Neuroscience? Limbic System? What’s That Got to Do With Being a Leader?

A few years ago many of us did not even know we had a limbic system. Today, no serious program on managing change, motivating others or developing leadership is complete without an understanding of just what's going on up there around the amygdala. Motivation is about movement and the fairly primitive part of our brain…

A few years ago many of us did not even know we had a limbic system. Today, no serious program on managing change, motivating others or developing leadership is complete without an understanding of just what's going on up there around the amygdala.

Motivation is about movement and the fairly primitive part of our brain understands moving towards or moving away. Today our “away” impulse is still stronger than our “towards” so we react more quickly to a threat than a reward.

In times of change – sometimes the primary role of the leader – the perceived threats and concerns will be firing up people's limbic systems all over the organization. Understanding the nature of those forces can help leaders think through how to structure their messages and their way of approaching organizational change.

David Rock's SCARF model, built from original research in the field of neuroscience helps us to understand the real meaning of motivation. It helps to think about each facet of the model as a “hot button” – something that, if pressed, will cause an emotional reaction.

What sees life threatening to some will be life as normal for others. The strength of reaction may seem irrational, illogical and emotional – but that's exactly what the limbic system is all about. This is not about logic and rationality – this is our emotional center at work …

Status – To some extent we measure ourselves against others. Loss of status can feel personally damaging – something as simple as a change of job title can do it. Giving people acknowledgment for their skills, experience and wisdom builds status.

Certainy – Knowing it's the end of their employment can sound terrible – but it seems not being certain and living in suspense can be even more debilitating. Helping people quickly understand what's over and what is not affecting this area.

Autonomy – Being trusted to do a good job and being left to decide what's best is positively stimulating. Being micro-managed or being told someone else is overseeing the change will fire the limbic version of feeling controlled and not trusted.

Relationship – New office layouts, new teams, organization restructuring all bring with them the change or even loss of relationship or relatedness. “You'll now be reporting into Finance” can be laden with loss as people feel estranged from the connections they have built. Team building events and any occasion where people feel “part of the action” positively affects this area.

Fairness – Perhaps a uniquely human concept. We seem to be able to live with bad news or accept negative outcomes if we're all in it together. If some are seen as escaping the cuts or getting a better deal the limbic reaction will be very strong – and motivation, cynicism and mistrust will abound.

In times of change the SCARF model can help leaders recognize what's going on and, possibly, also help to plan for and think through the effects on people rather than hoping they're “get over it.”

How to Deal With Change in the Workplace

“The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable” – John F. Kennedy. Teams resist change. Few people in the everyday world of work want the system they are familiar with to become new and unfamiliar. Even when a change improves the function of the organization or makes a process easier, some team…

“The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable” – John F. Kennedy. Teams resist change. Few people in the everyday world of work want the system they are familiar with to become new and unfamiliar. Even when a change improves the function of the organization or makes a process easier, some team members will have to be dragged through the evolution. Here are some suggestions to help your team deal with change in the workplace.

Communication : One of the largest issues about change is uncertainty. The reasons for the change should be explained in detail. You can be certain doubts exist and questions linger. An atmosphere of open dialog should be created, which allows team members to voice their concerns and ask questions. Failure to allow these concerns to be expressed will slow the change process and foster dissention. The team should be addressed as a whole and then appropriate groups created for discussion. It is the listening that is important. When team members do not feel hear, they lose confidence in their leaders.

Manage the Process : Breaking the team in to smaller groups to plan and / or implement parts of the change is an excellent way to keep everyone involved. If it is possible, introduce the change step by step. Stay in touch with your teammates to learn of any difficulties, which are occurring. If open resistance appears it should be deal with head on. First listen to determine any justification or possible real problems. If the individual creating the trouble has no concrete reason, deal with it as an attitude problem and counsel accordingly. Finally, be a role model for your teammates. Face the difficulties created by the change and pitch in to work it out. Maintain a positive approach and keep solving the problems until the change goal is reached.

Consider team building : A qualified team building company can assist teams experiencing change. A workshop that focuses on the process of change allows team members to look at what is happening at work in a more detached atmosphere. When the team building company has details of the changes and perceived problems, they can work those issues in to exercises. This type of information can also be used in debriefing the participants about the workshop. For example let's assume the organization has historically work on projects in a piece meet fashion with different groups responsible for each piece. The change is in the future these groups will be required to work together and take a more holistic approach. The team building company can structure exercises that focus on collaboration, inter-dependency, improving communication and taking a “bigger picture” approach in the workplace. The debrief can go back to the specific changes they are experiencing and tie in what they learned in the workshop.

I've heard it said, “Nobody likes change, except a baby.” Following these three steps will make your team's transition smoother and faster.

Culture: An Advantage or Death Penalty?

Once again culture was thrust into the limelight of the media as NCAA President, Mark Emmert, handed out sanctions to Penn State University. While they did avoid the SMU's 1987 death penalty, Mr. Emmert clearly highlighted the importance of culture when he said “for the next several years PSU can focus on rebuilding their athletic…

Once again culture was thrust into the limelight of the media as NCAA President, Mark Emmert, handed out sanctions to Penn State University. While they did avoid the SMU's 1987 death penalty, Mr. Emmert clearly highlighted the importance of culture when he said “for the next several years PSU can focus on rebuilding their athletic culture, not whether they will be going to a bowl game.” PSU, Enron, conclusions about some banks during the financial crisis or a dispute that rocks a faith-based organization, non-profit or other organization to its core – culture matters.

