CLEAR Profits Ensurance System – 5 Greatest Threats /Opportunities To Rapid Business Growth

CLEAR Profits System Present & Future Dangers and Opportunities – 5 Greatest Threats To Rapid Business Growth v5 The CLEAR Challenge Introduction If we are going to thrive and flourish, in an ever-changing and increasingly complex world, we need to RETHINK our strategies, systems, and visions. It's clear from our past results that we have…

CLEAR Profits System

Present & Future Dangers and Opportunities – 5 Greatest Threats To Rapid Business Growth v5

The CLEAR Challenge Introduction

If we are going to thrive and flourish, in an ever-changing and increasingly complex world, we need to RETHINK our strategies, systems, and visions. It's clear from our past results that we have managed to create a business world founded on win-lose … beating the other person into losing, so we can win. Making our staff lose – so the people in leadership positions can win!

We typically use and abuse staff as expendable pawns in a game of business-bullying and shows of force, in the name of self-important glory-seeking madness. It's time to get CLEAR of this insanity. We need

· Different MINDSETS that are agile, flexible, resilient,

· New perspectives and Positive approaches that support all Stakeholders

· Different Organization Culture that embrace technology, innovation and rapid change

Slaves, Serfs or Super Stars

Many people give most of their life to serving their executive masters, only to be left with an insignificant pension / savings, upon which they will take their remaining years of desperate financial struggle. It's CLEAR that the mechanics and Greedership of past business practices leaves 80% of participants in dire straits.

It's time to create a new world of work where people can achieve their potential, be happy at work and have magic, mastery and meaning as part of their experience in the new world of work. A POSITIVE, APPRECIATIVE, place for LIFEWORK.

Engagement is dismal

Stress and pressure are at an all-time high. Business competition is constantly increasing. Change is the new norm. Conflict and corporate politics negatively contaminate cultures and concepts, to the point where almost 80% of people would prefer to be somewhere else, other than their workplace!

Imagine that … around HALF of your staff are looking to leave your organization id the right opportunity came along. Your talent retention is just about useless if you are relying solely on money as the carrot to stay in a crappy workplace!

Leadership is Missing – Greedership is Prevalent.

Meaning is missing. Money is meagre. Management are moaning, and valuable visions have vanished behind the corporate drive of purely financial greedership … no matter what the costs to the environment, heads, hearts or Souls. We need a new GO MINDSET.

From my past work with the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) as a Human Performance Technologist (HPT) – I know we have to create a new world of work, if we are going to THRIVE and enhance staff well-being.

This is the foundation and starting point for POTENT Team Building, Developing, Staff Engagement, GO Mindsets and Leadership Effectiveness for greater Happiness @ work and a High Performance Organizational Culture.

Are Your Organizational Change Plans Doomed to Fail?

Organizational change is the only constant in organizations, with the business landscape changing ever-more rapidly; but this change can be controlled or random, sudden or gradual, imposed or voluntary, effective or ineffective. After years of perfecting management training and the best efforts of business schools, our organizations are finding that employee engagement levels are low…

Organizational change is the only constant in organizations, with the business landscape changing ever-more rapidly; but this change can be controlled or random, sudden or gradual, imposed or voluntary, effective or ineffective.

After years of perfecting management training and the best efforts of business schools, our organizations are finding that employee engagement levels are low and resistance to change high.

Why is that? How can it be that the more 'evolved' our organizations become, the less likely they are to retain their employees and improve performance?

It seems that reflecting organizational change is doomed to fail without motivated and energized employees driving it – and neuroscience helps us understand why this is the case.

The struggle for (and the dangers of) change

An IBM Global CEO study found that 83% of CEOs consider “fundamental change” as their biggest challenge.

Yet a later Towers Watson study found that three-quarters of organizational change initiatives fail and almost one-third of CEOs get fired by their board because they are “mismanaged change.”

What were the top reasons given for the lack of success with organizational change?

  1. Leadership not capable of leading the change
  2. Not enough communication and employees are not enough enough
  3. The change takes too long

This suggests that not only is leadership ill-equipped to manage change; the leaders themselves generally do not understand the right approach for introducing change.

Management is often expected to manage the change directives from the top without the right training – and this includes training in awareness of the needs of their collections.

Understanding human behavior and needs

Leaders who do not understand their fellow human beings never seem to get very far; this is not surprising. An important part of leadership is to motivate employees to perform at their peak and, without an understanding of their underlying needs, this becomes almost impossible.

Research from the University of California and the University of Queensland has identified some key social and cognitive needs common to all people, and which are present in all teams.

For instance, the brain needs to feel part of a group that is cohesive, fair and safe; it needs to be able to express itself, and it needs to be able to feel that it is achieving something; it also needs to feel connected with and understood by others, and see hope for the future.

Are you approaching change in your organization by addressing these needs?

A typical organizational approach to change

Most organizational change starts from this question: what does it need to achieve for the organization? The steps are mapped out by leadership and a plan arranged to roll it out to the people. Then the people are expected to adjust and fit in with the change.

Can you see how this might cause resistance?

When change starts from the very people expected to enact the change, we see something different happen. People who feel involved in, connected to, and can see the benefits of the change, are far more likely to embrace it.

When every individual has a chance for an input into the change, knows his or her specific role in it, is able to set new goals and objectives within the change parameters, and is able to observe and measure how the change is progressing, it is far more effective than trying to impel it from outside and blindly expecting it to be followed.

This is because it meets the needs described above. It's easy to say “people resist change” and it's true when their basic social and cognitive needs are not being met by the change. You may be surprised how much more effective change becomes when they are met.

Innovative Change Management

Change is a given. There is no way around it. The seasons change, people change, and even animals change. We do not needarily see it, but things are changing all the time. Why is it when change is so common, some people do not know how to effectively manage it? Instead of stepping up and…

Change is a given. There is no way around it. The seasons change, people change, and even animals change. We do not needarily see it, but things are changing all the time. Why is it when change is so common, some people do not know how to effectively manage it? Instead of stepping up and owning the change, people tend to hide from it. They may bury the feeling of anxiety that is created by change in unhealthy habits, such as eating a lot of food that lacks nutritional value probably leading to obesity.

