Introducing Change? It’s all about people!

Are you planning on introducing change within your organization? Change can be: new business processes, new workflows, new organization structure, new technologies, new culture.  It can be all, a mix of some of those or even only one of them.  In any case it is a change and has to be managed properly to achieve its objectives.

To manage change imagesin your organization you need two people working coherently to achieve the organizational targets; a Projects Manager and a Change Manager.  The Projects manager will focus on all the technicalities, operations and details of the change, while the Change Manager will focus on the Human aspects of the change.

I’ll focus here on the Human aspects.  Upon introducing change you need to make sure to attend to every point in this list:

1- Know for yourself first as a decision maker why the organization needs this change.  Change has to be for the development and moving forward reasons, so if the change you’re planning will not move the organization forward then you should not do it.

2- Once you answer the question why the change? focus on getting the buy-in of the people.  You need to start from top to bottom.  Make sure all managers on all managerial levels can answer all these questions: What exactly are we changing? Why do we need this change? how are we as individuals going to benefit of it? how long will we need to work until we finish the transitional phase? what new skills do we need? what do we employees need to do to fit into the change?
Why start from top? because during change every employee looks up for his superiors to have answers for all the concerns and questions.  They need to feel secure and it is their managers who can clarify everything for them.  If people at the top resist the change then no one in the organization will support it.
Once every single employee in the organization knows the answers to all these questions you can start gradually introducing the plan.

3- Build the sense of ownership.  Collect feedback and ideas from all employees as to how they think the organization can have a smooth transition.  Discuss ideas and adopt the ones that can serve the objectives. This way employees feel that they are part of the process and that it is not imposed on them.

4- If drastic changes are needed like employee layoffs or changes in structure or functions.  It is advisable to take your time explaining why this has to be done and how is it for the best with special focus on the employees who will be directly affected.  Main aim is to get the support of the people and avoid their resistance. You need to make sure no negative vibes are spreading.

5- Make sure to communicate the message over and over again, because employees can spread negativity around the office.  You can find some employees resisting the change and if they keep spreading their negative message they will hinder the success of the change process.  You need to make sure their negative message does not circulate.  These employees have to be handled individually and you have to try to make them understand why this is necessary and how it will turn out to be positive even for them.  Wining them on your side will give a good push in the right direction.

6- It is a good idea to make a “concerns and suggestions box” where employees can send their concerns and why they don’t want the change so that you can answer their questions and ease their concerns.

7- The Change manager and the projects manager have to work together to make sure that the change process does not proceed faster than the people’s support and buy-in plan.  It is very important to make sure that you won’t get resistance because the entire change process can fail if resisted.

Change is a critical process and if not handled and planned well with special emphasis on the human factor of it, it will fail!

Employees are the assets of any organization and making sure that they are satisfied and that they understand why the change is needed and making sure they feel secure is very important for the success of any change process.


Truly Human

I just came across this wonderful speech by a wonderful Leader and I thought I’d share it with you

imagesIt is my dream to contribute in creating a truly human organization.  An organization with human-centric culture, that realizes that human beings are their most valuable assets.  And as Mr. Bob Chapman said making our employees feel good about themselves contributes in solving a lot of our social and economic issues.

These are the words of a true leader, who knows that leadership is about inspiration and getting the best out of people.  Leadership is about making my employees happy so that in return they would make my customers happy.

Another story that I got to know about Mr. Chapman is:

Another proof to how being human and caring about your people makes more money actually than laying off people.  Organizations need to be more human and they will be amazed by the fact that they will make more money than what they do today.

The 8 Things About Leadership I Learned From My Puppy

Dale Myers' Blog: Think. Plan. Act. Repeat.

1939568_10203471981707259_791533610534686388_oI’ve really fallen behind with my writing. You could say it’s gone to the dogs. For the past three weeks finding time to write has been impossible. You see, we decided to get a puppy named Cassie. And, for those of you that have barked up this tree, you know that with a puppy around, finding quiet time to write is about as hard as finding your dog’s favorite bone.

But while my writing has suffered, I still think a lot about leadership. This morning I was thinking about the similarities between leading dogs and people. I know this sounds a little strange – but, people and dogs have a lot in common. Both have needs, personalities, and moods. They share a desire to learn, be challenged, feel secure, and receive recognition. Finally, both dogs and people react to different leadership styles.

