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Start working ‘on’ your business, rather than ‘in’ it

Tom Lovelace In Preparation No

Could you give up being the main driver and discover a more productive role in the company you created?

There comes a time when this fundamental shift will be the best way to keep your business growing, says Jim Krampen, Seven Corners Inc co-founder and executive officer, writing for Entrepreneur.

Health suffers when time equals money

Jack Smith Zigzag

Calculating your employees’ pay on an hourly rate can raise their psychological stress levels and eat away at their enjoyment of life, writes Martin J Smith for Stanford Business.

Workers who believe that every second counts in terms of the monetary value placed on their time are more likely to suffer from potentially damaging mental pressures, according to new academic research.

Three key incoming tactics of extraordinary leaders

John Loker

How can a CEO make an outstanding impression when moving to a new company?

Making the transition to a fresh role is a huge test for leaders in the contemporary business world. Getting your early moves right is vital if you want to get the existing team on board and guide the company to singular success.

Why your CIO can make or break your business

CIO

With digital data increasingly driving performance, it takes a strong, forward-thinking champion to make sure your organisation embraces that shift effectively.

These days the role of CIO goes way beyond overseeing your company’s computer technology. With businesses from all sectors adopting a digital-first strategy, the CIO holds a transformational position.

Sleepy millionaires give hope to late risers

Tegamaccio

Is rising daily before the crack of dawn an essential to success as an entrepreneur? Apparently not. Sleep-loving Carol Roth has interviewed seven fellow millionaires for Entrepreneur to prove the point.

The successful American TV and radio personality, author and investor cites positive reasons why she and her interviewees get out of bed between 8am and 9.30am.

Five strategies to reduce the ill effects of commuting

Jiro Osuga

Commuting can negatively impact employees’ performance and wellbeing.

Workers with long commutes are more anxious, less satisfied with life and less likely to find their job and daily activities satisfying. They are also more exhausted and less productive at work, and more likely to get divorced. However, there are a few simple steps you can take to make your commute a more positive experience.

Elon Musk: expert generalist

Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s success is down to more than just hard work, the ability to visualise the future and a ‘never say die’ attitude.

Elon Musk is CEO and CTO of SpaceX, co-founder, CEO and chairman of Tesla Inc, co-founder of OpenAI and founder and CEO of Neuralink. He is worth US$15.3bn.

How has the 45-year-old entrepreneur achieved all of this in such a short space of time?

Why you need to understand your products’ demand windows

Richard Smith Maryland

If you don’t know what the demand windows for your products are, not enough of your customers will be demanding them.

“The most predictable characteristic of today’s consumers may be their variability,” say Emre Sucu, Matt Egol, and Edward C. Landry writing for Strategy+Business. The predictable customer of a certain age, gender and postal code is a thing of a past.

Break the talent curse

John Kirby

Being singled out as a “future leader” and placed on the fast-track to the top of an organisation’s food chain does not always work out well for talented individuals.

The first step on the journey to overcoming the talent curse is to spot when it has taken hold.

Leading digital platforms requires ethical leadership

Carol Robertson

In addition to legislation, ethical engagement by CEOs is essential to avoid accusations of unethical practice.

Digital platform businesses need to manage their ethics better. At the moment, there is a lack of responsible leadership and regulation around digital platforms, which has resulted in a whole host of unethical consequences.

Reorganisation: when and how to do it

Bernard Cohen

Market conditions change, and when they do leaders need to decide whether to respond by restructuring or reconfiguring.

There are two key reasons why a company might need to consider reorganisation: to “reduce ‘organisational cholesterol’” or to “change strategic direction in the face of major industry change”.

How to fail smart

Joel Filipe

To become truly innovative, companies must learn to accept, discuss and learn from their failures, write Paul Boston and Bin Zhao for Ivey Business Journal.

For many businesses failure is a dirty word. Operating in a society where perfection is espoused and so-called “overnight success” stories are celebrated, senior managers are reluctant to admit to their company’s failures, let alone dissect the reasons for those failures, learn from them and use those lessons to drive innovation.

How to prosper in the Now Economy

Sonja Langford

In the “Now Economy,” in which speed is king, companies must learn to think, move and respond faster without sacrificing service standards.

The success of Amazon Prime, Spotify and Uber, not to mention social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, suggests that modern consumers expect both communication and service to be as fast as possible.

How to improve your cybersecurity

Markus Spiske

In order to tackle the increasing threat of cyberattacks, you need to learn to think like a hacker.

Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly common. In 2013 and 2014 Yahoo Inc. was the target of data breaches that resulted in the theft of sensitive information from 1.5bn user accounts. Other high profile companies including Ashley Madison, JPMorgan Chase and Sony Pictures have also been hacked.

Turning cultural differences to your advantage

Glen Baxter

How can a product or service be wildly successful in one part of the world but of relatively little interest in another?

