What Is Involved in Change Management?

Discover the Core Principles Behind the Change Management Process Change management is an important part of HR process but the individual nature of how change affects people within an organization is simply not as easy as adopting a standard model and sticking to it. Change is an unsettling thing, especially if it affects their professional…

Discover the Core Principles Behind the Change Management Process

Change management is an important part of HR process but the individual nature of how change affects people within an organization is simply not as easy as adopting a standard model and sticking to it. Change is an unsettling thing, especially if it affects their professional lives on a day-to-day basis so it must be handled confidently and sensitively for the change itself to be effective. Before you go about devising a personalized model that works for you and your employees, it is very important to ask yourself: who is affected by the change, how they will react and how you can get them 'on board' to make the change and its prospective achievements as fruitful as you expect.

The Principles of Managing Change

The first step of change management is actually recognizing that change is needed and pinpointing who in particular needs to implement change. The implementation of change may not necessarily involve everyone in the organization, in fact it may just need to happen in one department or with one individual, but in order to manage the change correctly it is vital to highlight this and anticipate the reactions the introduction of change may cause. Predicting these reactions will dictate exactly how the change will be implemented and how you guide members of your team in understanding the change and its outcome. Nominating a leader of change can help with the implementation process, this person or multiple persons will essentially be the ambassador of the change and be the 'go to' person for all questions, which should be able to answer clearly, confidently and consistently.

The Leader of Change

As the leader of change within your organization, it is important to first get into the minds of the people around you. This is important to make everyone happy. Change management is after all a psychological process of helping people understand the change and anticipating the reactions of the people involved. The key to the whole process is communication; many companies get this wrong by choosing to communicate with their staff through bulletin boards via email or the company notice board and not encouraging face-to-face interactions between top level management and team members. Not only will face-to-face communications make it easier to get people involved in the implementation of change, it will also help you understand their feelings and reactions on a more personal level.

Adapting To Changing Technology

There are now many different pieces of technology which were not around a few years ago. A great example of new technology is the introduction of tablet computers into the computer and laptop market. Before tablet computers a company did not need to worry about having its website available on a mobile device, as web…

There are now many different pieces of technology which were not around a few years ago. A great example of new technology is the introduction of tablet computers into the computer and laptop market. Before tablet computers a company did not need to worry about having its website available on a mobile device, as web browsing on smart phones was still a low percentage of the search market. Now however, websites need to be mobile device friendly to display properly on a tablet computer, meaning companies need to adapt their website or risk losing out on sales from those browsing their website on a tablet computer.

A lot of businesses do not think they need to adapt to this technology however, it has been proven that consumers and businesses alike use tablet computers to browse the internet and order products and stock. Wholesalers need to be particularly aware of how retailers browse for stock, as they will lose business quickly if they do not alter their website to allow new technology to access it.

More technology is being developed which many people are not aware of. A great example of this is augmented reality glasses. These glasses have a special sensor on one of the eyes which allows people to control what they're viewing on their glasses. There is no limit to what people can do with these glasses, from browsing the web to making calls and watching videos. Companies can take advantage of this new technology by developing a way to include advertisements for their business in real life which will pop up for those wearing these new glasses. The advantage of using augmented reality for advertising is that companies can use the data of a person, specific to their devices, to play a personalized advertisement based on what they like.

Social networks are becoming more important for businesses with each year, and soon people and companies will be making their business decisions based entirely from research sourced from social networks. People like to interact with the companies they use, and seeing those companies actively being social on different networks is something they really respond to, as it makes them look a lot more approachable.

More advanced technology will be developed, and businesses should always be looking for a way to break into that new technology to benefit them. Newer and better games consoles for example, open up a unique opportunity for businesses to advertise during forced game breaks that new consoles will implement. These adverts can be interactive and allow gamers not only to have a much needed break from their games, but also give them a chance to think about eating or drinking, if a company supplies such a product.

Unlimited Potential of Motivation

Decades, centuries, limitless efforts, substantive education, and billions of dollars have all coalesced and endured to attempt to explain the core of motivation. The concepts of motivation are still not fully understood because the important and necessary resources and energies are focused on the wrong solution. Employee motivation is the difference between organizational success such…

Decades, centuries, limitless efforts, substantive education, and billions of dollars have all coalesced and endured to attempt to explain the core of motivation. The concepts of motivation are still not fully understood because the important and necessary resources and energies are focused on the wrong solution.

Employee motivation is the difference between organizational success such as becoming part of the Fortune 500 or completely failing to end up obsolete. People are the life-blood of organizations and success is determined on getting the optimum performance from your organizational work.

The quest for the source of motivation has been similar to the search for the fountain of youth. People have invested their entire life's efforts in an attempt to conceal this hidden treasure and have failed to reach the final mile. Programs and systems have been created since the beginning of industrialization which has been focused on acquiring the maximum efforts of their workforce. These programs have squeezed the juice of work performance from their workers, but have them dramatically dragged the horse to water. Dragging does not guarantee that the horse will drink the water and in order for the horse to drink the water, the horse has to want to do it.

People are similar in this regard because no one likes to be forced to do something. The person may enforce the demanded response to temporarily satisfy the external pressure, but the performance will be average at best, and the employee will be focusing their motivation on finding another job rather than improving their work performance for their company.

