Friday, 30 July 2010

The power of two

Yesterday I participated in a great webinar presented by Melissa Giovagnoli, Founder & President of Networlding. 

Melissa made some great points about how the most successful networks, communities, and companies are based on shared values and the valuing of diversity.

Melissa discussed how to create learning circles where we can share best practices and then no more than two people make something happen and then return to the wider group to share learning.

This idea got me reflecting on how often I have seen great ideas fail to get implemented because there are to many people involved in the execution.

I personally am going to focus more on partnering with just one person and I am going to encourage my clients to do the same.  How about you?

Ian
Founder Differencemakers Community
Catalyst for changing what’s normal for the good of people, our planet, and for profit
Storyteller
Strategist
Sign-up here for a least one free resource per month and to get your complimentary copy of my ebook Differencemakers - how doing good is great for business.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Changing what’s normal requires leadership, courage, and a process

Politician and former leader of the main non government party in Australia Malcolm Turnbull said the following on the ABC television program Q&A last Monday night - Our two scarcest resources are leadership and courage.


I was contemplating this post at the time and also a recent Steve Farber tweet that alerted me to this excellent article on change management by Martin Rhodes.

The above extended my thinking.

What action do you know you should take that you haven’t as yet?


Asking myself this question brought forth several answers and I then asked: What is stopping me from doing what I know I must?

Self-leadership and courage were my answers?

What is stopping you from doing what you know you must?


I have turned what I am not doing into positive present tense statements which means I am now clear on my intentions. In the next few days I will be turning these intentions into feelings, thoughts, and actions.

I call this process of intentions, feelings, thoughts, actions - compete with yourself and I know from past experience following this process will lead to a changing of what’s normal for me and therefore the outcomes I desire will happen as a consequence.

And the tools provided by Martin Rhodes in the change management article referred to above I intend to use to help me co-operate with others.

Compete with yourself - co-operate with others is a proven formula for me.
What’s your formula for change?

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Founder Differencemakers Community
Catalyst for changing what’s normal for the good of people, our planet, and for profit
Sign-up here for a least one free resource per month and to get your complimentary copy of my ebook Differencemakers - how doing good is great for business.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

How different and better is your business?

I have just returned home from 3 weeks working in the United Kingdom where I spent a lot of time discussing differentiation with my clients and the necessity of being able to differentiate ourselves and our businesses as a key to success in the 21st century.

Then today I received a text from my local dry cleaner Karl Chehade to say my clothes are ready to be picked up and a message on how they are reducing their carbon emissions. Have you ever received such a message from your dry cleaner or any of the businesses you deal with? Do you differentiate yourself life this?

The business case for authentic sustainability/CSR/CR/doing good can no longer be argued against so doing the right thing by people and our planet is no longer a differentiator, unless of course you are not doing the right thing, then you are differentiating yourself for all the wrong reasons and social media will soon find you out! How you do good however can be a differentiator.

What do you do that businesses like yours don’t?

How do you stand out from the crowd?

What little things do you do that make the big difference?


I would be very interested to know how you are different and would be very happy to write about your success.

Many years ago the saying was “it’s better to be different than it is to be better.”  I never believed this.  Today we must be better and different.

How much better and different are you?

Ian
Founder Differencemakers Community
Catalyst for changing what’s normal for the good of people, our planet, and for profit
Storyteller
Strategist
Sign-up here for a least one free resource per month and to get your complimentary copy of my ebook Differencemakers - how doing good is great for business.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Confuse people with their performance at your peril

Some politicians trot out this line We don't negotiate with terrorists.

Consider this; people are not terrorists.
Sure (sadly) some people commit terrorist acts.
And even good people do bad things occasionally!

Confuse people with their performance however at your peril. By calling people terrorists, politicians are setting up confrontation, and it's all down hill from there.

Do you confuse people, the one-of-kind human being that each of us is, with what they do or don't do?

Recently I was helping a client deal with some poor performance issues, particularly with one individual. My client in referring to this person said He is such a dickhead most of the time.

I am willing to bet that all of us have labeled someone like this.  I have.

I ran the following past my client:

Despite all the ghastliness that is around, human beings are made for goodness.
Desmond Tutu

I asked my client: Does Alan (not his real name) have all the skills to fulfill his role?
My client answered Yes I think so.

I then asked: Is he willing to apply all his skills?
Nope. was my clients answer.

Turns out, as is often the case with poor performance, "Alan" is not clear on what is expected of him. His personal and business goals and how he intends to achieve them weren't even written down when I first spoke with him, therefore making it impossible to properly and professionally lead and manage for "Allan", let alone him leading and managing for himself.

Does every employee at your place have their personal and business goals and how they will achieve them written down? On one page is plenty.

And is there alignment between each individuals goals and how they will be achieved and the strategy and execution plan of our organisation?

Individual performance plans should be a cascade down of your organisations overall strategy and execution plan to the people charged with execution.

If you would really love to get good at engaging people and never again confuse people with their performance then get my ebook 45 tools, tips, and techniques for recruiting, engaging and retaining great people. It is available here for just $5 AUD.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian

Founder Differencemakers Community
Storyteller
Strategist
Sign-up here for a least one free resource per month and to get your complimentary copy of my ebook Differencemakers - how doing good is great for business.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Are sustainability issues embedded in the core of your business?

