Top 10 Inspiring Lessons from Powerful Women

Top 10 Inspiring Lessons from Powerful Women

The business world and most industries are no strangers to gender bias. Even with the advancement of women in several fields, disparity in salaries and representation exist. If you are one of those women who are ready to break the ‘glass ceiling’ and are looking at MBA programmes, here are some powerful role models for you.

  1. Turn adversity into positivity:

Winnie Byanyima arrived in Britain after she fled Idi Amin’s regime in Uganda. She completed her education in aeronautical engineering and returned to her homeland once Amin’s rule collapsed. She found the democratic elections hijacked. That led her to join the movement for liberation, under the Ugandan president Museveni. During her 11 years of tenure in the parliament, she championed ground-breaking gender equality laws and multi-party democracy. Later on, she headed UN task forces on gender and development and climate change issues. Now as head of Oxfam International, she is recognised as a leader who put fighting inequality on the agenda.

  1. Make innovation a habit:

South African entrepreneur Rapelang Rabana has been compared to Marissa Mayer of Yahoo Inc. She co-founded Yeigo, one of the world’s first mobile VoIP applications and was named one of Africa’s best young entrepreneurs by Forbes. In 2013, she launched Rekindle Learning, an online training, and education company. While Rabana promotes the role of women in business, she also keeps an eye out for new business opportunities that involve mobile technology.

  1. Pay attention to every detail:

Kathryn Sullivan was a part of NASA’s first class of female astronauts (1978). She became the first American woman to walk in space. After three shuttle missions, she came back with a keen understanding of how dynamic the earth is, and decided to use the information to help communities become more resilient to climate change and natural disasters. She is currently the US Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. Her job involves using data from space to understand the climate.

  1. Think beyond money:

Leaving an urban lifestyle for a life in farming in a drought prone area wasn’t easy. Indian Chetna Sinha did just that. Her time spent with women working in the fields exposed her to their daily troubles – from financial hardship to being ignored as prospective businesswomen. This resulted in the creation of India’s first rural cooperative bank owned by a woman. Chetna’s Mann Deshi Mahila Bank assists rural women who wish to acquire micro loans. Following the bank, Chetna set up a toll-free hotline that is linked to India’s Chamber of Commerce so that the women could get advice first-hand.

  1. Be Courageous:

When Beth Mooney became a secretary at a local bank, she could have sat back and been happy with her decent salary and job. Instead, she took a chance to get something better for herself. She visited big banks in her city and asked to be enrolled in their management training programmes. It finally happened after she spent a few hours refusing to leave a bank manager’s office until he relented. They made a deal: she’d get into the programme if she simultaneously studied for an MBA degree. She did. Now she is the Chairman and CEO of KeyCorp and the first woman ever to lead a top-ranking bank in America.

  1. Stay humble:

Cher Wang is a business tycoon’s daughter, so her entrepreneurial ambitions were not a surprise. She co-founded VIA Technologies, a manufacturer of motherboard chips, CPUs and memory. Her mind was on creating handheld computers, which she did soon after at her new venture HTC (High Technology Company). The company started with notebook computers and some of the first touch and wireless handheld devices. Wang has even been on the global Forbes list but can be seen wearing simple clothes and travelling by economy class. She also supports free education. She lives simply but thinks big.

  1. No excuses:

Oprah Winfrey’s success story is a rags-to-riches one. She’s the first African American female billionaire and she had spent her initial years in poverty. She also faced racial discrimination but came out with flying colours because of her determination. When the other kids were busy hanging out with friends or watching TV, Winfrey was working part-time hours as a radio anchor. Then she worked her way up to local TV news and then to a morning talk show, which later became her own – The Oprah Winfrey Show. That shows you that humble beginnings can’t stop you from chasing your goals.

  1. Have no fear:

Being a well-known international journalist for decades long means that people from different generations recognise you. Christiane Amanpour is widely known for her influence in the media and her penchant for reporting from dangerous situations such as the Gulf War in the 90s and other war-torn regions. Amanpour has covered conflicts all over the world. Amanpour has also interviewed world leaders in times of controversy but has kept her approach honest and calm. What makes her reporting stand out from the rest is the boldness and honesty. She is a role model for any women in a risky job with her strength and courage.