Motivation is the internal drive to do something. External forces will engender an action response, but this response will not become automatic and repetitive. The action response will always have to be mitigated by an external force, and without the external force, the action response will cease to occur. This equates to a zero value and nothing will have been gained from the process except smoke and mirrors.

This has been the outcome relating organizational processes relating worker motivation. Internal motivation has not been geared towards obtaining more success for the organization, but rather on obtaining the external reward that is offered for their action response. There is no drive to complete the task for the sake of completing the task. The drive or action response is to achieve the external reward and there is no action response without the external reward. When the external reward becomes common, then a greater reward is needed to create the action response. This means that the cost of motivation will consistently increase with time onto infinity.

The internal synergy has never been properly appropriated to garner incredible organizational growth, and companies who have touched the surface of this unlimited resource have quickly relinquished their gains because they have failed to understand the source of their achievements.

Motivation is internal and external stimuli are opposites, a simple dichotomy. An opposite is an opposing force that ends the engagement in an equal sum. To boost motivation – an internal force – one needs to leakage another internal force to mediate the motivational process. There is one focus that goes unidentified in most organizations and this unlimited resource is rarely utilized.

The most powerful force for motivation is our inner-self, our psychology, our inner voice, our social identity, and this combined force seeks one thing more than anything else and that is psychological growth.

Psychological growth for employees is the fuel that drives and sustains organizational growth. Draining the fuel of psychological growth shuts off the engine of organizational growth which sends the organization into a tailspin of failure.

All life yearns to evolve, and after basic needs have been met, people seek out psychological growth through achievement and personal / professional development. Employees want their work to be meaningful, they want their status to be respected, and they want increases in responsibility in order to feel the associated achievement. They want to be included in the social group and they want their peers to think highly of them. This internal drive is the core of motivation and job enrichment is directed at unleashing these internal factors in order to drive synergistic work performance.

In order for organizations to realize a synergistic leap of success they need to maximize their employer's motivation which is driven by the need for psychological growth. The job has to provide enrichment for the soul and increase the employee's inner wealth. A psychologically wealthy employee is a productive employee because psychological growth is contagious and addictive. It takes a great amount of energy to develop and start the fire, but only a steady amount of fuel needs to be added in order to keep the fire roaring. The fire of motivation provides substantive benefits and returns on investment which explains why centers, limitless efforts, substantive education, and billions of dollars have been spent attempting to conceal this hidden force of unlimited potential.

Change Management and Neuroscience

Why is change often difficult to implement in organizations and how can we use neuroscience to manage the process better? This question has become even more key in recent years with the global economic downturn forcing change upon more companies than ever. At the same time, advances in the field of neuroscience have taught us…

Why is change often difficult to implement in organizations and how can we use neuroscience to manage the process better?

This question has become even more key in recent years with the global economic downturn forcing change upon more companies than ever.

At the same time, advances in the field of neuroscience have taught us more about how the brain works and how it affects our thoughts, responses and behavior.

Fear of Change

“Fear of change” is not just a throwaway phrase. The brain associates change with threat and, as such, the mind and body then automatically go into threat response mode.

Neuroscientists have shown that, under threat, the amygdala area of ​​the brain is more active; This tiny area of ​​tissue is the “fear center” of the brain and activity here restricts blood flow to the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for the higher thinking processes.

Simply receiving information about possible change or even having thoughts that conflict with each other (as is common when we experience changes in our environment) is enough to produce this “threat response.” We may equally call it “stress” because, after all, stress is a natural response to threat, common across the animal kingdom.

Basically, most of us just react better to consistency and the “norm” and it is a comfort to us, much like food, shelter and safety.

Looking at change on this human level, it is understandable because it is so hard to implement across large numbers of people in organizations.

Typical Change Management Approaches

Given that we know more about why people can react poorly to change, it should follow that the approaches to manage change should have improved. That would increase the likelihood of successful outcomes.

However, this is not the case. Attempts at change in many organizations still fail to achieve their intended outcomes. It results in a lot of wasted effort and time, and can even mean loss of valuable team members.

Most change management approaches are outdated and do not build the principles and lessons from neuroscientific research into their models.

A typical one is Lewin's 3-Step Change Model:

  1. Unfreezing – where we begin to think differently about the existing reality or process
  2. Movement – where we head towards a new equilibrium, seeing the problem from a new perspective
  3. Refreezing – where we consolidate the new beliefs and behaviors and fully integrate them into our daily work

Managing Change with Neuroscientific Help

It's unreasonable to expect change to be totally smooth. We are talking about managing change rather than totally dispelling fear of it (which, as we've stated, is natural).

Given that conflicting thoughts are enough to instigate a threat response, leaders should first expect this threat response from team members; then they should work to minimize it.

Firstly understanding that the threat response is perfectly normal, leaders should be sensitive to it and learn to support those experiencing it.

To minimize it, they can work with individuals to add more positive thoughts to balance out the negative ones that are producing the resistance.

What could we add to Lewin's model above, to incorporate some of the insights of neuroscience?

