Every year, CofaceBDI conducts a survey in collaboration with The Marker magazine, on the question "Who are the 100 companies that are most worth working for in Israel?" The survey was conducted among about 300,000 employees and is also based on internal surveys of the companies.
Someone once called me for advice. He told me he was self-employed and asked if I could help him collect money his customers owed him. The amount of the debt was about 1 million NIS. He worked for two years without receiving payment.
At one of the NGOs I am a member of, there is a mentoring program. The graduates mentor younger peers. The mentoring last for six months, for a few dozen participants. The mentoring is voluntarily, and each year we have more mentors than we require. The organization has other social activities, involving young adults who live in Israel's periphery, and we don't lack volunteers.
While bike riding with a group of friends, A. and H. began a heated argument. As I got closer to them I heard it was about a bike riding event that took place many years ago, and they each had a different memory of. Each was convinced their memory was more accurate, and as often happens in such cases, they only listened to each other in order to quickly contradict each other. This wasn’t a dialogue, but two monologues.
Work meetings take up time, and it's often wasted time. But there are also efficient meetings, that give a sense of purpose and a drive for change. I assume many of you are among those whose experience with meetings is that they're a waste of time. You leave every meeting frustrated, and have learned to stay quiet to make the meeting go faster.
I once met with a CEO of a big organization we very much wanted to work with. From the beginning I looked at him with an encouraging smile. He answered in the same optimistic spirit. We grabbed a cup of coffee and settled in the meeting room, opening with some small talk. He mentioned he likes to listen to a certain radio program, of which I am also a frequent listener, and shared his opinions of it, with which I agreed.
If you have a convenience store at a gas station, you need to stock a number of essential items customers might suddenly need, or buy impulsively when they stop to fill up. Nobody does their weekly grocery shop at a gas station.
One of the questions I routinely ask managers is, how much of their time they spend doing their employees’ jobs (putting out fires, problem solving, answering questions). Most, almost all, say they spend 70% to 95% of their time at the operational level. A level which includes mostly activities which could be delegated, or have officially been delegated.
One of the first stages of personal coaching is identifying personal goals. Not defining, but identifying. We don’t choose pretty words and decide those are our values only because they look good. Personal values are an inherent part of us.
I don’t know about your specific company, but usually the first step is layoffs. Most often, labor costs aren’t the biggest expense, but it always seems simplest, fastest, and easiest to fire employees - and if and when sales are back up, recruit new ones. Furthermore, we know there is always latent redundancy, so we assume any reduction in the workforce will lead to greater efficiency.
At 6:15 I started riding my bicycle towards Ramat Ha'Nadiv and we started making our way up to Mansur el-Aqeb. We were supposed to meet Uri there. When we reached the top, there was no sign of Uri. We waited. Uri didn’t arrive, nor call. We tried calling him, and there was no answer. After about fifteen minutes, we started riding again, heading north. A short while later, Uri came riding towards us, smiling.
Covid-19 changed many things in one fell swoop. One of those is the prohibition on face-to-face meetings. With the meetings we were used to no longer possible, we started using Zoom or similar softwares. School and university lectures, management meetings, consultations, workshops, coaching sessions.
My last article dealt with the question – how to approach the crisis in your business. Among other issues, I discussed employee retention vs. employment costs. In this article I'm going to take a big step forward, and present the opportunity this crisis offers you, to engage employees with company goals.
We can be sanguine about the Coronavirus or be concerned or frightened – but we can't ignore the dramatic effect this crisis has on the global economy. In this article I don’t intend to give instructions like those issued by the government, about crowds and the like. I write about the business aspect, with all the issues you should deal with.
In some companies, working with improvement teams brings quick, clear, and considerable success. On the other hand, in others the work done by improvement teams is accompanied by frustration, and has no quick and clear results. Why? What's the difference?
wonder of wonders, CEOs who aren’t machine-maintenance people, are sure they "know enough", or "know best", how to maintain the "human machines" in their company. And if not the CEO, then one of the executives will be able to do it, in addition to their regular job.
