Diet Fads Are Bad For Management

I was talking to a group of managers earlier this week about increasing team productivity when one asked “What’s the latest thinking on this?” It didn’t surprise me as I’ve become used to team leaders and even CEO’s wanting to have the “Latest fix or fad” believing that it’s bound to be better than the previous ones.

Management can’t be like a diet fad
It’s like watching compulsive dieters trying the latest diet craze for a while before moving onto the next. Examples would be Total Quality Management in the 1980’s, more info

followed by process reenigineering and culture change. The difficulty for managers is implementing change so that it’s always beneficial to the organisation.

The expectation that the latest fad will increase profitability through competitive advantage can’t be true when every other company is adopting the same fad. I recently was interviewed by William Buist on this exact topic and a short clip from the YouTube video can be seen here

Resisting fads until they are proven to be useful might be a good strategy…but needs nerves of steel


Stephen Harvard Davis

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The Dreaded Interview Questions

I’m not surprised that I’m often I get asked for my recommended replies to specific questions but this hides the real question I’m being posed. The real question is “How do I sound different, better and more attractive than the other candidates?”. Over this last week I’ve talked to three groups of people about how to prepare and shine at interviews.

Introductions first.
Yesterday I was talking to a university student that hopes to gain a placement at a large technology firm and defer the last year of his degree to gain experience in a job. I’m sure that he will do well but first he must pass a day long interview where he’s bound to have to introduce himself to a group of people.
Most introductions are either it’s too short such as “I’m an accountant” and gives no further information on expertise or capability or it results in a ramble of words that has little impact and even less meaning for the listener.
For real impact candidates need to develop a twenty to twenty five word description of yourself and your skills that you can memorise and deliver with confidence. The objective is to gain the listeners interest and engage in further conversation. It’s no different from the elevator pitch used by business people (too often very badly!)

Think through the questions you will be asked
Another group I was talking to were in sales and wanting to know how to look different. My advice was to write down the questions you expect to be asked and then ask a friend to ask them and then listen to your answer and make suggestions for improvement. Practice the answers time and again until they sound right to you and answers the underlying questions the interviewer is wanting to discover. (Many interview questions are wanting two or three points addressed)

What questions will you ask the interviewer?
This is an important area because it shows interest and reflects the research made into the future employer (you should have looked at and studied the corporate history, products and their prices and so on)
Consider asking questions on what the company would expect you to have contributed, learned and achieved by the end of the first year

Sales and Marketing interview questions
Have a look at my YouTube channel for further interview films

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Film passes 2000 barrier

The film on Sales and Marketing questions broke the 2000 views barrier this weekend.
The series on asking and answering interviewing questions has been a great success and in particular those on sales.

In total my YouTube channel has has over 9000 views and you can access all the films HERE
So for those that missed “Sales and Marketing Interview Questions” here’s another chance and more films are being planned

Sales and Marketing interview questions

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Why Order-takers Will Be Having A Bad Time

Over the past few weeks I’ve been talking to a couple of businesses about restructuring their sales teams. The intention is to expand their profitability by increasing the productivity of the personnel.

Major problem
A major problem with sales team development is the acceptance of the 80/20 rule. This is where management believe that 80% of sales will always come from 20% of the team and are happy to accept that situation. The problem comes when part of the top 20% decide to leave for another job! At that stage panic usually set-in amongst the sales management.

Possible reason
The possible reason for the above is that in good times the recruitment process allowed ordertakers to gain sales jobs quite easily. Personnel are hired to fill posts without investigating if the individual’s past sales results were due to personal drive, capability and whether the skills are able to be easily replicated in another company, product and territory. However, in these economic times a business can’t afford to be hiring order-takers when they really need capable salespeople.