  • In Step One (Unfreezing) – we would need to accentuate the positives in the change with the hope of balancing the resistant forces out. This would help team members focus on a new and positive challenge rather thanwell on the past and draw attention away from the automatic threat response.
  • In Step Two (Movement) – we could teach team members the skills of reappraisal, to help them recognize and balance out their feelings towards the change, as well as enhance their job performance.
  • In Step Three (Refreezing) – we know that the more we adjust to new ideas and perform new processes, the more they become hardwired in our brain. Once they become part of our routine, they then become a source of comfort to us.

This all helps, of course, but it does not guarantee successful change; there are other factors at play, apart from the mere concept of change, which can inmentioned renewed conflict and resistance.

These factors include reputations, status and hierarchy – all of which can cause bruised egos; lack of information supplied to team members which creates confusion; perceived exclusion from the change process which can make people feel hurt or helpless; loss of team relationships which makes them feel isolated; and a perceived lack of fairness due to decisions not being fully explained.

Each of these are topics for other articles in themselves; This overview is just intended to show how neuroscientism can have a positive impact on organizational change management .

How To Ensure Your Contractor Tax Is Paid

As a small business owner, you need to be careful about many issues. Many small business owners in the UK have recently become victims of interest rate swap missing by the banks, which has led them to lose large amounts of money. You have to look out for things like this, and also me very…

As a small business owner, you need to be careful about many issues. Many small business owners in the UK have recently become victims of interest rate swap missing by the banks, which has led them to lose large amounts of money. You have to look out for things like this, and also me very aware of small business tax laws.

There are a lot of companies, especially within the IT industry, that use contractors to perform specific tasks on individual projects. These can be short-term, repeating one or two months, or up to 2 years. Contracts that last longer than two years are viewed suspiciously by the Inland Revenue. However, there is always a problem on how the individual will deal with their contractor tax obligations.

There are three methods in which a contractor normally works, all of which have advantages and disadvantages. They can work on the purely self-employed basis, form their own limited company, or work through an umbrella company.

A Self-Employed Contractor

If the contractor opts to work on a self-employed basis they will have to keep all their financial records covering expenses, equipment, etc. as well as raise their own invoices to be sent to the customer. It is normal in these situations to employ a bookkeeper or accountant. The drawback of working on a self-employed basis is that a lot of companies are only willing to hire contractor's via limited companies. This is due to the tests that the HMRC use to ensure that the contractor is not a disguised employee. This can have serious tax implications to all parties concerned.

Contractor Tax Obligations as a Limited Company

It is quite easy for a contractor to form a company, in fact they can buy one off-the-shelf. There are some costs involved, but there are some methods to reduce the amount of contractor tax paid by means of taking dividends rather than a high salary. Due to the complexities of this way of working accountancy fees have also got to be paid. As the HMRC are still dubious on whether you are actually a contractor you will still have to pass their tests, and failure could be expensive.

Using an Umbrella Company to Sort Your Contractor Tax Affairs

This option of working as a contractor is becoming very popular. An umbrella company will take a contractor as an employee and rehire them out for work. The contractor will only be an employee for the duration of the contractor tax , but during this time all of their tax matters will be sorted out for them. This means that they do not have to worry about the ever-changing regulations that being a contractor entails. The umbrella company will manage their expense claims, their National Insurance and other contractor tax requirements, and then pay a salary on a weekly or monthly basis.

Printing Policies: Allies in Fighting the Crisis

How, Who and where are some of the questions that a Printing Policy can provide an answer and a solution to. In other words, a Printing Policy gathers the rules that establish which is the best and most intelligent way to print and, consequently, save costs and be much more environment friendly. A study concerned…

How, Who and where are some of the questions that a Printing Policy can provide an answer and a solution to. In other words, a Printing Policy gathers the rules that establish which is the best and most intelligent way to print and, consequently, save costs and be much more environment friendly.

A study concerned corporate printing conducted by KYOCERA Document Solutions in 2008 – the official start date of the economic crisis- concluded that businesses could save up to 25% with an adequate Corporate Printing Policy. Companies that have not acted on this matter yet only have to multiply this percentage by four to obtain the amount of unnecessary expenses they are making.

The reason behind this is that most companies let their workers manage printing issues. According to KYOCERA's survey, eight out of nine companies do not know the exact total cost of printing in their organization. In other words, only one out of nine companies knows how much they spend on printing. In general, businesses have never really focused on the issue of printing, and they are still neglecting it thinking that it is an indispensably necessary cost, when the truth is that it can be drastically reduced.

To obtain an efficient Printing Policy, the first step is to go through a consulting process of printing costs to determine how much money is being spent. Secondly, as a result of the data obtained, the current situation of the company regarding printing costs should have been studied to detect the areas to be improved. Finally, a series of recommendations is given to help design a list of printing rules based on the detected needs.

Common and basic rules

Some of the basic rules for obtaining an immediate reduction in printing costs are: printing emails through a printer tray with recycled paper; disabling color printing in certain departments; setting time ranges and limiting printing to specific departments or users, etc. Apart from these measures, companies can save even more using multifunction equipment that allows them to print, photocopy, scan images and send or receive by email any type of document, all with the same device. Likewise, using adequate print control software to control who prints, what is being printed and why it is printed is another way of saving. If on top of this, the entire process -including physical components, consumables, etc.- is externalized, the cost reduction will be even more notorious.

