It pays to know your team players. Can you differentiate the productive and destructive people in your team?
Every day, a small Ant arrived at work early and starting work immediately, she produced a lot and she was happy. The boss, a lion, was surprised to see that the ant was working without supervision. He thought if the ant can produce so much without supervision, wouldn’t she produce more if she had a supervisor!
So the lion recruited a cockroach who had extensive experience as a supervisor and who was famous for writing excellent reports. The cockroach’s first decision was to set up a clocking in attendance system. He also needed a secretary to help him write and type his reports. He recruited a spider who managed the archives and monitored all phone calls.
The Lion was delighted with the cockroach’s report and asked him to produce graphs to describe production rates and analyze trends so that he could use them for presentations at board meetings. So the cockroach had to buy a new computer and a laser printer and recruit a fly to manage the IT department. The Ant , who had been once so productive and relaxed, hated this new plethora of paperwork and meetings which used up most of her time.
The lion came to the conclusion that it was high time to nominate a person in charge of the department where the ant worked. The position was given to the Cicada whose first decision was to buy a carpet and an ergonomic chair for his office.The new person in charge, the cicada, also needed a computer and a personal assistant, whom he had brought from his previous department to help him prepare a work and budget control strategic optimization plan.
The department where the ant works is now a sad place, where nobody laughs anymore and everybody has become upset. It was at that time the cicada convinced the boss, the Lion, to start a climatic study of the office environment. Having reviewed the charges of running the ant’s department, the lion found out that the production was much less than before so he recruited the Owl, a prestigious and renowned consultant to carry out an audit and suggest solutions. The Owl spent 3 months in the department and came out with an enormous report, in several volumes, that concluded that ” The Department is overstaffed..”
Guess who the lion fired first?
Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools to analyze data and share insights. Power BI dashboards provide a 360-degree view for business users with their most important metrics in one place, updated in real time, and available on all of their devices. With one click, users can explore the data behind their dashboard using intuitive tools that make finding answers easy.
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If you are a data analyst delivering reporting and analytics to your organization, Power BI lets you be productive and creative with what you build. Power BI Desktop is a feature-rich data mashup and report authoring tool. Combine data from disparate databases, files, and web services with visual tools that help you understand and fix data quality and formatting issues automatically. With over 20 built-in visuals and a vibrant community of custom visualizations, create stunning reports that communicate your message effectively. With the Power BI service, publish reports securely to your organization and setup automatic data refresh so everyone has the latest information.
Power BI can unify all of your organization’s data, whether in the cloud or on-premises. Using the Power BI gateways, you can connect SQL Server databases, Analysis Services models, and many other data sources to your same dashboards in Power BI. If you already have reporting portals or applications, embed Power BI reports and dashboards for a unified experience.
"The worst people to serve are the Poor people.
Give them free, they think it's a trap. Tell them it's a small investment, they'll say can't earn much. Tell them to come in big, they'll say no money. Tell them try new things, they'll say no experience. Tell them it's traditional business, they'll say hard to do. Tell them it's a new business model, they'll say it's MLM. Tell them to run a shop, they'll say no freedom. Tell them run new business, they'll say no expertise.
They do have something in common: They love to ask google, listen to friends who are as hopeless as them, they think more than an university professor and do less than a blind man. Just ask them, what can they do. They won't be able to answer you.
My conclusion: Instead of your heart beats faster, why not you just act faster a bit; instead of just thinking about it, why not do something about it.
Poor people fail because on one common behaviour: "Their Whole Life is About Waiting". Jack Ma
Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.
Have to repost this blog post (first posted in July 2012), still relevant.
Most companies are innovative especially in their sales and product development (front end). However, the back end (e.g. accounting) may still operate in the same manner for the last 20 to 30 years. How do you know if your accounting people are up-to-date? Easy.
If they are still using dot matrix printer, something is terribly wrong. Common excuses include: we have to print invoices and payment vouchers in duplicates, accounting documents must be printed with NCR papers etc etc. These excuses further confirm that the accounting procedures used are as obsolete as the printer.
Time to innovate, front end and back end. For Generation Y, here is a picture of the noisy "device".
Most SMEs in Malaysia are using either MYOB or UBS as their accounting software, which are essentially desktop software (meaning you have to purchase the software and install on your computer or server). You have to do your own regular backup and pay for upgrades when new versions are available.
With the emergence of cloud software, you now have more alternatives. You don't have to purchase and install accounting software anymore.
Most cloud-based accounting software are on monthly subscription basis (which means no large upfront payment), nothing to install (just subscribe online and use immediately) and accessible anytime, anywhere using any devices (PC, notebook, smartphones, tablets etc). Free upgrades, unlimited users and backups are done by the software providers.
