Wednesday 31 August 2016

Appreciating people is much more than providing rewards and recognition

I read the 15Five blog post 4 Simple Ways To Engage Your Millennial Employees with great interest.

The first recommendation in the post is to 'Show a Little Appreciation' and goes on to talk about rewarding or recognising people at least monthly for their work.

In the great workplaces I see appreciating people is much more than monthly rewards or recognition, rather it's appreciating people as a way of being every day. Rewards and formal recognition help, yet in my observation they are small pieces of the jigsaw because as William James observed long ago:

Here's 3 suggestions for ensuring appreciating people is a way of being in your workplace every day

1) Help people to clarify their roles in terms of relationships and value delivery to each person, particularly other employees and customers/clients. Build appreciation into the conversation when value is delivered.

2) Ask your employees how value delivery can be celebrated and people appreciated as a way of being. Implement their suggestions.

3) In collaboration with your employees ensure weekly check-ins, after action reviews, and peer reviews are mandatory conversations in your workplace.

Accelerate appreciation and accountability levels will accelerate too.

As always should you like some help with the above please contact me on +61 418 807 898.

Be remarkable.

Monday 29 August 2016

Complimentary online events for pioneering, forward thinking, curious people

I’m very grateful for many reminders recently that my raison d'ĂȘtre is to be in the room 1:1 and in small and large groups with pioneering, forward thinking, curious people, wanting to shift away from the status quo when sameness is no longer serving you.

I'm conducting a series of special complimentary online events using the great Zoom technology every Monday in September 2016. The subject is the 3 pillars of the new world of work.

The 5th September event at 8 am London time is for sole practitioners only. Find out more and register here.

The 12th September event at 8 am Melbourne time is for micro and small business owners only. Find out more and register here.

The 19th September event at 8 am London time is for senior leaders only. Find out more and register here.

The 26th September event at 8 am Melbourne time is for women only. Find out more and register here.

As with my all my presentations and mentoring, what I say at these events is important,
yet nowhere near as important as what you hear yourself say to yourself, and then do your own unique work.

The Appreciative Leader numbered limited edition handbook events

And speaking of events have you guaranteed yourself the V.I.P. fee for The Appreciative Leader handbook events by emailing me or completing the survey.

Find out about the 5 options here or go direct to the survey here.

Be remarkable.

If you’re in the room, be in the room.
Nigel Risner

Friday 26 August 2016

"It's not the big that eat the small, it's the fast that eat the slow"

I'm very much valuing my study of this book.

You can get the book here, and make a difference yourself.

In today's fast-paced world being fast is a key to your success.

Contemplate the following quote from the book by Founder and CEO of Xero Rod Drury, and take action.

It's not the big that eat the small,
it's the fast that eat the slow.

Who will you become and what will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Monday 22 August 2016

Being a disruptive influence for good

The very best leaders I know are disruptive influences for good. How they go about it is the subject matter for today's Monday Morning Momentum video below and the update to handbook number #4.

You can download the handbook from here.

This is the final in the series on the 8 roles appreciative leaders play remarkably well. For your convenience all 8 videos are here.

Look out for an announcement next week as to what's in store for you from September.

Today also marks the final stages of my journey to put the 4 handbooks provided to you this year into one resource.

Based on generous and candid feedback I've upgraded about 30% of the content, as well as added new material.

I expect my editor will be back to me with her thoughts and suggestions next week, meaning I'm on track for September publication.

Next week I'm meeting with my printer to finalise the cover and look of what will be a numbered and signed limited edition A4 manual. I'm also in the process of completing the companion resources web page which you can view here.

If you'd love to elevate your leadership impact, ensure more people are leading and being accountable in your business, and have increasing discretion about where to best focus your personal time and energy, then this handbook is for you.

​Inside this carefully handcrafted guide are the 29 proven principles that my clients, since 1991, have found to be the most valuable in their personal and business lives, and that they’ve learned to apply in their own best ways. There will only be 250 copies printed.

You can only receive your copy by participating in a special online or in person event.

Please complete the survey here to indicate your preference/s. 

You'll be under no obligation. I'll be in touch with you in due course. Your deadline to complete the survey, which will only take you a minute, is midnight AEST 29th August 2016.

Be remarkable.

Friday 19 August 2016

Overcoming the common barriers to learning

There's no surprises in the diagram below which I copied from the report you can download here.

What is surprising is that according to the report these barriers to learning are still widespread.

What plans do you have in place that are being executed that means you're overcoming these barriers?

Be remarkable.

Wednesday 17 August 2016

3 keys to consistently performing at your best

I love the diagram below. I found it here.

Should the word "calling" put you off, use my role, descriptors of roles you play, or other words that suit you.

Who will you become and what will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Monday 15 August 2016

Knowing uniqueness and sameness is a key to better performance

The following lines from this Seth Godin blog made me think:

"Because, while we're each unique, we have far more in common than we're comfortable admitting. Amplifying our differences may make us feel special, but it's not particularly useful when it comes to getting better."

