|Posted by Ernest John Fleckenstein on April 12, 2015 at 7:50 PM||comments (1)|
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|Posted by Ernest John Fleckenstein on May 20, 2013 at 6:55 PM||comments (0)|
"Five frogs are sitting on a log. Four decide to jump off. How many are left? Five, because deciding is different than doing.”
Decisions are worthless … unless you turn them into commitments....
A decision states your counterpart’s intention; a commitment holds him accountable. Although a commitment does not guarantee delivery, it’s far more reliable than a decision. More importantly, when managed properly it allows you to handle breakdowns with effectiveness, trust and integrity.
Have you been in meetings where lots of decisions are made but nothing gets done and nobody is held accountable? Unless you finish the meeting with commitments about “who will do what by when,” you’ve just built 90% of a bridge.
Broken commitments damage tasks, relationships and culture. They bring about inefficiencies, mistrust and corruption. Coordination suffers, collaboration suffers, and cohesion suffers. You can avoid this suffering – if you finish every conversation with clear commitments.
Ask And You Shall Receive
Commitment conversations begin with a request. “Can you bring the financials to the meeting?” “Please ship the order to my new address.” Things can go off track at this early point, especially if you ask without asking.
I once coached a production manager who was put on a performance-improvement plan for failing to meet a crucial deadline. Weeks before the date, my client figured he had to add a shift to finish the job on time. He needed approval from his boss for the overtime, but he didn’t want to ask. He had heard the plant manager complain that corporate was breathing down his neck about costs.
He decided to use a soft approach. During a staff meeting he mentioned that his project could really use a second shift. The plant manager acknowledged it was a tough deadline; he said he would see what he could do. The production manager believed he had gotten the much-needed help. He waited for his boss to call him after the meeting to implement the second shift, but to no avail. Disappointed, he assumed that a delay was better than a cost overrun. He finished the job late. Imagine his outrage when he got chewed out!
Like many of us, the production manager tried to ask without asking. His indirect approach avoided a confrontation, but it also prevented a frank discussion of the tradeoff between additional labor costs and the delay. As I described in my previous posts on schizorganization and discussing the un-discussable, it is impossible to preserve sanity at work without open communication.
The typical way to avoid making a clear request is to make a muddled one. Do you recognize any of these examples?
It would be great if…Someone should…Do we all agree to…?Can you try to…?The boss wants...To make a clear request you must utter it in first person, using direct language and addressing it to a specific person. You must specify observable conditions of satisfaction, including time. It helps if you explain your purpose in asking, and if you finish handing out a linguistic contract asking the other sign it.
Although there are many ways to ask, the most effective ones follow a common pattern.
In order to get W (a want or need),I ask that you deliver X by Y.Can you commit to it?It may sound odd to ask like this; you can adjust your language to suit your culture. For example, the production manager might have told the plant manager, “I am running behind schedule. I don’t see how to catch up without some extra help. In order to finish the job I need some overtime. Can you authorize a second shift for the next three weeks?”
Time To Commit
A well-formed request demands a clear response. There are only three possible answers:
Yes, I commit.No, I decline.I can’t commit yet because,I need clarification.I need to check; I promise to respond by Z.I want to propose an alternative.I can make it only if I get V by W.Anything else is a weasel promise. Here are some misleading ways to say, “No, I don’t commit.”
Yes, I’ll try.OK, let me see what I can do.Seems doable.Let me check into it.Someone will take care of it.When you declare, “I commit,” you assume the responsibility to honor your word unconditionally. You take on an obligation to deliver on your promise; or if you can’t, to do your best to take care of the requestor.
When you declare, “I decline,” you might still try to do what you were asked, but you don’t commit. You do not give the requestor the right to hold you accountable. It is much better to have a clear “no” than to get bogged down in a wishy-washy “I’ll do my best.”
There are many good reasons to decline. You may not have the resources; you may not have the skills; you may have a conflict with a previous commitment; you may anticipate problems; or you may just not want to do it.
When you are not ready to say “yes” or “no” right away you may:
Ask for clarification if the request is unclear to you. For example, if I ask you to help me with a project, you might ask, “What kind of help do you need?” or, “When do you need my help?”Promise to respond by a certain time if you need to check your resources, obtain commitments from others, or assess whether you can deliver to specifications. For example, if I ask you to prepare a report, you might answer, “Let me check if I have the information available. I’ll get back to you in an hour.”Counteroffer with alternative proposal to satisfy the need behind the request. For example, if I ask you to meet today, you might respond, “I am not available today. Could we meet tomorrow? Or if it’s urgent, we could speak by phone.”Commit conditionally if your commitment depends on factors outside of your control. For example, if I ask you deliver a rush order, you can commit to do it only if I authorize overtime.Clear commitments don’t mean that everything will work out. Life is unpredictable, so even the most impeccable commitments can break down. In my next post, I will explain how you can preserve effectiveness, trust and integrity even when you can’t fulfill your promise.
