Saturday, June 30, 2012

Easy Small Business Ideas for Owning Your Own Business

Please let me give you a few great examples of easy online business ideas. If owning your own business is something you have always wanted to do, but didn't know where to start, here are just a few simple ideas:

Selling personally purchased items online: This is one of the easy small business ideas that have become a booming business for many who enjoy selling. You can go from selling a few items on eBay to starting your own store and owning your own business. Just watch for great deals at your local stores, clearance sales and such, and then resell what you have bought with a respectable markup. Sounds easy enough doesn't it.

\"business Ideas\"

Selling merchandise from a wholesale warehouse: Here is yet another way of owning your own business. There are businesses that will actually help you get a website set up and help you stock merchandise in your online store. Shoppers find an item they want, purchase it from your website. The warehouse ships them the product and you make the profit. This is called "drop shipping." You even get to set your own competitive prices. This too, is one of the easy small business ideas that attract a great number of entrepreneurs.

Affiliate selling: This can fall into this category as well. You get your blog or website started. Again, there are legitimate folks in the online world who will actually get you set up with a professional looking website and help you every step of the way as you learn all the ins and outs of owning your own business. Affiliate selling is simply having an advertisement on your blog or website from an online business. When someone comes to your website to look at whatever you have there and sees that add and clicks to that website and purchases something, you get a commission! Some Easy small business ideas can really be pretty easy.

Selling your knowledge or skill: Do you know how to play the guitar, banjo, piano? Offer some online lessons or locally offer private lessons on your website. Owning your own business doesn't have to be some mystical, complicated process. It can be as easy as selling whatever knowledge or skill you may have to offer. The better you are at what you do, the more attention you are going to get. Do a YouTube video show off your knowledge and talent. No telling where it may lead!

These are just a few easy small business ideas, there are countless others. Just the thought of owning your own business is exciting in itself. There is some great free business training available from folks who are truly interested in seeing you succeed in your business endeavors. Find something that really catches your interest, learn all you can and go for it. Hope you have great success!

Easy Small Business Ideas for Owning Your Own Business

Hope this has been helpful,

Marlin Prentice

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Communicate To The Four Main Personality Types

You probably know this already, but there are generally held to be four main personality types, which I call: Extrovert, Amiable, Analytical and Pragmatic .

Let's take a moment to consider each of them in the workplace.

\"business Management\"

Extrovert: someone who probably has a messy desk; who leaves projects 75% completed then gets distracted by new, 'more exciting' projects; someone who communicates their ideas with enthusiasm and charm; makes instant decisions; hates 'paperwork' and the 'dull routines' of life, such as filling in order forms, checking bank statements, etc.; is usually 'fashionably late' to meetings, events and parties (and they love entertaining clients!); always has interesting screen savers.

Amiable: someone who is the 'peacemaker' in the office; is always striving for a 'win-win' in everything in life; someone who probably isn't terribly ambitious and striving, but is very happy to support and encourage others who are; someone who cannot say "No" very easily and so are probably on every committee going (whether they actually want to be or not); is more likely to make a decision on the spot if only to stop you 'hassling' them, otherwise will take weeks to make a decision (if at all, as they prefer others to make the decision for them); like to know what others are doing (in case they themselves are doing something inappropriate or foolish).

Analytical: 'GadgetMan' - has multiple PDAs in case one fails; has several computers for the same reason; adores punctuality; when they tell you they recently bought something they won't round the number up but will tell you to the exact dollar and cent how much they paid; loves playing with spreadsheets, charts and projections; will never make a decision on the spot; will buy a car based on fuel economy, servicing costs, resell value, depreciation and other factors, never 'because it's a lovely shade of blue'.

Pragmatic: a 'take charge' person; their view is the way things will probably get done; they listen to others' points of view out of courtesy or intellectual curiousity, but will still do things 'my way' ; doesn't take business rejection personally; not interested in how 'exciting' a project might be, only interested in how much money it will cost/make and how soon it can be implemented/built; very often the Pragmatic likes the colour ' Red '; doesn't have any photos of family or friends on their desk (too unprofessional); has a neat, organised desk.

Now, sales trainers have for years been pushing the line that we 'buy with emotion, and justify that purchase with logic'. But having seen a few Analyticals in my years I don't actually believe that to be the case. An accountant friend of mine in England never purchased anything because of emotion - he always poured over spec sheets from various manufacturers, weighed up the costs involved, considered his options. And because he was also part-Amiable he then let his wife make the final decision, based on his input.

Which raises an important point. No one is ever a 'pure' type. We are all a mix of the four personality types to some degree or other. Yet we also have a strong preference for one particular type.

I'm an Extrovert with a leaning towards the Analytical. I couldn't begin to count the number of my own marketing projects that I have half-completed here in my office; each one almost ready to roll but just in line behind the latest 'more exciting' idea I've just had. Yet I also love getting deep into Dreamweaver and working out how to tweak my website pages for greater speed, better search engine optimisation, tidy up loose bits of code, and so on.

But that's beside the point...

The real purpose of this page is to let you know that your business communications - whether they are email, web page, pdf brochure or even initial word of mouth introduction - need to appeals to the different needs of the four personality types.

How do you do that?

By making sure that your communication has a reasonably equal amount of the following:

* Facts and figures to appeal to the Analytical and Pragmatic

* Enthusiasm and excitement to appeal to the Extrovert

* Testimonials to appeal to the Amiable

Get that right and you have a greater chance of getting your message across.

Communicate To The Four Main Personality Types


When you match consumer psychology with effective communication styles you get a powerful combination. Lee Hopkins can show you how to communicate better for better business results. At Hopkins-Business-Communication-Training.com you can find the secrets to communication success.

EURO CRISIS INTERVIEW WITH DUKASCOPY TV


EURO CRISIS INTERVIEW WITH DUKASCOPY TV         

Please find below a link to an interview with Dukascopy TV and David SMITH, recorded yesterday regarding the recent Euro Crisis summit meeting:


I am very pleased that my message is reaching an ever wider audience

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Farm Business Ideas - Turn a Lifestyle Into a Money Maker

People from time immemorial have always practiced farming. This being so, there very many farming business available and they can be transformed into highly profitable incentives. Most people have been able to venture successfully and made a niche business from these ideas. Such Farm business ideas are like;

* Herbs Farm-It is obvious that herbs and anything herbal nowadays enjoy a big following. You plant and take care of your herbs, then when they are mature you harvest them, take them to the market .Wholesalers, retailers, and manufacturing companies have a big demand for these herbs. You start small then as demand grows you expand and plant more. The only disadvantage of this business is that you need to have some prior knowledge about herb farming before you start out. This though should not be a hindrance to your starting the business. You learn as you grow your farm business. Furthermore, the profits are worthy the learning trouble.

