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Forging a Cohesive Reality in Management

CREATING A COHESIVE REALITY BY DEVELOPING STRONG MANAGERS

 Investing in your company’s management by establishing a one-on-one relationship with an experienced coach.

The commitment begins with an in-depth evaluation of the manager’s strengths and weaknesses. The coach guides the owner through this process.

It is followed by an owner and manager-employee meeting . The evaluation is presented and the coach is introduced.

The manager-employee hears from the owner, in no uncertain terms, that the performance of the employees under their charge will be measured and that the manager will be responsible for that performance.

The coach is introduced by the owner as the manager’s trainer, who accepts the directive and direction.

The owner supports the coach, both financially and authoritatively.

The process is not easy or pleasant.

The result will be a forged (not forced) cohesive reality.

Contact Dale Bruder to begin the process.

Call 520-331-1956

10 Rules to Get the Job Done

Ten Rules for Getting the Job Done

Here are 10 rules for planning and managing projects more effectively. If you use these rules you will become a better manager of your projects.

1) Set a Clear Goal To get a job done start at the finish and work backwards. By incasting the project you are clearer about the end result of your project. Even though it may change, the more effectively you can plan how to get there the more you can anticipate how it plays out. First realize that everyone on the team must be clear about the goal. Even when team members have excellent skills and the best available technology, they cannot do a good job if the end result is unclear. Setting a goal a goal takes a concerted effort and a dedication to the principles of effective goal setting. It means making sure that your goal is measurable and clearly understood by every member of the team.

 

2) Determine the Objectives Once you have a clear goal use objectives to help divide the job into specific parts for each team member. Objectives help team members understand how their contributions relate to the overall project. By identifying each objective with a specific group or individual develop ownership and responsibility. Objectives help teams help you manage the project.

 

3) Establish Checkpoints and Time Estimates Checkpoints keep goals and objectives on track. Activities carry you from one checkpoint to the next. Pay attention to detail, identify every activity necessary to complete the project.

The process includes activating the relationships among the activities and their performance order. Identify where simultaneous and overlapping activities occur then establish a schedule and resource guideline for each activity. Bring all the participants together. Delegate.

 

4) Draw a Picture of the Schedule Through the first three rules a viable project has been identified. Now create images that illustrate the timeline, resource schedules and a prototype description of the completed project.

The next steps manages the people and resouces to bring the project to fruition

5) Understand People The most basic, fundamental and often overlooked rule about sucessfully managing projects is you can’t do it alone. Projects often fail because managers do not build a strong team of collaborators. This generally happens because managers focus on the technical aspects at the expense of understanding the human facors affecting the projects. Know how to lead people.

6) Reinforce Commitment Research has shown that clarity about project goals is directly related to the commitment, loyalty and productivity of the team. By constantly keeping the goal before the team members, you’re more likely to get their commitment. Nourish the heart of the team through milestone awards and individual recognition. These powerful means are two ways of maintaining commitment to the project.

7) Keep the Team Members Informed When project managers are in the day to day they may neglect to keep the team members informed. Take the time to step out of the project and look at it from the outside then return to it and report to the team members. The key to improving communication challenges is to get ideas across from the perspective of the team, and to continuously give and receive feedback.

8) Build Agreement Disagreements and conflict are unavoidable. Studies show that managers spend nearly half their time settling disputes. A major reason for this is that project management requires coordinating the work of many different people, most of whom do not report directly to the project manager.

A good manager recognizes that disagreement and conflict in a project is actually quite desirble. Conflicts ensure continued interest and commitment. They encourage innovation and integrated solutions. They focus attention on potential difficulties. They create energy. Know that people do not fight about issues they don not care about. What is necessary is manage conflicts so that all energy is focused on getting the job done.

9) Empower Yourself and Others All project managers need more power than they have. Managers lament “If I only had the authority necessary to get those people on track.” “If only I had the power to influence my superiors.”

When they don’t have the authority they need, managers depend on personal power. One way that a project manager can build power is to recognize that team members look for honest, competent leaders who provide direction and delegate power.

10) Encourage Risk Taking and Creativity Project teams are usually set up for spurring innovation breakthroughs. Encourage risk taking and creativity among team members. Make goals and deadlines clear. Allow for mistakes without intimidating or inhibiting people in trying new approaches.

Concluding Word Follow these ten rules will enable you to develop a solid plan that is strong yet flexible enough to handle inevitable unexpected problems. It also will be a plan that your team can commit itself to follow.

Got a project – want my attention keeping you on track. I have a Zen-taoist way to do this.