Do or do not ... there is no try." -- Yoda
Fred Kofman, PhD. in Economics, is Professor of Leadership and Coaching at the Conscious Business Center of the University Francisco Marroquín and a faculty member of Lean In. He is the author of Conscious Business, How to Build Value Through Values (also available as an audio program).Photo: EDHAR/Shutterstock.com
|Posted by Ernest John Fleckenstein on May 18, 2013 at 6:35 PM||comments (0)|
There are so many companies who invest thousands of dollars in order to completely redesign their entire website. This is done in hopes that it will create a more attractive design, which will lead to additional revenue.
However, you have to ask yourself if this change really makes a difference. Should you choose a simple or eloquent design? At what point do you reach overkill? Do these factors really impact the visitors to your site who are looking to make a purchase?
The key to an effective website is its credibility. While you are figuring out how the design of your website impacts your revenue, there are some design principles that you should remember when putting together your actual site.
Improving Your Site’s Credibility
A more credible website leads to more revenue. To help you develop credibility in your website, be sure to:
Provide your visitors with a relevant set of FAQs and the accompanying answers.Arrange your website in a logical manner.Provide your content and articles that contain references and citations.Display your (or the author’s) credentials.Make certain that the site appears to be professionally designed.If appropriate, provide a complete archive of all of your past content.Keep your site up-to-date.Link to outside materials and sources.Keep the Clutter at BayIf you want your site to appear professional, you need to keep it uncluttered. Also, stay consistent with the area on your website where you keep the most important information. This will allow your users to reliably know where certain items are located, making navigation of your site easy and efficient.
Instead of having a massive amount of links and options, you really need to keep it simple. Some important elements to ensure you offer on the landing page include:
Relevant images Call-to-action Clearly defined goal
With limited links and a clear purpose for the page, users will understand what the main objective of the site is. If you have a large amount of links, users are likely to be overwhelmed with the options and the site will not provide an effective level of credibility for your business.
The Power of ComparisonIt is also important to provide users the ability to compare various products. If you have provided this comparison on your site, it prevents them from having to navigate from page to page to determine the features of various products.
You can allow users to check the items they wish to compare, or set up the comparison of like products yourself. Create a table where the features of each product are clearly outlined for users. This is an important characteristic of a credible and smart Web design.
White space is an area of controversy for many professionals. You should have some, yet not too much, which is vague at best. White space should not make the page long, however does help to make a page scannable.
Once you have developed your website, take a look at the finished product. Approach it as a customer would to determine if the white space is too much or not enough. This is often a subject of personal preference.
Pop-up blockers were created for a reason. Pop-ups are annoying and interrupt a person’s usability of a site. Not only should you avoid pop-ups, but you should also take the time to eliminate any graphics that may get “in the way.” Sites with a minimal number of distractions are typically the most effective.
Great Web content can be a “make it or break it” factor for any website. You should try to establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche, which will encourage others to come for you for advice.
You need to invest in producing actionable content for your site. This can be done yourself, or you can hire a third-party vendor to develop the content for your site.
The key to great content is to provide advice that is relevant and usable by your customers. Making personal posts about your family on your company’s blog will be completely pointless, not to mention unprofessional.
Instead, take time to blog about trends in your industry, new developments, instructionals or tips. These are popular topics that are meaningful across many industries.
Once you have designed your site you should seek feedback. This can be from website developers, your customers and even your competition.
Ask for opinions on social media or with tools that are available to analyze your current website.
Take the time to make your site credible and appealing to users, and you just might see a positive difference in your bottom line.
About the author Tabitha Jean Naylor is the owner of TabithaNaylor.com and a certified Inbound Marketing Consultant with close to a decade of experience in both B2B and B2C markets. Her intimate knowledge of how sales and marketing go hand-in-hand has resulted in a variety of successful campaigns for start-ups through NASDAQ traded companies. Ms. Naylor holds dual bachelor degrees in Political Science and International Business from West Virginia University, where she graduated magna cum laude. Her experience brings a unique perspective to connecting with the online world community. A self-described digital marketing machine, her company’s expertise includes SMM, SEO, Copywriting, Blogging and PR. Connect with Tabitha on Twitter @TabithaNaylor or visit TabithaNaylor.com
|Posted by Ernest John Fleckenstein on September 1, 2011 at 8:05 PM||comments (0)|
Well, to begin with bandplanet is the first global music fair trade and profit sharing community on the planet were music artists & music fans can interact in a completely new.
