The Fisher

Strategy is About Choices – Make the Right Ones

Why is it that people can give more thought to a fishing expedition than they do their business?

If you want the best chance of catching fish you go where the fish are and you use the most appropriate bait. Good fishermen (and women) research this before wetting a line. Poor fishers don’t. It’s the same in business. If you want to catch clients you have to be prospecting where your ideal client ‘hangs out’ and have the right bait – what will your target customer value? How will you deliver ‘gain’ or help reduce ‘pain’? It all comes down to strategy.
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Every successful business, large and small has a strategy. A strategy is a means of giving clarity, focus and direction to your business, and to your staff. Working to a strategy helps ensure that your time, resources and actions are not wasted and you achieve the best returns on your investments. Read more

Managing_Sales_Performance

Managing Sales Performance

Managing the performance of a sales team is about establishing a shared understanding of what is to be achieved at every level within the sales team to deliver the organisational goals. It’s about aligning the goals of the team and the individuals in a way that will allow each team member to achieve their respective goals while making the necessary contribution to the overall team performance.

“Your performance depends on your people. Select the best, train them and back them. When errors occur, give sharper guidance. If errors persist or if the fit feels wrong, help them move on…”
Donald Rumsfeld, American politician and businessman.

While there has been much ‘robust discussion’ in recent times as to the benefit of employee performance management and, specifically relating to sales, the use of automated sales performance management, managing the performance of your team and the individuals in your team remains an essential part of sales management.

It’s up to you, the sales manager, to inspire and enable the best possible performance of each member of your team. The performance of each individual is dependent on a complex set of variables that will be unique to each salesperson. These variables include ‘hard’ abilities such as job knowledge, skills and expertise; as well as ‘soft’ capacities such as social and emotional intelligences, attitudes and self-esteem, behaviours and habits.

Adopting a well-defined performance management process enables you to systemically fulfil your role as the team’s ‘performance supervisor’. Read more

Business Strategy Consulting

Aligning Sales Strategy with Business Strategy

Sales strategy must be aligned to the business strategy… That sounds like common sense… however Wayne claims it doesn’t happen in many businesses and their bottom line suffers as a result.

“It’s a matter of making sure that whatever the business strategy you deploy in order to win at business your sales processes should reflect that”.

View Wayne’s latest appearance on Strategic Selling Group for further insight on this subject or watch the video below:

 

Business Process Improvement

Office Wastes

While much has been said and written about Lean and the 7-Wastes within a manufacturing environment, it is in the office of professional service functions where we often see huge amounts of waste, particularly within the accounting, legal, design and consulting engineering sectors. Below are some of the typical ‘Office Wastes’ that we encounter.

  • Sorting and searching – This applies in all environments, even at home. How much time do you waste looking for files, or information, or tools or items? Although we like to talk about the ‘paperless office’, we know that this is far from reality. Many organisations generate “paper”, for e.g. the medical and legal professions, or any regulatory bodies or departments. How do you track these documents and know, instantly, where anything is? If you manufacture anything, where and how do you track the correct revision numbers?

Read more

Lean and Sigma 6

LEAN and 6 SIGMA – Do they work together?

During the last two decades much has been written about Lean and 6 Sigma, the fundamental premise of the two approaches respectively being the elimination of waste and the reduction of variation. Many large companies have both Lean and 6 Sigma programs that have been branded Lean 6 Sigma, Power Lean, Lean Sigma, Quick Sigma to name but a few. In some cases, companies are using Lean to remove waste from non-value adding activities and 6 Sigma to control the variation within the value-adding portion of the process. The integration of Lean and 6 Sigma has become fashionable, but what are the real differences and can they really work together? Read more

Quality management consultants

The Changing Quality Management System Standard ISO 9001

The Quality Management System Standard ISO 9001 is changing this Year, how can you prepare?

ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems – Requirements) is currently under review. The Final Draft of the Standard is now available for purchase and the upgraded version of the new Standard is scheduled for release in September 2015.

WHY?

All ISO Standards are reviewed periodically to ensure that they are current and relevant in the marketplace. ISO 9001 was previously reviewed in 2000 and 2008. The new 2015 version however will introduce a framework that will be common to other management system standards as they are reviewed and released. Read more

Overthing Strategy

Are We Overthinking Strategy?