Culture is unfortunately highlighted more often as a reason for why bad behavior was allowed to go unchecked than as an incredibly important factor for organizations achieving breaking results and astounding impact on society. The importance of culture is undeniable as recently highlighted in an IBM survey of more than 1600 CEO's. 75% of CEO's identified the importance of developing a more open and collaborative culture as being critical for managing the complexity of business today. The focus on the importance of “culture” was also referenced in the recent annual innovation survey by Booze & Company. They found “spending more on R & D will not drive results.” The most crucial factors are strategic alignment and a culture that supports innovation. ”

Culture is continuously referenced and you can find best practices, guidelines and other tips all over the place. Unfortunately, many of these approaches lack a clear process to build clarity and alignment in a way that propels an organization forward in support of their vision and strategy. I tried many approaches as a business executive over regional and global organizations for nearly 15 years. Some worked well well and are highlighted in the recently released book by Dan Denison called Leading Culture Change in Global Organizations . Others were refined through experience I built on when I was President of Denison Consulting, a leader in the organizational culture field that has worked with over 5000 organizations.

The overall process should work within a framework of four key areas. These areas have been successfully managed in organizations of all size, type, industry, and geography. These best practices ring true in education, healthcare, manufacturing, services, for-profit / non-profit, large / small, public / private and across all other industries and sectors.

1. Build an awareness of culture and commit to refine your strategies and plans based on an understanding of your organizational culture.

  • Organizations often start by clarifying some of the key challenges that they have as an organization. Think about frustrations with “the way things work around here” that are holding your organization back from reaching its potential. It also helps to define strengths you need leverage in support of your vision or strategy as you understand how to further improve your culture.

2. Measure your culture and engage the organization in understanding the results at a defect level.

  • I am absolutely amazed by how many expert opinions about culture change lack this basic and absolutely obvious fundamental. Some organizations think they may be covering this measurement through engagement, climate, satisfaction or other survey but they are actually only evaluating a fraction of the overall culture. Use a research-based tool with a basic benchmark database so you will be compared to many other organizations. Engage your organization in the process to move from the fog of opinions and lack of clarity about your culture to a clearly defined picture of what you are all about. You'll understand the overall culture and how it varies by department, division, level, geography or other key sub-groups. It's like taking an MRI of your culture. This clear definition of “who we are” is critical for the next step where strengths are leveraged and weak areas improved that have been holding the organization back.

3. Engage the organization in feedback and prioritization to define a few key improvements.

  • Utilize feedback and prioritization techniques to understand your culture assessment results and to identify the top improvements to leverage strengths and improve weak areas that are holding you back. Many organizations obtain feedback but then employees are left wondering what will happen next. The key is prioritization as a team and not just more feedback. It may takeoting, debate, focus groups or another simple surveys but prioritization as a team is the key so the organization notices clearly engaged in the process to define the priorities. It sometimes helps to focus on 1-3 current organizational strategies or plans and to engage in feedback and prioritization around how to manage them more effectively after you clarify the strengths and weaknesses of your culture.

4. Measure progress consistently and refine improvements with discipline and determination.

  • John Kotter references the need to implement a new “operating model” as part of the change. Think about habits and routines more than one-time actions. How will you need to adjust meeting schedules, communication plans, measurements, tracking formats, team structures or other areas to improve how you manage the 1-3 priorities you identified? It will be important to monitor key measures related to the top priorities since culture clearly impacts performance however you define “performance” in your organization. There will need to be regularly scheduled feedback and prioritization routines to identify and build on what's working and to adjust actions that are not having the desired impact. The organization will see what's working and what's not and will spread the good ideas of your new operating model to areas outside of the 1-3 priorities you originally identified. You'll know at that point you have the flywheel of culture change moving and gaining momentum.

This is clearly a very simplified framework of the general process but I consistently see organizations of all types struggling with the process to improve their culture. It requires incredible discipline and consistency but it is possible to make tremendous progress in 6-12 months. Jim Collins said “a culture of discipline is not a principle of business; it is a principle of greatness.” It will also help to further support a culture of discipline through collective collective clarification of values ​​and behaviors any team member should expect from each other. You may not build a culture like Zappos where hundreds of employees, customers and suppliers share stories about your culture in an annual Zappos Family Culture Book but you will make clear and measurable progress and the process will also be fun and enlightening.

The Penn State Board of Trustees is embarking on an effort to evaluate and rebuild “the fundamental culture that is Penn State.” The culture change will unfortunately be in response to a terrible tragedy like in some other organizations. Fortunately, many organizations see how they must build a culture advantage and relentlessly grow clarity and alignment as a team to reach their full potential. A great culture will not guarantee the elimination of horrible behavior but it will mercilessly eject those individuals to preserve the culture when it occurs.

Help Make Your Business Far More Successful Utilizing a Lean Consultant

Through today's life of challenging business conditions everyone is affected, from the top specialist of the food chain right down to the smallest. It is no respacter of persons or industry. Training, medical care, manufacturing, administration, and construction in both governmental, as well as the private field, all are experiencing the crunch. That is why…

Through today's life of challenging business conditions everyone is affected, from the top specialist of the food chain right down to the smallest. It is no respacter of persons or industry. Training, medical care, manufacturing, administration, and construction in both governmental, as well as the private field, all are experiencing the crunch. That is why at this point more than at any other during the company's 40 year history people are making use of lean consulting partners.

Lots of industrial sectors have found that when they include the Lean Six Sigma Consultants in establishing and putting into action a program developed particularly for their business they reduce the measure of waste they are currently generating, along with the money that they are selling out. This too brings about an increase in their productivity as well as their earnings.

A Lean Consultant works with all the major executive management team and asserts them in building a vision of how they want their organization to run, as well as the goals that they would like to see achieved.

