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I received an interesting call the other day from a lady claiming to be a 'Windows Certified Professional', and telling me that I was downloading malicious software, spyware and viruses onto my computer.

She proceeded to tell me to turn on my computer so that she could show me the problem.  I am not a nasty person on the phone, but I am told regularly that I need to be more assertive, so I asked what company she was from and what she wanted to sell me.  

Really I should have said 'no thank you', but I didn't and she continued repeating the script she had in front of her.

Equally, I continued on, asking her, “why?”with no decent reply.  So finally I told her that I didn't use Windows, to which she replied: "So what do you use, XP, Vista, Windows 7?" (more…)


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Q. I am always impressed by my MD's ability to remember facts and figure - how can I improve my memory?

A. One tip you might want to consider is 'chunking

Chunking refers to an approach for making more efficient use of short-term memory (STM) by grouping information.

Chunking breaks up long strings of information into units or chunks.  The resulting chunks are easier to commit to memory than a longer uninterrupted string of information.

 Chunking Theory: The term “chunking” was first introduced in 1956 by George A. Miller in his paper “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on our Capacity for Processing Information.” Through his research, Miller found that short-term memory has a limited capacity.

(more…)


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Selling to customers overseas could make a big difference to any small business - taking your turnover to new heights.

But it can be daunting to get started. There's a lot to learn - from researching your overseas customers and competitors to understanding customs rules, legislation and tax.

This toolkit is produced by Donut in association with TNT, one of the world’s largest delivery companies and logistics experts.

It is packed with real-world tips from UK small businesses who have made a success of selling overseas.

SELLING TO CUSTOMERS OVERSEAS

 


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Senior leaders need to understand the interests and influences of stakeholders before making any key decisions.

It is particularly useful when considering the political implications of introducing or dispensing with a particular product or service, or when heading in a new strategic direction.

Using a 'power vs. interest' matrix, this activity will help a senior team examine the relative power and influence of key stakeholders.

 

 

STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS ACTIVITY

The image below is of Heineken Stakeholders. In 2015, under the guidance of an independent consultancy, Heineken carried out a 5-step stakeholder management process to map stakeholders and define key messages for communication. With each target stakeholder group, they have studied and identified the most efficient modes of engagement.  (more…)


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Effective business planning will determine what business success looks like and what needs to be done to achieve it.

Once you have a clear plan for your business, you need to look at the numbers to see if your plan will provide the financial results that you want.

This is done by preparing a budget based on your business plan objectives. For example, if you have decided to increase your sales, then this may mean extra staff, stock and/or increased marketing.

You will need to prepare a budget that shows not only increased sales but increased expenses that will be required to achieve the increase in sales.

A budget can form the basis of the financial strategy for your business and help you review and refine your plan of how our goals and objectives will be achieved. A plan of action will guide you and your business activities towards improved business performance.

The benefits of having a financial strategy include:

Clarity on the key drivers of your business – what are the key aspects of your plan that need to be achieved in order for you to reach your expected budget results?

Tools to measure and monitor performance– your budget can include key performance indicators such as minimum monthly sales, maximum level of expenses etc. and you can then measure these against actual results (more…)


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Several corporate and system failures and an increasingly complex regulatory environment have sharpened the focus on good governance in recent years.

 This report, The Board Perspective: A collection of McKinsey insights focusing on boards of directors, explores what makes boards effective, how they are developed, and how their expectations and responsibilities have increased.

This compilation is split into three main sections:

  • The role of the board. Which activities should the board engage in, and how?
  • Board structure and foundations. What foundation do you need to deliver on increasing expectations?
  • Board effectiveness. How can you increase the overall effectiveness and impact of your board?

 THE BOARD PERSPECTIVE


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In the 1970's, many large firms adopted a formalised top-down strategic planning model.

Under this model, strategic planning became a deliberate process in which top executives periodically would formulate the firm's strategy, then communicate it down the organisation for implementation.

This process is most applicable to strategic management at the business unit level of the organisation.

For large corporations, strategy at the corporate level is more concerned with managing a portfolio of businesses. 

For example, corporate level strategy involves decisions about which business units to grow, resource allocation among the business units, taking advantage of synergies among the business units, and mergers and acquisitions. In the process outlined here, "company" or "firm" will be used to denote a single business firm or a single business unit of a diversified firm.

This resource takes you step by step through the model

THE STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS MODEL

 


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