In my last post I referred to a study recently released by Accenture called A New Era of Sustainability that involved nearly 800 CEOs from around the globe.  You can read the findings of the study here

The following diagram from the study highlights the fact that many CEO's believe that sustainability issues should be embedded in core business.
Are sustainability issues embedded in the core of your business?

Only when a majority can answer yes to this question will we actually build a sustainable world.


Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Founder Differencemakers Community
Storyteller
Strategist
Sign-up here for a least one free resource per month and to get your complimentary copy of my ebook Differencemakers - how doing good is great for business.

Friday, 9 July 2010

A new era of sustainability (maybe)

Accenture recently released a study called A New Era of Sustainability that involved nearly 800 CEOs from around the globe.  You can read the findings of the study here 

I found many aspects of the study of value however one section on page 23 jumped out at me.  This page is headed Building trust is a significant challenge for corporations. One statement particularly stands out for me 

It is not yet clear, however, to what extent business leaders see their own role in rebuilding a more trusted position for business in society—or whether they feel that individual action can address a global environment that sees some stakeholders ask serious questions about the purpose of business. 
For me building and sustaining trust is key to real leadership and it is quite simple - we do what we say we will and if for unforeseen circumstances we are unable to fulfil our promises we immediatley explain to those imvolved by telling them the truth.  Building and sustaining trust is no more complicated that this.  And if you can’t or won’t do this - you have forfeited your leadership.
As to the purpose of business I am very clear about this too.  The purpose of business is to provide the value to all stakeholders that they demand, desire, and feel they deserve without doing harm to people or our planet.
As for profit, well I have stated my view many times - profit is not a reason for being in business, rather a result of being good at business.
Why CEOs of some of the world’s leading companies are confused about any of the above I find unbelievable.
I would be very interested in your thoughts about building and sustaining trust and whether or not you feel it is as asimple as I do.
Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Founder Differencemakers Community
Sign-up here for a least one free resource per month and to get your complimentary copy of my ebook Differencemakers - how doing good is great for business.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Leaders Cafe Now Live. Are you ready to change what’s normal about leadership?

In February 2009 Kwai Yu began to act on a dream of reducing the learning inequalities for 20 million people by 2020.  Kwai’s first step was to create a Linkedin group.

By chance I was the first person to join Leaders Cafe and I am now proud to be a member of the Board of Trustees, webinar presenter, and resource contributor.

Coincidently I founded Differencemakers Community a few months before Leaders Cafe began and Kwai and I met in person in February 2009 even though we live on opposite sides of the world. We now have an enduring friendship and are collaborating with hundreds of people in many countries to turn what is now a shared dream into reality.  The LinkedIn group continues and our inner circle meet on differencemakers site, however our home is our website and selected cafes around the world. 

Our Promise at Leaders Cafe:

1. You get remarkable interactive leadership webinar learning at a price sustainable to you and us.
2. Invest as little as one hour a week in our interactive webinars, and you will think and lead like a pioneer.
3. As a social enterprise with no owners, profits are reinvested in YOU; to continue to give you more for less.
4. Your membership contributes directly towards learning chances for all.
5. Your membership helps positively to reduce learning inequalities for 20 million people by 2020.

Who are we trying to please at Leaders Cafe?

People who want pioneering leadership and understand this starts with self leadership.
People who want to trailblaze and to co-build their organisation and teams.
People who want to make something happen.
People who want to lead and
  • Bring peace to the individual
  • Increase harmony in society
  • Encourage compassion
  • Give hope to the needy
If the above describes you please join us at Leaders Cafe. 
You can join for free as an Associate Learner.
Premium membership is just £100 per year.
Apply the code HARMONY2020 when you check out from joining and you will pay just £80.

I look forward to seeing you online, in one of our webinars, or in a cafe near you very soon.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Founder Differencemakers Community
Storyteller
Strategist
Sign-up here for a least one free resource per month and to get your complimentary copy of my ebook Differencemakers - how doing good is great for business.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Are you paying people to update their Facebook profile?

My strategy for growing my business is to understand the challenges people in my niche markets face and the causes of these challenges, and then post my solutions in a multitude of social media channels such as blogs like this one, my monthly ezine, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Slideshare, just to name a few.  I then have conversations with people who download my solutions and I convert a percentage of these people into my clients.  Some of these people become part of my community and refer me onto other people.

What is your strategy for using social media to grow your business?

Most people when I ask them this question can't answer it because they don't have a strategy!

Many business leaders ban the use of social media during working hours.  I regard this head in the sand approach as stupid and know it is ultimately very costly to business growth.

Some leaders I know allow employees to use the internet for non-core business purposes before 8 am, between 12 and 2 pm and after 4 pm.  This is sensible however if such a policy is not part of an overall strategy then less than desired results are likely.

Are you paying people to update their profiles and engage in social media activities?  The answer is yes whether you like it or not, or have given your employees permission or not.

Having a strategy for using social media in your business means you can get a return on your investment in your employees use of social media and if you involve your employees in the design of strategy they are more likely to execute it and not abuse the privileges you give to them.

What is your strategy for using social media to grow your business?

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Founder Differencemakers Community
Storyteller
Strategist
Sign-up here for a least one free resource per month and to get your complimentary copy of my ebook Differencemakers - how doing good is great for business.