Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Premier League Title battle of Manchester Duo

Premier League fight between Manchester Duo - Manchester City and Manchester United is getting tighter now. After boxing day match, both team collected 45 points from 18 matches. Manchester United grabbed 3 point after smashing Wigan Athletic 5-0 at Old Trafford Stadium, while Manchester City was frustrated by West Bromwich Albion with 0-0 draw. Prior to the start of game, sports betting gave generous odds for Manchester United. Despite having to deal with injury crisis, Manchester United was still able to display great performance and strong team spirit, thanks to the amazing Berbatov's treble. On the other hand, Manchester city wasn't able to score a single goal, despite some noticeable chances, thanks to the strong defense and counter attack strategy of West Brom.

Who will move faster to grab the league title? Both team are exempted from the Champions League game and therefore can focus their trophy on Premier League soccer match.The next second leg game between Manchester Duo will be held on 28 April 2012. With the support of deep pocket Manchester City's owner, they are more likely strengthen their squad with January transfer. This will help to compensate the absence of some players for the Africa Cup 2011 on next January, especially the Toure brothers - Yaya and Kolo. Manchester United must buy quality players fast, after having too many players on the injury list (Nemanja Vidic, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Rio Ferdinand, Darren Fletcher, Tom Cleverley, Anderson, Ashley Young, Michael Owen). With the great talent, experience and quality, Manchester United still remain a force to be reckoned.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Six Best Practices of Successful Midlife Couples.

Having studied many successful couples, with the spirit of hope, it is certainly the case that many of you will overcome the challenges. The centerstage of marriage is often a time of positive transition and relational growth.

Here are the summary of six best practices of successful midlife couples.

1. Renew Relationship Commitment
Many couples told us “recommitment stories,” tales of trying times or wavering allegiances, followed by pledges of renewed commitment to the marriage. Having entered a new stage of life, spouses may need to “rechoose” their partnership. One couple implemented this process by drawing a line on a piece of paper, and placing an X toward the middle. In the space before the X, they wrote descriptions of the “old couple” and their child-raising years; the space after the X described possibilities for their future. They committed to seek that future together. As they would say, new commitments breed hope. Hope creates the possibility of change. Recommitment is an important theme, which examines the process of forgiveness.

2. Prioritize the Relationship
Faced with new opportunities and changing obligations, some midlife couples can find their relationship slipping down the list of priorities. Careers often peak at this time of life. A return to school or a new career can be exhilarating, but also time-consuming. Family obligations, such as caring for elderly parents, can be emotionally exhausting. Nevertheless, we find that successful couples continue to make their marriage the highest priority, even in the midst of such challenges as job loss and a return to school. They look for the warning signs of neglect and talk about them. Relationship time is built in to their schedules, the health of their relationship is a major consideration when making important decisions, and regular communication is used to navigate these dynamics.

3. Negotiate Changing Expectations
Conflict at midlife often stems from changing expectations. How much time will we spend together? How much money do we want to save? How often do we want to have sex? Resilient couples “surface” problematic expectations, negotiate differences, and find creative ways to blend their expectations. Relocation decisions often bring different expectations to the surface.

4. Find a Common Voice
When faced with a crises or challenge, resilient couples speak as much as possible with acommonvoice. For example, in decidinghowto respond to an adult child’s request for assistance, they discuss the options and negotiate a common course of action. They avoid the temptation to negotiate “side deals” with family members, and they support each other in conversations with family and friends.

5. Maintain an External System of Support
Resilient couples build supportive relationships outside the marriage. They tend to nurture relationships with friends and often find support in their family relationships. Connections with external groups (volunteer organizations, religious communities, recreational groups) are important when individual and relational identities are revised. In addition, external support systems are a source of distraction and strength during times of crisis. They provide and an unending source of meaningful conversation and joint action during the normal periods.

6. Develop the Habit of Dialogue
Dialogue is the kind of communication that promotes understanding during times of disagreement. It can be contrasted with debate, which is designed to yield a winner, and even persuasion, which is designed to change opinions. Dialogue fosters cooperation rather than competition, even as it honors real differences of opinion. Partners who engage in dialogue agree to join the same team” in an effort to better understand a problem and develop a collaborative solution.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sales Success Essence - Integrity and Trust. 2 Sales Mistakes and Its WorkArounds - Lacking Integrity, Getting Discouraged.

MISTAKE #1: Lacking Integrity
Integrity and trust go hand in hand as qualities for sales success. It is impossible to have one without the other. If you trust someone, it is most likely because they are trustworthy and they have solid ethics and integrity. If a person lacks either of the two, they generally will lack both.
It is the willingness and ability to do what is right-not what you or others think is right—and there is often a difference.

Most people who have been brought up in the right surroundings know what is right, yet they hope they can get away with something—anything—and that their words and actions will remain forever locked in their own minds.
The question we must ask ourselves when we consider doing what is wrong versus what is right is; can I handle getting caught?
Is the price worth it? How will I react to getting caught? Wouldn't it just be easier to deal in truth? All the time?
The answer is yes. So why do people misrepresent, lie, or tell little "innocent" fibs? I don't know. We are all guilty—at east one time in our lives and most of us several times—of shading the truth for what we feel is a justifiable cause. Is this wrong? I am not a moralist. But I do believe that character and integrity are related.
Here are a few simple questions to ask the next time you are considering being anything less than truthful:
1.    What will I lose and gain by dealing in untruth?
2.    Who will this lack of truth impact other than me?
3.    Is it easy for me to shade the truth, and do I do it often? Why?
4.    If I deal only in the truth—all the time—what will that do for me?

Turn It Around
Always deal in the truth, no matter what.

MISTAKE #2: Getting Discouraged
Have you ever wanted to quit anything? What was the cause of your discouragement? Was it a sense of loss? Feeling out of control? Loss of faith in yourself or the future? Was it feeling that your present circumstances would never end?
Whatever the cause, I can only tell you that this emotion, more than most other emotions, will dram your creativity, purpose, and resolve. Discouragement is a signal that something is wrong, something in your life needs to change. You can pay attention to its warning signs and find another way to approach whatever is causing your pain—or you can choose to whine, blame, or hide.
The one thing that has helped me more than any other is my faith in God and the knowledge that "this, too, shall pass."

During difficult times, I have known deep in my soul and heart that what was happening was necessary for me in order to make a change in my life. It was life's way of guiding me to a better tomorrow. It was not meant to break me, but to show me a better path. For many years, I ignored this inner guidance, feeling that I could do everything on my own without help from anyone or anything. As I matured, however, I came to learn and accept that we all need help from someone sooner or later.
People will often let you down in your time of need. There is one guiding truth we all must learn if we are to overcome the feelings of loss of control: we are all on God's path to perfection, and we will all make mistakes traveling that path.
If you are discouraged today about anything, know that this discouragement is in your life for your higher good. I know that while you are in the depths of despair this is a difficult request, but it is one that I believe you must learn to accept with grace and gratitude.

Turn It Around
Remember that all things pass. Just relax.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Five Tips on How to Avert Business Disaster. Cash Management - How to keep control of your cash. Personal reflection if you are facing a business or financial meltdown.

1) Many people believe entrepreneurs are only good for the first stages of the business journey; yet I have heard so many horror stories of MDs not working out that I think stepping aside is one of the most disastrous risks an entrepreneur can take with their business. Even those publicly quoted companies with huge budgets to play with and which have outgrown their founders (think easyJet, The Body Shop) quickly lose the original magic of their brand and eventually become a cash machine with limited shelf life that has to be milked for profit as quickly as it can. In my view, as long as an entrepreneur still has their passion for the business they created they will always have more value to add.

If I had to give my five top tips on how to avert disaster when handing over the reins of your business they would be:

  • Groom someone from within the business to be your successor and work with them for several years, slowly giving them more and more authority until eventually they are doing your job.
  • If you must recruit from the outside, ensure that your new MD has to make a substantial investment in the business, so that if it doesn’t work out, the appointment will hurt them as much as it hurts you – avoid ‘upside-only’ packages with long notice periods and share option packages.
  • Ensure that you have a rock-solid finance director whom you can trust to control expenditure.
  • Make sure that you are receiving thorough and accurate management information throughout the entire process.
  • Better still, do the handover as part of a refinancing deal where you sell part of your stake to a third party (eg a venture capitalist) so that you have a chunk of cash ready in case it all goes badly wrong, but a share in the business should everything come up roses.