\"business Ideas\"

* Organic Farming-For farming enthusiasts, this is the ideal farm business idea. There is a big booming market for organically grown produce. Organic grown products have been scientifically proved health than the traditional grown produce. They really a big following and the market is quite hungry for these produce. Before you start on this endeavor, you should consider various factors. Start up financial investment is quite hefty, also this is a specialized type of farming hence you should consider getting an expert to help you out. Once it take off profits are huge.

* Flower farming

* Lawn care farm business

* Tree planting and selling business

Farm Business Ideas - Turn a Lifestyle Into a Money Maker

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MERKEL WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS


MERKEL WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS

This week we will watch yet again, the grandstanding of our political and financial elites, at another champagne drinking, carbon footprint enlarging, summit conference to save the world.

The time has come to introduce a moment of humor and light relief, into  this otherwise Shakespearean tragedy. In trying to think what it all reminded me of, my thoughts were drawn irresistibly to the  Walt Disney cartoon film, that children’s favorite, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”.

In reality only eight people really count in Europetoday, and  the personalities portrayed by Disney fit them all rather well:

Snow White                                        Angela Merkel

Dopey                                                  Francois Hollande

Sneezey                                                Mariano Rajoy

Happy                                                  Mario Draghi

Sleepy                                                  Jose Manuel Barrosso

Grumpy                                                Wolfgang Schauble

Bashful                                                 Van Rumpoy

Doc                                                      Dr. Mario Monti


“Snow White”, as the only woman in the group, Angela Merkel is the obvious candidate. She certainly believes she is the most beautiful, even though the mirror on the wall may disagree. She wants the Dwarfs to put the house in order and get back to work in the mine, so long as it is German owned. She also has a split personality and can on occasion double as the wicked  witch. One wonders to whom she would offer the poisoned apple… the choice is limitless?

“Dopey”, although there were many contenders, the winner is probably Francois Hollande, the late arrival. He thinks you can achieve austerity by spending more, increase productivity by working less, and motivate businesses by taxing more. Good luck with all that.

“Sneezy” is certainly Rajoy. As soon as he sneezed all Europecaught a cold, although of course he has been spreading the microbes around for months, while telling everybody he was perfectly healthy and did not need any medication. Snow White should smack him and send him to bed.

“Happy” is Draghi, the only one who is standing on the sidelines, truly understanding what is going on, and  having a good laugh at the discomfiture of the others. When the situation becomes absolutely desperate, the others will ask him to print EUR Trillions, and let the ECB become a real clone of the FED. As the Japanese proverb goes, “if you sit long enough by the river you will see the corpses of your enemies float by”.

“Sleepy” is Barosso, he has been asleep at the wheel for decades, perhaps brought on by reading the thoughts of Chairman Mao during EU plenary sessions. Not even Daniel Hannan’s  reasoned  attacks can get him to lift his head from his Blackberry.

“Grumpy” is our much maligned but very competent German finance Minister, the enforcer of Merkel White’s policies. He is an uncompromising Germanyfirst politician, there are even rumors he was thrown out of the Gestapo for cruelty.

“Bashful” is Von Rumpoy, our anticharismatic non elected “representative”. Much maligned by Nigel Farage for his unprepossessing timid appearance, Von Rumpoy should not be underestimated. He is highly intelligent, cultured, has his own agenda, and is often almost invisible.

“Doc” is Mario Monti. Well you could not arrange a putsch and send a simple citizen to Rome. It would be like a rerun of Mr Smith goes to Washington. No, you need to send a Doctor in Economics at a minimum, even better with a Nobel prize, for the destruction of democracy to be credible. 

Let’s see what the “dream team” will achieve in the next couple of days and in the meantime, happy viewing, and  bring lots of Popcorn and Coca Cola.




Wednesday, June 27, 2012

THE CHIPS ARE DOWN


THE CHIPS ARE DOWN

It is impossible to overstate the seriousness of the situation that is developing in the Euro Zone, and its implications for the EU and the rest of the World.

The unwillingness of bankers and politicians to face up to the real issues for years,  have ensured that all the problems have come together in a perfect storm, in a matter of weeks. What started as a localised banking crisis  has mutated into a pan European banking and sovereign debt crisis.

The lifeblood of the financial system is the Bond market. These vast pools of money finance Governments, banks and businesses alike. In normal markets bondholders are usually stable, low risk, long term investors. Today they are unwilling to invest as they perceive great risk, in governments with unsustainable debt loads, and deficit spending, and banks with wildly overvalued assets on their books. The endless downgrading of banks and countries by ratings agencies is a manifestation of the problem.

The Greek, Portuguese and Irish stories are well known, however in the last few weeks Spain and Italy have come into play.

So far the EUR 200 Billion EFSF rescue fund has been mobilised, and plans are in hand for a further fund, the ESM of EUR 440 Billion,  to replace the EFSF in July 2012. This has neither been ratified nor funded with less than a week to go. If this fund becomes operational, its resources are barely sufficient to bail out the small countries, leaving virtually nothing for Spainand Italy.

The Spanish government have requested aid of EUR 100 Billion for their banking sector, although once a bank is nationalised, the distinction between the state and the bank disappears. Most realistic estimates of the banking sector requirements are closer to EUR 400 Billion, without counting EUR 100 Billions more, to fund state and regional government deficits.

In Italy, although there is not such a real estate driven banking crisis, the country has a Debt/GDP ratio of 180%, and a very short debt repayment schedule.

The real problem as always is cash flow, as both countries have debt repayment schedules to respect, without which they will default. At present short term bond yields are skyrocketing, and 10 year yields are approaching 7%, which with current debt levels makes refinancing economically unsustainable.

The amounts of refinancing required  in the next three years, for Spain and Italy alone, plus  their major banks, substantially exceeds EUR 1,000 Billion. Some observers even quote higher numbers.

The question then is who can pay EUR 1,500 -2,000 Billion, (Spain;Italy;et al), to stabilize the market.

The politicians, like drowning men clutching at straws, say Germany.  The Germans already have a debt/GDP ratio of 80% and while they could find say EUR 500+ Billion, the remaining EUR 1,000 – 1,500 Billion would put them also in serious difficulties.

In short Germany is absolutely not capable of bailing out the EuroZone on its own, without self destructing. This is something never stated in the main stream media.

