Archive for December, 2010

How to Hire Now, Leadership Principles, Digital Age Beliefs

December 2, 2010
People-Whispering Tip:

Human beings have always been fascinated with what the future might bring. This curiosity has led to wonderful achievements in all facets of life including science, art, literature, and of course, one of my personal favorites, motion pictures. Who can argue with the exploratory and visionary spirit of the “Star Wars” series for example? Or how about the classic “Back to the Future” with likable Michael J. Fox?

As we near the end of the year, we tend to look back on what the year has brought us. This can be a wise, reflective practice if we are grateful for the gifts the year has brought as well as grateful for what we have learned for the future. Depending upon your tendency to look back or to look forward, you might be more inclined to think about what 2011 might bring than on what you have learned from 2010. 

Regardless, it makes sense to assess previous learnings and leverage that knowledge to create an even better and brighter future with intention. While being intentional about creating, it can also be useful to look at trends and predictions for guidance and ideas in addition to learning from the past.  With all of this in mind, I scoured my library shelves for some “fresh” material to honor the end of 2010. 

Since my primary area of expertise is in helping individuals, teams and organizations to create leading-edge, healthy thriving workplaces where people want to go to work and are empowered to bring their best selves to the table, I thought it appropriate to look at workplace trends. 

Now that we have survived what many are calling “The Great Recession,” what does the future hold for the world of commerce?  How can we begin to thrive again but on a solid footing this time and not by building our houses on proverbial sand if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphors?

With this goal in mind as you plot your next career move, shape your company’s corporate culture, think about reinventing the way you work, and/or relate to your peers, direct reports, colleagues, and customers more effectively, consider the following guidelines:

  1. The best and brightest people will gravitate toward those corporations/organizations that foster personal growth.
  2. The manager’s new role is that of coach, teacher, and mentor.
  3. The best people want ownership – psychic and literal – in a company; the best companies are providing it.
  4. Companies will increasingly turn to third-party contractors, shifting from hired labor to contract labor.
  5. Authoritarian management is yielding to a networking people style of management.
  6. Entrepreneurship within the corporation-intrapreneurship is creating new products and new markets and revitalizing companies from the inside-out.
  7. Quality will be paramount.
  8. Intuition and creativity are challenging the “it’s all in the numbers” business-school philosophy.
  9. Large corporations are emulating the positive and productive qualities of small business.
  10. The dawn of the information economy has fostered a massive shift from infrastructure to quality of life.   

This sounds like fairly current advice with the exception of the references to the “Information Age” which are now often replaced with “The Digital Age.” Actually, these hot new trends are taken from the 1985 book “Re-inventing the Corporation” by John Naisbitt and Patricia Aburdene. I was surprised that we are still talking about these trends as if they are new ideas while they have been in process at successful organizations for quite some time.  Ahh our short-term memories as human beings!

As things change, they remain the same as the saying goes.  And we still have ample opportunity to revisit and implement these leading edge recommendations as we move solidly into the 21st century.

As an Executive Coach and Leadership Trainer/Consultant, I am struck by the prescient nature of the authors’ comments about the “new” role of the manager. Likewise, the identification of trends as identified by Daniel Pink such as a nation of freelance contractors and an emphasis on intuition and creativity in “Free Agent Nation” and “A Whole New Mind” are also very relevant in today’s global, virtual, increasingly interdependent economy.

The good news in my mind is the fact that current technologies make it impossible for us to go back and operate profitably in silo-ed, traditional, “command and control,” hierarchical organizations. Transparency is required and hoarding information to gain power is harder and harder to pull off. 

At the same time, the internet and other technologies are seemingly commoditizing many products and services which can benefit the consumer in terms of affordability. Just look at the price of most electronic devices now from even a few years ago.  And yet, just as Naisbitt identified so many years ago, we all still seek, high-touch as well as high-tech and price is never going to be the only factor in why people buy what they do. In other words, in this “Digital Age,” it pays to care.

