Saturday, November 9, 2019

Do You Take Time Management in Business Seriously?

Prove it! In the comments below, (or Tweet me a reply @joanncorley) share an example of how you consistently demonstrate this - one time attempts don't count. How about for your team?

If you can't, read on.

One of my main passions is helping people get more of what they want! My life's work has been to do this and in recent years have been primarily focused on helping fellow business owners, entrepreneurs and founders.

In doing this, I've notice in the business advice- business coaching space that there is a lot of big innovations and ideas promoted. They have a loud voice and get a lot of attention, such as AI, big data - you know the big flashy, sexy stuff.

Yet, in my 20+ some years in business, here's what's I've learned - it's the simple fundamentals of how we work - how we run a business/department/team - that have the most impact and yet seem to be the most overlooked. 

A related example is sports. Consider basketball, it's those who are exceptional at the fundamentals that have the best stats and create the most wins.

My goal in my consulting work is to keep redirecting the focus of my fellow business colleagues to the fundamentals and help them stay focused on becoming exceptional at the elements of running a business that matter most and have the most impact. Once those are solidified, then attention can be turned to the popular shiny objects of the day.

A Grossly Ignore Business Fundamental
One of the most essential elements to business success and in my view one that's not given the attention it needs is time management. I think folks are kind of numb to it. Perhaps because we've had eras of hyper-attention to it. I've been around long enough to observe attention ebb and flow around this topic over the years.

No matter what attention the popular market gives to it, it is still a crucial,  non-negotiable element of life and work - time is our life...lived in moments, minutes, weeks, months and years. This truth also makes it a non-negotiable element of business and therefore needs to have a central focus.

If it hasn't been for you, then I invite you today to change that! I am here to help! So let's start with this question: Do you need to practice better time management?

In truth, how you use time, work with time, the time management skills you do or don't develop impact your career, your pay, your leadership and management, your relationship with customers and collectively your profits. 

This suggests a hard core fact - time management in business is no joke! It shouldn't be treated as a casual after-thought or a "nice training seminar" to have when we can get to it or afford it. 

If you're not strategically managing time - you are wasting money and/or loosing money!

And here's another time management crazy truth -  if you own and operate a small business or are a senior leader, poor time management can even impact the quality of your family relationships and your profits. Man...that is a double whammy!

Your relationship to time spills over into your relationship to others - at home and work.

So it's safe to say practicing good time management along with your employees' time management directly impacts your business success. In fact having very thoughtful, effective time management strategies that you create with your employees are an important element of team management.

Time is a Business Asset
Like money, time is an asset...and since this is true, we need to be keenly aware of the role it plays as a business partner. Ever considered time your business partner? And like any asset how we use it, leverage it, is crucial to the results we get - how effective we are.

There are tons of examples of how time impacts profits. Here are a few simple ones: 
  • how much time it takes to respond to a complaint 
  • how much time it takes for a customer to receive a a product or a refund, 
  • how much time it takes to get to a live customer service person
  • how much time it takes to fill out a form on line (this is really an issue in recruiting),  
  • Amazon's implementation of the 1 click feature (that simple customer service offering was all about saving time when ordering on line...I've ordered more because of it).
  • how much time it takes for a client to experience a meaningful result 
  • and even how much time it takes for a team member to do their work
Time is a fundamental measuring stick to almost everything is business! And that's why
you can see that much overused phrase "time is money" practically, very real.

Here's my conclusion. As it related to business, I think we take time for granted. So if you're looking for ways to improve your business operations and profits. Consider your use of time. It's usually not the first business improvement idea a leader thinks of, yet it is one that can have the most significant impact.

Action Item: Do a time audit - starting with you and your day to day activities. Do you know how your time is spent as the key business leader of your business or department? You can do a time audit through time mapping. Take a week-at-a -glance sheet of paper and simply track in time blocks, what goes on in your day. - here's quick video briefing on the concept, plus a few more tips.

Time Management Resources
So, if you know and really want to practice better time management...become a time management ninja,  I recommend the following:

1. Follow this blog -- it's your free choice for practical how-tows... I'll be focusing on this topic for the next several posts, which I'll eventually turn into an online time management course.

