Your Place In The Corporate Life Cycle

Where does your organization sit in the Corporate Life Cycle and what should you expect next? Are you balancing entrepreneurialism with management disciplines effectively?

There are generally accepted to be ten stages in an organization’s life cycle:

When an organization comes into being it usually does so as a result of someone’s BRAINCHILD. If the idea doesn’t take off, then in a sense, the brainchild is stillborn and the business never gets off the ground. BIRTH of the idea however is usually the next step.

Stage three of the life cycle is INFANT. Once an organization comes into being its immediate need is to survive. Keeping it alive is the main requirement as it begins to get stronger and grow its physical attributes. The main threat at this stage is a shortage of funds to sustain its early growth. If the organization doesn’t succeed at this stage it becomes an infant mortality.

As an organization survives infancy it begins to see success. Classically customer numbers increase, sales volumes grow and so do costs. The organization begins to take on a personality of its own and with increasing self-confidence takes on bigger and bigger challenges. Sometimes with too much bravado it makes a big mistake and without the financial resources to withstand it, it fails. Stage four of the life cycle is therefore TODDLER.

As a result of stage four, organizations normally realize that there are dangers which they need to avoid but that essentially they are growing and succeeding. Reproducing their success, growing and reinvesting in the business are the hall-marks of stage five of the life cycle – ADOLESCENT

Stages one to five of the life cycle, while fraught with obstacles and danger, are exciting years in an organization’s growth. There is a common goal to succeed, enormous speed of response, mutual support, risk-taking, the celebration of success, informality and a sense of shared experience and learning together which bond the organization’s people.

In an effort to maintain the winning formula and to avoid formality there is usually a reluctance to accept the need for self-imposed controls. The checks, disciplines, systems and structures that are now needed to protect the organization from over-trading are often overlooked. In order to continue to be successful, however, the organization now needs these as the size of its business and inherent risks require those running it to have more information to make decisions and judgments. The organization simply needs more management disciplines but it has been unused to them.

The move from stage five (ADOLESCENT) to the next stage PRIME, is the trickiest in an organization’s life cycle. Entrepreneurialism must be kept and management disciplines adopted. There is normally a clash of values, differences of opinion, and a fierce exchange of views as those who originally built the business come into conflict with newly acquired managers. It’s as though the organization is going through civil war! To successfully achieve the right balances required at PRIME there needs to be an acceptance of the need to grow and enable others to take on real responsibilities with an appropriate degree of freedom. This can be a painful and painstaking process to go through. Some don’t believe in it, or don’t want it and so people leave. This is quite normal. Others then come in and take up the challenge to make the necessary changes.

Having arrived at PRIME it is vital to keep the organization there. At this stage the organization needs to keep REINVENTING itself. To slip back is very dangerous and to go over the top into more management control is even more dangerous. If the latter occurs it isn’t long before BUREAUCRACY and an internal focus take over. Arrogance leads to a loss of customers, sales fall, profit margins decrease and the best staff begin to leave. The organization is in EARLY DECLINE.

Without a bold new vision, a change strategy and robust leadership the organization progresses into TERMINAL ILLNESS at which point heavy weight management consultants are hired and their bill finishes off the organization!

The message is clear organizations must balance entrepreneurialism with a sound infrastructure and management disciplines to succeed. They will only succeed long term if they keep reinventing themselves.

Your Very First Steps To Outsourcing

Eventhough the concept of outsourcing has been around for years, its implementation often incorrect and misled.

Outsourcing is NOT about having jobs done by other parties.

Outsourcing is about having the best talent and resource to do some tasks, so you can concentrate on more strategic ones.

The distinction is obvious. Your strategic tasks is the most important things you need them to be done to grow your business. You do not want to be distracted by other repetitive tasks you can outsource to third parties. However, if you select those parties carelessly, you may jeopardize your business entirely. On the other hand, if you put your outsourced tasks on the hand of the best expert you can find, you may even increase your productivity.

