Viewing posts from: November 2000

Failure Is An Opportunity To Learn Something New in Business

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About seven years ago, a principal executive was leading a major digital transformation project. He had a savvy team running the program, a good plan, and the latest technology solutions to implement. They thought we were doing everything right. But a few months in, the project went sideways — so completely that when the dust settled, the client’s board brought in a third party to investigate what went wrong.Failure in Business is the end

The project failed, they realized, for two key reasons. First, although the project’s goals were well defined, they were not communicated across the client’s departments. And second, they were thinking about how the company would work in the present, not how it would work in the future.

He learned a lot from this experience. He was too focused on the outcomes and on the shiny technology that — by itself — would transform my client’s business. He wasn’t thinking enough about the big picture and about how our work could benefit our client’s business long into the future. Most importantly, He was intent on having all the answers at the start, rather than being open to learning throughout the process.

The biggest, hardest lesson learned: No consultant should bring preconceived ideas or best practices to the table. You must tailor your services to each client’s unique needs.

In the last seven years, He has come to embrace this style of working, leveraging various perspectives and bringing in all end-users on the journey of transformation. Today, it is clear that digital transformation is not about launching a single new tech product or forming a new customer experience. It’s not about simple process automation. It must be about creating an entirely new, holistic, innovative way for teams to work, and for companies to operate.

Why Digital Transformations Fail

Experience taught us why most digital transformations fail: Companies get scared of true change because of the inevitable chaos it brings. Because uncertainty triggers our natural risk-aversion, we stop short of undertaking true transformation, even as technology accelerates the changes around us. Instead, leaders fake change or make tentative steps in an effort to stay relevant. They look to implement new technologies to make it seem as if they’re transforming.

The point of transformation is not to adopt new technologies faster, but to change our behavior and ensure our workforce and their skills stay relevant. Many times, the kind of behavior change that’s required leads to disorder and dysfunction. But that chaos is temporary — and essential to the process. Believe it or not, discomfort is a sign that your workforce is being challenged and is truly learning to work in new ways.

Experience taught us why most digital transformations fail: Companies get scared of true change because of the inevitable chaos it brings.

Creating and accepting some uncertainty is the first step to empowering true change. Even coming up short of your goals provides valuable data and the opportunity to re-engineer your business model for future growth. In any organization, large or small, a fear of failure leads us to put off the hard decisions. We avoid admitting what we don’t know; we cling to old processes. And we allow organizations to become stagnant as a result.

In the midst of transformation, managers can easily become blinded by processes. If we want to create agiler, adaptive businesses, we need to get better at subverting our more risk-averse instincts.

Taking Risks to Enact Real Change

Leaders must accept that failing to adapt means losing out to the companies that achieve change. Instead of assuming all the answers are already known, focus on asking the right questions. And don’t be afraid of the answers.

Consider the Washington Post. Before Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought the newspaper in 2012, the Post seemed to have no path to success. Revenue was on the decline, as print advertising dollars were drying up and not being replaced fast enough by online ad sales.

But Bezos was willing to take risks and fail. “You study, you debate, you brainstorm, and the answers start to emerge,” he said in 2013. “You develop theories and hypotheses, but you don’t know if readers will respond. You do as many experiments as rapidly as possible.”

Under Bezos, the Post quickly invested in both people and technologies — and in changing the mindset surrounding technology. One successful experiment involved developing an operating system that is so advanced it is now being sold to other newspapers. The company had almost no IT department — and few ways to attract the talent it needed to change. Now it has a staff of more than 250, and easily adds new hires excited by the prospect of working for a transformed company. Nearly every tool the newsroom and sales teams now use was created in-house.

Other experiments included instituting a more aggressive paywall (the better to encourage digital subscriptions), expanding international coverage, and doubling down on investigative efforts. Many of these experiments have borne fruit and contributed to a substantial digital transformation. Digital ad revenue now exceeds US$100 million, has grown by double digits each year for the last three years. By late 2017, the Post reached more than 1 million paying digital subscribers, triple what it had been a year prior. Last year marked the company’s second profitable year in a row. More than 50 websites are running on the software the Post created. And the company is adding staff throughout its operations. In January 2018, publisher Fred Ryan addressed the success, concluding a celebratory memo to staff by saying, “In 2018, The Washington Post can be the world’s only ‘140-year-old start-up’.”

Of course, it helps to have deep pockets. But true digital transformation cannot be achieved overnight or with money alone. Digital solutions need to be tailored to each company; teams need time to work through the dysfunction and learn to work differently.

Embracing the uncertainty that comes with digital transformation won’t be easy at the start. The threat of failure may tempt you to turn back. But by embracing the unknown and admitting you don’t have all the answers, and experimenting aggressively, you’re sowing the seeds of the future.

 

Credited to Tom Puthiyamadam and Edited by Teslim Folorunsho

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How to Harness Employees’ Emotional Energy

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When we ask a client’s employees what it is that makes them proud to work there, we often marvel at how consistent the answers are throughout an organization, regardless of level, function, or team. These cultural anchors aren’t always immediately obvious to outsiders, but if you take a bit of time to speak with individuals within an organization, you will begin to uncover them.

Employees at a mission-based hospital network may be driven by the knowledge that their work enables patients to live longer, healthier lives. People working for a blue-chip company may take special pride in being associated with a premium, globally recognized brand. Individuals working at a startup may wear its related scrappiness as a badge of honor. Workers at a factory may relish their part in its paternalistic role as a provider — of jobs, economic growth, and tax revenue.

This pride fuels “emotional energy,” something critical to both our understanding of organizational culture and employee engagement.

High scores on employee engagement do not always mean that your culture is supporting your strategy; and conversely, that low engagement scores do not necessarily mean that your culture is “flawed” or “broken.” Essentially, cultural evolution is not synonymous with improving employee engagement. I did, however, mention one area of overlap — that is, when you identify critical behaviors that drive performance directly and harness sources of emotional energy, thereby also driving engagement. Let’s look more at what this means.

