What is Business Continuity Plan

Business continuity plan is otherwise known as disaster recovery plan or a business resumption plan. Business continuity plan is made while the business is running successfully. Crises can be natural (Hurricane, tsunami, earth quick, etc.) or man-made like political unrest, fire, labor strike. The end result of the plan is identification of the risks and the required actions, personnel.

Business ContinuityBusiness continuity plan is needed to support the organisational survival. It estimates that 25% of the businesses, especially small ones, do not service most of the crises that affect their operations because they are not ready. Business continuity plan not only ensure the organisation’s survival but also minimise the crises impact on the business. Employees and customer will be more loyal to the organisation and its brand knowing that the organisation will always deliver its products or services during difficulties and crises.

Expert in risk management with experienced employees in the organisations uncover the potential risks sounding the organisation’s operations. Each risk is classified according to its severity and likelihood. The risk is later treated according to its ranking. Organisation appetite toward the risk will decide to either avoid, control, accept or transfer the risk. The risk treatment is intended to find the principal actions, personnel and services needed to manage the incident and the recovery process after the incident. Continue reading …

Simplified Business Coaching

Businbusiness_grey_stickmen_shake_hands_pc_800_clr_1570ess coaching provides the business owner time and space to stand down and reflect on the overall business. Business coaching will give the leadership team the opportunity to voice their concerns, discuss their challenges, and future circumstances. Business and personal coaching are similar, to some extent, to sport coaching because the coach will help the individuals to discover their true capabilities and overcome mentally set limitations. 

Business and personal coaching are both build on the trust between the coach and the client. A professional coach asks the right question at the right time to provoke the client thoughts and imagination. Business coaching is located between therapy and consulting. The coach’s power-questions inspire the client to search through his or her experience to find new answers and the means to overcome the challenge or solve the problem.

For more information on coaching and to request a free professional online coaching session please click here.

 

Locus of Control

Locus of control is an indicator of the individual’s sense of control over their successes and failures (Navahandi, 2006). Individuals’ beliefs that events they are experiences are due to luck, fate, or their own behavior (Scott et al., 2010). Individuals with strong internal locus of control believe that their success and failures are caused their actions. Individuals’ with strong external locus of control believe that what is happening to them is the result of chance, luck, or fate (Navahandi, 2006; Scott et al., 2010). Navahandi (2006) stated that leaders with strong internal locus of control are more likely to lead their teams better than leaders with internal locus of control. Managers and leaders with external locus of control believe that external threats are unmanageable, but the ones with internal locus of control believe they can cope with stress and handle their future (Scott et al., 2010).

References:

Navahandi, A. (2006). The art and science of leadership (4 ed.). New York: Prentice Hall.

Scott, S. L., Carper, T. M., Middleton, M., White, R., Renk, K., & Grills-Taquechel, A. (2010). Relationships among locus of control, coping behaviors, and levels of worry following exposure to hurricanes. Journal of Loss & Trauma, 15(2), 123-137. doi: 10.1080/15325020902925985

Wood, A. M., Saylor, C., & Cohen, J. (2009). Locus of control and academic success among ethnically diverse baccalaureate nursing students. Nursing Education Perspectives, 30(5), 290-294.

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Meetings: Why Do We Need An Agenda?

You may ask “why do we need an agenda? We all know what we are going to discuss.” Preparing the agenda takes time and in some meetings people do not even look at it. The agenda is a contract between the meeting participants during the meeting. They are committed to the time allocated for each discussion item and they agree on what to (or not to) discuss. Some people are professional in hijacking the meeting. They will steer the discussion to a subject not in the agenda and consume the meeting time to discuss their personal agenda. Most of the time they will start with a shocking or outrages comment that grab everybody’s attention then direct a question to one of the participants (or the meeting chairperson) to answer. When they finish the discussion on that subject the will say “A similar situation or maybe worse is about ….” and the discussion will continue to serve their personal agenda. They would consume most of the meeting’s time before anybody could notice it. The best solution for such people is to say “I am sure this is an important subject that you are bringing to the meeting, but it is not listed in the agenda. We will schedule it at the end of the meeting or you may ask for a separate meeting to give it the time it deserves.”

