Sure Way to Kill Productivity

On teamwork (2)

There is one sure thing to kill productivity in your team, and that is to meddle with their work.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t check on them, but meddling is a different thing. It is micromanaging, and no worker wants his boss breathing down his neck.

Best thing to do is to start the project right the first time. At the onset, establish the objectives and parameters, make clear the deliverables, agree on the results, and set the timeline. Then leave the team to work on it on their own. You meet with them and discuss the progress of the project based on the timeline set.

George S. Patton says it best, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”

Daily Prompt: Meddle


Discover Your Strength as a Leader

When you assume top position in your organization, it is so easy to get immersed in  firefighting. You get consumed by the desire to improve this, cut down on this, and do more of this, wanting all your ideas of how an organization should be run put in place. There is nothing wrong with this actually, especially if you see that there is much to be improved on.

The danger however is when you do not see the forest for the trees. Sometimes, too, you see only the process itself and not how it works.

As a leader these are things that you would want to watch out for.

Here is a fair warning, too:

strength as a leader

Managers who rely too much on their strengths may become hammers that see every problem as a nail. Over-forceful bosses can turn their subordinates into patsies; consensus-obsessed bosses can institutionalise dithering. It is not difficult to find examples of strengths-turned-weaknesses in politics. Barack Obama’s talent for lofty rhetoric has distracted him from the nuts and bolts of policymaking. François Hollande’s passion for being Mr Normal has rendered him too small for his grand office.

Read more…

What Do You Know About Marketing Psychology

It’s undeniable how modern technology shaped today’s society. You can see it anywhere, everywhere you turn, every person is on their phone either texting or updating their social media accounts. Which is why businesses have taken the battlefield straight to the people — and what better way to connect with your consumers than through social media.

You can see countless brands releasing campaign ads that are specialized to their target market to expose their brand and boost their sales. However, even the most clever campaign ad still has a hard time engaging consumers.

Why? It is because human behavior changes every minute. And as human life evolves and progresses, expect the complexities of human behavior to expand.

Interested to know more about how psychology affects marketing strategies of businesses?

Here’s an infographic by M2Social, a digital advertising agency in the Philippines, to further understand how your marketing strategy can tap the subconscious mind of people and engage them to your brand.

Marketing Psychology: Human Behaviour’s Influence on Social Media Marketing

5 Factors Quality Systems Fail

lean animation

Photo credit

PQ Systems lists 5 factors why quality systems fail that will likely lead to recalls.

  1. Following the old rule, “it ain’t broken, why fix it.” It happens when an organization has already a pattern of producing only good products over time, thus tends to overlook excess.
  2. Failure to understand variation in processes can lead to a failure to address out-of-control situations.
  3. Complacency with respect to training assures limited knowledge of process control.
  4. New leadership fails to assume the commitment to quality.
  5. Focusing only on profits and earning reports without regard to customer satisfaction can be a death knell for quality.

Read more…

5 Ways to Survive the Hump Day Challenge

My hump day challenge lately has been communicating through chat.

I have been working with remote teams for 10 years or so, and except for the first weeks that I did online meetings, I never had any problems with getting my message across.

I had Skype and GoToMeeting calls once or twice a month and chat conferences every day with team members, clients, and my former boss who spent most days of the year in the U.S. In those meetings, we would tick off the items in the agenda, address issues, resolve issues, and come up with resolutions… efficiently.

I can’t understand though why this has been my challenge of late. So, I list down the possible barriers of communicating efficiently with remote team members.

  1. Be prepared. Come to the chat/call with your reports, recommendations and notes. It will be good to be ready with your talking points. This will give each team member some guide to follow. If you are assigned to the meeting, email ahead the agenda so that the others can be ready for the meeting, too.
  2. Listen first before reacting. This works especially in chat. You know that time when all of you are trying to type all at the same time and hit the enter button at the same time, too? You have to listen first, meaning to read first what the other or others have written and then react accordingly. It helps a lot if you scroll up and review the conversation before butting in. In many cases, someone who is not listening and brings back a concern that has already been discussed disrupts the meeting.
  3. Clarify. Say it again, or even rephrase an idea to make sure that you get what the other person means before butting in. If you don’t do this, you either repeat issues and the meeting will go round and round. You’re lucky if you have a very good moderator.
  4. Ask questions. Like #3, ask intelligent questions. But before you do, do #2 first.
  5. Be open. One of my pet peeves is when a person insists on his ways or disagrees every step of the way… illogically. And believe me, there are people like that. Why not hear out an idea first, weigh its pros and cons, and if it’s not really far out, then by all means, agree to test the idea out. I understand those team members who are really thorough and would look at every side of the scenario. That’s totally fine.

What’s your process in doing calls with your remote team?

Take a look at this video. It somehow exemplifies what happens in a virtual meeting. XD

Perform GRC Actions and Controls for Principled Performance shared with me this.

All organizations must address the threats, opportunities and requirements by encouraging desired conduct and conditions and preventing what is undesired.

Proactive Actions and Controls




Establish a mix of proactive, detective and responsive actions and controls, supported by strong analytics based on strategic objectives, risk appetite and capacity, and risk decision-making guidance established by leadership.

Read the full illustration here: OCEG-GRC-Perform-Illustration

November is World Quality Month


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For this quality month, I cannot emphasize enough that quality is a mindset.

Let me share with you snippets of an email interview with The Daily Star, Subir Chowdhury discusses with Amitava Kar what quality really means.

How do you define quality?
Quality is a mindset that impacts everyone. It is more than a process or programme to be implemented by workers on an assembly line. It impacts every decision we make, and isn’t just limited to the workplace—it impacts us at home, work and school. It is the difference between being “good enough” and the best you can be. Quality is everyone’s business. The problem for many organisations and even individuals is that they think quality is someone else’s job.

Which management tool works the best?
Programmes and processes such as Total Quality Management, Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma, and ISO can make a difference. But they aren’t enough. There are many organisations that have deployed these programmes successfully. However, other companies have failed. The fact that two companies, virtually identical, can implement the same processes but see vastly different results has shown me that these processes are actually part of the problem. For many organisations, managing quality means addressing problems as we become aware of them. As a result, we stop being proactive and focus on being reactive—and the problems snowball. It is not enough to fix problems after we notice them–the real challenge is to catch them before they happen.

You once said quality is also the relationship between people in an organisation. What did you mean?
People who really “get” quality understand it’s more than a programme. They have a caring mindset, and are truly exceptional. Quality is not just a process to them, something they check off their to-do list before going home for the evening.

When I think of the people who have this mindset, I think of the hotel manager who drove two hours in her own car, on her own time, to return a credit card to a Japanese guest boarding a flight to Europe. I think about the hydraulics engineer who volunteered to parachute into a wilderness area to fix one of his company’s new water pumps. I think about the shipping clerk who shouldered past jokes and ridicule from fellow employees as he carefully packaged every order as crisply and neatly as possible.

I’ve seen with my own eyes the kinds of leaders who inspire. These are managers and executives who walk the talk of quality—at every moment, with every encounter, and at every level of the organisation. For the transformation of the organisation to be complete, every employee needs to embrace this mindset.

Read the full transcript HERE.