  1. Never give up:

Author JK Rowling is one of the world’s most successful authors. She wrote the first Harry Potter manuscript and sent it out to all the publishers. Rejections filled her inbox/mailbox, which she even shared on social media recently, so that other aspiring writers don’t let rejections drag themselves down. Rowling could have stopped. Many writers do. But she didn’t, until she was published. Now she has many published books and is the first person in the world to become a billionaire just from writing books. In other words, never give up.

  1. Patience is a virtue:

Chua Sock Koong is the head of Singapore’s largest telecom provider Singtel. Her story is one of another climb up the corporate ladder from the position of Treasurer to CFO, and then to Group CEO. Even as CFO, Chua was responsible for all the financial functions at the company and industry publications praised her for her broad exposure across all areas of the business. In addition, she played a major role in SingTel’s acquisitions, divestments, and partnerships. So there is a lot to her credit and it was all about taking her career one step at a time.

These 10 amazing women teach us 10 important lessons. Remember them as you continue your path to success. In the mean time, why not take a look at some of the  Nanyang Fellows MBA programme female alumna here:

From the Functional to the Managerial: Make the Transition

From the Functional to the Managerial: Make the Transition

Contrary to the general assumption, making the shift from a technical or functional role to a general management role can be smooth with the right approach. While an MBA for experienced professionals like yourself can help prepare you for the transition, your success also depends on how you adapt to the leadership role.

Here are some pointers:

  • Create a positive culture of trust:

When you were in a functional area, your decisions affected your work and your immediate team usually. But in a managerial role, what you decide may not always appear to be in the best interest of each functional area in your organisation. This is because you’ll be considering the big picture. So, keep things fair and work on building a climate of trust with your employees. Let them know that you are ready to listen to inputs and constructive feedback and make sure you practice it too. On the other hand, if you notice that a worker is trying to ruin the work culture by creating conflicts in the team, take action before things get difficult.

  • Get out of your comfort zone:

Being in a managerial role requires you to prioritise every area of the business that you are looking after. You need to adapt quickly and be open to developing new perspectives – even if it is in the functional area earned you the promotion. That means that you cannot let your expertise cloud over reason and new trends. Don’t make assumptions based on your past. Go with the flow every time you get an opportunity to learn in your new position.

  • Redefine what value means to you:

Revenue is important for the business. Making an impact with each project or task used to be at the top of your priority list. Now, the correct approach is to look at the long term too. Pay attention to the long-term effects of your actions on the entire business. You need to emphasise on long-term success factors such as integrity, good work habits, and client relationship. Once your employees understand that, you are focused on the organisation-wide impact of everything that you and they do, they will be a lot more cooperative, and in turn, team efficiency will significantly improve.

Think about your customers:

During any decision-making, remember that business doesn’t exist without its customers. Competitive advantage is the key to surviving in your space, so you should address a customer-driven, efficiency-oriented strategy as you aim to gain and retain that competitive advantage. Revenue and customers go hand-in-hand.

  • Build and reinforce the team:

Even in the top ranks of a company, teamwork cannot be overlooked. As a manager, you are expected to promote an environment of mutual respect, ethics, and common goals. Are your employees communicating as well as you’d like them to? You need to be observant. A team that functions well is productive and is essential for the organisation’s success. Experts suggest holding team-building activities regularly – such as joint visits to charitable institutions or group sports.

So be willing to lead, open to new experiences and dedicated to value creation. Be ready to understand employees, while facilitating a healthy environment to achieve long-term goals. It is challenging but not impossible once you are armed with an elite MBA degree and all the skills and experiences that come with it.

See the entire list of benefits that you can expect if you attend the Nanyang Fellows MBA programme.

Adapting To The New Normal

Times are changing and they are changing rapidly. Changes that a business would experience over a long span of time now happen at a much faster rate, forcing managers to think, analyse and act quickly. Plus, focusing on the present isn’t enough, with the need to identify future trends and events to the best of our abilities. Change is unavoidable and requires flexibility from organisations and the people involved. Human resources, IT, finance – everybody needs to cooperate and understand that their roles cannot be stagnant. The management plays a major role in supporting initiatives to help the company and its workforce adapt to the new normal.


