20 things the most valued employees do every day

Great Article from Business Insider

Become invaluable. Think about the best boss you’ve ever had. Now, think about the kind of employee that boss valued most. Regardless of who that employee was, I think I can probably describe him or her. That’s because the most valued employees have a lot in common, regardless of their jobs or the companies they work for. Here are 20 of the key things they do almost every day. They buy into the vision. A great leader’s top priority is to provide a goal that is worth his or her employee’s time. READ MORE>>

4 Cultural Benefits of a Great Strategy-Execution System

ba6fbf5a-2d6b-4adb-9159-c2af4592ecb2Every leader wants their team to have a great culture. But it’s impossible to create or modify culture directly—you can only fuel culture through the organizational systems you create.

As Jay Lorsch and Emily McTague write in the latest issue of Harvard Business Review, “Culture isn’t something you ‘fix.’ Rather . . . cultural change is what you get after you’ve put new processes or structures in place to tackle tough business challenges.”

In the previous two posts in this series, we’ve covered one of the most critical processes any business can set up: a repeatable system for translating company strategy into on-the-ground execution. Khorus was purpose-built to help CEOs implement such a system, which includes:

  • Getting clear on the short-term strategic priorities of the business.
  • Cascading those priorities down into executable goals for the entire team.
  • Soliciting regular quantitative and qualitative insight from employees on how the goals are going. 

Let’s take a look at the specific ways we see cultures evolve when leadership excels at turning strategy into action.

1. Accountability becomes a cornerstone. Accountability is about ensuring that every employee, from the CEO to the frontline, makes clear commitments and keeps them. A transparent, companywide strategy-execution system builds this discipline in a positive, rather than punitive, manner. (And your employees actually want accountability.)

2. Everyone gets in on the game. Every business sets goals, but in the vast majority of companies, most employees feel out of the loop. A robust strategy-execution system involves everyone in the game plan—turning a collection of individuals into a real team.

3. People communicate better. When everyone knows the plan and the role they have to play, communication gets more focused and value-packed. Confusing updates and wild goose chases are replaced by meaningful conversations. This pays off culturally and financially: as Towers Watson has shown, “Companies with high effectiveness in change management and communication are three and a half times more likely to significantly outperform their industry peers.”

4. Employees think ahead. Especially if your strategy-execution system collects explicitly predictive insight (“Will you complete your goal on time?”), like Khorus does, people get really good at thinking ahead. They learn to communicate about likely outcomes and solve small problems before they become big problems—all of which leads to more predictable results.

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At The SOS Group Inc., we help leaders and organizations develop and implement strategic change, getting them from where they are now to where they want to be-quickly.

We’re now partnering with Khorus, makers of the first enterprise leadership platform. It’s a powerful combination. You get help with developing and implementing strategic goals that spells success for your business, plus the tools and a consistent method for managing and translating the strategy into predictable results.

So, if you’re ready to lead your company forward and gain a measurable competitive advantage in today’s market, give me a call today at 713-249-9569. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain!

4 Steps to Keep Execution Humming

d98f9dcc-fc64-4118-aaa9-5f09ad7e1245In our previous article, we talked about four steps to keep your strategy from dying.
Now, let’s drill down to see what a workable strategy-execution process looks like.
It starts with setting goals. That might sound easy, but most leaders know it’s hard enough sit down and write goals-much less empower the team to get them done. Use this framework to keep execution humming along in every part of your organization:
1. Set specific priorities at the company level.
Start with annual goals. With long-term strategy in mind, what are the priorities for the coming year? To generate ideas, think about possible goals in the key areas of a business (resources, products, process, and markets).
Then, break annual goals into quarterly goals and assign a single, objective metric to each one. For example, how much revenue do you need to make in Q1 to meet your annual target?
 
2. Cascade the goals.
Next, every team and individual should set their own quarterly goals based on the company’s quarterly goals. Again, tie an objective metric to each goal. This exercise ensures that your employees’ work reflects the broader aims of the business.
Doing this well puts you ahead of most of your competitors: According to Deloitte, “barely more than one-third (36 percent) of organizations have a standardized process for cascading goals enterprise wide.”
3. Gather weekly feedback.
Don’t wait until quarter-end to pull back the veil and see whether people met their goals; get regular feedback on how goals are going. Make sure managers check in weekly with their direct reports and escalate any issues to you rapidly. (Software can boost the power of this process tremendously.)
Weekly goal feedback should be:
  • Quantitative and qualitative: You need to know not just about the metric but how the employee feels about the quality of the work.
  • Predictive: You need the employee’s forecast on whether he will meet the goal on time (predictive), not just their status (historical).
 
