Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The BIG three to sustaining remarkable workplaces in the long term

The BIG three are pictured. Embrace them in your own way and you'll not only save a vast amount of time, energy, and money, you'll increase the number of your employees bringing their best to their work every day. You can download the three as a PDF here.


I hear business leaders complain all the time about Government bureaucracy and red tape. I get it. I also agree with an article by Christopher Niesche in the April 2015 edition of the Australian Institute of Management magazine where he says "while businesses like to point the finger at government red tape, their own red tape is actually much more costly." There is no greater example of this than performance management systems.

Deloitte recently determined that they were spending more than 2 million hours on such a system. Read more here. In my view there is no greater waste of time, energy, and money than that being spent on such systems. And they don't make a shred of difference to people's performance, in fact more often than not they negatively affect people's performance. This is because they're based on a mechanistic view of the world where people are seen as cogs in a giant machine.

In the almost quarter of a century that I have been working with organisations to remove bureaucracy it only takes 30 - 270 days (it depends on how many employees you have) to get rid of the BS associated with performance management systems and replace them with the big three where human beings are appreciated not appraised. When people feel appreciated they become more accountable. Optimum performance follows.

If want to eliminate your performance management system and immediately increase the number of your people bringing their very best to their work every day, and save yourself a bundle of time, energy, and money, then please contact me without delay on +61 (0) 418 807 898.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Monday, 27 April 2015

Shared-view in these 7 is how to create a remarkable workplace

The foundation for success in building and growing a remarkable workplace is gaining and sustaining shared-view as pictured below.


You can download the above as a PDF here.

You can also download my Blue paper about shared-view here.

To explore how I can help you to gain and sustain shared-view in your workplace please contact me on +61 (0) 418 807 898.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Sunday, 26 April 2015

These 14 are the key signposts on your road to a remarkable workplace

This Sunday's sparkenation.

I developed the diagnostic pictured as a simple way to help my clients to get on or stay on their remarkable road to prosperity and success in ways that are good for people, our planet, and for profit.


You can download the diagnostic here.

To work through the diagnostic with me please contact me on +61 (0) 418 807 898. This is a complimentary service and you'll be under no obligation to proceed further.

Be remarkable.
Ian

More sparkenations here.

Friday, 24 April 2015

A nifty 9 and a magnificent 7

Two of my favourite people are Malcolm Gladwell and Rosabeth Moss Kanter.

Here's a great summary of 9 of Gladwell's great insights.

and here is 7 of Kanter's best.

What will you do with these insights? I'd love to know. Please email me at ian@ianberry.biz

Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Removing these barriers is in no small part evidence of the success of your leadership

There's some useful insights in the DDI/The Conference Board Global Leadership Forecast which you can download here.

The most useful insights for me are those in the diagram below


Removing these barriers is in no small part evidence of the success of your leadership.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Monday, 20 April 2015

What 3 words are driving you?

As may you know I have a dim view when company values are named on walls (or in documents etc) when they're not lived in the halls. If you have not seen my short video on this you can watch it here.

Words lived though are very powerful.

I am a proud partner of B1G1. Recently an email from Chairman Paul Dunn, who is a member of my Maverick Thinkers Studio, opened with these words:

This is the picture that dominates our office wall.


Paul then said:
They’re the values at the core of B1G1. They’re what drives us.

I got goose bumps because I know all the folk at B1G1 live their words.

This also got me thinking about my own three words and an experiment I have been undertaking this year based on an idea from Chris Brogan who has been coming up with 3 words each year to frame his intentions and goals with great success since 2006. Read more from Chris about this here.

My three words for this year are:


The word simplification was a no brainer for me because it is what I am helping my clients to do every day. I know that simplifying leadership/management enables profound human connection and performance.