There are various “solutions” to the problem:

  • Issue joint liability Euro bonds, to replace the existing sovereign debt, at a much higher rate for Germany, and much lower for the other members. This is Pan European socialism, and Mrs Merkel has said “not as long as I am alive”
  • Allow the ECB to act as “lender of last resort” a euphemism for printing money, and flood the market with liquidity, and buy up all unwanted  bank and Government debt. This is not currently allowed in the ECB charter
  • Do nothing and allow countries which cannot pay their bills to default and leave the Euro zone; and allow banks that cannot roll over their debt to go bankrupt. Let countries return to their own currency, devalue and let the resulting losses fall on the core countries and their banks
  • Enlist the aid of the Fed by massive Currency swaps, already ongoing, or the IMF who would love to be involved, to bail out virtually all of the EU countries.
  • A mixture of the above could also be envisgaed

The above explanations are greatly simplified, and there would be various strings attached to any such solutions, such as fiscal union, political union, a real central bank etc. all of which have been bandied around completely ineffectually for months. Many would require new laws treaties etc. before implementation.

All would place sovereign European states under tutelage, subject them to IMF style asset stripping, as in Greece etc. and have powerful inflationary effect.

The overall debt would increase yet again, ie long term it would solve nothing,  and the means of repayment still remain completely undefined. It has all the potential of leading to an even greater collapse after a hyperinflationary period, as in Weimar Germany.

While states still have the luxury of discussing, total confidence has been lost in the banking system. In Spain, and increasingly in Italy the banks are bleeding colossal amounts of cash on a daily basis. This coupled with their unfinanceable bond repayment schedule, is literally tearing the banks apart and bringing them to their knees at lightning speed.

Regrettably, barring a miracle, the banks have run out of time. We are in all probability only days away from the present “phantom” bank runs being clearly visible in the high streets of several vulnerable European countries.  The Nat West story in the UK may indeed be a cover up for the fact they ran out of cash, literally and not just digitally.

The final trigger for a wider collapse, will be the failure of a major European bank. Whichever one it is will be irrelevant, as their interdependency  will cause total panic and an avalanche of defaults.

The truth is the politicians have lost control and the most powerful market forces in the world, those of the bond market have taken over. This Mr Draghi understands very clearly and has said as much publicly, although he has also said that the ECB cannot be a substitute for a political policy vaccum.

To  reverse this situation before a full scale banking collapse takes place is a EUR 2,000 Billion gamble,  where for the moment nobody  has the chips, and it is not even clear who is at the gaming table.

If the end of this week does not produce an unequivocal  policy response on this level, then the ordinary citizen must work on the assumption of an imminent,  and possibly simultaneous banking system collapse, in the most vulnerable countries and prepare accordingly.

The next post will develop further the key steps to protect you against bank failures, and bankruptcies, prolonged bank holidays, capital controls, and all the tools typically used by failing regimes to expropriate or harness  the wealth of citizens to ensure their own survival.





How to Define a Business

Businesses are everywhere. They are the units that perform most of the economic activity in our economy. Most businesses exist to generate a profit. There are some businesses that exist to perform a function other than profit, such as cooperatives and non-profit organisations. The traditional definition of a business is an entity that brings together time, effort and capital in order to produce a profit.

There are many different ways of classifying businesses but here are the main types:

Business

Businesses can either be privately owned or publicly owned by the government. Government usually regulates business for a variety of purposes. This will include collecting corporate taxes. Also certain business pose a risk to the public and so must be regulated. Some businesses, especially extraction and manufacturing but also others, have a significant impact on the environment. If they were left unregulated, they could, while carrying out their functions for profit, do irreparable harm to the environment. Others, such as drug companies and pharmaceuticals must be regulated so that safety and health standards can be maintained. Drugs must be monitored so that any that begin to cause serious side effects are quickly taken off the market.

Most people hold the view that it would not be successful to have businesses regulate themselves when it comes to vital areas of the public interest.

How to Define a Business

Joseph Kenny is the webmaster of the loan information site http://www.ukpersonalloanstore.co.uk At the Personal Loan Store you can find some of the latest personal loans explained in detail.

Monday, June 25, 2012

How to Structure a Good Bonus Plan

Bonuses Plans Should Be Universal

To get your entire staff pulling in the same direction devise your bonus plan to include all employees at some level and after a pre-employment evaluation period (often 90 days) with the company. Many plans include part timers as well as full timers but at a somewhat lesser share of the proceeds.

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Bonuses Must Be Significant and of Perceived Value to the Recipient

To create an incentive, the recipient must perceive the bonus potential as a significant addition to income. Otherwise, the bonus is looked upon as supplemental income or even a "benefit". There should be public (company) recognition of the employees' performance that resulted in the bonus to add to the perceived value.

Bonuses Should Relate to Individual Performance

One factor in the determination of how much an individual employee receives should be their rating as determined by their last formal job performance appraisal. All other things being equal, a superior job performance should command a higher share of the bonus proceeds.

Bonuses Should Include a Factor for Employee's Job Responsibility

It is reasonable to relate an employee's rating for bonus purposes to their overall responsibility in the company as determined by the number of employees supervised and/or budget for which they have direct control. General categories can have different ratings in the bonus distribution process (hourly/clerical, supervisor, department head or officer).

Bonuses Should Include a Factor for Employee Loyalty

It is reasonable to associate time with the company as "loyalty". An employee that has been with the company for 25 years should have a somewhat higher rating for bonus proposes than someone having only 1 year. A factor can and should be included in the bonus program for employee tenure.

Bonus Plans should be Based On and Pay a Predictable Share of "Excess Profits"

Set a trigger level that must be achieved before bonuses are paid and communicate this clearly to all staff. The trigger level should provide a base for company growth and replacement of capital. Many small businesses find that this occurs at the 8-10% net profit level but each company. It is to be understood that a portion of the profits above the trigger level will be shared. The % shared may be determined by company owners but should not be so low as to yield little employee incentive or so large as to give away the bank. Typically, this share is 25-50%. Disclosing the trigger level and distribution share percentage is at the discretion of the owner but the more open the system is the more trust, rapport and enthusiasm will be developed with the staff.

Devise a Distribution Method and System to Manage Bonus Disbursements

Devise a rating system that accumulates the value of the criteria mentioned above (responsibility, loyalty, performance). Aggregate the values for all employees. Determine the amount of money to be distributed as a percentage of "excess profits" and divide that amount by the aggregate points for all employees to determine the dollar value per point. Individual bonuses can then be determined by multiplying the individual's score by the average value per point. A spreadsheet can be easily set up to automate this task with only a little maintenance required to update employees and employee performance ratings.

Distribute Bonus Payments Frequently

Pay bonuses as frequently as practical but no less than once quarterly, otherwise the incentive is not kept in front of the employee. Annual bonus plans are not looked upon as "incentives"; they often are viewed as supplemental income (and an entitlement) or a "Christmas Bonus". Bonus payments should be viewed much like salespeople's commissions, if not, the incentive wanes in the average employee.

