Your Technical Skills are Top Notch. How about your Leadership Skills?

Continuing Education in professional service firms is often focused on the latest technical standards and best practices, but how often does continuing education improve leadership and management skills? Classic management literature such as Good to Great by Jim Collins describe how companies can create long-term sustained performance by encouraging “Level 5 Leaders”, developing complementary competencies or a culture of discipline. How does your company culture and leadership actively improve the sustained performance of your firm?

Wardell has spent the past 14 years developing the Wardell System that has helped over 3,000 businesses achieve sustained performance by becoming more structured and self-reliant. With collective decades of experience, Wardell recognizes that a culture that sustains continuing education activities develop the kind of discipline that drives long term performance. Because of this, Wardell advisors work with clients through six key business areas: Leadership, Management, Marketing, Finance, Operations, and Sales in a sustained manner to transform businesses from owner driven to culture driven success stories.

Manage your Melons.

One of the early bosses in my career was the produce manager at the grocery store that took a chance on my bag packing abilities. His name was Insalid but I always pronounced it ‘In Salad’ as that made much more sense to my teenage mind of connecting his name to his occupation...but I digress.

A recent immigrant and new to Canadian culture, I was always impressed with how Insalid operated. He worked hard, modeled the behaviour and expected you to do the same.  Whether or not we understood every word exchanged between us, the nuance of the words was very clear.  Work hard.  Make the produce department shine and serve the customer.

Top apps and tools for businesses. Convenience at Your Fingertips

SO MANY APPS AND TOOLS have come into my life this past year. Clearly, there’s no shortage of innovation when it comes to designing technologies for a more efficient, effective business. Here are a few of my personal favorites.

CloudOn

A great tool for business people on the go, CloudOn essentially puts Microsoft Office on your favorite devices so you can work on the files you already store in the cloud—with Box, DropBox, Google Drive, or Microsoft Skydriv —while you’re out and about. This is a great tool to help with organization and productivity. Use it to edit Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files on the iPad. 

Prezi

An amazing presentation tool that diverges from the traditionally one-dimensional PowerPoint slides, Prezi is also cloud-based, so geographically dispersed people can easily collaborate on a single presentation in real time during meetings. Slightly more exciting than the traditional alternative.

Is Professional Continuing Education really worth it?

Professional service firms are often driven to become their clients most innovative and detail oriented partners. Professional services organizations such as the Architects Institute of British Columbia or the Financial Planning Standards Council have helped fuel this culture of continuous improvement.

A common model for continuing education is members are required to complete several learning credits administered through seminars, lunch and learns or specific professional development days.  For many firms these courses can be costly, inconvenient and time consuming.  Do they offer the kind of value that will develop tangible benefits for those taking the courses?

Effective Lead Generation Part 2

Measure Your Results

Measuring your results gives you a tool that you can use to keep your business on track with your goals. If you are not measuring the results of your sales endeavors you are giving yourself a great handicap.  This is something that must be taken seriously from the top down in your organization.  Create a plan to invest in monitoring your results.  Firms with a formal strategy for evaluating the effectiveness of their marketing and business development programs are 240% more likely to say they are extremely effective against their competitors.  That’s a big deal!

Especially if your team are not used to tracking their time and their results, you may experience some push back as you start to implement the reporting process.  Make it clear to your team that the reasons behind it are for you as a manager to be a more efficient with your resources, and that it will result in your team being more focused and productive.  Do not allow apathy, resistance to change, or any other obstacle to dissuade you from measuring your activities, monitoring the results and implementing change.  Keep in mind that your metrics must be simple, tangible, objective and observable. 

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Circle Graphics

“Wardell has helped me systemize my business so I can travel with my family often and live the life I’ve always dreamed of.”

— Brad Haima, Founder, Circle Graphics

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