Since first crawling out of the primordial slime and starting to walk on its hind legs, mankind has depended on collaboration for survival. Families, clans, tribes, corporations, cities, countries and international bodies like the UN all serve the purpose of, and are dependent upon, collaboration. Almost everything we do depends on collaboration. Almost any system, […]
It was all quite unexpected, but when it happened, it felt completely natural. There we were, all independent business consultants based in three countries. We had never met or heard about each other. Then we were each invited to join this new network called StrongTies[i]. Naturally, we were all curious, but the personal invitations meant […]
Whoever you are, wherever you are, you want to be able to access your information at your convenience. You want it to be easy to find and up-to-date. You want your information in the palm of your hand. One upon a time, you would lug a ‘lap-top’ computer around with you on your travels. You […]
A good mentor can be invaluable in helping you to succeed – in business, in your career or to solve a particular problem. However, many people find themselves mentors who do not have training or experience in mentoring. I was at a mentoring event this week (I was the expert on the panel), and two […]
Mentoring is a powerful personal development and empowerment tool. It is:
- An effective way of helping people to progress their business or careers
- A partnership between two people (Mentor and Mentee) where the Mentor has relevant and useful experience to the Mentee
- A helpful relationship based upon mutual trust and respect
As an experienced mentor, I often get asked this question! There is a lot of confusion about coaches, mentors and consultant. This is my take.
A good mentor can be invaluable in helping you to succeed – in business, in your career or to solve a particular problem. But sometimes you just can’t find one. One solution to this is peer mentoring. One novel approach is speed peer mentoring, where a group of people get together and mentor each other. […]
IT Jargon? Almost all experts in every field have their own terms to describe what they do as a short cut to communication within their own expert group. Unfortunately, they often assume everyone else understands these terms, which they rarely do. No one […]
What is new management? One of the problems with our current approach to management is that we treat team members as objects or just ‘resources’ that assigned to roles. We do this regardless of their individual competencies, personal preference or level of commitment. The traditional approach Many managers attend traditional management training, or have learned from […]
What would happen if you could increase your senior team’s effectiveness by 20%? An effective senior management team will make a great difference to the success of your organisation. If learning to work together is good for junior teams, imagine how much you would gain from a senior team that worked together more effectively? However, […]
A key element of business today is good communication skills. If you have good communication skills then you are able to influence people effectively, motivate them towards their goals and inspire the confidence that you can achieve them. You need to engage well with your colleagues, communicate well with your team, listen to your customers […]
New year’s resolutions can be a bit of a cliche, but this is actually not a bad time of year to take a step back and think about what you want to do next year to make your business more successful. Here are my suggestions:.
As the new year begins, you are probably thinking about what to do to make your business more successful this year. If you liken your business to a great meal, you will need to get all the right ingredients together and then mix together using an effective recipe. For a well risen business, you’ll need: […]
When planning any important activities, projects or the future of our organisations, the historic approach has always been to set long term goals. We determine where we want to be in say, 3 or 5 years’ time, and set our plans accordingly. The problem with this approach is that the pace of change is increasing, […]
Why do you need to share knowledge? Have you ever had the experience of not being able to get the information you need because it was locked up in a filing cabinet in another office? Or the knowledge disappeared with Fred, when he left the company? Or it’s on a system in another country, where […]
You do have a technical succession plan, don’t you? As a business owner, you don’t want to wake up one day to find that your precious, irreplaceable techie has…gone. For many businesses these days, losing a key technical person can spell disaster. Many techies have scarce skills. These skills include not just specialist technical skills, but also the skills in […]
A good mentor can be invaluable in helping you to succeed – in business, in your career or to solve a particular problem. However, many people find themselves mentors who do not have training or experience in mentoring. Do you need to manage your mentor? I was at a mentoring event this week (I was […]
If you grew up with Monty Python, you will be familiar with the expression ‘no-one expected the Spanish Inquisition’! For me, and I suspect for a great many, the successful Brexit vote to leave the EU was just as unexpected. In other words a Black Swan event. There is a theory that people have psychological biases that […]
Creative problem solving works. If you really want to solve a problem, use creative problem solving. This will enable you to harness all those ideas hidden away in your head and in the heads of your team, customers and bosses. If you’re fed up with the same-old brainstorming approach. Try this instead. 1. Set the […]
No organisation can do without a manager of some sort, if it is to survive. An effective manager will save time, effort and costs, and ensure resources, e.g. people, are effectively utilised. In small organisations, the manager is often the overall business leader as well. To be effective as a manager or leader, it is […]
Faster, Higher, Stronger!
