Monday, November 26, 2007

Business Owners - 2008 Virtual Planning Retreat

Haven't had the chance to do your business planning for 2008 OR to develop a vision for what you want to create with your business next year?

If you are a business owner who reads my blog you will know my thoughts on how important taking the time to plan for your business really is.

I am pleased to be offereing the 2008 Biz Success Virtual Planning Retreat(TM) for Business Owners next month. This is a virtual business planning retreat for small business owners, so you can dedicate time to planning, without having to leave your office. We'll be meeting by phone for an intensive 6 hour planning retreat, held by phone, over the course of two weeks.

So, you get tools to apply immediately to your business and your planning efforts, dedicated space to focus on your business (we meet for 15 minutes of every hour as a group with the rest of the hour spent off line working on individual planning), and the support of a group environment.

Business owners who attend will:
* Develop their vision for 2008 for their business;
* Explore or reconnect with their business values;
* Set their major Business Objectives for 2008;
* Develop a Business RoadMap for 2008;
* Develop their 2008 Marketing Strategy and Plan;
* Develop an operational budget and partnership strategy for 2008.

The Biz Success Virtual Planning Retreat will be of interest to new and seasoned business owners who are committed to conscious, intentional action and planning for their business.

Retreat participants will receive:
* 6 hours of structured retreat time (combination of group work and individual planning time)
* A virtual retreat manual with exercises, tools and templates for their business planning
* A one hour group follow up call in January
* Individual follow up coaching sessions (Gold and Silver packages only)

Space is limited to 12 business owners per session.

Space is still available for the business planning retreat held on:
Tuesday December 11 and 18/07 from 7 - 10 pm (EST)

For more information or to register, please visit the dedicated web page on the program here. You can also email me at if you would prefer to pay by Visa (by phone).
Your investment?
Gold Package: $550 for retreat plus 2 hours of follow up 1-1 business coaching
Silver Package: $350 for retreat, materials plus 1 hour of follow-up 1-1 business coaching
Bronze Package: $150 for retreat, materials and recording
It's a win-win for you and your business. Remember for every 10 minutes spent planning, you are going to save at least 2 hours on effort. So imagine the impact of 6 plus hours of dedicated focus on your business planning? I look forward to having you join me!
To your continued business success,
Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Mobile Workers (M-Workers) Part II

A few weeks ago I did a posting on mobile workers - those professionals who spend at least 10 hours per week away from their office and need to remain connected via technology. I've had some great comments off line from readers who wanted to know here's part two.

Several people have asked, " What are the typical characteristics of an M-Worker?"

Returning again to Cisco's Study "Understanding and Managing the Mobile Workforce" the study found that mobile workers tend to be:
* Male (Women 67% less likely to be mobile workers than men)
* Those with a degree level education
* Self employed workers are almost twice as likely to be mobile than paid workers -- in part because we need to be, especially when we serve multiple clients

The study even looked at personality characteristics which are dominant in mobile workers, including the need to be an independent decision maker, being a disciplined achiever, and embracing curiosity and exploration. Flexibility and adaptability go hand in hand with the personality of an MWorker (and interestingly the characteristics that I always hired for for many years as a manager).

Another interesting part of the study points to the fact that work-life balance and stress management are key concerns for the mobile workforce. For any of you MWorkers reading this post, how many briefcases/suitcases do you have packed, ready to go by your front door? A few weeks ago, I was joking with a colleague that rather than having a fixation on purses, when I worked as a virtual manager and had staff in 10 countries, my fixation was on briefcases that I could take on and off planes. I certainly know first hand the stress that can be created by living and working on the road. If you are looking for some work-life balance tidbits, I hope that you will jump on over to my Your Balanced Life! blog.

So what are some recommended management approaches for mobile workers? The Cisco study has some great recommendations including some of the more common sense ones (which take on new meaning for M-Workers:
* Providing space for M-Workers to do their job -- so avoid micro-managing
* Aim to understand the context of the M-Workers working world (and their realities)
* Build a high degree of trust with your M-Team
* Ensure that communication is clear, to the point, unambiguous, and delivered at a convenient time
* Reward and recognize M-Workers within the organization (even if they spend more time on the road than at their desk)
and finally, my favourite - invest in team building for your M-Team, ensuring that staff do get to know one another and are able to build relationships with their managers and peers.

I do hope that you will check out the Cisco study -- it's right on the mark and will be of great benefit to any organization with M Workers.

As always - I welcome your comments -- what is your take on M-Workers needs, management strategies and team support? Feel free to comment below or drop me an email.

Have a wonderful week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Are you an M-Worker (Mobile Worker)?

Are you a mobile worker? IDC predicts that within the next two years one quarter of the global workforce will be mobile workers. Wow!

And what is a mobile worker?

Mobile workers are those who work at least 10 hours per week away from home and from their main place of work, e.g. on business trips, in the field, traveling, or on customers’ premises, and use online computer connections when doing so”
– Electronic Commerce and Telework Trends, 2000

Cisco published an intriguing study earlier this year entitled, “Understanding and Managing the Mobile Workforce” (July 2007).

In it they found that some of the key competencies for mobile workers are:
* Adaptability
* Communication
* Planning
* Organizing and
* Relationship Building

Mobile Working is a trend that is expected to grow. The report also notes that M-Working can enhance productivity, motivation, flexibility and staff retention – key issues facing most organizations today.

How many mobile workers comprise your workforce? What changes in management style are required for managing mobile workers? How are their support needs different than office based employees? What impact do M-Workers have on your team enhancement strategies?

These are some of the issues I’ll be addressing in future blog posts. What are your thoughts on and experiences with M-Workers? As always, please feel free to comment below.

Have a great start to the week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: info{at} potentialsrealized{dot}com

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Who are the connectors in your organization?

Influencing skills play a key role in leadership, virtual team building and also small business growth. I've been reflecting a lot lately on the exponential power of working to effect change by harnessing the power and influence of connectors in organizations.

Connectors are people who are well connected within an organization, whose influence in the informal organization and network is powerful and diverse.

A great example of a connector in my former role as a manager was my assistant. She brought an incredible depth of institutional memory after being in her role for 20 + years, and an even wider network of contacts, allies and colleagues. The success of my work would not have been possible without tapping into her wisdom and having her become an influencer amongst her networks. She never failed to have some imperative contact in her network which opened the door for project success

What's the value of finding connectors in your organization, or organizations you work for?
1. In change intiatives : Ability to transmit information quickly via the connectors to their multilayered networks
2 As influencing skills become an even more important leadership and management trait for teams which are virtual and global, connectors can often bridge the gap between formal chains of command and formal networks.
3. To provide mentoring opportunities for newer staff members, especially if they are not sure if the traditional career development path is for them
4. For small business owners, connectors may often be able to provide an alternative path for approaching an organization you wish to do business with
5. In collaborative, participatory learning initatives, connectors can play a key role in becoming a conduit for information flow and perspectives from different stakeholder groups.

These are just a few -- what role do connectors play in your organization or work you do with organizations? Feel free to comment below.

Have a wonderful start to the week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Email: jennifer(at)
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960