While globalisation may seem to have made the world smaller and more uniform, cultural differences are still significant. Addressing those differences can be a key to succeeding against larger and comparatively monolithic companies in any given region or country.

Disruption: exploding the slow-incumbent myth

John McLean

The idea that large companies are slow to innovate is a myth. In fact, they may be too innovative for their own good.

We have all heard of well-established businesses ignoring the potential of new technologies. By the time they take the new technology seriously they have been disrupted by it, and small, fast-moving startups have taken over. This is the way many people believe disruption works.

How to put mobility at the heart of your business

Carol Robertson

If you want to succeed in the digital marketplace, embracing the mobile culture is paramount.

Six billion of the world’s inhabitants now have mobile phones. And we use them for instant access to all the information and interaction we need – for both business and pleasure.

Emotional intelligence: why it should be on your interview checklist

Glen Baxter

If you want to build great teams, you need people who can read people

“Building up a team of emotionally intelligent employees can have a surprisingly powerful impact on your company’s overall performance.

Your company needs emotionally intelligent employees to foster positive relationships with both clients and staff, and to spot and troubleshoot potential sources of conflict early.

The market is changing and marketers must keep up

Terry Frost

The demographics of the future won’t be the same as those of the past, or even the present

Marketers need to be aware that “older demographics that exist today will be wiped out and new ones will emerge.” The cost of living is rising and consumers are struggling to get on the property ladder. This will impact on the life trajectories of different demographics across the UK.

Experimentation in the age of superabundant capital

Didier Weemaels

What to do with all that cash stacking up on your balance sheet

Today, financial capital is abundant and cheap. But most of present day leaders cut their teeth under the old rules, in a time when capital was both scarce and expensive. If their business is to thrive in this era of capital superabundance, managers must make the transition from canny investor to robust experimenter.

What are your choices if you want to invest?

US dollars

If you’re new to investing, there are three main options to consider.

Are you in a position to invest in a startup business? Have you come across a new company that complements your own and needs a cash injection? Maybe your company has reasonably large amounts that can be tied up long-term?

Why it pays to show you care

Carol Robertson

Making your employees feel they matter is a powerful tool in the corporate world.

When a leader demonstrates concern for the wellbeing of his or her teams it generates a climate of safety and trust that positively impacts on their work.

Fostering a caring attitude can actively encourage an engaged and satisfied team as well as better productivity. But what if it doesn’t come naturally?

Three ways to successfully adopt the ‘servant leader’ approach

John Kirby

Don’t be bossy. Use empathy and humility to create harmonious and thriving working relationships and watch the results.

If you tend to be an authoritarian or micromanager, there’s a good chance you are not getting the most out of your employees. But companies who embrace the servant leadership philosophy report a major impact on staff engagement, as well as the knock-on effect of improved returns.

How to make digital and social media work for you

Derek Boshier

Digital and social media hold enormous potential for capturing data on customer behaviour and preferences, but how can marketers untangle and make best use of the key information?

Insights can be drawn from various digital data sources, including social media activity, online searches and even geolocation.

Why the cloud is good for startups

Melinda Gibson

The cloud is and will continue to be key to the success of startups. Airbnb and Uber would not exist without cloud computing.

“The cost of having to build all of this functionality in-house would have killed their business models before they were even born.”

Learn to embrace uncertainty

John MacLean

View uncertainty as an opportunity to gain competitive advantage.

When there is market disruption most companies focus on managing the potential negative consequences for their business, with the aim of minimising losses. But when the financial crisis hit in 2008, Hyundai took a different approach; the car manufacturer “leaned into market anxiety”.

It’s time to harness the power of empathy

Glenys Barton

If you want to improve performance across your business, science prescribes this surprise superpower.

What would you consider the top skill you need as a leader? Chances are you wouldn’t pick empathy. And what does the term really mean?

Do marketers need to be industry experts?

Jiro Osuga

The move towards specialised marketing training is provoking a wider debate over the need for qualifications.

What skills and knowledge do you look for when hiring marketing executives? Do you favour candidates with generic, degree-level training? Can you see more benefit in them learning on the job, or would it be valuable to be versed in your industry before they even step through the door?

How clear vision can boost the success of your business

John Loker

A leader with foggy focus can lose their direction. So, how do you define your goals and keep your whole team on the same path?

It’s easy to be thrown off course as a new business leader. You seem to know where you’re heading then suddenly you find yourself being swayed by the grand ideas or passions of staff, customers or financial backers.

How to combine strategy and leadership for growth and renewal

Bernard Cohen

Neither strategy nor leadership, on its own, is sufficient to bring success to a business. They must be integrated as strategic leadership, using a particular skillset.

Today’s pressures and rapid changes require managers who think strategically and at the same time inspire their workforce. Ford’s Alan Mulally, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Google’s Sundar Pichai are examples of leaders who do just that.

Why leaders need to know the importance of followers and contexts

Caporal

In The European Business Review, Barbara Kellerman argues that the outcomes of leadership teaching are greatly diminished if the essential and growing importance of followers and contexts is not properly recognised.