2. If you need to improve both your time management and organizational skills - then pick up my book and/or audio book (on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music) Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed | If you've made it all the way through this post- email me and I'll send you a  complimentary pdf version:

Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed - how to manage your time, space, & priorities, to work smart, get results & be happy - Kindle or Book - Nook - Audio Book 
Other readings in the Kindles Shorts Section: Kindle & Nook:  Declutter Your Life From The Inside Out |  Your Life Through the Lens of Time 

3. If you are in the role of executive leadership, owner, founder, senior leader, department head, business unit leader, consider our senior management development opportunity. It's a 60 day coaching intensive called The 3 Disciplines: Boost Your Executive Effectiveness in 60 Days, based on the book The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker.

Oddly enough some folks, especially emerging executives or those new to a role with increased responsibilities need an execution coach (notice that wasn't "executive" but execution). Having one particularly during the ramp-up period is great way to quickly get a handle on getting good results, effectively managing and minimizing overwhelm as you're experiencing stretching your capacity and adapting to a new role and expectations. Learn more here.

4. Our Time Management Skills resource link => go here

A final note: Your effectiveness as a leader is the first of our 9 building blocks within our Effective Executive's Blueprint for Smart Management. It's a comprehensive road map to improve people management while refining operations and developing competent managers (in effect it's a great tool for managing the managers). Additionally, you could consider it the ultimate people skills for managers training. It is a very unique resource for effective management training and development. Read an introduction here.

Related articles: 

Leadership Tip: Boost Your Impact - Be An Executive!

What's A Little Known Coaching Method That Can Quickly & Dramatically Improve Your Results?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Are You Ready for The Ultimate Management Training Idea?

Call me crazy, but I just have to write, proclaim...beat the drum again about the most important, compelling need of a business - having competent managers...and the challenge of developing and managing the managers.

If you have chosen to work with, have an employee based business, having competent managers - those with good people management skills (as many say) is not an option. Yet, many treat it as such. Does this make sense?

Now, there are many reasons why folks see it as optional, but my focus for this post is to talk about, be squarely focused on the that actually works.

What's Currently Available for Management Training
If you were to do an on line search for management training, which might also include management training seminars, online management training, management training seminars near me, management training for new supervisors, management skills for new managers, you would come up with these most popular results:
- The AMA - American Management Association
- Public Seminar companies such as Fred Pryor, National Seminars, Career Path
- Online offerings such as Skillsoft Management Training, Mindtools, Cornerstone, LinkedIn Learning (for the record, I am an SME-course author for them).

Though a few less popular brands appear, these are the companies that have dominated the leadership and management training market for years. In my early years, I contracted with a few of them. I know the industry well.

Which brings me to an important point. Over the 20+ years I've been in the industry, I've had a front row seat to observing what's most effective in manager training - what it really takes to help develop people management skills that results in effective management...and what falls short.

With all these offerings.. there is still an issue with successful management training...that is reliable and sustainable. Consider this quote from the Harvard Business Review from the recent past:

“Managers are trying to solve their intractable people problems in any way they can. They’re exhaustively using all their skills to find solutions—in fact, most of the leaders and managers we have worked with are highly motivated and educated, yet when they confront certain people problemstheir traditional approaches just aren’t working.”
Source:Putting a Price on People Problems at Work

The truth is current offers are partially helpful - only to a degree. And, they are not really "training" resources, they are learning resources. There's a big difference.

You see they are only partially helpful because they only offer partial training because the bulk of their offer is only information and usually lots of it...more accurately "information dumps" during a short, prescribed period of time. And unfortunately for the buyers, the perceived value is based on the volume of information not the ability to achieve desired results.

Additionally, they promote unrealistic expectations about their training results. Gaining information - that is learning - is really only the first step of training. Learning does not equal automatic skill acquisition.

Think about it... a skill is an exceptional behavior. In fact a skill is a specialized habit.

The great misconception:
Talking about a skill does not a skill make -
 talking about a habit does not automatically create a habit. 

So the next time you see an ad of any kind that suggests you will be gaining skills by sitting in a classroom or working through an e-learning module understand that acquiring information will not automatically translate into a tactical, practical skill or permanent behavior change. Learning provides prompts for change. It's the consistent practice post learning that will create the skill.

Promising or promoting skill acquisition guised as learning has done a great disservice to the HR industry for years. It sets unrealistic expectations, which has created frustration and disillusionment regarding the value of  training-development and which has also wasted tremendous amounts of time and money.

It's also conditioned decision-makers into a state I call FOS - fear of spending. Consciously and subconsciously many decision-makers feel as if spending money on employee training and development is really just a waste of money and something that's nice to do "if we can afford it".

