The relationship between leader and followers has changed over the past 50-years and is still changing. Leaders used to command-and-control workers, who were seen to be basically lazy, having to be told exactly what to do, and motivated only by security and money. Leaders had top-down authority and a tight rein on workers who could not be trusted to do good work without control.
In the ‘70s and ‘80s more democratic models emerged. Workers were seen as responsible and motivated to do a good job, even without tight controls, punishment, and reward. This led to a less rigid leader-follower relationship, one more focused on creating happier, productive workers. The tools for doing that, however, were unclear.
Leaders of services businesses are often so busy either delivering their services or hustling to land their next client that they never get around to building a systematic way to deliver more value to current clients.
The best service business leaders create an unfair advantage by assigning engagement leaders to deliver on target, on time, and on budget to create satisfied clients and lay the groundwork for delivering more — much more — services. Leaders should develop explicit goals to extend, expand, and find new opportunities to deliver extraordinary value to their clients with the most growth potential.
The business case for Diversity and Inclusion programs in organizations has been building for decades. The increasingly global nature of business leaves us with an ever greater need to integrate cross-cultural skills and competencies into multiple levels of system in organizations across the world. As a result, education and change management plans that help leaders, managers and staff navigate their differences and use them to achieve better business results are more and more common.
Consequently the need has never been greater for organizations to have common language and frameworks to help individuals understand the complexities of communication dynamics posed by working across social group identities such as age, ability, gender, culture, class, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and more.
It is well known that firms with inadequate systems for managing risk are liable to suffer serious breakdowns that interrupt operations and cost the companies dearly in terms of fines, remediation efforts, and damage to their reputations. But firms’ risk management systems are only as good as the data fed into them. What of firms that pay attention to the wrong metrics, employ error-prone data-collection practices, or rely on otherwise misleading data to manage their risks?
IntelliVen will host an hour-long webinar on key roles, and five ways, to drive sales in a services business on December 3 at 1:00 eastern.
Most service organizations dramatically under-play opportunities to deliver more value to existing clients and to deliver for new clients what has already been successfully delivered for another. Attend to learn why and how to get on track to perform better.
Attendees will have the chance to share experiences and explore opportunities to improve performance. Account managers, client managers, project managers, and market leaders are invited to sign up to attend this informative session.
Thesis: In the face of the same data, two rational people will make the same decision.
Implication: When two people disagree on something it is likely that there is something one knows that the other does not.
Strategy: When two people disagree, each should strive to reveal what is relevant that s/he knows and that the other does not until both know everything that the other knows.
Conclusion: Agreement should be reached if both are rational; that is, neither is acting based on self-interest, emotion, fear, etc.
Implication: When you reach an impasse with someone on an important matter, reflect on what is important that you know that the other party might not know and offer to share it. Similarly, ask the other party what s/he knows that is important that you may not know. Continue reading How rational actors can reach agreement.→
SUBJECT: Input on an opportunity to bid for a strategic project
I just got off the phone with the President of the top player in our target vertical market west of the Mississippi:
Opportunity: They are going to let an RFP in two weeks to six or fewer strategy consulting firms.
Scope: Strategy, culture, change management, marketing, and messaging. (Yes; they’ve combined it all; and Yes they want one winner to be their partner as they transform).
Budget: Over $1M in first-year contracted services.
Term: It’s a multi-year award.
Qualifications: It’s right up our alley, the CEO know us (me) but has never been a client, our lack of local presence is a good thing because they want a firm with great experience and NOT just someone local.
Process: Responses will be due six weeks after the RFP is issued, and orals will be in two months with the winner selected by year-end.
Please share thoughts on how to think this through. We want to win as always and this has big implications for our firm if we do win. We have NOT decided to bid. We will do a bid/no-bid process once we see the RFP.
In a traditional performance evaluation, someone is assigned to compile and review with each executive a summary of her/his strengths, contributions, growth, and opportunities for improvement. The traditional process has many weaknesses which are summarized in this article recently published by Flevy.com, such as:
Compiling a quality performance assessment is difficult; consequently it often gets put off to be done at the last minute but it also takes time to do a good job and time runs out.
Assessment content tends to be arbitrary based on ability, skills, and perspective of the reviewer and may not represent the best thinking or interests of the team.
Reviewers tend to avoid raising and dealing with tough matters that should be addressed aggressively because it is uncomfortable and they are not trained or motivated to do otherwise.
A credible organization consistently performs and grows according to a plan. Such an organization will invariably be a system of three systems:
A system of delivery
A system of sales
A system of growth.
It is not uncommon for an early stage organization to be good at delivery and good at growth but stuck at square-one when it comes to its system of selling. Leaders of such organizations often find themselves consumed with delivery and with never enough time to develop and drive a system that generates new sales opportunities.
Interest and competence in sales starts at the very top of an organization. It is in everyone’s best interest for a top executive to own the challenge to determine how to systematically create demand for what the organization offers. Once a leader figures out how to sell, the method can be routinized and taught to others to execute, manage, and scale.Continue reading Sales — whose problem is it anyway?→