Emotions Drive Peopel, People Drive Performance.

Emotional energy drives employees to go above and beyond, regardless of external incentives such as compensation and benefits. Specific strengths that are sources of pride within a company feed this emotional energy, which in turn drives people to work harder toward bettering the organization. The sense of pride that comes from this achievement further fuels emotional energy, motivating people to strive for even further success. And so the cycle repeats.

Jon Katzenbach explains that pride is an emotional high that follows success. An anticipation of future successes serves as an intrinsic source of motivation, which is often more powerful than formal incentives and rewards.

The ability to harness these sources of pride becomes especially important during periods of change and disruption. According to the Katzenbach Center’s Culture and Change Survey, during large-scale change efforts, companies that use employee pride/emotional commitment or the existing culture as a source of strength are almost twice as likely to achieve sustainable change as compared to companies that do not use these resources.

This is because absent attention, transformation efforts can threaten sources of pride, and thus your organization’s emotional energy. Think about a company that has always stood for treating employees as family. A large, impersonal organizational restructuring program could easily lead to the perception that employees are now just head count to be moved around.

When these cultural touchstones are under attack, employees become demoralized and can resist change. Counterproductive behaviors arise, including paying lip service to efficiency targets and hiding information in order to protect individual teams. It is then little wonder when a couple years down the road, costs have crept back up, shadow organizations have formed, and the company finds itself having to undergo yet another restructuring.

It may be tempting to try to change these sources of pride. During a cost-reduction effort, for example, it would be much easier if employees suddenly took pride in being lean. Culture, however, is something that evolves over time and is difficult to change.

Credited to by Alice Zhou
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How Business Innovation Eventuate

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When you live and work in Silicon Valley and talk about it with people who don’t, you get used to a look in their eyes that begs, “What’s the secret sauce?” People know it’s where innovation happens, and many want to know how they can make it happen where they work, too.

It is indeed a celebrated hub of activity, with a strong network of skilled professionals and investment that drive good ideas. But it by no means holds a global monopoly on innovation. Technology is pushing traditional players everywhere to adapt and transform, or risk irrelevance.

So what I would say to anyone who’s looking for answers to how innovation happens is that it’s not rocket science. It’s often about approaching an issue with the curiosity and open mind of a child. But the day-to-day grind of the modern work environment can zap that kind of creativity. Innovation, like a garden, won’t grow on its own. We need to plant seeds and treat them with care, to create not just a garden but an ecosystem. That’s the kind of innovation that sustains and regenerates itself. Innovation is a mindset, not a technology, or a product, or a solution. And it requires time, commitment, and investment.

It’s a point close to my heart, as PwC has just completed its seventh annual Global Innovation Challenge in Tokyo. The challenge offers our people the opportunity to submit ideas for new services and solutions that we can invest in and develop. Some 2,500 PwC innovators from 74 territories took part in the 2018 challenge over a five-week period. Since the annual event started, we’ve invested in ideas that have offered new solutions to clients that include drones, payment systems, and working models.

As even the most high-profile innovators will tell you, there’s no secret formula for great ideas. But what research and reality show is that there are numerous levers organizations — and people — can pull. Here are five we find particularly powerful:

• Tap the power of pride:

Innovation starts with people. Pride in your work and organization is a powerfully motivating and creative force. Research by PwC’s Katzenbach Center shows that “emotional energy drives employees to go above and beyond, regardless of external incentives such as compensation and benefits,” creating a repeating cycle of energy and motivation.

• Make failure an option:

Preconceived ideas and solutions can block innovation and change. Our digital services practice leader says you have to be willing to take risks and embrace the uncertainty and potential for failure inherent in those risks.

• Rethink your company culture: Organizational culture is not the same thing as employee engagement. As our expert points out, one is “synonymous with free food, foosball tables, and other workplace perks.” The other is about empowerment to make decisions, freedom to innovate, and work-life balance. The key to unlocking performance via your organizational culture is to align your company culture with business priorities.

• Place your customer at the center of innovation: The question at the heart of PwC’s Global Innovation Challenge is: What value are you delivering? Our strategists suggest that it’s no longer enough to target customers. To stay ahead, you need to be thinking about a long-term experience — the value you want to create for your chosen customers over three to five years.

• Flex to grow: Innovation doesn’t necessarily happen between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., so consider how flexibility can play a part in your organization’s strategy to tap into people’s best skills, no matter where and when they work. One CEO offers his perspective on how this approach opens you up to wider talent pools, not just ideas.

 

 

Credited to Vicki Huff
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Increasing Need To Incorporate Play into Office Space

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When you think of playing, some memories from childhood most likely come to mind: digging for dinosaur bones in the sandbox, a game of tag at recess, spending hours with your toy of choice (whether it was a Barbie doll, a Hot Wheel’s car or a pile of Legos).

But can you remember the last time you played?

If you can’t, then you may be missing out on an important way to give your physical and mental health a boost.

There’s a reason why we associate playtime with young children: Free play is how kids discover the world and how it works. “Play is essential as they grow, as it helps them develop language, vocabulary, social-cognitive, collaboration and turn-taking skills along with their emotional intelligence,” Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, Professor of Developmental Psychology at New York University, tells NBC News BETTER. “Children that aren’t allowed to play experience a loss of self-motivation and they run the risk of burn-out.”

Tamis-LeMonda explains that play is also a great learning tool for children. “There have been experiments measuring the success of teaching children with play as a tool versus teaching them in ways devoid of play,” she says. “They all found that children learn more and retain information better when there’s play involved.”

We’ve come to accept that play as an important part of a healthy child’s development, but who says they have a lien on play’s advantages? Definitely not science. Studies and research show that adults, too, have a lot to gain from the act of playing.

