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Archive for November, 2009

Decision Making Strategies

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 25, 2009 NO COMMENTS

office-strategyLeadership skills become second nature for many people. But one of the most difficult skills is decision making. There are always numerous factors to consider, impacts to predict, and, simply put, it’s difficult to please everyone from the highest levels. It’s easy for leaders to procrastinate on decision-making or even try to offload the decision to someone else. But an effective decision making strategy is a highly useful leadership tool, so let’s discuss how to make those decisions in a methodical and factual way.

First, let’s discuss how decisions are made. Some leaders may make all decisions alone. This may be based on the individual or the dynamic of the group he or she leads. On the other hand, some leaders do not step into decision-making unless they have their “sounding board” group around them. Before you enter into the decision process, determine how you’ll make your decision. With that said, remember that group decision- making is sometimes highly effective because, let’s face it, none of us has all of the answers.

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Coaching as a Training Resource

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 20, 2009 NO COMMENTS

personal_and_professional_coachingEven if the recession is beginning to back off, it may take some time to build budgets and training staffs back to a serviceable level. Plus, one of the hard facts of the ongoing financial crisis is that organizations will have to emerge with much more lean and efficient training staffs and programs. Coaching in the field is a very effective and cost efficient method of keeping training going – and making sure that an organization’s associates are not left in the dark.<

The first question that may come up is, “how do I create a coaching program when things are such a mess?” Hopefully your organization still has some of its high performing, high potential leaders out in the field. Plus, your organization may still have its leadership pool, whose members are probably “chomping at the bit” to increase their skills. These are the groups to turn to when you need coaches. And most likely the members of these groups will be more than happy to help out.

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Adaptive Leadership

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 16, 2009 NO COMMENTS

LeadershipEssentialsAdaptive leadership is a step up from other leadership skills. Typically the term is applied to leadership situations that involve neither technical nor operational issues. Issues that require a form of adaptive leadership are normally problems that do not have the clarity of an operational issue, as well as a lack of clear solutions. How you, as a leader, react to adaptive issues will set the tone for problem solving going forward. Let’s first look at specific qualities of adaptive issues, and then discuss some ways you can lead adaptively.

With adaptive issues, you may notice a difference between what the organization would like to see happen and the reality of the situation. This could come about when the organization tries to create its vision, knowing that quite a bit of work is needed to make the vision a reality. Adaptive issues are those that require responses that are outside the norm or outside of the box. If you cannot respond to an issue with the normal “tool box”, then the issue may require an adaptive stance. An adaptive issue may also require leadership to make tough decisions or decisions that are not so popular.

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Training Analytics

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 9, 2009 NO COMMENTS

analyticsIn a financial environment where training organizations are being asked more than ever to prove their worth, effective measurement is probably in the front of everyone’s minds. There are many ways to measure training, from the basic to the advanced. What are some of the analytics you can use to measure training, and more importantly, to measure its effectiveness?

On the basic level, training managers can determine how effective a particular program is by the numbers. How many people have attended a training program, whether in the classroom or online? A better measurement is to know the total number in the target population and compare the actual attendee numbers to that. Many times, an organization’s mandatory training, such as compliance-related courses, can be measured in this manner. Where the goal is 100% attendance, it’s easy to determine success. But is this measurement effective in a “bottom-line” environment? There are two ways to look at this measurement. From the training manager’s perspective, you can determine if a course was engaging and informative enough to keep people coming in. But from an overall view, is this information concrete enough to hand to senior executives? Probably not. But it’s a good start.

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Sales Analytics

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 2, 2009 NO COMMENTS

20060828_fmk_webviewer_details_monthly_sales_analyticsIt’s easy to say that a great salesperson is that person who continually closes, and this is true to a great extent. But in a new economic environment, a closed sale is not necessarily the sole measure for effectiveness of the salesperson and the sales presentation. There are several ways to measure sales and all of them can be used together to get a good picture. In addition, you can use a combination of metrics to determine how to set goals – and how to coach salespeople in the meantime.

One of the most common sales analytics is revenue. For a business with only a few products and a few salespeople, it’s also a relatively simple leap to determine how much of the revenue was brought in through the sales force. But as products become more complicated and as the sales force spreads geographically, this determination is harder to make. The idea of using revenue as a sales metric is to take the total revenue and then break it down to relevant units, such as division, product, region, or salesperson. Once you have a hold on the numbers, you can determine how much revenue is generated by each product – and by each salesperson.

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