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Why you should employ a consultant

What is occasionally said about consultants may be telling of how others perceive their work and usefulness:

(1)    A consultant is somebody who asks to borrow your watch in order to tell you the time

(2)    A consultant is that somebody who for fixing a machine problem charges 100 euros and a 20 center; 20 cents for knocking and 100 euros for knowing where to knock.

Such and similar sayings imply or suggest that a consultant must be adept at critical thinking, must know how to ask for information to gain useful company knowledge and must possess an array of techniques and tools together with capabilities of using them effectively.

From employing a consultant, a company would expect to have some potent cures to its problems and some worthwhile results. So that this is exemplified, some of the primary reasons for the commonest calls for consultancy services are cited below:

(a)    To identify and solve specific problems facing a business:
Here he is called to use his business acumen, to use well-established methodologies, and to utilize his analytical tools and techniques to uncover the root problems and provide appropriate solutions that best fit the particular client company.

(b)   To provide independent assessment and recommendations:
In some companies, internal politics and group interests would immobilize any improvement initiatives especially when leadership does not want to be seen as harming the interests of anybody. Here the consultant will assume responsibility for new proposals taking the weight on his own shoulders and will act as a vehicle and a catalyst for change.

(c)    To add time and expertize:
Sometimes, everyday pressures along with routine operations overwhelm management and deprive it of the time to deal with the long-term strategic issues. Other times the management [...]

By |August 21st, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Stop workplace bullying

Bullying can have many actors. Here we focus on the business supervisor bully.

Many traits combined, give rise to a supervisor bully. Some of the most salient ones are listed in the table below.

No.
The characteristics of the nature of bullies
Evaluation

1

Increased self-confidence

2

Blunt, direct, harsh without considering the effect on others of their sayings or deeds –they order instead of asking

3

Carrot and the Stick mentality only they lean toward the stick and the threats

4

Ego: They believe to be all the “Sun and the Stars”

5

Some may derive a kind of secret enjoyment from the acceptance of their misbehaviors

6

Superior technical/functional abilities: the reason they survive

7

Trust in themselves

8

Poor in Emotional Intelligence

9

Low trust in others

10

Want to do things their own way

11

Equate their harsh manners with their personal efficiency

12

They carry on like this because they perceive it as their personal style that has been accepted and has not been effectively challenged historically

It is true that the nature of the characteristics of a bully, often makes him productive and overtime can sometimes turn him into an indispensable employee.

It is also true that that comes with a cost. Bullying hurts colleagues and often damages the company’s long investment in culture.

We should, of course, be careful as to whom we identify as a bully. The measure should be our guide.

Nor should we allow the problem to reach a state of dilemma, it is either him the bully or the group and its culture, by leaving the problem unattended.

Leaders must make a continual effort to spot any bullying tendencies early and take a series of actions, such as presented in the table below, to correct behaviors and preserve the culture.

No.
A series of Actions by the leader
 Evaluation

1

When Hiring:

Make evident the desired culture of your [...]

By |August 8th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Drafting strategy in a simple step by step approach

Did the Greeks when they won the battle of Marathon have a strategy? Yes!

A strategy is an essential piece of the puzzle for success; without it we allow external competitors to hit and hurt our business. Yet, many businesses do not have a strategy at least explicitly.

Much has been written about strategy from various angles and depths, in fact, so much that it made the adoption of strategy more obscure instead of clearer. The result is that most of us think that we know what strategy is about but, at the same time, lack the capacity to take concrete steps to shape it and put it into practice.

Below we present by way of example a simple step by step approach to highlight how we can draft a meaningful strategy and a strategic action plan based on the work we did for a client. The sequence, overall, is important. The content of the 3rd column of the table has of course been modified and some pieces are omitted for reasons of confidentiality. The strategy questions are in column 2 and the individual company’s responses in the last column.

Steps
Strategy Question topics
Answers

1
Mission – Why we are in business
To take people to their destinations

2
Values and Beliefs – by what standards we will operate
RespectEfficientAppearance

Dominant behaviour

3
Vision – How we would like to be seen in the future
No 1Preferred provider

4
Strategy statement components

4.1
Objectives – the pylons our vision rests upon
Train stopsTrainsStaff (……………………………..)

4.2
Scope – Where we will compete
Train servicesLondon- Paris – Berlin

4.3
Our advantage
Relationship building with staff and externalsManagement personally involvedKnows the business

4.4
Our competitors’ advantage
Bigger operations – cross-financingMore OPEX & CAPEX – modernizes easierMore in control of [...]

By |July 27th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

How can Customer Service and Company Efficiency be Aligned for Sustainable Profitability?

If you are not a company like Apple and Google or another innovative enterprise working in blue oceans, and like most, you are in a red ocean with tough competition, you cannot ignore the efficiency factor when you are delivering customer service, in other words, you cannot seek solely customer service excellence without regard to the cost consequences, and the thriving of the company.

Faced with what may seem like a dilemma?

