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For a driver, a blind spot is an area not easily seen. It may be the area the mirrors miss, either beside or behind the driver...or is simply forgotten by the driver. Accidents occur when the driver changes lanes and there is another car in their blind spot. As humans (and executives!), we have blind spots in our lives and businesses as well, and these blind spots cause all sorts of trouble.

Blind Spots -- (If you don't check your mirrors, you're going to crash)

Blind Spots -- (If you donFor a driver, a blind spot is an area not easily seen. It may be the area the mirrors miss, either beside or behind the driver...or is simply forgotten by the driver. Accidents occur when the driver changes lanes and there is another car in their blind spot. In some cases, the other car is hit or forced to take evasive action and possibly causes a bigger accident. Anatomically, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, says: In anatomy, one's blind spot is the region of the retina where the optic nerve and blood vessels pass through to connect to the back of the eye. Since there are no light receptors there, a part of the field of vision is not perceived. The brain fills in the gaps with surrounding detail and with information from the other eye, so the blind spot is not normally perceived.As humans (and executives!), we have blind spots in our lives and businesses as well, and these blind spots cause all sorts of trouble. A senior manager brought us in to work with her team. Her vision was a high-performing team that was efficient and happy. What she had was a group of people fighting, missed deadlines, and employee turnover. And each saw themselves as a "victim" of somebody else's misbehavior. As a first step, we gave her team leadership assessments which showed their strengths, weaknesses, and communication styles, then helped her team see their blind spots. One person in particular, "Jim", caused a great deal of dissention because he had his own way of doing things and was unable to see (or accept) there were also other ways to accomplish the task. By forcing his style on others, instead of working together, the team members became sullen and frustrated. After we did some exercises to clarify the team blind spots and prove the power of hearing and validating everyone's ideas, her team started working together. Let's take this idea away from the workplace. In an orchestra, one person playing slightly out of tempo can destroy the beauty of the music. When everyone plays at the same tempo and plays the proper notes, beautiful music is created. A blind spot in this case is when the off-tempo person believes they are right and refuses to follow the conductor. Sometimes the answer is to work directly with the individual; sometimes they have to be removed. So how do you know where your blind spots are? Blind spots aren't bad--they simply exist. Once you find your blind spot, you can put a "mirror" (process) in place to make sure it doesn't cause you further trouble. The following is a list of typical blind spots (you'll probably want to add others from your own experience.) As you think about each item, ask yourself, "How does this cause me grief?" "How does this get in my way or slow me down?"Not listening to another person's complete statement and jumping to conclusions about what they were going to say. Looking at a situation and immediately judging it as "right" or "wrong" before getting all the facts (Judgments create a blind spot - automatically!)Impatience with people who like to talk or talk too muchFrustration with people who are less conscientious, systematic, conservative and task-oriented than youTolerations...which are the little things that cause momentary irritation you are meaning to "fix". For example, a broken chair, messy desk, chronically losing keys, etc.) Rushing those who have a more patient approachLooking at your own needs and not asking others about theirsQuickly labeling situations or peoplePutting up walls against feedback (especially "negative" feedback)Understanding yourself, the way you think and react under pressure, is crucial to getting an accurate idea of your blind spots. Start by asking these questions:What is my behavior style and how do I handle problems, people, pace, and procedures?How does my behavior style work or not work with my teams styles?What are my values and how am I motivated?What comments and feedback do I hear from others? What do I do with it? What feedback am I ignoring?

Being An Executive Is Not Just A Look.

Being An Executive Is Not Just A Look.

When I think of an executive I think of powerful looking man in a sharp suit making large business deals with international big-wigs. I think of bank accounts in the Carribean and 2nd homes in Italy. I think about the dark limousines and the power ties and golfing with the president or a powerful person in Congress. I think of Martinis and big cigars and lawyers and secret memos.Why do I think all these things about being an executive? Well the movies of course and why not believe the movies? They are real right? Well as usual that statement couldnt be further from the truth. Being an executive involves way more than all of this and often doesnt involve those things mentioned above. So what does being an executive really involve? Well I want to talk about that and do some realistic guessing (I have never been one myself) about what it takes to be an executive.The life of an executive is actually a life that is filled with sacrifice. Often times people have sacrificed many, many hours working hard in a cubicle, burning the midnight oil just to get ahead in the rat race. Once they are ahead there work doesnt slow down it is increased because you are constantly on the go in order to maintain you place of power.Power is an interesting word too. You have power as an executive but it is the power to move a company in the right direction. You dont really have the power to move the company in the wrong direction as an executive because as soon as the boat begins to lean the board of directors or whatever you want to call the governing body of a company will be on your heels hounding you until you either get the company going back in the right direction or resign.The vacations in the Caribbean and the golf outings with important people are kind of misleading as well because you are not doing those things as often as a normal employee may have the opportunity because you dont have time. You are such a slave to work as an executive that vacations and time spent with family are wishful thinking.It is these two last things that are perhaps the biggest argument against becoming a big-shot executive in a large company. That is being a slave to your watch/day planner and being a stranger to your family. Life after all isnt worth living if you cant enjoy the fruit of your labor and form meaningful relationships with people that love you.

