Benefit Diversity For Strategic Advantage

In a business climate defined by complexity, diversity, and globalization, today’s most successful organizations understand that diversity offers a strategic advantage. Diversity can be defined as understanding and accepting the differences among people with respect to age, culture, gender, mental challenges, physical challenges, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and social upbringing, etc.

Rapid advancement in technology and the birth of a global economy bring the people of the world closer together. Organizations need to support diversity because it has the potential to increase productivity and create competitive advantages. Diversity creates new and more effective processes, better solutions to complex problems, increases creativity, and drives change.

For businesses to continue to be effective in encouraging employees to contribute to the overall success of the organization, leadership must recognize and capitalize on the strategic advantage of diversity. Diversity becomes a strategic advantage when it is intentionally created and allowed to become a key factor in decision-making and other aspects of the organization.

Organizational diversity is the bridge between the company, the employees, and the future. By aligning diversity goals with the goals of the organization, there is a greater chance

How To Bonds Your Employee

This is the Bonding Company’s worst nightmare. In this 160th article of our surety series, we will cover the situations in which no Performance or Payment Bond is needed! Some of the projects are big and federal, some are private, ALL are unbonded. Here we go!

As a point of reference, you may expect that federal, state and municipal contracts demand a Performance and Payment (P&P) Bond equal to the contract amount. Normally they do. General Contractors working for a private owner, such as the construction of an office building or apartment project, may face the same requirement. This can apply to subcontractors, too.

Federal Projects

This area includes all branches of the federal government. Examples: Army Corps of Engineers, General Services Administration, Dept. of Energy, etc. Their contracts are administered following the rules of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR).

The FAR says that no P&P bond is required on contracts under $150,000.

For contracts $150,000 and higher that require security, there are times when the bond requirement may be reduced below 100% or waived entirely. These include:

  • Overseas Contracts
  • Emergency Acquisitions
  • Sole-Source Projects

If the bond requirement is mandatory, the FAR lists

What To Do When You Found Financial Fraud

You know the old adage, “Financial statements don’t kill people, people kill people.”

While it’s true there can be misrepresentation and deception in a financial statement (FS), the document is not inherently bad, it is the poor intentions of the preparer or company that is to blame.

As credit analysts, we always review and rely on FSs when underwriting surety bonds. We know there may be attempts to mislead our judgement or even downright deception. But the need to evaluate the financial report is unavoidable. It is considered a valuable “report card on the quality of management.”

There are three levels of financial presentation by Certified Public Accounts (CPAs):

  1. Compilation – a properly organized report where the numbers have not been verified or evaluated by the CPA
  2. Review – includes some checking “Review” of key elements
  3. Audit – is the highest level and includes the CPAs statement that they have checked and believe the numbers are correct

The reader of the FS is entitled to certain expectations: A candid and complete presentation that informs the reader. Are they entitled to more than that? Does the reader sometimes expect too much?Let’s consider

How To Secure Your Market Intelligence

If you are responsible for managing investments or financial portfolios the value of industry expertise and market intelligence cannot be understated.

Many fund managers, investment brokers, private equity firms, and private placement organizations, both large and small, possess either in-house expertise or utilize the services of industry advisors to provide and augment insight into the markets and players that is not often found though traditional research. Many national expertise firms exist to provide platforms for analysts and fund managers to tap into this knowledge base and gain the information necessary to fill in the gaps and enhance their understanding of the industries and companies in which they have holdings or seek to make entry.

Another useful and beneficial tactic used by many investment firms is to maintain a list of qualified industry experts that can be called upon when needed. Many competent firms specialize in particular industries and even geographies to provide expedited and very relevant information for a simple phone consultation or can be retained for specific periods of time. The firm’s information is typically retained in-house for the primary markets and industries that pertain to the investment profile of their firm and clientele.

While there are reams of information available

Risk Management On Grocery Store

One of the huge costs of running a grocery store is healthcare. Workmen’s (workperson’s) compensation is also a challenge due to all the grocery clerks who have wrist problems or Carpal Tunnel. Those repetitive motions of picking up items and moving them across the scanner take their toll on the frail human skeletal bones of the wrist. You can see why large grocery store chains with risk management departments take “wrist management” seriously. Let’s talk, but first let me tell you a little personal story.

The other day, I purchased 8 two-liter bottles, and I noted the cashier line I got into was one with an older lady who normally wears a Carpal Tunnel wrist support brace. I put one bottle up and said; “8 of those” and told her I was saving her from Carpal Tunnel, and she thanked me and said she had forgotten her wrist brace today and was happy not to have to do any heavy lifting. I was then pleased with myself for thinking ahead and on-the-fly and bypassing the heavy bottles to the young bagging gal who asked the same-old same-old; “Paper or Plastic?”