I’ve think there are 8 leadership actions that…

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Good advice for start ups

Failures and breakthroughs - exposed, reflected, considered

Let me start by stating the obvious: humans are irrational.

Let me give just one illustration of our irrationality. Climbing. Why do we climb? Some mountains have picturesque and pleasant landscapes, forests or flowery fields. Some happen to have spectacular views from top when weather conditions allow. Apart from those few – and they are in relative minority – serious mountain climbing (anything above 4,000m and even many lesser ones) implies significant effort and investment; rewards, i.e. the usual goals of reaching the top and view from the top, are usually less than what we expect.

How do I know? I climbed a number of peaks in European Alps including the highest one in mainland Europe, Mont-Blanc. And only few weeks ago, I came back from Tanzania, where I climbed Kilimanjaro.

Kilimanjaro, consisting of three volcanic cones, is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain in the…

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The Lucky Winners

This is to announce the lucky winners of a free copy of the book “Powered by Happy” by Beth Thomas.

I conducted the draw and here are the names of the two winners:

1- Rehab Genena.

2- Hossam Sadik.

Here is the original post where I announced the draw:

Congratulations Rehab and Hossam and I hope you enjoy reading the book.

How to manage people in 15 minutes a day

I enjoyed reading this article published in Harvard Business. They mentioned what they called “The smart coach approach”.  Which means that you can coach and lead your team and motivate them as well without taking too much of your time or exerting too much effort.  You have to be smart enough in order not to take more than 15 minutes a day to lead and coach, to make them feel that you are there with them and help them develop their skills.

It is realy very true that every manager has to give time to coaching his team and help them innovate and develop their skills or else by the time they will lose their energy.

Enjoy reading the article!

A Self-Selling name … Help needed

My dear readers, I want to rename my blog.  I want a name related to the content I write.  A name that would encourage people interested in business and management related issues to visit my blog and read my posts.  Anyone has any ideas?

If you can suggest a name please send it on my email (on the contact me page).  I will go through all suggestions and choose one.

Thank you and awaiting your great suggestions

I miss you dad

Today is my father’s birthday.  Had he lived he would have turned 73. He died last April and yet I still feel that it was a week ago.  I miss him so much. I miss the way he laughed, smiled and talked.  I miss his advice to me.  I miss consulting him before I take any decisions. I miss the way he greeted me when I went to visit.  I miss his funny comments. I still sometimes feel that he will walk through the door and talk to me any minute.
On my daughter’s birthday last October, I wished he were there. It was her first birthday and he had lots of plans for it, I cried a lot because he missed it. I am still thinking about him all the time and I feel that I am turning to be like him in a lot of ways.
I feel so lonely and insecure without him, it is as if something is missing all the time but can’t explain what it is.  I feel so fragile without you daddy. I need you so much. I never imagined how much you are the source of my strength until I lost you.
My priorities changed ever since he died, I felt that the number one priority – after of course strengthening my relation with GOD – is to make sure that I please my Mom all the time.  To make sure that she is not mad at me for any reason.  To make sure she knows how much I love her and respect her.  I always feel that I never really made sure to let dad know how much I love him, respect him and how proud I am for just being his daughter.  I do not want to make the same mistake with my Mom.
I am so lucky to have my Mom and Dad as my parents.  They are really the best.  They were always my friends and not just my parents.

My dear dad, may GOD rest your soul in peace.  I am praying for you all the time and I hope we meet by GOD’s will in Al Ferdaws Al 2a3la in paradise ISA.

Work Ethics

Have you ever felt pressured to compromise your values in order to succeed? Have you ever lost your job because you refused to do something against your values and beliefs?

