Building accountability into your culture takes effort day in and day out to truly establish and it is also the responsibility of those in leadership positions to continual reinforce. It’s not enough to just build accountability into your culture. You have to strengthen it and reinforce it every single day. This is about the small behaviors adding up to that broader culture. And the organization is going to behave in a manner based on what it sees punished or rewarded. If people see others covering things up or laying blame, and see those people getting ahead, and getting promoted even, then people are going to behave in a manner consistent with that. If, on the other hand, they see that people are stepping up and accepting responsibility, and those behaviors get rewarded, and when people take responsibility for problems and say they’ve made mistakes, that’s held up by management as great behavior, people will behave that way as well. You need to reinforce your culture every single day. Look for creative ways to do so. When I was a consultant, we had “Firm Values Day.” We would take all of our consultants off of client work for a full day, which was extremely expensive for the firm. And for that one day, we would talk about our values. People would share examples of when they saw the values in action, or they would talk about when they violated the values, and what they did to fix it. Think about your organization. Are there opportunities to include conversations around the values and the culture in progress reviews? Can you use it as a lunch and learn topic, or at your staff meetings? When people get promoted, hold up those opportunities as: This person did great work. They’re living up to our culture. This is what we believe in. This is what we want. And others will look at that and say, “That person got promoted […]
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From MBAs to managers, leadership through effective presentation and communication is key. The visualization of data empowers the curation and communication of results, problems, and ideas. Well-designed data graphics make the insights interpretable and actionable. Today’s post is by Dr. Kristen Sosulski, author of Data Visualization Made Simple (CLICK HERE to get your copy). From MBAs to managers, leadership through effective presentations is an essential skill. With the enormous amount of data that managers use to inform decisions, show results, and classify problems, data graphics are a simple, yet efficient means to communicate these data findings. It is a way of showing quantitative information visually. At its core, data visualization is the process of creating data graphics for the purposes of exploration, communication, or decision-making. Knowing how to visualize data as charts is a competence that managers can develop with training. When I first started teaching data visualization in both academic and professional settings, the all too common initial response from the learners was that it was likely that someone else, such as an intern, would be creating their data presentations. Although they thought this was a valuable skill to learn, some felt that the task was not something that an aspiring manager would spend their time doing.
Our reader poll today asks: Do you tend to do things right the first time or act now and fix later? I invest in doing it right the first time: 79% I take action and fix as needed later: 21% Understand the cost of fast action. While there are some situations that require fast more than they require correct, applying that mindset in other situations can cost you more than the time it saves. Think through why you’re rushing and if the rush will be worth it in the long term. Often it’s not. Invest the extra time in doing a task correctly on the first attempt rather than taking shortcuts. The “future you” will appreciate your rigor and attention to detail when there aren’t messes to be cleaned up later. 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!
Many business leaders struggle with making decisions for their company but there are a few simple steps to work through decision making as a process. It’s important to realize that decision making is actually a process, and it’s the process of selecting a choice from a range of possible options, with the goal of achieving a very specific objective. Now contrast that with judgment. Judgment is the ability to form an opinion or reach a conclusion based on available information plus prior experience. So, as you go to make a decision, there are some important principles to keep in mind. First, be clear about the objective. You need to understand what your optimizing for or trying to achieve as you make that particular decision. Second, decide who gets to decide and who doesn’t. Be clear about who’s going to be involved in the decision making process. You need to define who to involve and how to involve them. Some people are going to provide input, other people will provide perspective on implementation, other people will actually make the decision, and having clarity of roles is critical for successful decision making. Next, you’ll need to reduce ambiguity and risk as much as is reasonable before making your decision. The way to do that is to gather information, but realize that gathering information takes time, and as you’re taking that time, new sources of uncertainty are going to emerge. Next, you’ll need to make your choice and make that choice known to the organization. Tell people you’ve made a decision, what the decision is, and why you made it. And then last, once you’ve made the decision, you need to evaluate and adjust based on new information. So the decision making cycle that you should think about following is first, prepare to make the decision, then you actually make the decision, communicate it to people in the organization, execute, which is put the decision into action, and measure and adjust accordingly.
Learning from those that came before us is one of the best ways not repeat the mistakes of the past and make the best decisions for the future. Today’s post is by Marc Demetriou, author of the book, Lessons From My Grandfather (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Many people, including those in leadership positions, tend to overthink things. Haralambos “Charlie” Pistis, the archetypical self-made man and my grandfather, fortunately was not one of them. He travelled as an immigrant from Cyprus to the U.S. at the age of 16 to make a new life for himself, and retired at 60 a millionaire. The secret to his success was not that complicated, as you’ll see below. In my book, Lessons From My Grandfather: Wisdom for Success in Business and Life, I’ve codified the wisdom Grandpa Charlie passed down to me; and a glimpse of this knowledge here. It’s a set of strategies leaders should remind themselves of from time to time.
Our reader poll today asks: How do you handle embarrassing situations where you accidentally cc someone on a message not intended for them? I ignore it and hope they never see the message: 5% I try to recall the message full well knowing that might trigger them to read it: 10% I send another message asking them to disregard the errant one: 21% I own up to it and apologize for the situation I’ve created: 64% Mess up, fess up. We’ll all do it at some point — inadvertently “reply all” or add someone we didn’t intend to add to an email thread. While many of you hope no one notices, the majority (85%) either ask someone to disregard the note or go as far as apologizing for the issue. By ignoring it when you know about it, you could be creating either ill will or at least an air of incompetence. People are generally understanding of email blunders. A genuine apology can go a long way toward mending feelings that might have been hurt or restoring good will between you and the recipient. Be vigilant in maintaining good email habits and, when you do eventually mess up, be quick to fess up and move on. 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!
Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a business problem that you’re not sure how to solve? This five step problem solving process is a great place to begin working through any business issue. At one point I worked with a financial services firm and we had this really cool program that when we first launched it was doing really well, both from a customer stand point and from a financial stand point. The problem came up when all of a sudden all the financial numbers started tanking and everybody started freaking out. We didn’t know what was going on. And it was pretty important for me to solve it, because it was a program I was responsible for. So given the complexity of that problem, I used the five-step problem-solving process. And the steps of the process are really simple and straightforward. In the first step, you pin the problem. You define what the issue is, what the goals of the stakeholders are, what previous efforts looked like, and you come out of that first step with a really clear definition of what the problem is. You can’t just rush ahead into solving a problem if you don’t know what the issue is. Next, is identifying all the issues that could be contributing to that problem, because a lot of times at first glance you may say, “That’s the issue,” but you’ll find you go through the process from there, you’re really solving a symptom. So this step of creating a logic map helps you expand what all the possible issues are that are contributing to the problem from the first step, and what that will enable you to do is find the real root cause that you’re going to solve for.
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 […]
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!
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 […]
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!
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.