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“Just One More Piece….”


Long gone it would appear, are the days of finding a satsuma and a piece of coal stuffed in the bottom of your Christmas stocking. This years must have toy list included the newest iPod Touch, the Nintendo Wii and not surprisingly the iPad Tablet. Already the lucky owner of an iPod and a self-proclaimed expert at Guitar Hero on the Wii, the one toy from that list of 3 I’m missing, is the iPad. I don’t want an iPad because I have an innate desire to eradicate green pigs by throwing creatures of the feathered variety at them with Angry Bird HD. For me, it’s the Jigsaw Mansion application that draws me to this fantastic piece of electronic gadgetry.

I adore jigsaw puzzles, always have done. I love the addictive tendencies that it evokes in me. Avid fellow puzzlers will be familiar with the cry ”just one more piece…” as your eyes are desperately trying to close for some well needed sleep, but the urge to place one more carved piece of pictured cardboard is just too great. What draws me in is the forming of the picture. You start off with potentially 1000 pieces of broken images, that joined together in the right way will complete the picture. In many ways our daily lives resemble a jigsaw. The only difference is that the boxed jigsaw puzzle comes with an image of the finished product whereas the jigsaw puzzle of life can be an exciting unknown quantity.

In business however, working with a blank canvas isn’t necessarily so wise a prospect. Yes, we could meander blindly upon our working road, hoping to stumble upon some guidance that helps us to run our businesses well, in the same hit and miss way prospectors hope to find a nugget of gold. However, an element of given direction can ensure that we work to the best of our ability, and prevents us wasting our time pondering the unknown.

Anyone running their own business, or heading up a team will know that in this economic climate, we need to be as productive as possible. Guesswork doesn’t aid productivity or efficiency. If you need to be in London for an important meeting, you wouldn’t turn up at the train station on the off chance that there may be a train that will get you there on time. You’d check the timetable to ensure you had the information necessary to guarantee you got where you needed to be, when you needed to be there. Therefore, if we recognise that conjecture isn’t the way forward, it’s time to find another route.

Employee training is a great place to begin. There are many performance appraisal tools on the market designed to take the guesswork out of staff development. 360 degree feedback is one such tool. As a business, this type of feedback gives you an understanding of the relevant training required to enable the business to go from strength to strength in a focused manner. For an employee, 360 degree surveys can provide honest assessments of their strengths and weakness in their workplace performance. It can help to fine tune their communication skills and organizational development.

Well-trained employees at all levels of your organisation are integral to achieving your objectives and raising your business performance. Take a tip from an overly enthusiastic jigsaw fiend…. trying to complete a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle without a picture is nothing short of idiotic. Wouldn’t trying to run your business without implementing this type of feedback be just as foolish?


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