How Can You Improve Your Company’s Organizational Design?

The organizational design of your company is very important to its success, because this is the network that will decide whether your company is fruitfully chasing its goals or not. A company that has a good organizational design will design all its procedures and functions towards the fulfillment of its goals and objectives. Whether they know the term or not, every company strives to improve its corporate design so that it becomes more productive to everyone involved.

Here are some ways in which you can improve your company’s organizational design. Now, it is important for you to note that this is quite a difficult thing to accomplish and you won’t observe overnight results. However, consistent and dedicated approaches will help you get closer to where you want to be.

1. The managerial posts should be filled with efficient people. These people should be the true team leaders that your organization needs. They should be motivating and inspiring, and at the same time they should be effective taskmasters who can distribute work according to people’s capabilities and get the jobs done on schedule.

2. There should be clarity of purpose through all sections of your organization. This means everyone working in your establishment should know what they are working towards, and they should be kept informed of any changes. This helps because people then feel they are vital to the progress of the company’s tasks and they work in harmony with each other.

3. One of the key aspects that a company with good organizational design should have is communication. It is crucially important that communication be clear across various departments of your organization and not just within a single team. The seniors should be able to convey what they want to their subordinates and this should follow down the networks that prevail in your organization.

4. Your organization should be open to changes. Today’s corporate world needs to be dynamic and implement the various gifts that technology has to offer. You should also be able to foresee the future of your company and take strides towards expanding it beyond conventional boundaries. Companies that are risk takers are considered to be the ones with the best organizational stability nowadays.

These are four effective areas in which your organizational design can be improved. If you want your company to be more successful in chasing its goals, it is important that you begin implementing these points as soon as you can.

If you’d like more information about executive coaching, business transition and group coaching, download your free guide Organizational Transition and Culture Organizational Transition and Culture

Jodi and Mike specialize in executive coaching and business transition with a focus on organizational culture.

Author: Mike Krutza
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Four Dimensions of Leadership

Today’s business literature is replete with models of leadership and an entire industry has grown up around coaching leaders. Leadership is arguably one of the most valuable of human activities, yet despite the vast literature on the topic, many people remain unable to identify the basic building blocks that define what leadership is. Intuitively we know that leaders possess the talent to bring people together; to get them to work together effectively; to align them around a common purpose, goals, and objectives; to get them to co-operate and rely on each other; and to trust each other. We also know from the experience of observing leaders in action that the generic attributes of leadership described in the literature, and the actual role that a leader plays do not occur in a vacuum, but are embedded within specific historical contexts, business situations, and the organizational structures, systems, and culture within which people lead (Elliot Jaques, and Stephen Clement, Executive Leadership, (Arlington, VA: Cason Hall, 1994, p. xiv ff. and 6 ff.).

Research and field analysis compiled by the Breckenridge Institute® have shown that leadership has four interdependent dimensions.

  • Expertise, Experience, and Wisdom
  • Problem Solving Ability
  • Personality, Core Beliefs and Values
  • Awareness of Self and Others

The first dimension of leadership (Expertise, Experience, and Wisdom) includes education, expertise, experience in specific industries and markets, and a track record of effectively leading organizations with various numbers of employees and managerial levels (Elliot Jaques, Requisite Organization, Baltimore, MD: 2006). Over time, managerial wisdom emerges as seasoned and sound judgment about how organizations and industries work, what motivates people, what customers and suppliers truly need and desire, and how to work effectively at higher-levels of management.

The second dimension of leadership (Problem Solving Ability) is about having the appropriate level of “intellectual horsepower” to effectively perform the level of work and task complexity to which a person is assigned. Work and task complexity is defined as: a) the number of variables operating in a situation, b) the ambiguity of these variables, c) their rate of change over time, d) the extent to which they are interwoven so that they have to be unraveled in order to be seen, e) the person’s ability to identify and control the salient variables once known, and f) the time horizon of the work in terms of days, months, and years (Jaques, Requisite Organization, pp. 24 ff. and Jaques and Clement, Executive Leadership, p. xiv ff.).

