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Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Chameleon in the Room - Five Star Book Reviews

The Chameleon in the Room is a must-read for those managing risks!
By William Bastiaan on July 7, 2017 Format: Paperback

The writer looks beyond the obvious, makes comparisons across cultures. He ‘slices’ the concept of risk in fragments and does describe the obvious but, even more important, explains the non-obvious.
It makes you re-think, challenges you to look at things from a different perspective, and provides tips and direction, based on actual events. In short, very practical and a must-read for those engaged in the management of risks.

Recommended to everyone who wants to deal with business risks successfully!
By Andriy Sichka on November 26, 2015 Format: Paperback

I always had a feeling that knowledge of the theory is only one part. Another, much more difficult one is finding a way to apply it in practice. Reading The Chameleon in the Room resolved majority of my doubts concerned with risk management. Written by a practitioner for practitioners the book shines the light on the areas left by theories in dark, and gives clear guidance for everyday practice. I recommend this book to everyone who wants to deal with business risks successfully!


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Empowerment is the Key to Creating Engaged Team Members

Far too many employees are not actively engaged at work or worse actively disengaged, mainly because they are not empowered to make decisions; they always have to refer ‘up’ before acting to solve a problem or grasp an opportunity.

They are not trusted to make ‘the right decision’ despite having been employed based on having the necessary knowledge, experience and common sense.

The best way to equip Team Members to make ‘the right’ decisions thus empowering and engaging them, is to agree as a team a clear Vision Statement.

The agreed Vision Statement can then be used as each Team Member’s reference point or compass when making an autonomous (empowered) decision.

Easy to digest guidance for creating a jointly agreed Vision Statement is available in the highly recommended, fun to read book “Full Steam Ahead!” by Ken Blanchard and Jesse Stoner.

To illustrate the points made, here is an example of a Vision Statement agreed by a Credit Team:

Purpose: Nourishing Businesses...
The Credit Team seeks to provide credit solutions that enhance internal and external customers’ business models and sustainability; thereby promoting economic growth and stable employment.

Integrity, trust, transparency, creativity and enterprise

If a situation requires a choice to be made between one value and another, the values are stated here in order of precedence. For example if one can exercise integrity or creativity one must elect to honour integrity and forego creativity in that instance.

A Picture of the Future:
(A word picture describing the Credit Team as it will look when its Vision is realised)

The Credit Team is an innovative, market leading, customer focused credit solutions provider - fully aligned with the Strategic Intent of the Business. It is recognised as having great people with imagination, committed to delivering added value to customers. The team works ‘as one’; guided by its purpose and values.

The foundations for this work are:
1. Compliance with Credit Policy,
2. Holistic credit analysis,
3. A “Yes; provided …. Can Do” attitude, and
4. An on-going programme of research, development, participation in professional discussions and networking.

Books authored by Ron Wells are available from: T3P LIMITED

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What Every International Business Traveller Needs to Consider – Practical Guidelines

Obtain a tourist guide that includes a street map of each city or town to be visited.

Check that your visit will not clash with a public or bank holiday or some other local festival that will make it difficult to arrange appointments or flights and hotel accommodation.

If a train or vehicle journey of three hours or less would suffice, then seriously consider these alternatives rather than flying to your destination.

Check the relative position of the airport (or railway station), your hotel and each appointment location. Decide the means of transport to use between these locations and check that enough time is allowed in your schedule to ensure punctuality.

Establish the street address of every appointment. Prepare notes for taxi drivers in the local script, so you can ‘show and tell’ - your accent may be difficult for a driver to understand.

Study the brief country history which is included in most tourist guides. This is a minimum requirement. Additional reading about the country and people is recommended whenever possible. This will help you to avoid potentially sensitive topics and it will help you to show respect where respect is due.

Obtain information about the local weather and dress codes, to indicate what to wear and what to pack.

Do not wear clothing or insignia which identify your employer, such as logo bearing jackets, watches or pens. Do not display company logo bearing files or baggage. Such items could mark you out as a target for theft or kidnap.

Arrange for an Interpreter if necessary. Do not assume that "everyone speaks and understands English" - this is absolutely untrue - check. In some cases your host will provide an Interpreter, this will reduce your costs but may be a disadvantage. See Working with Interpreters.

Make copies of your passport, visas and any other travel documents. Leave these with a colleague in your office - or at home - together with a copy of your itinerary (including times, contact names and telephone/fax numbers). This will be invaluable should you lose any documents or should you suffer some misadventure.

Obtain some small denomination bank notes in local currency, for tips. If local currency is not available outside the destination country, carry several US one-Dollar bills for this purpose. Your tourist guide will usually indicate local ‘tipping’ customs.

Check on the acceptability of credit cards. In Austria, for example, many restaurants do not accept credit cards. It is embarrassing to invite a business acquaintance to dinner and, at the end of the evening, to have to borrow cash from your guest to meet the bill.

Learn enough of the local language to say; "good morning / afternoon / evening", "please", "thank you", "goodbye", "I would like a mineral water / coke / beer / red wine / white wine / coffee / tea", "where is the restroom/toilet" and to count to twenty. Learn the appearance of important signs such as; "men’s restroom/WC" as distinct from "women’s restroom/WC"; "entrance"; "exit"; "push"; "pull"; "closed" and "open". Your tourist guide will usually include all of this information and a pronunciation guide.

Be aware of the adverse effects of ‘jet lag’ on your reflexes, on your coordination and on your ability to ‘think straight’ and speak coherently. Plan your schedule to allow time to overcome these effects both at the beginning of the trip and upon your return to base.

Arrive in any strange city or town the day before any business meetings are scheduled. Use any ‘spare’ time to learn about the locality; read local papers, visit shops, use local public transport and attend a concert or sports event. This will equip you to impress those you meet with the fact that you respect them sufficiently to invest time in learning about their home, their ‘team’, their culture and their concerns. This will be invaluable support for your efforts to establish a rapport with those that you meet and to build relationships.

Do not arrange appointments and your departure schedule such that you will have to rush away from an appointment in order to catch your flight or train. This shows a lack of respect for your host and could mean that you either;
(a) miss those valuable pieces of information that come to light as you are departing (after the formality of the meeting evaporates) or
(b) that you will be forced into making negotiating concessions in order to close the meeting on time.

Remember that one meeting may lead to another unscheduled-meeting, so you must build some flexibility into your schedule. At least you must expect to have to make changes to your plans without much notice.

Ron Wells