Team Management

Leaving As an Exemplary Leader

 

Jeffery Perry shares an article that explains how to leave a leadership position in the best possible way and shape.

Leavership? No, this is not a typo where the “v” is meant to be a “d.” Much has been written about business leadership—the art of guiding and motivating others to achieve a set of goals and objectives. Most business leaders are judged based on performance during their leadership roles. However, leavership is the art of personally transitioning leadership roles in ways that leave organizations better positioned and poised for future success. In essence, the art of knowing how to successfully pass the baton. 

From start-up founders to Fortune 500 CEOs, countless accounts exist of effective leaders who drive significant value for their businesses and stakeholders. Effective leaders often combine qualities that include the ability to inspire, empower, and innovate. These qualities frequently result in purpose-led organizations, clear strategies and visions, resiliency and agility, leading market positions, strong revenue growth, high profitability, satisfied customers, engaged employees, and positively impacted communities. At some point, however, all great leadership runs transition.

The best organizations invest in succession planning for key leadership roles to ensure continuity and ongoing success. Key elements of succession planning include analyses of future business needs, talent pipeline identification and development, and readiness. However, in a recent Korn Ferry global study on succession planning, 32% of respondents were either dissatisfied or extremely dissatisfied with succession outcomes.

 

Key points include:

  • Client relationships
  • Unfinished business
  • Ideas dialogue

 

Read the full article, Leavership – Knowing How to Pass the Baton, on leadmandates.com. 

 

How to Deal with Innovation Derailers

 

If you have experienced great ideas die in the making and want to avoid this in the future, read on. Robyn Bolton offers a few expert tips on how to combat the problem of the ‘derailers’ in your midst.

Innovating – doing something different that creates value – is hard.

Innovating within a large organization can feel impossible.

In my work with corporate innovators, we always start with great optimism that this time will be different, this time innovation will stick and become the engine that drives lasting growth.

Within weeks, sometimes days, however, we start to be “loved to death,” a practice that takes one of two forms:

The Protector who says, “That’s not how we do things and, if you insist on doing things that way, you’ll get shut down.  Instead, do things this way”

The Enthusiast who exclaims, “This is amazing!  I would love to be involved.  And you should share what you’re doing with this person, and definitely tap into this other person’s experience, and I know this third person will want to be involved, and you definitely must talk to….”

Neither mean harm.  In fact, they’re trying to help, but if intrapreneurs aren’t careful, The Protector will edit their work into something that is neither different nor value creating, and The Enthusiast will suffocate them with meetings.

4 More Innovation Derailers

Being “loved to death,” is just one of ways I’ve seen corporate innovation efforts get derailed.  Here are the others:

Performances for senior executives.  Yes, it’s important to meet regularly with senior leaders to keep them apprised of progress, learnings, results, and next steps. But there’s a fine line between updating executives because they’re investors and conference room performances to show off shiny objects and excite executives.  It takes time for innovation teams to prepare for meetings (one team I worked with spent over 100 hours preparing for a meeting) which is time they aren’t spending working, learning, and making progress.

 

Key points include:

  • Evolve what you measure when
  • Use transparency to build support and let experience drive progress
  • Base incentives on the core business and innovation objectives.

 

Read the full article, 5 Innovation Derailers (And What To Do Instead), on Milezero.io.

 

How to Read Behavioral Signals 

 

Nora Ghaoui shares an article that identifies how to read the signals that predict what people will do next. 

Have you ever been in a situation where something happened, say, a relationship ended, and you thought, “I should have seen it coming”? Would you have wanted to see it earlier so you could do something about it? You can. You can see things coming by paying attention to the clues in people’s behaviour that tell you what they will do next.

Signals in behaviour

I call these clues “weak signals”. They are the things that people say or do that may seem insignificant the first time that you experience them. But they’re not insignificant. They keep coming back, and they get stronger each time, until you reach a situation that requires a reaction.

I once worked with someone who missed an important project review meeting due to illness. Then he missed another due to an urgent medical procedure. Over time, he missed several more meetings. No one thought anything of it besides concern for his health.

But it turned out that he hadn’t been ill at all. He’d created excuses to avoid meetings that would show that he lacked the credentials that he claimed to have. Pretending to be ill was the weak signal for pretending to be qualified. Once he was found out, he was dismissed.