  • Embrace Technology: 

Do you remember life before social media? Well, don’t waste time looking back. Digital breakthroughs have had an impact on every industry, as communication has acquired so many new tools and processes. Experts know that technological change is here to stay and the only way you can come out successful is if you let it do its job and refocus your energies on the other aspects of your role with that additional time. While some think technology will take over human beings in the workspace, smart managers know that it is all about embracing it and working together instead of looking at it as a separate component. 

  • Accept Changing Attitudes:

There’s been progress in terms of attitudes towards women in business, with leadership positions being filled by females as well as males these days. Additionally, there’s been a big change in the perception of an ideal work life; the current generation is motivated and ambitious but doesn’t think that their careers should affect the other enjoyable things in life. For example, many managers have realised that they can’t retain employees unless they allow them the freedom to telecommute because staying stuck at the desk could reduce productivity. A few years ago, only CEOs could think of taking such liberties. So give your employees the independence and trust to balance their lives.

  • Shifting Career Paths:

It was expected that you’d join a full-time job after you complete your degree and that you would max your earning around your 40s and then retire at about 60. All that has changed since everybody’s spoilt with options today. There are older people working as consultants after they’ve accumulated decades of experience. There are younger individuals who are starting their own business ventures without even trying their hand at working under a boss. Changing jobs has become more common and switching roles within the same industry isn’t uncommon either. That means that organisations need to learn how to adapt to employees from all kinds of backgrounds, career goals and age groups.

  • Encourage Innovation: 

The dynamic business environment, today, thrives on innovation. If something new isn’t being created every day, there is a sense of failure. You need to recognise that innovation doesn’t only happen at the top rungs of the corporate structure. Instead, facilitate discussion and brainstorming activities amongst your employees and give them the chance to be heard. Some managers like to create award systems for employees who think outside the basic company guidelines in an effort to make an impact. The bottom line is that the business needs to leave plenty of room for innovation.

It is vital that companies continually scrutinise their work environments and work on creating new ways to function without losing focus of their original goals.

Building A Better Work Culture

A great work culture is the secret to a successful organisation. And that culture depends on how happy and productive your employees are. Your management skills are key to making employees relish the thought of showing up for work that they enjoy on most days. Armed with your Nanyang Fellows MBA experience, you’ll know how to make things even better than they already are at work.


Here are some pointers.

  • Get Rid of Toxic People:

Every person you hire will be a part of your work environment. That means that they can either add to it positively or bring in negatives that ruin it. So you can’t let the bad seeds spoil your team. Daily performance is correlated with good attitudes in the workplace. If you find somebody putting others down or not contributing to teamwork, you need to act. It’s hard to tell people that they are about to be unemployed, but there is too much at stake to ignore the matter. Hire well. Make sure that you and the other interviewers know exactly what you want from the candidate and what you don’t want. Still, sometimes people will surprise you.

  • Create a Comfortable Work Space:

Cleanliness shouldn’t be limited to your home. A workspace is conducive to productivity if it is clean, well lit, organised and comfortable. Take a look at the furniture; is it somewhere you’d like to sit all day? Or will it give the user a backache to nurse? Invest in your team or employees’ well being. For example, bad light can lead to eyestrain and headaches. That, in turn, can bring down productivity levels. Also, consider dedicating a space for employees to take a break. It could be a small room with beanbags for quick naps or maybe a ping-pong table for a de-stressing game between meetings. Just ensure that those working at that time aren’t disturbed and trust everybody to use their time well.

  • Foster Relationship Building:

Cubicles or cabins or an open structure shouldn’t affect collaboration between your employees. Introducing regular events like Pizza Night or an Evening at the Bar is sure to give folks an opportunity for conversation. You could even throw in a short, informative speech to update everybody about the things happening at work. Even then, don’t try to control the entire event and let them talk because that is how they’ll loosen up and let their ideas flow. There are way too many situations of colleagues being so formal with each other that they are too scared of criticism to share their ideas and feedback openly.

  • Connect One-on-one:

It’s easy to communicate by office email and phones. But don’t forget to spend some quality one-on-one time with your team. Just as they need your feedback about how they are doing, you need their inputs as well. Taking both sides into account is how your work culture ends up making everybody happy. So talk and listen. Never forget to say thank you when recognition is deserved as appreciation creates enthusiasm. Once individuals are enthusiastic about their work, they’ll work harder and strive to create an impact – which helps the company progress.

