Posts Tagged ‘www.activegarage.com’

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: Sep 19 – Sep 25, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on September 26, 2010

Retaining employees: Structuring a Stock Appreciation Rights program

by Steve Popell, Sep 20, 2010

Stock options have historically played a key role in helping retain key employees. Their attractiveness has taken a considerable hit in the past few years. But a Stock Appreciation Rights (SAR) program can achieve the same purpose with few drawbacks if any. Here is what you need to know to have an intelligent conversation with a professional to implement a SAR program. more…

Chaos and Complexity #2: Fun house mirrors and strange attractors

by Gary Monti, Sep 21, 2010

Strange attractors distort systems. If not addressed they can damage or destroy the system. A good visual metaphor for strange attractors is a fun house mirror. Capitalistic economies thrive because of strange attractors. Something new and different is always coming out. For example, a team can be working well and following project principles when – bang! – a competitor with a new product shows up and changes the game.. more…

Social Media and Tribes #13: Social tribes connecting Youth

by Deepika Bajaj, Sep 22, 2010

Deepika is currently visiting India and witnessing the phenomenal impact of Facebook driven social networking in India’s capital city Delhi. Fueled by ISAC (India Study Abroad Center), students from all over the world come here to study. They become a member of a tribe based on their needs and circumstances, enabled by Facebook. more…

Flexible Focus #20: The Principle of Optimization

by William Reed, Sep 23, 2010

You can deal with a problem or crisis in two ways. First is Plan, Do, Check, Action (PDCA). This is the fire fighting approach. Though not suitable for emergencies, the better approach for most situations is CAPD (Check, Action, Plan, Do). This method focuses on understanding the root cause and so will help create long lasting solutions. Flexible Focus enables this and Mandala Chart facilitates flexible thinking. more…

Alternate Sales Partnerships #2: Ways to keep a healthy sales relationship

by Tina Burke, Sep 24, 2010

Tina’s company has had a good partnership with a client. It’s been a fairly stable environment with the same key players in place, good commissions and together they had great clients. Everybody was happy. But still, going into the sales convention, they are welcomed by the new VP of Channel Sales introducing a new program. And that’s because the past program was unsustainable. Who would have known? Stay tuned for next week’s installment from Tina to find out what happened. more…

Week In Review – Sep 5 – Sep 11, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on September 12, 2010

The trap of entertainment!

by Himanshu Jhamb, Sep 6, 2010

It is common practice to get together and bitch about things because it is entertaining. What good does it do? It will be beneficial to everybody if we can engender something positive in these conversations. more…

Character and Personality #10: A simple honesty

by Gary Monti, Sep 7, 2010

What others observe with a leader who shows integrity regarding the character and personality traits discussed in previous blogs is a simple honesty. While the need for this simple honesty increases, achieving it is a daily challenge. You can achieve this by practicing moral and emotional integrity. more…

Social Media and Tribes #11: Leverage the language of the tribe

by Deepika Bajaj, Sep 8, 2010

During her recent visit to Spain, Deepika had a new observation of what a Tribe is in the context of Social Media: A Tribe is a set of people who communicate in the same language in any given conversation. Language is important for nurturing and maintaining your social media tribes and so leverage language to empower and engage your tribe! more…

Flexible Focus #18: Engage visual thinking

by William Reed, Sep 9, 2010

A picture is worth a thousand words. Similarly, it is simpler to have a set of pictures to help keep our Mandala in focus. In this article, William has assembled images that can help you recall and recreate new ideas around the central theme. more…

Forget Project management. Let’s talk Project leadership!

by Himanshu Jhamb, Sep 10, 2010

There is a difference between managing a project versus leading a project. Leadership is out there… it screams responsibility and accountability. It is about reaching out and getting what you need to get the job done, fearlessly. This give an introduction to the genesis of this series. Over the subsequent posts, Himanshu will share his journey of how he transformed the way he did things in various areas… and will share the challenges, the fears & the situations. 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…

Week In Review – Aug 1 – Aug 7, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on August 8, 2010

Integration: Keys to the successful merger of companies

by Matthew Carmen, Aug 2, 2010

Companies merge to increase profits through increase efficiency. But according to CNBC, nine out of ten mergers do not fully meet the goals of their acquisition. The main task that takes place in successful integrations is proper reparation within operational areas. This includes putting together processes and procedures that will need to take place to reach the corporate goals. In this article Matthew describes how he participated in a merger at a large entertainment company and what contributed to its success.  more…

Character and Personality #5: Don’t pull that trigger!

by Gary Monti, Aug 3, 2010

Sometimes you don’t want to confront your fears and uncomfortable situations. This causes blind spots into which organizations can fall an disappear. Instead of taking short cuts and jumping to action we should explore options, analyze our assumptions and manage risk. more…

Managing a project requires actions

by Guy Ralfe, Aug 4, 2010

Just because the project has a plan does not mean we simply have to conform to it. A plan is created when certain realities are true. But as the project is implemented, things change and new realities open up. We need to constantly update our plan and make adjustments based on changes that occur through out the implementation phase. Guy sites an example from his recent experience in this article. more…

Flexible Focus #13: Finding focus in the frames

by William Reed, Aug 5, 2010

Creativity happens much better when you are in your favorite cafe than when you are in your cubicle. Even better, the Mandala Chart offers a fresh approach that helps you find focus in the frames. Once you understand the value and attraction of working with the Mandala Chart on paper, you can increase your skills and improve your results with practice. Here are 8 steps that can help you get started.  more…

Author’s Journey #33: 7 Keys to Profitable Special Events

by Roger Parker, Aug 6, 2010

Last week, Roger discussed some of the ways authors can attract profitable speaking invitations. In this week’s article he takes the idea of “speaking for profit” to the next level, which involves creating, marketing, and producing special events like conferences, seminars, and workshops. more…