Friday, 28 December 2018

May 2019 be your very best year yet

I wish you and yours a 2019 that is your very best year yet.


To help you please download my complimentary resources file. Inside are links to all my books and many other resources.

My focus in 2019

Online and in person the focus for me in 2019 is on elevating the value of people, workplaces and communities through #sparkenations and #Sparkenator advising, mentoring, authoring and speaking.

sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal.

I invented the verb sparkenation and introduced it in my 2011 published Changing What's Normal book which contains 58 sparkenations.

The second book in the trilogy, the 2016 published The Appreciative Leader, contains 29 more sparkenations.

Remarkable Workplaces, the final book, (being published in 2019) contains 13 more sparkenations.

In Remarkable Workplaces I expand on the role of Sparkenator first introduced in Changing What's Normal. Sparkentor:  a person who elevates the value of people and increases the value being delivered.

Now available is the first Sparkenator Program.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Monday, 24 December 2018

Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do

Today is my 65th birthday.

Once turning 65 meant retirement day.

Not anymore.

Certainly not for me.

A prime reason is that I am able to work in the top right hand corner of the diagram below:
I'm deeply grateful for being able to operate from the top right hand corner.

Thank you to all who make this possible. You know who you are. You often feature on my gratitude list.

I write down who and what I'm grateful for every day. I've been doing so for a very ling time as I reflect on here. 

Steve Farber often makes the list for his wonderful insight Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do which comes from his great book The Radical Leap.

Who is on your gratitude list?

How will you stay in/get to the top right hand corner?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 21 December 2018

Wherever there is discrimination, democracy and decency are in danger

I'm mystified by many things the Federal Government in my country Australia has on it's agenda. It seems to be hellbent on doing everything it can to make sure it doesn't get reelected.

One thing on their agenda that I am strongly against is a proposed freedom of religion law. In some ways I'd like a freedom from religion law!

I deeply respect your right to have religion as part of your life. You do not have any right though to try and force your beliefs or the dogma attached to them on me or anyone else.

You certainly have no right to discriminate against anyone who doesn't believe what you do. In current Australian laws (Disability, Racial and Sex Discrimination Acts for example) that would be illegal.

On the second page of the Government's response to the Religious Freedom Review is the following:

The Expert Panel that conducted the Religious Freedom Review importantly noted in its
Report that:

“Freedom of thought, conscience and religion is a right enjoyed by all, not just those of faith. It protects those who live a life of faith and those who live by other beliefs or, indeed, no beliefs. It protects those who face coercion that impairs their freedom to choose their religion or beliefs. It protects those whose views on faith or belief change over their lifetime. It is not a protection for religions. It is a protection, a human right, for the religious, the non-religious and those who subscribe to other systems of belief.” 

The above being the case says to me a freedom of religion law would be against the spirit of the above.

The proposed freedom of religion law is actually I suspect all about a few middle aged white males who are angry that the Marriage Act now allows LGBTIQ people to get married.

Wherever there is discrimination, democracy and decency are in danger.

I'm very happy to wish everyone Merry Christmas whether you believe in the Christ of Christmas or any other religious figure or not.

We are not our beliefs rather the human beings who have chosen to have such beliefs.

To enable peace and harmony we need to respect all beliefs and stand against any nonsense that would allow discrimination based on beliefs.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

We could do a lot worse than become a people-centered economy

I've just added 'The People Centered Economy to my top 21 recommended reading list.

Download full top 21 list.

I don't like the use of the word economy. The People Centered Society of which the economy is a part would have been great!

Nevertheless I like this book because some of it’s authors are technology guru’s. And in the case of one, Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet.

I mostly like this book because it’s focus is on raising the value of people in stark contrast to what most business leaders are trying to do, lower the cost of tasks.

I think this is a noble cause.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Monday, 17 December 2018

Consciousness - one of 13 Sparkenations of Remarkable Workplaces

Below is Sparkenation 4 in draft 11 of my new book.

Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal.

Download draft 11 and learn more about the book.

Sparkenation 4 Consciousness (part of the section on self-leadership)

In a nutshell

A defining moment occurred in my life as I left hospital following a life-saving operation over 40 years ago. I share my experience via a short video (‘Don’t die with your music locked in you’) at the companion resources web page.

I was to go on and discover that the number one skill of leadership is self-awareness. And the number two skill is awareness of others.

A key to both is unlocking our music i.e. our unique gifts and talents and helping other people to be and do the same.
There’s nothing quite like a human being who is fully alive as we explored in Sparkenation 1.

The five faces (spiritually alive, emotionally healthy, mentally alert, physically active and universally aware) overviewed there are one way to establish that your own and/or someone else’s music is unlocked. I’ll suggest a few more ways in the recommended actions and deep work section of this sparkenation.

Self-awareness and Awareness of others is a pre-curser to genuine empathy which in turn precedes helping others to achieve what’s valued by them as referenced in the Zig Ziglar quote at the bottom of page 16.

The key consequence of ESI (enlightened self-interest) is that you will achieve what you value.

3 recommended actions

Meet with your team to discuss the insights below and to answer the questions.

What Employees Really Want From Employers
(from my research over the past two decades)

Appreciation. The eminent psychologist William James observed: “The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.”
To be held to account via regular, constructive performance feedforward and feedback
Autonomy
Opportunity to master something
Role satisfaction
A feeling that their work contributes to a higher purpose
Knowing that their work is helping them to achieve their aspirations
Open, regular, truthful, information gathering and sharing
Remuneration perceived to be at least equal to effort
Trust and trustworthiness
Happy and healthy working environment
Fairness in all dealings
Flexibility
Hope for the future

How well are you providing your employees with the above?

