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New Leadership for biz-ability Group as company expands

Bev Mileham appointed as General Manager of leading corporate training, teambuilding and business strategy company

 

biz-ability, the region’s leading corporate training, teambuilding and business strategy group, today announced the appointment of Bev Mileham as General Manager.  Mileham will lead the company as it embarks on its most important year of growth across all lines of its business.

 

Established in 1994 and headquartered in Dubai, the biz-ability group incorporates three individual centres of expertise:  biz-ability, a corporate training and development division; biz-events, the Middle East’s first and largest professional teambuilding company; and biz-strategy, the newest division of the group, helping businesses to develop and implement their corporate strategy.

 

Mileham brings a wealth of experience to the business, with a 25-year track record in both South Africa and the Middle East in roles that included finance, training, quality, human performance and operational management.

 

Her appointment as General Manager marks a return for Mileham to biz-ability, having previously worked for the company as a Training Consultant and Business Leader between 1998 and 2004.  Prior to re-joining biz-ability, Mileham worked for Avis UAE for five years, holding positions as Human Performance Manager and District Manager, before becoming General Manager for Avis Rent a Car.

 

Welcoming Mileham to biz-ability, Hazel Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of the group said: “We are delighted to have Bev back on board at biz-ability and have every confidence in her leadership of the team through this critical phase of our development.  This is an exciting time for our company as we broaden our offering in services and expertise, and geographically within the Middle East region.”

 

As a group, biz-ability has played a pioneering role in bringing internationally recognized training products and expertise to the region. While it researches and designs its own programmes, biz-ability is also affiliated with many of the world’s leading management organisations.  It is the only locally-based training company to offer international accreditation from the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM).

 

biz-events is the exclusive regional representative for the world leading teambuilding firm Catalyst Global, and now offers over 40 international, award winning corporate teambuilding options to businesses in the Middle East.

 

biz-strategy is the exclusive licencee in the region for international growth guru and best-selling author Verne Harnish, including access to his company Gazelles, Inc., which serves as an outsourced corporate university for SME companies wanting to manage their growth strategy.

 
Pruning Time in the Business Garden

"Companies which stick to solid business plans are the ones which survive downturns"

 

There's much to be said in favour of these testing times, even where businesses are concerned. At the very least, what it does is wipe the field clean of the also-rans.

 

And you certainly won't have Verne Harnish, consultant to a Who's Who of Fortune 100 companies, lamenting their departure from the scene.

 

"As far as I'm concerned, what's been great about the downturn is it has cleared away all the bad companies and the good ones now have an unbelievable opportunity to take on more market share," says Harnish. "I love these periods what's taking place is effectively a pruning of the garden."

 

In fact, Harnish has a distinct preference for old-fashioned virtues, and no where is this more apparent than his insistence on discipline. More so as a tool businesses and entrepreneurs to steer a clear course out of the morass the recession brought on.

 

"Left to me, I would emphasise that ‘disciplined' is the one word that will mark out the companies who are going to win the next decade," says Harnish.

 

"We are already seeing signs of businesses reworking strategies and trying to go back to what made them good in the first place. After a generation of craziness, companies are getting serious of their business model. That, to me, suggests a disciplined approach."

 

Sceptics might content that discipline by itself is too ephemeral a concept upon which to rework entire business strategies.

 

Particularly when many of the tried and tested concepts have proved to be singularly ineffectual in meeting the challenges of the present.

 

Routine sets you free

 

Harnish who was in Dubai to launch ‘biz-strategy', a division of biz-ability, the corporate training company gives it a moment's reflection.

 

"Discipline might sound non-entrepreneurial, but what I see is that routine sets you free. In times of very rapid growth, business leaders find they are sucked into doing a lot of things at the same time.

 

"By managing disciplines better and this is as good a time as any to do so business leaders can drastically reduce spending time at the office and out at the marketplace. That's where they ought to be."

 

Apart from consultancy works for blue-chip corporates, Harnish's fame has rested on the best-selling status of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits. Its theme attests that the same skill sets John D. Rockefeller brought to the American oil industry back in the time when it was run on a frontier town mentality still hold good in the New Economy.

 

Stripped to its bare principles, the book suggests businesses should get their senior managers to identity a common set of problems and work out ways to resolve them within a given three-month timeframe.

