10 Principles of Leading Change Management

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Since the mid-2000s, organizational change management and transformation have become permanent features of the business landscape. Vast new markets and labor pools have opened up, innovative technologies have put once-powerful business models on the chopping block, and capital flows and investor demand have become less predictable. To meet these challenges, firms have become more sophisticated in the best practices for organizational change management. They are far more sensitive to and more keenly aware of the role that culture plays. They’ve also had to get much better on their follow-through.

Yet according to a 2013 Strategy&/Katzenbach Center survey of global senior executives on culture and change management, the success rate of major change initiatives is only 54 percent. This is far too low. The costs are high when change efforts go wrong—not only financially but in confusion, lost opportunity, wasted resources, and diminished morale. When employees who have endured real upheaval and put in significant extra hours for an initiative that was announced with great fanfare see it simply fizzle out, cynicism sets in.

How to Lead Change Management

DeAnne Aguirre, senior partner with Strategy&, discusses techniques that can help companies transform quickly and effectively.

Our

The Best and Worst Fonts to Use on Your Resume

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We went digging for a complete set of professionally fly fonts and returned with just one consensus winner: Helvetica.

“Helvetica is so no-fuss, it doesn’t really lean in one direction or another. It feels professional, lighthearted, honest,” says Brian Hoff, creative director of Brian Hoff Design. “Helvetica is safe. Maybe that’s why it’s more business-y.”

There are other options that, like Helvetica, are sans-serif, meaning their letters do not have the tiny “feet” that adorn the “T” in Times New Roman, for example. Do not choose a cheap imitator, the experts counsel. “If it’s me, [I’m using] Helvetica. Helvetica is beautiful,” says Matt Luckhurst, the creative director at Collins, a brand consultancy, in San Francisco. “There is only one Helvetica.”

Unless you’re applying for a design job, human resource professionals probably wouldn’t notice a knockoff font. But you would be on the wrong side of good taste. Could you live with that?

Say you’re a high roller and want to actually purchase a font. Go with Proxima Nova, which Hoff calls a “cousin to Helvetica” with less of an edge.

“It has a softer feel. Helvetica can be more stiff, and Proxima Nova feels a little

Why Team Building Activities Are Important to the Success of Your Business

aIn every organization, there are always aims and objectives that are expected to be achieved at the end of the day. Sometimes these objectives are achieved easily but other times, it is either they are slowly achieved or they aren’t. One major determinant of such goals being attained within their anticipated time frames is team building activities.

What are Team Building Activities?

These are those activities which are done by a group of persons instead of being executed individually. They are done in cooperation amongst such persons. The importance of this in every activity cannot be ignored as some of them will be explained below.

Building of Trust

There is no atmosphere as that of trust in the work place. This is what team building can bring. Team building exercises do create team bonding in this regards as member will learn to trust one another’s judgment.

A typical example of team bonding is when people are assigned to work on a particular project. Such a project can make every individual to cheap in his respective idea which others will learn to trust.

Business Cards Management to Get Real Business Results

Do you realize that your business cards tell customers and clients much more than just your name, your business and contact information? Your business cards are actually similar to your sales representatives. They tell about your business,  your expertise and if they are good enough, they will be able to bring business for you.

Just like a real sales person, if they are not equipped with a good sales ability and good product knowledge they will not perform well. That is why you need to equip them with those tools.

The challenge is how to get those things into a physical card? Maybe this would help.  

First, I insist you to use good quality stock to print your business cards. If you use cheap-low quality stock, they will give bad impressions for you and your business, so I recommend and insist you to use good quality ones. You can add your company logo and you can tell about your business and your expertise but do not make it too much. Keep it simple and clear, and make sure it is written in readable fonts and colors.  

Then you should state your differentiation. Tell your difference from the other competitors. Maybe you can offer the cheapest price, or maybe you

What Business Integration Can Do For Your Business

If technology is a medium that you use to carry out your organization’s goals, having business integration is recommended. This is especially true in an industry that is driven by fierce competition. Being able to respond immediately to customer’s demands is crucial to success. Applications such as EBI, EAI, ELI, EDI and EII have proved helpful in allowing multi-tasking.

It is common for every growing organization to constantly update its technology. As we move on to the modern era, new demands call for new products and services. In order to cope in a fast-paced market, new applications are required. Hence, you install the latest software.