WHY IS PLAY GOOD FOR YOU AS AN ADULT?

The most obvious benefit comes from play that involves physical activity. When done frequently, it strengthens your heart, boosts your lung function and lowers your risk of developing coronary heart disease. Not only that, physical play like sports and exercise, also reduce your stress hormones (e.g cortisol and adrenaline) and trigger the release of endorphins — your feel-good hormones — which elevates your mood and helps you relax after a stressful day.

Physical play like sports and exercise reduces stress hormones and triggers the release of endorphins.

Laughter, which is present in many kinds of playful activities,releases those same feel-good hormones. The act of simply laughing with others will also foster a sense of camaraderie and strengthen your relationships, too.

 At work, play increases your productivity levels and makes you more creative. In fact, in their book “Welcome to Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College,” Dr. Sam Wang and Dr. Sandra Aamodt discuss how play contributes to successful problem solving, not just at work, but in your personal life, too. “Work in adult life is often most effective when it resembles play. Indeed, total immersion in an activity often indicates that the activity is intensely enjoyable; this is the concept of flow, or what athletes call being in the zone,” they wrote. “Flow occurs during active experiences that require concentration but are also highly practiced, where the goals and boundaries are clear but leave room for creativity. This describes many adult hobbies, from skiing to music, as well as careers like surgery and computer programming.”

Finally, as you age, play (especially the social and group kinds) facilitates happiness, wards off depression, improves cognitive health and lowers your risk of developing age-related diseases like dementia.

WHAT EXACTLY COUNTS AS ‘PLAY’?199

So you’re convinced that you could benefit from adding play back into your weekly routine. But what exactly does play look like for adults?

 Think of play as more of a mental approach to activities, not necessarily the particular activities themselves. In fact, you don’t really need to worry about if an activity constitutes as play or not, as long as you adopt a playful mindset and of course, have fun, while you’re partaking. It could be taking part in your favorite sport, playing a board game with your family, solving sudoku puzzles on the commute to work, swimming with friends, taking an exercise class or cooking a new recipe.

Being happy, relaxed, free, feeling like time is flowing, not constantly checking your watch — those things signify that you are in play mode.

What feels like play to you may not to the next person, and that’s okay. (A friend may love playing volleyball at the beach, while you, on the other hand, see it as self-inflicted torture.) “The definition of play connotes voluntariness and vulnerability. It’s anything you feel like doing without being made or forced to,” explains play expert, creative strategist and toy designer Yesim Kunter. Kunter develops play experiences and applies play philosophy to spaces, environments and communities, She also trains organizations to leverage creativity and innovation through play workshops. “Being happy, relaxed, free, feeling like time is flowing, not constantly checking your watch — those things signify that you are in play mode.”

Clinical psychologist and chief of the Division of Psychology at Ellis Hospital, Dr. Rudy Nydegger, says there are two basic tenets of play. “First, it is something that we do for recreation that is purely for enjoyment and/or entertainment — it is something we do just for fun,” he says. “Second, it is something that is intrinsically motivating. In other words it is something that we want to do and is not something we need to be coerced or ‘bribed’ into doing. It is voluntary; we do it just because we want to.”

cooloffice

HOW TO INCORPORATE PLAY INTO YOUR LIFE

You can either carve out a special time for play, such as planning a weekend activity with friends, finishing a crossword puzzle every night before bed or heading out for daily morning runs. Or you can also decide to incorporate play into regular tasks that are already on your to-do list: like doodling while you’re on a conference call at work or singing and dancing in the shower or while you clean.

Because most adults spend the bulk of their waking hours at the office, making sure you experience some type of play there is crucial. “A lot of offices are sterile and ‘unplayful,’ so it could be simple and subtle playful things like using colorful pens on your tables or having posters with nice inspirational quotes on your desk wall,” Kunter explains. “And if your office allows it, playing a board game for just 15 minutes with your colleagues is a great way to play and refresh yourself during office hours.”

Here are five ways Kunter says you can easily incorporate play into your office space:

  • Keep simple games, like Jenga, in your office. You can play solo or invite your colleagues to join you during breaks.
  • Have colorful pens, pencils, crayons and large paper on the walls, where you and other people can freely draw or write.
  • Put up posters or quotes of the day with humorous sayings or entertaining cartoons.
  • Keep playful objects like a spinning top or a crystal prism on your desk to relax your mind, keep your hands busy during conference calls and reignite creativity.
  • If your office is so austere that none of the other suggestions will fly, take a break from your work throughout the day to play with juxtapositions, metaphors and analogies in your mind.

Play is being joyfully immersed in the moment, and as adults, we rarely do that.

Tamis-LeMonda advises us to take a page out of a children’s book. “That’s what’s really cool about children, they don’t worry about the future, they don’t check things off their to-do lists,” she explains. “They live in the moment. There doesn’t have to be a final goal and they play for the sake of play. The truth is, play is being joyfully immersed in the moment, and as adults, we rarely do that.”

 In a way, it is an active form of mindfulness, which is widely recommended and advocates being present and in the moment. Mindfulness has been proven to alleviate anxiety and depression. Studies also suggest that it can help you manage stress better and maintain a healthy weight.

So how often should we play? The short answer is every day. “It differs from person to person,” Kunter says. “Having a playful mind is the most important thing, but implementing ‘play-time’ into your daily routine will strengthen your ability to cope with stress and bring joy into your life.”

Sources: Credited to nbcnews

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Practical Steps to Increase Work Force Engagement

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The statistics on employee engagement are alarming. More than 85% of employees worldwide, report feeling disengaged from work. Most leaders and executives agree this is a problem. What’s not so clear is what causes employees to feel engaged or disengaged, and what to do about it?