Unless you’ve been holidaying on the moon or in a prison in darkest Africa, you will know that the Olympics are about to happen. With just a month to go until they start on 27th July, how are you going to cope with your team members turning up late, going AWOL or being glued to their twitter feed/mobile phone/office TV etc?
Here are some thoughts:
When I tell people I mentor managers, after asking ‘what is a Mentor,’ the next question usually is “what is a Manager”. If you read the various groups here in LinkedIn, you might be forgiven for thinking that a Manager is a poorly skilled, pen pushing, process follower, who is disrespected by his team. But […]
IT Management is easy, right? If only! Although IT has now been with us for many years, we still have a number of misconceptions about how to do IT management effectively. You may THINK you understand what IT people need, but you probably don’t understand them as well as you could. How many of these […]
Are you starting your first management job? Having started out my career as first a building site engineer, then a software programmer, it wasn’t long before I wanted to become a manager. Managers have status. Managers get big pay packages with company cars. I took some time off, and enrolled onto an MBA. The MBA was […]
How important is Entrepreneurship? Economic performance, whether you work in a small company or a large organisation, relies on the ability of people to come up with new ideas and implement them i.e. entrepreneurship. When you are deep in the depths of delivery, it is easy to forget this. We use the excuses that we […]
Kung Hey Fat Choy 恭禧發財- Happiness and Prosperity, in this year of the Monkey. On February 8th 2016, the Chinese year of the Monkey began. Every year is governed by a different animal (in a cycle of twelve) and each animal has different qualities and prospects. The Chinese horoscope tells us that these will have […]
Three and a half years ago, London became the greatest place on earth to be. Why, because we were hosts to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. As a London Ambassador volunteer manager, I was privileged to be part of it. I was based at Heathrow airport for three months and, it was while I was […]
How to manage your information is becoming a bigger and bigger headache. Inside every organisation is a wealth of knowledge just bursting to get out and be shared; with quite a lot of inside people’s heads. This can be fine while they are still there, but you know how it is, someone leaves, and their […]
Innovation is a vital ingredient in raising the productivity, competitiveness and growth potential of every organisation that wishes to survive in today’s fast moving economies. A key part of Innovation is the successful exploitation of new ideas. These can be ideas for products, services or processes. It includes both radical new ideas and incremental changes […]
How do you manage your body language when your team are not in the same office or, indeed, in the same country. One of the challenges of not being able to physically meet is the lack of physical cues in the form of body language. The importance of body language According to some sources, 55% of […]
A good mentor can be invaluable in helping you to succeed – in business, in your career or to solve a particular problem. But with everyone (and their dog) calling themselves mentors or coaches, how do you go about finding a mentor to suit you? First Tip. Just because someone has been successful it doesn’t […]
Some of us are born managers, some of us plan to become managers but many people become accidental managers. Perhaps you started your own business and were so successful that you have employed additional people. Or maybe you were great at your job as an expert, and then someone came along and promoted you to become […]
Who’s got an ebook they’d like to write, has an idea for a ebook or has even written some of it down? At every networking event I go to, I meet at least 2 or 3 people who have. So what’s stopping you? For some it’s uncertainty of what’s involved, for others it’s lack of […]
Be more creative? Only arty people can do that. Right? Wrong! Anyone can be more creative Having worked with hundreds of people over many years, I have often been told this, but have yet to meet anyone who can’t be more creative! With the right support, tools and encouragement, anyone can be more creative. Your […]