Here's some of my latest thoughts on simplification.




and a podcast I recorded with The Ideas Architect Geoff McDonald

We discuss:
Why Simplification is the Next Big Thing
Why management is dead and it should never have been alive
The importance of storytelling for Leadership and Performance
Why Management is the arch-enemy of Innovation
The greatest problem in the world today and how it shapes corporate culture
Why the typical approach to having people be Accountable is flawed
What the Positive Psychology Movement means for organisations
Why organisations need more gardeners and fewer mechanics
Why your role is more important than your job
The crucial power of relationships for delivering value
Why Engagement levels have not improved over the past 25 years
The key insight from Neuroscience
Why Society drives the Economy and not the other way around
The illusion of control and management
Why we need to change the conversation to create change
A simple practice you can use today to improve your results
The necessity of a vision and a shared view of reality
The paradox of being simple when dealing with complex human beings

I began this year with just the word Simplification on my wall. I couldn't settle on the other two until this happened:

Towards the end of a 3 hour public workshop recently a person I've not worked with before made this comment:

"Can you come and embed yourself in my business for a year and help me to implement the 101 ideas I've had today?"

"Wouldn't that be fantastic" I said without thinking.

I then got thinking. I decided to shift my intentions and goals and embed myself more with clients over longer periods of time. My intention to leave a greater legacy.

I then got thinking about if I am going to work with less clients more often what happens to others who could benefit from my work. The result is the development of a Leadership Momentum online learning program which simplifies yet makes my offerings in Maverick Thinkers Studio more profound. 

There's now 3 ways to take up my online offerings and 2 of these including mentoring. Please check out my offerings here.

To discuss these offerings with me please feel very welcome to call me on +61 418 807 898. You'll be under no obligation.

What 3 words drive you?

How are you living them every day?

Be remarkable.
Ian

PS I have mixed feelings about the approaching 100 year ANZAC anniversary. On the one hand I despair at the futility of war. On the other I am grateful for the sacrifice made my millions of people who gave their lives for a cause greater than themselves.

On the 25th I won't be celebrating the anniversary. I will be celebrating the legacy of my Grandfather who fought in both world wars and was one of the lucky ones to survive. He would never talk about his service saying only that the memories of the suffering of his mates was too terrible to speak of and that we should be grateful. I am.

PSS Your invitation to join me in an important conversation

It’s very appropriately called a ‘Conversation that Matters’.

It’s a conversation that might just change the way you think about your working life. Things like:

1.     What gets you out of bed in the morning?

2.     Why do you do what you do?

3.     What really matters to you in your work life?

These are questions that I’ve pondered over the years.  

It took me a while to work out my answers, and I’m going to be sharing these online in a discussion with my good friend and Business Mentor Paul Dunn who I referred to at the beginning of this email.

You might just be surprised where the conversation goes.

It would be great if you could join us. 'A Conversation that Matters' is LIVE on the web on 30/4/2015 12:15 PM AEST. 

It's going to be 35 minutes of great business ideas -- ideas that really do make an impact. Actually, the more I think about it, they’re really ideas that transform the way we think about business.

If this sounds like something you might connect with, I'd be really thrilled if you could join us. 

And since it's a web-based event, you can do that right at your desk for maximum convenience for you. Actually, you can do it on your smart phone or tablet too.


Just go here to register for this complimentary event.  

Sunday, 19 April 2015

The number one reason your work is meaningful

This Sunday's sparkenation.

This is an insightful article by Adam Grant.

How will your work become more meaningful?

What will you do to help others to do more meaningful work?

Doing meaningful work is a key to the new world of work.

Every role in every organisation on earth can be meaningful. Imagine that.

Do your work.

Be remarkable.
Ian

More sparkenations here.

PS Your invitation to join me in an important conversation

It’s very appropriately called a ‘Conversation that Matters’.

It’s a conversation that might just change the way you think about your working life. Things like:

1.     What gets you out of bed in the morning?

2.     Why do you do what you do?

3.     What really matters to you in your work life?

I'll be exploring these questions with my friend and mentor Paul Dunn on the 30th April at 12.15 pm AEST. Just go here to register for this complimentary event. 

Friday, 17 April 2015

These three are a key to succeeding in disruptive times

My thanks to Graeme Codrington for this great article on succeeding in disruptive times and the reminder of the prophetic words of Alvin Toffler in his 1972 book "Future Shock".

Please take Mr. Toffler's words to heart on your road to remarkable.
Ian





“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but rather those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

All businesses have a primary reason for existing: to create value.

