All posts filed under: Skills

All about developing competencies

Fire the Project Manager


The last decades have seen a key trend in organisations: more and more work is carried through “Projects“. The actual content of what a Project is varies from company to company, but as a rule of thumb the common element of it all is that somebody assumes the role of “Project Manager“. Other elements instead (the availability of a resource plan or of a specific budget) vary instead. Very often this is a part time role, assumed by somebody in the Organisation who is supposed to continue carrying on its own job at the same time. But in many cases this role is delegated to a “specialist” in Project Management. This can be an internal resource, or more often a contractor, who professionally does project management by applying one of the many methodologies available. The goal of this role is to ensure that the project itself is maintained within budget, planning is respected, results achieved. I guess you all recognize this. Yet a sentence I heard a couple of days ago from an executive made …

Are you really too busy to innovate?


It is really incredible how much time each of us spends everyday in useless or low value activities, instead of concentrating on what your company would need the most: innovation. To a certain extent we have become too “efficient”. So we do not put enough attention to the thinking process that is at the basis of creativity and innovation. We are simply too busy to innovate, and what’s worse, we seem to enjoy the busyness over the contemplation necessary for innovation. Like a man who starves to death in a bountiful land because he is too busy to plant, many businesses will wither because they were too busy to innovate. This is what Jeffrey Phillips writes on his blog. And I believe he is really right. We spend endless hours into meetings for the sole purpose of being present (I will come back on this, but for the moment you can read this great article on how to avoid being dragged in too many meetings), endless call conferences, tons of email whose relevance is all …

A Basic Skill for Managers: Decision Making


What is that makes a good manager? Good decisions, many would say. Issue is that, apparently, many managers find it more and more difficult to take decisions. Of course the ubiquitous phrase “go with your gut” tells us a lot about the importance of instinct and intuition in decision-making. But… not everybody is ready to go this way. And elements such as reason and experience need to come into scope. The key issue of decision-making is making sure it comes at the right time. This means that a key skill needed for managers, is taking decision by balancing the need of detailed knowledge and the timeliness of the decision. There are many Decision-Making tools that can help different people to sustain their decision-making approach. However, I’d like to recap what a good decision should be about. First of all decision-making is a process that needs to involve various steps: Identify the purpose of your decision. What is exactly the problem that needs to be solved? Why should it be solved? Is there a need at all for a …

Siete pronti per il 2012?


Ma come, appena iniziato il 2011, e già parliamo del prossimo anno? Intendiamoci, non intendo parlare delle varie teorie maya sulla predizione del 2012. Se davvero l’Armageddon dovesse arrivare il prossimo anno, credo che non ci potremmo far molto. Piuttosto mi riferisco alla necessità di pianificare oggi ciò che vorremmo raccogliere il prossimo anno come frutto del nostro lavoro. Ne abbiamo già parlato a proposito della necessità per ogni manager di bilanciare i tre orizzonti temporali del passato, presente e futuro. Se ci pensiamo bene, gran parte dei risultati del 2011 per la nostra azienda sono stati non solo preventivati, ma in gran parte realizzati. Più un’azienda è organizzata, più le attività produttive di risultati si spostano nel tempo. Certo, non parliamo del 100% dei risultati, ma comunque di una parte molto rilevante. Il punto è che i fattori che realmente possono fare la differenza nella crescita di un’azienda (innovazione, formazione, strategie di business) necessitano di tempo per poter realizzare i loro effetti. In un anno post-crisi come questo, il rischio è che molti manager si …