FutureScope returns to Dublin in 2019

FutureScope 2019 is a conference aimed at promoting collaboration between entrepreneurs and multinationals.

FutureScope, Ireland’s only conference that promotes collaboration between the entrepreneurial community and multinationals, will take place in the Convention Centre Dublin on Thursday, 28th March 2019.

FutureScope brings together leaders from the technology ecosystem to share perspectives on emerging technologies and how they will shape our future world, providing crucial insights to developing businesses, innovators and investors.

Run by Dublin BIC, the event has become a must-attend event for those most active in Ireland’s vibrant technology ecosystem.

Through panel discussions, tech demonstrations, innovative showcases, and structured networking, FutureScope offers the perfect setting for collaboration.

FutureScope will feature approximately 100 speakers and panellists, with 40 exhibitors. Tickets are currently available here from €89 and are limited to 1200 people.

A special emphasis is placed on purposeful networking and the creation of collaboration opportunities for start-ups, scale-ups, multinational companies, innovative Irish enterprise, SME’s, the research community, investors, academia and state agencies.

FutureScope 2019 promises to be the biggest and best year yet with founders, CEOs and leaders from high-profile companies giving inspiring talks across four stages at the event.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/futurescope-returns-to-dublin-in-2019-technology-conference/ on
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Experience the wonderful Irish countryside like never before

Zoobox has been very successful in Canada but now plans to build lodges in the Irish countryside.

Irish startup Zoobox has announced their intention to set up five sites in Ireland over the next few years with the west coast the company’s preferred location.

The company burst onto the tourism scene some years ago in Canada, a country surrounded with deep forests, incredible greenery and mountains. The experience provides visitors with an open window to the most beautiful sceneries and gives visitors an unparalleled view of the natural world.

Zoobox takes the natural beauty in nature and makes it entirely accessible and enjoyable by creating comfortable outdoor lodging experiences. The concept is that humans are in ‘boxes’ looking out at nature. These homes are off-grid and self-sufficient.

The lodgings are suitably eco-friendly, and they respect every aspect of their environment. Each site is specifically chosen and designs are precisely created to merge the local and natural landscape while providing an unadulterated and unique experience for visitors and the local community.

We spoke with Zoobox’s head of business development Laure Hantz-Burnet, who gave us more insight into the idea.

Where did the idea for the company come from?

We started as a real estate development company based in Canada beside a national park. We were the first to design a LEED platinum certified building in Canada. Since our passive houses were more expensive than normal ones, our customers asked us if we could rent them out to help them pay the mortgage.

We realised there was a strong demand to reconnect with nature in a comfortable setting. It makes sense – we spend more and more of time indoor (90% if you are American according to the national human activity pattern survey), we also spend most of time sitting in front of a screen. We believe people are feeling an urge to unplug and recharge in a natural environment. High-end eco lofts can rent at a similar price than luxury hotel rooms but cost from 20% to 50% less to build and run. Seeing this demand, our company designed a prototype in 2007 that would be the ultimate outdoor lodging experience.

We called it the Zoobox and it immediately got a lot of attention from the media and customers. Since we already had contacts in North America and had global ambitions, we decided to launch the Zoobox project in Ireland to help us connect to the European market. We design and produce the unit here in Ireland and are preparing to ship worldwide.

Where will they be placed in Ireland?

The goal is to create a network of five Zoobox sites in Ireland. Today we have sites in progress on the west coast (Galway, Clare and Kerry) and also Wicklow. We also have many interested parties in Donegal and west Cork as well so we’ll see how they play out.

How much they will cost?

For the moment, we don’t plan to sell the units individually. Our business model is based on joint ventures; we design ecotourism sites with local partners. Our sites size will vary between five and 15 units, depending on the local market study.

How successful has it been to date?

It has been very successful so far. We have confirmed our first order for Canada for 15 homes. We had plans to secure five partnerships in Ireland before 2020, and so far we already have three active partnerships. We are getting loads of demand from abroad from countries such as Iceland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Madagascar and Jamaica.

What are the future plans?

In the next five years, we plan to have five operational sites in Ireland and ten sites abroad. As we push forward with our research and development, and our design, we are finding out that some of our cost effective solutions to install the Zoobox in remote areas could drastically decrease the construction price of off the grid houses, or any houses for that matter.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/experience-the-irish-countryside-like-never-before-zoobox/ on
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Demand for ‘off-grid’ holidays is growing

Off-grid holidays in natural settings are becoming very popular with stressed out, ‘always on’ professionals. Zoobox sees the opportunity in this space. 

