Posts Tagged ‘Strategy’

Week In Review: Oct 24 – Oct 30, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on October 31, 2010

3 Ways to Save money and Increase Productivity

by Matthew Carmen, Oct 25, 2010

Save money and increase productivity need not be an oxymoron, especially in the IT department. But if that strategy starts with cutting the labor force, it will be detrimental to the company. Matthew suggests several ways to achieve these seemingly conflicting goals and some of them may be applicable to your situation. more…

Chaos and Complexity #7: Black swans, Randomness and your Career

by Gary Monti, Oct 26, 2010

If you believe in sustained stable outcome in complex situations, you will be doomed. Chaotic systems (like our life and career) have deterministic, interrelated rules producing nonlinear, unpredictable results. In order to be successful in your career, you need to practice a form of cognitive dissonance and learn to carry two streams of thought simultaneously : What is the best outcome and what is the worst outcome. more…

Social Media and Tribes #18: Better than Google

by Deepika Bajaj, Oct 27, 2010

Every tool has its purpose and each tool has its strengths and weaknesses. Once you get accustomed to using a tool, the tendency could be to to use it for purposes it is not effective for. Google is great when you need information, but it may not relate to your situation. That’s where your friends can come to your aid on Facebook! more…

Flexible Focus #25: Assessing your situation with a Mandala SWOT analysis

by William Reed, Oct 28, 2010

The SWOT Analysis model is originally attributed to Albert Humphrey from his work at Stanford University in the 1960s and 1970s. This gives you more clarity, but risks leading to 2-dimensional or checklist thinking. A better way to go beyond is to use a Mandala Chart. You can start by using the downloadable A-frame Mandala SWOT Chart. more…

Cloud: A truly nebulous term

by Marc Watley, Oct 29, 2010

The term “cloud” is one of the most over-used technology terms in recent times. We have been using the so called “cloud” for a long time. Think about Yahoo!, Hotmail, Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. So what exactly is the meaning we are trying to convey when we use “cloud”? The answer is simply “on-demand”. more…

Week In Review: Oct 10 – Oct 16, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on October 17, 2010

Developing your financial management talent

by Brian Superczynski, Oct 11, 2010

IT financial management has not evolved into a discipline with its own academic programs and certifications. In addition to learning on the job and tailoring programs for your organization, ITIL and PMI courses/certifications will help. But the first step is to recognize this as a  unique area that needs to be developed in your organization. more…

Chaos and Complexity #5: Chaos vs. Complexity

by Gary Monti, Oct 12, 2010

When patterns emerge in chaotic environment, adaptation happens. This is called complex adaptive behavior. This is driven by self organization. The hallmark of emergent, complex adaptive behavior is it brings about a change from the starting point that is not just different in degree by in kind. more…

Social Media and Tribes #16: LinkedIn gets a local makeover in India!

by Deepika Bajaj, Oct 13, 2010

India’s economy is growing by leaps and bounds and it’s professional class is utilizing social media to keep up. Brijj is the local equivalent of LinkedIn, but it has some local twists. more…

Flexible Focus #23: Manners make the man

by William Reed, Oct 14, 2010

Some of the Japanese traditions from the Edo period are still relevant. It shows how to live with respect, culture and style. In this article William has a short list of some key aspects of the Edo manners. You can also download the EDO SHIGUSA MANDALA to start integrating Edo Manners in your life. more…

Worry and Anxiety – Can we really overcome them?

by Vijay Peduru, Oct 15, 2010

We worry about a lot of things. But if you carefully analyze those worries, you will realize that more than 90% of them are needless. Worries only lead to bad situations like relationship problems are health issues. Overcome your worries by understanding that worries are stories we invent about a future situation. These stories will more than likely never happen. On a positive note, invent a good future situation and deliberately think about the good things that will happen in the future. more…

Week In Review: Oct 3 – Oct 9, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on October 10, 2010

Project Leadership #1: 7 Ways to have a kickass kickoff!