The place of Emotional Intelligence at workplace can not be substituted with any other element but the admin being smart with their emotions in other to manage the different emotional wave in the company.

Recently, I talked to six business executives to learn their best practices around increasing engagement.

Customer

Put Yourself in the Customer’s Shoes

Let’s face it: Many organizations, and even entire industries, have been guilty of putting the customer last when it comes to service and cost. Michael Hough, EVP of health care case management provider Advance Medical, says this needs to change. “We think it’s critically important to put ourselves in the patient’s shoes and figure out what they need. When companies lose sight of why they’re in business, the customer is inevitably the loser. It’s also very demotivating to employees and destructive to an engaged culture.”

According to Hough, purpose is the key to serving customers and engaging employees. “We believe in being purpose driven, and for us, helping patients is our purpose,” says Hough. “People come to us in crisis. They are suffering. We have to remember that we are all here for one reason: to remove that pain they are experiencing. When employees are able to help a patient save money or better understand their options, it feels like we are removing some of the pain in the system. It’s why we all got into this field.”

3

Feel Good, Work Happy

Savvy executives are realizing that employee emotional states are closely tied to engagement. Stefanie Frenking, Global Feel Good Manager and Head of Global Recruiting at Spreadshirt, says, “We shaped our culture around what we call Feel Good Management. It’s based on three ideas: empowerment, excitement and simplicity. How do we talk to people and empower them to do their best work? How do we get people excited and keep them that way over the years? How can we simplify their lives and support them in their roles?”

Employee feelings about work often stem from challenges outside it, so helping employees manage those challenges is key to managing those feelings. Says Frenking, “We ask employees what they need to be happier and work better. We help where we can, by simplifying the things that might be standing in their way – such as paperwork or scheduling and child care arrangements. The goal is to increase positive feelings around work by removing distractions and friction, and the workforce responds positively.”

GM

Instill Growth Mindset

One of the biggest buzz phrases in the self-improvement and education realm today is “growth mindset,” or the idea that success is less about innate talent and more about hard work. Put another way, growth mindset is about developing talent, not just leveraging it.

Business leaders are beginning to understand the power this mindset has, not just on employees but also on the culture they’re a part of. Says Nikki Schlecker, Head of People at WayUp, “I believe successful employees are ‘learn-it-alls’ not ‘know-it-alls’ and that engagement in the workplace comes down to providing opportunity for growth. The best organizations recognize that people are self-motivated to learn and provide them opportunities to do that.”

Says Schlecker, “To me, a strong culture is one where people are striving together towards something larger than themselves. That’s what affects the way people feel about coming to work, and how they feel after they leave.”

employee ownership

Create a Culture of Ownership

CEO Nicolas Dessaigne of San Francisco-based search platform Algolia, believes “ownership” is core to his company’s identity and success. “Ownership drives the team to challenge each other, take responsibility and push the limits of what we think is possible in order to deliver the best possible product for our company and community,” says Dessaigne.

How can a company foster ownership in its people? According to Dessaigne, ownership requires courage; courage requires grit, trust, care and the ability to be candid. Says Dessaigne, “grit is about stepping fearlessly out of your comfort zone and seeing failure as an essential step toward success. Trust means everyone understands who we are and where we are going. Care means we go above and beyond to make our customers and people happy. And being candid means everyone has a voice and supports each other’s growth by providing honest feedback. All of these create the courage needed to take ownership.”

Align Purpose, Culture and Brand

Jackie Yeaney, CMO of Ellucian, says “A lot of people think brand is just how you are communicating externally, but what makes that message resonate is internal beliefs about why your company exists and actions that reinforce that purpose. Brand is connected to purpose. It’s connected to the values that support that purpose and the thousand interactions your employees have with customers and one another every day. The collection of small gestures and interactions add up to the bigger perceptions and expectations for your company, which is why consistency and alignment to brand matter.”

According to Yeaney, culture, purpose and brand are inextricably linked. “It is a waste of time to come up with a new brand strategy without considering the culture and the people you work with,” says Yeaney. “People today, especially millennials, demand to work at a company with purpose that aligns with their own. That’s what customers want as well.”

female-african-american-business-owner

Don’t Underestimate Happiness

Many organizations seek to measure engagement, but according to Shaun Ritchie, founder and CEO of meeting room analytics solution provider Teem, that measure is too employer-focused. “We did a lot of surveys and found that the majority of people were unhappy and disengaged in the workplace. So we wondered, what’s more important: happiness or engagement? We decided it was happiness.”

Why does Ritchie think happiness is the better measure? “Happiness goes much beyond work. It includes employees’ family time, personal lives, and other relationships. Companies need to look at where we can have impact on the margins,” says Ritchie. “When companies provide tools, technology and the processes to help employees be successful in the workplace, it drives feelings of accomplishment. That increases happiness inside and outside of the workplace.”

There’s increasing consensus around the idea that engagement and productivity are related to employee feelings about workplace culture. Fostering positive connections to the workplace through greater focus on happiness, purpose and belonging, along with more support for employee aspirations inside and outside work, are some key ways to address engagement at its root. What is your organization doing to increase the positive feelings that lead to engagement?

 

Authored by Adam Fridman 

Founder, Mabbly

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Why Customer Engagement Can Make or Break a SME

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This is an Experience that Economy and entire Customer Engagement is revolving around that for sustained revenue growth.

But, there is a lot of dilemma among mid-sized entrepreneurs as to how to practice that successfully for better Customer Engagement and Revenue.

Let’s understand – What is customer Experience in simple words –

Coffee beans are products and commodities which can be compared with other brands. Serving Coffee as a beverage is a service. But, when you offer a great incomparable moment with a coffee ( along with a pleasant surroundings etc.) that’s called Customer Experience for which a customer is always willing to pay a premium. This Customer Experience gives you Loyal Customers with repeat business.