Irish startup Zoobox sees an opportunity in the world of ‘off-grid’ holidays. The business builds bespoke lodges and then places them in amazing natural landscapes away from the hustle and stress of the ‘always on’ digital world. 

The company burst onto the tourism scene some years ago in Canada, a country with deep forests, incredible vistas and bulging mountains. Zoobox says its experience gives customers ‘an open window to the natural world’. The concept is that humans are in ‘boxes’ looking out at nature. These homes are off-grid and self-sufficient.

The lodgings are eco-friendly, and ‘respect their environment’. Each site is specifically chosen and designs are created to merge with the natural landscape.

We spoke with Zoobox’s head of business development, Laure Hantz-Burnet, who gave us more insight into the idea.

“High-end eco lofts can rent at a similar price of luxury hotel rooms but cost from 20% to 50% less to build and run.”

How was Zoobox born?

We started as a real estate development company based in Canada beside a national park. We were the first to design platinum certified passive homes in Canada. 

We realised there was a strong demand to reconnect with nature in a comfortable setting. It makes sense – we spend more and more of time indoors (90% if you are American according to the national human activity pattern survey), we also spend most of the time sitting in front of a screen. We believe people are feeling an urge to unplug and recharge in a natural environment. High-end eco lofts can rent at a similar price of luxury hotel rooms but cost from 20% to 50% less to build and run. Seeing this demand, our company designed a prototype in 2007 that would be the ultimate outdoor lodging experience.

We called it the Zoobox and it immediately got a lot of attention from the media and potential customers. Since we already had contacts in North America and had global ambitions, we decided to launch the Zoobox project in Ireland to help us connect to the European market. We design and produce the units here in Ireland and are preparing to ship them worldwide.

Where will they be placed in Ireland?

The goal is to create a network of five Zoobox sites in Ireland. Today we have sites in progress on the west coast (Galway, Clare and Kerry) and also Wicklow. We also have many interested parties in Donegal and west Cork.

“Our business model is based on joint ventures; we design ecotourism sites with local partners.”

How much they will cost?

For the moment, we don’t plan to sell the units individually. Our business model is based on joint ventures; we design ecotourism sites with local partners. Our sites size will vary between five and 15 units, depending on the local market study.

“In the next five years, we plan to have five operational sites in Ireland and ten sites abroad.”

How successful has it been?

It has been very successful so far. We have confirmed our first order for Canada for 15 homes. We had plans to secure five partnerships in Ireland before 2020, and so far we already have three active partnerships. We are getting loads of demand from abroad from countries such as Iceland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Madagascar and Jamaica.

What are the future plans?

In the next five years, we plan to have five operational sites in Ireland and ten sites abroad. As we push forward with our research and development, and our design, we are finding out that some of our cost-effective solutions to install the Zoobox in remote areas could drastically decrease the construction price of off the grid houses or any houses for that matter.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/zoobox-to-offer-off-grid-digital-detox-holidays-nature-holidays/ on
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Become a high-performance business leader

What type of business leader are you? Do you feel you could ‘up your game’ with the right guidance? Here, we speak to Enda Lynch, head of the Munster High-Performance Leadership Programme about the importance of resilience and authenticity in leadership.

If you are a business leader or business owner, you will be interested in the art and the science of leadership. But how much time do you allow yourself to focus on ‘you’ the leader?

“A lot of business leaders will focus on the management side of things, the managerial aspects of leadership such as one-on-ones and workflows,” says Enda Lynch. “What they don’t focus on is themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, which is worrying because they’re the ones taking responsibility for others, for their staff for their families and for their business.”

The Munster High-Performance Leadership Programme is aptly named. It focuses on high performance. “Just as our senior rugby team members have to make serious decisions in very high-pressure environments every time they play a competitive game, business leaders, c-suite executives and entrepreneurs face tough decisions in high-pressure situations every day they go to work.”

The programme was designed and built by Munster Rugby and the University of Limerick’s Kemmy Business School. It takes place over two and a half days at Munster Rugby’s senior team’s world-class high-performance centre in Limerick.

“75% of what we cover on the programme is about decision making. 25% is about helping people understand their strengths and weaknesses,” says Lynch.

What do people find out about themselves when they take the programme?

“Some have called it life-changing,” says Flynn. “We look at each person in the whole – their physical being, their personal being, their work being and their emotional being. We want to empower people with long-term decision-making skills.”

“Jerry Flannery does a session on learning how to be an authentic leader. It’s a very impressive session.”

