Managing Resistance to Change

In the world of fierce competition and changing strictures by the Governments, change is inevitable for any organization and cruel to its profitability and survival. However, any change- be it in technology, strategies or manpower, has a potential to lead to disruption in organizational work as well as interaction patterns. Inherently, people tend to resist…

In the world of fierce competition and changing strictures by the Governments, change is inevitable for any organization and cruel to its profitability and survival. However, any change- be it in technology, strategies or manpower, has a potential to lead to disruption in organizational work as well as interaction patterns. Inherently, people tend to resist change if they have not been adequately informed about it. The reasons are generally their own insurances about economic loss, uncertainty, inconvenience and a sudden break in the pattern of their social life.

Strategic management has some basic ingredients like reward systems, operations, culture, HR policies, training, CSR, etc. Frequent reorientation is best avoided because it is not easy to get everyone to understand, think and work strategically in the same spirit. We find that as a mode of displaying their resistance to change, workers often resist strategy implementation by absenteeism, sabotaging machines, spreading destructive, wild rumors, airing false complaints, etc.

Quite often, resistance to change is noticed simply because of the lack of awareness and understanding of its need.

How to Manage Resistance to Change

  1. Effective Communication – Communication is the key to preventing misinformation as well as rumor mongering. It helps dispelling fears and makes everyone in the organization feel a part of strategy implementation.
  2. Proper Planning – Setting a stage for change is as important as implementing it subsequently. Proposed changes should be worked out in detail so that they can not a reasonable period of time without resorting to frequent changes. It is also important to allow time to reflect upon various repercussions. This would include retention, relocation, training, financial expenditure, perceived need, influence on the morale, reward structure, etc.
  3. Protection of Interests – No change can occur without minor impact on someone or the other. It is therefore important to offer an umbrella of protection to those employees who are potentially likely to suffer some damaged by its implementation. Never implement a policy that leads to reductions in pay or makes a lower grade as far as job classifications are concerned.
  4. Man Management – The strategies for those employees who are likely to be retrenched or would be unhappy with the change should include –
  • Voluntary transfers
  • Asking them to bid for new jobs / higher grades.
  • Provide generous allowances where retrenchment is unavoidable so that employees feel that their interests have been adequately addressed.
  • Ensure that the dignity of the workers is maintained.
  • Rewarding those who react positively to the change.
  • Providing retraining opportunities
  • Ensure higher pay for demanding positions.
  • Provide adequate financial incentives
  • Keep in mind the older employees and give preference to them over the new ones.
  • Involve them in planning and implementation of the change

It is important to develop the organizational climate that is conducive to change. Changes should be made as gradually as possible. Remember, people tolerate evolution much more than revolution. Therefore, preparations for change should be made in such a manner that it smoothens the transition.

A pragmatic approach to planning can make all the difference.

Why We Don’t Have Time to Think, Dream, and Strategize?

4-Reasons Why We Do not Have Alone Time Alone time, quiet time, creative time, time to breath, margin, or whatever you call it, most people would say they do not have enough of it. The list of excuses for why we do not have QUIET TIME to reflect, meditate, think life through, and dream would…

4-Reasons Why We Do not Have Alone Time

Alone time, quiet time, creative time, time to breath, margin, or whatever you call it, most people would say they do not have enough of it.

The list of excuses for why we do not have QUIET TIME to reflect, meditate, think life through, and dream would take way too long to list out and would require much stronger listening attentively skills than I possess.

Here are the four core reasons we do not put time as to focus on the really important things in life:

1. We do not have boundaries . We have no fines for allowing people into our lives. Most of us let other people set our priorities, wreck our calendar, and basically walk with muddy shoes through the LIVING ROOM of our life.

The simple solution is to put up fences with NO TRESPASSING signals on them, enforced with a pit bull or a shot gun. And, this fence must have some gates so that, once you have let people in, you can let them leave so that you can be alone for a time.

2. We do not put value on QUIET TIME . We find time to do what we value. That we find time to eat and sleep every day is no great wonder. That we find time to play games on Facebook, watch Classic Sports, and do busy work proves that our values ​​are messed up. IF we put value on QT we would have QT.

One solution is to begin to shift your values ​​and to place QT at the top of that list. Read those people who encourage creativity. Believe that you will begin to actualize your dream (begin to live your life) when you can be quiet enough to clarify what it is to really be wealthy.

3. We are addicted to distraction. We are being distracted to death. Our addiction to information, entertainment, and really, really IMPORTANT NEWS is draining the life right out of us. It is a slow death, a sort of deceay, but the signs are all there. We get more excited about Twilight than an election. We get more excited about Weiner Gate than we do about the budget crisis. We pay top dollar for concerts, tequila, and the latest electronics but can not find it in our budget or in our calendar to attend a Parenting Class, a Marriage Retreat, or find a time of simple reflection.

One solution is to recognize it is an addiction, to confess it as an addiction, to seek help from someone, to seek the help of Someone Higher, and to take steps to walk out of the addiction.

4. We are afraid. What will we hear when it is silent? Will we even like ourselves when we hear ourselves without the constant interference of someone else? How will we know if we are successful without our bosses telling us we are (or the car we drive, the house we live in, the paycheck we cash)? How will we know what we want without the TV shouting at us, the internet pitching to us, and the latest greatest, to be forgotten tunes blaring in our ears?

The solution to being afraid of being quiet, of being alone, is to be quiet, to be alone. To quietly yet resolutely face the space that is quiet in front of you.

Stop fighting the excuses. They are wonderful. Look for the root of the WHY you refuse to be alone, quiet and living with plenty of margin on the page.

Social Network Analysis Is Good for Businesses and Individuals

Every business, regardless of size, has a formal power structure. This formal structure is typically depicted by an org chart. The higher someone sits on the org chart the greater his or her power. The people at or near the top of the org chart have the power to make policy, to make decisions, to…

Every business, regardless of size, has a formal power structure. This formal structure is typically depicted by an org chart. The higher someone sits on the org chart the greater his or her power.

The people at or near the top of the org chart have the power to make policy, to make decisions, to advance ideas, to spend money, and more.

What many business owners and executives do not know or do not want to admit is that every business, regardless of size, also has an informal power structure. Although the people in this informal structure do not have the powers mentioned above they do have the power to influence how groups of employees large and small respond to them.

These people are informal leaders. They are often referred to as connectors. They can influence whether or not decisions made by those with formal power are accepted. They can influence whether or not change desired by those with formal power actually happens. They can influence the results produced by teams even when they're not the team leaders. They usually have the most accurate picture of organizational culture and organizational health.

Some of these people know they have power, but many do not. Regardless, it's in the best interest of every business to identify these connectors, learn from them, and enlist their power and influence for the benefit of the business.

Connectors achieve their status in the informal power structure simply by being who they are naturally. They are usually friendly, positive, helpful and charismatic. They are easily trusted by others.

Since connectors are leaders, intentionally or unintentionally, their potential is great. Their influence is even greater if they happen to be a part of the formal power structure as well. A connector who is strongly aligned with the purpose and values ​​of the business, and is part of the formal power structure has the greatest amount of influence in any organization.

