Friday, March 12, 2021
11. FIND THE SILVER LINING
Whenever your team suggests a pathetic idea, encourage them to brainstorm and think more- to dig deeper. Instead of dismissing the idea altogether, tell them that you like the thought behind it or its element. Ask them for further suggestions, or ways they would criticize their ideas. And if they do, what are the necessary solutions they would come up with to eradicate the said criticisms. In this way, you forge your employees to look deeper and analyze their ideas. Who knows, you might even stumble onto the holy grail of your next mastermind project this way!
12. MENTORS CAN HELP
Often the person who tends to come up with inappropriate ideas is misguided about the company’s purposes and goals. Assigning a mentor to help this situation can work wonders. They can guide your team through and rectify the goals and aims of your company, state them through distinct, obvious speech to your employees instead. This can either be a temporary or a permanent solution, but if this could prevent the frequent popping of bad ideas for the upcoming business meetings, why not? Keep conducting periodic check-ins to allow course corrections before the completion of a project.
13. FIND A MIDDLE GROUND
Make diplomacy and concord your prime weapons. As much as you cannot dodge the popping up of an idea that might not align properly with the prospects you’re trying to chase, turning down the idea altogether can make you come off as bossy and unapproachable. The recipient of your turndown might be capable of formulating better ideas for some other project. Don’t lose out on that.
Instead, come to a middle ground. Be diplomatic in your approach, acknowledge their idea politely- you don’t have to necessarily take it up. When your whole group is heading towards one single direction, chances are the outlier will fall in line too, even if they think that their idea outdid yours. This strategy will not only help you decline the idea politely but will also prevent your employees from stating ideas all together in fear of rejection. They’ll bring their thoughts to the table, you just have to weave them together whichever way best suits you.
14. COME OUT OF YOUR BUBBLE
Often we tend to form a small little checklist of what a good idea is. We’re always so surrounded by the company’s objectives, products, and primal goals that we restrict our idea of a ‘good idea’ be based upon only one primal aim. This could harm the development of your business. Maybe the idea you perceive as ‘not so good enough’ is good but just doesn’t check all the points on your ‘good idea’ checklist. The bad idea might have grown out of this ‘bubble’. Breakthrough your bubble of thought where a single perspective dominates. Try to look at the bigger picture.
15. SEEK OTHERS’ OPINIONS
It’s very much possible that whatever perspective that failed to be a good one according to you, might work otherwise for someone else. Accept and invite their takes and thoughts too. Asking for various opinions from your trusted colleagues only gives you numerous workarounds to your project. It will make it easier for you to pen down the ideas that you foresee taking your business venture forward. If Newton could devise his whole theory on gravity just by seeing an apple fall from the tree, you never know what life-changing perspective you might stumble across just by asking for help and advice from a few more people. If at all you find an opinion not quite working for you, you have the option of dropping it anyway.
Being the mastermind of your own business teaches a lot of human values and work ethics. Ways to propagate agendas the right way, negotiation and improvisation, teamwork, and most of all- how to maintain healthy human connections. It’s a given that taking a business forward will make you face conflicts, differences in opinion, and disagreements. You have to handle them gracefully. Acknowledge your employees, appreciate their efforts, be the mentor that they need. After all, they’re only looking up to you.
As Phil Jackson said, “The strength of the team is each member. The strength of each member is the team.” Acknowledge, appreciate, and grow!
6. TAKE IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO EDUCATE
You can never educate a person without giving them counterexamples.
Counterexamples have a way of teaching a person exactly why the actual idea is better and is capable of sustaining in the long run. So next time, instead of getting annoyed at another bad idea- sit down and teach them about it. Take the opportunity to fulfill your role as a mentor, and teach them why their idea isn’t functional and what they can do to better it. This way, you’ll not only get to connect with your colleague on a one on one basis but also help them have a clearer understanding of the project. Dismissing their ideas altogether can discourage them and make them unwilling to contribute any more ideas in the future. Them coming forward and bringing their ideas to the table is proof of the fact that they are willing to contribute to the success of the company, it’s ideals and it’s goals. Cherish it!
7. PRACTICE THE ART OF COMMUNICATION AND CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM
Instead of showing complete disregard for another seemingly foolish idea, criticize your colleague’s idea by communicating constructively. Indulge with your team in questing the loopholes that may be present, and the needed fixes that it might require before being implemented. Revise the idea time and again to identify potential pitfalls and drawbacks and brainstorm the workarounds for them. Be supportive and encouraging towards your team. Not only does it help you build a healthy relationship with them but it also prevents the formation of a toxic work environment.
8. ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS, ALWAYS
At times when your team member happens to suggest the worst possible idea, it could be that his understanding of the goals and visions of the company could be unclear. It’s best to open the floor for interrogation then, letting them ask what makes their idea incapable and why. You have to then clearly communicate on what grounds did you decide to shut the idea out, or why. Communicate the primal goals and aims of your project, host discussions about them, the resource budgets, and the time frame. Let every employee suggest their visions and versions of the aim, and it’s your responsibility to interrogate further based on why’s and how’s and correct them where they are wrong. Communication is the key. Make yourself approachable enough for them to ask their doubts freely.
9. BUILD ON
Sometimes when you’re presented with a bad idea, and you build on it- you can come across something more valuable and meaningful. You would not even know how digging deeper or building on into ideas can uncover some rare gems that you’ve been questing for. So next time there’s a rotten idea, explore it. You never know when you might produce a good idea and will thank your stars that the respective employee brought out the precursor idea in the first place. This way, you won’t lose the good ideas that might come from them in the future either. Discouraging and demotivating through dismissal shouldn’t make it to your list of organizational skills.
10. TRY TO KEEP YOUR COMPANY’S GOALS CLEAR
The only way your employees could be going haywire with bad ideas and wrong perspectives is when your company’s goals and aims aren’t distinct. Make it a point to convey your company’s aims and visions as clear as a crystal. It will help your employees and colleagues to have a parameter to base their ideas off. Once you make the purpose of your company clear and make your colleagues understand it on a deeper level, they’ll be able to align their strategies and ideas better. And if any idea that they state doesn’t sit well with the prime goals of your company, it’s better to nip them in the bud. Remember, you can endure and deal with probabilities, not impossibilities.
Business endeavors demand patience and grace. When you are working with a team, you come across various individuals that are bound to make you stumble upon situations causing disagreements and differences in opinions. A primal sign of swell entrepreneurship is the capability to delve into the root cause of such problems and address the issue gracefully. You’ll have to find alternative, constructive ways than just disregarding the employee and team members who might not be at their best at the moment.
Whenever you take up a business venture or a new project, chances are that you’ll come across a lot of bad ideas while laying the basic foundation and goals of your company on the table. To deal with them appropriately is necessary. Instead of shutting the idea down altogether, or discouraging your employee indirectly by disregarding it, you can try implementing fruitful alternatives to approach the solution. You can try exploring the idea further, mentoring them instead, or even changing your perspective a bit!
The possibilities are endless, and if you want to master the art of being a great leader, here’s 13 ways in which you can address bad ideas that might be brought to the table during a business venture.
1. LET THEM TAKE THE BABY STEPS
This is where your role as a mentor and a teacher comes into the picture. Whenever someone suggests a rotten idea, ask them to dig deep into it. To explore the idea further, jot down the prospects and the pros and cons. Ask them to carry on with deeper research and the possibilities that the idea’s results can be fragmented into. Chances are, in this process they will themselves realize that the idea they suggested was not up to the mark or wrong. It will help them recognize and acknowledge the loopholes they overlooked while stating it, making them rectify their mistakes. And if this fails to work, you have to take one for the team and explain it to them; honest and upfront, as to why their ideas are not functionally aligning with the goals of the project and how. If you want to be a good teacher, you are bound to come off as the bad guy at some point when you take a step to rectify your students. Don’t stress about it much, such moments come and go.
2. KEEP YOUR PLAN SIMPLE
If your idea is too complicated, it will fail to work. Because when the formulator of the whole idea is himself confused o about the complexities of it, chances are it won’t sustain. So if a stinking idea comes up, it could be possible that the employee of yours is having difficulty deciphering the bigger picture. Explain your plan in simple terms to present him with a clear picture. Break it down into bits and parts, sectionalize and explain every nook and corner of it so that it’s easier for your colleagues to take it in.
3. INCREASE THE INVOLVEMENT
The more you strive to get your team involved in brainstorming ideas and finding solutions, the better ideas will you see served on your plate. The more you’re successful in engaging people in generating ideas and formulating them, the more involved they are going to be in the outcomes as well. This process will increase the feedback and work input from your team’s side exponentially. Top many cooks spoil the broth, but too many ideas don’t! Keep the ideas coming. You have the chance of taking it or dropping it anyway. You can not go wrong in increasing the involvement and fetching as many ideas as possible.
