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Category Archives: Blog

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Too Stuck in Your Ways? The Upside and Downside to Being Compliant

By | Behavior Style and Values, Blog, Team building | No Comments

The “High Cs” They are always on time, never miss a meeting or a deadline, and invariably know what is the right thing to do in every situation; these efficient people-engines bring a sense of stability, certainty and orderliness into every workplace that is lucky enough to have them. Because at The Collaborative we rely on DISC quite a bit, we simply call them the “High Cs,” where the “C” stands for “Compliance” or “Conscientiousness,” a measure of personal behavior that outlines one’s typical response to rules and procedures set by others. High Cs can be described as exacting, systematic and unbending; they value the rules and believe in following them to the letter. On the other end of the scale we have the “Low Cs,” people who are more flexible, open-minded and unsystematic. Employees working in the same environment can differ greatly from one another based on where they…

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On Teambuilding: Essential Components of Building Highly Effective Teams

By | Behavior Style and Values, Behavioral style, Blog, Team building | No Comments

Let’s Talk Teams Why? For one, because in a modern workplace employees don’t often work in complete isolation from one another; more and more companies rely on teams to carry out projects and implement new initiatives. It goes without saying that a collective effort generally makes a greater impact and produces better results than any individual endeavor. The larger the scale of a project, the more it is necessary to employ diverse talents and skills in order to achieve the desired outcomes. Given the usual time constraints, a single employee, no matter how gifted or experienced he/she may be, can only accomplish so much, whereas a team can achieve the objective using less time and fewer resources. Teamwork Bolsters Productivity At a very basic level, it really is just common sense: The sum of separate productivities will be greater than any individual effort. However, that’s not all that there is…

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Marketing Strategy

Developing Employees into Brand Ambassadors, Building Up Your Brand

By | Blog, Marketing, Marketing communications, Marketing strategy, Marketing Strategy & Communications | No Comments

A company’s brand is undeniably one of its greatest assets, and some of the best-managed companies of the world devote considerable resources to their brand management. A strong brand makes a difference in the marketplace and can separate your company from the competition. Strong brands, regardless of the actual size of the company, take time to make, as well as effort to perfect and maintain.  To ensure the brand’s growth, companies need to invest time and resources into increasing their brand’s awareness and interest among present and potential customers, improving customer communication across all available channels, and optimizing positioning of the brand in the marketplace. In order to achieve these and other similar branding goals, many companies concentrate their efforts on outbound advertising strategies and campaigns that usually do not offer any sort of success guarantee. Additionally, social media proliferation, as well as numerous machinations and scandals that have surfaced…

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Making Business Partnerships Work: 5 Steps to Success

By | Blog, Communication, Culture and values, Team building | No Comments

Business partnerships are in many ways similar to marriages. In fact, they require the same, if not even greater, amount of trust, shared values and strong commitment to a balanced, cordial and long-lasting relationship. In both cases it is crucial for potential partners to learn as much as possible about one another before signing off on the deal; partnerships really work only when the parties involved complement one another well, and all partners have something unique to bring to the table, something that enables them to build on and play off each other’s strengths. The many benefits which partnerships have to offer make them a really attractive form of owning a business. Their popularity has been steadily increasing since 1980, according to the IRS Statistics of Income Division (SOI) study of partnerships that was based on Forms 1065 and 1065-B filed during the 2013 calendar year. While they do add…

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Feeling Frustrated by Feedback (or the lack thereof)? 5 Keys to Help Feedback Flourish

By | Behavioral style, Blog, Communication, Team building | No Comments

Employees are a company’s biggest asset. The success or failure of any company is largely determined by how skillful, motivated and productive its employees are. An environment of trust and open communication is crucial for developing an organizational culture in which employees can perform at their peak ability and capacity. Managers benefit by creating and fostering such an environment, and in order to be successful, both managers and employees must be able to exercise a critical skill of giving, as well as receiving, feedback. The many advantages of constructive feedback are widely acknowledged and hailed by a vast majority of present-day business leaders. Timely and sound feedback allows for expedient evaluation and optimization of the employee’s performance, which in turn streamlines organizational processes and communication flow, obviating numerous potential setbacks and the need to spend time and resources correcting them. While recognizing the benefits of constructive feedback, scores of managers…

