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Archive for the category “sales and marketing”

Death by meeting part IV (and how you and the meeting can be resuscitated)


Death by meeting part IV (and how you and the meeting can be resuscitated) 

Meetings. Sometimes I think I the conference room is my office. How often do you feel that way, or have you been in more meetings than the workweek has hours?

Seriously, many meetings just keep on running on and on with little to nothing show for at the end of it in terms of getting tangible results. When folks get an even fuzzier picture at the end of the meeting than what they went in with, you will have some very unhappy campers to deal with sooner or later.

It does not need to be this way. Preparation is the key word in making a difference. Have you ever painted anything like a room or piece of furniture? If so, you may appreciate when I say that +75% of the total work going into this is the prep work leading up to it. The actual painting job takes a fraction of time. This is no different with meeting prep work. Properly executed this can save you many a nerves and of course time, money and frustration. Please also see the meeting planner free for you to use in the download area.

  1. Sit on a mental rock and ponder why you need to have a meeting in the first place. If you can avoid it, do not have it. Have personal conversations instead and make good use of your capability walking the four corners of your business.
    1. A good reason to have a meeting is when you get more than 3 people e-mailing each other discussing a point and consensus does not emerge.
    2. Have a meeting immediately if this banter goes on more than two business days.
    3. Have it immediately if there is more than just 1 department or stake holder involved.
  2. Clarify what kind of a communication you want to have. Is it a communication for interpretation? Communication for clarity? Communication for action? Communication for exploration?
  3. Identify the goal of the meeting. What is the desired outcome?
  4. Define location, attendees, time scheduled to start and stop. Make sure to book your rooms well in advance and all the props that you need.
  5. Who should attend? Err on the minimalistic side. More than five people at a time make for really slow meetings. Pay attention who of your people are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. Make sure everyone is being considered.
  6. When you start the meeting make sure to start on time and end on time. Neat trick starting on time is to make the last person to arrive at the meeting the scribe. You will have some hilarious antics going on when you do this, but it has proven extremely effective.
  7. Define the roles of facilitator, scribe, and time keeper. Time keeper, no time to tread lightly on this; make certain that the time limits are kept.
  8. Plan out the topics that will be discussed. Upon starting the meetings give every team member a chance adding topics, or of course eliminating any.
  9. Sometimes it may be necessary having side bar meetings leading up the meeting that you are planning. When the topic is too vague, scope creep set in, or there are too many people in the main meeting, prevent major headaches this way.
  10. Scribe: Keep copious notes. For the technical savvy folks amongst you, use a version of the Meeting Planner on the Download page in your MS One Note folder and share it with the team members.
  11. At the end of the meeting go over the captured action items. Make absolutely, positively certain to doing this. Identify the responsible person to deliver results and by when.
  12. End on time. If you have a pattern of going over all the time, have a few meetings standing up. Trust me it helps keeping a fast pace and not to start rambling through the meeting agenda. If you must go over one hour time then plan on a 90 max meeting time before walking around, and get a bit of fresh air.

Nothing is worse than having a meeting for the sake of having a meeting. If need be, speak with you supervisor and take a break at no more than 90 minutes max meeting time.

Ralf

Going for the easy money – The top number 1 reason why people and companies fail


Going for the easy money – The top number 1 reason why people and companies fail 

Most enterprises will go out of their way generating profit at the end of each month in order to look good to their share and stakeholders. In fact, whole goal and strategy sessions are designed on the simple premise to stay in the positive numbers.

The kicker is that the “easier” we make things the more complacency sets in, the greater the number of hidden agendas and blind spots there will be. The easier we try making it less we have to stretch and think out of the box. For instance, when we make financial success a goal – the goal – in itself watch what will happen. More promising but less popular and more costly solutions will not be thought of, or if they exist they will never be implemented. This all comes down to merely keeping it to the status quo and thus no longer allowing innovation and risk taking to occur. It is the opposite of what entrepreneurs would want to normally do and be like.

In the case of financial goals they should never be a goal by themselves, but rather the report card (measurement) as to how well everyone did. Do not get me wrong here. Of course there needs to be proper and prudent financial planning in any endeavor, but never ever take the quick route and use this tool in place of a solid vision, mission, and other goals that should describe your future way of being and doing.

Think of how little motivation can be derived of financial goals. That is so much different when you have you and your teams working solid goals that are inspiring because they involve curiosity, courage, risk, venturing into unknown territory, etc. Ultimately that is a lot of fun along the way because it fulfills a mission greater than the sum of all people and parts. So, do you want easy or long lasting success that ultimately leads to significance? Most of the times it may be less popular staying on a tough road, but that’s where you’ll find me. See you there.

The road to success does not have an intersection with the path of least resistance or the off ramp of what is popular. Yet, so many take the sugar rush of a quick fix. In the end they have made it so much tougher reaching a sustainable goal and therefore long lasting success.

Ralf

Busy is bad


Busy is bad 

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser, Brett Blair’s book “From Autopilot to Authentic”. It proves the point that slowing down is what we need rather than just doing more stuff

Multi-tasking is multi-wasting (click to tweet this). Perhaps it’s no myth to you, but it so pervasive in our culture that the vast majority of people probably do not even know that they overdo it. Multi-tasking is when you attempt carrying out all sorts of tasks and thoughts at the same time, or at least in close progression of each other. It has a few terrible side effects.

When your mind is racing because you want to get as much as possible of your stuff done, you no longer think about how much sense there is in doing them in the first place. When we are in motion we are just not making high quality decisions. Just think about the ruckus about texting while driving, and also being on the phone while driving. We are distracted when we do any of these things. Don’t just take my word on it. Here is Coach Brett Blair’s blog post on the same topic.

Here we are multi-wasting instead of multi-tasking and the time we saved may have been a total waste of time. It’s best to make a weekly and even better daily list the day before we actually have to do anything. Make sure to have some quiet time to really contemplate how important the tasks are. Assign a priority to them. Think about if you actually have to do them. Can you perhaps delegate it? Sometimes you may find that you don’t have all the information you needed in order to do the task. Some of the tasks will not end up on the list. You will end up erasing them because they no longer make sense now that you had time to think about them. Finally, some of the tasks take so little time that you get them done after your planning session (beware of scope creep though).

Don’t waste away precious time. Sometimes it is better slowing down instead of speeding up. Your friends and family will enjoy a happier you and at work you will be recognized for being extremely effective. Effectiveness beats busyness any day no matter how hard you think you work (click to tweet this).

Ralf

The exciting change away from B2B to H2H


The exciting change away from B2B to H2H 

I am totally stoked about this newest change away from the old ways. B2B, or Business to Business, is supposed to describe the almost clinical relationship between businesses while they interact. It fails to recognize that living and breathing folks perform all the necessary transactions. These people have dreams and they look to be inspired. In fact, the younger the workforce is getting, the more important purpose is. That also means that the organizational purpose is gaining importance.

Businesses do not do business with businesses. People do all of it. That is where H2H, or Human to Human enters the spotlight. The future is bright for business leader-managers realize that the central focus is not the organization or money. It is the human, the individual that buys the service and goods. It is people who help make and provide them. Money will follow this trail and the organization will grow – and it will do this all but automatically.

Look for organizations that foster a culture of collaboration and transparency. The ones that will put the individual and his / her competencies in the forefront will also make the customer better off. Work to live, do not live to work.

Ralf

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