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Spring Clean Your Processes

April 15th, 2012 · Comments Off on Spring Clean Your Processes

Document Systems and Processes
By developing and documenting a standard process or system for regular activities, you eliminate the need to constantly re-invent the wheel. In E-Myth Mastery, consultant and author, Michael Gerber talks about the discipline of creating and implementing step-by-step processes for your most critical business activities. He recommends creating an operations manual so both you and your employees have no questions about what is to be done, when it is to be done, how it is to be done, or who is to do it. Processes and systems not only provide a disciplined approach to internal operations but, if done right, contribute to a consistently positive experience for you, your employees and your customers or clients.

Create Improvement Cycles
As you begin to develop and implement standard processes and systems, you’ll want to review them every once in a while to see if they’re meeting your needs or if they could be improved or enhanced in some way. The Plan, Do, Check, Act tool can help you update your processes in a systematic way.

The first step is to plan. What are the current steps in your process? Do you have a process? If not, write down what you think the steps should be. If you have more than one person involved or impacted by the process, get their input. They may have some good ideas. What specific results or outcomes do you want from this process? Write them down.

Next, implement the process for a while. Do it and live with it just as you planned it – for a month, three months, or six months. Long enough to see how it works in practice.

Then, take a step back and check it out. What’s working and what’s not working? Are you getting the results you anticipated? Are there ways the process can be improved? If other people are involved, ask them how things are going.

Finally, act on your improvements. And start the cycle again.

Sometimes we keep doing things over and over again because they’re a habit, not because they’re effective. Make sure your activities are getting you the results you want.

Comments Off on Spring Clean Your ProcessesTags: Excellence · Learning · Strategies

Conversational Yellow Lights

April 27th, 2011 · Comments Off on Conversational Yellow Lights

istockphoto

In 2009, I wrote two blog posts related to types of conversations that can expand and enhance our communication effectiveness:

Five Powerful Conversation Strategies to Add to Your Talking Toolbox

A Sixth Conversation Strategy to Add to Your Talking Toolbox

Eric Klein of Dharma Consulting  wrote a terrific post that extends this discussion. He  reminds us that we need to be mindful and present in the moment when we’re in conversation with someone (or a group of someones) and adjust accordingly. Check out his 4/13/11 post  Are You Paying Attention to the Yellow Lights?

Comments Off on Conversational Yellow LightsTags: Communication · Leadership

Bringing Data to Life: Visual Storytelling

April 27th, 2011 · Comments Off on Bringing Data to Life: Visual Storytelling

A friend sent me a link to this video and I thought it was a great example of bringing data to life. Numbers alone can put your audience to sleep, but using elements of effective storytelling, along with some great visuals, can help you engage your audience in the context and meaning behind the numbers. Enjoy!

Comments Off on Bringing Data to Life: Visual StorytellingTags: Communication · Engagement · Experience