Not all people react negatively to change.

Have you noticed the individuals that embrace change? They seem unflustered and even happy about it. Where do I fall? I'll share that I used to have difficulty accepting change. Change made me feel nervous. To cope with the feeling of anxiety, I ate a lot, gained weight and developed unhealthy habits leading me to be obese and unfit. Does change still make me feel nervous? Sometimes it does, but I discovered new skills to manage it. I invite you to continue reading and maybe some of what I learned about how to navigate change will help you too!

First, I had to look at change from a different perspective.

Instead of being afraid, I re-framed my thinking to look for more encouraging opportunities. For example, some of the fear based questions that would initially have negative overtones were:

  • “Why is this happening to me?”
  • “What will I have to do now?”
  • “Everything is fine now, why does this have to change?”

Now I ask affirmative questions, such as:

  • “How can I make this work?”
  • “What opportunities does this offer?”
  • “What will I learn?”
  • “How will I grow?”

Asking positive questions that keep my mind open to possibilities is a powerful way to alter my thinking pattern to embrace change.

Second, I make sure to get enough quality sleep.

I know when I am tired, I get emotional and the smallest of changes that normally would not affect me can send me into a tailspin. When I do not have adequate or quality sleep I tend to ask fear based questions instead of affirmative ones. Sleep is rejuvenating and healing because it allows my body and mind the much needed time to process information. When my mind is alert I find that I can easily ask the positive questions. I feel refreshed and ready to tackle change coming my way when I achieve a good night's sleep.

Finally, as Mark Twain said, “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”

How do I apply this? I separate the facts from my feelings and my story. Before I have a chance to ask positive questions, my creative mind develops the beginning, middle and end of a story. Many times this story ends with a negative exit, because it was fabricated out of a fear of change that scares me and I find myself at a standstill. My own self gets in my way. Today my mind still creates the story with the scary ending, but I acknowledge that it is just a story. By asking the positive questions, I am able to create a story that has a positive output. I then have an opportunity to choose my story!

Is change scary? It can be.

Do I still have moments that I feel fearful of change? At times, yes. However with the tools above I acknowledge feeling anxious, but shift my frame of reference to a positive outlook thereby creating an exhibition and opening a world of possibility. Our lives are full of change. The question is do you want to distort your facts negatively or positively? I choose the positive story.

This One Thing Will Make Change Easier

I just had a client for an upcoming keynote speech tell me, “We're going through a lot of change right now.” YOU: “Oh my God, he's talking about my organization! We're going through a lot of change right now!” Okay, before you get too excited [YOU: “Too late!”], You should know that I hear this…

I just had a client for an upcoming keynote speech tell me, “We're going through a lot of change right now.”

YOU: “Oh my God, he's talking about my organization! We're going through a lot of change right now!”

Okay, before you get too excited [YOU: “Too late!”], You should know that I hear this from almost every client. I conducted an informal survey (translation: I was still in my pajamas when I made the calls) of some of my fellow motivational speakers, and they said the same thing.

It seems that everyone is going through change, and everyone is struggling with it.

Let's just call it like it is, okay? Change is messy. Things are different, nobody quite knows how it's going to turn out, everyone wishes things could just go back to the way they were before.

If this sounds like your team, there's one vital thing that you need. And you can not just wait or hope for it. You need to proactively plan for it. What is this one thing?

You need a short-term win.

You need an early win to show your team that this change is working, and that it's worthwhile.

How soon should this win occur? Well, a typical timeline for a successful major corporate change is seven years. Yes, you read that correctly. It takes roughly seven years for a major change to become truly integrated into a corporate culture. (Incidentally, most companies give up long before seven years, which is why most corporate change initiatives are extremely fail). Given this seven year timeline, your team needs to experience a win within 12 to 24 months. (If you're going through a more minor change, adjust accordingly.)

This win could be a successful new product launch, the landing of a major new customer, a marked and measurable improvement in productivity-virtually anything-as long as it's clear and unambiguous and tied to the change initiative.

One Last Thing

And one last thing, as I mentioned before: it must be proactively planned for. It can not be something that just fortuitously happens, or that you hope will happen. It has to be a win that you proactively create.

One More Last Thing

Oh, and another thing. [YOU: “But said that that last thing was the last thing.” I know. I lied. Get over it.] This is an early win, not the ultimate victory. If you use this win to declare total victory, your team will breathe a collective sigh of relief, say “Thank goodness that's over with,” and go back to business as usual, ie, the way things were before. And you'll wonder why your grand change initiative collapsed, just when things appeared to be going so well.

Change is messy. And it's a much longer process than most leaders anticipate. But it's necessary in order to stay competitive. So why not give yourself the best chance of success?

Plan for the early win.

The New Trend In Hiring Employees: Adaptation

Applying for that next big job with the fancy perks, the fresh new career prospect and the big pay cheque has become second nature to a lot of us these days, especially with Generation Y rising through the ranks. It's not a particularly bad thing – in fact, it's a healthy thing, as it demonstrates…

Applying for that next big job with the fancy perks, the fresh new career prospect and the big pay cheque has become second nature to a lot of us these days, especially with Generation Y rising through the ranks. It's not a particularly bad thing – in fact, it's a healthy thing, as it demonstrates a shift in thinking from living-to-work, to working-to-live. Change is as good as a holiday, and with our employment consuming such a large part of lives each week, combined with the huge array of opportunities that exist, who can blame us? Everyone today is far more focused on job satisfaction and work-life balance, because we want to feel empowered, appreciated, and fulfilled.

This trend is nothing new, but there is a different pattern emerging as businesses start to recognize how fast the commercial environment is evolving today.

Perhaps only a few years ago, employment agencies and employers themselves would stipulate that sheer experience in a similar role was the only qualification that was absolutely essential. It was in every job ad (usually in bold), and seemed to be the only criterion that was of any importance. If you had five years experience, you were in; and this made sense: as an employer, you want someone that can do their job well and maximize output in each role pretty much from the word 'go'. While this is still the case, and still important, there has been a noticeable shift in recruitment, with employers starting to focus strictly on other, even more valuable characteristics in their candidates (and if they're not, they should be).

