Friday 29 September 2017

Don’t wait for your boss to receive appreciation

Helping my clients to apply the appreciation principle in their own best way is central to all of my work.

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

Not just any principle, the deepest.

Obviously we all need to feel appreciated.

Often I invoke another proven principle to get the appreciation ball rolling:

Start today to better show appreciation to your:










Show appreciation to everyone you meet.

What goes around comes around (another proven principle).

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Introducing Carol the celebrant - heart-crafted life-changing ceremonies

Thrilled that my wife Carol has fulfilled a dream by becoming a marriage celebrant.

If you’re getting married in Geelong or the Bellarine or Surf Coast please give Carol a call.

Here's her website and contact details.

Be remarkable.

Monday 25 September 2017

It's not the platform or process you use, it's the conversations that really count

I was interested to see an email recently promoting a webinar by Chloe Hawcroft (Director, People Capability, People & Culture, AMP) and Karin Hawkins (Principal Consultant, NeuroLeadership Institute) about Perform@AMP. Below is some of the copy:

"AMP saw that the quality of conversations matters.

Perform@AMP helps leaders to have the right conversations and tailor them to the needs of individuals. It positioned employees as ‘owning’ their own performance and development; learning, collaboration and adaptability as central to performance; feedback as ‘sharing reflections’ focused on growth; and set up employees to be active and intentional about their development.

In 2017, Perform@AMP was nominated and won Australia’s Good Design Award, one of the longest standing and most prestigious design awards in the world, promoting excellence in design and innovation."

A Google search led me to the video below: You can view the video direct here.

It's great to see a major business adopting an approach like this.

Since 1991 I've been helping business owners and leaders worldwide to focus on communication and conversations more than the platform or process. In case you missed it my most recent post on the subject 'Just in case you haven't yet ditched performance appraisals' is here.

I use the following model to help my clients:

Should you like some help with becoming remarkable at communication and conversations that count please contact me on +61 418 807 898.

You can also participate in a special conversation online about the above model and 6 others. It's on October 16th. Details and registration here.

Be remarkable.

Friday 22 September 2017

The Appreciative Leader Pioneers, Innovators and Role Models Program

I've entered swansong territory in my business career. I'm anticipating a 3 to 5 year journey!

A key is my online program that helps you to integrate the seven really useful models for building and sustaining remarkable workplace cultures pictured below with what you are already doing that's working well for you.

Here's how the program works.

To learn more about the these models you can participate in the complimentary conversation on October 16th. You can learn more and register here.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Your Success = less rules and more applying proven principles in your own best way

The above photograph by Cultura Creative features in this great article by Eric J. McNulty.

He's an extract

"Lou Gerstner turned IBM around using what was then a groundbreaking idea: managing by principles rather than procedures."

I have a slightly different take. Leadership for me is all about applying proven principles in your own best way.

There must be some processes, policies, procedures, practices and systems (PPPPS's). Imagine the lack of them for example in an operating theatre! These PPPPS's are modern management and they are best designed by the people doing the work.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Monday 18 September 2017

How to make your business 10 times better, faster and cheaper

I have just completed a study of this book and have no hesitation in adding it to my recommended reading list.

Whatever the status of your business and your goals for the future of it there are many principles inside this book that you can apply in your own best way.

The book contains lots of case studies and profiles of what it takes to lead an ExO organisation ((I say any organisation that wants to truly make a difference).

The book is written in a easy to understand style which is refreshing given the complexities of the subject matter.

This book lives up to it's claim of being a how to for making your business 10 times better, faster and cheaper.

The book provides an easy to follow model as pictured below and a comprehensive guide to taking action.

Be remarkable.

Friday 15 September 2017

Two often unseen faces of influence

The following words attributed to Angela Merkel are perhaps a key to her longevity and influence.

And Shakespeare had a similar take

These are the often unseen faces of influence.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Really useful models for building and sustaining remarkable workplace cultures

On the 16th October 2017 I'm hosting a unique event online for a small group. It's complimentary.

I'll be taking you behind the scenes of the seven models for building and sustaining remarkable workplace cultures that I've developed (and continue to hone) on the back of working with more than 1000 leaders, women and men, in over 40 countries since 1991.

You can find out more and register for the conversation here.

Be remarkable.

Monday 11 September 2017

Is the farce, folly and flawed nature of fundamentalism threatening your business too?

We’ve been having in my view an uncalled for, unwarranted and totally unnecessary public debate about marriage equality in Australia recently.

I’m aware that the headline for this post or simply by making the statement above means I may have alienated you. If so you have made that choice. In my view offence can be taken yet not given.

I believe we can disagree on any number of matters and still get along just fine.

The key to working together and most importantly to living in harmony on the same planet is not what we disagree on, rather what we agree on.

If you have taken offence please read no further as things will likely only get worse for you. Again your choice.

