Mar 03 2009


No, you don’t need to move


  your business    


to the Caribbean!

(aaaah, but it might be nice to try for awhile, eh?)

Here’s a 6-Point Approach to creating a more positive climate for your business that comes partly from The Management Analysis Center and partly from my firsthand experience. it works:

1.  BUILD KNOWLEDGE. Know the capabilities of your staff as well as their weaknesses. With the understanding that Heraclitus the Greek philosopher said over 2500 years ago that “the only thing that’s permanent is change,” and that Thoreau once said “all we ever have is limited knowledge,” use what you know to determine (or update) the fundamental goals of your business.

GOAL CRITERIA REMINDER: A goal must have all four of the following criteria, or it is merely a “wishlist,” and not a goal. It must be 1) Realistic, 2) Specific, 3) Flexible, and 4) Have a deadline or due date.

2.  DEVELOP A SHARED VISION OF YOUR BUSINESS GOALS. Let employees participate in the process. Tell them the problems. Listen to their ideas. Take notes. Encourage others to take notes.

3.  DETERMINE WHAT SPECIFIC CHANGES SHOULD BE MADE. Should changes be made in job descriptions or physical layout to improve working conditions?

4.  SET THE EXAMPLE. As an owner/operator or manager, you are a role model whether you like it or not. People pay attention to everything you say and do. You will not be fostering teamwork if you rule by threats and intimidation. Praise in public; criticize in private. Act, talk, and think consistent with the goals you establish.

5.  REASSESS YOUR OWN FUNCTION to make it consistent with the changes you are making. If, for example, you want to establish better communications, you may need to establish a more open door policy, listen more, and listen more attentively! To get more good work from people, seek out and reward the things people do right, and try to overlook those they do wrong. (Remember that small, frequent, one-time-expense rewards motivate best and cost less than permanent ongoing pay raises with accompanying tax and benefit increases)

6.  DEVELOP NEW METHODS AND SYSTEMS for enhancing a more positive climate, such as instituting weekly status review meetings (with set time periods, a clear agenda circulated ahead of time and follow-up report focused only on decisions made and who will do what by when) to evaluate progress, or a reward system for improved performance.

In an optimum positive climate, people know exactly what it is that is expected of them and where they fit in. Everyone shares the same goals. They know how they can be effective and what kinds of behavior will be rewarded.    halalpiar

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Dec 08 2008

Two-Year Community College Students Outperform Four-Year University Geeks!



Following is one professor/management-trainer/business consultant’s opinion based on in-depth observations and lifelong association with thousands of community college and four-year university students in academic and work settings on five different campuses in three different States:


The ability to distinguish life and work performance reality from fantasy is far superior among older, more work-experienced, but lower academic-ranked 2-year community college students than it is with four-year university students. 

     What?  You’re crazy!  How’d you figure that?  It’s apples and oranges.  How can you compare some rinky-dink community college with Yale or Harvard?

     Actually, there is no comparison.  Rinky-dink community college students are far more accomplished in meeting and exceeding the demands of life and work reality than their Ivy League counterparts.

     How’s that possible?  Just think about it. 

     Joe and Theodore graduate high school together with approximately the same grades.  Theodore heads straight to Princeton with Dad’s money where he excels in English Literature and plays lacrosse.  Joe enlists in the army, is shipped to Iraq and earns quick frontline promotions for his heroics and leadership under fire. 

     Joe re-ups for another couple of years while Theodore, at age 22, graduates with a BA in English and a lacrosse trophy.  Theodore’s Dad rewards him with a summer on the beaches of the Caribbean, before heading off to graduate school (that Dad’s paid for) to get his master’s degree. 

     Joe returns home and takes a nights and weekends job on the loading platform of Ideal Computer Company while he takes daytime classes in programming.  Theodore spends every minute alternating between weekday studying and weekend partying.  Dad wires him money whenever expenses come up. 

     At 24, Theodore gets his master’s degree and decides he wants to teach.  Dad agrees to pay for doctoral studies and sends him off on another summer junket to the Caribbean before beginning his PhD program. 