Change has always been the only permanent constant, and, while this has been said over and over for years, it has never been truer than it is today. Industries and global economies are embracing technology at a rate never even seen or imagined before, business models are evolving, product offerings are more innovative, and the customer has become such a well-informed, complex being, that marketing has had to reassess it's techniques to what I have called the “Empathetic Marketing” approach.

With all of these changes occurring on a daily basis, an organization has to adapt or die. Therefore, they need to be full of employees up to this kind of challenge. This means that the ability to appreciate, embrace and adapt to change is becoming the most important virtue an employee can possess, especially with management. Gone are the days of conservative executives and the inertia of upper management; if an organization is not looking at itself constantly and re-evaluating its competitive position, it's going to have a turbulent future. An innovative workplace embarks this challenge, and a healthy (not to mention profitable) culture will emerge to take on the new world.

So, when hiring, ensure that you're delving deep for the switched-on, change-embracing, innovative candidate who will see your business through an ever-evolving landscape. Equally as important, as a person looking for your dream job, earn their respect by ensuring that your resume reflects your recognition of this kind of environment, emphasizes your strengths and experiences in striving to adapt and experiment, your willingness to problem solve, and your commitment to embracing inevitable change.

Why Making the Case For Change Isn’t Enough

Ratings for cable channels like MTV and Comedy Central are plummeting as more viewers tune in to Netflix and YouTube, prompting Viacom to cut jobs. The company announced it's laying off workers to save more than $ 350 million and reinvest in other areas to spur growth. For Viacom staff, one thing is clear -…

Ratings for cable channels like MTV and Comedy Central are plummeting as more viewers tune in to Netflix and YouTube, prompting Viacom to cut jobs.

The company announced it's laying off workers to save more than $ 350 million and reinvest in other areas to spur growth.

For Viacom staff, one thing is clear – change is never easy, even with well-established reasons and a strong sense of urgency.

That's why it's not enough for leaders to simply make the case for change. People do not change when they're motivated to change; they change when they're ready to change.

One of the most important roles for any leader managing change is to facilitate change readiness among their employees.

I shared this challenge in a recent interview I did with Jim Blasingame of The Small Business Advocate.

Facilitating change readiness requires a shift in how the leader operates. It's not about driving the change or exhorting the importance of it; it's about leading a dialogue that empower people to find their own way to accept it.

Here are three ways leaders can prepare their employees to embrace change, rather than forcing it on them.

Engage Employees in Change Talk

Change talk is a series of statements that represent positive reasons for supporting change. The more employees engage in change talk, the more they seriously think about changing. Look for ways to initiate change talk at staff meetings or in casual conversations. Ask employees to tell you why they think the changes are necessary, rather than tolling them.

Ask how important the change is and how confident they are in their ability to accomplish it. Press them for specific examples. As the conversation continues, look for ways to reinvigorate their positive statements and help them build confidence.

Show Empathy

Our own research has shown a reflective and empathetic style, rather than an authoritative one, which is most effective when we want to change someone's behavior. Be willing to listen to the concerns and criticisms that they raise. Let employees know you understand their frustrations, and offer to support them in any way you can.

Be Honest and Forthcoming

Uncertainty is inevitable during any transition. Expect frequent questions, and be honest if you do not have all the answers. Be forthcoming with the information you do have and when you anticipate knowing the rest.

Managing change effectively requires involving everyone in the process. It's not a matter of stimulating people to change as much as it is preparing them to accept it.

A Nobel Prize for the Micro-Financing Sector: The Re-Birth

The Nobel Prize Award to Mohammad Yunus, the founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, is a proof that the micro-financing sector plays a key role in the change of the developing countries. Finally, the efforts of thousands of people working in that sector have been acknowledged through this award. This article explains how the…

The Nobel Prize Award to Mohammad Yunus, the founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, is a proof that the micro-financing sector plays a key role in the change of the developing countries. Finally, the efforts of thousands of people working in that sector have been acknowledged through this award. This article explains how the eye by which developed countries look at the micro-financing sector will change and become more positive and optimistic about the situation of the developing countries. Recently, the MF sector, usually adopted in under-developed and developing countries, has also given great consideration in period of economic crisis in developed countries; One of the key players for this is Grameen Bank for instance in the United States and the Free Loan Association in Israel (IFLA). The MF sector is one of the most experts sector in business management under less favorable conditions.

For those who still do not understand the meaning of the Micro-Credit (MC); It is a little loan provided by micro-financing institutions (MFIs) to poor people. Thus, the use of the MC is exclusively reserved for the creation of small businesses and not for personal consumption, otherwise the whole principle is lost. Also, the micro-financing institutions focus on MF services provide to established types of enterpreneurial initiatives which make this sector an attractive environment for investors. The MF sector is composed of network-based and knowledge-based organizations, formed by social entrepreners and leading to social entrepreneurship, and various types of networks and knowledge according to the context and objectives of cooperation.

The MFIs are non-lucrative institutions that want to contribute to the improvement of the developing countries by allowing citizens with little money to do something in their life. The Grameen Bank is the first type of MFIs that was created by Mohammad Yunus; the person that has just received the Nobel Prize on the 12th October, 2006. This Nobel Prize award is really an award to many voluntary people in the world. Their efforts have been finally acknowledged. There are so many organizations, institutions, and projects contributing to the MF sector. It has been now more than a decade that poor people profit from the MC. People have been out of poverty thanks to their little businesses; Some of these later have even become regular profitable businesses.

We think that through this award the MF sector will improve at an exponential speed; more pledges, more funds, and more institutions will be created for the developing countries, for awards and motivation play a key role in the performance of the human capital working in the MF institutions. Also, there are no better method to build capacities in MF institutions than the structural exchange of experience among the practitioners' organizations. The MF institutions have not only the objectives of MF services provision but also of further activation of social and economic dynamics by developing entrepreneurial approaches in social entrepreneurs in the MF sector and by adopting a different entrepreneurial behavior. By being aware of the importance of the MC for the developing countries, the entire world can mobilize itself for a better life for poor people.

