Writing academic reports and references

Writing academic reports and references Often I am asked about the references for some of the pieces I have written about on this site, for example SWOT, PESTLE & SMART, so I thought it was about time to provide an answer here rather than just in person.Unfortunately writing a reference for some of these is not as easy to answer as you may believe.The Harvard (and other referencing systems) were developed for the use of academic material. On this and other more popular management … [Read more...]

Why Organisational Development often fails to deliver

Organisational Development (OD) is the name or label given to many HR and training related strategies, but it is more than that.Bennis in his early work "Organizational Development: nature, origins & prospects" defines OD as: "a response to change, a complex educational strategy intended to change the beliefs, attitudes, values and structure of organizations so that they can better adapt to new technologies, markets and challenges" This is just as true today as it was in … [Read more...]

twitter yammer tips for effective use

Twitter and other micro-blogs are an increasingly useful communication tool. However like any tool there should be an agreed etiquette. One of the best I have discovered is by Margaret Mason and in the style of a RT (Retweet) on Twitter here I republish this important list:Whether you’re a broadcaster, responder, or newbie, if you’d like to be a better citizen on Twitter, here are a few guidelines to help you navigate: 1. Watch your ratio.If only a few people follow you, but you follow … [Read more...]

Going Freelance in difficult times – consulting and training

Many people believe that one of the most successful ways of starting as a freelancer and maintaining a growing consulting or training business is to specialise or to find your own niche. What is a business niche? A niche business is one with a focus or area of specialisation. It is a market segment that particularly suits your experience, knowledge, talents, interests and personality. It is a segment of the market that you can make your own. You make it yours because it fits your expertise and … [Read more...]

Black Swan events – or unknown unknowns

Black Swan events - or unknown unknowns #BlackSwan #InnovationIt was once believed that all swans were white, because until that time the only swans had been seen (northern hemisphere) were white. It was believed that all swans were white and that black (or any other colour) could not exist.The belief was destroyed when a Black Swan was discovered in Australia. Hence the term “Black Swan” became used for unpredictable or unforeseen events - the unknown unknowns...As the changes … [Read more...]

Tips for those thinking about going freelance in training or consultancy

How to become a freelance trainer or consultant So you want to go independent as a freelance trainer or consultant? Do your own thing?How do you go about starting out in freelance training? Overview on going freelance - or How to become a freelance trainer This document is not meant to be a complete how to guide for those wishing to start a consultancy business. It's purpose is to ask some of the questions and show some information that many other sources fail to do. Tips and ideas which … [Read more...]

Porters five forces

Michael Porter's Five Forces Michael Porter's five forces is a model used to explore the environment in which a product or company (or business unit) operates. Five forces analysis looks at five key areas mainly the threat of entry, the power of buyers, the power of suppliers, the threat of substitutes, and competitive rivalry. New Entrants SuppliersIndustry competitors and extent of rivalryBuyers Substitutes Introduction The model of the Five Competitive Forces … [Read more...]

Developing the developers – CPD for trainers

Developing the developers - CPD for trainers Training our Trainers The results of the developing the developers survey shows us some of the learning and development priorities in terms of continuous professional development - CPD for trainers.Box quote.. ” If I don't know I don't know I think I know If I don't know I know I think I don't know Laing R D (1970) KnotsHarmondsworth; Penguin (p.55)”  Roles of trainers There are in effect two primary roles in learning and … [Read more...]

Company Formation for Freelance Consultants and Trainers

Forming your own consultancy company With so many people being made redundant at the moment, many are considering taking their pay-off and investing some of it into setting up their own freelance business. Where your skills are readily transferable, it may be possible to set up as a freelance consultant and sell your services to a range of companies. What makes freelance consultants different? Consultants and trainers, by definition, provide advice and guidance to others requiring those … [Read more...]

Ansoff matrix – product market grid – Management theory & model

Introduction to the Ansoff matrix Igor Ansoff, known as the father of strategic management, was a mathematician and business manager. In the 1950s his work was developed and eventually published providing managers and the marketing world with a simple, practical tool that is in use 50 years later.In essence the Ansoff product/ market matrix is a tool that helps businesses decide their product and market growth strategy.Ansoff's product/ market matrix suggests that a business' attempts … [Read more...]

