mac and cheese. But most folks agree that meetings are akin to having dental work… meaning that at best it is a painful necessity and at worst an activity to be avoided at all cost. However, when done right, meetings can be effective way to increase interaction, cooperation, teamwork, creativity and connection. The key thing to understand is that there is no one-size-fits-all or ‘right way’ for how companies should handle meetings. It varies depending on company’s size, culture, technical tools, industry, and tasks. Here are some meeting best practices to increase meeting effectiveness. Continue reading

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How Companies deal with “Bad Employees”

Every company hires employees that don’t work out from time to time, for one reason or another. It is unfortunate given the cost to replace employees, but it is normal. There are many reasons why employers may hire employees that, even after extensive vetting, ultimately don’t work out. Lack of real skills. Bad attitude. Idleness. Gossiping. Personal problems. Clashes with management. When it is clear that an employee is just not a good fit for the job, you’d think that the logical next step is to terminate that person’s employment. But, more often than not, business leaders do not let go of bad employees right away. Quite the contrary. Firing is often the path of last resort. Why is that? Is that wise? Continue reading

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Penny Wise and Pound Foolish in Business

An old idiom warns about not being “penny wise and pound foolish.” It cautions against being stingy with small amounts of money while extravagant with larger sums. In business, this would apply to companies that cut corners on small costs, yet spend extravagantly for other expenses of questionable value to the business. But, it might be just as concerning for companies to be overly stingy with big expenditures and lavishly generous with seemingly insignificant expenses that add up. It might not seem like it but it is not good for leaders to be either penny-pinching misers or extravagant spendthrifts. To what extent companies are willing to spend on a multitude of items sends a message to staff. So what is the right balance? Continue reading

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Building a Team with Depth and Backup Support

Businesses rely on employees to make things happen. So, a business is only as good as its people. However, even an organization with a solid slate of masterminds and top producers is not guaranteed to thrive and succeed year after year. That’s because people – unlike robots – get sick, have accidents, change jobs, move, or retire. A stellar company with a cracker-jack team can suddenly lose several superstars and find itself hobbled. Just ask the Golden State Warriors. So how does a company protect itself from instability due to employee losses? Continue reading

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The Biggest Driving Force is a Hunger to Succeed

Companies look at a variety of factors when hiring staff. Skills. College degrees. Certifications. Experience. Test scores. Expertise. Positive attitude. Integrity. But, most companies will put a higher value on one trait above the rest. Which trait that is varies from company to company. For example, Southwest Airlines — a lost-cost airline known for its friendly staff — hires for cultural fit, while McKinsey — one of the world’s most reputable consulting firms — prizes analytic ability and talent. But, the smartest managers will look for something that doesn’t show up on resumes, can’t be measured on tests and cannot be taught or learned. Hunger. To have an employee that is driven, relentless and highly focused, hire someone who is hungry… hungry to succeed.
So, how do you spot ‘hunger’? Continue reading

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Best Advice for Entrepreneurs Starting a Business

People are launching businesses and side businesses in greater numbers than ever before. The economic and technological conditions are ripe for it. But, even in the gig economy, starting a new business is challenging. Each new business presents a unique set of challenges. While there are countless resources on how to start and manage a business, it can still be as grueling, scary and lonely as crossing an ocean alone. For entrepreneurs who accept the challenge, here is advice on what is needed to succeed in business. Continue reading

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Stay in Your Lane, Part 2

In many businesses, evaluating the quality, quantity, or speed of work product is subjective. Often work is evaluated by coworkers and stakeholders who can be fickle and capricious with their assessments. And, in cases where complex or technical decisions or judgments must be made that require expertise, not everyone is qualified to make such pronouncements. It is important for organizations to be clear about what each person is responsible to do and who has the skills and expertise to evaluate work product. Here are some guidelines to ensure each person in an organization stays in their lane. Continue reading

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Stay in Your Lane, Part 1

When an organization or individual fails to respect boundaries and follow rules, there can be consequences great and small. It can affect not only the immediate situation, but it can have broader unintended consequences for an industry or even the public at large. Here is why it is important to respect boundaries, follow the rules and stay in your lane when doing business. Continue reading

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Making the Most of LinkedIn – Part 2

Jeff Wiener, LinkedIn’s CEO, has said his goal is for LinkedIn to have 3 Billion users, become the home of all working professional across the world, and be the central hub for every job posting across an estimated 70 million companies worldwide. This goal is probably achievable. LinkedIn is already the most used social media platform among Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. So it is wise to learn how to make the most of this growing platform. There are things professionals should do… and then there are things smart professionals should NOT DO on LinkedIn. Continue reading

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