Is your project really on track or exactly what you’re supposed to be doing? Perhaps you’re not certain you’re looking at the latest documents. Maybe you’ve been snowed under by a deluge of emails demanding that you do something that you don’t recognise as your task, or you made painstaking changes to a document only […]
Do you sometimes look at the people you work with and wonder why on earth they behave the way they do? Well, by comparing the way worplace behaviour of people relative to the way certain animals behave we hope to throw a little light on why we sometimes find other people’s workplace behaviour, well, bizzare! […]
I often see discussions on the topic of generational diversity and it has occured to me that there is a very real challenge today for managers in the workplace. Managers today may be managing up to five different generations. Each has its own set of expectations of you as a manager. Each may be a […]
Does IT Jargon like BYOD and Big Data confuse you? Almost all experts in every field have their own Jargon to describe what they do as a short cut to communication within their own expert group. Unfortunately, they often assume everyone else understands these terms, which they rarely do. No one will own up to […]
How many times have you heard that? Maybe you have even said it yourself. Imagine what would have happened if the Greeks had said that when they were contemplating how to seize the city of Troy. There would have been no Trojan horse and many more years of misery for both them and the Trojans. […]
Growth Vouchers are a UK government supported scheme for small businesses to get 50% of the cost (up to £4000) of getting outside help to grow your business. The application processes is online, fast and easy to do, and asks for no commitment on your part. You will know almost immediately whether you’ve been successful. […]
Recently, I said that management is dead. Lots of people agreed with me. However, without some sort of management we will descend into anarchy and chaos. What we need is new management, with managers who think and act differently. We need new management with managers who: Think and act like a Facilitator In these modern […]
Experts in almost every field have their own terms to describe what they do as a short cut to communication within their own peer group. Unfortunately, they often assume everyone else understands these terms, which they rarely do. Only a brave person will own up to it , question a term or say “Sorry, I […]
“I hate my manager!” “Managers are a waste of space” “Management is failing” Sounds familiar? One of the problems with our current approach to management is that we treat team members as objects or just ‘resources’ to be assigned to roles regardless of their individual competencies, personal preference or level of commitment. Many managers […]
The Chairman smiles, and announces the next speaker. It’s you! They read out the introduction you wrote for them (check) and the applause starts. Your first power point slide pops up on the huge screen behind you. You smile and begin… For most of us, making a presentation can be a nerve wracking and daunting […]
All professionals in every field have their own words to describe what they do as a short cut to communication within their own expert group. Unfortunately, we often assume everyone else understands these terms. No one will own up to it of course for fear of sounding stupid. No one will question a term or […]
We all want more time! Time management is something we all wish we were better at but, in these frantic times, this is often very hard to achieve. Here are ten tips for busy managers: 1. Write stuff down Time management means taking notes. No-one’s memory is perfect. Everyone forgets stuff, especially when stressed. If […]
You’re attending an important conference. The speaker is explaining all about the businesses goals and strategy. It is complex and the slides are confusing and, as they talk, your hand rises hesitantly to your face as you try not to yawn. Your feet start to scuffle, and there is a soft shuffling sound as you […]
“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” John F Kennedy. 1961 It is hard to imagine the impact of this bold statement, looking back from our vantage point of the next […]
It was a monday, and for the first few moments of my arrival into the office, it seemed an ordinary day. The sun was shining, our receptionist smiled as I walked towards the lift and all seemed calm. As I set down my briefcase next to my chair and turned on my laptop computer, I noticed a small huddle of people a few desks away. Murmurs of ‘…where’s the data?…’ and ‘…it doesn’t appear to be there…’ reached my ears.
