Building Team ‘Awesome’ – Where Are Your Strengths?

Focusing on building the right team to get the job done often makes us forget one thing … ‘change’ happens!

Focusing on building an ‘awesome’ team to deliver solutions to solve problems embraces the most important thing to remember … ‘change’ happens!

team

Introducing Team ‘Awesome’

  • Team ‘awesome’ is agile enough to be able to be responsive and proactive to change.
  • Team ‘awesome’ is able to recognise and resolve problems by making smart and informed decisions.
  • Team ‘awesome’ delivers relevant and real solutions for customers rather than delivering products and services to customers

How to Start to Build Team ‘Awesome’

Focusing on the behaviours you see, and the problems they present, instead of focusing on what strengths team members may have that are unseen, underutilized or untapped is where the secret to building and ‘awesome’ team lies.

Do you recognize any of these behaviours in your team?

The Procrastinator

Do you have team members who are indecisive and never seem to finish what they start?

  • Are these team members lacking confidence in the tasks they are expected to complete? If so, ask them why they feel this way and how you can help them to believe in themselves, particularly if the expectations in their role have changed.
  • Are these team members expected to complete tasks that they are under-skilled for?  Have you assessed your employee’s capacity and capability before having an expectation of them? If not, they may procrastinate to avoid being seen as incompetent.
  • Are these team members lost in the detail and cannot concentrate long enough to tick all the boxes to get the job done?  Find out if this person needs lots of information to commit or decide, and if so, how can you support this need?
  • Have you spent enough time explaining what you expect from these team members and the timeline you want them to complete tasks within?

The Antagonist

Do you have team members who create havoc and are sometimes a thorn in the side of other members of your team?

  • When this team member behaves this way are they aware of the impact on other team members?  Determine if this is a subconscious behaviour or one that is deliberate, and if so why?
  • Have these team members always behaved this way or has something changed that made their behaviour change, and if so why?
  • Are your antagonist team members bored and creating situations where they are the hero to challenge themselves?  How can you challenge them to refocus their attention?
  • What is the reward that these team members get by behaving this way?  How else can you reward them for other behaviours that are more appropriate, and in ways that will deliver higher productivity and is conducive to a healthy work culture?
  • Are other team members encouraging these behaviours by submitting or even enabling these team members?  Is being seen as having influence and authority the driver for these team members?

The People Pleaser

Nothing is too hard for these team members.  Give them any task and they will do their absolute best to see it through.

  • Are the team members that you identify as people pleasers capable of the tasks they attempt? How can you make these people feel that their contribution is valued while ensuring they are performing the tasks fit with their skill set and experience?
  • What are these team members looking for in your workplace?  Approval, a sense of belonging, popularity, or other drivers compel people pleasers to behave the way they do.  Identifying what the motivation is for the individual is key to ensuring that the potential of that employee is not lost in the effort and whether their behaviour may be more for personal gain than business productivity.
  • People pleasers often behave the way they do through fear and insecurity in the possibility of losing their role. By pleasing others they may feel that they will be liked and needed by the business, protecting them from their role being compromised.
  • If you channelled the energy that people pleasers spend on pleasing, into tasks that enable them to work to their strengths and give them a sense an opportunity to build a reputation on what they accomplish rather than what they do and say, what difference would that make to your business?

The ‘Accidental’ Leader

Have you got team members who have become accidental leaders? The role they are engaged in is not a leadership role but due to the team dynamics, they have had to stand up and take the lead, or maybe they were appointed into a leadership role but it is not their strength?

  • How can you identify who you natural leaders are, and when you do, how can you create an environment where they can lead, creating a more efficient and effective workplace?
  • Role misalignment can see accidental leaders thrust into an environment with an expectation that they are not engaged to perform.  How do you recognize natural leaders and appointed leaders who are misaligned?  When you do, how do you approach the dynamic of the workplace to take advantage of these leaders skills? Consider that working with these leaders strengths may alter or enhance culture with increased productivity and profitability.

The Quiet Achiever

The quiet achiever comes in, puts their head down and gets on with the task at hand.  Often this silent force pushes through workloads that others avoid, without complaint.

  • Is your visibility of the quiet achiever low?  Are you aware of what they have to offer, and if you are not what is your business missing out on?
  • Are your quiet achievers working to their capacity or just pushing through a workload?  Think about how you can start to introduce incentivization for these people to encourage them to challenge themselves and how you will do this.
  • Do your quiet achievers pick up the slack for other team members who may be taking advantage of their goodwill?  If you change how you measure the performance of your team and focus on their strengths to introduce key performance indicators, will this identify gaps in performance and open up opportunities?

The Whinger

Have you got team members who are never satisfied, never happy and always complaining no matter what you do for them?

  • People often whinge because whining about something is often easier than working to fix problems.  You need to discover why this behaviour keeps occurring to be able to establish a new purpose for these employees and to give them a reason why they would want to change their behaviour.
  • Is there a real reason for the whining that is being caused by the work environment that can be addressed rather than being dismissed?
  • Are their triggers that set off the whining, and if so what are that triggers, and what chain of reactions do these triggers put into motion?  Often taking the time to understand why people believe they need to behave a certain way is a great investment in discovering what motivates and what demotivates individuals and your team.

The Clock Watcher

The clock watcher’s timesheets are regimented and this is reflected in when they arrive at work and when they leave on time every day.  The clock watchers in your team may also be the ones who come in on time and then proceed to make their breakfast or socialize, procrastinating before they start work.