The third dimension of leadership (Personality, Core Beliefs and Values) manifests itself as patterns of behavior and interaction, tacit assumptions, intrinsic motivators, and underlying patterns of how leaders see themselves, other people, and the world around them (see Mark Bodnarczuk, Breckenridge Type Indicator(TM)).There is no one “right” personality or set of core beliefs and values for a given leadership position, but instead the question is: a) to what extent do they help a person work effectively, or b) reveal decision-making biases, predictable errors in judgment, or patterns of inappropriate behaviors? A key indicator that a person possesses a mature grasp on this dimension of leadership is the degree to which they: a) avoid using what Collins calls either-or-thinking, and b) instead practice both-and-thinking (Jim Collins, Built to Last, New York: Harper Business, 1994, p. 43 ff.).

The fourth dimension of leadership (Awareness of Self and Others) is based on the timeless principles found in Jim Collins best-selling book, Good to Great (Jim Collins, Good to Great, New York: Harper Business, 2001). Collins began his research on Good to Great with a bias against leadership. He told his research team that the fact that “great companies had great leaders” went without saying and was an uninteresting finding. But his research showed that truly great companies had a fundamentally different kind of leader (what he called a Level-5 Leader) and these people were characterized by professional will and fierce resolve combined with personal humility. Level-5 Leaders put self-interest aside and instead focus on building a sustainable organization and setting others up to succeed, not fail. Level-5 Leaders know how to introspectively look into the mirror of personal responsibility when things go wrong, and they know how to ascribe credit to others when things go right (Collins, Good to Great, p. 33 ff.). The key question is, “How does one become the kind of leader that Collins describes in Good to Great?” Collins argues that Level-5 Leaders exhibit a pattern of personal development in which the ego-centered drive required to reach the top of corporate America is transformed into the paradoxical combination of professional will, fierce resolve, and humility, but he offers no systematic approach to becoming a Level-5 leader – it’s beyond the scope of his study. Our view is that the fourth dimension of leadership (Awareness of Self and Others) is the key to becoming a Level-5 Leader.

The four dimensions of leadership are an interdependent set of competencies, skills, and characteristics that enable leaders to bring people together; to get them to work together effectively; to align them around a common purpose, goals, and objectives; to get them to co-operate and rely on each other; and to trust each other. As mentioned previously, the generic attributes of leadership described in the literature, and the actual role that a leader plays day-to-day do not occur in a vacuum, but are embedded within specific historical contexts, business situations, and the organizational structures, systems, and culture within which people lead. Consequently, the four dimensions of leadership must always be contextualized and applied to the real life situations and challenges that leaders face.

Mark Bodnarczuk is the Executive Director of the Breckenridge Institute, a research center for the study of organizational culture based in Boulder, Colorado. He is an author, researcher, consultant, teacher, and facilitator with more than twenty years of experience working with companies in the area of high-tech, basic and applied research, pharmaceuticals, health care, retail as well as government and non-profit organizations. Mark has published widely in the areas of corporate culture and leadership development and is the author of two books, Diving In: Discovering Who You Are In the Second Half of Life and Island of Excellence: 3 Powerful Strategies for Building Creative Organizations. He has a BA from Mid-America University, an MA from Wheaton College, and an MA from the University of Chicago.

Mark can be contacted at:

Breckenridge Institute
PO Box 7950
Boulder, Colorado 80306-7950

Author: Mark Bodnarczuk
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Leadership Theories – What Does it Take to Be an Effective Leader?

There are more leadership theories than you can shake a stick at. Theories have evolved from “Great Man” and “Trait” theories to “Transformational” leadership – each with a different set of dynamics, contexts and focus.

Early theories tend to focus upon the characteristics and behaviours of successful leaders, whereas the later theories consider the role of followers and the contextual nature of leadership.

Here is an overview of leadership theories – but first here are 2 quick questions for you: (1) see if you can spot which applies to Genghis Khan and which applies to Mother Theresa; and (2) try to figure out which of these theories best describes the style you feel would be most appropriate for leading your change initiative?

(1) The Great Man theory – this was based on the belief that leaders are exceptional people, born with leadership qualities and are destined to lead. This theory reflects the male-oriented view of leadership which has predominated until the late 20th century.