How can you do better?

Would you add anything to my list?

What Employees Really Want From Each Other
(from my research over the past two decades)

Goal and strategy alignment
Promises kept
Open communication
Understanding of personal needs
Trust, trustworthiness, and confidence
Appreciation, support and encouragement
Authenticity
Sense of family
Acceptance of the merit of ideas
Mutual respect 

How well are your employees providing each other with the above?

How can your employees do better?

Would your employees add anything to my list?

What customers/clients really want

Geoffrey James has sold and written hundreds of features, articles and columns for many publications including Wired, Men's Health, Business 2.0, SellingPower, Brand World, Computer Gaming World, CIO, The New York Times.

Geoffrey believes all customers want the same 12 things, regardless of who they are, who is selling to them or what they’re buying.

In my work over the past 25 years I would concur with every one of these.

They want to feel important.
They want to be appreciated.
They want you to stop talking about yourself.
They want you to stop talking about your firm.
They want you to truly listen.
They want to be understood.
They want to teach YOU something.
They want and need your help.
They want to buy something.
They want you to delight and surprise them.
They want to pretend they make logical decisions.
They want success and happiness.

On a scale of 1 - 10 with 10 being remarkable how well are you delivering on the above 12?

How can you and your employees do better?

Would you add anything to Geoffrey’s list?

2) What modifications will you make to your processes (and/or policies, procedures, practices, and systems) to ensure more stakeholders of your workplace are receiving what they want?

3) In your recruitment what tools do you use to help you to uncover people’s unique music/gifts/talents? How will you do better?

Recommended deep work 

1) Seeing people as they can be is the first step to helping people to discover their unique music/gifts/talents.

My ‘You’re Special’ story illustrates how I believe we should see and treat people.

Schedule a session just for the purpose of watching the video of this story at the companion resources web page and answer the following questions:

Share with your team what you feel is special about you and What you love to do that you are good at?

Ask each member of your team to share as you did.

Have a candid, convivial and compassionate conversation about how much you are all doing what you love to do, and that they are good at. How could you increase this?

What processes (and policies, procedures, practices, and systems) would you need to have in place in your workplace to ensure that you and all of your people are continually enhancing what you love to do and are good at?

2) Pay careful attention to defining moments in your life and in the lives of other people.

Defining moments are those times that make or break a situation or sustain the status quo.

From defining moments emerge stories, those we share and those we tell ourselves.

Know the stories you are telling yourself and that other people are telling themselves. To improve performance change your stories and help other people to change theirs.

There’s a back story to everything. When something happens we all play a story or stories we made up and act them out as part of our response/reaction to situations.

Sharing stories and helping each other to change the stories we tell ourselves are not just a key to music/gift/talents enhancement they are also key to developing high value and mutually rewarding relationships because trust is an outcome.

There’s more on music/gifts/talents in the next Sparkenation.

Do Your Work.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Progressives, Conservatives and Smart Cabinets. And Success and Oblivion

I love this protest sign.

It's featured around the world in protests by our children!

Here in Australia recently our kids have been out in great numbers protesting about our Federal Government's lack of action on climate change.

And the reaction from our cabinet ministers, including our Prime Minister, has been dismissive, clearly demonstrating that they are clueless and not representatives of the people.

The Conservatives (read out of touch middle aged and older men) have the power in our Federal Government here, albeit it seems to me that they are in the minority.

Recently these fools got rid of our previous Prime Minister (a progressive) despite their own polling suggesting they could win the next election.

The Federal Government here is made up of members of the Liberal and National Party who both once upon a time were known for being progressive and conservative. Not anymore.

By contrast the State Government in my home state of Victoria, is made up of people from the Labor Party, see my previous post about them. These folk have stolen the progressive ground and will win the next Federal election in a landslide unless they make a big mistake beforehand.

In your workplace you must be progressive and conservative while fully understanding and delivering what all your stakeholders really want. If you're not being and doing this you face oblivion.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Monday, 10 December 2018

60% or less of work time is actually spent productively


Pictured is a snapshot of a great infographic by Atlassian which you can view in full yourself here.

Atlassian's solution to poor productivity of course is their software called 'Confluence'. It might be great. I'm not in a position to comment.

My solution is more common-sense and being better humans. We simply must decide to have less meetings, send less emails, and ensure less interruptions. And instead be better, wiser and more valuable to each other.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 7 December 2018

Maintaining your attitude of gratitude

You may know that maintaining an attitude of gratitude has been a 40 year journey for me. Read more here.

I write about gratitude often. Just last week reflecting on some great insights from Seth Godin.

So I'm always fascinated by the growing pile of research and experiences that prove being grateful is good for our health, our performance, indeed every aspect of our lives.

There's some great articles linked to in this piece from The Ready about being grateful.

Today my wife features first on my daily gratitude list seeing it's her birthday. She too has been battling a life-threatening illness. She's winning by being grateful and focused on living and being well.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Remarkable questions that demand remarkable answers

I love Seth's latest book.

See my full Amazon review below or read it here.

This book has helped me to further narrow down who I work with, what I do with them and how together we make change happen that is vital to us.

We're all marketers and we can get better.

This book is a great guide.

Be remarkable.
Ian


Monday, 3 December 2018

Living on purpose and leaving a legacy

I’m currently presenting and hosting a series of master-classes as I complete the writing of this final book in a trilogy.

Learn more about the master-classes being held in Ballarat.

This post is from the context component in the change leadership section of the book.

