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Dedupe your Processes by Brad Feld
By Paul 27/07/2016 03:27:38 PM

Brad Feld on inefficient processes “Dedupe your Processes” FeldThoughts

The phrase “dedupe your processes” was created at aboard meeting I was at last week. If you know our portfolio, you probably canfigure out which board meeting it was based on the use of the word dedupe.

It was part of a conversation where the goal of “SimplifySimplify Simplify”, which had been turned into “Simplify Simplify Simplify“, was finallylisted as “Simplify”.

It sounds so obvious. But it’s so fucking hard.

If you disagree, do a quick reality check. Focus first on“within your company” when you answer the following questions.

Within your company, do you use more than one of:

  1.        GoogleDrive, Dropbox, Box

  2.        Skype,Hangouts, Bluejeans

  3.        Asana,Trello, Basecamp

  4.        Slack,iMessage, SMS

  5.        Word,Google Docs

Those are the easy ones. Let’s keep going. Make a list of everySaaS-based license you have. If you don’t know what this list is, ask your VPFinance. If you outsource your accounting, hire a VP Finance. Now, consider howmany different overlapping things you are using.

When you are tiny, it’s fun to experiment around with differentthings. When you get a little bigger, say 20 people, it’s natural to havemultiple systems introduced as you try to optimize things, hire new people whoare used to what they used at their previous company, or just get frustratedwith what matters and distract yourself with something that doesn’t matter.

As you interact with more people outside of your company, you’lladd systems (and processes) to try to accommodate them. If you want to seean extreme example of this, just take a look at my computer and the number ofapps and logins I have.

You will reach a point in your company’s life – typically around50 people – where you realize you are wasting 20% of your collective time onoverlapping systems, inefficient processes, redoing work because someonedecided to build a database in Excel that doesn’t link to anything,or scrambling to pull together information that should be immediatelyavailable to everyone.

This is the point at which you should dedupe your processes. Ifyou have a good CFO, she’s the one to lead the charge. CEOs should never dothis as almost all CEOs I know are part of the problem either by holding ontightly to old processes or randomly trying new things all the time with theelusive goal of continuous improvement.

“Simplify Simplify Simplify”, then “Simplify Simplify Simplify“, and finally“Simplify”.

Category: General
 
Why are some people always Lucky in Business?
By Paul 09/03/2016 02:57:14 PM

You know what I mean. That friend or member of your club or social group, that always seems to have plenty of time. They dress well, nice house, go on lots of holidays and always seem to be smiling. How do they do it. What’s their secret?

Well provided they are not living off their inheritance, it may mean they have created their own Luck. Sure good intelligence helps. But what are their habits? Here are the results of a survey we took of selected myofficehub community members.

The Habits of Lucky people.

They behave the way they think they should to be happy and successful, and not how they Feel they should. Overtime how they think and feel become the same.

They are open, observant and interested in all people they meet. From that comes opportunities and invitations.

From observation and invitations they create, act and they leave something in it for those others. They then get further invitations.

They listen to their experience, follow their inbuilt rules and then execute efficiently with also a plan B and a plan C.

They are positive, have self belief that what they desire is achievable. They don't dwell on setbacks or mistakes but are Persistent in turning things around into success.

They have Focus, with short to long term goals. Their daily tasks are aimed to achieve those goals. 

All this manifests itself into their behaviour. Their behaviour becomes their character. Gee isn’t he a lucky character!

So their Luck brings success, which further enhances their reputation and invitations.

We can’t choose what will happen to us, but we can choose how we will respond to challenges to set ourselves up for future success. With an open positive mind,goals and a persistent attitude, there is nothing you can’t achieve.

The good news is that you too can have good Luck. You just need to resolve to change bad habits and introduce these good ones.

 

 

Category: General
 
My Good Friend ... My Mentor
By Paul 01/02/2016 02:12:00 PM

Mentoring is a good idea and has been happening informally forever. Parents mentor their kids. The old hand mentors the new hand. We have come to realize that in business we need that on the job training, but what do you do when there is no one there to do it. What happens when you are top of the tree? You can’t go to your staff for big important advice. They want to think you are on top of every situation and their jobs are secure. So you need people from outside with vast experience to guide and educate you.