(2) Trait Theory – is based around an extensive list of all of the qualities or traits associated with leadership.

(3) Behaviourist Theories – focus on what leaders actually do rather than on their qualities. Their different patterns of behaviour are observed and categorised as leadership styles.

(4) Situational Leadership – sees leadership as situation specific – where the style of leadership is adapted to the requirements of the context in which it is exercised.

(5) Contingency Theory – is a development of the situational theory – focusing on the situational variables which will determine the most appropriate or effective leadership style to fit the specific circumstances at that time.

(6) Transactional Theory – emphasises the importance of the transaction – or relationship – that takes place between the leader and the led. It focuses on the perceived mutual benefits derived from that relationship whereby the leader dispenses favours in the form of tangible and intangible rewards in return for the commitment, loyalty or [at least] compliance of his or her followers.

(7) Transformational Theory – The central concept here is change and the role of leadership in envisioning and implementing the transformation of organisational performance

(8) Servant Leadership – emphasises the leaders’ duty to serve his/her followers – leadership thus arises out of a desire to serve rather than a desire to lead. It is a practical philosophy which supports people who choose to serve first, and then lead as a way of expanding service to individuals and institutions. It encourages collaboration, trust, foresight, listening, and the ethical use of power and empowerment.

(9) Dispersed Leadership – an ‘informal’, ’emergent’ or ‘dispersed’ leadership, this approach argues a less formalised model of leadership where the leaders’ role is dissociated from the organisational hierarchy. Individuals at all levels in the organisation and in all roles can exert leadership influence over their colleagues and thus influence the overall leadership of the organisation.

(10) Primal Leadership – refers to the emotional dimension of leadership. The articulation of a message that resonates with their followers’ emotional reality, with their sense of purpose-and so to move people in a positive direction.

I know it is now fashionable and politically correct to vote for theories 6 – 10, and that for many years it has been fashionable to assume that inherited traits were far less important than learned and situational factors in those people fulfilling leadership roles. However, the science and study of behavioural genetics is gradually refocusing attention on the fact that far more is to do with our genes and our inherited traits and characteristics than has been assumed or accepted for several decades.

So I have to say that the latest research on genetics does appear to indicate what I have long believed – namely that leaders are born not made – so I would go for an element of theory 1 with Genghis Khan. I am not sure how appropriate the Mother Theresa number 8 style is for a business environment? But maybe elements of this are covered in 7 and 10?

Clearly, there are strengths in all of the types of leadership – but in the present turbulent climate, I personally will nail my colours to the mast and select a combination of type 7 and 10 – because transformational and primal leadership qualities applied in a change management context are ideally suited to the holistic and wide view perspective of a programme based approach to change management and, as such, would form key elements of successful strategies for managing change.

And, to ensure that you are employing successful strategies for managing change – that are appropriate to your organisation – you need to know how to apply: (a) these transformational and primal leadership styles, AND (b) how to apply the supporting programme management based processes – that will ensure that you avoid the catastrophic failure rate of ALL business change initiatives.

For more on this: “What is effective leadership?

Equip yourself to avoid the 70% failure rate of all change initiatives with the “Practitioners’ Masterclass – Leading your people through change, putting it all together and managing the whole messy business.”

Stephen Warrilow, based in Bristol, works with companies across the UK providing specialist support to directors delivery significant change initiatives. Stephen has 25 years cross sector experience with 100+ companies in mid range corporate, larger SME and corporate environments.

Author: Stephen Warrilow
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The Impact Of Organizational Change

Change is very important and inevitable. There are lots of texts on change, most especially on courses like management, organizational behaviour, industrial management, etc. No organization is static over a long period of time in its structure and other constituents. Organization introduces change from time to time in line with economic trends and other environmental changes.

At this time of serious global economic meltdown, many organizations are forced to embrace change in order to survive the hard times. There has been continuous streamlining of the workforce, work restructuring, workers retraining to be able to handle 2 or 3 peoples’ jobs, internal engineering, etc to mention but a few. Organizational change is not a new concept and thus efforts are not made here to start defining the concept of organizational change as there are great numbers of texts that had captured the concept beautifully.

