was successfully added to your cart.

Category Archives: Business management and design

fire-8837_1920

Streamlining Your Advisory Firm – From Fire Drill to Efficient

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

There is so much to do in an advisory firm –following the markets and keeping up on economic developments, responding to client inquiries or preparing for client meetings and events, hiring and developing employees, working on the marketing message, ensuring technology is up-to-date… Lots to do and, most weeks, seemingly little time to do it in. Sometimes a firm can evolve into the fire drill mentality, where people are just running from one fire to another and trying to address the urgent, knowing they should focus on the less urgent, but having no time to do so. Things are getting done but people are worrying and wondering what’s being missed. Employees have less restful sleep at night, and can become very stressed and agitated during the day. While the work gets done, no one is at a high level of productivity and effectiveness – they can’t be. If this sounds…

Read More
business teamwork - MFC - LB

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…

Read More

Show ’Em, Don’t Just Tell ’Em

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

In many companies – small and large – the leaders have the perspective of “Just get it done.” They will promote someone or put them in a role they aren’t fully equipped to do and then expect them to figure it out. There are libraries filled with books on developing management skills, and they sit on the shelves right alongside the books on bad bosses! It seems the “just do it” philosophy doesn’t often work. An article from earlier this year in the Wall Street Journal (Monday, 4/28/14 “Why Managers Are Stuck in Their ‘Silos’”) confirms this phenomenon. Their research shows that while businesses have high expectations of their managers, they don’t do a lot to give them the tools, training and coaching they need to be successful. The article talks about the importance of mentoring programs and staying current. What can the leaders of these companies do to support…

Read More

End of the Year: Taking Inventory

By | Blog, Business management and design, Personal management | No Comments

End of the Year: Taking Inventory For many businesses each year goes by and a “list” remains of the issues and goals they’d like to have addressed. For many though, the items stay on the list and just get moved from one year to another in the hopes that time will free up in order to address them. So, well in advance of the time to make a new year’s resolution, we offer some tips to ensure that you know what you need to do and are able to so clearly identify your goals, that you can then create a workable implementation plan and get things done in 2010! Start by doing this 4-step assessment:

Read More

Profitable Prospects, Profitable Clients

By | Blog, Business management and design | No Comments

Profitable Prospects, Profitable Clients Wait a minute…. What do we mean “profitable” prospects and clients? Aren’t all prospects and clients profitable? Well, actually no. We believe this is a mistake many firms—new and seasoned—make all of the time. Spending time on a prospect that isn’t going to buy or that isn’t a right fit for your firm, isn’t profitable. Having clients that demand too many resources and too much cost to manage, isn’t profitable.

Read More

Why Don’t You Want to Fix It?

By | Blog, Business management and design | No Comments

Why Don’t You Want to Fix It? Why don’t firms want to fix their problems and move on to bigger and better things? We’ve been consulting as The Collaborative now for fifteen years, and the partners collectively have over 60 years of business experience. We constantly see this inertia and this is the question that has nagged us the most over the years.

Read More

Solving the “Right” Problem

By | Blog, Business management and design | No Comments

Solving the “Right” Problem Something isn’t right. Things are working the way you’d like them to. Perhaps it’s continual issues with your employees. Maybe sales just aren’t where you’d like them to be. Maybe management keeps telling you to do more with less. Whatever the symptom may be — finding the real problem is often a challenge. Firms spend so much time in meetings, putting together project plans and setting up training and development and then find frustration because the problem still exists.

Read More

One-Size-Fits-All Training? Don’t Waste Your Money

By | Blog, Business management and design, Sales coaching, Selling & salesmanship | No Comments

One-Size-Fits-All Training? Don’t Waste Your Money It’s amazing the amount of money spent by organizations every year on “training” for employees. A manager gets frustrated with the lack of success within the group and believes training is the answer. Training is expected to solve all kinds of ills — it’s expected to help employees perform more effectively, communicate more clearly and generally improve morale and teamwork. More often than not the training’s ineffective, leaving manager’s to ask, “where’s the training budget going if nothing is changing?” The missing pieces are pre-training assessment and behavioral understanding. Training simply can’t be delivered without an understanding of what’s really wrong. Managers and leaders assume they need “X” solved but they haven’t really delved into what “X” represents. What is the real need? Where are employees struggling? What problems are they encountering? Without digging in and understanding the real life roadblocks, training will fall…

Read More

Project Management that Succeeds

By | Behavioral style, Blog, Business management and design | No Comments

Project Management that Succeeds Many people complain that meetings are unproductive — the lack of agendas, off-topic discussions, the length of them — but just as big a problem is the lack of action and accountability in the project that comes after the meeting. We often find this “evil twin” to bad meetings when clients tell us that projects get completed very late, or not at all. The cure is to follow a rigorous approach to project management that keeps plans on track and makes meetings more productive.

Read More

Defining The “New Normal”

By | Blog, Business management and design | No Comments

Defining The “New Normal” A recent article in the Harvard Management Update points out that “as therapeutic as the desire for a return to business as usual is, it’s simply unattainable.” We agree. Given the confluence of recent events; a new kind of bear market (even for us industry veterans); a general and global economic malaise, continual shifts in customer and investor expectations, and finally, war, it is clear that simply returning to “normal” isn’t (and wasn’t, even before the 2008 crash) a viable option for business growth. So what is?

Read More