  • Why is your clock watcher disengaged? If they are bored and unhappy is it because their role does not challenge them, or are they only there to collect the weekly pay?
  • Clock watching is not only negative for the business but also impacts on the employee and the team collectively, with productivity suffering and everyone is affected. How can you help these employees to re-engage and take ownership of what they contribute?
  • Enriching the clock watchers job and time managing the activities may shine a light on their strengths and weaknesses, helping you support these employees and improve and enable their level of job satisfaction and value of the contribution they make to the business.

The ‘Big Picture’ Person

When it comes to getting things done it may be a challenge for the ‘big picture’ employee. They can see what needs to happen and inspire others to help them understand how this will happen but they may struggle to focus on making it happen.

  • The big picture person is important to encourage the team to work to achieve long-term goals and projects incrementally.  If you have a balance on your team with members who enjoy detail and process, these people will align well with the big picture person.  Who is on your team and is the mix right?
  • How can you embrace the vision of the big picture person to know where the business direction is going at an operational level? If you do this how will this make the employee feel, and what difference will that make to their level of engagement?
  • Often the big picture person is seen as a dreamer and not a doer. Finding the right vehicles for the big picture person to dream and deliver may help your business continue to gain momentum.  Is this important to help your business remain relevant and provide more insight for other employees?

The Manipulator

The manipulator is often the employee who feels that they have to position other team members by any means to make them look good.  This can be harmless or they can be very destructive.

  • If you have identified a manipulator the default is often to discipline them or spend time putting out fires they have started.  What if you looked at how they are manipulating to identify what they are trying to achieve by doing this?
  • If the manipulator is trying to make themselves look like a hero, how can you give them ownership of a task or project or offer them professional learning to teach them how to do this without creating collateral damage.
  • Often the manipulator’s behaviour is a cry for help.  They are feeling insecure or incompetent and this makes them fearful of their longevity and value to the business.  They often do not understand that they are being destructive or causing the behaviour that they do and may be horrified to think that this is what they are known for.  Showing the manipulator how to demonstrate value, how that is measured and rewarded is a learning process that can realign what once was a challenging employee into a champion employee.

The Follower

The follower just wants to be told what to do, how to do it and get on with doing it.

A follower can become stuck in a rut with little thought or attention to detail when they go through the motions to get the job done.  What if you changed some of the tasks or the ways they were to be done and supported this with training and guidance?

  • Often followers are motivated by basic safety needs and not by incentives and rewards.  Reframing their roles to expand what they do may challenge this. If you leverage the strengths and apply them to new job duties they may respond positively because they see themselves as team players. This will only work if they believe you are not trying to take them away from where they know they are capable. This process, if successful, reinforces their roles rather than changes them in their eyes.
  • How often do you see too many followers and inadequate leadership in teams?  When this happens you have a ‘pack mentality’ that is not conducive to productivity or profitability. If you identify the strengths of all your team members could this help you to change this dynamic?
  • Followers need guidelines or they operate by habit.  Is your business structured to facilitate this or do your team members just operate as they see best?

The Bully

These team members are your human resource nightmare.  This type of employee has the potential to create staff complaint or churn.

  • The typical reaction to a bully is negative and often this may just reinforce the bully to keep doing what they are doing. Likewise, calling them on that behaviour could also create a challenge.  Find out why this behaviour is happening in a non-confrontational way and you might find what pieces are missing that is causing this so you can remediate.
  • A bully often behaves this way because they feel inadequate and they are trying to compensate for what they are lacking.  Find out what is lacking and you may be on the way to defusing that behaviour,
  • Bullies often push to get their own way to validate how they think and how they behave.  Creating a collaborative work environment that is KPI’d on both individual and group efforts may help the bully to conform to achieve outcomes or be seen as the problem if they don’t.

The Innovator

Every team needs innovators to shift thinking from delivering services and products to delivering solutions.

  • Innovators are only an asset to a team when they are given the space and opportunity to discover and innovate.  How will you support this?
  • Innovators need to be measured to ensure that they focus on what the business needs to achieve.  How will you measure your innovators’ input and contribution to solutions and team performance?
  • Innovation can detract from the core business.  How can you structure your team aims and objectives to keep that focus while embracing innovation to remain relevant and competitive?

The Attention Seeker

Everyone likes attention but some employees seek it more than others.  These people can consume time and resource if left unchecked.

  • Why is your attention seekers attention seeking?  Are they looking for acknowledgement or recognition, and if so, why?
  • When you identify what the attention seeker’s motivation is you are able to understand what they need to perform effectively without feeling the need to find reassurance and reinforcement.
  • Rewarding autonomy and initiative may assist to reaffirm worth and value for the attention seeker.  This may work so long as that recognition is visible, and positions them as important in the team environment.

The Social Butterfly

Some employees see the workplace as a social environment.  Although it is good to create healthy relationships in the workplace balance is key.

  • What does the social butterfly want from the workplace?  Are they lonely, have low self-esteem or see their workmates as their friends first and foremost?  Workplaces can satisfy the need to belong, but it is important to nurture a culture where an employee feels they belong and are accepted, but are focussed on delivering what the business needs.  How will you elevate the social butterfly from someone who is perceived as someone who spends too much time around the water cooler, to one who is recognized as a productive and valued team member?
  • Harness the social butterflies talents!  Maybe they can run the social club or coordinate events?
  • Tightening the parameters around time management with performance measurement is another option, shining the light on what is really getting done.

The Reclusive

When an employee feels confronted or intimidated they may become reclusive and go within themselves.

Finding out why your team member is reclusive is the first step to understanding how to change that circumstance.

Being reclusive does not have to mean being unproductive, however, you need to be able to have transparency as to what these team members are actually doing.  If this assessment shows a strong work ethic it may not indicate any overarching challenges that exist but may indicate a person who prefers to work this way.

