Category Archives: The Different Company

The death of contracting as we know it

Here’s a prediction for you… the number of opportunities for contractors will significantly reduce by the end of the decade and will be replaced by a radical new model for managing fluctuations in the demand for staff.

Don’t get me wrong. Clients will still need to use temporary staff to manage the growth, ebb and flow of their organisation’s staffing needs. However, and we’re already seeing it, clients are now making some extra demands that, to be frank, will seem impossible to meet using the old school staff augmentation/body shopping models.

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Filed under Business, Everything else, Philanthropy, The Different Company, Uncategorized

10 Tips for Successful Business Networking

If only we knew everyone who needed our help … or who we could help.

Like any businessman, coach and consultant, I spend a fair amount of my time moving around the marketplace, making sure I know what’s going on, and keeping in touch with friends and colleagues. It’s just second nature, really.

I don’t go to networking events just to drum up business. I go to maintain comradeship, to learn what’s going on, to seek new ideas, and to contribute my own opinions, support and friendship to the process. When I remember that’s what I am doing, I find business pops up in the most unexpected places!

So I took a moment today to jot down my “Ten Successful Strategies For Networking”. They seem obvious, but I often forget them, so writing them down was a useful reminder to me, too!

Effective business networking is the linking together of individuals who, through trust and relationship building, become walking, talking advertisements for one another.

THE TOP TEN TIPS

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In case you didn’t already realise, I’m a Pig

You know, some people have been saying that for years! But no, I don’t mean I’m an ill-mannered, rude, uncaring bigot. I simply mean I am fully committed to achieving my goals.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the riddle ‘In a bacon and egg breakfast what’s the difference between the chicken and the pig?’ – ‘The chicken’s involved but the pig is committed’.

Are you committed, involved, or something else?

It’s been applied to all manner of things from scrum agile project management to sports. And yet it’s a concept, when expanded, which can be applied to nearly any endeavour. I was thinking about this and you know what? I felt there’s a whole farm that needs calling out.

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The black art of “project rescues” explained

In my career I have focussed a lot of energy and time on “project rescues” – the bigger the problem, the more hostile the stakeholders, the worse the management controls, the greater the lack of belief, the more complex it becomes to disentangle the situation, the stronger the blame game … yes, you get the picture.

I know so many Project Managers who simply bail out when they see a project going wrong, or if they’re brought in to fix a situation up that’s gone to poo then they won’t go anywhere near these situations. They don’t want to deal with someone else’s stuff up. They think they’re going to fail too. They’re scared it’s going to destroy their career. “Too much risk” they mutter, and slink off, Gollum-like, into the darkness. Continue reading

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Important people doing important stuff that no-one else could possibly understand? No, I don’t think so.

Hmmm … see the similarity here?

So, Dear Reader, what do skyscrapers, space shuttles and soothsayers have in common?

Well, mention delivering change or project management and every organisation you talk to has a horror story to tell.

Many would even have you believe that it’s some sophisticated, difficult and dangerous black art practised by highly educated and well-trained soothsayers carrying project charters, GANTT charts and detailed schedules. They’re all building skyscrapers, launching space shuttles and merging banks.

Run away! Run away now!

Yet successful project and change management is really not difficult.

In truth, delivering change is a simple and largely predictable process and successful change is the intelligent application of that process – no matter how tough or complex the project seems.

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Chanting naked in the bush… err, maybe not

Stop. Take stock. Move forward.

How long has it been since you stopped and took a couple of deep breaths, pondered your navel, and performed a stock-take on life? Can you still locate your navel? See anything below it?

I know I haven’t done such a stock-take for more than a decade and, I’m sure, probably far longer. If you take a look at my work history (http://au.linkedin.com/in/marktipping) you’ll see I’ve been self-employed, either as a contractor or a business owner, for basically the past 18 years. And that’s been a whole heap of work.

Like many, I’ve ridden the feast vs famine tides. I’ve lived a life that, on reflection, was far more in tactical mode than strategic – get the next contract, find someone to deliver an outcome, keep paying the bills, and try to steal a few days here and there to call a holiday. All the while knowing there was so much more to do and so little spare capacity to deliver it.

Heck, I planned to take six months off in 2001 after my first daughter was born, but my good mate Stocko had me at a seminar on the Gold Coast the day I left work – only to then spend the next six months, not with my new daughter, but working on creating a new business. Then factor in my life’s other noises: an acrimonious relationship with the ex; two pre-teen daughters; and, step-fatherhood. There’s a lot of sh*t going on!

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Forget good to great. This is the best stuff I’ve read in a long time – what makes an employee truly remarkable.

Look for people to work with who aren’t just great, they’re remarkable.

This is a great article covering what makes an employee truly remarkable. And I reckon for employee you could substitute “business consultant”, too.

I wish I’d written it myself, but as I didn’t, the next best I can do is reproduce it, and praise Jeff Haden for his insights. You’ll find a link to his business at the bottom.

Remarkable people? These are the people The Different Co will employ. These are the people we want to work with. If you haven’t got enough of these people around you helping you then perhaps you should call us. +613 9077 5372.

Dammit, these are the people we are! Enjoy.

8 Qualities of Remarkable Employees

Great employees are reliable, dependable, proactive, diligent, great leaders and great followers: they possess a wide range of easily-defined – but hard to find – qualities.

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