The easiest way to quickly identify these connectors is through social network analysis (SNA). Once they are identified further analysis will reveal very useful information that the people who occupy positions in the formal power structure can put to good use.

The real benefit to any business comes from using the information learned during the social network analysis process to develop strategies and systems for improvement.

If you're interested in taking advantage of social network analysis and the benefits it can bring to your business or organization, there are sources out there that can help. Although most of the methods and applications for this type of analysis are used for research in the academic world there are business applications as well.

Some SNA consultants do their work by observation. Others use a survey method.

My favorite uses a combination of proprietary technology and thoroughly reviewed methods for acquiring and interpreting data quickly. This method is elegant in its simplicity and amazing in its accuracy.

If you're curious about social network analysis and how it can be a benefit to you, crank up your favorite search engine and do some research.

Sustaining Employee Morale and Productivity During Organizational Change

Leaders often have no control over organizational change driven by external forces, such as general economy, policy or changing regulations. Yet leaders have a duty and responsibility to manage organization and lead people through such unwelcome change. We discussed in a previous article that to manage organization change effectively, a leader focuses on five management…

Leaders often have no control over organizational change driven by external forces, such as general economy, policy or changing regulations. Yet leaders have a duty and responsibility to manage organization and lead people through such unwelcome change. We discussed in a previous article that to manage organization change effectively, a leader focuses on five management components:

Creating a vision

Setting strategic goals

Redeveloping organizational systems

Managing people and their reactions

Enhancing one's leadership skills

While all of these components are very important in leading through organizational change, managing people is the most critical component that can make or break an organization.

When a change is not managed effectively, it increases employee anxiety. According to Catastrophe Theory, while anxiety increases to a certain point, employee performance increases as well. When some anxiety is experienced, we feel excited, energetic, and motivated to perform well. However, when anxiety reaches “catastrophic point” (which may be at different level for different people depending on their coping skills), performance starts decreasing. At that point cognitive anxiety starts controlling over somatic anxiety and one 'performance starts decreasing. People are less productive and may feel unmotivated and deflated. High anxiety also causes safety dangers, and may be a cause of “infection” of negative attitude in organization.

Leaders in organizations can apply several strategies to keep employee anxiety at “workable” level and employee performance at optimal level. Let's consider at case of HCL Technologies, an India based company. During 2008-2009 because of economic hardship a number of technology companies closed their doors or significantly downsized. In the meanwhile, HCL Technologies grew by 21%, was rated # 1 in employee satisfaction, and their customer satisfaction went up by 43%.

So, how did they do it? HCL Technologies focused on employee satisfaction before customer satisfaction. “Satisfied employees increased revenues from the existing customers through the passion and value that they demonstrated” (Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL Technologies). Also, management asked employees for ideas on how to reduce the costs, and implemented these ideas. Many times front line employees have the best insights on cost reduction. More so, by being included into a decision making process, employees felt more empowered and motivated.

CEO of SRC Holdings Jack Stack advises creating and maintaining “an open book culture” during organizational change. When employees know that they can come to management and seek answers to the unknown, their anxiety level naturally decreases. Avoiding repetitions about information that is anxiety producing is also important in increasing certainty at work. Organizational change is less challenging when executives and higher management coach, develop, and support middle management. With coaching and development middle management will be better equipped on how to approach front line employees and how to reduce their anxiety or resistance.

Another strategy is talking to employees one-on-one after announcing an upcoming organizational change. That way, employees can express their concerns, ask questions, and participate in organizational change management rather than feeling that a change is “happening to them”. When announcing an upcoming organizational change, leaders should discuss with employees – individually or in groups – “what's in it for me”. Employees' resistance and anxiety will be reduced if they know how they would benefit from a change.

Appreciation and recognition during organizational change helps employees stay motivated and focused. Performance certificates, plaques, gift cards, length of service awards, and a surprise day off are not expensive recognition strategies, and they go long way in keeping employees motivated. Appreciation is also effective in sustaining morale during organizational change. Among appreciation strategies are smiley faces (one would be surprised how this “daycare” tool works wonders in a workplace); thank you letters and e-mails; and celebrating employee successes.

According to Ken Blanchard, “Everything rises and falls on leadership”. When leading through organizational change, a leader herself has to demonstrate certainty and keep her own anxiety “in check”. The calmer, more collected and supportive a leader is, the calmer and collected his employees and followers will be. A stressed leader creates a stressed workplace. Thus, taking care of oneself should be a leader's starting point.

Leading people through organizational change is a challenging, yet very rewarding process. Managing people and their reactions is a critical organizational change management component. Leaders can partner with employees and include them in the process by creating “an open book” culture, allow employees to ask questions and express concerns, coach middle management, and recognize and appreciate employees.

References:

Blanchard, K. & Miller, M. (2004). The secret: What great leaders know – and do. San Francisko, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publisher, Inc

India Knowledge @ Wharton. (2010, July 15). HCL's Vineet Nayar – winning more business in a recession means putting employees first. Retrieved from http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/india/article.cfm?articleid=4497

Stack, J. (2010, February 11). How the recession made us stronger. The New York Times: Business Day . Retrieved from http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/11/how-the-recession-made-us-stronger/

The Mystical Zone of Improvement

The zone … the sweet spot … the mother lode. All through time there have been fables and legends told of this mystical place where time stands still and all needs are met. Do I have your attention? Excellent … let me carry on for a minute about where this spot is any manufacturing plant,…

The zone … the sweet spot … the mother lode.

All through time there have been fables and legends told of this mystical place where time stands still and all needs are met. Do I have your attention? Excellent … let me carry on for a minute about where this spot is any manufacturing plant, or actually any endeavor where people turn ideas into products and sell them to customers for a profit.

Millions, perhaps tens of millions of dollars are spent every year on improvement and “making things better.” Having watched this cycle play out for the past few decades under different names and approaches with basically the same information packaged and sold differently to capture a current trend, I began to ask direct questions of myself and my involvement with organizational change efforts.

There was TQM or Total Quality Management. Then organizations recognized the benefits of JIT or Just In Time. This evolved into a practice called simply Lean. Then Motorola introduced manufacturing to the idea of ​​collapsing variability and marketed it as Six Sigma. Today we have Lean Six Sigma and if you are still reading this, I need go no further because you have the idea I'm trying to present.

One concept is clear and absolute in any change initiative … the top decision maker must buy at an an emotional level for any program that asks people to change work and personal habits to have any chance of succeeding.

Try asking a smoker to stop.

Many work habits are just as pervasive.

So the top person must have the equivalent of a conversion experience so their behavior comes closer to matching the words they use. Because we are generally watching examples, and not listening very much.

My observation has been that many expensive change initiatives run out of energy, not from a lack passion from the top decision maker, but the ability of the people who actually touch the product being made to change the new message into new behavior.

Let me say that again … theability of the people who actually touch the product being made to change the top decision maker's new message into their new behavior. Effective change can never be imposed and most often will not happen apart from a “significant emotional event.” We are people after all.