Below is an article I created with my friend and colleague Simon Tupman in 2007. Working with some professional services firms recently has meant bringing all these insights to the fore. I hope you find them valuable too.

All businesses have a primary reason for existing: to create value.

To be successful in a competitive climate, you have to offer something that is valued by clients more than that of your competitors so that they become the preferred provider in the eyes of the client. How can you achieve this, particularly when the services offered by so many firms are the same?

In this article, we aim to demonstrate that the concept of ‘adding value’ is more than just a clich√©. We argue there are six steps to successfully implementing a ‘value-added’ approach.

1.      Understand the concept of ‘value’
‘Value’ is a word that has been used ubiquitously and sometimes carelessly by professional service firms to the extent that it has lost its true meaning. We believe that ‘value’ is measured by the extent to which it improves people’s businesses or lives.

However, it is our experience that many firms fail to understand or establish the true value of their services and as a consequence, price their services around the nature of their intervention (it’ll cost you about 10 hours of our time and we charge $300 an hour) rather than the results or outcomes of the service (‘we’ll save your life and the fee will be $10,000’).

2.      Believe in the concept of ‘value’. 
The concept of ‘delivering value’ has to be a value or guiding principle within a firm. Of course, many firms already recognise the need for articulated values or guiding principles. These are often displayed prominently in fancy frames in reception areas or foyer walls. However, the extent to which these stated ‘values’ truly represent what a firm stands for is debatable. Firms need to have a set of values that are true and transparent and that reflect what the firm stands for.  If you believe in delivering value for your clients, then that has to be a value or a guiding principle of your firm. Lip service won’t do.  If those values are not consistent with those of your employees (and vice versa), then you will never win over their hearts and minds – something that is critical when delivering value to clients. Conversely when they are, you will attract like-minded people who are motivated to work for your firm and support those values rather than people who chose to work with you because it’s another job that simply pays the bills and adds to the resum√©.

3.      Make your stakeholders feel valued.
Unless a firm does so, initiatives to deliver value will fail.By ‘stakeholders’ we mean those people who support your business including your clients, your team members and your suppliers.Asthe psychologist and philosopher William James famously observed:

 “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

Consequently, simple actions such as expressing your appreciation to your staff for all they contribute or to suppliers for the quality of the products you purchase from them can make all the difference. Unless you make them feel valued, you cannot expect them to deliver value either to you or to your clients.

4.      Appreciate what your clients value. 
The challenge for every trusted advisor is to get the heart of each matter; to understand what is really troubling the client, to ascertain whether he or she can offer a solution and if so, to offer to provide it at a price that reflects the value. Remember, it’s the outcome, not the time, nor the task that matters. Clients want outcomes not a slice of your time. Simply by asking probing questions, you can better establish what clients value: questions such as:

How would conditions in your business (or life) improve as a result of this project?
What is this project worth to you?
What would you like to accomplish?
What does this mean to you personally?
What would happen if you did nothing?
Why do you think I am the right person to undertake this project?
Traditionally accountants have been in the business of giving tax advice, auditing and filing tax returns so that they accurately give a picture of the financial performance of a business or an individual client. However, while these services comprise the basic service provided by every accountant, relatively few accountants work proactively with each client to help them to create wealth through running their business better or planning to protect their assets.  As Ron Baker and Paul Dunn have written in ‘The Firm of the Future’, too many accountants have been in the business of reporting on their clients’ history rather than helping them to create it.

5.      Be able to deliver value.
To deliver value, firms must continually ask their clients what results they demand and then intervene accordingly. In other words, while improvements to your service can help to improve perceptions of value, such initiatives need to contribute to the desired outcome or result that the client is seeking.  This can be done in a number of ways.  Here are just a few examples:

Ask every prospective client the first time you meet them what results they will require from you in order to be overjoyed with your performance.
Ask every client at the completion of every service what he or she believes were the remarkable results you delivered for him or her.
At least once a year ask your clients to complete an online survey about the results you produced for them.
At least bi-annually, have an outside expert interview a selection of your clients to obtain an independent view of the results you produced for them.
End every interaction with a client with this question; What do you feel we accomplished today?