When It Pays To Use Incentive Programs

When It Pays To Use Incentive Programs

Non-cash incentive programs and fringe benefits can have a powerful influence on attitudes, which should in turn improve results. You can give employees the greatest incentive program, but by impairing a sense of ownership in the organization. If you dont know what kind of incentive programs to employ so as to motivate your people to work and increase productivity, here are some tips that you can use: 1. Sharing the shares. Use share schemes as an incentive program to reward people for contributing to team success. An employee who sees his or her efforts rewarded in company shares will, in theory, identify with the company, be committed to its success, and perform more effectively. In reality, it may be hard to tell whether the companys success is due to employees owning shares, or whether the success itself has led the company to issue shares. It is also difficult to know whether employees would have performed less effectively if no shares had changed hands. Nevertheless, by giving people a stake in the company as an incentive program, you are making a highly positive statement about them, which encourages them to feel positive in return. 2. Gifts are not just for Christmas. Surprise people with gifts they do not expect. Expected remuneration has less impact than the unexpected. Even generous pay rises are taken for granted after a while, as salary wishes increase accordingly. Incentive programs like a far smaller payment, in the form of a gift, have an unequal worth in the eyes of the recipient. An employee could use a cash award to buy a gift, perhaps a weekend vacation, but that would provide less satisfaction than an incentive program in kind from the management as a reward for work well done. Consider this, which incentive program is better: A company called for a special meeting for all of the employees that had achieved the sales quota for the month. In the meeting, the company announced that the incentive is a gift certificate. They went to the Accounting Department, as instructed, signed their name, and off they go. Or: The company gave them a specialized mug embossed with the word Congratulations, plus a special card with a special message personally written by the manager. Between the two incentive programs, the latter is more appreciative. Gift certificates could be a good incentive program but it is sometimes taxable, so they get only a fraction of what was written on it. Plus, the first incentive program is more rigid, lacks personalization and appreciation. On the other hand, the second incentive program is far more favourable. A more specialized and personalized gift idea as incentive program can be more appreciated. It makes your employee feel that they are individually valued especially if it comes with a thank you note. Best of all, presents are also a better incentive program and a cost-effective method of motivating staff when cash is short or when competition does not allow an increased pay. 3. Optimizing benefits. Fringe benefits have become a much less effective incentive program financially in many countries because of tax charges, as mentioned earlier. Good pension schemes, however, have become more attractive as an incentive program wherever state-funded provision falls. The same applies to medical insurance. The knowledge that the company cares for its people in sickness, health, and old age is a basic yet a powerful factor. Other benefits, such as company cars, paternity leave, vacations, and help with childrens education and care as incentive programs can improve the quality of peoples lives. Electronic devices, from mobile phones to computers, directly benefit the company, but as an incentive program, the individual also gains personally from their availability. Ultimately, loyal and happy employees tend to work harder, leading to increased overall productivity. 4. Bequeath status. The modern company, with its flat structure, horizontal management, and open style, avoids status symbols that are divisive and counter-productive. Reserve parking places and separate dining rooms are rightly avoided. However, important-sounding job titles are easy and economical forms of incentive program at the same time a better way of providing recognition and psychological satisfaction. So, now you know that incentive programs dont necessarily mean it has to be in the monetary form. Do remember that giving people incentive programs of any kind sends a very positive signal. As they say, its the thought that counts.