I have sent the better part of thirty years in improvement implementation efforts of one type or another. Some failed in spectacular fashion … shock and awe. A very few were extraordinarily successful in terms of producing less error and putting more net profit against the bottom line. And over the past few years I've taken the time to reflect on those differences. And arrived at some substantial discoveries (at least for me).

What was the difference? If you knew you could focus on one area of ​​your business that would almost guarantee exponential yield against each dollar invested, it would be like a money tree, would not it? All you would have to do is show up to collect the windfall! Where is this place?

It's actually in the distance between a person's eye and hand … and what is happening in that space. Think with me for a minute about what happens while someone is doing their job.

The first test event is com-pre-hension. Interesting word, and an even more interesting concept.

The Importance Of A Powerful Search System Within A CRM Software (Aka Contact Management Software)

Imagine being in the market for a new car. You love the idea of ​​owning a sports car. You are looking for a car that has both speed and power. A car that can absolutely blast past the competition. You are looking for the most powerful car on the planet. If you are looking for…

Imagine being in the market for a new car. You love the idea of ​​owning a sports car. You are looking for a car that has both speed and power. A car that can absolutely blast past the competition. You are looking for the most powerful car on the planet.

If you are looking for the above mentioned characteristics would you buy a 1970's Volkswagen or would you buy the latest version that Mustang has to offer?

The obvious answer is of course the Mustang.

Each one has massive differences, but at the same time they have some similarities. Like for example each one has 4 wheels. Each one can hold a certain number of passengers and each one is run by an engine.

A few of the noticeable differences would have to be power and speed. One car can get you to a desired location a lot faster than the other can. If you are looking to have an impact out in the road then the Mustang has that to offer.

Now what does this article have to do with cars? Well, nothing really.

But it is a good comparison to how many Contact Management Software's search engines work.

There are many Contact Management Software that just simply does not do the trick when it comes to the quality of their search engines. Most Contact Management Software are comparable to 1970's Volkswagen while a very few are comparable to the latest model of a Mustang.

When someone decides to use a Contact Management Software it is because they want to be organized and want to save time while building meaningful relationships with their customers and prospects. The last thing that you want to do is spend valuable time searching through slow and confusing search engines to just simply send your prospect an email. Believe it or not, many of the Contact Management Software's search engines are exactly like that. They run slow and do not move very fast. Needless to say that they are comparable to the 1970's Volkswagen.

Imagine with me for one moment. You are running a special promo for your company. You want to send a personalized email to a contact by the name of “Cassandra.” You do not quit remember her last name, but you do know that it begins with the letter “M”.
You also remember that she lives in Florida, but are not sure which city.

So you start the engine of your old & slow 1970's Volkswagen, or in other words, you open up your search browser within your current Contact Management Software. You type in “Cassandra” but nothing is showing in the results tab. So along with the name Cassandra you also type in the letter “M” in the last name field.

The Volkswagen kind of search engines are difficult to use. If you are using a Contact Management Software that is like the above example then this is the exact process that you will have to do to find “Cassandra”

You are going to have to type in the name “Cassandra” in the first name field. Then you are going to have to type in the letter “M” in the last name field.

Since you do not know the phone number by memory nor the address you are going to have to leave each subject field blank.

The result? Your engine will not even start, or in other words, it will not work. The system will not give you the results that you are looking for. The reason? Because you need to know the complete first and last name, and on top of that the phone number in order for the result to come back positive.

And lets say that you have a excellent memory and you remember all the above mentioned information information: first name, last name, phone number, etc … if you happen to misspell a name or add one too many numbers or any error of any kind, the Contact Management Software's search result will not give you the information desired.

Does not just read that make you tired? (heck, trying writing about it!)

There are hundreds of Contact Management Software's out in the market and sadly they promote themselves as if they are the latest and greatest vehicle out in the road. It is not until you actually take it for a ride that you realize that it was not all that it was cut out to be.

Now it is time to get out of that old slow car and hop inside of a Mustang.

When you are sitting inside of that Mustang, you do not even have to turn the car on to feel the power. Just sitting inside is pretty impressive.

The same goes when you are searching for a great Contact Management Software that has a great search field.

When using a Mustang like Contact Management Software you are going to notice that searching for contacts is as simple as putting the keys into the ignition of this mustang and driving away.

A Volkswagen Contact Management Software has many fields that need to be filled in when searching for a specific person. A Mustang Contact Management Software would only have ONE field.

The Mustang kind of Contact Management Software should have just one field to put in the information of the person that you are searching for. You most certainly would not need to know all the required information of the person that you are searching for. So to continue using “Cassandra” as an example of this is how great Contact Management Software with an even greater search system should work.

You click open the search tab within the system. All you would really need to input into the one search field would be “Cassandra FL”. What the system will do next is to bring your attention all of the records by the name of Cassandra that lives in the State of Florida.

Even if you are not sure how to spell the full name “Cassandra” but you just write “Cass FL” the system will bring to your viewing all the people name name begins with the 4 letters “Cass” that live in Florida.

This kind of search engine would be very unique and like the Mustang extremely powerful and fast. It would allow you to get to where you want to be fast.

Another unique feature that a strong Contact Management Software should have is cross-referencing capabilities.

Lets say for example that you want to contact one of your customers within your Contact Management Software. You have the name of the owner of the business and his Assistant Manager in your records. Mike and John are their respective names, that is all the information that you remember. So you open the search field and type in “Mike and John”, and just like a Mustang would probably have a “turbo” button, this kind of Contact Management Software will have a similar button. A cross-reference button.

The system goes out to search and cross-reference all the files with both the names “Mike and John” within their profile.

So if there is an email address within your records that has either the name of “Mike” or the name of “John”, the system will bring it as a search result, just because the name was found within the records. This is very unique feature that a strong and powerful Contact Management Software will have.

Just like when you are in the market for a new car. You are going to compare many features that each respective car has. You are going to compare what is important to you against the features and benefits of the car that you are going to buy. At the end of the day, the car is going to fulfill a need and make your life a little bit easier.

The same goes when you are searching for a Contact Management Software to work with. You are going to compare what is out there in the market and see which one suits your business best.

The No 1 Secret To Leadership Succession (And The 20 Steps That Help It Add Value!)

In January this year, McKinsey released a publication which was heavily focused on the LAST 100 days that a CEO serves in office … this is a topic dear to my heart !! As an Interim CEO who specializes in navigating companies through honesty or change ahead of handing them over to other leaders, achieving…

In January this year, McKinsey released a publication which was heavily focused on the LAST 100 days that a CEO serves in office … this is a topic dear to my heart !!

As an Interim CEO who specializes in navigating companies through honesty or change ahead of handing them over to other leaders, achieving effective handovers is something I have had to do on many occasions. Not unexpectedly, receiving handovers is also something I have a great deal of experience in too !!

My own handover methodology was forged in steel during the years I spent in Brunei in the late 90s. During this period, I was managing a team that generally included 35 expats who were rolling in and out on a 5 to 6 week rotation. The need for handovers was high. The need for well-oiled handover machine even more so – our clients were paying top dollar for our efficient management after all!