With the goal of being more competitive, some companies have already started a process to limit their printing costs, which turns applications that help employees print within defined parameters into an absolute necessity.

Apart from this advice, experts provide some more recommendations, such as turning to a specialized document software provider to reduce the risk of errors, and sharing the positive results obtained with employees, so they are fully aware of the positive economic effect, as well as of the reduced environmental impact achieved by these green practices.

Technical aspects .

Corporate Printing Policies are also the first step to reach the thought after 'office of the future', where paper has a minimal presence.

Fortunately, ICTs are great allies in achieving a paperless office. As such, companies developing document software technology have a great role to play in this evolution. There are a lot of tools in the market that enable companies to create high-quality documents that can be generated, distributed and stored electronically, and to print only the necessary documents. The technologies related to document management are evolving at great speed, and each year more efficient and environment friendly machines and new software products that optimize document processes appear in the market.

Furthermore, when printing we should also avoid wasting energy, apart from paper. Each company should have printing servers where users can view the documents before printing them. For example, at times, a worker may receive a file in an unusual format and decide to print it, while he might only need to read some pages or determined values.

Having a server where documents are redirected so they can be viewed is essential, as every employee will be able to know exactly what he needs to print. This would be especially useful for large companies with an extensive office network.

Evidently, a Corporate Printing Policy should be completed with an effort to raise the workers' awareness for a project of these characteristics to prosper. In this sense, the coexistence of paper and electronic documents looks unavoidable, but, who knows, the crisis may speed up the transition process towards the 'office of the future'.

Quoted resources: KYOCERA Document Solutions

Wanted: Turnover Activists

Years ago, like some of you probably, I thought that staff turnover was an unfortunate cost of doing business. It never occurred to me that I could and should do something about it. Further, I thought that it was someone else's fault. I accused it on a lack of funding or the fact that other…

Years ago, like some of you probably, I thought that staff turnover was an unfortunate cost of doing business. It never occurred to me that I could and should do something about it. Further, I thought that it was someone else's fault. I accused it on a lack of funding or the fact that other people (like the state) were able to pay people more than I was for essentially the same work. So rather than look inside my organization for areas of improvement, I pointed the finger at external situations that I believed under my turnover rate.

Turnover undermines everything your organization is trying to do. Yes, some turnover is inevitable and probably desirable. But the conclusion that It totally wastes money and makes your service much less than what it could be, is unavoidable.

Turnover is a manageable problem; it can and should be maintained at an acceptable level or reduced. To continue with turnover of over 15% without a program to reduce it is a challenge to leadership that must not be neglected.

So, if your organization has a turnover rate over 15%, your leadership team must start talking about this and sharing ideas about what to do. Do some discovery. Look at where turnover is happening. Is it through the organization or in particular work units? Does most of the turnover happen within units managed by certain supervisors? When is turnover happening; after six months, one year, 18 months … exactly when? Set a goal that by the end of 2013 you want to reduce turnover by 5% and determine what you will do to make it happen. You can not just hope that it will happen. You need a plan, not wishful thinking.

When you are successful at reducing turnover, your organization will change for the better. Here are some examples of what life will look like with lower turnover:

1. Your person budget will be on target. Overtime cost will decrease as well as the cost of hiring replacement staff.
2. Morale will be improved. Working overtime burns out staff. For awhile the extra money is great; later they just want to go home and sleep.
3. Supervisors will actually be able to supervise. They will not be filling vacant positions.
4. Organizational activities and initiatives can be launched because staffing is adequate.
5. You can spend available funds on needed enhancements rather than enriching your temporary temporary staffing agency.
6. The number of critical incidents and operational mistakes will be reduced because more staff are fully trained and experienced.
7. Your clients and customers will love seeing familiar faces and be happier with your service.
8. You will gain a reputation as “the place to work” in your community.

If you already have a turnover reduction plan in place, congratulations. Pursue it aggressively. Be an activist about it. Make it a priority.

Most of Us Have What It Takes – We Are Just Not Willing to Do What It Takes!

A few years ago I had the opportunity to attend a presentation by Anthony Robbins. The event was supervised of a full day of speakers and, as someone who enjoys speaking; I was thrilled to watch some true professionals at work. I have listened to hundreds of speakers over the years, and to watch Anthony…

A few years ago I had the opportunity to attend a presentation by Anthony Robbins. The event was supervised of a full day of speakers and, as someone who enjoys speaking; I was thrilled to watch some true professionals at work.

I have listened to hundreds of speakers over the years, and to watch Anthony Robbins was like nothing I had ever witnessed. He brought such raw energy to the stage that I could instantly see how he has been able to create a huge business around his personal energy.

More than his presence, what taught me was the unique way in which he engaged and challenged the audience. He asked the audience to consider what was holding them back from achieving their goals. A woman in the front row volunteered her story about how the responsibility of taking care of her children had made it impossible to achieve her goals. As the woman explained her situation, every person in the audience felt empathy and understood her difficult position.

Anthony Robbins' reaction surprised me. He suggested to her to consider that within the realm of possibilities there was a way to manage her responsibilities as a parent and achieve her goals.

