There is no predictable correlation between intelligence and ethics, nor is ruthlessness necessarily an evil thing. And there is nothing like enforced, uninterrupted contemplation to learn to distinguish one from another….
— JAMES H. SCHMITZ
There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.— Colin Powell
… We will have to stay mentally alert and engage during a 50-year work life, which means knowing how and when to change with the work we do.
–HBR’s 10 musut Reads : The Essentials, page 43
Whether you work from home or commute to an office, there are good reasons to start the day early. There are some obvious ones like you are rested, you can get work done before other have an opportunity to interrupt or derail your day, or my all-time favorite, you are more creative because the emotions of the day’s office politics haven’t had time to get in the way.
Most mornings, hitting the snooze button a time or 10 feels a lot more enticing than catching the worm and getting to work early. However, the benefits of doing so far outweigh the drawbacks. Even if you aren’t a morning person, it might be worth considering an earlier start.
Here are a few reasons to consider getting to work early:
You get so much done
Where there are co-workers and clients, there are distractions. You have a full page to-do list for the day, but the digressions abound, (especially in the form of others derailing you), and suddenly it’s lunchtime, and you haven’t settled a single item. Before the official workday starts though, the office is quiet and calm, and the rapid fire emails have not begun, you are free to attend to some of your most pressing agenda items in peace.
You’re ready when the official day starts.
By the time the workday proper begins, you’ll be more than ready to roll. You’ll feel awake, grounded, settled-in, caffeinated. While most are still dragging, you’ll be firing on all cylinders. You’ll get more done, (and feel happier doing it), during those morning hours than usual. Otherwise, those first few appointments or meetings can feel like a bit too much, too fast.
It gives you a feeling of control.
There’s something about feeling like you’re ahead of the day that can really improve your sense of autonomy and control. Instead of trying to keep up, you’re setting the pace. Getting to work early helps you feel more in control of your day — and this boost can go a long way.
It gives you a chance to map out your day
Because the morning is a relatively quiet time, and because at this point of the day you have so many hours ahead of you, mornings are the best time of day to make plans. Taking this opportunity to map out your day, and your priorities can help you accomplish more in a more intentional way.
People will notice.
If you regularly get to work a little early, it’s almost certain that someone will notice. Most likely, it’s someone else who likes to arrive ahead of the standard work day — maybe a manager or even your supervisor. Seeing that you make a point to beat the rush will make an impression for sure. And, there’s no harm in that.
Early to bed and early to rise makes and [person] healthy, wealthy and wise
I encountered, what I will admit is a pet peeve today, which is why I’m writing this article. I needed contact someone whom I correspond with regularly, but I have no reason to call or be called by them. So, after checking my phone, went to their email thinking this would be a fast and easy way to gather the contact information. Well, not true. I did eventually gather the information and contact the person, but what a waste of time, which is time they are being billed for one way or another.
Example Signature Block
|Ewing A. BusinessProfessional
Senior, Technical Generalist
Favinger Enterprises, Inc.
100 Spacious Sky, Ice Flats, AZ 85001
Phone: (800) 900-1000 | http://www.favingerentprises.com
Which email should have a signature block?
- The signature block should be on every email (both initiated by you and replied to by you), this was true even before the days of remote work, but for remote workers, contingent works, and works who travel frequently it can be a productive enhancer.
- Plus, it is simply the professional thing to do and saves everyone time and frustration. Not to mention it makes you look unprofessional not having one. do you really want to do that to your personal brand?
- As if that were not enough, including your signature block is free advertising for you and the company you represent.
- Additionally, most email accounts let you build one or more signature block, which can be embedded in your email.
Where to place your Signature Block?
- The signature block should go at the bottom of your email. I still use the five lines below the last line of the body of the email to provide white space before the closing, as I learned when writing business letters decades ago.
What should be in a signature Block?
- The signature block should be compact and informative and at a minimum should include:
- The closing is simply a polite way of saying I’m ending my message now. I usually go with the tried and true ‘Sincerely’, but others go with ‘Thank you’, ‘Best Regards’, or ‘Best Wishes,’. The main points, it should be short, polite, and professional.
- This section should be followed by two lines
- This line is your professional name (First Name, Middle Initial, and Last name) and designations (Ph.D.…etc.)
- This is your chance to say who you are and brand yourself to the reader, in a way which your email address cannot. Especially, when you consider that many of us don’t control what work email address is assigned to us.
Your Business Title
- Including your business title provides some insight into your role and professional expertise.
Your Company Name
- Much like your title, providing the Company Name and Address lets the reader know who you represent and, perhaps, more importantly, it is free advertising for the company.
Your Phone Numbers
- Including your phone numbers, both office and cell (if different) enable people to quickly reach out to you if they need or want to. Not everybody keeps all their infrequent business contacts in the phone directory.
- Putting your phone numbers on your signature block, also, enable the potential caller to verify that the numbers which they may have are still correct.
There are other items are sometimes included, such as:
- A company logo to enhance the appearance and quality of a signature block
- The Company’s website to help customer find out more about the company and to direct business to the company
- The senders email to reinforce the email address in the header of the email.
However, the guidance provided above will make you look a lot more professional in a hurry if you have not been including a signature block in your emails.
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What is Consilience?
Consilience is the confluence of concepts and/or principles from different disciplines, especially, when forming a comprehensive unifying theory.
