Our Business Consulting Articles

Outside Thinking: Why Asking The Experts is Not Always The Best Option

No, I don’t mean thinking outside, though that definitely has its merits too 😉 Although we could include thinking outside the box in this concept. Has anybody ever said that to you? That you need to try and “think outside the box”? What they’re asking for is a fresh perspective on something, probably to help solve a niggling, persistent problem. What they’re asking for is some outside thinking. Cynical With Expertise? Whilst it is natural when solving a problem to look for the biggest expert in that field, believe it or not the experts aren’t always right… … because they … Read The Full Article …

Personality Theory: Type A vs Type B

Ever wonder what people are on about when they describe people as Type A or Type B personality types? Type A and Type B personality theory simply classes people as having one of 2 types of personality: Type A: Highly strung, outgoing, adventurous, driven… Type B: Easy going, relaxed, patient, reserved… This theory was originally created in the 1950s as a way of categorising patients according to their risk of developing coronary heart disease. Cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Dr Ray Rosenman concluded after a 10 year study of healthy men (in the 1950s) that those with what they classed as … Read The Full Article …

Networking: Essential Tips for Business Success

“More business decisions occur over lunch and dinner than at any other time, yet no MBA courses are given on the subject.” – Peter Drucker Thanks to websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and about a million others, most people these days are familiar with the idea of networking. In a previous article we looked at How To Communicate Effectively, now let’s look at How To Network Effectively… Successful people in business have always known the importance of networking. If you are not completely familiar with this concept, observe dialogues between successful millionaires, billionaires or entrepreneurs (it’s not difficult to … Read The Full Article …

Get Better Results: Begin With The End In Mind

It’s always a good idea to begin with the end in mind. Once you have absolute clarity about where you are trying to get to, it’s much easier to determine exactly where you are and where you’re going. This applies no matter how long the timescale or how big the task. This is a simple concept which has been stated many different ways by many different people. I am going to keep it brief but make reference to as many key words and phrases as I can for two reasons: you’re probably already familiar with the concept coined one way … Read The Full Article …

Understanding Values: How to Use Values To Motivate Yourself and Others

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” – Roy. E. Disney Values are things that motivate us, reflecting our sense of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and our preferences concerning appropriate courses of action or outcomes. Values, therefore tend to influence our attitudes and behavior. For example: if you value equality and you join an organization which clearly has different rules for men and women, then you may conclude that the organization is an unfair place to work and either you wouldn’t perform to the best of your ability (being demotivated) or you may end up leaving. Understanding … Read The Full Article …

Better Sales: How To Increase Sales by Offering LESS Choice

Who would have thought that offering less choice could actually increase sales? Well it does and you don’t just have to take my word for it either, I’ve got a bit of research for you and a few examples to back it up. You might also have heard me using one of my favorite quotations around here. Wow, I just had a look and I’ve cited this expression 3 times already (The Only Two Trends That Matter, 12 Kick-Ass Marketing Lessons From Al’s Tea Shoppe, How To Avoid Procrastination) – well that’s what I’m talking about here too – at … Read The Full Article …

Semantic Association: Is ‘Networking’ a Dirty Word?

Are you one of those people for whom ‘Networking‘ feels like a dirty word? What images spring to mind when you hear the word ‘networking’? That it’s purely business related, that it’s something sleazy or something that other people do but you’re not very good at. Perhaps you think of those networking events that make you uncomfortable, of too many suits, tedious conversations with feigned interest and business cards. It’s true that networking is a word which for some people can mean these things – because words have associations and sometimes these can take over from the actual meaning of … Read The Full Article …

Conflict Resolution: How To Grab The Opportunities Of A Conflict

Do you shy away from conflict? Despite their costs, conflicts have a lot of opportunities to offer and you’ve got to learn to seize them. I’ve seen many conflicts, in my life and at my workplace. Unfortunately, many got out of hand with terrible results: split teams, missed targets, broken relationships. But conflict does not have to end that way. Now, I’m not saying you’ve got to pick up a fight at every opportunity! Read our article on Office Politics to see that conflict is certainly not always the best option. But, sometimes, it’s appropriate to get into a conflict … Read The Full Article …

Sales & Networking Tip: A Good Consultant’s Secret Weapon

Nothing at all to do with watches or overblown reports which make a loud ‘thud’ when dropped onto the desk… It’s coffee. … and I don’t even drink coffee. Well, not much, I far prefer tea, but it works just as well, you would just use the word coffee and replace it with tea when you get there. Let me explain. The consultant’s secret weapon is in fact, pretty much the word “coffee”. As in “Do you fancy a coffee?” or “Can I buy you a coffee?” (I prefer the first because it sounds the least formal and in my … Read The Full Article …

Cognitive Dissonance II: How To Influence Others

Do you need to influence others? Then you might want to add this simple and somewhat counter-intuitive method to your toolbox… There are times when you need to be able to influence others (at work, on important issues, your children,…) and not just their actions but their beliefs too. You could use reciprocity, social proof, authority,… There are many ways to influence others. This one is based on Cognitive Dissonance and I particularly like it because it can have positive long-lasting effects on people – if used positively! First, let’s review briefly what Cognitive Dissonance is. We previously talked about … Read The Full Article …