Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 15th 2014 Contents BG12 COMMENTARY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt MAY 2014 • WEEK THREE
Improve at work by
examining all aspects
of your life
It s not an outrageous idea: Devoting less
time to work can ease stress and boost pro-
ductivity. It can also allow you to be more
engaged with your family, community and the
things you do just for you. These four-way
wins---improvements at work, at home, in
your community and in your private life---take
experimentation and help.
Start by diagnosing your four-way view:
What s important to you? Where do you focus
most of your attention? Talk to the most
important people in the different aspects of
your life and find out what you really need
from each other. Use these answers to better
align what really matters to you and what you
do, and design an experiment to improve your
performance in each of the four domains; for
example, start an exercise programme, carve
out daily time for family, join a big community
project, etc. And don t be afraid to ask someone
to help you stay on track.
(Source: "Reduce Stress by Pursuing Four-
Way Wins" by Stew Friedman.)
Don't let outdated
processes bog you down
As an organisation evolves, its original master
plan grows obsolete. Processes that made sense
with only 10 or 20 employees become complex,
inefficient and time-consuming as the com-
pany increases to 500 or 1,000 employees.
Rebuild and simplify your processes to boost
competitiveness and energize your staff with
Focus on the big picture. Cut any systemic
practices that have outgrown their usefulness.
Releasing people of the burden to follow dated
processes will enable them to focus on their
core tasks and increase productivity.
Drive authority down into the organisation.
It may have once been logical for top leaders
to oversee every aspect of the business, but
growth makes this difficult. Have others oversee
individual areas to speed up the process.
(Source: "Simplify Outdated Corporate
Processes" by Daniel Markovitz.)
Rethink your traditional
As digital disrupts more marketplaces, brands
become more important and valuable---not
less. They provide meaning and satisfy emo-
tional needs. As consumers experience infor-
mation overload, the tendency to gravitate
toward what s familiar increases. At the same
time, reliance on traditional tools---such as
advertising, corporate identity programmes
and PR---is waning as a way to build brands.
So how can companies strengthen their
brands? Look at Apple: Since its "Think Dif-
ferent" ad campaign, it has withdrawn from
image-building ads, kept a smaller marketing
budget and instead, focused brand efforts on
creating a well-designed, holistic product
experience. Firms must be able to tell a mean-
ingful story through actions and products, not
words in ads or statements. Products and serv-
ices should encapsulate a brand and commu-
nicate value without an additional layer of
advertising. Make your brand more central
and embed it across the customer value chain.
(Source: "Brands Aren t Dead, But Traditional
Branding Tools Are Dying" by Jens Martin Skib-
sted and Rasmus Bech Hansen.)
Use workforce analytics to
transform human resources
Research shows that many companies aren t
using objective talent data to make workforce
decisions; even though it can help reduce costs,
identify revenue streams, mitigate risks and
execute effective business strategies. Improve
your HR functions by making your analytics:
Relevant. HR analysts need to apply data
to the business issue (a top-down approach),
instead using up resources on bottom-up data
Valid. The quality of data is important, as
is the way leaders are educated about the cred-
ibility of talent metrics.
Compelling. HR can t present raw numbers
and expect the right message to come through.
Analysts must understand the audience, tell
a story and deliver conclusions that tie together
the principal facts.
Transformative. Talent data should help a
leader make better, faster decisions.
(Source: "Change Your Company With Better
HR Analytics" by Mick Collins.)
@2014 Harvard Business School Publishing
Corp. Distributed by the New York Times
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