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Advice from Outside the Square

Category Archives: Change Management

Outsource for Efficiency

Once upon a time, running a small business was relatively uncomplicated. Not easy, but uncomplicated. You were good at something. You saved or borrowed some capital. You set up procedures that focused on doing what you were good at, which was what drove the business, and then you hired people who could do the supporting functions like keeping the books. As you progressed, you hired some contract specialists like tax accountants, or you hired contractors to do things you didn't want to do like clean the office every night. (more…)...
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Create A Feedback Culture In Your Business

One of the consulting assignments I most enjoy is working with all the people in a client's business. Often, when I am helping Directors prepare a strategic plan, or Managers work on their business plans, I only work with these Directors and Managers, or sometimes owners and other stakeholders. Rarely do I get to work with the company as a whole unless I am working on a change management assignment involving restructuring, systems, people and culture. But of course, even when I don't work with people below management level, I meet and interact with the other employees, and see a vast range of cultural phenomena. Even in driven and well-led companies, I sometimes see an underground layer of tension. Leaders need to recognise that some people feel intimidated by strong leadership and despite being invited to, do not voice their opinions. They have to be invited to do so and be given the opportunity to see that feedback from them is welcome and positive. (more…)...
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How To Get People Ready For Change

When I started consulting to businesses over 25 years ago, no matter how small a business, a restructure of the way a business conducted business took place about every 6 years on average. In a 2018 survey of Small and Medium Enterprises, a restructure every 3 years was more typical. In fact in some industries, some restructure process happens every year. Since these restructuring processes can incorporate anything from changes to business units to changes in procedures to specific performance improvement projects, they can affect every person in a business. This is incredibly challenging for employees in every sector. (more…)...
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How To Do Things You Don’t Enjoy In Your Business

Like me, there are things you have to do that you don’t enjoy. You know – go on a diet, exercise, that sort of thing! But you know you have to do it, and the consequences are clear, so you do them! I’m sure you have your ways to discipline yourself and to turn the mind from “have to” to “get to do!” But what about in your business? Sometimes in your business, you have to do things that, not only do you not enjoy but that you might actually hate to do! These are situations where you have to cold-call a new customer (I know I hate that), or you have to discipline staff for some inappropriate behaviour; or perhaps even having to learn new skills that you just know you can't do. In these situations it’s not about not having the time, or feeling uncomfortable – it’s about actually hating to have to do it! That negativity causes procrastination and delay, you put it off, plans stall, your to-do list piles up, and perhaps your business even suffers. These are not things that would be nice to do and which you don’t enjoy – these are things you hate doing but you absolutely must do because if you don’t your business really suffers! How do you...
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