New Whitepaper Release – 80 Percent Efficiency Estimate

StrategyDriven contributors are pleased to announce the release of our eighth whitepaper: Resource Projection – 80 Percent Efficiency Estimate.

Perfect human efficiency? Not likely. How then should personnel resources be estimated?

Human beings are social creatures with both emotional and physical needs. Businesses able to satisfy these needs will be better positioned to attract and retain talented personnel; giving them a much needed advantage in the increasingly knowledge driven marketplace where human resources are increasingly limited. Such organizations will further benefit from increased worker engagement because employees feel more connected and valued.

Meeting these very personalized needs requires an ongoing time investment, social time to build and maintain co-worker relationships, to connect with customers and clients, to contact family and friends, as well as time to physically relax, refresh, reflect, and rejuvenate. This time investment varies day-to-day and person-to-person making it extremely difficult to measure. Time studies, project management research, and our collective managerial experience suggest that knowledge workers, on average, require a twenty percent time investment in these personal activities. Stated another way, professionals spend about one and a half hours of an eight hour workday on non-productive but personally necessary activities. Hence, professionals, those whose breaks are ill-defined, can be assumed to work at eighty percent efficiency when fully engaged.

The StrategyDriven 80 Percent Efficiency Estimate whitepaper provides business planners with an easy to follow set of rules to help them appropriately factor personnel efficiency into their project and business plan resource estimates. These rules are detailed with supporting principles and philosophies; helping users understand the reasoning behind each recommendation.

StrategyDriven Succession and Workforce Planning AcceleratorSuccession and Workforce Planning

We help clients enhance their succession and workforce planning programs through pipeline and capability projection, training and development program assessment, and improvement plan design and implementation assistance. Our evaluations identify retention, replacement, productivity, and quality risks while providing leading practice strategies for maintaining full staffing including temporarily filling vacancies with highly qualified personnel. Learn more about how we can help you enhance your succession and workforce pipeline planning programs or contact us for a personal consultation.

Leadership Inspirations – The Deception of Subtlety

“Subtlety may deceive you; integrity never will.”

Oliver Cromwell
First Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland; best known for his involvement in transforming England into a republican Commonwealth

7 Steps Towards Turning Your Work/Life Pain into Pleasure

Does this picture fit you?

  • sleeplessness
  • being angry a little too often
  • frequent frustration
  • increased absenteeism from work
  • presenteeism (going to work when you were so sick you should have stayed home)
  • reduced concern for customers/ clients
  • emotional exhaustion
  • a reduced sense of accomplishment
  • unable to switch off from work

These are some of the pains you feel when the demands of work and personal life are all too much for you. They can be summed up in one word – stress.

The hidden danger is in the insidious effects of such symptoms, the outcomes of which may not surface for months or even years. But if left unattended, the wheels can eventually fall off, often in dramatic and life-diminishing ways. These include stress-related illnesses, heart conditions, relationship breakdowns, job loss and depression.

When you are not enjoying life, it often seems hard to change things around. The following seven steps may, however, make the task easier for you.

  1. The first step is always the most difficult – deciding you really want to take action and do something productive to ease your work/life pain. Once you’ve made that decision, you’ll enjoy the rest of the process.
  2. Create your own enjoyment. Sounds a bit trite? There’s more to what I call “the enjoyment factor” than first meets the eye.

    • Is a creatable experience from which fun, laughter and pleasure are automatic reactions. If you’re not enjoying life, you’re unlikely to achieve the positive frame of mind needed to resolve your work life harmony problems.
    • Is a natural mechanism for coping with stress, because your mind is unconsciously transported to a world within the real you – your authentic self – a world in which you feel relaxed, de-stressed and at peace with yourself. Your problems are put on hold.
    • Heightens your sense of self esteem, self confidence, self belief and feelings of self worth. When your mind returns to the real world, the heightened feelings flow, like a ripple effect, through every thing else you do. The intensity of the enjoyable experience will determine how long and how wide the ripple effect will extend. It can even trigger a new outlook on life.
  3. Do it often, even if only for a few minutes at a time. The more often you create your chosen enjoyable experiences, the better your chances of stabilizing your thinking and your ability to juggle your responsibilities. You might be surprised how much this can help you review how and where you allocate your energies.
  4. You can create enjoyment at work, home and play. Play (any personally chosen discretionary interest that you undertake just for enjoyment) has for too long been undervalued regarding its benefits to work and other responsibilities of life. Much stress comes from a lack of control over what happens to you, the changes being imposed on you and the expectations demanded of you. Discretionary interests – play, leisure, recreation, sport, “time for me”, call it what you will – is perhaps your last bastion of total control and freedom of choice. The more often you get control of your life through leisure interests that you love, the better you will be able to survive and thrive in today’s frenetic lifestyle.
  5. Enjoyable experiences generate new emotional energy to replace the energy burnt by your stress. A lot of the pain of a discordant work life mix is you are trying to burn energy you simply don’t have. It’s not rocket science to realize that you need to replace burnt energy. Resting isn’t enough. A car needs more than regular refueling – its longevity requires regular care and maintenance. It’s the same with you.
  6. Create leisure experiences that are not only enjoyable but are opposite – or at least quite different – to those experienced at work. If you work in a busy and noisy environment, a quiet, perhaps solitary, experience may help, if the work is intellectual then create enjoyable physical or manual experiences. The emphasis here is on experiences of the mind that make you feel good about yourself, irrespective of whether the interest is physical or mental. In the final analysis, every enjoyable experience is of the mind.
  7. How to fit it into the week’s busy schedule. Enjoyment isn’t limited to weekends, joining clubs, or any other of the old leisure traditions. It’s about doing your own thing whenever and wherever you wish, at any time of the day or night and on any day of the week. A few minutes of ‘flight’ can sustain a day of ‘fight’ if, during that time, your inner person is allowed out to enjoy the freedom of self-expression. Self-created interests can include musical appreciation by listening or playing, art, craft, beading, genealogy, bird-watching, walking for pleasure, gardening – anything that transports your thinking into your own world of enjoyment. When you lose yourself in an interest you love you find yourself – the person of worth within you.