Why do weak signals exist? A person’s behaviour reflects their attitudes, personality, or capabilities – which change slowly, if at all. When we’re with other people we look at their behaviour to determine if they’re friendly, reliable, caring, and so on. We observe their body language, listen to what they say, or watch how they treat other people. We put together an image of who we think a person is, and we refine our image over time as we spend more time with them.

 

Key points in this article include:

  • Observing the signals
  • Using the signals
  • Creating change

 

Read the full article, Weak Signals. How to Predict what People Will Do Next, on Veridia.com.

 

A Supervisor’s Hierarchy of Needs

 

Discover thirteen ways to improve leadership on the shop floor in this older, but always relevant, post from John Sturdivant

Frontline operations leaders have a tough job, and I’ve seen huge ranges in styles and effectiveness. The best leaders are caring, but know when to be tough. They have their priorities straight, and say no to everything else. They have invested time and effort into building an infrastructure for team performance. And most importantly, they have mutual trust with their team. Below are some of the tactical ways these great leaders get outstanding results from their teams.

 1) They make their expectations clear and concrete

What do they do? the team behind a great leader always knows the precise metrics and standards that are important to the leader and the business, so they aren’t surprised when they exceed or fall behind those expectations. 

Why do they do this? Because people have to know what they are striving before, and they have to know the expectations put upon them for any accountability culture to take hold. Surprises are for birthdays, not setting the direction and ambition for your team.

 

Key points include:

  • Team engagement
  • Time management 
  • Performance and improvement

 

Read the full article, 13 Things Great Frontline Leaders Do, on LinkedIn.

 

How to Improve Customer Service

 

Bernie Heine shares four tips on how to make your customer service stronger. 

No matter what your business is all about, customers are always at the core of it and should be your top priority. If the majority of them are happy, you’re much more likely to build credibility and bring in more business. Some research has shown that almost 80% of the customers are very likely to recommend a company to a friend if they had a pleasant experience. So, you can understand how important it is to keep them satisfied. That’s exactly why we created this list of the best strategies to improve your customer service standards.

According to some professionals that we’ve talked to, many customers will value the experience much more than the actual prices and products. Therefore, it makes sense for them to spend more for better customer service. It’s as simple as that. Here’s what you can do to achieve that.

The first of our four strategies to improve your customer service standards is building a strong team to deal with your customers.

Having professionals with the right set of skills is crucial for pretty much any of the strategies to improve your customer service standards.

To be clear right from the start, no artificial intelligence (AI) can be a substitute for a human when it comes to providing exceptional customer service. However, you need to choose the people with the right skills and personalities for the job.

 

Key points covered in this article include:

  • Communication Skills
  • Using CRM Platforms
  • Multi-Channel Servicing

 

Read the full article, 4 Strategies to Improve Your Customer Service Standards, on ProfessionalBusinessCoaches.com.

 

Six Steps to Manage Change Effectively

October 13, 2020

 

David Burnie shares a post from his company blog that identifies six change management guidelines designed to help manage change effectively. 

While they say that nothing in life is certain except death and taxes, this proverb is missing another of life’s key inevitabilities: change. As highlighted by the current COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world, business and organizational change can be both planned and unplanned. Regardless of what instigates change, it must be properly managed for success.

Not everyone enjoys change. In fact, most people do not. There is a variety of psychological, social, environmental, and cultural reasons for why people don’t enjoy change, but that’s a moot point –organizations often need to change. Thus, they must be able to manage the fact that people resist change.

To this end, here are six best-practice guidelines that organizations can follow for effective change management.

Change only what’s needed

Change is important to organizations – it ensures they stay current, continue employing best practices, seize opportunities when they present themselves, and succeed in the competitive landscape. However, one of the most effective ways of managing the change process is by regulating the pace of change,  – changing only what’s required to succeed.

While this might seem counterintuitive and beyond the control of the individuals setting out to manage the change process, it rings true if you consider the underlying message behind this statement.

 

The remaining points covered include:

  • The single source of the truth
  • Public timelines
  • Change champions

 

Read the full post, 6 Ways to Manage Change More Effectively with Your Team, on the Burnie Group’s website. 

