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Neuroscience Is Going to Change How Businesses Understand Their Customers

Harvard business - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 08:00

IKEA has used it to make decisions about its business model.

Categories: Blogs

Getting Over Your Fear of Cold Calling Customers

Harvard business - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 07:00

48% of B2B salespeople are afraid of cold calling.

Categories: Blogs

How Leaders Can Open Up to Their Teams Without Oversharing

Harvard business - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 06:05

It’s all about recognizing boundaries.

Categories: Blogs

Don’t Assume the Worst

Eblingroup - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 05:00

When I asked communications expert, Dr. Nick Morgan, for his one best piece of advice for anyone who wants to be a more effective virtual communicator, his answer was quick, simple and powerful, “Don’t assume the worst.” Here’s the back story on why Nick offered that advice and how you can apply it for positive outcomes.

Towards the end of last year, I interviewed Nick about what he learned in writing his latest book on how to communicate effectively through virtual platforms like email, text, and video conferencing. The book is called Can You Hear Me? and I highly recommend it.

Nick is a true expert on the art of interpersonal communication and, I think it’s fair to say, is not a fan of virtual communications when direct person-to-person three-dimensional communication is an option. But, Nick is also a realist and, because getting work done relies more and more on virtual communications every day, he wrote his book to help leaders make the best of a challenging situation.

One of the points Nick made in our conversation is that virtual communications often go nowhere or, worse, go off the rails is because we can’t get all of the sensory input we get when we communicate in person. When you’re in the room with someone, you intuitively process things like their body language, tone of voice, breathing, micro-expressions on their face, and all kinds of other subtleties that let you know whether or not you’re tracking with each other. The information data set is much richer in person and that’s why face-to-face communications is almost always more effective.

Almost all of those kinds of input get lost in virtual communications. Think about it, how often do your emails get misinterpreted? When was the last time you had a conference call where you knew people were multi-tasking during the call and not really tuning in? (Maybe because you were multi-tasking too.) If you do video conferences, you’re probably used to some people not turning their cameras on or maybe there’s one camera for a whole room full of people sitting around a conference table and all you can really make out are unidentifiable human forms, forget about facial expressions.

Because we don’t get all of the information we need in virtual settings, Nick and I agreed that we usually suffer from sensory deprivation in those situations. We end up in an information vacuum and tend to fill that space up with a bunch of assumptions, stories, misperceptions and other junk that just doesn’t help.

What can you do about it? Here are a few ideas:

  • Communicate in person whenever you can.
  • Take the time to learn more about the other people involved and what they care about.
  • Remember that they’re human beings and not just functions of production.
  • When you engage in virtual communications, make an effort to be really present and watch for the gaps in understanding and circle back to fill in the gaps.
  • And, when all else fails, don’t assume the worst. Most people are operating with positive intent. If they’re frustrating you or ticking you off, slow down, take a few deep breaths and check your assumptions.

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Categories: Blogs

Rewards and Recognition Can Be Work Related – Friday Distraction

Hr Bartender - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 02:57

A few weeks ago, I published a Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos about recognition and rewards. It was about the boss who gave every member of the team an ugly holiday sweater. I hope you’ll check it out if you haven’t already. This one reminded me of another aspect of rewards and recognition that we might forget. And that’s all rewards do not have to be personal.

What I mean by that is, the goal of rewards and recognition is for the recipient to feel the value (of the sentiment). It’s true, sometimes that might be an item that an employee really wants on a personal level. I’ve had bosses give me an extra day off or a Starbucks gift card because they knew I liked those things. But once I had a boss give me a printer for my office. Yep, that’s right…a printer.

Did I need a printer? No. My office printer worked just fine. It was old but it worked. My boss knew that I really wanted a new printer with the latest technology. So, to thank me for my hard work, he approved a printer. I was thrilled. 

By sharing this story I’m not implying that managers should all start buying office equipment for their employees. But this Time Well Spent cartoon reminded me that sometimes employees value rewards that make their work lives easier. Or rewards that make them feel they are keeping up with the latest technologies. Like mobile scheduling. 