That no matter how hard, how difficult, how much of a burden she carried, that if her dreams meant enough to her she would find a way to reach them and still take care of her children. He confronted her with the idea that she had been actually using her children as an excuse not to move forward. Frankly, it was an awkward moment to witness but the woman admitted the truth in his statement.

I think everyone in the audience felt a shared sense of guilt about not realizing their own dreams.

We all have dreams! We want to have the best salesperson or grow our business or make our start-up into something real. These are great goals but without plans and without the commitment to do whatever it takes, those dreams will never be realized.

We live in a society that tells us that we can have it all: a great career and business, and plenty of time to enjoy the fruits of success with our families and loved ones. This is a lie. Great success requires great sacrifice.

Most successful salespeople spend evenings preparing prices and Sunday nights planning the upcoming week. Many company owners spend sunny weekends in the office doing paperwork. Drive through any business park on a sunny, summer afternoon and you will see single luxury cars in front of warehouses and factories – owners and managers at work.

I think that many of us are guilty of thinking that we are prepared to do whatever it takes to reach our dreams as long as “whatever it takes” fits neatly into a 9-5 schedule.

Professional athletes give up their childrens in a quest for success. You may want to ask yourself what you are prepared to give up to achieve your dreams. If you are prepared to do “whatever it takes” then what about your team? Have you surrounded yourself with like-minded people?

Winning requires a lot of us. Most of us have what it takes – we are just not willing to do what it takes!

Time Management Tips for Business

If you are a business owner it would be natural for you to think about the ways through which you can make your workers to give them their best performance at work. Devising an action plan or setting goals at work with consideration of time management can bring really advantageous for your working environment. Good…

If you are a business owner it would be natural for you to think about the ways through which you can make your workers to give them their best performance at work. Devising an action plan or setting goals at work with consideration of time management can bring really advantageous for your working environment.

Good working performance reaps more benefits and profits. Your team will complete their tasks within time, only if you make them aware of the benefits of managing time.

This would also let you share those difficulties you have to go through during your business affairs. But the main problem is how you can do that?

How to get more out of your workers?

If you are paying your employees you would definitely want them to work full of their capabilities and for this you'll have to employ the time management programs for them. This would make them learn how to get more work done in less time.

How to get your workers on this path?

One way is to make schedule to arrange a meeting of all employees with you every week. During this meeting ask them to discuss freely with you the problems they face with deadlines and time management and then give them solutions and provide them useful tips. In this practical way it would be easier for them to learn time management without any more work stress. These meetings would also let you interact with them more freely and will help them being more productive at their work.

Once the employees are aware of how to do time management, devise a schedule in which you and your employees talk about how much, realistically speaking, time is needed for a specific project.

This will improve your scheduling and you'll also know that depending on your projects' amount and their deadlines, how many employees you'll need. Do not forget, hours will always remain 24 in a day.

How to execute your worker's time management methods?

Staying organized and setting up projects every day at the same time will help your employees to be well-equipped for good programs. Time management program will let your business run more efficiently at a smoother pace. But always be realistic and patient with your expectations from your employees and always set achievable goals.

Let everyone be sincere about the timing of their projects, once it is done you'll see the program is working for you. Keep in mind that only telling time management benefits to your employees would do no good but let them about the importance by experience.

Now that you are aware of the benefits of time management program and how to implement it, I am sure that now it would be more obvious to you that all day talking and no action can never take your business to achieve its goals.

So take action and introduce this program to your employees, you'll never regret this decision.

Small Business Change and Why It Can Be So Difficult

Why is it some businesses are whippet quick at making moves to adjust to market conditions and others seem rooted to the spot they're in? Why is it some see the value in change and others resist it at every opportunity? I think it's probably less of a mystery than it appears to be. I…

Why is it some businesses are whippet quick at making moves to adjust to market conditions and others seem rooted to the spot they're in? Why is it some see the value in change and others resist it at every opportunity? I think it's probably less of a mystery than it appears to be. I think if we examine the leadership of an organization we can pretty much ascertain how that group's going to react to upheavals.

And even though it seems I'm headed toward an indictment of those that resist change, we all do, some just more than others. And that's not really my point here. My point is to illustrate how anyone running a company, a group, a department, can identify those forces that help effect change and take it from there.

The whole process is interesting as when one analyzes it inevitably parallels to one's own experience appear. And in reality we all change daily whether we recognize it or not. As the old saying goes we change when the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it. So we all change, some to just seem to embrace the process for whatever reason and some are just less rooted in the habitual behavior. So let's look at the traditional Four Steps of Change.

Number one is Denial . This is the most important phase as if this can not be acquired no change can be effected. Let's face it, if you do not think you have a problem or an opportunity, you do not. Perception in this case is indeed reality. Let's say your marketing program is not producing the results it should. You know it, everyone else knows it, but no one wants to come out and say anything as hey, you are the one who put it in place. So you try to make it work.