I'm currently helping one of my clients to upgrade their position descriptions or as I prefer to call them, role clarity statements. Each person has the same position (role) yet they work in different territories.

We began with the same position description that was written a long time ago. What we've discovered is that while a lot is the same for each person's role, everyone has relationships with different people, and therefore there are many differences in how value is delivered to each of these relationships.

Now that we have zeroed in on what's the same and what's different we have been able to tailor make a learning and development program that will help individuals to get better as well as the team to get better.

My client is applying in their own best way a key principle of success - it's who before do. This is the first principle explored in my soon to be released handcrafted guide, The Appreciative Leader. Find out more here.

What's different and what's the same for the roles your team members play?

Who is each person serving and what value must be delivered to each person?

Knowing uniqueness and sameness and working on getting better in both is a key to the consistent high performance of your team as individuals and as a team.

Who will you become and what will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Friday 12 August 2016

The premise, promise, and 4 proven principles of an effective performance leadership system

When I began working as a mentor for business owners and leaders 25 years ago my first assignment was to help my client to replace their performance appraisal system with something more meaningful for employees, that would actually lead to performance improvement.

Doing this is still foundational to much of my work.

Interestingly the premise, promise, and 4 proven principles of an effective performance leadership system haven't changed. What has changed is that technology, assuming it enhances the human experience, means everything can be much simpler than it was 25 years ago.

The premise

The eminent psychologist William James (1842 - 1910) proclaimed over 100 years ago that
"The deepest human principle is the craving to be appreciated."

Any performance leadership system, process, whatever, must ensure people feel appreciated, otherwise performance improvement is most unlikely.

The promise

Accelerate appreciation of people and you'll see a corresponding acceleration in accountability. And isn't that what you want - more people leading and being accountable.

4 proven principles

Here you'll find 4 videos and a handbook about the 4.

Since the publication of the above in January 2016 I've made some upgrades which are in 'The Appreciative Leader' handbook that will be published next month. Details here.

1) Role clarity
Boring job descriptions are so last century. What people need to clarify above all is the relationship their role serves and what value is to be delivered to each person.

2) Performance Possibility Plan (PPP's)
Every person needs their unique piece of your map to execute your strategy, assuming they have bought into the strategy.

3) Continuous candid and convivial communication and conversation about performance using role clarity and PPP's as focusing tools.
There are 8 conversations that count. Download the handbook above to find out more.

4) Learning and development that supports the above.
I personally use the 70:20:10 framework with my clients and adopt it to meet client needs e.g. with one current client it's 50:25:25. Find out more about this great principle by downloading the handbook at the above link.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday 10 August 2016

When will the Government find a cure for cancer?

One of my observations from the recent Australian Federal election where the Government only just maintained a majority in the lower house and needs 9 votes in the upper house from misaligned cross-benchers to pass it's legislation, the Brexit vote, and the rhetoric in the American election, is that there's an expectation by a perhaps a quarter of the population, and a minority of politicians, that Governments are responsible for solving our biggest problems.

I believe such thinking is not only naive, it actually stalls our progress towards overcoming the great challenges that we face as a human race.

We need Governments yet only when they're working in collaboration with people and the myriad of groups that we belong to.

There's a parallel to all this in business. 

A lot of people I meet believe solving the big problems is the domain of leaders and managers.

Nothing could be further from the truth of course.

Who is solving the big challenges in your business?

Be remarkable.

"I thought someone should do something, and then I realised I was someone."
John F. Kennedy

In a airport yesterday I bought this book. I haven't put it down since.

It's a great example of what's possible when people become accountable and don't leave solving our biggest challenges to somebody else.

More about the book and the thankyou movement here.

Monday 8 August 2016

Fulfilling our promise and our promises

41 years ago last May I moved with my then young family to a place we'd never been to before to begin my first assignment as a Branch Manager. There were two staff members and me in the spacious office in one of the town's three major streets. A little over 20000 people lived in the area at the time.

Initially I flew there with my boss. On the plane he gave me pieces of advice that I applied initially because I didn't know any better and wanted to impress my boss. My application of his advice, albeit very tentatively in the beginning, became critical to my success in the corporate world and have remained so ever since.

"This is your great opportunity to fulfill your promise." he told me.
"While you're getting the best out of yourself, help Sue and Bill (my staff members) to fulfill their promise too." he said.

Then my boss told me "Think very carefully before you promise anyone anything. Once you've made a promise, always keep it."

Keeping our promises is key to being an "exemplar of execution", the credibility role of being an Appreciative Leader. This is the subject matter of today's Monday Morning Momentum video below and the update to handbook #4 which you will find here.

Be remarkable.

Friday 5 August 2016

"Create a culture that rewards killing ideas"

I subscribe to many newsletters to keep abreast of standout happenings in leadership, change and performance leadership, and the new world of work in general. One newsletter that I always give time and energy to is from Peter Diamandis.

