Learn about four of the most common obstacles to creating a high-performance culture and how to overcome them. You’ll face many common obstacles on your path to building a high-performance culture. Legacy culture issues, associates who resist the new culture, and processes or behaviors that don’t yet exist are going to slow you down. You need to work through these counter-culture moments and issues if you’re looking to change the overall culture of the organization. The more aware you are of what these pitfalls are, the more quickly you’re going to be able to overcome them. Legacy culture issues One of the four most common pitfalls I see is the legacy culture. “This is the way we’ve always done things.”
Most disruptive ideas arise outside an industry. Leaders need a more open mindset to see early signals of change and respond to disruption. Today’s post is by Kurt Matzler, co-author of Open Strategy: Mastering Disruption from Outside the C-Suite (CLICK HERE to get your copy). In 1938, MIT student Claude Shannon solved one of the most complex problems of circuit design. Working on an early analog computer, he realized that an idea from an undergraduate philosophy course could solve the problem. Applying Boolean Algebra he laid the foundation of all electronic digital computers. As he put it: “It just happened that no one else was familiar with both fields at the same time”. You may think that this was one of those lucky coincidences that change the world but almost never happen. You are wrong. In his book Seeing What Others Don’t, Gary Klein studied 120 of the most important inventions and discoveries in history: 82% of them emerged when people from different disciplines started to talk to each other and exchanged ideas. Follow some simple rules and you may see what others don’t as well. Start talking to strangers At the beginning of the 20th century Vienna was a hotbed for new ideas. At the centre of this explosion of thoughts was the Wiener Kreis (Vienna circle), an interdisciplinary group of philosophers and scientists that met fortnightly. While brilliant minds like Karl Popper, Ludwig von Wittgenstein, or Albert Einstein might have flourished as individuals, the gatherings are not to be underestimated. Eccentricities, disagreements, and rivalries marked these salons, but the insights had a profound impact on computing, astrophysics, cosmology, theory of science and philosophy. Even the godfather of management, Peter Drucker, benefitted from such “Abendgesellschaften” (evening gatherings) in his parent’s home in Vienna. One obvious conclusion is to set […]
Our reader poll today asks: What is your biggest obstacle to delegating more of what you do? No issues — I’m great at delegating 21.98% I’m afraid they won’t do the task correctly 15.48% I don’t have the resources to delegate to 34.52% I don’t have time to teach them the task. It’s faster if I do it 19.28% I enjoy my work and don’t want others to take it from me 4.48% Something else prevents me from delegating 4.26% Delegation challenges.While you may not have direct resources to delegate to, think creatively. Are there other teams that are better “natural owners” for some of the work you can delegate? Are there people in other parts of the organization looking for developmental special project opportunities? People don’t have to be in your direct line of responsibility for you to delegate to them. As far as your bigger challenges – fear of delegating and time to train people – those are issues you can overcome. Find the time. Do you have time to continue doing the work? It adds up over time and far outstrips the amount of time you’ll spend training someone on the skill. As far as overcoming fear, consider delegating small tasks first to build confidence and trust. For bigger tasks, delegate them in pieces and schedule regular progress checks. You’ll be surprised at how confident you’ll become in people once you get past the made up fears in your mind that are preventing you from delegating in the first place. – 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 […]
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Stress is part of our everyday lives. We can either control it or let it control us. The difference between those two situations is how we manage our “alarm” and our reactions to the daily stressors we face. Today’s post is by Jon Wortmann, thoughtLEADERS instructor and author of Hijacked by Your Brain. As the global head of sales hit the stage, he cracked. He looked out at the audience of colleagues and saw nothing but failure in his people. All his brain could focus on was their missed opportunities, laziness, and a collective bad year. Without thinking he said, “You are simply the worst team I have every worked with.” For more than fifteen minutes he continued ranting before transitioning into an update of the quarter’s results. No one stopped him. When the CEO assessed the damage after the meeting, he fired his sales chief. At the exit interview, the head of sales didn’t even realize he had done something wrong. I wish it weren’t, but this is a true story. When stress hijacks your brain, we get stuck on the short loop. The alarm, the tiny region called the amygdala which keeps us alert and out of danger, can misfire after exposure to too much stress. You lead. You manage. You innovate. You solve people problems. You save the day. To say you are exposed to stress is like saying London or Seattle get some rain. Some days, you crash. Other days, your people call you a grumpy bear. Occasionally, after months of deadlines, events, and emergencies you melt down. Hopefully we don’t melt down on stage or in front of our teams, but it happens and we are not, in fact, crazy when we do. The answer to stress at work is not actually as complicated as it might […]
https://i0.wp.com/www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/20211129-Brain.jpg?fit=1920%2C1459&ssl=114591920Trevor Joneshttp://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngTrevor Jones2021-12-02 08:00:062021-12-01 22:50:50Your Brain on Work: How Stress Hijacks Your Health and Happiness