The significant lessons I learned at that time were about the discipline of handovers. In particular, the need for and the benefits of a handover plan, the benefits of handing over in a very practical way and how the provision of a strategic background was so advantageous to the person coming in – setting the context so to speak.

This was also the point in my life where I identified what I now regard to the number one rule of successful handovers. It is this:

“THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE HANDOVER RESTS 100% WITH THE INCOMING PERSON”

In terms of managing my own success, both as an incoming and as an outgoing Interim CEO, and also in respect of every handover that any of my staff have since since that time, this lesson has remained the foundation principle. It works.

On top of this principle, the other succession disciples and practices all fall into place. Some have changed over the years, of course, and I have certainly made some changes, dropped a few, added new ones, redesigned and improved others and absolutely saw the best and worst of what other people do (or do not do). In the end, I believe I have pretty much come up with a list that cuts to the bone of good practice.

Here it is:

BEFORE THE NEW PERSON STARS – BE PRACTICALLY STRATEGIC

1. Create an all singing all dancing Action List for each of your direct reports.

2. Identify whether the strategic direction the business is on is the same one you would keep it on if you were not leaving;

3. Identify whether there are any risk management changes you would make if you were staying on.

4. Consider the IT, personnel and financial resources that your successor will inherit – would you make any decisions or changes in respect of these if you were staying on? Will these enable the business to hit its targets this year? Next year?

5. Create a Handover Program – dates, topics, sessions for Q & A, ideas on how you will introduce or introduce others (both internally and externally).

6. Pull out your own handover notes and the package of data you received when you started – what do you wish you had better understood?

7. Set up an email address for the new person … and start to copy this address on important correspondence during the lead up to their commmentment

8. Prepare your materials, notes and thoughts for the handover – in particular the areas detailed below.

WHEN THE PERSON STARS – BE STRATEGICALLY PRACTICAL

1. Pass complete functional authority to your successor on their first day (or as soon as possible thereafter). A new leader can not learn whilst they are in your shadow – and it does not matter that you feel many things would be faster to resolve than to explain!

2. Communicate to all stakeholders, including staff, shareholders (if relevant), suppliers, bankers and customers, that a handover of functional responsibility has occurred (ideally, many should have already known in advance that this was coming)

3. Review your Action List with your successor. One item at a time. Allocate the items you will keep and resolve during the handover period and what they will assume immediately.

4. Empty your in-Tray, review each item and pass it over.

5. Open your own email client, review each email sent or received during the previous 14 -28 days and discuss its status. Each day during the handover, continue this practice until all 'live' issues are passed over

6. Explain where all information is kept and why. Make sure you take time to get to the bottom of all filing and storage systems as explaining why these exist often helps people to adopt them (at least until such time as they develop their own). A large productivity killer in succession is due to reinvention of information – simply because a successor can not find it!

7. Open every folder, file, drawer and cupboard in your exclusive control and have a handover session dedicated to discussing its contents, action items that may evolve, ratione for filing in the manner you have etc

8. Repeat the previous step for all soft copy folders located on servers, external drives; anywhere else.

9. Hold personnel focused discussion about each of the staff that report directly to you – referring to their personnel file during this discussion is preferred. Extend this discussion to reports down-line from them where relevant – in particular where there are stars (or problems) emerging

10. Discuss likely succession candidates

11. Provide a HOT LIST of significant passwords, access codes, user names, account names, company data, mailing addresses, contacts, telephone numbers, and email addresses. (You will have wings of the building named after you for this alone!)

12. Take a tour of the concessions from your perspective, pointing out everything that you use and everything that you regard to be of relevance.

Real Trust Isn’t About a Contract

You've got this great concept and have been thinking about it for awhile. You have a pretty good idea of ​​how to make your concept a reality but you need help. You know what you want, you know what the end product should look like, and you know who your market is. You're just not…

You've got this great concept and have been thinking about it for awhile. You have a pretty good idea of ​​how to make your concept a reality but you need help. You know what you want, you know what the end product should look like, and you know who your market is. You're just not sure about the nuts and bolts of how to make this a reality. You go shopping for somebody who might have the expertise you're missing. And it does not take you long to find him. You talk, discover that you can put something interesting together and agree to proceed. Contract time.

This part gets tricky. Drawing up contracts is all about protecting yourself in the event the relationship breaks down. But as with any relationship, professional or personal, contracts can reassure or can be a vehicle attack. It all depends on the intent of those involved. In some cases, the contract's role is to clarify expectations, lay out a process and gain agreement on what the parties are embarking on. That is all good. In cases where the contract is written in language that collects litigation, then the nature and spirit of the partnership is already compromised. It is like asking someone to get married but simultanously preparing for the divorce (something many do these days). So, which situation is most likely to be harmonic and less likely to result in the involvement of lawyers?

The truth is that once your relationship has broken down and trust is breached, the contract is not of great help to you. Those whose attitude is one of having to win at all costs have little to no interest in compromise or negotiation. Their goal is to have it all- usually at your expense. They sink to a low level which is usually very destructive and does great damage to their partner. That is often the goal. They will use the contract and choose to interpret it to their advantage. So the actual contract word is irrelevant as they will manipulate the situation to ensure that 'justice' is on their side. The relationship is destroyed but the relationship was never the priority. Gaining control and the upper hand was-for one party at least.

What happens in the situation where the intent behind the contract was to ensure clarity and process; where both parties come together with the intent to help one another achieve success. These relationships rarely become destructive because the goal is to help one another reach success. If the partnership no longer makes sense, these parties work towards an orderly transition so that all can emerge with their dignity intact, their businesses stable and valuable learning for the future. Their goal is to move ahead and learn from the experience and often these partners maintain a relationship which survives the partnership. No animosity, no lawyers, no destruction.

If you look at most litigation, the common theme is a break in trust and in the relationship. Litigation is about pay-back; evening the score; getting 'right' on your side. It is about people who can no longer talk to one another; who do not trust one another. It always ends badly and trust is never regained. It is expensive, protracted and soul-destroying.

So next time you enter into a contract, ask yourself what the intent is. If you find yourself thinking that you might need to protect your interests from your partner, then you should re-visit your decision to do business with this individual or organization. I'm not advocating naivety and blind trust. But I am advocating for a close examination of intention and trust. Because it is fundamental.

How to Address Resistance to Changes in the Workplace

Change is difficult. People commonly resist change for a variety of reasons. Although you intend for the change to result in a positive output, change is often viewed as negative. For your plan to be accepted, you must anticipate and exceed any negativity, anxiety and / or resistance. First, it's important to remember the simple…

Change is difficult. People commonly resist change for a variety of reasons. Although you intend for the change to result in a positive output, change is often viewed as negative. For your plan to be accepted, you must anticipate and exceed any negativity, anxiety and / or resistance.

First, it's important to remember the simple but effective formula:

More = Less

More employee participation equals less resistance to the change. You'll see this formula at work in each of the following suggestions:

Suggestion 1: Empower employees to become part of the change . There are several reasons people resist change, one of which is fear. Many people play “Gee, what if” scenarios over and over when a new idea is proposed. When you begin to implement your plan of action, it's essential that you invite those around you to identify how the change will influence them, benefit them, and improve their present situations.