When Bonus Plans Are Not Bonus Plans

Avoid devising a system that pays on a percentage of salary as it is difficult to relate to the three criteria stated above (responsibility, loyalty and performance). Even though companies contribute mightily to savings and investment plans such as 401k's, do not look upon these programs as bonuses. They are simply supplemental income, and although they may affect loyalty, they do little to meet the other two criteria.

How to Structure a Good Bonus Plan

Robert A. Normand is Executive Director of the Institute for Small Business Management (http://www.isbminc.com) and author of "Entreprenewal!, The Six Step Recovery Program for Small Business" ([http://www.entreprenewal.com]). Mr. Normand has served as principal management consultant for more than 100 businesses ranging from 0,000 to ,000,000 in annual sales and has owned and operated several small businesses of his own in diverse industries. Mr. Normand’s small business philosophy is premised on the belief that small business management skills can be developed by busy entrepreneurs using readily available information, tools and procedures not found in business schools or formal degree programs. He can be reached by telephone at 941-330-0889 or by mail at 3751 Almeria Avenue, Suite A4, Sarasota, Florida 34239.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Why Use Facebook For Business?

Why should you use Facebook for business? That's a good question, and the answer is really quite simple. It's a tool that can help you interact with your customers and attract new ones. To ignore this tool is the same as ignoring any other tool available to you, such as networking, direct mail or special promotions. When trying to promote your business online, it's best to make use of every tool available. At the very least, it's a good idea to test it to see whether it produces results.

Why is it important to interact with your customers online? Your customers will tell you all kinds of things if you ask them, and you can use this information to improve your bottom line. For example, you might notice that you are hearing a lot of people say they would buy your widget if it was blue instead of red. By offering another color choice, you might be able to sell more widgets.

Business

What about using Facebook to improve customer service in your online business? You can encourage your customers to contact you through Facebook and let you know about any problems they have with their order or with the products they have purchased. This will give you an extra opportunity to resolve the issue to the customer's satisfaction so that you end up with a happy customer who will tell others about your business.

How can you use Facebook to spread the news about your online business? The best way is to encourage word of mouth. Start by asking your customers to "like" your fan page. Their friends will see it and may decide to visit and see what it's about. You can also run contests where customers post a status message about your products or services in order to be entered to win a prize. Anything you can do to get your customers talking about you will help attract new customers.

Why Use Facebook For Business?

James Dempsey is a top internet marketer who works with industry leaders from around the world. He has a passion for helping others achieve their goals, dreams and aspirations. To learn more about James Dempsey and his team of Marketing Mentors meet him at: [http://www.work-from-homebusiness.biz/]

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Don't Restrain It, Nurture It

I love it when I meet individuals who are intensely focused on their goals and have a plan for their success. In many cases, their focus is so unmovable and unshakable that they won't let anything get in their way. On the downside, however, one major character flaw that many of these individuals share is that they try to do too much on their own. Because they feel that they need to control every aspect of their quest, they struggle with delegation. In many cases they don't believe that, with a little direction and development time, others might be capable of doing it better, or at least just as well as they do.

I believe that there are two extremely important lessons that, once learned, will turn a good leader into a great one. Great leaders first and foremost hire talent that is sharper than they are themselves. A great leader will also develop the talent of those individuals in their organization that have the potential to become strong leaders themselves.

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Admittedly, hiring someone that might be sharper than you are takes confidence. Many organizational leaders readily buy in to sourcing talent where they may have gaps, but it requires a greater level of self-assuredness to hire individuals who may have the skills to replace you.

Remove the fear and become a great coach! There is already a high probability that individuals on your team demonstrate superior skills to yours in one or more areas. Why not help them improve upon that skill and assist them in becoming more proficient in a couple other areas? If you do, you certainly have a lot more to gain than lose.

I recall that one of the most talented individuals I sourced during my career worked as a technical service representative in a new organization that I was leading. This young man had been passed over for promotions numerous times before because his obvious potential intimidated some of the hiring managers above him. Within a two-year span, I promoted him three times to lead various teams within my organization. He often would let me know that he had his eyes on my career path and wanted to achieve a similar success. Instead of getting fearful, I relished the fact that I knew I had a winner who would always outperform my expectations. Talk about low-hanging fruit! This was more than 10 years ago and, today, this young man is living his dreams as a leader in a Fortune 500 organization.

Remove the restraints and capture the potential!

One of the most common restraints I observe typically occurs during goal-setting. As leaders, we often establish goals for our teams based on the objectives we want to achieve. We do this without considering the potential that we might be able to harness based on the skills of our team members. Inherent in this type of restraint is a failure to understand the scope of what is achievable. Your team member's goals might actually be higher than your own. Throughout my corporate career, my goal as a coach was to reap the maximum potential from every team member. I knew that the only way I was going to be successful was to make sure I understood what my team member's own short and long-term objectives were. Once I grasped that part of the equation, it was simply a matter of connecting their goals back to the overall objectives for performance.

There are many dimensions to team performance, but here is a five-step process that focuses on maximizing goal achievement after you have established your base goal:

1. Review with each team member his or her personal goals for the project.

2. If they happen to achieve their personal goals, determine if the delta is higher or lower than the goal you establish.

3. If it is lower, determine what coaching you can provide to fill the gap, and whether or not you believe that you can summon the necessary skills to fill the gap from your team member. Adjust your goal higher or lower, based on your confidence in your coaching abilities.

4. If your delta is higher, ask yourself what coaching can you provide that would allow you to adjust your goal even higher? Adjust your goal higher.

5. Determine what the total potential opportunity would be if everything worked optimally. Adjust the goal upward based on your intuition, experience and capability of ensuring that all the stars will align.

Assessments are necessary of course and I personally support using tools to understand where the gaps in required job skills may be, but great coaches are intuitive coaches who often have a sixth sense about individuals who have the desire to excel. If your team member is clear in what they want to achieve for themselves, it is usually a good sign that they are willing to put forth the effort necessary to reach an even higher destination. Don't stop them, even if it takes you beyond where you might be today, and into some unfamiliar territory. It will be a growth experience for both of you!

Inspired by the numerous teambuilding sessions I perform each year, I'm excited to launch the Robert Van Arlen Team Development Series in partnership with Illuma Studios, in Scottsdale, Arizona. This facility provides an opportunity for up to 20 participants (from the same organization) to experience a program that drives higher performance, using a creative process that is captured on video as a tool for continuous development. Participants will have the opportunity to create a musical masterpiece through learning, participating and directing teams of musicians and engineers who assist in the creation of the final project. During this full day event, participants will learn specific techniques for developing team cohesion and collaboration. Upon returning to their organization, the participant will be equipped with the skills necessary to achieve excellence through motivating and inspiring not only themselves, but their team members as well.