As a part of the Lean Six Sigma consulting program they may then guide these top operatives to establish and execute their own system. Much of the duty falls to those leading executives to identify the way that they kindly move members to educate them about the lean consultants as well as their ideas for improving the company. This kind of management trickles down through the remaining portion of the organization and along with the assistance of the Lean Six Sigma consultants the plan is strategically implemented across the board to provide everyone a sense of responsibility for its accomplishment.

When a lean consultant is working with a business that lean consulting will unduly be completed by an expert who has actual experience in their particular discipline. They include experts, for example, who is known for lean manufacturing consulting that know the nuances of the manufacturing sector and can offer suggestions plus determine places where progress may have been overlooked. Similarly, employing a lean manufacturing consultant to provide advice about areas which could drastically see some benefits out of several modifications that could enhance the growth and efficiency in the organization.

The advantage stems from having a lean manufacturing consultant, lean healthcare professional or whiche specialized type of lean consulting that you want. Their particular specialties supply some valuable insight in addition to the depth of their solutions. This assists companies executives to not simply examine the many options of where changes should be formed but also how. Having said that, it asserts them to forgive any alternative changes that could be readily available if not overlooked.

In addition, when you utilize the Lean Six Sigma consulting it gives assurance to the group that they are on the right path and that they have a lean consultant that is there to guide them and encourage them to triumph over the many who will fight against change . While very few would like to change in these tough fiscal times it is definitely unavoidable and may very easily end up being the issue that makes or breaks an organization.

7 ‘Must Do’s’ When Managing Change

Managing organizational change is no easy task. Yet, it is often not an option in today's highly competitive and ever-changing world. What do you need to know to become good at it? Here are a few suggestions. 1. Establish a clear purpose – organizational change must be grounded on a clear purpose. Your purpose is…

Managing organizational change is no easy task. Yet, it is often not an option in today's highly competitive and ever-changing world. What do you need to know to become good at it? Here are a few suggestions.

1. Establish a clear purpose – organizational change must be grounded on a clear purpose. Your purpose is the real reason why your organization must change. This purpose must have substance – it must be an appropriate response to an actual or impending environmental pressure. If change is perceived by stakeholders to merely be a fad, or worse still, an effort to further someone's career, there is likely to be little 'buy in', and the change could end up doing serious damage to the organization.

2. Define clear goals – when managing change it is imperative to have clear, realistic, and achievable goals. From the outset you need to have a good idea of ​​what you are trying to achieve and where you want to end up. You need to establish goals that you can measure so you can judge your progress. For example, you can measure your progress against a goal like, “We want to increase sales by 20% over the next 6 months”. It is easy to tell whether you succeed in achieving a measurable goal like that. Avoid difficulty to measure goals like, “We want to have a happy team in 6 months”. This may be a good ambition, but it is more difficult to tell whether you achieve it.

3. Let your purpose determine your methods – how you should go about managing change depends on what your purpose is and what you're trying to achieve. There is no one best approach for all change plans. For example, if you're trying to increase sales, you will need to do different things than you would if you were trying to change some element of organizational culture. You methodology should always be appropriate for your purpose.

4. Use your strengths – change is always easier if you use the strengths available within your organization. These strengths may come in the form of previous experience, particular job skills, and most importantly, change readiness. The fact is, some people find change easier than others – it fits more comfortably with them and they are able to handle it better. They may be very adaptable people, able to take on new challenges with relative ease. These change readiness strengths are a key resource that can be drawn upon to help your change management plan succeed. Be aware, though, that change readiness strengths are not always obvious – people may have them, but for various reasons keep them hidden.

5. Pay attention to the variables – organizational change is often very complex, meaning there are many variables that come into play and these are affected by large or small changes made somewhere else. Fixing something in one place is only 'a good idea' if it does not cause other problems somewhere else in the organization. The challenge comes when there are so many variables that you can not identify them all, and you can not tell how they will affect, and be affected by, some change. Sorting this out requires thoughtful analysis and careful planning.

6. Overcome resistance – unfortunately, overcoming resistance forms a necessary part of managing change. People resist for all sorts of reasons, and their resistance is potentially deadly for your change plans. It is often not easy to overcome, and requires a multi-faceted approach that influences how management approaches the change and how the staff approach the change. Building the change readiness of your organization makes resistance less of an issue in the long run and ensures future change is easier to manage.

7. Monitor progress and adapt – Once you have begun following your change management plan, you should regularly monitor your progress and be ready to adapt as necessary. It is important that you do not become 'fixed' in your approach – remember that you may not have foreseen all the variables at the outset, so you may well need to adapt your approach 'on the fly'.

With a well-designed change management plan, managing change becomes less difficult. It's like having a good insurance policy – it does not guarantee you will not run into problems, but when you do run into problems, you'll be glad to have a good change management plan.

Many Factors in Managing Change

Change has always been one of those things that everyone wants without it involves them personally. People have always been very predictable because we are creatures of habit. We do not like change. We get up in the morning around the same time. We have the same habits in the bathroom. We get dressed the…

Change has always been one of those things that everyone wants without it involves them personally.

People have always been very predictable because we are creatures of habit. We do not like change.

We get up in the morning around the same time. We have the same habits in the bathroom. We get dressed the same way. We take the same route everyday to work. We get gas from the same station. We shop for groceries at the same store.

When you hear someone say that they are pretty flexible you may want to challenge that, because most people are not.

In fact I think someone said once that habits take about twenty-eight days to break. Even armed with the idea of ​​this potential fact it is still very hard for someone to break routine habits even in twenty-eight days ..