Suggestion 2: Keep your employees informed. Communicate as much as you know about what is happening as a result of the change. One of the major reasons people resist change is fear of the unknown. If you communicate with employees and keep them informed, you put this fear to rest.

Suggestion 3: Break the change down into digestible chunks. If it makes it easier for employees, introduce the change gradually. You can give employees encouragement and help them focus on small steps that they can take to move toward the future. Celebrate their small successes.

Suggestion 4: Answer the “What's in it for Me?” question. This suggestion is similar to Suggestion 1. Generally people will accept change when they see a personal benefit. Employees who are involved in determining the benefits of change are less likely to resist it. Assist employees in identifying what the change will do for them.

Suggestion 5: Give employees some control over change. As employees begin to focus on the benefits of the desired change, provide them with the opportunity to control the steps to the change. Participants in change workshops have revealed that having control reduces the anxiety and stress associated with the change implementation and increases their motivation to make the change.

Suggestion 6: Help employees assimilate the change. Once employees begin to experience change, help them assimilate it by reinforcing the personal benefits that they're gaining.

As employees begin to demonstrate a willingness to assimilate change into their daily routine, they develop a commitment to the change, a willingness to stick to the plan of action. The change actually becomes integrated into the work environment, and employees beginning to feel a sense of satisfaction in accomplishment. They read the payoffs associated with the change. They enjoy, and may even take credit for, their participation in the process. Employees can view their efforts to bring about change with personal respect and pride. The change becomes a part of their routine, and any lingering concerns vanish.

Inspired to Succeed: The Most Powerful Effectiveness Tool?

This is the true (if oversimplified) story of two divisions in a manufacturing company. There's been a powerful movement in the organization toward using statistical tools to increase accuracy and reliability. Doubters dominate one division. They believe data can be manipulated and while they are following the requirements that they continue to put their trust…

This is the true (if oversimplified) story of two divisions in a manufacturing company.

There's been a powerful movement in the organization toward using statistical tools to increase accuracy and reliability.

Doubters dominate one division. They believe data can be manipulated and while they are following the requirements that they continue to put their trust in past experience and knowledge, the way they've been doing it for over 30 years.

True believers lead the other division. They are committed to the process. They are engaged and energized. They talk about it, collectate, problem solve. They are interested in the outcomes. They take pride in the results. They are open to learning, open to being wrong, open to making mistakes and corrections.

Both divisions are using the tools. However, the doubters use them superficially, simply going through the motors to meet the requirements. The true believers, on the other hand, are excited and in a constant process of discovery and amazement.

The doubting group spends much of its time trying to get a handle on the reasons behind all their field failures.

The true believers have no field failures.

Truly. None.

5 observations from this story that I want to share with you:

  1. Belief is the most powerful of effectiveness tools (and disbelief is the most powerful of underminers). People who believe in what they're doing will do it more deeply, more thoroughly, more effectively.
  2. There is a huge difference between doing something just to check the box and having authentic energy for it.
  3. There is no absolute and forever right way. Grow along with the body of knowledge or fall behind.
  4. Protecting your position is no protection at all.
  5. Open minds have more fun.

We are all in change and growth situations at all times, whether we know it or not. We all have places where we do not see that we have become stuck or attached to doing things a certain way that no longer serves us or our goals and objectives.

Some business and leadership coaching – check in with yourself.

  • Where are you going through the motions just to check off the boxes?
  • Where are you protecting obsolete ways of being?
  • Where might becoming a true believer make a real difference in meeting your objectives?
  • Where could you open up your mind and more possibilities?

Maybe you see other valuable lessons here? If so, I'd love to hear from you.

Wishing you an inspired week.

Score Good in Aptitude Tests With Advanced Preparation

Job aptitude test is a well-known term for anyone who is going to initiate his / her career. Nowadays, almost every organization conducts several rounds of tests prior to hiring an employee. And, the first and the most important tests in this series are the aptitude tests. These tests are not very difficult and can…

Job aptitude test is a well-known term for anyone who is going to initiate his / her career. Nowadays, almost every organization conducts several rounds of tests prior to hiring an employee. And, the first and the most important tests in this series are the aptitude tests. These tests are not very difficult and can be easily solved by anyone with little advanced preparations. It is vital to score good in aptitude tests as most of the organizations check the IQ levels of candidates on the basis of their tests.

These tests comprise questions from various subjects including mathematics, data analysis, general knowledge, and many more. They include multiple choice questions, giving you more than one option as answer. You have to tick the most appropriate answers within certain time limit. In order to score well in such tests, you need to prepare beforehand. Following are few tips and strategies which can prove to be very beneficial while preparing for a career aptitude test:

  • Do not prepare targeting the passing marks as there are no fixed marks for clearing the tests, and your total marks will be compared with the rest of the mandates. Always be confident enough to score well and clear the test with good marks. The employer is going to select you on the basis of how your score in the test, and your overall IQ level.
  • There are several sample question papers available in market which can be very helpful while preparing for such tests. You can easily download many such sample papers from the Internet. Always keep in mind the time allotted for completing the test. You can also attempt the sample question papers in fixed time duration in order to be prepared beforehand for the test.
  • While preparing for the aptitude test, divide your time among all the subjects. Apart from this, always keep certain amount of time for revision. Regularly read the newspapers and magazines in order to be aware of the latest happenings. You can also read various diagrams and reasoning tricks, as well as learn shortcuts for solving math puzzles in less time.
  • At the time of the final aptitude test, do not panic due to the stringent time frames. Calmly attempt the paper in order to avoid any mistakes.
  • By taking into account these tips and strategies, you can score well in your aptitude test, and grab the job you desire.

Effective Change – Crisis Management

Introduction – Change Vs Crisis Man is naturally endowed with some positive but opposite life tendencies. We, the human beings, like serenity as well as adventure, enjoy isolation as well as association, adopt originality with novelty, chase imitation along with innovation, pursuit stability along with mobility, assimilate classic stuff and modern items, and so on…

Introduction – Change Vs Crisis

Man is naturally endowed with some positive but opposite life tendencies. We, the human beings, like serenity as well as adventure, enjoy isolation as well as association, adopt originality with novelty, chase imitation along with innovation, pursuit stability along with mobility, assimilate classic stuff and modern items, and so on & so forth . The presence of opposition tendencies may create conflicts at some occasions. A persistent conflict creates confusion mentally and divergence behavally. The situation may rob the stability or satisfaction level of a person, while the human beings want to live a stable-satisfactory life. In addition, human nature is dualistic, ie, static as well as dynamic.

The innate conflict creates crisis or / and impels change. Generally, the static aspect of human nature impels towards the durability of accrued successes of life while the dynamic facet of human nature impels towards better options of life, consequently, the composed life is disturbed, from time to time, due to inner dilemma. Lastly, human life is interactive phenomenon, the interactive situations compel towards change in life-pattern, now and then. Whenever a situation impels or compels for amendments, a person faces multiple options of adjustments. The situation demand adaptability towards conflicting pressures. A wrong or volatile adaptation may lead towards crisis, while a right or stable adaptation actualizes change.