If you have no experience in outsourcing, you can follow these steps:

1. Determine which task is strategic and which one is not.
2. Outsource non strategic tasks.
3. Do your research to find third parties with the best talents and resources.
4. Don’t be cheapy. You always get what you pay for.
5. Do some testing and observe the outsource results. If you find those third parties are not what they have told you, fire them.
6. Consider to use media to attract talents.
7. You may need to write ‘help needed’ ads to attract talents.
8. Outsource that copywriting task, too.
9. Do your strategic tasks to find the way to win your business
10. Once you find the way, find best talent and resources to do it.

With that process, sooner or later you will find the difference between outsourcing and out tasking. The later is when you get your tasks done by other parties regardless of their capability and talent. They just do what they have to do. Sure, you get your tasks done. But the results do not give any contribution to your productivity.

One thing you should understand about strategic thinking. Thinking strategically is about finding any possible ways to win. So, your strategic tasks are activities in finding ways to win. Once you find the way, find the best talent and resources to do it and make it happen. That’s outsourcing.

3 Lessons About Meetings from the Forest

Here are three lessons about meetings that came from a walk through the forest.

1) Giant Sequoias

These marvelous trees are a living example that some things take time.

True, we need to work with a sense of urgency. We need to do more with less. We need to move faster than the speed of chaos.

And we also need to be appropriate.

Rushing through some issues can produce false solutions.

For example, a group slams together an annual plan, only to find that the plan ignores real market conditions, organizational limitations, and individual support. The result is a document that no one uses.

For example, a powerful group makes a decision without listening to other people’s ideas. And then a bad situation becomes worse. In fact, sometimes the neglected side retaliates with such force that the original group loses status.

Better: Take time to make sure that all considerations are included in plans and decisions. If you are planning a meeting to resolve a major issues, hire a skilled facilitator to help you obtain a result that lasts.

2) A Bear Cub

This cub behaved like a goofy toddler while mama bear went about her business collecting groceries in a supermarket. The cub climbed on logs, fell off rocks, and dropped things on mama. And during all of this play, mama bear just kept working, munching plants, gathering nourishment.

That is, she kept eating until the cub ran toward me. Then mama bear looked up, growled, and chased after the cub. (I’ll assume that’s what she did, because I ran away when Mama Bear growled.)

What’s the point?

Sometimes we need to allow an appropriate amount of disorder because it’s part of growth. It’s part of letting people explore. It’s part of letting people be themselves. Of course, when threats appear, then we should take charge. And we may only need to growl to restore order.

3) Mustang Clover

In the spring, the Sierra Nevada mountains are covered with patches of Mustang Clover. These small flowers (typically, less than half an inch across) look like simple small pink dots as you walk past them. But if you pause and look closely, you will discover a masterpiece of complex beauty.

The point: Are you pausing to notice important details? Some may be merely enjoyable reminders of how wonderful life can be. Others may be essential indicators about the health of your business.

3 Myths That Ruin Meetings

These myths have cost companies billions of dollars in wasted payroll money.

Myth #1) Structure spoils spontaneity.

I once attended a two-day long disaster that easily cost over $40,000. Thirty people spent the first hour seeking an issue to discuss, then spent the next 15 hours arguing over insolvable problems. When I asked the manager who called the meeting, “Where’s the agenda?” the reply was, “I didn’t want to spoil the spontaneity by imposing a structure.”

Reality: If spontaneity were a universally sound business practice we would build buildings without blueprints. Of course, no smart business leader works without a plan.

The Fix: Set a goal and then prepare an agenda. Ideally, this agenda should be so clear, complete, and specific that someone else could use it to lead the meeting to obtain the accomplish the goal.

Myth #2: Since it’s my meeting I should do all the talking.

Some meetings are run like a medieval court. The chairperson sits on a verbal throne while the subjects sit in respectful silence. The big talker justifies this by thinking: if the other people in the meeting knew anything worthwhile, they’d be leading the meeting.

Reality: If you’re the only one talking, you’re working too hard. In addition, realize that most people protect themselves from extended monologues by sending their thoughts off on a holiday. That is, no one is paying attention to you: they’re busy daydreaming, doodling, or dreaming.

The Fix: Convey large amounts of information by a memo or email. Then call a meeting based on participant driven activities that test or reinforce comprehension.

