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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 deliver an important speech

Alyssa Danigelis of Inc.com imparts ten tips for giving an important speech, to help managers confidently step on stage in front of a large audience.

How to negotiate when the stakes are high

Pointing out that it's frequently difficult to “get to yes” given today's pace of business and the structure of organisations, Jeff Weiss, Aram Donigian, and Jonathan Hughes provide guidance on 'extreme negotiations' in Harvard Business Review.

Six-step guide to increasing productivity

Writing for HBR.org, Tony Schwartz reveals six ways to 'supercharge' your productivity.

As he observes, in the digital age it is increasingly difficult to focus as there are an increasing number of media competing for our time.

Make your meetings more effective

Meetings may be the bane of the corporate world but even small businesses cannot do without them, writes Josh Spiro of Inc.com.

Ten things you should do before starting up your start-up

Is your great idea good enough, and can it become profitable and deliver a return on any investments? Although there's no real way of finding out until you try, business website Inc.com offers some start-up preparation tips.

How to convince others you’re in charge

Leaders can take control and bolster performance by locking into their team's loyalty and boldly defending their backs – that's the view of Robert I. Sutton, writing for the McKinsey Quarterly website.

Start-up entrepreneurs: the top ten mistakes to avoid

Writing for the Wall Street Journal's website, Rosalind Resnick, founder and CEO and  Axxess Business Consulting Inc, highlights the mistakes that start-up entrepreneurs make. Resnick admits that "when it comes to starting a successful business, there's no surefire playbook that contains the winning game plan".

How to find the right kind of employees for your start-up venture

The challenge of attracting talented people to a start-up business is discussed by Issie Lapowsky on Inc.com. The author observes that good employees are valuable and essential for growth. With that in mind, she imparts some advice for entrepreneurs looking to recruit the right kind of people for their business.

When only micromanagement will do

There are times when micromanaging is both good and necessary, according to Christine M. Riordan, writing for Forbes.com, as she runs through some scenarios where managers should keep a closer eye on the day-to-day work of their employees.

How to use rivalry and competition to boost innovation in your company

According to Bernard T. Ferrari and Jessica Goethals, writing for McKinsey Quarterly, productive rivalry can spur innovation and help the development of products and services, and they cite such diverse evidence as the director of General Electric's Global Research Group, and the more surprising example of the Renaissance.

Two essential rules for presentations

Writing for the 'Conversation' blog on HBR.org, Nick Morgan sets out two rules for making a successful presentation.

The first of these is: know your audience.

Encouraging innovation through the use of pay incentives

On Forbes.com, Donald Delves discusses ways in which pay can encourage innovation.

Business plans: ten essential ingredients

On Forbes.com, Martin Zwilling outlines a recipe for a great business plan, revealing the ten essential ingredients.

According to the author, investment-grade business plans usually consist of around 20 pages, which should also contain these ten key elements that matter most to business owners and investors…

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."

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