Change means to become different, in reality or in appearance or in both. Generally, everything, either material or immaterial, is elemental as well as structural. The elemental aspect forms reality while the structural aspect shapes appearance. In other words, the very structure of things / persons / institutions depends on some basic elements. For example, human personality is dynamic combination of mindset and behavior, things are an outcome of idea and matter, and institution is systematic arrangement of human and non-human capital. A logical organization of basic elements shapes worthwhile things / individuals / institutions, for example, an essay explains an idea, it is composition of sentences, and sentences are shaped by words. A change of words / sentences / ideas will shape a different essay. A change is thus shifting / alteration of content or matter. A continuous change is essential aspect of universe, both animate as well as inanimate. At cosmic level, an effective change is an act of creation of natural phenomenon to realize Divine Ideals. At human level, an effective change is an intentional effort of a person towards something anew. It is noteworthy that Change Desire is inherent urge of human nature, persons chase relentlessly new options.

Crisis is a time of great confusion, conceptually and practically. During crisis problem is at its worst point, so that an immediate response is required to manage crisis. A crisis is a recurrence phenomenon of life, both individual as well as collective, however, crisis can be converted into change through intentional human endeavors. There exists some invisible-invisible links between change and crisis. Typically, crisis is arrival of unexpected change or wrong adaptation on change or severity towards change phenomenon. A true knowledge about change factors and wise response to multiple conflicts turns crisis into change. In addition, an intentional change may become crises due to mishandling of redundant aspects of change process.

It is noteworthy that a change must create some transitional crises. It is adoption of universal values ​​or eternal principals that put a fence against redundant changes / wrong adjustments. During crises management, the realization of desired outcome is possible through root cause analysis of crises and objective management of change factors. It is pertinent to clarify the distinction between disaster and crisis. A disaster is a sudden calamity that can not be avoided / managed through grateful human powers or normal means, while a crisis is a hardship, partly expected and partly unexpected, and it can be avoided or managed through grateful human powers or normal means.

Nature of Change – Revolutionary / Evolutionary Aspects

Life is continuously growing phenomenon. Typically, things are developed through step by step process. For example, during essay writing, a person collections information, sketches the outline of essay, and starts sentence-making. The set of sentences around one idea shapes paragraph. The set of paragraphs around main idea shapes an essay. A person can improve his essay through better knowledge, words, & phrases. The enhanced knowledge / superior construction would improve the outlook of essay. Ultimately, a final draft of essay is shaped through a gradual process. The gradual development of something around an idea or foundation is called evolution. The slow progress is critical for sustainable adaptability. On the other hand, a revolution means shifting of central idea or redefinition of foundation.

For example, an idea is central during essay writing. Any change in idea will change the structure of essay. The new essay is revolutionary exit due to change in central or focal point. More specifically, an evolution maintains previous achievements and moves gradually while a revolution is heedless towards small achievements. A positive evolution is science-based and intellect driven effort while positive revolution is science-based and intuition-driven effort. During revolution person is focused towards idea or ultimate truth. It is noteworthy that, in totality, change is revolutionary-evolutionary phenomenon. The adoption of an innovative idea is revolutionary action, while the gradual improvement of idea and its proper execution are evolutionary works. The attuned revolutionary-evolutionary actions reinforce each other and shape a change. The creative / innovative propensity of mankind motivates towards revolutionary changes of persons / institutions / systems, now and then, while the habitual / imitative propensity of mankind is rather towards evolutionary changes. Practically, during revolution a quantum leap is adopted while a piecemeal effort is opted during evolutionary process.

Bases of Change

The very basis of every change is Divine Urge towards change, so that the natural scheme of creation is purpose-driven and dynamic. Human desire towards change follows the Divine-Pattern of change; it is purpose-driven and dynamic, too. Change is permanent feature of life, it is happening everywhere. Normally, change takes place at three levels – product, person, and institution. At product level, it is necessity that motivates towards change. The necessity-driven changes shapeventions and innovations. The journey of civilization is heavily indented to countless technological changes based on necessity phenomenon.

At individual level, it is human nature that inspires change. Human nature has three levels – potential, actual, and interactive. The potential nature is unconscious & spiritual, the actual nature is conscious and material, and the interactive nature is collective & cultural. The collective nature is partly conscious but dominantly unconscious. It is human nature that exerts pressure for change to manifest inner capabilities and / or to realize outer options. A change is either positive or negative. A positive change is fruitful for self and others while a negative change is harmful for self and others. For example, human personality can be changed; it can be made either harmful or fruitful.

The basic pillows of human personality are faith, knowledge, wisdom, and manners. Faith and knowledge are original practices while wisdom and manners are derivative behaviors. Any change in original practices changes reality of an individual while a change in derivative hits will alter the appearance of an individual. At institutional level, the very bases of organizational behavior are some success factors and a few performance indicators. The success factors are basic elements of organizational behavior while performance indicators are advanced features of an organization. Any change in success factors will change the structural aspect of institution while a change in performance indicators will alter the performance of institution. In institutional real, some variables are success factors as well as performance indicators. The dominant dualistic variables are leadership, strategy, business location, and customer care. These variables are utilized extensively during institutional crises / changes.

Worst Crisis – Individual & Institutional

The severity of a crisis is difficult to quantify due to multiple subjective aspects of crisis. Moreover, a universal ranking of crises is statistically impossible. Generally, mental or physical ailment is considered the worst personal crisis. The existence of a person to address properly the innate conflicts shapes worst individual crisis, ie, psycho-physical ailment. The crisis is worsened due to incompatibility of mindset / behavior with human nature. At institutional level, the worst interactive crisis is liquidity crunch. The very basis of liquidity crunch is improper time-management, low morale, arrogance during dealing, lavish or mis-spending-patterns, and ineffective leadership. Liquidity crunch creates conditions of urgency at institutional level. It may lead towards urgent sale of marketable items for ready cash. An urgent sale is generally a wrong sale. It is noteworthy that urgent efforts normally rectify the mistakes of others . By and large, the worst institutional crisis is avoided through effective time management, managerial courage on innovative ideas / institutional values, effective communication, and effective money management. These variables are highly supportive during crisis / change.

Institutional Crises & Effective Institutional Response

Institution is contractually defined and progressively evolved phenomenon of interdependent individuals, it works under the leadership of an entrepreneur. The natural life of an institution around an innovative idea is about 25 years. The innovative idea is a brainchild of innovative entrepreneur. During natural life, a redefinition or reorganization of institution is needed from time to time to maintain long run stability. An institution needs during its natural life two levels of organizational stability – lower and higher. The lower level stability is needed to manage a crisis that has been occurred due to some wrong steps, already taken. It demands efficiency (doing things right) in the institutional set up.