2) Business nightmare may be resulted from misplaced trust, allowing third parties to control part of the business’s money. Whoever holds the money also holds the power to destroy a business, should they decide not to release it back to you, whether that is an overseas distributor, or even a fellow director who has signing authority to the company’s money, or, our bank, whose credit card bond forced the company into administration, despite the business having million cash at the bank.

So, whatever else you may decide to delegate, keep your cash close and under your direct control, for it is always cash (or rather, lack of it) that will force you out of business every time.

Six insights on keeping control of the cash:

  • Ensure that you have counter-signing authority on all payments out of the business. Signing authority is the last thing you should delegate.
  • Watch purchase-order authority levels and don’t allow anyone other than yourself to sign major contracts or even commit the business to anything, whether verbally or in writing.
  • In any joint venture, ensure that the cash flows into your account, not your partner’s.
  • Don’t offer credit, or advances of money or stock, to anyone if you can help it. Even blue-chip companies can hold you to ransom in this way.
  • If you find yourself having problems with your bank or if your credit card provider is ‘bonding’ your cash, either change banks or route payments via an overseas subsidiary.
  • In business, ‘cash is king’. Make sure you know on a daily basis exactly how much money there is in the bank – and how long it will last you. This is one area of the business that you cannot and must not delegate.

3) So, if you experience yourself going through a crisis, whether in business or in life, have faith that something very amazing will ultimately come out of it – even if it’s difficult to see it at the time.

My personal insights if you are facing a business or financial meltdown:

  • Stop fighting the adversity and go with the flow – one chapter in life has to end before another can begin. Learn to let go.
  • Say ‘yes’ to new opportunities and offers, even if you can’t immediately see how they might be of help. The magic can’t happen unless you open the door when someone starts knocking.
  • Seek fresh inspiration through books, films and new experiences – the future is a blank canvas that you can paint it any way you want.
  • Cut loose from any negative influences from your past that are bringing you down and seek the company of new, positive people. Your crisis will show you who your real friends are.
  • No matter how black the current outlook is, hold on to your dream of how you would like life to be when you come out of the tunnel. Stay positive and you will attract exactly the people and opportunities you need to get you out of your current situation.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Anti Corruption Detection and Prevention. 8 Critical Elements of an Effective Anti-Corruption Compliance Program.

Corruption has a corrosive impact on both overseas market opportunities and the broader business climate. It also deters foreign investment, stifles economic growth and sustainable development, distorts prices, and undermines legal and judicial systems. More specifically, corruption is a problem in international business transactions, economic development projects, and government procurement activities.
As a result of this problem, and to obtain a competitive advantage in the global markets of the 21st century, a growing number of businesses are taking proactive steps to detect and prevent corruption.

Anti-Corruption Detection and Prevention

Developing a comprehensive “anti-corruption” compliance program as part of your company’s standard business practice—and that of your foreign subsidiaries—may limit your company’s risk and help avoid potential costs.
An anti-corruption compliance strategy can also help to protect your company’s reputation, minimize its liability, and maintain its long-term viability.

Critical Elements of an Effective Compliance Program
An effective corporate compliance program, is one that ultimately yields intended results: education, detection, and  deterrence.

In structuring your corporate compliance program, you may want to consider the following general elements typically found in  successful compliance programs. The following steps are critical to a successful program.

Tone from the Top
■ It is crucial that all of the elements of your company’s corporate compliance program receive the full support of upper management.
■ The corporate compliance program must be enforced at all levels within the company.
■ If upper-level management does not take efforts to combat corruption seriously, then neither will employees.

Code of Conduct
■ Corporate directors, officers, employees, and agents put themselves at risk of incurring criminal or civil liability when they do not adhere to the FCPA or similar anti-corruption laws of other countries.
■ A corporate code of conduct generally consists of a clearly written set of legal and ethical guidelines for employees to follow.
■ A comprehensive and clearly articulated code of conduct, as well as clear policies and procedures relative to seeking guidance and making disclosures, may reduce the likelihood of actionable misconduct by your employees.
■ It is important that a company’s code of conduct be distributed to everyone in the company and, if necessary, translated into the languages of the countries abroad where your company operates.
■ Finally, developing a code of conduct should not be the final act. The code must be effectively implemented and enforced at all times.

Compliance Monitoring
■ A compliance program may be run by one person or a team of compliance or ethics officers, depending on the size of your business.
■ Implementation and responsibility for a corporate compliance program by high-level management employees are vital for accountability.
■ Corporate compliance officers and committees can play key roles in drafting codes of conduct and educating and training employees on compliance procedures. Committee compliance members may include senior vice presidents for marketing and sales, auditing, operations, human resources, and other key offices.
■ Past experience has shown that empowering compliance officers with access to senior members of management and with the capacity to influence overall company policy on integrity issues can be of utmost importance.

Training and Communication
■ The overall success of a compliance program depends on promoting legal and ethics training at every level of the company.
■ Regular ethics and compliance training programs should be held for all company employees, including board members and senior management officials.
■ Compliance programs should educate employees at all levels of the company about the FCPA and, when necessary, other countries’ anticorruption laws.
■ More specific legal and ethical training may be necessary for employees in high-risk areas.
■ A company should also take reasonable measures to communicate its values and procedures in an open environment to encourage participation and feedback.
■ Employees should be informed as to whom they should contact to report violations or ask questions.
■ Training materials that are both interactive and cost effective can help build employee support for a compliance program.
■ Most importantly, compliance issues should not be limited to training classes and the compliance team: compliance should be stressed as an integral part of the company’s way of doing business.

Due Diligence
■ Conducting prompt and thorough due diligence reviews is vital for ensuring that a compliance program is efficient and effective. Due diligence reviews are also key for preventing potential harm to the company’s reputation.
■ Self-monitoring, monitoring of suppliers, government relations consultants, and reports to the board of directors are all good tools for ensuring that a compliance program is being followed. Moreover, from vetting new hires, agents, or business partners to assessing risks in international business dealings (e.g., mergers, acquisitions, or joint ventures), due diligence reviews can uncover questionable conduct and limit liability.

Auditing and Internal Controls
■ Auditing and monitoring of systems of internal accounting controls contribute to building an effective compliance program by the early detection of inaccuracies and misconduct (e.g., bribery, fraud, or other corporate malfeasance). Financial disclosure and reporting should be an integral part of a company’s internal accounting controls.
■ Companies should have a clear and concise accounting policy that prohibits off-the-books accounts or inadequately identified transactions.
■ Companies should monitor their accounts for inaccuracies and for ambiguous or deceptive bookkeeping entries that may disguise illegal bribery payments made by or on behalf of a company. The FCPA requires compliance with various accounting and record-keeping provisions.

Reporting Mechanism
■ Enforcement of a company’s code of conduct is critical. Compliance officers should be accessible so that employees will feel comfortable discussing any of their compliance questions or concerns.
■ Creating reporting mechanisms with adequate policies on confidentiality and nonretaliation, as well as other safeguards related to reporting, is extremely important.
■ Whistle-blowing protections, confidential reporting mechanisms, and “hotlines” facilitate detection and reporting of questionable conduct.
■ Companies should provide guidance to assist employees and agents on how to cope with and resolve difficult situations. Such counseling not only protects the person in the field, it also protects the company.

Appropiate Response
■ A company should ensure that all employees understand that failure to comply with its compliance policy and procedures will result in disciplinary action, ranging from minor sanctions to more severe punishment, including termination of employment.
■ In instances of noncompliance, a company should take the necessary preventive steps to ensure that the questionable conduct does not recur in the future.

The measures listed here are general elements for developing an anticorruption corporate compliance program. Note that compliance programs’ emphasis on specific elements will vary from one company to another, depending on the particular risks engendered by the company’s business (e.g., antitrust, health care fraud, construction fraud, or environmental issues). You should seek the advice of legal counsel to learn more about what kind of corporate compliance program is most appropriate for your business.


Monday, October 17, 2011

3 Proactive Talent Management Process that Fuel Organization Excellence. Key Obstacles to Successful Human Resources Systems.