by Himanshu Jhamb, Oct 4, 2010

A project manager’s real purpose is to provide CLARITY to a project. That happens when all the stakeholders are on sync regarding the purpose and outcome of the project. Project kickoff is a golden opportunity to provide this CLARITY to the team. If you follow Himanshu’s tips in this article, you can make your project kickoff purposeful and it will lay the foundation for a successful project. more…

Chaos and Complexity #4: Push on or Regroup?

by Gary Monti, Oct 5, 2010

A hallmark of a complex situation is unpredictability. One doesn’t know where things are leading. That’s why the situation is “complex” or worse yet “chaotic”. A good project manager (PM) should enable the team to identify possible solutions that will help eliminate the complexity. That’s just the first step. Coming up with the right schedule, dealing with the politics, etc can put the project at risk. Ideally the PM should avoid these situations by staying with reality. more…

Social Media and Tribes #25: A tribe of foodies – Connecting food to life

by Deepika Bajaj, Oct 6, 2010

Still in India, Deepika has been exploring the various tribes. Food is an integral part of the culture, but the tribe works differently. Food is not a standalone interest, but it is tied with other local flavors like Bollywood and roadside stalls. more…

Flexible Focus #22: New degrees of freedom with a digital mandala chart

by William Reed, Oct 7, 2010

Owning a car does not preclude you from using your feet. Similarly, you can print out a Mandala Chart and use it. Or, you can access an online program to create, save and share them. http://www.mandalachart.net is an eMandala Chart website that you can leverage. more…

Alternate Sales Partnerships #4: Ways to keep a healthy sales relationship (Part-2)

by Tina Burke, Oct 8, 2010

When the head of Sales in an organization changes, there will be radical changes. The new person will shake things up. This may lead to loss of revenue for agents. So, it’s very important to have good contracts and have them reviewed by attorneys. It may not be cheap, but in the long run it will help save tens of thousands of dollars. more…

Week In Review: Sep 26 – Oct 2, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on October 3, 2010

Doing what is Right Vs. Being the Best

by Brian Beedle, Sep 27, 2010

Is it good enough to do the right thing? Certainly not. We as individuals and companies should constantly strive to be the best in our fields. This is necessary to survive in the highly competitive times we live in. For individuals it takes patient parenting from a young age and mentoring as adults to gain this ability. Companies achieve this via Six-Sigma, ITIL, etc.  more…

Chaos and Complexity #3: Managing Expectations

by Gary Monti, Sep 28, 2010

Project managers out there… this article is for you. When a project encounters a rough spot, the project manager is held accountable. Anybody expecting projects to be smooth and trouble free is living in utopia. But there are certain things which if you do consistently, you can manage such situations gracefully. more…

Social Media and Tribes # 14: Taking Dinosaurs Online

by Deepika Bajaj, Sep 29, 2010

Deepika is not irreverent when she uses dinosaurs as an analogy for our older generation. In fact the opposite is true and it is out of fondness for them. The past few decades has seen tremendous progress in technology and it has been especially tough for the older generation to keep pace with. But still they are a hardy bunch excited to adapt with the times and open up to social media albeit slowly and cautiously. more…

Flexible Focus #21: The 8 frames of life: Finances

by William Reed, Sep 30, 2010

Peter Drucker observed that people who chased money were all utterly miserable, without exception. Money should be part of the plan, a means to an end, not an end in itself. So pick a career in something you love and have some talent in. Then understand how economics is tied to everything else. You can do it if you view it with a flexible focus perspective. William’s Mandala chart can help you do it easier and better. more…

Alternate Sales Partnerships #3: The Sales Contract

by Tina Burke, Oct 1, 2010

Direct sales teams are expensive to maintain. Alternate sales teams do not cost any money up front. But there are challenges with either one. It may be an effective strategy to employ both channels, but there are thing you need to be aware of when you choose this path. more…

Week In Review – Aug 29 – Sep 4, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on September 5, 2010

