It was Archimedes that said – “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world”. Well, the same can be true in business. Learning to leverage your time can make a huge difference to your business.
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Now that the economy is improving, businesses are feeling under a lot of pressure to perform with fewer resources.
There’s a fear of taking on too many people in case things disimprove again. And those we do take on have some learning to do. We’re afraid to turn away work in case more doesn’t come along so we decide we’ll manage it anyway even though our resources are stretched to their limit. This can put a lot of strain on you as manager.
I recently met a former colleague and we got talking his business and about how he could develop his workforce. I recommended he take a look at our Lean Business programme because I have done it myself and I knew it was ideally suited to his business. His reply:
"That's that Japanese manufacturing stuff. We wouldn't be interested in that. What else have you got?"
Those of us who help companies implement Lean thinking know the methodology is often misunderstood at the onset of an engagement. It’s regularly the case that “Lean” is considered to be just another industry buzz word, associated with cost cutting exercises. And, indeed, the word itself is misleading. By definition, to make something lean is to cut back, to trim the fat. But in the business context, Lean does much more than that; it provides a well-rounded approach to business processes and resources, to find ways of doing things better.
Some people are identified as good managers and others as bad managers. What makes the difference?
The role of a manager is to get the job done. Good managers get the job done because they devote a lot of time to planning it. They plan:-
How many times have you heard people say “I don’t have enough time to do …” or “If only I could find the time to do …” Or “I am too busy to do …” Perhaps the person you heard saying these or similar things is the same person who stares back at you every morning in the bathroom mirror. Well, it is time to stop blaming time! Time is an absolute-there are 24 hours (1440 minutes, 86,400 seconds) in a day and that will never change. We cannot “manage” time. What we can manage is what we do during the next 60 minutes.
Being a manager is both challenging and rewarding. Achieving results and seeing team members thrive as they settle into their roles is very satisfying. Great managers succeed in the role when they pay attention to the dynamics of team work. Great managers recognise that the technical aspect of the function needs attention. Results have to be achieved but the more challenging aspect of the role is managing people. When results are dropping, productivity nose-diving, co-operation vanishing and pressure is mounting from the leader, the role can be challenging and stressful.
How do you go about making team meetings more effective? As part of a continuing series on the topic of visual management, I want to address the problem of team meetings that lack purpose, and have little effect on performance. Due to a lack of delegation and accountability, meetings will often drift off the agenda, with team members no better off after the meeting than they were before it. What can managers do to correct this? Here I explain how to make team meetings more effective, and how a simple visual aid like a Gantt Chart can transform meetings.
Digital Marketing Communications….Spending more and more but have no idea if it’s working or not?
Chances are this statement is true for many companies, because they have failed to answer 3 key marketing questions before jumping right in.
Time is a limited resource for most business owners, so it must be “managed” if you want to achieve your goals within the timeframe you set. Time management (or SELF-management) is all about setting priorities and sticking with them.
When it comes to managing your time (or self) consider this: There is a big difference between activity-tasks that keep us “busy,” and productivity tasks that take us closer to our goals. Most business owners are busy, but are they busy doing the right things?