Though almost application is vital to your organization’s performance, it unintentionally gives birth to a gap. The gap widens every time a new application or software is introduced. This can pose threats to the organization since the gap slows down the process of productivity.

To address this issue, business integration provides not only a technical solution. It becomes a medium to sustain or even surpass your organization’s performance. With good business integration software, you are assured flexibility in properly delivering your product or service. This puts your organization on the front line of your industry.

There are many integrating

Broad coalition of small businesses, working parents and seniors calls on Oregon legislature to stand up to Wall Street pressure on retirement security

(Salem, Ore.)— The Retirement in Reach coalition (a broad group of organizations representing approximately 900,000 Oregonians) today attacked “Wall Street financial interests” that are fighting HB 3436B. In a press conference held at the Oregon State Capitol, the coalition called on the Oregon Legislature to pass the bill to create a task force to study ways to increase retirement savings for working Oregonians.

“This is a classic battle between Main Street and Wall Street,” said Deborah Field, co-owner of Paperjam Press in Portland and Executive Team Member of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon, an organization representing more than 1,200 small businesses around the state. “We support creating low-cost, simple ways for our employees to save for retirement, and HB 3436B is the first step. Opposition to this bill has been dominated by Wall Street lobbyists and big businesses and we want to be clear: they don’t speak for us.”

HB 3436B, passed by the Oregon House of Representatives on Monday, creates the Oregon Retirement Savings Investment Task Force, which includes representatives from employers, the financial services industry, the public and the State Treasurer. The task force is charged with developing recommendations for an Oregon Secure Retirement Plan—which would be available

Growing old can be risky business

Managing money can be difficult at any age. For older adults, changes in physical condition and life circumstances can lead to changes for the worse in financial behavior, putting their well-being in danger. Now those changes have been given a name: age-associated financial vulnerability.

Two experts in elder abuse coin the term and explain the concept in an opinion article published in the Oct. 13 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. They also call for research to identify and help older adults at risk from age-associated financial vulnerability, or AAFV for short.

They define the condition as “a pattern of financial behavior that places an older adult at substantial risk for a considerable loss of resources such that dramatic changes in quality of life would result.” To be considered AAFV, this behavior also must be a marked change from the kind of financial decisions a person made in younger years.

“For example, if an older adult gives his or her neighbor $10,000, this many be a sign of AAFV. However, if the older adult has given large sums of money to those in need throughout his or her adult lifetime, then the $10,000 gift in old age may not

Better business is linked up

LinkedIn is perhaps one of the most well-known of the online social networks and is commonly used by professionals hoping to make new and fruitful contacts with other professionals in their field and the organizations and businesses associated with them. Research published in the International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, suggests that LinkedIn users are well acquainted with and fairly happy with the technological performance of the network, but have mixed responses to its social benefits and raise concerns regarding privacy and professional authentication.

According to Eng Li Yap and Qiyun Wang of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the proliferation of online social networks has allowed communication and conversation to be carried out on an unprecedented scale across the globe. LinkedIn has almost 400 million members although fewer than 100 million are known to be active users. Nevertheless, 100 million individuals is a large network and one that has mutual benefits for those who are active. The team suggests, however, that theirs is the first examination of the network from the perspective of professional development taking into account social, technological and pedagogical affordances.

A better understanding of LinkedIn, its facilities and how its members use the

How to brew up a successful coffee business

if you want to succeed in the coffee business it helps to have been in the game for almost 130 years.

Algerian Coffee Stores in the heart of London’s Soho has been trading out of the same shop since 1887 and in terms of word-of-mouth reputation, it has one of the strongest in the city.

“We don’t really have to do advertising campaigns,” explains Marisa Crocetta, 36, one of the directors at the business that has been in her family since 1948.

“You build up a reputation and being an old shop you appear in tourist guides, and of course everyone visits Soho and that’s how they find you.”

While Algerian Coffee Stores obeys the first golden rule of setting up a coffee business – find a great location – it has also nailed down the second essential ingredient; keeping the regulars coming back.

This it does by offering one of the best takeaway cups of coffee in London. And at just £1.20 ($1.80) for a cappuccino it’s one of the cheapest, too.