Therefore, when it comes to introducing change into the workplace do not expect it to just happen! In fact you should expect just the opposite, in that it will take a lot of work to make it happen.

Managing change has always been one of those good leadership skills that everyone wants but few have.

Of course some change is easier to manage than others, but nonetheless it is still a challenge.

When it comes to making changes in the workplace it boils down to the credibility of the leadership. Do the employees believe that the leadership is moving in the right direction? This all is based on previous performance.

Using a sports analogy as an example, let's take a professional football team that is struggling. A team that hires a coach who has won several Super Bowls is going to be able to introduce change much easier than if they hired someone who has never coached in the NFL before.

Fear is another motivator that can move change along much faster than normal.

What if your doctor tells you that you have diabetes and the only way to reverse it is for you to lose several pounds? You will be much more inclined to lose the weight immediately than if your doctor had just suggested that it would be a good idea! However, after the weight is lost and there is no more threat of diabetes there is a chance you will go back to your old ways, ie, the fear is gone.

Incentives are another way to encourage change. But again take away the incentive and people return to their old habits.

The only true way to implement change is to change the mindset of people. If they can see the benefit to them in the change it will not only happen soon but also more inclined to remain in place.

In order for this to take place leadership must be credible as I mentioned earlier and paint the picture of how the change is going to benefit. This can be especially difficult if on the surface it seems to be painful, ie, a reduction in force that does not directly involve them.

The easiest change comes when everyone feels that they were part of the decision to do so. If this is possible this is the most advantageous way to implement change. If you can get the buy in from the staff you are so much farther ahead than in any other method.

One way to do this is to introduce the possibility of change to the staff and let them know that you are accepting feedback and suggestions before going forward with anything. Open communicate the feedback and suggestions that you received to all employees and if possible even present them at open forums.

However you approach change good luck and May God Bless You!

The Future of a Successful Organization

At the first meeting I had with one of my clients, he told me that he would like to introduce TPM (Total Productive Maintenance-productive maintenance) in the production factory. I asked him “Why?”. My client looked at me surprised and answered: “Because this is what they want from me.” The introduction of the Lean manufacturing…

At the first meeting I had with one of my clients, he told me that he would like to introduce TPM (Total Productive Maintenance-productive maintenance) in the production factory. I asked him “Why?”. My client looked at me surprised and answered: “Because this is what they want from me.”

The introduction of the Lean manufacturing in the production or management is NOT, or should not be, a goal by itself! The followed goal with the introduction of the lean system should be to improve the performance, to reduce the delivery time, to increase the innovation degree etc., so to improve the quality as a whole.

The Lean system has two different components:

1. Techniques and methods, like 5S, TPM, SMED, VSM, etc. These ones are for the improvement of the performances.

And

2. The philosophy that is behind the techniques and methods, philosophy which has the goal to remove the eight types of wastes (overproduction, waiting, transport, overprocessing, inventory, motion, defects and the waste of unused human talent); wastes that exist in every human activity.

The Lean philosophy is the one which assures the continuous improvement of the results achieved using the Lean techniques and methods.

For the long term success it is required the awareness and the deployment of the organization on the Lean philosophy and principles.

The Lean techniques and methods are forming an assembly being dependent one of each other. For example, SMED (Single-Minute Exchange of Die) can not be implemented successfully without 5S or TPM. It has to be based on the people's responsibility, standardization, Kanban. And the examples may continue. Because of these interrelations, the techniques and Lean methods can not be implemented separately.

Even though the deployment of a certain technique or method can have a short term success, the results will be sustained on a long-term only if the Lean system would be implemented in assembly; this will lay the foundation that will lead to standing and continual improvement. Lean manufacturing can be seen as a chain in which every technique and method is a linked link. When all the links are connected, they will “pull” the performances' continuous improvement, but when a single link is missing the unity of the whole process will be lost and quickly interrupted.

Going back to the client's request to implement TPM because this is what they wanted from him, this type of work represents a long term waste which is contrary to the principles of the Lean philosophy.

The deployment of the Lean manufacturing system in the output or services provides major benefits to the company and, in this way, the raise of the product's / service's value. To obtain these benefits it is necessary the involvement of the whole company, in the first place, the involvement of the management which has to assume their responsibility on the deployment and the compliance with the system. The problems which will inevitably occur to be solved, not masked or avoided.

Executive Leadership Coaching: How To Be Your Own Executive Coach

You've recently been promoted to, or hired for, a position with significantly more responsibility. Congratulations! You've got a larger staff, across multiple functional areas, and have a high-profile in the company. Perhaps you are a first time leader of an entire business unit. Previously, you've led teams in only two or three areas (sales, marketing…

You've recently been promoted to, or hired for, a position with significantly more responsibility. Congratulations!

You've got a larger staff, across multiple functional areas, and have a high-profile in the company.

Perhaps you are a first time leader of an entire business unit.

Previously, you've led teams in only two or three areas (sales, marketing and business development, for example).

Now, the scope of your new role encompasses functional areas (ie finance, R & D, operations) that you've had little experience in leading.

You're finding this level of responsibility overwhelming and realize that you can not rely on past methods of leading. Your well-worn and comfortable operating style is not nearly sufficient, or sophisticated enough, to meet the challenges facing you in this fast-moving and more complex role.

Further, it's critical that you do not stumble during your on-boarding phase. You are being tested and you need to act fast.

So, how do you approach this challenge?