by Jacqui Hogan These are a selection of common management problems that seem to come up over and over again. Managing innovation Q: “My ideas never seem to get anywhere because of bureaucracy and an aversion to risk. How can I persuade other people that new ideas are not always dangerous and can actually be […]
GrowthAccelerator is the premier service that helps ambitious businesses achieve rapid, sustainable business growth. It provides you with government funded support to help you grow. GrowthAccelerator will help you: Build a successful business growth strategy Discover new routes to funding and investment Unlock your capacity for Innovation Harness the power of your people GrowthAccelerator will […]
Catastrophe avoided! I was reading an article today by Daniel Priestley about his experience of running a Catastrophe Report. It all sounds very good, but it still relies on your team knowing the processes and ‘pinch’ points. These can often be very helpful and are fun to do, but often miss critical risks. It occurred […]
Ecollaboration is not just simply a set of tools, a methodology or a mechanism for getting something done in a particular way. Ecollaboration has its own special identity, and involves approaching a number of business challenges with a new thinking model.
Before looking in detail at how to successful ecollaborate, we need to separate some facts from fiction.
50% leadership and management consultancy grant I have just been approved as a Growth Voucher Adviser via a government backed £30 million small business support scheme. This means that you can work directly with me for three months, including a series of 1-2-1 meetings to discuss your leadership and management strategy, approach and processes. The […]
What the difference between Leadership and Management? It’s often said, that a leader does the right thing, while a Manager does things right. Does a Manager need to be a Leader then? In our current times of rapid technical and social change, both inside and outside organisations, managers need to be effective change managers. To […]
UK Government pays 50% of the cost of using a Consultant!
I’m pleased to confirm that I have been approved to provide support under the new government grant ‘Growth Vouchers’. This will pay up to £2000 towards business advice, which you have to match. You can only use this with approved advisers. This is available to any small business with less than 50 employees and who has not paid for business advice in the past 3 years.
Effective networking can make a huge difference to your career prospects, both inside and outside your current role. Managers with good networking skills are seen as valuable to their organisations by bringing new knowledge and ideas. The ability to network well is an essential leadership skill – it adds value to you and your organisation. People who know how to network well have access to people, resources and information that will help them solve problems and create opportunities. This will enable you to enhance your value to your organisation and increase your access to potential opportunities outside your organisation.
On the twelth day of Christmas, my manager gave to me: twelve monthly one to ones Finally, even though you may see your team members every day and think you know what they are doing, almost all of them will appreciate a little ‘you’ time. It doesn’t have to be long – an hour is […]
Before you think ‘this must be another hoax’ , unfortunately it isn’t. I’ve seen this nasty attack twice in the last week, and the effect is nothing short of a disaster. The first you will know about it having got onto your system will be:
• You open a file, and find it is gobbledegook
• You get a large red message telling you that your files are now all encrypted, and you must pay a $300 ‘ransom’ for the unencryption code within (usually) 72 hours.
Are you indispensable? No! Picture the scene. You are still in the office fixing problems late into the evening. You took your mobile phone on holiday, even though your wife said ‘no work this time darling or I’ll leave you/go on my own next time/drop your phone in the swimming pool (you choose)’. You may […]
As an experienced manager and management consultant, I’ve seen a whole range of management problems. Here are a few tips to help you with some of the more common questions. Please feel free to add to the list via comments. If you need help with a specific problem, please Email me. All email correspondence is treated as strictly confidential.
I’m often asked, what is collaboration? According to the dictionary, collaboration is where two or more people or organizations work together to realise shared goals. Collaboration enables you to share skills, experience, tools, knowledge, ‘clout’, resources etc. Done well, it can save you time and money, and get you more business faster. There are lots of different ways to collaborate and over the next few weeks, I’ll be looking at the different ways you can collaborate and benefit your business.
Management is the art of getting the best from your team, without getting in the way of allowing them to use their skills to produce the best results. This is especially true if they are IT people. Before I became a manager, I used to be a Techie. I trained in the details of software […]
We live in hard times currently, with our teams of people struggling with no pay rises, limited bonuses (unless you’re a banker ) and longer hours – just to keep our businesses afloat. If you’re the manager of a team, you will know that a motivated team is a more productive team!
