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How to Run Great Business Meetings

August 29, 2016 Business, Productivity, Workplace

Skip the black hole of time suckage and make everyone happier.

Meetings are a great way for people to work together. They can also be a massive black hole, sucking time and the will to live from participants! You can easily avoid another black hole with this simple guide:

  1. Purpose

Start by working out if you actually need a meeting. Do you need to:

  • share information?
  • solve a problem?
  • gather information?
  • provide training?
  • make a decision?

Then you need a meeting!

  1. People

Next is your guest list – who really needs to attend? Limit your meeting to no more than 10 participants, and allow people to opt out if they believe they don’t need to be there. This way everyone who attends will be engaged and more productive.

  1. Presider

Are you going to be in charge of this meeting or do you need to assign someone else to facilitate? The presider should have ownership of the meeting and its overall outcome. This person has to create a welcoming environment, facilitate the meeting and activities, stick to the agenda, and may also be the ultimate decision-maker.

  1. Preparation

Being prepared before the meeting will help it to take a minimal amount of time. Set an agenda with assigned tasks to be completed before the meeting and distribute in advance. Have your participants bring solutions rather than problems to the meeting.

  1. Place

When you book your meeting room allow time to set-up and pack-up. On the day, set up your room to suit the needs of the meeting. You will need pens and notepads for each participant as well as plenty of post-it notes, marker pens, blu-tak, a flip-chart and whiteboard. Check that the projector is working and that your laptop connects. And don’t forget the snacks and drinks!

  1. Period

Nobody wants to spend more time than they have to in a meeting, so keep it short and sweet. Put a time limit on your meeting and stick to it. Short meetings force people to be concise and to work within the time constraints.

  1. Positive

Psychologists have proven that the way a meeting starts sets the overall tone for the meeting. To kick it off on a positive note try sharing a relevant anecdote or a successful outcome of the last meeting.

  1. Pit-Stops

We don’t need some expert to tell us that our attention-spans have shrunk, but the bad news is that most adults can only stay focused for 10 minutes!

Scheduling in regular breaks, ideally 2 minutes at the half-hour and 5 minutes at the hour, will boost engagement. For longer meetings you’ll also need to allow sufficient time for a proper lunch break.

  1. Participation

Another way to keep participants focused is to get them involved. One idea is to line the walls with different problems to solve, posed as “How can we…?” questions. Participants then walk around and use their post-it notes to add their suggestions.

  1. Post-Meeting

The end of the meeting isn’t the end. You’ve got three important things to do now. First, make sure everyone walks away with action items relevant to their expertise and a deadline for completion. Second, take photos of all your creative ideas and collate any notes by theme. And third, keep everyone up-to-date with the outcome of the meeting and any decisions that come from it. This will help them to feel like their time and input were valued.


HP acquires Samsung’s printer business, expands partner opportunities

Business, Printing

I want to share our exciting news: Early this morning HP announced an agreement to acquire Samsung’s printing business. And a few hours from now, we will be launching 16 next-generation PageWide and LaserJet A3 multifunction printers, along with new services.

The importance of our partner relationships is underscored in each of today’s announcements: the biggest print acquisition not just in the brief span of HP Inc., but also in the storied history of Hewlett-Packard; and the signal of our bold attack on the copier space with a full lineup of advanced A3 multifunction printers.

Together these actions accelerate all of the strategic initiatives we announced less than a year ago after completion of the separation of Hewlett-Packard Company. They strengthen our core A4 products, they hasten our plan to disrupt the $55 billion A3 copier segment with superior printing technology, and they give us a powerful platform of technologies and tools for future innovation. They strengthen HP’s ability to serve customers as the leader in the worldwide printing industry, prove our firm resolve to capture more pages in A3, and demonstrate our commitment to create profitable growth opportunities for our channel partners.

HP is a smaller, more agile, more tightly focused company, a global leader with the muscle and brains of a Fortune 100 company and the heart and energy of a startup. We promised you that we’re going to take swift, bold actions to seize opportunities and win in every market and every segment where we can deliver profitable growth for us and for our partners. That’s exactly what you’re seeing today.

The acquisition of Samsung’s printer business has built-in momentum. For the past year we have been working closely with Samsung’s printer business to develop the A3 multifunction laser printers that we’re announcing today – so closely and successfully, in fact, that both companies recognized a complementary long-term fit.

With today’s product launches and the agreement to buy Samsung’s printer business, we are building the industry’s most complete and most secure A3 and A4 product portfolio, giving partners a full range of speed, price, finishing, and performance options. But we’re not just giving you more printers to sell; we’re creating the best all-around, end-to-end value proposition, including the industry’s best customer service experience.

We’re also creating exciting new opportunities for some of you in managed services. Customers are discovering that they can save money, predictably manage costs, increase flexibility, and reduce overhead through contractual services managed by trusted partners. It’s a rapidly growing area.