 

The process gets repeated every quarter and divisional barriers are gradually pulled down, the best minds work towards a common goal and the organisation stands to benefit… ultimately.

 

Harnish prefers not to get drawn into whether the size of a company has any impact on how nimble it will be to stage a turnaround in the current economic environment.

 

Harnish insists, "It goes beyond shapes and sizes if you ask me; there is no particular advantage to being a start-up or a company that's been around for long. Personally, I believe companies which have been there for around five years or more will see most of the growth going forward. They have had the time to figure out what they are doing well and what needs to be done to make it better."

 

Lean machines

 

"I could think of many things, but saying ‘No' a lot more than ‘Yes' should be good. Businesses should say No to anything that prevents them from being lean organisations."

 

The down side is this makes it that much more difficult for a start-up to get going. Harnish doesn't necessarily buy into this argument.

 

"Actually it's a great time to start, many people are thrust into it," he says. "Companies are downsizing, those laid off are saying to themselves they don't have anything more to lose by starting up businesses on their own. More people will get pushed into it, that's how I see it."

 

But it will not be easy. "I realise money has dried up and more so if you are a business just starting off," Harnish contends.

 

"But I see businesses going back to the strategies they deployed in the mid-90s, well before the dotcom boom set in. If we look at tech companies, many had one big customer for whom they did a specific solution.

 

"Later on, the customised solution got converted into a packaged software and the business took wings. Of course, then the dotcom boom started and everything changed.

 

"A good many businesses did extremely well during this phase, but what they did not have was the DNA to survive when the times got tough. Now since we are moving into the pre-boom times, businesses have to learn to integrate this DNA into their systems."

 

Source: Gulf News

 
Huge Profits Up For Grabs In Next 10 Years

Businessmen who fail to make tidy profits by 2020 will have only themselves to blame, US strategist claims.

 

The next ten years are going to be pivotal for entrepreneurs and small-to-medium-entreprises, according to business strategist and best-selling author, Verne Harnish.

 

“If you can’t make a whole lot of money in the next ten years, it’s because you’re asleep at the wheel,” he said at a Dubai conference on Wednesday. “This is going to be an unbelievable period if you get your strategy right.”

 

The US guru said the key word for business success was ‘discipline’ – in terms of people resources, execution and getting results.

 

Harnish recommended that entrepreneurs set up business in a arena they are ‘passionate’ about. But when pressed about specific industries, he cited the water industry as a winner over the next ten years.

 

“If you push water: whether you source it, bottle it, refine it, you will have picked a winning market,” he added. Harnish said that successful businesses must be ‘hyper-focused’ and shed 80 per cent of their activities to focus on the top 20 per cent of customers.

 

“This is an era of high-specialisation and taking that product know-how to the global market. Another buzz word for this era is ‘marketing’. Hire a part-time journalist and get them to get your name out in every way possible – in newspaper, online. It’s worth it.”

 

Harnish is the creator of a business strategy programme that is being followed by thousands of SMEs around the world. biz-strategy is the exclusive licensee in the Middle East and has introduced Harnish’s ‘One Page Plan’ to a number of businesses in the region.

 

Source: Commerce Magazine

 
SMEs ‘key in spurring’ long-term economic recovery

The world’s long-term economic recovery and global business strength depends on the vibrancy and success of the small-and medium-sized enterprises sector, a leading business strategist Verne Harnish, said on Tuesday.

 

 

The UAE, which has big proportion of the small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME), presents “exciting opportunities for those businesses using the right strategy, Harnish argued. “The sky really is the limit,” 
he added.

 

 

Of the 260,000 trading and industrial companies registered in the UAE, more than 200,000 are classified as SMEs. In Dubai, this equates to a staggering 98.5 per cent of companies operating in the emirate, with more than 61 per cent of the workforce employed within this sector, according to Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED).  In February alone, 1,150 new business licences were processed by the DED.

 

Devising a pragmatic strategy for the growth the small- and medium-sized enterprises is critical as they are playing a critical role in the larger economic development of countries around the world, Harnish, author of a best-selling book on management, said on Tuesday at the launch of biz-strategy, a newly-formed division of biz-ability.