Much gratitude to Helen Macdonald who presented a wonderful master-class on this topic of living on purpose and leaving a legacy on 28th November 2018 and who inspired the following:

In a nutshell

Our lives are a continuous cycle of living, loving, leading and leaving which result in our legacy.

Living

My quest each year is to be better, wiser and more valuable than I was last year. What's your quest? We have never arrived. Life is a journey not a destination.

A key to living your best life are the laws, proven principles or standards you live by. In the recommended deep work associated with this chapter I share 11 laws that I follow and ask you to take action in your own best way.

Loving

We are all in love with significant people in our lives and with certain actions we take in our lives.  

If you know me well you will know that I'm big on being before doing or who before do.

Who do you love? How do you express this love to these people? How could you be better in being in love?

What actions do you love to take?

As explored in The Appreciative Leader, living Steven Farber's beautiful line is a key for me. He said "Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do."

What do you love to do? 

Who loves you doing what you do?

How can you get better are what you love to do?

Leading

Our living and loving heavily influence our leadership. Your best leadership style is being yourself, that one-of-a-kind that each of us is. How are you bringing your living and your loving to your leading? How can you be better?

Leaving

How we live (fertile ground), love (ploughing the ground), and lead (seeding) drive the feelings we leave behind (nurturing). 

Write down how people feel when you leave home, meetings and other regular interactions.

Who will you become more of? What will you do better? so that when you leave anywhere people feel better because you have been with them.

Legacy

What's the impact you're making? In the master-class Helen Macdonald explored what she calls small l legacy. In other words the zillions of little opportunities that we have every day to leave a big impact.

The actions below are designed to help you to optimise your impact.

3 recommended actions

1) In your daily routines, rituals, habits become more conscious of how you live, love, lead and leave. Make it a practice for the rest of your life to always be making quantum leaps (small yet significant) that mean you're more valuable for others.

2) When you leave the planet what small yet significant actions or behaviours of yours will your loved ones and people you worked with remember the most? Make a list? Keep adding to the list at least once a month.

3) Engage in feedforward with the people closest to you about your impact. Share with them that you want to make a greater impact in small yet significant ways and ask them for two suggestions. Say thank you and take action!

Recommended Deep work

Consider the following 11 laws for leading your best life and take action to integrate them into your own life in your own best way

1. We live in a field of infinite possibilities thanks to discoveries in quantum physics. Taxes, change and death are the only certainties. Your action?

2. An "attitude of gratitude" I discovered through the doctor who saved my life 40 years+ ago is paramount to daily fulfillment Your action?

3. We are the observers and creators of our thoughts as many meditation masters have taught us, therefore we never need to let ourselves be held hostage to our thinking nor anyone else's. Your action?

4. We’re making it up as we go along. Much of life is an ‘imagined reality’. Religion, laws, you name it, we make them up for our own reasons. I recommend Yuval Noah Harari’s 3 books on this topic and more. Start by reading this article. Your action?

5. Life/work balance is nonsense. Life/work harmony is possible which I wrote about in the first book in this trilogy Changing What's Normal. Here's a refresher. Your action?

6. Combining a series of small shifts is the key to significant improvement. Think the true meaning of ‘quantum leaps’ and ‘the aggregation of marginal gains’, as we have already explored. Your action?

7. Systems and processes to achieve your goals are more important than your goals. Your action?

8. Being an essentialist is a key way to live your best life. If you're not familiar with essentialism learn more here. Your action?

9. Thinking about strategy and planning at the same time is a mistake. Strategic planning is an oxymoron. Think about strategy as a compass and your execution plan as a map. Your action?

10. Making meaningful progress visible or the 'progress principle' is a key to being open and honest in reflection and after-action reviews. Your action?

11. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Value is too. And legacy? yep that too. Your action?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 30 November 2018

Write down what your grateful for every day

The following are some of Seth Godin's thoughts on Thanksgiving. Read more from him and download a special reader.

Not the Thanksgiving of a bountiful Massachusetts harvest before the long winter, the holiday of pilgrims and pie. That's a holiday of scarcity averted. I'm imagining something else…

A modern Thanksgiving would celebrate two things:

The people in our lives who give us the support and love we need to make a difference, and…

The opportunity to build something bigger than ourselves, something worth contributing to. The ability to make connections, to lend a hand, to invent and create.

There are more of both now than there have ever been before. For me, for you, for just about all of us. Thank you.

For me I have thanksgiving every day by writing down who and what I'm grateful for. This is a daily ritual my doctor taught me 40 years ago when I was faced with a life-threatening illness. He taught me about having "an attitude of gratitude" that has served me well ever since in every aspect of my life.
Be remarkable.
Ian

As a part of my attitude I choose not to participate in any form of Black Friday sales.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Better, Wiser, and More Valuable

I love the action of having 3 words every year to aid focus which I first learned a few years ago from Chris Brogan who says:

"Every year, at the beginning of the year, choose 3 words that have personal meaning to you that you will use as guideposts for your chosen path forward in the coming year. Make the words such that they influence your choice of actions, encourage you to decide in favor of your goals, and guide you towards lasting results that you want to experience throughout the year."

I've already chosen my words for 2019: better, wiser, valuable.

My words are in alignment with my work with clients which can be summarised in a wonderful insight "the aggregation of marginal gains".

The story of this insight comes from this wonderful book where the author tells the success story of British Cycling and the instigator Performance Director Dave Brailsford. Please read the excerpt from the book about this yourself.