There are number of impacts of these changes, either radical or slow, on the organization. Thus, this write-up will be looking at some of the impacts of change on the organization.

– Organizational change will help to improve the image of the organization if well introduced and effectively implemented.

– There is always new integrated and unified system within the organization. With change duplication could be eradicated and work split over long process be shortened.

– Change has the characteristics of greater efficiency while effectiveness is not ruled out. This has to do with doing what is right and doing the right thing.

– Organizational change enhances competitive business and reduces production cost. These are two important concepts in an organization that must be give prior attention. Change repositions an organization for better competitiveness while reducing cost to the minimum.

– Change helps to make the employees or personnel more experience as a result of new training for the new challenges. Once there is a change in any organization, what follows is training and development. Making workers know their new, enlarged responsibilities and how to meet up with the expectation.

– Organizational change makes workers more accountable since they now have more job roles. They are now made to account for more responsibilities and many workers see this as being motivational when backed up with more rewards.

– It also enhances strategic planning on the part of the management. Management faces new work and structural challenges and they tend to plan more so as to avoid failure.

– With organizational change, management forecasting is more enhanced. This paves way for strategic planning. Management looks deeply into the future to see what is obtainable and ensure that failures are quickly tackled and effectively managed.

– Good decision making is another benefit of organizational change.

On the whole, organizational change is important and should be taking seriously by organization. The globe and the industry are highly competitive and adaptability to change as fast as possible still remains one major secret of the most successful organizations on the planet.

Author: Oluwanisola Seun
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Learning Plasticity

The principal activities of brains are making changes in themselves.”–Marvin L. Minsky (from Society of the Mind, 1986)

Can we learn plasticity? First maybe we need to know what brain plasticity is.

Plasticity, or neuroplasticity, is the lifelong ability of the brain to reorganize neural pathways based on new experiences.

As we learn, we acquire new knowledge and skills through instruction or experience.

In order to learn or memorize a fact or skill, there must be persistent functional changes in the brain that represent the new knowledge.

The ability of the brain to change with learning is what is known as neuroplasticity.

Learning Plasticity is Good News for Brains, Especially Older Brains

My brain is now 61 years old, and it is in charge of a life that includes a wife, an 11 year old boy, and a 5 year old girl, and those two younger brains are counting on Dad’s brain to be a vital part of their growing up prepared to make decent decisions as they step out the door when they are ready to do that. (College, I am hoping).

Dad’s brain has been through some emotional and behavioral excesses over the years, because his parents were heavy drinkers not given to anything remotely resembling emotional intelligence, and Dad grew up during the Summer of Love, trying to make love rather than war, including the use of an occasional recreational chemical.

Later on Dad’s brain was subjected to too much processed food, and not enough sleep.

Now Dad’s brain is involved in running a business by itself, and in a down economy, there is plenty of stress hormones available to wreak havoc on an older brain.

What is a brain to do to stay healthy, I mean we have all heard about eat your fruit and vegetables, and when I do that I feel no different than when I did before. If it is good for you shouldn’t you feel some ecstasy, at least?

Vegetables and fruits should alter your mood,right?

Actually, fruit and vegetables do alter your mood. Go without them and see how you feel, then include them in your diet again and you will feel better and function more effectively rather quickly.

Learning Plasticity

Research has recently given us some gifts or revealed some information about the human brain that we did not have even a decade or two ago, and has even indicated to us that we can workout our brain like I work out my body at the YMCA.

I workout because I like the feeling of efficacy and strength that I have after working out, and now I know that physical exercise is one of the pillars of brain fitness that I can now enhance.

Back to workouts in a moment. The two gifts are called neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, and we can do stuff to enhance them, hence the title of this page, learning plasticity.

By the way, neurogenesis is your brain growing new neurons daily, and you can cement those neurons into the circuits that need them, like the memory circuits of the hippocampus if you challenge them with a novel learning experience.

Not sure about you, but it is great news to this 61 year old brain that replacement parts are available. That sure contradicts what we were taught as kids.

So there are some things I can do to manage my plasticity learning and my neurogenesis growth, and you are asking just what could that be?