4. TRY TO LOOK, AND MAKE YOUR COLLEAGUES LOOK AT THE BRIGHT SIDE
Every person is capable of coming up with innumerable perspectives and takes on one single idea. If a bad idea is brought to the table, instead of shutting it out and discouraging your employees altogether, try to gain a different perspective upon it. A bad idea can be capable of working as a boon in some other aspect, even if it acts as a ban for one. For example, if you’re discussing marketing strategies, maybe an idea is incapable of filling in as a long term marketing solution, but it can work impeccably in the short term sector. Or maybe some suggestions can’t work well in skyrocketing your customer base, but can surely work well as an intern strategy. The ways you can look up a suggestion are endless. Analyze it from different angles. You’ll never know when a boon has presented itself in the disguise of a ban!
5 FIND OUT WHERE THE IDEA STEMS FROM
The next time you see a bad idea popping up in your business meeting, halt the flow and investigate your employee or colleague further on how they see the idea working out. Questions like “What are the downfalls that can occur?” or “What are the stakes and why are they worth the risk according to you?” or maybe “How do you see this as efficient enough in the long run?” and so forth. At times it happens that not-so-good ideas that they state don’t stem from a lack of understanding the vision or aim or goals of your company or your project- but rather their inability to frame the right words to express themselves or to approach a problem with the correct creative framework. This way you could get a chance to find the root cause of the problem, and also connect with your employees better.
7. STRIVE FOR FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE
This is an obvious one, we know, but the concept of it is still an important one. After all, many people have their own version of financial independence. Not only that, but sometimes you have to settle with the fact you can’t quite reach financial independence yet.
According to the supersavers, financial independence means having enough money to pay the bills and expenses while living the lifestyle that you want to have. All the while, you’re not relying on your parents or other family members for support.
Financial independence means that to most supersavers, but the definition can also extend to them never having to work for money in some cases.
To most of those surveyed, the top definitions are described as being able to pay bills without worry, still being able to pay bills if they lose their job, not having credit card debt, and being able to splurge.
Based on those definitions, 54 percent of supersavers say they are financially independent, 41 percent aren’t, but have a path to get there. Only 6 percent say they’re not financially independent.
8. CHECK YOUR BANK ACCOUNT OFTEN
Another good habit that you want to get into is checking your accounts on the regular.
Especially your bank account. This is a big problem as many people aren’t always aware of how much money they actually have. Many believe they’re richer than they are led to believe when that’s not the case.
Checking your bank account on the regular allows you to bring yourself back to reality and helps you to focus in a sense. As soon as you know how much you have left, you’ll know if you need to be saving more or can justify other plans that you have.
From the survey, 86 percent have somewhat or strongly agreed to checking one’s bank account.
9. STOP WORRYING ABOUT COVID-19
While there is still a pandemic going on with plenty of losses and suffering as a result, you shouldn’t let that news get in the way of your finances. While the economy is in disarray, it’s still marching on and you’ll want to be part of that too as much as you can.
This is the sort of attitude that supersavers have. Over half – 57 percent – of the survey respondents stated they are planning to save the same amount of money as they did last year. Only 31 percent have said they’ve made no financial decisions or changes due to COVID.
4. DO MAKE SOME SPLURGES… BUT KEEP THEM CONTROLLED
Despite the amount of sacrifices that are made, there are still some people with their vices. Out of the survey, there’s only 5 percent of them who withhold from splurging entirely. In most other circumstances, the splurging is minimal with a few big purchases sprinkled about.
About 53 percent of them pay for a subscription-based services (like Netflix, Hulu, etc.), and 46 percent splurge on travelling. In other cases, splurging means getting a coffee on the go, dining out once or twice a week or paying for non-essentials. In some other cases, it’s buying luxury cars.
Every person has their own vice and it’s hard to not be tempted. The important thing to keep in mind is that the frequency of it is justified. It’s okay if you’re dining out once or twice a week. It becomes a problem if you’re doing that 10 or 11 times a week. All the same, buying a luxury car is okay if you can afford it and you’ve had your older car for several years now. It’s not good if you’re replacing your car every single year.
5. BECOME AN AVERAGE INVESTOR
Being able to retire comfortably doesn’t require you to have a Wall Street-level of financial knowledge. Out of the survey, 64 percent of supersavers admit they see themselves as average investors. An average investor is described as someone who has a general understanding of investment concepts. In other words, they know what an index fund is, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and general concepts of the stock market.
Outside of that, 18 percent admit they are beginner investors with little understanding of investment principles. Lastly is 19 percent that call themselves knowledgeable investors who know their way around investing.
As you can tell, you can get away with little knowledge of investing. If you’re planning on saving up for retirement properly, we’d suggest reading some finance-related articles, personal finance articles like this one, and maybe a few books to help you get a grasp of the investing world.
6. FIND A MOTIVATION TO SAVE
Another key aspect to being able to save for retirement is to be in the right mindset.
