RSS

Tag Archives: Management

Dealing With Changes In Companies: What’s The Best Solution?

Business NetworkingIn both our professional and personal lives, a certain amount of change is inevitable. These can range from the minor, such as a favorite television show recasting one of the characters, to the major, such as an undesired change in your relationship status. One of the key areas of change that can impact heavily on an individual’s life is the concept of change in the workplace, whether it’s from a corporate takeover or a seemingly straightforward rebranding. Let’s explore some of the key methods that will assist with dealing with change in the workplace.

How Severe Is The Change?

Change in the workplace leads to a sense of uncertainty. This sense of uncertainty can often be overcome in a fairly organic way; if the change is merely a modification to a business process, or perhaps a new software system, then the new system or method quickly becomes normality. It’s hardly something that will cause undue stress, although management should certainly take steps to ensure that all employees are familiar with what is expected of them in relation to the new processes.

Employees Will Feel The Fear

In some instances, the sense of uncertainty can become overwhelming and can impede a corporation’s operational capability when it’s a large-scale merger or takeover. There will undoubtedly be changes at all levels of operations, and this can lead employees to question the safety of their own employment. It’s important for management to handle the situation with as much transparency as is possible in a scenario such as this one. If there is to be restructuring that will lead to layoffs, then this decision needs to be made and executed as soon as possible. Resolve the matter in as straightforward a manner as is appropriate, and then a new normality will rise from the ashes, leading to employee peace of mind.

Negative Ways of Coping With Change

Management should be a little sceptical of employees who seem to warmly (and indeed, blindly) embrace large changes in a company. It’s perhaps possible that these employees are being enthusiastic about a change in policy, operations or ownership, simply because they believe it’s what their supervisors want to hear. This is unhelpful to the overall aims of any corporate change, and is on a par with avoidance coping, where an employee essentially tries to ignore the change and undertake their employment in the way they always have, which is often inappropriate.

Positive Ways of Coping With Change

Ideally, management will gently ease employees into any kind of change in the workplace, utilizing change management training that will allow employees to feel in control during the process of change. It goes without saying that it’s beneficial for management that their employees make a smooth transition during whatever change the company is going through. Management cannot dictate how an individual should feel in response to a change, but they can set the tone about what’s appropriate, essentially by being available to answer all enquiries, and to clearly outline what’s expected of employees. Unsurprisingly, any kind of change in a company generates a huge amount of paperwork when new guides and manuals are published.

Change can be a huge problem for many employees, and it’s hardly a stress free time for management either. But management needs to ensure that their employees feel like they’re part of the solution.

Kate Simmons is a business developer, management coach and freelance writer. She is mostly interested in topics related to leadership, management and business structures.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why Big Leaders need to have Small Egos

christLeaders are very important to the success of a business, as they are the ones who inspire others, drive movement forward and provide the company with a goal. However, a leader with a larger than life ego can actually be a detriment to a company, holding it back and causing problems rather than encouraging success.

There is a huge difference between ego and confidence. Self-confidence is an essential trait in a strong leader as they need to be able to believe in themselves and confidently stride towards their dreams. Rather than the calm self-assuredness that confidence brings, a big ego manifests itself in pride, boastfulness, self-centeredness and an inability to admit when one is wrong.

Here are a few reasons why having a big ego is not a very good trait in a successful leader.

Leaders Need to Be Able to Admit When they are Wrong

Even though they might be put in charge because they have the most education or experience, leaders are not always right. In fact, sometimes they can make big mistakes, totally misjudge situations or get things completely wrong. This is nothing to be ashamed about, after all everyone is human and will make a mistake once in a while.

However, sometimes big leaders are afraid to admit that they have got it wrong. They are so unwilling to show any weaknesses that they will follow through with things even though all signs are indicating that they have got it wrong. They will lead their company towards disaster while pretending that they are doing the right thing, rather than admitting their blunder and asking for help.

A good leader should never let their own ego get in the way of realising when they are making a mistake. A confident leader is never afraid of confessing to a mistake and taking a new approach and if this is done with grace it will make your employees respect you even more.