Myth #3: Meetings are free.

Most meetings are paid for with soft money. That is, it’s money that has already been spent for wages. In addition, no purchase request is necessary. No budget needs to be approved. All someone has to do is call a meeting.

Reality: Meetings are very expensive. They use people’s time, and payroll is the largest part of running a business. When people hold bad meetings, they waste the most important resource in a business – the time people that spend working to earn a profit for the company.

The Fix: Design meetings to earn a profit. After all, a meeting is a business activity, not a company picnic.

3 Opportunities To Help You Make An Extra Income Online

I have been in exactly the same position, for years I have been searching the internet for ways to earn an extra income, not to make me a millionaire over night but just to make enough to help with the bills or to have some extra cash in my pocket for the little luxuries in life.

With so many sites trying to take your money it is not easy to wade through the scam sites and the legitimate opportunities. What as well if you dont have any idea in what is a good product and will make money and what is a bad product that will just drain your resources? Over the years I have tried so many of the so called opportunities and been burnt financially.

I now believe that I have found the 3 best opportunities available that require a little bit of thinking and time but can give you great rewards once you follow the proven system. Remember you dont get anything in life for nothing! This is a golden rule to remember, no matter what you do it is important that you need to work at it, how much you work at it can depend on how much you get out of it, not only in a financial sense but also on a personal level.

The best products are ones that can make you an ongoing cash flow, ones that have longevity and have entered a market place where there is a niche. It is no good trying to sell something online where the market is already swamped with goods, this will just lead to your product being another one of hundreds without a customer in sight. This is where the research and the years of hard work have been put in to provide the best products available and you can be a part of this.

The website gives you an overview of the 3 best finds on the internet and gives you the opportunity to make some extra money with a small amount of effort. Remember my golden rule, the more effort you put in the more you will get out. To find out more about these opportunities then go to The website breaks down the best 3 opportunities and gives an overview of what is on offer, take a look today, the sooner you take a look the sooner you can get started and build a brighter future.

Your Own Web Based Home Business

Tired of working the nine-to-five job? Tired of your boss? Tired of working to make someone else rich? Want to work at home so you can be with your family more? Do you like the Internet?

Some of those questions are the titles to spam emails you get. They offer get rich schemes, just fill out surveys and get paid, get paid just to surf the web, get paid to shop, etc. etc.

But what is the real scoop about starting my own Internet Business from home? In this article we will help you learn some of the facts about owning your own home business based on the web. We will tell you how to avoid the hype and tell you the straight facts about how to start and maintain your own Internet Business. Are you ready?

You have all probably read many stories about how people with nothing have become millionaires on the web. You have no doubt received tons of spam email promising you that the same thing can happen to you, all you have to do is buy this ebook, this software, sign up as a member, etc. etc.

Multi-Level-Marketing or MLM programs were around before the Internet was in everyones home, but since then they have boomed. There are many programs that offer to get you in on the ground floor. All you have to do is sign up and those who sign up after you will make you rich.

Most of these are actually pyramid schemes. If the primary goal is to recruit new members and not to sell products, then it is likely a scam, so beware of those.

The first thing you should know about starting any business is that it is hard work. You think your boss was bad? Wait until you are your boss.

For some reason many people think that while starting an offline business is hard work, starting one on the web is easy. I really dont understand that philosophy, except for the fact we get so many emails promising to make you rich with little or no work at all.

Let me tell you this. When you start any business, whether its a store, a gas station, or whatever, you know you will have to go in everyday, put in long hours and be smart if you are going to become successful. It is no different when starting an online or home business. If you are not prepared to put in the hours and the work, you will not be any more successful online than you would be offline.

There are no shortcuts, no magic pills, no marketing plans that can make you rich online without hard work. If you are not prepared to put in the time and the work necessary to any successful business, dont quit your day job and just continue to be a consumer surfing the web instead of trying to find a way to get rich without work.

That may sound harsh to you, but the web is full of people trying to get something for nothing and we dont need any more of those. However, if you are a person who is willing to put in the time and effort, the web can be a great place to make your living.