Respecting the reclusive team member is important, regardless of why they are reclusive, as this suggests that this is their natural default behaviour or by circumstance, they behave this way.  Tread carefully to encourage these team members to have a voice and you may learn a lot from what they have to say.

The Imposter

These team members often get promoted or secure a role without really having the qualifications or experience to perform in that role.

  • Imposters spend their time trying not to get found out.  Symptoms of this are poor performance, delegation and micromanagement.  Treating those symptoms may mean professional learning and mentoring or realignment of their roles. Be careful not to treat only the symptoms.  Focus on true change management.
  • The longer an imposter goes unchecked the more they are likely to impact the productivity of the team performance.  Regular team health checks are important.
  • An imposter will have more impact the higher their level of responsibility.  When you look at your team do you see an imposter impeding decision making and actions?  If so, how will you address this?

Team ‘awesome’ is a work in progress!

Profiling your people and making them feel supported as you go through this process will build trust and confidence and allay fears.

This is not about changing the job description but rather changing the job design. Emphasise and measure the strength and offset the impact of weaknesses by enabling other team members who demonstrate that those weaknesses are their strengths to align the team dynamic to compliment.

 

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Culture Shift: People vs Change

Digital transformation has become the ‘catch phrase’ of 2016.  Smart businesses now recognize that their business model needs to transform to remain relevant. Smart businesses also know their employees must embrace change. To achieve success with digital transformation a business must first of all achieve a sustainable culture shift.

How do you effect culture change?

….be ‘BRAVE’

culture

Brainstorming

Engage your employees from the ‘ground up’ in brainstorming sessions.

This will encourage the following behaviours:

  • ownership
  • engagement
  • ideation

 

This will unlock opportunities for your business to:

  • Recognize and acknowledge that the perspective of each employees will differ.
  • Understand how your employees see your business.
  • Acknowledge that his will determine how they will want to interact with your business.
  • Accept that this is where they see the business now and in the future.

The following outcomes will be:

  • What your employees envisage will illustrate how much they want to engage with your business.
  • It will also measure how much ownership they want to take of your business’ culture and direction.
  • This process is especially relevant as it will start to identify who your business’ change agents are.

Responsibility

Your business needs to take the following steps:

Your business needs to learn to ask the following question every time a decision is made in the business :

“How can digital make this more effective and efficient”.

Authentication

Engage with your employees by:

  • Listening to your employees and learning how and what they think.
  • Recognizing and acknowledging their ideas as worthwhile.
  • Authenticating your employee’ ideas through discussion and submission forums for consideration to establish engagement.
  • Validating the authentication of your employees through socialization and other communication opportunities.

Validation

Bookmarks to achieve employee validation:

  • Validate what your employees have to say. They want to be heard.
  • Show interest and engagement to let your employees know that what they think matters.
  • Validation is what motivates and inspires your employees.

‘What matters’ to you employees

If you become mindful of your employees need for validation you will start to elevate ‘what matters’ to your employees.

Emotional intelligence

To make the above steps work and to lead a successful digital transformation you need to have a high emotional intelligence.

To successfully drive change you need to

  • Understand the impact it will have on your employees.
  • Be conscious of your own emotional responses and reactions.
  • Realize that your behaviour sets the tone for the workplace.
  • Understand that your employees will respond to you if you show them empathy and acknowledge the value they bring to the business.
  • Recognize that having a blind expectation that your employees will perform based on what their job description says you will always disappoint.
…. have ‘RESOLVE’

culture

Reward

The human condition is motivated by reward.

You need to ask yourself…

  • Why your employees would want to get involved in your agenda for digital transformation?
  • What is in it for them?

Your business needs to…

Determine key performance indicators (KPI’s) and provide incentives for identified ‘digital’ champions to motivate them to lead. Reward your ‘digital’ champion performance.

Those rewards could be…

  • opportunity
  • promotion
  • responsibility
  • education
  • training
  • equity
  • ownership
  • remuneration
  • other ideas!!

Educate

  • Continue to educate to empower your employees.
  • Embrace knowledge as a way to offset concerns your employees may have.
  • Recognize that your employees have different learning styles.
  • Deliver omni-channel training and learning experiences that are visual, written, audio and interactive
  • Accelerate a culture of acceptance and understanding to tolerate failure as a step towards learning

Socialize

  • Silos insulate employees from what the business is doing and thinking.
  • Introducing socialization channels and opportunities will create discussion and debate. This will generate conversation.
  • Expose your employees to hearing and seeing how other employees and departments think and interact  around change and they will be less likely to be passengers.

Ownership

  • Create momentum by enabling and empowering key employees who will own, champion and lead your digital transformation internally.
  • Acknowledge that a C-Suite-led digital transformation is a foundation but will not successfully transform a business.
  • Empower your employee champions.  If they are given ownership and responsibility they will create momentum for change. This is when you will see the real benefits for the business.

Leadership 

Lead by example! 

  • Employees need to see that you are confident and consistent in your message about how the business’ culture will transform.
  • This will  enable your employees to embrace change.
  • Make your message clear and decisive so your employees know what is expected of them.

Visibility

Create visibility for your employees.  Perception that your business is hiding or holding back information will see your employees put up barriers to change. The result is that your culture will not shift.

Evangelize

  • Your employees are the best advertisement for digital transformation in your business.
  • Your employee evangelists, if well supported, are in the best position to convert  your change averse employees.
  • You can help by making sure your door is always open and you interact with your employees.

How do you continue to encourage culture change?

….you must ‘FACILitATE’ an environment that is conducive to this

culture

 

Flexibility

Flexibility is important because….