Leaders Need to Be Able To Let the Achievements of Others Shine

Another trait of someone with a big ego is that they are quick to snap up all the credit when it comes to the group’s accomplishments. You’ve probably seen it before, the team leader whose team puts in plenty of effort to achieve something and then when it comes time to receive accolades, he speaks like he did all of the work himself. These are also the types of people who are likely to choose team members who are less competent than themselves because their primary motivation is making themselves look good. In the thinking of an egotistical person, another person’s success means that they have failed so they will feel better about themselves when others achieve and earn less.

A great leader needs to be able to step out of the spotlight and be gratified by the achievements of others. They must realise that they cannot accomplish or control everything, so they need to invest in fantastic team members and value their contribution to the organisation. Good leaders will know how to let another employee shine.

Leaders Need to Be Able to Unite Rather Than Divide

One of the most important roles of a leader is to be able to make each and every person working with them feel like they are valued and appreciated. They need to create a positive and optimistic working environment which makes employees feel engaged and motivated.

Unfortunately, a leader with a big ego will be too focused on themselves to make this happen. The people working with them will become increasingly fed up with their egotistical behaviour and will not be inspired to do their best. They might even cause conflict in the workplace, which further distracts people from doing a good job at work.

Instead of a big leader with an even bigger ego, it is better to have someone who does not deny reality even when it is negative and is able to admit their own mistakes. They will be able to help people get through difficult times, let the achievements of others shine and encourage everyone that they work with to put their best performance in.  You will be amazed at the different that a calm and confident leader without a big ego can make on your organisation.

Having a big ego can really get in the way of providing excellent leadership and here are some of the reasons why. To find out more about our leadership programs, visit Cirrus today.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How Global Supply Chains Bring Products to You

 

 

Carlsberg factory

The process of delivering goods and services has become more complex over the last century. Very few products are actually produced in the country where they are sold, and the supply chain is comprised of so many interlocking mechanisms that it’s difficult to say where something actually comes from. This enables companies to deliver products at lower prices because they’re able to hire laborers and buy materials from the regions where the things they need are cheap and plentiful. The modern world exists because of globalization, and it’s a process that everyone should be somewhat familiar with.

Where it Starts

Most supply chains begin with the regulation of various resources. While each element is at least somewhat important, the key thing is the political aspect. Local politicians need to be on board with what companies want to do before anything else is possible. Once that hurdle has been overcome, laborers can extract and refine the raw materials that will eventually become consumer products. This stage can have dozens of different parts to it depending on the materials in question, and sometimes companies will trade with each other in order to simplify certain parts of the process. The materials are then shipped to various storage units across the globe, and then they are finally transformed into products and delivered to stores.

The Different Kinds of Supply Chains

Different methods work better for different processes and products. Sometimes cost efficiency isn’t the only goal; economic growth in a particular area can serve as motivation for companies to utilize a supply chain that’s either less efficient or less lucrative. When profit is the sole concern, a globalized supply chain is usually the most favorable option, and even supply chains that focus on manufacturing items in specific locations may still involve imported materials.

The aim of all supply chains is to accomplish the stated goals in the most efficient way possible with the least amount of inventory. The incentives for choosing particular models are almost always wholly economic, but certain companies opt for more roundabout methods if they can gain something else of value for doing so. Since the push for globalization has destroyed a lot of manufacturing jobs in America, items that are produced within the US are very popular within the country, and the goodwill that’s earned by moving jobs into US communities can help ensure a business’ long-term viability. Sometimes the loss of efficiency can also be offset by raising prices, and that makes it so there’s no downside to establishing factories in areas with a higher standard of living.

Supply Chain Obstacles

As with any long and complex process, there are a lot of things that can go wrong between gathering materials and getting them to the final recipients. The fact that such errors are routine and yet no one ever notices is a testament to how stable the system is. Of course, sustainability is a big question going forward; there are plenty of issues with the current methods of production that could be problematic as resources dwindle, but the beauty of the supply chain model is that it’s extremely adaptable. It takes a lot of careful management to keep things moving as smoothly as they should, but at least the process keeps going even in sub-optimal conditions.

