The Recipe for a Great Team: 12 Key Ingredients

what makes a strong team

12 Key Ingredients to High Performing Teams in the Workplace   It’s well understood that good teams get the best results.  Sports provide a great analogy for this: we are all familiar with those underdog teams that pull together when it matters most and make a championship run.  Everyone on the team does his or her part and they motivate each

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Managing Your Customer That Misbehaves in the B2B Space

dealing with bad customers

Isn’t the Customer Always Right? Actually, no, they aren’t!  In the B2B space, we often find ourselves working with clients and customers to develop and sell our products and services.  And yet, sometimes, things do not always go as planned.  I recently paid a visit to one customer who has started to change the rules as they go.  Despite the contractual commitments

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How to Develop Your Employees

How to develop staff

29 Fantastic Ways to Mentor and Develop Your Employees   If there is one thing that sets apart the great managers from the rest of the crowd, it would be their ability to continuously develop employees and to grow the capability of their teams.  Unlike managers who simply focus on results, the leaders who place deliberate emphasis on employee development build morale and

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Motivating Employees: Saying the Right Thing at the Right Time

motivating staff in performance review

5 Free Ways to Motivate Your Staff in Challenging Times Motivating employees is not easy. When times are tough, motivating your staff becomes even harder. For the past two years, our business has been undergoing a significant amount of corporate restructuring, downsizing, and changes in management, all of which have understandably left my employees concerned about the future.  And because of the

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5 Inexpensive Ways to Pay for Training Employees

pay for training

How I Cut the Cost of Training My Employees in Half   Many managers are familiar with the old 70, 20, 10 Rule for employee development.  The last 10% of the 70, 20, 10 Rule, of course, is training.  However, since formal training only makes up a small part of employee development plans, many managers push it off entirely.  After all, training employees takes

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Negotiating in China: 11 Essential Tips to Securing Business

contracts in china

Navigate the Challenges of Contract Negotiations in the People’s Republic   A Fortune 200 executive once told me “No CEO wants it on his or her watch that they missed out on China.” It goes without saying that the world’s largest marketplace is a force to be reckoned with. Having recently returned from a trip to China as part of some large

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5 Signs You Know It’s Time to Restructure

when to restructure a business

A college professor of mine once told me “There is no book on that.  Sometimes you just need to get in and figure your way out.”  Knowing when to restructure a business is one of those things.  Though there are books on organizational theory and team dynamics, there is no textbook out there telling us exactly when or how we should restructure our companies.  And neither aspect

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7 Types of Capture Strategies That Help You Win

types of capture strategies

A Good Capture Strategy is More Than Just a Good Price Last week, I sat through a disappointing capture strategy meeting.  The sales manager responsible for the territory was presenting a new proposal to the management team and walked us through the opportunity.  Financially, the business case looked good.  The level of risk seemed low, and the proposal was for a customer

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Succession Planning in Business, the Smart Way

succession planning template

7 Steps to Organizational Preservation   Though it is far more common than we would like to admit, our businesses and organizations are filled with what I like to call “single persons of failure,” or SPOF.  In my company, for example, we have a department manager who is nearing retirement in the next 18 months, yet we have no one identified as

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How to Overcome Your Predecessor

promoted to manager

  Overcoming the Legacy of Your Predecessor Maybe they retired. Perhaps there was some restructuring. Maybe they left the firm, or simply got promoted. Like many new managers, you may find that your predecessor walked on water and now you have to overcome that legacy as the incumbent. Transitioning into a new management position is tough for even experienced managers.

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5 Business Cases for Justifying an Increase in Headcount

Employee Performance Reviews

    One of our most popular articles here at MRH described one approach to justifying an increase in your staff level.  Fighting for resources is a problem we’ve all dealt with as managers and one that can be extremely frustrating to overcome. So, I wanted to take the topic one step further and give you some more tools and

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How to Justify A Need for Training

managers resource handbook

Is Your Training Plan Being Cut Year After Year?  Read On… It’s a battle out there, folks.  Between a fragile economy, steep competition, and the rising costs of business, its understandable that the first form of cost cutting comes in what is known as discretionary spend.  If you think you’re the only manager whose budget for training and employee development is routinely cut,

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How to Manage Your Goals and Metrics

Managing metrics

The Key to Hitting Business Metrics:  Reduce the Impossible to the Possible   Every year, companies and businesses establish their annual goals and performance targets.  At some point in time, responsibility for achieving those objectives is placed into the hands of managers and individual teams, often with minimal direction.  It’s the inevitable “go do this” behavior that we see from many

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How Hiring the Right People Leads to Profit

managers resource handbook

How Do You Hire? Many organizations make hiring decisions in very practical terms: Are they willing to relocate? Do they have the required education? Do they possess the minimum number of years of experience per the job requirements? These are all valid questions to ask yourself and are certainly variables to consider when making hiring decisions. But few organizations, in

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The Top 5 Challenges Facing The Modern Manager

managers resource handbook

Analyzing The Challenges Faced by Managers in Today’s Organization   Over the past few weeks, I’ve been part of a significant hiring binge by my firm as a result of some corporate restructuring activities. Having interviewed candidate after candidate, I’ve found the process of filling 20 new positions to be extremely fast-paced, if not frantic, considering the importance of the

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The Importance of Breathing Room in Management

15 slide puzzle

Learning How a Simple Game Makes for Better Business Have you ever played that children’s game of sliding tiles contained within a frame,  shown on the right? Most of you probably have. But for those who have not, the objective of the game is to place the pieces in a specific order, perhaps arranged by color or number. What most

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The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing

managers resource handbook

    The term outsourcing is often seen as a slick and modern management technique in business circles. Yet in other groups, outsourcing work overseas or just to an outside company down the street is viewed as the first form of cost cutting by corporations to meet their bottom line. Regardless of which side of the divide you may be

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Horizontal Integration as Business Strategy

Vertical Vs. Horizontal Integration

    How the times have changed. It seems like everyone is talking about vertical integration these days, as the newest and smartest way to run a business. Vertical integration is basically the internalizing of key activities of a business to make it more within the firm’s control. A manufacturing company, for example, may want to bring in certain special

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The Power of Incremental Progress

Take Small Steps To Reach Big Change

Every year, companies establish goals and objectives for their business.  Some firms may plan further out – as far as 5 years – in order to obtain a certain sales targets and other corporate metrics.  Unfortunately, many businesses stop there and lack a strategy for how they will actually achieve the goals.  As a result, the lofty numbers on the

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From the Front Lines: Changing an Organization’s Culture in 14 Months

Two years ago, I took the management role for an organization of about 40 people.  My predecessor had been asked to leave the business as the team’s performance had gradually lost its way.  My task was to turn the team organization around, no small feat when you’re an outsider.  Morale was low after a series of various setbacks, the culmination

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