Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Interesting Links (April 2008)

The following article by Peter Honey (via the learning vendor Priority Management's website) provides a simple to read reminder on the need to recognise success in the workplace.

There is plenty of learning mileage in celebrating successes.

For example, people discover that:

  • Emphasizing the positive is a far more powerful motivator than emphasizing the negative
  • No news, ie if no-one says anything then it must have been all right, is not good news
  • You win some, you lose some, but either way it’s OK to ‘go for it’
  • Success is rewarded with the best reward of all; recognition
  • Things are successful for a combination of reasons rather than there being one single factor
  • Once you know the reasons for a success you can plan future successes even though the circumstances will never be identical
  • It isn’t healthy to be inappropriately modest and ‘hide your light under a bushel’
  • Celebrating someone else’s success gives vicarious pleasure from which everyone benefits
There are also helpful links to previous, related articles from the same author


The Role of Training in Continuous Improvement Initiatives

The attached report has been produced by http://www.trainingindustry.com/

Here are the Key Findings

  • The more involved the training function is with continuous improvement initiatives, the more satisfied senior management are with the progress their companies have made...
  • Of the methods used for company-wide improvement programs, Lean, Six Sigma, or a combination (32%) and TQM (29%) are used most frequently...
  • Active 'walk the talk' leadership from senior management is critical for ensuring the ultimate success of the improvement initiative...
  • The more specific the continuous improvement training, the better...
  • Most continuous improvement training should continue to be instructor-led but should be complemented with a blended approach...


This month Leadership Now highlights the book 'Why Should the Boss Listen to You?' in this article

The author, Lukaszewski describes how leaders think and operate and why this is important to the trusted advisor.

At the core of this book, he presents a seven-discipline approach to becoming a strategic trusted advisor.

  1. Be Trustworthy: Trust is the first discipline and the foundation for a relationship between advisor and leader or boss.
  2. Become a Verbal Visionary: The leader's greatest skill is verbal skill, and the leader’s advisor must also have powerful verbal skills.
  3. Develop a Management Perspective: To be a management advisor is to be able to talk more about the boss’s goals and objectives than about whatever your staff function happens to be.
  4. Think Strategically: One of the great realities of management is that the leader’s job is always about tomorrow, and almost never about yesterday.
  5. Be a Window to Tomorrow: Understand and use the power of patterns. A sophisticated advisor is one who can forecast tomorrow with some level of accuracy.
  6. Advise Constructively: Giving advice starts where the boss is and where he or she has to go (where the advisor is or has been).
  7. Show the Boss How to Use Advice: If you want to see your recommendations come alive, teach the boss how to accept and use advice.
For those in internal consultancy roles, such as HR Business Partners & L&D, I'd suggest that this advice is particularly helpful !


Six Drivers of Change

From the Harvard Business blog, here are the common themes surfaced from a panel discussion, titled “Innovation: Change Happens,” featured Dow Corning Chairman, CEO and President Stephanie Burns, Eastman Kodak President and COO Phil Faraci, and Procter & Gamble Chairman and CEO A.G. Lafley. It was part of the Newspaper Association of America and American Society of News Editors “Capital Conference 2008.”

  1. The need for a crisis or some kind of “burning platform” to motivate transformational change
  2. A clear vision and strategy … that allows room for iteration
  3. A recognition that transformation is a multi-year journey
  4. A need to put the customer or consumer in the center of the transformation equation
  5. The critical importance of demonstrating to skeptics that different actions can lead to different results
  6. The need to over-communicate to employees, customers, stakeholders, and shareholders

solid advice from those with first-hand experience !


Maximizing your value to your organization

Also from the HBR Editors' Blog is an interesting article on 'Lessons from GE's Approach to Productivity'

"If it’s accepted wisdom that businesses should revisit their strategies and organizational structures and processes on a regular basis to ensure that they are still relevant, doesn’t it make sense to periodically take stock of how you’re spending your time? Given the current economic climate, there’s no better occasion than now to step back and make sure you’re maximizing your value to your organization"

In Summary:

  • Compare your calendar with the priorities
  • Be ruthless
  • Ask your team to do the same
  • Make time for your people and yourself.


and finally .....Nurturing Creativity

If you can spare 20mins, take a look at this movie on nurturing creativity - amusing and inspiring, especially when you have kids and have an interest in education...