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Business productivity

67. Leadership thinking for small business (part 2)

Leadership for small business is essential but so often forgotten. We scanned some of the theories in the last of these. So what should a small business person do with all this theory? Most importantly, to be aware. Be aware of the need to lead as well as to manage your business; be aware of […]

66. Leadership thinking for small business (part 1)

We have been looking at some of the motivational theories and how they apply to small business. In the area of leadership, the gurus come by the pile, with lots of theory and not much evidence. What it is critical for a small business to know is that leadership is not the same as management, […]

65. Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y for small business

McGregor published his book, The Human Side of Enterprise, back in 1960, and it has been influential ever since. He suggested 2 approaches to management. Theory X managers believe that employees do not like work and have to be managed with carrot and stick to get anything done; Theory Y managers believe that people get […]

64. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and small business

Abraham Maslow published his theory in 1943 and it has been influential ever since. He believed a lot of psychological theory had been based on people with significant problems, so he studied people who were not clearly in difficulties, and came to a different perspective on motivation in particular. The theory is represnted as a pyramid with […]

63. Frederick Herzberg and executive pay – and MPs expenses!

My last post on Frederick Herzberg’s theory of motivation has given rise to a few thoughts in relation to the recent hot topics of pay and expenses. Just to remind you, Herzberg’s research identified that pay is what he called a ‘hygeine’ factor: if it is not adequate it will cause dissatisfaction but it is […]

62. Frederick Herzberg and motivation for small business

I thought it might be time to consider some gurus on the people side of business. Herzberg’s 1959 book, The Motivation to Work, has had a great influence – and if you do not employ anyone, please do not stop reading now as this is just as relevant to your own motivation. He introduced the matched […]

61. Corporate Strategy and Igor Ansoff for small business (part 2)

 Ansoff working on how corporates grew considered a number of important concepts taken up later by other writers, including the core capabilities of the organisation, its product and market scope (or marketing focus) and competitive advantage. The strategy for growth could exploit these factors and consider the options for development which Ansoff defined in his […]

60. Corporate Strategy and Igor Ansoff for small business (part 1)

Igor Ansoff (1918-2002) pretty much invented the concept of corporate strategy – all of course based on large corporate organisations (he worked with Rand Corp and Lockheed). But small businesses also have to make strategic decisions so what he had to say can be relevant. Ansoff drew a qualitative line between strategic decisions which were fundamental […]

52. Michael Porter and Competitive Advantage for Small Business (Part 2)

The third of Michael Porter’s Five Forces affecting market attractiveness  identified in his 1985 book Competitive Advantage is the level of Competitive Rivalry in the Industry. The degree of competition affects the price a service can command and ultimately the survival of the players in it. Porter was thinking of large national and global industries […]

49. Tom Peters Thriving on Chaos for Small Business (part 11)

Tom Peters’ book, Thriving on Chaos (1987), which overthrew or updated his thoughts in In Search of Excellence, comes up with 12 keys to success in the new world he saw as emerging in the late eighties, and these are particularly relevant to small business and are still relevant now. Some of the ideas recently […]

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