Customer Experience

In whichever industry you are in, the key to competitive advantage is the same – the experience you offer to your customers. Remember, you are no longer selling Product or Services but Experiences. And, the better you manage Customer Experience, listen to your customers, understand them better – you have more business from them and through their references.

Customer Experience Management as a subject was is a Practice governed by culture and Apple, Starbucks are some of the companies who are pioneers and have championed this. Apple has an 87% repeat business because of the experience they offer.

More than ever, it’s now important to retain your customers as Sales cycle nowadays starts with ‘Lead’ and doesn’t end at ‘Closing’ but goes up to ‘Advocacy’. Gartner says a company can lose up to 43% of its revenue in a year only by losing existing customers. While Loyalty gives you repeat business Advocates bring-in more inbound leads and customers.

Many large Enterprises are holistically following Customer Experience Management for some years now through Marketing Automation and advances CX programs. But the challenge is how an SME can carry that successfully!

Here is my take on how you can do this through limited resources successfully –

Advocacy is a journey from Buyer to Believer, So…

  1. Serve first – Sell Second. Give Value continuously. Invest in Content Marketing and Videos.
  2. Invest in great experiences with a personal touch and personalized attention. Design program and evolve towards maturity
  3. Engage and Listen to customers proactively.
  4. Nielson Data says, out of 68% customers who leave thinks that you don’t care for them. And, 90% of them leave silently. So, seek out complaints on your own and address emphatically.
  5. Identify Happy Customers and use them as Marketing Champions
  6. Use WOM (Word of Mouth)

After the maturity of Social Media, WoM has become a new practice area for excellence. Purpose of WoM is to get new leads through Advocates.

Let’s look at some data –

  1. When it comes to trust, 92% says they trust recommendations from the source they know (Nielson)
  2. 72%, in another research, trusts direct consumer feedback.
  3. Millennials consider word of mouth as the #1 influencers in their purchasing decisions
  4. Social Media is the biggest contributor to deciding buying trends so much so that over 50% of purchases inspired by social media happen within 1 week of sharing.
  5. 43% of Social media users report buying
  6. 72% of marketers use social media to develop loyal fans

So, how do you use WoM!

  • Define Your Buyer Persona and engage to the target audience
  • Don’t Let the Relationship End at the Point of Sale
  • Make Every Experience a Reason to Converse with Your Customers
  • Engage with the Local Community
  • Have a Mailing List… and Use It
  • Create an On-Location Feedback System
  • Deal with Customers at a Personal Level ….also
      • Build a rapport with followers
      • make your followers feel special
      • Engage with audiences
      • Improve communication
  • Be Social with Your Customers
  • Manage Your Online Reputation
  • Have your influencer community and influencer referral program read
  • Keep track and measure the entire value chain.

So, give great Experiences and Manage that well. Help your customer and then sell. Give value and leverage on that. Design your Customer referral program well. Turn Loyals into Advocates to give you more revenue through up-sell and cross-sell. Finally, turn Advocates giving more references.

 

Credited to Kaushik Bhattacharya

 

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What It Will Take to Fix HR

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In the July/August issue of HBR, Ram Charan argues that the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) role should be eliminated, with HR responsibilities funneled in two separate directions — administration, led by traditional HR-types, reporting to the CFO; and talent strategy, led by high-potential line managers, reporting to the corner office. While my colleague and I vehemently agree that HR’s status quo is an inhibitor to growth, it is with the same fervor that we disagree with Ram’s proposed solution.

Really? Break up a strategic function in response to underperformance in the wake of severe market disruptions? Put the most strategic pieces into the hands of up-and-comers passing through the leadership-development revolving door? What would the capital markets look like today if a similar tack had been taken when the CFO role was ripe for transformation?

CHROs are standing at essentially the same crossroads that CFOs were, beginning in the 1980’s. Back then, CFOs (inclusive of the role’s predecessor titles) were squarely focused on accounting, controls, and preparing financial and tax statements. Fast-forward to today and the corporate bean-counter of old has become the CEO’s closest partner in driving strategy — and increasingly a candidate for the top job. How did this happen and what can be gleaned from it to inform the transformation of the CHRO?

Let’s think about the realm of the CFO and how it’s changed. As growth became a competitive imperative, business leaders began seeing the firm as a system of investment rather than a system of production. Financial capital was recognized as the scarce resource and its shortage a significant constraint on growth. At the same time, alternative approaches to accessing capital and funding projects proliferated, forcing financial decision-making to become increasingly sophisticated. Those conditions elevated the work of the finance function to the point that, today, the CFO helps to set the course of business, advancing an organization’s growth and improving its competitive position by identifying and resolving key financial constraints. This transformation took time to play out and involved both displacements of incumbents operating in outdated modes and the emergence of new “feeder” roles for those aspiring to the C-suite. A glance backward reveals how radically firms’ expectations have shifted in regard to the CFO’s breadth of background and the caliber of talent the position attracts. Baseline financial skills are still essential, but international experience, industry knowledge, investor relations acumen, technology expertise, and strategic prowess are now just as much part of the package.

Now compare that to the context and condition of today’s CHRO role. These days, the scarcity impeding firms’ growth is not of capital — it’s of talent. Nearly 40 percent of the 312 CFOs and other executives participating in Deloitte’s 2013 Global Finance Talent Survey said they are either “barely able” or “unable” to meet the demand for the talent required to run their organizations. And HR’s credibility deficit doesn’t help the matter. A recent survey of CEOs reveals that HR is overwhelmingly viewed as the least agile function. In our own conversations with CFOs we consistently hear that their attempts to work strategically with HR are the most trying. Business leaders concur, with nearly 50 percent reporting that HR is not ready to lead. Even HR itself agrees. In a March 2014 global survey, HR and talent executives graded themselves a C-minus for overall performance, citing a large capability shortfall, with 77 percent of respondents ranking the need to re-skill the HR function among the top quartile of their priorities.