If this older checker is not careful, she’ll be on disability before

Why Business Affected With Your Environment

Although living in a high-tech world, nobody affords neglecting the environmental impact over a business. From industrialized research sites to water parks and open-air theaters, all these business must be aware of the natural factors that may temper with their activity. Understanding the risk and managing the activities accordingly is something every company should do. Adhering to ISO 14001 EMS will assure that the company is ready to reduce the negative impact natural factors have and will be able to maximize production, labor cycles and will have a greater return of investment. But first, let’s find out how nature influences a business.

Natural hazards pose a serious threat to any business. Placing office buildings or industrial installations in areas frequently affected by tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, flood or other similar events will be a big mistake. Not only will the workers be exposed to life-threatening situations, but also, the cost of insuring the assets will be high. This is why the first thing when planning a new business location will be to make sure that the location is safe and not affected by frequent extreme phenomena.

Sometimes the businesses are the ones causing the environmental problems, which in return, provide negative effects. We

Understanding Usual Mistakes For Your Ecommerce

Creating a downright online store isn’t that hard when there are plethora of platforms available including Magento, Shopify to WooCommerce or Zencart. However, considering the fierce competition in the eCommerce segment, starting an online venture is more about building credibility and making things perfect to boost conversions. For online retailers, success is a sure instance only if they know how to fetch new customers consistently and fill all the gapings on the website. At every step, they have to be careful not to fall prey to the costly mistakes that most retailers make and ruin their scope for earnings.

Whether retail merchants wish to launch an eCommerce store or get their existing store optimised, here are the most-obvious mistakes that they should be aware of to offer exhilarating user experience to their visitors.

#1 Not having a proper plan for targeting

For an eCommerce site, one does not need a formal strategic plan, but still a simple plan on how to proceed and target the specific segments. You do not need a business plan as a roadmap for success but simply be aware of who are your customers, what they like, what you can sell to them and what customers are willing to

How To Help Manager To Lead

There are three major reasons why managers don’t manage: they are uncomfortable with their role and responsibilities; they lack confidence in their decisions; or they simply don’t know what to do. It is also problematic when they are isolated from the knowledge, experience and support of other managers.

According to Laurence Karsh, the President of SHL Americas, an organization’s human capital is its most important asset. The positive impact made by a single motivated manager can reverberate positively within businesses of any size.

Conversely, the burden of people performing below par — the hours spent correcting mistakes, the money wasted on unproductive performance, and the costs of having to recruit and train replacement staff — take a powerfully negative toll on the bottom line.

If you are interested in or responsible for ensuring that your managers have the training, resources and support necessary to meet the needs of employees, the challenge is to find accessible and effective management training that will build their comfort, confidence and capabilities.

In a survey conducted by the Center for Learning and Performance Technologies in 2017, over 5,000 managers were asked to rate the usefulness of 12 work-related learning methods. The least-valued ways of learning? Classroom training (essentially lecture

When Manager Feel Uncomfortable About Their Role

We’ve observed that there are reasons why managers don’t manage. One reason is that they are uncomfortable in their role.

Managers have to make difficult and sometimes painful decisions. Addressing poor performance, imposing discipline, transferring or demoting employees, and responding to grievances can cause even seasoned managers to lose sleep. Acting as judge and jury can be unsettling, particularly if your employees are former peers and friends.

Some individuals are just not psychologically suited or emotionally ready to be managers. I have a classic example.

I was teaching a class on supervisory skills to newly promoted managers. After hearing about the responsibilities inherent in the position, one new manager came to see me at the break. She had decided she no longer wanted to be a manager. She could not see herself in a role where she might have to discipline or fire an employee, particularly someone who had been a long-time peer. She left the class and demoted back to her previous non-supervisory position. It was a sad loss for the agency, but the best choice for her at that time.

How would you know that managers are uncomfortable with their role?

  1. They are still performing the work they did prior to their promotion

Cash Flow Management Lesson

Remember Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale “The Princess And The Pea” from your childhood? I think my Mom read it to me a hundred times.

The story goes…

A prince was searching the land far and wide for his future wife. He didn’t want a FAKE princess who only wanted his castle and his fortune. He wanted a REAL princess to share his life and have a positive impact on the future of the realm.

The prince figured out that he needed to test each candidate to see if he had found the real princess that could help him achieve his dreams.

He came up with a test, and for weeks on end he invited the candidates, one by one, to spend the weekend at his castle.

In the guest bedroom where the candidate would sleep, he piled something like a hundred mattresses on the bed. He placed one dried pea under the bottom mattress. He knew that only a real princess would be able to feel that pea under all those mattresses and that, being a princess, she would complain about her sleepless night.