The tools of resilience

Flynn says the programme gives attendees the tools to be a more resilient and capable leader. “Leaders need to be able to manage the rapidly changing daily environment around them. We equip people with the skills we work on with our players each and every day, growing them into internationally recognised high performing leaders through the pillars of The Fitness to Perform, Balance and Alignment in the Workplace and Personally and Energy Management.”

The programme is led by senior staff including Dr Patrick Ryan, University of Limerick’s doctor of psychology, Dr Catherine Norton, the doctor of nutrition in UL’s Physical Education and Sports Science department and Prof. John Fahy who oversees a number of interactive sessions on authentic leadership.

“There is a massive difference between a manager and a leader.”

munster high performance leaders

Authentic leadership

Jerry Flannery, the Munster forward’s coach also discusses the authentic leadership theme in depth with the group.

“Jerry Flannery does a session on learning how to be an authentic leader. It’s a very impressive session, and people always talk about it afterwards. Jerry is on his own journey as an authentic leader. He’s one of the fittest people I know, but he’s also a very successful businessman,” says Flynn.

What makes an authentic leader? “An authentic leader will listen to feedback, they seek feedback from their work colleagues, their family and friends, so they can understand their weaknesses and build on their strengths,” says Flynn.

“There is a massive difference between a manager and a leader. Management is about workflow and process. To be a leader you have to be able to understand people and communicate with them at a different level. Leaders look holistically at a much bigger picture, and they can look at themselves. They always seek to understand more about themselves.”

To find out more about the Munster High-Performance Leadership Programme, go here.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/munster-rugbys-high-performance-leadership-programme/ on
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What makes a great leader?

What does it take to be a great leader in a massive organisation? Phuong Tran, deputy CEO  of THP Beverage Group, gives us her thoughts. 

Global business woman Phuong Tran travelled to Ireland in October to launch Talent Garden, Dublin’s Innovation School.

She is the deputy CEO of THP Beverage Group and in 2012 she was offered $2.6 billion by Coca-Cola to sell her family-run company, but Tran and her father declined their offer and have since grown the business in more than 16 counties including China, Australia and Canada.

Phoung Tran spoke with ThinkBusiness about what it takes to be a great leader in a successful organisation.

“True leadership means taking responsibility for failure as well as success. The two go hand in hand. Only when someone accepts there is no one else to blame, then and only then can he or she develop a plan to succeed.”

“Instead of asking, ‘Who did this to me?’ the question should be reframed as, ‘What did I do wrong?’ This becomes the far more constructive self-help. As the saying goes, “It never gets easier, you get better. It is a difficult truth”, says Ms Tran.”

“But taking ownership means accepting that you are the source of the problem. You are the only thing you can change or control. So, if there is a difficulty, own it. Never blame anyone else. Have confidence that by changing yourself, you can change the environment, too. Leaders who do this are far more likely to inspire the kind of loyalty and trust that makes companies succeed.”

Phuong Tran’s father is also an advocate for John Maxwell’s five levels of leadership. “He is a big believer in level three: people not only follow someone because they want to, but also because of their track record. This is when companies really start to produce results,” says Ms Tran.

“At THP, we try to empower all team members to act as if they are the owners of the enterprise, as well: to take responsibility for their successes and mistakes; to stay authentic and retain their integrity. If they stay true to what they believe and are open about what is working or not working, then they can successfully address problems, drive results, and improve performance,” added Ms Tran.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/what-makes-a-great-leader-phuong-tran-thp/ on
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How much do you know about franchising in Ireland?

Did you know over 150 different franchise systems are currently operating in Ireland? Have you ever thought of buying a franchise? 

Given the popularity of food franchises in Ireland, what percentage of the franchise systems operating in Ireland are food franchises?

Surprisingly only 41% of active franchise systems operating in Ireland are food related. The franchise model extends into other sectors such as children’s STEM education, personal health wellbeing and fitness, B2B support services; cleaning services, pet services, landscaping services, and so on. The list is endless, so if food service franchises don’t interest you, there are plenty of successful franchise models available for you to choose from.

“Research indicates that over 90% of franchisees continue in business after five years.”

Does buying a franchise guarantee your success?

Buying a franchise does not guarantee you commercial success, but it enhances your likelihood of being successful.

Some franchisees may feel that purchasing a franchise removes all the commercial risk. This is not the case. International research indicates that over 90% of franchisees continue in business after five years. This compares very favourably against the very high unrecorded failure rates of stand-alone start-ups.

“44% of the active franchise units operating in Ireland are of Irish origin.”