While we disagree with Charan’s solution, we think he’s on to something when he asserts that the best CHROs have line and/or operational business experience.

Lynanne Kunkel, VP-Global Talent Development and HR-Asia for Whirlpool, is a case in point. After earning a degree in chemical engineering and spending eleven years in production roles at Procter & Gamble, Lynanne was drawn to P&G HR where she spent the next ten years in various roles, before moving over to Whirlpool HR four years ago. What Kunkel is particularly known for is bringing a cross-functional perspective to talent strategy at the consumer products companies she serves. In addition, she believes that a few noted CHROs elsewhere are beginning to set the standard and emerge as top-notch leaders within their respective organizations. “There’s a flaw in the perception that the only thing HR is good for is administration. HR strategy is an expertise that takes years to fully develop.”

The cutting-edge HR leaders we’ve met, like Kunkel, are thinking more boldly and blurring the experience line with a fresh understanding of talent. Couple that with comprehensive functional expertise and soon we’ll have a generation of CHROs that consistently brings and activates strategic, holistic perspectives. What will it take to accelerate the shift within HR and recalibrate the role of the CHRO? We offer three pieces of advice.

 strategic value

Focus most on where strategic value is created. In the early 1980’s, sixty percent of corporate value creation emanated from the optimization of tangible assets. Today, we live in an era where eight-five percent of value creation stems from brand, intellectual property, and people — all intangible assets. Delivering HR-related operational, compliance, and administrative tasks with distinction is important, but let’s be clear that doing so is table stakes. The CHRO must step up to the implications of the new world of work.

HR Skills Set

Recalibrate and reskill HR to ensure its relevancy. Kunkel says that “while ‘good with people’ may have been the mantra for those attracted to the field in the past, the new mantra should center around the effective use of people to effect intended business outcomes.” Relatedly, organizations need to be deliberate in the design and implementation of development programs aimed at helping HR professionals acquire and hone an increasingly wide range of sophisticated skills, not only in talent areas but also in understanding the dynamics of how the business works, makes money, and competes.

Bring on the quants. For the CFO, analytics is a native language. Beth Axelrod, CHRO for eBay and someone who pivoted from consulting on strategy (as a principal at McKinsey & Company) to running an HR function, acknowledges that HR leaders have traditionally set their agendas based on qualitative metrics and shied away from quantitative analytical tools. That needs to change. Google is probably the best-known case of a company that uses analytics to inform a slew of daily HR transactions and interactions. Its managers use data to determine everything from whom to hire and promote to how much to pay them and what benefits are most valued, all segmented by a variety of contextual attributes. According to Prasad Setty, Vice President of People Analytics at Google, their goal is to have all people decisions informed by data. “We want people, no algorithms, to make people decisions, but we want the decision-makers to make decisions informed by data and analytics.”  Using analytics to drive, design, defend, and activate a growth-oriented agenda will bring newfound credibility to HR leaders, and will be the hallmark of the great ones.

HR division of labor

Rethink the division of labor. Bifurcating leadership between those who focus on what needs to get done and those who focus on how it gets done is an effective means for HR organizations to step up to the demands of  today’s talent marketplace and growth challenges. Instituting an HR chief operating officer (COO) role, charged with optimizing how HR services are delivered is an emerging trend. The COO has a clear mandate to drive the design, development and implementation of HR services—optimizing operations while ensuring compliance across HR disciplines. Not only does this role free up the CHRO to focus on strategy and the larger talent agenda, thereby eliminating growth constraints, but it also preserves the crucial cohesiveness of the HR functi0n overall.

* * * * * * *

So, kudos to Charan for starting the conversation.  The problem to which he is responding is real; indeed, as CEOs turn their thoughts to growth again, many will find the gap between the need for talent and the CHRO’s ability to deliver it greater than ever before. Success demands a far more diverse set of experiences and skills. But, as with CFOs before them, the solution resides in CHROs and the teams that support them.  Just as financial management became increasingly sophisticated, so can talent management. CHROs can step up to meet this challenge — and they must, or someone else will step in to do it for them.

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Why Do So Many Managers Forget They’re Human Beings?

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Why Do So Many Managers Forget They’re Human Beings?

Authored by Rasmus Hougaard, Jacqueline Carter and Vince Brewerton

Our research showed that a global movement is taking place in the C-suites of thousands of progressive organizations like Accenture, Marriott, Starbucks, Microsoft, and LinkedIn. The leaders of these organizations ask themselves “How can we create more human leadership and people-centered cultures where employees and leaders are more fulfilled and more fully engaged?”  Based on our work in creating more human leaders, here are a few tips:  Be personal  Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry Wehmiller, a global manufacturing company, and author of Everybody Matters, has gone to great lengths to instill truly human leadership within the company. For all decisions being made, that has impact on employees, he asks himself: If my child or parent or good friend worked here, would they appreciate this decision? In this way he makes any managerial decision a personal question. He moves it from a tactical domain to an emotional domain, to make sure he is not blindsided by his status and power. Try the same when making decisions affecting your people. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine they are family members or friends.  Be self-aware  Leadership pioneer Peter Drucker said, “You cannot manage other people unless you manage yourself first.” In a recent article, we shared how one CEO greatly enhanced the engagement and performance of the teams of the bank he leads, by becoming more self-aware. The story exemplifies how leadership starts with understanding and leading yourself. When you understand yourself, you are better able to understand and empathize with the people you lead, and in turn lead for their intrinsic motivation. Good leadership starts with self-awareness, and self-awareness can be greatly enhanced through the practice of mindfulness.  Be selfless  Dominic Barton, global managing director of McKinsey & Company, says that selflessness is the foundation of good leadership. Leadership is not about you, but about the people and the organization you lead. With selflessness, you take yourself out of the equation and consider the long-term benefits of others. Selflessness does not mean you become a doormat for others and refuse stand up for yourself. Selflessness comes out of self-confidence and self-care.  Here is a simple way of checking whether you are selfless in your leadership: When you make decisions, check your motivation; are you doing it for personal gain, or for the benefits of others?  Be compassionate Compassion is the intention to bring happiness to others. If you have ever had a leader that was compassionate, you will know what it feels like. The person has your back. The person has your interest in mind. And, as a result, you feel safe, trusted, loyal, and committed. When it comes to leadership, nothing beats compassion. It is a universal language that is understood by anyone, anywhere. If you want to bring more compassion into your leadership, make a habit of asking one simple question whenever you engage with anyone: How can I help this person have a better day?In our assessments, surveys, and interviews of over a thousand leaders, many comments stood out, but one in particular was especially powerful and thought-provoking. “Leadership today,” Javier Pladevall, CEO of Volkswagen Audi Retail in Spain, told us, “is about unlearning management and relearning being human.”