The lower level stability is achieved through implementing better managerial techniques such as benchmarking, TQM, and Quality Circles. The higher level stability is needed to manage a crisis that may occur due to some internal / external threats. The higher level stability environ is needed to avoid some forthcoming crises, anticipated threats. It demands effectiveness (doing the right things) at leadership / institutional level. It is noteworthy that the lower and higher levels of stability are mutually reinforcing, both are essential. They are inevitably required to cover multiple phases of institutional life or to complete the natural life of an institution or to make a safe transition of institution from one generation to next generation. An efficient-effective institution is stable during crises and well-performing during change.

Reactions on Change Effort

The ultimate rational of change is realization of better options of life. The beneficiary of change will determine the significance of change. A desirable change is win-win for all and sundry, at least in the long run. However, a change may create win-loose / loose-win / loose-loose situation for concerned persons. The situation will lead towards reaction from concerned persons. The beneficiary welcomes the change while the non-beneficential reacts. In addition, the beneficiaries are either eligible or ineligible, and they may also react wrongly. The eligible person can be managed through effective communication but the ineligible are managed only through judicial counter resistance. It is noteworthy that the ineligibles or cunning are always minority and they maneuver situation to reap maximum benefits of something. A strategic-tactical move is needed to manage reaction of corrupt or ineligible people. Generally, a communicative approach is required to convince eligible while a stick-carrot approach is applied to control ineligibles.

Failure of Institutional Change Efforts

Changes are initiated from time to time to improve institutional working. A wrong initiation or inappropriate progress or improper termination of change process leads towards crises; such crises indicate failure of change efforts. The failure is an outcome of multiple reasons, both conceptual as well as procedural. More specifically, the failure of change efforts is generally an outcome of static approach towards technological development, cosmetic approach towards human resource development, micro approach towards executive development, and quantity approach towards organization development. There are certain variables that play a significant role during successful crisis / change management.

1. Significance of Technology during Change / Crisis

Technology is manifestation of knowledge and utilization of wisdom. It is quest of mankind for better life options. Consequently, technology actually realizes better options of life for mankind. Moreover, superior technology itself is better option because it addresses pressing concerns of life. In addition, a challenge or threat is inevitable aspect of life. It compels towards adaptability. The scientific adaptability of persons / institutions means invention or innovation. A fruitful technology responses / preserves upcoming change forces and paves way for better changes.

2. Significance of Competition during Change / Crisis

Life is competitive-cooperative phenomenon. We compete with each other during life struggles. A change process must create some transitile dilemmas. During competition, an applicant may utilize maneuvered tactics towards transitional outcomes of change. The opponent can present passing ambiguity of change as forthcoming crisis through magnifying minor and eye-catching shortcomings, staff or stakesholders may loose interest at critical moments of change process, effective leadership is earnestly needed at these vital moments otherwise a positive effort may become a crisis due to wrong termination or halfhearted completion of change effort.

3. Significance of Time Efficiency during Change / Crisis

A crisis can be converted into change throughventions, innovations, and entrepreneurship. A person or institution faces multiple challenges. These Challenges are either chronic or acute. The chronic problems of an institution are – structural rigidity, low trust amongholders, communication gaps, absence of shared-vision, fragile discipline, and absence of integrity, esp., At leadership level. The chronic problems lead towards acute exit or crises such as liquidity crunch, workers turnout, litigation, burnout, and financial loses. An effective leadership receives signs of institutional problem timely and responds swiftly. A lethargic response at leadership level or micro response at system level converts problems into problems; a persistent negligence converts curable problems into some chronic problems. It is temporal intelligence, work momentum, and proactive behavior that may avoid acute outcome of chronic problems or may prevent chronic situation due to negligence.

4. Significance of Governance during Change / Crisis

At institutional level, some problem are infectious, they create and reinvent related problems. In addition, some problems develop networking and may convert into a bigger problem. The networking of problems is generally an outcome of bad governance or administrative corruption. It is bad governance that gives a permanent and bigger shape to small and independent problems. The two major menaces of bad governance are lethargy and corruption at leadership level. A merit-based system or good governance is vigilant to all problems at its earlier phase. The major chunk of problems is solved promptly / automatically due to meritorious system.

5. Significance of Synergy during Change / Crisis

At initial level of creation, things or persons or institutions are dependent. Overtime, they become independent; now, they are useful for self and others. However the benefit level remains low due to countless limitations. Human intellect / intuition discovered some interactive rules to enhance benefit level. The correct understanding and proper execution of interactive rules creates some extra benefits for all. The act of innovative addition of strengths or synergy is an important aspect of change management. The rule suggests that every new change, either evolutionary or revolutionary, must preserve the achieved benefits otherwise the very purpose of change, ie, accumulation of benefits, is defeated. The interactive rule suggests that cooperation between two consecutive / related excellent persons / procedures will produce more than double excellence. For example, an institution adds a new item in her service line, the new venture will require less investment, human and non-human, but it will create greater benefits. Or a strategic alliance among law consultant, IT consultant, and business consultant will enhance the effectiveness of a consultancy firm.

6. Significance of Leadership during Change / Crisis

Leadership is essential aspect of life. At institutional level, leadership is inevitably required during institutional change efforts. Leader / Entrepreneur initiates, sustains, and develops institutions. The entrepreneurial struggle encounters changes and crises. Leadership inspires during change and supports during crises. In addition, a crisis or change is practical test of leadership. An effective leader becomes great through effective change / crisis management, while a weak leader is polished during crises / changes. A crisis or change is thus a real test of leadership, only true leaders can mange crises or changes. It determines freshly area of ​​effect of a leader.

Concluding Remarks

Change / Crises Management is essential aspect of any entrepreneurial struggle. There is no hard and fast rule to manage crises / changes; it depends dominantly on leaders' profile. However, we can mention a few generalized aspects of an effective leader during change / crisis.

Firstly, leaders are farsighted conceptually and utilize forecasting, simulation, and guesstimate aboutcoming threats / challenges / opportunities.

Secondly, they adopt anticipatory measures to avoid possible crises or to capture promising opportunities.

Thirdly, leaders adopt supportive approach of management during crisis / change. They are inspirational during change and support during crises.

Fourthly, they respond to some real crises through proactive strategies / tactics rather than reactive strategies / tactics. During crises they remain P ositive, P ragmatic, and P atient. The approach and attitude mitigates loses.

Fifthly, they concentrate on better and new equilibrium of factors during multiple crises / changes as compare to previously achieved equilibrium. The innovative equilibrium is comparatively superior to earlier equilibrium.

Finally, they learn lessons from crises, openly and heartily.

Can the Public Sector Rise From the Ashes?

Now that the reality of the punitive cuts in funding for public services has reached local authorities, the challenge is on for the next three to five years to re-think the way they deliver services. So how do local authorities start re-building themselves to face this challenge? The first key consideration is to consider what…

Now that the reality of the punitive cuts in funding for public services has reached local authorities, the challenge is on for the next three to five years to re-think the way they deliver services.

So how do local authorities start re-building themselves to face this challenge?

The first key consideration is to consider what is already happening. The speed in which councils have had to made decisions has been such that the 'quick wins' were focused on non statutory services eg libraries, school crossing patrols etc. This has led to very poor interface with the community and of course strong emotions about other services that are possibly better reduced.

