|Strategic Planning Information|
Six Key Principles of Corporate Accountability
The foundation of any business transaction is the promise of fair deal. In complex organizational relationships, it is all too easy to lose sight of the existence and terms of this deal. On the surface, that employer/employee relationship, called a job, is a fair deal wherein the employer's money is traded for the employee's time and talent. The deeper reality, however, is that the employer is actually trading resources for a set of desirable results, which the employee is expected to deliver. The promise to faithfully deliver as agreed by both parties is the essence of accountability.
We recommend that organizations give voice to their accountability through a document called an Accountability Agreement. An Accountability Agreement clearly states the results that each member of an organization, from the most senior to the most junior, is expected to bring about [For specific examples of Accountability Agreements, please see our online tool at http://www.AlignOnline.com]. The following six principles form the foundation for negotiating and understanding accountability. Together they form a practical theory of accountability, the transforming effect it can have on an organization, and its essential role in creating significant business results.
I. Accountability is a Statement of Personal Promise
II. Accountability for Results Means Activities Aren't Enough
III. Accountability for Results Requires Room for Judgment and Decision Making
IV. Accountability is Neither Shared nor Conditional
V. Accountability for the Organization as a Whole Belongs to Everyone
VI. Accountability is Meaningless Without Consequences
Organizational accountability entirely subverts the tendency to make excuses and shift blame. When employees make clear and specific commitments for their own work, entire organizations become aligned and achieve specific measurable results.
Shaun Murphy, Ph.D. and Bruce Klatt, M.A. are senior partners in Murphy Klatt Consulting. This article has been adapted from a chapter of their book, Accountability: Getting a Grip on Results (2nd Ed.1997). Their other publications include Aligned Like a Laser (2004), The Encyclopedia of Leadership (2001), and The Ultimate Training Handbook (1999). They are internationally recognized experts in the field of Accountability Alignment, Organizational Effectiveness, and Project Development whose books have sold over 100,000 copies internationally.
For more information please go to http://www.murphyklatt.com or try their online Accountability Alignment tool at http://www.AlignOnline.com
Writing a Business Plan for Success in Business and for Funding
Writing a business plan to help you direct and manage your company is a key part of starting you new company that will help lead you and your company to success. Creating a "living and breathing" business plan makes that success even easier to reach. Many people feel that the sole purpose of a business plan is to get funding, and write a plan that is targeted to that audience. This plan should be considered a piece of you Fund quest documentation, but should not necessarily be edited to meet each funding source.
Be Like Bill - Think!
Twice a year, Bill Gates goes to a remote island hide-a-way for a week at a time. No, he's not going for a fishing vacation; instead of rods, reels, and lures he takes market analyses, position reports, engineering reports, and opportunity papers. In solitude he reads and thinks and reads some more, writing notes in the margins then composing questions, thoughts, and his own positions that will impact the future of Microsoft and the entire technology industry for years to come.
Have You Identified the Enemy?
One of the most powerful driving forces in human nature is competition. The desire to overcome something or some company, the need to win, the cause, can in many cases be more important than the day-to-day work of the company.
More Uses for Your Business Plan
You have invested a lot of time and energy on writing a business plan just to get a loan or to attract an investor. What do you do when you get the money or, worse, should you be turned down?
Buying Used Detailing Equipment and Rainy Day Services
Mobile auto detailing equipment becomes very inexpensive around March each year. If you look on eBay or your local classified section of the newspaper you will see. This is because mobile auto detailers are in a seasonal business. They find themselves scraping bottom when it is too cold to work because the water is freezing or it is raining and it becomes hard to sell detailing services. No one wants to see their business cards when it's raining. The only people who page them are their girlfriends who they can no longer take out for dinner or a movie. They can't use their car phone because it's been turned off by Verizon or Sprint. In a rainy year their cash reserve, if they had one, has been used up by mid January. They are eating Top Ramen by February. Their business no longer supports their needs. So they quit. Too bad for them; they obviously are not winners because: "Winner's Never Quit and Quitters Never Win!"
3 Ps of Planning - Prepare, Personalize, Pilot
Here's a really simple way to make sure your plans always produce the results you expect.