Planning Actions for a Business Upturn

The marathon of confronting multiple business challenges all the time is wearing down enterprisers. Like navigating potholes in our streets, we’re addressing only the challenges that are coming at us. In planning, the driving question changed from ‘How long will it take?’ to ‘How much time do we have?’

Everyone who is operating or who has started a business in the last three years recognizes marathoning. It’s exhausting and not fun anymore.

                                           Be at the table, not on the menu

Your enterprise is dynamic, going through phases, constantly challenged by the financial, regulatory, technological, mechanical, cultural, social and political push/pull forces that throws every effort into the global market.

The flood of accidental entrepreneurs that appeared a few years ago is now a trickle. On-going businesses are diversifying into unrelated fields. Others are merging. A few are doing spin-offs. Owners are having difficulty finding buyers for their business. Streets are pocketed with empty storefronts.

Smart businesses are initiating actions they want before the market makes the decision for them.

Every business operates on an internal clock. Enterprisers waking up to the alarm to be smart about it are taking steps. What time is it for you?

                                       Choose the Right Action Initiative

The first order of business is stop running the marathon. Come back to it when there’s an enterprise initative juicy enough for it. That’s what marathons are good for.

Next is get up to date on the business of the business. Plan and execute again. Weigh the range of transitions, expansions and contractions that are on your horizon. Consider a sprint or high jump of offers, follow-throughs or other actions that may be immediately available. Next is stage a business initiative decathlon.

                                                         Build Business Muscle

The complexity and duration of enterprising an ongoing business is well suited to a decathlon; enterprisers growing business muscle, increasing flexibility and adaptability. For most the key is sales and service. Action plans for procedurals, like expanding licensing or technical automation, competitive intelligence or entering international markets, yields ROI by exploring and developing new revenue streams.

All business initiatives can be effectively action planned. To ramp up on the four types of action go to the action management section of dalebruder.com.

                                                      Be Coached to Win

As the coach of a decathlon, my role includes keeping the process moving and providing management advice on transitioning from one to the next. I coach sprints, high jumps and marathons too.

Internal resources are applied to early milestones. In the case of most small enterprises this includes establishing a revenue channel that determines the next level of intensity. Risk is considered and targets are adjusted to reflect market interest.

Whether the decathlon is focused on new market penetration or expansion in existing markets, the coaching concentrates on leveraging existing strengths and identifying new opportunities.

                                                       Sequence to Success

Sequencing the initiative through stages is the best use of my coaching style. Having spent many years planning and expediting processes and procedures through government bureaucracies I’m clear on the importance of resource management.

Mobilizing for action is built on the prerequisites. The coaching is alert to pessimism, anger and fatigue that occurs in every expedition into new territory. As your coach I keep the corporate memory alive, identify and celebrate successes and am continually alert to what is appearing on the horizon.

                                                              Call to Action

Bring Coach Dale Bruder to your company conference table for a brain storming session on a transition, expansion or contraction you are considering. All shared information is confidential. Call Coach Bruder at 520-331-1956 to start

Dale Bruder’s Dynamic Strategy Think Tank

This blog site will be shifting in the coming month to become the source page for Dale Bruder’s Dynamic Strategy Think Tank.

Postings will cover the financial, social, cultural, political, mechanical and technological matters of our current time.

The Think Tank will advocate shifts in focus and attention towards manifesting realities where opportunities and adventure abound.

For people who want the Think Tank in their inbox email info@dalebruder.com asking to become a subscriber.

A Provacative Stand

You can count on me to provide cutting edge commentary, timeless wisdom framed for the current time and innovative ways of looking at and living life.

I play the Infinite Game of life as play and possibility inspired by Carse.

My mind is always alive and I’m forever on a quest for engagement.

I review several daily newspapers and digital magazines as well as 50 weekly business publications on a regular basis. My examinations and research finds juxtapositions that reveals opportunities, strengths and dangers to be considered in enterprise direction choices and what I call the pro forma life.

My observations on professional and educational actions appear in blogs on Linkedin as well as here.  Currently I am managing and moderating on Chief Strategy Officers discussion group and the Tucson independent Business Owners meet up group.       

The timeless wisdom framed for the current time is in Zen and the Tao. I have used the Tao through the I Ching as both an oracle and for mediation. The Tao, and specifically Tao Discipline provides an effective opening to Grace — to the gift of who we always and already are. It sounds circular because it is; begetting, becoming and begoning are Three Currents that are always flowing. 

In the Tao I have uncovered the Philosophers Stone. I carry it with me always.