4. Quickly address new risks.
When you get feedback that a goal is faltering, jump right in. Ask the goal owner what she needs-can someone in the organization offer resources to keep the goal on track? These conversations help the team be nimble and collaborative.
Stay tuned for our next article, where we’ll talk about how leaders who collect predictive insight from the organization benefit from predictable results.
At The SOS Group Inc , we help leaders and organizations develop and implement strategic change, getting them from where they are now to where they want to be-quickly.
We’re now partnering with Khorus, makers of the first enterprise leadership platform. It’s a powerful combination. You get help with developing and implementing strategic goals that spells success for your business, plus the tools and a consistent method for managing and translating the strategy into predictable results.
So,if you’re ready to lead your company forward and gain a measurable competitive advantage in today’s market, give me a call today at 713-249-9569. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain!

4 Steps to Keeping Your Strategy from Dying

 
KhorusIf you had written the Great American Novel, would you keep it locked in your desk drawer?
If you had developed the cure for the common cold, would you keep it to yourself?
Of course not. Your book is useless until it’s published. Your cure is nothing until it gets produced. Yet CEOs and leaders routinely do something similar: They write grand strategies for the next three, five, or ten years but don’t actually help their organization make it a reality.
How do we know that leaders are terrible at this? For one, research:
 Executing isn’t easy, but following a few simple disciplines can keep your company’s strategy from dying on the vine:
 
1. Turn strategic abstractions into concrete priorities.
It’s one thing to state that the company’s strategy in the next three years is to grow revenue 7 percent year over year and begin global expansion. It’s another to break that down into a playbook for next quarter, including goals and metrics for the major areas of the business. What exactly needs to be achieved, and how will success be measured? Create this clarity by setting 4-7 specific goals for the organization every 90 days, making sure they align with the long-term strategy.
 
2. Help the whole team see their part in the strategy.
Share the strategy and company goals with the entire company, down to the frontline-and require that each team and individual set their own supporting goals for the quarter. This keeps everyone strategically aligned even when they face day-to-day distractions. By ensuring that everyone sets well-defined goals each quarter, you also plant the seeds for a culture of accountability and collaboration.
 
3. Talk about strategy all the time.
Don’t think you can just share the strategy once. Use every chance you get-emails, meetings, town halls, informal chats-to talk about actions, decisions, and goals in the context of strategy. This ongoing articulation of the strategy will help employees act strategically even when you’re not there. Let any fear of repeating yourself go. Talk about strategy, and then talk about it some more.
 
4. Refresh every quarter.
Finally, close the loop at quarter-end. Sit down with the leadership team and discuss: Do we need to tweak the strategy based on what happened in the past 90 days? Where did we excel, and where did we fall short? Communicate key takeaways from this discussion to the whole company, then set and share goals for next quarter.
In their now famous Fortune article, “Why CEOs Fail,” Ram Charan and Geoffrey Colvin explain what trips up 70 percent of chief executives: “It’s bad execution. As simple as that: not getting things done, being indecisive, not delivering on commitments.”
At The SOS Group Inc, our mission is to help business leaders and organizations improve their efficiency and effectiveness by helping them develop and implement strategic change that delivers measurable and predictable results, getting them from where they are now to where they want to be-quickly.
We’re now partnering with Khorus, makers of the first enterprise leadership platform. It’s a powerful combination. You get a measurable and predictable strategy that spells success for your business, plus a consistent method for translating the strategy into teamwork and real results.
Remember you cannot manage what you cannot measure.  So,if you’re ready to lead your company forward and gain a measurable competitive advantage in today’s market, give me a call today at 713-249-9569. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain!

Sustainability – The New Greening ($)

Today’s business environment is7a5f748c-7b3c-46f4-b737-09d8df982d21 dynamic to say the least.  It can create challenges and opportunities!  Where do we look for opportunities and how do we position ourselves to maximize our growth potential and overcome those challenges that keep us from achieving high-quality sustainable business growth?

The 2015 strategies that CEOs are looking at:

  • How to create a culture of innovation by promoting entrepreneurship and risk taking
  • How to engage in strategic alliances with customers and other business partners
  • How to find, engage and incentivize key talent
  • How to apply new methods, products and services
  • How to develop innovative skills in all employees

One definition of Sustainability is that it is a business approach that creates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks derived from economic, environmental, and social developments.

