As we come to the end of 2013 we took a look back at what you’ve been searching for on Prospero’s World this year.
We see plenty of searches from new managers, wanting to get the inside scoop on what manager’s really need to know. Smart managers book onto our Fundamentals of Management course to make sure they’re being the best they can be. It’s not just new managers who are looking for help, our advice for senior managers in their first 100 days gets plenty of views, along with 20 ways to increase employee engagement.
Recruitment seems to be picking up across the board, and you’re searching for ways to make your recruitment process more effective, attract the right people, get them up to speed quickly and hold on to them. Our most popular post on recruitment covers a few of these topics. You’re also searching for advice on hiring into senior positions.
Job titles remain a contentious subject, perhaps driven by the recruitment that’s going on. You’ve been searching for some background on good job title etiquette.
The hot sales topics for 2013 have been about getting more out of existing relationships, you’ve been searching for advice on maximising key accounts to ensure long term revenue and lock out competitors, influencing key decision makers to ensure that you’re the one they turn to when considering new projects and working with distributors to effectively sell products on your behalf.
Public Sector employees are regularly searching for information on Earned Autonomy, we give you the insider view on how to achieve Earned Autonomy status.
Coaching and mentoring topics see plenty of searches, with people wanting to improve their skills and enhance their organisation’s coaching capability. Gaining a better understanding of the coaching landscape is important and our most popular post discusses the differences between coaching and mentoring.
It seems you’re still interested in Facebook, wanting to know about Facebook’s stated purpose and goals. If you’re thinking about your own organisation’s Vision, Values and Goals we can help you to bring some clarity to your work. Meanwhile you’re fascinated by what Warren Buffett is reading and what Mark Zuckerberg is like to work for.
But not all your searches have been so detailed. Among our most popular posts:
What will you search for in 2014?
Carefree moments are important for everyone.
Canada’s WestJet airline do enjoy putting together viral ads for the holidays, it’s an economic way to spread your brand message, if you get it right. This time they’ve hit the spot, with their video racking up five million views through social shares, and even the “blooper reel” proving popular.
This film is so delightful – what an inventive way to gain attention for a completely unrelated upcoming KickStarter project.
It’s that time of year when people ask what you would like for Christmas and you reply “I don’t know”, or “oh, nothing”. For your gift buyers this isn’t helpful. To avoid getting a festive sweater, why not add some of these books to your Christmas list and enjoy some down time over the holidays having a read.
Sporting analogies are overplayed in business circles, almost as much as military ones are. Business is neither sport nor war, but management is management and Sir Alex Ferguson was good at it. Yes, he had a great brand to work with – an employer of choice, and plenty of cash to spend to increase efficiency and effectiveness, but he still needed to manage people, up and down. When managers complain that they have difficulty motivating the iGeneration to work, given their sense of entitlement and lack of financial responsibilities, spare a thought for those managing millionaires.
In this long awaited book, Alex Ferguson no longer has anything to lose by telling the truth about his relationships with players and sharing his forthright views on their level of talent. It’s a rip roaring read. A hat-tip must go to Paul Hayward for actually writing it.
There’s plenty of books that will help you understand how to connect really well with consumers, how to sell to consumers, and how to build consumer loyalty.
They’re great, but not everyone is selling to consumers. For those selling very much in the B2B chain, where the consumer is a far off point on the horizon, CoDestiny is a great read.
Whilst it talks you through global strategy, it also gives you plenty of ideas about what you can do right now to help build a better future pipeline of sales whilst supporting your customers to succeed.
If you’ve set aside time over the holidays to planning your new business venture, then popping a copy of The Knack under the tree is probably a smart investment.
Written by authors better known for their advice to budding entrepreneurs in Inc. magazine, The Knack offers a basic primer in the numbers you’ll need to understand to get your business of the ground, and keep it off the ground, as well as the tasks and tactics you’ll need to keep front and centre whilst setting off on your business journey.
Gary Vaynerchuk got his real start in business helping out at the family wine shop.
I can imagine that he was quite annoying there, as rather than cleaning up, dusting bottles and adjusting the window display he messed about making little videos and posting them online.
Those little videos caught national attention from winelovers and the family wine business grew 1,500%.
Gary now runs a social media consultancy. You may not be able to afford him, but pick up a bottle of wine, and read about how you can use social media to grow your business.
If you ever feel that life is making decisions for you and all you can do is react to what’s thrown at you, then The Chimp Paradox is the book for you.
Make a choice and throw it at yourself.
Beloved by sports stars the Chimp Paradox gives you simple practical tools for taking control of your life and feel in control. Put an end to your self sabotage and tame your inner chimp.
At a couple of recent events we learned about a range of new products and services being aimed at the Human Resources, Recruitment and Learning & Development functions in organisations. There was lots of talk of “Big Data” and how it could be leveraged, as well as how people could use the internet to streamline their processes, make better decisions, improve the performance of their employees and the effectiveness of their organisations.
Some of what we saw was genuinely interesting, with real potential, some of it was clearly vapour-ware and some was old ideas, rebranded for the events.
What we found fascinating was how many sales people were leading their pitches by talking about how well their product or service was doing in the United States, and how much data they had from America that they could use as a benchmark here in the UK. They talked about the US companies that were using their services and how well their data models were working Stateside.
In the days when JFK was President of the United States this would have been exciting, and would be perceived as a real benefit to UK businesses, but today we’re not so sure.
If we asked you which country’s HR policies and procedures you’d hold up as an exemplar, where would the United States feature in your list? If we asked which country was most likely to make great strides forward in sustainable productivity as a result of improving labour relations, where would you rank America?
Here in Europe we have some exciting, world-leading HR approaches for a 21st Century knowledge economy, we also have some terrible examples. Throughout the world a growing middle class is demanding better working conditions, perhaps it’s time to look at a bigger slice of the globe to find our HR role models.
In the world of Organisational Development the behaviours of people tend to be the major focus. That makes sense, organisations are made up of people, and we want to develop them. Talking to people, sharing ideas, introducing initiatives, discussing outcomes and resistance are all bread and butter activities for people in HR and OD.
People in accounts teams tend to view things differently. It’s not always “show me the money” but it’s certainly “show me the numbers”. Accounts teams want to know about the data behind any decision before they are ready to commit.
This can cause tension in organisations, HR people become frustrated at the hard-headed (and as they may see it, heart-hearted) actions of the accounts team and their numbers and charts. Accounts teams become frustrated at the fuzzy logic (or fuzzy thinking) of the HR contingent, and their emphasis on feelings and behaviours rather than measured outputs.
In a world where big data has plenty to offer everyone, it’s the accounts teams and their colleagues in Management Information that hold the key to the information that lies behind the data, and HR/OD functions are in danger of missing out on key insights from data that could transform performance.
The HR/OD specialist with a history in maths, statistics or even a science background is a rare beast, you’re more likely to find people from a liberal arts background. Smart people in these roles are finding colleagues in the accounting and data fields to help them make the most of the data available to them, then reciprocating by helping those more data-minded colleagues to present their findings in ways that connect with people at an emotional as well as theoretical level.
What are you doing in your organisation to help maximise cross-fertilisation of ideas and share know-how as much as knowledge? If you’d like some help with creating an environment where big data leads to big decisions and better performance, talk to Predaptive.