There are factors that most contributed to the creation and sustenance of organization excellence. We examined organizations that had survived and prospered, and those that had failed, over a 25-year period. The results suggested that six human resources conditions had to be met. These conditions were:
  • a performance-oriented culture,
  • low turnover (particularly in premium employee groups),
  • high levels of employee satisfaction,
  • a cadre of qualified replacements,
  • effective investment
  • in employee compensation and development, and
  • the use of institutional competencies (success factors) in employee selection and performance evaluation processes.

Key Obstacles
The infrastructure of human resources systems and processes for the failed organizations
was typically an incoherent mosaic of unconnected, incomplete, missing, and inconsistent assessment, planning and development tools, and methods.
This meant that performance appraisal, assessment of potential, competency evaluation, career planning, replacement planning, development and training, compensation, and selection (the core elements of human resources management) were unlinked and largely irreconcilable. Additionally, the return on the cost of implementing these separate and distinct programs was low, time expenditure was high, credibility was low, and employee dissatisfaction was pervasive.

Additional finding indicated that, there was no commonly acknowledged, espoused, and/or utilized approach for identifying, assessing, and developing a cadre of high-talent people for meeting an organization’s current and future needs. Had the failed companies recognized the importance of the three success drivers, there still would be the issue of the availability of valid human resources processes to power them to excellence.

To optimize an organization’s ability to achieve sustained excellence, we must recognize the need for proactive talent management and have a systematic way of accomplishing the activity.

The successful organizations focused on proactively and systematically managing their human resources along these lines. The organizations that failed took a more casual, traditional approach. Successful companies either articulate or intuitively  focus on three outcomes.

1. The identification, selection, development, and retention of Superkeepers.
Superkeepers are a very small group of individuals who have demonstrated superior accomplishments, have inspired others to attain superior accomplishments, and who embody the core competencies and values of the organization. Their loss or absence severely retards
organization growth because of their disproportionately powerful impact on current and future organization performance. Bill Gates once said, “Take our twenty best people away from us and I can tell you that Microsoft would be an unimportant company.”

2. The identification and development of high-quality replacements for a
small number of positions designated as key to current and future
organization success.
Gaps in replacement activity for key positions are highly disruptive, costly, and distracting to the organization.

3. The classification of and investment in each employee based on his/her
actual and/or potential for adding value to the organization.
The employee groups are Superkeepers, those employees who greatly exceed expectations; Keepers, those employees who exceed organization expectations; Solid Citizens, those employees who meet organization expectations; and Misfits, those employees who are below organization
expectations. Poor allocation of compensation and training and development resources can lead to unwanted turnover and morale and performance problems, particularly in Superkeeper and Keeper groups.

The talent management process will fuel organization excellence by:

1. Identifying and creating a set of career paths, development, and reward plans for Superkeepers. This will ensure that high-quality role models will enable the organization to achieve and maintain superiority.

2. Identifying key positions and ensuring that associated voids are immediately addressed and that the quality of replacements is affirmed. This will ensure that organization continuity is not disrupted because of the loss of any individual.

3. Segmenting the talent pool into each investment category (Superkeeper, Keeper, Solid Citizen, and Misfit) and managing the investment in each category appropriately.

Once an organization commits to excellence through the three outcomes stated above, it will need a carefully constructed human resources process that links together the core elements of human resources planning (the dots) and then joins them to strategies, policies, and action plans. Additionally, the process must be easily understood, credible, cost-effective, and time-efficient.


Friday, September 9, 2011

140+ Project Management Ebooks. Portfolio Management Ebook. Program Management Book. IT Projects Books. Project Management Tool Kit. PMBOK. PMP Exam Success.

No    Book Title    Authors    Publication Year    ISBN No
==     ========    ======   ==============   ========