By choosing to be and do just a little bit better, wiser and/or more valuable my clients can achieve their own version of the British Cycling Team's success summarised by James Clear as follows:

"Just five years after Brailsford took over, the British Cycling team dominated the road and track cycling events at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where they won an astounding 60 percent of the gold medals available.  Four years later, when the Olympic Games came to London, the Brits raised the bar as they set nine Olympic records and seven world records.

That same year, Bradley Wiggins became the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France. The next year, his teammate Chris Froome won the race, and he would go on to win again in 2015, 2016, and 2017, giving the British team five Tour de France victories in six years."

The aggregation of marginal gains plays a key role in my new book, the final in a trilogy that I'm currently completing research and writing. You can download excerpt here.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Monday, 26 November 2018

"Say what you do and do what you say"

"Say what you do and do what you say" is the mantra of the Premier of Victoria, Australia Daniel Andrews.

He won a second term two days ago by a record margin.

I've been impressed with Mr. Andrews.

He doesn't play what seems to be the typical political game of attacking people who have different opinions.

Instead he actually does what he says he will.

And he does so with positive and optimistic attitude, appearance and language.

In his 'victory' speech on Saturday evening he said with humility words all real leaders should:

We live our values, we keep our promises and we get things done.

And this statement I want to hear more from leaders everywhere. He said referencing voters "you have rejected the low road of fear and division."

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 23 November 2018

Want to be remarkable at something? Engage a mentor!

I've been honoured to have been a mentor for over 1000 leaders, women and men, in more than 40 countries since 1991.

I also practice what I preach by regularly engaging mentors myself.

Describing what I do for people has always been challenging. It got a heck of a lot easier after I watched the TED talk below.

What great coaches do (I would say and great mentor's do too!)

"They are your external eyes and ears, providing a more accurate picture of your reality. They are recognizing the fundamentals. They're breaking your actions down and then helping you build them back up again."
Atul Gawande



Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

A 'war on talent' is a bad idea

I notice that the phrase 'war on talent' is about the place again.

I think it's a bad idea.

All war is a waste, particularly an unnecessary waste of human life.

And a war on talent I think is a chronic waste of time, energy, and money, particularly when what is spent is usually on the few rather than the many.

The phrase ‘war on talent’ was introduced by some McKinsey consultants in the late 90’s.

The poster child was Enron. Enough said right?!

Good people aren't hard to find. Ensure your current employees feel valued and are able to live values and deliver value. Then they'll be your best source for new employees.

Focus on the many, not the few

If your leaders are getting all the learning what does that tell everyone else?

Instead focus on everyone and particularly those in the middle.

The magic is in the middle. 

In most organisations this is most of your employees. They're doing their job but not much else.

Are you engaged in a so-called war for the so-called top people? or are you focusing on helping the majority of your people do a little better?  Do the math.

I believe lasting success is about talent and effort

This I know beyond any shadow of a doubt - every human is born unique.  

We all have gifts/talents and a one-of-a-kind way of using them. We need to put in the effort to enhance what we were born with and what we learn in our lives.  

The real job of leadership is to inspire and influence people to become all that we are capable of becoming, which Robert Louis Stevenson once remarked is the only purpose in life.

If you are engaged in a war on talent I suggest you stop today. It’s a chronic waste of time, energy, and money.  

Instead invest in enhancing the gifts/talents of your average performers, more than likely the majority of your workforce.  The magic is in the middle!

Who will you become? What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

PS If you'd like some help please do give me a shout.

Monday, 19 November 2018

65 powerful and proven principles to apply in your own best way

This is my latest ebook.

You can download it via page 21 of my complimentary resources file. It's one document that enables your access to all my writings and recordings. Here's the link. Enjoy and take action!

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 16 November 2018

The three kinds of change in three key areas

I like the insight from Kevin Roberts that there are three kinds of change:

Incremental;
Transformational;
Disruptive.

Read Kevin direct.

Kevin says: Great teams, great companies use all three approaches.  The Leader’s job is to ensure the right kind of change is implemented at the right time for the right reasons.

While I agree with Kevin the key I believe is accepting that all change is personal first, relationships second, and organisations a distant third. Maybe 1 in 100 believe this. You?


Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The great battle is not good v evil rather self-interest v enlightened self-interest

I recently completed a study of this book.

It contains many great insights. So many I'm begun to read the next two books the author has written since this one, 'Homo Deus' and '21 Lessons for the 21st Century'!

Through reading this book and watching videos like this one I've become a fan of Yuval Noah Harari.

One insight that's really intrigued me is the concept of 'Imagined Order' or 'Imagined Realities'.  This concept highlights that the world's systems, legal, economic, political, business and religious, are all made up by us, for us, and increasingly obvious to me for the benefit of the few rather than the many.

Studying this book has rekindled my passion for standing for enlightened self-interest and standing against self-interest.

Enlightened self-interest

"Enlightened self-interest is a philosophy in ethics which states that persons who act to further the interests of others (or the interests of the group or groups to which they belong), ultimately serve their own self-interest." Source Wikipedia

Enlightened self-interest for me is simply acting to further the interests of others without attachment, knowing that my own interests will be taken care of as a consequence.

Zig Zigar had a lovely way of putting this



This is very different to self-interest which seems to drive many of our politicians and so-called business leaders who act according to their own selfishness.

All over the world I see self-interest destroying businesses, families, lives in general, and of course, being in the grip of self-interest means we are not yet able to avoid the catastrophes caused by our inability and unwillingness to live in harmony with our planet.

The good news is that I also see productivity and positivity going through the roof, and the changing of what’s normal for the good of people and our planet, when the awesome power of enlightened self-interest is at work. 