  • Set Clear Roles and Expectations:

A good manager communicates clearly. Employees always know what is expected of them and have their roles clearly defined. You need to explain each team member’s role and the responsibilities that come with it. Connect that to other team member’s roles and the company goals and objectives and strategy. If there seems to be a problem, sit down and explain so that all aspects of the role can be realigned or understood better. For instance, is A focusing too much on meeting his own sales target and ignoring the big picture?

As every company grows older, communication forms the backbone of running a business productively. Imagine trying to get every employee to agree with every decision when you’re double in number or size. You certainly can’t create a process for everything from scratch. That’s where an effective work culture comes in. When it’s good, new entrants will learn how things are done, by just being a part of the team.

Unlock Your Potential With A Mid-Career Academic Programme

Some years into your career is a great time to carefully assess how an academic degree can bring you closer to your goals. Whether you are looking at a bigger salary or a more senior role at the workplace, an elite MBA can give you what it takes to get there.


Here’s why you should consider investing in a mid-career academic programme like the Nanyang Fellows MBA programme at the Nanyang Business School.

  • Flexibility:

Once you find yourself in a classroom full of other candidates with varied experiences unlike yours, you’ll know that things will not always be done the way you want them to be done. For example, in your current workplace, you have probably developed a method that your team follows. You like getting things done that way and no other way. But an intensive MBA programme at this stage will throw you out of your comfort zone. Working with your fellow students, you’ll learn how to accommodate new ways of thinking and new processes after years of following a rigid pattern. In fact, the result will be a more versatile you with your newfound know-how.

  • Confidence Boost:

Do you run the show at meetings? Could you call yourself a good communicator? Well, you must have some degree of soft skills already with your years in the workforce, but an MBA in the middle of your career will give you the opportunity to improve them and learn new ones too. One of your goals will be to make sure that you make the most out of every connection that you make during the 12-month programme. While top B-schools like NBS have strong alumni network and links with bigwigs in the industry, it is up to you to use these associations effectively. A few weeks into the programme will be enough to get you into networking action as you gain more confidence.

  • Entrepreneurship:

Having what seems to be a great idea is important. But starting your own business venture is rarely easy. Finding investors who like your idea and getting things organised can be a long, painful process. Fortunately, taking a break to focus on academics can give you benefits like professional feedback and practice – before you go ahead and set things up for real. An MBA programme can be your platform to get opinions and advice from experts from a number of fields including your faculty members and classmates.

  • Career Progression:

Many people join mid-career programmes because they feel like they’re stuck in a rut. When it begins to feel like the same old work every day with no chance of a promotion or excitement, career development needs focus. The global industry is evolving rapidly and a well-designed MBA curriculum is the answer to keeping up to date on changing practices and trends. A lot has happened between your last academic programme and current job. You can’t afford to be too comfortable in the old and tested waters.

Once you earn your MBA, prospective employers will appreciate your commitment to your professional development. Dedication, hard work and leadership skills combined with your new qualification make it clear that you care about learning and developing new skills in order to have an impact on business. And that is the kind of leader that the industry needs!

5 Powerful Habits of Successful Leaders

Successful leaders are the ones who can get the most out of the people they lead. If you can keep your team highly motivated and engaged in their work with no negatives such as unwanted stress, your company will benefit. A happy employee is a productive employee.


Here are some habits that successful leaders have.

  1. They Create a Culture to Fit the Company’s Vision

Every company has a vision but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have your own. So create a vision that translates to what a great leader you could be. Next, communicate that vision to your organisation and your employees. Once they are inspired to achieve that vision, let them know what you expect from their individual roles. Employ your management skills to build the perfect work culture to fit your vision. Encourage trust, openness, fun and creativity. Let everybody share new ideas. Remember, you need to reach your goals together. So figure out the best way to do that.

  1. They Follow and Communicate Positive Values

Personal characteristics including honesty, integrity, objectivity and independent thinking are present in thriving leaders. You need to demonstrate these positive values at all times. When people you work with realise that you take your values seriously, they will reciprocate. Keep your eyes and ears open for any conflict in values because they can affect your organisation badly. For example, an employee who believes in using dishonest means to finish reports as fast as possible can ruin the work culture and deliver substandard work. So talk to everybody and find out how things are going at their level. Be there for them so that they are there for you.