1    Scrum in Action—Agile Software Project Management and Development    Andrew Pham and Phuong-Van Pham    2012    9781435459137
2    101 Project Management Problems and How to Solve Them: Practical Advice for Handling Real-World Project Challenges    Tom Kendrick    2011    9780814415573
3    CAPM In Depth— Certified Associate in Project Management Study Guide for the CAPM Exam    Paul Sanghera    2011    9781435455344
4    Executive’s Guide to Project Management—Organizational Processes and Practices for Supporting Complex Projects    Robert K. Wysocki    2011    9781118004074
5    Green Project Management    Richard Maltzman and David Shirley    2011    9781439830017
6    Implementing the Project Management Balanced Scorecard    Jessica Keyes    2011    9781439827185
7    Making Sense of Agile Project Management—Balancing Control and Agility    Charles G. Cobb    2011    9780470943366
8    Managing Successful Programmes    The Office of Government Commerce (OGC)    2011    9780113313273
9    NLP for Project Managers - Make Things Happen with Neuro-Linguistic Programming    Peter Parkes    2011    9781906124687
10    PMP Exam Prep—Questions, Answers & Explanations    Christopher Scordo    2011    9780982576809
11    Practical Software Project Estimation—A Toolkit for Estimating Software Development Effort & Duration    Peter R. Hill (ed)    2011    9780071717915
12    Project Management Fundamentals—Key Concepts and Methodology, Second Edition    Gregory T. Haugan    2011    9781567262810
13    Project Planning, Scheduling & Control—The Ultimate Hands-On Guide to Bringing Projects in on Time and on Budget, Fifth Edition    James P. Lewis    2011    9780071746526
14    Project Politics—A Systematic Approach to Managing Complex Relationships    Nita A. Martin    2011    9780566088957
15    Rescue the Problem Project—A Complete Guide to Identifying, Preventing, and Recovering from Project Failure    Todd C. Williams    2011    9780814416822
16    Succeeding in the Project Management Jungle—How to Manage the People Side of Projects    Doug Russell    2011    9780814416150
17    Successful Project Management, Third Edition    Larry Richman    2011    9780761214885
18    The AMA Handbook of Project Management, Third Edition    Paul C. Dinsmore and Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin    2011    9780814415429
19    The Business Analyst/Project Manager—A New Partnership for Managing Complexity and Uncertainty    Robert K. Wysocki    2011    9780470767443
20    The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course—Project Management, Second Edition    Helen Cooke and Karen Tate    2011    9780071738279
21    The Project Management Answer Book    Jeff Furman    2011    9781567262971
22    What You Need To Know About Project Management    Fergus O'Connell    2011    9780857081315
23    Why New Systems Fail—An Insider's Guide to Successful IT Projects, Revised Edition    Phil Simon    2011    9781435456440
24    A Practical Guide to Earned Value Project Management, Second Edition    Charles I. Budd and Charlene S. Budd    2010  9781567262568
25    Achieve CAPM Exam Success—A Concise Study Guide and Desk Reference    Diane Altwies and Frank Reynolds    2010    9781604270174
26    Code of Practice for Project Management for Construction and Development—The Chartered Institute of Building, Fourth Edition    The Chartered Institute of Building    2010    9781405194204
27    Construction Project Scheduling and Control, Second Edition    Saleh Mubarak    2010    9780470505335
28    Delivering Project Excellence with the Statement of Work, Second Edition    Michael G. Martin    2010    9781567262575
29    Earned Value Project Management, Fourth Edition    Quentin W. Fleming and Joel M. Koppelman    2010    9781935589082
30    Essential Project Management Skills    Kerry R. Wills    2010    9781439827161
31    Facilitating Project Performance Improvement—A Practical Guide to Multi-Level Learning    Jerry Julian    2010    9780814415320
32    Implementing Program Management—Templates and Forms Aligned with the Standard for Program Management, Second Edition    Ginger Levin and Allen R. Green    2010    9781439816059
33    IT Project Management—On Track from Start to Finish, Third Edition    Joseph Phillips    2010    9780071700436
34    Managing Construction Projects—An Information Processing Approach, Second Edition    Graham Winch    2010    9781405184571
35    Managing Web Projects    Edward B. Farkas    2010    9781439804957
36    Multi-Company Project Management—Maximizing Business Results Through Strategic Collaboration    Dean A. Baker    2010    9781604270358
37    Organizational Project Management—Linking Strategy and Projects    Rosemary Hossenlopp (ed)    2010    9781567262827
38    Overview of the PMBOK® Guide—Short Cuts for PMP Certification    Deasún Ó Conchúir    2010    9783642111877
39    Planning and Scheduling Using Microsoft Project 2010    Paul Eastwood Harris    2010    9781921059353
40    PMP Project Management Professional Study Guide, Third Edition    Joseph Phillips    2010    9780071626736
41    Pragmatic Project Management—Five Scalable Steps to Success    David Pratt    2010    9781567262742
42    Principles of Software Development Leadership—Applying Project Management Principles to Agile Software Development Leadership    Ken Whitaker    2010    9781584505860
43    Program Management    Michel Thiry    2010    9780566088827
44    Project Knowledge Management—Systematic Learning with the Project Comparison Technique    Erwin von Wasielewski    2010    9783540927938
45    Project Management Theory and Practice    Gary L. Richardson    2010    9781439809938
46    Project Management Tools and Techniques for Success    Christine B. Tayntor    2010    9781439816301
47    Project Management, Ninth Edition    Dennis Lock    2010    9780566087691
48    Project Manager’s Portable Handbook, Third Edition    David I. Cleland and Lewis R. Ireland    2010    9780071741057
49    Project Planning and Scheduling Using Primavera P6—For All Industries Including Version 4 to 7    Paul E. Harris    2010    9781921059339
50    Project Sponsorship—An Essential Guide for Those Sponsoring Projects within Their Organizations    David West    2010    9780566088889
51    Project Team Dynamics—Enhancing Performance, Improving Results    Lisa DiTullio    2010    9781567262902
52    Quick Quizzes for Project Managers    Barbee Davis    2010    9781935589105
53    Secrets to Mastering the WBS in Real World Projects    Liliana Buchtik    2010    9781935589044
54    Strategic Project Portfolio Management—Enabling a Productive Organization    Simon Moore    2010    9780470481950
55    Successful Project Management, Third Edition    Trevor L. Young    2010    9780749456634
56    The Complete Project Management Methodology and Toolkit    Gerard M. Hill    2010    9781439801543
57    The Little Black Book of Project Management, Third Edition    Michael C. Thomsett    2010    9780814415290
58    The One-Page Project Manager for Execution—Drive Strategy & Solve Problems with a Single Sheet of Paper    Clark A. Campbell and Mike Collins    2010    9780470499337
59    The Project Management Tool Kit—100 Tips and Techniques for Getting the Job Done Right, Second Edition    Tom Kendrick    2010    9780814414767
60    Value Optimization for Project and Performance Management    Robert B. Stewart    2010    9780470551141
61    Achieve PMP Exam Success—A Concise Study Guide for the Busy Project Manager, 4th Edition    Margaret Chu, Diane Altwies and Janice Preston    2009    9781604270181
62    Agile Portfolio Management     Jochen Krebs    2009    9780735625679
63    Bringing the PMBOK® Guide to Life—A Companion for the Practicing Project Manager     Frank P. Saladis and Harold Kerzner     2009    9780470195581
64    Building A Project Work Breakdown Structure—Visualizing Objectives, Deliverables, Activities, and Schedules    Dennis P. Miller     2009    9781420069693
65    Business Driven PMO Setup—Practical Insights, Techniques, and Case Examples for Ensuring Success    Mark Price Perry    2009    9781604270136
66    Communications Skills for Project Managers     G. Michael Campbell     2009    9780814410530
67    Construction Project Management—A Practical Guide for Building and Electrical Contractors    Eddy M. Rojas (ed)    2009    9781604270020
68    Delivering Successful Projects with TSP and Six Sigma—A Practical Guide to Implementing Team Software Process    Mukesh Jain     2009    9781420061437
69    Effective Project Management—Traditional, Agile, Extreme, Fifth Edition     Robert K. Wysocki     2009    9780470423677
70    Goal Directed Project Management—Effective Techniques and Strategies, 4th Edition    Erling S. Andersen, Kristoffer V Grude and Tor Haug    2009    9780749453343
71    Governance Frameworks for Public Project Development and Estimation    Ole Jonny Klakegg, Terry Williams and Ole Morten Magnussen    2009    9781933890784
72    Handbook of Research on Technology Project Management, Planning, and Operations     Terry T. Kidd (ed)    2009    9781605664002
73    Identifying and Managing Project Risk—Essential Tools for Failure-Proofing Your Project, Second Edition    Tom Kendrick    2009    9780814413401
74    In the Trenches with Microsoft Office Project 2007    Elaine Marmel    2009    9780735626164
75    Leading IT Projects—The IT Manager's Guide    Jessica Keyes     2009    9781420070828
76    Managing Project Uncertainty    David Cleden    2009    9780566088407
77    Managing Very Large IT Projects in Businesses and Organizations    Matthew Guah    2009    9781599045467
78    Planning and Scheduling Using Microsoft Office Project 2007, Revised 2009—Including Microsoft Project 2000 to 2003    Paul Eastwood Harris    2009    9781921059278
79    PMP—Project Management Professional Exam Study Guide, Fifth Edition    Kim Heldman     2009    9780470455586
80    Practice Standard for Project Risk Management, 4th Edition    Project Management Institute    2009    9781933890388
81    Program Management Professional (PgMP) All-in-One Exam Guide    Joseph Phillips     2009    9780071549271
82    Project Governance—A Practical Guide To Effective Project Decision Making     Ross Garland     2009    9780749453060
83    Project Management Workbook and PMP/CAPM Exam Study Guide, Tenth Edition    Harold Kerzner and Frank P. Saladis     2009    9780470278727
84    Project Management—A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling, Tenth Edition    Harold Kerzner     2009    9780470278703
85    Project Planning and Control Using Primavera Contractor Version 6: Including Versions 4.1, 5.0 and 6.1     Paul E. Harris    2009    9781921059254
86    Strategic Project Management Made Simple—Practical Tools for Leaders and Teams    Terry Schmidt     2009    9780470411582
87    Strategic Project Risk Appraisal and Management    Elaine Harris    2009    9780566088483
88    The 77 Deadly Sins of Project Management    Management Concepts     2009    9781567262469
89    The Essence of the PRINCE2—Project Management Method    Colin Bentley     2009    9780954663568
90    The Handbook of Project-Based Management—Leading Strategic Change in Organizations, Third Edition    J. Rodney Turner    2009    9780071549745
91    The Program Management Office Advantage—A Powerful and Centralized Way for Organizations to Manage Projects    Lia Tjahjana, Paul Dwyer and Mohsin Habib    2009    9780814414262
92    The Project Success Method—A Proven Approach for Achieving Superior Project Performance in as Little as 5 Days    Clinton M. Padgett    2009    9780470455838
93    Value-Driven Project Management    Harold Kerzner and Frank P. Saladis    2009    9780470500804
94    A Guide to the Project Management Body Of Knowledge (Pmbok® Guide), Fourth Edition     Project Management Institute     2008    9781933890517
95    Breaking Through the Project Fog—How Smart Organizations Achieve Success by Creating, Selecting and Executing On-Strategy Projects    James Norrie    2008    9780470840719
96    Construction Extension to the PMBOK® Guide, Third Edition    Project Management Institute    2008    9781930699526
97    Construction Project Management—A Practical Guide to Field Construction Management, 5th Edition    S. Keoki Sears, Glenn A. Sears and Richard H. Clough    2008    9780471745884
98    Cost and Value Management in Projects     Ray R. Venkataraman and Jeffrey K. Pinto     2008    9780470069134
99    Earned Value Management Using Microsoft Office Project—A Guide for Managing Any Size Project Effectively    Sham Dayal    2008    9781932159981
100    Effective Communications for Project Management     Ralph L. Kliem     2008    9781420062465
101    Essentials of Project and Systems Engineering Management, Third Edition    Howard Eisner     2008    9780470129333
102    Executing Data Quality Projects—Ten Steps to Quality Data and Trusted Information    Danette McGilvray     2008    9780123743695
103    Fundamentals of Effective Program Management—A Process Approach Based on the Global Standard    Paul Sanghera    2008    9781932159691
104    Global Engineering Project Managment     M. Kemal Atesmen     2008    9781420073935
105    Impact on Project Management of Allied Disciplines — Trends and Future of Project Management Practices and Research    Young Hoon Kwak and Frank T. Anbari    2008    9781933890456
106    Managing Offshore Development Projects—An Agile Approach, First Edition    Venkatesh Upadrista     2008    9781897326688
107    Managing Project Risk—Best Practices for Architects and Related Professionals     James B. Atkins and Grant A. Simpson  2008    9780470273814
108    Mastering Project Management, Second Edition     James P. Lewis     2008    9780071462914
109    Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3) – Second Edition     Project Management Institute     2008    9781933890548
110    Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices—P3O    The Office of Government Commerce (OGC)    2008    9780113311248
111    Practical Guide to Project Planning    Ricardo Viana Vargas    2008    9781420045048
112    Program Management Professional (PgMP)—A Certification Study Guide with Best Practices for Maximizing Business Results    Craig J. Letavec, Steven C. Rollins and Diane C. Altwies     2008    9781932159868
113    Project Management for Designers and Facilities Managers, Third Edition    Howard G. Birnberg    2008    9781604270112
114    Project Management That Works—Real-World Advice on Communicating, Problem Solving, and Everything Else You Need to Know to Get the Job Done     Rick A. Morris and Brette McWhorter Sember     2008    9780814409886
115    Project Manager's Handbook—Applying Best Practices Across Global Industries     David I. Cleland and Lewis R. Ireland (eds)     2008    9780071484428
116    Project Scheduling and Cost Control—Planning, Monitoring and Controlling the Baseline    James C. Taylor    2008    9781932159110
117    Real World Project Management—Beyond Conventional Wisdom, Best Practices, and Project Methodologies    Richard Perrin    2008    9780470170793
118    Situational Sponsorship of Projects and Programs—An Empirical Review    Lynn Crawford et al.    2008    9781933890463
119    The Complete Project Management Office Handbook, Second Edition     Gerard M. Hill     2008    9781420046809
120    The One-Page Project Manager for IT Projects—Communicate and Manage Any Project With A Single Sheet of Paper    Clark A. Campbell     2008    9780470275887
121    The Standard for Portfolio Management, Second Edition    Project Management Institute     2008    9781933890531
122    The Standard for Program Management, Second Edition     Project Management Institute     2008    9781933890524
123    The Strategic Project Leader—Mastering Service-Based Project Leadership    Jack Ferraro     2008    9780849387944
124    Guide to Project Management—Achieving Lasting Benefit through Effective Change    Paul Roberts     2007    9781861978226
125    Linking Project Management to Business Strategy     Aaron J. Shenhar, Dragan Milosevic, Dov Dvir and Hans Thamhain    2007    9781933890333
126    Post-Project Reviews to Gain Effective Lessons Learned     Terry Williams     2007    9781933890241
127    Practical Project Risk Management—The ATOM Methodology    David Hillson and Peter Simon     2007    9781567262025
128    Practice Standard for Project Configuration Management    Project Management Institute     2007    9781930699472
129    Practice Standard for Scheduling     Project Management Institute     2007    9781930699847
130    Program Management for Improved Business Results    Dragan Z. Milosevic, Russ J. Martinelli and James M. Waddell    2007    9780471783541
131    Program Management Professional (PMP) Examination Specification     Project Management Institute     2007    9781933890128
132    Project Manager Competency Development (PMCD) Framework, Second Edition     Project Management Institute     2007    9781933890340
133    The Human Side of Project Leadership    Allen C. Amason et al.     2007    9781933890258
134    The Top Performer's Guide to Project Management    Susan Benjamin     2007    9781402209659
135    Tools for Complex Projects    Kaye Remington and Julien Pollack    2007    9780566087417
136    Choosing Appropriate Project Managers—Matching Their Leadership Style to the Type of Project    Rodney Turner and Ralf Müller     2006    9781933890203
137    Napoleon On Project Management—Timeless Lessons in Planning, Execution, and Leadership    Jerry Manas    2006    9780785212850
138    The Human Side of Project Management—Leadership Skills     Qian Shi and Jianguo Chen     2006    9781933890197
139    Value-Based Metrics for Improving Results—An Enterprise Project Management Toolkit     Mel Schnapper and Steven Rollins    2006    9781932159257
140    Management Extra—Project Management     Elearn     2005    9780750666831
141    Project Risk Management Guidelines—Managing Risk in Large Projects and Complex Procurements    Dale Cooper, Stephen Grey, Geoff Raymond and Phil Walker    2005    9780470022818
142    Advanced Project Management—Best Practices on Implementation, Second Edition     Harold Kerzner     2004    9780471472841
143    Managing Stakeholders in Software Development Projects    John McManus     2004    9780750664554
144    Project Management for Business and Engineering—Principles and Practice, 2nd Edition    John M. Nicholas    2004    9780750678247
145    Risk Management in Software Development Projects    John McManus    2004    9780750658676
146    Successful Project Management, Second Edition     Kate Williams     2004    9780750664196
147    A Hacker’s Guide to Project Management, Second Edition    Andrew Johnston    2003    9780750657464
148    Managing Smaller Projects—A Practical Guide, Second Edition    Mike Watson     2002    9781895186857
149    The Project Manager's Toolkit—Practical Checklists for Systems Development     David M. Shailer     2001    9780750650359

