August 2022 Content
7 Simple Questions that Can Increase Your Business Productivity by More than 30%
By Dr. Vijay Jog, Ph.D.
The following is an updated excerpt from an article at Corporate Renaissance Group’s website. The full article can be found here.
Many economists continue to be concerned about the decline in productivity despite significant improvement and investments made in the technology of doing business as witnessed by the rise of companies like SAP, Oracle, Salesforce and Microsoft that are providing world class productivity tools. Moreover, given the current labour shortage across all sectors, productivity decline may have significant impact on the speed of upcoming recovery. So why is it that the North American productivity numbers continue to be weak and CEOs are lamenting about efficiency especially in the services sector?
The main culprit behind the decline in workplace productivity may actually be the leadership’s inability to understand the actual work being done by staff and employees on a day-to-day basis.
Answering the following 7 Simple Questions Can Help Increase Productivity Across the Entire Enterprise - manager by manager:
1. Who is the customer of the activities/services that your department provides and what expectations do they have about the quality of that service and response/cycle time to both external and internal customers?
2. What are the drivers of the demand for those services (e.g. in HR, the demand depends on the number and type of employees; in accounting, it depends on #transactions and complexity)?
3. What specific internal activities do they need to perform to provide these service that can be broken down in terms of “work time” and do you have a weekly/monthly tracking and monitoring mechanisms in place to match work time to demand drivers?
4. How long (simple estimates are fine) does each activity take to perform on the level of satisfaction demanded by the customer and how much training and “management” is required to do so?
5. Are there any special projects (e.g. R&D) that one must undertake to prepare for future needs?
6. Are you hiring people with full disclosure so you get the right people in the right positions? “We are a high performance company, we have a great benefits plan, great social committee, nice colleagues but we all come here to work and are not afraid to be measured on output – we actually welcome it”.
7. Are you tracking metrics at all levels and incentivizing people accordingly through a simple but effective employee performance management system?
Answering these seven questions across the entire enterprise may allow you to increase your productivity by at least 30%, since everyone would know what is expected, what it takes to deliver and how it is being measured. Additionally, it can help plan for capacity (if you are growing) and implement a performance-driven culture in an enterprise where everyone is accountable. Last but not the least, the answers to the questions may also point out whether you have effectively resourced your company, and/or have the right people on the right seats on your bus. It may also lead to figuring out who requires training and who can be successful elsewhere and what kind of technology implementations and improvements and management changes are required to get this done. Since Henry Ford invented the assembly line and improved manufacturing efficiency, time has come to adapt similar principles to improve service sector efficiency provided you care to create a performance driven enterprise where people are happy to work – remote or on site and deliver enterprise value.
DR. VIJAY JOG is the Founder of Corporate Renaissance Group (CRGroup), a firm dedicated to driving better business management and performance. He has led CRGroup’s growth in areas of corporate dashboards, business intelligence, bridging the gap between technology, HR and finance, designing incentive systems and creating innovative software applications used by thousands of organizations around the world. He is also the Chancellor Professor Emeritus and a Distinguished Research Professor at the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University and has published extensively and has received many awards and recognition for his research and teaching.
Learn more in person at Vijay’s upcoming CFO As Navigator Executive Program in Vancouver on October 19-22. Register by August 19 and receive the early bird pricing!
You can also catch him at one of his virtual online seminars this August on Building Enterprise Performance Dashboards and Effective Financial Analysis for Business Decisions - Medium Privately Held Businesses.
Improve Your Skills in Leadership and Teamwork
Here are some upcoming seminars that can help you achieve your personal development goals.
Building High Performance Teams
Learn how to diagnose and remedy your team’s capability to work smarter and accomplish more in less time, how to encourage genuine two-way feedback, become stress and dispute free, and “turn on” the new generation of knowledge workers who ultimately will determine your fate.
Read more on Building High Performance Teams
Dispelling the Myth of "Effective Meetings": Engaging Virtual Meetings Your Employees Will Want to Attend
Leave the session with a specific planning framework tool designed to assist your team in building meetings that are relevant, productive, engaging and yes, even welcomed by others in your organization.
Effective and Essential Management Skills
This fast-paced, interactive (no role plays) and highly practical learning experience will enhance your tactical managerial and coaching skills. Participants will learn how to drive high degrees of engagement, and how to delegate, empower, and provide meaningful feedback to their people.
Read more on Effective and Essential Management Skills
Here are some upcoming courses in management accounting.
Building Enterprise Performance Dashboards
Gain insights into the usefulness of well-designed scorecards for corporations as well as for business units. Through real examples, cases and hands-on work, you will get an increased appreciation of the importance of these scorecards in improving performance and to help your company exceed expectations through successful implementation of the balanced scorecard.
Read more on Building Enterprise Performance Dashboards
Taking Financial Statement and Ratio Analysis to the Next Level
This seminar focuses on how to analyze financial statements, focusing particularly on financial statement ratios and some of the reports that popular systems, such as Bloomberg reports, generate for external users of financial statements.
In-Person Controller’s Executive Programs
Our popular Controller’s Operational Skills Program and Controller’s Management Program will be offered in-person this fall for the first time since 2019! If you prefer face-to-face interaction for these executive programs, make sure to register early.
Controller's Operational Skills
The Controller’s Operational Skills Program is designed to enhance your role on the management team by sharpening your skills in risk management and controls, ethical leadership, planning, budgeting and forecasting, performance measurement approaches and financial reporting.
Victoria | Sep 21-24
Read more on Controller's Operational Skills
Controller's Management Program
The Controller’s Management Program is designed to provide you with the theory, best practices, tools, and skills to further sharpen your leadership and management skills.
