Friday, 18 September 2020

25 ways to move from performance management to performance energetics

Today’s podcast and post is drawn from my Heart-Leadership book.

Listen to the podcast version of this post

Heart-Leadership is an alternative to people, change and performance management. Today my focus is on performance and 25 ways that you can move from performance management to performance energetics.

Energetics in simple terms means energy quality. Performance Energetics is about sustaining high energy and flow. Sometimes our role is about enhancing energy, sometimes holding it, and sometimes shifting it.

More on Performance Energetics here.

Often following Heart-Leadership work I help my clients to upgrade their performance review system, including eliminating performance appraisals which are one of the all time great energy suckers in the workplace.

Here’s the 25 ways (order not relevant)

1. Stop seeing people as they are.  See people as the can be.

2. Find out what’s really important to your people and help them achieve it.

3. Assess performance not people.

4. Stop trying to manage people.  Instead lead people.

5. Help each employee to create their own personal piece of your strategy execution map.

6. When you assess performance support assessment with data.

7. Provide "feedforward" before feedback and only feedback to people who have asked for it.

8. Focus on standards instead of goals.

9. Discover a shared-view with your employees about where you are (reality), where you’re going (possibility), why you’re going there (purpose), how you will get there (strategy), who will do what and when (execution), how you will keep progress in meaningful work visible (progress), and how you will live your values along the way (culture).

10. Teach people to take responsibility for their intentions, feelings, thoughts and actions and then let them be, aside from ongoing helpful conversations.

11. Appreciate people when they do well.

12. Never confuse a person with their performance.

13. Name the elephants in your rooms.

14. Role model candid and authentic conversations.

15. Never review performance and salary at the same time.

16. See problems as opportunities to innovate i.e. change what’s normal rather than solve the problem and reinstate the status quo (normal).

17. Keep your promises.

18. Praise in public and only ever offer critique in private, and only then when you been asked or there is an agreement in place for such conversations.

19. Share success stories other people can see and feel themselves in.

20. Be a disruptive influence for good.

21. Be fully present in the now.

22. Only have performance conversations about previously agreed actions. Only change actions with agreement.

23. Focus on processes not outcomes, yet assess performance on outcomes.

24. Do your life’s work (see previous) and inspire your employees to do theirs. See this blog post and read the section on the Career and Life-calling Card.

25. Be remarkable at all three pillars of Heart-Leadership: Complete the Check-up below to get started. Please download the Heart-Leadership Check-up here.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.


Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Heart-Leadership is all about energy exchange

Heart-leadership is a digitally-savvy, human-centred design approach to the three pillars of a thriving, modern enterprise – people leadership, process innovation and progress sustainability.

Hear Your Heart (People leadership) is the art of seeing, sometimes unearthing, mostly magnifying and enhancing people's essence including your own.

Ask Your Head (Process innovation) is the collaborative work of ensuring processes make it simple for people to bring their essence to their work. (NB processes include policies, procedures, practices, philosophies, principles, structures and systems).

Engage Your Hands (Progress sustainability) is the joyful craft of ensuring progress towards possibility (desired new reality, shared goal/objective/aim) is kept visible.

Heart-Leadership is all about energy exchange

Please place your hand on your heart. What you’re feeling is your own unique frequency, one-of-a-kind rhythm, your own special energy.

Leading from your heart has a different energy to leading from your head.

Feeling, thoughts, and actions have their own energy. 

Negative feelings, thoughts and actions have low vibrational energy forces. Positive feelings, thoughts and actions such as kindness, appreciation, compassion are high vibration energy forces.

Heart-Leadership causes high energy responses from other people.

Heart-Leadership is all about enhancing the energy when it's good and shifting the energy when needed.

There's more videos and podcasts here to help you to excel in your own best way at Heart-Leadership.

Here's a post from my soon to be published Heart-Leadership book. It's about Performance Energetics my alternative to performance appraisals and performance management systems.

Be remarkable.

Monday, 14 September 2020

The 3 key differences between Heart-Leadership and most political leadership

Heart-leadership is a digitally-savvy, human-centred design approach to the three pillars of a thriving, modern enterprise – people leadership, process innovation and progress sustainability.

