Category Archives: People Matters

Posts related to the people side of strategy and operations

Volunteer to Improve the World and Yourself

Act Intentionally...Persist Variously
Act Intentionally…Persist Variously

While putting full attention on accomplishing one thing increases the odds that the thing will be done well, it is all too easy for the career minded professional to end up doing nothing other than their work!

They would be wise to realize that top performers at all levels make time for other things such as family, recreation, exercise, spiritual development, and even volunteer work.

Participating in volunteer work can add a healthy perspective to life and position for growth which makes it all the more rewarding to find a way to pitch-in. Continue reading

Advice and Lessons from Women Leaders Who Drive Change

Figure 1: A leader sets direction, aligns resources, and motivates action.

On April 29, 2014 IntelliVen sponsored the San Francisco Bay Area Organization Development Network (BAodn) panel discussion on the topic of Women Who Drive Change.

BAodn President Steve McGee facilitated the discussion in front of an audience of over 40 people at Big Heart Pet Brands Headquarters, One Maritime Plaza in San Francisco.

 

Panelists:

  • Dena McFarland; was part of a significant change at Xerox where they restructured the company yet didn’t lay off anyone.  She was also a consultant for hospitals to change their mindset from physician-centered to patient-centered.
  • Jeanamaria M. Alayaay; co-facilitated Lean Startup Product Development trainings for the White House’s Presidential innovation fellows and Presidential leadership programs, Enterprise Ireland (the Irish government’s tech accelerator), Evernote, and Microsoft Imagine Cup.  She works at Luxr.

A rough summary of key points panelists offered in response to opening questions follows:

Advice from women who drive change:

  • View everything you experience as “one more piece of an ever-evolving whole”. Continue reading

Set goals to get the results you want full

How to Aim High and Do Better with intelligent goal setting.

Bank Plan

Set goals to get the results you want base
Figure-1: Under Promise and Over Deliver

Bankers and investors want to know how things will turn out with a high degree of certainty in order to manage downside risk. Consequently, organizations that take professional money learn to conservatively state what they will accomplish to have a high probability of achieving plan. When actual results exceed plan there is cause for celebration as suggested by the under-promise and over-deliver lines graphed in Figure-1. Continue reading

How to get on track to success with a poorly performing team member.

If a team member underperforms relative to expectation, the team’s leader should first make sure basic tenets for success have been established using best contracting and governance practices.

  • As the team’s leader, ensure that you:
    • Know what the team counts on the team member to do
    • Believe s/he has the ability do it.
    • Want him/her to do it.
  • Validate that s/he:
    • Knows what the team is counting on him/her to do
    • Believes s/he has the ability do it.
    • Wants to do it.
  • Verify s/he has what is needed for success; including resources (e.g., time, money, space), knowledge, experience, systems, and access to experienced advisors.
  • Ensure there is sufficient incentive to perform up to expectation.
  • Provide governance; i.e., every month or so, ask him/her to tell you:
    • What s/he is trying to accomplish
    • What has been done towards that end
    • What has been the result of those efforts
    • What has been learned
    • What s/he plans to do next.

Continue reading

How to manage yourself to be the leader you want to be.

The leader sets direction as suggested by the target in the upper right of the first panel in Figure 1. Then the leader aligns resources; that is, the leader collects followers who all look to hit the same target. Finally, the leader motivates action, suggested by radio bars in the lower corners of the figure, which causes the resources to progress towards the target.

Figure 1: A leader sets direction, aligns resources, and motivates action.
Figure 1: A leader sets direction, aligns resources, and motivates action.

Continue reading

Leadership development curriculum content for top executives, and those who aspire to become top executives, is now also available on Amazon.

IntelliVen blog content is now available as interactive content.
High-end leadership development curriculum content now available on Amazon.

Whether one wants to change personal habits, implement a new information system, improve a business process, get team members to work together, increase a community’s appreciation for diversity, or even to topple a monarchy, taking seven actions driven by seven disarmingly simple truths will individually and collectively help achieve the goal.

Manage to Lead: Seven Truths to Help You Change the World is a workbook that top educators, consultants, and executives use to help their students, clients, and staffs become effective leaders of strategic change. Manage to Lead serves as the core content for a class in Organization Leadership, Analysis, Strategy, and Development at one of the top Organization Development masters programs in the United States.

The workbook was introduced in the spring as interactive, digital content via Inkling (the leading distributor of interactive digital higher-education content) and is now also available in soft-cover from Amazon. It introduces a straightforward framework to describe and assess any organization and provides a structured approach to plan and implement next steps for an organization as it strives for long-term growth and performance.

Those searching for high-end leadership development curriculum content should consider placing Manage to Lead at the center of their program. Contact the author to request related teaching artifacts including: Continue reading

How a new top executive can gain respect and affect change by being an aggressive listener.

Most people cannot listen until they have been heard.  As a consequence, wise leaders who want to affect thinking and behavior learn to first listen to those they aim to impact.

Holding back from jumping-in when a key point comes to mind in the middle of a fast-paced conversation can be a challenge but it is also essential in order to avoid being written-off as one who does not listen or understand, especially if the leader is new to the organization.

The following steps help a leader stay in-tune and attuned and dramatically improve their odds of success:

  • When someone talks, give undivided attention and do not interrupt.  While s/he is talking you may think you know what they are going to say and what you want to say next rushes to mind.  In that instant you experience an irrepressible urge to interrupt and jump-in.  Following the urge causes many bright, successful senior executives to often unintentionally and repeatedly use the power of their position to hijack conversations.  The pattern wears on those in the organization and soon the leader is written-off as one who never listens and who does not get, or care about, those they lead. Continue reading

How leaders of successful start-ups can bolster morale among those concerned that the organization may some day be sold.

Being part of a start-up organization can be a most invigorating experience.  Even for those with no equity stake, the energy and excitement is contagious and makes it easy to work hard for the good of the whole.

In the face of growth and strong performance, some may begin to wonder if the good times will soon end as founders, owners, and investors look to pocket the value that has been created through a sale of the organization to larger firm. Leaders sometimes struggle to keep up employee morale in such circumstances.

It can help for leaders to remind everyone in such circumstances that the best thing, in all scenarios, is to build the best possible business because doing so leads to:

  • Making the most positive impact in the market served,
  • Creating the most value for owners, and
  • Creating the most opportunity for employees to assume new responsibilities, earn increased compensation, learn new skills, and be in position to take on attractive roles upon an acquisition. Continue reading

How to test for and secure top team alignment on key matters to improve the odds of long term growth and performance.

Get AlignedLeadership teams need to get clear about:

Countless other day-to-day matters that will eventually impact long term organization performance and growth demand similar attention.  Many leaders struggle to reach a good, a better, or even a best solution to each.  Continue reading