Archive for June, 2010

Corporate Governance

Corporate governance is defined as the structures and behaviours by which a company is directed and managed. It influences all company decisions, and guides how directors and managers meet expectations, ensuring they are responsible and accountable in their respective roles.

The companies that maintain good corporate governance are the ones that are transparent, and nowadays transparent means having a user-friendly intranet system. The ideal is that any employee can look up your company’s structures, processes, procedures, systems etc. and readily describe how the organisation works. Oh, and perform their jobs productively.

Companies looking to assess their corporate governance generally need to start by looking at how well defined their processes are. When high level processes are in order, and are visible to employees (transparent), everything else starts to fit into place. Divisions know who they work with and if/when they deal with other divisions, and instructions for individual procedures (such as loading an item into a computer) are accessed through the main process diagram.

Once transparency is obtained, the key is maintaining, reviewing and improving the content.

A comparison I like is one to the rules for a professional sport. Whatever sport it is it will be at its best when everyone knows how to play and there are no contentious issues. When a referee blows the whistle, it must be clear cut why, and spelt out in the rules in a manner that avoids all confusion. Then when something starts to become an issue, the rules are reviewed and adjusted as appropriate.

Technically professional sport is a business though, so that may be why it is governed in much the same way.


June 17, 2010 at 3:10 am Leave a comment

Articles vs Blog Posts

When does an online article become a blog post? When does a blog post turn into an article? What exactly is the difference?

The general consensus is that blogs are written more in the nature of a conversation than an article, with grammatical orderliness mostly ignored. Blog writers take full advantage of the writing freedom this allows and, due to the fact everyone seems to be able to type so fast these days, blogs have basically become the modern day soliloquy.

Many websites have a blog specifically in order to build site traffic and increase their search results. Having a lot of links in the content does this, and in blogs that are somewhat abstract you can turn specific words into links that lead to explanations for those not on the same wavelength. Although articles have started to do this more and more, especially those on the tabloid newspaper websites, the ideas and points still have to be introduced and structured properly.

For a blog to work it needs to keep churning out content, so it’s common to see writers post about things because they are topical, even though they haven’t given it much thought yet. There will no doubt be a superficial promise to give more details later, but this type of blog post is a conversation starter. The comments section is going to provide the body for the piece.

Articles aren’t quite as temporary as blog posts and are considered to be more informative and accurate where details are concerned. While a blog post is generally anywhere from 200-500 words (if you can even narrow it down), articles tend to be 800 words plus. You tend to need to do a bit of research for an article, and even when its finished it needs to be edited to ensure immaculate language free of flaws.

That’s not to say some people don’t blog like that… it’s just not that common.

June 1, 2010 at 4:20 am Leave a comment

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