Climb out of the Box of Bad Meetings - How to Hold Effective Meetings

Climb out of the Box of Bad Meetings - How to Hold Effective Meetings

Out of the box thinking is a popular fad today. And yet, in order to leave a box, you have to realize that you are in one.For example, the Indians who lived in the Grand Canyon believed the entire world was like the canyon. And so they didnt try to find Kansas. This can be okay, if youre in a beautiful place like the Grand Canyon.It can be a rut, however, if youre stuck in bad meetings.For example, many leaders truly believe that it is normal to spend hours in a meeting engaged in pointless chit chat. Some believe that a meeting should be conducted like a Medieval court where the subjects listen while the boss talks. Others even believe that a group of people will be able to guess the purpose of a meeting without receiving a hint, like an agenda.They may be like the VP who left his staff meeting after it had gone on for 30 minutes to ask his assistant, "Do you remember why I called this meeting?"Or the manager who invited 30 software experts to a two-day meeting in Houston (actually a $50,000 argument) with no agenda because he didn't want to "spoil the spontaneity by imposing a structure."Or the manager who was told to reduce the number of meetings that he held and responded by calling an all-day meeting to figure out how.All of these executives are working inside a very small, very unproductive box.Instead, they should climb out of the box and run their meetings like a business. They should:1) Have a Plan.Every meeting should have an agenda.Your agenda should begin with a clear, complete statement of the result that you want. Begin by writing out your goal for the meeting. Then study it. Review it. And revise it until it reflects exactly what you want.Let's play with a simple example. Suppose your goal was to reduce the budget. Now, is that what you really want to do? Would a better goal, for example, be something like: figure out how to reduce spending on utilities, or reduce the cost of materials, or maintain productivity without buying new equipment? Notice that these goals reduce the budget while producing results more valuable than simply making numbers smaller. Of course, your goal will depend upon your situation and what you want to accomplish.Once your have the goal, then plan activities that will accomplish it. Most meetings are conducted using a discussion, which is the least effective process for reaching agreements and making decisions. Instead, use activities that equalize participation and lead to consensus.2) Earn a Profit.Most meetings produce a loss. That is, the cost of the meeting exceeds the value of what it produces.Begin by estimating the value of the result that you want from your meeting. If the value seems low or uncertain, then ask yourself if a meeting is warranted. Perhaps, it would be more cost effective to write a memo, make a phone call, or visit the manager next door.Then design your meeting so that you earn a profit. Estimate the cost by multiplying your budgeted labor rate by the number of participants multiplied by the length of the meeting. Add the costs of travel, services, and materials.Finally, compare the cost with the value. If the cost, exceeds the value, change the scope of the meeting.Staying in the box, may be okay for executives who want to play make-believe games with their time. But those leaders who want to be part of the future will run their meetings like a business.

Six Sigma Deployment In Smaller Organizations

Six Sigma is not just for large multinational corporations. While there are difficulties inherent in implementing Six Sigma in a small company rather than a large business they can be overcome. Six Sigma can work in any size business because the nature of Six Sigma is dependent upon characteristics inherent in any business, not on the size of a business. Smaller organizations frequently are short on resources and expertise in change initiatives. However, they also have more flexible process flows, a shorter decision-making chain, and higher visibility of senior management. Smaller organizations can actually effectively establish Six Sigma faster than large businesses if deployment scope is correctly managed. Scope of Deployment Six Sigma is designed for all-inclusive deployment across an organization. However, s maller organizations do have constraints that limit their ability to initiate a large scale Six Sigma implementation. If your organization does not have the resources to create an infrastructure for organization-wide Six Sigma deployment then start with a pilot program. One of the beauties of Six Sigma is that its central methodology is scalable. Six Sigma, emphasizes intensive training and extensive analysisqualitative characteristics that work regardless of the size of the organization. Likewise, Six Sigma DMAIC (design, measure, analyze, improve, and control) discipline s work no matter the size of the organization or even the size of the Six Sigma project. Even a small Six Sigma project can yield significant results. Breakthrough improvements in processes and bottom-line profitability come not from quantity of resources, but the quality and the intelligence with which they are employed. Small and medium-sized organizations may not have the resources of larger companies; however, in most cases, smaller organizations can be more nimble, flexible, and focused on results. Approaching initial implementation of Six Sigma through a pilot program will yield tangible results without overwhelming your resources from a small quick-hit project. These results can then be replicated throughout the organization, in many cases even faster than in a large organization. Issues Critical to Smaller Organizations When deploying a pilot Six Sigma project there are several important issues to consider inherent to smaller organizations. First, the choice of a project is critical. The pilot project will set the tone for Six Sigma deployment, so it should be a good one that can show significant and visible results in a reasonably short period of time. The project must clearly address one or more business goals thereby contributing to one or more core enterprise measures. Each project must also be completable within three to four months, so careful upfront scoping is essential. Projects must be continually tracked and updated for line management during existing business reviews. Another issue is training. In smaller organizations, training budgets and especially time available to devote personnel for training is limited. Thus, it is not always practical for personnel to be absent from their day-to-day duties to attend months of training. Fortunately, there are some Six Sigma consultants who can deliver required Six Sigma training in an accelerated format and even onsite. Thus, smaller organizations can give their people the needed training with less disruption to their normal business, improving internal synergy while providing greater organizational flexibility. Six Sigma implementation teams can encounter critical resource restrictions, often due to a personnel limitation where people are available for project functions only on a part-time basis. It is essential at project inception that the right people are involved, doing the right things. A small but committed force of the right people with proper training, given the proper authority will go far in getting things started. Good and fluid communication is also critical. Upon successful completion of the Six Sigma pilot, the scale of the deployment is then expanded to other areas of the organization, incorporating the lessons learned from the pilot project. Just as it is much harder for a large ship to turn than a small ship, smaller organizations can change and adapt more quickly than large organizations. That does not mean that small organizations will automatically be successful when deploying Six Sigma, but making change take place and getting buy in to the changes are easier.

