Contents

How an Interim Executive manager can benefit a smaller 'owner-managed' business.

Smaller Businesses & The Executive Interim

Smaller Businesses & The Executive InterimIt would be appropriate to assume that the management challenges faced by both the smalleer and medium-sized companies (SME's ) would differ from those faced by larger organisations. It is therefore necessary for 'Interims@ to understand the obvious subtle differences.Managing what you own is a very different experience from managing something essentially owned by someone else. This is referring to businesses in which 'ownership' is controlled by Management.In the SME's the 'Interim Business Executives' face very diffferent pressures and conflicts from those in larger publicly owned orginsations. Key decision-makers in SME's are likely to have to 'don many hats' finding themselves in the roles of employee, owner and director - probably incorporating family roles aswell! Each of these roles will obviously carry with them different agendas and indeed those agendas will conflict.Furthermore the nature of equity participation in smaller businesses differs from that in the bigger business. The Equity itself will be more preciously guarded. Owner-Managers often don't mind sharingthe management - but often draw the line at shared ownership. The larger the business the more options they can shed, as they are not weighed down with emotional baggage, like thos in the smaller sector.It is therefore essential that the 'Managing Executive Interim@ is sensitive to o these conflicts. It might be necessary, before commencement and an 'Interim Executive@ is sensitive to these conflicts. It might be necessary, before commencement that an 'Interim Executive' seeks a proper mandate from the shareholders and that the management understands that mandate - easy enough with one shareholder, but when several are involved it might mean raising and addressing the conflict before commencing the work.Alternatively, because the 'Managing Interim Executive' will not have equity in the business, he is often uniquely well-placed to jhelp that business. He/she would be less susceptible to conflicts of interest, thus an'Interim Manager' can bring more objectivity not available to most permanent executives. They are able, too, to offer precious experience to a situatioon, transferring their skills fromrunning a bigger business to those of a smaller one. Indeed a decent ' "Interim Manager" ' is likely to be more frank and challenging and not afraids of 'rocking the boat' if that what his or her's experince advocates.Smaller businesses are often more volatile than larger ones as their futures can be far more uncertain and they are very much affected by the personalities involved. the larger the organisation, the less likely they are affected by an individual's personality The success can rapidly turn to failure in a small concern and it would, therefore, be necessary on the 'Interim Manager to react quickly; something they would well able to do not having to carry any historical baggage!Resources within a small organisatioon can be tight, even a highly successful one can have trouble with cash; fast growing businesses can lurch from one cash crisis to another, even though they may boast healthy profits. This, initially may pose a problem for th'Interim Managers' as utilising an 'Interim Management' facility can initially appear to be expensive. However the Owner/Manager of the business should be aware that 'Interim Managers' are rarely interested in Equity. In this sense an 'Interim Manager can be inexpensive because Equity long term is very costly. Their skills, knowledge and expertise should be rewarded with cash - by definition the 'Interim' isn't interested in the sort of commitment, apprpriately rewarded by Equity.Thus the problems 'Executive Interim Managers' should be asked to address should be the most important for the future success of the business. Utilising an 'Interim Manager' on the face of it, may appear expensive, but if it's a resource that ensures the business survives, then it is money well spent and of course prove to be very 'cost effective' in the long run.

Quick Quiz - Measure Your Meeting Mastery

Quick Quiz - Measure Your Meeting Mastery

Heres an easy quiz to check the health of your meetings.1) Who leads your meetings? -- a) No one, b) Whoever has the loudest voice, c) A facilitator2) What happens to the ideas in your meetings? -- a) If we had to think of ideas, it would be work, b) We make fun of them, c) A scribe writes them on a chart pad3) Are results obtained in your meetings? -- a) We eat all the donuts, b) And we drink all of the coffee, c) Yes!4) Do your meetings have an agenda? -- a) Is that some kind of cabinet?, b) I saw one once in an article, c) Yes!5) Who attends your meetings? -- a) We have bleachers to hold spectators, b) The entire staff plus any homeless people in the neighborhood, c) Only those who can contribute6) How long are your meetings? -- a) Ill let you know when this one ends, b) All day, c) An hour or less7) During a meeting do you: -- a) Break a foam cup into bits, b) Prepare for the next meeting, c) Focus on the topic8) How soon after the meeting do you issue minutes? -- a) If you think I want to publicize how much time we wasted, youre nuts, b) Within a few months or so, c) As soon as possible, if not faster9) While someone is speaking, do you: -- a) Wonder about the strength of plastic foams, b) Plan a way to change the subject, c) Listen empathetically10) What structured activities do you use in your meetings? -- a) We sit on chairs, b) Everyone leaves at the same time, c) Process tools designed to gather information, make decisions, and manage participation.Score: subtract five points for every (a), mark a zero for every (b), and add five points for every (c).If your total is:* Negative: Go to your boss and ask to be fired* Zero to 20: Stay home* 25 to 35: Attend a workshop* 40 to 50: Congratulations