Be your own executive coach by learning new leadership skills:

  • First, recognize that you need a fresh approach. You are no longer dealing with issues and questions in one, narrowly focused area, nor grappling with problems that are easily solved.
  • Develop and strengthen new leadership skills – influencing ability, diplomacy and building alliances. You will be relying more and more on your influencing ability, rather than dictating how things should be done. Your peers, direct reports and / or board members will all have polished negotiating skills and strong personalities. You will be using your diplomatic skills to create consensus. Yours is no longer the only vote of importance. You will need to reinforce your ability to form strategy alliances in order to propel your ideas and vision forward.
  • Find new ways of staying in touch with what's happening on the front lines. Getting honest feedback becomes more difficult the higher you climb. Direct reports do not want to deliver bad news and tend to agree with what you say. Initiate direct contact with a competent of customers / clients and schedule time with rotating employees – to learn where the weaknesses lie and problems exist.
  • Learn to delegate more fully. Beware of the tendency to over-supervise within your former area of ​​responsibility. This is a classic example of new leader behavior and can be perceived as insecure and an inability to delegate effectively.
  • Accept having to learn a new set of terms, tools and ideas.You may be uncomfortable in the position of learner because it does not match your model of confident and decent leadership. However, if you are directing brand new functional areas, it is especially essential to overcome your hesitancy. You will need a basic knowledge and fluency of the current problems facing your team (s) to be an effective leader. As they say, “get over it” and become a student.

Staying flexible and open to fresh executive leadership approaches will enable you to grow in your new role. Further, you will set a powerful example for your direct reports – which they can replicate to stretch as leaders of their own teams.

Why It Is Important To Involve Your Staff In the Change

Today let's look at the rateale behind involving your staffs in any change project you would like to implement in your organization. In a study entitled How to Build an Agile Foundation for Change , carried out by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, it was noted that nearly 75 percent of all organizational change programs fail, not because leadership…

Today let's look at the rateale behind involving your staffs in any change project you would like to implement in your organization. In a study entitled How to Build an Agile Foundation for Change , carried out by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, it was noted that nearly 75 percent of all organizational change programs fail, not because leadership did not adequately address infrastructure, process, or IT issues, but because they did not create the necessary groundswell of support among employees. Now, this is startingling enough. It is a pointer to the fact that you need to understand the importance of employee involvement in change. It is an indicator that staff participation will ensure your change project succeeds. What then is your choice? Should your organization be among the successful 25 percent or fail with the 75 percent? We can see from this research that involving people in change is paramount to success. But why people? The justification is hereunder.

  • People are the engines of change. Humans manage other resources such as machinery, materials, money etc. They therefore need to understand and support the reasons for the change. Your people need to overlap change because they play a vital role in change through the processes and technology involved. You can not be successful in change without people.
  • Change has the greatest impact on people. Your people are the most affected and disturbed by change and decisions related to change. The senior staffs also help manage and drive change, as they implement various decisions. People are part of the stakeholders to benefit from change. Since change in your entity affects aspects such as work skills, the work environment, staff grading, job roles and responsibilities, policies etc, you need to involve your staffs.
  • You can adapt change to any business or economic condition through people. Through environmental analysis and aligning your change process accordingly, and also studying the impact of change on people, you are able to adapt the change to new business conditions. Is your entity operating in a stagnant economic environment? Certainly not. You may need to adapt the very change project and people form the basis of this.
  • People can frustrate and derail change. If you do not obtain the required psychological and emotional buy-in to change, you are likely to suffer frustration and derailment. While you can easily manipulate machinery, technology, money etc, you can not manipulate humans. Do you crave for successful change in order to achieve your enterprise goals and objectives? Involve people. Besides that, you only have yourself to blame.
  • Resistance from your staffs sometimes proves to be the silver lining. Do not just brush off resistance to change. Try and understand the reasons and alternative view points. Try a paradigm shift and see if you are still very much persuaded to proceed with your change, and in the manner you desire. Reccheck your facts. By including your people at all stages right from planning to implementation and review, you may get valuable pieces of advice that can make change more effective and efficient.

Now, if you are not convinced about this, I give up. My advice is this – do not just be driven by monetary rewards, competition, the industry, consultants, board politics, regulation etc, to change without involving your people. Do not let the goals and objectives of change override people and relationships. Create a buy-in and bring in your people at all stages and you stand a high chance of success. I trust you agree with me on this, do not you?

Just in case you desire to learn more about enterprise management skills, try out Clayton's must-read book entitled The Wise Entrepreneur , at Amazon.

Respectfully,

Clayton Mwaka

Corporate Relocation Services – Finding the Right Moving Company

Some companies shuffle employees from one location to another on a regular basis, others do so infrequently and some never need to transfer employees at all. If your business falls into one of the first two categories it's in your best interest to find a moving company with which you can establish corporate relocation services…

Some companies shuffle employees from one location to another on a regular basis, others do so infrequently and some never need to transfer employees at all. If your business falls into one of the first two categories it's in your best interest to find a moving company with which you can establish corporate relocation services that fit your needs.

You know that when you need to have your employees relocated it's critical that their move is accomplished with a minimum of disruption and chaos. It can cost your business dearly if a critical worker is busy managing their move when they should be performing the work that You need them to do. Here is a little advice from an experienced moving consultant on what to look for from your corporate relocation services provider.

At most companies it's the human resources department that is usually saddled with the unenviable job of organizing employee relocations, but these folks are busy enough managing their regular tasks, plus they are not moving professionals so they may overlook critically important aspects of move management. Little mistakes or unplanned-for jobs can snowball into a big problem when multiplied by the fact that you may be relocating a number of employees and their families at the same time.