If you want to save, you need to be motivated to save. For the supersavers we’ve mentioned, a good portion of them – 61 percent – find their motivation to save by the sheer fact they want a good lifestyle during retirement. Beyond that 51 percent say they save in order to be prepared for the unexpected and 73 percent say having money to save motivates them to save even more.
When building a habit, you need a motivation or else you stop doing it. It’s easy to talk yourself out of something when you’re not motivated to do that. As such, you want to have a good reason for why you’re saving your money up.
The overall goal with saving is being able to tuck away a little money every month or year for financial goals. From establishing an emergency fund, saving for a down payment for a house, or for retirement. Even if you can manage to put away a hundred dollars or so, that can add up a lot.
The only problem is that life has many expenses and there are all kinds of events that can cause financial strain. These days, not only do you have to worry about paying rent or mortgage and supporting yourself, but you also have to handle the financial instability that COVID-19 has brought to all of us.
All of these things make saving feel like an uphill battle, but it doesn’t have to be.
Even amongst this pandemic, there are people we call supersavers. These individuals are actually part of an annual survey that’s released by Principal.
Through this survey, we get a glimpse into the lives of these supersavers and it really shows how we have room to grow our money mindset. These supersavers aren’t all high earners. In fact, a good portion of these savers are people who aren’t pulling six-figure salaries.
While every person’s financial situation is different, the perspective that we can get from supersavers is vast. As such, we’ve distilled some of their tactics down into 9 money habits that you can adopt in your own life to save yourself more money.
1. FOLLOW A SPECIFIC BUDGET
Out of the survey, it was found that 54 percent of people said they have and follow a specific budget. This shouldn’t come as a big surprise as budgeting is a highly valuable tool and skill to have. There are plenty of apps that you can consider getting to help you with this too.
2. YOU HAVE TO MAKE AN EMERGENCY FUND
Overall, 97 percent of those surveyed said they have an emergency fund of various sizes. From that amount, 34 percent have three to six months of expenses saved up, 22 percent have seven months to a year, and 30 percent have over a years’ worth of expenses saved up.
Starting out, a good policy is to save up money to cover between three to six months.
Many financial experts suggest this is a good starting point. Nevertheless, having an emergency fund allows you to stay in a comfortable spot should anything serious happen to you. It gives you time to process whatever happened and time to find a way out of the problem.
3. YOU HAVE TO MAKE SOME SACRIFICES
Retirement to these supersavers is about making sacrifices now for the betterment of their future. What this means is settling for less than what they could be having right now. With this in mind you’ll find these supersavers not living the luxurious life.
Looking at the specific details:
48 percent drive older vehicles over newer models.
42 percent own a modest or middle-class home over a high-end or elite home.
39 percent can live without having a housecleaner and do it themselves.
38 percent will often go through DIY improvement projects themselves, rather than seek outside help.
39 percent also forgo travelling and find they’re not travelling as much as they’d like to.
31 percent have high levels of work-related stress.
5 percent admit they’re living with their parents.
13 percent are delaying having a family.
27 percent opt for secondhand goods instead of buying new.
Some of these sacrifices are easier to make, but others are definitely harder to admit to and accept in life. Nevertheless, sacrifices need to be made and they are part of the process of saving for your financial future. You may not have to go to extremes, but in order to save up, some things have to be given up.
8. MEANINGFUL PURPOSE AND GOAL
Today’s workforce is eager for much more than just a paycheck. They want the work to be fulfilling and challenging. It is clearly evident that a clear company purpose is necessary to attract and retain the top talent. This means that a company that is willing to do that will be able to hire better talent for their company. Companies that don’t look beyond profits would be at the edge of struggling to attract the younger and talented workforce as the employees align themselves with organizations promising a greater sense of purpose.
9. SUSTAINABILITY AND CSR
Sustainability has been stressed for a long time and in 2020 eventually succeeded in amplifying its importance. Responsible investments and climate disclosures are the trends that are gaining monument with companies showing concern about their impacts on society and the planet. Businesses have started to look at sustainability as something that should be at the heart of their operations. Companies have started to rethink the environmental impact that their operations and products pose. Many companies have started to incorporate climate-friendly technologies. They have started to invest in renewable energy, etc. – all this lies in the shadow of a fulfilling purpose that has the ultimate goal of developing society.
10. CUSTOMERS AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF CONTENT STRATEGY
Social media trends rarely remain the same from year to year. People demand a more authentic and reliable presence on social media. This points out the fact that user-generated content would be among the top social media trends for 2021.
Emphasizing user-generated and customer photos along with giving a push to influencers is a brilliant move for increasing engagement and social proof. If brands are able to build connections with their audience via customer-centric content, they are going to succeed in the long run.