Growing demand

“Our main business is in the bags of coffee beans, that’s why our prices are so cheap for the takeaway coffee,” Marisa explains.

Business Ratios

Ratios Defined

The illustration below shows a Business Ratios table. It includes dozens of standard business ratios calculated from business plan financials, and used and expected by bankers, financial analyists, and investors. It also includes a column of statistical indicators for the specific type of business. This industry information is classified and categorised by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes. The data involved comes from the database of Integra Information System, a leading provider of industry-specific economic information

Main ratios

  • Current. Measures company’s ability to meet financial obligations. Expressed as the number of times current assets exceed current liabilities. A high ratio indicates that a company can pay its creditors as they fall due. A number less than one indicates potential cash flow problems.
  • Quick. This ratio is very similar to the Acid Test (see below), and measures a company’s ability to meet its current obligations using its most liquid assets i.e. cash or cash equivalents. It shows Total Current Assets excluding stock divided by Total Current Liabilities.
  • Total Debt to Total Assets. Percentage of Total Assets financed with debt.
  • Pre-Tax Return on Net Worth. Indicates shareholders’ earnings before taxes for each pound invested. This ratio is not applicable if the subject company’s net worth for the

Successful Budgeting Involves People

4 Important Budgeting Tips

Managing the budget numbers can be simple, but managing a budget takes people, not spreadsheets. While budget numbers are simple, budget management isn’t. To make a budget work, you need to add real management:

  1. Understand that it’s about people: Successful budgeting depends on people management more than anything else. Every budgeted item must be “owned” by somebody, meaning that the owner has responsibility for spending, authority to spend, and the belief that the spending limit is realistic. People who don’t believe in a budget won’t try to implement it. People who don’t believe that it matters won’t worry about a budget either.
  2. Budget “ownership” is critical: To “own” a budget item is to have the authority to spend and responsibility for spending. Ideally a budget management system makes plan-vs.-actual results visible to a group of managers, so that there is peer pressure that rewards budgeting successes and penalizes budgeting failures.
  3. Budgets need to be realistic: Nobody really owns a budget item until they believe the budget amount is realistic. You can’t really commit to a budget you don’t believe in.
  4. It’s also about following up: Unless the people involved know that somebody will be tracking and following up, they won’t honor

Sales Forecasting

Sales forecasting is an integral part of business planning. I have written on the subject of sales forecasting a number of times in the past. However, for many of us, we are now dealing with a level of uncertainty we have not encountered previously in our lifetimes. As a result, some managers are eschewing forecasting, given the volatile market conditions. For listed companies there is an added complexity to their forecasting. They are fearful that if they publicly announce their projections for the year, as they usually do, there is then a chance that their share price will be hammered if they subsequently fail to meet their targets. As a result, some have chosen not to give annual earnings estimates for 2009.

However, as a recent article in The Economist, “To forecast or not to forecast?” (28 Feb 2009) declared, ‘Precisely because peering into the future is harder today than it was a year ago, managers should be using every available means to gauge what the world could look like in the coming months and to establish targets using this analysis’.

The reasons given by managers for not planning or not forecasting are simply not tenable; added uncertainty increases the need for

New Years Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

The Top 6 Priorities

The New Year is synonymous with resolutions and promises of making changes. If you are an entrepreneur, this time of year offers you a perfect opportunity to take stock of your business, as emails are probably at an all-time low over the holiday period. Here is my checklist of priority resolutions for all entrepreneurs for the New Year:

1. Review your business plan
One of the most important requirements for any entrepreneur is a business plan; not one that lives in their head or one that is consigned to an office cupboard- but a living business plan. If you have never written one, now is the perfect time to do so. If your business plan is in a drawer, take it out, read it and update it accordingly. Without a business plan, your business is essentially rudderless and you run the risk of not focusing on the key activities that need to be undertaken to bring you success.

