As one executive once put it to me, ‘the CEO is the most manipulated person in the organization.’ He was reacting to the myth that CEOs, perched as they are atop the organization, see and know everything. Research and experience tell a very different story: CEOs actually find it difficult to obtain the information they need.
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:
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.
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!
In our MUST-DO Strategies post 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 Operational Excellence and creating a results driven culture!
The business dictionary defines Operational Excellence as “A philosophy of the workplace where problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership results in the ongoing improvement in an organization. The process involves focusing on the customers’ needs, keeping the employees positive and empowered, and continually improving the current activities in the workplace.”
The strategies and actions that CEOs are looking at:
During the recent CERAWeek Conference in Houston we heard:
“People are very creative and very innovative and they respond when they are under pressure. They respond the best!” ExxonMobil Corp CEO Rex Tillerson.
“Getting to simplicity is harder. It means getting to the core of what’s needed. Cutting costs in the simple manner is rather easy. Cutting the right costs is much more difficult.” Statoil CEO Eldar Sætre said.
When you take the definition of Operational Excellence and overlay it with the CEO’s focus on people and processes and compare that with what is said at the CERAWeek conference it paints a clearer picture of where your initiatives should focus, but not the what and how.
The challenge is determining the what and how that will quickly result in an improved competitive advantage in today’s marketplace?
Through our “GAP” Implementation Program and the interactive online goal tracking tool we can quickly identify the what and how that have delivered quantum leaps in performance, innovation, risk reduction and improved margins of over 30% per year even in challenging times like today. Our program and workshops are tailored to your needs and objectives to assure focused and quantifiable results.
In our next news letter you will learn more on how forward thinking companies are addressing the next two strategic issues; Innovation and Sustainable!
For a free demonstration on how the “GAP” Implementation Program and tracking tool can quickly create goal driven team dynamics and enhance your competitive advantage, give me a call. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain.
In 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:
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!
“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:
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
It can’t be forced. It doesn’t have to be complicated. And…it’s largely in your control.
Companies spend time and money to measure, maximize and promote, often with posters and making impressive-sounding proclamations. Yet they rarely encourage leaders to do the simple, everyday things that make a sustained difference.
This article highlights what great leaders do to create an environment that inspires all employees to be their best. Emphasis on “inspires,” as you can not coerce engagement. Emphasis on “best,” as most employees are hungry for work that maximizes their strengths and challenges them to improve.
A seminal report by the Conference Board summarized findings from a number of research studies on employee engagement. They define employee engagement as “a heightened emotional and intellectual connection that an employee has for his/her job, organization, manager, or co-workers that, in turn, influences him/her to apply additional discretionary effort to his/her work.”
The report also found that the most powerful driver of employee engagement is the employee/manager relationship – specifically, managers who care about their employees’ well being, foster trust, and lead with integrity.
In the quest for true engagement, what matters most are leaders who are tuned in, turned on, and who consistently call forth the best effort and best attitudes of employees. And not only does this pay off big time for the organization, but it pays off big time for YOU as well!
So, if you are ready to improve business results and eager to retain top talent, then you are ready for the 5-A Model for Engagement. It details specific tools and practices to cultivate personal and productive employee relationships.
5-A MODEL for Engagement
1. ALIGNMENT: Fit of employee talents and capabilities with role
2. ATTENTION: Ways a leader pays attention to employee
3. ATTITUDE: Positive thinking and positive guidance for positive outcomes
4. APPRECIATION: Cultivating and expressing gratitude and recognition
5. AUTHENTICITY: Leading in a way that is true to one’s own unique strengths, personal style and professional perspective
Alignment addresses the fit between an employee’s strengths and interests with their job responsibilities. For many people I’ve coached, their biggest challenge is that they are asked to do what they cannot do or be what they are not, and the individual is seen as having a “performance issue” rather than being in the wrong job.
So the first task if you want to engage your employees is to be vigilant about uncovering, articulating, and advocating their strengths. This is not always as simple as it sounds. Most managers are trained to find and address what’s lacking in an employee. But research tells us, that we would be wise to spend our time developing and utilizing a person’s strengths as opposed to eliminating their weaknesses.
