AEC Managing Partner Newsletter June 2009
"Dedicated to helping architects and engineers earn the profits they deserve for their creative efforts"
Welcome to June 2009 edition of the AEC Managing Partner Newsletter.
Well it seems like last months PowerPoint Video on Solving the Timecard Challenge is a hit with over 1,000 views. On the back of this success, I have posted another video - The Seven Deadly Sins of Financial Reporting for A/E firms.
We will be updating my website and You Tube at least once a month with a short but helpful presentation. We look forward to your comments and feedback.
In this Issue:
1. Seven Deadly Sins of Financial Reporting - PowerPoint Video
2. Cash Flow and Collections Webinar on CD
3. Why Multi-Tasking Destroys Your Productivity
4. Incentive Compensation and Bonus Survey Release Date
5. Upcoming Events
|Seven Deadly Sins of Financial Reporting for A/E Firms
When preparing financial statements in a down economy, there is always the tempation to take liberties with your financial reporting. Whether you are tempted to inflate your Work in Progress or to defer recording some expenses - it is always a bad idea.
I have posted a short PowerPoint video on my website (and You Tube). Enjoy - and feel free to comment.
Show me the Video
|Dramatically Improving Cash Flow and Collections Webinar - on CD
In good economic times, collecting money on a timely basis can be an extraordinary challenge. In tough economic times, it can seem near impossible. Over the last 25 years in the A/E industry, I have personally developed a comprehensive system to dramatically reduce any company's outstanding accounts receivable. This system is not some untested theoretical exercise - it has been implemented at dozens of firms over the years with outstanding results.
Our recent Webinar, Dramatically Improving Cash Flow and Collections is now available on CD. This fast moving 70 minute Webinar, will show you how to dramatically reduce your accounts receivable and put more money in your bank account where it belongs.
Webinar on CD Information
|Why Multi-Tasking Destroys Your Productivity
By: Alex Mandossian
Most entrepreneurs I know are proud of their "multitasking" ability. But maybe they shouldn't be.
The term was originally applied to computers - to describe the way a CPU solves problems by scheduling tasks and switching back and forth from task to task until each one gets done. Well, that may be an efficient way for a computer to work, but it's anything but efficient when it comes to your productivity.
Dave Crenshaw wrote my favorite book on the topic, and I recommend it to anyone who still thinks and feels that multitasking is cool. On page 29 in The Myth of Multitasking, he writes:
"Around the end of the twentieth century, some wordsmith saw the connection between our increasingly hectic world and the world of the computer. A catchword was born. Newspapers began peppering their articles with the word. Talk show hosts began using it with frequency. Magazines began publishing articles about how to multitask more effectively. Multitasking quickly became as popular and accepted as the automobile and the hamburger."
Dave Crenshaw has a more accurate word to describe flipping back and forth between two (or more) activities. He calls it "switchtasking."
Multitasking or switchtasking reduces your efficiency (your ability to do the right things) and your effectiveness (your ability to do things right) because it forces you to keep changing your mental focus. During the switchover time (less than a second, in most cases), your concentration diminishes and the number of mistakes you make dramatically increases.
In fact, many states (including California) have outlawed multitasking on the highway by making it illegal to speak on a handheld mobile phone while driving a car.
"A mere half second of time lost to task switching can mean the difference between life and death for a driver using a cellphone, because during the time that the car is not totally under control, it can travel far enough to crash into obstacles the driver might have otherwise avoided," reported Dr. David Meyer from the University of Michigan.
Okay, so let me ask you a candid question. How many of the following commonmultitasking activities do you engage in?
· Writing e-mails while speaking on the telephone
· Checking voice mail while speaking to your spouse
· Reading the newspaper while listening to the news
· Watching TV while having a family conversation
· Tweeting while instant messaging.
I'm guessing you've done "all of the above" at some point in your adult life. But my point isn't to nag you about multitasking. It is to make you conscious of how destructive it can be. It's not only mentally stressful to splinter your attention (and make mistakes along the way), multitasking sets you up for failure. and the guilt of not completing everything you set out to do.