2. Run through the numbers
For many people, numbers are not necessarily their strong suit and in small companies without dedicated in-house accounting departments this can result in serious problems. There is an old saying that what gets measured

Elevator Pitch Part 3 What You Offer

Now explain what that person or organization you’re selling to gets. You’ve personalized the need or want, identified your unique qualities to solve the problem, and now you have to put the need or want in concrete terms that anybody can see. For example:

For a Trunk Club member, when his wife says it’s time, or a new trip or new activity is coming up, or the mood strikes him, he just grabs the phone and calls his Trunk Club counselor. “I need more casual stuff for the golf course, or cargo pants for hiking, or two more slack and sports coat combinations.” She knows his size, knows what he likes, what his wife likes, and what he needs. The new clothes come three days later, with a complete money-back guarantee if he or his wife or partner don’t like them.

Business Plan Pro allows Jane jump into and out of her business plan at a moment’s notice whenever she wants. She can start with the core strategy and build it in blocks, planning while she goes, refining projections as needed. Business Plan Pro is built around a solid error-checked, financially and mathematically correct financial model, and a generalized set of suggestions

Elevator Pitch Part 2 Why You?

In the next part of your elevator pitch address ‘why you’? Why your business? What’s special about you that makes your offering or solution interesting to the target person or organization you just identified (Part 1 of this series).

This is where you bring in your background, your core competence, your track record, your management team, or whatever. For example:

The Trunk Club invented the best-possible solution to this problem. Founder Joanna Van Vleck first succeeded in sales at Nordstrom’s and then took her personalized shopping-for-other style into a hugely successful first market in Bend, OR. Now, having proven the idea on the front lines …

Palo Alto Software has dedicated itself to business planning for more than 20 years. Its founder is one of the best-known experts in the field. Its current management team grew up with business planning, in the trenches. The 8-person development team has more than 50 person years in the same focused area.

Palo Alto Software has been managing this email problem internally for more than 10 years now, and has been working with its own in-house solution for nine years. It has a very strong relationship with hundreds of thousands of small but growing businesses.

What we focus on

Elevator Pitch Part 1 Personalize

If you can’t say it in 60 seconds, you have a problem. Your strategy isn’t clear enough. Nowadays we call it “the elevator pitch,” meaning a quick description of the business that you could do in the time you share with a stranger in an elevator. It’s becoming popular in the everyday language of the entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and the teaching of entrepreneurship.

I don’t think its academic. I think it’s important. I think it’s a great exercise that everybody in business should be able to do. Let’s get simple, let’s get focused, let’s get powerful.

I’ve been writing lately about the heart of the plan, also called the strategy. What better way to condense it than in a quick elevator speech. If you can’t do it, worry.

Start your speech with a person (or business, or organization) in a situation. Personalize. Identify clearly. For example:

John Jones doesn’t particularly care about clothes but he knows he has to look good. He sees clients every day in the office, and he lives in a ritzy suburb, where he often sees clients by accident on weekends. But he hates to shop for clothes (The Trunk Club).

Jane Smith wants to do her own business plan.

Forecasting Your Sales

Developing your sales forecast isn’t as hard as most people think. Think of your sales forecast as an educated guess. Forecasting takes good working knowledge of your business, which is much more important than advanced degrees or complex mathematics. It is much more art than science.

Whether you have business training or not, don’t think you aren’t qualified to forecast. If you can run a business, then you can forecast its sales. Most people can guess their own business’ sales better than any expert device, statistical analysis, or mathematical routine. Experience counts more than any other factor.

Break your sales down into manageable parts, and then forecast the parts. Guess your sales by line of sales, month by month, then add up the sales lines and add up the months.

The illustration gives you an example of a simple sales forecast that includes simple price and cost forecasts which are used to calculate projected sales and direct cost of sales and estimate total pound value for each category of sales.

Use text to explain the forecast and related plans and background
Although the charts and tables are great, you still need to explain them. A complete business plan should normally include

Top 10 Internet Products for Starting a New Business

Starting a business is an incredibly exciting time for any entrepreneur; however it can also be stressful with so much to do in so little time. The start-up phase is also characterized by significant expenditures against a backdrop of uncertain income. However, there are a number of products and services that can help you maximize your chances of success while also saving you considerable time and money. This article aims to introduce you to some of the less obvious ones that are available via the Internet. These products and services can help you set your business on the right path from Day One. While these recommendations will not be appropriate for all, those who need to bootstrap and build their business the hard way will benefit the most.

1. Create a website

Regardless of whether you intend to sell online or not, all new start-up businesses should secure a domain name and create a website as soon as they can. Thankfully, the cost of getting a site set up has fallen significantly over time and there are now a host of different packages and providers to choose from.