One of the first signs of a good meeting is a well written agenda. The agenda should have the title of the meeting (the subject) and the start and end time. The exact location for the meeting should be clearly stated. You will need a map with clear directions (like Google maps) if some of the meeting participants are new to the meeting location. The agenda should have a list of the discussion items written in simple and clear language. Please avoid the trade lingo, slang, abbreviations or general statements like “Discuss the situation in XYZ” you may know what is the situation and what is XYZ but other participants may not know or could misunderstood both of them. Estimate how long each item in the list will take and record it next to it. The participants will know how much time is available for that item and be ready to finish their discussion within the available time. They can call and ask for extra time before the affirming the agenda or at least before the meeting could start. Always add 5-10 minutes at the end of the agenda for new items but please do not allow for more than that. If the new item needs more time then schedule a new meeting for that new item.

The meeting participants can read the agenda and prepare themselves for the discussion by researching the subject and preparing important documents (tables, drawings or maps) to support their argument. without the agenda some participants would answer “I did not know that you are going to discus XYZ subject, I am to ready to discuss it, I will come back tot you on …”

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Sugar Coating


Listen to this postYesterday was my anniversary at work. I have been with the same employer for the past 30 years and I enjoyed most of the days I worked there. Now I am managing more that 700 employees and I have tried to be fair with them while meeting most of their needs, requests and demands. One of the best tactics the employees use for their complains is “Sugar Coating”. I am not saying that the complain is true or not, but the way it is presented to me is sometimes strange.

For example, an employee would take an appointment to see my Boss and then start his discussion by saying “This is not a complain, I just wanted to say…” and then he or she would exaggerate every negativity they experienced in the last 3 years! Another example is when the employee send an official complain to HR or my Boss, but then catch me walking by and start by saying “I wanted to talk with you about an issue I have … do you have a minute do discuss it?

We all make mistakes and we should take our responsibilities to admit the mistakes and correct them. But using different ways to discuss the complain is not the best start to resolve any issue. Through my years at work I followed a good philosophy that goes something like this “Do not explain…and Do not complain” and it made my life very simple and peaceful. I am sure that my boss does not want me to explain to him why I made the mistake (or delay in an assignment). And I am very sure that nobody would like to set and listen to my complains. When I make a mistake I would admit it and do my best to correct it. If I have a complain or an issue with somebody, I would meet him or her and discus the issue face-to-face with them. Other than this … life is very simple.

Waiting For That Promotion

Listen to this postA time will come during our long careers when we would wait for that important promotion. Naturally, most of the promotions involve a decision to select you between different candidates. Office politics and favoritism may have some affect on the selection but finally the selection is made and you will know about it in one of the following ways:

  1. You are called into one of your Bosses offices and told that they have thought about the selection and how difficult was the decision to select between you and the others, but at the end you were the best choice. You tell your self “finally they noticed me, I don’t now why it took them so long?” If you are promoted then you need to gain new knowledge and learn new skills to fulfill the job requirement. What you have learn so far was enough to get you the promotion, but your current capabilities are not enough to survive and thrive. First you to learn what it takes to do your new job, and then you have to improve your skills and knowledge to be ready for the next promotion.
  2. You are called into one of your Bosses office and told that they have thought about the selection and how difficult was the decision to select between you and the others, but at the end you were not the chosen one. You blame everybody and everything (except yourself) for not getting the promotion. You have to understand why you did not get that promotion. What were the reasons for not selecting you. What was the selection criteria and in which part you were not competitive. Start immediately working on your weaknesses and get ready for the next opportunity.
  3. You are not called, or you don’t know about the selection process and you would be the last one to know that somebody else was promoted and you have missed the chance. You feel that you were cheated or stupid. If you were not aware of the opportunity then you need to improve your networking skills. However, if the opportunity was keep secret on purpose then you should consider changing your employer. Go ahead and find another employer who appreciate your work and give you equal opportunities with other candidates.
By the way, if you are not ready for a promotion or there are no promotions for you in the near future then you have to think seriously about your career.

Giving Feedback: Positive or Negative

Listen to this postGiving feedback or confronting employees is one of the most difficult social task we face in our lives. Giving positive feedback is sometimes called motivation or encouragement, and many of us are sometimes doing it wrongly by generalizing the feedback by saying “you have done a good job”. A good feedback should be specific like saying “Your report has listed the major critical points that we did not notice before, thank you for reporting them to us.” We do similar or even worse mistakes when we give negative feedbacks. Sometimes our negative feedback has more destructive effect than the constructive change we hoped for. Reading the following pages will help you understand the types of feedbacks you may use at work or at home. Some valuable examples are given at the end for your reference.