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Monday, September 5, 2011


Starting Up: Ideas and Opportunities for Projects
Establish the current reality:
?    What happens now?
?    Is there an accepted process?
?    Is the process or procedures written down anywhere?
?    Who owns this process?
?    Is responsibility at each step clearly defined?
?    Is responsibility shared at any point in the process?
?    How do the process procedures interface with other processes?
?    Where are the decision points in the process?
?    Who has authority to take decisions at each step in the process?
?    Why is a change necessary now?
?    What are the difficulties now that have promoted the need to change?
Identify needs and requirements:
?    What changes are identified?
?    Are these just a 'quick fix' or are they a quantum leap?
?    What does the customer believe is needed?
?    Do all customers agree?
?    Have the fundamental needs been separated from wishes?
?    Are predetermined solutions being proposed already?
?    Has the end users' perception of needs been identified?
?    Have the needs been listed as primary, secondary and hopes?
?    Has this list been prioritized and agreed with the customer?
?    Can you turn the information into a clear statement of needs?
?    Can you use the needs analysis to derive a statement of requirements?
?    Does the customer agree with your statement of requirements?

?    Why is the project necessary?
?    What is the overall problem or opportunity being addressed?
?    Has the current situation been explored and understood?
?    Has a statement of requirements been derived from the needs list?
?    Is this an old problem?
?    How long has it existed?
?    Who wants to change things?
?    Have previous attempts (projects) been made to address this problem?
?    What information exists about past attempts to fix things?
?    What assumptions have been made?
?    How does the project align with current organizational strategy?
?    Does the project form part of a programme of projects?
?    Will the project form part of a chain of linked projects or a programme?
?    What is the timescale of the project?
?    Is there a business-critical date by which it is necessary to get the results?
?    Will the results be of value to another customer or another part of the organization?
?    Have all the needs been identified and analysed?
?    Has a statement of requirements been agreed?
?    Are there predetermined solutions?
?    What are these solutions?
?    Is there a best option and a least worst option?
?    Is there enough time to explore more than one option?
?    Are there known checkpoints for project review?
?    What specialized skills are expected to be required for the project work?
?    Are the project's primary deliverables known?
?    What does the customer need, want and hope to get from the project?
?    Can these deliverables be clearly defined and specified?
?    Does the end user agree with these deliverables?
?    What does the end user need, want and hope to get from the project?
?    What are the project's perceived benefits?
?    Have these benefits been quantified?
?    Has a project budget been fixed?
?    Is capital investment necessary?
?    Has a capital expenditure request been initiated?
?    Is time used for project work to be measured and costed?
?    How were the costs derived?
?    Has a cost-benefit analysis been carried out?
?    Has a financial appraisal been carried out to establish payback?
?    Have the project's constraints been identified?
?    Is there a time constraint for all or part of the deliverables list?
?    Are there any financial constraints (eg manufacturing cost, project cost)?
?    Is there a financial payback constraint?
?    Are there any known technical constraints (eg new or untried technology)?
?    Are there known resource constraints?
?    Is the project team to be located together on one site?
?    Is part of the work to be carried out at another site?
?    Is part of the work to be carried out by sub-contractors or suppliers?
?    Is there a preferred list of approved sub-contractors and suppliers?
?    What existing specifications and standards are to be applied to the project?
?    Are there any legal constraints that might affect the project work?
?    Are there any security implications?
?    Are there any operational constraints (eg access to production areas/ test equipment, etc)?
?    Are there any health and safety constraints?


