Correlation between intelligence and ethics, nor is ruthlessness

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

Professional Emails include a signature Block

eMail, Professional Emails include a signature Block
eMail

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

  • 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

Your Name

  • 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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Management principles – You can’t Manage what you don’t Measure

Business Intelligence and Analytics
Business Intelligence and Analytics

 

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.

Related References

 

Consulting – You must love your work?

Work Success
Work Success

Why you should love your work

Sooner or later you will wonder why you are not passionate and energized about your work. At the same time, an inner voice will tell you to suck it up because work is only a four-letter word and you are not supposed to enjoy it.

It is a misconception because loving your work can bring manage benefits. Work should enable and empower, not entrap.  Here we have some of the reasons why you should love your work.

Helps with your success

When you love your career, no one can stop you from getting successful. You will do everything that it takes to assure that your customers love what you are offering, and your boss appreciates your every move. You would prefer to collect the appreciations because your every move will be well planned, and you will not be afraid to take it to the next level.

You are always ready to learn

You will do anything that will help you in future when you love your work.

  • We all know that technology is evolving, and you will take every step to assure that you learn how to work in the new environment.
  • You will be ready to attend all the conferences and other presentation only to learn something new
  • When you love what do training is easier to take and will feel less like an imposition, and you will never want to miss your chance of learning something innovational and new
  • With the passage of time, your knowledge, experience, and skill will grow

You will be willing to work until an older age

The best thing about loving your work is that you would prefer to work as long as you can. Most people, who do not love their work, spend most of their time waiting for the retirement. As soon as they are retired, they feel like their burden has been relieved.

However, when you love your work, you will never like to leave it. You will love to continue your job one way or another to assure that you are never disconnected. The word retirement will not be present in your dictionary. There are a few individuals that have worked till their last breath only because they loved being the part of their country.

More energy and determination

You will have more energy to put into your work when you love it. You will take all the risks, and even if you have to stay up all night, you will do it only to assure that everything is fine with your work. You will give your work everything to make it reach the level of success of which you have dreamt. You will be determined, and there is nothing that can reduce your motivation when you are working.

You will be ready to make a difference

When you start loving your work, you will notice that you will begin to think about new projects and products that will enhance the visibility of your business and this approach that will help you outpace and create your competitors. When the market is getting highly competitive, it is not easy to prove that you are different but when you love your work you can do anything to stand out. It might not be easy in the beginning, but with passion, you will get used to it.

You will quickly overcome challenges

One of the most significant benefits of loving your work is that you will be ready to face all the challenges thrown your way. You would take them positively as a way of growing and learning new things. Every morning you will wake up with a new energy and enthusiasm. You will be waiting for the new challenge that comes your way. The problem-solving skills will improve, and you will notice a difference in your mood and attitude. It will be easier for you to work with your team and your company will grow.

Tips for loving your work

In case that you have lost the passion and it has become hard for you to love your work or have the required energy. Do not worry because we have got your back with some of the important tips that will help you grow quickly.

1-Discover what you love

Confusions can happen anytime, and that is why we often make the wrong decision. It is important that you have proper mentoring because it is the only way to find out what you love. With the help of mentoring all your doubts will clear, and you will know that you have taken the right decision.

2-Take risks

Once you have found what you love it is important that you take the required risk to make it happen. It is a reality that when we are trying to do something new and unique, our family and friends will oppose us. They love us and want the best for us, and that is why they will try to pursue you to do something else.

However, if you understand your goals, it is important to take a chance. You should take their opposition as motivation because it will help you to show everyone that you can turn the thing you love into a successful business.

3-Stay positive

When you are doing what you love there will come a time when you will have no support. You might need some financial help, but no one will be there for you because they think that you are wasting your time and you will waste their money as well.

However, you have to stay healthy and confident. The reason is that if you break at this point, you will never be able to stand up again and show people the potential you have within you. Take some help from the lenders and assure that you have the best business plan, work hard and prove.

4-Know what you value in life

There are three things that you have to pay attention to

  • Security
  • Achievement
  • Purpose

It is vital for you to identify that which one of these factors are most important to you. Once you will learn it will become easier for you to follow the path you love. There are different sides of the business, and it is essential that you learn which one of them you like the most.

Understanding the purpose of your life is important because only then you will be able to follow the right path. If you want security make sure that you make yourself secure first before you start to invest in your business. Once you get what you want it would be easier for you to pay attention towards your job. It might take some time, but you will eventually learn what you to do and when to take the right decisions.