  • Employees expect their work technologies to mirror their personal lives. Let’s face it, we’ve become really spoiled with the capabilities of today’s technology. I can deposit a check without going to the bank. I bought Aquaman movie tickets while standing in line at a store. Employees expect to have the conveniences of technology at work. And when I say employees, that includes manager level employees. Supervisors and managers want technology to make their work lives easier too.
  • Companies that want to attract and retain talent need to have current technology. This goes along with the first bullet. The recruiting landscape is competitive. Employees have choices. When faced with the decision to apply at an organization with the latest tech or outdated tech, which one do you think they’ll choose? Exactly. This doesn’t mean that organizations have to run out an buy the latest at the moment it’s available. But it does mean they need to plan to keep competitive.

Organizations that want to send the message to employees that their work is valued need to also think about how the work gets done. Giving an employee the latest equipment is one way to show that the organization cares. They care that employees perform at a high level using the best technology. Which could translate into less stress, better work / life balance, and improved engagement. 

I’m not saying that managers should stop the thank you’s, gift cards, or extra time off. Those forms of rewards and recognition are important. But sometimes, organizations need to think about rewarding employees by making their work life easier. 

The post Rewards and Recognition Can Be Work Related – Friday Distraction appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

Henry Mintzberg’s Bedtime Stories for Managers

Leadershipnow - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 01:51


MINTZBERG’S 20th book, Bedtime Stories for Managers, is a thought-provoking page-turner. (In that sense I’m not sure it’s good to read just before drifting off.) The stories—a collection or repurposed blog posts—are meant to be pondered.

The theme running through most is that managers/leaders need to get out from behind their desks and see the world from the perspective of their employees and customers. To this end, he dedicates the book to “all those managers who eat the scrambled eggs to help their organization work like a cow.” That requires some explanation.

Scrambled Eggs

The first story tells of an experience he had on the soon to be defunct Eastern Airlines (they went bankrupt in 1991). He was served some awful scrambled eggs. After complaining to the flight attendant, she said, “I know. We keep telling them; they won’t listen.”

Management is not eating the eggs. They’re not running the business; they’re reading financial statements.

The financial analysts were certainly reading those statements, and probably explaining the airline’s problems in terms of load factors and the like. Don’t believe a number of it. Eastern Airlines went belly up because of those scrambled eggs.
And here’s the kicker:
Some years later, after telling this story to a group of managers, one of them, from IBM, came up to tell me another story. The CEO of Eastern Airlines came rushing in at the last minute for a flight, he said. First class was full, so they bumped a paying customer to put him where I guess he had become accustomed. Apparently feeling guilty, he reportedly made his way to Economy Class (no mention was made of him having to ask where it was). There he apologized to the customer, introducing himself as the CEO of the airline. The customer replied: “Well, I’m the CEO of IBM.”
The lesson is that managers/leaders (both sides of the same coin) need to get out and run their businesses. They need a dose of reality. “Managing is not about sitting where you have become accustomed,” writes Mintzberg. “It’s about eating the scrambled eggs.”

Work Like a Cow

In section 2 we learn about the cow. It comes as a reaction to a clever and insightful 1995 advertisement from SAP. In the ad the copy reads: “This is an organizational chart that shows the different parts of a cow. In a real cow the parts are not aware that they are parts. They do not have trouble sharing information. They smoothly and naturally work together, as one unit. As a cow. And you have only one question to answer. Do you want your organization to work like a chart? Or a cow?”


This is a very serious question. Ponder it. Cows have no trouble working like cows. Nor, for that matter, does each of us, physiologically at least. So why do we have so much trouble working together socially? Are we that confused about organizing, for example all this obsession with charts?

Say “organization” and we see leadership. That’s why those charts are so ubiquitous. They tell us who is supposed to lead whom but not who does what, how, and with whom. Why are we so fixated on formal authority?

