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. 720-Degree Assessments

    Most have done a 360 and found that personal feedback may differ among supervisors, peers, or subordinates. We advocate a 720 for employees who have contact with people outside their organization. Customer contact employees may be more or less gifted at managing customer relationships. By asking customers their views, employees learn what they do well and not so well.

  2. Publicly Display Progress to Build Organization Spirit

    Keep highly visible scoreboards, big thermometers (as in a fund-raising campaign), bulletin boards, Intranet sites, voice mail messages and newsletters to update everyone on progress toward key goals or change and improvement targets. Make goals/targets and progress as visible as possible.

  3. Create an Internal Innovation Futures Market

    A consumer products company created an internal innovation futures market, where managers can go long or short on innovative ideas pitched by the teams creating them. Once the market price of an idea crosses a threshold, the innovators get more funding; if it crosses a higher threshold, it's transferred into an existing or new business unit. But if its price falls below a certain level, … [ Read more ]

  4. Learning from Existing Customers

    One of the best ways to figure out how to structure your offer is to talk to some of the people who've already bought from you. Call them on the phone and say, "What was it about this product that you like? Why did you buy in the first place? What was appealing about it to you? What are some of the best benefits you've … [ Read more ]

  5. Establish a Company PowerPoint Protocol

    Several years ago, Pentagon officials put out specific guidelines for computer presentation. They did so to force briefing officers to spend less time developing great slides - and more time developing great briefings. They were also interested in curbing the use of unnecessary PowerPoint features - like wildly zooming pictures and exotic slide transitions. Among other points, a good protocol should mandate the use of … [ 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 … [ 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 … [ 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 … [ 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 … [ Read more ]

  5. Fiercest Competitor Workshop
    One good way to get at these disruptive designs (innovations) is to do what we at my firm call a "Fiercest Competitor Workshop," which starts with the premise that you have been fired from your old organization but you have access to ample capital and talent. Your task is to design the fiercest competitor that could take the market from your old firm. In my … [ Read more ]