Bruce Tulgan us the author of It's Okay to Manage Your Boss (2010), Not Everyone Gets a Trophy (2009), It's Okay to be the Boss (2007), and Managing Generation X (1995). He founded the management training firm RainmakerThinking, Inc. in 1993.
You write about an epidemic of undermanagement. How can owners and managers automate businesses and set up business processes so that the job gets done and gets done right, without having to micromanage and control everything?
Business leaders often say to me privately that they hope to solve the management problem with technology: “Computers don’t argue, complain, or make demands!” It is a huge mistake to think that by implementing a new process/system/protocol/workflow you can obviate the need for leaders and managers to be highly engaged with their direct-reports.
Good systems are definitely a huge advantage for everyone involved in the business. It is always a good thing to implement technologies that streamline operations. It is always a good thing to set up standard operating procedures (and even standardized points of deviation when appropriate). It is always a good thing to set up systems that monitor, measure, and document KPIs as much as possible.
To run an efficient business, it's best to take the guesswork out of day-to-day operations. The easiest way to do that?
Systems can help you cut down costs, streamline tasks, and effectively train team members.
Does your business have these essential systems in place?
Inventory Tracking System
If your business deals with physical products, then tracking the physical components needed to make the products, as well as the final products, is not optional. If you don't know what you have in stock, you cannot manufacture and fill orders effectively. You'll end up losing money on shipping costs, interest and financing fees, and lost sales when you can't fill orders in a timely way.
As the saying goes ‘what gets measured gets improved’. So why are so few companies (outside sales, perhaps) measuring performance?
Companies do measure many things. I often say that for some data hungry companies “If it moves, they measure it!” But what they are typically measuring daily operational processes and their outputs. That is fine to do, but your question is about “performance measures” often referred to as key performance indicators (KPIs). There is less measurement of KPIs especially when one defines the purpose of KPIs as “to monitor the progress of accomplishing the causally related strategic objectives of the executive team’s strategy. These are ideally displayed in a strategy map with its companion feedback mechanism, a balanced scorecard. Obstacles that slow the adoption of reporting these measures are the absence of creating a strategy map and its scorecard and managers’ fear of being held accountable and measured. You can read more about this from this chapter from one of my books at:
If you are using self-hosted editions of Bitrix24, you will be able to get access to new features after Nov 30. Please note updates are free to first year users only. If you purchased Bitrix24 more than 12 months ago, you have to pay 22% of the total licensing costs to be eligible to receive software updates.
Is a two step authorization option available for free Bitrix24 accounts?
As you know, we take data safety and security issues very seriously. You can read about our daily backups, proactive network screens, SSL encrypted data transfer, data isolation and use of SAS 70 Type II datacenters here. These precautions, however, do not protect you from instances when your login and password are stolen, either by spyware or a rogue employee. This is why we’ve decided to addtwo step verification option to your account. If you’ve used internet banking or worked as and IT administrator, you are probably familiar with this – first, you log in with your regular login and password, then you receive your second password via mobile phone, enter it – only then you are able to access your account. This is how it works in Bitrix24 and what you need to do, if you’d like to activate this option.
Two factor authorization activation by portal administrators
Two factor authorization for all users of your Bitrix24 portal can be turned on by an administrator in (Settings -> Intranet Settings).
Overseeing a team can be tough work at any time, because it involves moving multiple people toward a common goal. Personality clashes, work styles, varying ideas, and everyday stress can make forward movement difficult.
What do you do when your people can't mesh and make progress toward the goal?
A Healthy Team Has Conflict
Conflicts happen when you have a difference of opinion, but they're not a bad sign. It's simply a sign that a lot of opinions and ideas are being discussed, which is exactly what you want in a team.
We thank everyone who attended our Bitrix24 Presentation webinar and provided valuable feedback. We are especially grateful to Stowe Boyd for his presentation about current social collaboration trends and what they mean for the future of digital workplace. If you’ve missed the webinar, here is the recording and the PPT file.
And if you are really pressed for time, here’s the digest of the new tools and features that are or will be shortly available to you:
Not all small businesses are the same, of course, but there are a few money mistakes that are common to many types of small businesses. Check them out, and make sure these are not happening in your small business.
Mistake 1: Not Documenting Your Financial Foundation
This means doing your due diligence. Running a small business requires more than a great idea and some agile folks. It requires thought, planning, and documentation.