Do you know why re-organizing is so popular? Because it’s so easy. Shuffle people on paper and the world is transformed—on that paper at least. Imagine instead if people were shuffled around offices to make new connections?
Other Lessons

A few of the stories take a concept or two out of context to make a point, but the point is well taken. Here are a few lessons gathered from the pages of Bedtime Stories for Managers:
Successful managers are flawed—everyone is flawed—but their particular flaws are not fatal under the circumstances. Reasonable human beings find ways to live with one another’s reasonable flaws.

I’m not one for magic bullets in management, but if one prescription could improve the practice of managing monumentally, here it is: give voice in selection processes to people who have been managed by the candidates. Please sleep on this bedtime story. Advertisement

While mass movements can raise awareness of the need for social renewal, it is social initiatives, usually developed by small groups in local communities, that start much of the renewing.

Managerial effectiveness has to be judged and not just measured.

Conventional management education—namely in MBA programs—tilts heavily to the use of analysis, namely evidence, and away from experience. And when some of these people eventually make their way into management, all too often they manage as they were taught, by favoring evidence over experience, managing by the numbers, and relying on techniques.

Being born to a business genius, let alone inheriting the wealth of one, has never made anyone a business genius.

Do we need more globalization on this globe? How about more worldliness in this world? Global implies a certain cookie-cutter conformity—everyone subscribing to the same set of beliefs, techniques, and styles. Is this any way to foster the innovation needed by so many organizations? We should be celebrating managers’ their uniqueness, not their sameness. [A colleague asked a driver in Bangalore, India] “How can you possibly drive in this traffic?” He replied nonchalantly: “I just join the flow.” Welcome to the worldly mindset! That’s not chaos out there, but another world, with a logic of its own.

I said, “I never set out to be the best. It’s too low a standard. I set out to be good.” This was not meant to sound arrogant: I was not claiming to be better than the best, just beside the very quest for being the best. I meant that the best work is done by people who compete with themselves, not with anyone else. They do their best.
The stories serve best as sort of a reality check. Good night.

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Categories: Blogs

Working Mothers

Harvard business - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 14:53

Are you struggling to balance career and family? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of career coach Daisy Dowling. They talk through what to do when you’re returning from maternity leave, planning to have kids early in your career, or debating whether to quit your job to care for your children.

Categories: Blogs

8 Things to Do Before You Run a Business Experiment

Harvard business - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 09:00

Budget time, not just money.

Categories: Blogs

How Global Brands Can Respond to Local Competitors

Harvard business - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 08:00

Small consumer brands are better able to create hypertargeted products.

Categories: Blogs

Why You Should Work Less and Spend More Time on Hobbies

Harvard business - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 07:00

Creative pursuits will open up new perspectives and boost your confidence.

Categories: Blogs

Learn Leadership

Greatleaders hipbydan - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 06:30