But, it need not be that customer service and efficiency are pulling in opposite directions. The dilemma exists for those that face the matter superficially. For those prepared to deeply examine it, from dilemma it becomes a challenge: How to get the two aligned and mutually supportive.

How then can a company become both? Accept that the middle road and the lukewarm status quo many companies find themselves in is not a satisfying state of affairs.

For a successful business, you have to work on the two simultaneously and to make the one feed the other.

So, on the one hand, you have to become a robust company by shedding excesses, slimming procedures, emphasizing and doing what matters and not what was in the past usually done, delegate to upgrade responsibilities and align deeds and actions with strategy and most importantly raise management and leadership to levels that will glue the company together.

On the other hand, pay attention to the customer service side: work on the culture and Introduce “customer experience” as a guiding beacon for your people; make customer handling not a wasteful unproductive activity of endless listening and aimless conversations but turn it into understanding customer needs that will form the basis of customer problem resolution and subsequent customer delight; learn to adapt to the [...]

By |July 20th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Sardos Solutions’ works in charts

Sardos Solutions presenting its works in charts in a brief, less than a minute, video:

 

 

 

 

 

Do not sacrifice the efficiency of the many for the exceptional case of the one

A company I was advising had a problem with a slow response to customer connection requests. Procedures were lengthy and of course, the company people had their reasons.

As a result of these lengthy processes, complaints were frequent, and many of the company people were spending a great portion of their work time handling customer enquiries about the progress of some cases.

While 99% of the cases were straightforward, some 1-2% could be more complicated requiring extra processes. Because the latter could not be reliably distinguished from the start, all the cases, simple and complex, were made to follow the same lengthy procedure making the great majority of the 98-99% suffer from unnecessary steps and lengthier response times.

It was also established that even when the more complex cases entailed taking some extra measures, those were at a very low cost. So cost was not a significant factor. A more difficult for us endeavour was to convince the company to accept that its responses will not be 100% right from the beginning in some of the rare cases and should, therefore, be willing, when that happened, to take immediate corrective measures without any further claims from the customer.

After some discussions, the company saw the point and was persuaded to adopt for all cases the simplified procedure. To distinguish, however, as much as possible the few complex cases, the company asked applicants to provide specific information from the start. Furthermore, even in the event that something went wrong because of misleading or false information, the company committed itself to step in to remedy for the omission taking urgently the necessary corrective measures so as to avoid any inconvenience to the customer.

The KPI for the process improved significantly, the [...]

Wise sayings by management gurus

See 1-minute video on what the management experts are saying:

Wise sayings by management gurus

 

Business Internationalization

Summary (extracts): CIIM Project summary211215-pdf
Here we offer the reader a glimpse of the work we did to assist a company with its internationalizing endeavours. The executive summary and the conclusion of the original work are presented unabbreviated, but the study’s other content is mostly presented in charts that show the results of some of the most important aspects of the research topics: Country selection, Situational analysis, How global is the customer, Competitive analysis, Strategy including Internationalization strategy, and Implementation of strategy.
Full text: CIIM Project full text (for those with a keener interest in the subject)
 

Επιμορφωτικό πρόγραμμα “Ανάπτυξης και Βελτίωσης Κουλτούρας”

Ανάγκη Εργαστηρίου

Πολλοί οργανισμοί αντιμετωπίζουν προβλήματα σχέσεων προσωπικού που δυσχεραίνουν το εργασιακό κλίμα και τις στρατηγικές τους επιδιώξεις προκαλώντας:

Καθυστερήσεις στην παραγωγή έργου και κάποιες φορές ελαττωματικά προϊόντα ή ελλειμματικές υπηρεσίες
Παράπονα από πελάτες που ενίοτε οδηγούν και σε απώλεια μέρους των καλών μας πελατών
Κλίμα δυσπιστίας και αμφισβήτησης που κάνουν το προσωπικό να φυλάσσεται από τον διπλανό του και να νοιώθει δυσάρεστα στο χώρο εργασίας
Διαιώνιση αρνητικής διάθεσης που μεταδίδεται και στο νέο προσωπικό που βλέποντας όσα συμβαίνουν υιοθετεί σταδιακά παρόμοιες συμπεριφορές.
Αδυναμία στην υλοποίηση στρατηγικής, αλλού δείχνει η Στρατηγική και αλλού η Κουλτούρα

Αποτέλεσμα να επηρεάζεται τόσο η απόδοση και η εφαρμογή στρατηγικής όσο και η εξυπηρέτηση πελάτη

Σκοπός του επιμορφωτικού εργαστηρίου

Να προσφέρει λύσεις στο πρόβλημα του κακού οργανικού κλίματος και των κακών σχέσεων καθοδηγώντας κύρια τους ηγέτες τμηματάρχες αλλά και το προσωπικό σε σημαντική αλλαγή νοοτροπίας: Επεξηγούνται οι δυσάρεστες επιπτώσεις μιας κακής ή ακατάλληλης κουλτούρας, αλλά και οι υποχρεώσεις ενός εκάστου των συντελεστών, και με πρακτικές ασκήσεις, το εργαστήριο επιδιώκει να δείξει και να εμπεδώσει σε πρώτο βαθμό στους εμπλεκομένους τους τρόπους βελτίωσης και αλλαγής προς μια νέα επιθυμητή κουλτούρα η οποία και να συνάδει με τη στρατηγική στο πλαίσιο της ευθυγράμμισης του τρίπτυχου Ηγεσίας – Στρατηγικής – Κουλτούρας.

