Showing posts with label organizational efficiency. Show all posts
Showing posts with label organizational efficiency. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Helping Managers Develop Strategies for Time

Time is an expendable resources that has limitations and adds up to either contribute or detract from a company’s success. You may have heard the phrase time is money. In business few things could be truer. The way in which managers use their time can have large implications for whether or not activities are aligned to the actual needs of the company. Time management isn’t a fruitless event and can lead to greater personal and organizational rewards. 

Managing time and knowing where to spend time are two important considerations. Someone can be efficient with every moment of their life but if they are spending their time in the wrong activities it doesn’t do them much good. Likewise, on an organizational level percentages of time can lead to thousands, if not millions, of dollars of revenue. 

Distraction of the Available:

It is easy for managers to get distracted in the small everyday tasks they must complete each day. The reports, daily events, and employee concerns keep them jumping from one task to the next in order to finish the day. It is like a running hamster wheel where lots of things are getting done but few of them actually contribute to the organization. 

Instead of being reactive with time it is important to be more proactive in its use. This includes keeping the bigger function of the organization and the department in mind when spending time. Sometimes it is better to adjust tasks, streamline processes, or simply delegate some necessary “busy work” to ensure that focus is maintained on the objectives. 

Over Abundance of Procedures:

The manager’s job is not in isolation and often must take into account the needs of customers, suppliers, bosses, human resources, industry stakeholders, etc… At times organizations may develop too many rules and processes that make functional operation of the department ineffective. There are simply too many details that must be accomplished every day before productivity begins. 

This is something that is difficult for executives to understand because in their search for greater control the actual time the manager has left to focus on his/her core job functions becomes limited.  The manager must choose between pleasing their boss and meeting organizational goals. Sometimes the choice can become impossible to make when pressures are high. 

Time management is not always something that rests with the individual manager’s use of time. In many scenarios it can be the actual policies, procedures, and misalignment of duties that cause managers not to be focused. As these managers spend more time on organizational objectives they naturally are better able to reach important company milestones. Executives should seek to simplify, streamline, and focus duties instead of creating complexity.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Book Review: Natural Capitalism: The Next Industrial Revolution

Natural Capitalism is a book that focuses on the natural development of the economic system. The work by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and Hunter Lovins discusses the nature of technology and development within the economic system and how this impacts the natural environment. It discusses in great deal the next industrial revolution, economic waste, costs within organizations, food development, financial solutions, and human capitalism. Through the chapters the reader will be brought through painstaking detail the components of economic system and how the circumstances are right for another transformational development.

The book makes the theoretical argument that the next industrial revolution will be a natural environment one. At present the economic system focuses heavily on human capacity but will soon be more focused on natural resources and the efficient use of such resources. People could live twice as well on half as much energy and resource waste. The creation of efficient environmental usage will develop higher levels of social and economic existence. It is a systematic approach to society and its relation to the natural environment.

The book is written at a graduate level for other academics. It can be hard to follow or stay focused if one is not interested in the topical area. Much of the work has multiple statistics, lists of facts, and detailed information that eventually leads one to a conclusion about the system and its environment. However, the prose is not particularly interesting for the casual reader so one should already have a keen understanding of these concepts. The book's theoretical pitch, with environment changes a new way of societal interaction with the environment is coming, appears to be a sound one. There are lots of references for people who are interested in finding additional resources.

Hawken, P., Lovins, A. & Lovins, H. (1999). Natural Capitalism: creating the next industrial revolution. NY: Little, Brown & Co. ISBN: 0-316-35316-7

Blog Ranking 3.6 -1 (Age of Book)=2.6
Price: $13
Pages: 322