When you finally have that epiphany it's as if you've discarded something. Those around you have to laugh, or cry, as they've lived with the reality forever. I call this the “consultant syndrome”. Your employees can note a problem over and over. They can even issue a written report, all ignored. But let an expensive consultant come in and analyze the place and then deliver the goods. Now, now, finally, that idea gets a fair hearing and voila! Hey, everybody, we got a problem! This happens way more than one might think. Make sure your eyes are open!

Number two is Resistance . Okay, you've admitted to and identified the problem, now can you access your own and everyone else's resistance to change? This is where you might find some ridicule of changing, some not taking it seriously, to falling back into the same modes of thinking that helped you avoid it forever. But if the resistance can be defeated, you're on the way to change, baby!

Number three is Exploration . Here's where you and your team determine that if you're abandoning the status quo, then what are you abandoning it for? So you explore that new network piece of equipment, chain of command, new office layout, new website design, etc. You explore the alternatives to what you currently have. This is where the excitement builds as you and others start to see the possibilities in letting go of the familiar and moving forward with something better, something that advances the cause.

The fourth and final step is Commitment . Change is good. We like change now. Change bought us this new, fill in the blank. It's always a mixed bag to get a new computer. Lots of extra work getting it set up with passwords, learning the new features and all of that. Some people hate this procedure that we all face. But inevitably what happens? We learn to love and depend on what at one point was “new”. Now it becomes part of the landscape, the conventional wisdom.

So what's the take away lesson here? Pretty simple. Learn to embrace change. It happens whether we like it or not so direct that process to your benefit and feel the power. Change is, after all, your friend. Learn to see it like that and you'll become a living, breathing, Agent of Change.

Avoid The Collections Process And Keep Your Customers Buying From You

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the debt collections industry is growing faster than most US businesses. While economic conditions fuel some growth, increased demand for collections services is also due to a lack of sound receivables management practices in general. This is not criticism of US business. American business leads globally in product…

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the debt collections industry is growing faster than most US businesses. While economic conditions fuel some growth, increased demand for collections services is also due to a lack of sound receivables management practices in general.

This is not criticism of US business. American business leads globally in product management, marketing, distribution, and project management. American companies also recognize the need to outsource other areas of their business outside their core competencies. Truly effective receivables management often requires investment in skilled employees most companies would rather deploy on their core competencies.

A basic overview of historical AR data shows that debtors fall into one of four categories.

1. Reliable – This customer will pay from the first statement. They may even pay without a statement, but I do not recommend that approach.

2. Distracted – This customer will pay but they are busy. They forget and sometimes they need a reminder.

3. Disrespectful – This customer will pay but not until there is a consequence. This is why most customers, who pay in collections, respond to the first collection letter.

4. Professional Debtors – These customers never intended to pay. They need professional intervention to legally demand payment.

Only about 10% of people and companies fall into the third or fourth category. This means that up to 90% of all debt could be collected without legal action or bad debt write off. It is up to each company to explore inexpensive and customer sensitive methods to encourage debtors in the first two categories to send their payment ahead of others. After all, the first two categories are customers that can, and will, buy again when their current situation improvements, if they are treated with respect during their temporary cash flow challenges.

Collection agency costs are high and PR risks are unavoidable. Transferring customers to collections should always be the last effort to recover what may be unrecoverable by other means. The key to identifying truly recoverable debt, and potentially saving customers who could pay in full, is to execute an effective AR management process. This action can also foster good customer relations.

Effective AR management is more than sending statements and transferring customers to collections for non-payment. Two integrated processes that must be considered include 1) Basic invoicing, or point of sale, conditions and 2) Expert AR follow-up after invoicing. This latter process is a mission critical function called pre-collections, or soft-collections, and is available from companies who specialize in these services.

Common Basic Invoicing Conditions:

1. Consistently communicated terms and conditions of sales and invoicing

2. Immediate invoicing, prior to shipping, delivery, etc.

3. Small discounts for paying early, such as within 10 days of invoicing

4. Bonuses or discounts for accounts which sign up for automatic credit card or e-check payments monthly

Unique, Customized Pre-collection Actions:

1. Consistent, yet friendly reminders of approaching due dates as a courtesy, not a warning.

2. Quick, but gentle responses to missed payments, again as a courtesy.

3. A carefully customized, consistent pre-collection letter series offering assistance, not threats.

4. Friendly, scripted pre-collect phone calls, to reinforce the pre-collection letter series.

Every pre-collection action listed in the post-sale process above is positive for the customer, who is likely trying to meet obligations not avoid them. If these actions are well-designed, timely, and consistent, the customer is able to avoid a debt collection notice from an outside collections agency.

Most of the time, as statistics show, the slow paying debtor responds during the pre-collections process and never becomes a bad debt statistic. This not only saves money for the vendor company, but also helps the customer appreciate the value of a continued relationship with a vendor-partner who sees the benefit of helping their customers prosper.

Revenue Cycle Management for Medical Providers – It’s Not Just Billing and Collections!

The demand for effective accounts receivable management for medical practices has spawned a large market for services called Revenue Cycle Management (RCM). RCM properly addresses the complex regulations medical providers face to get paid for routine, or critical, health care services. To ensure cash flow in an industry where reimbursement is highly regulated, doctors and…

The demand for effective accounts receivable management for medical practices has spawned a large market for services called Revenue Cycle Management (RCM). RCM properly addresses the complex regulations medical providers face to get paid for routine, or critical, health care services. To ensure cash flow in an industry where reimbursement is highly regulated, doctors and dentists must employ people with specific RCM skills.