According to Simon Evans,Ph.D. and Paul Burghardt,Ph.D., who have written the bible on learning plasticity, called Brainfit for Life there are several pillars of brain fitness to attend to, physical activity/exercise, nutrition, including the aforementioned fruits and vegetables and omega 3 fatty acid, sleep, stress management and novel learning experiences, which includes computerized brain fitness programs.

The most important of those pillars is physical activity/exercise, and the good news for us older folks is that we do not have to start flinging around huge barbells and getting sweaty for an hour or two everyday in order to enhance learning plasticity.

If you walk in your neighborhood, an excellent physical activity, continue to do that until you are ready for something that makes you breathe a little deeper a little longer, which is the kind of breathing we need to have result from our physical activity.

You can even engage in something at home called HIIT which stands for high intensity interval training which will get the breathing deeper and increase blood flow to the brain.

The HIIT workout needs to last about 10 minutes, and includes 30 second intervals of the kinds of calisthenics you did as a kid in P.E. class.

Scott and Angie Tousignant have put together a model that couples can do together in the privacy of their own basement. As usual though, you do have to do it.

Nutrition, which we touched on above, is the next learning plasticity pillar that Evans and Burghardt speak to, and they make a compelling case for the inclusion of omega 3 fatty acid in your diet on a regular basis, along with the antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and fiber we find in fruits and vegetables.

Turns out neurons are housed in a membrane that is mostly omega 3 fatty acid, which needs to be replenished frequently, because if that does not happen, the membrane gets brittle, and neurons cannot then communicate with each other clearly. Remember that old computer programming phrase, GIGO, which stood for “Garbage In, Garbage Out?” Same principle here. The best source of Omega 3 fatty acid is fish, and you want to make sure your fish do not include mercury pollution.

If fish for omega 3 fatty acid are not an option, then perhaps supplementation is an option for your omega 3 fatty acid. Make sure your supplements are processed to exclude mercury also.

Stress hormones kill new brain cells. So does booze and environmental toxins.

So what can we do to ensure that we minimize the impact of stress hormones?

I have used HeartMath personally and taught it to my clients since before I knew about neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, and it is a wonderful tool to open the higher perceptual centers in the brain.

Another revelation of the research folks is that our hearts have their own little brain, a very sophisticated nervous system of their own which sends a lot of data up, more so than the brain sends to the heart.

This particular heart nervous system can learn and make decisions all by itself, and will actually learn to respond to cues, which opens up the higher perceptual centers in the brain.

Novel Learning Experience

The last pillar of brain fitness is novel learning experiences, which are what really fire up the learning plasticity.

The kind of learning that is best for learning plasticity is the learning involved in learning a new language or a new instrument, and research like the IMPACT study published in April of 2009 is indicating the value of one of the commercially available brain fitness programs.

Those kinds of learning make it possible for neurons to create new synapses and circuits and connections, and the more those synapses and circuits fire together, they more they wire together and the longer Dad’s brain will fight off the Old Timers Disease.

So in the name of learning plasticity, let us stretch our dendrites and flex our axons.

Michael S. Logan is a brain fitness expert, a counselor, a student of Chi Gong, and licensed one on one HeartMath provider. I enjoy the spiritual, the mythological, and psychological, and I am a late life father to Shane, 10, and Hannah Marie, 4, whose brains are so amazing.

Author: Mike Logan
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Strategy, Or in Other Words, How to Cross the River

Strategy is such an overused word. People love saying it, but most don’t really understand what it means, or how they can use it effectively. There are people who believe that true strategy is reserved for Generals in a war, or corporate CEOs in an international corporation. If you check out the dictionary, you’ll see a lot of different thoughts on what strategy is supposed to mean. For example, in Webster, the very first definition of strategy is “the science and art of employing the political, economic, psychological, and military forces of a nation or group of nations to afford the maximum support to adopted policies in peace or war.” That’s a great definition of strategy, but it certainly is a narrow one. The good news for us mere mortals is that strategy has a lot more going for it than just the military or the corporate elite.

