Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Efficiency -- Talking with Gerhard can be dangerous :)

Here I am today, in front of my next victim, ah, I mean client.

He had seen our website: and wanted to talk to me.

A little background: He’s in the mortgage business and because of the current housing dilemma his business has taken quite a hit. Now, one of the first things he told me was that he would get all involved in admin and other things that would not get him new clients and he would fail to make the phone calls needed to reach out to the people he knew.

My response was, “Ok, how many calls would you have to make per day to accomplish that?”

His answer was, “Five.”

So my response was, “Get out a blank letter size piece of paper and write on it ‘Make 5 calls per day’ and post it on the wall right in front of you. This is your daily assignment and you get this one for free.”

He took the paper, wrote it on there and put it right in from of him on the wall.

And guess what, he’s doing it!

(Naturally he signed up for the Efficiency Management System Coaching, too!)

Is there something you should be doing on a daily basis and aren’t? Well, get out the piece of paper and ……!

Let me know how that goes.

Best - Gerhard

Efficiency - How about this one!

By now you probably got the point that I have a lot of fun with the subject of efficiency and even more fun helping others to improve theirs.

That’s why I became an Efficiency Expert and do the Efficiency Management System Coaching in the USA.

I want to let you know about a “Moment” that happened recently:
I’d been working with one of my clients (a Holistic Doctor) on completing her coaching.

Since I always work with the person in front of me, meaning that there are no pre-conceived ideas and no cookie-cutter approach, I realized that we also had to focus on future planning.

So, even though this is not necessarily part of the Efficiency Coaching program, I proceeded to help her to work out a 5 year plan for her business. Part of it was to establish her as an authority in her field and that’s best done through media exposure. She’d worked out the books (10) she was going to write in the next 5 years and I mentioned TV exposure to her.

Through my networking contacts I was able to connect her with a local cable TV producer to get her started. Not too long after that we completed with the coaching and I left.

When I got back to my office and checked my emails there was one from her telling me that shortly after I’d left she received an email from a total stranger who proceeded to write that she was a producer working with PBS and other TV stations and wanted to do a feature on exactly what my client was doing. And would she be willing to work with her!

Can you say WOW?!

When you start to focus on creating your future, all kinds of great things tend to happen.

Ever happened to you? Why don’t you let me know.

Best - Gerhard

Efficiency – Go with the flow, or WHAT? (another invitation to look)

It’s quite revealing when you start looking at a business or office in terms of flows. There are lots of flows coming into the business: phone calls, requests for information, orders, bills, email, etc.. And then there are the flows that are going on within the business itself and finally, the ones that are going out of the business (or at least should be).

Did you know that there are common threads, a theme, that connects all of them and controls them?

When you start taking a closer look it becomes much clearer:

You have different areas of responsibilities, some call them “Hats”, and when you identify these areas you can then see which traffic (flows) belongs to which area. Now, the better you identify these areas, the easier it becomes to sort, process and file those flows.

So, here is today’s “little” practical assignment:
Take a look at what these different areas of responsibilities are for you and write them down. Now work out for yourself how you can use this to make the processing of these different flows easier for you and let me know what you came up with.

I’m looking forward to hear from you.

Best - Gerhard

P.S.: There’s more to come on this one!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Efficiency - A New View

I have found that any business owner or executive will handle their areas based on the way that they see or are able to observe those areas. That's almost one of these “duh” statements.

I invite you to look at it a bit closer, though.
The way you view your business, your office, your area is based on you education, your experience and your training. So, if you are able to add some new way of looking at those areas you are apt to see things in a different way and so become able to make positive changes.

Have you had the experience of having learned something new which caused you to look differently at your office or your business? I hope this has happened to you, because then you already understand what I mean a bit better.

Let me invite you to participate in a little practical exercise:
After you have read this or when you have 10 minutes or more, walk into your area like you have never been there before and start questioning why things are done a certain way.

Remember this will only work if you are being someone at that moment who has never set foot into the area before.

You might see things now when questioned from this new point of view that do not seem very efficient. Well, if you can see that they are not that efficient, then you can also figure out a simpler way to make them more efficient.

Go ahead and try it out and let me know what you’ve come up with.
I’m looking forward to your feedback.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Efficiency in business

Efficiency is an often used term that is not as well understood as one may think.

I've done efficiency coaching with hundreds of executives and one day I realized that efficiency is often confused with effectiveness. And these two ideas are not the same at all. I have looked them up at - by the way, this is a very helpful website - and here is what I found for effectiveness:
  • noun: power to be effective; the quality of being able to bring about an effect

An action can be said to be effective, when the purpose of doing it or the desired effect is achieved. This is a rather black and white proposition. Effect achieved - effective. Effect not achieved - ineffective.

With Efficiency, a new idea comes in. It already assumes, that someone or something is effective and adds another quality. It is defined as:

  • noun: skilfulness in avoiding wasted time and effort (Example: "She did the work with great efficiency")
  • noun: the ratio of the output to the input of any system

Any effect can be achieved if one uses enough time and effort or energy. And efficiency can be seen as a gradual scale from inefficient - wasting time and effort or energy to efficient - no waste of and little consumption of time, effort and energy.

Economically an increase in efficiency usually equals an increase in profits.

Every learning or development process has these two steps: first one is concerned with the effectiveness only. A child learning to walk, finally can do so on his own without the help of his parents. The learning process was effective. Now the child can learn to run, walk backwards, turn, jump, balance and stand on his toes and thus increase his efficiency.

Differentiating these two concepts can help an executive to analyse and increase his personal efficiency and that of his staff.