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Creating a Winning Company Culture by Investing in People

Posted on April 1, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Books, Communications, Guest Blogger, Leadership

Company Pow-Wow

Creating a vibrant company culture requires an investment in people.  Live events company productionglue has implemented a program that has driven loyalty, innovation and profitability.

Today’s post is by Eric Tetuan, Co-founder and chief innovation officer at productionglue.

Creating a winning company culture begins with an investment in people. Maintaining this kind of atmosphere takes intentional respect, empathy, and an emphasis on human connection. Investing in people goes beyond employees to clients, partners, and the community at large. Implementing this kind of culture can do great things for growth, achieving new goals, and seeing successful results. More than the innovation and skills we bring to each project, these values are why our clients come back time and time again and entrust us with their most important moments.

Every company has a unique set of priorities and challenges, but always keeping a high priority on investing in people will attract quality candidates. These candidates will go on to adopt those values and implement them in relationship with their clients, contributing to the cycle of caring and quality business relationships that lead to the best outcomes. It inspires everyone to be team players and frees them to focus on the needs of the project; knowing they’re in an environment that their own needs as a staff member are heard and respected. Staff members who feel appreciated tend to be more productive, adaptable, and willing to go above and beyond for a client or team member. Collaboration becomes second nature as staff members share their knowledge to help their colleagues; making continual professional development the standard.

At productionglue these values inspire five initiatives that are integrated into everything we do. They were devised to encourage experimentation, progressive thinking among our team, and to challenge us to advance what’s possible. Their platforms not only benefit the community but support employees to thrive both personally and professionally. Every employee has the opportunity to glean from, contribute to, and collaborate with each initiative in different ways from starting a food drive, to teaching a class, or implementing employee health and wellness programs. It has helped us achieve an all-around healthier and more motivated workforce and become a cohesive team that can step into any challenge to produce remarkable results for our clients.

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How effectively does your organization say “no” to work that is “off strategy?”

Posted on March 28, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Entrepreneur, Leadership, Poll

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue Line

Our reader poll today asks:  How effectively does your organization say “no” to work that is “off strategy?”

  • Very: if it’s not on strategy, we don’t do it. Ever: 8%
  • Mostly: we say “no” to most distractions but not all: 33%
  • Kind of: a fair number of distractions get worked on: 22%
  • Not very: we find it difficult to say “no” to many things: 31%
  • Not at all: we work on every idea that comes our way: 7%

Focus is challenging. 60% of you report challenges with focus resulting in a fair number of distractions getting your time and energy. The most powerful word you need to learn is “no” if you want to keep things on track. A great technique for saying no to distractions is to highlight the opportunity cost of working on that project or task. When people see that a higher priority item won’t get worked on, they tend to be more receptive to not working on a task. In isolation, every task is important. It’s only when you compare it to more important work that people can see it’s a distraction from achieving your critical objectives.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

Did you enjoy this post?  If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog.  It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!).  SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!

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Secrets to Effective Employee Engagement

Posted on March 25, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Books, Guest Blogger, Leadership

Lunch Meeting Work Session

If efforts to increase employee engagement in your organization have been a bust, you’re not alone.  Over the last two decades, most organizations have launched engagement initiatives or programs at their worksites with minimal success.  What those efforts focused on depended primarily upon how the organization measured the concept of employee engagement to begin with, often using the dimensions advocated by the Human Resources consulting firm they were working with at the time.

Today’s post is by Bob Nelson, Ph.D., author of 1,001 WAYS TO ENGAGE EMPLOYEES (CLICK HERE to get your copy)

If efforts to increase employee engagement in your organization have been a bust, you’re not alone.  Over the last two decades, most organizations have launched engagement initiatives or programs at their worksites with minimal success.  What those efforts focused on depended primarily upon how the organization measured the concept of employee engagement to begin with, often using the dimensions advocated by the Human Resources consulting firm they were working with at the time.

In fact, what companies have historically been shown to be especially good at is measuring employee engagement. Improving employee engagement? Not so much.

How else could you explain the fact that there has been very little overall change in the number of engaged and disengaged employees in the workplace over the last 20 years?  Only three of every ten workers today are “engaged,” giving full discretionary effort on his or her jobs today—a statistic that, according to The Gallup Organization, pretty much hasn’t changed over the past two decades. About half of all employees are “disengaged” at work, that is, “going through the motions,” but not committed to giving their best effort in their jobs, and the remainder of employees (18%) are “actively disengaged,” even to the point of being counterproductive to the goals of the organization.

