At the end of a meeting, most leaders know that they should recap next steps and determine who is accountable for each. As prescribed in the commonly used responsibility models — RACI, RAPID, and the others — accountability should fall to one (and only one) person per item, even if the work involved requires input and contributions from others. Unfortunately, over the years we’ve spent advising organizations, we’ve found that the word “accountable” can mean different things to different people.
If you're like me, you often come across as confident, but inside you're far from it.
Actually if you're like me you're situationally confident: sometimes, very much so; other times, not at all. So you spend a lot of time thinking about how to gain confidence, and in the short term how to at least appear confident, even when you're not.
While genuine confidence takes time to develop (because genuine confidence is based on incremental, steady success), according to Dharmesh Shah, co-founder of HubSpot, there are definitely ways you can seem confident -- which is the next best thing.
Colleges are amassing reams of student data, ripe for mining and analysis. Do students have a right to know how the information is being used, and should they be permitted to opt out of the collection process?
Bold leadership is essential for companies to achieve breakthrough performance, but according to the 2016 Deloitte Business Confidence Report, 90 percent of the 600 C-suite executives (CXOs) and C-suite executives-in-waiting (CXOWs) admit to not regularly demonstrating bold leadership.
Deloitte uses six characteristics to assess bold leadership: someone who sets ambitious goals; invites feedback from colleagues at all levels of seniority; innovates and looks for new ways of doing things; proposes ideas their company might consider controversial; takes risks; and builds strong teams and empowers them to succeed. Further, 52 percent of CXOWs and 60 percent of CXOs doubt that there are enough bold leaders at the highest ranks in their company.
Bold leadership is an imperative for companies across all industries both to successfully navigate digital transformation and to further innovation, says Josh Bersin, principal at Deloitte and founder of Bersin by Deloitte, a research and advisory services firm. Today's businesses need leadership that can combine innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial thinking with a more practical focus on business operations, profit and growth, but it's a major challenge, he says.
In today’s fast-moving digital world, creating relationships that enable and sustain collaboration to solve problems or create new value is a key to success. And as I’ve blogged before, CIOs need to create relationships between their IT teams and the business stakeholders to achieve more effective communication. Not an easy objective, considering how siloed most organizations are these days. I want to share with you some of the successful strategies deployed at Jacobs Engineering to build such relationships.
Many leaders do not make a distinction between organizational climate and organizational culture. Most organizational behavior scholars do. I see climate and culture related but with important differences. As a consultant and as a manager, I have found climate much easier to change. Culture is deeply embedded and very difficult to change.
I’m going through the rather abstract exercise of writing what i do, so decided to #WorkOutLoud and share it here. My work sits around the Social Age, the term i use to describe the broad swathes of change make up our everyday reality: it’s not just technology (although that is often the most visible manifestation of the change), but rather something much wider. It covers the convergence of formal and social spaces and systems: the juncture of formal leadership (that which is awarded by the organisation) and Social Leadership (that which is consensual of the community), formal learning (stories that the organisation tells) and Social Learning (surfacing the tacit, tribal unheard wisdom of the community), formal technologies (like an LMS or Performance Management System) and Social Collaborative Technologies (spaces of conversation, co-creation, storytelling and rehearsal).
Shy, retiring, socially inept -- these are some of the stereotypes that plague introverts.
If you are looking to promote someone in your office, don't let a reserved demeanor take someone out of the running. And if you are a card-carrying introvert who has a time limit for big parties or is drained by all-day conferences, you are still entirely capable of being a charismatic leader.
"Introverts need to do two things to become charismatic: make people feel liked and show them your power," says Carrie Keating, a professor of psychology at Colgate University. "Charisma is just that balance between inviting us in close and letting us feel your power by standing apart. Many introverts are halfway there."
As constant travelers and parents of a 2-year-old, we sometimes fantasize about how much work we can do when one of us gets on a plane, undistracted by phones, friends, and Finding Nemo. We race to get all our ground work done: packing, going through TSA, doing a last-minute work call, calling each other, then boarding the plane. Then, when we try to have that amazing work session in flight, we get nothing done. Even worse, after refreshing our email or reading the same studies over and over, we are too exhausted when we land to soldier on with the emails that have inevitably still piled up.
Why should flying deplete us? We’re just sitting there doing nothing. Why can’t we be tougher — more resilient and determined in our work – so we can accomplish all of the goals we set for ourselves? Based on our current research, we have come to realize that the problem is not our hectic schedule or the plane travel itself; the problem comes from a misunderstanding of what it means to be resilient, and the resulting impact of overworking.
Today’s customer service involves more than a conversation face-to-face or on the phone. Email, live chat and social media have become important channels for consumers to engage with brands and seek for customer support. No matter how customer service is given to consumers, soft skills are essential for a successful customer service interaction.
In fact, soft skills are even more significant than technical skills as at the end of the day what your customers will remember is how they felt about your service. It’s the soft skills that make the difference between an average customer service professional and the one who can make customers feel fantastic about the help they got from your company.
When Lee Iacocca became CEO of Chrysler, here’s what he found: “Chrysler didn’t really function like a company at all. Chrysler in 1978 was like Italy in the 1860’s — the company consisted of a cluster of little duchies, each one run by a prima donna. It was a bunch of mini empires, with nobody giving a damn about what anyone else was doing…. Everybody worked independently.”
Such extreme non-communication inside companies today is rare. However, equally rare is tapping into the minds of a group of imaginative, open-minded employees and managers to scope out potential strategic opportunities. That, in brief, is the concept of a leadership circle.