Don't Restrain It, Nurture It

Robert Van Arlen is considered one of the most versatile, energetic and effective speakers on the planet. His experience as a successful Fortune 500 executive ensures that the audience will receive...

A Motivational Experience That Lasts!

Robert Van Arlen is an expert in transforming organizational culture through a process called "Focused Synergy." Born in Honolulu, the former Fortune 500 executive built a reputation during his 15 year career of changing the culture of his teams from whiners to winners.

Robert gained international experience as the leader of the Canadian sales, service and technical support divisions of CCH Limited and its French counterpart CCH FM. At the young age of 28, Robert was assigned to lead a division of veteran sales professionals that were not performing. Within a few months, Robert had them aligned to the vision of being the top sales division in the company. His team accomplished their goal. He worked closely with the other international divisions based in the UK and Australia.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

THE APOCALYPSE TO COME


THE APOCALYPSE TO COME

It would now appear that in addition to a banking collapse, in the form of Bankia and with others to follow, Spainis staring a sovereign debt collapse in the eyes.  The follies of recent acts such as lending banks money to buy sovereign debt have compounded the problem. Bank nationalisation is scarcely a credible option as the government is also known to be insolvent, and with Spanish banks needing to roll over several hundred billion EUR of loans this year themselves, the scene is set for disaster.

So with Spain, a key member of the world’s most important economic block, on the ropes, what firepower is available to tackle the problem. All economies which could come to the rescue, Germanyapart,  are ex growth and heavily indebted.  In short, there are no resources to fix the problem.

The much vaunted increase of IMF funding to USD 456 Billion represents about 0.7% of world GDP of USD 65 Trillion, which is intended to rescue everybody. In other terms, this amount barely represents 4 months US budget deficit.

If we look at the ESM, with a EUR 500 Billion target, only 4 countries, representing less than EUR 50 Billion have given firm signed commitments. It requires firm commitments totalling EUR 450 Billion minimum before the “virtual” fund is closed and can actually lend money.

Once invested IMF and ESM funds have preferred creditor rights, making it extremely unattractive for a professional bond investor, to invest and risk being treated as a subordinated creditor, as occurred in Greece.

The domino effect of multiple sovereign debt defaults has been explained before. However domino failures of insolvent systemically important Global banks,  will cause a crisis of much greater importance.

This will lead to the biggest financial  and economic crisis ever seen. All the signs are that the first domino will fall  in Europe, maybe even Spain, but thereafter  it will sweep across the world and spare nobody.

The interdependency of banks is enormous, they are counterparties in financing all aspects of world trade, oil, metals, commodities, agriculture and food. Stock and bond  and other credit markets will be paralysed, and  Bank holidays for a period may become commonplace.

The coming weeks and months, certainly not years, represent the end of the post war debt fuelled Keynesian experiment.

Prepare accordingly.

Private Lending

Private lending is usually done by specialists who fund ventures which have a higher degree of risk because they have thorough knowledge of the market segment that their money is going to be used in and clearly understand that the increased risk comes with the promise of greater opportunities in making profits.

Private lending requires the same due diligence that any bank or financial institution will conduct, however the criteria are usually less stringent. Private lenders will also ensure that there is a sound business plan, some financial involvement of the people who will be conducting the business, contingency planning, good business ideas, realistic forecasts as well as reputable, knowledgeable and professional people in the management before committing any funds to that business. Private lending is a realistic alternative to bank lending, especially if the latter find the proposals too risky to advance a loan. Moreover, private lenders tend to be more flexible in their approach to the loan repayment schedule and tend to give a patient hearing in case of genuine difficulties being faced by the business and can sometimes provide a wealth of information which may not be normally available to the people running the show, especially if he or she is in the same line of business. Private lending may broadly include venture capitalists and angel investors, however they tend to seek part ownership of the business or representation on the board as well as a say in the daily running of the business. These are activities that a true private lender would not normally get into.

\"business Ideas\"

Private Lending

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THE BAIL OUT MECHANISMS


THE BAIL OUT MECHANISMS

The main bail out sources for sovereign countries in difficulties are the IMF, the EFSF and the ESM.

The IMF was never conceived to rescue any of the world’s major economies, and as the largest provider of funds is the USA, they have resisted providing funds to the EU. Quite correctly they insist the EU should be capable of looking after itself.

The EFSF, described in detail in an earlier posting, was an ad hoc emergency facility established last year, and will be replaced in July, 2012, by the ESM or European Stability Mechanism.

The EFSF  fund has  EUR 200 billion, and once ratified the ESM will have up to EUR 500 billlion at its disposal. Needless to say the ESM is not yet funded and the funding will come from the major EU economies, Germany and  France, etc.  Spainand Italyas well as being contributors, are also shaping up to being major claimants on the funds resources.

At present of the total EUR 700 Billion notionally available, most of this is already spoken for to bail out Greece, Portugal and Ireland, without counting the probability that Greece will shortly come back for a third bail out.

Although estimates vary, the likely bail out amounts required for Spain and Italy are around EUR 800 Billion. Normally they would be net contributors of EUR 180 Billion, so it means that the most of the  EUR 980 Billion ESM funding requirement, will fall on the remaining “solvent” members namely Germanyand France. This puts Mr Hollande’s EUR 140 Billion growth fund in its true context.

In effect Spain and Italy will shortly be shut out of the credit markets and in order to avoid default a credible mechanism  needs to be established to find the  EUR 980 Billion.

This sum is approximately the amount of China’s holdings in US treasuries, built up over the past 20 years.

Many solutions to this problem have been floated, making the ESM a bank so it can leverage itself 10 times more and buy up the bad debts, getting the ECB to buy all unwanted bonds, allowing the ECB to go on a further LTRO / QE spree etc etc . None of the above solve any thing, apart from kicking the can down the road, and only serve to exacerbate the problem.

If it were not for Merkel’s stubborn resistance all of the above would probably already have been done.

The EU by procrastinating have completely boxed themselves in, with multiple countries collapsing at the same time. They may not yet have run out of holiday destinations, but they have certainly run out of options. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

THIS LADY’S NOT FOR TURNING


THIS LADY’S NOT FOR TURNING

These words used in 1980 by Margaret Thatcher, to demonstrate her resolve, appear equally true today of Angela Merkel, the only real man in the G 20 meetings. Whether she is maintaining her position due to conviction, or political and legal necessity, we will probably only learn in the history books.