Dana Monty writes for several higher ed blogs. Interest in manufacturing and supply chains? Several universities offer MBA degrees including onlinemba.ohio.edu and www.unc.edu.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Discoveries I Made On What It Takes To Have Top Managerial Skills

 

What distinguishes you as a great manager from the good ones is possession of a wide set of skills which range from communication and motivation to planning and delegation. Often times, the top management skills are so many, and some managers think they should concentrate on the management areas they understand most.  However, to be considered as having top management skills, I needed to analyze my expertise in all areas and then set out to improve on areas where I was most wanting. You will only be complete when you have the most diverse of skills, which sharpen your problem solving skills.

Required Skills For A Manager:

There are skills that a manager need to have, and if I were to talk about all of them, then it would probably take weeks, if not months. One of the most important skills that a manager needs to have is the ability to understand the dynamics of the team and encourage good relationship between the team members. This simply means that you need to understand exactly how teams operate.  Normally, teams will follow a certain definitive pattern of development, and experts have listed them thus: forming, norming, storming and finally performing. When encouraging and supporting those under you, it is important to do it through this process, and this has the effect of helping your team become effective in the shortest possible time.  .

As A Manager:

It is important that, as a manager, I must consider the aspect of balance when creating teams, so that I end up with a team comprising different sets of skills, people and perspectives. It is never easy to manage a group of people who seem to be able to get along, but teams that will be effective in the long run appreciate different points of view, and using their dissimilarities to be not only creative but also highly innovative. As a manager, you will be tasked to have skills needed to direct the said differences in a positive manner.  Thus you will need to introduce a team charter. Your knowledge of team conflict will be particularly important if your team is to be managed effectively.

As A Team Leader:

As a team leader, my ability to choose and nurture the right people is not just necessary, it is mandatory. I always need to find the great team members, and have the skills needed for the success of the team developed. When recruiting new members, I usually focus on the various specific skills that I need for the success of my team, balance different personalities so that I have variety in my team.

Delegation:

You would be mistaken to think that just by having the right people with the right skills does the trick, but this is usually not the case. It is important that as a manager, you know just how to get a task completed effectively. Delegation is the catchphrase here. Some managers, having earned their promotion purely on the grounds of their technical superiority, try to accomplish most tasks all by themselves. They believe that, being the accountable officers, they ought to do the tasks by themselves to be sure that the task is successfully completed.

For teams to accomplish a lot more, great managers will assign the task to the right people, and not necessarily the people with the most time. You will need to clearly outline what you expect to be achieved. However, it is not easy to trust other people to accomplish some tasks. But it still boils down to your team having not only the right people but also those with the right skills, who you can easily rely on to get the job done and dusted.

MotivatingEmployees:

Motivating people under you is yet another great piece of skill that all managers ought to have. Motivating oneself is easier but motivating another person needs careful thought. People are motivated by totally different things, a factor that managers have to keep in mind. You will need to understand your team members at a personal level which helps you to motivate them better. You can stay informed about each of your team member’s information by providing regular feedback.

Inoculate Discipline In Team Members:

Instilling a sense of discipline and dealing with conflict between your team members is something that contributes your management prowess. If, despite your efforts, there are still problems with your employee’s individual performances, you are required to deal with it promptly. Failing to discipline erring employees will impact negatively on the whole team and also on your customers, given that poor performance of employees will impact on customer service. Working alongside team members who regularly fail to meet expectations is very demotivating for other team members, and if tolerated, it leads to suffering of other team members.

Efficient Conflict Resolution:

You should not allow dissimilarities between individual team members to progress to conflict, as this would also influence negatively on performance. You as a team manager ought to facilitate a speedy resolution to c the conflict, by being impartial and objective, so that members do not have the idea you are taking sides. You should also note that some conflicts are positive in that they can help unearth deep-seated underlying structural problems. Efficient conflict resolution means that you recognize conflict and stem it from the roots, rather than giving it a palliative approach where you try to suppress it or avoid it completely.

