Mircosoft Japan gave workers a three day weekend for the month of August 2019. Productivity increased by 39.9% and electricity consumption dropped 23%, plus the number of pages printed out dropped by 60%.
A small town with a declining population and economy looked to rebuild their town. The locals held meetings; the most common thought was “we need to attract more people to our town”. Suggestions included murals, food festivals, art shows, novelty festivals and many other things. Enthusiastic people organised a clean-up of the town encouraged shop and building owners to repaint. With funding help from local authorities, visitors started arriving. The visitors are welcomed by the townsfolk and there is a mutual feeling of satisfaction. There are new business opportunities for locals and money flows into the community along with the visitors. Euphoria.
As tourism grew, the town realised it needed to develop proper ways of greeting visitors, dealing with their requests instead of just chatting to them like friends. Formal arrangements were put in place, signs erected to stop the incessant requests for directions. Notices were placed in shops explaining the festival details. The flow of visitors was steady every year, in fact, it steadily increased. Making tourism a good investment enabling local businesses to plan for the future knowing tourists would always be there. Apathy had set in.
After just a few years tourism was the lifeblood of the town. So numerous were the tourists that motels had to expand, new cafes and restaurants were built. New folk moved into town growing the population and bringing new ideas. Even a new car park had to be constructed in the town centre. Although many locals disliked the demolition of the village hall to make way for the car park, it was too difficult to park in town without this progress. The volume of traffic from the highway necessitated traffic lights at the crossroad at the edge of town. The Saturday morning farmer’s market now boosted more drink stalls, jewellery stalls, and fashion stalls than the traditional fruit and vegetable and fresh produce stalls it used to have. Not all locals were happy with changes, it seemed to many locals the nature and spirit of the town was disappearing. So many tourists made it hard to get simple things like weekly shopping done, and prices had gone up. Not to mention trying to find a tradesman who wasn’t just too busy with big jobs in town. The volume of tourists led to prices in town being jacked up as locals became unable to supply the demand. No longer could locals nip down to the jetty for a quiet spot of fishing and the queue at the boat ramp was always long.
Sadly, the environment everyone loved, tourist and locals alike, had changed forever. Tourists still came but a different type now the vibe of the town was different. In the scramble to capture the tourist dollar, the community overlooked the fact that the things the residents and early visitors once valued in the area, had changed irrevocably. The outcome could have been so different with proper planning. Regret
A Feasibility Study, although seemingly tedious and often thought to be unnecessary, could have made a massive difference to the business plan.
In tough times many people start dreaming of starting a consulting business. What separates those who achieve their dream from those who don’t is knowledge and planning. The road to success is rocky, but those who arm themselves with the best resources and solutions from the outset have the best chance of success.
e-Training Manuals “How to Become a Successful Consultant in your own field” is your roadmap to consulting success. From taking the plunge to finding the right business concept, writing a business plan, setting consultant fees this manual gives you a distillation of years of experience. Written in an easy to read step by step way, this manual will enable you to avoid costly mistakes and little known pitfalls.
Many people fail when they start new businesses because they don’t have enough business knowledge. Knowledge is the first step because knowledge gives you clarity and clarity give you purpose.
At the end of the day, most businesses fail because the people behind them stop doing the right actions or continue doing the wrong actions (often a combination of both). With the e-Training Manual “How to Become a Successful Consultant in your own field”, you can learn how to function like a consultant with years of experience.
Collective decision-making is so much better than individual decision-making if it’s done well. It’s been the secret behind many organization’s success. The problem is, it requires being radically truthful and radically transparent with each other. People say it’s emotionally difficult. Not if you plan and create your meetings properly. Allow people the freedom to speak truthfully in a productive way. There is a method; it’s detailed in our eBook How to Conduct a Productive Brainstorming Session
Research from the Saratoga Institute indicates of the top seven reasons money isn’t one of them.
Mismatch between person and job
Not enough training and feedback
Feeling undervalued or unrecognised
Loss of trust in leadership
Too few growth opportunities
Job or workplace not as expected
Stress from overwork
So what’s the answer? Learn how to select staff better by improving your interviewing skills, see our eBook How to Prepare and Conduct Staff Selection Interviews. Ensuring the right people are placed in the right jobs and understand their role and future in the organisation.
Improve your training by first understanding what training is required see our eBook How to Conduct a Training Needs Analysis.
By improving your training by providing training for the right things, your staff will be more empowered, included and understand where their future lies.
There is evidence that working fewer hours is more productive. Perhaps it’s to do with fatigue but it’s equally likely to be; if you know you can only be there for seven hours, you might be more focused on your tasks. Too many managers attribute merit and value to workers who put in long hours, rather than examining their productivity or effectiveness. Read what The Economist Newspaperhad to say on the hours issue here. For my money, people who work long hours are inefficient; managers who favourably judge employees who work long hours are lazy, ineffective managers.
It doesn’t matter what music you choose, someone will love it, someone will hate it.
What you like, in the way of music, is no guide to what your target market likes. There isn’t a type of music that is universally liked, in the past ‘muzak’ was widely used in lifts and other public areas. Supposedly bland enough not to offend anyone, yet pleasant. However, just about everybody hated it. If you are going to use music in your store use a variety of songs and artists played at random, and keep the volume to a level that doesn’t offend anyone. So that mother and daughter shopping won’t pass by because mother’s “Not going in there with that racket”.
Read more in our eBook‘How to Increase Retail Sales’
To remain competitive, companies need to offer training and career-focused education throughout people’s working lives. Low and high-skilled workers alike for the best chance of success. But the practicalities are daunting for a start what training? There are numerous companies offering specific training: LinkedIn Learning, Amazon, Pluralsight, plus several Universities. Before you spend large amounts of money on specific training, what training is needed by your staff? How do you assess what training is required in your organisation and for which people? Our Training Needs Analysis eBook guides you step by step through the analysis process.
It’s a common idea that robots will soon steal our jobs, even though there is little or no evidence to support the notion. The Luddite weavers in 1811 thought weaving machines were going to cause mass unemployment, the advent of the tractor has reduced agricultural employment to reduce by 95% since 1910; yet employment participation remains stable.
Jobs are lost due to automation within an industry but are made up for by jobs in new areas. Education is our defence against robots, no one can predict what the new jobs of the future will be, remaining flexible in our abilities will allow us to take up the new jobs in the future.
Economist David Autor discusses this issues in depth in a recent TED talk
The low productivity of British workers has several possible culprits. Inefficient family-run companies are sometimes blamed, as are poor workforce skills. But whereas these problems are well documented, another factor is glossed over: the mediocre performance of British bosses. John van Reenen, director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, argues that the standard of British management is “significantly below” that in leading countries. Read more in this article from The Economist