Contents

Linux is named after Linus Torvalds, a Finnish programmer. Today Linux is one of the path breaking software which has been recognized all over the world. Linus Torvalds developed Linux all alone, but today since the source code is free to access and change, Linux goes on getting developed further by thousands of programmers working in groups or all alone. Here it was the creativity of one brain which gave birth to a concept. This concept has been developed to its present form by...

Innovative Thinking- Can it be done by a team?

Innovative Thinking- Can it be done by a team?Linux is named after Linus Torvalds, a Finnish programmer. Today Linux is one of the path breaking software which has been recognized all over the world. Linus Torvalds developed Linux all alone, but today since the source code is free to access and change, Linux goes on getting developed further by thousands of programmers working in groups or all alone. Here it was the creativity of one brain which gave birth to a concept. This concept has been developed to its present form by groups of people spread all over, thanks to the Internet.Innovative ideas do start in one mind before taking on the world. The radio, television, telephone, electric bulb etc. all were developed by genius scientists who had the ability and courage to think something different. It is a well known fact that Albert Einstein was the mastermind of the nuclear bombs which US dropped over Japan. It was Henry Ford who innovated the assembly line production of cars. It was after his success with the Model T that all other car companies copied him.It may be argued that in the present world, all development takes place in the labs of huge companies by highly qualified technical staff. But once you pore deep into these teams, will you realize that there is an individual brain responsible for new innovations. It is true in the advertising industry. When a top creative leaves an agency, many clients follow suit with their accounts. David Ogilvy was king of advertising while alive. Today O&M runs on his name. Groups of people when working together have to deal with the whims and egos of each other. Some frequencies simply don't match. An idea which may be innovative and mind blowing for one individual may be a truly rubbish concept for another. The members are then forced to compromise to more conventional and pedestrian stuff. We have well known examples from our daily life. Microsoft founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen took on IBM and soon became bigger than IBM. GE was the brain of Edison. Quite recently in the networked world, most new companies on the Internet, software arena are run by entrepreneurs. Venture Capitalists work on the same concept. They act as incubators- they fund an idea to make it a reality. Original and innovative thinking is revered all over.The fact that people prefer to launch their own businesses and be their own bosses is due to the problems of working in groups or under pressure. Senior executives ignore creative ideas from juniors just because they are less experienced. Innovative thinking then suffers and comes down to a more conventional and acceptable level. It is noting these facts, that business houses all over are trying to have a more horizontal structure where juniors are given more encouragement and given more opportunities to contribute their thoughts.The concept of the single person taking the final decision is age-old since the age of kings. It was the king or monarch who had the final say after consulting his council members, while today we have presidents and prime-ministers doing the same. Amazon started off with Jeff Bezos alone. Today it is called as the largest superstore on earth.

Appraisals: Learn How To Love Them

Appraisals: Learn How To Love Them

Appraisals have a pretty bad reputation in many organizations. Managers dread having to give them and employees hate having to take them. But by simply focusing on 7 high-value components of appraisals, you can turn them into one of the most important activities you perform and start to love them. Here are those 7 features.1. Re-state The Key Areas. Appraisals give managers and employees the chance to re-state the key result areas of the job. These are, quite simply, what people are paid for. For a manager, they might be: Production; Quality; Costs; Safety; Staff. For an engineer, they might be Repair; Maintenance; Installation; Improvements. An appraisal is like the follow-up to a recruitment interview. Just as the recruitment interview at the start of employment looks at the key areas of a job and the person's skills in these areas, so the appraisal at regular intervals throughout employment looks at how key areas have changed and whether the employee's skills need to change with them.2. Check How Theyre Doing. Taking time out to review past performance is a necessary step in making plans for the future. Instead of continuing as before, review enables us to stop, think and re-assess. It should be part of any management process. Professor Hal Leavitt, of Chicago University, says that performance improves in relation to the amount and accuracy of feedback received, whether good or bad. When you don't know how well you're doing, you often assume the worst, your confidence drops and down goes your performance."The golfer who doesn't count his shots is only there for the walk."3. Exchange News. Appraisals that are timed carefully to fit in with the organisation's business cycle can use the appraisal interview to exchange information with individuals. This could be about...the big picture: how the organisation has been performing in the period of the review and how it hopes to do in the futuresignificant changes that may affect the organisation and individualsopportunities for the organisation in the market placedetailed plans that affect the employee.Exchanging information about the organisation and the part employees play in it has both practical and motivational value.4. Recognise Good Work. Managers often spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with problems and problem staff. Appraisals allow them to re-dress the balance and recognize the quiet heroes in their team. To find the quiet heroes on your team, ask yourself...Who is rarely absent?Who never says "No"?Who enjoys pressure?Who delivers on time?Who takes up the slack?Who doesn't pester for help?Who is so unassuming you forget they're there?Who quietly lends others a hand?Who smoothes conflicts and builds morale?Who carries on even when the boss is not around?Who shuns the limelight?Who never takes the credit?5. Build Peoples Confidence. The appraisal process is an opportunity to give people insight into the things they do well. This in turn focuses on their strengths and builds their confidence. To get people thinking about their strengths, ask the following questions: "What's gone really well this year?""What have you enjoyed doing most of all?""What have been the best moments?""What have you found most satisfying?""What things have you picked up quickest?""What would you like to spend more time on?""Where do you think your strengths lie?"We can do no greater service as appraisers than awaken people to their true potential.6. Develop The Boss-Subordinate Relationship. Surveys show that we have a very low level of regular contact with our bosses: 7% to 11% on average which is about half a day a week. Yet, the boss-subordinate relationship is the pivotal relationship that determines how well we perform. When the relationship is bad, performance is likely to be bad and when it is good, performance is likely to be good. The appraisal is therefore an important chance to do some maintenance work on this relationship.7. Plan The Future. If review follows action in the management cycle, then new plans should follow review. The plans made at the end of a performance appraisal can include...plans for immediate action by either the manager or employeeproblem-solving plans to deal with blocks to progressproject plans based on areas the employee wants to developdevelopment plans based on identified potentialcareer plans based on matching employee development and organisational opportunitieslifetime plans.Appraisal can be the spark that ignites enthusiasm for what is possible. It is what the appraising manager leaves in his or her wake.For employees, appraisals are big events in their lives. It is the one time in the year when they are center-stage. Practise these 7 steps and you will make their day a red-letter one.