In an article almost a decade ago in CSR Wire, John Elkington, one of my heroes, and the father of the triple-bottom line, said:

Properly understood, sustainability is not the same as corporate social responsibility (CSR)—nor can it be reduced to achieving an acceptable balance across economic, social and environmental bottom lines. Instead, it is about the fundamental, intergenerational task of winding down the dysfunctional economic and business models of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the evolution of new ones fit for a human population headed towards nine billion people, living on a small planet already in “ecological overshoot”.

John's dream can easily be achieved. 

We simply reimagine our systems and models and replace the nineteenth and twentieth century ones!

Of course the stumbling block, the barrier, the mountain to climb over is self-interest.

In his 'Sapiens' book Harari walks through key moments of The Scientific Revolution that began in the 16th century. More has happened i.e. been invented and imagined in the last 500 years, than at any other time in history.

One of the triggers for this revolution no doubt was the idea of the earth revolving around the sun by Nicolaus Copernicus. Prior to his publication in 1543 the so-called infallible sources such as religions believed that the earth was the centre of the universe.

Questions to consider and act on

Is enlightened self-interest driving you? Could you do more for your world and therefore for yourself?

How many of your actions yesterday feathered your own nest and cost somebody else something they didn’t want to give away?

In your lifetime what have been the ideas, theories etc once accepted as truth that are no longer believed in or relevant?

In your business what 'imagined orders' in the forms of processes, policies, procedures, practices and systems will you reimagine and replace?

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

PS I've been a keen student of what the last 500 years of history has brought us and the consequences for most of my adult life.

Below is a selection of works I recommend in addition to the 'Sapiens' book referenced here.

Here's my full recommended reading list.

Elkington, John; Hartigan, Pamela; The Power of Unreasonable People, Harvard Business Press, 2008

Flannery, Tim; The Weather Makers, Text Publishing, 2005

Friedman, Thomas; Hot, Flat, and Crowded, Allen Lane an imprint of Penguin
Books, 2008

Friedman, Thomas; The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Anchor Books a division of
Random House, Inc. 2000

Friedman, Thomas; The World is Flat, Penguin, 2006

Gerzon, Mark; Global Citizens, Rider, 2010

Gore, Al; The Assault on Reason, Bloomsbury, 2007

Gore, Al; The Future, W H Allen, 2013

Goldin, Ian and Kutarna, Chris; Age Of Discovery, Bloomsbury, 2016

Grayling, A. C.; The God Argument The Case against Religion and for Humanism, Bloomsbury, 2013

Grayling, A. C.; The Age of Genius The Seventeenth Century & The Birth of The Modern Mind, Bloomsbury, 2016

Heffernan, Margaret; Willful Blindness, Simon & Shuster, 2011

Hitchens, Christopher; God is Not Great, Allen & Unwin, 2007

Holiday, Ryan; Ego Is The Enemy, Profile Books Ltd, 2016

Hollender, Jeffrey and Stephen Fenichell; What Matters Most – Business, Social 
Responsibility and the End of the Era of Greed, Random House, 2004

Hollender, Jeffrey and Bill Breen; The Responsibility Revolution, Jossey-Bass,
2010

Hurst, Aaron; The Purpose Economy, Elevate Publishing, 2016

Keen, Andrew; The Internet Is Not The Answer, Atlantic Books, 2015

Kiel, Fred; Return On Character - The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win, Harvard Business Review Press, 2015

Korten, David C; Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth, The People-Centred Development Forum, 2nd edition, 2010

Laloux, Frederic; Reinventing organisations, Nelson Parker, 2014

Leonhard, Gerd; Technology vs. Humanity The coming clash between man and machine, Fast Future Publishing Ltd 2016

Macdonald, Hector; Truth How the Many Sides to Every Story Shape Our Reality, Bantam Press, 2018

McKeown, Greg; essentialism The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Virgin Books, 2014

Neumeier, Marty; Metaskills: Five Talents For The Robotic Age, New Rider, 2013

Newport, Cal; Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, GrandCentral Publishing, 2016

Peters, Tom; The Excellence Dividend Principles for Prospering in Turbulent Times from a Lifetime in Pursuit of Excellence, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2018

Pinker, Steven; Enlightenment Now - The Case For Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress, Penguin 2018

Porritt, Jonathon; Capitalism as if the World Matters, Earthscan, 2005

Raworth, Kate; Doughnut Economics Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist, rh business books, 2017

Sisodia, Raj, Sheth, Jag, Wolfe David B; Firms of Endearment, Wharton School
Publishing, 2007

Yunus, Muhammad; A World of Three Zeros, Scribe Publications, 2017

Monday, 12 November 2018

Competency based assessment is only a tiny part of the success story

Competency based assessment has a place however it is a small place compared to all the others pictured.


To improve recruitment, induction, and retention of employees, everyone’s overall well-being, and ultimately of course performance, assess all seven pictured.

If you’d like some help please give me a shout.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 9 November 2018

The great story of Change Please Coffee and Virgin Trains

This is a great enlightened self-interest story of big business helping a social enterprise make a big impact in solving a social problem.




Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Words to eliminate from your business language

I like this article by Eric J. McNulty and the diagram below is from his article.


What words have you/should you ban from your workplace?

I also like Eric's use of the word harmony in his article. I much prefer harmony to alignment or balance. Here's my best example of harmony.

Language is the fertile ground (starting place) for achieving your personal and business purpose and any outcome you desire. When language elevates conversations and conversations enrich relationships the work (transactions and interactions) is enhanced and results take care of themselves.

The model above is a favourite with my clients.

Like some help in applying the principle/s in this post in your own best way?

Choose a presentation/conversation/mentoring package.