  1. They Set the Bar High

Great leaders challenge themselves. They have clear goals that they usually exceed. When your employees see you meeting and surpassing goal after goal, they’ll know that you mean serious business. Along with being motivated, they’ll push themselves to do their best on the job too. You can help them set realistic goals while allowing them to make decisions about how it is done.

  1. They Handle Pressure Well

Tough times can drive some people into negative behaviour such as self-doubt and anger. Bad things will happen and you have to deal with them. Being the leader, it’s your job to keep calm and let others look up to you especially when they need you. That means that you should learn how to assess situations and take action while you keep the employees in the loop. Never leave them in the dark and never lose your confidence.

  1. They Believe that Success is Achieved Together

A simple thank you can act as a major motivator. Celebrate your employees’ achievements. Be personal and consider sending them an email or dropping by their office so that they know you don’t take good work for granted. Share credit with them if your projects get noticed. These behind the scenes people are important to your company.

A leader has a deep, long-lasting influence on the people he leads. If you lead well, your team will do great things for your company. Be positive. Build a rapport. Show them the way to success.

Check out the impressive list of Nanyang Fellows MBA alumni who have become top leaders in their respective fields!

Gear Up for a Role in International Business

In today’s world economy, almost every business career is an international business career. And you are an ambitious, tech savvy person who is ready to be a part of this diverse scenario. There’s a lot of cultural exchange and business knowhow involved in every business interaction these days. Do you have the drive to succeed in this challenging environment? If you answered in the affirmative: Does your skill set include what it takes? Here’s your checklist.


  • Be culturally sensitive

If you want to succeed in international business, staying stuck in your local cohort will not get you very far. You don’t have to travel to Spain to know that a business dinner could go well into the wee hours of the morning because the mealtime commences so late. You also don’t have to spend time in Japan to find out that the Japanese don’t think twice about asking people what they earn. Taking out the time and interest to talk to international students on your campus is good enough to teach you a long list of things like this. Extensive reading helps too. Or you could end up offending an elderly Japanese individual by offering to shake his hand. Some cultural customs may even irk you, but the more you know, the better for your growth.

  • Work on your language skills

Simply reading books often is one way to improve your language skills. Getting As in English classes throughout school and college doesn’t say anything about your conversational skills. Work on your communication. Push yourself to talk to more people and to develop good conversational skills so that you can build lasting relationships. Plus, knowing multiple languages is essential. Chinese languages have become popular for B-school students since the country has a booming international business environment. The truth is that people are comfortable talking in their local language, so remove that barrier.

  • Stay abreast of world affairs

There is a reason that there are so many newspapers and magazines in the market; you need to stay in touch with what is happening around you and elsewhere. When you are working in an industry, staying in a vacuum is just not and option. You need to read the news, watch the news, sign up for online alerts and know what is happening across the globe. Daily events affect stock prices and the prices of raw materials. Rapid changes like a terrorist attack in a safe city result in changed business processes and demand and supply. For example, somebody working in the hotel/tourism industry would need to know about the 2015 Bangkok temple blast because it obviously affected business. Knowing what is happening enables you to change and adapt your strategy accordingly.

  • Learn about governments/political relations

In the current business space, organisations work with colleagues and clients in various countries. Develop your knowledge of international politics and economics of the nations and cities that you work with. Find out about the chief minister/president and the ruling party. Then do your research and understand where things stand between the government of your country and that of those places. Also understand the relationship between the ruling party and its opposition. That could help you avert trouble if you are offering goods or a service in their location. For instance, a multinational company that runs cab services globally will study each location, learn about its trade unions and understand how supportive or unsupportive political parties are when it comes to welcoming foreign business.

The Nanyang Fellows MBA programme

The Nanyang Fellows MBA programme nurtures candidates who go on to succeed in the international business world. From top experts teaching you to time carved out for a visit to a top US B-school, there are multiple elements to bring you closer to your career goals. Whether you want to start your own entrepreneurial venture after years in the workforce or join the coveted C-suite, the entire experience will help you build the skills and mind-set needed.