Does franchising suit everyone?

No. Not everyone is suited to franchising or becoming a franchisee. If you are at the upper extremes of the entrepreneurship scale, you may struggle to work within the confines of a franchise framework, where you are legally obliged to work, through the franchise agreement, in strict adherence to the systems prescribed by the franchisor.

Similarly, if you are totally risk-averse and are genuinely uncomfortable in the world of financial uncertainty then seriously question your suitability to buy into a franchise.

Given the international nature of franchising, what % of active franchise units in Ireland are of Irish origin?

From the most recent survey conducted surprisingly 44% of the active franchise units operating in Ireland are of Irish origin. This means Irish entrepreneurs are really embracing business format franchising as an appropriate growth strategy for their businesses both within Ireland and for expanding internationally.

“The business format franchising sector in Ireland is now worth close to €1 billion.”

How many people are employees in the franchise sector?

There are circa 30,000 people employed in the franchising sector in Ireland. This figure excludes the significant number of people employed in the wholesale/retail sectors under brands such as SuperValu, Costcutter, Quick pick, Daybreak, Gala etc. ) The figure also excludes most of the petrol forecourt formats, albeit those numbers are changing due to the recent emergence of food service franchise offerings being incorporated into some of the forecourt retailers food offerings for their customers.

What is the turnover of the sector in Ireland?

The turnover in the business format franchising sector in Ireland is now close to €1 billion and growing.

Conclusion

If you have an interest in investigating your suitability to buy into a franchise model or franchise out your business, please contact the Irish Franchise Association on (01) 8134555 or visit www.irishfranchiseassociation.com.

This guide was compiled by David Killeen, chairman of the Irish Franchise Association.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/a-guide-to-franchises-in-ireland/ on
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How to grow your business with smart borrowing

Is using your cash reserves to grow your business the best strategy? Most likely not. 

The Irish economy is performing well, and Irish SMEs are in confident mood. However, instead of using smart borrowing to grow their businesses, they are dipping into their cash reserves to expand, which may not be the best strategy.

“It is important that business owners remember to engage in smart borrowing to grow their business while maintaining sufficient cash reserves.”

According to new research into Irish SMEs, conducted by Red C, 78% of Irish SMEs are confident in their ability to borrow – if they need more capital over the next twelve months.

However, just one quarter (23%) say they will borrow in the coming year, as they look to grow.

“The research findings have shed light on current borrowing habits and expectations of SMEs across the country,” says Michael Lauhoff, director of Business Banking, Bank of Ireland. “Interestingly, 60% of SMEs report using personal funds to invest in growth over the past three years. It is important that business owners remember to engage in smart borrowing to grow their business while maintaining sufficient cash reserves.”

 

VIDEO: Watch this video on how smart borrowing, rather than using your cash reserves, can help your business grow and ensure you don’t run out of cash.

 

National Enterprise Week

Brexit is a concern for 53% of firms, along with staff recruitment and being able to retain excellent staff, suggests the Red C poll of 450 Irish SMEs which was carried out in August and September 2018.

However, 53% feel positive about the Irish economy in the next twelve months with more than half (58%) expecting turnover to grow. Only only 9% expect their business to decline over the coming year.

Bank of Ireland is inviting business owners to attend the various National Enterprise Week events taking place nationwide starting on October 5. Book your place now. It’s free to attend and open to all businesses. 

“In addition to SMEs gaining insights into financial discipline, achieving growth and greater returns and enabling efficiencies, the events will also examine the potential impact of Brexit and how best to prepare. Events will cover all sectors,” says Lauhoff.

As SMEs across the country look to grow; working capital, new machinery and equipment are the top reasons for borrowing according to the research. 81% of SMEs looking to raise finance, say they would consider Irish banks over the Credit Union or private investors.

70% of firms polled for the research say they would like an easier loan application process from a bank.

If you would like to easily apply for finance and get a result within 48-hours, go here.

 

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/grow-your-business-smart-borrowing-national-enterprise-week/ on
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Are you ready for the new PAYE system?

The most significant reform of the PAYE system since its introduction in 1960 is underway. Businesses and employers have until the start of 2019 to get their houses in order.

PAYE Modernisation – what’s the main issue, what’s being reformed? In a nutshell, it’s about filing returns to Revenue in real time.

ray rogers surf accounts

Employers will have to calculate and report their employees’ pay and deductions as they are being paid.

“Current practices will have to change,” says Ray Rogers, CEO of Surf Accounts (pictured). “This is especially true if you pay employees net. Revenue now wants to see all tax deductions returned in real time, on the day people are paid.”