Effective Communication:

Effective communication is an important managerial skill, which you need to pay close attention to. Keeping your team informed on all that is going on, as well keeping them as informed as possible is something that you should endeavor to do always. Managers should specifically improve on their team briefing skills.

Many managers are quite equipped with planning, decision-making and problem solving skills because they are skilled professionals whose promotions are based on knowledge and analytical efficacy. Therefore, most managers tend to focus too much on these skills, thereby failing to concentrate on their other skills, such as people and management skills. Being narrowly proficient on these skills alone cannot make you to be touted as having top management skills.

I have been a team player in many organizations and I understand the frustration people go through because of inadequate leadership skills. Some of the people claimed to possess reputable leadership skills are lacking them in zeal and I find it worth that they should undertake some leadership quality classes. As an owner and runner of pharmacytechnicianinfo.net, I always meet with so many people and effective use of my managerial skills brings many clients, students and customers my way.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Top 5 Silliest Management Books of All Time

This post takes a satirical look at the business management book genre, specifically looking at five of the most ridiculous titles and how they often lead to bad management.

Reading Up

While the old cliché that “managers are not made, they are born” can in some degrees be argued to be true, it is also worthwhile acknowledging that you can often pick up a number of tips and ideas for your own leadership style from the vast plethora of management guide books available.

While there are undoubtedly some gems, some of them just give a ridiculous message, ridden with management speak that is often regurgitated verbatim by the reader when at work, under the misguided premise that they are now a great leader.

We looked at five of the most ridiculously titled management books there are.

1.Management in 10 Words

If it is possible to sum up management in 10 words, then why on Earth has this been extended out into a 320 page book? Surely each word does not require an average of 32 pages for an explanation of why it is such a great management tool. If management really can be defined in 10 words, then a piece of A4 paper should suffice just nicely.

2.Who Moved My Cheese?

There is also another similar book called “Why is my Iceberg Melting,” however the essential message is the same. How can you and your business survive and thrive in changing conditions in an evolving world? Well, the answer is somewhat obvious in that you too must also evolve to meet the demands of the world. There is really no need for a book that likens the business world to a mouse trying to survive by looking for cheese. The scariest thing about this book is that it is an all-time best seller. Is it any wonder the global economy is a mess?

3.Getting Things Done

There is a whole series of books carrying this title, with various sub-titles based around being productive and having a stress-free work life. However, the message after 250+ pages of reading is always the same. If you want to get things done, write it down and have a plan. Simple really.

4.The One Minute Manager

For me, personally, this was the first management book I ever read. Unfortunately, it had little bearing on me, as having read it I immediately realised that the manager who had borrowed it to me was the human manifestation of the book, a product of what he had read. Basically, the book is centred around managing everyone for a minute each day, based on the old business cliché that “my most valuable minute is the one spent with my people.”

5.How to Lead

If ever there was an expensive tick the box exercise, this is it. Although it does contain a lot of leadership advice, the main purpose of the book is to tick off everything that applies to you, then go away and get the skills needed to tick the rest. Perhaps if you spent the time leading rather than reading and ticking boxes you would acquire the skills easier.

Posterita is a revolutionary POS software, and its free point of sale software can show every aspect of that.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lessons in Leadership: Micromanaging is Like Dividing By Zero

When it comes to the things that we are passionate about, it can oftentimes be difficult to give up control. Whether we are entrepreneurs trying to make sure our ideas are being executed the way we see fit, or we are managers who want to make sure our team is doing work that will reflect well on us, micromanaging is not the solution.

There are different ways to supervise without micromanaging every detail and it starts with being organized. To begin, it’s important to set up a structure that allows for an employee to be flexible and develop his or her own thoughts without being slowed down. For a few milestones throughout a project, it can be beneficial to check in to see how things are going and if need be, to make minor adjustments so that the project can continue to move forward.

Along with being organized is using the right tools to stay on top of projects. Online project management tools are a great way to measure progress without having to be directly involved in all of the small details. It is easier to set clear deadlines and expectations without actually having to get an update every single minute. Entrusting your employees to their tasks is a great way for everybody to see the importance of their role in a project.

