The Role of SWOT in Strategic Planning

October 2, 2017 § Leave a comment

Strategic Planning pic

Strategic Planning

Diane Kaern is an alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her MBA. She has decades of experience spread between two well-known companies: Siemens AG and Hewlett-Packard Company. Within her professional circles, Diane Kaern is known for her strategic planning skills.

Strategic planning is an organizational management activity that aims to help the company set its priorities straight. Different companies employ various analytical methods in strategic planning; one such method is SWOT analysis.

SWOT analysis is regarded a valuable tool in preparing a strategic plan. The acronym SWOT refers to strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. In this process, these four critical components are identified in order to determine the external and internal factors that can affect the company’s future performance. SWOT analysis can help companies use their resources wisely, improve operations, discover opportunities for growth, and develop contingency plans to address possible risks.

Sometimes, companies also perform SWOT analysis on their competitors. Completing this type of analysis allows for a side-by-side comparison of both companies’ strengths and weaknesses, thereby allowing the company to competitively position itself.


SAP ASAP Methodology

August 29, 2017 § Leave a comment

An MBA holder, Diane Kaern has management experience in business operations and finance at Siemens and Hewlett-Packard. In addition to expertise in sales compensation analytics and business processes, Diane Kaern has experience in SAP enterprise software.

SAP, which stands for Systems, Applications & Products, is a modular software program designed to help manage a company’s business operations. A wide range of modules, such as finance, logistics, and human resources, are available through SAP. The choice of modules largely depends on the needs and specific implementation.

The ASAP methodology is a common choice when implementing SAP. A standardized process, the ASAP methodology is divided into six phases that are implemented one by one in a specific order. The first phase is project preparation, which involves planning and goal-setting work. Once preparation is completed, scope validation occurs to ensure that the implementation will meet the goals of the business. Realization, or the actual implementation of the software, is the third phase, and it is followed by final preparation and training. The go-live support phase ensures a successful rollout of the software, and the operate phase makes any necessary operational changes after going live.

Katz Business School Hosts Women’s Leadership Panel

August 18, 2017 § Leave a comment


Katz School of Business pic

Katz School of Business

Diane Kaern has forged a successful career as a sales compensation and operations professional at many multinational corporations, including Hewlett-Packard. During her time at Hewlett-Packard, she was responsible for global sales compensation analytics and reporting and designed and implemented a streamlined global reporting process. In preparation for her career, Diane Kaern studied for her MBA at the University of Pittsburgh.

Recently, the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School of Business hosted a panel of executive women in leadership discussing the challenges and opportunities for women in today’s business climate. One topic of focus was the importance of going beyond your comfort zone, maintaining what is known as “learning agility.” By learning new skills, embracing new challenges, and being willing to take chances, women in business can keep their careers moving steadily forward.

How women can support each other, whether through mentoring or advocating for more inclusive workplaces, was among other topics discussed by the panel. Audrey Murrell, PhD, moderated the panel, which was comprised of Dr. Angela Hardy Isaac, a professor of finance and economics; Jackie Johnson, the founder and CEO of Corazon, Inc.; and Kelley Skoloda, a partner and the director of global brand marketing practice at Ketchum.

Tips for Staying in Shape for Alpine Skiing

August 11, 2017 § Leave a comment

Skiing pic


An experienced financial management and sales compensation professional, Diane Kaern has served large organizations such as Hewlett-Packard and Siemens. In her spare time, Diane Kaern pursues several hobbies, including alpine, or downhill, skiing.

Although staying in shape for skiing during the off-season can prove challenging, there are many exercise routines on which skiers can rely to keep the muscles used for skiing active during the summer, ensuring a quick and an easy return to form when ski season recommences.

A great off-season activity, biking can be relied upon not only to build the strong legs and abdominal muscles that skiing requires, but also the endurance demanded by long days on the slopes. Engaging most of the body’s muscles, swimming can also preserve, if not improve, endurance.

Performing simple strength exercises can help with conditioning as well. To replicate the effect of standing upright in ski boots, try a wall sit: stand with your back against a wall and slowly lower yourself until your knees are bent at a 45-degree angle. Work up to staying in this position for a minute at a time.

Important Skills for Sales Managers

July 29, 2017 § Leave a comment


Diane Kaern served as a global sales operations manager in California, where she supported sales professionals and performed sales compensation analytics.

Sales professionals rely on a number of skills, including the following:

Leadership. Strong leadership skills help sales managers oversee their teams with efficiency and order. Sales managers with leadership skills know to relay a vision to their teams and demonstrate the necessary implementations to achieve that vision. Sales leaders also establish and enforce a code of behavior for all team members.

– Coaching. Improving performance through guidance and mentoring, effective coaching helps sales representatives fulfill their potential and motivates them to strive for continuous improvement. Coaching can also lead to increased job satisfaction and reduced turnover.

– Attention to details. Close attention can help sales managers recognize negative patterns in the early stages and intervene before they become bigger problems.

– Analytical thinking. Sales managers receive a nearly constant stream of information with varying levels of verifiability. Analyzing data enables managers to sort out the relevant information and draw conclusions that fit the facts.

What Is Balance of Trade?

July 21, 2017 § Leave a comment


Balance of Trade pic

Balance of Trade

A graduate of the MBA program at the University of Pittsburgh, Diane Kaern is a skilled business leader with expertise in operations, sales analytics, and finance. Diane Kaern previously served in a management role at Hewlett-Packard, where she managed balance-of-trade reporting processes, in addition to other duties.

Balance of trade refers to the difference in imports and exports a country produces over a set time period. The measure is often used as a means to assess economic health, and is a primary component of the balance of payments. The balance of payments is a statistical measurement of all transactions that are executed between a specific country’s residents and the rest of the world.

Sometimes referred to as net exports or commercial balance, the balance of trade can indicate a healthy or a lagging economy. A trade surplus, or positive balance, is found when the balance of trade measure shows that exports exceed imports. A trade deficit, or negative balance, occurs when imports exceed exports and is generally seen as a negative economic indicator.

How to Improve Internal Communication in a Business

June 23, 2017 § Leave a comment

Internal Communication pic

Internal Communication

A former sales compensation analytics and reporting manager at Hewlett-Packard, Diane Kaern is an experienced finance and business professional who most recently worked as a global sales operations finance director. In addition to possessing a creative and analytical mind, Diane Kaern is a talented communicator.

Businesses must focus on internal communications as much as communications with customers and partners. Here are some tips for improving internal business communications:

1. Make internal knowledge available. All businesses have internal knowledge related to business procedures and operations that all employees must understand. Such information should be easily available to all employees via a company handbook or intranet.

2. Limit meetings. Though meetings prove crucial for setting company aims and keeping track of project progress, too many meetings can waste employee time. Before calling a meeting, consider if communicating the information through other channels, such as email or a dedicated project management program, would be more efficient.

3. Plan external events. Large companies often maintain multiple divisions, many of which rarely interact during the course of the working day. By creating regular social events that bring together people from all areas of the company, a business can help employees build connections with others in the business and ensure that employees learn as much as possible about the work performed by other departments.