I believe that Strategy is HOW you get something done. It is not what you want to get done–that is your Objective (and I’ll write a separate article on that). So once you have your objective established, you know WHAT you’re going to do. But you don’t yet know HOW you’re going to do it. This is where Strategy comes in. It is the deliberate choice of HOW you’re going to accomplish your objective.

Strategy is my favorite part of business, because strategy represents choices. Everyone will usually agree on the business objective (the What), but many will disagree on the strategies (the How). This isn’t necessarily “bad” – there are many ways to get things done. Remember that because strategy represents choices, they are subject to debate. There can be good strategies, and bad strategies, or good strategies and better strategies. A given strategy could be good for one situation, but bad for another. A given strategy could be good for one person to do, but bad for another person.

Let’s look at a hypothetical example–just a silly one that easily drives the point home. Let’s say you’re stuck on the side of a river, and you want to get to the other side. (You’ve just established your objective, which is to get to the other side.) Now, what are your strategies going to be? This is HOW you’re going to accomplish your objective of getting to the other side of the river. Here are few strategies to consider:

  • Look for a bridge and walk across
  • Swim (or wade, if it’s shallow)
  • Find a boat, or build a boat, and float across
  • Find a strong animal, like a horse, and ride across on the animal
  • Build a hot air balloon, and fly across

You get the idea. There are a lot of different strategies that you could use to get to the other side. What’s important is that you choose a strategy that you’re comfortable with, and that you know you can execute. If your chosen strategy is to swim, but you don’t know how to swim, or lack the endurance to swim more than 25 yards, and the river is 100 yards wide, then you’ve chosen a very bad strategy for you. It may be a great strategy for someone else who is a top-notch swimmer, but it’s a flawed strategy for you that could prove fatal!

With this silly little example of how to cross the river, many Entrepreneurs and business owners will come to understand that they haven’t really taken the time to determine what their business objectives are, and how they are going to use strategies to accomplish their objectives. They will come to realize that their existing “strategies” for their business are too broad, too far reaching, or too hard to implement. This little exercise of learning how to cross the river should help you reflect on how your strategies are or are not working for you.

Importantly, by choosing a strategy, you are also defining what you are not going to be doing! Think about that for a moment, because most people do not get this point. By stating your strategies of HOW you’re going to do something, you’re also implicitly stating what you are NOT going to be doing, because you would not want to do something that is off-strategy. This is a very common problem with Entrepreneurs, because they want to be able to do anything they want, at any time. Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to turn down an order, or deny a paying customer, because it would be going against your selected strategy. But that is precisely what needs to happen to stay true to your business, your brand, and ultimately, to create an enduring success!

About the Author
John Tree, Master Entrepreneur and Owner of Why Go West, The Entrepreneur Training Company, invites you to download his free eBook on The Top 5 Ways to Fail-Proof Your Business.

John says: “You need to create and execute winning strategies for your business, no matter what business you’re in, online or offline. Download my free eBook today and begin to Change Your Thinking, and Beat the Odds!”


John Tree

Copyright 2009, All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Author: John Tree
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The Secret of Learn to Learn!

Are you frustrated by the lack of desire for learning?

I’ll be honest with you. I am not surprised!. Most of us have never ever learned anything about learn to learn. But before I continue, what do I mean with “Learn to Learn”?.

Well, learning to learn is something completely different than what normally happens at school. Here’s what normally happens. Teachers start with telling us how to learn to read. Within a few years we are capable to read almost everything that crosses our eyes. No problem so far!. But the moment we are able to read, teachers start to bombard us with information. They show us what we are supposed to know. They set a date on which we will be examined. We are supposed to go home, do our homework (which will consist out of cramming the information) and on the set date we must REPRODUCE what the teacher told us to learn.

But how good is this system? We barely are able to read and we already need stuff info in our heads. We know nothing about our brain. We do not realize what our brain loves to do. We should know about brain principles which would help us to remember the information we want to remember on the long term. What is the purpose of this system?