Some councils ran public surveys to ask them which services they would rather go without. Many of them however, did not include back office services in this choice. Whilst we know that cuts should be instigated across the whole organization, if a member of the public were asked for example if they could do without a monthly / quarterly newsletter from the council communication team, many would be more than happy with this.

Furthermore, if the public were asked if they could do without an Equalities and Inclusion Team given that the law is in place to protect those who are discriminated against, then again, many might agree that this could be foregone.

The list as you can imagine, could go on and on. So why do we know cuts are being looked at everywhere, to what extent are committees simply cutting back, rather than re-shaping and preparing for the future? How will councils deliver on the phrase 'delivering more for less' as many claim they will have to.

The danger is that many local authorities who are currently in the process of making staff redundant without reshaping first will in fact find themselves without staff that they need, without knowledge that has now gone and without skills to be prepared for the opportunities available in the near future.

A council that is fit for the future will be firmly planed in a more business like approach. Many council staff are ill prepared for skills such as bid writing, strategy planning and prediction, working across directorates and creative financial management. The recent abolition of many Quangos does not necessarily mean the money has gone, but rather it will be administrated by another body under a different umbrella.

Creating income streams from services is also a key consideration to continue making them possible. Many people would prefer to pay something for a non statutory service than see it done away with all together.

Furthermore, councils need to start thinking about a new and emerging work that reflects a more business like approach. This demands that they embrace a more flexible and fluid way of working. More temporary, fixed term and external staff should be brought in to work on fixed term goals and projects. The obvious advantages are that a variety of skills and experience can be brought in for a good salary, but they then move on once the goal has been reached. There are no redundancy payments (this has cost the government a fortune), no sickness or holiday payments.

This approach needs to also extend to permanent staff where they can move around the organization where skills are needed and fit, or where development can be harnessed from such a move.

Finally, creating and demanding a more outward looking workforce who are aware of upcoming developments on the horizon. Many councils do not even know what their neighbor is doing, let alone what their neighboring authority is doing.

Councils must try to rise above the cloud they are under where the focus is on cuts this year, and start to think about how they develop the agenda of what they have 'rather than what they' do not have '.

They need to beware of the 'doom and gloom' approach. Be realistic and honest, yes, but avoid constantly sending out messages to staff telling a negative story. This has an effect on productivity and creativity in contributing to the future agenda.

Be brave, be confident and develop a brilliant new local authority fit for the 21st century. And be proud of it, promote it and reach out to the public with it.

3 Key Strategies to Employee Motivation

Nearly every manager finds himself or herself thinking about their employee's lackadaisical attitude. What may seem like laziness may indeed be low self-confidence due to past mistakes, an aggressive management practice, or even a feeling that their job may not be as secure as they'd like it to be. A number of factors can influence…

Nearly every manager finds himself or herself thinking about their employee's lackadaisical attitude. What may seem like laziness may indeed be low self-confidence due to past mistakes, an aggressive management practice, or even a feeling that their job may not be as secure as they'd like it to be. A number of factors can influence performance at the workplace that are simply out of the control of even the most effective manager. Before giving up on that ineffective employee, however, investing a little time in looking at ways to improve employee motivation may be a good idea.

Although the art of management is evolving and improving every day, some have found a simple three-step-process that can bring even the most troubling employee out of their apathy and put them on the course to being effective, productive employees. What are these “simple” steps? Involve, Direct, Reward.

Involve

No one performances well when they feel outcast and uninvolved. Letting employees know that they play a large part in the success or failure of their employer and incorporating them into the structure of daily management operations can have a huge impact on the level of motivation that each employee displays.

With a customizable tire prize and a little imagination, managers have consistently found success in motivating their employees and having fun in the process. Incredibly, even the smallest office can reap the benefits of a prize wheel. With sizes ranging from mini to super, finding a prize wheel to accommodate any space requirements will never be a problem.

People work harder and smarter when they feel comfortable in their environment. What can make an individual feel more comfortable than a quick game of spin the wheel? With the ability to improve mood and cut tension, managers often see remarkable improvements in employee motivation through the use of a squeeze wheel. A prize wheel can, in this regard, be the key to motivating employees in the workplace.

Direct

A little guidance can go a long way. Some employees are so afraid of their managers that making even the smallest decision is like having their teeth filled. They need their job and they are afraid to jeopardize their income with the wrong decision. Letting employees know that they are appreciated as intelligent decision makers can go a long way in improving the quality and efficiency of every employee, from upper management to labor positions. A prize wheel can be used to divide responsibilities, choose topics at a weekly meeting, or even to reward the more hardworking employees.

Reward

Like any activity, work should be rewarded with more than just a paycheck. Humans are social creatures that deserve respect and appreciation when they consistently do a good job. This sort of social praise can greatly increase employee motivation and result in a dramatic increase in the quality of the finished product or service. By giving employees a chance to spin the wheel whenever they complete an important project or go above and beyond the job requirements, managers can show their employees that they are valued for their hard work and devotion.

Remember, employees play the most important roles in any company. By showing a little respect and appreciation through the use of a prize wheel, managers can often step back and watch as employees bring growth and prosperity to any company, regardless of economic conditions.

The Value of People Connectors

People Connectors are invaluable to any organization – a business, a group, a team or even a neighborhood. The keys to utilizing what these people know for the benefit of the organization is identifying who they are, learning from them, and helping them benefit as individuals. People Connectors are the kids in school who are…

People Connectors are invaluable to any organization – a business, a group, a team or even a neighborhood. The keys to utilizing what these people know for the benefit of the organization is identifying who they are, learning from them, and helping them benefit as individuals.

People Connectors are the kids in school who are comfortable with and accepted by just about every group. They get along with the jocks, the artists, the musicians, the volunteer students, the college prep students, and even the teachers.

They are the people in an organization who others go to with questions and statements like – “Who should I talk with about …?” “Where can I get help with …?” “What do you think about …?” “You need to hear this.”

People Connectors are hubs for information gathering across multiple and diverse groups within any organization regardless of how big or how small.

I'm not a scientist or a researcher, but I've been an observer for many years. Based on those years of observation I've identified the attributes of the People Connectors I've met and worked with.

• People Connectors like people. They are friendly, easy to talk with, and enjoy interacting with others.
• These people are genially curious. They like to learn about the interests, the opinions, and the beliefs of others. Their curiosity is based on a desire to learn and understand, not to find fault or judge.
• These Connectors like to help. They get great satisfaction from helping others.
• People Connectors are comfortable in their own skin. They're open to learning about the beliefs and opinions of others without taking anything personally.

These people are extremely valuable to any organization because they are liked and trusted by others in multiple groups within the organization and with outside groups who interact with the organization. The information they gather just by being themselves can benefit the organization in many ways, including –

• Increasing productivity,
• developing effective training programs,
• creating effective teams,
• developing effective recruiting and hiring processes,
• evaluating management styles, and more.

The information learned from People Connectors can be used to facilitate positive change in any organization.

If you own or manage a business, or if you are responsible for the success of a company or organization, it's certainly in your best interest to identify the People Connectors and develop processes that use what they know to benefit the organization and the people in the organization.