NEW FRONTIER

Some think of it as “greening” an organization. While that is part of the definition, when done properly it is much bigger and cuts a wider path. According to an article published by HBR

“Our research shows that sustainability is a mother lode of organizational and technological innovations that yield both bottom-line and top-line returns. … In fact, because those are the goals of corporate innovation, we find that smart companies now treat sustainability as innovation’s new frontier.”

Initially it was thought that sustainability would increase the cost of doing business. As with the quality movement this has been proven to be false. As a matter of fact, improving quality and becoming sustainable will actually reduce costs, improve profits, and help the environment.

Sustainability from an organizational perspective also includes an increase in productivity and/or reduction of consumed resources without compromising product or service quality, competitiveness, or profitability.

BENEFITS

Enhanced outcomes of sustainability strategies can include: a stronger brand, greater pricing power, greater operational efficiencies, more efficient use of resources, supply chain optimization, enhanced ability to enter new markets, enhanced ability to attract, retain, and motivate employees, increased customer loyalty,  reduced environmental impact, and improved innovation.

Sustainability has the greatest chance of success when a proven implementation model is used. “You cannot implement these kinds of programs bottom-up; it’s impossible. It’s always top down … Always. Because it’s such a cultural change, you cannot do it organically.”

IMPLEMENTATION

Often improvements go across departmental lines and this requires top management’s involvement. In our experience when sustainability is strategically based, management driven, employee supported, and stakeholder/customer focused, it’s a winner. However, without management’s focus, a change of this magnitude simply becomes relegated to another “program-of-the-month.” When that happens, its power is lost and the employees become disillusioned with their management.

We have a proven implementation model that works quickly and would very much appreciate the opportunity to discuss it with you to determine how you can begin reaping the extraordinary benefits of sustainability as a business strategy. Most of all it will enhance your competitive advantage!

For a free demonstration, give me a call. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain.

Are ATTITUDES affecting your RESULTS?

253ae1e9-1b46-4df6-9a0c-d216e14d5a8bIn our MUST-DO Strategies post last time we highlighted that to meet today’s challenges for high quality sustainable growth CEOs are focusing their strategies on Human Capital, Customer Relations and Operational Excellence. Let’s look at Human Capital – those mission critical resources necessary for business success.

If you want to improve results there are many initiatives you can try but in the end the most effective way may be to get more out of what you already have through behavioral based change. Attitudes affect behaviors which directly impact results.

Do you need an attitude or behavioral based change? Ask yourself and your teams the following questions:

  • What would an improvement in management team effectiveness mean to results?
  • What is turnover of mission critical resources really costing us?
  • How are our culture and behaviors impacting results?
  • How well do we work together as a team?
  • How are our quality and behaviors affecting client attraction and retention?

If there is a disparity with any of the answers to above or you just want to get better, you may need a positive behavioral based change. Ask us how our INSIDE-OUT Success Formula can improve attitudes and your bottom line results, FAST!

Ask us how we can help Empower your potential to Excel and Perform!

Today’s MUST-DO Strategy!

If you’re keeping up with today’s headlines the energy industry is a scary place to be! In today’s dynamic market what should you do: cut, downsize, restructure, implement strategic changes,…?

Today’s Must-Do Strategies!

According to The Conference Board 2015 CEO Challenge annual survey results fa60e96b-12e8-4ff8-b1e6-0424a2d0af80from across the nation the top three strategies for achieving high-quality sustainable business growth are:

  • Human Capital – Improve Performance Management
  • Customer Relations – Engagement and Quality
  • Operational Excellence – Productivity and Alignment

Your success objectives growth, profit, customer satisfaction, retention and/or shareholder value are dependent on the organizations ability to implement strategic change and maintain a motivated innovative culture and behaviors.

In our next postings you will learn how forward thinking leader’s are addressing these strategies and enhancing their competitive advantage, FAST!

Please feel free to contact me for more information. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain.

Ask us how we can help Empower your potential to Excel and Perform!

Results Assurance

“If we improved any single process in our business by just 1%, or even 0.1%, but we did that every single day – what do you think the effects would be in a month? In a year? In five years?”

Are you looking to assure more successes with sales, profit, satisfied customers and employees, promotions, bonus or more? Do you know the formula for success and have you mastered the art of achieving success? We all know what we want to do and maybe what we should do, however, do we have the behaviors and the know-how and support needed to achieve real success?