As this is a Revenue reform, there will be strict fines for businesses that don’t comply with the new rules.

“Big changes like this rarely run smoothly,” says Rogers. “I’d advise any business to look into this reform and put the necessary fixes in place. There will be a €4,000 fine per employee that hasn’t been returned,” says Rogers.

Revenue expects all businesses to comply with these changes from the minute they come into force on January 1, 2019.

“For small businesses who feel they may have knowledge gaps in the handling of payroll, they have two options,” says Rogers. “The can train their payroll operators if their PAYE knowledge isn’t up-to-date or, they can outsource their payroll to an accountant.”

Goodbye to the P45

Another major part of the reform will be the abolition of all Revenue forms as we know them – namely, the P45, P30, P35, and the P60.

From January 1, 2019, people looking for a mortgage won’t be able to get a p60 to prove their earnings, they’ll just go to the ‘My Account’ portal on the Revenue website and print out what they need.

For full details on the changes to happen, you can download this guide from Surf Accounts.

Related Resource

Revenue is hosting a series of seminars across the country in the run up to the modernisation deadline.

You can find out more and book your place here.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/paye-modernisation-are-you-ready-for-the-new-paye-system/ on
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Mastering the ‘art of people’ in a team

“The difference between success and failure is a great team.” – Dave Kerpen.

Ekaterina Voznesenskaia

What is a secret of a great team? A study of 133 teams found that psychological factors such as higher levels of interpersonal sensitivity, emotional stability and curiosity result in a more cohesive and productive work. Do psychological factors, personality, and emotional intelligence predetermine growth and development within the team? What makes a great team?

Teams are more innovative and productive than just a group of people. Today’s teams are far more different compared to ten years ago. In the past teams included relatively homogenous members who worked face-to-face and had a similar mindset. They perceived themselves as a joined cohesive group. In face-to-face teams, nonverbal communication and contextual cues provide a deeper insight into what’s going on.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results. – Andrew Carnegie.”

Digital and diverse

Today’s teams are Digital – diverse, dynamic and dispersed. Lots of them work remotely, and if you imagine a group of different nationalities, age, gender, and race with their values, beliefs, norms and behaviour working on a distance in differing time zones – it makes the whole teamwork process much more complicated. The question arises: ‘How to break down the barriers to cooperation and information exchange, and make a perfect team in the whole complexity of today’s digital environment?’ The answer is building ‘team effect’, making each member feel part of the team even on a distance, feel strong mutual commitment to work, and most important – feel “We’ instead of “I”. This ‘We’, this mutual commitment creates an enormous potential for the team’s interpersonal growth and great motivation for business development. How can this feeling of ‘We’ be achieved?

J. Richard Hackman, a pioneer in the field of organisational behaviour, identified the basics of team effectiveness: a compelling direction, a firm structure, and a supportive context. Every team feel inspired when they have a clear path – a goal. The goal should be explicit, consequential and also challenging. A compelling direction highly benefits the emotional stability of the team, as we usually feel much more motivated working toward a particular goal.

A team can be a mix of different nationalities, age, gender, and race with their values, beliefs, norms and behaviour. Such groups can quickly become disintegrated and even isolated unless they have a mutual goal and a structure of what each of them is responsible for. When there is a clear structure within a team, there is a clear structure inside each member of the team. Support is another condition that contributes to team effectiveness. Supportive context includes sharing reward when your team member succeeds, and, at the same time, letting them know if they fail to perform. Support is about giving only objective feedback. Also, feedback is never negative as we learn from mistakes and achieve higher results in the future.

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success – Henry Ford.”

What team Google knows

Google’s recipe for a successful team is “being nice and joining”. Google’s research has found that effective team performance is determined by the team’s average level of emotional intelligence and a high level of communication between the members. Moreover, the broader scientific evidence proves that individual’s personalities play a significant role in team performance. Why? It is an individual’s personality that affects our position within the team, how we interact with the rest of the team, whether our values and beliefs correspond with the team’s. 

Imagine your team with a high level of interpersonal sensitivity, emotional stability and curiosity, a group of inquisitive, cool-headed and altruistic people. Now consider team members who are results-oriented, relationship focused, process and rule followers, innovative and disruptive thinkers and, definitely, pragmatic. It can be not that easy to keep the balance of all these features in a team, and there can be success and failure in some of them. However, it is possible. Also, it’s highly essential to take small steps to gain this balance.

