Viewing posts from: November 2000
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 This transformation took time to play out and involved both displacements of incumbents operating in outdated modes and the emergence of new “feeder” roles for those aspiring to the C-suite.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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
Why Do So Many Managers Forget They’re Human Beings?
Authored by Rasmus Hougaard, Jacqueline Carter and Vince Brewerton
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:
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.
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.
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?
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?
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
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
What are your tips for building a great team?
Answer by Jordan Ritter, CEO of Atlas Informatics, formerly Napster, Cloudmark, onQuora:
A great team can take a mediocre idea and turn it into something meaningful. But a mediocre team will still take the next Facebook and waste up 100% of the time. So how do we make great teams?
I’ve spent my entire career obsessing about how to build great companies, and I’ve learned so much trying to get this right.
What I learned is that the way we do 99% of all recruiting is completely broken. Normally we have a job description, some needs, some wants, some nice to haves. We interview a candidate, and we compute: yes they’ve got this, no they don’t have that, etc. We calculate: 80% match – let’s hire this person. But that’s completely wrong: it has absolutely zero to do with what makes a team great.
What makes a team great is the same thing that makes a personal friendship great, or a romantic relationship great: that we share values, believe in the same things, not believe in the same things, share the same ethos and mindset. If you’ve ever seen it, or been privileged to be a part of a team like this, you’ll immediately know: once you’ve got this, there is nothing you can’t achieve together. It’s inspiring and powerful and amazing.
Instead, we approach hiring a great team with what we call the 3 C’s: Culture, Capacity andCraft, in that order.
Most important thing: Culture. What is culture to us? It’s a composition of Values, Mindset/Ethos, and Traits. Values are limited to words that can be used to Evaluate, Assess, Praise and Critique; words that can’t be used in this way are bad (e.g. Obsession vs. Passion – one can be meaningfully measured, one cannot). Mindset and Ethos are phrases that are basically inspiring mantras that also define our culture, but don’t really apply to evaluation and assessment (e.g. sooner is better, now is best; clean hands make you wrong). Traits are things we sometimes try to leverage as values, but are really just attributes of people we’re looking for (e.g. self-reliance).
Next most important thing: Capacity for Mastery (Google sometimes calls this Velocity of Learning). This is important to distinguish from skills because if you have the ability to master things, you can acquire any of the skills you need. In a startup where you’re always doing something new, there’s almost never an instruction manual, so the thing to optimize for in building a capable team is its capacity to master new things.
Last thing we look for: Craft – this is what most companies interview for – technical skills and capabilities. They’re important, don’t get me wrong – you’re hiring for a job, and you need this person to get the job done. But from the perspective of building Great teams, it’s the least important thing, because if you have the first two, you can get the third. Because again, skills have nothing to do with what makes teams great.
This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Authored By Peter Economy
Exit interviews are a routine practice in many companies today. The idea of an exit interview is to ask an employee who has quit or resigned his or her job exactly why they decided to leave the company. Was it because they weren’t being paid enough in their current job, or because they didn’t like their boss, or because they weren’t being given enough responsibility?
Of course, when you conduct an exit interview, it’s too late to do anything that will prevent your employee from moving on to greener pastures. That’s why some companies are trying something new. Instead of conducting exit interviews when employees leave, they are conducting stay interviews to try to keep them.
According to Erin Pappo, Client Services Director at Camden Consulting Group, “Instead of waiting for an employee to become so unhappy or disengaged that they resign, it is critical for companies to get in front of potential problems and correct employee satisfaction and engagement issues before they arise.”
Stay interviews should be conducted with current employees on a regular basis to help management understand what they can do to make the workplace better and decrease turnover. Erin Pappo suggests asking these 10 questions during the course of a stay interview:
1. The last time you went home and said, “I had a great day, I love my job,” what had happened that day?
2. The last time you went home and said, “That’s it, I can’t take it anymore,” what had happened that day?
3. What is really different here that makes you proud to be an employee?
4. Is your manager effective? If so, what do they do that you value the most? If not, what do you wish they would do more of?
5. What do you like most or least about working here?
6. What might tempt you to leave?
7. What talents are not being used in your current role?
8. What would you like to learn here?
9. What motivates (or demotivates) you?
10. What can your manager do to best support you?
So, instead of exit interviews, give stay interviews a try. You might just be surprised by the results.
Authored By Marcel Schwantes
Do you work in a toxic workplace? I’ll share what that looks like in a minute. But if you do, there comes a time when we all need to evaluate our work environment and the people we work with to determine if it’s hurting our career path or, much worse, our health and well-being.
If you decide to take the higher road and stick around, safeguarding against a toxic workplace falls squarely on the shoulders of every employee. Whatever your level or function, everyone needs to be watching out for one another by weeding out the few bad apples that may be taking morale down.
In his book, Eye of the Storm: How Mindful Leaders Can Transform Chaotic Workplaces, executive coach Ray Williams describes the characteristics of toxic workplaces, and the part that dysfunctional leaders play in creating them. As he writes in Psychology Today, toxic workplaces will manifest in the following seven ways:
1. All sticks and no carrots
Management focuses solely on what employees are doing wrong or correcting problems, and rarely give positive feedback for what is going right. Or mostly carrots for the best performers, sticks for the rest.
2. The creeping bureaucracy
There are too many levels of approval and management to get things done and a singular focus on micromanaging employees.
3. The gigantic bottom line
Profits, beating the competition, and cost cutting are solely focused on without consideration of other bottom lines.
4. Bullies rule the roost
Management bullies employees, or tolerates bullying when it occurs among employees.
5. Loss of the human touch
People are considered to be objects or expenses rather than assets, and there is little concern for their happiness or well-being. There’s also little evidence of leaders’ compassion and empathy for employees. As a result, you’ll encounter high levels of stress, turnover, absenteeism, and burnout.
6. Internal competition
Employees must compete internally, which is enforced by a performance assessment system that focuses on individual performance rather than team performance.
7. Little or no concern for work-life balance
People’s personal or family lives must be sacrificed for the job; overwork or workaholism is commonly evidenced by 50-hour-plus workweeks, little or no vacation time, and 24/7 availability for work communication. There is little or no commitment to making contributions to the community, worthy causes, or making the world a better place.
How do you stop it?
A good starting point is to make sure that all employees are keeping a finger on the pulse of the organization to make sure people are being cared for to do their best work, and that fear is being pumped out of the workplace regularly.
When toxic behaviors persist, here are some strategies to consider:
- Conduct a culture or employee engagement survey that reflects on the work environment and management’s performance or leadership. If they’re the problem, HR needs to step in and play a role in assessing organizational health.
- Have HR and well-meaning managers conduct stay interviews to keep good people from leaving.
- To weed out toxic employees, include behaviors like “respect,” “teamwork,” and “encouragement” in your performance planning and then measure them.
- Invest in coaching for managers and staff.
- When dealing with a toxic co-worker who is apt to turn a discussion into a he-said, she-said mud-sling, bring in a third party to document meetings to protect yourself from drama.
- Every employee needs to learn the value of setting boundaries. Define what is acceptable behavior and what isn’t–then communicate assertively with appropriate boundaries.
- Expose the problem by promoting a healthy culture and living out shared values to squeeze out unwanted things like gossip, bullying, sabotage, disrespect, and insubordination. The larger the group campaigning against toxic behaviors, the better they’ll be rooted out.
Authoured By Al Triunfo
It’s likely we have all seen this scenario before: Your organization runs a leadership development program, anything from a half-day workshop to a full week of lectures, breakouts and role-playing. Then, a week, a month or six months down the road, you realize the content, strategy and execution are out of sight and probably out of mind. I believe we arrive at that point because, too often, we think the leadership development program itself is enough.
There is no shortage of information describing the leadership gap in organizations around the world. In both the 2015 and 2017 editions of Deloitte University Press’ “Global Human Capital Trends,” there are many statistics that support the existence of this gap. We can easily conclude that the great majority of organizations recognize the gap. Yet despite this recognition of the importance of building leadership competencies and willingness to invest in leadership development, we are not making much progress.
Many great consulting companies have tackled the topic and developed extensive lists of causes. However, we continue to fall short when it comes to solutions. What I hope to be able to do in this blog is to offer some real-world, practical leadership development concepts based on what I have learned and experienced during my 35 years in various leadership roles in the pharmaceutical industry.
These concepts are based more on the investment of time than the investment of money, though one might argue that for many organizations, they are one and the same. The data seem to suggest most organizations do invest some level of dollars on leadership development. Usually, the investment is on a platform of leadership principles and content. However, even with the right platform, many organizations do not achieve the desired outcomes.
We need to place greater emphasis on “pulling through” the leadership principles. I don’t mean just talking about how important the pull-through component is. I’m talking about the hard and time-intensive work of the boss or coach working one-on-one with the potential leader. I realize that doesn’t sound that revolutionary, novel or glamorous. It is, however, where my experience has taught me the payoff comes from.
Why is this idea of pull-through so poorly executed, if executed at all? I consistently see three major obstacles.
1. Time, Time, Time
Often, the manager thinks he or she doesn’t have the time to invest in weekly one-on-one leadership development coaching discussions or that the potential leader doesn’t have time for them. It seems more productive to spend time talking about results, strategy, execution or even performance management.
In the moment, that thinking seems reasonable. Those are not insignificant topics. In reality, lack of one-on-one time dramatically shortchanges true leadership development. The one-on-one meeting is the setting that allows the boss to show his or her commitment to development, customize the plan and create a safe environment. Even if HR or the organizational development department has a pull-through plan, it does not replace one-on-one coaching sessions.
2. Lack of Decision-Making Opportunities
Many bosses will not let go of their control and decision-making authority. They are afraid the new leader will make mistakes – and yes, he or she will make mistakes. Therefore, managers limit putting new leaders in situations where they can actually lead. The result of that approach is predictable: no development of leadership skills and leaders who will most likely struggle in their roles.
There are a couple of ways I address this issue in the development plans of my leaders. We establish different tiers of engagement when it comes to decision-making, each requiring a different level of involvement from me. The next thing we focus on is understanding the difference between the competencies of decisiveness and judgment. It is amazing to see the progression of decision-making ability as skills and confidence grow.
3. No Formal Leadership Development Plan
Each new leader requires and deserves a formal, customized leadership development plan that is aligned with the organization’s leadership principles. There is no “one size fits all.” Everyone’s baseline is different. Are you building a plan for a first-time leader, or is it a current leader taking on new roles and responsibilities? What is their depth of experience in the role? How can you accelerate their experiences? Do they need a mentor or coach other than their boss? Are there goals or assignments between meetings? The more formal and customized the plan, the better. This is an entire process of its own.
This solution is not complicated, but it does significantly change the outcome of leadership development. It simply requires a strong commitment from a leader who is willing to invest in the development of another leader. As John Maxwell puts it, “Leadership is not about titles, positions or organizational charts. It is about one life influencing another.” Leadership coaching is not only about influencing another leader. It is also about closing the leadership gap, preparing organizations for the future and contributing to today’s bottom line.
Authored by Louis Mosca
People become the owner of a business for a variety of reasons. Though some inherit the business from their parents or grandparents, many go into business for a simple reason: They want to be independent.
The belief that they can do things better than everyone else, the allure of freedom, and the determination to build their own wealth is the driving force behind every business owner I’ve ever met.
The normal evolution of a business begins when you’ve started or bought it. You build and design it, you create something special, and then at some point, you usually begin planning for an exit strategy, or succession plan.
Whether that succession plan means a big pay-day, sale, or a transition to someone else, there comes a time when an owner must ask themselves what kind of legacy they wish to leave behind with their business?
A succession plan should be treated as a business plan, and that means having a clear vision of how you want things to look in five years. You have to determine where you want to be, how you want to be involved, and what you really want to get out of it as the architect of your business, and your exit strategy.
Is your design one in which you sell to a third party at a set price, do you see your business living on in perpetuity through one of your children, or do you want to sell and maintain a certain level of involvement?
Let’s say in five years you want to sell the business. Start the process by identifying potential buyers and determine how they make acquisitions. Look at how they’ve valued companies, and how they’ve integrated, merged, or purchased those organizations.
Maybe you want to create an ESOP. Start by interviewing two-to-five ESOP members, from other organizations, and see how it’s worked out for them. Pay careful attention to the pluses and minuses, and then create a valuation for the business, figuring out where the funding is going to come from. Are you really willing to put your business on the sketchy ground, so it can borrow enough money to pay you off?
If you want to transition power of the business to a family member, you need to consider the procedures and steps that will ensure a secured transfer. That means training, education, and hands on experience building for the person who will ultimately lead your business.
Ten years ago, we were working with a construction client, a father, and son business, who was doing about $30 million dollars. The father, getting on in his years, wanted to start preparing his son for taking command of the company.
To do this, he had his son go through every type of business and management training program he could find. He’d regularly bring in seasoned professionals that were recommended to him, to teach his son their craft. He knew education and experience would ensure his son’s success.
As each year passed, the father would remove himself a little more from the operations of the business, and relinquish greater control to the son. Within 7 years, the father had removed himself almost completely, and the business continued to grow to a now $85 million dollars, annually.
On the flip side, a few years ago I was personally working with an electronics business owner, who was preparing to transition control of the company to his ill-equipped son. He thought his son could do no wrong, and believed that whatever knowledge he had gained from working in their store, seemed to be enough.
Despite my challenging him repeatedly, to have his son work somewhere else and gain more experience under someone else’s dime, he would ignore my suggestions and warnings and has since seen his business falter under the weight of his son’s inexperience.
Succession planning should not just be a catchphrase; you need to work your butt off to accomplish it successfully. You will need professional help if you want professional results.
Authored by Forbes Coaches Council
A growing number of U.S. businesses are shifting focus from employee wellness programs to well-being initiatives — more comprehensive health and productivity programs that tackle elements such as the workforce’s emotional and mental health, social connectivity, financial education, sense of fulfillment on the job, and many other aspects.
Workplace health and well-being programs not only have a positive impact on your employees’ wellness, they can also lead to a significant increase in your team’s engagement, cohesiveness and overall productivity. According to research, a healthy and happy workforce can reduce costs by more than $1,600 per employee, with reduced leave days caused by disability or unplanned sickness.
1. On-Site Fitness Programs
Nothing is better for life balance, joy, longevity, health, and work productivity than physical activity. Any workplace can incorporate this when options range from sit-stand desks to guided yoga classes, stress management seminars, or full-scale on-site fitness centers. When staff is expected to stay in the office, employers can give them perks that make them feel better and perform better. – Laura DeCarlo, Career Directors International
2. Flexible Working Arrangements
Not everyone can work from home effectively. But for those who can, it can lead to a huge boost in productivity and provide a mental and emotional break from a long commute and being in the office. If it’s appropriate for your work environment, give employees the option to work from home a day a week, and you have the potential to see a boost in productivity and morale. – Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E
3. Improv Training
Most people think of comedy when they hear “improv” and don’t realize that improvisation is a form of exercising the brain that improves mindfulness, active listening, collaboration, risk taking, confidence, public speaking, sales, conflict resolution and so much more. Laughter will also result, which reduces stress while improving rapport and trust with co-workers. – Gina Trimarco, Pivot10 Results
4. Retirement Coaching
Retirement is a major personal and financial transition that many are unprepared to navigate. Companies offering coaching for life after the employment relationship ends stand to gain a lot. Such support can foster positive morale, encourage mindful career planning, and enhance productivity and efficiency until an employee is truly “retirement ready.” – Carroll Welch, Carroll Welch Consulting
5. Access To Healthy Food
It has been said that “food is thy medicine.” Corporate cafeterias should provide access to organic, processed-free foods at a moderate cost. In warmer months, farmer’s markets should be on site. An integrative wellness program can teach others about how to eat healthy and provide proactive feedback on health and diet. – Rebecca Bosl, Dream Life Team
6. Deep Sense Of Purpose And Contribution
Creating corporate social responsibility programs that engage employees in non-profit causes and educational development programs is key to experiencing well-being. Growth and success seem meaningless when there’s no purpose attached to them and no one else to whom we can give back. A fulfilling and healthy life is full of purpose and opportunities to contribute to others. – Mariana Lacombe, MarianaLacombe.com
7. Incentive-Based Trips
If you’ve explored The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Paul White, you know that employees and managers have so many different ways of feeling appreciated. Regularly-scheduled incentive-based trips can boost the morale and well-being of the majority of employees because these trips encompass the love languages of quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and financial gifts. – Daphne Valcin, Daphne Valcin Coaching
Kindly drop your commeny after reading.