These factors do not of themselves overcome a discordant work life mix. They do however generate a more positive attitude, in which you feel good about yourself. You are establishing a revitalized outlook on life that strengthens your self-confidence. Your problems either don’t seem so great any more, or you perceive them more calmly and with a sense of personal power in your ability to make your daily life more enjoyable.

In the final analysis these steps will enable you to become a better friend to the most important person in the world – you!

Article Source

About the Author

Peter Nicholls is Australia’s People Gardener – cultivating vigorous personal growth to thrive to one’s full natural potential. Visit Peter’s website at or contact him at [email protected].

Worrying is Not a Business Plan

In your kitchen you probably have a spice or powder-filled container with a plastic top that has two tabs – one for pouring or spooning, and one for sprinkling. That top is most likely derived from the original Flapper my company invented.

Today there’s an entire line of Flapper products used by over 150 companies, including Durkee, Cremora, San Giorgio, Ronzoni, and McCormick. Thanks to that initial success, over the years I’ve been able to build a multimillion-dollar manufacturing company that provided me with the means to be a major philanthropist, endowing hospitals, universities, and charities that offer valuable help to thousands of people.

I tell you this not to brag, but to make the point that the tips I share with you in this article concerning leveraging adversity to reach new heights of professional success in a tough economy have stood the test of time.

These tips will help you stop worrying and start doing… Remember, when it comes to all types of adversity, taking positive action with the ideas you believe are the wisest at the moment, (knowing that things may change for the better or worse tomorrow), can’t help but lead to eventual success.

Let’s start with the first and fundamental rule of successful management through good times and bad. It’s one, tragically, that executives often forget…

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About the Author

Albert J. Weatherhead is the author of The Power of Adversity and chairman and CEO of Weatherhead Industries, a private manufacturer of plastic closures for food, spice, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products. Please visit or for more information.

StrategyDriven Podcast Special Edition 21d – An Interview with Duane Sparks, author of Masters of Loyalty

StrategyDriven Podcasts focus on the tools and techniques executives and managers can use to improve their organization’s alignment and accountability to ultimately achieve superior results. These podcasts elaborate on the best practice and warning flag articles on the StrategyDriven website.

Special Edition 21d – An Interview with Duane Sparks, author of Masters of Loyalty explores how professional salespeople can move customers beyond being merely satisfied to true loyalty such that they have stopped shopping and are highly resistant to competitors’ appeals. During our discussion, Duane Sparks, author of Masters of Loyalty: How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force. and Chairman and Founder of The Sales Board, shares with us his insights and illustrative examples regarding:

  • what true customer loyalty is
  • why customer loyalty programs do not make customers loyal
  • the benefits of attaining real customer loyalty
  • how to earn customer loyalty using the Action Selling process

Additional Information

In addition to the invaluable selling skills insight Duane shares in Masters of Loyalty and this special edition podcast, please visit his company’s Sales Training or Sales Management site. To discover why this selling skill is so effective at maximizing sales productivity, purchase Duane’s book: Masters of Loyalty.

Complimenting Masters of Loyalty, are Duane’s four other books on the consultative sales process including:

Read a Summary of the above Sales Books.

Final Request…

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Thank you again for listening to the StrategyDriven Podcast!

About the Author

Duane Sparks, author of Masters of Loyalty, is Chairman and Founder of The Sales Board, a Minneapolis-based strategic sales training company that has trained and certified more than 350,000 salespeople in more than 3,000 groups in the system and skills of Action Selling. He has written five sales books, personally facilitated more than 300 Action Selling training sessions and continues to engage in the business and art of the strategic sales process. Read Duane’s full biography and the history of Action Selling Sales Management Training.