Now, let’s think about emotional intelligence and its substantial impact on a team. First, let us ask ourselves – how emotionally intelligent are we? Also, are we emotionally intelligent? We can be great professionals, successful, experienced managers, fantastic leaders, great leaders. However, are we great on our team, for our team? This is a tricky question. So sometimes it is tough to answer. Let us remember first, what is emotional intelligence.

“Emotional Intelligence is the other kind of smart – Travis Bradberry”

Why EQ is so hot at the moment 

EQ first appeared in 1995, and the decades of research have revealed that emotional intelligence is the critical factor for a star performance. It is something intangible in each of us, that affects how we behave and manage our behaviour, how we tackle social complexities, how we make decisions and achieve results. EQ consists of two main competencies: personal and social. Personal competence is our self-awareness and self-management, while social skill is social awareness and relationship management. When we try to understand other people’s mood, motives and behaviour, we improve the quality of our relationship and manage interactions successfully.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the capacity for recognising our feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and our relationships.

How much of an impact does emotional intelligence have on your success? The short answer is a lot.

TalentSmart found that “emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs.” Above all, EQ is not only the most significant predictor of performance in the workplace, but it is also the most reliable driver of leadership and personal excellence.

Travis Bradberry in his profound study found that 90% of top performers are also high in emotional intelligence, and just 20% of bottom performers are high in emotional intelligence. Let us remember one critical point – we can always develop high emotional intelligence, even if we’re not born with it.

“The strength of the team is each member. The strength of each member is the team – Phil Jackson.”

Now we are ready to answer the question ‘What makes a great team?’ The answer is all of us. We make a perfect team. We – a group of inspired and motivated people, united by the mutual goal, having a clear direction where to move and develop, and continually giving support to each other.

We are all great professionals with excellent professional skills. So we are also highly aware of the importance of personality, psychological factors and emotional intelligence within the team. 

 

This guide was written by Ekaterina Voznesenskaia. (pictured above)

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/how-to-create-and-manage-a-great-team-at-work/ on
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How to handle September stress

September is a stressful month. It’s back to school and back to a hectic pace at work. Here’s how to handle the ‘mayhem’. 

It’s back to school season, and we’re all trying to settle down after the summer distractions. For the kids, it’s a time of new beginnings: new teachers, new schoolbooks and most importantly new pencils. It’s a time to reset and start again.

But for adults, a feeling of panic can set in. The reality that there are only four months left in 2018. And still so much to do. All those objectives we optimistically set in January, all those plans we made.

Where have those nine months gone?

“Build in some slippage because life always throws up some unexpected things.”

Time to reset

Well, September can be a time of new beginnings in work too. It provides us with a chance to review our year so far and prioritise what we can achieve in the remaining months.

You can refocus, replan and reset yourself for a productive end to the year. How great would it feel to achieve essential goals and finish the year on a high?

“Get yourself a four-month calendar and plan out what you can do when.”

Prioritise

First, identify the most important things to achieve. Then ask yourself the following:

1. What do I have to do to complete this work?

2. Can I break my goals into sub-goals?

3. Do I need help or input from anyone else?

Make a plan

To help you plan what needs to be done to break down the goal into smaller sub-goals. Brainstorm each sub-goal to list out the tangible tasks or actions required. Now decide what can be done when.

1. Are some tasks inter-related?

2. Do some jobs depend on the completion of others?

3. Can you identify key milestones, so you can tell that you are on track?

Now get yourself a four-month calendar and plan out what you can do when. You can use Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Excel or merely create a planner yourself on a chart or board.

“It helps to share your plans with a colleague or friend.”

Don’t over plan

Be realistic about how much time you have. You are already busy so where and when can you create “extra” time for these tasks?

Build in some slippage because life always throws up some unexpected things. Be practical. December can’t be treated like a typical month because of all the Christmas activities. Aim to finish your plan mid-December.

Track your progress

Capture the date you complete the work so you can compare your ‘Target Time’ with the ‘Actual Time’.

It helps to share your plans with a colleague or friend. This introduces an element of accountability and motivates you to keep going when your enthusiasm is low.

Find what works for you

Like all our productivity tips at beproductive, we recommend that you modify our suggested approach to find what works best for you. Stretch yourself so you can achieve more.

Have a productive Autumn and let us know how you get on.

moira dunne

Contact us if you would like to arrange a ‘Planning & Prioritisation Workshop’ to help your team excel this Autumn.

Article by Moira Dunne, BeProductive.ie.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/september-how-to-handle-the-stress/ on
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