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Organizational Excellence : Executing on Growth with an MOS

Posted by kevinb on 12/12/17 (935 reads)

One plus one, does not always equal two. The truth is that, as your organization grows and adds staff, operations become exponentially more complex. Let's take a look at how to help address some of those challenges.

When business owners or leaders drive for growth, the natural focus is on initiatives like marketing and sales campaigns; innovation of new products and services; and ensuring capacity is sufficient to meet increased demand. Underlying all of those actions, however, is the fact that it takes people to execute them.

As a business grows, so does the number of employees. More employees mean more complexity, which increases the risk for confusion and inefficiency unless leaders intentionally put a structure and approach in place to guide and manage outcomes. One of the best ways to align and prioritize the efforts of people in a growing organization is to have an effective MOS: Management Operating System.

Organizational Excellence : Fostering Accountability

Posted by kevinb on 11/21/17 (812 reads)

As a supplement to our post entitled Creating a Culture of Accountability from February, here are some thoughts that should help when you are attempting to foster accountability.

Strive for clarity in five areas:

1. Clear expectations. The first step is to be crystal clear about what you expect. This means being clear about the outcome you're looking for, how you'll measure success, and how people should go about achieving the objective. It doesn't all have to come from you. In fact, the more skilled your people are, the more ideas and strategies should be coming from them. Have a genuinely two-way conversation, and before it's over, ask the other person to summarize the important pieces - the outcome they're going for, how they are going to achieve it, and how they'll know whether they're successful - to make sure you're ending up on the same page. Writing out a summary is a good idea but doesn't replace saying it out loud.

Organizational Excellence : Key Differences Between Training and Development

Posted by kevinb on 11/6/17 (3136 reads)

Companies spend a lot of time and money on recruiting the best talent possible, and one way to assure a return on that people investment is to have a formalized plan for both initial training and ongoing development. In the first days, weeks and months of employment, the focus needs to be on effective onboarding, which consists of orientation and training to learn about the organization and the basics of a new role. Once an employee is acclimated and productive, keeping the focus on ongoing growth and improvement yields benefits for the person and the organization.

Although TRAINING and DEVELOPMENT are sometimes used interchangeably, they are actually two different processes with distinct attributes and value to employees and the business.   

1)  Focus

The focus of TRAINING is on equipping people to perform the JOB or ROLE. It is all about ensuring the ABILITY to complete required tasks. Training applies to employees who are new to the company or to a position, as well as to existing employees who need to add or improve skills as technology and business needs change. Training exists primarily to meet organizational requirements and, as such, it is a company-centric process

Leadership : New Leader Onboarding

Posted by kevinb on 10/11/17 (1038 reads)

Now that you've hired 'em, what are you going to do with 'em?

Once you have gone through the search and recruiting process, invested a fair amount of time and money, and selected the right candidate (in whom you are now going to invest even more time and money), you need to think about how you are going to help that new leader be highly productive as quickly as possible.

Do you have an effective orientation process? Do you provide someone to help the new leader get through the "necessaries?" Have they been introduced to the appropriate people in the organization? Have you made them feel welcome and a part of the team? 

Too often, newly-hired executives, equipped with as little as a job description, a few introductions, and a brief company orientation, are asked to dive into their new job...with high expectations for success. Unfortunately, regarding CEOs and according to the Harvard Business Review, 2 out of 5 new CEOs fail in their first 18 months on the job. Can your company afford to have a new CEO, or any executive, who is not working out, or even not operating at a high level of effectiveness? The answer, of course, is no.

Organizational Excellence : Book Summary: "Getting Naked" by Patrick Lencioni

Posted by kevinb on 9/27/17 (3094 reads)

A Business Fable About Shedding the Three Fears that Sabotage Client Loyalty

Let's first address the obvious: this book has an eye-catching and even provocative title. However, what Lencioni is referring to as "getting naked" is the willingness to be vulnerable, for consultants, service providers...really any person or any organization. He views that vulnerability is one of the most undervalued and misunderstood of all human emotions and that "there is no better way to earn a person's trust than by putting ourselves in a position of unprotected weakness and demonstrating that we believe they will support us."

Yet society encourages us to avoid vulnerability, to always project strength, confidence, and poise, and when it comes to important, ongoing relationships, doing so stifles our ability to build trust. It runs counter to the old adage never let them see you sweat because we should, instead, acknowledge our sweatiness and show clients that we are honest and self-assured enough to be worthy of their trust. And that, ultimately, it is our honesty, humility, and selflessness that will endear us to our clients and allow them to trust and depend on us as real partners.