Retail Management Identifying Each Salespersons Lowest KPI Can Boost Sales By 30%

Retail Management  Identifying Each Salespersons Lowest KPI Can Boost Sales By 30%

Stick with me here for minute its not hard math.There are five retail KPIs worth tracking at the individual Salesperson level: Sales per hour; items per sale; average sale; conversion rate; wage to sales ratio.If you add them all up (individually) and divide by the number of staff you get the store average of each KPI.You can now compare each Salespersons five KPIs to the store average KPI instantly revealing the MOST deficient statistic or undersupplied KPI for each individual Salesperson.Why is it important?Well you are now able to say with perfect clarity that:HAD (employees) average sale of say $69 been at the store average of $114, (employee) would have sold $2803.HAD (employees) "Items per sale" of 1.68 been at the store average of 3.02 (employee) would have sold $3471.HAD (employees) "Sales per hour" of $129 been at the store average of $169, (employee) would have sold $1355.And so onThus, $3471 is the greatest sales increase (employee) could have achieved - the deficient statistic - or undersupplied KPI - being Items per sale.This deduction gives us great insight into what behavior to coach first. In this case its items per sale and the associated behavior correction is either a) (employee) is not adding on, or b) (employee) does not have enough product knowledge to sell companion products. The point is that managers who want to help their Salespeople perform better now know exactly which area of expertise to focus on to achieve the maximum possible performance improvement result.In the case of sales per hour (employee) may be slow at attending customers or taking to long with others. For average sale (employee) probably doesnt have enough product knowledge or does not know how to sell more expensive items.By first looking at the deficient KPI, and then sorting through memorable observations about (employees) behaviors during the week, managers can quickly home in on corrective behavior, in its most appropriate or truthful form.If you track these statistics each week at the individual staff level which implies comparing each Salesperson to the store average you would increase each Salespersons chances of succeeding within their own specific area of need and thereby create an opportunity to increase individual sales by as much as thirty percent.

Innovative Thinking- Can it be done by a team?

Innovative Thinking- Can it be done by a team?

Linux is named after Linus Torvalds, a Finnish programmer. Today Linux is one of the path breaking software which has been recognized all over the world. Linus Torvalds developed Linux all alone, but today since the source code is free to access and change, Linux goes on getting developed further by thousands of programmers working in groups or all alone. Here it was the creativity of one brain which gave birth to a concept. This concept has been developed to its present form by groups of people spread all over, thanks to the Internet.Innovative ideas do start in one mind before taking on the world. The radio, television, telephone, electric bulb etc. all were developed by genius scientists who had the ability and courage to think something different. It is a well known fact that Albert Einstein was the mastermind of the nuclear bombs which US dropped over Japan. It was Henry Ford who innovated the assembly line production of cars. It was after his success with the Model T that all other car companies copied him.It may be argued that in the present world, all development takes place in the labs of huge companies by highly qualified technical staff. But once you pore deep into these teams, will you realize that there is an individual brain responsible for new innovations. It is true in the advertising industry. When a top creative leaves an agency, many clients follow suit with their accounts. David Ogilvy was king of advertising while alive. Today O&M runs on his name. Groups of people when working together have to deal with the whims and egos of each other. Some frequencies simply don't match. An idea which may be innovative and mind blowing for one individual may be a truly rubbish concept for another. The members are then forced to compromise to more conventional and pedestrian stuff. We have well known examples from our daily life. Microsoft founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen took on IBM and soon became bigger than IBM. GE was the brain of Edison. Quite recently in the networked world, most new companies on the Internet, software arena are run by entrepreneurs. Venture Capitalists work on the same concept. They act as incubators- they fund an idea to make it a reality. Original and innovative thinking is revered all over.The fact that people prefer to launch their own businesses and be their own bosses is due to the problems of working in groups or under pressure. Senior executives ignore creative ideas from juniors just because they are less experienced. Innovative thinking then suffers and comes down to a more conventional and acceptable level. It is noting these facts, that business houses all over are trying to have a more horizontal structure where juniors are given more encouragement and given more opportunities to contribute their thoughts.The concept of the single person taking the final decision is age-old since the age of kings. It was the king or monarch who had the final say after consulting his council members, while today we have presidents and prime-ministers doing the same. Amazon started off with Jeff Bezos alone. Today it is called as the largest superstore on earth.