Using this testing method, he found his true princess and the fairy tale had a happy ending.

It’s smart to test things

All About Critical Ingredients In Most Organizations

There are four missing critical ingredients in many of today’s organizations; Recognition, Appreciation, Validation & Fun

You might be shocked at how few organizations today regardless of their size fail to create and maintain a culture that gives employees the recognition, validation, and appreciation they need and deserve to enable and motivate them to higher performance and increased motivation. They also fail to foster a fun environment that helps reduce their stress, burnout, and negativity.

After working with hundreds of organizations over the years (no disrespect intended to any of them) as a trainer, consultant, speaker or coach I can tell you unequivocally that every organization I have worked with regardless of the number of employees, industry or business model – lacked to some degree one of these four vital ingredients to a degree that in some ways hurt the organization’s growth, market share, competitiveness or overall effective functionality. A few things to consider.

Why are these so important?

What is the cost of not having them?

Why do many organizations lack them?

How can you put them back into your culture?

Why are these so important?

Everyone needs to feel valued as a human for what they do, who they are, who they are becoming, what they

All About EFQM Models

In search of excellence, many organizations are discovering that there is no single Holy Grail to seize and that excellence comes from work on a set of organizational critical issues that, furthermore, must be appropriately combined in scope and depth if they are to yield the desired results.

This holistic approach to organizational issues is addressed by a number of Management Models or Programs. Each model envelops what it considers as critical organizational issues and then, to a greater or lesser extent, goes on to describe and explain them. Examples of these are the Viable System Model, Mckinsey 7S, ISO 9004, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, TQM and of course EFQM Excellence Model and CAF (The EFQM model adjusted for Public Organizations).

The EFQM Excellence Model, true to the TQM concepts, has two important features: it is customer-centric, and it is a self-assessing tool. The first build into the organization the continuous improvement while the latter put to the front not what the organization offers but what its internal and external customers/stakeholders receive i.e. the emphasis is not on the service offerings but on the perception and experience of the service users.

The EFQM Model is basically a business management model to help

Tips To Handle The Breakdown As Leaders

In your personal or professional life, breakdowns occur. When I say breakdowns, it includes problems, disruptions, challenges, chaos, misfortune, disaster, etc. When it comes to business, in many cases, the larger the goal the larger the breakdown. If you’re a leader, the way you handle those problems can dictate the culture of your enterprise. And that can affect your company’s ability to succeed.

If you typically shy away from big problems, leadership may not be appealing to you. A big part of leadership’s job is to handle and correct major disruptions. Perhaps if there were no problems in the world there would be no need for leadership. Since businesses are constantly growing, it is likely people will have to accomplish something they have never done in the past. On that new path, there will be chances to encounter challenges that have not been faced by people in the organization.

At first, new challenges can appear insurmountable. Depending on the complexity of the disruption, it could be analogous to a two year old learning to tie their shoes for the first time. In some cases, staff and management will have to use existing resources and problem solving skills to overcome the challenge. However,

Understanding Leadership On Your Company

Perhaps the shortest and easiest answer to “what is leadership?” is: there is no leadership. At least there is no such thing as the archetypal leader who, as the dictionary says, “is the action of leading a group of people or an organization”. Or it is said to be “a state or position of being the leader”. What’s odd about the definitions is they are both self-referential. The word leader is used to describe what leadership is. Therefore, it never really tells you what a leader is.

Explaining what leadership is may be as challenging as explaining what a word is without using words. Like leadership, word is self-referential.

Perhaps leadership has never had anything to do with others or followers. Perhaps it has more to do with the future you declare. The question is: what future are you declaring? If you’re biggest declaration is you will tie your shoes tomorrow, you may not have what it takes to create entirely new futures.

On the other hand, if you possess boldness and commitment, you may declare you will accomplish something so big that you could never do it on your own. For example, Henry Ford declared most households would own a car. To

How To Choose Dust Control System

So, the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has been knocking on your door about the dust emissions on the mine. Or perhaps the community has been complaining about pollution. Whatever your motivation – are you aware of what dust control entails? What is available on the market? What is regarded as “best practice”? What additional benefits can be offered? Who are the market leaders?

A scenario that presents itself too often is a request for quote (or better known as a RFQ) for the supply of a dust control unit for a mine. The RFQ would typically contain detailed specifications formulated by the engineering department and passed on to the supply chain managers that subsequently issued the RFQ to potential suppliers that has been identified by the commercial department. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Or is there? What really happened is that the engineering department had collaborated with the commercial department to come up with a scheme to waste funds.