As a representative for your company in the global arena, you’ll enjoy new experiences each day. Even if you aren’t always on a plane, you’ll be going places as you continue to excel as an international communicator.

Adopt These 10 Powerful Public Speaking Tips to Move Your Audience

Talking in front of a group of people doesn’t come naturally to many people. Still, introverted individuals who can be called shy can learn how to combat their fears. Public speaking is a vital part of being an industry leader. You need to know how to communicate and create an impact with your words.


Here a few pointers to guide you.

1. Let Your Passion Show

Speaking effectively about a topic requires you to understand the subject well. You cannot memorise facts and statistics and let that be your presentation. Passion is contagious, so you need to make your audience feel it too. Make sure you know what you are talking about. Care about it. Because if you don’t, they will figure it out and not be that interested either.

2. Adopt the Right Body Language

Non-verbal communication is important. That basically means that what you do with your hands and eyes and mouth and the rest of your body during your talk will determine how the audience responds to you. So maintain eye contact, smile enough but not too much, and don’t roll your eyes or keep fingering the long strands of hair that fall across your face. Sound professional and act professional.

3. Always Practice

Practice does make perfect. Read the speech out loud multiple times. Track how long it takes and leave time for Questions & Answers. Record it. Once you think you’ve got it down right, practice in front of somebody you trust to be honest with his/her opinion. Let them tell you what could be said better or emphasised more. Maybe your shoulders are slouching and you aren’t looking confident? Find out.

4. Be a Storyteller

Everybody prefers an engaging story to a long message delivered in monotone. Make your speech a story. Narrate the facts and figures with a personal touch. For example, you could throw in some anecdotes about the time you experienced something relevant and how it affected your feelings. Also add interesting bits of information that could be new learning for your audience.

5. Throw in Some Humour

You don’t want your audience sitting there with the same expression on their faces throughout your talk. Add some humour wherever appropriate. A good laugh always makes people feel good immediately and sharing a laugh can help you bond. Just make it relevant and clean.

6. Calm Your Nerves

Being nervous is a common problem before presentations until you get more regular at it. Choose some quick relaxation exercises that work for you. A yoga instructor or coach could advise you. And don’t let your nervousness make you speak differently – more quickly or trying to impress too hard. Aim to create a rapport with the audience members. People remember how you made them feel. So be comfortable and let that feeling pass on to them.

7. Use Voice Techniques

Voice therapy comes in handy for people who have issues such as a stammer or a high-pitched voice. A good speaker should sound pleasant and friendly. There are a few vocal exercises including energy, pitch inflection, pace and silence that can help you communicate effectively. Are you pausing when you should, to give the audience a moment to let a point sink in? Are you talking too fast? It’s important to know how you’re doing.

8. Focus on the Message

When you structure your speech, you need to keep the main message in mind. Losing focus can ruin your speech. Do your research beforehand to know more about your audience. Think of every possible scenario for the Q and A session. Even if somebody wants to drag you in another direction (away from the message) you should know how to bring the conversation back there.

9. Connect and Motivate

A good leader motivates his audience. To do that, you need to structure your talk to meet their needs and expectations. That requires research. Watch their body language when they speak to you. If you notice them looking confused or sceptical, what would you say? Your words, tone and gestures should work in a combination to make them want to get involved in the subject as soon as possible. Tell them what THEY can do instead of just telling them what has been done.

10. Respond Positively to Negative Feedback

Most speakers face resistance to their views. Listen to the audience member. Understand that he/she is very interested in what you have been talking about to have an opinion. Respond calmly and do not be defensive. Being neutral is the key. Remember the message that you are there to present and disagree without going off topic or getting flustered.

If you follow these tips from Day One, you’ll find yourself getting better and better. Great leaders are great communicators. Good luck!

Embracing Technology Disruptions

Technology is here to stay. But it isn’t going to stay still. Most companies are taking the challenge head on by embracing the frequent disruptions that characterise the technology landscape. They are investing in mobile devices, social media, cloud computing and big data to keep customers engaged. Insights are collected obsessively because this is where a business can succeed or fail. You, as an individual, have to take the volatility in your stride.


