lunes, 6 de agosto de 2007

Business Location Outsourcing - This is the future Trend

The World is Flat, Four Hour Work Week, Outsourcing, Business Process Partnership, Drop Shipping, Work-Life-Balance all comes back to one major solution - this is what we are dedicated to at Officient: Business Location Outsourcing. We are one year old, growing fast and haven't yet clearly comunicated this new term in the business world. Business Location Outsourcing - BLO - is more complete than most concepts before. To sum it up in one phrase: Just start your business, but don't be there, let just somebody else manage and run it for you.
I am posting this tonight, to be able to one day in the future really proof that it was us to be the first one on the market.
Ok, coming back. Why Business Location Outsourcing and not Business Process Outsourcing? Let's quickly define Business Process Outsourcing: BPO is the contracting of a specific business task, such as payroll, to a third party service provider (Wikipedia). This is helpful for big business with specialized processes and needs. For a small company or a start-up entrepreneur it is impossible to even negotiate with companies offering this service. The cost of negotiation becomes that high that you better do it the old fashioned way.
Business Location Outsourcing on the other handside is the one stop shopping for all the services you need to start a company. With the flat world we live in today, there is no reason why your phone shouldn't be attended by professionals at the other end of the world. Furthermore, there is no reason why you shouldn't trust the management, hiring, payroll, billing, etc. to specialists who already run a few companies. With BLO you have the solution to bring in the idea, the rather small investment into an already funcioning organization which will ensure your business success.
Any questions? Just leave me a message here - I will be adding on this down the road.

sábado, 4 de agosto de 2007

3 Reasons to learn languages for Business Success

While reading the must read blog of Tim Ferris I stumbled over a Wittgenstein quote: “The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” Being German, living in Guatemala and thinking major parts of my wake time in English I really want to add on this.Words have always been a diferentiator. Social classes in every country speak different, little villages with few miles distance differentiate each other for minor dialect changes, priests used to preach in Latin and the current pope revives this - who cares that the "sheep" don't understand Latin. (Some more on my last side comment here)Coming to language in business.
English is the common business language. Even though you speak Spanish, German or whatever other mother tongue, consultants coming to your business will talk about: Balanced Scorecard, Lean Manufacturing, Reengineering, Key Success Factors, etc. Everybody uses more English in Business than people actually recognize. Especially Germans just take over the English vocabulary in their common German like they did with French in past centuries.

Therefore, the number one reason for language skills in Business is: You have to speak Business English. Even native speakers have to learn to speak Business English, pretty much like everybody else. You don't? You are easily recognized as not experienced, limited capacity or just off topic. For great training just check International Business Academy

Number two reason: Communication is key. The commonly trained communication principle "Seek first to understand, then to be understood" is some of the most complicated skills ever. Active Listening, interpretation and reiteration if understood cost discipline and self-control. By knowing several languages and cultural difference you make your life much easier. There are key words in every language which send you the message about the feelings and the objectives of the other speaker. Some key words Guatemalans use are "Fijase que" and "pena" - I will explain these words in a later blog, but by hearing these words in Guatemala you know that there is a problem, not a solution. If an american business person uses the word "bottomline" than you know that now is the moment to really understand what he wants to say. I believe great communication skills are a major asset of successful people. You can work on your communication skills by actively listening and writing, less by talking. In future blogs more on this one, too.

Last by not least: A portfolio of options is better than a single investment. Simply, if you have more words to use in whatever language you have a better probability of success. Let me put it like this: If you are a call center operator in Guatemala and speak only spanish your salary will be about 300$/month. If you speak English you will easily make 500$ and more. If you apply for a job in Germany, you are highly qualified but the other applicants speaks English...he gets the job. And in whatever difficult situation of communication, conflict or business you will always have more bullets to shoot back. By learning another language you will always advance all your skills on the same time.

If there are any language learners out there reading this while struggeling with advancing their individual skills, I hope these reasons give you some more motivation. My bottomline is that whatever language you learn and how hard it might be, for sure, you are not loosing your time - you always advance as a person. This will always help to be successful in your life.

miércoles, 1 de agosto de 2007

Human needs and work-life balance

Due to my responsabilities I am researching work-life-balance, motivation, keys to success and self motivation for quite a while now. In the following I am sharing some important concepts.
As economist I learned early about Maslow's hierachy of needs. His work dates back to 1943 but is today as relevant as it always was and will be.
First I have to fulfill all my physiological needs: breath, drink, eat, sex, etc.
Than I have safety needs: I want to feel save in all aspects of my life
I am well and safe so I want to be loved, love, belong to something and communicate with people
This achieved. Yes! I want to be somebody, be confident and respected
And last but not least I want to learn, overcome myself, look great and leave a legacy

These needs are basis for many economic valuations. But looking at it again, I have to provide all these things in this order to myself, to be able to achieve my goals. If I want motivated employees I have to provide the first levels for sure and than give them the liberty to work on the rest them-selves.

Today my colleagues talked about athletes and managers. At the end of the day any executive is nothing else than a corporate athlete. The only difference is that athletes are training 90% of their time and spend perhaps 10% in competition. The average guatemalan executive spends 99% of his time competing and less than 1% training... In most first world countries you are lucky to work for a company where you can train 3% of your time... That's benchmarks.

How much time do you spend to be the winner in your daily competition?
Let us know about it!

Coming back to the needs, how do you expect to be successful in your 99% time competition when you are not even fulfilling your basic needs. Let's be honest! Do you have breakfast every morning? How many times do you skip lunch or had "sandwich-on-the-desk" during the last month? When did you have real good sex the last time? (I don't need to know that answer...)
When did you tell somebody that you appreciate and respect his work? That you love somebody? What was the last thing you did for your body?
I just answered these questions to myself and right away I could explain why I am tired at work, drink 10 cups of coffee, are not motivated or hate what I am doing. Do I really hate it or is it just that I am not looking after my own needs enough?

For myself, from today on>
1. I pick and eat when I need to and this means regularly and good quality food (up to my decision)
2. Doing sports on a daily basis with some quality relaxation time
3. Make sure that I question the Maslow needs each and every day and try to mark those of as often as I can (Every BA or Master has studied Maslow and can easily remember those...hope so...and just applies it not for sales or marketing but for his own life)

I leave with 3 goals for the moment. The focus of an organisation just works like mine, I cannot handle more than 3 widely important objectives at the same time. Therefore, let's focus on these ones and achieve those first.

Thanks for reading and if there is any positive comment on this article, I will follow up with:
How to understand myself and get things done
Tipps for matching sport with your responsabilities
What to eat and when (for corporate athletes)