     Joe gets promoted to a warehouse supervisor position , marries a childhood sweetheart and becomes the father of twins.  His wife’s father dies and Joe agrees to take on her two younger siblings until they get through high school.  Joe takes a second job on weekends to feed the extra mouths. 

     Joe’s wife helps him through enough independent study credits to qualify for admission to the local two-year community college (where 98% of fulltime students are fulltime employed and average student age is 30), where he enrolls in the computer design program. 

     Theodore earns his PhD degree and, at age 28 (he took time off to rest; guess where?), starts teaching English Lit at NYU.  Joe struggles with juggling his two jobs, family and studies.  In the next two years, Theodore has two years of professorship under his belt, but no real job experience, no steady relationships, except (still) with his Dad’s wallet. 

     Joe has completed his two-year degree, been promoted two more times and is a program design supervisor earning enough to support his family comfortably, help his wife start with her studies, and replace his weekend job with a new computer design company he’s launched, and been able to hire his wife and her younger brother and sister.  Joe earns three times as much as Theodore.

     Theodore gets caught in a campus-wide budget squeeze and is released before tenure time is accumulated.  His Dad sends him to the Caribbean to get rejuvenated.  Theoodore returns to the only job he can find, on the loading platform of the Ideal Computer Company.

     Sad, but true.  And, after working with more than 20,000 students, I can attest that this story is more the rule than the exception. 

Bottom line: You only appreciate what you work to earn, and life experience counts a whole lot more than academic experience when it comes to separating reality from fantasy, unless you’re an academic, and naturally will want to argue all this.  If that’s the case, go find a mirror, and have fun! 


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Hal@Businessworks.US  302.933.0116

  Open minds open doors.

 Thanks for visiting and God bless you.

   Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Nov 20 2008


Hey, Home Depot!


Hey, Lowes!


Hey ACE Hardware!


Contractors, Repairmen, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ear!  Pack your tools up safe before you drink beer.  Or if today, on the Milky Way, a grease gun floats by . . . SIGH.

You’ve no doubt heard the news by now that one of our space-orbiting Astronauts lost a bagful of tools in the middle of doing a spacewalk repair.  Priceless.  Well, not quite. 

Actually the tool bag contents are estimated at roughly $100,000 worth of stuff, including a high-tech grease gun.  Hmmmm, whatever will space aliens think when they find out that Earthlings have been at war, shooting grease at one another?

There’s an old movie (name escapes me, but please let me know if this rings a bell): It opens in some desolete, remote jungle clearing occupied by a native tribe (Aborigines?) that has never before been exposed to civilization outside its own primative fire and spear devices of living, when suddenly from a rare passing airplane, a Coke bottle falls from the sky into the sand and ends up wreking havoc on the puzzled tribe members who I seem to recall think it came from God, dropped on them with some deep meaning from heaven.

Okay, now fast forward to the week before Thanksgiving, 2008, and a $25,000 (or $50,000?) greasegun crash lands in your front yard snow bank (if you’re in Maine, Alaska, Minnesota, Buffalo, or Canada, or the Swiss Alps or . . .) or your Southern California, Florida or Caribbean swimming pool, or W H E R E ? 

W H E R E ?

Tell me where it lands? 

What’s the situation? 

Has someone just screamed into the sky for help with the annoying garage door squeak? 

Is it in the middle of a major football game? 

How about you, all you Home Depot and Lowes employees?  Where are your voices, Sears Craftsman, and Black & Decker retailers? 

What would YOU do with a $100,000

bagful of high-tech space shuttle tools? 

Send me some ideas (“Space Tools” in the subject line.  I’ll publish your response, even your (decent) photo right here for all to see. 

Be creative or not.  Hard-nosed capitalists are also invited.  I’m waiting!  halalpiar        

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Check out and contribute to the daily growing 7-Word Story started 72 days ago (inside a coffin).  Click on the link to the right, or go to the “BOOKS” tab at the top of this page, then to the top headline link.

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