Blayze Communications

Blayze Communications



Communication

Communication is very important. The basis of communicating is to send, and have understood, a message that you want to convey. An important point here is being understood.

I am surprised by the number of people who believe that because others did not understand their message correctly, it is the recipients problem. My belief is that if I want a message to be received and understood correctly by someone else, it is up to me to choose the most appropriate method to ensure my message is received and understood in the way it was intended.

There is little point in communicating if the message you are trying to convey is not understood correctly. This means that to send the same message to different people, you may have to use different techniques, use different language styles, or use a different medium. Some people take in information more effectively by hearing (auditory), and some by seeing (visually).

This also applies to websites. You need to know and understand the intended audience, and make sure you design and present the information in the most appropriate way. For example, you would present very differently to retirees than you would to teenagers. There is no "one size fits all".

Management Styles - Theories X and Y

A small company I have dealings with (subsidiary of a global corporate) is suffering a major motivation problem. Since a new General Manager was appointed in January 2008, the morale and productivity has declined until now where it has just about reached rock bottom. I was thinking about his management style, and was reminded of Douglas McGregor.

Douglas McGregor was heavily influenced by the studies of Elton Mayo (Hawthorn Studies), and Abraham Maslow (Maslow’s Theory of Human Needs). McGregor advanced the thesis that managers should give more attention to the social and self-actualising needs of people at work. He asked managers to shift from “Theory X” to “Theory Y”, two very different approaches based on different assumptions.

Theory X assumes people:- Dislike work Lack ambition Are irresponsible Are resistant to change Prefer to be led than to lead

Managers with Theory X assumptions tend to be overly directive (micro manage) and control oriented. This creates passive, dependant and reluctant subordinates.

Theory Y assumes people:- Are willing to work Are capable of self control Are willing to accept responsibility Are imaginative and creative Are capable of self direction.

Managers with Theory Y assumptions give subordinates more participation, freedom and responsibility in their work This creates opportunities to satisfy their esteem and self-actualisation needs. They respond by showing initiative and high productivity.

McGregor points out that managers holding either of these sets of assumptions can create a self fulfilling prophecy where the staff will start exhibiting behaviours that confirm the original expectations.
Thinking about these theories, I realised the General Manager had strong Theory Y assumptions, managed accordingly, and has provided the environment for the changes, and now has his prophecies fulfilled. Unfortunately, he sees the changes as a confirmation of his original assumptions, rather than as a reaction to his management style. I expect when the staff all leave (which is looking like a strong possibility), he will believe they were not suitable from the start.
What is your management style?

Cashflow

There are many ways to improve cashflow. One is getting the invoices out as quickly and accurately as possible.

Especially in these tough economic times, cashflow is king!

While many businesses concentrate on reducing their outstanding debtors, I see a lot that don't pay attention to getting their invoices out quickly. Remember the quicker you send out your invoice, the quicker you will get paid.
I also see a lot of delays because the invoice does not have enough details, and the customer needs to chase up information in order to pay the invoice. Every time a customer needs to query an invoice, it delays getting paid.

Make it as easy as possible for the customer to pay your invoice. Send out the invoice as quickly as possible and with as much relevant details as possible.
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