If you establish a corporate relocation program with a reliable moving company you can count on receiving complete move management from start to finish. All you will be required to do is tell them who to relocate, where they need to go and when you need them at their new post. From that point you can relax, secure in the knowledge that a team of professionals will take on the responsibilities associated with achieving the relocation (s) efficiently and with a minimum of disruption to your day-to-day business.

The movers will assign a moving consultant and a moving coordinator to the job; each of these people has a specific role and tasks to fulfill. The moving consultant is generally the first point of contact with the transferring employee and they will arrange for a home visit to discuss the needs of the people being relocated and assess their shipment; discovering exactly what needs to be moved and which (if any) items will remain. They will give out some printed information that outlines the details that explain what will happen, when it will happen and who is responsible for each task.

The moving coordinator is the person responsible for ensuring that everything gets done in a timely manner and is also available at any time by e-mail or phone to answer any questions or concerns that the transferring employees may have.

When you are choosing a mover to provide corporate relocation services to your company it's smart to hire a moving company that is affiliated with one of the major van lines. Smaller, unaffiliated moving companies may find it difficult to access services outside of their normal locations if they are not already connected within the moving industry. A van line affiliated mover will have access to modular moving and storage services across the country and internationally.

When the employee relocation (s) is completed you can expect the movers will contact your newly transferred worker (s) to ask them to complete a relocation survey. This allows for the acquisition of valuable feedback that helps the movers fine-tune their corporate relocation services . A moving company that is continuously trying to improve its' services is the one you want to hire!

Make Your Office Move Easier – Digitise Your Documents

It's not necessarily just about the sheer expense of moving, it's also the stress and effort that comes with it for both yourself and your staff in the process of the office move so if you could have preferred to alleviate that as much as you possibly can (within reason). This is why we suggest…

It's not necessarily just about the sheer expense of moving, it's also the stress and effort that comes with it for both yourself and your staff in the process of the office move so if you could have preferred to alleviate that as much as you possibly can (within reason). This is why we suggest that having all of your documents digitized might be a great idea to make your move that little bit, or significantly, easier.

Thousands of companies are already getting their documents scanned and digitized already for different reasons. Some do it because it helps with productivity, some do it to save space but it's also a fantastic aid towards your office move. If you have a lot of documents stored in filing cabinets, drawers or even entire rooms of paper, then this is an ideal solution as you can essentially have the documents taken away and delivered back to you on a disk or via FTP for online download. This could potentially save a lot of stress, a lot of hassle and also a lot of costs. This is because document scanning and digitizing of documents does not actually cost as much as you might imagine with documents being scanned for less than a penny per sheet depending on the quantity of files that you have.

Advantages beyond the office move

It does not only add an advantage in terms of saving stress with moving but it also gives you a future proof solutions to your document management as well as a more efficient and, course, space saving solution. Because all of your documents are essentially in one place and are make text searchable, they are significantly easier to find and almost impossible to lose or misplace. Staff will be able to find particular documents that they need almost instantly rather than having to search through page after page of physical paper-based documents by using a simple computer search.

Your documents also become a lot more secure because admin computer accounts will be able to lock certain folders and only allow certain members of staff to edit, modify and delete particular documents.

Your documents being digitized also adds an element of security by the fact that you'll be able to back up your documents to as many places as you wish so in the event that anything should happen to your property where your computer systems are kept, the files will all be safely backed up elsewhere. This is also yet another advantage to having digital files available rather than paper ones as, in the event of fire or water damage, paper is almost always the first thing that will end up falling victim to the elements.

You'll also find your own advantages along the way that may be unique to your business but will make a big difference to the way you work and how your team operates.

The fact is that digital document management is the future of handling documents and this path can end up making an overall more streamlined business that extends well beyond your office move.

Creating a Company Vision – Transformational Leadership

Companies that are stagnant and do not have a strategic vision about how they can be unique and different in the marketplace or satisfies their customers will not be successful in the future. Creating the vision for an organization should encompass the overall idea of ​​what the organization should be and wants to be in…

Companies that are stagnant and do not have a strategic vision about how they can be unique and different in the marketplace or satisfies their customers will not be successful in the future. Creating the vision for an organization should encompass the overall idea of ​​what the organization should be and wants to be in the future. It often includes the original intent or dream of the company leader or original founder. The vision should be clear and concise so that everyone in the organization understands it, believes in it and implement it. Passion for the vision should build enthusiasm, inspire and lead people to care. In many organizations, the vision of the CEO is what employees strive for and follow but in most of these companies, the vision often fails to deliver results because the people do not believe in it or have any attachment or strong emotion to the idea. It needs to connect with individual employees' desires, desires and aspirations and dreams. The vision has to go beyond superior and reflect the inner voice or mission of the company. It has to make sense and correlate with what the company stands for and representations.

A leader who can connect to his or her employees through their values, in the vision, through inspiration and emotional relationships, is a transformational leader for your business. The leader needs to demonstrate that he or she understands the needs of your industry and the feelings of the group and then tie this to the company's vision. If the leader can manage to capture both of these qualities, the vision becomes the driving force of behavior and progress and acts as a road map on how to proceed.

One of the main reasons that companies have failed or fail to execute a corporate vision is that often, managers believe that change happens almost by magic. It has to be more than a sign or handout for employees to work towards corporate objectives. Managers and leaders have to lead by example. So how does a leader start formulating the vision that will lead a company forward and continue growth? It becomes important to assess what is going on around you in your business. Identify who the stoppers are and look at your competition. Identify core beliefs and external and internal impacts. Look to see how you are others are changing with the market and what measures define your success. Perform trend analysis and take time to look at the opportunities that are immediately in front of you and a few years out. What do other companies and customers think of you? What kind of community impact do you want to make? Where is that you need and want to go?