Additionally, employees feel better and do better when their strengths are aligned with their work. In fact, using the other 4 A’s in this model – and not aligning an employee’s skills and interests with the work – will not result in full engagement.
Tips to Create Alignment:
Two of the many tools on the market that help capture strengths I recommend are: StrengthsFinder found in the book, Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, and VIA Signature Strengths survey which is free and can be found at http://www.viasurvey.org
Ask your employees, “Tell me about a time when you felt most engaged at work…what was happening? What skills were you using?” Ask your employees, “Do you feel you have a chance to use your best strengths in your job?” When promoting or moving people into new roles, ask yourself if the employees will still have a chance to use their strengths. This is especially important when promoting stellar individual performers into management positions.
Attention includes the physical and non-physical ways you focus on employees. Your most valued resource is your attention. And the quality and nature of how you pay attention speaks volumes about you and the value you place on your employees. Paying positive attention to your employee’s strengths and interests is critical to engagement.
Additionally, you should also look at all they do right, their career ambitions, families, hobbies, concerns, goals. Even employees who prefer some privacy appreciate your asking.
Body language is BIG. Notice how you physically give attention to your employees. Do you use their name when speaking to them? Do you look them in the eye? Shake their hand? Restate what you hear them say? Do you show up at meetings on time? And very important, when in group meetings or one-on-one discussions, do you eliminate distractions like email and phone calls?
Tips for Giving Attention
Turn off all appliances and tune in to your employees.
Ask employees about their career ambitions, hopes, and fears.
Ask employees about their outside interests and families.
Make eye contact and use the name of the person you are speaking with.
Give employees at least 3 positive statements for every critical one.
Say good morning and good evening.
Celebrate the good stuff!
The two key behaviors that contribute to displaying and inspiring a positive attitude are positive thinking and positive feeling.
With positive thinking, you approach challenges from a realistically optimistic perspective rather than a pessimistic or victim-oriented one. Realistic optimism doesn’t mean denying problems: It means applying your efforts – and the efforts of others – on what you can control, expecting that by doing so the future will be better.
Pessimistic managers see organizational challenges as pervasive and out of their control, “I’m such a bad manager. This company is going down hill.” Realistically optimistic managers see challenges as opportunities, consider the bad stuff as temporary, and believe in their own resourcefulness and the resourcefulness of others. “It’s true that we’re going through a rough patch. Now what can we do to make it better?”
While some leaders tend towards pessimism or optimism, anyone can choose an optimistic approach to work. Doing so not only feels better but results in better outcomes. Employees want to be engaged with positive people and rewarding endeavors. You must lead the way.
Second, use positive emotion to promote useful outcomes. We all recognize that the simple cold is quite contagious. What is less obvious is how contagious a bad mood can be — especially when it belongs to the manager. Science has established that like physical viruses, moods are indeed contagious. Additionally, negative feelings such as anxiety and anger not only feel bad but shut us down and close us off to new ideas; we become less creative and resourceful.
Barbara Frederickson developed a “broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions” that finds that “There is now hard data showing positive emotions give us access to cognitive, social, psychological and physical resources. In other words, they make us smarter, more creative, more social, and healthier.” And not surprisingly, people in positive moods are more liked by others and more open to ideas and experiences (Frederickson, 1998). The bottom line is that negative emotions tear down — positive emotions build up.
This research, and our own anecdotal experience, suggest how leaders lead and employ smart behaviors that you can use to enhance your — and others’ — emotions.
Tips for Creating a Positive Attitude
·Before going into a meeting, ask yourself what kind of attitude will help work get done at the meeting. The answer will lead you to some ideas for how you want to behave.
·Ration the time you spend with people with negative attitudes.
·Ask yourself and/or your team, “What’s in our control?”