Communicating Effectively in Times of Uncertainty – 6 High EQ Strategies

One of the most important things a leader must do in times of uncertainty is to communicate. For many, uncertainty about the future increases fear. Silence from leadership can be deafening and only breeds suspicion. Fear and suspicion – not the sort of fuel you'd want to have to drive your team's actions during such…

One of the most important things a leader must do in times of uncertainty is to communicate. For many, uncertainty about the future increases fear. Silence from leadership can be deafening and only breeds suspicion. Fear and suspicion – not the sort of fuel you'd want to have to drive your team's actions during such times.

Low EQ managers have a tendency during such times to focus on processes and tasks that need done to get the team out of uncertainty. They work on plans, even get excited about them and all through this period, fail to realize that their lack of communication could be causing staff to lose the plot. Working with a team recently who had just underone a significant organizational re-sizing exercise, I asked one of the managers “on a scale of 1 to 10, what is the level of your team's morale?” I was staggered by her response – “That's a great question. Guess what her team's morale is like? How productive do you think they are?

Another reason I often hear from managers who fail to communicate effectively during such times is that they themselves are uncertain about the future. So the rumour mills run hot, staff are distracted, do not feel their managers care or are in tune with what's really going on, morale declines, attrition rises. Invariably, customers and other stakeholders sense this too and this affects their decisions. The uncertainty is exacerbated. Sadly, what the team fears most eventuate.

High-EQ managers, on the other hand, have a pulse on the team's emotions. And they know their role during times of uncertainty is to create certainty. And they do this through effective and timely communications.

Here are six tips for communicating to create assurance:

Strategy 1 – Establish a dialogue early and follow-up frequently

Open-ness and honesty fosters trust. Say “At this stage, we do not know what the future holds, but we are working with urgency on getting to clarity on this and will keep you informed every step of the way.”

Give your team clear avenues of dialogue to allow them to air their grievances and have personal questions asked by people who can communicate based on fact rather than hear-say eg establish a blog, appoint change champions empowered to address these concerns or simply have an open -door policy for your staff.

By doing this, what your team gets is that their leader understands, empathises and cares. That's reassuring. That creates certainty.

Strategy 2 – Communicate your plan for the plan

If you are not clear about the future or do not have yet have a concrete plan, communicate your plan for the plan . Do not wait for clarity. It could be too late. Heed the words of Churchill – ” when the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber “.

Remember, caring and communicating is important. Much more important is whether your staff feel cared for and what they hear . What you do or do not say “speaks” to them. Be sensitive and empathise with what they might be hearing or interpreting and how this makes them feel.

Strategy 3 – Use face-to-face communications

Use town hall meetings, coffee sessions or take a few minutes from staff meetings to give your team an update. The mistake most leaders make is to rely solely on emailed or written communication during times of uncertainty. As much as 93% of communication is non-verbal. It's not just what you say – how you say it determines how effective your communication is. Your team draws confidence from your presence, sincerity and energy. Project reconciliation and yet confidence and optimism through your pasture, gestures and eye contact with your team.

Strategy 4 – Direct your team's focus on things they have total control over

You have little control over the economy, what your competitors do, what senior holdersholders decide, the weather, etc. Fretting over things you have no control over is counter-productive. Instead, direct your team's energies on the opportunities presented by the situation and things that they have over control. Doing their best with the job at hand and ensuring success will often give the team the best chance to realize the most positive result. Activities that “sharpen the saw” like training, team building, undertaking continuous improvement projects or just taking time out to reflect are all constructive. ” It's not what happens, it's what you do with what happens that determines where you end up!

Strategy 5 – Help your team draw strength from their history

Share stories, examples and anecdotes of successes arising from previous occasions of uncertainty. All of us have them. Think of an experience or time in the past where there has been tremendous uncertainty. Think of how you felt at the time. Reflect on how you've become stronger, more positive or simply just survived through that experience. Draw strength from such experiences.

Returning from my business trip to Shanghai last week, I was moved by the positive energy of the people there. 20 years ago, Shanghai was but a city with third world infrastructure, its economy shackled by the country's closed-door policies. Today, it's a gleaming metropolis which people by and large enjoy significantly higher standards of living. Speaking to the taxi drivers there, I could not but admire the sense of pride they had in what they'd helped achieve. For them, the “certainty” of their previous history represented mediocrity. The uncertainties about about two decades of breakneck growth on the other hand have spoken in tremendous prosperity and opportunity. Their “bringing it on” energy was palpable. They draw strength from the belief that the worst that could happen was that things would revert to where they had been in the past and that they had lived through those years anyhow!

Strategy 6 – Communicate your optimistic vision of the future, express faith in your team's ability to get there .

Teams draw certainy from leaders who have clarity of direction and who are confident in the team's ability and potential to get there. Paint a vivid picture of what the future potentially holds and what it means for each individual and stakeholder- for the organization, your customers and staff.

In summary, in times of uncertainty, create assurance through regular and effective dialogue with your team. Be open and honest about what you know to be real and generate optimism and faith in the future and through your belief in your team's potential.

Creating a High Performance Culture

What can we learn about culture in the workplace from the study of our expectations? In 1968 the work of two psychologists Rosenthal and Jacobsen studied the effects of tutor expectations on the performance of their students. They took intelligence pre-tests with the children and then told teachers the names of twenty percent of them…

What can we learn about culture in the workplace from the study of our expectations?

In 1968 the work of two psychologists Rosenthal and Jacobsen studied the effects of tutor expectations on the performance of their students.

They took intelligence pre-tests with the children and then told teachers the names of twenty percent of them who were showing “unusual potential for intellectual growth” and predicted they would bloom with the academic year.

They then sat back and watched what was to unfold.

Unknown to the teachers these children were randomly selected with no relation to the intelligence test. Eight months later they re-tested the children and the results showed that the randomly selected children who the teachers thought would bloom measured significantly higher.

They called this the “Pygmalion Effect”.

The results from this study (and since there have been hundreds of studies done in this same area) showed that positive expectations of others influence performance positively and negative expectations do the opposite.

“When we expect certain behaviors of others, we are likely to act in ways that make the expected behavior more likely to occur.” (Rosenthal and Babad, 1985)

You may have noticed this effect taking place on yourself when you think back to being in school or more relevantly in your professional life if you have ever worked for a boss who has believed in you and your ability and as a result you stepped up to meet their expectations.

