When you give an office presentation, instead of just providing information, Brent Filson, author of "101 Ways to Give Great Leadership Talks" recommends giving leadership talks that seek to lead, inspire, motivate and encourage. Presentations need pizzazz if you want people to pay attention. And, if you want people to follow you, says Filson, "they must be emotionally committed to you and what you say." To lead and persuade others with your speaking, bring out that gut-level response that makes people see the world from your point of view.
Whether you own a local dry cleaning establishment or a multinational corporation, conduct a competitive analysis regularly. Your competitors are sometimes the best source for new marketing, product or operational ideas. A competitive analysis is most common at the startup of a business, according to Dan Brown in his article for Digital Web Magazine. However, they are also important when major changes occur, such as a new entrant, new production or marketing techniques or a major change in the customer base. You can use simple "us versus them" charts to compare your organization to the competition across key factors such as pricing. Competitive product demonstrations and discussions also work.
Employees and customers are the two best sources of information for streamlining operations, according to IT operations consultants at Advanced Horizons, Inc. To get employees to open up about recommendations for improvement, have them speak to a third party, or offer financial incentives based on the value of savings from any recommended and implemented improvements. A kick-off meeting could be held to announce the Operations Streamlining Program and the incentives for participating. Then follow-up presentations could be held to inform employees about progress and expected cost savings. These types of meetings have the added advantage of being morale boosters.
Improving Internal Communications
Information is a powerful business tool, and making it available to your co-workers should be part of optimizing your business opportunities, according to InConcert Financial Group, a San Francisco Bay area consulting group. Determine areas of internal communications strength and weakness using by brain-storming. A written survey of all current communications methods (email, phone system, intranet, training programs and written memos) could be conducted, allowing employees to comment and rate specifics. Then a presentation of the survey findings could be followed with suggestions from the audience for improvement. Task forces could be established to continue evaluating potential solutions.
Improving External Communications
If you want to build engaged external markets online, get buy-in from middle managers and increase accessibility to executives, according to Arik C. Hanson, owner of ACH Communications, a digital communications consulting firm. The way to foster better communications with your external environment is to be as transparent as possible with your internal audience, he adds. He recommends having senior managers attend monthly brown-bag lunches with staff.
- "Digital Web Magazine"; Competitive Analysis, Part II; Dan Brown, October 2, 2006
- "Digital Web Magazine"; Competitive Analysis; Dan Brown, August 21, 2006
- Advanced Horizons, Inc: Analyzing Your Needs
- InConcert Financial Group: Improving Your Internal Communications
- Communications Conversations; 4 Corporate Communication Tips that Will Help Build Engaged Communities; Arik Hanson
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