I have been a student of business strategy for most of my 40 year career and have seen fads come and go. But even with this background I was surprised to read in recent Harvard Business Review articles that:

  • Corporations spend on average 7 months of the year in strategic planning, and
  • There are now over 80 recognised strategy options that have been introduced since the ‘grand-daddy’ of strategy, the Ansoff Matrix was introduced in 1958.

Today, those responsible for guiding the future of businesses face a constant barrage of advice on what is the ‘next big thing’ with respect to strategic options. Be it PEST, Red Queen, 6 Sigma, Diamond Model, Blue Ocean strategy or any of the 80+ options listed by HBR, these are simply tools to help us better achieve the objective of strategy – to create, capture and retain long term value (equity). Read more

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LEAN Misconceptions – Only for ‘Big’ Organisations

LEAN Misconceptions – Part 5

The Lean Philosophy has been around for many years, but unfortunately it is not always understood, predominantly because Lean is thought to be:

  1. A cost reduction exercise
  2. A process to reduce the number of employees
  3. Only applicable to ‘manufacturing’ organisations
  4. An ‘operational’ issue that can be solved by the ‘operations people’
  5. Only for ‘big’ organisations.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

In this series of articles, I will discuss each of these misconceptions and demonstrate that Lean is about business; any and every business. A Lean business strives to understand what the customer really values, and then maximises customer value. Lean is not a short-term fad, but a long-term commitment towards continual improvement that involves every system, every process, every department and every employee within the organisation, irrespective of it’s size.

Misconception # 5: Lean is only for ‘big’ organisations

Lean is applicable in EVERY organisation as long as there is an understanding that every function or service provided by any person, department or organisation is a process that can be documented, standardised, and most importantly, improved. Improving any process necessitates the identification of waste within the process, where waste is defined as any activity that adds no value as seen from the customer’s perspective, i.e. the extra (wasted) time, labour and materials spent producing the product or service. Using the above premise and the fact that no business process is waste-free, Lean can be implemented in any environment, as every business process can be analysed and improved. Read more

Business Process Improvement

LEAN Misconceptions – Operational Issues

LEAN Misconceptions – Part 4

The Lean Philosophy has been around for many years, but unfortunately it is not always understood, predominantly because Lean is thought to be:

  1. A cost reduction exercise
  2. A process to reduce the number of employees
  3. Only applicable to ‘manufacturing’ organisations
  4. An ‘operational’ issue that can be solved by the ‘operations people’
  5. Only for ‘big’ organisations.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

In this series of articles, I will discuss each of these misconceptions and demonstrate that Lean is about business; any and every business. A Lean business strives to understand what the customer really values, and then maximises customer value. Lean is not a short-term fad, but a long-term commitment towards continual improvement that involves every system, every process, every department and every employee within the organisation, irrespective of it’s size.

Misconception # 4: Lean is an ‘operational’ issue that can be solved by ‘operations people

Largely due to the fact that Lean “grew up” in the manufacturing industry (see Lean Misconception #3), there is still a strong belief by many managers and business owners that Lean is an ‘operational’ issue that can be solved by the ‘operations people’…..nothing could be further from the truth.

In very broad terms, Lean consists of two components….. technical and strategic, often referred to as the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ sides of Lean. Firstly the technical side.

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Fork in Road

Leader or Manager?

To quote Peter Drucker, “Management is about doing things right, Leadership is about doing the right things”.
A leader provides direction (short and long range focus) and answers the “What and why?” (a manger answers the ‘how to’). Leaders provide the strategic direction of an organisation (where to play and how to win) and establish the all-important culture and environment of an organisation. Without direction, focus, clear communication and the right culture, businesses struggle to succeed in today’s market.
Throughout my career in sales, management and consulting, I have regularly witnessed examples of good and poor management; and I have also found all good leaders share similar traits. Good leaders are/have/do:
  • results oriented
  • not accepting of the status quo
  • strong inter-personal skills
  • know their own strengths and weaknesses
  • creative and innovative
  • set goals that are clear, challenging and realistic
  • empower others

Read more