Corporate awards 101

One universal and noteworthy characteristic of human beings is to seek accolades for their accomplishments. From childhood to maturity we are captivated by the lust for recognition in some form or the other especially for remarkable work (if any) done by us. Bearing this essential human feature in mind, Homo sapiens have invented diverse ways to compliment a persons achievements. Speech is a viable means to honor a person in our day-to-day life. But apart usual living in areas like corporate sector, words are not enough to regard an employees outstanding contribution; there ought to be something more to proclaim his attainment. For this, the corporate world relies largely on awards. An award is an ideal way to express the unspoken feelings of one and many other individuals towards its recipient. Since the corporate prizes are not mere an emblem of appreciation and gratitude but also an instrument to boost up ones morale and trigger further progress, they should be perceivably exclusive or special. A paradigm case in point is awards made of crystal. Crystal has always served as a mark of opulence, purity and fineness. So, crystal awards too are immensely esteemed and hold a distinguished significance among the masses. A brand largely acclaimed in manufacturing of stupendous crystal prizes for a range of occasions is Crystal Occasion. Crystal Occasion has blessed the business world with a spectrum of crystal corporate awards. These awards that are perfect substitutes of words and emotions, come for any and every corporate occasion. Each Crystal Occasion award piece is a magnum opus that is known for its excellent quality and bewitching design. These awards are presented at different junctures and serve a variety of purposes. For instance-Presenting an individual the Crystal Occasions sober and beautiful Accolade Plate in order to acknowledge his striking potential, can be a life time memory for him.The uniquely crafted Endeavor Award is enough to pronounce an employees terrific efforts or his successful enterprising qualities. The Horizon Award is a model compliment for the adroit caliber that bags the credit of companys scaling new heights. In other words the superb semi-circular translucent and stainless Horizon award is a complete symbol of acceptance and salutation to an individuals annual performance. The Crystal Occasions glistening rectangular Jade Crystal Plaque Award can be used to commence or strengthen the bond of friendship between two companies.Similarly there are other bedazzling awards like Nova Award, Eclipse Award, Neopolitan Award, Regatta Award and so forth that stand as an epitome of reverence and recognition. Apart from sustainable long-lasting quality, magnificent grace and exquisite appearance of Crystal Occasion products, what differentiate them from other crystal awards is their significantly low costs. In comparison to the expensive crystal items available in the market today, the Crystal Occasion awards are less pricey. This factor enables even the small-scale companies to celebrate with coveted Crystal Occasion awards. You can take a look at the myriad types of awards along with their details, place orders and make purchases online.

Summary

For a driver, a blind spot is an area not easily seen. It may be the area the mirrors miss, either beside or behind the driver...or is simply forgotten by the driver. Accidents occur when the driver changes lanes and there is another car in their blind spot. As humans (and executives!), we have blind spots in our lives and businesses as well, and these blind spots cause all sorts of trouble.