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How rigorously do you maintain your professional network?

Posted on March 21, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Entrepreneur, Leadership, Poll

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue Line

Our reader poll today asks:  How rigorously do you maintain your professional network?

  • Very: I put a lot of time and effort into strengthening my network: 16%
  • Kind of: I’ll spend time on it when I have free time: 33%
  • Not very: I neglect maintaining it most of the time: 41%
  • Not at all: I have more important things to spend time on: 9%

To network or not network? Only a small percentage (16%) of you are being rigorous about managing your network. The rest, much less so. Given the resources available these days (social networks, mobile phones, etc.) it’s easier than ever to manage and strengthen your network. Yes, it’s a long-term investment and it takes time and energy. It’s easy to ignore doing it — until you need it. I see it all the time — people do nothing to manage and maintain their network but then the instant they lose their job or lose a key client, they’re a frenzy of networking activity. That never works out well. Think of your network like your retirement accounts: you have to invest in them now when you don’t need them so they’re strong and ready when you do need them.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

Did you enjoy this post?  If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog.  It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!).  SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!

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Corporate America’s Biggest Inefficiency

Posted on March 20, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Books, Guest Blogger, Leadership

20190320 Emoji Balls

Emotions are the core of all human beings but not managing them properly might be what is keeping your team from achieving the most efficiency in their day. 

Today’s post is by Jon Wortmann, thoughtLEADERS instructor.

How much time is strong emotion wasting in your office? You know the routine: someone says something in a meeting, someone else flies off the handle. The meeting is effectively over. Or someone gets pissed about an email and starts talking to everyone in the office about how awful the sender is. The time spent cleaning up the spin cycle is exhausting and a drain. Or perhaps the most wasteful: people get angry and simply stop contributing.

Strong emotion is inevitable in our digital, global world. So many of us are working harder, longer, and at all hours of the day. The stress level running through our veins is higher than it used to be from the first moments we wake. Complicating the demands are the interruptions. Multiple screens, communication channels, open offices, and the expectation to respond instantly are literally driving us mad. Studies of interruption by Gloria Mark of UC Irvine show that when people are interrupted, they work faster. Here’s the problem she also discovered: They get more stressed too. The stress causes us to get stuck in an emotionally reactive place, and most of us don’t know what to do next.

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Why Full Transparency is Impossible—the Way You Do it

Posted on March 18, 2019 | 2 Comments
Categories: Books, Guest Blogger, Leadership

Group Presentation Day

The business buzzword ‘transparency’ is achievable. But, it’s a team effort, and you’ll have to get rid of closed-door meetings and upgrade your culture first.

Today’s post is by Guy Pierce Bell.

We’ve all heard “transparency” thrown around as one of the hot business buzzwords of the day. But its prevalence hasn’t created anything close to true transparency.

I was recently in an executive meeting that was ominously held behind closed doors. One of the first comments made by the CEO was, “This conversation can’t leave the room.”

I watched as a room full of smart people aggressively defended their beliefs around a range of topics that didn’t need the closed-door approach. Most of the conversation had no real tangible business value, with one exception, and that exception was positive news.

Since that was the only positive takeaway, I decided to share it with my team when I got back to the office. The next morning, I attended an emergency call with the cadre of executives, which started with a thinly veiled threat about sharing the content of our closed-door meeting.

I immediately said that they didn’t need to conduct an investigation—I had shared the inspiring news with my team. I didn’t realize that the positive news had been the reason for closing the door.

In this case, everyone supported my decision, but in far too many cases, no good deed goes unpunished.

Either be transparent and then invite others to practice the same, or don’t; Everyone or no one. And when you have to keep secrets, keep the secrets, but know the difference.

Designing Culture and Playing Buzzword Bingo

I co-wrote a book in early 2000 that mocked the management catchphrases of the day. In the process of talking about our own experiences, I learned about “buzzword bingo.”

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How would you best describe your relationship with delivering end-of-year reviews?

Posted on March 14, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Entrepreneur, Leadership, Poll

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue Line

Our reader poll today asks:  How would you best describe your relationship with delivering end-of-year reviews?