Guest post from Leo Bottary:
Leadership lessons exist all around us, all the time.  All we have to do is pay attention.  Let me offer two examples – one is about growth and the other involves the power of declaring victory.
One of my favorite fictional characters provides a profound lesson in leadership in a wonderful book called The Offsite by Robert H. Thompson.  His name is Sam Arthur, and he is the groundskeeper at Tucson, Arizona’s La Mariposa Resort & Spa – the location of an offsite meeting for two high-powered teams from competing pharmaceutical companies.
Consider for a moment that Thompson could have given Sam any job at the hotel – general manager, bellman, concierge, etc.  (Or, the author could have chosen one of the other high-powered executives portrayed in the book to be our teacher, so to speak).  The groundskeeper, however, serves as the perfect metaphor for servant leadership. Sam sees to it that the soil is healthy. He makes sure the plants get enough water and sun, and that their environment is free from weeds and pests.  The plants are given everything they need to succeed on their own. Sam knows that if he creates the right conditions for growth, his gardens will flourish.
One would hardly imagine Sam screaming at the flowers to grow faster or fuller.  Sam’s approach to nurturing his garden is what great leaders do to build successful enterprises.  They create conditions for people to flourish!  Maybe more importantly, Sam reminds the executives attending the offsite, and us as readers, that we can learn something from everyone we meet, no matter what their job or station in life.  This is how we grow.
When it comes to declaring victory, I experienced how leaders (coaches) can help people reframe tough challenges to ensure success.  About 15-20 years ago, I frequently trained for and ran a number of marathons.  Sometimes, on long run days or even during a few races, if I was not feeling 100% physically or just mentally beaten down by the distance, I would stop and walk for a while, run until I couldn’t run anymore, and walk again. I’d repeat the process until I reached the end of my training run or, in the case of a race, the finish line.
An experienced runner once told me that this can happen to anyone, but that I was thinking about it all wrong. He said that if you have to stop and walk, that’s fine, but when you start running again, don’t run until you can’t go another step. When you do that, you’re engaging in a mental exercise of repeated failure. Instead, when you feel good enough to start running again, look ahead of you and spot a tree or a stop sign. Set that as your goal. Run to it and declare victory. Start walking again, and when you’re ready, identify another marker. Run to that and call it a win. He advised that declaring victory, rather than succumbing to repeated defeats, would help me finish more quickly and with a healthier attitude.  The recurring wins would actually bolster my confidence for the future. Of course, he was absolutely right. It works brilliantly.
I once offered the same advice to my daughter Kristin during her first attempt at running a half marathon.  I explained the “declare victory versus succumb to defeat approach” to getting across the finish line. She tried it and was extremely grateful for the way this small change in mindset helped her complete the race that day.
Now imagine Kristin, not as a runner, but as an employee.  She is charged with achieving a lofty goal, has a solid plan to achieve that goal, and then begins to implement the plan with all the energy in the world.  As she runs into difficulties along the way, her enthusiasm yields to the current circumstances and the reality of the long slog ahead.  She starts to believe that the situation is controlling her, instead of the other way around. When this happens, this is where the leader can remind her that it’s okay to walk for a bit, set a short-term goal, achieve that goal, secure a win, and set a new short-term goal. It’s as simple as putting one foot in front of the other and declaring victory as often as possible.
Some of the greatest leadership lessons I’ve ever received came when I wasn’t looking for them.  I can only imagine the stories and lessons the readers of this blog could share – especially those that were gleaned from unexpected sources and/or seemingly unrelated experiences.  If you have one, share one in the comments section.  It’s among the best ways to truly learn leadership. 
Leo Bottary is a sought-after thought leader on peer advantage, an emerging discipline dedicated to strategically engaging peers to realize your business and life goals. A popular author, educator, keynote speaker and workshop facilitator. His new book is What Anyone Can Do: How Surrounding Yourself with the Right People Will Drive Change, Opportunity, and Personal Growth. For more information, please visit www.leobottary.com.

Categories: Blogs

Research: Are Women Better at Leading Diverse Countries Than Men?

Harvard business - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 06:05

A study looked at 188 nations over a 54-year period.

Categories: Blogs

Job Seekers: There Is a Fine Line Between Persistent and Pest

Hr Bartender - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 02:57

I recently ran across an article about job seekers following up after an interview. I was interested in it because I’ve written several times about how to follow-up after a job interview. Here are links to a few of the previously published articles:

How To: Follow Up After a Job Interview

Who To Contact After a Job Interview

Company Promised a Second Interview

What to Do After a Bad Job Interview

Anyway, back to the article. There was a sentence in it that said, “If you want to get the attention of a prospective employer, you may very well have to be a pest, a nice persistent pest but a pest none the less.” I totally get it and completely understand why the author wrote it. Candidates want the job. So, they’re anxious and excited. 

As an HR pro, let me offer some advice. Don’t be a pest. Not even a “nice pest”. Being a pest isn’t the same as being persistent. What job seekers want to do is be effective, efficient, and a good communicator. Candidates want to and should follow-up. But do not be a pest. 

That being said, let me reiterate the best way to follow-up and not step over the line from persistent to “pest” status:

Remember the goal of job search. I worked for an outplacement firm many years ago and we always told candidates the goal of a job search was to receive multiple offers. The key word being “multiple”. That means job seekers should be constantly working leads – multiple leads – in the hopes there will be multiple offers. I’m bringing this up because…

Don’t put all of your efforts in one basket. If the goal is to get multiple offers, then candidates shouldn’t be focused on one company or one job. Yes, I’m sure there are jobs that candidates really like. But if a company isn’t responding, there are other opportunities available. Especially in today’s job market with record low unemployment.