  • to be responsive to change your business needs to be flexibile to be responsive to changes that occur in your competitive landscape.
  • your employee churn rate will climb if your business is not flexible to change.
  • today’s employee is looking for businesses that recognize and respect their need for work/life balance.
  • employees like being aligned professionally with progressive companies.  Millennials exemplify this trend.

Agility

Challenge:

Traditional businesses often have legacy systems embedded in their operations that inhibit their ability to be agile.

Solution:

Digital transformation works to make traditional businesses more agile.  This process is usually implemented incrementally as legacy systems can take some time to integrate or eliminate.

Remember …you need to remember that small changes can bring big efficencies.

Communication

Communication is key throughout a digital transformation.  Communicating the what, when, where and who is responsible is integral to your business’ success. How you communicate must always be open and reciprocal.

Incubation

Incubation means…

  • Ability to nurture ideas and innovation
  • Supporting employee initiatives
  • Actively encouraging intrapreneurship

Layers

Businesses traditionally have layers of strategy throughout their business.  These layers of strategy are usually underpinned by a whole-of- business strategy.  The challenge is that these layers can create a disconnection within the business if they are supported and implemented by divisions and departments independent of each other .

Your whole-of-business strategy needs to be customer-centric and  customer-led. Each department or division initiative needs to support this.

The question that must always be asked for each business initiative is:

‘How can digital make this smarter or simpler’.

This approach transcends the traditional layers of the business.

Innovation

The word ‘innovation’ like ‘disruption’ is somewhat overused and often misunderstood.

Innovation does not have to mean something that changes the course of the business.  It can be something that is a ‘tweak’ to the business operations.

The emphasis should always be to make the business more efficient and effective. This can happen with very little change.

Innovation needs to become a mindset.  Everyone needs to ask how can we make this smarter or simpler?

Transparency

A business that is an open book can be very dynamic.  A business that operates openly and collaboratively is more likely to position itself to become a market leader.

Digital transformation can deliver data that will assist with transparency and inform businesses to help them make the right decisions.

Accord

A siloed or segmented business will struggle to survive disruption and change.

Finding accord through customer-centricity within your business and embracing digital to drive this in your business strategy will create common business goals.

This approach will also ensure your employees are aware of what is happening, where the business is headed, and what the business wants to achieve.

Technology

Connected

Ensuring that the platforms and channels you use are connected and communicate fluently across the business is vital to facilitating digital transformation.

Employees

Whether your employees are in a customer service role or an operational role within your business they need to know what is going on and how it impacts the rest of the business.

Embrace

Disruption is inevitable and no industry is exempt.  Embracing digital positions your business to be better prepared.

Disruption and change will occur but rather than be reactive to what other businesses are doing you will be able to be proactive.

You need to ask the following questions.

  • How can new technologies and business initiatives benefit your business?
  • How can you collaborate rather than compete?
  • In which ways can you complement or bring value?

Digitalizing your business with technology without recognizing how the culture of your business will be impacted is foolhardy and shortsighted.

Employees will accelerate business evolution if supported, educated and aligned.

What is your business doing to effect and encourage culture shift?

Originally posted 2016-04-27 14:40:23.

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7 Deadly Sins of Strategies – Are you guilty?

Once upon a time… there were strategies for everything.  While having  a business strategy is often the anchor strategy you may also find a sales strategy, a marketing strategy and now a digital strategy in your business.

Digital strategies and the transformation they drive is evolving business’ from analog to digital.  The journey is fast and furious. As a result of this businesses who choose not to get on board now also risk becoming irrelevant, disrupted or extinct.

strategies

 

Digital must now be core to every part of your business.  Every decision that is made in the business should start with… So how will digital make this ….?

Digital strategies – Are you a sinner or saint?

1/  STRATEGY SIN:  You are business-centric 

Your business offers X products and Y services as a result of perceived customer demand. Naturally, because of this approach, you position your business strategy to continue to improve and deliver these products and services. Your focus is to also deliver these products and services with lower cost and higher returns. Does this sound familiar?

STRATEGY TRANSFORMATION: Become customer-centric 

Your customers determine the success of your business.  Now is the time to audit your business and benchmark how you perform in your industry and against best practices. This process will also help your business to understand what customers want now and in the future. Furthermore if you do the same thing the same way  your should expect to get the same result. In business today you are almost certainly going to get a much lesser result and see diminishing returns. This will also progressively compromise the viability and relevancy of your business.

2/  STRATEGY SIN: Cutting costs to remain competitive

When the going gets tough a lot of businesses would rather cut their costs and bunker down to weather the storm than be proactive. This behaviour closes the eyes of your business  rather than making your business aware of what is happening around you.  It also puts your business in a defensive position and increases your business vulnerability on price point and not on value.  This is a game that your business will almost certainly never win and you will continue to lose market share.

STRATEGY TRANSFORMATION: Invest in your business’ future

There is no doubt that due to the necessity for change and ongoing disruption the interruption of the traditional business model cannot be ignored.  To stay relevant you also need to understand the customer climate and innovate based on qualified and quantitative data.  As a result of this action being taken your business will be empowered to grow and outshine your competition. An investment based on intelligence and visualization is money well spent.

3/  STRATEGY SIN: Being reactive 

Your competitors are changing their business models and embracing technology. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel. If your competition are doing it successfully you assume  it is what the market wants so you invest in a version of what your competitors are doing to remain competitive.  You compete on cost to offer an alternative that is attractive for your customers as an option to your competitors more expensive offering. This will make your competitive….right? Remember when you take this approach are trusting that your competition has made the right decision for you.