·If someone responds negatively try saying, “That may be AND…”
·To promote positive feelings in yourself, consider the following 5-minute attitude adjustment activities:
oPay attention to your thinking
oGo for a fast power walk in the parking lot
oSpend a few minutes paying attention to your breath
oWrite an email to yourself stating what your goal is and note what thoughts and feelings will assist you in attaining
oLook at a picture of your family or favorite vacation spot
oAnd yes, one of my clients played the theme song to Rocky every time he wanted to psyche himself up for a big
meeting or moment.
“The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated” – William James.
Not only is appreciating a smart strategy for engaging others, but taking time to deeply appreciate what we have fills our tank as well.
You might be thinking that cultivating appreciation is well worn advice–something we heard from our parents or teachers. And that may be. But good common sense is often uncommon. Further, while appreciation is indeed an underused strategy for engagement, there are actually many barriers to practicing it.
For starters, if you are like many leaders, you may consider yourself a high achiever. One thing we know about high achievers is that they are often focused on future goals. And that future orientation makes leaders vulnerable to not seeing all that is currently happening and all that has already been achieved.
Managers are paid to solve problems and put out fires. You’re quick to see what’s not working rather than what is working. You usually look three steps ahead. Again, this tendency can come at the expense of appreciating people now and accomplishments now.
And it’s easy to rely too heavily on reward and recognition programs instead of smaller, sometimes more impactful displays of genuine appreciation. Employees make countless contributions made by employees every day that may not merit formal recognition, but without them we and our organizations could not succeed.
And the last barrier to appreciating is simply the pace of our lives: We forget to stop and appreciate.
Tips for Cultivating Appreciation
·Start or end your meetings with “thank you’s” or personal acknowledgments, (even better if you invite everyone to join in).
·Keep a supply of monogrammed note cards in your desk and make it a point to write a few each week.
·One client enjoyed keeping 10 pennies in his left pants pocket, and every time he gave a sincere acknowledgement he moved a penny from his left pant pocket to his right pant pocket. His goal was to have all 10 pennies moved by the day’s end.
·Spend 5 minutes at the end of each week writing down what you appreciate that week – feel free to include non-work happenings, and by all means, feel free to engage your team and/or your family in the activity. As they say, “What we appreciate appreciates…”
·Leave a note somewhere reminding you to be appreciative.
·And lest you think showing appreciation is just something for the good times – it is even more important when things don’t go well. Consider the manager who when his team was faced with a setback, instead of pointing fingers, asked, “What’s here for us to learn? What can we appreciate about this challenge?”
Being authentic means expressing yourself in ways that are in keeping with your own authentic style and temperament and with a sincere desire to make your relationships work. Employees can see through technique, so by all means adapt these suggestions in ways that feel good to you. The only caveat is if for instance you recognize an opportunity to be more appreciative, and choose to use a new behavior such as sending thank you notes, realize that at first it may feel awkward because it’s new – which is different from not being authentic.
Tips for Cultivating Authenticity
·Clarify and articulate your core values – use them as anchors and guideposts to inform your leadership actions.
·Tell the truth — and if you don’t know, say so.
·Tell personal stories that demonstrate times you have overcome adversity, managed change, or accomplished an important goal.
·Invest in your own development – know and claim your strengths and weaknesses.
·Honor your commitments.
·Lead by example.
So What’s in it for You?
I love win/win/win propositions, and the good news is that using these 5 A’s of Engagement results in increased engagement for your employees, your company and you!
Align people’s strengths to their job, attend to their needs with keen focus, bring a positive attitude (via thoughts and feelings) to work challenges, consistently convey appreciation for your employees efforts. Practicing these behaviors will inspire higher levels of performance, enhance retention and generate greater commitment to results. You will feel GREAT about yourself as a leader, and the increased commitment and contributions from those you work with will wow you! Promise. Now, here’s to you!
Conference Board Report: Employee Engagement: A Review of Current Research and its Implications, 2006. “What Good are Positive Emotions?” by B.L. Frederickson, 1998. Review of General Psychology, 2, pp. 300-319.