New videos
To overcome the problem of hiring order-takers I’ve been asked to make a couple of short videos on this topic and these start filming towards the end of this week.
If you would like to be sent an email when they are uploaded onto YouTube then simply register as a subscriber on my YouTube channel @ stephenharvarddavis 
or send me an email at

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A back-handed compliment…I think

Last week I was flattered to have been contacted by a company to compliment me on the content of my YouTube Channel  and particularly the films on interviewing questions and answers. It’s always nice to be appreciated until they asked if I had considered using a female presenter as it would be “softer on the eye”.

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Over 2000 views on YouTube

After only five months of regularly using video on my blog over 2000 views. The most popular have been those on asking and answering interview questions for sales jobs. Perhaps in the current financial climate that’s not surprising but it has encouraged me to upload more videos on recruiting and managing sales teams.

Most viewers come from The UK, USA, Canada, Kuwait, Australia and I hope that everyone will continue to find them useful.

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More difficult interview questions

The popularity of my short interview clips on how to answer difficult interview questions has surprised and delighted me. Here’s another question mentioned to me by my network.

“What future trends do you see for our industry?”

Interview question TRENDS

You might also be interested in a 40 page report on “Finding a job using social media” that is available HERE

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How to be one of 8 people worldwide contacted for a new job

A friend of mine that I’ve been working with has received three job offers in the past two weeks. One of these he was told was through networking and only 8 people were approached.

He’s encouraged me to post the advice. So whilst I am definitely NOT a head-hunter or run a search firm here goes.

Most job roles are now only advertised on-line and the role of newspapers in attracting job applicants has almost disappeared, along with the advertising revenue that such adverts produced. However, most job roles  use personal networks and aren’t even advertised.

Indeed it’s said that 60% of roles are filled through networking. At one time this meant using ‘the old boy network’ or ‘the golf-club’. Nowadays, however, this is mostly via networking sites such as where professional recruiters source possible candidates and reference them before any formal approach is ever made. The advantage to the employer is that it avoids receiving thousands of applications through the post.

So how do you position yourself to be identified as someone to be “networked for the job” on sites such as linkedIn and Facebook?

Here are my top ten tips to being networked for a job through Social Media:

  1. Have a large network. Most people on social networking sites have less than 300 people in their network. When looking to be sourced for a job your network needs to be as large as possible. This also means researching the membership each network will give you. For instance Linkedin will connect you with individual professionals mainly based in UK and USA. Twitter gives you the opportunity to connect with businesses as well as individuals.

  2. Have a good mix of people in your network. Link with friends but also link competitors, people in other industries and professions, head-hunters and those in search companies. If you’ve not got a Twitter account then consider doing so. This will allow you to connect with search companies as well as individuals.
  3. Communicate with your network. Having a large network gives you no visibility if you aren’t contacting them on a regular basis. Send personal messages and responding to questions and contact a few people each day that you haven’t connected with for some time.
  4. Link your Twitter account to your other Social media accounts. This allows your tweets and updates to be read by your entire network
  5. Become an expert. Answer questions on Linkedn to be seen as an expert. As a result of answering questions on Linkedin and having 14 best answers logged I’ve received emails and connections from USA, Canada, Middle East and Malaysia.
  6. Post slide-shows on Slideshare. This is essentially a PowerPoint slideshow. This also promotes your expertise and link these to your linkedin profile. Linkedin allows you up to three slideshows.
  7. Have a facebook profile.Though be careful about your on-line reputation. Lots of people are making a lot of money on Facebook. Those that have used it to promote their drunken parties have often come to regret their posts.
  8. Don’t over-promote your products and services. Remember that social media is like “going to a party”. You wouldn’t make many friends at a party if all you did was to talk about work. Create a personality. You also don’t want to be Blocked for spamming!
  9. Have a YouTube film about you and your products and services. Place it on your website as well as other Social Media sites.
  10. When posting be complimentary about people. Avoid criticism and  try to sound motivated and upbeat. No-one wants to offer a job to “Mr Grumpy”. However also consider that you are wanting to share expertise so be as generous as possible with the advice you offer others.

If you would like further news and updates about using Social Media then subscribe HERE

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