5-Do not say  ‘will do,’ just do it

The most common mistake that we often make is that we keep saying that we will do something, but we do not take the required steps. We keep delaying the tasks and actions we should seek to accomplish what we want. In the end, the only regret remains because the right time is not available anymore.

It is essential that you do things today, instead of leaving them for tomorrow. Take baby steps in the beginning. Once you start doing what you want,  nothing can stop you from taking everything to the next level. It is the time for the decision and so stop wasting your time.

6-Use power of attraction

You might find it funny, but the power of attraction exists. Once you start giving everything to what you love, others will notice your passion and enthusiasm. They will see that how hard you are working and, so they will love to invest in your work.

Your hard work and passion will give the impression that you are trustworthy and true to your work. That is why people will be attracted, and it will help to increase your revenue with the passage of time, and it will attract more individuals, and there will be no going back.

How Consulting can help you love your career

Once you are ready to love your work, but you are finding it hard to do so consulting will be the best option. Consultants will never let you lose your positivity and passion. Here we have a few ways in which consultants can help you.

Self-motivation

The biggest benefits you will get from consulting is self-motivation. The best consultants know how to train you to always stay at the top of your mood even in the worst conditions. Experienced consultants will teach you different tricks and techniques that will help you to deal with even the toughest situations. In time you will learn to manage your stress, and so you will find something productive even in the darkest hours.

Learn to collaborate

To make the business successful, you have to develop and work with the team. There are a few leaders that think themselves as complete, and so they will not pay attention towards what their team is saying even if they are correct. It will make them hate you. Consultants will teach you to collaborate with your team. They will guide you to take their advice so that it will become easy for you to manage the tasks and you will always be open to new ideas and techniques.

Perfect solution

You will notice that with consulting you will be able to find the solution to every problem. The reason is that consultants always have the best solution to every problem or they will find one in limited time. When you stay with one, you will learn their tricks as well. Even your team will be surprised that how easy it is for you to deal with different problems.

Helps you find your path

In case you are not on the right path, there is no need to be concerned.  The consultants will ask a few questions to look for the reason that might have been disturbing your inner peace. Once they find the issue, they will help you to acknowledge it. They will be at your side in every situation, and so soon you will be able to make the most important decisions easily without any distractions or issues.

Mentoring

Consultants will be your perfect mentors. They will guide you regarding everything and will assure that you never take a wrong decision. They have more experience than you have and they have faced the world as no one other has. So they will mentor you in every tough situation. You can turn to them whenever you feel stuck or disturbed. Let them know your issues, and they will understand that where you are going wrong to help you out.

Bottom line

Once you learn to love your work, you will have a more peaceful and successful life. It is never too late to change your path and do what to love or find passion in what you are already doing. Take help from the best consultants because they know what you need the most. While selecting the consultant, you have to be very careful. All the consultants are the best, but every one of them has specialties in different fields. Make sure you select the one who meets your requirements in the best possible way. Let them know your goals and issues, and they will tell you who is the best for you.

Related References

 

 

What does the Information technology consultant do?

Consultants
Consultants

What’s the information technology consultant job?

The growth of e-services and the rise of social computing has created an increase in the demand for information technology consultant jobs.

The combination of technology and business knowledge is what information technology consultancy is all about. It focuses on advising their clients on how to perfectly use information technology to achieve their business objectives and overcome they IT problems they may face, improving the IT systems’ structure and efficiency in such organizations.

Moreover, information technology consultants provide these organizations with strategic guidance, in the form of estimating, managing, implementing, deploying and administering their IT systems, helping major business processes through the enhancement of IT systems.

Providing expert technical assistance and guidance during selection and procurement are also parts of what the information technology consultant do. IT consultants can also be involved in business development, technical duties, and even sales, having the responsibility for user training and feedback as well.

Why are IT consultants called in?

For:

  • Specialized expertise
  • Their recommendations and external, objective advice
  • Temporary help during a one-time project, when hiring permanent employees is not necessary
  • Outsourcing IT services from a specific company

IT consultants’ duties

Their duties will depend on the nature of each project.

However, a typical project may involve:

  • The consultation of staff from different parts of a client’s organization
  • The analysis of the organization’s data
  • The determination of the information system requirements
  • Defining the objectives of the project
  • Making recommendations, as IT consultants may suggest appropriate hardware, software, and systems
  • Designing, installing and trialing software and, fixing any problems that may arise
  • Collecting and presenting information
  • Writing reports and documentation
  • Resolving computer problems and removing viruses
  • Training users
  • Responding to customer inquiries.