Blogs do they work for you

Web 2.0 and all that it means… blogs, twitter, interaction etc but what does it mean?Humans are social animals, we need to be part of a social group, a hierarchy. With the demise of the extended family, the nuclear family and more and more isolation perhaps it was inevitable that we will need to find a ‘new social group’.It is curious that over the past 15 years membership of voluntary organisations has changed. We no longer go to the ‘clubs’ that we once did to feel part of some … [Read more...]

Innovation creating an organizational wide culture of executive innovation

Executive innovation – creating the culture Ever heard your people say…“What we need in this organization is innovation” or “Creativity will give us the edge”.Executives and leaders often utter these words with little realisation of the difficulties of bringing about a fundamental shift in the behaviour necessary to create an innovation culture across the organization. “We can empower people to bring new ideas, we’ll run some workshops on creativity” if only it were that simple. But … [Read more...]

Innovation – Individual or team effort – “Collective Leadership”

Today I read an interesting blog article on Innovation which starts with:"To generate creative business ideas, breakthrough innovators must be fiercely tested and wisely deployed (…) Truly innovative people are rare. Perhaps, 5% or 10% of the high potential managers within a company at any given time have the skills and attributes to become innovators.”Read Jeffrey Cohn, Jon Katzenbach, and Gus Vlack’s paper, “Finding and Grooming Breakthrough Innovators,” on HBR."  The author … [Read more...]

Executive Innovation the key to success

Is Executive Innovation the key to success?The world economy is changing… are we reacting fast enough? For many executives innovation is just not happening fast enough according to recent articles and research from Boston Consulting Group’s annual study on innovation. Many organisations know that first in order to survive and then to grow they need to innovate. In recent years the focus of innovation has been on creativity and the innovative process, but the lack of results show that this … [Read more...]

Not What Why

When situations are difficult it is easy to remain task focused (what), but does this help us maintain a future resistant approach?Schein in “Organizational Culture and Leadership”  says “what happens in organizations is fairly easy to observe, but in the effort to understand why such things happen, culture as a concept comes into its own”If leadership is the key to the future success of our organisation then culture is the lock. In a world where we are very short term-ist (just look … [Read more...]

Employee Engagement the solution in difficult times

Employee Engagement – the solution in difficult times? Yet another weekend where the news broadcasts and the Sunday papers have been full of the economic doom and gloom. With many of the retail stores starting with 20% & 25% discounts with four weeks before Christmas you know things are changing.If the key to survival is employee talent, then retention of talent has got to be a prime drive. But security is not the only factor, often when organizations offer redundancy, it is those that … [Read more...]

Evaluating the impact of training – another failure

Evaluating the impact of training is this as successful as we would like to believe?On one forum I regularly visit was the question:I am currently trying to answer a question for my course, but have hit a slight problem. The question I need to answer for my written project is:- Conduct an analysis to determine the effects that training has had on the success of your organisation. I was planning on writing about Customer Service training we have been running on going for the last 18 … [Read more...]

What is an Internship? Why should you do one?

At its most basic level an internship programme could be said to be: An internship programme is a planned work experience opportunity offered by an employer. There should be no expectation of employment after completing the programme/ experience. People in these roles are called interns. The intern role is to work at an organisation for a fixed, limited period of time. Interns are usually undergraduates or post graduates. Most internships last for any length of time between 1 week and 12 … [Read more...]

How to Write a Mission Statement and Sample Statements

How to Write a Mission Statement and Sample StatementsHow to write a Mission Statement Mission Statement Style Template The Ideal Mission Statement Examples of Mission Statements Copyright Mission Statements A mission statement is a statement of intent for a business or organization. It may be a temporary one setting a strategic goal, or a long term statement.They should be more than a series of buzz words and business jargon strung together. Nor should it be a stiff, bland dictum. … [Read more...]

Writing and Training Managers in SMART objectives

How do we start training and developing our managers in writing SMART objectives?Please also see How to Write SMART objectives. So how do we go about training managers in smart objectives?This is always an interesting topic. the following was recently posted on a community forum: “We are currently reviewing our appraisal process. We have realised our line managers need training on how to set clear SMART objectives. Has anyone got any information that they have used to train managers … [Read more...]

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