When you go to an interview, find out next steps. Then follow them. I tell recruiters that a candidate should never leave an interview not knowing

  1. When the company is going to make a decision
  2. Who to contact with follow-up questions
  3. How to follow-up (email, text, or phone).

If the recruiter doesn’t automatically tell you, ask the question. Then, once you know, do what the company asks. 

Now, if all of these considerations haven’t convinced you that “being a pest” may not be the best strategy, let me toss out one more thing. Do you really want to work for a company where you had to become a “pest” to get the job? Even a “nice pest” to get the job? When it comes to new opportunities, candidates should be interviewing the company as much as the company is interviewing the candidate. And if it takes pesky behavior to land a new job, just imagine what the employee experience will be like. If you don’t like being overly persistent or pesky to get the job, then will you want to do it to get training, ask for a raise, or request time off. Enough said. 

Maybe it’s just my perception of the word pest, but when job seekers cross over to the pest category, they run the risk of organizations questioning their ability to follow the rules. This doesn’t mean candidates can’t contact the company or send a follow-up note. (They absolutely should.) Just be careful about going from interested and attentive job seeker to pesky candidate. 

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby somewhere off the coast of Havana, Cuba

The post Job Seekers: There Is a Fine Line Between Persistent and Pest appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

Fears About Huawei, and Facebook Earnings (What We Learned)

Harvard business - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 10:35

Youngme, Felix, and Mihir debate U.S. fears about Huawei and implications for U.S.-China relations. They also offer their interpretation of Facebook’s latest earnings results, before sharing their After Hours picks for the week.

Categories: Blogs

The State of Globalization in 2019, and What It Means for Strategists

Harvard business - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 09:00

Executives should consider four key ideas.

Categories: Blogs

To Reduce Emergency Room Wait Times, Tie Them to Payments

Harvard business - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 08:00

The average wait time in the U.S. is around an hour and a half.

Categories: Blogs

How to Choose Your First AI Project

Harvard business - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 07:00

Pick a quick win to build internal support.

Categories: Blogs

Ideas for Helping Remote Colleagues Bond

Harvard business - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 06:05

From book clubs to Fortnite.

Categories: Blogs

Scaling Leadership

Leadershipnow - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 01:16


THE INEVITABLE CONSEQUENCE of leading in an increasingly complex world is that we will have developmental gaps in our leadership. As our context change, we have to grow with it.

In the words of Robert Anderson and William Adams, authors of Scaling Leadership, “We are running an Internal Operating System that is not complex enough for the complexity we face. This is our Development Gap.” We are often pushed to our limits. The solution is to scale our leadership.
Leadership must learn to scale itself, but not any kind of leadership will do. We need much more of the kind of leadership that is capable of scaling innovation, adaptability, sustainability, agility, and engagement as it is growth strategy. Scaling leadership is about becoming the kind of leader that scales the conscious leadership capable of creating what matters most of all the stakeholders it serves.
So just what is this “conscious leadership?” To answer this question, they asked 50,000 leaders and employees worldwide, “What kind of leadership, if it existed, would enable the organization to thrive in its current marketplace and into the future?”

The answer is displayed in the Optimal Leadership Circle Profile below. The top half of the circle are the 18 Creative Competencies that lead to leadership effectiveness. The bottom half is comprised of 11 Reactive Tendencies. These are our go-to strengths and behaviors we rely on when we feel under pressure. The reactive tendencies often get the job done but at a cost—disenchanted and disengaged employees and stakeholders that feel bullied or let down.



In order to scale your leadership, the right conditions must exist. First and foremost, we have to consciously move our leadership from reactive to creative. Also a Generative Tension or Strategic Intent must exist as leaders take responsibility for and establish a development agenda for themselves and their organization. Finally, as represented by the top half of the inner circle, four more conditions must exist: Relating or Deep Relationship, Self-Awareness and Authenticity or Radically Human, Systems Awareness or Big Picture, and Achieving or Purposeful Achievement.

