How’s Your Company Culture?

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small business ownersThe financial crisis of 2008 took no prisoners as businesses large and small reduced personnel, re-visited their business models and found ways to survive in a recession. Some of best small and medium sized businesses failed during the recession but others found ways to thrive. The businesses that succeeded will emerge even stronger when the UK economy stabilizes.

So, why is it that some businesses not only survived but are thinking about expansion while other businesses are laying off workers and cutting back on necessary services? Is it luck? Is it being in the right place at the right time? Or, is it possible that the small business owner and staff did something right? Continue reading

Leadership Re-Training is Where Businesses Prosper

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leadershipLeadership has become a central theme in the world of business and in the world of politics in 2012. The global economy has proven that many company leaders are ill-prepared to tackle the challenges the next decade will provide. Businesses that rise to the challenge are seeking leadership training that exceeds the standard courses offered by traditional business programs.

Uncertainty in the UK and across the globe, have challenged management in small, medium and large corporations to address their leadership weaknesses. Today’s competitive businesses are forging working relationship with suppliers, competitors and businesses in other specialties to bring new products to market faster than other businesses. This collaborative effort is called open innovation. Continue reading

Setting Goals for Business Coaching

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Business CoachBusiness coaching takes time. Business coaching is a commitment to the sustainability of the business. Business coaching will not succeed without proper goal setting, a worthwhile investment of the busy business owner’s time.

It is easy for the business owner to become distracted. In particular, the small business owner who wears many hats can find many credible reasons to be too busy to invest the necessary time. However, business coaching is often about moving a business from one level to the next. In order to be successful, the business owner must learn to delegate responsibly, often a challenge for the autocratic entrepreneur.

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Management Must Reach Out To New Ideas

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managementIn this environment of austerity and corporate belt tightening, the first persons to realize that leadership changes are necessary at every level of the corporate ladder are the heads of businesses of all sizes. Businesses realise that the strong survive but innovative companies can prosper in the darkest of times.

The realisation that businesses are only as strong as the sum of all working parts has caused ripples of change throughout the human resource departments and company cultures. Many of today’s most successful companies have been able to adapt to highly competitive markets by re-training their department heads and upper echelon staff. Continue reading

The Importance of Setting Ambitious but Achievable Goals

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goal settingSetting ambitious and achievable goals is one of the foundation blocks every business leader must address. From a cursory perspective, setting ambitious but achievable goals can seem an easy, obvious exercise. But, when the business leader truly considers those goals, he or she quickly realizes that company goals affect every customer, employee, supplier and creditor of the business. Indeed, a company’s goals are the company’s future.

With that in mind, the results of the 4th Annual Staples National Small Business Review Survey provided some startling information about small business owners. 80 percent of 300 small business owners indicated that they do not track their progress on company goals. Not surprisingly, 77 percent of the 300 business owner’s expectations.

Setting ambitious and achievable goals for a business comes at a cost. First, the owner and key personnel will have to dedicate the time to create the goals. Secondly, some of the goals may require budgeting expenditures and small businesses often have difficulty maintaining the discipline to invest in the company’s future when most often survival seems the owner’s primary goal. Continue reading

Is Peer Group Learning More Effective Than Traditional Teaching

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peer groupPeer group learning is a form of cooperative learning that emphasises the interaction between students and mentors who have a common interest and/or shared knowledge about a particular topic or concern. One of the unique qualities of peer group learning is that it often benefits the student participants and the mentor.

Mentors can choose from a number of teaching strategies. The framework for peer learning is usually described as “intellectual scaffolding.” The idea of intellectual scaffolding is to raise questions or issues that prompt individuals in the group towards sophisticated levels of thinking. The mentor and students participate in collaborative processes that are designed to keep all participants engaged and contributing. Continue reading

21st Century Leadership Encourages Cultural Evolution

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leadersBusiness leaders are under pressure to be more transparent than at any time in history. This pressure comes from shareholders, board members, employees and communities. This level of transparency can be regarded as a hindrance or as a matter of business responsibility. Inevitably, leaders who address it as the ladder are the ones that develop sustainable relationships.

Sustainable relationships touch every aspect of the enterprise, including availability of credit, networking and innovative collaborations that enable businesses to capitalize on the many opportunities provided by the global marketplace. Continue reading