Business, Management and Leadership Ideas

Business, Management and Leadership Ideas
Call them ideas, tips, or best practices. I read a lot about business and occasionally I come across a practice that seems to me should be in wider use. I created this site to bring those management ideas to your attention. — Jeff Blum

Most Recent Ideas

  1. Identify the Current Constraints on Your Company’s Progress
    Imagine you are a new CEO, looking at your company with fresh eyes. Ask yourself: What function or resource most constrains our progress? Where would the smallest improvement yield the biggest impact on our business? In other words, you need to identify your “Herbie-group.” Are you limited by how well field staff in sales, operations, or customer support translate new offerings, new markets, or improved processes into results? Or maybe your field organization is a … [ Read more ]

  2. Create a Sales War Room for Better Post-Merger Integration

    After a merger, it is a mistake to expect sales reps on their own to address all of the inevitable questions from customers and tactics of competitors. Unfortunately, sales managers are often too preoccupied with integration issues, so the front line is left to its own devices.

    To resolve this problem, successful acquirers create a temporary sales war room, or interim leadership group. Led by two to four high-performing senior salespeople from both companies, along with … [ Read more ]

  3. New Leader Tip: Learn What Is and Isn’t Working

    One of the first things I did when I joined [Philips], in late 2010, was to write an open letter to about 700 people—basically, the group we call the Consumer Lifestyle leadership and a layer below them. I invited them to tell me what they thought was working well in the business and what wasn’t. This gave me a pretty good idea of what was cooking and a lot of useful insights

  4. Introduce a Secondary Domain for Better Email Inboxing

    By creating multiple sending domains, email marketers have a great opportunity to increase inboxing as a result of segmentation.

    First, marketers can use multiple domains to mail different subscriber segments (more and less engaged) or different types of campaigns (one domain dedicated to marketing campaigns, another dedicated to support emails, a third dedicated to triggered, etc.)

    Domain separation also helps maintain a consistent deliverability rate by setting the expectations for the type of frequency, volume, and engagement … [ Read more ]

  5. Developing Perceptual Acuity

    There are several tools you can use to develop perceptual acuity for yourself and your organization in this way. One of the most valuable is a simple exercise at the start of any staff meeting. Allocate the first 10 minutes to learn about and discuss anomalies in the external landscape. Ask a different staff member at each meeting to present to the team a structural uncertainty or bend in the road in another industry. Discussing … [ Read more ]


Most Popular Ideas

  1. The Premortem Technique
    The premortem technique is a sneaky way to get people to do contrarian, devil’s advocate thinking without encountering resistance. If a project goes poorly, there will be a lessons-learned session that looks at what went wrong and why the project failed—like a medical postmortem. Why don’t we do that up front? Before a project starts, we should say, “We’re looking in a crystal ball, and this project has failed; it’s a fiasco. Now, everybody, take … [ Read more ]

  2. Profit Mapping
    A profit map, the core analytical tool of profitability management, displays the profitability and cost structure of every product in every customer in the company. Profit maps show exactly where profit is flowing and where it is lost.

    A profit map is not especially difficult to develop, but it is completely different from the information developed for financial reporting. Many finance managers make the mistake of starting with their existing financial information and trying … [ Read more ]

  3. Review Profitability Before Expanding Capacity
    When faced with the need to expand manufacturing capacity and the inherent investment required, first perform a thorough profitability analysis (a profit map) of each product produced from the capacity-constrained factories (this includes profitable products being sold unprofitably to selected customers). Since many companies have a significant amount of unprofitable business, it is quite possible that stopping the unprofitable sales can free up enough capacity to avoid or at least postpone the necessary investment. Alternatively, … [ Read more ]

  4. Deploy a Redeployment Pool
    Intel monitors changing skill requirements and institutes a redeployment program when it becomes necessary to downsize a business. Under this program, managers effectively lay off people, and the head count of the business unit is moved off the payroll. These excised people enter a redeployment pool under the auspices of human resources. Once in the pool, employees generally have four to six months, and can do one of three things: 1) search for another job within … [ Read more ]

  5. Downsizing Effectively: Eliminate Hierarchy
    The way a company approaches downsizing can make or break its performance. Using 355 undergraduates as their sample, the authors randomly assigned five-person teams to work on military-based command-and-control simulations. The teams’ performance was gauged first at full strength in control groups and then after one of three separate downsizing approaches was applied to the same groups.The first approach was to maintain the hierarchy, eliminating one or more members but keeping the leader in place. … [ Read more ]