There are four key components to being highly successful. Those are:

  • The Want To!
  • The What To!
  • The How To!
  • The Where To!

If you have ever played organized sports you know what it’s like to have a coach encourage you and help you understand the rules, strategy, plays and the behaviors necessary to be successful in that sport.

Business is the same. Be it building teams, managing people, successful sales, career advancement, project management, profitable operations and projects and more we all need a valid success formula and the support to achieve our goals and objectives. It’s a team sport!  If it was all so easy, then why aren’t you already getting the results and rewards you deserve?

The solution is simple; we can give you a proven process today that you and your teams can use to achieve phenomenal long term results, FAST. The ROI starts on day one!

As some of our clients put it:  “It helped me get organized and focused not only on my work but also on what I want to achieve!”,”It helped our team to discuss shared issues and find solutions to common problems.”, “Our sales could double using this formula!”, “The gains we are realizing are priceless!”

There is no charge for the first consultation.  You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain – more profits, advancements, improved retention of mission critical resources, more sales, satisfied customers, reduced risk, behavioral based change, goal driven management teams with results and more! You could say that we are in the Results Assurance Business!

If you’re interested in learning how this success formula can help you get more from what you already have, then give me a call today at 713-249-9569.  I guarantee it will be life changing for you and your business results!

Dedicated to your success!

Your Results Assurance – Executive Coach

Empowering Leaders

Over stressed? It is time to move up the ladder!
Over stressed? It is time to move up the ladder!

Do you feel like the underdog at times?  Are you looking to kick start the next phase of your career?  Would sharpening your sales skills improve your income?  Are you looking to negotiate your next raise or new job promotion?  Then its time to take action.

“Empowering Leaders” are not just words. You can now join our development programs and achieve those goals.  Check out what our customers say about their experiences with the program.

Class sizes are limited!  Don’t wait! Sign up today.

Organizational Change Management

Change Management Leadership
Change Management Leadership

Organizational Change Management

 

 

 

 

A colleague of mine says that people don’t mind change and they don’t necessarily fear it – but that they do fear what is required to make a change. So, in effect, when organizational change management is proposed and employees begin to have “fear conversations” (“I wonder what job moves are going to come about as a result of this. . .?” “Where is all this heading. . .?” ” What kind of shake-ups will there be at the top?”) what they’re actually expressing is a fear of how the change is to be instituted. Organizational psychologists are highly attuned to change constructs, to the organizational purposes that they serve, and the opportunities and advantages that they provide for organizations. For all the positive aspects that change provides, we nevertheless find dichotomized thinking about the change process, when we work with the employees of a corporation undergoing change. From one prospective, we find that the organization’s members endorse the end result of change and the advantages that this can bring. They can see, for example, that changes can offer greater efficiencies and improved and easier ways of doing things; increased corporate profits and a chance at higher salaries; a heightened competitive edge and greater market status advantage for the company. While acknowledging these benefits, what they talk to us about, however, are the actions and details that will occur between the time change is initiated and when the change has been effected – that is, the path that is to be traveled to make the change is of the greatest concern.

Because change is so all-pervasive in modern organizations, two of the most critical elements of leadership are initiation and management of change. Most managers have had limited training in the specifics of leading organizational change and have little idea of the ways that their employees perceive and experience change. And, yet, much of the day-to-day work of the manager involves addressing marketplace opportunities – most of which require change to the organizational structure and its employee functioning. The greatest determinant of the future success of an organization is the CEO and leadership team’s ability to address change by formulating and articulating a clear vision and carefully-crafted strategic reactions.

Change in complex organizations requires management of the interplay of emotions and cognitive processes. Managers, on the whole, lack the knowledge and background to deal with imminent and forced organizational changes. The modern, dynamic business environment requires large numbers of changes to be made during any given year, from an ever-widening range of change choices. Without training in this area, managers often resist change or avoid organizational transformation effort. When faced with the need to change, resistive actions on the part of the organization’s leaders can precipitate a process that results in rapid deterioration of the organization. Sound knowledge of organizational change processes, on the other hand, allows leaders to view change as an opportunity that can be guided and managed for greater gains.

From these two different approaches to organizational change – change resistance or change management – two differing belief systems emerge. The belief of the “change resistant” manager is that change will bring instability, upheaval, unpredictability, threat and disorientation; the “change embracer,” on the other hand, sees change as an opportunity — a chance for rejuvenation and innovation as well as progress and growth. In effect, the difference in the two approaches is a that of viewing change from a perspective of fear and anxiety, or from one of excitement and confidence.