To differentiate itself, a successful organization must use the internet more to engage with its customers (both internal and external – ie employees are internal customers!). Successful companies see their employees and customers (and even competitors in some cases) as partners so as to develop solid, long-term, mutually profitable relationships. 

In short, we need to reexamine some of the philosophical foundations of our lives and of business and not be afraid to find that many of the old ways are crumbling.  We are ready to build new ways of working and living in accordance with a new set of more enlightened business principles which are centered on collaboration, transparency, and loving, caring relationships in the workplace.

What it all boils down to is that caring is the fundamental principle for success in the new world of business.  The “Digital Age” is and will always be about people communicating, interacting, and creating value with and for other people. 

Once we all embrace that, we will be living and thriving in a brave, new world.

Come join me on your personal and professional journey to embrace these principles. You and your organization can thrive instead of just survive in this new paradigm of the 21st century workplace. 

For more on how to change your corporate culture to one where employees are self-reliant, emotionally educated, self-confident, and empowered to create solid, bottom-line results, please call us at 404-327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com.

I know the reason I have been successful in business for the last 16 years despite economic cycles is because I truly do care about my clients, customers, and business partners.  Let us succeed and exceed our wildest dreams in 2011 together!

My sincerest wishes for a joyous holiday season however you celebrate them.

 

Make it your best holiday season ever…!

DiSC® Assessment Application (s):

1) The Role Behavior Analysis:

Speaking of trends, one of the happy ones I am noticing lately is the fact that many of my clients are hiring new people and are concerned about attracting and retaining the best people for their roles and for the organization.

In recruiting and hiring the best, companies need to train their interviewers or interviewing team(s) on targeted, behavioral interviewing techniques.  This involves asking questions in a structured interview that elicits detailed descriptions of an applicant’s past behaviors which are related to behaviors required for success on the job.

A successful interviewer will not only ask questions about the interviewee’s education, credentials, and experience, but will also ask questions to see how the applicant might fit within the organization’s AND the team’s culture.

Another key success factor to hiring well and for onboarding someone successfully at all levels of the organization is matching the prospective employee with the behavioral expectations of the job.  

Any job has multiple roles which require not only different skill sets but differing approaches to how the job or task is accomplished.  The DiSC System is used to very effectively bridge the “how” and the “what” of a job. In other words, most job descriptions tend to focus on the “what” of a job by defining the tasks, duties, or responsibilities. It is often unclear “how” different people (multiple bosses or stakeholders are common for most positions today) expect that job to be carried out which makes all the difference in terms of whether the individual is successful or not.

The Role Behavior Analysis provides a specific set of DiSC related statements which clarify and define role expectations eliminating confusion greatly increasing the chances of a good fit.  A team of interviewers profiles the roles of a particular position and creates a Consensus Role Behavior Analysis which is then compared to a DiSC Profile the applicant fills out. This is used as the basis for a dialogue in the interview and is also very useful for performance coaching once the person has been hired.     

For more information on our workshop “Finding and Hiring the Best” and/or how to use the Role Behavioral Analysis, please call us at 404-327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com.

2) Half-Day “The Coaching Conversation” Workshop 

 

The Coaching Clinic

Our 2 day leadership development workshop also has a half-day introductory version called “The Coaching Conversation.””The Coaching Conversation” is a great introduction to the Coaching Clinic in that participants learn and practice our proprietary 5 step coaching model.

We will be offering public seminars in 2011 (watch for dates to be announced soon) and would be happy to bring “The Coaching Clinic” and/or “The Coaching Conversation” into your organization to assist you in transforming your culture from wherever it is now to one with engaged, passionate, committed, productive and fulfilled employees.

Thanks to all of you who attended our complimentary webinar entitled “Creating a Culture of Engagement with the Coach Approach.”  We will be offering this webinar again in a new and improved format as well as webinars on additional topics of interest. 

 The half-day is a great way to get the members of your organization excited about the value of coaching as a part of your executive and managerial leadership development efforts. 

Participants experience “coaching” and “being coached” first-hand around their practical business problems.  As they come up with solutions in real-time, the “aha” moments lead to some powerful shifts and behavioral changes that can make a real difference to any organization.