Employee Performance Management

Employee Performance Management

Fixation of compensation or wage rates for different categories of employees in a company is an important task of management. The employees are not only concerned with the wages received but also concerned with the level wages received by same level of employees in similar organizations. Hence wage structure may be considered very important. The relative wage-rules must be fixed carefully, because they have implications for promotion, transfer, seniority and other important personnel matters.Wage plan should possess certain fundamental characteristics if the long term interests of the worker, management and the consumer are to be served. The wage plan must be linked with the productivity of the workers. Unless higher pay scales of workers are linked in some way to the productivity of workers, a wage plan will not be fair either to the management or to the consumers.Basic wage for each job classification should be related to skill job requirements of job. Due consideration should be given to such factors as skill, length of time required in learning, versatility required and working conditions. In all fairness to management, the plan should usually result in a reduction of unit cost of manufacture, making possible lower prices and higher profits.In all fairness to the consumers a share of higher efficiency should be passed on to them by way of lower price. This will be possible when there is reduction in cost due to higher efficiency. Thus the wage plan must ensure that all participate share the gains of higher productivity. The wage plan should include an incentive system for the efficient workers. The system should ensure higher pay to the workers who perform work at higher level of efficiency. The wage plan should guarantee minimum wage to protect the interest of workers against conditions over which they have no control.

Four Easy Steps To More Motivated Employees

Four Easy Steps To More Motivated Employees

There is no particular set of rules that one should follow in motivating employees. We each have our own driving force when it comes to doing an excellent job at work. A working mother could be motivated by her children, who serve as her inspiration to succeed. A trainee who is fresh out of college is motivated by the compulsion to learn and climb to the top. A long-time company employee will get motivated to perform well so that he or she can be promoted. Others are motivated by financial rewards. As a manager, team leader, department head or supervisor, you need to determine the individual driving forces of those who are in your team so that you can create a motivated workforce.1. Goals For Employee Motivation:- Increase employee performance at work- Spice up team spirit and build a cohesive team- Eliminate individual differences and avoid conflicts- Have an open communication between peers- Set and achieve a common goal2. Lead By ExampleThere is one joke where it says that the new definition of a boss is one who is always early when you are late and who is always late when you are not. Do not let this apply to you. Be consistent. The simple gesture of arriving before or as the same time as your employees will show them how much you value their time and yours. This is also a good way of showing employees that you respect the company that pays you for your time at work. If you do come in late, apologize to those who are under you and explain why you are late. This is so that they would not think that the no-late policy does not apply to the boss, showing them that you are equals when it comes to company rules and policies.2. Keep Communication Lines OpenSome employees are afraid to talk to, or even look at superiors who exude the touch-me-not aura. This is not a good way to motivate your employees. When you come to work, do not just go straight to your office and deal with your paper works. Mingle with the employees and ask them about their previous day, on what they have accomplished so far. Then you can tell them about the output that you expect by the end of the day. This way, you would know what to expect from the employees and vice-versa. It will not only help you set a goal for the day but with this, you are also optimizing your interaction with the employees by mingling with them on a more casual basis.3. Share What You KnowDo not be selfish. Sometimes, a company does not grow because there are employees who know something advanced about the industry or a certain aspect of the company, and they are not willing to share their knowledge to others. They think that this would make them invaluable to the company, especially if they are the only ones who know about a particular process or idea. This attitude would not help your company succeed. There should always be a sharing of knowledge. When an employee is asked to train abroad, they are often asked to sign a contract that they should not resign for the next year or two. Why do you think this is so? Imagine what would happen if the employee who trained abroad or attended an exclusive seminar about an advanced technology on the industry just up and leaves right after the training. A company would not spend thousands of dollars to train an employee for nothing. They want you to share and impart the knowledge to your fellow employees. If you share a new technology to your entire team, who knows what newer and better ideas the knowledge would bring? Do not stutter the company's growth by keeping your ideas to yourself.4. Implement Your IdeasWhat good would a new idea or technology do if you do not apply it? After sharing the knowledge, gather the team and think of ways to improve the company's operation with what you all have learned. As a leader, you should be a people person. You must know how to adopt to the things that motivate your team members and use this knowledge to your advantage. Without a good and solid workforce behind you, you will not accomplish anything. You may have ten or a hundred employees, but if you apply these steps to motivate your team, you can bring out the best in them and contribute towards your company's growth and success.