Here’s how:

Be Willing to Experiment

The role of technologies has been shifting. Interaction is never a one-way street. Customers are using social media to let their grievances be heard and requesting customer service. Employees are working from mobile devices. And businesses are using the cloud to execute case management and solutions. The bottom line is that you cannot hang onto the past – the past could be referring to yesterday, by the way. Change is the norm, so you need to drive change. Business strategy works hand in hand with IT; you need to support low-cost experimentation to realise new and more efficient ways of working. In other words, let the disruption lead to improvement.

Take Advantage of Accessibility

Sometimes, shifts in technology can expose you to new options. Think about third-party data centres that let organisations tap into sophisticated IT tools without having to manage equipment themselves. Also remember that hardware and software resources are offered on remotely hosted servers, or the cloud. This means that you can make experimental prototypes and test models without spending too much of your budget. Another good news is that your customers are more accessible to you because of the proliferation of smart devices. So all the feedback they give you on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites can be analysed to get better results. Research and development using the help of smarter technology is a must. You need to be a part of the change to create positive results.

Forget Static Plans

Be proactive at all times. Advancing technology is a boon if you are alert in a state of preparation for it. If you aren’t, you can lose everything. How can you stay in ready mode? Become involved in every aspect of your business, including customer feedback, markets and business strategy. Being so deeply involved will enable you to grasp the opportunities that come with the disruptions. In fact, emerging technology gives managers the space for more automation, freeing their focus for other vital matters.

Work Smart

Technology is going from a command-control relationship with humans to more of a partnership. Instead of telling the machines what to do, you’re getting feedback from them. They have perfect memory and fantastic analytical skills. But you are not supposed to let them take over. You have the ability to think, judge and make decisions based on what you’re hearing. Do those things while technology continues to change and be a better companion for you.

Some businesses try to stay stuck to their original business model and lack the flexibility to react positively to technological disruption. It’s your job to share your vision and encourage your organisation to invest in dynamic IT systems and look at marketing strategy and technology changes as two intertwined components instead of standalone features.

Time Management: How to Improve Your Productivity

Some people are running against the clock. But too much running can be crazy. You have to know how to pace your days to get the best out of yourself. And with changing responsibilities and new priorities, how you use your precious time is going to change. In fact, drastically. Not only will you have more to do, but every action of yours will also affect the company in big ways. Extraordinary leadership skills will come into play. You’ll also be juggling several projects with customer, employee and shareholder expectations. Sometimes you’ll need to change things to get the results that you desire. Time management is the key.


Here are some things that you should remember in order to achieve optimal productivity levels at work, always.

Live Life Beyond Work

Some people think that clocking long hours makes them extra productive. The truth is you don’t have to kill yourself to show how dedicated you are. Focus on what’s important to achieve your goals. Get it done. Go home. Interestingly, lots of studies have shown that working too many hours can be counterproductive. That means that your productivity will decrease. Imagine yourself struggling to keep your eyes open and your head straight after a long day of meetings and whatnot, with work that can be done tomorrow. Physical and mental strain can actually make you sick. And if you feel terrible in general, you will end up accomplishing little. So don’t forget to unwind, eat, exercise and spend time with your loved ones.

Have a No Interruptions Policy

You need to be selfish. If you aren’t getting work done because people keep on coming into your office or the phone keeps on ringing, you need to be more disciplined about your hours. There’s no excuse to stay stuck in the office at the end of the day, exhausted but still facing big responsibilities that should have been addressed during the day. Are you making yourself too available? Don’t be rude but have a screening system in place like keeping a specific block of time to take calls and answer emails. Keep things brief and to the point. And silence the endlessly chatty colleagues with a simple: What can I do for you?

Rank Your Priorities

Make a list of priorities and stick to it. Reflect on your daily activities, your personal goals and your organisation’s goals. Long-term goals should be on the list because each day is supposed to bring you closer to them. Focus on the important things first and push the less important items on your agenda to the bottom. You’ll feel stress free and accomplished as you tick off each item as it’s done. Use online software and apps to build and track your daily schedule.

Paying attention to time management will help you avoid last-minute leaps to finish projects, meaningless meetings and calls, and unproductive days at work. Bonus: The team you lead will benefit from your high productivity. They’ll know that you mean business and will try to follow your example. Don’t forget that we all have the same 24 hours!

Have a specific tip on time management and improving productivity that you’d like to share? Don’t forget to mention it in the comments below.