STRATEGY TRANSFORMATION: Be proactive 

Being reactive means you are always behaving from what ‘has happened’.  The key words here are ‘has happened’ .  Working in the past tense is disadvantaging your business as you are always trying to mimic or catch up to where you think you should be.  Strategic planning with digital tools at the core of your decision making ‘turns the tables’ and puts you back in the driver’s seat. You are able to introduce indicative and predictive analytics based on market intelligence.

4/  STRATEGY SIN: Culture adverse 

By accepting that the culture in your business does not or will not change you are condemning your business to a bleak future.  Technology is often mistaken as digital transformation where it really is a tool that facilitates it. The true driver is your people and the culture in your business.  Culture will have a bigger impact on your P & L going forward than technology ever will alone.

STRATEGY TRANSFORMATION: Culture shift 

Culture change doesn’t happen overnight and cannot happen without people in your business championing digital transformation and owning it.  When this starts from the C-suite down the momentum starts to swing but the key is identifying, incentifying and rewarding people in your organisation who champions and lead change.  These are the people who will work with their teams to make true digital transformation happen. Invest in resource to bring into your business to educate, facilitate and guide your business.

5/  STRATEGY SIN: Tunnel Vision

Planning a strategy that is projected on what you know or think you know now will be fatal.  The 3 year/5 year strategies that have been the mainstay for legacy businesses as the bible of what they will do next, how they will resource and what they will invest in is now redundant.  Your business vision needs to recognize that business is changing almost before the ink dries on the bound print strategy on your desk.  Today’s business strategy is a living and breathing document that must be agile to respond to change as it occurs.

STRATEGY TRANSFORMATION: Peripheral Vision  

You must look outside of the centre of your focus to be able to see what is happening in your industry and even in other industries that may disrupt or change the course of yours.  Smart and agile startups that are only interested in giving your customers what they want, where and when they want it should be on your radar. The strategies start-ups work from are agile and living.  They make changes to their strategies that reflect what the customer is saying and are responsive to change. This enables them to deliver immediacy and satisfaction.

6/  STRATEGY SIN: Competing with yourself

Silos are nothing new in business and silos competing for budget dollar in a business isn’t new either. This annual push and shove for the budget business dollar dilutes the power of the business to perform in an agile manner.  If department A is competing with department B to achieve their independent objectives you have to ask these questions.

  • What is happening to the companies goals of achieving their objectives?
  • Is the business being obsured by  internal politics and is this overriding what is important to the business holistically?

STRATEGY TRANSFORMATION: Making yourself competitive

Your business needs to establish strategies that are customer led and are driven by digital at their core.

  • How can you better manage your business by embracing digital?
  • Who should own digital in your business to drive this?

You need to hold digital accountable for this!  Digital should touch and impact every part of your business model and your business operations (yes your people). Technology is critical to make this happen.  This will arm your business to be ready to compete with disruption, change and challenges. Your business will evolve to become a smart and innovative digital leader.

7/  STRATEGY SIN: Set and forget

Does this sound familiar?

Your business strategy has consumed your business time and resources. You have ensured that you have addressed everything you need to and it has been documented ready for board approval.  The presentation goes well and the strategy is approved. Beautifully bound volumes of your business strategy are sent to key stakeholders across the business….then what?

Meetings follow and key elements of the strategy are implemented.  The challenge is that a lot of what is written on those pages is left sitting on desks.  It is highly likely as time passes that they will gather dust and be overlooked or simply ignored. This could be due to the either the challenges of the day-to-day running of the business or lack of time rather than intent.

STRATEGY TRANSFORMATION: Making it happen iteratively

Strategies need to be informed before they can be determined and your current and prospective customers should be the authors of your strategy.  Once you learn what your customers and stakeholders need and want you have qualified data that illustrates direction and enables smart decision making.

  • What if your business could have a strategy that was licensed to be implemented iteratively and incrementally? This would effectively take the strategy off those pages and deliver quick wins as it is implemented.
  • What if these wins could offset cost, reduce resources, improve sales and be measured by other benchmarks to grow the business.

This would justify investment and also empower your business to change course as your customers needs and wants change. This would give your business the competitive advantage you need. This is how true digital transformation works.

Please feel free to add other strategy sins that are not listed here and their remedies!  How we behave as businesses has never made us more vulnerable than we are now.

Your business  can not afford to invest in a digital transformation.

No business is exempt from change and everything you hear and see suggests that this is only the beginning.

Originally posted 2016-04-10 15:20:28.

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How To Become Emotionally FIT

Your emotions are just like your muscles, they need to be trained to get the best out of them.  Becoming emotionally fit requires discipline and dedication, however, the reward is undeniable.

Having the ability to control your emotions, rather than letting your emotions control you, is when you become truly empowered.

emotionally fit

3 Steps To Becoming Emotionally FIT?

Feelings

‘F’ stands for feelings.  We all have them, and we all deal with them in different ways.  Often we dwell on them and let them control us. This is where we can come unstuck.

Take the time to feel the emotion, but don’t indulge yourself by dwelling on it or overthinking it.  Where is it coming from, why are you feeling it and what does it feel like?

Impact

‘I’ is for impact.  Examine what the impact of that emotion you are feeling really has.  Our perception of how the emotion feels often overshadows the reality of what it means or how it affects us.

worry

  • Is the emotion you are feeling triggered by something or someone?
  • Is a pattern emerging and this is a recurring scenario?
  • Is this a ’cause’ and ‘effect’ situation that will never happen again?

Understanding the ‘impact’ is an important step to understanding how the ‘feeling’ actually changes or doesn’t change your reality, rather than letting the emotion create a perception of what that change may or may not mean.