Author: Cheryl Rice
When you stepped on this path of entrepreneurship, if you’re like me, you became a sponge for knowledge. If there was a new strategy you heard about, you found a resource to become skilled in learning that strategy. If there was an event you knew you needed to be at, you figured out how to get there. You were an “eager beaver” to learn, learn, learn and implement what you learned in your business.
But chances are, nobody ever suggested you stop with all the information gathering and ask yourself the deeper questions of, “Is this right for me? Is this aligned with who I am, what my business is and what’s important to me?” Many entrepreneurs I’ve spoken with are just now stepping back to ask themselves what they’ve been doing for the past several months (or years)… and if it’s really working for them.
What several of these entrepreneurs are discovering is that they’ve been going after what they “thought” they “should” be doing based on watching and modeling someone else. It’s an honest thing to do. You’re taught to model others. But, you’ve got to be mindful of knowing where the line is between modeling in a way that serves you and modeling in a way that pulls you further away from who you are.
On that note, I want to share with you the ABC’s of aligning with your business so no matter what stage you’re in; no matter how much knowledge you have; no matter your level of success (or frustration) these three tips will help you make sure you are on track to be in total alignment with your business as you head into 2010.
In order to get from “Point A” to “Point B” in terms of aligning with your business, you’ve first got to assess where you really are. Many entrepreneurs just keep going, keep plowing through their to-do list without taking time to step back and truly assess where they’re at and what direction they’re headed.
In this phase, you’ll allow yourself to see what’s working in your business and what isn’t working in your business, and more importantly what is and isn’t working for YOU! It may be that your greatest source of income is also coming from the service that causes you the most amount of stress. This is not in alignment. Your income ought to come from your greatest joy. So, these are the things to be looking for. Where does your business FEEL right and where doesn’t it?
The assessment phase may uncover some things that perhaps you’d prefer not to see. I know when I went through the assessment phase in my business, I saw I was doing things that I really shouldn’t have been doing. These were some of the things others had suggested I do, so they didn’t purely come from the intent in my heart, but by what someone else thought.
So, this next phase invites you to be brave in facing what you see. Yes, it might feel temporarily easier to pretend that what you see isn’t really there. It’s natural to want to avoid that kind of pain. However, if it’s there, it will always be there and it can’t really be avoided, it can only be postponed. So, allow yourself to face whatever you see straight-on and you will be one step closer to totally aligning your Self with your business.
Finally, the third phase is to embrace the concept of co-creation. Co-creation happens when you are fully awake, aware and conscious of the reality that everything created through you is created in partnership with Spirit. In order to truly be aligned with your Self and your business, it’s essential to not let your human will or your ego feel like it’s the creative force behind what you do.
Alignment happens when your ego is set aside, when your intent is pure, when comparison and competition (or what you think you “should” do) aren’t part of your process. This can be the greatest growth opportunity of all… to allow yourself to “let go” enough to make room for grace. So, don’t feel like you have to do everything in your business (or your life) alone, be open to seeing that when you’re in alignment you’re opening to a world of infinite possibility.
Author: Christine M. Kloser
Can anyone become a successful business person? I am asked this question many times after I have given a speech on business procedures and strategies. The answer is not that simple.
Before we get to the answer, let me ask you a question. Can anyone become a successful medical doctor? To become a doctor, there are several very important factors that have to be given a lot of careful thought and consideration.
First, you have to be interested in the field of medicine. Then develop a passion for this profession – find out all you can, do plenty of research and get professional advice.
Once you have made your firm decision, you have to go to medical school and learn from the work of those who have researched, developed and established the field of medicine through trial and error.
When you graduate from medical school, you have another very important decision to make. Are you going to specialize in any particular field of medicine like cardiology, gynecology, anesthesiology or any other particular area of medicine.
If you decide to specialize, you will have to go back to school and qualify in your chosen field.
After you graduate, you will have to serve an internship either at a hospital or with a specialist in your field who might decide to take you under his or her wing and give you some hands on practical experience under supervision.
Then you will be ready to venture out on your own. You can set up your own office or join a group of doctors who work from one office.