Here are some key ways you as a Manager can motivate YOUR team to better performance:
Where’s my team?
With all the technology we have available these days, you would be forgiven for thinking that managers would welcome a request from a team member to work from home in a more flexible way. But, as you have seen from recent news from Yahoo and others, even companies who spend a lot of money on making remote working possible, are now pulling people back into the office.
Management is the art of getting the best from your team, without getting in the way of allowing them to use their skills to produce the best results. This is especially true if they are highly technical or senior professionals.
We all want better business management, but when was the last time you took a step back to think about what you want to do to make your business more successful? Here are are few ideas to consider:
According to the dictionary, collaboration is where two or more people or organizations work together to realise shared goals. According to the dictionary, collaboration is where two or more people or organizations work together to realise shared goals. Collaboration enables you to share skills, experience, tools, knowledge, ‘clout’, resources etc. Done well, it can save you time and money, and get you more business faster.. Here are some key considerations to making collaboration work
by Jacqui Hogan There is lots of stuff written about the key success factors in selling, but they all boil down to these: Focus on the customer It’s very easy to get so enthusiastic about your products, services or even you ideas, that you forget about that very crucial person – the customer or buyer. […]
by Jacqui Hogan Why set goals? Goal setting is used by Olympic athletes, successful business managers and almost all high achievers to give them a clear long-term vision of what they want to achieve. Goals create motivation and help build your confidence. Goals should be clear As far as possible, define the goals in […]
London 2012 was considered to be huge success, both in terms of our athletics prowess and ability to recruit and manage a vast army of volunteers.Managing such a large army of volunteers is a huge challenge. Especially when most of the Managers were themselves volunteers. There is much talk of our legacy, but what can we learn as managers from how the volunteers were managed?
This is what I learned from being a volunteer Manager.
We all talk about the importance of Innovation; that you should focus on new ideas, new services, new markets etc. But, in our enthusiasm, often forget that the monetary benefits can take a long time to come to fruition. So should we, instead, focus all our efforts on conserving our existing business? In the current economic climate, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of focusing only on short term survival. Sure, for some of us, this IS the only option. But without investment in the future, in your next great product or service, there will come a moment when there is no more business, because the rest of the market has moved on.
by Jacqui Hogan As a self confessed ‘girl geek’, when Social Media Networking came along, I couldn’t resist getting involved. However, as my time spent on the different media started to get longer and longer, I decided that I had to have a strategy for how I used it. After talking to many different people, […]
Some managers are born, some are made and some shouldn’t ever be let near a team, ever!
You can get training, but if more than a few of the following apply to, then you should seriously consider whether management is for you!
Crowd looking upMost of us would really rather not have to have meetings, but they are hard to avoid.
If, like me, you attend lots of meetings where you come away thinking ‘what was that for?’, then the following tips may help you to run your meetings more effectively.
A manager’s listening skills are key to team building, motivation, creating enthusiasm and mutual respect.
Through good listening skills you acquire information, enabling you to identify and clarify issues, make decisions, resolve conflict and be creative.
We humans often think of ourselves as superior beings; the only beings capable of rational thought and invention. So I was intrigued to read in Times recently that far from being bird brains, crows are actually quite bright.
Thames Valley Chamber HR group recently asked me to present on the topic of non monetary rewards, as an introduction to a ‘table discussion’. Some of the key messages are summarized here:
We live in hard times currently, with our teams of people struggling with no pay rises, limited bonuses (unless you’re a banker ) and longer hours – just to keep our businesses afloat. If you’re the manager of a team, you will know that a motivated team is a more productive team!