Kellerman sees leadership not as a person but as a system with three equally important components.

Why there really is no such thing as a bad idea

Aaron Burden

If you want groundbreaking ideas you should encourage your employees to challenge the consensus.

As a manager, consensus might make for an easier life, but you risk losing a potentially game-changing idea by fostering a herd mentality. “Humans fear being a fool much more than they hope to be a genius.”

Learn when to share information

Breidamerkursandur by Boomoon

Organisational transparency – sharing information freely with your company’s employees – is said to empower people to make better, faster decisions.

The challenge for executives is knowing when to share information and when not to share information. There are three main areas where transparency can create problems and some measures you can take to avoid oversharing.

What every entrepreneur can learn from the farmer

Waiting for Spring by William Crozier

Farmers have been running their own businesses for millennia, and have plenty to teach us.

“The qualities that help farmers prosper prove just as powerful for startup CEOs,” Tim Handorf, CEO of G2 Crowd, writes for Quartz. Handorf grew up on the family farm in Iowa, and he believes that the values instilled in him there have been integral to his success today.

 

Five simple steps to good leadership

C of E by Tai-Shan Schierenberg

Whatever type of company you are running, the basics of good leadership remain the same.

Sophi Tranchell, CEO of UK-based social enterprise Divine Chocolate, and Bill Sandbrook, CEO of US based producer of mixed concrete and aggregates, US Concrete, are two CEOs from different backgrounds and companies who turned out to have a lot more in common than you might think. “Their insights make a great playbook for the leadership basics from which everyone can learn.”

Growth could kill your business

Floating Garden by Tom Hammick

If you want your company to continue to flourish, know when to stop growing it.

All managers should pause to consider when high growth is good for their business, and when it is bad. “What should a retailer do when growth slows? Is it doomed, or is there a way to prosper when its business matures?”

How loyal customers can grow your business

Lineage by Julie Cockburn

Expensive marketing campaigns might bring you a stream of new customers, but it’s more cost-effective to sustain the loyalty of the ones you already have.

Winning fresh customers might seem the obvious way to expand, but research has shown that purchasers who come back repeatedly can be far more valuable to your business than a one-off customer.

Three key ways to mastermind digital transformation

Carpet by Scarlett Hooft Graafland

As the digital world romps ahead at incredible speed, leaders need to be sure they harness the best and most relevant developments.

Technological innovations shake up the industrial globe every day. Keeping track of these – and understanding which ones are essential for your organisation – is becoming a priority for most CEOs.

It’s time to get real about leadership

office

Aspiring slavishly to contemporary ideals is a sure route to failure

Can you tick all the boxes on the popular checklist of attributes for successful leaders? Over the past few decades the qualities prescribed by the corporate training industry have focused on authenticity, trustworthiness, modesty, empathy, emotional intelligence and a desire to serve others – especially your employees.

The most common causes of ethical dilemmas may surprise you

Hypnos III by Glenys Barton

Research reveals only 16% of ethical dilemmas mentioned were due to bribery, corruption or anti-competition issues. So what’s going on?

Most of us won’t be tempted to cook the books, take a bribe or rob our customers. However, research undertaken by McLaverty confirms that “many of us face an endless stream of ethical dilemmas at work”.

When disaster strikes, good managers diagnose

Eden and The Cloud Chamber by Noel Forster

“What do you do when things in your business go exactly opposite to plan?”

Dealing with things occasionally going wrong is an integral aspect of business management. The trick is to make sure that we don’t repeat our mistakes. Nobody likes to dwell on failure, but as contentious and painful a process as it might be, businesses need to undertake a thorough ‘disaster diagnosis’ before moving on.

If you’re not using street teams, you could be missing a trick

Greenpeace

The world is choking on marketing materials, but a good street team can cut through the clutter like a breath of fresh air.

If you are looking to raise brand awareness, build loyalty and increase sales, you need to utilise the power of human engagement. Interact directly with consumers, enabling them to connect with your brand on a personal level, rather than via a computer screen.

How to get the most out of your staff

Kalen Emsley

If you believe that encouraging people to work more productively is largely a matter of offering cash bonuses, think again. Writing on Quartz, Oliver Staley distills the thoughts of leading behavioural economist Dan Ariely into four key approaches to motivating employees.

How to become a chief executive

Ben Rosett

If becoming a CEO is one of your ambitions, what is the best path to take? Writing on Raconteur, Peter Crush draws from a variety of sources to show how the nature of the job and the criteria for choosing candidates are changing.

Three ways to fix your inbound marketing strategy

Mathyas Kurmann

Converting leads into sales is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s chaotic digital landscape, writes Brian Hughes for Entrepreneur.

Even for the most seasoned marketing professionals, today’s digital landscape can seem daunting. Multiple marketing channels and constantly changing consumer behaviour and expectations can lead to confusion.