Where: Uni-Trader from www.unitechnology.co.uk Cost: RRP from only £99.99

2. Download a profile of

Who Wants to Be an Entrepreneur

1. Introduction

In a world increasingly affected by globalisation, increased competitiveness and maturing products, the need for creativity and entrepreneurship has never been greater. Luckily, the attractions of becoming an entrepreneur have never been greater either, especially since a shift from a predominantly manufacturing- to a service-based economy has lowered the cost and barriers to entry for entrepreneurs. The British government has moved entrepreneurship (and support for it) to the top of their domestic agenda. Meanwhile, entrepreneurship has become a hot topic, with conferences, exhibitions, and even TV shows, such as “Risking it All” and “The Dragons’ Den” evidencing the popularity. But while the environmental conditions may be attractive, entrepreneurs still need a workable idea that is commercially viable. This article endeavours to assist wannabe entrepreneurs (wantrepreneurs) in coming up with ‘the plan’ so as to enable them to finally take the plunge into the world of entrepreneurship.

2. The environment

Before deciding on ‘the idea’ it is worth assessing the landscape thoroughly so as to consider the broader context and the impact that trends or changes may have on it, i.e. whether it is future-proof, etc. There are three main trends to look at – global trends, national trends and local trends.

Keeping

Top 10 Tips for Writing a Business Plan

Business Planning

Writing a business plan can seem a daunting challenge. However, this skill is a vital requirement for any entrepreneur or business seeking to increase their chances of survival. Here is a list of my top ten tips for writing that winning plan:

1. Write from the audience’s perspective

The starting point for any business plan should be the perspective of the audience. What is the purpose of the plan? Is it to secure funding? Is it to communicate the future plans for the company? The writer should tailor the plan for different audiences, as they will each have very specific requirements. For example, a potential investor will seek clear explanations detailing the proposed return on their investment and time frames for getting their money back.

2. Research the market thoroughly

The recent Dragons’ Den series on BBC 2 reiterated the importance prospective investors place on knowledge of the market and the need for entrepreneurs to thoroughly research their market. The entrepreneur should undertake market research and ensure that the plan includes reference to the market size, its predicted growth path and how they will gain access to this market. A plan for an Internet café will consider the local population, Internet penetration rates,

Why Business Planning Is Not Just for Startups

Small Business Planning

One of the greatest misconceptions about business planning is that a business plan is useful only for start-ups. While start-up companies are indeed one significant segment of business planners, business planning is being utilised by an increasing number of companies as a means to manage growth better, to ensure new ideas have been assessed for commercial viability, and to value a business on exit.

Secondly, the importance of the business planning process is often under-emphasized relative to the primary focus on the final output, the business plan. The very process of producing a business plan enables management to take a holistic view of their organization. It helps them give due consideration to the various factors that mesh together to create the opportunity they are seeking to explore, as well as the resources required and the key drivers needed for success. This article aims to justify a more expansive remit for the business plan, by highlighting a number of key areas where its application is of considerable benefit for all companies.

1. Intrapreneurship
Companies are increasingly encouraging employees to create new growth opportunities as competition intensifies in their core (mature) business lines. Mature invariably means competitive, so the focus on growth

Top 10 Business Plan Mistakes to Avoid

Business Plan Mistakes

The importance of business planning is widely documented; however, guidance as to what constitutes good business planning is less clearly defined. This article aims to redress that imbalance by describing 10 of the most common mistakes that occur in business plans.

While the business-planning process is in itself a very worthwhile pursuit, most business plans are produced for a specific purpose. The plan is used as a means to convey an idea with a view to achieving a specific goal, e.g. securing funding. Hence the plan needs to be tailored with the audience in mind, and good knowledge of their requirements will help shape a winning plan.

For example, the requirements a Venture Capitalist will have in assessing a plan seeking to secure a million-pound investment will differ considerably from those of a local bank manager who needs a plan to support a small-loan application. While the former will be primarily looking for capital growth, the latter will be more concerned with security. Regardless of the specific purpose of the plan, these following business plan lessons will apply.

1. Incredible financial projections

One of the key areas business plan readers will focus on will be ‘the numbers’. Specifically, they will concentrate on