6.      Price for value. 
There’s enough material to write about here for an entire conference, so we will be brief. Try to be flexible in your pricing, even if it means taking on some additional risk.

Traditionally, many accountancy firms have priced themselves on a cost-plus basis, that is to say, before they set a price, they work out what it costs them; then, they add on a bit for profit and sell at that price to a client. The limitations of this approach are well understood.

Firms that recognise the shortcomings of cost-plus pricing and pricing by the hour have experimented with alternatives with varying degrees of success. For example,

Fixed fees (especially for transactional work)
Fixed fees in stages (especially for work with uncertain phases)
Discounted fees for volume
Contingency fees (no win, no fee)
Base fees plus a success fee
Taking equity in the client’s business

When thinking about how to price your services, aim for a win/win situation so that both parties feel they are getting a good deal: you are making a profit while your client is getting value and a significant return on investment.  The price should be fixed with measures in place to ensure value is provided and experienced.

It is not just the level of the fee that counts. Your terms can make an important contribution to the success of value-pricing. For example, you might also consider including a service guarantee and a price guarantee.  A service guarantee assures the buyer that a certain level of service is guaranteed throughout a matter.  If, for any reason, the client feels the firm has broken a ‘service promise’, then that client has the option of withholding payment or part thereof. A price guarantee guarantees the price as outlined in the initial agreement with the client. You might reserve the right to change the fixed price in the event of unforeseen circumstances including provision in their terms of reference for a ‘changing order’.

Recently, Simon persuaded his accountant to change the way he charged him from a ‘by-the-hour’ approach to an annual, fixed price.  This is a much better arrangement for both Simon and the accountant in that he can manage his cash-flow better and doesn’t have to pay for every call he makes throughout the year! It’s also a better arrangement for the accountant in that there is no work-in-progress but a regular monthly payment and improved cash-flow.

We believe that firms can either wait for their clients to call the shots or they can be proactive and take action themselves to define and deliver value. We are confident that, when the day arrives when all firms are defining and delivering value and pricing accordingly, everyone will be better off –the client, the firm and all its other stakeholders. Not only will their lives and businesses improve; they can also become remarkable and in the process more profitable.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, do we follow all these steps in our respective businesses? Yes we do.

©  Simon Tupman and Ian Berry 2007

Be remarkable.
Ian

Monday, 13 April 2015

Simplifying leadership/management to enable profound human connection and performance

Scroll down a little here and you can listen to my 10th April 2015 interview with The Ideas Architect Geoff McDonald.

We discuss:
Why Simplification is the Next Big Thing
Why management is dead and it should never have been alive
The importance of storytelling for Leadership and Performance
Why Management is the arch-enemy of Innovation
The greatest problem in the world today and how it shapes corporate culture
Why the typical approach to having people be Accountable is flawed
What the Positive Psychology Movement means for organisations
Why organisations need more gardeners and fewer mechanics
Why your role is more important than your job
The crucial power of relationships for delivering value
Why Engagement levels have not improved over the past 25 years
The key insight from Neuroscience
Why Society drives the Economy and not the other way around
The illusion of control and management
Why we need to change the conversation to create change
A simple practice you can use today to improve your results
The necessity of a vision and a shared view of reality
The paradox of being simple when dealing with complex human beings

If you'd like a performance partner to help you to adopt these ideas in your own way and therefore increase your life/work harmony and achieve better business results, then please click on the cover below at this link to find out about my leadership momentum program.


Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 10 April 2015

Synchronising the wonder of technology with the wisdom of humanity

In an age long ago people were viewed as cogs in a giant machine. It was thought people could be managed just like machines. Thankfully, in remarkable workplaces at least, those days are long gone.


Lead people. Manage machines.

Think about how you can best synchronise the wonder of technology at your finger tips with the feeling and thinking human being you're sitting next to. If you work remotely or are a 1 person practice or business make your focus today and every day connection with real human beings in real time.

Each of us is a one-of-a-kind human being. We can live in harmony with the great machines we've created. To do so we must keep the machines in perspective. They're tools to help us. They're not alive like us.

You're not the selfie you snapped on your mobile and shared on Twitter or anywhere else.