The message is simple. Be careful what you expect from others and be careful what others expect from you. Have a look around and notice if it is having a positive or negative effect. Building a high performance culture is almost impossible if the expectations are not positive.

This is such an easy mistake to make. A common behavior trait of being human is that we adapt to the environment we find ourselves in and subconsciously we will fit into that environment in the best way we can. It is hard to stand out when we have a strong drive to feel accepted by those around us.

Pay attention to the environments you spend your time in. Have a look around and notice what the expectations are. Notice the subtle impact of this on the performance of both yourself and others.

It is much easier to fit in than it is to initiate change but the world and especially business needs people who are willing to be the catalyst for change. Change is all around us at a pace faster than ever before and it is much easier to be at the front of this change than finding yourself on the receiving end.

Be a leader. Raise the expectations. Demand more from yourself and more from those around you and watch them deliver.

If you want to instigate positive change in your organization then book Martin as your Motivational Speaker and create a culture of inspirational leadership and high performance.

Sources:

Rosenthal, R, and L. Jacobsen. Pygmalion in the classroom: teacher expectation and pupils' intellectual development. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968.

Rosenthal, R., and EY Babad. 1985. Pygmalion in the gymnasium. Educational Leadership 43 (1): 36-39.

Becoming Quicker Than The Pace Of Change

I have been working with a client on expanding his business. For the past three years he has been in charge of a growing business unit which sales have increased by 50% in the first year, 75% last year and is planning for an additional growth of 90% in the coming year. He has been…

I have been working with a client on expanding his business. For the past three years he has been in charge of a growing business unit which sales have increased by 50% in the first year, 75% last year and is planning for an additional growth of 90% in the coming year. He has been struggling with stabilizing his cost structure during this growth period. Along with this massive growth he has experienced little support from his colleagues because there expectation is that this growth happens without any errors.

In order to skill up my client he and I have been working on numerous personal skill sets in order to shift his mind to one that is holistic instead of functional. A few days ago we were discussing this transition and he shared with me how his shift from a “why” perspective to a “WHERE” orientation enabled him to be out in front of the pace of change. Let me share with you what he told me regarding “WHY” versus “WHERE”.

When he was focused on the “WHY”, he would analyze why a client came in when he did or why his business took a certain path instead of choosing something different. He looked at why one skill or action work, versus why another choice did not work. He also got as deep as asking himself why he reacted to certain way to something or why he felt a certain why about a situation. What he realized through using some of the meditation skills was he focused so much on figuring out why things were the way that were that he was wasting time and reacting to slowly to the change.

When him and I worked on transitioning to a “WHERE” orientation be became faster. Now when a situation is located and there was an issue he directed to “WHERE” the issue was and resolving it. He wasted no time figuring why it was, just where it was and addressed it. He then understood that when something began to bother him or his gut was telling him something was wrong he again focused on the “Where” and went to address the issue. He found that paying attention to “where” he felt something was off he would have forgotten issues prior to them surfacing. With a focus of where things were happening he was quicker than the pace of change. The issues were also easier to address because they had not manifested to problems.

He told me that he then understood that he could use the same orientation to address his fears when interacting in all sorts of situations. Instead of focusing on “why” he felt uncomfortably in a situation which bought him back to some experience that made him less productive. He began to orient to “where” he was experiencing the feeling. My client would walk around feeling energetic and positive. He would then enter a different room and feel a shift in his energy. He would recognize that he felt the change, identify where it was, and then choose to bring a positive energy to himself and the room.

He spent no time on “why” it was happening, he just accepted that it was happening and focused on where he felt it. This gives him the ability to change the level of energy immediately and continue. Now he and I have been working specific meditation and mindset skills to achieve this level of performance but it is possible for anyone to master. He is now planning a massive shift that will put his business in another transformation of growth over the next three years. He is passing these skills on to his work teams in order to build their capacity. He is excited because not only has his team members been able to accommodate the growth, but they are sharing stories of how they are growing in their personal lives.

I asked him if he was concerned at all that they would realize that they could achieve more and leave his company for a greater opportunity. He chuckled and said it was a very real possibility and he would be happy to see any of his close team members grow into some new role. He shared with me that the reality was that if he expected to grow he must accept that they have the very same right. He also told me that he does not worry about that at all because he expects that this will be the case in the future. The positive spin to that will give opportunity to new people to learn the skills him and his team have learned. He told me that the point in achievement is to learn and pass that learning to others. It is the obligation of all leaders to continue to grow and experience. To leave an opportunity so others can take up that torch and carry it further and learn. We do our teams an injustice by making them believe we have “made it” or what they have is good enough. The idea that they should be satisfied with what they have achieved to date only reinforces a mindset of self-judgment. There is always something next.

I left the session inspired that he had the correct mindset and orientation to create massive success for himself and the team. I also understood that I had an obligation to share with everyone the skills and ability to shift to an orientation of success and achievement.

Leading Change: The Missing Step

Sadly, I speak from experience. During my fifteen years as the Executive Producer of Seattle's sketch comedy TV show Almost Live !, I led my team through numerous changes (personnel changes, time slot changes, format changes, etc.). Now, I say “I led my team,” but more often than I care to admit, it was more…

Sadly, I speak from experience. During my fifteen years as the Executive Producer of Seattle's sketch comedy TV show Almost Live !, I led my team through numerous changes (personnel changes, time slot changes, format changes, etc.). Now, I say “I led my team,” but more often than I care to admit, it was more like “we stumbled through change together.”

Now be honest – didn't you just have a painful little pang of recognition? The truth is that most leaders do not lead their teams through change. More often than not, the leader and his or her team “stumble through change together.” And, in many cases, they end up stumbling right back to the way things were before.

The 3 Steps in Leading Change

Why is this? It's because most leaders do not understand that leading change is, at its core, a three-step process:

  1. Before change
  2. During change
  3. After change

It's that third step – after change – that most leaders miss. Maybe it's because the second step – the during part – is so exhausting (or at least can be), that after the leader just wants to have a stiff drink and say, “Thank goodness that's over!”