  • I think they’re a great tool for managing performance and developing people: 10%
  • They’re OK, but they definitely have limitations: 32%
  • They’re not at all good for managing performance: 27%
  • I hate them and do them under duress: 17%
  • We don’t deliver year-end reviews: 13%

Death of the annual review? A large majority of you find year-end-reviews to be bad tools for managing performance. The real question here is what are you doing to ensure your people get the feedback they need and are being held accountable to the goals you’re setting out? A once-a-year report hardly gives people time to change performance and oftentimes these reviews are written without linking them to actionable next steps. Regardless of what format you use, be sure to document performance so you can monitor trends and deliver feedback regularly so your people know what behaviors need to change and where they stand relative to their goals.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

Did you enjoy this post?  If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog.  It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!).  SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!

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Lessons in Leadership from CEO’s to the White House

Posted on March 13, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Books, Communications, Leadership

White House

In this set of 7 podcasts, you’ll get valuable leadership advice from the former CEOs of Kellogg’s and Avis. You’ll learn how to finally get people to think outside the box, understand the 8 leader types in the White House and which one you are, get an unconventional marketing idea from Titleist, learn how one of the world’s largest consulting firms solves tough client problems, and learn how to get people to actually follow the rules where you work.

Today’s post is by Paul Smith, thoughtLEADERS principal and bestselling author of Lead With a Story and Sell with a Story.

Here’s an easy way to learn some new leadership skills — in easy-to-digest podcasts you can listen to at your convenience.

These podcasts are based on interviews with hundreds of executives, leaders, authors, and experts at dozens of companies around the world. Each episode brings you an important leadership lesson through a single compelling story.

Don’t tell me to “think outside the box.” Give me a bigger box!
Here’s how. . .

This video illustrates a much better method to get people to think creatively than just telling them to “think outside the box.”

In-Home Research: What a 6am Breakfast in Mexico Taught the CEO of the World’s Largest Cereal Maker

Don’t force your assumptions on your customers. Your products are probably more versatile than you give them credit for. And so are your customers. Find out.

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Dealing with Tough Ethical Dilemmas

Posted on March 11, 2019 | 5 Comments
Categories: Books, Guest Blogger, Leadership

Team Ethics Presentation

Ethical dilemmas can be tough to resolve, especially in today’s complex business environment.  Gut feeling and common sense are unreliable guides to ethical decision making. Only well-grounded ethical reasoning can lead us to the right choices and give us conceptual equipment to defend them.

Today’s post is by John Hooker, author of Taking Ethics Seriously (CLICK HERE to get your copy).

In June 2005, The New York Times published the tragic story of a young man who died of cardiac arrest while on a cycling trip. An implanted defibrillator should have restarted his heart, but it failed. The manufacturer, Guidant Corporation (now part of Boston Scientific), had known for some time about a defect that could on rare occasion cause the defibrillator to malfunction. It promptly fixed the problem when it surfaced but didn’t notify patients in whom the defective devices were implanted. The young man’s doctors were distressed and outraged when they learned about this. They insisted that they would have replaced the defibrillator if only they had known.

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How often do you overcommit and stretch yourself too thin?

Posted on March 7, 2019 | No Comments
Categories: Entrepreneur, Leadership, Poll

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue Line

Our reader poll today asks:  How often do you overcommit and stretch yourself too thin?

  • Always — I consistently commit to too much and am always stretched: 36%
  • Sometimes — I’ll overcommit occasionally but it’s not too frequent: 44%
  • Rarely — Every once in a while I’ll overcommit but not often: 17%
  • Never — I am very mindful of not overcommitting myself ever: 3%

Beware of overcommitting. It’s easy to commit to more than we can handle. We want to be helpful. We fail to forecast unforeseen events. We overestimate our capabilities. We want to look like we’re on top of everything. The danger is when the bill comes due and we owe all that work we promised to deliver. To balance out this risk of overcommitting, keep an active list of projects and always check it before accepting new work. Place calendar holds on your schedule to block time for new commitments. If it doesn’t fit on your list or calendar, you should probably pass on it or negotiate a more favorable deadline. You’re the only one who can protect your time. Beware of saying “yes” to too much because you might never get it done.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

Did you enjoy this post?  If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog.  It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!).  SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!

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