The Tale of two budgets

by Brian Superczynski, Aug 30, 2010

Creating and presenting the annual IT budget is a real challenge that can sometimes be compared to a dark Charles Dickens novel. How the budget is presented is the key to bypassing the “worst of times” but IT and finance organizations are not known for their marketing or communication skills; it’s just not in the DNA of either group. The solution is providing clarity and transparency, translating the ongoing costs of previously approved investments and providing options. more…

Character and Personality #9: Negotiator

by Gary Monti, Aug 31, 2010

It is a challenge to create a common bond between different people wanting different things. Some want to work on a bleeding-edge project, others want money, still others want as much personal time as possible, etc. Humility, courage and competency are “must-haves” for leaders to successfully negotiate between the desires of key stakeholders. more…

Social Media and Tribes #10: Facebook and low self-esteem?

by Deepika Bajaj, Sep 1, 2010

Any new technology has its detractors and naysayers. When it comes to social media, there is more than a fair share of them. But don’t let them determine your practices. Using Facebook effectively benefits you and your community and it is not a sign of low self-esteem. more…

Flexible Focus #17: Determine your destiny

by William Reed, Sep 2, 2010

The biggest thing that stands between you and your destiny is not something outside of you, but the fear, uncertainty and doubt in your own mind which saps your energy. Energy is the great multiplier, and the real measure of your strength. In this article, William has listed some practices to increase your energy level, which will enable you determine you destiny. more…

A simple strategy for a good life

by Vijay Peduru, Sep 3, 2010

Our life is completely governed by the stories we deeply believe in. Most of the times we never know that these stories dictate our life i.e. they are hidden to us like a blind spot while driving. If we try to change our behaviors without understanding them (the root cause), we will not be successful. So, how do we recognize our stories? more…

Week In Review – Aug 22 – Aug 28, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on August 29, 2010

4 steps to effective Disaster Recovery planning

by Marc Watley, Aug 23, 2010

IT executives today are, in fact, increasingly faced with the threat of disasters – whether natural or man-made. As organizations – and their customers – increasingly rely on database, server, and IP-connected applications and data sources, the importance and responsibility of maintaining continuity of the business infrastructure and limiting costly downtime in the event of a disaster, is paramount. Read this article to get a high-level, best-practices overview of the DR planning process. more…

Character and Personality #8: Competency

by Gary Monti, Aug 24, 2010

A good leader is also a good politician, one who finds a way to thread through a situation to reveal a path that, when followed, benefits the common good. Competence pulls technology and sophistication together so that one person can meet another person’s needs, i.e., a connection comprising the humanity of the stakeholders who need and commit to finding a solution that works. more…

Social Media and Tribes #9: The fear factor

by Deepika Bajaj, Aug 25, 2010

Even professionals who have gone through many technological innovations in the past don’t find the idea of being transparent and authentic over social media too appealing. They were worried about identity theft, making a wrong impression on a potential employer and above all were overwhelmed by the friend requests on Facebook. These are valid concerns, but not an excuse to avoid social media.  more…

Flexible Focus #16: The decision trap

by William Reed, Aug 26, 2010

Ambiguity causes anxiety in those who are inflexible, and creates possibilities in the minds of the people who have flexible focus. Tolerance for ambiguity drops when you have to make a decision. Urgency adds pressure, and when the decision affects the core areas of your life, you can feel as if you are lost in a labyrinth of choices. Your decision sets the wheels in motion, whereas with indecision the wheel turns without you. Read about the Six Criteria for Decision Making to stay in motion and steer the wheel. more…

Investment Value

by Steve Popell, Aug 27, 2010

In a previous post, Business Valuation in Divorce is Different, Steve discussed why Investment Value is more appropriate in the context of family law.  But, this method is not just for divorcing couples.  In any situation in which the party acquiring an interest (or a greater interest) in a company will become (or continue to be) part of the management team, Investment Value is often the most appropriate method.  Read this article to find out why. more…

Week In Review – Aug 15 – Aug 21, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on August 22, 2010