From our experiences in organizations, there is no doubt that confident managers deal with change management most effectively. To arrive at a point where they are poised and assured of handling organizational changes, managers will have devoted themselves to constant and continuous learning. Dedicated learners gain the ability to gather large amounts of current knowledge that allows flexibility to react with dexterity and skill to crisis situations. Learning managers also come to know the culture of their organizations, and, consequently, are adept at persuading and reassuring employees to follow their lead in instituting change propositions.

From our many experiences of working as consultants in organizations, the professionals in my company have gleaned the following precepts of managing change:

1– STRUCTURE AND POSIT THE CHANGE PROPOSITION WELL

Managers need to be able to clearly and completely describe and justify the changes that they propose. In order to prepare their employees for change, they need to have researched the topic well in order to be able to clearly delineate: 1) the reason for the change; 2) the proposed actions to be taken; and 3) the expected results. Good data to support the need for change are critical. The data need to be provided, along with sources for employees to find background and technical information for the proposed changes on their own. Providing information sources for employees encourages an informed workforce and also promotes the growth of an organizational population of learners.

2 — ANTICIPATE RESISTANCE AND REACTION

The manager should know the employees and the organizational culture well enough to be able to anticipate those who will be resistant to change. Preparations for emotional reactions to change can be accomplished by developing strategies for use in specific situations. Change scenarios can offer sound operational approaches for most circumstances. If there are departments or other “pockets” of personnel who are likely to resist the changes, the manager and his staff will want to work with these members either in groups, or one-on-one, as appropriate.

3 — TALK OPENLY ABOUT THE CHANGE REACTIONS

The manager, or an expert hired to assist with the intricacies of individual behavior in change situations, will need to confront employee fears and reactions to the change. There is a need to talk openly about plans for change and the actions relating to the change as well as to work with individual employees to assist them in addressing their concerns. As a part of this process, employees will need to determine “what’s in it for me” — this might simply be that the company, and they along with it, will prosper under the new directions. Once there have been discussions to promote greater understanding, employees can begin to think seriously about their roles in the change process.

4 — INSPIRE TRUST AND TEAMWORK

The focus of the work with employees during the planning and initiation stages of change will be on engendering employee trust and inspiring teamwork. When goals are explained well and management credibility and integrity exists, it will be possible to transform employee reactions of anxiety to an endorsement of changes. Trust and team building is a topic requiring lengthy discussion, as there are prescriptive processes that will need to be followed. To accomplish this phase of change, leaders will need to research the topic well; or, alternatively, employ experts who can guide the organization’s members through formal teambuilding and organizational development processes.

5 — ALLOW OWNERSHIP OF THE CHANGE PROCESS

The desired outcome for teambuilding is to have employees feel that they own the change process as well as the path that is to be traveled to secure the change. Great value is derived from the employee dedication and rejuvenation that comes from feeling ownership of the change process. When an employee is feeling in charge of the process and of his own fate, there is certainty that the desired change will be accomplished. This level of confidence also fosters inspiration, new ideas, and innovative ways of doing things that result in a high rate of overall achievement.

6 — LEADERS MUST LEAD

Throughout the change process, from the planning. . . to the introduction of change . . . to the implementation, the leader must lead. That is, employees must be convinced, in both words and actions, that the leader is fully behind the change processes. Members of the organization must be able both to know and to sense that the direction of change is well understood and highly endorsed by the leader, and that the leader harbors no doubts about the proposed course of action leading to greater organizational benefit and commercial gain for the organization. Good information about the organization’s position and the need for change, a clear plan for action, and absolute faith in the success of the actions to be undertaken will be interpreted positively by employees. A leader that proposes change must be certain of the commitment and skill in leading the change efforts. It is for these challenging change efforts that confident leaders are most needed.

In summary: A leader must be willing to embrace the organizational change management processes with clarity and enthusiasm; must have identified the need for change through avid learning processes; must be able to transmit a commitment to the change as well as to one’s employees throughout the process; must be willing to work with individuals, groups and teams to establish the right path to accomplish the change; must be willing to share the ownership of the change processes and to compromise and deviate, where needed, from the original plans in order to ensure that others assume important roles in the process. And, above all, the leader must exhibit the courage and conviction that engenders respect and confidence from others in the organization; that allays most doubts; and that inspires employees to greater levels of performance and accomplishment.

 

Author: Dr. Billie Blair