The above is an example of candidness. Hopefully the convivial intention of it is not lost on you.

The debate in Australia has come about because our Prime Minister, who says he favours marriage equality, has been unwilling to allow parliamentarians a conscious vote because he fears offending a minority in his own party that threaten his leadership. This illustrates how the tail wags the dog in politics and how self-interest triumphs over national interest.

Not that a conscious vote should be necessary. The vast majority of people in Australia want marriage equality so the politicians should simply be making that desire the law.

Instead they bow to the farce, folly and flawed nature of fundamentalism. More classic tail wagging the dog behaviour.

A conscious vote is itself ironic given that the marriage act was changed less than twenty years ago. And as far as I can tell the changes were made in the dead of night without consultation with a majority of parliamentarians, and certainly not the people they are supposed to represent.

The act now says only a man and woman can marry. This law violates many other Australian laws because it discriminates against people based on their sexual preference. So we have an act that is itself illegal!

These are examples of fundamentalism and tail wagging the dog action. It’s a farce, folly and flawed all at once!

And don’t get me started on religious bigots. Marriage is not a religious act. According to our law it’s a civil ceremony and 70% of the time is performed by civil celebrants. Religious leaders cannot perform the legal part of the ceremony without the appropriate authority from the Attorney Generals Department.

Fundamentalism has a both a religious and a non-religious face. It seeks to discriminate against people who don’t believe the same thing that the fundamentalists do.

Be careful because fundamentalism could be threatening your business too.

You can tell if this is the case by listening into communication and conversations and gleaning whether or not assertiveness is a characteristic of your culture.

Aggressive behaviour says “my way is the only way, my way is better than yours, or there'll be serious consequences if you don't do this. These are all bully behaviour.

Submissive behaviour says “your way is better than mine.”

Assertive behaviour says “let’s find a way together.”

Assertive behaviour respects your view and mine and then works towards ours.

Stephen Covey called Ours the Third Alternative. It’s a very powerful way to feel, think and live. It enables the holding of opposing views in the mind at once and making decisions that are in the best interests of the majority without harming anyone in the minority.

Most of our troubles, personal, local, organisational, national, and international, are fundamentally based in our perceived need to hang onto the world in here (my view), our issues with the world out there (other people's views), and, our failure to focus more on the world we share (Ours).

The exciting news is that when we find and sustain shared-view (ours) we can triumph over all our troubles and thrive in any circumstance.

In your business (and any relationship of high value and mutual reward) shared-view matters in seven areas:

1. where we are (reality)
2. where we're going (possibility)
3. why we're going there (purpose)
4. how we will get there (strategy)
5. who will do what and when (execution)
6. how we will know we are on track (milestones and lead measures)
7. how we will behave along the way (culture &values)

I’m hosting a complimentary candid and convivial conversation online on 16th October 2017 about these seven areas of significance where the most successful leaders stand out and other really useful models for building and sustaining remarkable workplace cultures. You can register here. Places are limited to enable conversation. All views are welcome. 

The above is not a webinar rather a conversation. There will be no boring voice over slides, silly slogans or anything for sale.

Be remarkable.

PS The High Court in Australia ruled last Thursday that the Government's proposed opinion poll about marriage equality can go ahead and therefore we all get the chance to say yes or no. I personally believe that doing so is an insult to people who love one another and want to get married.

Nevertheless I will vote yes and hopefully do my bit to end the farce, folly and flawed nature of all of this.

I've found it fascinating that those who want a no vote are suggesting that this is about political correctness, freedom of speech and religion and even about the welfare of children.

Beware of this kind of thing in your business. Hyperbole, just plain hype and obvious red herrings are all subtle forms of bullying.

Friday 8 September 2017

Thriving on the challenges of change is a process, not something you can manage

Change management in my view, like strategic planning, is an oxymoron.

Change initiatives are highly successful when leadership (both as something we do for other people as well as for ourselves) and management, are thought about and acted on in partnership rather than as the one discipline.

People everywhere confuse strategy and planning, two completely different disciplines.  Think about the two together at your peril.  Strategy is about how and planning about execution, who will do what and when. The consequences of confusing the two, or thinking about the two at the same time, are usually that great strategies never see the light of day, they get buried in massive documents that just gather dust, or worse, great strategies never get executed.

Confuse change and management or think about the two at the same time and likely that you will suffer a similar fate, what you want to change, won’t.

Thriving on the challenges of change is about primarily about leadership.  Leadership as John Maxwell has observed is “about influence, nothing more, nothing less.”

I define leadership as the art of ensuring people feel valued.

Leadership falters and usually badly, without management.

I define management as the practice of making it simple for people to deliver value.

Leadership and management are two of the seven essentials of remarkable workplaces:

Change like people can’t be managed.  What we can do is manage the systems and processes that will help us to bring about the change/s we are leading.