Whether you own you own business, or you are brand new to a management position or are just new to the workforce. You need mentoring. No win some positions it’s just a few days of on the job training, a position description and some written procedures and off you go. But where you have people reporting to you and/or you have to make decisions that affect the business financially in a changing environment, it helps if you have experienced a similar situation before. Now in these days of high staff turnover, between: jobs, positions in the company, new types of jobs due to technology. Well the people just aren’t there to pass on that knowledge. So you have to look outside your environment for those with the right experience and skill set.

Where do you look? Members of our community can be matched with other members, who have offered their services as a Mentor. Or like everyone else they are also free to find their own.

What’s the first step? Once you've identified a potential someone, the first step is to get comfortable that they are the one for you and vice versa. It’s relationship building. It’s going for coffee and lunch,sharing experiences and first of all ensuring that they have the appropriate skills you need. The next is to ensure that your personalities don't clash, so that that knowledge can be passed to you. You need to be very open about your weaknesses. You don't want to be shamed, but guided and encouraged. They also want to believe that the knowledge they give you will be acted upon and not ignored. You have to be a Listener. You have to respect and appreciate your mentor. If not. Find another.

Ok once that threshold of trust is reached, off you go. But what are the practical methods of mentoring to be used? The methods are scheduled face-to-face coffee meetings, skype, phone calls, texts and the occasional lunch at your cost. Some mentors may put in a Personal Development Plan for you to set goals and tasks to overcome gaps in your knowledge. Courses may be booked and attended. All for that reason. This is a very proactive approach to Mentoring to get in front of the game. The mentor’s goal should be to eventually kick you out of the nest. Not to make you an emotional dependent.

A further development is that you may even undergo training to be a Mentor yourself. There are a number of workshops that do this. The goal being to turn your organization into a learning environment. This of course will depend on your business size and the role you play in it. Though understanding the techniques that create a learning environment will stand you in good stead wherever you have staff. They will recognize and appreciate that skill and the good ones will stay longer with a manager like that.

So what is the moral of the story? We are always learning through our entire life. We are lifetime students. Getting used to that idea will bring you success sooner.

Category: General
 
The Secrets of my Success
By Paul 04/01/2016 12:00:00 AM

Well what are they? We all have some, but usually take them for granted. What works for some does not necessarily work for others though. Some don't suit your personality type or the business you are in.

Now,you may not be overwhelming successful, but there are some things that win for you. Take some time, sit down and try to work it out what they are. Cause once you do, and filter out those that don't, you may be more successful more often.

Here are a few things clients have told me, work for them.

Simplify

Get rid of the fluff. In your home remove any unnecessary furnishings and clothing.Remove clutter. Have a car that can fit in a car space. Walk a bit more. Get your feet on the ground.

Work out in short, sharp regular varied routines. Cut down your portions. No added sugar. Reduce alcohol.

Simplify your job description. Delegate with KPI’s. Archive your laptop content. Talk to staff and customers more. Go paperless. Work out what’s core to your success.

Getting Started

Read on current affairs before bed or on rising. Read on business and other topics daily. Keep electronic folders of what you find potentially useful.

Write down your tasks and prioritize for the day. Visualize them being complete and the benefits they will bring.

Embrace discipline

Visualize what personal success looks like. Work out what results will get you there in the fastest possible time. Determine the steps to get you there and realize that it will take Discipline to get you there.

Beak these steps down into daily goals and reward yourself daily, when you get there. It may just be a coffee break, but it will keep your discipline on track.

Test People

Test staff, clients, customers, acquaintances, advisors, as soon as you can after meeting them. It may be asking them to do something already knowing the outcome. See how they measure up. That way you can know how far you can trust them. Retest them a few more times down the track.

Have Faith

Pursue your goals. Don't take it personally when you get a knock back, not matter how hard. Just pick yourself up and keep going. Be interested in everyone you come across and their story. Listen. It will rub off and create goodwill. Then look to see how you can engage. If not maybe next time. If you can do them a favor or refer them to someone who can help - do it!

Your positive thoughts become your words, actions and your habits. 

Your habits then become your character, and how people regard you.

If your character is of quality, then higher goals can be reached.

Systems

Build the system around you that supports you and your goals. That includes staff, family and friends. That includes the right locations, equipment, transport, software, but then most importantly, how you interact with them all to reinforce the character you want to be.

Importantly, be able to chill. Don't take yourself too seriously and have a sense of humor about all situations you find yourself in, daily. What are your Secrets to Success?

Category: General
 
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