There's 3 key differences between Heart-Leadership and most political leadership. 

1) The economy is part of society never the other way around.

2) The common good is always more important than our beliefs or ideologies.

3) We never oppose anything simply for the sake of being in opposition rather we debate premises and then fully support execution plans once we've reached agreement.

These 3 differences have implications for your enterprise or professional practice.

What are these implications as you see them?

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.


Friday, 11 September 2020

When we’re all playing an infinite game

The content for this post and podcast is drawn from my Heart-Leadership book.

Listen to the podcast version of this post

I'm long done with winning and competition. Instead I'm focused on continuity and collaboration. 

I still compete with myself. 

I'm long past trying to compete with other people. Friendly games of golf or chess etc etc the exception! 

Life is much more joyful and enjoyable when my focus is on being the best version of me. 

There's no need for comparison or competition anyway of course because each of us is a one-of-a-kind human being. 

A finite game has the purpose of winning, meaning the game ends once there’s a winner or winners. 

An infinite game is played with the purpose of continuing the game. 

An infinite game is a much more curious and interesting game. 

Consider the damage that the finite game of economic growth has done to our world particularly post GFC (Global Financial Crisis) and DC (during corona) and no doubt AC (after corona). 

Remember the one rule previously explored. More about this here.

In many Western governments the one rule is economic growth and therefore decisions made in GFC times and DC and AC were fundamentally flawed because we were looking at everything through an economic lens rather than equally through social, environmental, spiritual and universal lenses. 

I recommended Simon Sinek’s book on the subject published in 2019 and the book by the originator of the idea James P. Carse, published in 1986. More about these books here.

As an action I recommend writing down all the areas of your life that are winners and losers games and consider and take action that would turn them into games that you can keep on playing.

The big infinite game we can all play is about value exchange and delivery 

What is your value promise to each of your various stakeholder relationships and how well are you currently fulfilling these promises? 

Many organisational structures are too complicated to be able to effectively answer this question. Usually the problems are an outcome of command and control management where one or more individuals want to be involved in everything and can’t or won’t let go of decision-making. 

I love the work of German author and advisor Niels Pflaeging. Niels believes that every organisation has three structures, formal, informal and what he calls value creation structure. It’s this one that I’m particularly interested in. 

The keys to value creation for me are roles, relationships and what value is demanded, desired and felt deserved, and what is actually being delivered to and exchange with people. 

Value like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. 

What are the key relationships in your workplace? Most likely there are 7 to carefully consider: 

1)  Employees with customers/clients. 

2)  Employees with other employees. 

3)  Employees with employers. 

4)  Employees with external suppliers. 

5)  Employees with other stakeholders. 

6)  Employees within communities where your workplace 

7)  Employers within such communities. 

Over time consider each of these relationships and how you can be better and wiser in exchanging and delivering value.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.


Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Transparency is a sign of real leadership

There are a lot of fake leaders masquerading as real ones today. 

Lack of transparency is one way of spotting a fake. Sadly many political, religious and business leaders are not transparent. Some are blatantly so for all the wrong reasons! 

Transparency is letting us know that what you promised us is in jeopardy, whatever the reasons.

Transparency is not telling us you have a plan, it’s sharing your plan with us and showing how our input has been taken into account.

Transparency is showing us how you arrived at your decisions. Even if we disagree with your decision we are much more likely to help you when we can see the process of how you arrived at your decision.

In my Heart-Leadership book I share this model for making decisions

Also in the Heart-Leadership book I share the following:

The right decisions made at the right time by the people in the best position to make them is what everybody wants right?

In reality at least half the decisions made by business people are not the best decisions that could be made. 

These were the findings of two decades of research by Dr Paul Nutt of Ohio State University and involving hundreds of organisations. The research found that there are three key reasons why 50% of decisions fail:

1)  “1/3 driven by ego.
2) nearly 2/3 of executives never explore alternatives once they make up their mind.

 3) 80% of managers push their decisions through by persuasion or edict and not by the value of their idea.”