Takeaway

‘T’ is for Takeaway.  After you have felt the emotion and understood its ‘impact’, the next step is to determine what the learning is so that you are able to realize it as a ‘takeaway’.  This is critical to making the most of the process.  What you learn will help you to not repeat the process, and instead grow from the experience.

The FIT process is best undertaken with a journal or notepad.  When you write down your ‘feelings’, their ‘impact’ and your ‘takeaways’ on paper you are documenting the experience in a form that you can keep, re-read and reference. This will help you to keep your eye on and address patterns or repeat behaviours.

Remember this is a marathon that you are training for, not a sprint.  Skills you learn to tone your emotional fitness will serve you throughout your life as you grow and evolve as a person.

feeling

Flex your emotional muscle.  You may surprise yourself by discovering how emotionally unfit you really are and how, by tweaking how you behave, you can improve and strengthen your emotional fitness to be the best version of yourself.

Want to learn more?

Complete this quick assessment to gain insight into how emotionally intelligent you are.  This can help you to gain even more insight into how you think and behave and to learn where and how you can improve.

Originally posted 2017-10-13 14:41:01.

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Are you a social magnet?

To be a social magnet you need to be socially in tune with others. So what does ’emotional intelligence’ look like socially?

Social Magnet

“Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling.”

Psychology Today

Do you have what it takes to be a social magnet?

Consideration of Feelings

Change the way you speak to people. Be aware of how they are behaving. Identify how they are feeling and frame your conversation to create a safe and friendly social setting where they feel relaxed and open.

Showing Empathy

Recognizing how people are feeling and understand why they are feeling that way and then responding appropriately will create a non-threatening and trust environment.

Engaging

People will be more open with you when you appear to understand them and aren’t dismissive of what they see as important. Put their needs first!

Listening and learning

Discover what people perceive and what they see as real and how that impacts their behaviour and performance. This is helpful to learn how to support and work with that person to empower them to reach their potential.

Sharing

Respect is earnt by sharing ‘your’ experiences: both failures and successes. This shows you are human and you understand where the other person is coming from, what they need to do to grow and overcome the barriers that are holding them back

Take this FREE EQ test to help you discover more about emotional intelligence. This test is not an accurate scoring of you emotional intelligence but a tool to use as part of your journey of self-development.

To evolve as a person you need to constantly work on improving your emotional intelligence.  The benefits are far reaching.  Your life will be enriched both personally and professionally. The investment in yourself is one that will continue to pay dividends.

Good luck and remember a strength only becomes and stays a strength if you work on it.

Originally posted 2016-01-08 13:11:31.

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Stand out and learn how to lead from the front!

To stand out from the crowd as a leader is not difficult if you understand how to develop your emotional intelligence.  Your IQ alone is not what will make you a superstar. High emotional intelligence as well as embracing your authenticity will set you apart from other leaders.

“Emotional aptitude is a “meta-ability”, determining how well we can use whatever other skills we have , including raw intellect .”

Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than

What makes you stand out from the crowd

Leaders who stand out from the crowd:

• are approachable and are open at all times to input, ideas and suggestions.
• leave their ego at the front door and lead by example.
• better understand who they are as leaders and how to work with their team to get results that are both desirable and sustainable.
recognize their own and their team’s strengths and weaknesses and use these to nurture a healthy team environment and develop a resilient company culture.
• have the insight and ability to collaborate, align and manage resourceand deliver outcomes for all stakeholders.

“Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and  feel what they are feeling.”

Psychology Today

There are 5 questions you need to ask yourself to improve your Emotional Intelligence to start your journey. This will help you to learn how to develop and nurture your Emotional Intelligence and to recognize and reach your potential.

  • Are you paying attention…to yourself?
  • Do you keep your emotions in check?
  • Are you able to walk in other people’s shoes?
  • Where is your focus: Short term or long term goals?
  • Are you a social magnet?

“A high degree of self regulation is one of the vital parts of EQ.”

says Dr Carolyn MacCann PhD, Psychology lecturer at The Univerity of Sydney.

Take this FREE EQ test to help you discover more about your emotional intelligence. This test is not an accurate scoring of you emotional intelligence but maybe used as a tool to use as part of your journey of self-development.

The growth of your emotional intelligence is an ongoing process and an evolution of you as both a leader and a person.

Originally posted 2016-01-08 12:09:36.

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Become an emotionally intelligent leader in 5 steps

So your IQ doesn’t indicate you are a genius……..don’t worry!  If you are emotionally intelligent that can help make you a superstar!

become emotionally intelligent in 5 steps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It turns out your emotional intelligence is what can really set you apart from your peers. If you want to be successful you have to be prepared to embrace change and how you go about getting there.

“Emotional aptitude is a “meta-ability”, determining how well we can use whatever other skills we have , including raw intellect .”

Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

The 5 steps to improve your Emotional Intelligence is a starting point. This will help you to learn how to develop and nurture your Emotional Intelligence and to recognize and reach your potential.

1. Are you paying attention…to yourself?

If you are pretending to be someone you are not to be accepted, to fit in, or to get ahead you will always fail. Sometimes it is a challenge to be authentic when you aren’t confident in who you are.
Being self-aware should be a priority. Keeping yourself ‘in the moment’ is always a good grounding exercise. If you choose to be confident, how people see you will also change.

Your ‘me’ checklist:

  • Do you love who you are warts and all?
  • Have you ever been caught out pretending to be someone you are not?
  • Do you consciously communicate honestly and openly at all times?
  • Are you willing to change your default behaviour from what you think others want to see to being your authentic self. (this will take some discipline)
  • Are you able to give yourself a break or does your inner voice challenge you? Always forgive yourself and remember that you are a ‘work in progress’.
    If you answered ‘no’ or even a ‘sometimes’ to any of these checklist points you are not paying enough attention to being the best person you can possibly be.

