Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas But No Sign Of The Kids

Merry Christmas!


Did Someone Steal All The Children?


I celebrated Christmas at my brother's house this year. First Christmas I've been in Australia for some years now and as I drove to his house, something started to puzzle me. No children to be seen anywhere.

In the course of our day celebrating, I brought this up at the table, and another guest confirmed that she'd noticed too. No kids where she lived either.

No noisy christmas carols blaring out, scarce movement on the streets at all. Not at all the scenes that I remembered from childhood, or even the childhood of my child. Where were the kids testing out their bicycles? Where were the kids tossing balls or hitting them with their new cricket bats, and ending up rolling onto the road? The memories that I associate with Christmas is kids playing and laughing (and the odd crying) testing out their new presents and showing them off to the other kids, and having a marvellous time.

Surely not every present given to children involves being cocooned inside the house?

What if that is the reason?

Have we really arrived at the place where there is nothing 'outside' for children to do any more? No adventures. No fresh air.

Worse... Are our kids going to lose the ability to self entertain and make fun for themselves without a screen in front of them?



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Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering


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Friday, December 19, 2008

It’s Not The Economy, Stupid. It’s You!




I’m going to let you in on a secret. Your accountant won’t tell you, your lawyer won’t tell you. This may not sit well with some readers, but the dirty little secret that advisors to business don’t say in public, and certainly don’t tell you... is that the biggest problem in many businesses, is not the staff, not the economy, not the landlord, not the blah, blah, blah. The single biggest problem issue in many, many a business is you, the owner.


Some examples to illustrate.

You have deadbeat clients owing you money 30, 60, 90 or even more days after the service?

It’s not them. It’s you.


The person whose job it is to contact late payers but hasn’t done it because they don’t like to pick up the phone?

It’s not them. It’s you.


Employees who consistently underachieve or fail to maintain a standard that you’re happy with?

It’s not them. It’s you.


Lack of money in the business to do the things the business needs?

That’s you.


Employees who aren’t as good as you?

You.


A business which falls in a heap if you aren’t there?

You got it.


You suppliers are cutting you off your stock purchases or giving you no special terms?

You again.


Customers complaining about their orders not being fulfilled, on time or correctly.

Yup. You again.


Staff who are doing work but you don’t really know what they do, or why they do it, or if it serves any purpose?

You know who.


Marketing that delivers a result that you don’t really understand what are the returns on investment?

Well, you get the picture.


There are more examples that I could list here, but by now, you get the idea. If you have things in your business that aren’t working at peak efficiency, then walk to the bathroom and look in the mirror, because that’s the culprit to blame. Just in these few (and common) issues above, we see lack of discipline, lack of systems, lack of courage, lack of policy, lack of proper procedure, and certainly lack of a vision and overall direction to the business, and goals for the stakeholders in the business to work toward. Poor management, in other words.


On the positive side (thank goodness there is a remedy to this!) you are also the key to correcting this situation. Only you can do it. It is your business, and your decisions, are what put you where you are... and only your decisions that you make from here on out, will improve (or exacerbate) your current position.
There is nothing wrong with making mistakes. We are all human, we can all do that. Where it becomes shameful – and stupid – is to keep doing what doesn’t work, and not attend to fixing the problem, while it can still be corrected. Allowing ego to get in the way of getting the help you need... the help THE BUSINESS needs to prosper... Now that would be stupid.






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Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering


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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Your Gift To Self



The days are flying by and the Twitterverse is full of
chitchat about things Festive.



This would be my gift to you.

As the big search goes on for gifts to buy, and ideas
on ways to indulge over the holidays, I am holding a
tiny candle out to Hope and wishing for all those who
are caught up in the gift-giving frenzy to take a little
time out and think about how they might give themselves
a gift for the new year.

The kind of gift that is useful not just for a day, but
for a lifetime.

What kind of gift would that be?

The gift that means that we learn more, understand more
fully, are able to get in touch with what is meaningful
to us, and adds to our resolve to achieve those things
that are truly worth striving for in life.

Investing the time and energy and resources (money) that
will allow us to improve our business skills, our
personal skills and develop the skills to enhance all
kinds of relationships that are rewarding wherever we go,
is a gift of the first order. A gift to self... and a gift
to all who enter our personal orbit.

Learn about yourself
Review your beliefs about what's important
Discover what are your core values
Let go of what holds you back
Discipline yourself
Do the right thing, for only the right reason
Encourage others
Get your life on track
Deal with what you've put off
Enjoy what you have
Eliminate that which you don't need
Understand that you are not who you were
Know that you can do more than you thought possible
Stop making excuses
Be the person you have the potential to be




Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering


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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Keep An Eye On Gran - Hi Tech Help


I was reminded again this morning how valuable technology has become in our lives, and in some unexpected ways, as I looked at Teddy Towncrier's blog on How Camera Saves Mother's Life - long distance! (See Herb's story).


