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Leadership/Innovation

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5 Steps to Hold People Accountable

When employees do not live up to their obligations to you, they both disappoint you and damage the business. Raw feelings result. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Peter Bregman shares five tips for introducing more clarity, which in turn heightens accountability. First, there must be clear expectations in place about the outcomes you want to see and how success will be measured. These details do not have to be exclusively dictated by you; …

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Making Your Boss Happy Is Not Your Job

Job security is important. Nobody ever wants to worry about where their next bank deposit will come from. One of the most direct ways you might seek to ensure your job security is through making your boss happy. But no matter how this decision is viewed, the underlying logic is fundamentally flawed. If you treat making your boss happy as an end goal in itself, you are jeopardizing your career. The Motivation to Please Getting …

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Creative Genius: Tapping the Edison Within

Ever wonder why some people seem so darned creative? The answer is because they, like you, see problems every single day. Something breaks too often. Something seems too difficult when it shouldn’t be. A solution is missing. In the classic television series Star Trek, Captain James Kirk actually sums up the sentiment of many when he says, “Genius doesn’t work on an assembly line basis. You can’t simply say, Today I will be brilliant.” (Episode: …

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Six Secrets to True Originality

In a sea of cookie cutter clones, most people aspire to have some level of originality. But being original is not the easiest thing to achieve, in business or otherwise. In an article for McKinsey & Company, author and professor Adam Grant shares six secrets to being original that you probably have never heard before: Have many ideas. Judge ideas creatively. Never think you are too old. Avoid groupthink. Learn the art of procrastination. Stick …

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How to Write a Business Case Template

Good business cases have some core elements in common. Gerald Hanks explains in an article for Chron. A solid business case template begins with an executive summary. This is a highlight reel that touches upon all the major points made elsewhere in the case. Although the executive summary should go first in the business case, it should be written last, in order to account for additional data that might be included along the way. Beyond …

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Writing an Unbeatable Business Case

“Why” questions are often the most important ones, and the business case is all about answering them. In an article for Project Smart, Simon Buehring addresses what he considers eight key sections of a business case. First, as suggested, is the “reason.” This explains why the project is necessary, but in the context of business strategy. Second, alternatives to this project should be explained and why they are inferior to the project at hand. Third, …

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How to Write a Business Case as an Analyst

In an article for For Dummies, “Kupe” Kupersmith, Paul Mulvey, and Kate McGoey provide some basic information to absorb about business cases. For instance, they discuss the different purposes the business case can serve. They of course articulate the viability of a given solution, but they can also be used to support a feasibility study or even to prioritize projects. The authors have tips about how to design a business case as well. If the …

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How to Write a Persuasive Business Case

Context colors every situation. In an article for Business 2 Community, Jannike Ohsten discusses how to build a business case and how to tailor it to your unique situation. Every business case features these essential elements: the rationale for how the project will solve a problem, alternative options to the project, pros and cons that show why this project is the best option, the costs of not conducting the project, the risks involved in conducting …

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How to Make a Winning Business Case

Nobody wants to bring something to the board for approval and receive a “Hah! Nope” in return. Rebecca Merrett shares tips in an article for CIO Australia to avoid this situation. Everyone phrases it in their own unique way, but generally speaking, people agree the business case should incorporate these things: the rationale for the business case, the project’s value proposition, how much the project will cost, how the project will actually be delivered (including …

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The Right Way to Present Your Business Case

Your business case is the stuff of legends, something to be put in the Smithsonian. But first, you have to actually present it. Carolyn O’Hara writes for Harvard Business Review with tips for presenting your genius to decision-makers. What you really want to do if at all possible is to pitch your business case using a story. Stories stay with people and touch their hearts. And especially since changes often elicit fear, it is important …

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