Month: July 2018

Three Lessons for Business People

If we consider organisations and how they prosper, what three things have we learnt over the years?

First, that people are not the most important asset in organisations. That’s right, they’re not. There is a mantra, of course, that says they are – one sees directors beaming with moral self-satisfaction as they repeat – with that rabbit in a headlight look on their faces – ‘People are our…’.

There are organisations where they are, but they are few and far between. The game is given away by the phrase Human Resource management and Human Resource Managers. People don’t want to be a Human Resource (or ‘Asset’) – they want to be people. And they want to be treated as people should be treated. One of the core principles underscoring the development of healthy self-esteem is respect. Whether we are children or adults we need to be treated with respect.

The core skill that delivers ‘respect’ is listening. As we look round the waste of top-down management styles – the ‘Fred Goodwin Effect’ (ex- and disgraced CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland) as its latest incarnation in the UK might be called – where do we see the listening? The tragedy is that after a while people become inured to being treated badly – even get to expect and like it. An addiction to punishment sets in: the public sector is especially aware of this.

The second thing I have learnt is that leaders don’t lead. Yes, there is a lot of management going on, but although management is necessary it is not leadership. At the top level it is not management we need, but leadership. Part of the reason for this is that most people are secretly crying out to be led – and for a good reason: leadership removes uncertainty and creates stability and security, a primary human need.

Management – all operational stuff. We need a leadership that is genuinely visionary – that creates those images that inspire people to give of their best. Leaders – to be a leader – must engage people, and engagement is what people want.

Finally, the third thing I have learnt is that managers know little or nothing about the nature of the universe, and so ‘go astray’. Why wouldn’t they? Imagine being transported to the most fertile farm land in the world and told to till the ground, but you know nothing of farming. Of course you could expect disastrous results despite the fact that you can create ten thousand amazing Excel spreadsheets!

Perhaps part of the problem is the specialism of the education system: the process by which we come out ‘qualified’ but not educated.

I explained to my audience very simply that if we understood the Tao Te Ching we might understand something about the universe. First, we needed to move away from fruitless speculation on the nature of God: as the first line says, The Tao that can be spoken of is not the eternal Tao. What wisdom is there!

Second, having established not talking about the Tao – the Way – the One because to do so was itself self-defeating, we come on to the real profundity: from One comes Two, from Two comes Three, and from Three comes Ten Thousand things. What does this mean: the immortal, invisible, ineffable One produces Two – Yin and Yang – and Yin and Yang produce Three – Heaven, Earth and Humans – and these Three create all things that are. Oh my!

You can see, as you say this, people thinking – is he off his trolley? What has this to do with business? Everything. Let’s just take one point: if we understood the Two – Yin and Yang – and their ceaseless opposition, we would have known the economic downturn had to happen. The Yang of success had reached such overblown proportions that a Yin correction was inevitable – a correction, incidentally, of the same magnitude as the bubble which spawned it. So this means, if we understand the nature of the universe, the recession is far from over: we have a lot further down to go. But knowing this is reassuring, because we are no longer acting in uncertainty, but preparing for the storm.

The lessons from this are simple and come in the form of three pressing questions: first, how do we make people truly central in our organisations? How do we develop leadership at the highest levels? And how do we educate people so that they ‘see’ more?

No one said, of course, learning was easy!

If you or your organisation need groundbreaking, innovative and motivational solutions for:
Boosting employee motivation
Retaining key staff
Maximising staff performance and productivity
Building effective teams, appraisal systems and leadership
Recruiting the best people
Increasing sales


A Great Place To Visit For Business Or Vacation!

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is well known for her fully preserved medieval Old Town and a pulsating nightlife. Recently many stylish places for eating and drinking have sprung up in Tallinn, many of them offering decent quality food, and it is not hard to find a place for dancing. Those who travel out of the city will get acquainted with our beautiful countryside (for instance, Estonia is known as the land of 1000 islands), the long seashore, the picturesque Baltic German manor houses etc.
And there are not many cities whose face is designed by the 21st century rather than the 18th or 19th.


