Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Which side are you on!

I recently read a McKinsey article that quoted Tom Peters on leadership in the 21st Century.  It really resonated with me.

Let me share it with you.

Tom was being interviewed by McKinsey’s and in answer to the question “Our research into organisational performance and health finds strong correlations between “soft” stuff and shareholder returns, which probably does not surprise you.  What’s the best way to think about the softer side of management?”

Tom Peters: If you’re a leader, your whole reason for living is to help human beings develop – to really develop people and make work a place that’s energetic and exciting and a growth opportunity, whether you’re running a House Keeping Department at Google or Google.  I mean, this is not rocket science.

It’s not even a shadow of rocket science.  You’re in the people development business.  If you take a leadership role you do people.  Period.  It’s what you do.  It’s what you are paid to do.

Do you feel leaders are starting to get that message rather than giving greater importance to the chart- and- boxes approach?

Tom Peters: Some of them.  Maybe 5%

Why is it so difficult to make that sale – to get the culture point across?

Tom Peters: In his new book, Ric Karlgaard says companies end up in a vicious – rather than virtuous – circle, in which the people that get promoted to the top and the people that advise them come from “the dark side,” meaning they’re less engaged with the people side, the culture side, the values side of things.  There’s a bit of truth to that.

Monday, November 11, 2013

How Does Your Leadership Stack Up

In my role as an executive coach I always ask my client the question “what are the attributes of a highly effective leader?”  Invariably they are able to enunciate a number of well-accepted characteristics that leaders use to engage and motivate others for superior results.

However when I interpret their LSI 360 diagnostic their actual behaviours do not always align with the effective leadership behaviours they have listed.  This is what I call the “knowing – doing gap”

Question – How well do you “do” the following leadership characteristics?
  • Having an achievement orientation – setting vision, providing a sense of purpose, setting goals for self and team
  •  Keeping your eye on the bigger picture and not being easily distracted.
  •  Being prepared to take on challenges – not avoiding them 
  •  Believing your effort makes a difference
  •  Being authentic and comfortable with who you are
  •  Seeing the best in others – helping them reach their potential
  •  Building effective relationships with your staff – knowing them, valuing them,   guiding them
  • Being vulnerable – not needing to know everything
  • Showing humility – not trying to appear superior

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Measures of High Performance and Success

For many leaders in business they gain great levels of satisfaction from being part of an organisation that strives and achieves high performance and success.  To achieve high performance and success you must be able to measure it.  Here are a few measures for you to consider.

  •          Higher productivity
  •          Higher profitability
  •          Better quality
  •          Greater worker satisfaction
              - lower turnover rates and absenteeism
  - worker well being
              - job satisfaction
  - level of stress
  - mental and physical health
  - life satisfaction
  - work/life balance

  • ·         Number and quality of cross functional teams
  • ·         Types of special projects to develop skills of high potentials
  • ·         Ratio of back up talent
  • ·         OH&S

Many of these measures are probably familiar to you so make sure you have a methodology of recording and improving in each of these areas.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Innovation is the Key to Productivity Improvement!

In the latest research by Ernst & Young on productivity of the Australian workforce (11,500 people surveyed) it states more productive workers believe innovation is the strongest driver of productivity. Interestingly however obstacles for innovation exist within Australian organisations:

54% believe employer fails to focus on innovation
57% believe innovation is not recognised and rewarded
59% believe their organisation is unwilling to try new things

How does your organisation rate in the innovation stakes?

Score your organisation on each of the following sample questions on a scale 1-10

·        New products or services were introduced in our organisation over the past 12 months
·        New or significantly changed methods of producing or delivering services were introduced over the past 12 months
·        New or significantly changed design of products/services or sales methods were introduced over the past 12 months
·        There are significant resources at the discretion of management to fund new strategic initiatives
·        The organisation has mechanisms in place for capturing ideas from employees
·        The organisation has formal processes in place for responding to innovation ideas from employees
·        My organisation regularly introduces new or improved products/services
·        New ideas are often tried out in my organisation
·        Compared to other organisations my company is one of the most innovative
·        Lots of new ideas are generated in my organisation

If you score:

9-10                 super achiever
7-8                   solid achiever
5-6                   patchy
1-4                   poor   

If you would like more information or a discussion on improving employee engagement and productivity give me a call.