The last issue I wrote:
"As we're only a few weeks away from the summer solstice, I hope all of you are taking the time to enjoy the extra daylight hours."
Little did I suspect that the next issue would be appearing in a new century - millennium, even - eleven months later!
Our mission is to provide information - through research and consulting - which will help organizations (and their leaders) better fulfill their own missions.
We've changed the approach and style of this newsletter to better fulfill that mission by bringing it to you several times each month. We will focus on highlighting practical technologies and processes (not necessarily tech processes) that will help streamline your business and personal life. I hope the wait was worth it! Any suggestions? Please tell us what you think.
Please forward this issue to colleagues and others who you know would benefit from it. Thank you!In this issue
I'm assisting several dot com and dot net companies in launching their operations. Two of them are each in immediate need of a strong president who can work with an entrepreneurial, visionary founder to build a first-class business. Business plans are ready and funding approaches are under way. If you've built and sold a successful new economy company or had national responsibility for channel creation and management and are now ready to leap into action, e-mail or call me (Joanne) today (see above).
Because our practice encompasses international interests, we'll be notifying you of carefully selected events and business opportunities in which we're involved - currently Asia, Canada, Western Europe and Israel.
Japanese Investment and Partnering
We're collaborating with DePaul University and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) on leading a group of venture investors, entrepreneurs and corporate business managers for a week of business-partnering activities in Osaka, Japan this October.
What makes this program unique is the advance meetings with major Japanese electronics, automotive and other companies arranged by the Osaka Chamber of Commerce. For those wishing to apply for presenting business plans at the Global Venture Forum (GVF), we are providing one-on-one assistance to formulate an effective strategic approach for this market.For more information, contact Ellen Dawson at DePaul at firstname.lastname@example.org or me, Joanne, at 312-984-5050 or email@example.com by May 5, 2000.
Each issue we'll highlight a different means to leverage your time and resources using new or particularly effective processes and services. Some of them, such as this issue's online calendars, will be applicable equally to business or personal use. Future topics will include procurement, marketing, human resource and other topics relevant to business interests.
Free Online Calendars and File Sharing
Whether you're a solo consultant collaborating with a client, an executive of a mid-size organization, or coordinating a volunteer team effort for a club, these sites offer a free, easy way to keep everyone (or just yourself) up-to-date.
There are far too many of these sites to list them all (just do a search on "online calendar" and you'll see what I mean), so I've picked three that are representative of different types. These and others provide a level of password protection and/or membership requirement, so you need not lose too much sleep over your daily activities being broadcast to the world. On the other hand, it's probably a good idea to be discreet, since they all rely on password, and not encryption, security measures.
Yahoo, the granddaddy of portals also lets you personalize
its start page, get a free e-mail account, buy and sell at
auction, manage files, track your stocks, personalize your
browser, and send and receive instant messages as well as
access your calendar (personal and group).
Web Address Book is one of seven calendar sites listed in
"101 Best Business Sites" in the June, 1999 issue of Windows
magazine. You can import and export data from Outlook and
Access and store up to 15 MB of files, among other of the "8
Applications in One" it touts.
E-mail discussion groups, such as eGroups, also provide a
calendar and file-sharing function. You can poll the
"members" of a group you set up, asking them to vote on an
issue, share files, keep track of data in a tabular format
with searching, sorting and browsing capability.
Whether or not you explicitly define one of your roles as being a project manager, chances are very high that you are one. While this book's stated objective is to provide "Effective Processes for Problem Solving & Decision Making," I've found it an invaluable resource for helping managers develop and successfully execute operational projects, from launching a new product line to implementing a comprehensive competitive and market analysis initiative.
Bill's approach (it's ok, I can refer to him familiarly; we're fellow certified management consultants, CMCs, who go back more than a decade) to reducing the risk of making bad decisions is thorough, but never dull. He shows you through practical examples the way to get results quickly: days instead of weeks or months of research or arguing. That's totally in synch with the warp speed of today's Internet- time business activities.
This is a book you'll inevitably need, both as a guide for do-it-yourself problem-solving sessions and for knowing when it's time to call in an expert. You can purchase this valuable "Toolbox" published by Oxford University Press by following this link to Amazon:
These mini-reviews cover recent articles on a wide variety of topics as we described above, "highlighting practical technologies and processes (not necessarily tech processes) to help streamline your business and personal life."
"You can do anything _ but not everything," by David Allen,
acknowledged as one of the world's most influential thinkers
on personal productivity. He wasn't a high_productivity
person by nature and in trying to change that, he became
convinced that time management was the key to personal
freedom and that "God didn't really care whether I had money
or not." More or less at that moment, he became a
consultant. (Yes, that's in the article). Read what Allen
has to say about "too much to do, too little time,"
efficiency, priorities, values and responsibilities. One
sidebar lists 11 things you should do on Friday afternoons,
another contains 5 "little tricks" to coping with life in
the fast lane, include taming the e-mail beast. FAST
COMPANY, May, 2000.
"How To Impress a Venture Capitalist" is the tutorial on
raising money. Eighteen separate articles cover what I call
their "4 P's" needed to clinch the deal (The Prep - 3
articles; The Pickup - 3 articles; The Pitch - 9 articles;
The Payoff - 3 articles). "How to Meet a Deep Pocket" for
example, is a simple click away and appears in its own frame
so you can keep tabs on the list without losing the article
at hand. FORTUNE SMALL BUSINESS
In "Measuring Quantity vs. Quality," author Phillip J. Britt
challenges the prevailing practice of gathering statistical
data on the easy-to-measure functions of customer service
and calls centers such as average handling time, abandonment
rate and time in queue, among others. Article from the
March, 2000 issue (the latest online) discusses how to
balance necessary efficiency metrics with tracking the more
complex factors influencing customer profitability, a
strategic issue that differs by company and even product
line. SALES AND MARKETING MANAGEMENT, March 2000.
"Japan's Bit Valley Fever is Catching" supports the rumors I
heard in Japan this March: that Japan's traditional wariness
of entrepreneurial activity and its attendant risks is
slowly beginning to change. Author David James notes that
"There are some 200 venture capital funds in Japan, all
looking for good places to invest." Good overview of the
four types of venture (and angel) money and typical exit
strategies in place. If you're interested in catching this
particular wave, see the "Global Contacts" section above.
UPSIDE TODAY, May 1, 2000.
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I hope you found something of value here that you can put to use directly or that might have stimulated some new ideas. Your feedback is welcome. Send comments or questions to:
Technology Management Associates, Inc.
(312) 984-5050 firstname.lastname@example.org
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