Monday, January 19, 2015

Be the peacemaker in organization Politics

Don’t dilute yourself in philosophy that your organization has no politics. Politics is part of every organization. Every company has internal politics. There is not an organization on earth (or space for that matter) that does not have to deal with politics. The degree of organizational politics varies from one organization to another but the reality is, all organizations have some sort of internal political struggle that can rip it apart. The bigger the organization – the “better”. Dealing with this struggle takes a keen awareness of the landscape, players and rules in which the political game is played.

People don’t like change. Most see it as a threat, a loss of their power or a loss of the security in the old way of doing things. They worry how the change will affect them and become apprehensive. These people are prone to defend the old way, some out of habit and out of unease. Knowing how to deal with these situations is challenging. The reality of any organization with more than one person is that politics is the lubricate that oils your organizations internal gears. Apply the proper lubricate and things will work fine. Forget to lubricate it and your organization will grind to a halt. 

Everyone will tell you the right way to design a business process – is by designing it around the business procedure, not around people. But in real life you find that you need to “bend” the process around political obstacles. The task should go to head of the department for his review. But everyone knows that Mister X needs to be bypassed. Sometimes it’s because he is a slacker, he will never do the task, he has been in the organization for years, he doesn’t care about the “procedure” and there is no one to discipline him. Sometimes it’s because he is too powerful and can get away with murder. In any case, trying to force the process to make him do the tasks will end in tears. The best way is to bypass.

Managing the political atmosphere in a business takes willingness to acknowledge the practice and a method for avoiding the gamesmanship. Politics generally refers to the tactics used to position yourself through relationship manipulation. The best way to survive business politics is to stay away from it. Avoid contributing to the rumor mill. Do not pass on information unrelated to your job. The person who told you the secret is not counting on you to keep your mouth shut. He is likely telling you so that you can share with others and further the political game. Staying out of the chain will make it more difficult for the rumor to spread while displaying yourself as a person unwilling to add to the problem.
Deal your co-corkers evenly. Avoid aligning yourself with certain colleagues or espousing the "that's not my responsibility" mantra. Keep the team goals ahead of interpersonal affairs, and contribute to all company goals to the best of your ability. 

The influence of confessing when you are incorrect is rarely assumed. When used appropriately, it disperses a politically stimulating circumstance within an immediate. The trick is to use it cautiously since if you are wrong too often, people will start to question your competence. It’s best that you get the reputation of someone who finds solutions to tricky problems. Being the peacemaker is one way to achieve that. Peacemakers are looked at favorably because they transcend the politics and focus on making progress. By promoting a positive culture that values integrity, respect and fairness within their team, the leader is able to channel people's interests and energy away from negative political interplay and towards an alignment with organization objectives. Allowing team members to express their interests and demonstrating a commitment to support individual needs integrates their fulfillment into the work organization and promotes the positive resolution of political conflicts.

Source: thedailyMBA

Thursday, January 8, 2015

This place sucks

Operating a business without a clear picture of what’s happening in the marketplace, specifically with direct competitors, is like flying with blinders on. Running your business by looking your own data (cash receipts, web analytics, comment cards, your own online reviews) and no external reference is very similar to flying a plane into the clouds wearing foggles or glasses with the upper half of the lenses fogged out.  In today’s world, where so much information is publicly online, a smart, competitive intelligence strategy can be accomplished with a few keystrokes and no out-of-pocket expenses. Your only cost is the amount of time it takes to do the research.

 All businesses are engaged in a war to acquire customers. That war, however, has turned very bizarre with the advent of online reviews. Realizing the benefit that multiple five-star reviews can have on a business, common sense would dictate that every business would want to develop and deploy an online review strategy to maximize customer acquisition. Yet for many businesses, only the bare minimum is done: monitoring online review activity; if the business sells products online, then deploying a third party review solution; and in some cases, responding to negative reviews. Even worse, some businesses ignore the space entirely, confused and angered by this new platform that provides their customers with a means to broadcast their experiences, both positive and negative, to every existing and future customer. Consumers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from reviews. Businesses have the opportunity to get in front of their prospective customers at the point when they’re making purchase decisions.

 The importance of consumer opinions in consumers’ decisions of what to buy continues to grow. According to a survey of U.S consumers, close to 80 percent of the population consult online reviews before they make purchase decisions. Despite the growing importance of online reviews to revenue, many business owners choose to ignore this platform, creating massive market inefficiency. If business owners are willing to navigate the complexity of this space, that inefficiency can be converted to a significant gain.

The influence of online reviews expands beyond website commerce. National retailer Sephora, have launched mobile app to help consumers consult online reviews while in their physical stores. In fact, in addition to its mobile app, online review terminals appear in many of Sephora’s stores, where consumers can read cosmetic reviews supplied by other consumers to help them make informed purchase decisions. Now it’s time to take off your foggles and research your competitors, and, in doing so, gain a deep appreciation for some external reference points. A great business practice that you can start during this analysis is to constantly review and revise vision on what’s happening in the marketplace. As you read your competitors’ reviews, ask yourself if there are elements to your own vision that are lacking. Once completed, given everything you’ve read about the way consumers view your business and the way they review your competitors, ask yourself why someone would choose to visit your business versus your competitors. If you’re having trouble answering, it might be time to revisit your vision.

As philosopher George Santayana stated, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” That lesson is specifically applicable to this practice of online review competitive analysis. Along with analyzing your competitors who are thriving, you should think about doing a postmodern analysis on businesses in your sector that didn’t make it. Now ask yourself a question: what about my vision sets my business apart from everyone else in my field? If your answer is “nothing,” then it’s time to dream bigger. In my research on businesses, I have discovered that the owners are all incredibly passionate about the product or service that they present. The success to delivering on your passion is to make the end point of what you want your business to be as vivid as possible. If you’re a hotel proprietor, think about how your guests’ every concern is addressed even before they mention it, or how you’ve drawn guests out of their rooms to interact with staff so that they feel an emotional connection to your hotel. If you have a cafĂ©, imagine who the customers feel as they’re greeted when they walk into your shop. What specifically keeps your customers coming back every morning on their way into office?