This workshop is also relevant for onboarding and culture change initiatives.

Call us at 404-327-6330 and/or email me to have a conversation about how this program can help your organization start on the path towards more effective talent development. 

3)  Recession-Proof Your Career CD Program with Workbook and Personalized DiSC Assessment

Are your employees searching for sustainable job/career security in today’s “turbulent” times?

My colleague Sal Silvester and I created a very affordable 4-CD set program to TEACH YOURSELF AND YOUR EMPLOYEES THE ONLY SUSTAINABLE WAY TO TRULY RECESSION-PROOF YOUR CAREER FOR THE 21ST CENTURY!

This program is packed with the essential tools and mindset shifts necessary for ongoing career management success.  This is information you can’t afford to be without.  Learn how to make the words “laid-off” and “unemployed” irrelevant to you now and forever. 

As a Business Leader responsible for Employee Development (and all leaders ultimately are!) or as an HR or Training Professional (in your organization, do you find your employees have unrealistic expectations about career growth and development? Do you hear the following complaints from your people?: 

  • My company doesn’t recognize my true gifts and talents and keeps putting me in the wrong roles for me!  (see above re the RBA)
  • I don’t see an opportunity for growth and development in my field at this organization.
  • I want to progress in my company, but I don’t know if I want to be a manager.  I don’t want to be a manager like my manager!
  • There are no good role models of leaders that I want to emulate here.

How about in your own career and creative self-expression?  Do any of the following questions ring true for you?

Are you tired of being down-sized, right-sized, reorganized into positions and/or companies you can’t seem to get passionate about?

  1. Have you reached a point in your career where you know you have more to offer than your employer recognizes and rewards you for?
  2. Are you wanting to be sure you are actualizing your full potential to grow and change and make a contribution to your direct reports, your peers, your team and your organization?

 This product is for ANYONE who:

  1. Has been laid-off or outsourced more than once due to mergers and acquisitions or “the economy.”
  2. Is in a “dead-end” job that doesn’t utilize their skills and talents fully.
  3. Is in an organizational culture that doesn’t match their style and/or values.
  4. Is uncertain about how best to market themselves and find the work that is best for them.
  5. Wants to guarantee their career growth and success for the long-term even in today’s turbulent times.  

IS THIS YOU, YOUR EMPLOYEES, AND/OR ANY OF YOUR FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES? 

For a complete content description of what the 4-CD set includes, call us at 404-327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com

Your 4-CD set includes a personalized DiSC Classic 2.0 Profile as well as the invaluable content/information on the CD’s with a workbook containing PowerPoint slides for less than $100.00 plus shipping and handling for a limited time.  This is a great deal so grab on now!

 

Transformational Coaching Tip:One of the fundamental principles of effective coaching is that while great coaching ultimately results in behavioral change, the real transformation begins at the level of an individual’s belief system, mental models, and attitudes. So in keeping with this principle, this month’s “tip” is not a list of “TO DO’s” per se.

Instead, the following are fundamental beliefs or premises about the new caring economy taken from the book “The Caring Economy” written by Gerry McGovern.

While I thought it was a new book given the transformational, leading-edge nature of the material, it was actually written in 1999!  Everything old is indeed new again in some form or fashion as truth is universal and timeless!

The “Digital Age” demands new thinking and a new philosophy as follows:

  1. The “Digital Age” requires a new set of business principles, governing everything from research and development to customer interaction.
  2. The “Digital Age” is about technology finally becoming transparent and people becoming paramount.
  3. In the “Digital Age,” people have never been more educated, self-confident, and empowered.
  4. People care. People care about themselves.  They care about their family, their friends, their community, their country, their environment.
  5. Business needs to care about people if it wants long-term success.
  6. The internet is a revolution primarily in communication, not technology.

Great food for thought indeed.

As we close out 2010 and begin 2011, enjoy this magical season and may the miracles of your heart come true!

Feel free to call us at (404) 327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com for ways to operationalize any of these best practices into your workplace for powerful, effective results.

All my best!  Laura

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