Changes to Change Management Toolbook

The Change Management Toolbook website has been updated and is well worth a look for useful information and resources on change management. As the site explains:

"Change Management is the process, tools and techniques to manage the people-side of change processes, to achieve the required outcomes, and to realize the change effectively within the individual change agent, the inner team, and the wider system...

"How (and whether at all) change can be "managed" or facilitated? In essence, change takes place on three levels: The self, the team or the (small) organization and the wider system that surrounds the team or the small organization or the organizational unit - depending how you define the system borders. In a process, learning needs to be facilitated on all three levels to become sustainable...

"Only if organizations and individuals within organizations learn, they will able to master a positive change. In other words, change is the result from an organizational learning process that centres around the questions: 'In order to sustain and grow as an organization and as individuals within; what are the procedures, what is the know-how we need to maintain and where do we need to change?', and, 'How can we manage a change, that is in harmony with the values we hold as individuals and as organizations?'"


Happy Thanksgiving

Gracious God, grant that I may be the best that I can be.

Forgive me for hiding who I really am, what I truly believe, and what I dream you want me to do. Forgive me for too often trying to shine as I imagine others think I should, rather than as I prayerfully discern you would have me. Forgive me for not using the gifts that you have given me, for not running with the interests and abilities that by your design light me up.

By your grace, may I experience the joy of living a life that is faithful to you and your purpose. When Jesus walked the life-demanding, life-giving path to Calvary, many voices with many motivations, ranging from love to mockery, cried out for him to go another way. Yet, thankfully, and to our eternal blessing, Jesus listened to your voice and was obedient to you. Grant that like him, I may hear you in the midst of the mayhem. Grant that like Jesus, I may live the life you have graciously given me to live.

Give me ears to hear you as you speak through the scriptures, your church, and those around me. Give me the faith, and help me to take the time to listen as you speak in the quiet recesses of my heart, as well.

You are the one who lit the fire of my life with your love. Place me where you want me to be. Position and reposition me according to your will. Trim me as you would a wick, though it may be painful, that I may shine as you want me to.

Even as I wait for you to complete your good work in me, infuse me now with the faith and courage to shine with your light today. By your grace and to your glory, right now, right here, right where you have placed me, may I shine as the person you have created me to be.


from Evangelical Covenant Church.


Sustaining Greatness

Sam Decker opines that ten elements of a business culture can sustain greatness.

"1. Continuuous improvement...
2. Focus...
3. Quality...
4. Open and Direct...
5. Accountability...
6. Measurement...
7. Fun...
8. Recognition...
9. Disciplined Hiring...
10. Humility...Everyone in the company should embrace that they can learn something from anyone. Otherwise you are about two years away from learning that lesson."


100 Financial Calculators

"Many entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury of having a separate accounting department, instead doing their own number crunching. It’s not always easy, but you can make it less difficult by making use of the huge number of free financial tools for businesses that are available on the Internet. Here are 100 calculators [from Bootstrapper] that can help you get and keep your finances in order."

Avoid Rookie Mistakes

The Venture Alliance offers the following list of Entrepreneurial Rookie Mistakes
Who absolutely MUST invest in your company?
Why is DEBT often considered a BAD thing by investors?
Raising capital without using the proper documents
Common Mistakes in Failing to Protect Intellectual Property
Compensating Your Team: Common Do’s & Don’ts
When NOT to Take the Money
What is a Capitalization Table and what does it say about my Company?
Choosing Between a Board of Directors and a Board of Advisors
Strategies behind the “Uses of Funds” Statement
Common Mistakes in Setting & Justifying Valuations
Ten Classic Rookie Mistakes


Above and Beyond

"Managing people isn't just about getting the job done. To truly be a great leader, sometimes you need to go above and beyond what the job calls for.

"93. Lead by example. You can talk until you're blue in the face, but the best way to get a point across is to be the model to emulate. Let employees follow your lead.

"94. Get your hands dirty. Sometimes you need to show your employees that no one's above doing unattractive tasks.

"95. Make a difference to your employees. Don't just be a generic manager — stand out as a leader and role model for your employees.

"96. Gain your employees' trust and respect. You'll have a much easier time managing employees when they respect your rules and boundaries and trust your leadership.

"97. Be empathetic to personal problems. Whether it should or not, what happens outside of work can have a big affect on the quality of work produced. Be sensitive if employees have personal issues that keep them from concentrating on work.

"98. Be unique as a manager. Every position demands something different and you should be proud to be adept at your particular role rather than trying to emulate other managers.

"99. Remember that ethics matter above all. Be honest and reliable in all of your business and personal relationships.

"100. Be on the lookout for new ideas. You never know where your next great inspiration will come from.

"101. Get to know your employees. Learn more than just their names. Get to know your employees' family backgrounds, likes and dislikes. Doing so will make you more personable."

From a great list of managment tips at 101 Common-Sense Rules for Leaders


Prospective Investors Package

"Venture Hacks has two great posts up about what kind of stuff you should send to investors if you are looking for financing.

"What should I send investors? Part 1: Elevator Pitch.
"What should I send investors? Part 2: Deck.

"Plus, as a special bonus, you get to see Ali G pitching investors. This nicely compliments my post from June 2004 titled The Torturous World of Powerpoint."

For active links, see this Ask The VC post from which the foregoing is quoted.


Outline of an Employee Handbook

"If you take the time to consolidate your personnel policies in a thoughtfully crafted handbook, you will do a better job of making sure your employees know the rules and what is expected of them, and your supervisors will do a better job of keeping you out of trouble..."

So states this article by Sidney F. Lewis V (pdf)that suggests considering the inclusion of the appropriate provisions in the following areas:

"A. EEO Statement
B. Pre-Hire Information
C. Orientation/Probation Period
D. Access To Personnel Files
E. Exempt/Non-Exempt Status
F. Incentive Bonuses
G. Vacation Policy
H. Holidays
I. Health Insurance Information
J. Sick Leave
K. Family and Medical Leave of Absence
L. Other Leaves of Absence
M. Maternity Leave
N. Military Leave
O. Jury Duty Leave
P. Funeral Leave
Q. Sexual and Other Types of Harassment Policy
R. No Solicitation Policy
S. Union Free Statement
T. Performance Evaluations
U. Discipline Policy
V. Attendance Policy
W. Internet Access/E-mail/Voice Mail Policy
X. Workplace Violence Policy
Y. Dress Code Policy
Z. Drug Testing Policy
AA. Open Door Policy
BB. Reimbursement for Uniforms, Equipment, etc.
CC. Handbook Disclaimer
This is an important provision. In the disclaimer you should indicate that the individual’s employment is at will and that the handbook does not constitute a contract of employment. Employers should also indicate that no one has the authority to create a contract of employment other than a specified individual. While it is not a good practice to deviate from the provisions in an employee handbook, you want to make it clear that management has that right, in its discretion, to deviate from the handbook at any time and take any action deemed appropriate.
DD. Signature Page
The signature page on the employee handbook is extremely important. It should be removed from the handbook and placed in the personnel file. Handbook disclaimer language discussed above should be contained in the signature page. It may be preferable to have such strong language removed from the handbook and placed in the personnel file."


Gene Gene the Dancing Machine

I always loved this part of the Gong Show - Yes I watched it - the part when Gene Gene the Dancing Machine would step on stage.