4 tips for selecting the right consultant

by Brian Beedle, Aug 16, 2010

Vendor selection process can be an arduous, time consuming, and stressful task.  Receiving quotes that run the gambit of the budgetary spectrum, deciding which product will give your company the biggest bang for the buck and wondering if saving a dollar or two is really worth the frustration of finding the “right partner”.  Every Project Manager has dealt with these issues. In this article, Brian lists some key points may provide some clarity and assist with narrowing the decision-making process when seeking a value-added business partner. more…

Character and Personality #7: Courage

by Gary Monti, Aug 17, 2010

Tiger Woods’ difficulties with his swing and Mark Hurd’s (HP’s CEO) inability to fill out expense reports correctly can be traced back to complexes. In a very public way they both show how trying to succeed simply by ego has limits and the desire to be complete as Self will, when denied, erupt and wreak havoc without any regard to the consequences. more…

Working Hard – Still no progress?

by Vijay Peduru, Aug 18, 2010

According to most economic historians, the Industrial age ended about 20Yrs ago in 1989 when the Berlin wall came down and the internet came up. In the industrial age, working hard meant, using our body and working long hours i.e physical labor. The easiest way to do hard work in the post industrial age, is to love change, train ourselves to love challenges and question the status quo all by using and exerting our mind. more…

Flexible Focus #15: Karma and Connections

by William Reed, Aug 19, 2010

You reap as you sow. Therefore if we want to achieve positive results, you need to think, speak, and act positively. There is also collective Karma, which is often thought of as collective fate, but more constructively can be interpreted as collective action. Things are connected in ways that are not always obvious. Even when the connections are not obvious, it is possible to take small actions which use the butterfly effect to create good Karma. more…

A diverse workforce: The smart thing to do

by Robert Driscoll, Aug 20, 2010

Diversity in the workplace should not be limited to race, gender and age, but differences of views and personalities as well. If this diverse workforce is guided properly, they will share their unique knowledge and discuss their differences rather than what’s common between them. This will lead to generating innovative ideas that could potentially change the marketplace you are in. more…

The Foundation Principles of a Leader

by Robert Driscoll on July 14, 2010

In my last post, I talked about the pillars of success to help start your venture.  In order to make sure that the pillars stay up, you have to have a solid foundation, which are the principles of the leader.  These principles are: integrity, credibility, attitude, teamwork, excellence and vision.

In order to become a leader, you must have integrity.  Without integrity, you won’t have any followers.  Your integrity is your brand not only within your company, but in the marketplace with your customers as well.  As a leader, you are constantly building it and making it better.  You create, maintain and build your integrity throughout your career, but it only takes one unethical act to destroy it.

As you build and improve your integrity, you start gaining credibility not only within your organization, but with your customers as well, as you keep and fulfill on your promises.  You can’t have integrity and build your credibility without the right attitude.  You need to know how to build people up and help them overcome challenges and go above and beyond to not only create opportunities but create success as well.  An organization with smart people with the right attitude in an organization will go much farther than an organization without.  Sounds simple, but great people with the right attitude are the hardest, and most important, assets to find in a business.

A leader with integrity, credibility and the right attitude with a group of people following them who also have the right attitude must be able to create a teamwork environment.  Employees who are able to effectively work together allow a company to accomplish tasks and meet goals that would be very different, if not impossible to do, as individuals.

Being the leader of a company, you must strive for excellence.  You should constantly push to improve your product and services in the marketplace.  Not only listen to your employees recommendations, but more importantly, your customers as well.  Use these recommendations to continually improve your products or services.

In doing all of this, don’t forget about your company’s vision. Always remember it and ensure that your colleagues and employees practice it, believe in it and share it with your customers.  As a leader, you must be able to not only share the vision with others but also make sure it its being followed and practiced.

We all have skills and capabilities that help our organizations, but none of us are perfect.  If you can master most of these, along with the pillars of success, you will not only be an effective leader, but will create a company with effective employees helping you build a successful business.