Let me explain. What should have happened is for the engineering department to first recognise the fact that they are mining experts and not emission control experts. Therefore, it would make sense to consult with experts on the matter, and come

Why You Should Hiring Errand Service

Who can use an errand running service?

Who wouldn’t appreciate a helping hand in today’s hectic lifestyle? Bachelors, Bachelorette’s, Single mum’s, Dads, Youngsters and Seniors alike appreciate the idea of someone getting their errands done on time. Busy business owners are now able to focus on work rather than worrying about getting their mundane tasks done.

5 benefits of hiring an errand running service:

1. Saves Time

Errand running service will take care of all your daily tasks and allow you to spend time to do what you like. Be it watching soccer, a day at the Spa, enjoying a movie night with friends or building your business, having someone take care of your chores saves your precious time.

2. Reduces Stress

Getting timely help reduces your stress level. With someone taking care of all the tedious jobs like fetching a medicine that you run out of, or fetching your weekly groceries, you can be at peace; with the assurance that your worries are taken care of.

3. Increases productivity

Having someone to take care of your daily tasks gives you all the time you need to focus on the jobs that require your attention. If you work from home, you can have someone run errands while you

All About Business Etiquettes

“A man without a smiling face must never open a shop” or so the Chinese proverb goes. Truly, smiling goes a long way to lighting up the mood for a friendlier, more understanding conversation. This is true in business as well, especially when trying to make a business partnership. However, there are more business etiquettes beyond smiling and demonstrating these will show others that your customers and your business are worth respecting.

* Introduce everyone, even when in doubt – There is a proper way to introduce people to each other. First, introduce the person who is the most senior, using their full name and their job title or responsibility. Next introduce that person to the person who has lower authority. Make sure to also mention his or her full name. To end, you may mention some details about each other as a topic of common interest. When being introduced to someone, always stand up if you are sitting.

* A firm handshake – The way businessmen shake hands more often than not sets the tone between them. Giving a good, firm handshake will set a good first impression as it may eventually end up in a successful business partnership. If you

Why Dashboard Reporting Still Necessary

We live in a world of immense technical innovation and data is something many of us are immersed in, and there are times when there seems to be too much of it. Other times, we’re seeing a lot of information, but it’s not being presented in a way that is relevant and provides us a chance to make informed decisions. As the owner of multiple companies and brands, I spend a lot of my time looking at data.

  • Data informs the strategic goals for my companies.
  • Data helps me to understand what’s working and what isn’t.
  • There’s a direct link between some data, such as marketing for instance, and the bottom line of my companies.

There isn’t a day that I don’t walk into my offices, and I’m not looking at multiple reports, particularly financial reporting and sales or even asking my team to provide me analytics on things, such as our social media results. Data spans the gamut, and I can slice and dice every area of my businesses and see how we’re performing.Early Days

After I first when I started my holding company, there eventually came a time when the work of my team and I began to take off. All of

Business Tool That You Should Have

One of my favorite articles to write is about technology that’s out there to make businesses more productive. A couple of days ago I was doing research and came upon TINYpulse. The idea is ingenious, and while candidly, my team hasn’t used it, it’s certainly something to consider at some point down the line.

The best business teams operate with employees that are working at their optimum level. There have been countless books and articles written about leadership theory and management, and a lot of what is out there is excellent. But, technology is now part of the picture. According to TINYpulse, here’s what this tool is about:

TINYpulse discovers how your employees are feeling, and performing

Measure how happy, frustrated, or burnt-out your employees are, and gain real time employee feedback to create a company culture you can be proud of.

When I discovered it, admittedly, I was intrigued. According to their website, over 1,000 companies use their product, including Michelin, HubSpot, Deloitte and Capital One. An additional plus for them is that they have created a team culture where they donate their time to the company’s community, their product to nonprofits and also a portion of their profits to charitable organizations.

Product Metrics

The

Things About Courier Services

Courier industry is winning hearts of the business owners and well as individual customers by its note-worthy service quality. Most companies now rely on this particular service to cut down their company costs. Courier service providers are chosen for their reliability and safety. You feel relax and secured when you need a very important parcel to reach somewhere and you know that you have assigned this job to the most reliable courier service. This article is going to provide you some tit-bits about the background of the courier industry.

#1 It was in the 2400 BC in Egypt when the first standardized courier service began. The monarchs, generally called Pharaohs, during this era, started using this service to deliver their important documents and letters to various places.

#2 Wells Fargo was the first and foremost professional courier service to start in the United States.

#3 The words “courier” and “mail” are somewhat closely related but no one knows where does the word “mail” came from. It originated from the English word “male’ in the medieval period where “male” implies “traveling bag”.

#4 Another fascinating trivia that most of us are still unaware is “Marcophily” is a specialized subject where people study in detail about