Well, I mean this, take a look at and watch ‘did you know version 3’. First of all, we don’t need to concentrate on knowledge anymore. We should concentrate on how to find the correct knowledge. And more importantly we need to start to learn how to learn to learn brain friendly. Why? Again, look at the movie at YouTube. We are dealing with an immense avalanche of information. We cannot possibly keep up with the amount of information which is available to us. It really is worthless to cram information. Ok, I agree we need to know how to do match and languages. But as soon as we are capable dealing with that, we need to start to learn to learn. One of the tools we can use for this is mind mapping. Mind mapping is a technique that cooperates with the way your brain loves to operate. Mind mapping works with the brain principles!. 10 simple rules will dramatically increase your information processing power and I promise you’ll remember everything with ease if you do it according the mind map rules which were invented by the originator, Tony Buzan.

Combine this with other brain friendly techniques like speed reading and you will be equipped with all the necessary tools in order to handle the avalanche of information.

Most of us don’t even realize it; this is the situation: “We have a photographic memory, but the lens cover is glued on”. But the moment you’re capable of mind mapping and maybe even combined with speed reading, the lens cover will be gone.

Jack Brutschin is a professional and buzan licensed mind mapper. Learn to learn is something that will help you with everything you do in life. Therefore Jack opened a free mind map training site so that everybody in the world is able to learn to learn for free.

Author: Jack Brutschin
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Risk Management Explained

Before discussing risk management we need to understand what is ‘risk’? A risk is ‘uncertainty of outcome’. When an action is taken, and the probability of the outcome is uncertain, it is called as risk. There are risks involved in every action that is taken. Setting up a business is a risk, buying a house is a risk. The topic of risk management has diversified so much that from risk management of financial institutes to software have all become specialised fields. What is understood or practiced generally as risk management is explained below.

1. Identification of a risk
2. Working out the probability of risk occurring
3. Determining the consequences of a risk occurring
4. Finding ways of reducing a risk
5. Reducing the probability of a risk occurring.

Before starting out on any venture, all types of potential risks that can occur and tune into a reality are identified. Let’s consider a simple example; if you go to cross a street, you expose yourself to the risk of being hit by a speeding car. If it’s a crowded street with lots of traffic, the probability of this happening becomes even higher.

Now if a speeding car hits you, the least that can happen to you is that you might sustain minor cuts and bruises. The worst outcome would be you being killed. Now, when you know what the consequences of taking a risk can be, you will find a way of reducing the risk. How do you do that? In this case you will look for the nearest pedestrian crossing and use it. In this way, you will be reducing the risk factor involved in crossing a busy street.

Risk management in any project follows the same basic principles. When a credit card company issues you a credit card, they first run a credibility check. They check to see if you will be able to repay your bills. Based on your income and your expenses they issue you a credit card. If they feel that you are at a greater risk they will cap the credit limit accordingly.

Insurance companies take a risk when they sell insurance. For example, an insurance company sells general insurance. They have several sales agents who are selling insurance. Now, if the insurance company finds out that eighty percent of the shops and offices in a building have been insured by them. They will immediately ‘spread’ the risk. How they do it is by getting underwriting companies to cover part of the insurance. If the building catches fire, the insurance company plus the underwriters would bear the loss. In case the insurance company does not spread the risk, they would have to pay the entire insurance and the company is likely to fold up in such an event.

Similarly, a bank is under risk if they invest all their capital in a single venture. If the venture fails, the bank will collapse. In property, stocks, and any other business, risk management plays a key role.

In factories and work places risk management teams evaluate the likelihood of disaster occurring. Then they suggest ways of reducing the possibility of that risk occurring. Making workers wear protective and safety gear is a means of risk management.

The gist of risk management is to try to reduce the chances of a tragedy from occurring. Identifying possible risks and reducing the chances of its occurrence. There are unknown risks that can occur and are generally overlooked when doing risk management. Like an earthquake occurring in an area which has no history of earthquakes and is not on a fault line. Such a risk would be left out of the scope of risk management.

In order to reduce accident rates in the workplace, arrange Safety Training Courses for your employees today

Author: Paul H Jones
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Six Ways to Improve Learning Skills

Let’s define learning, shall we?

In today’s very busy world, it doesn’t really matter how much you know. What matters more is how much can you deliver at the shorts possible time, in the quickest way possible, and with the most returns. It will definitely help if one possesses high IQ since it does not necessarily mean that one knows a lot of things. On the contrary, it means that one has the know-how in maximizing his/her brain power and potential.

