The tips this week come from the Highflyingdivas Forum meeting on Tuesday. As usual, very well attended with fantastic feedback from everyone. During the event, everyone introduces themselves and shares a tip that they have found useful. Here are three of them.
1. In these days of economic pressure, it is easier to up-skill your employees than to recruit new people to build competency. Is there anyone in your team who could develop what your business needs? Not only will this save on recruitment costs but it will also improve motivation within the team.
2. Leading on from tip 1, it is not necessary to up-skill yourself in every area. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You do not have to be an expert in everything. Chances are, getting outside help often delivers far more than the competency you need. Help does not have to be expensive either. There are many free and low-cost sources available.
3. Put some focus, prioritisation and time management techniques into your planning to ensure you have a calmer and more productive day. How? Spend 5 minutes at the end of the day, planning and prioritising for the following day. Obviously there will always be the odd day when it all goes wrong from the start but in the main, this works.
The Week: As mentioned we had the Highflyingdivas Forum in Chelmsford on Tuesday. I booked a room at the Charity ECDP. Very reasonable, comfortable and professional. http://www.ecdp.org.uk/ Seventeen of us shared ideas and challenges. I gave a 10 minute overview of the new Equality Act – what it means and the 8 actions employers must take. Particularly pleasing were comments such as “this network is different from any other” and “so many new contacts here”. The ethos is that the Forum is professional, focused on business and useful. Yes we also have fun but the emphasis is on value. That evening I went to London for the Virtual Office Drinks. This is another network with a difference in that there is a facilitated introductions process which works extremely well. £9 to attend and you are guaranteed to meet everyone in the room and have time to share information. http://www.officedrinks.net/ Some more attention on the Leadership Forum and the first event on the 10th December in Chelmsford. Looking very promising with almost 50% booked. This is a Forum of senior business leaders sharing management techniques and experience. Http://lmf.eventbrite.com. Back to town again on Thursday for the Synogis meeting. I am a partner of Synogis, a professional network of experienced consultants. £25 a month and a great place for additional expertise, making powerful connections and grouping together to bid for and deliver projects. www.synogis.com.
Recommended Reading. This recommendation comes from another Highflyingdiva – Camilla Sharman. ” I’ve just read Do Something Different by Jurgen Wolff – it makes you think outside the box. It’s got loads of casestudies which are a bit hard to get through, but I found the chapter at the end ‘How to Create Your Own Marketing Plan’ very useful. ”
Sometimes it can be hard to get yourself out of the door and network. Particularly if its cold. I am typing this blog in my attic with thermal socks, leggings, vest, two fleeces and a woolly hat! It is so nice when it’s all made worthwhile by other people. Three comments on my blog. “I start my week by reading your blog. It motivates me and sets me up for the week”. Then, “I started talking to someone on the train. They worked for Orange and asked me what I do. I had until we arrived at Paddington to tell them. I used the elevator speech structure and they asked me for my card”. Finally, “I am being made redundant and I went to a workshop about “preparing for the future”. I brought up your elevator speech blog on my laptop, the presenter wrote it down and everyone used it”. Wow! I write my blog for purely selfish reasons. It helps me remember what I’ve been doing all week! That it also helps others makes me feel that freezing in the attic is all worthwhile. So, go on everyone, start a blog. You’ll not feel alone in your business endeavours.
Not that my boisterous family ever allow me to feel lonely. I was greeted this morning by Guy (son) rushing up to say “Mum, I had a bad dream – you left us”. I responded with “Oh no darling, I would never do that. I would always take you with me”. Guy then bounced into the living room to tell his father “Its ok, if Mummy leaves, she’s taking me with her”. I was rather disconcerted to see a whimsical smile appear on James’ face. Was this the prospect of losing child or wife? James then told us his dream in which he cooked the cat for dinner. Raised a few alarm bells when I later heard him in the garden calling “Mooshie, dinner”. Not sure if that was a request to return or him voicing the evening’s menu. I, of course, don’t get a chance to dream. Wedged between husband snoring and cat who seems to start by purring and end by snoring, what chance for me to dream? It seems amazing that the smallest creature in the house snores the loudest (cat not husband). The vet says it’s because of her little nose. Nothing wrong with her little lungs either.