Whether you are a musician, a music fan, a band manager, a booking agent, a record label or you work in any other kind of music related business – everybody can create a personal profile and additional group profiles to promote their activities to a globally active community. By joing the premium club you can earn residual income with our profit sharing program and direct income by promoting and sharing music on bandplanet. Additionally, bandplanetallows music artists, bands and labels to sell their music and keep 100% of the sales without paying intermediaries. For artists and music lovers alike, this model creates the possibility to become financially independent. For more details check out this link https://www.bandplanet.com/en/promo_code/MEUGDG
|Posted by Ernest John Fleckenstein on August 21, 2011 at 11:45 AM||comments (0)|
Music Business for Everyone?
Serveral years we have been working together with a partner on a new business model and community for the music industry. Now it has become reality. WIth the right investors and people this innovative poject could be realized. The music community is called Bandplanet.
As many of you know, in the last few year the music business has been shifting dramatically which makes the life of music artists and bands difficult to survive from their music. Since the internet is improving rapidly possibilities have grown to develop new concepts and strategies. This change allows to create around entirely new promotional models that puts the music fans, at thevery center of the circle.
What makes the music fans so important. Well, very simple the music fans is the one thats pends money on CD's, downloads, merchandise, concert tickets etc. and brings money to the music industry and also to the music artists. No music fans, no music industry. All of us are in some way music fans. Everyone has his favorite kind of music he or she likes to buy and listen.
So, isn't it just logical that a new music community model for the music industry has toinclude the music fan in some way.
Today music artists and bands have many option to present them selves and even sale their music. The problem is that very often only a small portion of the money that is made with the music really ends up with the creative music artist, if any at all.
That's why many people are looking for new business models to support the future of music & music artists and want to find ways to involve the music fan better inthe music business process..
MySpace, Reverbnation,OurStage, LastFM are already very good options offered today for bands and music artists as the trend for "do it yourself promotion" is growing.This means outside of creating and playing music, music artists are confronted todayto see themselves or their band as a company with many tasks to be done related with marketing, promotion and sales. Very valuable are communities that can offer information and tools that support to fulfill these tasks.
Bandplanet is going completely new ways which I would like to present here a bit more in detail.Bandplanet is the first global music fair trade and profit sharing community on the planet. We have developed a community model where bands, music artists & fans can interact, from a music business point of view, together. Bandplanet combines Music, Fun and Business into an interacting space of community with a never before applied concept for the music industry.
Basically, Bandplanet is a free community to join. But, if one really wants to benefit from the membership, they recommend to join their premium club. A premium club membership costs only € 9.80 per month. The club has been created for those members who want to live their passion. Also for those looking for some extra fun and change in their lives and would like to earn extra income or even tobecome financially independent.
Now this here is quite cool and very different to all other communities on the web. With apremium club membership labels, bands, musicians set the price for their music themselves and then can earn 100% on their music downloads. Music fans can earnmoney when they promote (share) music. A new interaction possibility as been created! Additionally every premium club member also participates automatically in a profit sharing model that produces residual income for active members that create new premium member club signups. This profit sharing model can lead to financial independence if the member dose what Bandplanet recommends.
Personally I think the Bandplanet music business model has a big future. Music business for everyone has become reality. If you are a band, music artist, music fans or you arein any kind of music related business I would recommend to you to have a look at Bandplanet and consider to support them and spread the word. You will support yourself by doing so! Click the banner to go to Bandplanet
|Posted by Ernest John Fleckenstein on November 15, 2010 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
We are very happy and proud to announce that on December 1st 2010 our newly developed Business Community will go live!
The FIBD Connect Community is designed for Entrepreneurs, Distributors, Wholesaler, Importers, Manufacturers, Professional Speakers, Sientists/Researchers and people looking for opportunities and want to learn for other successful entrepreneurs.If you are interested to connect to passionate and likewise thinking people you just found the right place to be! Present yourself and your company and let people know who you are, what you can offer and what you are looking for.
Here at FIBD Connect you can develop new and valuable relationships that can help enhance the success of your business!
FIBD decided to set up this Business Community to institutionalize the process of relationship buliding and access to valuable informa- tion for entrepreneurs with the technology available today. FIBD developed this International Business Community with the target to connect passionate entrepreneurs.
Our goal is to inspire, educate, motivate and empower entrepreneurs around the world!