• Betty Enyonam Kumahor

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Speaking Events

UTurn Africa

Accra – Ghana

8th – 9th March, 2017

WEF3

Tokyo

18th to 21st October, 2016

ICT4SDG

London – UK

1st to 2nd November, 2016

TMT Finance

Lagos – Africa

20th September, 2016

What’s New?

Why you should give yourself a holiday timeout

July 29, 2016
It’s that time of year when it often feels like a mad rush to the new year! And yet, in the midst of that rush is when a timeout, even a short one, can set you up with a successful end to the current year and a fresh start to the new year. The Mad Rush At work we’re hectically trying to make those Q4 numbers, pushing out the product in time for the new year, or closing the books. At home we’re planning for summer vacations if we’re in the southern hemisphere, or making the complicated plans for family get-togethers and holiday celebrations. And we’re still looking forward to the new year as well by refining business plans and budgets, deciding on new year’s resolutions and anticipating those family squabbles. Whew! If this sounds anything like your end-of-year then I am excited to share with you one technique I’ve used over the past five (5) years that has helped me keep centered in the middle of the storm. The Gift It’s always good to have reflective time but during the hectic holiday season which also happens to be right before the new year, it’s more than good …it’s important. So give yourself the permission to take a timeout. Think of it as your holiday gift to yourself. This timeout can be as short as a couple of hours, or as long as a couple of days.The duration is not the important part. The permission you give yourself to hold the ENTIRE world at bay, is. This reflective time is the most important time I give myself and sets the tone for the entire next year and so I think of it as my investment for 365 days of dividend that gets paid out to me, my family, my friends, my colleagues and my clients. I am unapologetic about it. And you should be too.   The Timeout The key characteristic of the timeout, is to gain perspective. To gain perspective on the last 11 months. What was good about those 11 months? Did it go the way you expected? What was unexpectedly good about them? What was unexpectedly bad? How would you like this year’s story to play out in your memories? And, is there anything you can do in the next 2-4 weeks, before the year ends, to punctuate that story? It is in looking back at the last year that we can highlight the 1, 2 or 3 things that are most important to finishing the year off well, and starting the coming year with fresh perspective. So what’s most important for your timeout, is to do an exercise that gives you solid perspective on the current year, and fresh perspective on the next.

Why productivity is not as unfun as you might think!

July 29, 2016
I sometimes get that “how unfun are you??!?” look when I start talking about productivity. Funnily enough, I learnt about productivity for exactly the opposite reason. So if you ever need a reason to stay on the journey to better productivity, here are 10 to choose from: Get more done in less time, and get off work earlier. Keep track of your commitments, so it’s easy to pick them back up on your timetable. Assess how well you’re delegating by just looking at your action and waiting lists. Take vacation without any lingering work thoughts on your mind. Get the right things done. Think once. Free your mind from trying to remember oodles of stuff. Use it instead for what it’s meant for – creative thinking. Work only when you have to. Find the information you need within 60 seconds. Give your full attention to whoever you are with. Infact, productivity helps you keep track of all your commitments, and manage them so that you can work only when it’s time for work. This way, when it’s time to relax, you can just have fun!   What are your thoughts? What would you do if you had 4 free hours this week?

How to say no to improve your productivity

July 29, 2016
In today’s stressful world, we often find our schedules and task lists packed tight! One way to get a handle on this is to learn how to start saying no to new commitments. Easier said than done right? Well, actually, it is … when you learn HOW to say no. Here are 5 tips you might find helpful.: Tip 1 How do you feel when someone says no to you? Do you get offended? Hurt? Realize that those are your personal feelings and avoid projecting those feelings on the person you are saying no to. That will only make it harder. Tip 2 If being firm is just not your style, try telling the person to give you some time to think about it. This gives you time to reflect on your schedule and make a more informed decision. It also gives you time to read this blog post again for an appropriate way to say no. ;   Tip 3 If you can do part of the request, let the person know you can help with that part. This way you are offering a partial commitment which you can still fulfill without putting yourself at a disadvantage.   Tip 4 Give a better solution Have you thought about who else might have more time or even be better suited to fulfil the request? This way you leave the conversation feeling better and you may have helped the requestee with their problem.   Tip 5 Don’t give a bunch of excuses. The key point to remember here is you do not owe anyone an explanation – being unable to fit it into your schedule is plenty explanation as to why you cannot take anything else on. Trying to defend your decision only opens up more room for the person to keep asking. Start Now Regardless of how you choose to say no….DO give an answer promptly. Do not hold on to the request for days as this will only falsely increase the requestee’s hopes. Let them know as soon as you decide you are unable to help. Being able to set boundaries for yourself is a skill that should be admired and sought in employees – they will be happier, healthier and more productive employees. So do yourself a favor. Start saying no today.

What exactly is productivity anyway? Part 1

July 29, 2016
What do you think of when you think of productivity? For many, the word productivity conjures up visions of teams of people working furiously at multiple tasks, at the same time, with tremendous speed. But all too often, we get the feeling that despite maximum efforts, the results are minimal. I often get questions from managers and leaders about how to make their teams and staff more productive … more efficient. But here’s the thing I’ve realised: Productivity is not a substitute for managing people. Productivity is also not a substitute for leading teams, organisations or initiatives. Productivity is though, an increasingly critical component of managing oneself. And the better you are at managing yourself, the more effective you will be as a team member, as a manager, and as a leader. Infact, I subscribe to the belief that self-management skills are a prerequisite to management skills. Productivity is maximum results for minimum effort Productivity is the effectiveness of one’s effort. It can actually be measured. And it is measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input. And so, if I want to be a more productive person, I need to generate more outcomes from what I can put in. I can put in time and effort. I can put in experiences. And so the more productive I am in honing my skills based on time and effort and experiences, the better I become in whatever goals I have.   Productivity is a complex skill The challenge we have as human beings in figuring our productivity is that we are not machines. We are emotional and spiritual beings and so ensuring that we have consistent and high levels of results, requires a complex skill of self-management. Self-management is management of or by oneself; the taking of responsibility for one’s own behaviour and well-being. The likelihood of you being a great manager without good self-management is low. So be a good manager, invest in your own self-management. Learning about productivity, as well as coaching and mentoring your team on productivity, will help you and your team get ahead.   Productivity is a collection of habits And the reality is that productivity are the tips and tricks, … the tools and techniques, you use to get more from your efforts. In other words, your productivity formula is the collection of habits that you use to get the most and best from yourself. And it is more important than ever in this world of increasing cerebral and emotional complexity and inundation, to find the collection of productivity habits that work for you. In Part 2 of this blog post, I describe the 4 buckets for productivity habits and provide a free 10-minute quiz you can use to measure how well your habits are working for you.