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Business Skills

Every successful leader or manager possesses a diverse range of business management skills, such team building and motivation. In these articles the brightest business minds discuss the key skills needed to run a company, business unit or team, including time management, goal setting and communication skills.

How to micromanage effectively

Micromanagement might not be such a bad thing, according to Thomas O. Davenport, writing for Bloomberg Businessweek. While the "neurotic, power-tripping variety drives employees crazy", well-executed micromanagement "gives them what they want and need to do their jobs well".

Does your organisation need to change the way it makes decisions?

There is a "profound misunderstanding" regarding the link between structure and performance, according to Marcia W. Blenko, Michael C. Mankins and Paul Rogers writing in Harvard Business Review.

When delegation is the wrong option

Whitney Johnson offers some reasons why you shouldn't delegate on her HBR.org blog.

Based on her own experiences, Johnson outlines three situations where you should avoid delegation.

Why avoiding conflict can make it harder to get buy-in for your idea

On his HBR.org blog, John Kotter puts forward the theory that conflict can actually help in getting an idea accepted.

This will come as a surprise to leaders who put such a high value on consensus that they feel an urge to complete agreement on everything.

Total communication is the key to success

Communication breeds success, says IBM executive Sharon Nunes on Bloomberg Businessweek, and managers should not fear transparency when dealing with supervisors, superiors or clients.

Why there's no such thing as multitasking

On the HBR.org blog, Paul Atchley insists we can't multitask, so we should stop trying.

Atchley points out that although we feel productive when trying to juggle lots of different tasks, in reality that kind of behaviour makes us less effective in our work.

Dealing with passive-aggressive colleagues

Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins use HBR.org's blog to offer advice on dealing with passive-aggressive peers in the workplace.

They use the following example to describe the paradoxical term "passive aggression", which they say is all too often loosely used to describe co-workers:

Is it time to reinvent your business?

Carolyn M. Brown of Inc.com offers advice on how to successfully rebrand your business, pointing out that you can't run your company the same way forever.

The complexity of being a great leader

On his HBR.org blog, Tony Schwartz explores leadership greatness, and discovers it's more complicated than it might seem.

Why entrepreneurs should learn to think more like engineers

On Bloomberg Businessweek, Karen E. Klein examines entrepreneur Sasha Gurke's advice on keeping a business thriving – the overall theme of which is: think like an engineer.

Responsibility and reward: how to judge whether your employees are ready

On the HBR.org 'Best Practices' blog, Amy Gallo outlines when you should reward employees with more responsibility and money.

Gallo observes: "Managers who want to recognise employees for good work have many tools at their disposal. One of the more traditional ways to reward a top performer is to give them a promotion or raise or both."

How to make your company’s products more competitive

Competition among global product makers is currently being reshaped by the rising tide of prosperity in developing economies.

Expert advice for boards and directors during the financial crisis

The difficult question of how boards should deal with the financial crisis is discussed by top consultants Ram Charan and Tom Neff via an interview by Geoff Colvin at Fortune.

Is your business management philosophy built on flawed judgment?

Interesting evidence about predictions is covered in a book by Philip Tetlock entitled Expert Political Judgment: How good is it? The answer is directly relevant to business management, because fortunes are directly affected by political decisions (and indecisions).

Assess business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats with SWOT analysis

How far is my company away from failure? The question itself sounds like an admission of inadequacy. The confident manager surely doesn't walk around waiting for nemesis to strike. Rather, confident people strut the stage like a colossus, with all the certainty, say, of Bill Gates.

The best place for management training? Your very own corporate academy

All companies are management academies, good or bad. Very few concerns see themselves in this light. But companies of all sizes inculcate methods, judge managerial performance, seek to improve it, provide specific training, develop concepts - and, above all, provide an endless stream of real-life case studies.

The simple secrets of business communication

All sportsmen know that the basic essentials of their game can be expressed in very few words.

The two gifts every good manager should give his staff

Great coaches no doubt differ in their styles as much as great athletes. But the coaches must all have eone thing in common: they are great communicators. It isn't just a question of seeing what the athlete must do, but of persuading the athlete to do it.

New business management – are you being left behind?

If you haven’t caught up with the extraordinary changes in the business/management world, it’s time you did.

Learn from your failure

All success hinges on how well you manage one person - yourself. But you won’t get as far as you could progress simply by trying to master the lessons of success.

What's your unique success proposition?

These principles, taken from my book, The Unique Success Proposition, constitute the Success Quotient, which holds the key to all forms of human achievement. The USP can consist largely of:

Buying a business: the do's and don'ts

This is how NOT to buy a business...

Business forecasting: use your own judgement

All businesses must operate within societies which are rife with predictions on every side.

How to manage a crisis in your business

In The Complete Negotiator, Gerard I. Nierenberg gives us nine points for managing in a crisis...

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