How To vs What If

1225 zoo LOWRES 025 smlThere are so many definitions of ‘brand’ out there, that it makes it very hard to know where to start developing one – so we go for the obvious – the logo.

“Many of the startups and early stage businesses we see have a very simplistic view of branding,” says Lorinda Wyatt, Managing Director of creative consultancy, Zoo Group in Canberra.

“The perception is that once they have a logo and website they can tick branding off their ‘to-do’ list”.

It’s important to remember though that branding is about relationships. If you think this refers to your customer’s relationship with your brand and how you create and manage it, you’ve missed half the story. The relationship is the brand! Everything you do and don’t do forms this relationship.

eye tracking 1791845 640A few successful Australian businesses have cracked the code of how to manage an effective distributed team.

I heard from several Australian businesses recently about how they make their distributed teams an asset to their business. They talked firstly about why they chose the distributed team model.

Quiip is one of the leading community management service providers nationally. They offer a 24/7 service, enabled by a global workforce. Julie Delaforce, General Manager at Quiip talks about why a distributed workforce makes sense for Quiip in the video above.

office 1209640 1280 smlIn New Zealand recently we were hit with a 7.8 earthquake that rocked Wellington city to such an extent that 11% of the buildings in the CBD were affected. Many of them closed for business.

That left teams working from home or scrambling to find new locations to work. Teams weren’t prepared to be working as distributed teams, with all the new challenges that brings.

At Transformed Teams, we partnered with the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agencyto provide free support to local business leaders and managers dealing with the earthquake crisis.

sunflower 1127174 640Growing an amazing business requires strategy and breakthrough thinking. In this article we propose an approach you may not have thought of.

For many small businesses seeking growth, there are essential elements required for your growth strategy.

Whilst it is important to have a good understanding of your current state – ‘where are we now?’ – and your desired state – ‘where are we going? -’ having clear objectives is not enough.

felix webb photoEntrepreneurs are creative people. It doesn’t take much inspiration for them to hatch an idea. But the process of transforming an idea into a concept and then reality requires capital. Oftentimes, the lack of a budget in a startup can stymie the development of an idea even before it can get off the ground.

A budget is an allocation of available capital to fund a specific purpose. In a startup, a budget is needed as early as the pre- operating stages. But your budget should also cover capital investments, contingencies and working capital for at least 6 months.

Most startups are small business concepts that have limited capital or access to funds. A startup’s money management approach will determine how far it will go while the business is trying to bring in much- needed revenues.

 

wisdom3 smlIn the third part of our three-part series with the business partners, Rod Hattch and Jana Clyde from Wisdom Learning, we are discussing the role of training organisations in preparing employees for the changing nature of work in the 21st Century.

Wisdom is a Canberra-based Registered Training Organisation recently recognised as the ‘2016 Service Champion – Small Business’ at the, Customer Service Institute of Australia’s, Service Excellence Awards held in Melbourne.

wisdom2 smlIn the second part of our three-part series with the business partners, Rod Hattch and Jana Clyde from Wisdom Learning, we are discussing how they keep their brand fresh. Wisdom is a Canberra-based Registered Training Organisation recently recognised as the ‘2016 Service Champion – Small Business’ at the, Customer Service Institute of Australia’s, Service Excellence Awards held in Melbourne.

wisdom smlWe spoke to Rod Hattch and Jana Clyde from Wisdom Learning, a Canberra-based Registered Training Organisation. Wisdom was recently recognised as the ‘2016 Service Champion – Small Business’ at the, Customer Service Institute of Australia’s, Service Excellence Awards held in Melbourne.

Since commencing operation in 2002, Wisdom has been widely recognised in education and business. We were particularly interested in finding out how they use small innovations to create the ‘Wisdom Experience’, something anyone who has ever attended a Wisdom training course will recognise.

In this first part of our three part series we talk to Rod and his new business partner Jana about how they have gone about creating a strong brand with a real focus on customer service.

office 583841 1280Business owners in Australia continue to find innovative ways to do business with a distributed workforce.

One of the most powerful objections to remote working and distributed workforces centres around productivity: ‘How will I know my staff are getting their work done effectively?’

This is a fundamental question, probing at the heart of what it means to work: to achieve outcomes.

It is completely feasible to envisage all kinds of problems when people don’t do their work. Team dynamics could suffer. Dollars spent on staff hours might be wasted. The capacity of the business or organisation to serve its clients or stakeholders could be severely compromised.

business paperworkIt is widely accepted that every person should have a Will to ensure the efficient distribution and control of their assets on death and an Enduring Power of Attorney appointing someone to look after their financial affairs in the event of their incapacity. It is no different for a business.

A business needs to establish a Business Succession Plan, often referred to as a Business Will, to ensure the ongoing viability of the business and to protect the value and control of the owner's interest in the business.

write 593333I attended a session of group work today. We tried to use a methodology to gain some insight into a common challenge facing us all in our work. What became painfully obvious was that something was wrong: either the methodology or the way we were doing it.

To start with, only two people from a group of six were actively participating in the task. One of them seemed to be the default decision-maker, so a lot of the decisions were made by him, even if others expressed dissent or confusion. Everyone except the person who had introduced the task seemed to have a lot of questions about the methodology. After more than an hour working together, it still felt like an interesting but ineffective exercise and the work didn’t deliver the insights we hoped it would.

glasses 272399 1280When I set out to read Superteams: The Secrets of Stellar Performance from Seven Legendary Teams by Khoi Tu, I confess that I thought I was wading into a pop business book with perhaps a few big ideas but very little soul or substance.

I was so wrong. 

I will be quoting this book for years to come and I don’t mind that it was written in 2013 – the ideas are timeless and guaranteed to help you achieve your goals this year.

CWW 029I could definitely write a whole book on – when things don’t go according to plan in business.

In truth I think things more often than not, go differently in business, to what has been planned for.

For me this is one of the things I like about business. I like having to problem solve, innovate, make do or overlook a matter that isn’t pressing, to deal with what is. I think if you don’t have these skills then business probably isn’t for you, and you’re more than likely not reading this article.

I have had some truly awful experiences in business. Dishonest staff, flooded premises, theft, bomb threat, vandalism, break ins and armed robberies. Trust me – none of them were planned!

decisionmaking meetingI recently had a surprising conversation with the directors of a large organisation about consensus.

Consensus needed to be reached with each of its 160 members for each and every decision - purchasing supplies, hiring staff, developing a new service. Everything.

Did decision-making hinder progress? Absolutely.

Was it their preferred option? Passionately so - they wouldn’t change it.