Ego is a sign of fake leadership. So is not exploring alternatives. And not basing decisions on the vale of an idea is unforgivable.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Monday, 7 September 2020

How to love living in your learning zone with Peter Milligan

 This month's Sparkenation Conversation with a special guest featured Peter Milligan.

Some gems from Peter:

"connection before direction."

"wisdom is knowledge successfully applied with love."

"go slow to go fast."

Learn more about these conversations and watch recordings of the previous two here.

Be remarkable.


Friday, 4 September 2020

The 8 stages to guaranteeing innovation

Listen to the podcast version of this post

I created a process to help my clients learn and take action. It’s turned into a way to guarantee innovation and progress. It’s also a track I use regardless of the kind of work I’m doing or the event I’m conducting.  I’m taking people on a journey from information to insight to inspiration to idea/s to implementation to introspection to integration to innovation. This is my fundamental methodology.

Let’s take a quick look at each phase:


Information is everywhere right. We’re drowning in it. It’s accessible and mostly free. Deliberate distribution of disinformation is now rife. One of the challenges today is determining whether information it’s true or false. The bottom-line, information is actually of very little value. What we crave is insight.


Insight is everywhere too. Yet not easily accessed. 

A most worthy pursuit because it’s the beginning of more people feeling valued, living values and delivering value, which are the fundamentals of a thriving enterprise.


Very few people take the time and energy to savour insight and imagine what can be. To be inspired heart is required. Emotions need stirring.


Any idea from the heart inspired by intuition is worthy of consideration. There’s three key questions to answer:

1) What’s your process for considering people’s ideas and getting back to them once considered?

2) What is the decision-making process for choosing an idea to implement?

3) How much freedom do your people have to implement ideas?

Then love your idea like your dearest. Find people who love it too. Work with them to turn your idea into innovation through the final three crucial stages.


There are three essentials for successfully implementing any idea.

1) do so one quantum leap at a time.

2) implement in 90 day blocks using performance possibility plans-on-a-page. 90 days is enough time to do things that matter and yet short enough to be able to correct any missteps.

3) aggregate the marginal gains.


To reflect on actions taken and their impact is vital to all learning and progress or innovation of any kind. I help a lot of my clients with after-action-reviews and have a simple 5 stage process that I’ll mention shortly.


Integrating new perceptions with what is already working well for you is an essential to embedding learning and established new levels of performance.

I recommend the following 5 stages to for introspection and integration work.

1) Review one implementation action at a time and answer the following questions what happened and why? what did we learn, relearn, and unlearn? How can we be better, wiser and more valuable in applying these learnings? Who will we become? What will we do next?

2) Determine with your colleagues how your answers will be integrated with what is already working well for you.

3) Upgrade your individual, team and organisational plans and co-promises on a page accordingly.

4) Reflect new perceptions in appropriate standard operating procedures, policies and practices.

5) Upgrade learning and development materials.


Innovation has occurred when we have changed what’s normal, when we have shifted from sameness or the status quo that was no longer serving us, to something more valuable.

The 8 stages to guaranteeing innovation are integral to Heart-Leadership. There's more podcasts plus videos and online courses here to help you further.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.


Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Lead people. Manage processes

In a workshop with CEO’s in 1990 I declared people management dead and that the new management was all about processes. 

There were a lot of sniggers in the room and a couple of out loud laughs.

Nobody sniggers or laughs anymore.

Mind you the pandemic is highlighting that some people still think people can be managed. Don't be tempted. People need to feel appreciated, valued and loved. This is real leadership.

People leadership is the art of seeing, sometimes unearthing, mostly magnifying and enhancing people's essence including your own.

People leadership needs to be in harmony with process innovation

Process Innovation is the collaborative work of ensuring processes make it simple for people to bring their essence to their work. (NB processes include policies, procedures, practices, philosophies, principles, structures and systems).

People leadership and process innovation are two of the three pillars of Heart-Leadership. The third pillar is progress sustainability. Learn more.

Make it your business every day to lead people and manage processes. You will make sustainable progress when you do.

There's more videos and podcasts here to help you.

A key action is to ensure that every day you and your fellow employees are systematically reviewing and updating your processes so that it is always simple for people to bring their essence to their work.

Be remarkable.