The innovative ways of looking at and living life include a wide range of topics from Proust to Kosinski. I am especially interested in framing James P. Carses’ Finite and Infinite Games through filters of Fluxus and Zen, two compatable technologies I use in in designing and running experiential Knowledge Generating Engines.

I invite discussion, debate and collaborations on always keeping the mind alive and lively.

6 Enterprise Phases

You can sustain business momentum by combining 6 enterprise phases in a variety of sequences. If you know the business phase, can profile the situation you can anticipate the next enterprise action. With this application an enterprise; yours and others, can be examined for competitiveness.   

Key Take Aways

      Know the 6 enterprise phases 1) today, 2) tomorrow, 3) internal, 4) external, 5) creative, 6) social.

      Know which phase you are in. In a local, regional or global market, know where you are in the stack.

      Know the phases to help you anticipate. When you evaluate your company phase, ask yourself when the business was in that phase in another time. The circumstances and patterns leading up to the phase may be different yet you recognize the phase.   

 A business enterprise, a profession, even a career goes through these phases. There is the accepted arc or wave of the life cycle; start-up, establishment, institutionalize then sell, close or retire.    

 Within the wave are little deaths and births; product cycle, market expansions and contractions, talent blossoms and becomes expertise are some examples.

 The entity is constantly challenged by regulatory, financial and societal push/pull forces.

All the while the pro forma mix of current operations, business strategy, value community and the spirited energy brought into the game plays through. Chance, luck and ambition dance with dynamic excel formulas until the sum button is hit and the chips counted. Then the game starts again.

The Six Enterprise Phases

      Today: Good current performance with a vulnerable future.

      Tomorrow: Ramp up, business and investment strategic planning.  

      Internal: Organizational change, technology development initiatives.  

      External: Crisis management, personal turnover and operational emergencies.

      Creative: Always in design and development, going to market too fast.

      Social: Preoccupation with external relationships, weak on strategy and operations.

 The six enterprise phases appear again and again in different sequences with an emphasis on reaching the Today Phase or Prime (Adizes)

 Each of the 6 enterprise phases listed are described in short phrases to present the broad concept.

The drive to sustain a continuous Today Phase of good current performance is always wanted. Depending on the particular phase a specific sequence is necessary. It’s challenged by the entropy of internal and external forces that will come to a stasis if not stimulated; every day you get up in the morning to make it happen again. Without exciting the entity with personal commitment, passion and drive it becomes a burden.

This always, always is one of the banes of business people; that unless you are at it, it doesn’t happen.

Engaging the six phase method creates enterprise momentum, transforming the mundane into an empowering experience. Like a trim tab action, the combination of the six phases modifies perspective and perception in accordance with keeping things going. The enterprise, be it a business or profession, is a vehicle of expression. The phases are the gears taking you around the curves, through the rough spots and on the straight away.

 Here’s an example:

When there are substantial problems of personal turnover and operational emergencies that is undermining external confidence, too much attention is placed on outside activities. This External Heaviness is a phase marked by loss of market or gutting the operations for purposes other than the current operations.

In the case of a brutal External Phase there may be few resources to use to revive the enterprise.

 The appropriate response is to get to the Internal Phase quickly; place attention on current operations and professionalism. A supported owner/manager, turn around executive or team addresses the breakdowns in personal turnover and operations.

 An enterprise ‘little death’ and rebirth may occur before the engine sparks and fires up again. Within the Internal phase a disciplined and analytical Creative project centering on business strategy and revived current operations to create the spark of profitability.

The new normal stability in a Today Phase has vulnerability in complacency. There is no rest. Good current performance is the time to rejuvenate ambitions from a superior position.

My Vision of the Southern Arizona Region

Create healthy, vibrant and  prosperous communities

A vision is a declaration of something that hasn’t happened yet. It is a stand, a strategy, a hope backed by intention. It’s the first step in creating a future.

Personal Preferences

The majority of Tucson’s population moved here from other places. Only in the last 20 years have the numbers grown by people being born and raised here. Many of the people who have settled here are committed to this beautiful and exotic region as their home. Tucson is also a training ground of developing talent who will move on when their career or professional path calls for it.

Choosing Tucson as your personal preference for where you want to be and then acting on making it a better place is the first mission of realizing Tucson as a healthy, prosperous community.

Character of the Local Economy

Although Tucson is the oldest European settlement the United States it is a new city. It prospered on Cattle, Copper and Cotton for decades, then built an economic base on government and institutions that pushed the housing industry. There are over 30,000 small businesses in the metropolitan region because there are few large employers. These factors still drive the economy.