2. Do you keep your emotions in check?

Letting your emotions play a part in your decision making is dangerous and exhausting.

“A high degree of self regulation is one of the vital parts of EQ.”

says Dr Carolyn MacCann PhD, Psychology lecturer at The Univerity of Sydney.

Managing your emotions will empower you to have better outcomes as you will avoid losing perspective and surrendering to what you can’t control by making impulsive decisions to fix a problem.

You will always face situations you can’t control. What you do have control over is how you respond. A considered response is always a responsible one. How you invest your time and energy is vital to your productivity ….and your sanity.

3. Are you able to walk in other people’s shoes?

One of the most challenging things you need to master is to be able to ‘walk in the other person’s shoes’. Empathy is what makes an ordinary manager an extraordinary leader. Recognizing other people’s moods and emotions though their body language, facial expressions and behaviour gives you an EQ tool kit that will enable you to develop positive and strong relationships both at work and at home.

“Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling.”

Psychology Today

4. Where is your focus: Short term or long term goals?

An emotionally intelligent leader has the discipline and focus to set and work toward achieving long term goals. Short term goals are usually stepping stones for emotionally intelligent leaders with snack size tasks that rewards themselves and their teams to consistently create a culture that supports a high morale and motivation environment.

Emotionally intelligent leaders are:

• Leaders who are approachable and open at all times to input, ideas and suggestions
• Leaders who leave their ego at the front door and teach others to follow so the same
• Leaders who better understand who they are as leaders and how to work with their team to get results that are both desirable and sustainable
• Leaders who recognize their own and their team’s strengths and weaknesses and use this to nurture a healthy team environment and resilient company culture
• Leaders who have the insight and ability to collaborate, align and manage resources to deliver outcomes for all stakeholders.

5. Are you a social magnet?

To be a social magnet you need to be socially in tune with others. So what does ‘being emotionally intelligent’ look like socially?

Feelings – Change the way you speak to people. Be aware of how they are behaving, identify how they are feeling and frame your conversation to create a safe and friendly social settings where they feel relaxed and open.

Empathy – Recognizing how people are feeling and understanding why they are feeling that way and then responding appropriately will create a non-threatening and trust environment.

Engage – People will be more open with you when you appear to understand them and aren’t dismissive of what they see as important. Put their needs first!

Listen and learn – Discover what people perceive and what they see as real and how that impacts their behaviour and performance. This is helpful to learn how to support and work with that person to empower them to reach their potential.

Share – Respect is earnt by sharing ‘your’ experiences: both failures and successes. This shows you are human and you understand where the other person is coming from, what they need to do to help them grow and overcome the barriers that are holding them back.

Take this FREE EQ test to help you discover more about emotional intelligence. This test is not an accurate scoring of you emotional intelligence but a tool to use as part of your journey of self-development.

Originally posted 2016-01-08 10:35:45.

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Help! My Business Culture is Broken

Business must become agile and nimble and be responsive and proactive to change. To be successful they must also be conscious and accountable for the impact change imposes on their employees.

business culture

The inevitable casualty of change is the business culture.  Business that introduce technology innovation without giving consideration to employee role alignment and capability are doing themselves a disservice. They are also setting themselves up for failure.

Business that choose to ignore or dismiss employee discomfort and resistance to change will feel the impact through social media and employee review platforms like glassdoor.com and seek.com.au…just to name a few.

The accelerated growth of employee review sites has exposed businesses with no easy road of recourse to address negativity from disgruntled employees.

3 mistakes that can damage employer brand

1/ Posting reply comments that are standardized to acknowledge comments.

Some businesses choose to have a standardized response to comments that they post on employee review sites. When an employee or ex-employee voices their discontent with a business this should not be answered with a generic comment response. Such a response only reiterates that the business is out of touch with what their employees are thinking and feeling.

2/ Asking employees to post positive comments to counterbalance negative comments.

Because employers cannot delete negative comments that are made on employee review sites they sometimes ask employees to write positive comments to counterbalance the readers perspective.  This inevitably can backfire if a disgruntled employee then publishes a comment stating that this happens.  The employer then looks worse and as if they are trying to mislead the reader.

3/ Ignoring comments all together.

People say ignorance is bliss but on an employee review platform this is a dangerous practice.  Ignorance suggests that as an employer you don’t care or are just arrogant enough to think that people will not take notice of negative media.

Employee review sites are here to stay.  They are often amplified by the virality of social media.  Identifying what your past and present employees are saying and if their is a theme of discontent is an opportunity for your business to address pain points in your business culture.

Treat the cause by recognizing and acknowledging the symptoms

5 point employee checklist

  1. Do your employees feel like their opinion is important and relevant?
  2. Is there a theme that is consistent across most of the comments that tells a story?
  3. Are you listening to your employees and if so what are you doing about their feedback?
  4. Do you articulate the voice of your employees in your business operation?
  5. Do you engage with  your employees in brainstorming and ideation sessions to enable them to take ownership and responsibility?  If so, do they also see reward and recognition for their efforts?

 

Originally posted 2016-10-27 14:21:43.

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Interruption V Disruption: Which creates change resilience?

Interruption creates a trajectory of progressive transition while disruption creates a trajectory of more rapid transformation.