But it's not. There's still another step. Let's take a look at what the three steps are all about:

  1. Before change. This is when you realize that, for whatever reason (and the reason can be good or bad, the carrot or the stick), change is necessary. You, as the leader, begin to communicate the necessity with your team and gather support.
  2. During change. This is the messy part. This is when you actually start implementing the changes. You install the new software, you merge the two departments, you re-structure the product line. This is when everyone gets confused and angry and frustrated. But ever, you get through it, which leads us to …
  3. After change. This is when you reinforce, reward, and anchor the change. It's like pouring a slab of cement. (I guess I've never liked a slab of cement in my life.) If you open the sidewalk to pedestrians as soon as you're finished pouring the cement, you're going to end up with not just a messed up sidewalk , but a bunch of dirty and angry pedestrians as well (although you will get some good YouTube videos). No, you have to allow time for the cement set.

It's the same with change. You have to allow time for the change to set. And, during this time, you need to reinvent the change. Show that it's working. Visibly celebrate the victories – large and small – that result from the change. Keep advocating for the new direction. Keep the team looking forward. Otherwise, they'll start driving backward, toward the old and the familiar.

You have to allow time for the change to set, so that it can become the familiar. And you have to do this consciously, proactively.

Until you do that, your job as a leader of change is not finished.

Now it's your turn. What techniques have you found effective for making sure the changes you lead your team through actually stick? Share your thoughts and successes below so that you can help other leaders!

Reason Versus Faith: A REAL Wellness Dilemma Guided by REAL Wellness

PREFACE “The main conclusion arrived at in this work, namely, that man is descended from some lowly-organized form will, I regret to think, be highly distasteful to many persons. ” Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 1851 INTRODUCTION When Darwin penned this quote in his second book on evolution (following the 1859 magnum opus, On…

PREFACE

“The main conclusion arrived at in this work, namely, that man is descended from some lowly-organized form will, I regret to think, be highly distasteful to many persons. ”

Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 1851

INTRODUCTION

When Darwin penned this quote in his second book on evolution (following the 1859 magnum opus, On the Origin of Species), he evidently held a more favorable view of homo sapients than might have been warranted. He knew about the depredations of the Spartans, the Maoris, the Vikings, the Comanches, the Roman Empire and the Mongols. However, he did not expect such lowly-organized forms as would arise in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, North Korea and other settings in times to come. Contemporary barbarians, usually animated by religious fervor such as Islamic State, Al-qaed, Taliban, Boko Haram, al-Musra Front and the US Christian Right, render the original barbarians ordinary mischief makers.

So we must recognize that aberrant actors – barbarians, if you like, are not distant descendants. We have some evolving to do before barbarians are associated only with ancient times or extinct predators. Plotinus said, “mankind is poised midway between the gods and the beasts.” Plotinus was an optimist – half-way looks too kind.

GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT REASON AND FAITH

Please ask yourself a couple questions:

Am I mostly guided by reason, or am I more inclined toward a faith-based belief system?

Do I look to science and reason for answers, or do I have greater confidence in trials or other religious trusted sources for guidance about what is best, right, truth and moral?

Your answers signal a lot about your worldview, and how you manage your life.

A related question concerning the reason / faith dichotomy is this:

Are you comfortable thinking and exciting views on such questions?

What do you think – comfortable or not? If comfortable, you should enjoy the rest of this piece.

For some folks, raising such matters seems too personal, off limits or over the line. To a devout person, a dichotomy between science / reason and faith / superstition probably seems unfair, unwarranted, presumptuous, sacrilegious, invasive or worse. On the other hand, it may lead others, like you, despite, to exclaim, Gee whiz, I wish Don would write a questionnaire to help me explore matters of reason and faith, and connect it all to REAL wellness. ”

What a coincidence that would be – because that's exactly what I have in mind.

THE ARDELL REASON / FAITH SELF-ASSESSMENT CONTINUUM

I'm pleased to introduce my non-scientific, untested, subjective but possibly useful assessment for assessing your leanings one way or the other on a reason / faith continuum. Place a check in the space after each sentence if the statement represents your position. If it does not, leave it blank. When done, count and make note of the total checkmarks – then read the interpretation provided.

At that point, you can decide if the assessment looks to represent your orientation towards a reason or a faith-based orientation.

Ready? Please begin.

I favor or am predisposed to a belief that:

1. Reason and science are the only ways to accurately understanding the universe and the best guides for the solution of human problems. _____

2. It's best to enjoy life here and now, in this world, while nurturing developing my talents. _____

3. Morality consistors of respecting common moral decencies, proactive positive guides of desired human qualities such as altruism, integrity, honesty, truthfulness and responsibility – far more so than any negative admonitions of things not to do found in ancient commands or other rules attributed to revelations. _____

4. There is great value in the preservation of an open and pluralistic society wherein the expression of viewpoints, however unpopular, are protected. _____

5. Democracy is the best guarantee of human rights against authoritarian elites and repressive majorities. _____

6. Negotiation and compromise are preferred means for resolving differences and achieving mutual understanding. _____

7. We should make every effort to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual
orientation or ethnicity. _____

8. Freedom requires the absolute separation of church and state at every level. _____

9. It is important that we have environmental protections and policies that prevent animal abuse, and that major reforms are needed in this regard in the cattle, dairy and other food industries. _____

10. Resisting all attempts to denigrate human intelligence, to explain the world in magical, evidence-free terms that effectively look outside ourselves or nature for salvation or better circumstances. _____

11. Safeguarding our rights to privacy. _____

12. Protecting mature adults in their exercise of reproductive freedoms, open and unfettered access to comprehensive health care, expression of
their choice of sexual preferences and right to die peacefully whenever they so choose. _____

13. Scientific discoveries and technology are the likeliest paths to the betterment of human life. _____

14. Ethics, moral principles and normative standards to live by are most likely to be discovered together, tested by their consequences. _____

15. Moral education of children is best nourished by reason and compassion, positive reinforcement in an atmosphere of acceptance free of fear, degradation, punishment or revenge. _____

16. We are all citizens of the universe and that new discoveries about the cosmos are exciting and worth pursuing. _____

17. Skepticism toward untested claims to knowledge with an openness towards novel ideas and new ways of thinking will guide wise decision-making. _____