Effective medical receivables management is made possible through by contracting with competent professional companies. Medicare and the large insurance carriers pay for the bulk of the health care in the United States, about 65% – 70%. The other 30% – 35% comes out of the pockets of the patients. With the continued growth in High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) utilization, patient responsible balances are trending higher. Both of these components of accounts receivable need to be managed through a comprehensive and time sensitive process.

Medical receivables management does not begin after a patient's visit is complete, or even when the patient signs in for the visit. Effective RCM begins when the patient calls for an appointment and ends when the patient has paid any balances not covered by insurance or prior agreement with the provider.

There are five key components of RCM, and each is important to cash flow of your medical practice. They are as follows:

1. Insurance verification – When the patient calls for an appointment, the front desk should verify insurance coverage on line while the patient is on the phone. Co-pay amounts should be requested from the patient at check-in, before the patient ever sees a provider.

2. Claim Submission – The insurance claim, with proper codes for diagnoses and treatment procedures, is then submitted to the proper payer electronically through established standards of submission (EDI). If there are any errors in the claim preparation or submission process, flagged claims should be resubmitted as soon as they are corrected.

3. Payment Processing. When claims are paid, the primary payer (insurance company) will send a remittance advice, allowing the billers to post payments electronically and transfer any balances owed to a secondary insurance claim or to patient responsibility for timely payment presentment automatically.

4. Accounts Receivable Follow-Up – This is the key to effective receivables management. The provider should alert the billing office to denied claims, partial payments, and even claims which were error free but are still unpaid after a specified time frame. By prioritizing these unpaid claims by dollar amount, payer, and reason, the accounts receivable representatives can review and contact the payer (s) or patient (s) accordingly to ask for status or payment.

5. Patient Responsible Balances – Once all insurance payments have been tracked and applied to the claim balance, remaining balances should be billed to the patient by statement printing immediately and statements sent out immediately with request for payment. If no response is received within a specified time frame, a pre-collection letter series and / or phone calls should begin and continue until either payment is made, or the account is deemed ready for transfer to a collection agency for legal collection of a debt .

If these RCM steps are executed properly and consistently, the physician's AR days (the average time it takes for a claim to be paid) will be minimized, and an absolute minimum number of patient accounts will need collection agency involvement. Effective RCM assures both excellent cash flow and good patient relationships for all doctors who value their patients' repeat business as well as patient referrals.

What happens when you do not have the resources or expertise to effectively manage your Revenue Cycle Management process? It is time to contact the experts.

Get Off Your Back Side and Make It Happen!

Who is responsible for living your life? It is not anyone's responsibility except yours to live your life. Let's face it; life is busy enough running one life without the extra burden of making someone else decisions for them. Owning a business is a great responsibility, and with it comes a great happiness. Your focus…

Who is responsible for living your life? It is not anyone's responsibility except yours to live your life. Let's face it; life is busy enough running one life without the extra burden of making someone else decisions for them.

Owning a business is a great responsibility, and with it comes a great happiness. Your focus is about you being successful on Purpose. It is up to you, to make sure your actions are pushing you towards the achieving of your goals.

Now let me ask you:

“Is 2013 the excuse you were planning for?”

As last year drew to a close did you notice that so many people are talking about how 2013 is stopped to be the best year yet? Now read these questions and be honest with yourself. Remember, the only person you are fooling is yourself.

· What is the vision you have set for yourself?

· What is the vision you have set for your business?

· What are the goals you have put in place to ensure 2013 is the best year yet for you?

· What are you doing right now to ensure you are building your business to give you the lifestyle you want?

February is upon us, and we are heading into a year that will be unequaled.

Are you enjoying the new focus you have given yourself? It is about planning and setting your intentions for success.

This year's Success belongs to the risk takers:

· Not the ones who are playing it safe.

· Life can be perverse like that, the more security you seek, the less of it you have.

· Therefore, the more you seek opportunities for success, the more likely it is that success will be achieved and satisfies your desire for you to be successful.

There are many bookshops that have self-help books, each one of them loaded with ideas that you can use to be more successful. The fact is though:

1. It is not about advice

2. It is not about reading

3. It is not about waiting for success to turn up.

It is about motivation, however all of this is only beneficial if you can motivate yourself to take persistent, and continuous action in the direction you set with your strategic plan, which you set through the goals and your Vision.

The most important quality of success is: –

· Self-discipline: Self-discipline is the decision you make, it is the stand you take, it is using your abilities based on your character.

· It is your strength of character and will power – to do what you should do and what you know is right for you whether you feel like it or not.

Character is your ability to follow through on your promises after the enthusiasm you started with has passed or faded. It is not about what you learn that is decent for your future. What it is because, it is knowing that you can discriminate yourself to pay whatever price is necessary to complete your task and do this over and over again until you achieve your goals.

Now, if this is important to you, here is a quick exercise to move you forward if you are serious about getting the results you dream of for your business.

First, identify the biggest challenge / problem you face today that stands in the way of you achieving your biggest goal.

