The importance of note taking

note takingThe human memory is a wonderful thing. We can experience, hear or learn something and then almost immediately corrupt our memory. Many people in business make this a special feature of their lives by rarely writing things down.

No notes. That’s the problem.

Why is this? Well, I suspect it is because they don’t feel the need to explain themselves or to be accountable. Or perhaps they believe they have an excellent memory.

The human memory is predictably fallible and we really do need to help it. Note taking doesn’t need to be an arduous task; they can be single sheets, mind maps, key facts. They can be on paper, be transferred to digital or be digital from the start using Evernote, Apple Note, One Note, or your programme of choice.

I have to work at note taking but the good news is that, with the use of a technology, I could pick up any smartphone or laptop and access my notes. Indeed the draft of what you are reading was accessible to me from pretty much anywhere.

I guess the point is, you want a competitive advantage in business. Having notes, facts, figures and information to call on puts you in that position. Notes make you stronger not weaker.

Remember, another benefit of the act of taking notes, you will remember more of the details by writing notes even if you don’t refer to them.

A by-product of this is that I now tend to doubt how seriously someone is taking a meeting or an interview if they arrive empty handed and have no ability to jot notes.

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The corporate boat race

An American automobile company and a Japanese auto company decided to have a competitive boat race on the Detroit River. Both teams practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance. On the big day, they were as ready as they could be. The Japanese team won by a mile.

Afterwards, the American team became discouraged by the loss and their morale sagged. Corporate management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found. A Continuous Measurable Improvement Team of “Executives” was set up to investigate the problem and to recommend appropriate corrective action. Their conclusion: The problem was that the Japanese team had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, whereas the American team had 1 person rowing and 8 people steering.

The American Corporate Steering Committee immediately hired a consulting firm to do a study on the management structure. After some time and billions of dollars, the consulting firm concluded that “too many people were steering and not enough rowing.”

To prevent losing to the Japanese again next year, the management structure was changed to “4 Steering Managers, 3 Area Steering Managers, and 1 Staff Steering Manager” and a new performance system for the person rowing the boat to give more incentive to work harder and become a six sigma performer. “We must give him empowerment and enrichment.” That ought to do it.

The next year the Japanese team won by two miles. The American Corporation laid off the rower for poor performance, sold all of the paddles, cancelled all capital investments for new equipment, halted development of a new canoe, awarded high performance awards to the consulting firm, and distributedthe money saved as bonuses to the senior executives.

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I told you it was viable

business planningOne of the funniest things I’ve witnessed in an owner managed business (OMB) is the Managing Director being presented an idea that had been worked up into a plan. All the hard work that went into it proved the plan shouldn’t go ahead. This was evident from the Excel spreadsheet that showed the estimated businesses would deliver a whopping loss.

This was rapidly fixed by the MD who just increased the sales line in the spreadsheet, in an unrealistic manner, and then announced, “Look, I told you it was viable.”

The approval process became, “I’m right and you will confirm it.” The history of not planning, shooting from the hip and gut intuition continued. How does the owner transition into something with a little more science?

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The first press release

press release being created on a typewriterThe first press release was written in 1906 by Ivy Lee. 

After the 1906 Atlantic City train wreck, Lee issued what is often considered to be the very first press release, convincing the company to openly disclose information to journalists, before they could hear information from elsewhere.


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The first step to friction-free AP

Tungsten Network Fiction FinderFriction undermines Accounts Payable (AP) at every turn: higher costs and late payment penalties, strained supplier relationships. Link after link of the supply chain corroded by inefficiencies and broken invoice processes.

At Tungsten Network, our customers and prospects face these issues daily. Many can be identified with the help of our 20-question Tungsten Network Friction Finder.

Using this online tool will help them calculate their Friction Factor. The higher their percentage, the more friction that’s present in their AP process. They’ll also see how they rate compared to other businesses and get recommendations for what to do.

Challenge customers and prospects to get their score at – share using #RemoveTheFriction.

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3 keys to a frictionless P2P process

3 keys to frictionless P2P process

Join this webinar for practical insights that will help you prepare for tomorrow’s payment risks and opportunities.
You’ll learn how Mohawk Industries capitalised on the promise of digital transformation, enabling more visibility, agility and innovation in their P2P process while managing the risks to instill greater accountability, reduce uncertainty, and foster trust.

How ready is your organisation for e-invoicing? Register today and receive an invitation to a complimentary readiness assessment. (Even if you can’t attend, you’ll be sent a link to the webinar replay after the event.)

DATE: Thursday 3 August 2017
TIME: 10.00 to 11.00 EDT/15.00 to 16.00 BST
REGISTER: Register free here

You will hear from:

Tracy Bryant – Manager, Shared Services, Mohawk Industries
Connie O’Brien – Chief Marketing Officer, Tungsten Network
Ryan Enright – Director, Strategic Account Relations, Tungsten Network

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First Great Western…am I unreasonable?

I asked, “Which train is going first?”

And the answer was, “I’ve no idea.”

Thanks First (rarely first) Great (seldom great) Western (50% of the time, on a fairly random basis, they head west ).

Let’s be clear, they do trains and I just use them to get work. Do you think it is unreasonable to be told which train to get on?

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