Some alternatives to MYOB and UBS include Wave Accounting (free software), XERO, Saasu (with inventory functionality), Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Yendo (with CRM functionality), Outright, Kashoo and LessAccounting.
Most of these software have free trial (without credit card details). Check it out to ensure that it meets your requirements. Consult your Accountant, if necessary.
There are more alternatives, particularly if you are in property management, legal services industry or non-profit, that have unique accounting needs. All these alternatives have a reputation for being user friendly, feature-packed, relatively inexpensive and suitable for small business. In most circumstances, you need not consider a more robust accounting solution such as NetSuite, OpenERP or SAP until you reach a much larger size.
Have fun selecting the right accounting software for your business.
Here is a more comprehensive information on the salary for accounting and finance professionals in Malaysia for year 2013. It was based on the survey done by Robert Walters, a global specialist professional recruitment agency. For more information, you can view the detailed salary survey result here.
This is, unfortunately, a common remark made by staffs when they did not complete their tasks. Examples include "I don't know how to use the new software because you did not teach me", "I don't know how to use the scanner because you did not teach me", "I don't know to how use social media because you did not teach me" and so on.
I will sum this up as an attitude problem or to be more precise, a learning attitude problem. It could be caused by the current education system, which sucks, but that is the topic for other time.
Staffs with positive learning attitude will say "I don't know because I did not learn" and proceed to learn from various sources such as books, internet, friends, family etc. Attitude + aptitude = altitude. These staffs can go further and higher compared to staffs with bad learning attitude.
In the past, classroom training was the only way to learn. Now, with internet and online learning, it is possible to learn almost anything anytime for free. This includes learning from world class universities such as MIT, Harvard, Yale, Princeton etc. Google+, Youtube and other social media are excellent tools to learn new skills.
How to find out whether your staffs have good or bad learning attitude? Use this exercise to explore their attitudes and beliefs about learning. Ask them to tick beside the statements that are true:
_____ I believe that lifelong learning will help me achieve my goals.
_____ I'm willing to make mistakes and learn from them.
_____ I'm aware that learning opportunities are all around me.
_____ I take charge of my own learning. I use every opportunity I have to learn something new.
_____ I'm willing and eager to learn.
_____ I know what skills and knowledge I need or want to learn.
_____ I know where to find out about formal learning opportunities (mentors, friends, family members).
_____ I set new learning goals regularly.
Act fast before it leads to bozo explosion in your company or you may get to hear this: "I don't know anything because you did not teach me anything" ...
Most meetings are a complete waste of time. People in them are not paying attention. If you are the CEO, meetings seems to be endless. Worst of all, sales people spent almost 80% of their time in meetings, preparing for meetings and doing administrative tasks instead of making sales.
Before you group everyone in a meeting, ask - is this really necessary? There are better and cheaper ways of communicating with your team members such as emails, tweeter, shared calendar etc. Think cloud computing.
If meeting is absolutely required, make it brief, agenda/purpose circulated 48 hours ahead and only need-to-have people are invited. The rest of the people can continue doing their work - creating and serving customers. Isn't that the purpose of your company in the first place? Enjoy these cartoons (click to enlarge).
Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona has been sacked by United Arab Emirates club Al-Wasl after only 14 months in charge. The 1986 World Cup winner arrived in Dubai on a lucrative contract in May 2011, but could only manage to take Al-Wasl to eighth place in the 12-team UAE Pro-League.
Performance matters. Business leaders make firm and fast decisions. Not such thing as let's see what happen in next few months. Reward performers, sack the Bozo.
Diego Maradona is warned by a referee during Al-Wasl's defeat in the final of the GCC Champions League in June. CNN
PivotTable is a very powerful tool, which can transform tons of data into user-friendly information for decision making - without using a single formula. Just drag and drop. You can export data to Excel or Google Docs from most software (SAP, NetSuite, ERPLY, XERO, MYOB, UBS etc) to analyse further using PivotTable.
I constantly remind and conduct training for my clients to harness the power of PivotTable. When I was lecturing Financial Modelling in Monash University (Malaysia) few years back, I demonstrated PivotTable, although officially it was not part of the syllabus. This is to prepare the students for the real world.
Learn it, you will be amazed. Here are 2 introductory videos (to learn more, view other videos):
When someone is speaking to you, do you wait to jump right in or listen attentively?
To reap the benefits of listening, we must develop our ability to concentrate and pay attention. With effective listening, you will improve your productivity and ability to influence, persuade and negotiate.
This is best described by the Chinese word "listen", which combines several words: ears, eyes and undivided attention (one heart or whole heartedly). It pays to listen, active listening.
Business, economy, education and current issues. Providing tips, tricks and tools in managing business.