Many leaders turn to their direct reports for guidance. While a natural inclination, this group is (by design) representative of current operating units and functions, which often have a status quo to defend. Then, too, this group likely has deep expertise in today’s core skills and advantages, yet little or no knowledge of the novel opportunities outside their realm. Lastly, this group may be more attuned to individual interests (including performance metrics and compensation incentives) rather than the collective and longer-term needs of the firm. In short, today’s existing leadership structure, expertise and purpose are designed to address today’s challenges — not tomorrow’s.
Over the past decade or so, I've heard a new term for leaders come into common usage: servant leader. The idea of servant leadership is that the typical hierarchy where employees are supposed to serve their bosses is turned upside down. Instead, leaders serve their people.
In his book, The Culture Engine, organizational consultant S. Chris Edmonds says that servant leadership is the foundation for leading others effectively. According to Edmonds, "I define servant leadership as a person's dedication to helping others be their best selves at home, work, and in their community. Anyone can serve--and lead--from any position or role in a family, workplace, or community."
All servant leaders share two fundamental beliefs about the people they lead, and engage in five practices that put these beliefs into action.
Many small private colleges and universities knowingly or unknowingly are what could be called high-risk institutions. They lack huge endowments, a large reservoir of student demand, significant differentiation in the market, and high brand value. Many of these institutions are either implementing or contemplating a significant innovation and change strategy to address challenges related to a declining value proposition, a lack of differentiation, budgetary problems, and/or the development of new programs and markets that provide enrollment and revenue lifting power. These are the colleges and universities that most need to utilize a data-driven and evidence-based approach to culture, process and change. It is possible to turn the threats they face into windows of opportunity they initiate and control.
Navigating workplace dynamics can be tough. You have to make the right decisions and avoid the wrong ones, motivate yourself (and others) to achieve common goals, and make all of this work without ruffling anyone feathers. Tough stuff.
But as I talk about in Invisible Influence, there’s a simple, subtle tool that can help us do all this better: social influence. We think our actions are driven by our own thoughts and preferences, but we’re wrong.
Peers have a huge impact on everything we do, from the day-to-day decisions we make to the careers we follow.
Everyone struggles to find balance in their life. There’s diet, relationships, recreation, spirituality and, of course, work.
As a mentor, I touch on this topic often – and as a mom and an executive, I live it daily.
There isn’t a magic formula, because balance looks different for everyone. It’s not something that can be achieved all the time; you must continuously work at it. According to a recent survey by Ernst & Young, one-third of employees report that managing their personal and professional lives has become more difficult over the past five years. It is important to set goals that will help you achieve a good mix of work and play. The ever-elusive work-life balance is a process that takes planning, pause and reflection.
Whether it's a cool new startup or a well-established tech giant, culture is a huge part of success in the tech industry,. But there are common problems with company culture that span the entire industry -- and it's hurting productivity.
In writing my book about habits, Better Than Before, I discovered a personality framework that divides all of humanity into four categories. It may sound preposterous, but I have to say, of everything in the book, I think this section is my greatest intellectual accomplishment. It was very, very challenging to develop this framework, but I really do think it sheds a helpful light on human nature.
This month I had a couple hard conversations. They were not fun, and not something I looked forward to with great joy. Instead, as the hours ticked down to their kick-off time I was mostly shaking in my flip-flops and desperately trying to distract myself with any and all online nonsense to stop thinking about their impending doom.
Within the Dynamic Change Framework we explore three manifestations of change within an organisation: the Resistant organisation, which denies any permission to change, the Constrained organisation, which wants to change but is fundamentally unable to relinquish the control to do so, and the Dynamic organisation, which is fully adapted to thrive in the Social Age. I started using a language around the Dynamic organisation to indicate the conditions behind its success: I’ve started calling it the Socially Dynamic organisation.
A corporate culture is born from multiple influences, including the founders, the leaders, the geographic location, the office space and the history of mergers and acquisitions of a company. It is often more like a web of (sometimes contradictory) subcultures than something that truly represents the organisation’s identity.
Muddled cultures make the strategy-to-execution gap almost impossible to bridge.
In contrast, the companies we studied in Strategy That Works* all have coherent cultures that reflect their identity and their distinctive strengths. Consider Starbucks. The ‘Apple of coffee’ position themselves not just as sellers of coffee but as experience providers, creating a ‘third place’ for conviviality beyond home and work. Walk into a Starbucks anywhere in the world and you will find the same consistently comfortable and welcoming ambiance.
You don’t need to be told that leadership takes presence. But in my experience, leaders today have arguably fewer opportunities to show it.
Particularly if you head up a digital business or lead teams spread out across multiple locations, you’re faced with generating “remote” influence at the same time that the people right there in your own office need to be kept motivated, too.
While I’ve always been pretty outgoing, it took me some time to create the kind of leadership presence that could inspire the people who work at my company—and it’s always a work in progress, especially as the daily features of modern business crowd in. I used to get frustrated, for instance, when employees texted me about something I thought they could easily figure out. I felt I deserved an office.
But over time, I’ve learned that some of those habits were just my pride or personality getting in the way of my real priorities as a leader. I discovered that if I learned what my team truly needed from me, I could impact them greater by giving back. These are the four habits that I’ve found helpful for building my leadership presence in a way that’s meaningful, effective, and consistent.
Worker attrition is one of the costliest problems afflicting most service businesses and customer-facing business units. Among rank-and-file workers in retail stores and call centers, more than half of companies face voluntary attrition rates in excess of 67% per year, and these rates are increasing! Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show that younger workers, from ages 20 to 34, stay with their employers for significantly shorter periods than even a few years ago.
High employee turnover rates put enormous pressure on businesses. For one thing, it costs about 15% to 20% of a rank-and-file worker’s annual pay to hire a replacement. And this is in addition to on-boarding and training newly hired workers, just to bring them up to speed. But not only is high employee attrition economically costly, it also hinders morale and undermines employee engagement, and this ultimately damages the quality of the customer experience, as well.
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