Tallinn is situated in Northern Europe in the northeastern part of the Baltic Sea region. Its unique position between the high-tech Nordic countries and Russia, which her huge natural resources as well as an enormous market, has made the city an attractive place for investors from all over the world. Foreign investments into Estonia amounted to 189.7 billion kroons as of June 2004, making Estonia the most successful country in Eastern Europe in this respect.

Distances from some European cities (by plane):

o Helsinki 82km

o Riga 280km

o St Petersburg 315km

o Stockholm 380km

o Copenhagen and Moscow 860km

o Berlin 1030km.

Tallinn Top Culture Events

The top summer event in Tallinn is the Old Town Days in the first week of June; in December the Black Nights Film Festival brings the best of the year’s European films to Tallinn, and there are a lot of other annual cultural events like Jazzkaar, Orient, NYYD, and more.

Economic Life

About half of the GDP of Estonia is produced in Tallinn (and its Suburbs) and more than half of the foreign-owned companies reside here. The economy is boosted by close relations with Finland and Sweden and a liberal economy that is favorable to foreign investments. Rapid development of the communications infrastructure has created a situation where mobile technologies and the Internet are used more widely than in some larger and wealthier EU countries (e.g. Internet banking is used by more than 10% of the population, active users of the Internet are more than 50% of the whole population, every second Estonian has a mobile phone etc,
e-government and e-tax system are working etc). The projected economic growth for this year is 5.9% The GNP per capita Estonia in 2004 was 40% of the EU average (39% in Lithuania, 34% in Latvia).


Tallinn has about 400,000 inhabitants, half of whom are Estonians 40% Russians and 10% other nationalities. You probably didn’t know that there are over 120 nationalities living in Estonia. The major ethnic groups are Russians, Byelorussians, Ukrainians, Finns, Tatars, Latvians, Poles, Jews, Lithuanians, Germans and Armenians. Basically every third inhabitant of Estonia speaks some other language.

Short History

o 10th century: ancient Estonians have already established the central trading point on the coast of the Gulf of Finland.

o 1219: Northern Estonia is conquered by the Danes. led by King Waldemar 2nd, who later establishes a stone castle at Toompea -multinational town grows around it.

o 1248: Tallinn acquires town rights.

o 1219-1346: the Danish period. A network of streets is formed inside the town wall, with a guild house, churches and convents, warehouses and defense buildings.

o 1347-1561: the Livonian Order acts as the sovereign; the building of the Old Town with its principal stone buildings is completed.

o 1561-1710: the Swedish period Tallinn’s trading success has faded because of long lasting wars.

o 1710: Tallinn capitulates to the Russian Army (Great Northern War).

o 1857: An important evolution in the town’s development was caused by the loss of stronghold status and the building of a railway connection to St Petersburg. Rapid industrial development begins, resulting in the swift growth of the town.

o February 24. 1918: the Estonian Salvation Committee declares the independent democratic Republic of Estonia. The new government immediately has to organize a defense against the attacking Russian bolshevist troops and the Estonian War of Independence begins. It ends in 1920.

o 1920: Tallinn becomes the capital of the independent Republic of Estonia.

o June, 1940: Soviet troops occupy Estonia, abolishing its independence and establishing Soviet order.

o 1st August 20, 1991: the Supreme Soviet of Estonia declares re-establishment of the independence of Estonia based on legal continuity.

o August 29. 1994: the last troops of Russian army are withdrawn from Estonia. The Second World War has come to an end for Estonia.

o May 1. 2004: Estonia joins the European Union.


Stories and Storytelling are Good for Business

How do we convince the business world that a good story holds more power and is more memorable than hearing and/or reading a descriptive paragraph that relates to an accomplishment, a procedure, a product, etc.? This became so evident recently when I was part of a committee judging nominations for the Regional Company and/or Organization with the Best IT (Information Technology) Training Program.

There were several criteria that we were to grade. The nominees had been asked to write a 250 word paragraph for each of the seven criteria). Most of the criteria were straightforward and asked for descriptions. I could hardly wait, however, until we reached the final one: “Do you have any great Success stories?”