In a recent edition Peter shares insights from his interview with Idealab Founder Bill Gross which he prefaces by saying "Idealab has built an incredible ecosystem optimized to ideate, start, build, and grow great technology startups ... So far, their track record is unparalleled. Of the 150 companies they launched, 45 have now gone public or had M&A activities, and 45 are still active now. And, importantly, they've had 60 failures."

From the Diamandis newsletter 9 key lessons derived from 150 startups

3. Create a culture that rewards killing ideas.

As I've discussed with regard to Google's moonshot factory 'X', Idealab also believes in killing ideas quickly.

Bill explains, "We kill a lot of ideas. There is no risk to our people; nobody gets fired. In fact, people get praised when we kill something. We save a lot of money when we kill a bad idea."

It is so critically important that this notion is ingrained into your culture – otherwise, it will never work. Reward your people for finding ways ideas won't work before you invest heavily in them.

The other 8 lessons (all in my view relevant for all businesses not just technology start-ups)

It's easier when YOU are the customer
If you have an idea, test it!
Equity unlocks human potential
TIMING is the most important factor in startup success
Startups don't have to be in Silicon Valley – you can scale from almost anywhere these days
Adaptability and flexibility are the most important characteristics of a good CEO
Trial Periods are great ways to test "Talent Fit."
Passion should be the reason you do a startup

Be remarkable.

Wednesday 3 August 2016

The 5 ways you can get your numbered limited edition copy of The Appreciative Leader handbook

I'm in the final stages of putting together this carefully handcrafted guide of the 29 proven principles that my clients, more than 1000 people, women and men, in over 40 countries since 1991, have found to be the most valuable in their personal and business lives, and that they’ve learned to apply in their own best ways.

Assuming everything continues to go according to plan this handbook will be published in September 2016.

It will be initially available as a numbered limited edition A4 hardback manual, and only people who participate in special online or in person events can get a copy.

Find out more about this handbook, the 5 events, and how to express your interest in participating in one here.

Be remarkable.

Monday 1 August 2016

Only meaningful measurements matter

In the early days of my corporate career in the 1970's there was an obsession with 'management by objectives' (MBO), a Peter Drucker concept he introduced in his 1954 classic book 'The Practice of Management'. There was a lot right about Drucker's idea:

Each manager, from the “big boss” down to the production foreman or the chief
clerk, needs clearly spelled-out objectives. These objectives should lay out what
performance the man’s [sic] own managerial unit is supposed to produce. They
should lay out what contribution he and his unit are expected to make to help
other units obtain their objectives. […] These objectives should always derive
from the goals of the business enterprise. […] [M]anagers must understand that
business results depend on a balance of efforts and results in a number of areas.
[…] Every manager should responsibly participate in the development of the
objectives of the higher unit of which his is a part. […] He must know and
understand the ultimate business goals, what is expected of him and why, what
he will be measured against and how (Drucker 1954, pp. 126-9). 

The trouble with MBO in my experience was that the measuring became more important than the doing, and the meaning behind the measuring got lost.

Not a lot has changed in many businesses today where the obsession with data means 'analysis paralysis', and the right intention of having measurements that are meaningful for people has been forgotten or ignored.

Another edict that was prevalent in my early days (and still is in some workplaces today!) was the concept 'what gets measured gets done.' Ruth Henderson, one of the Founders of Whiteboard Consulting Group Inc., makes 4 great recommendations about this concept, and meaningful measuring in general, in a Forbes article here.

Her recommendations:
1. Understand the difference between a measure and a metric.

2. Understand the difference between an Outcome metric and a Performance metric.

3. Figure out what you want to know before you start measuring things.

4. Design your report to tell a story.

The Balanced Scorecard book by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, published 20 years ago, put forward a key premise for creating measurements of performance that are meaningful for people, that of measuring the intangible being just as important as measuring the tangible. I value the book and it's insights.

I've observed a myriad of 'balanced scorecards' in operation in businesses. Sadly most fail because of too many moving parts, and the same problem I encountered with MBO is evident i.e the measuring has become more important than the doing, and the meaning behind the measuring therefore is lost.


Embrace Ruth Henderson's 4 recommendations in your own best way. 

Begin by ensuring that you fully understand the difference between measures and metrics, then start with number 3., then focus on performance metrics (lead measures), and finally excel at number 4 i.e. visuals that tell a story. 

My blog post here will help you with lead measures in particular.

A strong recommendation is that you work with individuals and help them to focus on no more than 3 lead measures per quarter that are in alignment with their personal goals as well as those of your business.

The founder of Buy One Give One Masami Sato's 'Impact Score' is a fine example of the power of a visual to tell a meaningful story.

Interesting take on lead measures and visuals (as below) from Verne Harnish here.

Be remarkable.

PS Give me shout if you'd like some help in ensuring meaningful measurements are in place in your business. My number is +61 418 807 898.