Share your passion for this vision with your employees and customers. Sharing the vision is only a small part of the process. Often, visions do not reach far enough or is so generic that people do not buy into it. It is important that employees connect emotionally to what you are trying to achieve. Communication at many levels and dialogue with multiple levels of management has to occur. Create specified actions and plans with miles and explain what it will mean for them and your company. If what you are telling them does not motivate action, revise it and address anything that will keep the vision from happening. Do not forget to allocate resources and to share the vision with team members who will help you achieve your goals. Explain the overall purpose and what your expected outcomes are. Implementing the vision will take many people's support. Hold reviews and assessment processes and structures.

Even with the best intentions, mistakes are sometimes made during the process. It is important to never underestimate the power and impact of a vision statement or communicating where you are at in the process. Effective and timely communication is critical. Under-communicating the vision to employees and what is required to reach established goals can assure many of best laid plans. Failing to identify and remove obstacles will also impede progress towards your end goals. These blocks can be cultural, resource-based and even process based. Failing to create obtainable short-term goals is also a miss. Additional contributors include lack of teamwork, collaboration, poor leadership and poor knowledge management. Allow your people to make and celebrate the changes. People need to feel successful and know that progress is being made and finally, thinking that you have made enough change too soon and stopping the process before the changes have stuck.

The vision-development process is almost like a balancing act. It requires imaginative thinking and the ability to put many ideas together. Visionary companies realize that the best talent is attracted to businesses with a compelling and motivating vision. You need a vision that will make a person want to join and stay with an organization. Employees work there for others reasons than maximizing profit or building market share. Leaders need to be fearless and willing to relinquish some control to facilitate creativity and idea generation. They also have to remove restrictions in the building process that do not affect the bottom line or impact the culture of the business. Becoming that transformational business and business leader is only one vision away from reality.

We All Know Someone Who, No Matter What, Is Never Wrong

In a recent roundtable of leaders, someone posed the rhetorical question of why people just can not admit when they are wrong; why do not they just say I'm sorry; you are right and I am wrong? The usual banter of agreement went back and forth among those present until I suggested this inquiry this…

In a recent roundtable of leaders, someone posed the rhetorical question of why people just can not admit when they are wrong; why do not they just say I'm sorry; you are right and I am wrong? The usual banter of agreement went back and forth among those present until I suggested this inquiry this question. Why do we have such a hard time with the fundamental desire or need to be right?

WE LOVE and LIVE to be right. We go to great lengths to prove just how right we are; sometimes at the risk of alienating ourselves absolutely. The list of positions we take is endless. Take any subject from choosing toothpaste to navigating the road; our views can be awfully strong. Whether it's a matter of fashion or finance, we certainly know what to spend, how much we should be saving, and what it takes to look good. Right?

The workplace is yet another environment to exercise correctious judgment as we find ourselves quietly assessing the number of bullet points on the power point presentation. If there are too many or if not in accordance with our standards, certainly cause for dismay. Especially when coupled with the discovery of the month long tuna casserole experiment growing in the refrigerator that someone has refused to clean out. We all know someone who, no matter what, is not willing to be anything other than right.

Funny thing is … ever notice when you are in an argument and the moment you say “the argument ceases and the artillery disappears instantaneously? Yet, we insist.

How does it feel when you are right? Powerful. In Control. Risk Adverse. Safe. In charge. And what's yourceived experience when wrong? Weak. Not in control. Uncertain. At Risk. Vulnerable.

When you begin to map it out we can clearly see the benefits of being right. This phenomenon Shelters us from being vulnerable, scared, and embarrassed. You certainly do not have to take any risk when you are IN CONTROL. Who does not want to be on safe, familiar, and comfortable ground? But does being right afford you any spiritual or leadership growth? How does it feel for the other person when you are always right? And, if you are always right what must the other person be (answer: yep – wrong)?

Does it take any conscious effort to be right? Do you have to be the least bit aware? Does empathy enter the equation when we are right? How about compassion?

A leader has the onus to empathize and do “what's right”. Instead, some of us pay a mighty price for the sake of being right. The ego is a powerful entity left unexamined. What's being right costing you?

I sign off with a quote …
“Choose being kind over being right, and you'll be right every time.” ~ Richard Carlson

How to Drive a Business Through Change

It is normally said that change is the only permanent thing. Change management is the coordination of a structured effort to introduce and implement change in an enterprise. It is mandatory that you understand how to drive transformation in an enterprise simply because change is normal if you desire to improve, grow and develop, have…

It is normally said that change is the only permanent thing. Change management is the coordination of a structured effort to introduce and implement change in an enterprise. It is mandatory that you understand how to drive transformation in an enterprise simply because change is normal if you desire to improve, grow and develop, have a competitive advantage, reposition the enterprise for new opportunities, excel and be successful in business. Quoting Richard Templar, a renounced consultant and writer, 'Good management is adopting to change quickly and skillfully. If you do not go the way of dinosaurs'. For your enterprise to avoid demise you must understand the importance of change and acquire the skills to change, which you can utilize when the need arises. Taking a business through transformation basically hinges on the ratione, people buy-in, change leadership, change process and then review. We shall look at these cornerstones here below.