You can imagine my disappointment to find that only one of the nine nominees told us a story. The others blabbed on about profits and accomplishments, etc. The one with a true and moving story — about a young man who was helped by the training to get a job and a scholarship that turned his life around — won our vote. The sad part is that I know that every one of the companies or organizations have plenty of success stories. They just don’t know how to tell them. What is the solution?

First, don’t call it “storytelling.” Even though publications all over the nation — and even the world — are writing about the companies, organizations and trainers who are making use of the power of storytelling, very few of the upper echelon will react well to our telling them that they need “storytelling.” So many people have the wrong perception of what storytelling entails. They think it is a quaint event that is performed for children in schools or the local libraries.

We can tell them that the World Bank now uses storytelling for information sharing, and that a company called EduTech produces a publication called ASK for NASA that consists of employee stories. Todd Post, editor, writes, “The success we’ve had with it (ASK) has allowed us to examine our own problems holding onto knowledge. Right there in front of our noses was a successful model to emulate.” They then created What You Know, which is EduTech’s own storytelling magazine.

We have to use all of our imagination to work storytelling into meetings, marketing and every day encounters. We all know that the stories are there. I suggest taking a small notebook to work or to a company you know well (you may do some freelance work for them or know others who do) and start writing down the casual stories you hear at the water fountain, on the way to an appointment, at lunchtime and in the elevator. Start asking those who have worked a long time at the company/organization about the history — how it was when they were hired and why they have stayed there. When awards are presented, interview those who receive them — get the full story.

What great success stories does your business have? Start making use of their power and you will be amazed by how quickly the word travels.


Internet Marketing Ideas To Produce The Best Landing Page For Your Internet Business

As you are interested in internet marketing and making your internet business as profitable as possible then you must take a look at your landing page and what makes it work. This landing page is the most important aspect of your online business opportunity and will make the difference between you succeeding and failing. Utilising tried and test online marketing techniques should be at the forefront of your campaign and by using these techniques you will boost your online conversions and internet business opportunities.

When a web user clicks on your web link from a paid or organic search listing they should be directed straight to your landing page. This landing page should include some fundamental things in order to increase your chances of that user converting. An internet business should continually be adapting to new marketing and online techniques and a landing page is no different, utilising new media will keep the web user interested and increase their likelihood of converting through your holding page. We will now look at the last few online marketing techniques that should be incorporated into your landing page in order for your internet business opportunities to grow.

  1. Offer a free promotion, if you have a product or service that you can offer for free in exchange for the web users email address or name then this is the best way to generate a mailing list. A lot of internet marketers use this technique to generate their email list and grow their online business opportunity. If the landing page is actually selling your product then add bonuses if they buy it, by maybe offering additional products for half price. The more your offer the web visitor at your price level then the more value your create for them and your online business.
  2. Time limit and limited offers, create a sense of urgency for the product or service with an offer for a short time period. Another option is to only give the product to the first few registrants. Both of these techniques have been used successfully to generate internet business opportunities and to convert visitors into cash. These techniques create an urgency for the visitor and encourages them to buy at this point in case they miss the offer. Through research and testing you will be able to identify these time frames and what best works for your web visitors and your internet business.
  3. Payment options, the landing page should offer multiple ways in which to purchase your product. Many marketers only offer one way, but times are changing and visitors have their preferred way of buying online so offering what the web visitors need is your responsibility as an online marketer and to make your online business opportunity work. You must offer the web visitor multiple options like credit/debit card payments, bank transfer and PayPal.
  4. Testing, you may have set up an internet business, and landing page, and it may be doing ok, there is always room for improvement and this is through testing your landing page. Testing an tweaking your landing pages is the only way in which the internet business opportunities will grow and tell you what your web visitors are doing. It will teach you trends in the market, whether it be location, age demographic or seasonal.

Producing a great landing page is essential to your internet business and online marketing. Set up a basic page and test it until you get the visitors converting, it can take time, so don’t give up because there is a huge amount of money to be made online.