Now if you do two things at once but can keep the majority of your attention on only ONE of those things, that's a whole different animal. I call this stacking. Dave Crenshaw calls it background tasking. (You can call it whatever you wish.)
Stacking helps you get more done, faster and better. It is a productive use of your time because only ONE of the tasks you are doing requires mental effort.
Here are a few examples of what I'm talking about:
· Eating dinner while watching a video
· Jogging while listening to your iPod
· Driving while listening to the radio
· Writing an e-mail while printing out a document
· Munching on a snack while riding a bicycle
· Listening to the news while showering
· Reading a book while getting a haircut
Stacking doesn't necessarily guarantee that you'll become more effective (by doing the right things), but it can practically guarantee more efficiency (doing things right to get maximum results in minimum time).
Stacking & America's Middle Class
Henry Ford didn't invent the car, but he did figure out how to produce automobiles that were within the reach of the average American. And I believe he did this by preventing his workers from multitasking.
Prior to his introduction of the assembly line to the manufacturing process, cars were individually crafted by teams of skilled workmen. But instead of having one team work on one car, from start to finish, he created a stacking environment where the cars came to the workers - and each worker performed the same assembly task again and again.
The stacking power of the assembly line reduced the time it took to manufacture acar from 13 hours to less than six. That made it possible for Ford to offer the Model T for $825 when it made its debut in 1908. Four years later, the price dropped to $575. By 1914, Ford claimed a 48 percent share of the world's automobile market.
What to Do Now
You can stop the insanity of multitasking right now by listing two or three multitasking activities you commonly engage in at work or at home.
Then, the next time you catch yourself multitasking, stop. Take a moment to think about what you're doing, and quickly choose one of those tasks to focus on first. Complete that task before you switch to the other one.
I think you'll find that this automatically makes you more efficient, more effective - and feeling a lot better about yourself for getting multiple jobs done right.
This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, a free newsletter dedicated to making money, improving health and secrets to success. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com.
|Incentive Compensation & Bonus Benchmark Questionnaire is now Ready
Are you tired of paying $445 for industry benchmark surveys?
IIf you are tired of paying outrageous prices for A/E industry benchmarking surveys, you are not alone. My commitment is to produce surveys that equal or exceed competing surveys in every way. There will be charts, tables, graphs and narrative that will allow you to benchmark your company against your competition. The survey results will be presented in a way that will allow you to immediately zero-in on areas of your company that need the most attention.
The Incentive Compensation and Benchmark Survey will be ready to ship June 30, 2009
|Want to Reprint an Article from AEC Managing Partner?
As a publisher of a print or web-based publication, you are hereby granted the right to reprint any article contained in this newsletter with the following provisions
1) The words "By Herbert M. Cannon" must be included immediately following the article title.
2) The following "resource box" is included following or preceding each article.
Herbert M. Cannon, President of AEC Management Solutions, Inc. and Publisher of AEC Managing Partner Newsletter, is a management consultant, seminar provider and speaker exclusive to the A/E Industry. He is available to speak at company meetings and conferences. For more information contact Herb via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit his website at www.aecmanagementsolutions.com
3) You quickly notify us of any publication, either in print or on the Internet. Notification may be made via e-mail at email@example.com
4) You send us a hard copy of any printed publication in which one Herb's articles appear. Printed issues may be sent to 183 Higgins Road Matawan, NJ 07747
|Texas Council of Engineering Companies September 11, 2009
Herb Cannon will be speaking at the Texas Council of Engineering Companies Leadership Forum for the 7th consecutive year. The TCEC always provides quality programs for its members. We encourage all professional organizations to check out what they are doing.
Visit Texas Council of Engineering Companies
|Society for Design Administration - Western Regional Conference
On October 2, 2009, Herb Cannon will be conducting a 1/2 day version of our popular Pathway to Profit Seminar at the SDA Western Region Conference in Tuscon AZ. Conferences conducted by the SDA are one of the best values in the A/E Industry. I encourage everyone to check out their conference and webinar schedules.
Visit Society for Design Administration
I am looking for guest writers for my monthly newsletter. I you have an idea for an article, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope to see everyone at one of my seminars or speaking engagements.
AEC Management Solutions, Inc.
Profit by Design Series:|
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