Friday, 24 October 2008

Feedback from Guy Kawasaki - "why we should care what random people from LinkedIn have to say?"

Our presentation on the Credit Crisis has received some feedback from Guy Kawasaki .
It’s very nice. My only question is why we should care what random people from LinkedIn have to say. But from a presentation point of view, it’s good.
We're delighted that Guy liked the presentation but what do you think about the challenge about LinkedIn?

Guy has also launched some news sites today which I have had a look at and think they are fantastic, it’s an “online magazine rack” of popular topics,


Crisis? What Crisis? YOUR views on the credit crunch

I posted a question on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago asking if people could provide a simple and easy to understand explanation of what the credit crunch was all about. As ever the response was great and thanks to all of those who contributed. So good were the answers that my friend Greg Stewart and I decided to use the material in a presentation about the crisis. We spent a couple of weeks doing this kind of thing!

The resulting presentation has been entered into a competition over at SlideShare and we are delighted that they have decided to feature it on their spotlight section this morning!

Here it is, we hope you enjoy it and if you do please join SlideShare and vote for us!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

THIRST - Presentation of the year 2008

Following on from last years groundbreaking Shift Happens the great and the good over at Slideshare have awarded THIRST the prestigious presentation of the year award for 2008.

View SlideShare presentation

Whilst the format of THIRST is similar to Shift Happens and therefore it lacks some of the originality of last years winner - the blend of message and metaphor is superb. Well done to the designers and congratulations on your success

Slippery slope or new perspective on business? Olympic diary 1

I have recently had the privilege of working with the British Olympic Bob Sliegh and Bob Skeleton teams. Following the UK's success at the Beijing Olympics the pressure on our sportsmen is enormous, not just to compete or to win a medal but to win gold!

The people I have met have come from all walks of life - from bankers to administrators to Olympians but all of them have one purpose in life:
...to make sure that every £ we make (or save) is another £ spent on the ice...
I have been very impressed by the attitude of the team and feel that without a shadow of doubt they could help my business clients (and me!) to improve their performance and especially their focus on the goal.

I was wondering - do you have any experience of where sports have improved the performance of your organisation?

Saturday, 11 October 2008

HR the answer to the credit crunch?

It seems that the press are determined to spread doom and gloom about the economy and is intent on hammering it into us that we are headed for recession. This is all really annoying as the press talk seems to be turning into a self fulfilling prophesy.

Blood Bath Britain” warned the title of the email distributed on Thursday afternoon by MoneyWeek warning of the serious consequences faced by all in the face of impending economic doom. Reading the email reveals all their predicted scenarios – my favourite being “Disaster 5 – Shares, Investment and Cash all lose value destroying wealth and crushing retirement dreams”.

Further reading reveals that this is nothing more than another company trying to exploit the negativity in the economy – and perhaps even taking it a step to far – in order to promote the financial services they offer.

However times are indeed tougher than they have been in previous years, and to ensure you get through here are a few HR related tips:

Reduce the costs of absenteeism

Ensure that return-to-work interviews are properly followed. Make sure that absence and sickness procedures are in place, implemented and enforced. Sickness costs need to be kept in check.

Quality recruitment
Even in a downturn in the economy, recruitment must take place. Make sure it is effective. Do not waste advertising costs - use the company web site to place most positions - rely more upon the local network of Job Centres. Only use costly recruitment processes when the essential needs of the business warrant it.

Recruit to retain
Recruitment is expensive so make sure that the chosen candidate is the right one; take time and care to recruit and then make sure you retain that person

A thorough induction
Make sure that the new employee is given a solid grounding in the organisation; tighten up induction procedures.

Performance and appraisal
In a hardening economic outlook it is essential the greatest but most expensive asset of a company - its staff - are working to optimum efficiency. Make sure that appraisal systems are being used effectively to maximise the performance of staff. Make sure that the appraisals and reviews have a positive approach - quality staff morale is crucial in hard times.

Review training needs

Ensure that the business needs are properly served by the training programme. Review the areas of training and ensure that they are still relevant to the current needs of the business. Do the training providers offer good value for money? Are there any more cost effective but still efficient training options? Review all costs and only use the most effective.

Encourage a review of travel
Travel expenses are a major source of cost and potential overspend. Encourage a review across the business. Is that trip necessary at that time, can it be combined with another business trip. Are there better ways to travel? Can the work be done off site, through the telephone, email, video conferencing route?

Prepare for the worst
Ensure that you have a strategy for keeping staff costs down, prepare worst case scenarios for pay costs and staff costs

Prepare for reductions

Have strategies available for helping the organisation through the most difficult periods. Look at lay off and short-time working provisions. Revise and review redundancy

Other Resources:

Credit Crunch website defines "credit crunch" as something that is also known as a "liquidity crisis" or a "credit squeeze", the banks won't or can't lend. Investors can't or won't buy debts. Suddenly it's very difficult to borrow money. There is a lack of easy money. Consumers and businesses have less to spend. There could be serious ramifications for an economy.

Source SME web

Friday, 3 October 2008

Lead well and prosper - book competition

Author and IT Service Manager, Nick McCormick, has published a great book on what he calls "15 successful strategies for becoming a good manager".

The book is a straightforwardLead Well Cover guide for managers at all levels. When asked about his motivations Nick says “I wrote the book somewhat out of frustration. I’ve witnessed incredibly poor management throughout my career, and I’ve seen the negative impact this can have on people and companies. I wanted to help those who recognize the need to improve.”

Organized in an easy-to-follow format, this compact guide sticks to the often-forgotten basics—such as provide honest and timely feedback, treat people like human beings, and do what you say you’ll do. Each chapter begins with a humorous but unfortunately all-too-true scenario— complete with a cast of characters and illustrations—demonstrating the common mistakes managers make. Then recommended tips are included to help overcome the problem. A list of dos and don’ts—which cut right to the chase—follows. Actions that can be taken immediately to implement the strategy are listed at the end of each section. Appendices list the dos and don’ts in one place for easy reference, and include a quiz that determines a manager’s effectiveness. There is also a recommended reading list.

“Effectively combating the management crisis will occur only by training new managers and transforming those who are more seasoned, all managers can start by embracing the information in this book.”

Nick has very kindly provided the Rant with a few signed copies to give away to our readers. To win one of these little gems please provide your answer to the following question,
In 2020 HR will be..........
Winners will be announced here when I get time to make a decision! - good luck!