Our reader poll today asks: How do you handle things when someone refuses to compromise and they harden their stance? I work around them. They’re not changing, and I need to get things done 36.87% I offer more concessions to see if I can get them to move 4.58% I get other people to pressure them to change their stance 5.30% I accept their position and go work on more fruitful work 10.36% I try to empathize and understand their concerns so I can soften their stance 42.89% Avoid or Empathize? When faced with someone who refuses to compromise, it seems respondents choose one of two options – avoid the other person or empathize and try to change their position. For those of you whose first instinct is to avoid the person and work around them, consider trying to understand their position and soften it. There’s a reason they’re dug in. It might be a risk or an issue that you’re not considering and should be taken into account. If, however, they are clearly just being unreasonable and obstructionist, it’s probably time to move on and work around them. For those of you who do have a bias toward empathizing and trying to bring someone along, do decide when you’ll change approach and move forward rather than continue to delay your work. Sometimes all they’re doing is stalling for time and deliberately slowing you down. – 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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The metrics you use to define ‘high performance’ will drive your team members’ behaviors. Make sure your definition leads to the behaviors you want. To build a high-performance culture, you have to define what high performance is. What does high performance mean? How are you going to measure it? How much of your definition hinges on hard business metrics like sales, profitability, and growth, versus on qualitative metrics like morale, engagement, and customer satisfaction? The way you define and measure performance will dictate the practices you put in place to achieve it. If you define performance by hard business metrics, you’ll get behaviors focused on driving those metrics. That won’t always get you the outcome you want in terms of building a high-performance culture. The focus ends up being on driving the number. And that can come at the expense of building a great culture. If it’s defined by behaviors and soft metrics like engagement, retention, morale, and customer satisfaction, then you get those behaviors. The hard metrics like sales and profits should follow. Let’s look at a couple of examples of defining high performance.
The ability to manage and strengthen your thinking goes a long way toward making you more resilient and better able to deal with the daily challenges you face. Today’s post is by thougthtLEADERS principal Maureen Metcalf. During a time when we are facing natural disasters and geopolitical uncertainty, many of us are trying to find a balanced path to respond to what is happening on the global stage, national stage, local stage, and in our own personal lives. Who we are at our core can really shine through during times of challenge when we take care of ourselves first. This blog is a bit counter to cultural beliefs. Most of us were cautioned against selfishness. We were taught to believe that it connotes self-centeredness, and that anything “selfish” is wrong. Yet, having a sense of self and knowing when and how to care for yourself is the antithesis of being selfish. If we don’t care for ourselves, there is no way that we can care for others. I think of the inflight announcements on planes: “In the event of an emergency, please put your own oxygen mask before assisting others.” As leaders, we need to attend to our own resilience foundation so we can respond to our environment on a consistent basis in a manner that is consistent with our values. Let’s do a small exercise, think about a time you pushed yourself to meet a deadline. It may have meant you didn’t get sufficient sleep. You may have been caffeine-powered, or maybe augmented by your favorite sugar source. Can you recall a time you did this and responded to someone more harshly than usual? Did you need to do damage control later? We all have these moments of stress-related responses. The challenge for all of us, especially in an […]
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Our reader poll today asks: How do you react when people don’t follow written instructions? No big deal, unless it causes a major issue or possible safety/security risk 9.18% It irks me — it’s written down. But I don’t get too upset 30.57% I get frustrated. Why did I bother to write it down for them in the first place? 45.63% It makes me go nuts. It’s in black and white. They’re just being lazy 14.62% Read the instructions! 60% of you get frustrated and beyond when people don’t follow written instructions (and another 31% of you are irked by it). It’s a big problem because of the errors, confusion, and inefficiency it causes when people don’t read instructions. So what can you do about it? First, make sure any instructions you provide are bare bones and as simple as possible. Second, explain the consequences of not following instructions (e.g., safety issues, financial losses, etc. that can be tied directly to that particular task). Third, send the instructions far enough in advance – if your directions arrive late, you might be causing people to rush and make mistakes. Fourth, try providing instructions in different formats to see what works best (e.g., email, presentation, pamphlets, videos, audio file, etc.). Finally, be sure you read instructions given to you carefully – you need to set the example. – 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!
https://i0.wp.com/www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/20140203-EKG-Pulse-Graph-with-Glowing-Blue-Line-Narrow.jpg?fit=833%2C258&ssl=1258833Trevor Joneshttp://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngTrevor Jones2021-11-18 13:00:452021-09-29 21:16:41How do you react when people don’t follow written instructions?