However refusing to renegotiate the terms of the Greek bail out, apart perhaps in respect to the timing, is a very bold position and one which will accord her no allies whatsoever. This is either a very powerful display of brinkmanship, or a demonstration that she is determined that Greece and other countries either submit, or leave the Euro zone.

The other prodigal children of the Euro zone know that her giving in is their only hope, and the likes of Rajoy and Tremonti are certainly prepared to play very dirty games to achieve their objectives. They have absolutely nothing to lose as they are fully aware that their countries and their banks are bankrupt. The ECB is presently playing low profile business as usual, Draghi in particular is playing the role of Pontius Pilate,  although they also all know full well the extreme gravity of the situation.

The steps that would ensue a Greek default and imminent departure from the Euro, followed by drastic currency devaluation, would provoke a huge outflow of funds from Greece. Contagion would spread rapidly to other Club Med countries, who would move move vast funds to solid core countries banks, to avoid the same fate. This has  already happened and citizens should in a “free market” be able to chose the safest banks to hold their money.

The banks of Greece, Italy, and Spain in this scenario would then rush to request ECB assistance in replacing lost liquidity. The ECB could at it’s  discretion simply refuse to fund a central bank whose sovereign debt had just, or was about to default. The ECB could simply say they were being prudent and were just following the rules, something rather new for them. 

This is how to hold Mrs Merkel hostage, and the bankers know it perfectly well. The only question is how far down this road they can go before the process becomes irreversible?

With collapse imminent and thousands of people in the streets, queueing in front of banks, emergency capital controls introduced,  and border crossings blocked, to ensure no-one could leave with their hard earned cash, the trap would be sprung.

If there is one lesson to be learned from the Weimar Republic, it is that whenever politicians have been faced with similar crises in the past, in a fiat currency system, governments have always printed the money to make the problem go away, even if it stores up even bigger problems in the future.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

THE GREEK PANTOMIME


THE GREEK PANTOMIME

Watching the media coverage of the Greek elections, with Papandreou talking of catastrophe if Greecc leaves the Euro, and all European leaders in lock down mode in their five star bunkers, is close to a pantomime.

Firstly the issue today is an election and not a referendum on the Euro. If one accepts that citizens and politicians alike want to have their cake and eat it, nobody actually genuinely wants to leave the Euro. The Greeks want a fresh start and a fighting chance of success, which the  current Teutonic debt prison has rendered impossible.

The chances of a conclusive election result  is, according to pollsters, highly improbable, leading to further negotiations to form a coalition of the willing.

The reality is that virtually all the Euro zone countries are on the edge of insolvency and any one of them could prove to be the weakest link which breaks completely.

The real game in keeping  Greece  in the Euro, and providing them with further bail outs is simply to kick the can down the road one more time.

The real risk for Greeceis that of default, when they simply run out of money, which is exactly what will happen shortly in many other countries.

The whole situation is reminiscent of the British forces in Singapore awaiting the attack of the Japanese in 1940. The entire garrison was in the city with their massive guns pointed out to sea, awaiting the Japanese fleet, when the Japanese army attacked through Malaysia, BY LAND.

May I point out to our revered leaders with their eyes fixed on Athens,  like the heroes in a Christmas pantomine,  the real Euro problem “is right behind you!!!!!”




Saturday, June 16, 2012

EUROPEAN FINANCIAL CRISIS NEXT DEVELOPMENTS


EUROPEAN FINANCIAL CRISIS NEXT DEVELOPMENTS

 Very few options exist which could  resolve the problems and put the EU countries back onto a sustainable  future course.
The likely immediate steps to be taken, mainly by the ECB, which are cosmetic in impact and also appearance include, limited amounts of bond buying, a symbolic lowering of interest rates, adding token amounts to existing bail out funds, perhaps limited  ECB liquidity injections. The purpose of this incremental idiocy is to create the illusion of action when in reality the global situation is probably still deteriorating. It does however keep Mr. Draghi on the front page of the newspapers.
The amounts involved will be probably in EUR 100 Billion tranches, because nobody will dare say that the problem is in EUR Trillions.
The reality is that European politicians and the electorate still want to have their cake and eat it. They wish to retain national sovereignty and remain in the Euro zone, and not to suffer austerity while receiving hand outs. It is likely matters will need to get very much worse before the political elites, completely removed from the ordinary citizen’s reality, will get the message. Regrettably it will be the bond markets which will put an end to this game of make believe.
By the time they do the options will probably be down to the following:
  • Full fiscal integration and loss of sovereignty for those that stay in the Euro zone, with the agreement signed in a railway carriage in Compiegne. For Germany “all things come to he who waits”
  • Exit for all countries not willing to sign up to the new regime, hopefully when an orderly exit is still an option
The wild card possibility is that Germany exits the Euro zone taking perhaps a few Northern European neighbors with it.
While it is virtually impossible to predict the outcome, the only certainty with our completely incompetent leadership, is when the inevitable comes it will be an absolute catastrophe.
However the cake is sliced and diced, I do not believe the Euro zone will be intact at the end of this year. The question is how this will impact our lives. Many will unfortunately find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The theme of my next blog will be how can we thrive and survive in the resulting chaos


THE ECONOMIC CRISIS IN EUROPE HAS REACHED A CROSSROADS



The economic crisis in Europe has reached a crossroads, from which in all probability there is no return. The past many months have been empty debate when the situation has further deteriorated.

Governments depend for their financing on the sovereign bond markets, where they can refinance existing debt, and raise new debt caused  by deficit spending. Today bond investors are shunning these sovereign bond markets as they see unacceptably high risk or are asking interest rates that are so high as to be unaffordable for governments with mountainous debt levels.The Greek bail out and the cram down of bond holders also added a new element of risk that any new money from the Bail out funds would have a preferred status, thus driving away even more  bond investors. In short the bond market has taken away from the politicians the control over the situation as regrettably was forseen by many observers for years.

A similar situation exists for weaker banks, which can no longer raise equity capital and long term bond financing. Thereafter they  turn to their governments for assistance, which as explained above,  they are no longer capable of providing. Such banks are also shut out of the interbank short term financing market, where banks lend to each other. The degree of mistrust between banks is so great, that instead of lending to each other, stronger banks park their cash with the ECB. The amounts involved are staggering, recently approaching   EUR 800 Billion. The cash starved banks can obtain finance from the ECB but only on presenting  valid security for these loans. We have now reached the stage that these banks have pledged virtually all their assets already, and can offer no security in exchange for more cash. The famous LTRO of EUR 700 Billion last year enabled weak banks access cash, but doomed them in the market, where their share price collapsed, as it was a flagrant proof of weakness. Also when the bank used the cash to buy their sovereign bonds, the market now knows the further losses they incurred. For all these reasons a further LTRO 2 looks very unattractive.