How do you get started? Well, first of all, what are your interests? If you choose a business you dont have a lot of interest in, you will find it very difficult to stay motivated. Look at things that interest you when deciding what type of online business you want to have.

Not all online businesses require having a website, but most do, so we are going to start there. Lets say you have chosen what you are going to sell, whether it is products, services, or promoting affiliate programs.

You will need a domain name. The first thing people think is that they should have a catchy name that equals the name of their business and that it should be their domain name. Not true. Generic domain names that contain keywords that describe your products or services are best. Your company name will be on the front page of your website, but the domain name is what people will remember and what will help people find you through the search engines.

Where do I register my domain name? There are many cheap registrars out there for registering domain names, but dont go with the cheap ones. You get what you pay for. Go with the ones that provide you the most service. Do you really think saving $20 per YEAR on your domain name is going to make or break your business? If so, stop now, do not pass go, go back to your day job.

Now you have a domain name, now what? You will need hosting for the new website you are going to build or have built. Again, look for the hosting that provides you the most service. You want 24-hour tech support. You want a lot of space, but most of all you want a lot of bandwidth. You want easy access to your files and a control panel, not just ftp access.

You also want a host who provides a lot of extras like instant install of gallery managers, content managers, calendar programs, and other scripts for forums, blogs, and more. The more they offer, the better, because you dont know where your business might lead you. A cheap host is just that, a cheap host.

Now you will need a website to put up on the host. You can buy a website on Ebay or from others that are already built and ready to go or you can have one built to your specifications. You can also learn to build your own website and save money, but make sure you research how to do this very well before you choose that option.

Building a website that is not optimized for the search engines or one that does not function or navigate easily will hurt your business, so if you are not ready to build one you are sure will work, have the work done or buy one.

Also, people have the perception that their website must be beautiful in order to be successful. They think they must have flashy introductions, databases, dynamic content, great graphics, etc. etc.

None of those things I just mentioned will help you become successful on the web. They are great to have, but do not put undue importance on the dressing. Promoting your website will be the key to its success along with the content that is in your website. Those are the things you will focus on if you wish to have a successful online business.

On building your website or buying one, make sure that it has a lot of text content rich with keywords that apply to the products or services you will be selling. You want it to have a professional look and feel, but you dont need it to be too flashy.

There are a lot of freelance websites out there where you can post the job you want done and people will bid on doing the job for you. That is a good way to find a web designer that wants to do a good job for a competitive price.

Now you have your domain name, your hosting, and your new website. What now? Well, its not like in the movie Field of Dreams, where If you build it, they will come. That doesnt apply to websites unfortunately.

You will need to promote your website. This is where the work starts. This is what will demand the most of your time, because if you do not promote your website, the customers will never come buy anything. They wont be able to find you out of the millions of websites that are out there.

You have to be better than the next guy. You have to be willing to promote your website for more hours than the next guy. And you have to beat the next guy to the latest and greatest methods of website promotion.

There are several things you will be doing with your new website. First and foremost, you will be writing articles like this one about the products and services you sell and topics related to them. You will also spend time submitting these articles to websites that offer free content to webmasters.

A lot of website owners are hungry for good original content. They go to these content providers and pull articles related to their products and services and put those articles into their websites. Since your article, like the one I am writing here, has an author bio section at the bottom with links to your website, every website owner that inserts your article into their website is now another website that links to you.

That increases your link popularity, which in turn helps you get better listings in search engine results for your keywords. Writing at least one article everyday will move you up in the search engine rankings before you know it. This is my fourth article for the day, just to give you an idea of how much Im willing to promote my website.

You can also post a lot on blogs and forums that are related to your products or services. In the signature line you put a link to your website. In this subtle way you not only create another website that has a link to your website, but by participating in the forum or blog you may just have users there want to see your website and might want to buy your product or services.

You also want to put your link in your email, on your business cards, on your letterhead, and anywhere else you can. Having your own business, whether online or offline is a way of life, not a nine to five job. So be sure you are ready to do whatever it takes to be successful. Because if you are not ready to work harder than you ever have before, having your own business is not for you.