Make information easy to access

It used to be, when an organization wanted to get their message out, they had to do some print advertising or radio or TV advertising.

Today, there are so many more ways to communicate and those who rely upon just one, are seriously limiting themselves.

Just as an example, there are people reading this message on the my blog at www.lawrencefine.com/blog, others are reading it via email (www.lawrencefine.com/blog/subscribe to sign up) others are reading this via RSS feed and others are reading this on twitter. If this message was only available using one method, it would limit the readership.

When you only make your information available using one or two methods, you are lessening the likelihood that it will be seen.

Expand your communication channels and let people hear your message!

Have a great day!

Lawrence

What’s your schedule?

How often do you get asked if you are available at a certain time or certain day and you’re not sure?

For years, organized people would carry a “planner” with them that had their personal schedule (and usually had many other things as well). This was quite effective except for two things. First, if they lose their planner, they lose their schedule. The other problem was that while they might know their schedule, no one else does.

The next alternative to the planner was the PDA (personal digital assistant). The PDA would allow the schedule (and other information) to be backed up on a computer so if lost or damaged, there was a backup. Frequently, the backup could be accessed by a partner or assistant so this made it a bit more convenient. When the PDA became combined with the cell phone, it made things even more convenient. The PDA usually worked with MS Outlook so if the computer was networked, others on that network would have access to that schedule as well (if you want them to).

The problem with the PDA method is it still is difficult to see other people schedules. For example, if the marketing person is trying to set up an appointment for himself, the communications director and a potential client, the marketing person has to look at his schedule, look at the communications schedule and then check with the client for availability. This requires a great deal of back and forth in order to set up a simple meeting.

The solution is web based calender that allows sharing and also allows access (with permission). Imagine how easy it would be to go online (through a computer or hand held device like a cell phone) and see one schedule with everyones schedule on it. In the example above, the marketing person could access the calender that shows both his schedule and the communication directors schedule, see what times are available and then set things up easily with the potential client. Much cleaner and simpler than numerous phone calls or emails.

There are a number of web based calenders that can do this. The one I use can be found at www.30boxes.com. It allows for the sharing of calenders (with permission) the hiding of certain events, reminders by email or sms and much more. 30Boxes.com is owned by 37signals llc which is a small company that has some great products. There is no cost for this service and I have absolutely no connection to the company (other than using this and some other programs they offer)

Whether you use 30boxes.com or something comparable, it’s a great way to work more efficiently, especially if working with others.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Goal Setting PowerPoint Available

Previously I have written about goal setting (see http://www.lawrencefine.com/blog/2008/05/goal-setting/ and http://www.lawrencefine.com/blog/2008/05/goal-setting-continued/) but recently, I was looking through my computer for a file and came across something I think might be very helpful.

A few years ago, I did a series of speeches on Goal Setting for various groups. I have taken the power point presentation I created for one of the speeches and made some minor modifications so it’s pretty much self explanatory.

If anyone would like a copy of the Goal Setting PowerPoint please email me at lawrence@lawrencefine.com and in the subject put “Goal Setting”

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Email is not private

One of the big mistakes people make with email is to believe that what they are sending is only between the sender and the recipient.

The reality is if your email address is connected to your business or organization, than your business or organization owns your email address. So, if you work for The John Doe Company and your email address is bob@thejohndoecompany.com chances you, The John Doe Company has the rights to your emails. They can read them, they can delete them and they own them. This means that email you sent to a friend complaining about your boss has a good chance of being read by your boss.

Even if you have your own domain, or you use a gmail.com or yahoo.com account, you should never send an email thinking it’s truly private. While you can control who receives it initially (and even this isn’t always true as I have sent emails to the wrong address in my address book before), you can’t control what they do with that email once it’s received. If you sent an email to bob@thejohndoecompany.com. Understand Bob’s boss or others in the company might also have access to that account (whether Bob knows it or not). Even if no one else has access to that account, that doesn’t mean Bob might not forward it to someone you didn’t want it forwarded to.

As a general rule of thumb, never send anything via email that you wouldn’t want everyone to see. If it’s so private that it could get you in trouble if seen by others, don’t send it in the first place.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Potential

Potential is one of the most often misused words when looking at performance.

The word potential simply means having the possibility to achieve (at least that is the definition I’m using).

Given the choice between someone with potential and someone with no potential, of course I’m going to be interested in the person with potential. However, just because someone has the potential doesn’t mean they will ever achieve anything.

You can go to any big city in the US and there is at least one park that has basketball players who had the potential to be pros. They had the size, the speed, the skills but that doesn’t mean they ever did, or ever will realize their potential.

Too often, we give people with “potential” too many chances because we hope they will realize their potential while at the same time, we ignore the people who are regularly producing.

How many screw ups is the person with potential allowed before we realize that in most cases, potential without discipline and leadership is frequently never realized?

Have a great day!

Lawrence