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Effective Stakeholder Management

Whether you know it or not, we are all in the business of stakeholder management. Ideally it’s a conscious, planned and focused activity associated with clear actions and outcomes but more often than not it is an unconscious and unplanned aspect of managing projects day-to-day. Developing a formalised, documented, repeatable process for mapping stakeholders and embedding a clear methodology for stakeholder management can yield enormous benefit.

What? When? Why? Who? How?

So, what is stakeholder management? Formal stakeholder analysis is used by business leaders and project managers to identify the key influencers associated with a particular project or programme then assess their attitude, level of interest and the importance they attach to it. Such knowledge helps change programmes to interact in the most effective way with stakeholders, particularly in planning optimal pro-active communication.

When is the right time for stakeholder management? It is essential to conduct the initial stakeholder analysis before the change or transformation programme begins so that the business leader or project manager can drive positive outcomes by detecting negativity, resistance or misunderstandings early on and take appropriate action. Stakeholder analysis can also be helpful when a programme changes direction.

Why is it important? Stakeholder management is a key leadership tool. Done consciously and effectively it secures the ownership and accountability necessary for delivering change. It’s a way of aligning multiple teams with a single goal and providing that all-important ‘golden thread’ of relevance to the strategic aims of the organisation.

Who are your stakeholders? You can identify your stakeholders by following the ‘threads’ of the programme i.e. who is paying the bill, who has sign off, who is contributing resources. Distinguish between a sponsor and a stakeholder as their roles are quite different: the sponsor is the single owner of the programme, whereas the stakeholders are all those who stand to gain from it. Note that your sponsor may also have a sponsor’s agent in order to expedite action.

How does it work? The golden rule of stakeholder management is to clearly identify roles and responsibilities up front as well as analysing the stakeholders themselves. Set expectations for your sponsor and stakeholders with regards to performance indicators and measurement and build a tailored communications strategy around what you have learned from your analysis.

Stakeholder mapping vs stakeholder management

Notwithstanding the potential benefits of effective stakeholder management, 80% of the time it is a waste of time. In fact, poor stakeholder management and ineffectual communication are two of the key reasons why change often fails.

The first pitfall is the stakeholders themselves. Some are good, some are not. The issues arise when they don’t understand their role; what is expected of them, what questions to ask or what information they should be receiving. The answer is to communicate responsibilities and ensure a common appreciation of the value and potential impact of the role.

The second tripwire is the process. Whilst it’s easy enough to create a stakeholder map, you have to remember that the map is not the end goal. We’ve seen countless examples of project managers simply not knowing what to do with their analysis (inertia), not knowing what they want/need to get from it (lack of connection) or just not taking (or making) the time to act on it (roadblocks).

The simple difference between the limited value of stakeholder mapping and the wide-ranging benefits of stakeholder management is action. Avoid the ‘tick in a box’ approach by visualising, targeting and time-boxing specific outcomes. Focus on benefit-driven activities that maintain that essential thread of relevance through to one unifying goal. At Afiniti we call this ‘doing the right things right’.

Return on investment

Stakeholder management brings classic returns in terms of time, money and motivation. The bottom line is that every minute you invest in driving effective stakeholder management will bring a significant business benefit in terms of:

l Accountability

The RACI model for identifying roles and responsibilities including who is ‘responsible’, ‘accountable’, ‘consulted’ and ‘informed’ will help initiate and maintain accountability.

l Progress

In practical terms stakeholder management keeps your decision-makers and influencers engaged and on track and thereby oils the wheels of progress.

l Change penetration

Managing stakeholders effectively is not just about forward momentum, it is also about scale; helping to push and promote change in every corner of the organisation.

l Overcoming barriers

Forewarned is forearmed: your stakeholder grid will identify where you are most likely to encounter resistance so you can ensure you are ready to counter it.

l Leveraging influence

Decision-making takes place and takes place on time when you have worked out whose opinions to weigh heaviest and who to consult first in making major decisions.

l Risk management

Stakeholder management is as much about managing risk as it is about managing people in the sense that it reveals potential pitfalls and provokes proactive mitigation.

l Personal influence & career progression

Learning to leverage relationships in order to reach positive outcomes is an important career skill and one that will contribute gravitas to an individual’s personal style.