  • Change Rationale: You need to have a strong reason for change in your enterprise. It should not just happen for its own sake. Sometimes enterprise leadership implements changes, which are not well thought out, and find themselves reverting to the previous status after a short while, with huge costs and occasionally disastrous results. You should justify the transformation and also have tangible and measurable change goals and objectives that you are looking at. If you do not know what you want, where you are, and where you are going, simply do not do it.
  • Change Buy-in: Without people in the enterprise psychologically and emotionally buying into the intended change, you will certainly meet lots of resistance as you proceed, and this can be a big hindrance. Some well intended programs fail due to this aspect. You need to create buy-in through emphasizing the benefits, creating an understanding of the process and theby generating enthusiasm and optimism among the people. You need to deal with any real or perceived fears and uncertainty including the people. Aspects of beliefs, cultural norms etc that may affect the change needs to be addressed, to achieve people buy-in. Resistance needs to be analyzed in terms of business sense, reasons advanced etc. It is advisable that you engage or engage people at different stages right from strategizing and planning for the intended change, into implementation and review aspects. In this way you carry people along with you and this maximizes your chances of success. Creating a following is vital. The goal here is to minimize the effect of resistance. If well-managed, even those resistant can be transformed into avid change supporters or advocates.
  • Change Leadership: Someone must be there to spearhead the whole process. This is someone who will be seen as the catalyst, agent or maker; someone who can generally oversee the process from start to the rightful conclusion. A change leader oversees the transformation and also helps consolidate people buy-in. He is also responsible for minimizing the cost of change, and yet including effective and efficient implementation. He also provides the very much-needed support and reassurances that greatly help people adapt to the direct and indirect effects. While overseeing change, a catalyst needs to provide some room for possible but minor deviations from the expected results, so that people are also mentally prepared for such. A change maker also plays the role of empowering and stimulating the people through the process. He needs to be wise enough to realize that sometimes toughness is required where persuasion seems not to yield results. Some enterprises prefer to identify an insider for this function although others identify an outsider. Both approaches have their relative pros and cons, that you may need to consider.
  • Change Process: Management of the process is another vital aspect of driving change in an organization. Other than planning, the process has to focus on areas that need to be changed. People have to be informed of the salient aspects and also be involved. Where possible, pilot tests could be implemented to see the effect, and take corrective measures. Policy and process amendments need to be identified, documented and communicated to all concerned. Communication during the process can be done through memos, meetings, training sessions etc and these needs to be regular. Once the process has started gaining ground the momentum has to be sustained. Depending on the nature of enterprise and change, there may be need for speedy execution sometimes and also gradual incremental approach sometimes. Neverheless such programs need not be implemented too slowly and unskillfully. Wisdom and insight is required here. Aspects that may create serious disruptions to enterprise activities need to be well planned and implemented. The goal here is to minimize disruptions of organizational operations, and maintain continuity. Timing is another important element. Managing change process also involves identifying pockets of resistance, ways of operations of resistance, the spread and depth of resistance, and handling them accordingly.
  • Change Reinforcement: Whatever the rationeal, level of buy-in, adequacy of leadership, quality and nature of change process implementation, there is a need to ultimately consolidate the implemented transformation. You should ensure that what is implemented in your enterprise is consolidated by putting in the right structures to support it. You need to be persistent, emphatic and focused on the new approaches, systems, procedures, policies, etc. Nonconformities have to be handled squarely. You need to reinvigorate the desired outcomes and ensure that there are no chances of slipping back into the past by confirming enterprise shift. Monitoring and review aids successful change implementation.

The above are the salient features that need attention while driving change in an organization. If you desire successful and consolidated transformation in your enterprise, you can not do without them.

By the way, if you desire to acquire more business management skills, check out Clayton's book entitled The Wise Entrepreneur at Amazon.

Respectfully,

Clayton Mwaka

A Manager’s Anchor in a Change-Management Storm

Change is a frightening concept for most managers. There are various reasons why, but the one I sense the most often is this: managers and leaders alike, tend to think that change is only encouraged or initiated when something is wrong. And obviously, whenever we associate something as the adverse alternative of two options -…

Change is a frightening concept for most managers. There are various reasons why, but the one I sense the most often is this: managers and leaders alike, tend to think that change is only encouraged or initiated when something is wrong. And obviously, whenever we associate something as the adverse alternative of two options – stability (good) / change (bad) – we are going to prefer the former to the latter. It's human nature. And with that, it's no wonder so many professionals pity the process of change – they think it's a bad thing because it's associated with negative meanings.

And I will not sugarcoat, sometimes change is necessary because things are not working and things have gone wrong – but that does not mean change has to be bad. In fact, change should have considered the savior of it all, a hopeful possibility if anything. It's the one thing that's in our control when all else has gone awry. This is where you (the manager and / or leader) come into the picture.

I like to think of your role as the anchor to an unstable ship. Regardless of the reason (good or bad) change is happening in your team, organization or process, change inevitably alters something. By its very nature, change is variable. And we all know that when things are out of routine and unfamiliar, security comes from stability – and this is the anchor's role when the ship's lost its stillness. So, what does all of that mean for you (the manager)? A LOT. Three things specifically.

# 1. Your attitude has the ability to alter things (negatively or positively). While change is being driven, are you the calm for the storm or the eye of the storm? Be aware of the power of your presence.

# 2. Your actions affect the ship (your team) and the storm (the change). What you do and how you address the need for change will either define the direction your team needs to go or leave them lost at sea hopeless and astray. Do everyone a favor and do not drift aimlessly – give your team what they need to sail through the storm successfully.

# 3. Your perspective shapes their experience. While you're all in process of driving this change (amidst the storm), are you taking the time to draw their attention to the things that matter? In other words, are you stopping to soak in the scenery that makes the journey worthwhile? Or are you rushing to reach the end, ignorant of the lessons and experiences you could have captured along the way?

Now, I'll ask you: When the change-management storm roars your team's way, what role do you want to play? Hopefully, after some time and reflection, you choose to have the anchor amidst the storm.