 

“SMEs are the engines for economic growth, but many of them don’t have the processes and structures that larger corporations employ to manage and grow their businesses,” Harnish said.

 

“While this can be an advantage – fewer processes equate to greater flexibility, latitude and the ability to respond quickly to both threats and opportunities – what is essential for all SMEs is a clear business strategy and plan to execute that strategy.”

 

Harnish is the creator of a simple but effective business strategy programme that is being followed by thousands of SMEs around the world. Run through Gazelles Inc. of which he is the founder and CEO, The One Page Plan is a strategic roadmap to drive significant growth and focus on differentiating companies from their competition.

 

biz-strategy is the exclusive licencee in the Middle East for Gazelles Inc and has introduced  the One Page Plan to a significant number of successful SMEs and growth companies in the region. The Gazelles program defines growth companies as any firm that records four consecutive years of growth at an annual rate of 20 per cent or more.  “We have been delivering The One Page Plan for four years now and witnessing its success through our clients’ businesses has been hugely rewarding. Businesses in the SME sector need to be well equipped to capitalise on the opportunities in this market, and a programme that is real, relevant and easy to apply will guarantee that,” said Hazel Jackson, CEO of the biz-group.

 

Verne Harnish is the author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits and the founder and CEO of Gazelles Inc

 

Source: Khaleej Times

 
SME Market Instrumental in Leading Economic Recovery says International Business Guru

With the small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) segment recognised as instrumental in the recovery of global economies, driving growth in this sector has become a key focus for governments, global philanthropists and entrepreneurs.

 

SMEs are playing a critical role in the larger economic development of countries around the world including those in the Middle East, and devising a simple but successful strategy for the growth of these companies is equally important. This is according to renowned business strategist and bestselling author Verne Harnish, recently in Dubai for the launch of biz-strategy, a newly formed division of biz-ability, the region’s leading corporate training, teambuilding and business strategy group.

 

“SMEs are the engines for economic growth, but many of them don’t have the processes and structures that larger corporations employ to manage and grow their businesses,” said Harnish. “While this can be an advantage – fewer processes equate to greater flexibility, latitude and the ability to respond quickly to both threats and opportunities – what is essential for all SMEs is a clear business strategy and plan to execute that strategy.”

 

Harnish is the creator of a simple but highly effective business strategy programme that is being followed by thousands of SMEs around the world. Run through Gazelles Inc. of which he is the founder and CEO, The One Page Plan is a strategic roadmap to drive significant growth and focus on differentiating companies from their competition.

 

biz-strategy is the exclusive licencee in the Middle East for Gazelles Inc and has introduced the One Page Plan to a significant number of successful SMEs and growth companies in the region. The Gazelles program defines growth companies as any firm that records four consecutive years of growth at an annual rate of 20% or more.

 

Hazel Jackson, CEO of the biz-ability group, said: “We have been delivering The One Page Plan for four years now and witnessing its success through our clients’ businesses has been hugely rewarding. Businesses in the SME sector need to be well equipped to capitalise on the opportunities in this market, and a programme that is real, relevant and easy to apply will guarantee that.”

 

Of the 260,000 trading and industrial companies registered in the UAE, more than 200,000 are classified as SMEs. In Dubai, this equates to a staggering 98.5% of companies operating in the emirate, with more than 61% of the workforce employed within this sector, according to Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED). In February alone, 1,150 new business licences were processed by the DED.

 

“There is no doubt that the world’s long term economic recovery and global business strength depends on the vibrancy and success of the SME sector. This is being demonstrated right here in the UAE, and presents exciting opportunities for those businesses using a proven alignment and execution tool such as the One Page Strategic Plan. The sky really is the limit,” said Harnish.

 

Verne Harnish is the author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits and the founder and CEO of Gazelles Inc. Verne hosts a faculty of well-known business experts including Jim Collins, Geoff Smart, Jack Stack, Neil Rackham and Seth Godin and runs best practice workshops for companies like GE, Southwest Airlines, Microsoft and Dell. He is the Chairman of the renowned “Birthing of Giants” program at MIT and the MIT/MEO “Advanced Business Program”. Given his expertise in the field of entrepreneurship, he regularly appears on several US television and radio shows including Smart Money and CBS News. He is also a syndicated columnist for prominent business magazines and newspapers including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Gulf News.

 
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