Thus we have reached the stage where both soverign countries and their major banks have reached the limit of their borrowing capacities when their actual borrowing requirement increases exponentially, and as explained above the EU and ECB interventions while creating a short term fix have made matters even worse.

Although this crisis has been many years in the making, historians may well come to regard the weekend of the French and Greek elections as the turning point.

Mr Hollande was elected on a platform of reducing retirement age, giving sweet deals to bureaucrats, increasing spending to generate growth, and using other people’s money to pay for it. This of course appealed so much to the French electorate that Mr Hollande a man who has never  held ministrerial office, has taken the reins in France’s most difficult hour. He looks set to consolidate the socialist party power in this weekend’s local elections.

Meanwhile in Greece, the polarisation in politics has cannibalised the centre left and right parties and is making way for irreconcilable extremes. Austerity has slashed living standards for the ordinary Greek citizen, while many abusive anomolies remain. In hospitals the situation is so desperate that Cancer patients are no longer getting medication and the most basic hospital supplies are either rationed or not available. Many state employees have simply not been paid, and private businesses are shuttering their premises.

There is an election this weekend and at this stage it is to be hoped that whatever the errors of the past the country remains governable and does not degenerate into anarchy.

The financial situation in Greecehas been debated to death. The economy is contracting, while the tax revenues are dwindling. The monies handed over to Greecehave essentially been recycled  to bail out of the insolvent banks in Northern Europe. Virtually nothing remains in Greece. When the Greeks do not wish to play the game of getting even more indebted,  it was even proposed to hand the cash directly to the banks and send the Greek government the bill.

In Spain the true situation is increasingly coming to the surface. Firstly Prime Minister Rajoy said that Spanish banks had no problems and did not need any financial assistance, secondly Bankia reported a profit and a few days announced  later a whacking multibillion loss. Then Mr Rajoy reaffirmed that the problem could be handled in Spain, and a few days later went cap in hand for a EUR 100 Billion bail out, for the banking sector only.

Informed sources estimate the banking bail out, to cover primarily real estate losses,  alone should be of the order of EUR 400 Billion Then there is the problem of spendthrift out of control regions, and the funding of the massive social security commitments of a country where youth unemployment is running at over 50%. Stopping the latter payments could lead very rapidly to serious social unrest.

Spain has  in addition substantial commitments to various EU solidarity funds and also to the ECB. Estimates of its true Debt/GDP ratio is closer to an unviable 120%, pre bank bail out, to which should be added the projected deficits for the coming years

This is reflected in Spain’s cost of 10 yr borrowing at around 7% in today’s market. This is reported as excessive, which is simply not true,  When Spain borrowed in Peseta’s, interest rates were  much higher, which curtailed the borrowings.. Debt levels are the real problem.

In Italywhere the EU nominated  Mr Monti to became technocratic Prime Minister, the situation is equally grim. The debt/GDP is approximately 180% but at least Italydoes not have a colossal real estate bubble. However their banks also have shaky balance sheets and the economy very weak.

Italy also has  significant contingent liabilites to EU solidarity funds.and also to the ECB.

The inherent risks are reflected in 10 yr borrowing costs only slightly lower than Spain

In the past the commitments and contingent liabilites were never really considered by Governments as cash liabilities as nobody foresaw that they would ever be used. This is rather like an insurance company not collecting a premium and never expecting to have a claim. Now however all the signs are that each and every one will be called to the full and there is absolutely no cash availaible to meet these demands.

Each country has  also realised that the sooner you get in line for a bail out, the better your chances of not being asked to contribute to another country’s bail out.

The quickest way to achieve this is to make sure one of the country’s too big to fail banks has a run on funds, a crashing share price and is on the edge of bankruptcy. At that point the Government will promise to bail out the bank and run cap in hand to the EU for funding, and announce oh by the way we also need cash for the other banks.

Spain has outmaneuvred Italy very effectively leaving Mr Monti fuming. When the Austrian finance minister suggested that Italy may be next, he furiously denied it. “Methinks he doth protest too much” – Shakespeare

We are also seeing Slovenia and Cyprusthreatening to join the queue

What Monti does know is that with Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and Spainand potentially Slovenia and Cyprusout of the game the burden falls on those left standing. Italy on its own may just survive but is in no position to shoulder its share of the burden imposed by others.

Thereafter France with high Debt/GDP ratio, increasing deficit spending, massive EU  contingent liabilities, and  its domestic banks overcommitted to Spain, Italy and Greece, could go under overnight. Mrs Merkell has strongly criticised Francetoday for its present policies as she rightly fears a situation where France, instead of being an ally becomes yet one more liability. 

There is  no way Germany virtually alone could redress the situation. The amounts of money required to rectify the situation are vast. Germanywould have to take on massive debt burdens much higher interest costs and lower its standard of living to that of the EU average, while continuing to work much harder and being far more productive. This is a tough sell to a teutonic electorate, already  widely disliked by those they would help.

The extraordinary thing, never mentioned by the EU political elites, is that even if the slate were wiped clean, the imbalances which created this mess, differing productivity, same exchange rate, same interest rate for all, would create the problem all over again.



In summary, sovereign states have  run out of cash simultaneously  and cannot access the credit markets on acceptable terms for the amounts needed. The major banks with few exceptions are in the same situation.

The EU rescue mechanisms ESM/EFSF  meant to save individual states in difficulty are largely unfunded, and there is no legal and political agreement as to how the funds should be deployed. Even if totally funded  they are perhaps adequate to deal with Greece and Portugal,  but are completely completely overwhelmed by the scale of the problem posed by Spain, Italy et al.

This in financial parlace is “Contagion” but in reality  it simple arithmetic. These numbers have been known for years. The problem is that the philosophy of “extend and pretend “ so loved by politicians, has its limits.  Ultimately it transitions into “lie until you die”  which is where we are today.

The problem has never been Greecedespite all one reads in the media, contagion has always been the problem. Contagion can only happen when all the others are only slightly stronger than the weakest link.

At some point very soon this festering situation has to explode and when it does Europe and probably the world will never be the same again. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Importance of Corporate Strategy

Let's talk about strategy. A lot of companies that we work with spend too much time focusing on tactics and execution and not enough time really determining what their overall strategy is as a business and the impact on spending enough time at the strategic level can really have an stunting impact on a company's overall ability to accelerate its sales, gain market leadership, and really power up its revenue growth. A lot of CEO's get bored when it comes to spending time on strategy and they view strategic work as being theoretical or hypothetical exercise that doesn't add a lot of value to a company. But when you look a little bit more deeply, companies that execute really well usually start by having a strong foundation in their strategic objectives and their strategic plans.