This brings us to the end of the list of the biggest trends of 2021 that you have to rev your business up for. Adapting a business to the changing needs is essential to keep it from lagging.
4. AUTOMATION, DIGITALIZATION, AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
2020 made it impossible to have human-to-human interaction due to unforeseen health concerns, and, therefore, contactless mechanisms of consumer and employee interactions are being widely used. 2021 will usher in automation, ensuring streamlined and smooth processes that delight both customers and employees. Artificial intelligence along with automation will definitely bring in some sort of a steady innovation for all firms regardless of their size, across any sector. There have already been quite a few shifts in this direction. Industrial operations along with manufacturing have been integrated with robotics and machine learning. This makes companies less dependent on the human workforce and simple, repetitive tasks that helps them gain a competitive advantage.
5. FROM BITCOINS TO DECENTRALIZED FINANCE
Due to the volatility and uncertainty of capital markets along with economic turmoil instilled by COVID-19, financial markets have been left unreliable. This has a series of repercussions for the businesses and organizations that want to source capital for expanding their operations or to build a new business from scratch. It could be done through crowdfunding or bitcoins. However, decentralized finance has emerged as one of the largest things since bitcoin. While the world was tackling the deadly COVID-19, blockchain made steady progress in decentralized finance. It will definitely tick the list of biggest business trends in 2021 due to its smooth facilitation mechanism of accessing capital.
6. VIRTUAL INTERFACES AND “TRY BEFORE YOU BUY”
People no longer shop in stores like they used to. Therefore, the onus falls on the companies to rethink and find new and emerging ways to interact with customers. And this is when virtual interfaces come to the rescue. Certainly, this is a game-changer for both the businesses and consumers. Just imagine being able to try on your favorite pair of dress or a lipstick shade before you buy it from the utmost convenience of your home. It will help satiate the customers for the price they pay and will make sure to keep the business in the game. Definitely this “try before you buy” will transform the business services drastically.
7. GO LOCAL AND BUILD BRIDGES
Geopolitical forces and the mobility-limiting pandemic has thrown a chunk of reasons for businesses to operate as local players, everywhere they are. Localized manufacturing of goods and services and their distribution adds an advantage to the local workforce along with environmental awareness. However, succeeding at this sort of localization will require new kinds of bridges and techniques to succeed and remain in force.
2020 has been one of the most uncertain and challenging years in history. The impact of the pandemic has been disproportionately hard on the working schedule of every economy and the businesses worldwide had to adapt to a new normal. However, if 2020 was a year of disruption and transition for businesses, 2021 will be a year of continued evolution because with every challenge comes an opportunity. Considering the fact that markets are very volatile and the real-time consumer preferences are the key to growth, we’ve curated a roundup of the latest business trends. Embracing these will help your business succeed in 2021 and beyond.
1. WORKING FROM HOME IS THE FUTURE
Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, many employees were pushed to work from home. And a trend, that is showing no signs of slowing down, remote work has definitely changed how the global workspace operates. No matter how distant this used to seem, it has definitely allowed autonomy to the employees and has helped the companies to go beyond the stringent workplace policies and see the future trends in working remotely.
While on one hand the benefits of work from home for the employees can be summarized in one word – savings, the benefits of telecommuting for the companies reap in the forms of increased productivity and lesser costs. While some organizations could witness a rise in productivity and could source a smarter and better workforce (who are usually unwilling to relocate), it wasn’t ideal for others. To see the outcomes, businesses need to constantly boost the morale of the people working from home, make the workspace more inclusive and be supportive by keeping frequent checks on the mental and physical health of their employees.
No matter how you look at, it’s data and information. With the growth of technologies, we are now able to collect much more data. And it’s time to treat data as a valuable asset. Big and growing companies rely heavily on having holistic, end-to-end management of operations. And data has proved to provide a competitive edge to these companies. Data makes it possible to deliver expected outcomes that make the best use of scarce resources, optimize the entire customer experience, and react efficiently to changing business and market trends. It even helps in grabbing new productivity opportunities that foster continuous growth.
3. BUSINESS MODEL INNOVATION
Today, the novel coronavirus has caused tremendous shifts in both the national and global economy. And it goes without saying that the companies have been forced to develop new approaches, innovate and adapt their business models to successfully face these challenges and come out stronger or else fall a victim to these changes.
Business model innovation reflects a fundamental change in how a company delivers value to its customers either by way of developing new revenue generation streams or distribution channels. To cite an example, Amazon is known for continuously innovating its business model. The video game industry has gone through a series of business model innovations in recent years.