?    Identify your project sponsor.
?    Identify your customer.
?    Confirm needs and expectations.
?    Identify the end users of the project's outcomes.
?    Start to build a relationship with these people.
?    Determine the project's constraints.
?    Agree a date for a kick-off meeting.
?    Select your core team.
?    Hold an initial team meeting.
?    Explain the project's background and context.
?    Explain the overall objectives of the project as you know them at present.
?    Confirm the team's understanding of the objectives.
?    Share your own enthusiasm for and commitment to the project.
?    Listen to what the team members have to say.
?    Answer their questions if you can.
?    Promise answers to questions you cannot answer now.
?    Explain the project phases and the process you intend to use.
?    Empathize with their concerns about other commitments
?    Explain your intention to have separate one-to-one meetings with each team member.
?    Agree dates for the first of these meetings.
?    Set up an initial programme of team meetings, say for the next four weeks.
?    Explain the kick-off process and confirm their attendance at this meeting.
?    Open the project file.
?    Prepare for the kick-off meeting with the team.
?    Hold the kick-off meeting and record outcomes in the file.

Organize your project file into sections for the different stages of the project; for example:
?    Business case and amendments by the PST.
?    Project definition:
o    project organization;
o    stakeholders;
o    project brief.
?    Project plans and schedules:
o    project risk management;
o    responsibility charts;
o    schedules;
o    work plans.
?    Project execution and implementation:
o    project status reports;
o    changes to project plans;
o    action plans for corrective action;
o    cost control data;
o    supplier and sub-contractor data;
o    records of meetings.
?    Project closure:
o    closure checklist;
o    handover checklist;
o    acceptance process;
o    follow-on and post-project responsibilities;
o    project evaluation data;
o    completion report.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

People Skills for Creating and Managing Change in Programmes and Projects. PROJECT MANAGER as Effective Change Agent.

The successful and effective implementation of change employs specific skills that have traditionally been owned by a select group of technical professionals. This is no longer true, and the skills of managing change are essential for everyone in an organization at all levels.

Change always requires a cultural shift for everyone:
?    introducing new processes;
?    finding new and better procedures and working practices;
?    throwing off the old habits to create a more dynamic and flexible organization;
?    being able to react effectively to market forces;
?    searching for ways to maintain competitiveness;
?    searching for ways to seek new horizons.

To carry out such change requires some special skills. Project management has long provided a structured and organized way to achieve success every time, but has been buried deep inside technical and engineering departments as part of their exclusive domain. Unfortunately, it is not surprising that project management has been regarded as too complicated and as a result is frequently misunderstood and very poorly practised in other parts of the business.

Change in today's world affects everyone. You face a changing environment both in your private life and in the business world in which you work. Some of these changes are beyond your control, such as the weather, which not only changes with the passing seasons, but seems to be changing in its behaviour with the passing years.
Not all change is so automatic and uncontrolled. You can choose to create change in your life by taking carefully framed decisions. You choose to change jobs, move house, or adopt a different lifestyle as an expression of your personal desires and as a means of satisfying your current needs.
Treat the change as an opportunity and a challenge. Selected change usually creates positive behaviours and constructive responses, whereas imposed change often generates open and latent opposition, negative and critical responses and even open sabotage. These consequences must be effectively managed for a successful outcome.

Programmes and projects are concerned with creating and managing change in an organized and structured manner. Proven tools and techniques are available to you but you must also focus on the impact on people. A successful outcome is a direct measure of your ability as an effective change agent.

You are faced with dealing with the fears that act to restrain the change process. At the same time, you demonstrate your enthusiasm and excitement at the prospect of achieving advances in the way your organization operates in the current and future business environment. This demands a wide range of people skills besides those traditionally associated with managing projects. You need to be able to:
?    select the right team members with appropriate skills;
?    recognize and understand the different types of personalities you must manage;
?    set clear objectives and align people's personal goals;
?    create a real sense of responsibility and obligation in the project team;
?    manage a team as an interactive unit;
?    create a sense of commitment in the team members, some of whom may have little interest in the results expected;
?    coach, guide and actively support the individual team members;
?    explain decisions and keep everyone informed of progress;
?    establish a sustaining environment for effective dialogue and feedback in the team and with other teams and their management;
?    manage upwards to influence senior management and other line managers;
?    manage third parties: contractors, suppliers, consultants;
?    understand the real needs of the end users of the results;
?    satisfy the internal customer;
?    handle conflicts effectively;
?    demonstrate a concern for continuous improvement, questioning traditions and always seeking a better way of doing things;
?    take a holistic view – seeing the bigger picture, understanding where the change fits into corporate strategy, other project activity and expected future changes.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Four Purposes of Virtual Collaboration. The Challenges of Virtual Collaborative Work System (CWS).

The Challenges of Virtual Teaming

Collaboration, defined as "the collective work of two or more individuals where the work is undertaken with a sense of shared purpose and direction that is attentive, responsive, and adaptive to the environment", is a robust tool for getting things done, creating change, and extending resources to their furthest imaginable limits. More and more, organizations are relying on collaborative work to integrate and align their human resources, better tap into the external environment, adapt a flexible stance, and ultimately achieve a competitive advantage in the fast-paced global marketplace.

We are witnessing a conscious transformation of the structures, values, and business practices that drive contemporary organizations to encourage and support collaboration on many levels. A collaborative organization supports both informal and formal forms of collaboration, uses teams to accomplish work when needed, and is designed to support collaboration. Broader still is what has been referred to as a collaborative work system (CWS), defined as systems "in which a conscious effort has been made to create structures and institutionalize values and practices that enable individuals and groups to effectively work together to achieve strategic goals and business results".

A CWS may range from a colocated team to a global, multiorganizational strategic alliance. Collaboration knows no boundaries. The terrain of the contemporary workplace is now characterized by independent knowledge workers who are collaborating together across the globe. Indeed, one of the major challenges facing organizations is how to connect these knowledge workers, regardless of distance, time zone, or national culture, to form temporary or permanent business alliances, formalized virtual corporations or virtual teams, or more informal virtual working relationships and knowledge exchange systems such as virtual communities.

By using a myriad of new technologies, companies have found ways for people to work together on essential tasks while staying put. Knowledge of virtual communication tools like e-mail, online chat, instant messaging, and Web conferencing is quickly becoming necessary for workers. Thus, the very meaning of collaboration has been extended, and such efforts are referred to as virtual collaboration. Virtual collaboration is about achieving the organization's desired results by focusing on goals and actions that could not be accomplished by working alone. Virtual collaboration occurs when people who are not colocated use communication technologies to work together and facilitate getting the job done. In sum, virtual collaboration is the process through which virtual teams get work done.

Like any conventional team, a virtual team consists of a group of people who interact to complete interdependent tasks and work toward a common goal. But instead of meeting in the same office, the team members work in different places, often at home, and in different time zones. They may never meet their coworkers face-to-face. Virtual teams are typically project- or task-focused groups. Team membership may be relatively stable (such as an established sales team) or may change on a regular basis (such as a project team). Members may be drawn from the same organization or several different organizations (for example, projects that involve external consultants or evaluators or strategic business pursuits sought by partnering organizations). Further distinctions can be made concerning physical proximity (whether the team members are colocated) and by work cycle synchronicity (whether the team members are in the same time zones).

In a virtual team, the task itself usually provides the initial motivation to work together across time and space. However, in order to keep working together successfully, more is often needed. A virtual team is more than a collection of individuals working in isolation. Virtual team members depend on one another to fulfill a common goal. As such, they need to be connected on both a task and interpersonal level because challenges in working virtually emerge in both domains. Task-related demands such as the planning and scheduling of work need to be balanced against interpersonal aspects such as a shared social context, expressions of trust, and a genuinely human interest in one another in order to maximize the overall performance of the team. Virtual teams often tend to evolve incrementally over time rather than spring into existence intentionally and fully formed. However, whether one consciously chooses to be part of a virtual team or finds oneself joining in a more informal way, the team is likely to exist for one or more of the following purposes:
•    To engage individuals on the team with the best skills and expertise for the work, regardless of where those individuals are physically located
•    To ensure twenty-four-hour coverage on a service, problem, or task by team members working across time zones
•    To reduce office overhead by hav ing team members work from home
•    To adapt an as-needed approach to scheduling human resources in order to save time or money, or both

Working on a virtual team may sound simple enough until one realizes that geographically dispersed members wholly dependent on technology make true collaboration, a difficult undertaking in any circumstance, all the more challenging. Many progressive companies have provided their workers with the technological capabilities to collaborate virtually, but they may not be aware of the training and support needed in areas such as decision making, communication skills, cultural awareness, and virtual meeting facilitation. Many have touted the upsurge of collaborative technologies that have made virtual collaboration possible around the globe—and with good reason: the business results of virtual collaboration can be dramatic.