Week In Review – Jun 20 – Jun 26, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on June 27, 2010

3 Steps to making the Outsourcing choice

by Matthew Carmen, Jun 21, 2010

It is now rare to find a company, of any size, that hasn’t outsourced some portion of their IT functions.  This could be as small as an application or as large as the company’s entire IT department.  If you’re considering outsourcing within your own organization, Matthew’s article will help you think through the next steps in detail.  more…

Leadership and Mythology #7: Zeus, Greed and Change

by Gary Monti, Jun 22, 2010

Being greedy can lead to disastrous results. Nurturing your network and cultivating abundance is critical for sustained success and peace of mind. Greed and its consequences show up in Greek mythology. The lessons are quite relevant today especially in a complex, chaotic business world. more…

Social Media and Tribes #3: Mob mentality

by Deepika Bajaj, Jun 23, 2010

Contrary to popular conventions about the Web opening minds, people are more likely to read information or participate in social groups that reinforce what they already believe. A tribe can show dramatic increase in the undesirable action compared with doing nothing at all, because it demonstrated that lots of others engaged in the behavior. But if your message to your tribe is right, you can make positive change happen.  more…

Flexible Focus #7: Inside the lines

by William Reed, Jun 24, 2010

Thinking outside the box is a synonym for creativity. Although this metaphor has captured the popular imagination, the real challenge is to engage in applied creative thinking that solves real problems. Just like tennis is a game that is played entirely within the box, the most exciting and productive creative work is often produced and performed inside the box. In this article William explains how to use the Mandala chart to expand your thinking and stay within the lines.  more…

Author’s Journey #27: Building relationships with your readers

by Roger Parker, Jun 25, 2010

It is increasingly obvious that the whole point of writing a book is not to sell books, but to build long-term and profitable reader relationships. Consider your book the core of your long-term self (or business) marketing plan. In this scenario, your book becomes the hub of a relationship-building strategy that begins long before your book appears and continues for years afterward. more…

The Model Leader

by Robert Driscoll on April 28, 2010

In its simplest term, a leader is someone who people choose to follow.  They influence others to do things and there is a difference between managing people and leading people.  There are certain characteristics that make someone a model leader, which I will list below, but we don’t need to have all of them.  If you have a good understanding of most of these characteristics, you can become a model leader.

Operate with honesty and integrity.  This is the most important characteristic and the foundation for a model leader.  People who work for you need to trust you and should want to work with you.   Without this foundation, everything else is irrelevant.

Execute efficiently.  You need to know how to formulate a plan and put measures around your plan.  You have to be able to take data and measure your plan and understand why you accomplished it or know what went wrong.

Demonstrate financial savvy.  It is imperative as a business leader to understand profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow statements.  In business, this is how we keep score.  More importantly, as a model leader, you need to know how to explain these statements to others.  If you don’t understand them, you can’t be effective in business.

Strive to optimize the end-to-end value chain.  A leader needs to develop and nurture not only the people in their organization, but partner organizations who can contribute to your organizations success.  While you need to have a team with your same values, inside and outside of your organization, you need to continually work to make them better.

Develop and nurture the organization.  As one moves up the corporate ladder, this area becomes more important.  It is important to not lose sight of what your front line employees do.  Spend time working directly with your teams and help them grow and prosper.  This in turn will help you grow and prosper.  As a leader, you need to be focused on making sure you have the right people in the right positions while helping them develop the right skill sets to help them prosper and grow.

Think independently and critically. Don’t just be a “yes” person, but don’t  always get in to fights with your colleagues.  Pick your battles and when your views differ, have data to back it up.

Practice situational leadership. Know and understand your dominant leadership style but also pay attention to the situation at hand and be able to effectively articulate what you need.  You might need to be able to act in a manner that is uncomfortable for you but is necessary to get the job done.

Communicate effectively.  Make sure that your message is clear so that it’s not misunderstood.  The last thing you want is to have the task not completely correctly.  Take your time.

Like what you do. If you don’t, then think about where you can be more effective.  Be up to the challenges that you are faced with in your job every day.  Be excited about it.  Negative energy spreads quickly.  Be positive and like what you do, otherwise move on.

The marketplace is always changing which requires you to constantly adapt.  As you work on improving these characteristics, before you know it, you will stop being a manager and will become a model leader.