Working with business owners who are in that Baby-boomer generation and facing the responsibilities and concerns of watching over parents in their twilight years, I know how worrisome it can be for them... and in practical terms the strain it can add to their burden, balancing the needs of their business, and their own lives, with overseeing care for elderly parents.

The idea of the Granny Cam is a brilliant example of how technology can improve communication channels with elderly parents, and allow an easy way to keep an eye on the wellbeing of those we love, even when we can't physically be there every day to check on them. The likely additional benefit - is that some will be able to continue to remain in their own treasured home, a little longer than might have been the case. Having watched my own mother move through the system of progressive aged care facilities, I know how important that is to maintaining dignity and wellbeing in our elderly.





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Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering


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Monday, December 15, 2008

Social Media - Follow Me To The Limit

So we build our social networks and gather a Following on our blogs and Facebook and MySpace and Twitter. Where does subscribing to a set of ideas, go over the mark of good sense?



Over on Gaping Void, some fans have gone to the extent of having images tattooed. Is this flattering, or a bit Over-The-Top (OTT)?

We've certainly progressed from having our favourite bands written in ink on our pencil cases as we did in school. At this point, it does make me wonder... "What Next?"

Shall we next be seeing notices of the children named "Tweet" or "Friend" to turn up online?







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Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering


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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Living Consciously




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Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering


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A Conscious Life




Reading a blog today on TeamCircle by member Brian Francis on the question Do You Eat Till You Feel Full? put me in mind of all the different ways that we can move through a day on 'autopilot' without paying the slightest heed to what we are doing, or feeling, or causing in the way of future problems we may be setting up for ourselves.

Some areas where we may be oblivious to our actions are:


Not knowing how to differentiate between feeling hungry, or feeling something else

Not having a mechanism that works to identify when we have had sufficient to eat.

Not having a mechanism that works to identify when we've had enough alcohol.

Not paying attention to the fact that we are eating when we are gobbling down food.

Not savouring the food that we eat. (There are no prizes for finishing first!)

Not noticing when people are trying to gain our attention.

Not listening, when we ask a question, for the answer.

Not noticing when our body is telling us we are putting on weight, or engaging in activities that are having a poor effect on our health.

Not attending to bills when they come in, or the rising amount we owe on credit.

Sometimes it is more subtle and can be an inattention to understanding what are our true core values, and creating our life around the principles that truly matter to us.

Other times, it is entering relationships that are not rewarding to us - or even contributing to the failure of a relationship to thrive, through inattention and self-serving actions and expectations.

A life is a terrible thing to waste. Sleepwalking through life is wasting the opportunity.

No wonder the Buddha was so moved by becoming Awake.









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Lindy Asimus
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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Be Ready For Innovation, Get Organized!


All the world is abuzz with questions about the economy, and for anyone in business, this in turn begs the question, "How will the current economic situation affect me and my business?" Interesting comment from Richard Branson on his blog about Innovation - A Driver For Business
that touches on this subject.

There is a thought that the current economic situation means that there is a different approach needed for the small business owner to keep afloat. In reality, while there is even more need to be clear on managing all the parts of the business effectively, spending well and eliminating waste, these are practical approaches that should be followed even in good times.

Spending money wisely in business, and ensuring that there is good measurement of the metrics that apply to the different sections of the business, are important keys that let us know that we are on track to achieving great results. But we need to do more than measure – we need good systems in place to ensure quality standards, consistency in delivery, and a degree of predictability. There is never a time that this is not important in business... though sadly, it is most frequently not practiced. Indeed it is very usual for the small business owner to neglect some areas that are quite critical to the well-being of the business, and all who work there, and of course, this is reflected in the profitability, and even the value of the business as a saleable asset.

In his article, Richard Branson suggests businesses should experiment and use adaptation to navigate the waters of this changing economic environment. I would agree.

But here's the rub.

In order to adapt it is helpful to have good knowledge of what it is that you do now. Knowledge of how you do what you do in your business - that everyone knows, and not just you the owner, hopes is how it is done! So how many businesses have good documentation for the procedures, and marketing and operations planned and scheduled in advance? How many have a systematic approach to hiring and managing their staff and the performance employees (and Management!)? Very few. Experimenting by any other name is testing, and good testing requires analysis of the results.

Innovating and experimenting are most important in order to keep relevant in a changing world. If you want to innovate, then begin by understanding and having a clear written process for everything that happens in the business, and ensure that the vital information that you need to run your business doesn't fly out the door with your next employee who leaves.

Tough times call for good management. Not 'crossing my fingers' management, which may have been enough to sail through the good times.

And of course, even good times, are better with good management.

Good management doesn't just happen without thought.

Neither do good profits.





Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering


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