The takeaway

Stakeholder management is not rocket science but you do need to follow a clear process to return the greatest benefit. This is our simple step-by-step approach:

The people aspects of Change Management Programmes are what Afiniti does best; driving transformation and delivering results through our proven methods and approach. Our combination of effective stakeholder management, communications strategy, creative employee engagement and best practice project management delivery we can guarantee success.

Nearly All The Plans of Chairperson of The Federal Reserve

Nearly all the plans of chairperson of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke are running along the rails he has laid down six months previously. On 27th August 2010 while speaking at Jackson Hole in Wyoming he had chalked out his endeavours to give a fillip to economic growth, to stop prices from tumbling through buying of government bonds. Stocks have soared since then and the unemployment rate has fallen; the consumers have started to shop again.

Bill Gross of Pimco referred to the plan as a success. He manages the world’s biggest mutual fund. Gross had at one time compared the plans of Bernanke to give the economy a boost as one Ponzi scheme. But he too said, “It’s hard to dispute that since Jackson Hole the market is up around 25%”.

By next June the programme of the Treasury to buy bonds will end. Investors including Gross are concerned that the bond and stock markets will tumble without the monthly injection of $75 billion by the Feds. Gross said that by the close of June when the biggest buyer of bonds would stop doing so, the markets would get a shock.

Another issue has now cropped up. The fears of increase in food and energy prices have been now replaced with that of a double-dip-recession. In the Congressional hearing Bernanke is sure to be criticized for the quantitative easing programme of bond buying.

Apparently the speech of Bernanke at Jackson was like the Fed speaking. But the tone was to the Board of Governors at the annual meeting of the Fed was, as described by Richard Hoey of BNY Mellon, “He was saying, ‘Whatever it takes we’re going to do'”.

The step that kicked off last November was not conventional but behind it was a simple logic. By purchasing bonds the Treasury would result in borrowing become cheaper. This would cause investors to move away from the bonds with low yield to investments with greater risks like stocks. With the stock market rising the Americans would regain their confidence and start shopping again; this would lead to higher profits by the corporate sector.

Since then news has been good – unemployment has dropped in January to 9% as against 9.6% last August. The consumer price index also rose in January; so too did the stock index.

It seems QE2 has succeeded so far.

Sample Of Business Plan For Beginners

Since childhood, the best way to learn anything is to look at examples. Business plans are no different. Beginners usually enter the business without having any idea of how is a business managed or how is a business plan written. Sample of Business Plan is quite helpful for beginners to understand what kind of a document is expected from them to get money from investors.

It’s nothing particularly about investors. To extract money from anybody, there must be an excellent incentive. Investors and venture capitalists are looking for a business idea that shows the promise of giving them rewards higher than their investment. After all, this is their business and they are, like anybody else, looking for profits. Their profits are dependent on performance of your business. They will definitely look at each point critically and will evaluate its worth before staking their money in your venture.

Popular Sources

In the era of digitization, everything is available at fingertips. Sample business plans are also abundantly available online. You can go through them whenever you feel like. A simple Google search will open up numerous business plan samples for different kinds of businesses. Depending on your industry, you can pick samples and go through them in detail. Read up as many samples as possible. Study carefully its structure, its contents, the way information has been worded and structured; all details must be absorbed and reproduced at the time of drafting the plan.

Another online source for going through sample business documents is work portfolio of plan writing companies. Most companies today have online presence. It is an effective medium to popularize their services and get business. They often have a small work portfolio open for everybody to see. It is like putting up your products for display. On the basis of the business plan samples shared online, clients can take a call on whether they are close to what they are expecting to see in their business documents. Contact details are available online for all such companies. If you like anybody’s work, you can contact them either on phone or through mail.