Vancouver | Sep 25-28
Read more on Controller’s Management Program
Five Strategies to Be a Successful Online Learner
By now, the pandemic has made online learning a very familiar concept to many – a learning system which once seemed a good fit only for the tech savvy, is now here to stay and will only continue to grow.
The main benefits of online learning are clear – regardless of whether training is completed live or on-demand, you save time, resources, and expenses. As an additional benefit, on-demand learning can be self-paced where you dictate when and how you complete the course. A myriad of topics are also accessible to you which may not have been previously available with in-person sessions. Despite these benefits, some are still uncertain if online learning can meet their professional development needs. To help you and your team become effective online learners and help you take advantage of this emerging learning system, here are five strategies you need to consider:
This is essential in ensuring that you will be able to complete your online learning effectively. Here are some ways to stay motivated:
- Clearly write down your learning goals and set deadlines. If possible, share them with a colleague or friend who would be willing to help keep you accountable.
- Create a checkbox for each goal, and give yourself a small reward for every goal completed.
- Keep your mind actively engaged in the course or program – ensure you read all the information provided to you, create a running list of questions to clarify uncertainties – be curious, then make it a point to satisfy your curiosity.
Manage Your Time Effectively
Whether you are participating in a live or on-demand seminar, ensure you prioritize and allocate a sufficient amount of time to complete all your requirements.
- Book the appropriate time off in your work calendar as soon as you register for your online seminar.
- Read through the course description and note if it contains any pre-work to ensure you allot appropriate time to complete it.
- For on-demand seminars, evaluate and break down your learning activities and block off appropriate chunks of your time accordingly. Work these learning activities in as a daily routine and remind yourself that these are manageable tasks as long as you stick to your schedule.
While online learning provides the flexibility to learn from home, this advantage can also hinder the effectiveness of your learning experience.
- Do not answer calls, emails, or even schedule quick meetings on the side while taking an online seminar - keep in mind that you would not engage in these behaviours if you were attending the same seminar in person, in a classroom.
- For on-demand seminars, schedule sufficient breaks in between your learning time as needed. During the breaks, go for walks, check emails and take care of other responsibilities. This way, during your active learning time, you can fully focus on your learning activity knowing you set aside break times to complete your other tasks.
With vast amounts of information pouring in every minute from hundreds of sources, thinking clearly and acquiring knowledge has become a major challenge – learn how to prepare you mind and brain for disruption.
Create an Effective Learning Environment
Your surroundings can inspire you in your pursuit of knowledge or it can distract you with a constant reminder of mounting tasks that requires your attention.
- Before you begin your online learning activity, declutter your learning spaces, both physical and digital. This is where having less can actually help you be more creative, more productive, and more focused.
- Rearrange your space to be as efficient as possible. Keep your learning materials close and move your desk if you need to keep your view free from distractions.
Learn more about regaining control of your office and life by decluttering.
Meet Your Technical Requirements
Read through the technical requirements and pre-requisites thoroughly to ensure you are clear on what your online learning activity requires such as a specific software or device.
If you are using a specific platform for the first time, consider reading up on it and testing it to confirm ahead of time if you are able to open the required course files.
You may increasingly find yourself in a position where online learning is the only realistic option, or you may be a proponent in your organization, encouraging staff to improve their skills through online learning. By considering these strategies, you and your team can become more effective online learners.
Learn Best Practices in Risk Management
Every organization faces potential risks that can impact their reputation and success. Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) consists of a coordinated set of activities that can manage risks before they happen.
WILLIAM (BILL) WESIOLY, CPA, CMA (Ontario), a risk management consultant and professional leadership coach, can help you develop the ability to identify and assess the various risks that may have a critical impact on your business. Bill’s background is in the financial services industry - first with BMO and then with RBC – and the last 15 years of his banking career was successfully spent building and leading risk management programs. He has also recently published a Management Accounting Guideline for CPA Canada – A Practical Approach for Managing Risks in Small – Medium Size Organizations.
Join us online from November 7-9, 2022 for the Enterprise Risk Management Fundamentals and learn the best practices in risk management. This three-day, seven module program has been designed to help Finance leaders anticipate, prepare for, and quickly respond to evolving business threats and opportunities. By understanding and properly managing risk, businesses can thrive, create value and achieve a competitive advantage.
Previous attendees have found the program highly beneficial:
“By far the best program I have attended. Have acquired relevant tools to take back and implement with the management team.”
“This program really helped outline the challenges that our organization had by not having a risk framework in place. I felt this program helped light up areas for me to help improve our operations by setting that tone from the top and focusing on our key success factors, thereby helping others know what our risk tolerance would be.”
Save On Your Learning!
The PD Passport is a savings program designed to save you up to 40% off seminar prices. The 2022-23 PD Passports are now available for purchase and can be used for sessions that run from September 1, 2022 – August 31, 2023 . All PD Passports are currently discounted by 10%. Purchase your PD Passport by September 15 to receive the additional early bird discount.
Find the right PD Passport that meets your specific lifelong learning needs.
Interested in attending in-person Executive Programs?
Receive an early bird discount of $300 applicable on registrations received no later than 2 months prior to the program start date. Don’t miss out and check out the upcoming early bird deadlines:
Early Bird Deadline: Aug 19
Early Bird Deadline: Aug 23
Early Bird Deadline: Sept 16
Did You Know?
From June 2021- June 2022, PD has offered over 80 in house sessions with 2300+ participants from 34 organizations. Based on feedback from participants who completed their course evaluations our overall course rating is 4.3/5, and our instructor rating is 4.6/5.
With CPABC's in-house services, you can provide specialized training to your staff that meets your specific needs.