What Javier means is, the power of leadership lies in our abilities to form personal and meaningful bonds with the people whom we lead. This is truer now than ever, as millennials are becoming the majority population in most companies. Millennials are not satisfied with only a paycheck, bonus, and benefits. They want meaning, happiness, and connectedness, too.

The problem is about 70% of leaders rate themselves as inspiring and motivating – much in the same way as we all rate ourselves as great drivers. But this stands in stark contrast to how employees perceive their leaders. A surveypublished by Forbes found that 65% of employees would forego a pay raise if it meant seeing their leader fired, and a 2016 Gallup engagement survey found that 82% of employees see their leaders as fundamentally uninspiring. In our opinion, these two things are directly related.

There is a vast upside to human leadership. As data from McKinsey & Company shows, when employees are intrinsically motivated, they are 32% more committed and 46% more satisfied with their job and perform 16% better.

As human beings, we are all driven by basic needs for meaning, happiness, human connectedness, and a desire to contribute positively to others. And leaders that truly understands these needs, and lead in a way that enables these intrinsic motivations, have the keys to enable strong loyalty, engagement and performance. As leaders, we must be humans before managers.

Our research showed that a global movement is taking place in the C-suites of thousands of progressive organizations like Accenture, Marriott, Starbucks, Microsoft, and LinkedIn. The leaders of these organizations ask themselves “How can we create more human leadership and people-centered cultures where employees and leaders are more fulfilled and more fully engaged?”

Based on our work in creating more human leaders, here are a few tips:

Be personal 

Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry Wehmiller, a global manufacturing company, and author of Everybody Matters, has gone to great lengths to instill truly human leadership within the company. For all decisions being made, that has impact on employees, he asks himself: If my child or parent or good friend worked here, would they appreciate this decision? In this way he makes any managerial decision a personal question. He moves it from a tactical domain to an emotional domain, to make sure he is not blindsided by his status and power. Try the same when making decisions affecting your people. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine they are family members or friends.

Be self-aware 

Leadership pioneer Peter Drucker said, “You cannot manage other people unless you manage yourself first.” In a recent article, we shared how one CEO greatly enhanced the engagement and performance of the teams of the bank he leads, by becoming more self-aware. The story exemplifies how leadership starts with understanding and leading yourself. When you understand yourself, you are better able to understand and empathize with the people you lead, and in turn lead for their intrinsic motivation. Good leadership starts with self-awareness, and self-awareness can be greatly enhanced through the practice of mindfulness.

Be selfless 

Dominic Barton, global managing director of McKinsey & Company, says that selflessness is the foundation of good leadership. Leadership is not about you, but about the people and the organization you lead. With selflessness, you take yourself out of the equation and consider the long-term benefits of others. Selflessness does not mean you become a doormat for others and refuse stand up for yourself. Selflessness comes out of self-confidence and self-care.  Here is a simple way of checking whether you are selfless in your leadership: When you make decisions, check your motivation; are you doing it for personal gain, or for the benefits of others?

Be compassionate

Compassion is the intention to bring happiness to others. If you have ever had a leader that was compassionate, you will know what it feels like. The person has your back. The person has your interest in mind. And, as a result, you feel safe, trusted, loyal, and committed. When it comes to leadership, nothing beats compassion. It is a universal language that is understood by anyone, anywhere. If you want to bring more compassion into your leadership, make a habit of asking one simple question whenever you engage with anyone: How can I help this person have a better day?

 

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Career Development With Emotional Intelligence

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What influences the career development of an individual? Is it his intelligence, technical skills, or their educational success? Are the forces that affect the future career success same for all generations – Baby Boomers, Generation X or Generation Y? All these questions have been researched thoroughly by hiring managers, recruiters, and human behavior researchers in last few years. The answer to all these questions is emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (EQ).

Emotional intelligence (often referred as EQ) is the ability of a person to recognize their own, and other people’s emotions, to differentiate between different feelings and act accordingly.

When hiring people, along with job performance abilities and skills, employers are looking for higher EQ. The interviews are tailored such that they can measure EQ and predict how well the candidate will be suitable for the job role. It is proved that people with higher EQ are getting along easily with co-workers and are able to deal with job stress. Even sense of humor is one of the selection factors, as it is a part of EQ.

Higher EQ means you are aware of your feelings and moods and can handle your emotions to face challenges and conflicts with an optimistic approach. The five building blocks of emotional intelligence are mentioned here:

  • Self awareness: Knowing who you are and having an understanding of your strength, weakness, and emotions.
  • Intrinsic motivation: Being motivated to exceed expectations and to be dedicated to the work.
  • Self regulation: Ability to control and manage impulses, which can pay off for your weaknesses.
  • Empathy: Understanding others’ feelings and considering their perspective of viewing things.
  • Social skill: Ability to inspire and motivate others in the desired direction, build networks and managing relationships.

