Archive for category Management

CE#681: The Evolution of an Organization (OrgOrgChart)

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CE#524: Sales Analysis Charts in Excel – 78 Alternatives (Chandoo.org)

Recently, I ran a contest asking you to analyze a bunch of sales data and present your results in charts. We received a total of 78 charts from 45 people. The contest entries had a mind-boggling variety of excel charts, techniques and ideas. It took me a while to go thru all the files and compile the results. Thanks for your patience. In this post, you can find all the charts along with my comments & links to download files.

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CE#410: The Twelve Attributes of a Truly Great Place to Work (HBR Blog Network)

Think for a moment about what would make you feel most excited to get to work in the morning, and most loyal to your employer. The sort of company I have in mind would:

  1. Commit to paying every employee a living wage. To see examples of how much that is, depending on where you live, go to this site. Many companies do not meet that standard for many of their jobs. It’s nothing short of obscene to pay a CEO millions of dollars a year while paying any employee a sum for full time work that falls below the poverty line.
  2. Give all employees a stake in the company’s success, in the form of profit sharing, or stock options, or bonuses tied to performance. If the company does well, all employees should share in the success, in meaningful ways.
  3. Design working environments that are safe, comfortable and appealing to work in. In offices, include a range of physical spaces that allow for privacy, collaboration, and simply hanging out.
  4. Provide healthy, high quality food, at the lowest possible prices, including in vending machines.
  5. Create places for employees to rest and renew during the course of the working day and encourage them to take intermittent breaks. Ideally, leaders would permit afternoon naps, which fuel higher productivity in the several hours that follow.
  6. Offer a well equipped gym and other facilities that encourage employees to move physically and stay fit. Provide incentives for employees to use the facilities, including during the work day as a source of renewal.

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CE#385: Do you have the right leaders for your growth strategies? (McKinsey Quarterly)

Is there a link between growth and specific leadership traits? We’ve tried to shed some light on this question by integrating two unique databases: McKinsey’s granular-growth database, with information on the growth performance of more than 700 companies, and a database created by the executive search firm Egon Zehnder International that contains performance appraisals of more than 100,000 senior executives (see sidebar, “Two unique performance databases”). The overlap between the two databases—a group of 5,560 executives1 at 47 companies across a broad range of industries2—allowed us to examine in detail the relationship between leadership competencies and revenue growth. We found that leadership quality is critical to growth, that most companies don’t have enough high-quality executives, and that certain competencies are more important to some growth strategies than to others….

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CE#382: Customer Loyalty Programs That Work (Working Knowledge HBS)

Published: July 27, 2011
Author: Maggie Starvish

The customer rewards cards that clutter wallets and clog key chains of many a shopper may soon be no more, as retailers move from physical to digital (read: mobile apps) forms of loyalty program member identification. It’s a smart decision. Unfortunately, it’s one of the only smart decisions retailers are making when it comes to customer loyalty schemes.

“Loyalty schemes are not being used to their best advantage”

“Most retailers are at a very basic level in how they use loyalty programs, and many customers see loyalty programs as punitive,” says Harvard Business School senior lecturer José Alvarez. “Loyalty schemes are not being used to their best advantage.”

Fortunately, there’s hope. Retailers that do rewards programs right can see “incredible loyalty,” says Alvarez.

In the case note Customer Loyalty Schemes in the Retail Sector, Alvarez and coauthor Aldo Sesia, a research associate at HBS, discuss how loyalty schemes evolved, what they look like today, why so many retailers aren’t using them effectively, and how they can be improved to win customer business in an uncertain marketplace.

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CE#380: Top 30 Must-See Movies for Business Students (Bloomberg/BusinessWeek)

Business Through Hollywood’s Lens

By Kiah Haslett

For Hollywood, the world of business can be a vehicle for many kinds of stories, from morality tales to conspiracy theories to David-and-Goliath fables. Celluloid heroes and villains illustrate the best and worst of human nature and in the process, tell us a little something about greed, management, even capitalism itself.

With that in mind, Bloomberg Businessweek asked deans at the top 30 U.S. business schoolsto name their favorite movies with a business theme or lesson and to explain their choices.

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CE#348: Nine Things Successful People Do Differently (HBR Blogs)

1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals.
Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”) Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

4. Be a realistic optimist.
When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good.
Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

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