18. A disdain for philosophies / theologies of despair and ideologies of violence is valued and highly desirable. _____

19. A preference for optimism over pessimism, hope over despair, learning instead of dogma, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in
place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness and reason over blind faith. _____

20. The fullest realization possible of my best and noblest capacities as a human being is a desirable goal in life for everyone. _____

INTERPRETATION

If you registered 15 or more checks on the twenty question assessment, you are on the far side of an orientation towards reason, science and critical thinking. You may consider yourself a humanist, freethinker, agnostic or hell-bound infidel. In any event, you are definitely not given to disclosed truths, dogmas or ancient holy books as reasonably sources for guidance on contemporary moral, public policy or other matters of consequence. If you entered five or fewer checks, you might be the Pope, or at least a true believer deeply committed to a faith-based way of thinking. If your check mark total puts you somewhere between these extremes (ie, fourteen to six checks), I have no idea what you might call yourself. Republican, perhaps.

But, no matter – the point of the assessment is to suggest the general nature of a purely secular, good without God approach to a moral life. My own (obvious) bias is towards a reason-based way of thinking, but I recognize that there are other paths to REAL wellness values ​​and choices that support exceptional quality of life.

Several statements in this assessment are inspired by but not exactly the same as the qualities expressed in The Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles set forth by the Center for Inquiry.

SUMMARY

What may REAL wellness enthusiasts do to advance human evolution in positive ways that are adaptive, wise and kind? What is the role for those who believe improving quality of people is part of boosting quality of life?

Our society is awash in superstitions and perilous misconceptions. Take one example – the health crisis in some states caused by parents who will not allow their children to be vaccinated. Here we have affluent, well educated people who reject the overwhelming scientific consensus of no link whatsoever between vaccinations and autism. When people do not respect science, society is endangered, as it is by big money interests and a dominant Right Wing Christian political party, among others dysfunctions.

Now is the time for all REAL wellness seekers to come to the aide of their country – support reason and science. You personally might want to do all that you can to advance independent thought, skepticism and scientific literacy.

One element of REAL wellness, I believe, is a scientific worldview. Another is the free trade in ideas. Again borrowing on the standards put forward by the Center for Free Inquiry, consider the following possibilities of REAL wellness qualities that are clearly worthy of your support.

1. Including in the wellness educational agenda reason, happiness and personal freedoms – as primary criteria when proposing, delivering and assessing programs, policies and initiatives.

2. Encouraging attitudes of kindness, compassion, tolerance and generosity in all human relationships and in the ways that other animals and forms of life are valued.

3. Teaching, popularizing and advocating reason and critical thinking skills in order to empower people to challenge prejudice, superstition and irrationality in every area of ​​life.

4. Exalting the artistic and imaginative in varied expressions (eg, music, literature, art, dance), celebrating these forms as the essence of what it means to be human.

5. Exploring the bases for ethics and morality, within the context of happiness and human rights for all.

Dr. Victor J. Stenger was a professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado and emeritus professor of physics at the University of Hawaii. He authored a dozen widely acclaimed books on the interface between philosophy and physics, as well as religion and pseudoscience. His 2007 book “God: The Failed Hypothesis – How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist” was a New York Times bestseller. In the concluding remarks in his article entitled The Folly of Faith (in John W. Loftus' “Christianity Is Not Great), Dr. Stenger addressed the dichotomy between faith and reason:

I have an urgent plea to scientists and all thinking people. We nee to focus our attention on one goal, which will not be reached in the lifetime of the youngest among us but has to be realized someday if humanity is to survive. That goal is the replacement of foolish faith and its vanities with something more sublime – knowledge and understanding that is strictly based on observable reality.

Best wishes, be well, think clearly and always look on the bright side of life.

Why Leadership and Cultural Change Starts With a Little Neuroscience of the Self

As neuroscience is increasingly applied in the business community, with new frameworks designed to incorporate the findings from neuroscience into how we run our organizations, it's important to understand the dangers as well as the opportunities it provides for leaders. Employees have seen it all before – all too often: a new ideology in the…

As neuroscience is increasingly applied in the business community, with new frameworks designed to incorporate the findings from neuroscience into how we run our organizations, it's important to understand the dangers as well as the opportunities it provides for leaders.

Employees have seen it all before – all too often: a new ideology in the organization trying to promote 'cultural change' through training programs initiated by HR. Often considered as a dark art of manipulation, it is frequently mistrusted and starts to spread fear and negativity. People resent it and, constantly costing a lot of time, effort, and expense, go back to doing what they did before.

So how can we change this damaging cycle?

Change by looking inwards

The most effective leadership and cultural change initiatives do not just try to transplant a theory from management school, psychology or behavioral science, onto their people; making it work is complex but it is underpinned by some simple home truths: employees must understand why the changes are needed, how they benefit personally, see change happening in others, and feel in control of the change.

Neuroscience has helped us understand much about the needs of people in groups – which is essentially what organizations are, after all; it has also helped us understand more about why people make the decisions they make.

These combined insights need to first turn on a few lights in the brains of leaders, before they can expect to apply them to others.

If leaders understand their own needs, thinking system, and core beliefs, they are more likely to be able to adapt them for the good of the organization; secondly, if team members see the leader changing they are more likely to be open to the whole concept of change – and less likely to resist it.

What management school did not teach

The analytic and empathetic balance that leaders need to strike is not much taught in management school. The brain can support both elements naturally, but few potential leaders are taught much about understanding others, so it is generally more or less 'expected' that leaders are 'good with people'. Experience shows that this is far from the case – and it can lead to poor decision-making, poor relationships and ineffective team performance.

Leading teams successfully accounts for most of the best moments that leaders enjoy – rather than individual accolades. This is because the most fundamental need of the human brain is to belong: leaders need to satisfy this in themselves as well as every other member of the team, if they want to be successful.

Understanding the needs of people is a good place to start. Neuroscience has uncoovered the following basic needs of the human brain: to be part of a group that is cohesive, fair and safe; to express emotions; to feel a sense of achievement; to feel connected with, and understood, by others; to be able to see, track and measure progress; and to feel hope for the future.