Live Plans are Best Samples

If you are a beginner, do not take chances with your business proposal. Do not completely rely on what you see on the company website. Best work samples are ones that are live in action. Get in touch with the firm’s clients to know how their plans are performing. Getting funds is not the only time when you’ll need a business plan to be strong and realistic. You would be following the plan for a quite a lot of time during the course of running your business. It will be your roadmap, at least for initial years. Make sure that it is workable and profitable. Ask their existing clients about how dependable are their plans.

Talk to more than one clients and get their feedback on the quality of plans delivered by your shortlisted plan writing companies. Theoretically, there is no end to learning through samples. Practically, evaluating online work portfolios and three to four live plans is sufficient. It should answer all your questions and should give you a fair idea of what you need.

Three Tips About How To Decorate Adults Toys Stores

Confirm the right fundamental key of your adults toys store decoration

Generally speaking, the main customers of the adults toys stores are the white collar who are always pursuing the fashion or the college students. Their requirements on the toys not only contain the practical applicability, but also the fashionable element. As for the price of toys, they can accept the higher price toys. Therefore when decorating your adults toys store, you must firstly know such basic information and then decorate it according to such characteristic. In short, the decoration style should not only have the relaxed and sweet atmosphere just like the common toys store, but also highlight the culture and taste of adults toys store. During the decoration design process, you must consider the use of all kinds of decoration elements from the vision of the adults and finally have the unique style of adults toy store. By the way, people who pay more attention on the fashion and the personality should be attracted by the decoration style.

Secondly, both the main channel and side channel should be reasonable, the whole layout should be considered overall

In general, the accustomed browsing route of customers in any kinds of large scale shopping centers or small scale store is the main channel. As for the large shopping center, the main channel should be the ring form while for the small store, it is better to use the L letter design or the inverse Y letter design. And then the hot sell and the popular toys should be placed at the goods shelves near the main channel so that it is easy and convenient for customers to see and get. As for the side channel, which is guided by the main channel, is the right place to put the assistant adults toys products. Of course, the specific decoration program should be according to the practical situation of the toys store and the practical necessity.

Thirdly, take advantage of the light and atmosphere to highlight the store figure

When decorating toys stores, the role of light is not only to illuminate the toys on the goods shelf to satisfy people’s visual function. What’s more, they should be used to create more space, highlight the atmosphere and guarantee the perfect visual effects. The natural lights would be changed with the time flying, therefore before the store decoration, it is necessary to take the natural lighting investigation so that the light can always illuminate the nearby place of the store.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Incorporations In Bahamas

Before the advantages and the disadvantages of incorporation in Bahamas are presented, the meaning of ‘incorporation’ needs to be cleared. Incorporations are those entities that exist only in the contemplations of the law. Therefore, an incorporation has the characteristics of being intangible, invisible and would be known as an artificial being.

Having the definition cleared we will further add that an incorporation is made up of many shareholders who have bought shares in it. The people who own these shares are called shareholders.

Advantages

* Since by law the corporation is a legal body, this works as an advantage as you can buy and sell shares without effecting the operations of the corporation. Shares can be bought by anyone at any time. * Another advantage is that a corporation is a limited liability. This means that the corporation will be responsible for anything that happens to it. This includes all actions and duties under the umbrella of the law. This is advantageous as the loss to the share holders suffered is the amount that they have invested. This is particularly beneficial when creditors claim losses, they cannot claim more than the assets of the corporation. * The management of the corporation is handled by the shareholders. The shareholders meet to elect the directors of the company and the directors of the company see that the management is well managed. * The advantage of incorporating your business in the Bahamas is that the setup fee required to set up your corporation is significantly lower than other places. * It is guaranteed that you will not pay any taxes for life. * Local taxes are also nullified with the exception of the annual fee. * You don’t have to bother about the treaties with other countries.

Disadvantages

* The first biggest disadvantage of incorporation is taxes. You will be paying your taxes to the federal government unlike the businesses of sole proprietorship and partnerships. * The second disadvantage is that the corporation is taxed twice. First the corporation pays its share. Then, the shareholders are also taxed on the income earned from the profits of the shares. * In the Bahamas, it is difficult to prove the ownership. * You will need to find a trusted local registered agent.

The disadvantages are outweighed by the advantages and should be thought of as feasible for incorporating a business in the Bahamas.