Continuing the theme of motivating people without having to spend too much money, here are 5 key ways you as a Manager can motivate YOUR team:
Effective Managers take time to review what is going well and what could be improved going forward without assigning blame. They know that assigning blame kills motivation and shuts down the improvement process. They also know that a simple and sincere ‘thankyou’ to individuals in the team makes all the difference. For more about this […]
Effective Managers seek to understand the motivation and skills of every individual in their team. They create teams that make the most of these individuals and create an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding. For more about this habit and to read my book about the 7 Habits of an effective manager
A manager’s listening skills are key to team building, motivation, creating enthusiasm and mutual respect. It’s very easy for a manager to assume that they know everything, and that everyone understands what they mean. For more about this habit and to read my book about the 7 Things Remarkable Managers Do .
Effective Managers will know what the wider business priorities are, and will be able to judge whether an ‘urgent’ request is actually important, or whether it can wait. And be able to manage those who can’t tell the difference. For more about this habit and to read my book about the 7 Habits of an […]
Managers are responsible for the achievements of other people – their team. You are not there to DO, but to produce results via your team. This also means you need to involve your team in agreeing the goals at the detailed level, but it is your job to create the mission and ensure that you […]
Effective managers do not wait for someone to tell them what to do. They anticipate and act before chaos reigns down on the team. For more about this habit and to read my book about the 7 Habits of an effective manager
Poor managers mean spiralling costs, lousy performance and miserable people. Here are some of bad habits to watch out for (and what to do about them!) This isn’t you……or is it? Bad Habit #1 – Going through the motions Bad Managers aren’t very self-aware. They wait to be told what to do and how to […]
As some of you know, I belong to Toastmasters, and often do speeches there on a variety of topics. Last night, I did a speech about ‘the effective salesperson’, which seemed to hit the spot, so hopefully, you will find it useful too. There is lots of stuff written about the key success factors in […]
Successful innovators know that not all new ideas will work first time, or even at all. They allow for failure and manage ideas in a way that doesn’t have a serious impact on their day-to-day business. I always remember what a director of a very innovative technology company said to me once. ‘If you aren’t […]
Most small businesses are very good at what they do, but often don’t have all the skills necessary to implement a great idea. Successful innovators don’t let this put them off, and are not afraid to collaborate with other companies that do have those skills. They also know that exchanging ideas with businesses in other […]
Now you may be thinking ‘hey, innovation is a creative process, surely it should be free and open?’ But ideas need managing, assessing and reducing to the best ideas. Some of them will appear, at first glance, to be completely inappropriate. But without an objective process, you may miss the best . Successful Innovators know […]
Successful innovators know that great ideas don’t just come from R&D departments, but from people working on the ‘front-line’, customers, suppliers, even competitors. These are the people who are likely to know what the problems really are. They also know that the more ideas there are, the more likely one of them will be great. […]
It’s amazing how self deluded inventors can be! Which is really sad…
In a very rash moment yesterday, I have decided to post a new idea every working day on twitter until I reach 101.
Effective Project Managers seek to understand the motivation and skills of every individual in their team. They create teams that make the most of these individuals and create an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding.
Many projects fail because the Project Manager cannot flex their plans to account for changing business priorities. Effective project managers listen to the business, ask questions to clarify whether the changes are business driven and then agree the impact accordingly. Effective Project Managers spend time walking in the businesses shoes. Some Project Managers believe that […]
Following lots of requests to see what we do, we have set up a YouTube channel called CocreativeVideo. We are aiming to film a selection of the Workshops/Seminars Jacqui runs, so you can see what these are really like. You can also see these on the relevant pages as embedded videos. So far we have: […]
Projects can often be a warzone as the project manager tries to hold onto the plan at all costs against the enemy project sponsors and scope creeps! Many of us derive our self worth on the basis of what we win. The trouble is that a winner means there is also a loser.
Effective Project Managers spend time and effort to understand what is important and plan accordingly. Effective project managers know that early success in a project builds confidence in everyone involved. Effective project managers know that a coherent approach to change management can make the difference between project success and project failure.
All project managers define goals, but effective project managers make sure these are defined clearly and that they understand them unambigously at every level. They make sure they don’t just understand the words, but the meaning and impact of the goals and what the results should be for the business.
You could start by…