Employee Development: Motivate Employee Participation in Professional Development Opportunities and Improve Performance

When companies think of employee development, they often search for training programs, educational seminars, coaching or the latest book that might offer ideas on what employees can do to sharpen skills or strengthen expertise. However, none of these programs will be effective if the organization lacks one critical success factor: individual motivation. An individual has to want to develop himself before any employee training and development program can be successful. Some say theyre 'too busy.' Some say theyre 'already developed.' Some blame the boss. Some like burying their heads in the sand, afraid of what they might learn about themselves. What can you do to help your employees achieve best performance?Here are some tips to help motivate the seemingly unmotivated and increase your organizations overall performance.1. Target the highly motivated and strong performers. All organizations have individuals who are highly motivated. They stand out more easily. They typically like challenges and welcome growth opportunities for themselves. Engage them in activities to help them get even better. The improved performance of the highly motivated will help raise the bar for your entire organization. Those who are less motivated will have to step up the pace.2. Focus on the future. Rather than concentrate on performance areas that arent working for an individual, talk about possibilities for the future. Its easier to become energized about new possibilities than dwelling on weaknesses. Determine the positive outcome that will occur if a change/improvement is made. For example, you might say, "We can reach more buyers if you can speak more frequently to groups. What can you do to hone your presentation skills to help secure more business?" Help employees keep their eye on the goal, not their ego.3. Open dialogue about desire. Discussions about development should be positive and ongoing -- not limited to annual performance reviews. Let the individual lead. Rather than saying, "Here are areas you need to develop," ask "What would help you build on your strengths or increase your effectiveness?" When a particular approach has been identified, ask for commitment to follow-through. Create a culture where ongoing development is expected, encouraged and rewarded at all levels. 4. Start at the top. Executives should model the commitment to growth and development that they want to see throughout the organization. After all, many problems disguised as "employee development" issues actually reflect leadership deficiencies of the firm or organization.Consider using assessments of some kind to help employees gain a more objective perspective about them. Assessments can be helpful or destructive depending on how they are used. In the end, its all about achieving what both the employees and what the organization wants. Be clear about whats most important to both. An employee development and training program is not something to be checked off on a checklist. The strongest organizations make employee development an integral part of their culture and strategies for success. They constantly seek new and innovate ways to engage their people in development opportunities to achieve best results.

The Power of Employee Recognition

What does it take to truly motivate an employee? What breaks an employee's resistance to showing up on time and lets them work with joy? What makes employees brag about the company that pays them?How do successful corporations succeed in keeping loyal employees? Not by fear or intimidation. Once pressure is applied 'to perform or produce,' either more or better, the average employee becomes less effective.Many employees are completely self-motivated and never need any outside impetus. They are content with fulfilling their own inward goals. Others need some inspiring, positive feedback in order to apply their most creative and heartfelt energies to a job. They need an incentive to feel they belong, to have a sense of identity with the corporation they work for. The desire for recognition resides in all of us and having this need acknowledged is an important part of one's work life.Although an employee is an individual and works as an individual, there is always a need to be aware that the employee is also a part of the whole group, the total corporation, and that each individual is important. When the corporation treats the employees as someone important, the employees will also feel the corporation is important and will feel proud to be a part of its success and growth.The secret of employee performance comes from the awareness by management or peers that a person is doing a great job and then outwardly recognizing that performance. One proven technique is giving corporate awards that recognize the unique contribution that an employee provides. To be powerful, this award needs to be of a lasting nature and something that others will be able to see and recognize. A sincere compliment is always welcome, but material objects such as rings make the difference in employee loyalty. The inspiration received from a corporate gift can transform an entire department. Motivation to do an even better job enlivens the atmosphere.Employees aren't usually going to blatantly ask for recognition. Actually, when singled out for a special award they will appear shy and mutter something about not really deserving it. However, inside they are glowing and are probably having a hard time holding back tears of appreciation -- making acceptance speeches isn't part of one's everyday activity in ordinary corporate life. When an employee receives a reward in the form of a pay raise, the reaction is usually one of relief. "Whew! I actually got it!" When one receives a Safety Award Ring or a Company Ring with a special inscription on it, awkwardness can be expected. The implication, silently stated, is, "You are unique and special! We truly appreciate you." Acceptance of this appreciation is often best expressed with eyes meeting in trust and a nod of the head.The power represented by an award of this type goes beyond the dollar value in a corporation. Without loyal, fantastic employees a corporation doesn't exist. Those who are the life blood of the corporation truly deserve all the awards and recognition that are bestowed upon them.

Summary

How an Interim Executive manager can benefit a smaller 'owner-managed' business.