Speak with me about a 1:1/group mentoring program.

Speak with me about a mentoring your mentors program.

Be remarkable.
Ian


Monday, 5 November 2018

When your call is not urgent or important

The tram is jam packed. Some of us are literally hanging from the rafters!

A guy two bodies away from me is oblivious. He's on his so-called smart phone speaking loudly on a call that's obviously not urgent or important.

In my view this guy is rude, ignorant and self-obsessed. What do you think?

A few minutes after I get off the tram a young girl runs into the old lady walking near me because she's glued to her phone. She doesn't apologise or even recognise the older woman.

In my view this girl is rude, ignorant and self-obsessed. What do you think?

A few hours later I'm on the train going home. A middle aged man opposite me never stopped taking or making telephone calls for the next hour. I now know lots about him, none of which is very impressive.

In my view this man is rude, ignorant and self-obsessed. What do you think?

When your call is not urgent or important don't make it. You don't need to be on your bloody phone every waking hour.

According to recent research from Harvard Business School, being always on lessens our effectiveness. Read more.

I gave up on a 24/7 always on world a long ago. I knew it wasn't good for me or anyone else. I choose when to email, when to call, when I do anything. I also choose when to receive calls from others and when to read anything others send. You?

By all means take pictures whenever you like, however please show respect to other people and their privacy. And please don't forget to experience the wonders of life in the moment without your bloody phone.

One of the great joys of life is to ignore electronic devices for as much of every day as possible.

I personally love the weekends because most of the time my electronic devises are switched off and in the cupboard out of sight.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 2 November 2018

Making progress in meaningful work visible

I’m currently presenting and hosting a series of master-classes as I complete the writing of this final book in a trilogy.

Learn more about the master-classes held in Ballarat on the fourth Wednesday of every month.

This post is from the content component in the change leadership section of the book.

In a nutshell

For most of my 48 years working life I’ve observed that in the very best workplaces progress towards shared objectives has been visible via scorecards and/or scoreboards of some kind.

When ‘The Balanced Scorecard’ concept began to be adopted from 1996 not only did the pictures get better, so did what was being pictured.

In the last 8 years there’s been a further raising of the bar as the wisest people apply ‘The Progress Principle’ which was rated by Harvard Business Review as the breakthrough idea of 2010.

You can learn more about ‘The Balanced Scorecard’ and ‘The Progress Principle’ via this link.

The key for me about ‘The Progress Principle’ is the insight "making progress in meaningful work visible.”

I’ve never thought much of the idea that what gets measured gets done. I’m much more aligned with the following:

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”
William Bruce Cameron in 'Informal Sociology' published 1963.

3 recommended actions

1) Have a candid, convivial and compassionate conversation with your team about your keeping score philosophy.

Ask these questions:

How much is our focus on tangibles or outcomes/results?

How can we get better at focusing on intangibles or processes or routines/rituals, i.e the things that lead to our outcomes/results.

2) Explore the concept "making progress in meaningful work visible” with your team. 

How could you embrace it and make it integral to daily work in your workplace?

3) Use visual formats and processes that the people involved relate to

Beyond traffic lights, graphs, thermometers and the like, what visual formats will you use to “making progress in meaningful work visible,” and that people really relate to?

Recommended Deep work

1) Over time create harmony between Key Human Indicators and Key Performance Indicators.

I first learned the phrase Key Human Indicators from futurist Gerd Leonhard.

I also love Gerd’s idea of androrithms "those qualities that makes us human" having more meaning than algorithms.

In my work with clients the behaviours that demonstrate the living of values are key human indicators. Here’s an example from Jamie Wilson, Sales manager for Victoria, Australia for Haymes Paint:

“In all interactions and transactions with fellow employees and business partners we perform with passion, pride in our work, professionalism, and the highest levels of honesty.”

Key Human Indicators are also the essential skills required to thrive in the new world of work.

Below is a partial list of these skills. What would you add to the list?

empathizing, collaborating, creating, leading and building relationships. Source.

Influence, Self-leadership, Communication, Agility, Resilience, Proactivity, Teachability, Curiosity,
Vulnerability, Humour. Source.

2) The skills referenced above are all critical to value delivery. What other lead value delivery indicators need to be maximised in your workplace.

The format is which people receive what they want is one such lead indicator.

Elements of your customer’s experience when doing business with you are indicators.

I love the insight that it's jobs being made redundant not people. Learn more about this.

Make a list of the jobs that you believe will never be redundant? What you've listed are a key to value delivery.

Being of value is the great quest we're all on. As Einstein put it:

"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value"
Albert Einstein

3) Create and execute a plan over the next year to improve your communication, conversations and presentations in general and also about "making progress in meaningful work visible.”


These are the outer ring of the essential skills and attitudes essential to thriving in the modern world. Learn about my unique program where you can improve in these areas in your own best way.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Simplify Your Slides To Enhance Your Presentations - Guest post by Michael Dodd

This is a guest post by my friend and colleague Michael Dodd, and HT to friend and colleague of us both Derek Willians who features.

Imagine you’re told that a great guru has something vital to tell you.

The guru lives at the top of a mountain – as gurus do.

You cross deserts and crocodile-infested rivers before climbing the rugged slopes to reach him.

Finally you meet.

But instead of looking you in the eye and spouting wisdom, the guru holds up a big sheet of cardboard with lots of tiny writing on it.

He expects you to read all the words.

This is difficult because, while you try to decipher the meaning, the guru looks at the cardboard himself and simultaneously seeks to explain it.

You don’t know whether to focus on what the guru says or the written words.