However, before face-to-face interpersonal interaction is abandoned altogether, it is crucial to consider the challenges in setting up and sustaining effective virtual teams. From the work of these authors, six major challenges of virtual teams have been identified: distance, time, technology, culture, trust, and leadership. The first three—distance, time, and technology—are defining characteristics or givens of virtual teams. Distance and time represent discrete (measurable), bounded conditions that are dissolved through technology. The last three—culture, trust, and leadership—are created and sustained by the virtual team itself. Culture or cultural differences may impede or propel forward virtual team success and occur at many levels concurrently (such as nationally, at corporate headquarters, and within dispersed units of a particular organization).

Trust and leadership, and their more negative derivatives, are present or absent in varying degrees and forms (for example, distrust) in brick-and-mortar and virtual organizations alike and can be considered dynamic, organizational, cultural realities. In virtual teams, distance, time, and technology are necessary but not sufficient for high performance. An awareness of cultural differences and potential connections among members, as well as commitment to development over time of member trust and leadership capability, are the real building blocks to high-performance virtual teams.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Profitable Gold Commodities Investment

Spot gold rose to an all-time high of $1,667.50 an ounce today. Gold prices are trading sharply higher recently and keeps finding new catalysts to rise and hit another new all-time record high of $1,700.

European Union sovereign debt crisis is much more serious than the U.S. debt woes and it could deteriorate into a worldwide debt contagion. Weak U.S. economic data means continued loose monetary policy and perhaps even more stimulus. This pressures the dollar and in turn supports gold. The prospects for a downgrade of U.S. debt could leave some investors worry about holding the dollar. As a result, the U.S. dollar index is trading lower, which means bullish for the price of gold. South Korea's central bank will spent more than $1 billion in its first gold purchase in more than a decade, joining the trend among central banks to diversify their foreign reserves amid global growth uncertainties.

There are another reasons for the current rush into gold commodities. The world economic, financial, and political trends and conditions have turned hostile since 2000, and consequently stocks and bonds have not done so well over the past five or six years, the decline in the dollar’s exchange rate, and insatiable Chinese demand for every commodity under the sun.

Gold commodities can stand up as equals to stocks and bonds as investments. Commodities traditionally were disparaged by financial markets, which saw them as more volatile, less profitable, and too complex to analyze. They had no book value per se, compared to stocks, and no yield like bonds. But commodities have gained new respectability and desirability as assets, and as an asset class comparable to stocks or bonds. Fund managers and others have realized that commodities are not necessarily more volatile than stocks, and that investing in commodities can be just as profitable as investing in stocks and bonds. Commodities can compete in terms of capital appreciation potential, generating profits themselves. They also are useful as elements of a diversified portfolio, helping to smooth out the risks of a portfolio of stocks, bonds, and other assets without significantly limiting the capital appreciation potential.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Five Attributes of Authority: Decisiveness, Accomplishment, Persuasiveness, Courage, Inspiration. How Leaders Project Power through Presence with Leadership Presence.

You can define leadership presence as the presence of authority imbued with a reason to believe. What matters to us most is authenticity. That cannot be faked, but it can be amplified.

Leadership presence is more than style, more than communications. It is the projection of the leader’s authentic self. That authenticity is made up of a person’s beliefs and convictions and reinforced by behavior. That is, it’s not “talking the talk” that matters, it’s “walking the walk” that makes the difference. It is what leaders do to convince people to believe in them as people and as leaders.

Leadership presence is the outward manifestation of leadership behavior. While leaders project their leadership, followers authorize it with their approval. Leadership presence is “earned authority.” Those two words are important. Earned means you have led by example. Authority means you have the power to lead others. While organizations confer management roles, it is up to the leader to prove himself or herself by getting others to follow his or her lead. A leader must earn the right to lead others. Title is conferred; leadership is earned.

While leaders project power through presence, it is followers who authorize it with their approval.

Leadership presence, the power to lead, does not come automatically with rank. While many CEOs and generals may hold heavy titles and their presence may seem lofty, the proof of their leadership is in what they accomplish. People get put into high positions and often don’t succeed, a phenomenon documented by Dr. Laurence J. Peter in his 1969 book The Peter Principle. Such failures often stem from a lack of leadership presence. These managers fail to build rapport with their people. They assume it is “my way or the highway” and do not accept the counsel or opinions of others.

One of the clearest indicators of leadership presence is the silence that occurs between leader and follower. No pomp. No circumstance. Just being there. This leadership presence occurs on the factory floor when a new hire is schooled by a veteran. You find it on the battlefield in the quiet moments between officers and their troops. And you find it in boardrooms when the CEO has the support of her team. No words are spoken. There is a quiet sense of trust that has developed among all parties.

While trust is a reciprocal act between leader and follower, it starts with the leader. He must trust his followers by giving them a stake in the enterprise as decision makers and contributors. Followers repay that trust by demonstrating their faith in the leader. That trust contributes to leadership presence in its most pure form and it is something to which all leaders can aspire.

Leadership presence is a powerful attribute of a leader; it amplifies and strengthens a leader’s ability to connect with people he or she must lead

Five Attributes of Authority

Authority Does Come from Title, but it is earned through actions. Inept executives fritter away their authority by their behavior, taking the counsel of none but themselves and failing to listen and learn from others. Authority is what holds leadership promise together. With it, you can lead; without it, you might as well do something else.

Many leaders come to authority naturally; they embrace it totally and wield it like a sword to demonstrate their power. Others adopt it reluctantly, seemingly shirking from the responsibility. In truth, neither approach is wholly right nor wholly wrong. Leaders must embrace command, but they must recognize that their power stems from the people they lead.

There are five attributes of authority as it applies to leadership:
1.    Decisiveness. Leaders need to exert their ideas. No Hamlets (“To be or not to be”) wanted. The ability to make tough decisions is crucial to a leader’s ability to lead. We remember General Dwight D. Eisenhower making the decision to launch a full frontal assault of the Normandy coast on D-Day. His final decision was short and to the point: “Okay, we’ll go.” But the decision was the culmination of years of military buildup of men and material as well as days of deliberation over weather conditions. By contrast, another former general, Alexander Haig, serving as secretary of state, jumped to a press podium in the White House on the day in March 1981 when President Ronald Reagan was shot and exclaimed, “I am in control here, in the White House.” Bad move. The vice president, the speaker of the house, and president pro temporare of the Senate were very much alive and, according to the Constitution, ahead of him as potential successors. Rash decision making can be disastrous. You can take time to consider the options and deliberate the conditions and consequences, but ultimately you must pull the trigger on the decision.

2.    Accomplishment. Leaders must, plain and simple, get things done. We want our leaders to do what they tell us they will do. When the CEO of a public company promises a new product or service as well as increased earnings and profits, he must deliver. Otherwise we tend to doubt his sincerity. Is he preening for the cameras? Is he angling for another job? Or is he clueless as to the real situation? Some executives are notorious for blue-sky predictions about production and revenues. All too often the situation changes and they end up with egg on their faces. Contrast their dismal performance with that of executives who know how to mastermind a turnaround. Very often by working together with the existing employees, these executives can right the ship by reducing debt, cutting costs, and improving earnings. Getting things done is essential to authority; it the raison d’être of leadership.