In the past decade the character of the local economy began to change. The government and institutions still lead in employment while proven principles are being applied to small businesses – management principles, planning and business growth. Enterprises are surviving their founders and new generations of owners are moving in. New businesses are starting up. Business vitality is the second mission of realizing Tucson as a healthy, prosperous community.

Workforce Development

In today’s labor-tight, knowledge-based economy, this is far and away the single most important factor. Two forces are at work when workforce development is considered.

First, we live in a consumer based society. People must work to earn money, be it as a small business owner, a professional offering services, an executive leading an enterprise or a laborer.

Second, businesses and enterprises need trained and motivated workers and managers to perform the tasks of creating and fulfilling products and services.

Efforts are underway now through government and private sector bureaucracies to create a world-class workforce for companies to recruit from.

The opportunity in this new economic reality is the promise that we all do work that matters. Every individual who enters the workforce has an unprecedented responsibility to themselves – to chose work training that challenges and satisfies their need of fulfillment. In this new economic reality where people will change employment numerous times in their work life, they need to embrace the idea that they have work to do, whoever employs them, they’re not just doing a job. This is a key to self-motivation.

Companies need to respond by offering employees salaries, benefits and training that are competitive in the industry and the region. Competitive in the industry because, once trained and skilled, workers are motivated to find the best employer even if it means relocating. Competitive in the region because the success of a company will be in it’s ability to retain and nurture talented employees. Workers, when they become employees are intellectual assets of the company.

When parents, brothers, sisters, friends and acquaintances are enjoying the work they do, the children will prosper and enjoy Tucson as a healthy, prosperous community. This is the third mission.

Educational Institutions

The most useful and significant education will not occur at the University of Arizona, it will occur in the technical institutions like Pima Community College and the Southern Arizona Institute of Advanced Technology. The types of employment that is developing is technical and service based that requires a two year education.

The University will remain in importance for it’s engineering, scientific, medical, and business executive training. It will also continue as a leader in research, and, when the technology transfer capability is in place; a source of new enterprises.

The health and prosperity of the Tucson community depends on the education institution leaders to shift career and work life development to this new paradigm of employment. When this is occurring, the fourth mission will be realized.

Cost of Living

Shelter and transportation are typically the two highest cost items in a household budget. In business, the cost of training and retaining a workforce usually is larger than the building and transportation costs, followed by capital investment in technology. In the first case, it’s the cost of living. In the second, it’s the cost of doing business.

Well managed skilled labor applied to a company’s product line that has market viability will generate growth and yield profits. A skilled workforce will stay in Tucson when a fair and equitable wage is considered the norm rather than the exception. Skill and talent will gravitate to the highest rewards.

The fifth mission of health and prosperity will manifest when the shift from the cost of living to the benefits of living in Tucson occurs.

Transportation

Tucson will always remain a secondary market for air travel. The Sky Harbor hub is simply too massive to compete against. Strategic business services like frequent van travel, feeder flights and the possible future of a high speed bullet train are solutions worth supporting.

Trucking, rail and air freight supply the region. The interstate highways, private sector rail lines and the municipal airport are our lifelines. Their maintenance and upgrades deserves strong advocates.

The challenge for regional planners is in designing and building an inter modal transportation system that includes mass transit and private vehicle road systems that serve users needs. Employment areas aren’t concentrated nor is the population large enough to justify light rail systems. The solution is found in increasing the effectiveness and efficiencies of existing systems from sidewalks to crosstown parkways.

A healthy and prosperous community has a strong transportation backbone. This is the sixth mission.

Technology

How wired is the Tucson region? Several interests have ringed the urban core with fiber optics but there is yet to be a cohesive mapping of the resource. The principal telephone utility and cable provider are expanding high speed internet access yet reliability of bandwidth remains an open question.

Enterprise zones, the Tucson Technology Incubator, technology transfer capability and economic development advocates like GTEC are reinforcing the foundations that strong strategies can be built on.

This mission has strong advocates in the CETA leadership, yet a healthy, prosperous, connected community – both locally and globally, is a ways off.

Sources of Funding

Venture capital activity has developed into a maturing presence in the Tucson and Southern Arizona region. There are venture capitalist groups and an angel investor group active now. Small cadres of funders are associating themselves closely with emerging enterprises, helping them move through the infant stage into the threshold of the go-go years.

Existing businesses are growing too; birthing new revenue streams, replicating through franchising, and branching off into supporting or parallel enterprises. These businesses, when built on solid histories, can benefit from unconventional funding too.

This mission, although last on this list, is high in importance. Established and emerging businesses are equally attractive in their growth potential when a strong plan is presented and a dynamic management team is in place. When funding is available across the board for deserving enterprises, Tucson will be a healthy and prosperous community

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