With these truths in mind, to help decision-makers make the best decision, to spend their precious dollars wisely,  I've put together a video micro-course entitled The 9 Point Checklist for Successful Management Training

Here's What Missing in Most Offerings
What you'll learn in more detail when viewing the video is what's missing or not helpful with current offerings and the industry approach to training and development in general - here's just a few elements:
-the buffet style-random choosing which offers...
-a lack of continuity
-no consistency
-no meaningful accountability for application
-no long term support for as long as needed to see desired result
- some are too costly, which makes it too exclusive - so many who need it are left out (kinda defeats the purpose)
-not operationally focused or real-time relevant
-no ability or effort to track ROI

So, What Are Your Options? 
How about considering the ultimate management training idea that goes way beyond a management training book, seminar, workshop, or e-learning module.

Here's the reality. You can continue to use the popular offerings and experience the same deficits, but in a more informed way (after viewing our mini-course below) so that you can at least make a plan to fill the gaps.

Or you can try our offering. It is the only one on the market that is structured to fill the gaps in a distinct, unique way with a significant, measurable return on investment (which we even help you calculate).

Our Key Difference - How to Train Managers: Use a Comprehensive Operational Approach 
Brief Overview
- we've developed in collaboration with clients a tested, proven step-by-step (9 building block) how to manage blueprint that's comprehensive and which can be used at any level or title. Think of the design as if a manager training curriculum was built into an easy to follow framework or roadmap.

It's the Effective Executive's Blueprint for Smart Management. It's designed to serve as a senior management training program first and then duplicated through-out the organization. It helps construct a cohesive leadership team and culture.

 The result?... an "all-in-one" resource that improves operations, fosters high-functioning teams, cultivates a learning and process-improvement culture all while developing effective management skills.
- it is easy to budget because it is a flat fee model - no matter how it's used within an organization
- we are virtual so we are anywhere you need us to be - we serve clients world-wide (also great for companies with remote teams).
- key distinction=> we have continuous weekly live learning to provide continuity and real-time support for learning and application accountability 
- we are always just a phone call or email away-period.. for as long as you need us
- we are fully invested in the results you want for as long as it takes
- all application of learning is applied to current operational needs (this is your opportunity to customize) so you can financially measure value and results in real-time. | Learn more here

2 Very Distinct Bonuses
- each step of the blueprint is carefully designed to include human behavior science
- each step (building block) is designed to produce a positive financial gain - that's 9 opportunities for financial gain within the first 90 day roll-out cycle.

I know this a lot to digest. This post is an introduction to...and encouragement to rethink how we as an industry collectively view management training - to go beyond the sporadic, periodic, disjointed, one and done approach that doesn't produce the needed results. We need to see it and advocate for it to be a continuous endeavor, embedded in day-to-day operations, relevant in real-time, and able to be measured as a natural part of business management and operations.

You may want to hop over to our website, check out the big picture or just email me if you have questions or at least view the How to Hit a Home Run mini-course. If applied, it will have a meaningful financial impact! We're here to support you in any way we can!

Or if you really want to "geek out" on a full description - download our complete executive briefing.

Let's Continue the Conversation
Let me know your thoughts on this post - em: or share it and tag me on Twitter @joanncorley.  This is a pretty big deal and many of our colleagues suffer because of lack of info.

If you want to improve your individual people management skills and team management in general, then... you'll want to grow your awareness of how human behavior impacts your business - read my latest 2 executive briefings.  

You can email me and I'll be happy to send a complimentary pdf version of them (whichever you request) or you can pick them up on Amazon (book or Kindle). (They are both incredibly helpful people management books!)
1.  Show Me the Money: Solving the Mystery of ROI to Unlock Profits and Increase Company Value
2. The Human Quotient: The Most Potent Force for Your Business Success

Email: | Feel free to set up a 30 min. Q&A call

Exciting News: We are migrating to a 90% virtual company so that we can be available to help more people. As of Nov. 1 - we officially launch Manage Global. Our #1 focus will be to help leaders and their HR partners implement effective management practices through our Effective Executive Smart Management Blueprint, which includes our unique lens of human behavior science.  It's an exceptional tool to manage managers for results!..which is one of the top challenges of companies, no matter the size. Our goal is to help them do so in a unique, reliable, sustainable way. Not one dollar is wasted with our blueprint! Learn more here.