You need a change process not a change program

Please consider carefully my 13 reasons why most change initiatives fail:

#1. The people charged with making the change happen don’t really believe in it and therefore their work is half-hearted at best

#2. The change program is designed to take too long and the status quo wins

#3. The expectations are unrealistic

#4. People are not genuinely appreciated when they do well

#5. People are not held to account when they fail to perform as they agreed they would

#6. Measurements of progress are poor or non-existent

#7. Desired change is actually problem solving which usually means a return to the status quo rather than real innovation

#8. Intentions, emotions, and thinking doesn’t change and therefore any behaviour change that may happen doesn’t last

#9. There isn’t a real shared-view about why the change is crucial/essential

#10. There isn’t a real shared-view on how the change will happen and who will do what, and when

#11. Leaders don’t understand all change is personal first, relationships second, and organisations third

#12. Leaders don’t personally change

#13. Broken relationships remain broken.

Would you add any my list?

To thrive on the challenge of change co-create a change process

The change process below is the one I use initially in work with my clients. My objective is always to help my clients to co-create their own process with employees, thereby guaranteeing innovation and ownership.

I am deeply indebted to the work of many people who use the concept of Appreciative Inquiry, the work of Duarte, and to my Grandfather Sherriff for teaching me the law of the farm.

The fertile ground is Appreciating what is (the remarkable, the great, the good, and the bad and the ugly).

The better you Appreciate what is, the more fully you can Imagine what can be (the ploughing).

Clarity around what can be enables precise planning around the tiny shifts (Quantum leaps - the seeding) that you will take to move from what is to what can be.

Leaping (the nurturing) leads to the harvest of positive momentum, which is the key to achieving better business results, at less personal cost.

Inside The Appreciative Leader handbook are considerations and possible actions you can take to co-create and implement a change process for your business. You'll never need to think about a change program ever again.

Find out more about the handbook, and the associated companion resources web page and private online community here.

At the companion resources web page via the above link you’ll see examples of specific actions.

Who will you become? 

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

PS I’m very grateful to the work of John Kotter on leading change. For many years while developing the Appreciate - Imagine - Create - Leap - Momentum process I used in my own best way his 8 steps process in my work with many clients.

There’s an excellent ebook about Kotter’s 8 steps here. 

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
John Lennon

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."
Charles Darwin

Wednesday 6 September 2017

Adults in the Room by Yanis Varoufakis

The story of this book should never be yet is because self-interested and selfish people driven by elitism are still trying to control the world.

As long as there are people like Yanis Varoufakis, we the people have hope, and the establishment will eventually bring about their own demise.

I for one believe the world will be better post Brexit, post Trump and post other movements that seem to me are driven by self-righteousness rather than meaningful purpose.

Inside this book are clues to a better, brighter more human future.

You can get this book here.

I laughed and cried while reading this book at the childish behaviour of people in power.

As a adult being childlike or childish is a decision.

To be remarkable we must be more childlike and eliminate being childish.

Be remarkable.

Monday 4 September 2017

Your fate is to be either the disrupter or the disrupted. There is no middle ground.

You'll find the image above at this website.

One of the 8 roles appreciative leaders play remarkably well is the purpose role - disruptive influence for good. I agree with Salim Ismail we're either the disrupter or the disrupted. Many people are disrupters - for good are my key words!

I recommend Ismail's TEDx talk below and his book pictured underneath which I am currently studying.

More about this book here.

If you like some help in being a disruptive influence for good please get in touch with me. My number is +61 418 807 898.

Download my 'Remarkable is the new normal' workbook first. It begins with Disrupting yourself. Here's the link.

Alternatively participate in the complimentary online symposium on Monday November 6th. You can download the workbook and register here.

Be remarkable.

Friday 1 September 2017

Spring is much more than a season

One of the reasons we choose to live in Victoria, Australia is that we experience all four seasons distinctively. In fact the local joke is that we can experience all four in the same day!

I don't deny though that Spring is a favourite.

Flowers seem to anticipate it, birds definitely do. Our dog Molly has had an extra spring, dare I say it, in her step lately as the weather has been showing hints of Springtime albeit tarnished with the harshness of winter.

A great axiom I live by is ensuring there are Spring moments, days and longer periods in my personal and business life regardless of the season outside.

Here are 5 rituals I embrace

1) I begin each day by writing down what I'm grateful for.

2) When I'm feeling less than my best I say out loud 'the joy of spring'. Then intention, feelings and thoughts change. Better behaviour follows.

3) I invest 1 day a month in re-imagining something about my work. Always the result is I make an adjustment that means I'm providing greater value or the same value just in a better way for my clients.

4) Every quarter I have a spring clean. I write down what's worth celebrating and what can be better. Then I rewrite my performance possibility plan for the next quarter.

5) Every year on this day, the first of September, whether it's Spring outside or not, I go through my change process pictured below and re-imagine who I am when my life is in full blossom.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.