3.    Persuasiveness. Operating in a vacuum—or in a closed office—does not a leader make. No leader of an enterprise larger than a three-person operation can do much by himself. Sometimes autocratic executives will get into trouble because their heavy-handed management style turns people off. Then when the heat is on and they need the support of others, they will often find no one standing behind them. All leaders need the cooperation and collaboration of others. Therefore, leaders must bring others to the cause; that’s a key measure of leadership. Essential to that mantra is an ability to communicate the objectives in ways that encourage people to buy into the process. You need to make the objective not only tangible but possible, as well as good for the enterprise. Some tasks are onerous—layoffs, closures, and terminations—but if they are done for the good of the organization, and ultimately the people in it, then they must be done. It is up to the leader to make the case.

4.    Courage. Leaders must hold to the power of their beliefs and convictions, provided they are ethical, honest, and in keeping with organizational goals and beliefs. Standing up to bully bosses requires guts. Standing up to shareholders who want job cuts for short-term profits also takes guts. Standing up to public perceptions that seem reasonable but are unrealistic and uninformed also requires a measure of guts. But courage is essential to leadership. We know well the stories of soldiers in the field who perform acts of heroism to save their buddies. What we do not know so well is the courage all soldiers display when they go out on dangerous missions day after day. Police officers and firefighters, too, put themselves in harm’s way regularly. Similarly, people in business demonstrate courage by blowing the whistle on illegalities or standing up for a fellow worker who is being harassed. Some even question the ideas of a senior leader. We do not celebrate courage enough in our corporate culture, but we should because it can be the backbone that individuals need to stand up for themselves and their beliefs. As Tadashi Kume, former executive of Honda Motor Company, once said, “I tell people that if the [company] president says a crow is white, you have to argue that a crow is really black.”

5.    Inspiration. Ever look up in the sky at night and see the moon on a crisp, clear night and wonder what it was like up there? Mankind has been doing that for time immemorial. In 1969 that look skyward became reality for two astronauts who set foot on the moon. Ten more astronauts followed their steps in subsequent years. Their quest inspired a nation and along the way revolutionized computer technology as well as many other things. Entrepreneurial ventures have something of a moon-shot quality to them. These ventures, be it a new software company or a technology outfitter or a service provider, require a healthy dose of dreaming to succeed. People who work for those ventures feel jazzed when they come to work; they are inspired by doing something new, different, and beneficial for their customers and themselves. All of us want to belong to something greater than ourselves, and inspiration is essential. Authority coupled with a sense of aspiration bonds people to the leader.

Decisiveness. Accomplishment. Persuasiveness. Courage. Inspiration. These attributes reinforce your authority to lead.

While authority is essential to leadership, it does not come automatically with rank or position. Authority, like trust, must be earned, but here’s the difference. Trust requires time to develop. Authority, especially in most hierarchies, is assumed. People will grant you permission to lead. They want you to lead; they want you to succeed. Why? Because your followers have a vested interest in the organization; your leadership is vital to their success. That said, authority can be lost. Before that happens, it is important to understand the nature of authority and how it develops.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Seven Major Functions of a Mentor. Coaching and Mentoring Employees to Achieve Their Very Best

The Seven Major Functions of a Mentor
Depending upon the nature of your relationship, now what? What do you do, exactly? What are some of the ways that you can provide assistance? The following are seven different functions you can perform to build the mentoring relationship:
1.    Become a confidante. This guideline is really critical. Regardless of what roles you play, you still need to establish a climate of trust in which Mentees feel comfortable sharing private information with you.
How do you become a confidante? Listen when the Mentee has a problem. Identify and verify their feelings. In other words, give feedback on what they’re experiencing. You can encourage and praise them when you see behaviors that are appropriate. You can also create an atmosphere where Mentee can learn from their mistakes and talk about them openly with you, knowing you are not going to sabotage that trust. They can share their failures and their successes, and you can share from your experiences.
Becoming a confidante to someone helps build their self-confidence and offers encouragement and friendship. It inspires them—they know there is someone they can go to. How do you become one of the first people they think of when something happens to them? They just can’t wait to tell you, positive or negative.
2.    Offer tailored advice. This is across the board, based on whatever their current goals and plans are. Take some time to discuss what their career and personal goals are. What are the skills they need? Maybe they have some training needs. Maybe they need some assistance to advance to the next step in their careers.
Set high expectations on their performance, and see how you can provide some growth experiences. Help determine what is in the way of them being able to accomplish that next step or level. Could you assist them in removing some obstacles, perceived or real? Where can you step in and break down some of the barriers to performance?
3.    Help with navigating the organization. This one is also critical. How do you understand the leadership, the culture, and what the rules are where you work if no one’s going to teach you how to play the game? The “organization” doesn’t have to be the same department: It can be an industry, a particular profession, a client group, or informal networks within the organization.
Introduce your Mentee to your connections throughout the organizations, affiliations, and associations in your life. Help them become part of the inner workings and part of the corporate network. You know how to deal with corporate politics, but this person often doesn’t. Help them understand some of those smaller details that, perhaps, could be missed.
Build power through the use of influence for this person. Assist them in learning the company’s customs. When you help the Mentee navigate like this and share knowledge of how to behave in social and political situations, they quickly understand how to get things done. When you know how an organization works, you can be a lot more efficient and effective, so stand by them, and help them in these critical situations.
4.    Assist in networking. Good mentoring also builds connections between the various levels of an organization, helping the Mentored individuals grow into their roles and providing opportunities for further growth while humanizing the Mentors themselves. This contributes to a valuable esprit de corps that improves morale and, at least obliquely, productivity. Part of this strategy involves the Mentor exploring the Mentee's frustrations and worries, and suggesting ways to overcome them without necessarily fixing them directly. This is especially crucial in a supervisory coaching position, where the whole point is to maximize the employee's potential and, again, their productivity.
This requires effective communication in both directions. The Mentor should make it clear that candid feedback is not only encouraged but required. In particular, the Mentee must be willing to ask questions, especially when something they need to know is unclear, and must always be self-aware, receptive, resilient, and willing to grow. The mentoring relationship is, and must be, a collaborative one.
5.    Become a source of knowledge, training, and wisdom. You’re sharing from your experience, getting the Mentee to step back and consider alternative views and different options. We tend to be the middle of our own universe, and everything and everyone revolves around us. This shows that person that, “Hey, there’s a much bigger world out there and different things that you need to consider.”
Because you are staying current in your field, you can increase the technical competence of another. You can share critical knowledge. You can help the Mentee understand how change occurs and provide appropriate information when needed.
When you offer wise counsel, challenge them, and give them different ideas, the Mentee can develop a set of best practices for how to approach a given problem. You’ve assisted them in understanding other people and different viewpoints by encouraging the exploration of options.
Teach by example, and act as their sounding board. The Mentee will really benefit by having you to help them work through different ideas, recommendations, pros and cons, and alternatives. You can even say, “If you were me, what would you do?” “Here’s what I would do.” “Have you considered this?” “Have you thought of this angle?” “Perhaps here’s an additional aspect to incorporate.” Pushing back as they wrestle with problems can expand their world view, their thinking, and how they approach problems.
6.    Encourage them to seek their own answers. Instead of telling the Mentee precisely how to do something, the productive Mentor asks, "How do you think you should handle this?" The results may be surprising, and they're always worth exploring— not just because they stretch the Mentee's abilities and get them to thinking on their own, but also because they help inculcate the concept of personal accountability. Will some Mentees fail to rise to the challenge? Of course, but even such results are productive, since they can illustrate shortcomings in the Mentee's training and abilities.
Help the Mentee identify strengths and weaknesses. While I'm not a big fan of wasting too much time on your weaknesses (it tends to be more productive to hone your strengths), certain minimal levels of performance are expected in any position. Constructive mentoring is one way that an employee learns what they need to improve upon, and how they need to go about doing so.
7.    Motivate them to stretch and grow. Of course, you can’t make them do anything, but you can provide an environment where they are self-motivated to take the necessary risks and initiative and to become an independent learner. Challenge the Mentee to examine any unproductive strategies or behaviors. Basically, you’re strengthening their values. You’re encouraging their character growth and helping them develop moral standards.
As the Mentor, you must confront negative intentions, poor attitudes, and bad behaviors. You must help the Mentee shift his or her mental context. You have to encourage professional behavior, and the only way you can do this is by triggering self-awareness in the Mentee by giving criticism of performance if it’s necessary.
Don’t hesitate to give feedback that feels like criticism, because, in a way, that disciplinary function is necessary when you see your Mentee going down the wrong path.


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