Not only is knowing how to handle micromanaging important, it’s important to know why it doesn’t work. One of the biggest reasons is that micromanaging makes you less productive and is ultimately a time waster. What’s the point of having an employee if somebody spends just as much time and energy supervising and criticizing, picking apart their performance? That time could have been spent working on other tasks that need to be completed so that twice as much work can be done in the same amount of time.

Keeping an open stream of communication, rather than dictating every step along the way, is a healthy approach to weaning yourself off of micromanaging. Try these tactics:

  • Read over your employees’ job descriptions. How many of these are tasks shared by a team, and how many are tasks you try to “help” with? If there are any overlaps, this is where you desperately need to relinquish tight control for the sake of your own effectiveness.
  • Encourage employees to give feedback about their own work processes. If anyone is capable of coming up with actionable ideas, it’s your very own team.
  • Give your employees “enough rope to hang themselves with.” This is where you can start to build trust and train yourself how to better identify talent.

At the end of the day, it is difficult to give up bad habits, especially when you’re not always aware that you’re doing it. It’s an important step, however, if you want to foster a positive and productive work environment.

Guest author Malia Anderson is a finance writer and experienced blogger from Greensboro, NC.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Supply Chain Management

Depending on the type of product or service you provide, Supply Chain Management can be a complex job.  There are few companies that are lucky enough to be self-sufficient.  Most businesses rely on suppliers and outsourcing for at least part of their business, producing a delicate supply chain which can quickly fall apart if something disturbs any piece of it.  Supply Chain Management Software (SCMS) is designed to make monitoring and managing supply chain transactions easier.

There are several things that SCMS can handle, including:

  • Customer requirement forecasting
  • Purchase order processing
  • Inventory tracking
  • Warehouse management
  • Delivery tracking
  • Supplier management

While there are lots of vendors in the SCMS industry, there are a handful of key players that own the majority of the market share.  They include:

JDA

JDA offers Supply Chain Management Software for a huge range of industries, including grocery stores, aerospace and defence companies, pharmaceuticals, and the hospitality industry.  They offer a one-stop solution that covers supply chain management, transportation, and retail.  Their software is aimed at major enterprises.

SAP

SAP is a company that specialises in providing software for businesses.  Their Supply Chain Management solution aims to “transform your linear supply chain into a responsive network”.  It covers supply and demand planning, logistics, fulfilment, and delivery tracking.  SAP offers a range of solutions that will cater to most sizes of business.  They also offer SAP events where people can learn more about their products.

Intelex

Intelex have been producing business software for 20 years, and service hundreds of major businesses.  Their SCM software makes it easy to track supplier performance, evaluate and rate different suppliers, produce performance reports, and follow up on issues.

3PL

3PL Warehouse Manager is an enterprise-level supply chain management application aimed at the logistics market.  It offers automated reporting, EDI, and barcode scanning.  This software makes billing, logistics and tracking a breeze.

Accuware

Accuware’s ProActive Inventory Manager is a web-based inventory solution which has been built to run on Microsoft ASP.net and Microsoft SQL server.  This software is available in two forms – a self-hosted version, and a SAAS version hosted on ProActive’s servers.  ProActive Inventory Manager has a standard, inexpensive version for small and medium sized businesses, and a more sophisticated enterprise version.

Choosing Supply Chain Management Software

It’s important that you find the right supply chain management software early in your business’ life.  Investing in the wrong version can cause costly mistakes which could damage your reputation.  Deploying new software, and transferring over your existing inventory and orders can be a struggle.

Before you invest in any SCMS, consider attending a few industry events.  Whether you choose to attend SAP events and JDA events, and shop around in that fashion, or go to one of the major logistics conferences is up to you.  Consider taking up some free trials, and spending a weekend or two running test orders through different systems until you find one that you and your employees like to use.

Amy Fowler writes on technology, this post was written in conjunction with UK & Ireland SAP User Group, organisers of SAP events. For more information on their SAP events, click here.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,068 other followers

%d bloggers like this: