Questions To Ask Your New Boss

No matter how many years you’ve worked, starting a new job is often nerve-racking. There are so many unknowns to figure out, and one of the biggest questions are about your new boss. How can you set your relationship up for success?

Understanding Your New Boss’ Expectations

When you get a new boss, things are bound to change. Your new boss will most likely have different expectations for you and your team, a different view of your department’s direction, different ways of communicating, and different priorities than your previous boss. Part of managing your career is taking a proactive part in understanding what is expected of you by your new boss.

Beginning a new job is always a little overwhelming. Not only are you adjusting to a whole new project, office, and set of coworkers, you’re also trying to figure out what your boss wants and how to deliver it. The answer is the same as with getting to know anyone new in your life, whether socially or professionally—you start a conversation, you ask questions.

Of course, it’s not always easy to be the one starting a conversation, but establishing good rapport with your new boss will go a long way toward creating and maintaining a positive work environment. Talking with your boss is the best way to get valuable feedback on your performance, even when it is not annual review time. And, more times than not your relationship with your boss is one of the key factors in advancing your career.

While there’s no universal or simple formula for improving your ability to get along (and work effectively) with your new boss, the good news is that you will make a great deal of progress if you can ask the right questions. Here are a few questions you may want to take into consideration.

1. Who should I meet with outside of our team?

This is why office politics are so important; your ability to figure out how to influence others will improve if you can get to a quick understanding of the unspoken or informal networks that govern the social dynamics of your new team or organization. Your boss is ideally placed to provide you with this intel. 

2. What’s the best way to ask for your input and feedback?

Establishing a cadence where you can get regular feedback on how you are doing, even via 15-minutes weekly chats or regular email check-ins, will help you regulate and calibrate your efforts to improve your performance. 

3. What would you do if you were in my shoes?

This question will not just invite your manager to empathize with you — allowing them to see things from your perspective — it will also show them that you respect them and appreciate their expertise. No matter how logical or insightful their advice may be, it can create a good connection between the two of you and further deepen your understanding of how your manager thinks, feels, and acts.

4. How can I further develop my potential?

Great leaders excel at coaching and mentoring their people. You can nudge your boss to play this role by asking them to assess and develop your potential. This means going beyond your performance to focus also on what you could do. In a world that is increasingly pushing us to reskill and upskill, it is hard to underestimate the importance of expanding our horizons and being open to reimagining or reinventing our talents to future-proof our career. Incidentally, this question will also clarify the existing criteria for promotion and advancement, which will help you be objective and pragmatic about your plans (and will keep your boss honest).

5. What could I be doing better?

After a few weeks on the job, asking this question may encourage your boss to provide you with much-needed guidance for closing the gap between how you are performing and what your boss expects from you. In their attempt to avoid conflict and maintain positive morale, many managers find it hard to provide employees with negative evaluations, so wording your feedback request in this way can help them focus on your improvement areas. It also signals that you are eager to understand how you can get better, even if you are doing well. 

A final point to consider: every person is unique, including you and your new boss. Invariably, this means that some of these questions might not be be applicable given the situation and your growing relationship. But the general rule still stands: you will accelerate your career success if you can manage your boss better. This requires you to understand them better, and a deliberate strategy that starts with smart questions can help. 

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://hbr.org/2021/10/7-questions-to-ask-your-new-boss
https://leadhonestly.com/blog/9-questions-to-get-to-know-your-boss
https://www.donnaschilder.com/blog/leadership-blog/questions-to-ask-your-new-boss-to-quickly-create-a-productive-relationship/

How to Handle Major Change In Your Life

Many of us believe that unexpected events or shocks create fertile conditions for major life and career changes by sparking us to reflect about our desires and priorities. That holds true for the coronavirus pandemic. A bit over a year ago, in an online poll numerous people were asked how the pandemic had affected their plans for career change, 49% chose this response: “It has given me downtime to rest and/or think.” That’s a good start. But if you’re thinking about a (successful) career change, it’s that thinking on its own is far from enough. Yes, events that disrupt our habitual routines have the potential to catalyse real change. They give us a chance to experiment with new activities and to create and renew connections. Even in the seemingly “unproductive” time we spend away from our everyday work lives, we conduct important inner business — asking the big existential questions, remembering what makes us happy, shoring up the strength to make difficult choices, consolidating our sense of self, and more.

Yes, events that disrupt our habitual routines have the potential to catalyse real change. They give us a chance to experiment with new activities and to create and renew connections. Even in the seemingly “unproductive” time we spend away from our everyday work lives, we conduct important inner business — asking the big existential questions, remembering what makes us happy, shoring up the strength to make difficult choices, consolidating our sense of self, and more.

Enough has happened during this past year to make many of us keenly aware of what we no longer want. But the problem is this: More appealing, feasible alternatives have yet to materialise. Basically, we’re stuck in limbo between old and new. And now, with most Covid restrictions at last falling away and a return to the office imminent (in some capacity anyway), we confront a real danger: getting sucked back into our former jobs and ways of working.

How can those of us who want to make a career transition avoid that? How can we make progress toward our goals by building on what we’ve learned this past year? Research on the transformative potential of a catalysing event like the coronavirus pandemic suggests that we are more likely to make lasting change when we actively engage in a three-part cycle of transition — one that gets us to focus on separation, liminality, and reintegration. Let’s consider each of those parts of the cycle in detail.

Separation Benefits

Research on how moving can facilitate behaviour change suggests that people who found a new and different place to live during the pandemic may now have better chances of making life changes that stick. Why? Because of what’s known as “habit discontinuity.” We are all more malleable when separated from the people and places that trigger old habits and old selves.

Change always starts with separation. Even in some of the ultimate forms of identity change — brainwashing, de-indoctrinating terrorists, or rehabilitating substance abusers — the standard operating practice is to separate subjects from everybody who knew them previously, and to deprive them of a grounding in their old identities. This separation dynamic explains why young adults change when they go away to college.

Recent research has shown how much our work networks are prone to the “narcissistic and lazy” bias. The idea is this: We are drawn spontaneously to, and maintain contact with, people who are similar to us (we’re narcissistic), and we get to know and like people whose proximity makes it easy for use to get to know and like them (we’re lazy). The pandemic disrupted at least physical proximity for most of us. But that might not be enough — particularly as we rush back into our offices, travel schedules and social lives — to mitigate the powerful similarities that the narcissistic and lazy bias create for us at work. That’s why maintaining some degree of separation from the network of relationships that defined our former professional lives can be vital to our reinvention.

Liminal Interludes & What You Can Learn

Taking advantage of liminal interludes allows us to experiment — to do new and different things with new and different people. In turn, that affords us rare opportunities to learn about ourselves and to cultivate new knowledge, skills, resources and relationships. But these interludes don’t last forever. At some point, we have to cull learning from our experiments and use it to take some informed next steps in our plans for career change. What is worth pursuing further? What new interest has cropped up that’s worth a look? What will you drop having learned that it’s not so appealing after all? What do you keep, but only as a hobby?

Reintegration: New Beginnings On The Horizon

Most executives and professionals who have shared their pandemic experiences have said that they do not want to return to hectic travel schedules or long hours that sacrifice time with their families — but are nonetheless worried that they will.

They are right to be worried, because external shocks rarely produce lasting change. The more typical pattern after we receive some kind of wake-up call is simply to revert back to form once things return to “normal.” That’s what the Wharton professor Alexandra Michel found in 2016, when she investigated the physical consequences of overwork for four cohorts of investment bankers over a 12-year period.For these people, avoiding unsustainable work habits required more than changing jobs or even occupations. Many of them had physical breakdowns even after moving into organisations that were supposedly less work-intensive. Why? Because they had actually moved into similarly demanding positions, but without taking sufficient time in between roles to convalesce and gain psychological distance from their hard-driving selves.

Our ability to take advantage of habit discontinuity depends on what we do in the narrow window of opportunity that opens up after routine-busting changes. One study has found, for example, that the window of opportunity for engaging in more environmentally sustainable behaviours lasts up to three months after people move house. Similarly, research on the “fresh start” effect shows that while people experience heightened goal-oriented motivation upon after returning to work from a holiday, this motivation peaks on the first day back and declines rapidly thereafter.

The hybrid working environments with which many organizations are currently experimenting represent a possible new window of opportunity for many people hoping to make a career change, one in which the absence of old cues and the need to make conscious choices provides an opportunity to implement new goals and intentions. If you’re one of these people, it’s now up to you to decide whether you will use this period to effect real career change — or whether, instead, you’ll drift back into your old job and patterns as if nothing ever happened.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/cheryl-muir/3-ways-to-prepare-yoursel_b_7295334.html
https://possibilitychange.com/major-life-decision/
https://www.flashpack.com/wellness/life-change-how-to-happiness/

‘Imposter Syndrome’ in the Workplace

Many business professionals suffer from what is widely known as “imposter syndrome” at least once during their careers. Comparing yourself with peers and feeling like you don’t stack up can give birth to crippling self-doubt, which can then result in negative consequences for your business operations. Imposter syndrome is a phenomenon that was discovered in the 1970s, but is only more recently being publicly acknowledged in workplace culture. Employees can express imposter syndrome in various ways, such as acting insecure about their abilities, second-guessing decisions, and being afraid of taking on new challenges.

In today’s fast-paced workplace, it’s hard not to feel inadequate at times when there’s always something new to learn or a new skill set to master. Digital technology and social media also make it easier than ever before to compare our success to others’, perpetuating a cycle of self-doubt. It’s understandable then why imposter syndrome has been dubbed the “workplace anxiety du jour.”

While imposter syndrome does come with its fair share of difficulties, it’s a sign that you have a team of highly intelligent, driven individuals. In order to overcome imposter syndrome in the workplace, it’s important to build your confidence in yourself and your abilities. The sooner you are able to accept yourself for who you are, the easier it will be to lead you and your team toward your goals and celebrate the milestones you’ve reached along the way.

1.Keep Yourself In Check

The first step to overcoming imposter syndrome is to pay attention to your negative thoughts. You know, the ones where you assume that your co-workers think you’re clueless and interpret their every frown or lack of lunch invitations as confirmation of said reality. When this type of thought surfaces, it is important to recognise it as a thought, instead of a fact. Instead of getting sucked into negative thought quicksand, make a self-affirming statement.

It is recommended telling yourself something like: “I am having this thought because I am not feeling so confident in myself. The reality is that I have tons of education and experience. I also put a lot of effort into my work.”

Remember that our emotional state affects our perception. If you’re anxious about a tight deadline or a challenging project, your go-to emotion might be anxiety and self-doubt. It is essential you accurately observe your emotions and triggers so you know the appropriate coping mechanisms to use. If you are anxious about the project, remind yourself that your anxiety may trick you to believe that you are a fraud—but you are not.

2.Be Your Biggest Fan

They say “nothing succeeds like success.” You can find your confidence again by remembering all of the ways you’ve made a positive impact. List your biggest accomplishments. Where have you made a difference? When did you contribute something meaningful? What was your latest big win? Doing so will help you see yourself as others see you—as a powerful contributor who deserves to be in the room. The good news in being a perfectionist means you care deeply about the quality of your work. The key is to continue to strive for excellence when it matters most, but don’t persevere over routine tasks and forgive yourself when the inevitable mistake happens. 

3.Feedback Always Leads To Development

Use tools like 360 assessments and retrospectives to unearth opportunities for learning and development in a growth-oriented way. Empowering teams through the use of feedback makes sure expectations are understood, which helps reduce unnecessary self-doubt among individual contributors.

It takes emotional honesty, introspection, and feedback from others to achieve the self-awareness and self-acceptance needed to combat imposter syndrome. Support yourself and your team in taking an inventory of their strengths, perhaps with the assistance of a coach, who can help them leverage their strengths fully. A good coach will help pull out unique attributes that make a person shine in their work, and support them in taking consistent action to develop habits that help them succeed to their full potential.

Because identifying opportunities for development can introduce self-doubt, because there are four stages of learning a new skill, known as the conscious competence ladder. It’s important to realise that undertaking a challenge or assuming a new responsibility can be a vulnerable experience, so encourage yourself and others to approach it with a healthy dose of self-compassion.

Approaching development as a series of low-stakes experiments can also help. Confidence is a learned skill, after all, so adding playfulness to the process helps develop resiliency, so that everyone can bounce back a little easier when setbacks inevitably occur.

4.Reasonable Expectations

To overcome imposter syndrome, you need to stop setting unattainable standards and expectations for yourself and thinking that factors such as luck or help are responsible for your success. You also need to stop blaming your own limitations for mistakes or failures. Failures are part of life and we all deal with them. At the same time, learn how to accept a compliment and draw strength from it. 

5.Work Support Network

The worst thing that people with imposter syndrome can do is to isolate themselves from receiving accurate and validating feedback from other people. Work hard to build relationships with your co-workers, so you have people to go to lunch with and lean on for support, especially as you navigate being the newbie. People can often normalise your experiences and reassure you that your belief about yourself isn’t accurate. You’ve got this!

Another relationship you’ll want to nurture? The one with your boss. Don’t wait for an annual performance review to get your boss’s assessment of your work. Ask for feedback on what you’ve done well and ask for what you could improve upon. When you’re starting a new job or a new career, it’s expected that you don’t know everything. Managers very much appreciate someone who is inquisitive and is wanting to grow, and asks good questions.

Once you’ve built a trusted network, you won’t be afraid to ask your coworkers for guidance if you’re unsure how to tackle an assignment. Instead of getting stuck in feeling like an imposter, ask for help if you are not sure what to do.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2019/06/07/15-ways-to-overcome-imposter-syndrome-in-the-workplace/
https://www.businessinsider.com/5-ways-to-overcome-imposter-syndrome-in-the-workplace-2020-2#what-can-leaders-do-to-counteract-imposter-syndrome-3
https://hbr.org/2021/07/end-imposter-syndrome-in-your-workplace

Price Increases & Why You Should Tell Your Customers

Covid restrictions are lifting in some parts of the world and the economy is booming in some sectors. Some labour and material costs are rising due to shortages, as is customer demand. Many brands have a high pricing power at the moment, making price hikes almost inevitable. Brand managers may be clued in on the size of their price increase, but it’s no easy matter to communicate this unwelcome news to customers.

Many companies, and even entire industries, routinely raise prices without ever telling customers. In the consumer-packaged goods space, for instance, it is common practice to reduce quantity (the grammage of a package, item count, etc.) and maintain the price. This increases the per-unit amount paid by shoppers but keeps the more visible package price unchanged. Alternatively, brands may cut down on trade promotions and other forms of discounting, raising prices indirectly. For instance, when faced with a shortage and soaring prices for chicken, KFC recently removed in-store promotions for its crowd-pleasing $30 fill-up bucket.

Whatever the reason for your price increase, how you communicate the news is just as important as planning the increase itself. Your communications need to provide clients with detailed information, address questions and concerns, and reinforce your value as their chosen service provider. 

However, these below-the-radar options are unavailable for products sold with subscriptions, leases, or contracts. In these cases, the manager must communicate to customers that prices have increased before the next billing cycle. This task is mined with pitfalls. When performed poorly, the news can lead to undesirable outcomes like customer complaints, social media outrage, and even worse, having to walk back the price increase, or losing customers altogether.

To avoid such fiascos and to blunt customer resentment, here are three actions that managers should take when communicating a price increase. They are backed by evidence found in academic research and shared experiences from working with companies.

Call the action what it is: a price increase

In emails and letters to customers, well-loved brands such as Netflix, Microsoft, Sling, and YouTube TV have all referred to a price increase as “updating price” or “adjusting price” in the past. This is common practice because managers are naturally reluctant to tell customers they are raising prices. While this may seem like a small thing, euphemistic messaging can cause serious harm, fraying the relationship with loyal customers. Decades worth of consumer psychology research has consistently found that attempts to obfuscate bad news rarely pay off for brands. Customers know that brands are trying to influence their opinions and behaviour and appreciate it when they use helpful, transparent, and informative influence methods.

Authenticity and honesty matter to customers, especially for bad news. When a brand uses a euphemism to convey a price increase, it does not distract customers or dilute the negative impact of the news, as managers may believe. Instead, it arouses suspicion, making recipients more vigilant and critical of the information contained in the announcement. Some customers may interpret the euphemistic phrasing as talking down to them. It may stoke indignation in others, leading to venting on social media and the potential to snowball into widespread anger. Even customers who are on the brand’s side may feel that they are being deceived. Where communicating price increases, it is best to call it what it is: a price increase.

Avoid apologising & over-explaining

Increasing prices is a standard part of running a growing business, and enables a company to continually provide better services over the long term. Rate fluctuations naturally follow a company’s growth plan. Nobody can grow by staying static. While it can be tempting to provide long-winded explanations and apologies for increasing your rates, giving too much information can take away from the key message you’re trying to communicate and ultimately confuse your clients. In addition, apologising could send a signal that the price increase will negatively impact your clients and/or that you’re not confident in the increased value you’re providing. 

When communicating a price increase to customers, ensure that your messaging only contains essential information and avoid adding unnecessary details. Don’t be afraid to own your decision! 

Offer plenty of advance notice

Although price increases are an expected part of doing business, it is important to give your clients sufficient time to process the information and potentially look at other service providers offering lower or competitive rates. (Depending on the significance of the increase, your clients may be required to secure additional approval or funding to continue to do business with you – especially if the business is facing challenges.)

To help your clients feel valued and give them time to make any necessary changes on their end, provide as much notice as possible before the price increase will come into effect. If you’re able to provide a few months’ notice, consider following up with a reminder closer to the effective date (either via email or over the phone) so the price change – and any consequential business changes – doesn’t turn into a last-minute disaster. 

Prove that the Price Increase Is for the Customers

The most effective price increase communications are customer-centric. They provide a value narrative — a vivid and compelling story for why the price is being increased that focuses on customer value. As an example, when United Airlines raised prices of its United Club membership, the company provided this explanation:

“To provide a more productive and relaxing experience, we’re investing more than $100 million in renovating existing locations and building new spaces with expanded seating areas, more power outlets and upgraded Wi-Fi. We’re also investing in a brand new complimentary food menu that you can now find at most of our hub locations across the U.S. and will be available soon at the rest of our locations.”

This explanation tells United Club members that prices are increasing to give them more benefits they’ve been asking for. A compelling value narrative establishes the sequence of actions for the price increase. It starts with customer feedback, then leads to identifying unmet needs, is followed by a significant investment by the brand, which results in new features, and finally culminates in the delivery of benefits that customers value.

As the United Airlines communication illustrates, the value narrative is concise — only a few sentences long. But it provides a credible explanation for the price increase that resonates with core customers. Most importantly, it places the customer at the centre of the price increase story, linking the price increase to substantial added customer value. A well-crafted value narrative conveys to customers that the brand has undertaken the effort to understand how its customers derive value and factored this knowledge into the pricing process.

At its essence that managers should approach the unpleasant task of communicating a price increase to customers with the same degree of sincerity, attention to detail, and customer focus that they bring to other brand-building projects like introducing new features or extending product lines. Such effort will be rewarded with a price increase that sticks and customers that feel like valued partners of an authentic brand with their interests in mind.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/how-to-sell-a-price-increase-to-your-customers-2948463
https://www.workflowmax.com/blog/youve-decided-to-raise-your-rates-now-how-do-you-tell-your-clients
https://hbr.org/2021/06/if-youre-going-to-raise-prices-tell-customers-why

Organisational Change: High-Risk – High-Reward & How to Do It Right

Most organisational change efforts take longer and cost more money than leaders and managers anticipate. In fact, research from McKinsey & Company shows that 70% of all transformations fail. Why does this happen though?

For many reasons: a weak culture that isn’t aligned with the mission, leadership misalignment, lack of participation and buy-in, under-communicating a powerful vision, over-communicating a poor vision, competing priorities, not enough training or resources, and so on. But one very critical roadblock standing in the way of bringing a change vision to fruition is what experts call ‘change battle fatigue’. Change battle fatigue is the result of many elements such as past failures plaguing the minds of employees, the sacrifices made during the arduous change process, and rollout strategies taking longer than anticipated. When a transformation is poorly led, fatigue can set in quickly.

And not only do 70% of organisational change fails, but that failure rate may even be increasing. According to older but still very relevant 2008 research from IBM, the need to lead change is growing, but our ability to fulfill a change vision is shrinking. Hence why people often get discouraged and eventually give up. Even when companies make great strides while building a change culture and preparing for the ‘change battle’, fatigue can derail even the most valiant efforts for change—essentially leading to losing the ‘change battle’.

It’s difficult for managers and staff to get motivated when they believe that the latest ‘new initiative’ being preached from above is going to die just like the last one—no matter what they do. Furthermore, fear makes change intensely personal. People become concerned about their jobs, families, and long-term career path. When people are afraid, most can’t hear or think as well. It’s much harder for them to absorb important information when panic starts to set in. This can be a big distraction that undermines the team’s ability to focus and stay productive. And times of change are when you need them more focused than ever.

Thus, the often-cited failure rate of organisational change continues to hover around 70%. If you’ve got a major change on the horizon, here’s how to avoid the most common ‘saboteurs’ of organisational change.

Underestimating the work

Simply put, most leaders want organisational change to be easier than it is. By its nature, transformational change creates discontinuity because it touches the entire company. In the case of a financial services company, shifting from product to service centricity meant every aspect of the organisation, from sales to operations, is going to be touched by the need for change.

By contrast, incremental change — for example, implementing a new technology platform or launching a new product — touches discrete aspects of the organisation. Most companies makee the same mistake: They assume that a larger volume of incremental changes would add up to a complete transformation. Henceforth, they spray the organisation with numerous, disconnected initiatives whose efforts weren’t coordinated, that were actually under-resourced for what they were expected to deliver, and whose project leaders lacked the authority to make material decisions or impose consequences on those unwilling to cooperate. Instead of accelerated change, the result was obstructed change — a system clogged with an overload of disparate efforts that everyone stopped caring about.

A multifaceted transformational change needs to be appropriately scoped, resourced, and integrated. Every initiative must be linked to every other initiative. In the case of most organisations, efforts to market the benefits of newly positioned services need to be synchronised with the efforts of operations people to actually deliver those services. Messages to customers needed to sync with new skills those delivering the services needed to acquire. Centralised services from corporate needed to work closely with local branch offices’ ability to customise services. And it all needs to be sequenced and paced in a way the organisation could productively absorb. Once these efforts are appropriately integrated, means and ends will begin to match, and real organisational change eventually aligns with the messages.

Creating Cultural Experiences That Support The Vision

Cultural experiences are imperative to instill the proper mindsets and beliefs that drive actions that get results. What are cultural experiences? They can be anything from how people interact, the work environment, how the company approaches its customers, company meetings and events, hiring mechanism, to where people sit.

There are four types of cultural experiences as they relate to organisational change:

(1) positively impact change and needs no interpretation;

(2) positively impact change but needs more interpretation to engage the team;

(3) has no positive or negative impact the change effort;

(4) has a negative impact on the organisation.

Type 1 and type 2 cultural experiences help drive engagement and belief in the mission. They keep the team energised.

Emotional Intelligence & Increasing Situational Awareness

In combat, situational awareness is an obvious necessity. Not always easily achieved but a constant priority requiring good communication and leadership at every level. Situational awareness at the individual level could also be described as self-awareness – a key component of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is widely known to be a key component of effective leadership, especially when navigating change and uncertainty. The ability to be perceptively in tune with yourself and your emotions, as well as having sound situational awareness, can be a powerful tool for leading a team in VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) environments. The act of knowing, understanding, and responding to emotions, overcoming stress in the moment, and being aware of how your words and actions affect others is described as emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence consists of these four attributes: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

For example, a study of over forty Fortune 500 companies showed that salespeople with high emotional intelligence outperformed those with low to medium emotional intelligence by 50%. The same study showed that technical programmers who fell in the top 10% of emotional intelligence competencies were producing new software at a rate three times faster than those who fell in the lower ratings.

Emotional intelligence also improves employee satisfaction, something vitally important during any change effort. A West Coast bank was forced to cut almost one-third of its staff due to the economic downturn back in 2008. Determined to survive the ‘change battle’, the leadership team invested in assessing the remaining staff for their levels of emotional intelligence. The results supported their transformation goals to ensure they not only had the right people on the bus but that those people were in the right seats—doing jobs best suited to their capabilities. The company survived and is now more productive and more profitable with fewer employees.

It’s hard to make organisational change turn out the way you want to. But by doing your due diligence and creating the plan that makes the most sense for your company, you’ll increase the chances your change management efforts are successful. As a result, you’ll have a strong, healthy company that’s well-positioned to keep dominating for some time to come.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://hbr.org/2021/04/how-leaders-get-in-the-way-of-organizational-change
https://www.pulselearning.com/blog/6-steps-effective-organizational-change-management/
https://www.tinypulse.com/blog/sk-successful-organizational-change-examples

Developing Better Apprenticeship Programmes

As economies recalibrate from the shocks imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders in the public and private sectors are swiftly trying to reimagine how people should navigate the labour market, whether it is an apprenticeship, mid-level or corporate level management.

Among other things, the economic tumult has exposed a clear disconnect between higher education and workforce development. In this new age of precarity, consumers will need sure-fire means to acquire the skills necessary to become productive employees, while employers will require reliable information to compare and hire the right talent. 

This has motivated providers, non-profits, and policymakers alike to create new models and mechanisms that will increase trust and accountability between education providers and employers and allow consumers, employers, legislators, and investors to navigate the postsecondary marketplace with confidence.

The Education Quality Outcomes Standards Board (EQOS) has created a robust Quality Assurance Framework in order to address these key issues. By pioneering a universal, outcomes-based standards framework for postsecondary education and training programmes, EQOS is strengthening the connection between higher education and workforce development and empowering all stakeholders to make informed choices.

During 2020, EQOS launched a number of partnerships with innovative postsecondary providers to pilot the Quality Assurance Framework by collecting and reporting their student outcomes data. During 2020, EQOS launched a number of partnerships with innovative postsecondary providers to pilot the Quality Assurance Framework by collecting and reporting their student outcomes data. The framework provides a clear, consistent way to compare the results data of all kinds of postsecondary programmes. Having that data allows learners, states, employers, and others to identify and support the most successful programmes.

There is strong evidence that work-based learning helps to equip young people with the skills that can improve their employability and ease the transition from school to work. Onsite work and mentoring are the core of the training model that today’s entry-level workers need in order to build and sustain lifelong careers. Strategically designed apprenticeship programs aggregate, monitor, and streamline the changing inputs and relationships required to promote workers and pave paths of sustainable employment. University graduates have become unemployable in some countries, even while jobs go unfilled.

Businesses worldwide lack skilled workers, even as unemployment—particularly among the young—is high. Too few skilled workers means that projects sit idle and revenue growth falls short of potential. Therefore, an apprenticeship combined with on-the-job training programmes make good sense for companies that need middle-level skilled workers.

An apprenticeship that involves mentoring provides young people with the frame of reference they need to forge a sustainable path, including networks and training resources. Hybrid training, from one-on-one development to being on the job, bridges school and the world of work. Programmes keep individuals motivated and plugged into hiring employers.

Not only does an apprenticeship help equip a workforce with the practical skills and qualifications needed within an organisation, they can also contribute to the productivity, growth and overall success of a business. Here are four ways a business could benefit by getting on-board apprenticeship programmes:

Career-focused development

Apprenticeships provide a great opportunity for employers to develop, nurture and grow a more qualified workforce aligned to their future strategy. Using a combination of best practice, theory and on-site application, leadership and management capabilities within your business can be improved, so that your people will lead in new and improved ways.

Additionally, they also provide an effective way to ensure the future leaders and managers of your organisation develop the right skills to contribute to the growth and improvement of the business. After all, leadership and management are key to helping businesses achieve sustainability.

Greater innovation

Apprenticeships can help all types of business, big or small, across a range of sectors harness fresh new talent. As apprentices come from a range of diverse backgrounds, from aspiring managers to those with more experience under their belt, new innovative ideas and approaches are often brought to the business which help drive it forward.

Additionally, throughout an apprenticeship, individuals are encouraged to develop creative thinking skills and strategies, enabling them to think outside of the box. Leaders are responsible for the environment they create; they are the role models of the behaviours they want in their teams.

Therefore, it goes without saying that leadership and management development is a key driver in embedding a culture of innovation into an organisation.

Increased staff loyalty and retention

Investing in the development of employees can have a real positive impact on the morale of the workplace. Apprentices have an appetite for development, and when given that opportunity, they are likely to be more eager, motivated and loyal to the company.

This motivation and positivity from business leaders will cause a radiating effect amongst other employees, meaning the whole business will benefit as a result.

Additionally, offering existing staff the opportunity to develop through a leadership and management apprenticeship demonstrates that you are willing to invest in their future. This can help employees to see their job as a career and prolong their time at the company, increasing retention.

Improved bottom line

Developing staff through apprenticeship programmes can generate a real return on investment for many businesses. An apprenticeship is a great way to grow your team while keeping staff costs down, proving to be more cost effective than hiring skilled staff due to lower overall training and recruitment costs.

Additionally, as staff become better skilled and gain greater understanding of the wider business throughout the programme, confidence and independent thinking will develop. This can contribute to the generation of new ideas and suggestions such as improvements to business processes or strategies. Which, in turn can have a positive impact on productivity and efficiency in the business, thus reducing costs.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gradsoflife/2021/04/06/tracking-outcomes-toward-better-apprenticeships/?sh=649293113252
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/building-back-better-with-apprenticeships
https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/About/Blog/Article/Apprenticeships-a-valuable-approach-to-developing-your-workforce.aspx

2 Questions that Are Vital If You Want to Be a Better Leader

Being a leader is a great privilege that brings with it great responsibility. As a leader, you are often the first to receive the credit and almost always the first to receive the blame. Your position is both demanding and rewarding and requires great skill and balance. You are expected to build authentic relationships, maintain confidentiality, develop your team and meet your goals. Your communication must be strong, and your time management must be masterful.  You need to effectively delegate, problem solve, strategise, manage conflict and prioritise. People expect you to be engaging but serious, charismatic but sincere, confident but humble, and transparent but discreet. It is one of the most challenging and rewarding positions you can have, and it is replete with great joys and deep challenges.

The few leaders who are lucky enough to receive training on how to be a leader often attend a one-time seminar or class that focuses heavily on skill acquisition. This is a good place to start but an insufficient one to begin and end. The development of leadership skills is most certainly necessary to become a strong leader, but it is hardly a one-shot deal. Mastering the skills required of leadership is a lifelong endeavour and should be treated as such with consistent training, application, support and coaching. Further, honing these skills is just one of the components of becoming a strong leader. The other component is comprised of mindset, desire and investment required of a leader. Without a leader’s mindset, skill mastery becomes largely irrelevant. Being a leader requires the mindset of a leader.

In 2017, after nearly a decade spent building Uber into a household brand, Travis Kalanick yielded to pressure from investors who demanded that he step down as CEO. Shortly before offering his resignation, the scandal-plagued founder issued a statement: “For the first time I’ve been willing to admit that I need leadership help.”

That was too little too late. And for such once-great commercial giants as Kodak, Blockbuster, and Blackberry, the unwillingness to solicit advice or consider potential pitfalls resulted in not only personal but corporate catastrophe.

Two thousand years ago, two great academies of study debated the ancient laws of the Judean commonwealth. History records that the scholars of the House of Hillel and the House of Shammai argued with one another so passionately it was as if “they fought with swords and spears.” Each school had its own angle on higher truth, and each was committed to preserving the integrity of Jewish legal tradition.

But when they left the study hall, they were fast friends. They married their sons and daughters to each other. Their different visions never became personal. And, occasionally, one school convinced the other that it was wrong.

Ultimately, it was the opinions of the House of Hillel that prevailed, and later authorities explain why. Not only did the scholars of Hillel always record the opinions held by the scholars of Shammai along with their own—they always recorded the opposition opinions first.

Only when we understand the other side of any argument can we truly understand our own. That’s why intellectual integrity demands that we ask ourselves these two questions:

  • If I don’t understand why you believe what you believe, how can I be sure that you’re wrong?
  • If I don’t understand why you might reasonably disagree with me, how can I be sure that I’m right?

It’s important to note that leadership is not management. And the satisfaction you derive from being a leader has nothing to do with monetary bonuses and everything to do with purpose.

Why do you want to become a leader?

If you lack purpose or drive, there’s no reason for you to become a leader. You might as well do something else. Because at its core, leadership requires sacrifice, and if you don’t have a strong sense of purpose and an unfailable drive, none of the things you sacrifice will mean anything.

Without these two quintessential characteristics, you’ll come to resent the role as well as the people that you lead. For those who have a strong sense of purpose, they are more than willing to go the extra mile — to go out on a limb for those we lead. It’s an inexplicable feeling, but all great leaders have it.

Many people realise that they’re not leadership material. And that is ok, don’t let anyone judge you because that’s indicative of great self-awareness. It’s also one less person who will potentially take a leadership position to use it for selfish gain.

As a leader, when you encourage underlings to propose new ideas, challenge conventional thinking, and argue against the status quo, you are not promoting insurrection. Just the opposite. You are forging a culture of creativity, mutual respect, and intellectual integrity, one in which every contribution is valued and where a commitment to sound decision-making overrides investment in ego or personal prestige. And that will drive you and your organization relentlessly toward success, not occasionally, but always.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.bngteam.com/blog/top-4-leadership-questions-ask-every-day/
https://letsgrowleaders.com/2019/11/07/7-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-be-a-better-leader/
https://www.coburgbanks.co.uk/blog/assessing-applicants/21-tough-interview-questions-that-reveal-true-leadership-potential/

Collaboration with Competitors: Organisational Destruction or Evolution?

Collaboration between competitors has been in fashion for quite some time. Back at the end of the 1980s, General Motors and Toyota assemble automobiles, Siemens and Philips develop semiconductors, Canon supplies photocopiers to Kodak, France’s Thomson and Japan’s JVC manufacture videocassette recorders. But the spread of what we call “competitive collaboration”—joint ventures, outsourcing agreements, product licensings, cooperative research—has triggered unease about the long-term consequences. A strategic alliance can strengthen both companies against outsiders even as it weakens one partner vis-à-vis the other. In particular, alliances between Asian companies and Western rivals seem to work against the Western partner. Cooperation becomes a low-cost route for new competitors to gain technology and market access. ICL, the British computer company, could not have developed its current generation of mainframes without Fujitsu. Motorola needs Toshiba’s distribution capacity to break into the Japanese semiconductor market. Time is another critical factor. Alliances can provide shortcuts for Western companies racing to improve their production efficiency and quality control. Yet the case for collaboration is stronger than ever. It takes so much money to develop new products and to penetrate new markets that few companies can go it alone in every situation. The risks of collaborating with rivals might seem daunting, but a study
by the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute finds the benefits are likely to outweigh any disadvantages. The study found that this kind of collaborative competition, when it lasted from three to five years, had more than a 50% chance of mutually reducing company costs.

“Nowadays, the best partner might be your direct competitor,” says Paavo Ritala, a professor of Strategy and Innovation at LUT University of Technology in Finland. “Competitors tend to face similar markets and use similar resources and technologies. They typically have to deal with similar challenges at large. Thus, with rising costs of R&D and globalizing competition, it often makes sense to collaborate with competitors on product development, innovation and joint manufacturing.”  Another example is, YouTube and Vimeo have a similar relationship. During an innovation panel at the 2019 ForbesWomen Summit, Vimeo CEO Anjali Sud shared that the video platform joined forces with YouTube, one of its main competitors by allowing creators to publish their videos to YouTube, as well as to other video platforms.

The term “coopetition” whilst explaining a relatively contemporary idea, has been coined back in 1996 by Yale School of Management professor Barry Nalebuff and NYU Stern School of Business professor Adam M. Brandenburger when they noticed an increasing number of these kinds of partnerships among rivals, especially in the digital space, and set out to research the theory that turned into their book “Co-Opetition”.

The Role of Sales Enablement Technology

Collaboration serves to leverage the internal pool of talent, knowledge, and experience but also improves internal communication and empowers employees. The result is a boost in productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness, driving results. Technology empowers today’s workforces by connecting more employees than ever before. A sales enablement tool such as Seismic improves marketing and sales collaboration and communication by using real-time data from best practices and peers to determine what content is most effective at progressing deals and generating the highest ROI and then surfacing recommended content based on the Salesforce record and provide recommended sales collateral within their currently workflow.

For example, Seismic can integrate wherever your sellers work such as the CRM email and Slack. This allows sales reps to deliver the right message at the right time and allows them to remain focused on sales objectives, rather than on how to out-perform their peers.

How to Build Secure Defenses

For collaboration to succeed, each partner must contribute something distinctive: basic research, product development skills, manufacturing capacity, access to distribution. The challenge is to share enough skills to create advantage vis-à-vis companies outside the alliance while preventing a wholesale transfer of core skills to the partner. This is a very thin line to walk. Companies must carefully select what skills and technologies they pass to their partners. They must develop safeguards against unintended, informal transfers of information. The goal is to limit the transparency of their operations.

Western companies face an inherent disadvantage because their skills are generally more vulnerable to transfer. The magnet that attracts so many companies to alliances with Asian competitors is their manufacturing excellence—a competence that is less transferable than most. Just-in-time inventory systems and quality circles can be imitated, but this is like pulling a few threads out of an oriental carpet. Manufacturing excellence is a complex web of employee training, integration with suppliers, statistical process controls, employee involvement, value engineering, and design for manufacture. It is difficult to extract such a subtle competence in any sort of way.

So companies must take steps to limit transparency. One approach is to limit the scope of the formal agreement. It might cover a single technology rather than an entire range of technologies; part of a product line rather than the entire line; distribution in a limited number of markets or for a limited period of time. Moreover, agreements should establish specific performance requirements. Motorola, for example, takes an incremental, incentive-based approach to technology transfer in its venture with Toshiba. The agreement calls for Motorola to release its microprocessor technology incrementally as Toshiba delivers on its promise to increase Motorola’s penetration in the Japanese semiconductor market. The greater Motorola’s market share, the greater Toshiba’s access to Motorola’s technology.  

Enhance the Capacity to Learn

Whether collaboration leads to competitive surrender or revitalization depends foremost on what employees believe the purpose of the alliance to be. It is self-evident: to learn, one must want to learn. Western companies won’t realize the full benefits of competitive collaboration until they overcome an arrogance borne of decades of leadership. In short, Western companies must be more receptive. Learning begins at the top. Senior management must be committed to enhancing their companies’ skills as well as to avoiding financial risk. But most learning takes place at the lower levels of an alliance. Operating employees not only represent the front lines in an effective defense but also play a vital role in acquiring knowledge. They must be well briefed on the partner’s strengths and weaknesses and understand how acquiring particular skills will bolster their company’s competitive position.

Competitive benchmarking is a tradition in most of the Japanese companies we studied. It requires many of the same skills associated with competitor analysis: systematically calibrating performance against external targets; learning to use rough estimates to determine where a competitor (or partner) is better, faster, or cheaper; translating those estimates into new internal targets; and recalibrating to establish the rate of improvement in a competitor’s performance. The great advantage of competitive collaboration is that proximity makes benchmarking easier.

Competitive collaboration also provides a way of getting close enough to rivals to predict how they will behave when the alliance unravels or runs its course. How does the partner respond to price changes? How does it measure and reward executives? How does it prepare to launch a new product? By revealing a competitor’s management orthodoxies, collaboration can increase the chances of success in future head-to-head battles.

Knowledge acquired from a competitor-partner is only valuable after it is diffused through the organisation. Several companies we studied had established internal clearinghouses to collect and disseminate information. The collaborations manager at one Japanese company regularly made the rounds of all employees involved in alliances. He identified what information had been collected by whom and then passed it on to appropriate departments. Another company held regular meetings where employees shared new knowledge and determined who was best positioned to acquire additional information.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://hbr.org/2021/01/when-should-you-collaborate-with-the-competition
https://foundr.com/competitive-collaboration-boost-brand#:~:text=By%20embracing%20competitive%20collaboration%2C%20you,be%20on%20the%20losing%20side.
https://seismic.com/company/blog/competition-vs-collaboration-what-drives-high-performing-sales/

Essential Routines for a Productive & Less Stressful 2021

When we were sent home last March, we patched together work habits to survive the new world of work and life. You endured and made it to 2021.

Now, as the new year unfolds, it’s time to level up and replace survival work processes, with practices that support and enable your productive side, performance, and peace of mind.

Here are the three essential routines you need to make the months ahead more productive and less stressful.

IDENTIFY YOUR ENERGY BOOST MOMENT

When the commute to your “office” is a few minutes from your bedroom to your sofa or kitchen table and the days of pandemic life merge together, it’s imperative to identify your energy boost moment so you can get an early win to ignite your energy and motivation for the day. Here are four ways you can jump-start your day.

Compete to beat your own time. Time yourself on a routine task. For example, how long does it take you to make breakfast? Read and respond to 12 emails? Or prepare the weekly report? Turn these routine tasks into a competition with yourself and see how fast you can go. You will be surprised at how much you can accomplish and how motivated you are to take on the day.

Organise and empower your perfectionism. Straighten up your workspace, file emails, or alphabetize your spices. Then stand back, admire your work, and tell yourself you did a great job. Now move on to the first task on your task list with confidence and vigor.

Dress in clothes that make you feel professional and productive. Before you skip over this potential energy boost moment, know that there is a scientific theory called “enclothed cognition” that supports the effect that clothes have on how we feel and act. According to Dr. Nina Vasan, a psychiatrist and clinical assistant professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, “Clothing shapes your mental state and productivity. When you are stuck at home all day, what you wear can set the tone for what you are doing.” Dig into the back of your closet and pull out your favorite jacket, dress, or shirt. Put it on and use it to get your mind ready to work.

Move your body. You’ve heard it before, however, exercise does work to elevate your energy level. In a University of Georgia randomized controlled trial, researchers split people into three groups” low-intensity, moderate-intensity, and a control group (no exercise). During the six-week experiment, both exercise groups reported growing levels of energy compared to the control group. And, the good news, the low-intensity group reported less fatigue than the moderate-intensity group. Start your day with jumping jacks, a walk, or a few yoga poses, and get your blood and energy flowing.

ACHIEVE A 5 S.T.A.R. DAY

Targeted, intentional planning is how you achieve your goals and reduce stress. When you plan your upcoming work week, follow the four-step S.T.A.R. process.

S – Strategic: Review your strategic goals for the month.

T – Tasks: Identify the tasks that support the accomplishment of your strategic objectives. These are the discrete next action steps you need to perform to achieve your goals. Clarity is essential. Focus on the “must-dos,” not the “nice to-dos.” All action steps need to start with an action verb, for example, submit, call, or email.

A – Allocate: Allocate time on your calendar to complete your tasks. Is there time available on your calendar to complete the tasks required to achieve your goals? If not, look for opportunities to create time capacity. Can you decline a meeting where you are not required to provide information, represent a constituency, or be a decision-maker? Can you shorten a meeting or look for an alternative way to accomplish the meeting’s objective? Can you renegotiate a deadline to create capacity this week?

Now, you are ready to organise your calendar to achieve your goals. You have three options: block your days in either small, precise increments of time, block your days in larger time increments or create theme days. To create theme days, you organize your days around a theme, category, or type of work. For example, administration, team development, sales, prospecting, or writing. Review your tasks and the core accountabilities of your job to determine your theme days. Once you have identified your themes, select a theme or themes for each day of the week. Note the theme for that day on your calendar, and complete tasks and projects aligned to that theme.

R – Results: Commit to your results. When you are asked to attend a meeting without an agenda or join a call to “catch-up,” remember that every time you say yes to a request, you are saying no to something else. Honour you and your time. Intentionally say “yes” and “no” to requests for your time.

CELEBRATE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND SUCCESSES

In a remote work environment, it’s difficult to receive the affirmation and praise you readily heard in your office. Gone are the days of a “thank-you” in the break room from your colleague or the “great job on the presentation” from your boss as you walk past their office. It’s up to you to acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments and successes. At the end of the work week assess how productive you were and how well you aligned with your strategic goals, or count your check marks on your task list, or reflect on any positive feedback you received via email or on a Zoom call. We all want and need to be seen and valued. Recognise how you have added value to your team, company, and customers.

It’s a new year. Use the start of the year as an opportunity to create new routines that will energise you, which will make you more productive, and remove stress from your workday.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

http://www.elivingtoday.com/lifestyle/item/1154-4-tips-for-a-productive-2021
https://www.fitnancials.com/productivity-tips/
https://www.charteredaccountants.ie/Accountancy-Ireland/Home/AI-Articles/learn-from-2020-for-a-productive-2021

Delegation Is An Art: How Should It Be Done?

Delegation is a good idea but often falls flat in practice. Despite hiring bright minds and able hands, managers often find themselves overburdened and overloaded with tasks. Best practices tell individuals to focus on the highest priorities and delegate tasks to others, especially if it offers the opportunity for growth and development of your team. While this idea is great in theory, many people run into trouble.

A one-size-fits-all approach to delegation represents a strategy doomed to defeat. You could identify an item to delegate and then rely on the direct reports to figure out how to execute it or to speak up with questions if needed to. Unfortunately, not every item or even every employee is suited to this process, and problems can reveal themselves hours or minutes before a deadline. Here are four common reasons why delegation fails and what to do about them.

Lack of Critical Thinking

While many of us want to be considered smart, focusing on how others see you can be problematic when overplayed. If you jump in too early and too often with insights, your peers and direct reports will never have an opportunity to develop their own expertise. Confidence also takes a beating when people enter a meeting knowing they will leave feeling less than their manager. And while your insights may be helpful, they’re often offered only after a team has invested weeks of work preparing a presentation. It’s also dangerous to have only one person doing most of the critical thinking in an organisation; you could be leaving your company vulnerable to blind spots.

To elevate your team’s capacity to think for themselves, embed the practice of coaching early in the process. Instead of providing answers, ask questions. The quality of their insights will be directly proportional to the quality of your questions. For instance, by asking, “How would our chief competitor respond to this strategy?” Open-ended questions allow others to broaden their lens and consider new angles, rather than merely data-gathering queries. Instead of having to supply the solution, you activate others’ critical thinking skills.

Lack of Initiative

Sometimes employees lack the initiative to make bold moves or even follow up on smaller ones. They could agree to action items that they left incomplete or fail to communicate why they would miss a deadline. If you find yourself almost always initiating follow-up discussions then that is not delegating, that resembles micromanaging a lot more.

If your attempts at delegation are failing because you think others lack initiative or follow-through, address it tactically and strategically. Assign someone to jot down notes, action items, dates, and ownership before the end of each meeting, and start the next meeting following up on promises made. While this might sound basic, nearly half of the executive teams I work with lack appropriate hygiene in follow-through. More strategically, consider crafting a “placemat”— a one-page document (about the size of a placemat) that lists top priorities. A placemat signals what you plan to reward and provides another way to increase employee motivation. By scrubbing sloppy execution and signalling what truly matters, you can shape up accountability and motivation.

Lack of Quality

Unleash your team’s ability to contribute quality. First, provide them with a list of common mistakes in a presentation and what you would like instead. For example, instead of wordsmithing the title of a slide so it’s shorter, direct your team to deliver slide titles that don’t overflow to a second line. You can even delegate drafting this list to your direct reports based on what they already know about your preferences. Second, instead of fixing the fault, point it out and request a repair. Annotate a document with comments, instead of redlining it with direct edits. This will take more time initially but save you time in the long run as your team learns what you’re looking for. This may also require earlier deadlines, so your direct reports aren’t submitting final products at the last minute — and that’s ok. By showing them where they can improve, you’ll find that you’ll have better quality presentations and more time in the future.

Lack of Speed

Almost every CEO I have worked with marches to the beat of “CEO time” — a time warp where they either think they can (or they do) complete tasks faster than others. This may be the case because the CEO is more experienced, is clear about what she wants up front, doesn’t have to spend time divining or iterating to tailor the task, and hasn’t taken into account the extra time spent by employees because they want to look professional in front of the boss.

The next time you have what you consider a “quick” task, ask your team member how long they think it will take. If there is a discrepancy, ask about their process and the reason for the estimate. If necessary, you can help shave off time but removing unnecessary frills or details. For example, they may not need to create a beautiful slide deck but simply write up two paragraphs. On the other hand, you will start to become better educated about what and how long it takes to complete a delegated task and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Managers often experience the push and pull of delegation. We push out the work, only to pull it back again when it fails to meet expectations. By diving deeper into the point of failure, we can better address the underlying causes of delegation failure and encourage our team to be more motivated and productive.

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

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Sources:

https://www.meistertask.com/blog/delegate-tasks-effectively/
https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_98.htm
https://www.inc.com/jayson-demers/7-strategies-to-delegate-better-and-get-more-done.html