Saturday, 25 February 2012

Leave room for the melody

When you hear musicians talk, two common threads about being a good performer are ... play for the band ... and Quality is about what you don't play as well as what you do.

In buisness, the first clearly equates to the need to be a good team-player ... to consider and respect the roles and responsibilities of other members of the team ... and not to get in their way.

The second can be paralleled with the need to plan ahead and execute only those tasks that add value. Fire-fighting and wasteful activities (necessary because you didn't plan effectively) make you look busy but they contribute nothing to the 'quality output'.

So, next time you are feeling busy - make sure you know where the melody is - the real value of your activity.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

What is too much?

There has been significasnt controversy in the UK in recent weeks about the size of executive pay bonuses ... especially for executives in companies that appear to be performing badly.

So, when is too much pay simply too much?

Impossible to say ... but the differential in pay in the West generally, but especially in the US and UK, has reached impossible levels. The ratio of executive pay to the pay of the lowest paid is now abnout 200 times. 20 years ago it was about 50 times.

The rich are getting richer ... and have continuesd to do so throughout the economic crisis.

Now, that is just plain wrong!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Shared values

Managing people is often held up to be a key part of managing a business. However, too often, what is meant by this is manipulating people.

My experience is that if you and your employees have (broadly)shared values... and you manage processes effectively... AND you train and develop people properly .... then people manage themselves.

If they do, they should be rewarded - if the business is successful, people should share some of that benefit.

Shared values should lead to shared value.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

The Jobless Recovery

There is growing evidence that a number of economies are making (weak) recoveries from the depths of the depression.  These recoveries are not being matched by a rise in employment - unemployment remains stubbornly high in most countries.

This, however, suggests that productivity is rising ... and if we can maintain that trend - as firms do start to take on workers - we might get a 'real' - and 'strong' - recovery.