Κύρια τμήματα του εργαστηρίου

Τμήμα 1 και 2 – Ημέρες 1 & 2 απευθύνεται στους οργανισμούς που επιδιώκουν να βελτιώσουν την κουλτούρα τους.

Τμήμα 3 – Ημέρα 3 πιο εξειδικευμένα με περισσότερα εργαστήρια αναπτύσσει συμπεριφορές ομάδων που θα στηρίζουν και διαδίδουν τη νέα κουλτούρα.

Τμήμα 4 – Ημέρα 4 περιγράφει τον οδικό χάρτη της εφαρμογής: Αλλάζοντας την κουλτούρα στην πράξη – Διαδίδοντας και εξαπλώνοντας την κουλτούρα μέσα σε όλον τον οργανισμό – Προσφέρεται επίσης ως πλαίσιο για συμβουλευτικές υπηρεσίες (Consulting) στην προώθηση της νέας κουλτούρας.

Σημ. Τα τμήματα 1 & 2 [...]

Εκπαιδευτικό πρόγραμμα “Πως η Ηγεσία βελτιώνει την Απόδοση στον Εργασιακό χώρο”

Σκοπός του σεμιναρίου

Να ενημερωθείτε για τα χαρακτηριστικά της καλής ηγεσίας και να μάθετε τις καλές συμπεριφορές που πρέπει να επιδεικνύει ο καλός ηγέτης.
Να μάθετε ότι η ηγεσία εξασκείται σε όλα τα επίπεδα του οργανισμού (εσωτερική πτυχή της ηγεσίας) ως τρόπος δραστικής λειτουργικής βελτίωσης με πολλαπλά οφέλη
Να γνωρίσετε πως ο τμηματάρχης ή ομαδάρχης ως ηγέτης μαζί με την εμπιστοσύνη που οργανισμός του εναποθέτει, του εμπιστεύεται και ευθύνες και υποχρεώσεις ως προς τους πόρους, διαδικασίες και εξυπηρέτηση κοινού/πελατών/συνεργατών και να εξασκηθείτε πρακτικά πως ο ηγέτης τμηματάρχης εκπληρώνει τις υποχρεώσεις του ως προς τη:

Μετάφραση, επικοινωνία και υλοποίηση των στόχων του οργανισμού όπως διατυπώνεται από το Δήμαρχο/Δημοτικό Συμβούλιο
Μέριμνα για το προσωπικό και τη βελτίωσή του
Αξιοποίηση των πόρων και συνεργατών τους
Διαμόρφωση θετικής κουλτούρας και επίτευξη οριζόντιας λειτουργίας που προϋποθέτει καλή συνεργασία μεταξύ όλων των τμηματαρχών
Συνεχή ανασκόπηση και βελτίωση των διεργασιών και διαδικασιών προς όφελος της εξυπηρέτησης του κοινού
Τακτική παρακολούθηση δεικτών αποτελεσμάτων του χώρου του και τη λήψη διορθωτικών ενεργειών σε προγραμματισμένη βάση

ΗΜΕΡΑ 1

1. Ηγεσία

Τα κύρια στυλ ηγεσίας

Συζήτηση επισημαίνοντας πλεονεκτήματα – μειονεκτήματα και κατάληξη στο πιο πρακτικό στυλ για οργανισμούς του δημοσίου
Επεξήγηση των συμπεριφορών του ηγέτη που προκύπτουν για τα δυο ή τρία στυλ που η ομάδα θα καταλήξει

Τα χαρακτηριστικά ενός καλού ηγέτη και τι συμπεριφορές θα πρέπει να αποφύγει.

Είναι ο κάθε τμηματάρχης μάνατζερ ή ηγέτης;

Η Ηγεσία στα διάφορα επίπεδα του οργανισμού (Distributed Leadership)

Οι υποχρεώσεις του ηγέτη ομάδας/τμήματος για

Τη μετάφραση του οράματος και των στόχων του ηγέτη του οργανισμού
Τη μέριμνα και αξιοποίηση του προσωπικού του
Τους πόρους που του έχουν εμπιστευθεί στο χώρο του καθώς και τους συνεργάτες του
Τη συνεχή βελτίωση των διεργασιών, διαδικασιών και λήψη πρωτοβουλιών για διαμόρφωση των αναγκαίων υπηρεσιών και εξυπηρέτηση του κοινού/πελατών
Τη διαμόρφωση θετικής [...]