Eventually you give up trying to read – and give up listening to the guru.

By now you don’t think he really is a guru – and you’re almost asleep.

INJECTING LIFE INTO PRESENTATIONS IN THE TECH WORLD

Alas this experience is much the same as when you sit through a poorly planned presentation with a bad set of wordy slides.


Presenters who do the equivalent of this to their unfortunate audiences may know masses of useful stuff.

But little enlightenment usually takes place – and, in the end, such presenters undermine their status as potential gurus.

This happens with particular frequency to audiences in high-tech industries.

I know because I’m increasingly asked by those in high tech industries to rescue them and their unfortunate audiences.

It’s a pleasure and privilege to do so, especially as technical experts frequently prove to be quick, keen and delightful improvers with important things to say.

But while they’re not typically what you might call “natural” presenters, techy folk like to know useful formulae, quick tips and simple guidelines to put them on the right track – and they often surprise themselves with how well they can put it all into action.

FEWER WORDS AND MORE WITH PICTURES

Here’s the key tip for everyone who wants to avoid inflicting bad slide presentations upon their audiences.

Make your slides better by using fewer words and more pictures!

As a real guru on presentation might say: Too Many Bullet Points Kill.

Ask yourself, how many words are there on the front of a great movie poster that you remember – or a great book cover or a great pop album?

It’s very few.

A great slide can often help you get your message across in a similar way if it’s largely pictorial.

If you look closely at the picture below you can see a speaker showing slide of a movie poster with just one word – “Jaws”.


One emotive image (in this case a set of fierce set of shark teeth) enables a speaker to grab attention visually and say something verbally at the same time without overloading audience members and while looking directly at them.

If you need to convey a lot of factual information, make a self-contained written handout that everyone can read through afterwards when you’re not talking to them at the same time!!!

A good graphic slide doesn’t need to be self-contained, because you can add information verbally as it’s examined.

But a good handout must be self-contained, so it can be understood by audience members on the train or plane on the way home.

If the graphic slides in your presentation are memorable, audience members will understand the handout all the better.

THE LESSON OF ONE EFFECTIVE PICTORIAL SLIDE

Let me tell you about one single effective slide from a colleague in the Professional Speaking Association, Derek Williams.

Derek is a fantastically positive person who has built an organisation designed to give positive feedback to those who deserve it.

Rather than catching people doing things wrong – as so many do – Derek and his organisation catch people doing things right.

Derek also reckons many companies are more geared towards dealing with complaints than to receive praise.

In his presentations, Derek conveys this with just one slide.


It just takes a quick glance at the slide, with a short verbal explanation to get point!

WOWING THEM WITH POSITIVITY

Derek’s business is called “The WOW! Awards”.


It helps deserving organisations and their people to avoid the problem of too many complaints and not enough praise where its due.

This is good for morale, engagement and productivity.

There’s more at: the wow awards. 

WOWING THEM AT THE TOWER OF LONDON

If you want to know more, there’s a chance you can get a ticket to a hugely positive WOW! Awards ceremony at the Tower Of London on 30 November.


If you’re interested in taking advantage of this possibility, email: michael@michaeldoddcommunications.com

Warning: there will be a lot of positive “wow” stories at the Tower.

This could be a shock to the Tower Of London itself, as the venue is better known for less positive things like hanging and torturing.

But it is a place of intriguing stories.

And stories should make up a chunk of what your presentation contains – ideally supported by largely pictorial slides, or no slides at all.

Telling the right stories or informing people about real life examples is a great way to enliven presentations.

If your team would benefit from knowing how to do this, you can book a keynote speech for your conference on “Becoming Inspirational Communicators”.

There’s more at:
http://www.michaeldoddcommunications.com/speaking-at-your-event/

And to ensure you and your team fascinate your audiences – rather than kill with too many bullet points – you can book master classes or one-to-one sessions on “Presenting With Confidence, Impact And Pizzazz”.

Details are at:
http://www.michaeldoddcommunications.com/presenting-with-confidence-impact-and-pizzazz/

I'd also highly recommend Michael's great book. 

Free chapter and more here.

Monday, 29 October 2018

The big power of small to medium sized businesses

The following describes what Mittlestand, or small to medium businesses stand for. Learn more about Mittlestand and my source.

Family ownership or family-like corporate culture
Generational continuity
Long-term focus
Independence
Nimbleness
Emotional attachment
Investment into the workforce
Flexibility
Lean hierarchies
Innovativeness
Customer focus
Social responsibility
Strong regional ties

My clients reflect the above. It's why I love them.

When I work with listed companies I want to see these characteristics.

My belief is simple: profit is not a reason for being in business, rather a result of being good at business.

My clients put people first and shareholders last. After all shareholder wealth is a result not a reason.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Like some help in applying the principle/s in this post in your own best way?

Choose a presentation/conversation/mentoring package.

Speak with me about a 1:1/group mentoring program.

Speak with me about a mentoring your mentors program.

Friday, 26 October 2018

What if it's jobs not people being made redundant?

I love this headline:

In the future of work it's jobs, not people,
that will become redundant

Read the full article by Leena Nair Chief Human Resources Officer, Unilever.

Hat tip to my friend and colleague David Ednie for letting me know about this article

Leena ends her article with the following:

We need to reimagine the future of work and employment by redefining the employee cycle as well as how workers help deliver our business and create a mechanism that integrates the two.

This is the new social contract of work. Jobs become redundant from time to time but people do not need to. It is possible to create employment for life if we are willing to learn, unlearn and relearn our entire lives.

I couldn't agree more.