Therefore, the IT consultants’ day duties may include:

  • Meeting with clients to determine their requirements
  • Working with them to define the scope of the project
  • Planning timescales and the resources needed for the project
  • Clarifying the clients’ system specifications, understanding the nature of their business and their work practices
  • Travelling to the client sites.
  • The cooperation with the staff members at all levels in the organization
  • Determining the software, hardware and network’s requirements
  • Analyzing the IT requirements, giving their independent and objective advice on the use of these IT systems
  • Suggesting new solutions and new systems implementation
  • Presenting such solutions in oral or written reports
  • Assisting clients with change-management activities
  • Purchasing systems where appropriate
  • Designing, testing, installing and monitoring new systems
  • Preparing documentation and presenting progress reports to clients
  • The organization of users’ training and also for other consultants
  • Being involved in sales
  • Supporting and maintaining contact with clients’ organizations
  • Identifying potential clients and building and maintaining contacts.

Qualifications

Having any degree, you can enter the information technology consultancy field, even if you are a school leaver, but you have to show interest in and knowledge of such field. And of course, previous work experience and deep interest in IT consultancy are beneficial. A master’s degree is not required to get an IT consultant job. However, it increases the chances of securing such jobs, especially if your degree is not in a related subject to information technology.

Here are some of the subjects that are useful for IT consultant jobs.

  • Software engineering
  • Information systems
  • Electronic/electrical engineering
  • Business studies
  • Mathematics
  • Computer science
  • Other science/engineering disciplines

However, there are some postgraduate courses for graduates of unrelated subjects to provide students with the valuable skills needed for the business industry as well as, skills required for information technology consultant jobs.

What are the most important skills required?

You need to possess these skills to compete in the information technology consultancy field:

  • Teamwork skills
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Advisory language skills
  • Business and management language skills
  • Technical language skills
  • The ability to introduce technical information to non-IT clients and also, colleagues
  • Business skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Technical and analytical skills
  • Good organizational skills to prioritize heavy workloads
  • Time management skills to meet deadlines
  • The ability to work under pressure
  • Multitasking ability
  • Presentation skills
  • Attention to details
  • Confidence
  • Decision making
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • The ability to learn quickly
  • Adaptability and flexibility

What to expect?

  • It’s an office-based job, working in a project team in clients’ premises. So, IT consultant should expect to travel to clients’ premises.
  • Traveling within the working day to clients’ sites is often needed. Overseas travel may occasionally be necessary, which depends on the consultant’s employer.
  • Also, overnight absence from home is frequently required.
  • As regards the working hours, its officially 8 hours. However, sometimes extra hours are required to meet the clients’ deadlines as well as taking a lot of time traveling to clients’ premises.
  • It’s a stressful job, with strict project based deadlines.
  • A part-time job is unlikely, but IT consultant jobs are project-based so, breaks are possible.
  • Self-employment is also possible, managing your working hours.
  • In the IT consultancy field, men’s percentage exceeds the women’s. However, there are various groups supporting women in IT and technology, to encourage them to work in this industry.
  • Formal dress code, for meetings and visiting clients, but otherwise, it’s relaxed.
  • As regards the salary, the IT consultation fees are measured on a per day or per consultant basis. However, fixed fee IT consultation applied to contracted IT consultants or well-defined projects that have a specific amount of work and a defined timeframe.
  • The salary depends on the type, location and size of the employers and it is also usually performance-related.

Experience required for work

  • Some employers can recruit junior information technology consultants in their business and technology sectors.
  • First and second-year undergraduates can apply for internships in the IT consultancy field, gaining work experience in a commercial environment to acquire management skills and the ability to understand the business benefits of information technology.
  • Competition is fierce so, start applying for IT consultant jobs for large firms in the autumn term of your final year as places will fill fast and the competition is getting stronger as time passes.

Related References

Success – Sleep and your career

Fox Sleeping

Sleep Management

In this age of technology and advancement, we belong to a hyper-connected culture but there is one thing we cannot get enough of and that is sleep. Thanks to the long working hours and the electronic devices our brain fail to power down and that disturbs our natural sleep-wake cycle.

Most of the individuals stay up all night and they cannot get the required 7 to 8 hours of sleep. 50 to 70 million people are suffering from a sleep disorder and sleep deprivation has turned into an epidemic. Lack of sleep not only affects our health and relationship but also our career.