EQ is a critical factor that sets high performers apart from the average ones, as it allows you to focus your energy in one direction obtaining incredible results. Emotional quotient is the strongest predictor of performance as compared to other workplace skills.

According to a study, 90 percent of top star performers are also high in EQ. While only 20 percent of below average performers are high in EQ. It is not necessary that you must have high EQ to be one of the top performers, but with lower EQ, the chances are really less.

Additionally, people with higher EQ earn more than the rest of the pack, as per the study. People with high degree of EQ earn approximately $29,000 (average) more annually than people with a low degree of EQ. These results hold true for each industry, with people at all levels, and in every region of the world.

 

Authored by  Anna Verasai

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How to Turn Millennials Greatest Workplace Weaknesses Into the Strengths

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As a Millennial speaker who helps organizations better lead, engage, and communicate with the Millennials, my audiences share with me the good, bad, and ugly about their Millennial workforce. Below are the top eight shortcomings that I’ve heard over the years and how Millennials can overcome each shortcoming in order to become influential future leaders.

1. Poor Work Ethic
Millennials report working an average of 38.8 hours per week, much less than Generation X (47.8) or Boomers (47.1).

“Lazy” Millennials are redefining a strong work ethic. Thanks to technology and the Internet, the tools, rules, and pace of work have forever changed. Both managers and Millennials have to rethink what productive work can and should be in the digital age. Millennials are interested in leaning into technology to work smarter and to find work/life harmony.

Work has changed in the 21st century, but the effort, zeal, focus, and respect we inject into work should never change. Millennials who view their employer as their top client and consider their work ethic the product they deliver to them will build a reputation of excellence. Anything worth doing is worth doing well.

2. Devalue Face-to-Face Communication
Millennial women use texting three times more often than calling.

Millennials’ high reliance on technology has resulted in a deterioration of other interpersonal skills. While Millennials have good reason not to answer your phone call, there is still tremendous value in face-to-face communication and if leveraged appropriately can forge deeper connections.

With so many varying communication preferences in today’s workplaces, Millennials can stand out by changing the channel and engaging in face-to-face communications. Read this to discover how Millennials can best communicate face-to-face. Read this for 1 tip to eliminate miscommunication across generations.

3. Career Impatience
Seventy-one percent of Millennials likely to leave a company within two years believe their leadership skills are not being fully developed.

Even though work is shifting to more project based work with shorter turnarounds and timelines, managers continue to wrestle with the unrealistic career advancement expectations of Millennials. Growing up in fast times and coming of age in an on-demand culture, Millennials have little patience for stagnation, especially when it comes to their careers.

Millennials who gain early clarity surrounding their career progression inside their organization will be able to adjust their expectations and explore cross-collaboration opportunities to gain more experience and to put their anxious ambition to good use.

4. Frequently Job Hop
Sixty-six percent of Millennials expect to leave their organization by the end of 2020.

Job hopping isn’t the resume red flag that it once was. Job hopping into the same industry and position over and over again is the new red flag. Job hopping into new industries or positions can simply reflect Millennials’ desire to gain transferable skills in order to thrive in today’s flux marketplace.

Millennials who set clear goals and objectives with specific timelines during the first few weeks of a new job will be better equipped to justify and execute a job hop. While still subjective, Mary Ellen Slayter, a career expert at Monster.com, says to avoid stints of less than one year. Before hopping, notice how green the grass is under your feet before looking over the fence.

5. Dependent on Feedback
Millennials want feedback 50 percent more often than other employees.

It’s not surprising that Millennials want frequent feedback considering they grew up gaming which immersed them in constant feedback loops. Now that technology has enabled vast and fast connection, real-time feedback will become more of a workplace norm.

Millennials who take feedback into their own hands and exercise self-reflecting on their past performance will develop a self-evaluation muscle that can be flexed in real-time creating greater self-awareness and productivity. Leveraging collaborative technologies like Slack, Waggl, or TinyPulse can satisfy Millennials’ desires for real-time feedback. (Read this for a simple strategy to deliver feedback to Millennials.)

6. Fixated on Flexibility
Eighty-eight percent of Millennials wish they could have greater opportunity to start and finish work at the times they choose.

Mobile technology has shifted work from a place to a space. Millennials have a boundary-less view when it comes to when, where, and how work can be done. Yet it’s important to be mindful of the timing expectations or requirements of colleagues and/or customers.

Millennials who gain clarity on the outcomes they are responsible for and achieve those outcomes on a routine basis will have the necessary credibility to earn greater flexibility. Prove that those outcomes won’t dip with increased flexibility by continuing to deliver efficient communication and satisfactory performance.

7. Lack of Experience
Twenty-five percent of Millennials have taken an unpaid job to gain experience.
Millennials are often overlooked due to lack of experience. But what value does experience hold in a culture of perpetual beta? The school of thought that experience is needed to produce high-quality work is permanently expelled in today’s digital age. In a world that moves fast, fresh perspectives and skills have new value. The new world of work will reward those experienced in being inexperienced.

Millennials that want to squash the lack of experience shortcoming must demonstrate honest gratitude for the people and processes that preceded them while applying conviction and a strong work ethic behind their ideas. (Read this for tips on how Millennials can successfully pitch their ideas.)

8. Act Entitled
Sixty-one percent of American adults think of Millennials as “entitled.”

There probably isn’t another word more synonymous to Millennials than the word entitled. Whether or not you believe Millennials are entitled, with 61 percent of American adults believing they are…perception is reality, and Millennials should do what they can to combat the label.

Millennials who demand or expect things too fast instead of being patient and respectful only expose their naiveness as young professionals. Give your effort, help, and support without expecting anything in return. Don’t demand anything, earn everything.

Authored by Ryan Jenkins

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