Second, ask yourself; “What is the question I need to ask that will change the results I need to move my business forward?”

Cheers

Transitions – An Organizational Challenge

Chief Executive Officers are leaving organizations at an alarming rate and their average tenure in positions is falling placing organizations at significant risk for prolonged states of transition. This ambiguity is bad for stock prices, employee engagement, and overall organizational performance. Businesses and organizations in these positions are at severe risk for poor performance and…

Chief Executive Officers are leaving organizations at an alarming rate and their average tenure in positions is falling placing organizations at significant risk for prolonged states of transition. This ambiguity is bad for stock prices, employee engagement, and overall organizational performance.

Businesses and organizations in these positions are at severe risk for poor performance and potential failure.

In a recent study by RHR International, over 86% of the new Chief Executives had no prior experience in the corner office. This personal transition further confounds the organizational transition that is taking place. Further, 72% of participants in the RHR study indicated that the time frame for new CEOs to prove themselves is less than two years.

In our 35 years of working with organizations, it is clear that organizations with the most success have essential ingredients in place that become even more critical at times of transition. These include:

• Clearly defined strategy – everyone at all levels, (including the board) understands where the organization is headed and where they fit into its success

• Organizational alignment – all employees pulling in the same direction for the most efficient and effective use of all resources.

• Senior team committed to strategic direction with ability to execute it – building on a foundation of trust, leaders understanding and using their individual and collective strengths

• Highly effective communication throughout the company – great organizations know that you can not over communicate and they find many ways to do that all of the time

A number of the essential elements to success that we see were also identified by The Corporate Board and in January 2012, The Corporate Board and RHR International survey 246 Board of Directors concerning their experiences with CEO transitions. They asked responses how effective their company had been during its most recent CEO transition. Interestingly, nine out of 10 rated their new CEO as effective in setting the right tone in communications and appearances, and almost as many (89%) said their new CEO was effective both in communicating a clear direction early on and in aligning with the board on strategy and goals (88%).

Similarly, 88% reported that their board and management were effective in making their expectations of the new CEO clear. 86% said their new CEO was effective at working to build a relationship with the board of directors early on, and nearly as many noted the same in regard to the new CEO's ability to understand and adapt to the company culture, address a pressing issue quickly , and establish and implement the proper business strategy. A slight dip in these numbers was noted when respondents were asked how effective the new CEO was at quickly getting his or her team up and running, with 76% garnering an effective rating in that category. When directors were asked which factors had the greatest impact on their company's most recent transition, the ability of the CEO and board to align on strategy and goals was selected most frequently as the key contributor to the success or failure of the CEO's transition, while the ability of the board and management to make their expectations clear was the factor noted by the second largest group of respondents. Interestingly, the new CEO's did not share the board's optimism, further reason to focus on communication and clarity.

Clearly, organizational success during times of transition lies with the synergy between organizational focus and the ability to communicate effectively across all levels of the organization. Understanding your individual communication styles and the ability to interact with others is an essential first step. If you are interested in understanding more about your communication style and how your behaviors may appear to others, follow this link to take a free copy of the profile that we use and recommend for those in transition.

Good Supervisors – Three Characteristics

There are many ways to describe the work done by competent supervisors. This article takes a look at a different level of description. What we will be discussing here are the personal characteristics, the temperament of good supervisors. Not long ago, in another article we discussed whether supervisors should be enforcers or teachers. That article…

There are many ways to describe the work done by competent supervisors. This article takes a look at a different level of description. What we will be discussing here are the personal characteristics, the temperament of good supervisors.

Not long ago, in another article we discussed whether supervisors should be enforcers or teachers. That article came down on the side of the argument which says that supervisors are first and foremost, teachers. It is their responsibility to help employees be successful … to do the right thing in the right way. No small task.

This will not happen if supervisors are inclined to be the “tough dude” and are there merely to catch people making a mistake and write them up as soon as possible thereafter. Unfortunately too many see that as their role and organizational culture often encourages them to act in exactly that way.

Some supervisor behavior is however a function of the temperament you were born with. Those who are committed to improving their work will understand their temperament and teach themselves to build on their strengths and keep their weaknesses under some control. Basically however, the temperament of good supervisors is built on the following characteristics:

1. Humility. Regardless of the problem, they do not assume that they have the answer. They are not about showing others how intelligent they are. They have learned how to listen. They do not jump in with conversation when there is silence. They allow ideas to come from others; sometimes from the employees they supervise.

2. Emotional control. This may seem similar to characteristic # 1 and in some sense it is. However, it is more focused to the importance of calmness and being non-reactive. Employees may be filled with anger, hurt, disappointment, frustration. Our job, as supervisors is to help the employee see their situation in more rational terms, so that new solutions may come to the surface.

3. Accountability / Commitment to Good Work. Does this characteristic surprise you? Here's the deal. It is not only possible, but necessary that a supervisor allow for feelings but at the same time, insist on the identification and a plan of action to deal with the issue. The supervisor response might go something like this, “I understand what you are telling me and the situation you describe is difficult. Accepting the situation, or feelings of the employee, does not mean that the supervisor's job is finished.

I hope that these thoughts are helpful as you think about the style of supervision in your organization.