 

Help Your Service Team Exceed Results

September 30, 2020

 

Luiz Zorzella shares an article that identifies key insights for improving a service team’s performance and results.

If your firm is organized around service teams, you may find that understanding and managing their contribution is difficult.

It is not easy because it depends on several logic leaps that sound intuitive but are opaque.

For example, you may set goals and even reward them for keeping the clients in their portfolio happy. You may achieve this through a combination of client satisfaction surveys (e.g. “how happy are you with our services?”) and management assessments (“I think clients are happy with Sam”).

However, are you sure you measure the right things? And are you sure the weight of these factors is commensurate with their real importance to your business and your clients?

Intuitively, service teams should make their clients happy (and I am not saying otherwise). 

However, how does happiness compare with cross-sales?

To answer these questions, you should take a closer look at the contribution of your service teams.

There are three crucial ways service teams produce financial results to your company:

They provide services to their clients efficiently.  

Clients pay for services.  

The income produced by these clients for services by the end of a year minus their variable costs is the contribution of that service team to the company.

 They also reduce attrition and risk.

 

Points covered in this article include:

  • Setting goals and defining priorities 
  • Defining the starting point of the pool for incentives
  • Understanding and managing KPIs

 

Read the full article, How To Have Value Indicators For Your Service Team, on Amquant.com

 

How the Mindset Manages the Strategy

 

Caroline Taich can help you improve your strategic planning process by understanding what drives the differences in the team’s expectations. 

Much of my work involves strategic planning. Over the years I have observed that there are different kinds of strategic plans, and different views on what constitutes an excellent plan. This can lead to trouble when it comes with a mismatch of expectations within one team.

I wonder, why is there so much difference? There is probably a long list of reasons. You could argue that variability occurs because the strategy sector does not provide standards like other professions do. You could argue it’s a resource constraint issue – some have more resources to invest in planning, others have less; this affects the workplan, and thus the results.

In my view, though, one of most important drivers of difference is mindset.

Leaders with a strong appetite for change to have a “Growth mindset.” They find themselves aching for more. Some want to serve their base in a new or different way. Some want to solve for a disruption, like a new competitor or even a new CEO. All want to significantly increase their impact. These leaders value a strategic plan with components that include a deep understanding of their target market, current market trends, lessons from others in and outside of the field. They are looking to make a case for change, and new models to realize it.

 

Key points covered include:

  • The growth mindset
  • The operational mindset

 

Read the full article, How to avoid a critical mistake when setting up your strategic planning process, on the Kirtland Consulting website. 

 

How to Expand Your Workforce Talent with Contingent Workers

 

Diane Mulcahy recently published an article on ADP.com that explains how companies can grow their contingent workforce and why they should.

Shifts in corporate supply and demand as a result of the global health event, and the halt of business travel have led to an increase in contingent workers for many companies. Independent workers give businesses more flexibility to staff up and down as the market environment changes, and to access the precise skills, expertise, and experience where and when they need it.

The need for the resiliency and flexibility that contingent workers provide is only increasing. There is still much uncertainty around the pace and stability of re-opening in this new normal. Companies that plan to “level up” and grow their contingent workforce as the economy re-opens can benefit from taking the following steps:

Concentrate Contingent Workforce Management

I was working with the senior management team of a Fortune 1000 company to implement better management practices for their independent workers. One problem they had was the “rogue” hiring of contingent workers across the company. Individual managers were hiring independent contractors for projects and tasks that fell within the budget limits they could manage without additional oversight. As a result, the senior management team had no visibility – and no way to manage, track, or control – the number of independent workers, or how much the company was spending on them.

A better approach is to concentrate oversight and management of contingent workers within your talent group. Creating a “one stop shop” for managers to access preferred workers, standard contracts and onboarding materials, and process invoices and payments makes it more efficient for hiring managers to bring on and manage contingent workers. It also allows the company to exercise control over cost and quality as well as how and where they are being deployed.

 

Additional steps in this article include:

  • Managing your brand talent
  • Mitigating risks of contingent workers
  • The continuity and growth of institutional knowledge

 

Read the full article, Leveling Up Your Contingent Workforce, on the ADP website.