Performance & Hotrod Business - February '15

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70 n Performance & Hotrod Business n February 2015 The Challenges We Face Dealing with obstacles is crucial to long-term business success. n BE A LEADER By TimoThy F. Bednarz I t's not only important for managers to recog- nize the challenges that they will face, but also to understand how to meet and overcome such trials. Preparation provides them with a starting point and the impetus to change. As the complexity and depth of challenges increase, managers cannot afford to ignore the issues that currently confront them. Doing so will create a domino effect of problems that will continue to plague them until dealt with. More importantly, managers will learn that the obstacles, barriers and challenges to their business will continue at an alarming rate, fueled by technological advancements and changes in the global economy. Cognizant of the above circumstances, man- agers can devote more time to meeting the stra- tegic challenges that continue to confront their business. At the same time, more of the tactical issues must be pushed to the frontline employee. The strategic nature of many challenges pre- cludes most managers from micromanaging the activities of their people and forces them to deal with the macro-issues of management. Several critical management challenges are listed below, along with specific strategies managers can employ to meet them. Reinforcing Employee Support Systems The rapid flow of information between man- agers and their employees is the biggest chal- lenge to be faced. It is recommended that man- agers conduct a complete reassessment of their employee support system. The best approach is to flowchart the entire system so as to completely understand its meth- odology and complexity. Over time, support sys- tems tend to become increasingly complex and redundant as new elements are put into place, which overburdens the process. Managers should consider a complete rede- sign of their support systems. This can start with a fresh set of goals and objectives to use as a foundation. With these goals and objectives in mind, managers should analyze the type and form of information that both they and their employees require, and the best means of obtaining and delivering that information. The key is to remem- ber that most managers and employees are awash in information, but starving for knowledge. Managers should look for the best methods possible to deliver knowledge over information, providing support data if it needs to be refer- enced. Some vital areas to examine are: • The effective use of performance metrics to evaluate work. • The conversion of reports into action plans. • The minimization of data flow to eliminate information overload. Realigning Internal Processes Managers must conduct a comprehensive analysis of the buying habits and patterns of their customer base. As buyers become more sophisticated and are forced to face the realities of increased global competition and a depressed economy, their behaviors change. Managers must examine and monitor these changes, and analyze future trends. When com- pared to their existing processes, most will find profound shifts. The impact of the Internet on information- gathering must be addressed, along with the over- Excerpt: Overcoming Management Challenges: Pinpoint Management Skill Development Training Series (Majorium Business Press, Stevens Point, WI 2011). To learn more about author and publisher Timothy F. Bednarz, email timothy. or visit www.majoriumbusi- BUSINESS

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