Goals / Purpose : Organizational Goal Setting: The Key to Performance and Growth

Posted by kevinb on 9/11/17 (1660 reads)

One of the most important responsibilities of management is to establish Organizational Goals. Read on to learn more about how you can supercharge your company's performance and growth by effectively deploying Organizational Goals.

As organizations grow, it becomes more difficult to align the efforts of an increasing population of employees. During the start-up phase of a business, communications tend to be informal and it is easier for the owner to ensure that expectations and plans are clear because there are fewer people. However, adding employees adds complexity, and it becomes critical to formalize goals to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Organizational goals act like the connective tissue that holds together all the various initiatives, processes, and tasks that make up the complex systems of a business. Leadership teams that take the time to intentionally create and communicate goals and to ensure that rewards are aligned appropriately will reap the benefits of engaged employees, lower turnover, shared accountability and greater financial success.

Leadership : The Costs of Not Firing a Mediocre Employee

Posted by kevinb on 8/14/17 (2439 reads)

Great companies are not built with mediocre employees. Yet it's astonishing how often managers postpone firing poor performers and troublesome employees.

In exploring the reasons why CEOs fail in their own jobs, an article a few years ago in Fortune magazine cited the CEOs' chronic failure to place the right person in the right job and their repeated failure or unwillingness to fix people problems swiftly. Some of those CEOs later admitted to selective deafness - ignoring an inner voice that warned them of a problem - and refusing to listen to those around them who saw the difficulty long before they did. This failure to deal with a subordinate who exhibits sustained poor performance can deeply harm a company and produce a ripple effect that hurts morale on many levels.

The Costs of Postponing Firing

I have seen estimates of the cost of replacing a bad hire to be as high as 250% of an employee's first-year earnings, even if the situation is recognized and rectified within the first 6 months!

Organizational Excellence : Cultivating a Culture of Fairness

Posted by kevinb on 7/24/17 (1988 reads)

Everybody wants to believe that they are being treated equally, with the same set of rules and the same consistency when it comes to meeting expectations.

"That's not fair!" This is one of the first protests we learn about when we are young. Whether it is in response to punishment by parents, a grade given by a teacher, or a rule infraction by schoolmates on the playground, children show an instinctual dislike of getting the "short end of the stick". Psychologists refer to this as "disadvantageous-inequity aversion". (see related article in The New Yorker) Getting less than others is perceived to be an insult and a demotion in social status. It's no wonder that when we grow up and transition into the competitive work world, our opinion of how fairly (or not) we are being treated continues to strongly impact our thinking and behaviors.

Organizational Excellence : Leveraging Individual Assessments to Improve Results

Posted by kevinb on 7/10/17 (1158 reads)

When you are looking in the mirror, you are looking at the problem. But, remember, you are also looking at the solution.

At JFD Performance Solutions, we use a variety of individual, group, and organizational assessments in our business coaching and consulting. Individual assessments (or self-assessments), increase your awareness of your own individuality. Among other things, they help you be more conscious of who you are, what motivates you, and what you're good at while acknowledging what you still have yet to learn.

Two individual assessments that we'd like to focus on today are 1) DISC/Behaviors and 2) Motivators/Values.

DISC/Behaviors

A person's behavior or manner of doing things is a necessary and integral part of who they are. In other words, much of our behavior comes from "nature" (inherent) and much comes from "nurture" (our upbringing). DISC is the universal language of "how we act" (our observable human behavior).

Organizational Excellence : Seven Sources of Workplace Stress

Posted by kevinb on 5/31/17 (1225 reads)

Most of us would probably agree that a workplace with chronically high stress is NOT a great place to work. While a certain amount of stress is good because it moves people to action, severe or long-term stress creates a negative work environment. Why should leaders care about creating a low-stress, positive workplace? Because the evidence indicates that organizations with a healthy culture enjoy superior performance. For example, the "Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For" outperformed the general market by almost double between 1998 and 2015. While there are many factors that contribute to making a company a great place to work, one way for leaders to achieve that goal is to understand the source and level of employee stress and take action to help them find the right balance.    

First, let's explore the different types of stress. The term "eustress" describes normal or "good stress" where our pulse increases and we experience a hormone change, but there is no fear or perception of threat. Eustress creates excitement or anticipation in the face of a challenge and generally leads to heightened performance.  

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