All people have these needs, though different personalities will require emphasis on one or more aspect in particular. This includes leaders and it is important for them to understand their own most dominant personality needs.

Internal control

Combined with this better understanding of people and one's own needs, leaders must look inwards to exert better control over the decision-making process.

Neuroscience shows that humans operate with two thinking systems – a fast, habitual system and a more considered, goal-oriented system. While unthinking, habitual behavior actually accounts for 90 percent of what we do, it is the conscious deeper decisions that leaders make, resulting from their higher thinking abilities, that will usually determine their success.

Leaders need to spend more time in the higher thinking zone than the people they are following – and must learn to effectively 'switch' between the two.

Ultimately, true transformation in organizations can only take place when leaders have the awareness and insight to look inwards to inspire their teams; rather than trying to induce change from the outside-in.

How Can Neuroscience Actually Help Your Organization?

Neuroscience has become an increasingly high profile in the past few years. It seems that you can not pick up a magazine or newspaper without a picture of a brain staring you in the face. Often these images show parts of the brains lit up in fantastic electro-colors – but what do these images mean…

Neuroscience has become an increasingly high profile in the past few years. It seems that you can not pick up a magazine or newspaper without a picture of a brain staring you in the face. Often these images show parts of the brains lit up in fantastic electro-colors – but what do these images mean and how can they actually help?

The applications of neuroscience are varied – from life-changing medical advances, to the legal process, military applications, and influencing new technology.

Many organizations are watching from afar with interest wondering how all this actually applies to them. These organizations are, of course, made up of people – so neuroscience can make a real and lasting difference in many areas.

Advances in imaging

Those images you see of the brain can be misleading. They are usually produced by fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and the images themselves are stylized to represent areas of the brain that are most active.

When study participants are subjected to an external stimulus, the resulting response in the brain is measured and indicated in these images; but it is not only this indicated area of ​​the brain that is active. The interconnections between neural pathways within the brain are extremely complex and most brain responses are equally complex, involving many parts of the brain working at the same time.

With that said, how do these images actually help us make insights into people's behavior? That is our main concern here.

Interpreting the science

Behavioral neuroscientists study the brain and interpret the data to apply it to human behavior in order to answer the question: 'why do people have the way they do?'

The answer of course potentially affects everyone on the planet. And therefore every organization.

But being able to accurately assess the data to make observations about the way the brain works and how that translates into behavior is clearly extremely complex. Much of the jargon is unintelligible to most of us and it is definitely not a place for amateurs: there have been claims of 'pseudo-neuroscience' making phony conclusions about behavior; and that great leaps of faith are needed in order to link relatively simply isolated studies to the complicated reality.

Translating the science into something that has mean to average human being is a skill in itself. Professionals able to understand the science and then apply it to organizations are few and far between, although in the past five years there have been more frameworks and approaches that purport to use neuroscience as their basis.

Applying neuroscience in organizations

Because of the focus of neuroscience on people and behavior, it is often wrongly assumed that neuroscience is relevant only to HR and leadership.

Much of the relevance of neuroscience lies in the range changes required to put the needs of an organization's people first; such cultural change needs careful management and so this will always involve leadership and HR.

But the findings from neuroscience are used in many other areas of organizations too. We have seen them have an impact at all levels and in all departments including:

  • Strategy
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Customer service

For instance neuroscience provides substantial insight on how we make our choices and arrive at decisions; this is pure gold for a marketing team wanting to understand its audience better, target advertisements and to build a brand.

At personal and team level neuroscience is also able to encourage positive positive change if the right changes are driven by leadership and followed through consistently. Cultures of threat and avoidance can be legally transformed into ones of reward and achievement.

7 Simple Steps for Getting Your Peer Learning Group Going

What learning terms can you quickly design and implement? How about a series of peer learning forums? Take a look at the 7 easy steps for getting your series going. I also include an example for framing out a peer learning leadership group. 1. Determine the purpose of your peer learning group. Example: The purpose…

What learning terms can you quickly design and implement? How about a series of peer learning forums? Take a look at the 7 easy steps for getting your series going. I also include an example for framing out a peer learning leadership group.

1. Determine the purpose of your peer learning group.

Example: The purpose of the group is to provide a series of educational forums where peers interact with each other on relevant leadership topics.

2. Identify your target audience.

Example: The target audience is first line supervisors.

Tip: However you scope out your leadership audience, determine up front if employees and their direct managers will be invited to the same forum. At a minimum your decision will be influenced by your organization's culture.

3. Understand the needs of your target audience.

Example: First line supervisors desire knowledge and access to tools and techniques for leading people. They also want to learn from real life, messy experiences. Learning needs include: how to better screen applicants when hiring, setting individual and team goals, building a team, handling conflict, etc.

Tip: Interview members of your target audience to understand their daily challenges which segue into learning needs.

4. Define the desired outcomes of the peer learning forums.

Example: By the end of each peer learning forum, participants will have expanded their knowledge so that they are better prepared to address daily leadership challenges.

Tip: Defining desired outcome (s) for each topic is a great habit to develop. Reinforce them by summarizing the lessons at the end of each session.

5. Craft a repeatable process.

Example: The group facilitator will communicate the topic and pre-assignment, if any, by the first of the month. The group will meet the third Tuesday of every month from 12:00 – 1:00 pm over eight months starting in January and ending in August. At the end of each forum participants will be asked for feedback on the session's effectiveness, desired future topics, and reminded of their responsibility to honor confidences.

Tip: Add a twist such as (a) Pre-assigned Readings – participants read an article or book that is the basis for discussion, case studies work really well; Egypt (b) Shared Leadership – responsibility for preparing and leading a forum is rotated among participants as an experiential learning opportunity.

6. Implement.

Tip: Select a skilled facilitator for your first session so that participants are energized by the interactive experience and importance is placed on the learning venue. It also serves as a model to emulate should participants rotate the responsibility for leading the group.

7. Adapt.

Tip: Mix and match formats based on participant Input such as: a reading assignment, a guest speaker (being sure to design in time for engagement of participants), agreement to apply a new approach on the job before the next session.