Very much fits my picture of the new world of work where humans focus on being remarkable and doing work that is meaningful for you and highly valuable for others.


Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Good is the new average and remarkable is the new normal

I like this piece by Bernadette Jiwa about good being the new average.

Yet what I'm helping my clients to achieve is to be remarkable.

When I undertake performance assessment with my clients below are the criteria:


The quest is to be remarkable because remarkable is the new normal.

Be remarkable.
Ian

PS You can download my 'Remarkable is the new normal' workbook with my compliments from here.

Like some help in applying the principle/s in this post in your own best way?

Choose a presentation/conversation/mentoring package.

Speak with me about a 1:1/group mentoring program.

Speak with me about a mentoring your mentors program.

Monday, 22 October 2018

What experience, aspiration, lifestyle are you offering?

In an article 'Special Isn’t What You Think' David Clarke, PwC’s global chief experience officer, suggests 4 ways to assess your business to see if you really are special in what you're offering.

1) Your friends and family have workplace envy. 
2) You’re spending less on media.
3) People love to work for you — like, really love it.
4) You’re not a want anymore, you’re a must-have — a new need.

I recommend taking a closer look at these by reading the full article.

Another way you assess your standing, which the article hints at is, what experience, aspiration, lifestyle are you offering your customers/clients?

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian



Friday, 19 October 2018

There can only be trouble when everyone is telling and no one is listening

Simon: I think you just summed up the problem in our country today: too much telling and not enough listening. The left is trying to tell the right, the right is trying to tell the left. The pro-gun lobby is trying to tell the gun control lobby, and the gun control lobby is trying to tell the pro-gun lobby. Everybody is telling everybody what it should be and what they should do, and nobody listens. If I had a friend in that position, I wouldn’t tell him anything. I would ask, “Are you happy? How are you? What is going on?” I would shut up and listen.

I think this is one of the most essential skills in life that has almost completely fallen by the wayside and in modern America, which is the art of listening, the skill of listening—a very difficult skill that requires education and tons of practice. If you do it right, active listening makes you exhausted by the end because it takes so much energy. Where you don’t just hear the words that are spoken, but you understand the meaning behind those words. Where you seek out common ground, to try to find whether there are common values—only then can you actually start to have a discussion.

I think the lesson is best captured by a story that Nelson Mandela used to tell. He was asked once, “How did you learn to become a great leader?” What people don’t realize is that he was actually born the son of a tribal chief, and he said, “I went to tribal meetings with my father when I was a boy, and I remember two things: They always sat in a circle, and my father was always the last to speak.”

The above is from this great interview with Simon Sinek by Jordan Harbinger


The image above is from this article (which was referenced in the Sinek/Harbinger interview) It's title in part Conversation Is a Skill. I couldn't agree more.

A lot of my work with my clients is helping them to become remarkable at conversations, what begins them and whats flows from them because my great conclusion from my work is that

Enlightened Language elevates conversations,
Conversations enrich relationships,
Relationships enable business.

Be remarkable.
Ian
Like some help in applying the principle/s in this post in your own best way?

Choose a presentation/conversation/mentoring package.

Speak with me about a 1:1/group mentoring program.

Speak with me about a mentoring your mentors program.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Monday, 15 October 2018

Value delivery is the essential ingredient for success whatever business you're in

The following is an extract from my Remarkable is the new normal workbook.

You can download the full workbook from here.

Delivery

We are all regardless of our product/s/service/s in the business of delivering value to all our stakeholders, value that they demand, desire, and feel that they deserve.

If you don’t know what value each of your stakeholders wants you had better ask them and quickly because if you don’t know or wait to long to find out your business is on the slippery slope to extinction rather than distinction!

What Employees Really Want From Employers
(from my research over the past two decades)

Appreciation. The eminent psychologist William James observed: “The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.”
To be held to account via regular, constructive performance feedforward and feedback
Autonomy
Opportunity to master something
Role satisfaction
A feeling that their work contributes to a higher purpose
Knowing that their work is helping them to achieve their aspirations
Open, regular, truthful, information gathering and sharing
Remuneration perceived to be at least equal to effort
Trust and trustworthiness
Happy and healthy working environment
Fairness in all dealings
Flexibility
Hope for the future

How well are you providing your employees with the above?





How can you do better?





Would you add anything to my list?




What Employees Really Want From Each Other
(from my research over the past two decades)

Goal and strategy alignment
Promises kept
Open communication
Understanding of personal needs
Trust, trustworthiness, and confidence
Appreciation, support and encouragement
Authenticity
Sense of family
Acceptance of the merit of ideas
Mutual respect 

How well are your employees providing each other with the above?





How can your employees do better?





Would your employees add anything to my list?






What customers/clients really want

Geoffrey James has sold and written hundreds of features, articles and columns for many publications including Wired, Men's Health, Business 2.0, SellingPower, Brand World, Computer Gaming World, CIO, The New York Times.

Geoffrey believes all customers want the same 12 things, regardless of who they are, who is selling to them or what they’re buying.

In my work over the past 25 years I would concur with every one of these.

 They want to feel important.
 They want to be appreciated.
 They want you to stop talking about yourself.
 They want you to stop talking about your firm.
 They want you to truly listen.
 They want to be understood.
 They want to teach YOU something.
 They want and need your help.
 They want to buy something.
 They want you to delight and surprise them.
 They want to pretend they make logical decisions.
 They want success and happiness.


On a scale of 1 - 10 with 10 being remarkable how well are you delivering on the above 12?





How can you and your employees do better?





Would you add anything to Geoffrey’s list?




You can download the full workbook from here.

Be remarkable.
Ian