At first results seem great. Especially when before the authoritative manager there was an indecisive one. Now decisions are made quickly and everybody falls in line. But this kind of management suffocates the company. It suppresses positive initiatives and when the authoritative CEO makes a mistake no one will dare correct them or point out the possible harm.
The kibbutz assembly needed to approve participation of a team from the company in a professional conference in Italy. I remember a heated debate. Travelling abroad was rare, and every trip was a cause for envy. In the assembly, a suggestion was raised – instead of one of the executives, "Sarah", a kibbutz member, will go, because she hadn’t been abroad yet.
I drew a big pyramid on the board, with him at the top, below him 8 VPs, and at the bottom 10,000 employees. I asked – how can you guarantee they'll efficiently produce quality products, if they aren’t engaged or invested in company goals?
Dividing the product to its two parts, which traditionally would have been one whole (the frame and the temples), and the possibility to create different and varied pairings, created something different. Unlike the usual product. This was a case of very interesting innovation. It enabled the company, for instance, to offer clients a vast number of choices for a relatively low cost. At the same time, this new method gave clients a feeling of independence and customization. Creating "a personal look".
The subtraction used by Itamar isn’t only of a key or other accessory whose role in opening the door is eliminated. The essence is simple and smart management of the right to open the lock and enter a home, club, center, pool, etc. Instead of the subtracted key, the system utilizes an accessory most of us already have: a smartphone. I believe anyone managing a community center or using one often appreciates Nemlock's use.
Facit is a famous example, but there were others. A recent example from Israel comes from the world of cellular parking services. I heard it from Ro'ee Elbaz, Pango's CEO ever since it was a small startup of four employees. In 2007 a tender for cellular paying services for parking was published by the center for local government.
A few weeks ago I met with Rona, a brilliant entrepreneur, and we discussed setting up her business. Towards the end of our meeting I suggested that, alongside starting her business, she could also take over her accounts management. "Why?" she asked amazed. "That way you'll have better control of your expenses", I answered and added, "It's very simple, and will save you money too. When you have a small business it's important. "
The local market is growing more competitive and diminishing, customs defenses are disappearing and imports make sales harder. Both Gad and Shim'on have turned to exports. They don't only compete with each other, but with the global market.
American companies reward participants based on how much money was saved for the company as a result of their proposal. The rewards average 458 USD. Comparatively, Japanese rewards average 3.88 USD (less than a hundredth of American rewards).
Israel added that Tomer was unwilling to teach other employees to operate "his" machine. It was clear that Israel postponed meeting Tomer as much as he could that morning, and once we finally got to him they communicated poorly. I couldn't understand what Tomer was saying and I'm not sure Israel clearly understood him either.
Our event focused on changing the production department and increasing efficiency. The team led a radical change in the department, including opening a wall which separated the two parts of the production space. On the third day, Osnat, one of the team members, burst into tears and couldn’t continue. She went home and returned to work only after a week of sick-leave.
I write a lot about getting employees invested, about efficiency, improved service, measuring indicators, and precision work with employees and clients. But if, at the same time, you have to lower prices in order to preserve clients in a competitive market, and to supply custom products to every client – you might find yourselves running fast in order to stand still. There's a danger that increased profit as a result of improvements in production will disappear compared to competition in the market, and at best you'll maintain low profit margins.
In it they could see how, at the end of the work day on Thursday, at three in the afternoon, the door to one of the departments was left open. Actually, it wasn’t a door, but a wide gate, made of two metal doors. Its width is about three meters, its height about four meters.
The CEO is in charge as far the law, the share-holders or the board of directors are concerned (meaning he's the one accountable). So he must ensure the company reaches its goals and targets, first and foremost profit and resiliency. Of course the CEO's instinct is, then, to be involved in everything, and try and personally lead all processes in the company.