How do you show up as a leader? Creative? Reactive?

In their study, High-Creative leaders consistently demonstrated the following 10 strengths. Interestingly, the first four represent the areas with the highest leadership gaps—areas where leaders need the most work.
  • Strong People Skills and Interpersonal Capability: Caring, compassionate, big-hearted; respects people, connects well with others and makes them feel valuable.
  • Good Listener: Attentive and present when people are presenting their views.
  • Team Builder: Unites, engages, and supports the team’s efforts. Builds involvement and consensus, supports team members, and advocates for team initiatives.
  • Leads by Example: Good role model. “Walks the talk.”
  • Visionary: Communicates a compelling vision of the future that fosters alignment. Knows and sets strategic direction and business plans that allow teams/organizations to thrive.
  • Personable / Approachable: Accessible, available, open-door, friendly, likable, easy to work with, and good sense of humor.
  • Passion and Drive: Shows passion, enthusiasm, drive, and a strong commitment to the success of the organization and to personal success.
  • Develops People: Shares experience and provides mentoring, coaching, career planning, and development experience to ensure growth and development.
  • Empowers People: Shares leadership and encourages people to take ownership, find their own solutions, make their own decisions, and learn from mistakes. Trusts people’s ability and their willingness to follow the direction provided.
  • Positive Attitude: Optimistic, upbeat; has a can-do attitude.

It’s not surprising that these were the most strongly endorsed strengths. People perform better when respected and your leadership is perceived as better when you are respectful. As Bill Adams father told him growing up, “How you get results is as important as the results themselves.” It’s easy to forget in a world where the end seems to justify the means.

In the authors consulting work they have found that when leaders derail it’s because while they are very talented, they are highly reactive. They underuse their High-Creative strengths. Often what got them where they are, is no longer working in their new leadership context.

Their research indicates areas that all leaders need to consider and develop where necessary. But of course, simply following a list is a bit simplistic. Or to say because I am relational, I’m a better leader. Because I’ve got good people skills, I’m naturally effective. We all come to leadership with strengths and weakness. Learning to honestly face where you need work and where you need to temper your strengths, is the sign of a great leader. Scaling leadership is a good place to begin the journey.

In conclusion, the authors state that there’s more. Creative Leadership alone isn’t going to get the job done. “No matter how you cut it, we are up against a level of escalating complexity and disruptive change that requires, and will continue to require, an unprecedented level of innovation, adaptability, scalability, sustainability, resilience, collective intelligence, engagement, empowerment, agility, systemic thinking, and global cooperation.”

What we need they term Integral Leadership “supported by a Self-Transforming Internal Operating System in some depth.” That’s to say we are no longer leading for ourselves but for a purpose larger than ourselves that comes through everything we do. It means we go deeper to develop our character—who we are.
We no longer sponsor change in the organization, we radically, humanly, and in deep relationship lead change from the perspective that the system is mirroring the function and dysfunction in us, individually and collectively. We project our shadow less and less, and therefore, we can engage conflict without reactively making the other into an enemy or adversary. We experience others as much like us, a work in progress, and we engage in dialogue from a place of listening, learning, compassion, and strength.
Humility. Empathy. Faith. Grace.

We are more alike than different. Integral leadership sees through our differences “to a deeper unity that we all share—that we all are. We are all each other.”

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You can learn more about the Leadership Circle Profile and take your free self-assessment on the Leadership Circle website.

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Categories: Blogs

Why Business Jargon Isn’t All Bad

Harvard business - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 09:55

Anne Curzan, English professor at the University of Michigan, studies the evolution of language. While many of us roll our eyes at bizspeak — from synergy to value-add to operationalize — Curzan defends business jargon. She says the words we say around the office speak volumes about our organizations and our working relationships. She shares how to use jargon more deliberately, explains the origin of some annoying or amusing buzzwords, and discusses how English became the global business language and how that could change.

Categories: Blogs

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