Fall is finally here and this means, among other things, that it's time for our traditional fall releases. The first fall release is scheduled for October 7-14, and if you join us for online presentation on October 14 at 11 AM EST, you'll be able to [SPOILER ALERT] see the new modern look Bitrix24 acquired after major re-design and learn about new features we've added.
Our invited guest for this presentation is @StoweBoyd, probably the most knowledgeable person in the world when it comes to how small organizations collaborate and use social tools at work. As usual, there will be a Q&A session in the end and a special offer for those who managed to sit the entire presentation out.
There aren't that many people who wrote five (yes, five) books on the subject of innovation and creativity, and Jeff DeGraff is just that person. He has worked with some of the most innovative companies in the world, including Apple, Coca Cola and GE. Naturally, we couldn't pass on a chance to ask him a few question about what makes or breaks creative spirit in a corporate world and what companies can do to encourage innovations inside.
There are a lot of different techniques for personal creativity. But how do you create a creative organization?
We know that Bitrix24 can seem a bit overwhelming to new users, so we decided to hold regular weekly webinars that cover all Bitrix24 basics from project management to CRM. These webinars last around an hour and not only give you a very good understanding of our product capabilities, but also give you a chance to ask specific questions during Q&A session. In addition to regular webinars, we also plan to hold topic specific webinars once or twice a month (i.e. document management in Bitrix24, business processes in Bitrix24 and so on). Make sure you subscribe to our Twitter and Facebook accounts in order to get notified about these.
We're happier when we're accomplishing stuff, and we enjoy the rewards - whether it's a pat on the back, an acknowledgement in front of the team, or a pay raise - that come when we can be productive in our work.
And we get frustrated when we face obstacles that stand between us and our productivity.
Studies show us that leadership is one of the most potent factors in the workplace; that means that you, as team leader, can control a surprisingly large amount of what influences the productivity of your team members.
Here are three surprisingly simple but effective ways you can help your team reach the higher levels of productivity that you would all like to see.
1. Set limits. We all deal with a constant barrage of data. We quickly become overwhelmed by the ability to connect instantly and globally. And we are handling all this data and connectivity under individual work loads and expectations that are increasing, rather than decreasing.
Sometimes the biggest barrier to productivity is simply this too much. Too much of everything.
Again there are a bunch of new features in Bitrix24 to tell you about – and not only in Bitrix24, but also in the Bitrix24.Network.
Many users work with different Bitrix24 intranets – in some as an administrator, in others as an extranet user, and in others as an employee, using different logins for each.
But remembering emails and passwords for each Bitrix24 intranet is not easy, even if you have a good memory or you save your login information in a special program. In any case, this is an unwanted complication, requiring extra time and effort when shifting from one intranet to another.
But now it is possible to unify all your login credentials into one, so you need to remember only a single email login and password combination. After this, you will be able to enter any Bitrix24 intranet where you have set up this single sign-on.
There are a lot of different techniques for personal creativity. But how do you create a creative organization?
AG: The foundation for organizational creativity is personal creativity, so developing creative thinking skills for individuals in the organization will always be an important starting point. But then you also need to build in systems and structures that support creative thinking and innovation at the organizational level. If creative thinking is not supported all the way through the organization, creative ideas will not have the opportunity to flourish and grow and will ultimately die.
In our sessions and book, we have a unique model we call the Strategies for Innovative Development (SID) ModelTM, which identifies both individual psychological blocks and enablers and organizational environmental and cultural blocks and enablers for creativity, so we demonstrate how both areas can and should be addressed simultaneously. We then link practical development strategies to each phase. Eg in the initial ‘Enquire’ phase at the individual level people learn how to question established ways of thinking and identify the real needs, while at the organizational level you will be identifying systems and structures that are not open enough to allow for creative thinking and thinking about how to change them. In the next ‘Explore’ phase, individuals learn brainstorming skills and techniques, while at the organizational level you will be looking into how you can set up networks and communication channels that allow collaborative ideation. In the ‘Solve’ phase, individuals will learn how to make unusual connections to find the best solutions, while examining how to increase engagement at the organizational level to support the sort of perseverance and commitment needed at this stage. In the final ‘Apply’ stage individuals learn practical implementation skills, while the need for an optimistic culture that supports new innovations at the organizational level is also addressed. As well as teaching specific cognitive skills and looking at corresponding systems and structures, you will also be addressing mindset and affective skills (at the individual level) along with organizational climate (at the organizational level). After all, the climate is a composite of the affective state of the individuals in the organization!
By following this holistic and systematic approach you can ensure there is creativity at all levels of the organization.