Tag Archives: employees

When Supervisors Become Managers

Any promotion means more responsibility. Few steps few require as big a leap as the transition from supervisor to manager. Each step up the ladder involves a change in tasks, but an employee’s first managerial position necessitates a change in thinking; one which isn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Customer Relations, Entrepreneurship, Incentives, Leadership, Managing Employees, Strategy and Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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You Can Go This Far, but No Further

When someone starts their first company (especially a technician as defined in my book Hunting in a Farmer’s World) he or she is usually the sole key employee. She (I’ll use one pronoun for readability) does the hands-on work of … Continue reading

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A Machine is Coming to Steal Your Business

We accept, almost without question, the idea that technology can make us more efficient. No small business owner would dream of replacing his or her PC, email and copier with a room full of typists. How enthusiastic will we be when a machine can … Continue reading

Posted in Business Perspectives, Economic Trends, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Managing Employees, Strategy and Planning, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

4 Responses to A Machine is Coming to Steal Your Business

  1. Ken Nangle says:

    Good primer on the topic. While raising the issue and educating those around you is good. How far off are intelligent machines? Watch…

  2. John F. Dini says:

    Here’s another article on a road test of self-driving trucks from reader Harry Levy IV.
    http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/drivers/article/story/2015/05/hands-off-on-the-highway.aspx

  3. Lawrence Stovall says:

    I love technology but what you wrote is scary stuff when you think about it.

  4. Perhaps another and more immediate threat is that technology is enabling global labour sourcing. For example, the development of cloud based accounting packages is promoting New Zealand accounting practices to look to India for routine number processing. Fewer jobs for NZ accountants.

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Effective vs. Efficient: A Tale of Two Cities

Some organizations are effective. Some are efficient. From the customer’s perspective the two may look very much the same, but the difference to your bottom line can be substantial. A few years ago my wife and I toured Vienna, and … Continue reading

Posted in Business Perspectives, Entrepreneurship, Strategy and Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Effective vs. Efficient: A Tale of Two Cities

  1. David Cunningham says:

    This essay is a nice illustration of a key business dynamic. (Perhaps I can write off my next vacation by studying the Effective/Efficient syndrome from Paris, Athens, and Reykjavik, to Singapore.) It is important to be able to recognize this characteristic when advising companies. Owners of either type are likely to be proud of their organization and its culture. This essay may be a gentle way of introducing the issue. But anytime you focus on a problem you have to be prepared with a solution. In this case it may be the introduction of business intelligence in the form of work flow analysis and dashboard performance illustration. Thanks John.

  2. David Basri says:

    I do not think that “effective” and “efficient” are mutually exclusive. Being efficient is largely a product of good processes, procedures and training. It is possible to develop those kind of procedures that also have a healthy dose of effective individuality baked in. Efficient processes should take care of most day-to-day requirements. When customer or company circumstances are outside the procedural box, employees can and should be encouraged to take initiative to be creative and effective.

    For example, PEI is a software development company. Employees (including myself) are first expected to be creative. However, strict naming conventions, coding standards, long term maintainability and testing are enforced. While we are more on the “effective” side of the gradient with a healthy dose of “efficient”, there just needs to be some kind of balance.

  3. John Hyman says:

    Great perspective and a lot to think about. Having spent a lot of time in Europe, I cannot get off the story. I wonder if the tale of two cities might involve a technology gap? Keeping centuries old clock towers and those mechanical time keeping movements in sync seems daunting at best. Transforming from effectiveness to efficiency seems more attainable…

  4. Frank Arnold says:

    David’s comment on not mutually exclusive is reality. An organization with a solid base of efficiency certainly relies less on effective individuality, but I believe both are essential.
    But this thought provoking discussion also leads me to want to get on a plane and head for Europe to continue my education. Thanks.

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Are You Proudly Out of Control?

I have a favorite New Yorker cartoon. A fellow in a suit is standing behind a desk, one hand holding a phone to his ear, and the other with a finger on his calendar. The caption is “How about never? Is never … Continue reading

Posted in Entrepreneurship, John's Opinions, Leadership, Managing Employees | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Are You Proudly Out of Control?

  1. Frank Benzoni P.E. Retired says:

    John

    “On the mark”- being considerate of others –

    Frank

  2. Rodney fischer says:

    Guilty! Needed to hear this. Although, for me it is not so much that I believe my time is more important than others. Rather, I just get so busy that if the call or visit is not a high priority, it gets pushed down in the stack, even though I intend to follow through…………eventually!

  3. John Hyman says:

    Are you in control of your business, or is your business in control of you? Recognizing that “stuff” happens that can wreck your schedule, we should strive to make those times the exception. That is where a good team and a sound process-based approach makes all the difference, Great post.

    • cathy locke says:

      To Rodney,
      I am also very guilty! I am getting a little better in checking my calendar,my business mentor on certain futuristic situations, doing like my Dad use to do”sleep on it” important decisions. Learning to delegate slowly with assistants.
      Thanks, great blog.
      Cathy

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