Giving feedback or confronting employees is one of the most difficult social task we face in our lives.Giving positive feedback is sometimes called motivation or encouragement, and many of us are sometimes doing it wrongly by generalizing the feed back by saying “you have done a good job”. Agood feedback should be specific like saying “Your report has listed the major critical points that we did not notice before, thank you for reporting them to us.”We do similar or even worse mistakes when we give negative feedbacks. Sometimes our negative feedback has more destructive effect than the constructive change we hoped for. Reading the following pages will help you understand the types of feedbacks you may use at work or at home. Some valuable examples are given at the end for your reference. Read more …

Click here to download the full material as PDF file.

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Starting New Business Ethically

Listen to this postSome of us would like to start a new business or expand their business to new geographical location. The new business owner would think of most of the business related issues but forget the soft and intangible issues like ethics and culture. Three thousand managers and employees were surveyed in the U. S., stated that ethics compliance did not change as expected after implementing ethics compliance programs (Gebler, 2006). Organizational culture had more influence on ethics programs success than any other factors (Gebler, 2006). Managers who aim for ethical culture change and target long-lasting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are facing difficulty in showing the benefits of such programs to the shareholders (Grossman, 2005). The shareholders would like to see immediate results to prove the managers spending (Grossman, 2005).

The basic components for ethical decision-making are moral issues, recognition, making moral judgment and engaging in moral behavior (Ingram, Skinner, & Taylor, 2005). These components would help in setting up an ethical international operation that  account for cultural, religious, national, gender, and racial differences. We need to study the local culture and religion and how it will be affected by the new business. If the business is established in the international market then we need to assess the effect of the existing business form the environmental, religious  and cultural aspects and make sure their compliance to the findings. Deviating from the ethical standard would lead to social and economical conflict with the locals. The result would be assessed for risk before taking the action to avoid legal actions. Deviations are allowed when the deviations benefits can outweigh the losses from the ethical operation.


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References:

Gebler, D. (2006). Creating an ethical culture. Strategic Finance, 87(11), 28-34.

Grossman, H. A. (2005). Refining the role of the corporation: the impact of corporate social responsibility on shareholder primacy theory. [Article]. Deakin Law Review, 10(2), 572-596.

Ingram, R., Skinner, S., & Taylor, V. (2005). ‘Consumers’ evaluation of unethical marketing behaviors: The role of customer commitment’. [Article]. Journal of Business Ethics, 62(3), 237-252. doi: 10.1007/s10551-005-1899-0

Life Without The Internet

Listen to this postIn the past two weeks I had to experience few days without the invisible wireless service of the internet. One of the reasons was my personal vacation and I wanted to stay away from my daily routine, the 24 hours connectivity and the virtual social network. I tried to stay away from the internet but could not. Many of us are addictive to the internet. Most of us use the internet for work and professional uses but we socialize from time to time on the Internet even during the working hours just to break out from the stressful work environment. During my stay in the hotels I had to pay the expensive and unrealistic internet fees just to stay connected. What I paid for few days in the hotel is enough to get me connected on a high-speed internet at home for a month, but again I am addicted to the Internet. The second reason I need the internet is to continue my commitment to the readers of this blog. I maintained my “three posts per week” through my most difficult times and tried to make up for the days I missed if that rarely happened. The third reason I need the Internet is my daily access to the digital libraries for my researches. I usually use this third reason to justify my need for the Internet but actually I need the Internet for the other reasons also. I have internet service on my mobile phone, on my iPad and I got wireless serves at home and at work just to stay connected all the time. I do not know about you, but I am hooked on the Internet.

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How Does It Help Us!

Sharing information in an organizationListen to this postTeams or departments acquire skills, experience and knowledge while doing their daily work and overcoming the new challenges they meet occasionally. The knowledge and experience are learned by the team members or the department employees only. Other employees in the same organization will not learn that important experience or knowledge if it was not documented and shared. However, “knowledge is power” as they say, and many department managers or leaders would like to keep the knowledge or experience confined within their teams or departments. The new knowledge might speed up the work process, prevent mistakes, save money or do these advantages and that’s why some people avoid sharing them. The team is afraid that they might lose there competitive advantage if they share what they have learned. If you approach the team leader or the department manager and ask him or her to share with you that knowledge, they would say something like “how does it help us!” and they mean that they will consume their valuable time and give their competitive advantage when they share their advantages without feeling any direct benefit to them. Not knowing that sharing the information will benefit them indirectly especially if they are working in the same organization. They will benefit a lot when they share. They will have better support from the supporting staff, they will have less mistakes and fewer wrong deliveries and they will have smoother supply chain. The organization will do better and will be more profitable which will generate more capital to invest and grow. When somebody tell you “how does it help us!” you tell them that everybody will serve and cooperate better with them when they share their competitive advantage.

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