Many companies that do well in strategic planning actually formalize this process and conduct it on a periodic basis and make sure that their strategy is updated and aligned with changes in the market, changes that are going on with their competitors, changes that are going on with their customers in terms of specific needs, preferences, and overall requirements. So, a company that does good work on strategy has a much better change at being successful than a company that neglects this important area. Strategy is all about setting the foundation for understanding how to be successful in a market and how to win.

\"business Management\"

Companies that have a good go to market strategy or strategic marketing plan are in a much better position to execute, according to a company's overall vision and to leadership's overall vision, than companies that don't. It's the job of leadership to provide this vision and set the framework for building a go to market strategy that can allow the company to be successful in its target markets and achieve its revenue and profit objectives over time. Strategy is also important in terms of being able to align the different elements of a business together and make sure that all of the people in your organization clearly understand where the company is going and what's required in order to get there as well as what role they will play in executing the company's overall successful strategy.

When leaders don't spend sufficient time defining their go to market strategy, often times the company suffers and resources are wasted. Members of the team don't understand what exactly it is they are trying to accomplish. Resources are wasted as sales people hunt for opportunities that don't fit with the company's core strategic objectives. And in general, a company that doesn't have alignment on strategy, is under-optimized and wasting time and effort on needless things that don't contribute to the company's overall bottom line success and leadership in the market.

It's the responsibility of a company's leadership to set the overall strategic direction for the company and make sure that they are keepers of strategy as the company moves forward and evolves. Second of all, to set that and to develop it as a vision for the company that can be projected and communicated outwards to its market place as well as internally with its employees. Good leaders plan. Good leaders have a strong focus on what the company's strategic direction is and work to align all of the companies constituents, including internal employees, as well as clients, business partners, channel partners, etc. with the company's overall strategy.

The Importance of Corporate Strategy

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges and Solutions

Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between people in an organization. That sounds simple, but diversity encompasses race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background and more.

Diversity not only involves how people perceive themselves, but how they perceive others. Those perceptions affect their interactions. For a wide assortment of employees to function effectively as an organization, human resource professionals need to deal effectively with issues such as communication, adaptability and change. Diversity will increase significantly in the coming years. Successful organizations recognize the need for immediate action and are ready and willing to spend resources on managing diversity in the workplace now.

\"business Management\"

Benefits of Workplace Diversity

An organization's success and competitiveness depends upon its ability to embrace diversity and realize the benefits. When organizations actively assess their handling of workplace diversity issues, develop and implement diversity plans, multiple benefits are reported such as:

Increased adaptability

Organizations employing a diverse workforce can supply a greater variety of solutions to problems in service, sourcing, and allocation of resources. Employees from diverse backgrounds bring individual talents and experiences in suggesting ideas that are flexible in adapting to fluctuating markets and customer demands.

Broader service range

A diverse collection of skills and experiences (e.g. languages, cultural understanding) allows a company to provide service to customers on a global basis.

Variety of viewpoints

A diverse workforce that feels comfortable communicating varying points of view provides a larger pool of ideas and experiences. The organization can draw from that pool to meet business strategy needs and the needs of customers more effectively.

More effective execution

Companies that encourage diversity in the workplace inspire all of their employees to perform to their highest ability. Company-wide strategies can then be executed; resulting in higher productivity, profit, and return on investment.

Challenges of Diversity in the Workplace

Taking full advantage of the benefits of diversity in the workplace is not without its challenges. Some of those challenges are:

Communication - Perceptual, cultural and language barriers need to be overcome for diversity programs to succeed. Ineffective communication of key objectives results in confusion, lack of teamwork, and low morale.

Resistance to change - There are always employees who will refuse to accept the fact that the social and cultural makeup of their workplace is changing. The "we've always done it this way" mentality silences new ideas and inhibits progress.

Implementation of diversity in the workplace policies - This can be the overriding challenge to all diversity advocates. Armed with the results of employee assessments and research data, they must build and implement a customized strategy to maximize the effects of diversity in the workplace for their particular organization.

Successful Management of Diversity in the Workplace - Diversity training alone is not sufficient for your organization's diversity management plan. A strategy must be created and implemented to create a culture of diversity that permeates every department and function of the organization.

Recommended steps that have been proven successful in world-class organizations are:

Assessment of diversity in the workplace - Top companies make assessing and evaluating their diversity process an integral part of their management system. A customizable employee satisfaction survey can accomplish this assessment for your company efficiently and conveniently. It can help your management team determine which challenges and obstacles to diversity are present in your workplace and which policies need to be added or eliminated. Reassessment can then determine the success of you diversity in the workplace plan implementation.

Development of diversity in the workplace plan - Choosing a survey provider that provides comprehensive reporting is a key decision. That report will be the beginning structure of your diversity in the workplace plan. The plan must be comprehensive, attainable and measurable. An organization must decide what changes need to be made and a timeline for that change to be attained.

Implementation of diversity in the workplace plan - The personal commitment of executive and managerial teams is a must. Leaders and managers within organizations must incorporate diversity policies into every aspect of the organization's function and purpose. Attitudes toward diversity originate at the top and filter downward. Management cooperation and participation is required to create a culture conducive to the success of your organization's plan.

Recommended diversity in the workplace solutions include:

Ward off change resistance with inclusion. - Involve every employee possible in formulating and executing diversity initiatives in your workplace.

Foster an attitude of openness in your organization. - Encourage employees to express their ideas and opinions and attribute a sense of equal value to all.

Promote diversity in leadership positions. - This practice provides visibility and realizes the benefits of diversity in the workplace.

Utilize diversity training. - Use it as a tool to shape your diversity policy.

Launch a customizable employee satisfaction survey that provides comprehensive reporting. - Use the results to build and implement successful diversity in the workplace policies.

As the economy becomes increasingly global, our workforce becomes increasingly diverse. Organizational success and competitiveness will depend on the ability to manage diversity in the workplace effectively. Evaluate your organization's diversity policies and plan for the future, starting today.

This article may be reproduced provided it is published in its entirety, includes the author bio information, and all links remain active.

Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges and Solutions

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Josh Greenberg is President of AlphaMeasure, Inc. located in Boulder, Colorado.

AlphaMeasure provides organizations of all sizes a powerful web based method for measuring employee satisfaction, determining employee engagement, and increasing employee retention.

An AlphaMeasure employee satisfaction survey is fully-customizable and allows you to target the organizational topics and challenges facing your staff today. Designed by HR professionals from the ground up, the AlphaMeasure Employee Satisfaction Survey System provides an affordable, feature rich solution for deploying fully-customized employee satisfaction or employee engagement surveys.

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