Some doctors, after graduating from medical college and having served an internship, decide to go into general practise. General practitioners, who usually act as “Family Doctors” examine patients and refer them to specialists to deal with a particular medical problem.
For example, a person with a heart problem will be refered to a cardiologist; a person with a skin problem to a dermatologist and so on.
Becoming a medical doctor is not easy. You have to be interested in the field of medicine, develop a passion, be dedicated, educate yourself, get the proper training and work at it passionately on a consistant basis.
Since new discoveries are being made in the field of medicine constantly by researchers and other scientists, everyone in the medical profession has to keep up with all the new developments.
I have never heard of any doctor who has gone through all the education, training, internship etc. failing in this profession. There are those who might change course. For example, a general practitioner might decide to go into research.
But doctors never fail to be doctors unless they give up or retire. Doctors take their profession very seriously and succeed always. There is no such thing as failure in the medical profession.
Now to get to the question, “Can anyone become a successful medical doctor?” The answer is “Yes! Anyone who really wants to can become a successful medical doctor.”
The key words here are, “Anyone who really wants to.”
Let us get back to our original question. “Can anyone become a successful business person?” The answer is, “Yes! Anyone who really wants to, can become a successful business person.”
To become a successful business person, you will have to make several important choices. choices like,
1) What type of business do you want to get into? 2) Are you passionate about the field you have chosen? 3) Are you willing to devote enough time and energy to your business? 4) Are you prepared to do whatever it takes to succeed? 5) Are you willing to stick to it till you succeed?
Then you have to research your field of interest, educate yourself, get the proper training, lay the foundation and work at it consistantly. If you do everything properly, success is inevitable. Ask any successful business person and he or she will tell you what they had to go through to achieve success.
A business should be taken seriously and treated like a profession, not as a hobby. Then with the correct, persistant action taken on a daily basis, you are sure to succeed. There is no doubt about it.
Those who do not succeed in business are the ones who are looking for “An easy way to make money.” These are the same people who buy lottery tickets and hope to strike it rich overnight. According to statistics, the chances of a person winning a lottery is one in 168 million.
But the chances of succeeding in a business, if done in the proper way is 100%. There is no “Easy way” to make money in any business. Passion, dedication, knowledge, education, hard work are all necessary ingredients. Once you get started and get some experience under your belt, things will become easier and easier.
Yes! Anyone who really wants to, can become a successful business person and make a living or even become very rich. Lots of people who have followed the correct path have succeeded in business and are continuing to do so. “Everyone wants to succeed but few are willing to pay the price.”
You can become a successful business person “If You Really Want To.”
Patrick Silva is a Seminar Instructor, a Researcher and a Public Speaker. He is the editor of “A Learners Lounge,” a free ezine dedicated to inspire and motivate you to achieve success. To subscribe to A Learners Lounge, please click on the URL below.
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What is misalignment costing your company?
We know of no company that has ever saved themselves into prosperity. However, we also know of no company that has positioned themselves for long-term success without managing their costs, productivity and most importantly the actions that they take to give them an advantage in the markets that they serve.
In our experience, the primary obstacle is not structure, market conditions or financial pressure, it is misalignment …
•Misalignment of core processes with strategy
•Misalignment of recognition issues that reward activity but negate strategy
•Misalignment of managerial behaviors and attitudes with strategic direction(Inappropriate attitudes render long term success DOA)
•Misalignment of strategies, products and services with what customers really value
The simple logic is that today, misalignment can be costing your company as much as 15% of your gross sales. Stopping only a fraction of this bleeding would improve your profits, employee and customer satisfaction, successful new product introductions and supplier relationships. Your unit costs would go down and your competitiveness would go up.
We would like the opportunity to connect the above with your current business situation and to illustrate how our organization might become a resource to you. We unlike traditional consulting firms believe the answers to the challenges and opportunities facing an organization exist within that organization. It’s our job to help you tap into this creativity and talent to get more from what you already have and fill the performance “GAP”s between your strategies, people, process and customers and where you want to be. Don’t let misalignment impact your profitability.
Charles Wilds – The SOS Group