I have, I did not lose my job but I faced a lot of problems because I never agree to compromise my values. I always stand to what I believe in, which often makes me the dull person around the office. Everything has changed what is right became wrong and what is wrong became right. The following became the trends:
1- Employees come very late to work.
2- Employees spend a lot of time chatting and socializing.
3- Employees spend a lot of time talking over the mobile phone.
4- Employees spend a lot of time over the MSN messenger, facebook,…or whatever other distraction.
5- The rest of the time is spent in pretence; employees fake the busy appearance to seem that they are working very hard although they are doing anything else.
6- Go around the office talk about how hard you work and that without your efforts this company would have been a mess.
7- Take credit for other people’s work
8- Feed his/her boss’s ego and spend a lot of time in his office praising him and his work. And of course agree to whatever he says even if it is a stupid thing.
9- Try to go up the hierarchy on other employee’s shoulders. Try to cause trouble to their colleagues to get an undeserved promotion.

The result is they get promoted and their work is praised.

On the other hand if you work hard and do not do any of the points above you are not liked. Your boss thinks you are dull. Your colleagues can easily make your boss think that you hate him or that you are criticizing him behind his back (even if you don’t) and you will not get promoted although you are the one who deserves the promotion. You might even be put in the situation where your boss envies your intelligence and success and tries to get rid of you in order not to reveal his weakness.

Do you think there is hope that the workplace will get clean again? Do you think that one day we will see qualified people only in their deserved posts? I hope so!!!!

Sales Plan Guidelines

There are two views for a sales plan:
The First View:
There are three broad areas to consider in a sales plan:
1-The Territory
2-The Account
3-The Call
The second view:
There are four broad areas to consider in a sales plan:

I will explain briefly each view below.

The first view:
1- The Territory:

1.1 Create your territory
a- A critical part of sales planning is discriminating between Poor, Good, Better and Best accounts.
You then divide your time and attention in the way that most of your time is spent where the money comes from. The only way to do this is to give less time to the small accounts.

Your top 5% money volume accounts are “A” accounts. The next 15% are “B”, the next 20% are “C”. The remaining 60% are small players.

b- Create a “Hit List” containing 6-10 large potential prospects and treat them as your “A” list.
Allocate at least 50% of your selling time to your “A”, “B” and “Hit List” accounts.
About 30-40% to your “C” list. And the last 10-20% can be divided among the remaining 60% of customers that provide around 10% of your revenue.

Note: some people say, create your hi list from your competitors’ customer list. I see this as unethical. I think that if we concentrate on doing a better job than our competitors and offering a better service, their customers will move to us without having to deliberately target them.1.2 Map your territory
Take your prioritized customer list created in the first step and plot it on a map with colour coding to indicate importance. Start calling customers to schedule visits. Using your map identify one or two top-tier (A, B, Hit List) to visit in the morning every day and another one or two in the afternoon.

2- The Account
2.1 Set Targets
After identifying your key customers in the previous step, set annual sales and product targets and goals for each of them. Part of the goal will be to maintain and protect existing business and another part is to grow new business.

After targets are set ask the following questions and set your plan to answer them:
·Do I currently have 100% of the target or do I only have a percentage?
·What can I do to reach the target?
·What competitive threats exist?
·How can I neutralize/eliminate my competitors?
·What habits or practices are standing in the way of my getting my business?

2.2 Create customer records
Targets and action plan should be recorded in each customer record. The record should include important data about the customer and its personnel (sales history, names, roles, phone numbers, etc.)
Information learnt about the account is very important.

3- The Call
This is related to the account plan. The call plan is developed using: Long term targets, progress reports and current marketing or sales promotions. It is about how to utilize what you have and when to call/visit you customers.

Second View
Main topics of a sales plan:
1- Customers
2- Competition
3- Pricing
4- Marketing

· Who are your customers?
· Are your markets growing? Steady? Declining?
· How will you attract, hold, increase your market share?

· Who are your five most direct competitors?
· Who are your indirect competitors?
· How are their businesses: steady? Increasing? Decreasing?
· What have you learned about their operations?
· What do you know about their marketing and advertising?
· What are their strengths and weaknesses?
· How do their services and products differ from yours?
Note: Create a file for each competitor. Save their advertising and promotional materials and any pricing information you can gather. Review these files periodically, determining when and how often they advertise, how they participate at industry gatherings and anything else you can about the way they bring business.

Your pricing strategy is another marketing technique you can use to improve your overall competitiveness. Although your pricing will be based on your industry and cost, it is good practice to know what pricing strategies your competitors are using.

Your Marketing / Advertising Plan is critical in helping you reach your customers and create a unique image for yourself.