Transactional products from Samsung’s printer business will be fully integrated into our print portfolio and will be accessible to all of our Partner First partners. Contractual products from Samsung’s printer business will be accessible to select partners to complement the full portfolio already based on Samsung technology. We are announcing our new service-led business model for our A3 lineup today.

For more than three decades HP and Canon have had a highly valued, mutually beneficial relationship. Today’s agreement with Samsung will provide exciting new opportunities to strengthen this relationship with Canon, and we are confident that our partnership will continue stronger than ever. It’s a win-win-win scenario.


Organised Desks and Increased Productivity

August 22, 2016 Business

Understanding why an organised desk leads to increased productivity and how to achieve it will help us to actually get it done.

Your workplace productivity has a direct relationship to your overall happiness and wellbeing, so it seems logical that you would be seeking ways to increase your productivity. One simple solution in the office is an organised desk.

Why is productivity important?

To put it simply, you were hired to get a job done. You’ve been given a set amount of work to achieve in a set amount of time. When you achieve this goal you help your business to succeed in their overall goal, and contribute towards its profitability and hence the security of your position and income.

How an organised desk leads to increased productivity

One solution to increase your productivity is to organise your desk. A Princeton study from 2011 proves that a messy environment makes it harder for you to focus and process informationbecause too many things are competing for your attention. Physical and digital clutter overloads your senses, making you stressed and decreasing your creative thinking. They were able to conclude that you need to clear the clutter for increased productivity. Having the autonomy to make decisions about your own workspace has also been shown to increase your productivity by up to 32%, and since your desk or workstation is probably the only part of your workplace you have any control over, you should transform it into your personal, productive oasis free from unnecessary mess.

Organising your desk

There are so many useful and gorgeous products to help get you sorted and personalise your workspace. To start with you will need:

  • a desk organiser for the pens, markers, highlighters and paperclips you use every day
  • several document trays to manage new and ongoing pieces of paper that come to your desk
  • a step file for ready access to projects you’re working on
  • a tidy bin and a recycling bin
  • magazine files for booklets, catalogues or other bound documents
  • a Post-it dispenser for all your quick notes
  • a diary to keep track of your to-dos, meetings, and more

Rules for an organised desk

  1. Create a place for everything – a place for everything and everything in its place makes it easier to find what you’re looking for and where to put things.
  2. Keep it in arm’s reach – if you need it regularly you should be able to reach it easily. This applies most importantly to the bin – if it’s not close-by you’ll accumulate rubbish on your desk.
  3. Daily items on the desktop only – if you don’t need it regularly, move it somewhere else – into a drawer, onto a shelf or in the bin!
  4. Purge – don’t need it, don’t keep it at your desk. If you’re finished with something and it needs to be filed, file it straight away. If it needs to be binned, bin it straight away.
  5. If in doubt, chuck it out – is not just a mantra for a healthy fridge, but works well at your desk, too. Got any doubts about whether you need to keep it or not, then toss it out, otherwise it will just become clutter.
  6. Label it – for items that are being filed or need to be labelled permanently, use a labeller or labelling machine. For folders in your step file you can use Post-it notes to label them, keeping them unmarked for future use.
  7. Keep a diary handy – a physical diary will help you to jot down important dates, reminders and to-dos quickly and easily, plus you are more likely to remember and commit to something you handwrite. It can double as a notebook, keeping track of messages, ideas and notes.
  8. Don’t forget your digital desktop – keeping files and folders on your computer’s desktop slows it down and makes it hard to find what you’re after. Create a logical filing system on your hard drive or server.
  9. Clear before you leave – commit to clearing your desk of clutter before you leave each day. Leave your desk in a state that wouldn’t embarrass you if your manager (or mum!) saw it.

Keeping your desk organised will help you to stay focussed, reduce time-wastage and increase productive. It will also help you to have a better attitude towards your work and to be perceived positively by those around you, including your boss. It’s time to get organised!


12 Reasons You Need To Buy Workwear For Your Business

August 20, 2016 Business, Workplace

By purchasing workwear for your business you can make sure that your staff are dressed appropriately and you can enhance the profitability of your business.

Don’t write-off workwear as something just for big blokes needing high visibility clothing, tight-fitting work shorts and steel-capped boots. Every business has some level of workwear requirement – discover yours here:

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Why Office Dogs are Great for a Happy Workplace


Dog owners know the joy of coming home to that happy, hairy best friend or fur-baby. What if that happiness could be found at work every day?

Happiness is a fickle thing that despite advertising’s promises to the contrary cannot be bought. Yet all the research and our personal experience show that we’re more productive when we’re happy and that a happy workplace has higher staff retention. So how can we create a happy work environment when money, possessions or even accolades cannot produce genuine long-term happiness?

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