Sleep and Ceridian rhythms

Sleep is an important part of life and it is important to keep our energy levels high and to help us feel better. Just like hunger makes us eat, tiredness makes us want to get some sleep. We can be tired due to different reasons like long working hours, exercise or a full day of driving. However, t6he real question is why our body needs sleep in order to perform properly. Here are some of the important reasons we have to consider.

1-Inactive theory

It is one of the oldest theories regarding sleep and it is known as the evolutionary or adaptive theory. It suggests that inactivity during night helps the individuals with the management of their next day. It protects them from any potential harm.

2-Theory of energy conservation

We know that energy is very important for our body and the only way to preserve the energy and bring it back to normal level is through food and sleep. The normal human body utilizes energy during the day and preserves it when the body is least efficient.

3-Restorative theory

The biggest benefit of sleep is that it provides the body a chance to repair itself and restore all the important function. This is the during consulting most of the specialists suggests the patients sleep for a particular amount of time.

4-Brain plasticity theory

It is a recently developed theory according to which sleep is related to the proper functioning of the brain. It is important that our circadian rhythms are properly maintained because that is the only way to manage the life properly an avoid sleep deprivation.

Sleep and cognitive abilities

It has been noticed that the response time of brain is lowered due to improper sleep. It leads to a sluggish and slow body due to which people find it hard to perform properly. If you will not have proper sleep the next day your IQ level will be lowered. Continuous sleep deprivation can have a poor effect on your leadership skills because you will remain lethargic and irritated all the time. It is important to have a proper 7 to 8 hours of sleep so that you can think straight and your problem-solving skills will improve.

Reduce stress with proper sleep

Lack of sleep leads to a stressful body. In order to deal with the stress, our body starts to produce stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. In a recent study, two different groups were compared. It was found that the group suffering from sleep deprivation had a higher level of stress as compared to those who had a proper good night sleep.

If we are able to manage stress we will become healthy as well as we will be able to concentrate properly on our work. Having proper sleep means that we will not have to take time off work and business management will be more efficient and products. Some common symptoms of stress due to sleep deprivation are.

  • Memory issues
  • Lack of concentration
  • Poor judgements
  • Problem-solving skills will be reduced
  • Negativity
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Constant worrying

It will lead to a short temper, frustration, and irritability that will have a negative effect on your business relationships. Communication, interaction, and collaboration are the key to successful business and lack of sleep can seriously affect these skills.

Sleep and health

If you want to have a successful career you will have to pay attention towards your health. Remember that health is not only eating proper food and having an exercise plan. If you are tired you are not healthy. Proper sleep helps our body to remain healthy. Sleep deprivation can affect the immune system of the body and so we become vulnerable to common diseases that reduce our efficiency.

Enough sleep will improve your immunity system and will help you stay concentrated and active all the time. When you are aware of your surroundings it would be easier for you to concentrate on your work and provide the best solutions and consulting services.

Tips to improve your sleep

In order to have the best leadership skills and prove that you can handle the business properly, you have to pay attention towards your sleep. You have to start will paying attention towards your food. Do not consume food items that are high in sugar or caffeine at night because that act as stimulants and you will not be able to fall asleep. Some of the important food items that you have to avoid are.

  • Fatty foods
  • Spicy food
  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine
  • Heavy meals

You should avoid consuming food right before bedtime. It is better to have a light meal like fruits at least 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. You can do exercise or yoga that will make your body feel tired and it will be easier for you to fall asleep.

When we use mobile or play games our brain remains active and so it is hard to fall asleep. You have to avoid using screens at night. Even do not watch TV at least 30 minutes before going to bed. It will help the nerves to relax and the moment you are on the bed you will be into a deep sleep.

Maintain your sleeping schedule. You should go to bed early so you can wake up early in the morning. Once you maintain your sleep-wake cycle you will notice a positive improvement in your life.

Related References

 

 

Consulting – Everyone does sales

Sales
Sales

Everyone who earns a living does sales

To make a living, we must sell our service, whether selling:

  • Our services and expertise to a company in an interview to be an employee
  • Or selling our skill, creativity,  and productivity to keep our jobs, or get that promotion,
  • Or whether we sell our services as consultants to advise corporations or businesses,
  • Or we work independently and are offering our services to compete for contracts or sell products

in the end, it’s all marketing and sales.

Related References