Why are some inventions discovered at the same time in different parts of the world? Does this have something to do with the scientific process of “sharing important discoveries?” Generally, scientists believe that they are part of a community of knowledge. Their discoveries do not occur in a vacuum. They must give credit to those who went before and created the foundation for their work. Therefore, when they discover something new, they are required to share it with the entire world. This sharing is part of knowledge evolution. Interestingly enough, it is also key to the World Wide Web. Collaboration is one of the key strengths of the Internet. It is a way to increase overall knowledge of Planet Earth. Science can also increase the strength of their theories through independent confirmation.
There are oftentimes prescriptions for the types and numbers of witnesses to accomplish certain legal requirements. Anyone who has completed an experiment understands the importance of result conciliation. A hypothesis is not proven to be true unless it can be repeated by independent sources. This shows that the reality is objective. The word, Consilience was formed by two Latin words – “com” meaning “together” and the suffix “-silence” meaning “jumping.” Therefore, Consilience means “jumping together” or a “convergence of proof from independent sources.” Scientists should use different methods to reach the same conclusion. Business and economics have a similar concept. Just think of the concept of a Recession or Depression. These are officially declared when a variety of indicators are in agreement – stock market, employment, inflation, money supply and so forth.
Consulting can use the concept of Consilience to teach firms how to follow objective norms. Technology consulting can compare a subjective company’s practices to objective industry norms. The best career development is successful based on objective, independent analysis. The concordance of evidence can help a business create a successful strategy. Consilience is the convergence of evidence from independent sources to prove the validity of a conclusion. Objective corporate success can be achieved by satisfying objective needs of your customers. Business intelligence requires an objective standard, such as Consilience to be useful.
Consilience is important to you because the answer to any given problem may not necessarily come from within your field of expertise and experience. rather, to be truly competitive in an ever in an ever increasing world of knowledge, we need to adopt a broad-scoped renaissance approach to learning and thinking, which folds in other sets of concepts and principles to create the durable solutions for today and tomorrow.
Management and Measurement
You can’t manage what you don’t measure is an old management adage that has been used for many years and while most attribute it to Peter Drucker, some claim that the quote was first used by Dr. W. Edwards Deming, although it is a bone of contention whether or not the quote is used in the correct context.
Irrespective of who said it first, I have always agreed with the principle. Coming from a corporate background where this is one of the management principles often used, I was surprised to learn that there are those that strongly disagree with the statement. This group argues that there are many things being managed at work that aren’t measurable, from the confidence we instill in a new, young manager, to the quality of new hires.
The argument is made that quantity is easy to measure, i.e., how much salespeople sell, how many leads marketing creates, or how many phone calls telemarketing makes, but that quality can’t be measured, i.e., excellent customer service, good technical support, or what differentiates a good consultant from a great one.
What to measure
Many organizations use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at multiple levels to measure their success at reaching targets, and will then manage the factors influencing the KPI to get it to where they want it to be. A KPI is a value that is measured and shows how effective a company is in reaching key business goals.
Setting a KPI and measuring a specific value is however not always as straightforward as it might seem. To set a KPI, the underlying business objective needs to be properly understood. In one example, a department manager’s KPI included the volume of sales, measured in dollars. In an effort to improve sales, the manager decided to change the remuneration of her sales reps from a fixed salary to a small, basic salary plus commission on sales made. The idea behind this was to incentivize the work, which would lead to increased sales. In the early months after implementing the change, the sales made by account reps did indeed increase dramatically. The CFO then however discovered that the profit margin on those increased sales was substantially lower than the minimum the company expected. The sales reps were discounting the product to increase sales, resulting in a high commission, but the net effect was that the company made less profit.
It is critical that the company’s objectives are clearly understood by all parties and that a suitable metric is measured to check if the objective is being met.
Can quality be measured?
Those arguing that quality, such as excellent customer service, or good technical support can’t be measured, often express the view that the only way that a company can determine how good their service or support is, is by asking the customer. I agree with that statement, but when you do that, aren’t you measuring these aspects? If 50% of your customers feel that your service and support is good, that is a measure against which you can manage and improve those objectives.
The same can be done for any qualitative metric. It merely becomes a question of what is appropriate to measure, and how to obtain those metrics. Qualitative measures often have to be done indirectly, i.e., you need to measure indirect results rather than direct ones.
The role of Business Intelligence
With the sheer volume of data available across the business, and with much of it residing in different systems, it becomes very difficult to extract the relevant metrics to measure and improve. This is where Business intelligence or BI comes in.
BI utilizes computer-based techniques to spot, extract, and analyze business data, including things like sales, marketing, and production in order to make substantial improvements. Business Intelligence uses data already collected in the business. It is able to utilize data from such diverse sources as website analytics, accounting systems, customer relationship management (CRM) and email management systems.
A Business Intelligence system can automatically use and analyze all the information from these applications in real-time. This enables companies to quickly see, manage and improve their performance. BI goes further than simply measuring performance so that it can be improved, but also helps identify weaknesses in the company.
When an organization grows to the point where huge volumes of data are involved, analytics are used to examine large and varied data sets to uncover correlations, hidden patterns, customer preferences and market trends; so, organizations can make more-informed business decisions.
Both BI and big data analytics can hugely benefit Organization & Planning within any business. If you have all this information, irrespective of how exactly it was obtained or measured, managing the direction you want to go becomes an informed decision that can be planned for, rather than a guessing game based on ‘gut feel.’
A crucial element that is required in today’s fast-moving world is an organization’s ability to respond rapidly to changes in both the external and internal environment. This is known as Business agility, and it is not possible to do if the business does not measure what is going on inside and around it, and then manages accordingly.
- The Dynamics of Power – The Law of Power
- The Dynamics of Power – What is Power?
- Law of Diminishing Returns
- The Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule)
- Leadership – Success Characteristics in Decisive Situations