I provide strategic consulting services to Not-for-Profit clients who perhaps are not best equipped or experienced to apply corporate procedures that most of us would find "normal". However, when an NFP has a highly-paid CEO that once worked senior positions in significant banking and investment companies, you'd expect better. I was asked to assist in recruitment interviews for a General Manager position by the CEO of an NFP that I have had a relationship with earlier in their history. In fact, I had participated in earlier interviews for various finance staff recruited by this CEO when he had first arrived, and in the process had provided to the organisation a recruitment "checklist" for those earlier interviews. So, imagine my surprise when the CEO asked me to assist in the GM interviews, and I discovered that a complete Job Description was still being discussed, that an advertisement had been published without reference to key details such as employer industry and location (regional town), and before other details such as remuneration ranges and basic terms had been agreed internally. Having heard this, it was no surprise to me to learn that various highly qualified potential candidates had made initial inquiries, and when told...Read more
In any size business, but particularly in the smaller business, one of the traits the business owner or CEO or unit manager needs to keep in mind is the ability to focus on the task while keeping the big picture in mind.
What do I mean by keeping focus while having the big picture in mind?
Let me give you an analogy.
I was driving the back streets of my suburb last Sunday when I came upon a road signage crew training staff. This is a crew that puts up witches' hats and "slow down" signs when roadworks are in progress. As I approached the intersection, I saw the care and attention they had paid to the task.
About 200 meters before the intersection they had put up signs slowing traffic and one sign even explaining "training" in progress. As you approached, they had beacons, people with "lollipop" signs saying "stop" on one side and "slow" on the other. All their crew were wearing high-visibility vests, supervisors were carefully spaced out and radios were being used. Clearly they knew what they were doing and all safety procedures were being put into use.
Then I got to the intersection and whereas their training vehicles had been...Read more
Harvard Business School change management guru John Kotter outlines the fundamental differences between Leadership and Management as follows:- - Establishing direction vs Planning & Budgeting - Aligning people vs Organising and staffing... - Motivating & inspiring vs Controlling & Problem-solving. In Kotter's view, while management produces an order of predictability, order, and the capacity to attain desired short term targets, the qualities of Leadership prodeuces change, often to a dramatic degree and often potentially useful change to create a future vision. In my consulting, I use my own process called vision-driven planning, first creating a vision for the group (in great detail, to the degree that it is internally viable and credible) which is then quantified through a Balanced Scorecard approach ("If we were to achieve our vision, how must we look and behave in the area of..."). The quantification of the vision is converted into Performance Measures, and then these are redirected as Strategies. It works exceptionally well for SME's in creating what I call a "POP" or Plan On a Page. However the obstruction I usually see is lack of "Leadership" in that often the SME owners and managers are extremely concerned with the now...Read more
Business incubation was a concept that started in the United States in 1959 when the Batavia Industrial Centre was opened. Incubation expanded in the US and spread to the UK, then Europe. The following graphic shows a “potted history” of business incubation. In Australia, business incubation was supported by governments in the 1990’s but since then, the term has been somewhat debased by “fashion” and carpet-bagger consultants trying to ride a catchy phrase transformed it to become an offering of its parts rather than as a total concept. Hence many consultants now offer “Business Incubation services” to Indigenous organisations, to the extent that in Indigenous organisations today the term “Business Incubation” means to offer community members some form of support to help them start business, whether this be micro-financing, business planning services, or book-keeping services. While these individual services can help Indigenous small business owners, taken as individual services they cannot holistically help develop a start up business invariably conceived by someone in the community who is starting up from ground zero. Business services provided singly do not provide the support and tailored tutoring and mentorship to ensure the business aspirants are taken on the whole journey of business start-up and establishment. What is an aspirant going to...Read more