Put people first and things second. It's how real life is meant to be. Always has been.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Life's too short to be complicated

This is an updated article on a subject I have posted about many times before, that of leaders being and/or feeling time poor.

In her Huffpost Daily Brief of 3rd May 2013 Arianna Huffington said:

Are you busy right now? Are you already behind on what you wanted to accomplish today? Or this week? Or this year? Are you hoping this will be a short post so you can get back to the million things on your to-do list that are breathing down your neck? Okay, I'll get on with it: Our culture is obsessed with time. This is our real deficit crisis, and one that, unlike the more commonly discussed deficit, is actually getting worse. In fact, researchers have given this crisis a name: "time famine". 

Your life doesn't need to be this way.

Just one intention and two actions are needed to say goodbye to being time poor and overcoming the dis-ease of "time famine."

Everything begins with intention.  Stop trying to do everything.  Not everything really matters.  Most of what we choose to do each day doesn’t really matter.

What choices are you making?

Get over everything you can’t do anything about.  Instead focus on what you can do something about.

What are you trying to achieve that you know in your heart you can’t change or influence?

The only difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people have successful habits.
Earl Nightingale

The time rich people I know are clear on the critical actions they must take and achievements they must fulfill regardless of whatever else happens.  Their actions and achievements have become habits.  One habit that really matters when it comes to being time rich, is following rituals.

Rituals - the actions we must take regardless of whatever else happens.

Following rituals means deliverables, the outcomes we must achieve regardless of whatever else happens, are a consequence not a focus.


Two actions: get past the barrier of busyness and start following rituals.

Getting past the barrier of busyness

I am often reminded of the barrier of busyness. I meet a lot of people bound up by busyness.  

Here are some of the tell tale signs

*Decision-making processes not being followed.
*Problems are solved and then they reoccur over and over again. This has a lot to do with problem-solving being mostly about reinstating the status quo rather than changing what's normal (innovation).
*Decisions being continually revisited.
*Documentation is produced in lieu of action.
*Meetings occur with key players absent.
*Meetings have no agendas.
*Meetings are poorly conducted.
*Whiteboards full.
*Diaries full.
*Inboxes full.
*There's a pre-occupation with mobile phones and other devices. If you can't have mobile free days without withdrawal symptoms you're in the grip of "time famine".
*Negative body language of staff.
*Management (PPPPS's - policies, procedures, practices, processes and system) mean it isn't simple for people to bring their best to their work every day.
*Leaders love the sound of their own voice and the corresponding lack of awareness means their oblivious to the chaos and complication they're causing.
*Massive confusion exists between what is communication and what is information sharing

I could go on and on.

Here are a 12 actions to take to ensure you are not bound by busyness

1) Educate yourself and others that communication requires both sending and receiving and results in agreement even if it is agreeing to disagree. Information sharing on the other hand is one way.
2) Refuse to attend meetings where there is no agenda available well in advance. Don't discuss anything not on the agenda.
3) Review your effectiveness weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly including engaging in candid feedforward and feedback with others.
4) Set aside time each week to do nothing. I sit under a tree somewhere for 4 hours per week. It is amazing how refreshed we can feel just by doing nothing.
5) Get your leadership and management harmony right for you. For some of us it is 80% leadership and 20% management, for others the other way round, and many other combinations. 

Remember leadership is about people and effectiveness. Management is about PPPPS's and efficiency. Leadership is art, management practice. The two must be in harmony for us to be the best we can be.

6) Do not tolerate negativity in any shape or form.
7) Block out a lot of space in your diary where nothing is planned. You will be astounded at how much more effective you become when your diary is no longer full.
8) Work on things that are important and urgent. Forget the rest.
9) Have a won't do list and stick to it no matter what.
10) Celebrate process more than outcome.
11) Spend time with positive children as often as possible. They have an amazing sense of self, initiative, curiosity, creativity and wonder. Be childlike and never childish.
12) Focus on standards or rituals not goals or results.

In 2013 on the recommendation of my colleague Maria Carlton, who is a best selling author and publisher, I purchased a book by Derek Mills The 10 Second Philosophy®.  Derek is known as The Standards Guy®

Derek’s book is about having standards instead of goals.  It is a very refreshing read and I have added his book to my recommended reading list.

