Tag Archives: Management tips

One obvious way to improve business that you’ve probably missed

A friend of mine used to have a dog that loved chasing squirrels. The problem (for the dog) was that he was incredibly bad at catching them. I remember watching as that dog chased squirrels up the tree, and then proceeded to bark at the top of the tree…while the squirrel ran right down the tree, past the dog, and out of the yard.

Although the squirrels were right in front of his face, that dog never caught them. Why? He was so focused on where he thought they were, he couldn’t see what was right in front of him.

You may laugh at the dog (or applaud the squirrels), but I see a direct connection with many businesses today. Businesses are busy chasing their own “squirrels”–They search for more customers; They hunt down new business partners; They frantically look for new ways to get ahead of the competition. Continue reading

When trusted IT workers go bad

Save MoneySecurity is a hot topic right now. It seems like I hear about a new data breach or hacking attempt every week.  But, while we usually hear about the external attacks, the internal attacks (which typically go unreported) are far more dangerous.

What happens when (seemingly) good IT workers go bad? That’s the focus of this interesting article on Computerworld.com. It highlights a few different cases, and gives some good tips on how to avoid it in your company. Continue reading

5 tips for avoiding management mistakes

ProductivityAs a manager, do you sometimes have trouble with employee performance? Do you sense dips in motivation from time to time? Before confronting them, first analyze your management methods. Leaders have an enormous effect on employee productivity.

How can leaders negatively impact their employees? I recently read a great article in techrepublic.com that lists “5 tips for avoiding management mistakes.” If you mistakenly participate in any items listed, you may be harming employee productivity.

How about you? Can you add any management mistakes that may harm productivity?

How to survive and thrive during a downturn

Save MoneyI’d like to share a story about two very similar companies in the same line of business. When the economy struggled last year, one company cut back and laid off workers. The other company started a new service that helps people who have upside-down mortgages. Which do you think is doing better right now?

I realize that this example doesn’t apply to every company, but I mention it to make a point: When the economy shifts, opportunities shift as well. Many businesses tend to take a very defensive approach to economic problems. They cut back, cover their heads, and wait for the problems to blow over. Continue reading

10 unusual ways to cut costs in the office

Save MoneySaving money around the office is a tricky topic because saving money often results in lower morale. In order to save money, managers often remove employee perks and other items that employees enjoyed.

For example, I know of one company that stopped buying donuts for the weekly staff meetings in order to save money. Another company removed tea and hot cocoa from their lunch room. Are these savings enough to offset the decreased employee morale? It’s debatable. Continue reading

14 ways to kill creativity

Save MoneyDo you feel like your company lags behind the competition? Do you feel like you’re struggling to keep up? I’d like to tell you about the secret key to innovation. It’s something that every company has: Employees! Specifically, your employee’s ideas are a great way to fuel innovation.

Every company wants to think that their corporate culture fosters new employee ideas. They want to think (or at least say) that their employees are their best asset. Here’s my question: What do the employees say? Continue reading

5 tips for becoming a better leader

EducationWhat makes a good leader? I see some companies who assume a good leader is someone who is very smart or who is very good at their job. Not necessarily. While it’s definitely possible, a great employee does not always translate into a great leader.

A leader inspires others to be better. A leader improves their employee’s productivity. A leader sets a good example. Continue reading

8 ways to keep your best workers on board

Save MoneyThe impending NBA free agent signing season has dominated the sporting news over the last month, at least in Chicago. Can the Cavaliers keep Lebron? Where will all the high-priced, high-talent players land? As a Bulls fan, I hope they all come to Chicago. (As a realist, I know they won’t.)

I think this situation is very similar to the business world. Every company has high-performing workers that they hope to retain. The difference between the NBA and business: In the business world your highly talented workers aren’t under contract. They can leave whenever they want. If they do leave, you stand to lose productivity and even money, depending on their responsibilities. Continue reading

Leadership lesson: Let go to succeed

ProductivityI’m curious: If I held an informal survey, how many managers would describe themselves as “micro-managers?” How many of your employees would describe you as a micro-manager? If you are a micro-manager, is that a bad thing?

You might look at micro-managing as an annoyance or a personality trait. But you may not realize just how much harm it causes. I believe micro-managing damages your business in a few ways: Continue reading