Psychological Training

Why Train?Simple really: training improves skills, techniques, knowledge and attitude whatever an individual's role within an organisation. Ongoing staff training and development is crucial if you want to improve business performance and meet your targets.Without a well-trained, skilled team your business won't grow and prosper. But there are a number of initiatives to ensure your staff have the right knowledge and experience required.When a company develops a learning culture, staff feel motivated to participate in it, resulting in an improvement in individual and collective performance. Morale will be raised, problems solved, efficiency improved and goals attained all because of the practical ability, confidence and motivation that effective training builds.There is, however, a bewildering array of training events and self-taught training materials. Some of these events and materials may be inappropriate as they do not fulfil the skill and information needs of your staff. Some courses may be legally inaccurate, as they do not contain up-to date information on important relevant educational legislation of which staff need to be aware.Ensuring that staff develop as educators, team members and individuals increases their sense of worth within your organisation, reducing staff turnover rates. Providing appropriate and ongoing training assists in maintaining the high quality of their work and output.Psychological TrainingHave you ever wondered what makes top performers excel time after time? The answer is they are not only highly competent; they are also psychologically fit.These people have learnt to become - and stay focused, resilient, confident and committed. This means they have that extra drive to perform in todays highly demanding world of work. Psychological fitness, like physical fitness, can be learnt. It sits at the heart of a suite of programmes, each of which provides practical and sustainable tools to develop and enhance psychological fitness.Together with complementary skills and knowledge, they provide the drivers for action in a wide range of contexts. In association with the Human Dimension, Phoenix are able to provide all your staff with the practical tools to perform at a higher level by enhancing their psychological fitness. Its application is extremely varied but recent workshops have been centred around Leadership, Change Management, Team Development, Tackling Absenteeism and Stress.

Accounting Principles & Standards: Avoid Them At Your Peril

Accounting principles are the basic assumptions, rules of operation, and essential characteristics that make up the framework for the construction of accounting financial statements. Long ago, I was perplexed to discover that there was no set of accounting principles that was presented in one form such as you might find in the Bill of Rights. This is not to say that the principles are incomplete or vague, it only means that the definitions of accounting principles can be presented in various formats, which may lead to confusion for some people, especially beginners. Be that as it may, accounting principles are absolutely necessary when preparing financial statements, just as the rules of a particular card game make the card game possible in the first place. "Accounting principles" are like the glue that holds the accounting process together. For example, financial statements have an overall objective, which is to provide the user of the statements a useful tool for making business decisions. In order to be useful, the accounting information must have certain characteristics, such as being dependable and practical. To be dependable, the accounting information must be unbiased, accurate, and verifiable. To be practical, accounting information must be predictable, prepared in a timely fashion, and be able to provide meaningful feedback. Additional characteristics are that the accounting information must be consistent, comparable, serve a utilitarian need (such as cost/benefit), and make a material difference. Besides characteristics, certain operational rules are established as to when revenue and expenses are reported; how expenses are matched to revenue; what to do when a choice can be made that might overstate or understate figures; and, what information should be disclosed so that the reader will fully understand the circumstances under which the information is being presented. There are also basic assumptions that the reader can count on, such as: the information is related to the business entity only and doesnt have any unrelated information mixed in; the business is a going concern and wont cease operations soon; the financial information presented is measured in specific time intervals such as a month, quarter or year; the financial information is using a certain unit of measure such as dollars, not board feet, etc.; the information is presented at historical cost, i.e., when received, paid, or incurred; and, the method of accounting being used is double-entry and not some other method. These are accounting principles as opposed to accounting standards. An accounting standard is an agreement as to how an accounting issue will be treated. For instance, a standard might state what type of inventory system is appropriate to use for a certain type of business; how capital leases should be recorded; how many years intangible assets should be amortized; what methods of depreciation should be used, and so on. There are literally thousands of accounting standards that have been issued over the years. These standards are constantly being revised or discarded as they become outdated. If you want to play the accounting game of cards, you must become familiar with the rules of the game, which are accounting principles and standards. If you choose to not play by the rules, you do so at your own peril, as we have seen recently in the U.S. corporate accounting scandals.

Summary

Linux is named after Linus Torvalds, a Finnish programmer. Today Linux is one of the path breaking software which has been recognized all over the world. Linus Torvalds developed Linux all alone, but today since the source code is free to access and change, Linux goes on getting developed further by thousands of programmers working in groups or all alone. Here it was the creativity of one brain which gave birth to a concept. This concept has been developed to its present form by...