Documenting the Exit Strategy in Your Business Plan
All investors greatly desire and are motivated by a clear picture of a company's exit strategy, or the timing and method through which they can "cash in" on their investment. This picture best comes into focus when the key valuation and liquidity drivers of the company are clearly delineated. An excellent method to accomplish this is through descriptions of comparable firms that have had successful liquidity events, either through acquisition, merger, of initial public offerings (IPOs).
Describing Intellectual Property in Your Business Plan
Most companies that are worthy of raising venture capital have proprietary Intellectual Property (IP). In fact, the quality of the IP and the management team are often the two most important aspects of a venture capitalist's investment decision. The challenge that many ventures face, however, is that most investors will not sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and NDAs are critical to maintaining the proprietary nature of the IP. This article details the appropriate strategy for addressing proprietary IP in your business plan in order to attract investor attention while retaining the confidentiality of your inventions.
Business Results - Four Critical Success Factors
Planning For The Slow Season Of Your Business To Increase Sales
Every business experiences slower periods. For some, they sell more during the Christmas season while others move at a snail pace. Some sell more during the summer and others less. The key is being aware of your seasons and alternatives available to solve the challenge and change the results.
How to Snuff Out the Competition Without Leaving a Mark
Does the competition drive you crazy?
Why Create an Annual Plan?
Can you imagine going on a road trip without knowing your destination? Or, building your house without plans? The same can be said about running your business without a plan.
Completing the Annual Planning Process
Imagine an office without a desk, or lights, a computer, or even something as simple as a chair. When the architects and designers started planning a building or office space they knew they would have to make concessions for these items during each of the building activities. As marketers, we take part in many activities, much like a builder or designer does.
Six Key Areas For Evaluating A Strategic Alliance
Strategic alliances are increasing at a rapid rate. It is good for business, good for the consumer. A strategic alliance is similar to a joint venture. Everyone remains in his or her own entity, yet come together for a single purpose or period of time to create something that could not otherwise be created.
Leverage - A Small Step For You /A Big Change For Your Career
Cassy was an employee of a nonprofit who had been at her job 5 years. She came to me because she felt that the organization she was working for didn't value her and was upset because others had been promoted but she had not.
Business Plan Descriptions of Computer System
Entrepreneurs often give little if any consideration to their computer system needs in their original business plans. It is a necessity to have mention of your computer system as bankers and/or investors will want to know how you will keep track of your future endeavor. You need to carefully spell out your needs and their costs to insure you are asking for the right amount of money for your new project and to insure that you know what you need in advance. All too often entrepreneurs are not completely sure of what is needed and then when they see what is available they want it, this adds costs. Then comes the customization and feature creep as high paid programmers design the modifications.
Top Reasons To Form A Strategic Business Alliance
A strategic alliance is when two or more businesses join together for a set period of time. The businesses, usually, are not in direct competition, but have similar products or services that are directed toward the same target audience. Below are ten reasons to create a strategic alliance.
Scheduling of Additional Auto Detailing or Mobile Car Wash Units
If you own a mobile car wash business or auto detailing business then you realize that when you are parked working you are making money and when you are stuck in traffic you are losing money. Sure you can say when you are in traffic people see you and write down the phone number, but you are not making money, that is potential future income, which is work you still must do in the future. Many auto detailers do not schedule properly and therefore get into trouble in that they attempt to expand before they have maximized their schedules.
Is Your Company Growing Fast Enough for You?
Are you frustrated by the lack of growth in your firm, or the effort required to squeeze any up-tick in performance? Are inadequate policies and procedures a root cause? To find out, take this simple self assessment to see if this may be inhibiting real growth at your company.
Innovators Role at Hard Times
One Research Scientist at the Hewlett-Packard (HP) Imaging Systems laboratory said Carly Fiorina was a marketing person put in change of engineers who cared nothing about the art and beauty of technology. She just wanted saleable stock to bring to market. He exhorts that when she walked into the HP Labs for the first time, she said that their new company slogan was "Invent." Then, she told them that the technology industry would never again be as exciting and profitable as it was in the '90s. That they'd all need to grow up now and face that fact.
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