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Curing a workplace of “meeting-mania” – preempting further productivity loss

By | Blog, Sales management, Team building | No Comments

Productivity in business is crucial. High productivity results in optimal allocation and utilization of available resources, and therefore greater return on investment and profitability. Consistently high performance allows the company to be more competitive, and can ultimately lead to increases in sales and revenues. The driving force behind productivity is, of course, employees, whose efficiency determines the gross productivity level. Efficient and reliable employees are sure to positively affect the bottom line of the company and substantially contribute to its overall success. Conversely, employees who lack commitment are nothing but a burden to the company and, actually, do more damage than good. The ways in which employees can hurt the company are multiple and diverse. Consider the following set of circumstances that may cause productivity loss, consequently incapacitating the company: absenteeism employee job dissatisfaction employee disengagement inadequate communication personal problems inadequate self-management inconsistent performance And the list goes on. In…

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On the Destructive Power of Dysfunctional Teams: Part 1 – Implications for Managers

By | Blog, Business management and design, Team building | No Comments

Teamwork is a word that has been thrown around quite a lot in recent years. Managers want only the best people on their teams, teamwork skills are a new must for any decent resume, employees are required to participate in team-building activities as the part of their training process, and in business schools, team-based projects are becoming exceedingly more popular with the teaching faculty. Despite all the coverage teamwork gets, a team that actually works is the aurora borealis of the business world: heart-stoppingly beautiful but scarce and transient. Well-tuned, productive teams are worth their weight in gold to management and business owners. They ensure that things get done and that business thrives as the result of the team’s input and efforts. It is easy to recognize those top-performing teams without much investigation; employees and management are on the same page, internal communications run smoothly, conflicts are resolved promptly, and…

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You Are Only As Strong As Your Weakest Link – Motivation, A Driving Force Behind Employee Productivity

By | Behavior Style and Values, Blog, Communication, Team building | No Comments

Winston Churchill once said that attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. This is especially true when applied in a workplace setting. Employees who lack enthusiasm, initiative and positive attitude – no matter how brilliant they may be – are no asset to the company. Yet we all can agree that when things at work get mundane and repetitive, it is rather tempting to succumb to the lackluster tedium of the routine and fall into a state of perpetual inertia. The force that can give a hibernating workplace a fresh impetus is motivation. Employees are the heart of a company, and you can think of motivation as a force which propels that heart to pump the blood through the company’s body. Therefore, understanding what motivates employees and being able to exercise these factors is crucial for any manager and business owner. Motivating your employees is likely the…

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How To Make Better Hires

By | Advisor Perspectives, Blog | No Comments

Dear Bev, We just fired the fourth operations manager in six years. I find it tough to believe that a simple role like this can be so hard, but we’ve had no luck in keeping someone for the long haul. My partner thinks we need to hire an expensive recruiter. I don’t agree. Can paying someone 30% of the salary plus bonus (the recruiter’s fee) to identify the right person really make a difference? — George S. Dear George, Having spent some of my career as an executive recruiter, I am going to have to say that in many cases the 30% is well deserved! Is it the right thing in this situation? I’m honestly not sure. You will want to pose a few questions to yourself and your partner before you decide to hire an outside recruiter. Are you both clear and on the same page about what this…

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Jumping into the Fray with Divorcing Clients

By | Advisor Perspectives, Blog | No Comments

Dear Bev, When is it appropriate to recuse ourselves from a nasty divorce situation between existing clients? We are in a losing place if we take sides, and I do not prefer one member of the couple over the other. I enjoy both and what they are doing to each other – and to their investment portfolio – is atrocious. — Douglas N. Dear Douglas, This is a very sticky wicket, indeed! In fact, there are a number of governing rules, depending on the state you work in, that you must heed. Be sure to find out what rules there are governing financial professionals in your state. To my knowledge, from an ethical standard there is nothing “wrong” with representing both sides in the financial matters. More importantly, you have an opportunity here to have a very direct conversation with these two people that you have worked with and care…

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