An example of first stage of learning

When you encounter a huge amount of new information, most often than not, you tend to get overwhelmed. But this should not be the case. Feeling overwhelmed is natural. Just keep at it because you are at the first stage of learning. You will notice that the more you spend time learning the new batch of information, the easier it gets and the less confused and overwhelmed you will feel. Of course it will help if you have already improved your IQ prior to facing new learning materials. This way, you won’t even be overwhelmed by it. You will even be challenged to learn more.

The importance of breaks

Per hour, schedule a 5-minute break to relax the mind and be at ease. This will help rejuvenate your brain cells and later on fuel your brain power. There is also a study that says the mind easily remembers the first and last thing it tackled. By having breaks every hour, you produce more first and last things thereby increasing the learning you produce via memory.

Intelligence all throughout your body

Human beings are capable of learning many things. We have multiple intelligences and it is our duty and privilege to harness them all. Therefore, learn to listen to your body. Notice when you are more susceptible to learning and when you are resisting it. If it’s the latter, perhaps there are things your body needs to fulfill first before tackling mental problems. If your limbs are aching, perhaps it’s time to stop playing soccer and go read up your books first.

Paradigm shift

When you seem to have done everything you could but still are resisting learning new materials before you, perhaps it’s about time to shift paradigms. Think as if you are a teacher and you need to learn these things so you may teach them to your students later on.

Kinesthetic Activity

It is important to stay active. Whether you play sports or music or dance, doing such physical activities develop more dendrites in your brain thereby increasing your intelligence, boosting your memory and heightening your brain power.


Traveling is also one way of relaxing the mind while doing some physical activities like walking or boating, etc. while also gorging on new knowledge from your new surroundings and experiences.

Karen Prime

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Author: Karen Prime
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Balanced Scorecard Strategy Map

With the help of balanced scorecard strategy map, it is very easy to design the organization goals and build business strategies. Balance scorecard and strategy map are interrelated with each other. Strategies map is the foundation to design business strategies or perspective. Using strategy map, you can design the strategies and using balanced scorecards you can build business models.

Strategy Mapping

Strategy mapping deploy the concept of balancescorecard developed by Kaplan and Norton. Balanced scorecards is a business strategic approach which covers four important business perspectives (financial perspective, non-financial perspective, internal process, value proposition. The advantage of strategy maps understands the target market, improving the efficiency of strategic planning.

Business Strategic Mapping Balance Scorecard

Business Mapping helps organization to achieve results through business process improvement. Strategy map is the key to improve the business performance. First determine your strategy then map it. The balance scorecards strategy map is an incomparable tool for communicating strategy. The balanced scorecard strategy map will show how an organization its objectives into results. One should learn to how to design, build strategy map and balanced scorecard to accelerate your organization performance.

Scorecard Strategy Map

The expanded Scorecard Strategy Map concept, paired with the Balanced Scorecard, offers a new way to manage. Balanced scorecard commences with taking companies perspective and converting into strategy map. The strategy map gives you a graphical representation of the strategies. A strategy map also provides which aspects of their strategy are succeeding and where they are falling short.

The main area the strategy mapper will concentrate on main objectives, cause and effect relationship, strategic initiatives and finally metrics and measurable to assess your business success. Balanced Scorecards are part of the measurement system the factor of a management system that is used to focus, align, and balance the organization’s goals and objectives to accomplish long-term strategic objectives.

Business Strategies should create values to the shareholders. The strategy mapping is a complete whole-systems design tool. The strategy map provides clarity as to roles and responsibilities across the organization that are required to bridge the gap between strategy formulation and getting results at the execution level.

Strategic Value Proposition

The strategy map commence with a strategic goal, is followed with a strategic value proposition and ends with a cause and effect systems map that chart what needs to be done to achieve results. Designing strategy map and creating balanced scorecard performance metrics that tightly link operational targets to strategic goals.

Ramki is with Axsellit [] Technologies Axsellit Software delivers professional, benefit-enriched business solutions. Axsellit Technologies provides Strategy Map [] and Balance Scorecard [] Software.

Author: Ramki M
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