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Home Archive for category "Productivity"

“No person can get very far in this life on a 40-hour week.”

Working more hours does not make us more productive.  That seems counter-intuitive, but it’s true.  This was demonstrated by many studies conducted from the early 1900s to the 1950s.  In fact, Henry Ford, who was an early adopter of working fewer hours, reduced the work day in his plants from 10 hours to eight, and

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“The best ideas for improving a job come from those who do it every day.”

A lot has been written lately about “employee engagement” . . . some of it right here. The Gallup organization, which has studied it for many years, says employee engagement can be measured by the strength of the emotional connection an employee feels toward his or her company.  If the employee sings the company song,

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Do we live to work or work to live?

Americans work hard . . . at least they work longer hours than their counterparts in the world’s largest economies. On average, an adult fulltime worker in this country works 47 hours a week.  If you filter out hourly workers and consider only salaried workers, that number rises to 49 hours.  Four in ten of

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“I do not believe you can do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.”

For most of us, when we think about innovation, we think about companies like Apple, Microsoft, or Google. We think about breakthrough, disruptive technologies like the GraphicalUser Interface which took access to the Worldwide Web from the hands of a few geeks who could write computer code and gave it to the masses. In other

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Be decisive. Get focused. Take a nap.

Successful people have always been, and continue to be, studied, researched, and analyzed endlessly.  Why?  Because we want to learn what makes them tick.  We want to find out what they do (or don’t do) that makes them more successful than the rest of us.  I recently read two online articles, each describing a characteristic

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Best Places to Work in Illinois 2015

As it has for the past 10 years, the Daily Herald Business Ledger has published a list of the “Best Places to Work in Illinois” for 2015.  The “Best Places to Work” program is managed by the Best Companies Group (BCG) of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  BCG administers this program not only in Illinois, but in many

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“At the end of the day, you bet on people, not strategies.”

The Filene Research Institute is a think tank aimed at helping credit unions find ways to operate smarter, more efficiently, and more effectively.  An acquaintance of mine who manages a credit union shared one of Filene’s reports with me.  The title of the report is “Attributes and Skills of Highly Effective Credit Union Managers,” but

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What’s your New Year’s BHAG?

At the start of the year, everybody ought to have a BHAG.  For the uninitiated, that’s a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal or bee-hag.  And why does everyone need a BHAG?  Well, if you’re one of those rare businesses that blew the doors off last year and all you want to do is let the good

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“Whoever said, ‘If it ain’t broke . . . ‘ “

It’s easy to get a little lax about taking care of your car.  That is, you get in, it starts right up, and then you’re zipping down the road.  No worries, right?  But then, warning lights start appearing on the dashboard or the brakes start to squeak, and you realize you haven’t had it serviced

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“Everyone has a number.”

While monthly financial statements are essential to effectively managing your business, they are historical documents.  They tell you what’s already happened when it’s too late to do anything about it.  So in addition to monthly financial statements, you also need measurements that are predictive in nature to serve as early warning signs that something may

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