For many years my focus has been about following rituals, what Derek calls standards.  I know that if I follow the right processes for me then the outcomes take care of themselves.

Is your focus on outcomes or processes, goals or standards, results or rituals?

Some people live in the past, stuck usually with intentions, feelings and a mindset about what has happened.  We can’t change the past.  We can learn from it. We can also view what has happened with different feelings and new eyes.  We can see failure as a learning opportunity for example rather than as a negative.

Some people live in the future, stuck usually with intentions, feelings and a mindset about what might happen.  We can’t guarantee the future.  We can vision what is possible and take one quantum leap at a time to move from where we are to where we want to be.



The most successful and happy people who I know live in the present.  We can change the present. We can control what happens within the sphere of what is in our control, our intentions, feelings, thoughts, and actions.  We can't control what happens a lot of the time. We can control how we respond to what happens. Sure it is important to have direction, goals, targets, to begin with the end in mind.  The trick is to focus on the now.  This is what processes, standards or rituals can do for us.

The author of another great book, The Power of No, Eckhart Tolle provides the following wise advice: Stress is caused by being 'here' but wanting to be 'there'.

Be crystal clear about where you want to go and who you want to become, then focus on where you are now and on being the best you can be right now.

My rituals one pager may help you.  Please download it and then create your own or something similar.  

In his book Derek Mills provides a template for setting standards in personal health and fitness, environmental, relationships, family, emotions, career, and time. Get his book and check it out.  

Whatever tool you use the point is this: Have something that helps you to maintain your focus in the now.

The Chinese philosopher Laozi is quoted as saying - "The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one's feet," often translated “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  Focus on the single step you are taking right now.

I have very clear goals in all aspects of my personal and business life written down.  The key is not my goals.  The key is my execution plan to achieve them and sticking to the plan. Rituals/standards/processes help immensely. 

What execution plan are you following?

Summary

Some people live in the past.  Their focus is on what happened. 

Some people are future focused. Their focus is on what might happen. 

The most successful and happy people are crystal clear on where they’re going and their focus is on what will happen in the present.

Keeping standards or following processes or rituals are what the most successful and happy people do.

What modifications/changes will you make to be more focused on the present?

If you feel like your life is too complicated, it is. Let go of whatever it is in your life that causes you to feel you're in the grip of "time famine." Then invest more wisely in the 168 hours you have this week. Life's too short to be complicated.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Sunday, 5 April 2015

How are you embracing the third mind?

This Sunday’s sparkenation.

Aside from self-leadership and working with mentors being a member of a master-mind group or groups is a key to personal and business success.


Where and with who are you embracing the third mind?

Be remarkable.
Ian

More sparkenations here.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Words to lead by

The slide deck below contains the key insights that have helped my clients in their own way to lead and manage remarkable businesses.



You can download the above as a PDF here, or listen to the 12 minutes and 12 seconds audio version here.

How we can work together

Because you’re a great leader wanting to be remarkable you’re already taking many wonderful actions. A key to working together therefore is agreeing on how I will best add value to, as well as integrate with, what you’re currently doing.

I work 1:many (conferences and events) + follow through with a few, 1:few (teams and peer groups) + follow through, and 1:1.

Is this you?

You have a small percentage of people bringing their best to their work every day. I refer to these people as the Happy Being Magnificent.

You have a similar small percentage of people who drive you crazy. They’re not bringing their best to their work. These people take up a lot of your time and energy. They’re disengaged, disruptive and discouraging. I refer to these people as the Happy Being Miserable.

And then you have the majority of your people who are doing their jobs, yet not consistently bringing their best to their work every day. I refer to these people as the Happy Being Mediocre.

You don’t have to be bad at leadership to get better.

Stephen C. Lundin Ph.D. Author of the five million copy best selling FISH!

While I agree with Stephen, in today’s technology driven, mobile centric, and self-centred world you have to be a remarkable leader to move up the Mediocre to Magnificent and move up or move on the Miserable.

Helping you to do the above is what I’m passionate about and really bloody good at (that’s Aussie for remarkable). It’s why I get up in the morning. Find out more here.

Be remarkable.
Ian