If your business is change or risk averse ‘interruption’ can introduce the opportunity for your employees to engage and take ownership of change incrementally.  This is less confrontational than ‘disruption’ and allows the business to experience evolution rather than revolution.  Interruption can encourage an appetite and accelerate change by kick-starting momentum. This can build the foundation for a change resilient workplace.

creates

5 different ways ‘interruption’ can introduce and creates change

Start-ups

Your business can learn and benefit from enabling and embracing relationships with start-ups, SME’s and entrepreneurs. Actively mentoring, nurturing or investing in an innovation hub will enable your business to keep your finger on the digital pulse.

You can offset being disrupted and work towards future-proofing your business when you discover where industry, non-industry, and best practices may impact on where your business model is heading. Entertaining opportunity proactively advantages your business in a competitive or even a duopoly market.

Encouraging intrapreneurial behaviour within your business is a natural flow-on from engaging and partnering with an ideation and innovative community.

Tools

How can your business do things smarter using digital tools when you are making decisions in your business? Asking this question will facilitate a fundamental mind-shift that will start to evolve your business.  Digital tools are only advantageous when they are introduced, integrated and aligned to work and play well with existing platforms and channels.  Becoming aware of and learning more about tools and trends will educate your business. Your business will learn how it can improve its productivity as well as business efficiency and effectiveness.

Access

Exposure through strategic partnerships, alignments and affiliations are imperative to position your business to be open to opportunity and change. This is a great way to realize quick wins and stick your toes in the water.  A ‘risk’ shared, where the value and benefit are clearly defined, will deliver more gain than pain when done effectively. This is always attractive when introducing a change in direction to an established business.

Resources

Your employees are your greatest asset. Investment in their education, enrichment, role alignment and career progression is integral to your success. When your employees have confidence, feel their skill set is relevant and relative this is reflected in their performance.  Encouraging ideation, intrapreneurs and brainstorming are essential to creating engagement and ownership. When your employees are performance-enhanced your business will benefit notably in your change transformation process.  The introduction of prototyping to visualize, communicate and socialize innovation and ideation will also enrich thinking and drive change.  This will assist your business to realize outcomes.  When nurtured this supports an informed business environment that will breed confidence and allays the fear of failure. This encourages your employees to become involved and engage.

Technology

Technology, when identified and aligned with a ‘living’ digital strategy, will create agility. This can co-exist with legacy systems as your business transitions.  To be effective new technology much demonstrate that it can enhance, supersede or be able to address redundancy in your technology ecosystem. Your business does not need to erase your technology footprint and start again to start to introduce change. When an investment has already been made to establish expensive technology platforms a business can be reluctant to introduce a new approach. They may feel that this may accelerate the redundancy of the existing platform.  Demonstrated compatibility and a transition plan that maximizes value and reduces overheads will overcome resistance from invested parties.

Remember ‘interruption’ or ‘disruption’ without strategic planning is naive and somewhat foolhardy.  Smart business’ must invest in the process of auditing, assessing and benchmarking their business first to make informed decisions that will evoke change.  Interruption and disruption are approaches to change, not solutions.

To accelerate your business’ digital transformation journey you need to determine if the approach should be ‘interruption’ or ‘disruption’. This is important to stop your business stalling when it faces changes that take your employees out of their comfort zone.

Originally posted 2016-10-22 15:02:38.

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3 Tips To Transform Your Workplace Bully

I am sure that you, like so many others, are all too familiar with the impact and damage a workplace bully can have on your business.

How do you deal with workplace bullies and how do you stem the ripple effect that workplace bullies can have on your business morale and productivity?

bully

3 Tips To Transform Your Workplace Bully

1. Give them responsibility for a project where they need to initially work solo (so they are not impacting others). This sets an expectation for them to demonstrate what value they can bring to the planning stage and why what they believe is the right approach is valuable.

When they have done this they need to be able to communicate that value in a tangible way to the team to gain consensus.  The bully then needs to articulate what resources are needed to develop and deploy the project, and which people need to be convinced by them that they should be on their team.

Next step is to identify the strengths that those team members will bring to the project to help the bully better understand the collaborative efforts needed to make the project come together.

This process encourages the bully to think before they act and recognize that they need to prove that what they believe is the right way is understood and embraced by others.  This process puts the bully in the spotlight and exposes them, with nowhere to hide!

2. Make them accountable for a project’s successful outcome.  Sometimes a person that cannot see that they are creating challenges needs to be given one that they have to be accountable for.  If they fail it is a great learning curve and humbling experience and can help rehabilitate them.  Be warned this can be confrontational. You should do this on a small scale to avoid collateral damage, however, if a bully is not made aware that they are infallible their behaviour will continue unabated.

3. Discover their strengths rather than focusing on their weaknesses and the impact they are having on the morale and motivation in your workplace.

If you continue to focus on the problem you will never find the solution.

The bully can sometimes be part of the solution if you can harness their strengths for good, and position them to advantage the workplace, rather than let them try and control the workplace.

An example of this might be that this person reacts when they feel that someone is threatening their authority or role itself. This behaviour suggests that this person has doubts in their ability, regardless of how confident or in control they act.  Often this person is suffering from ‘imposter syndrome’ and when business practices change this only serves to inflame these feelings.

Giving this person an opportunity to learn as a reward or promotion seems contradictory, however, when done the right way, is an opportunity for that person to address this without the feeling of inadequacy that makes them look like they have been exposed as a fraud in front of their peers.

In short, your bully gets to save face and with that their behaviour often becomes more compliant and this has a positive flow on effect through the business.

Every situation is unique and often once the bully has been identified the damage has been done.  Being proactive towards bullying in the workplace is the only way to detect the symptoms before the disease is diagnosed.

Originally posted 2017-09-01 16:14:36.

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