Managing in uncertainty for high performance

Managing in uncertainty for high performance

2 years ago 0 0 926

What is uncertainty? If we listen to the famous Chinese proverb: “May you live in interesting times”, we can see it as both a blessing and a curse. We are certainly living in interesting – if not uncertain – times. With Brexit, the extended time for Australian election to be decided, the rise of Donald Trump, the disagreements in the South China Sea, we can feel that there is uncertainty all around us. These uncertain times drive very specific responses. Often, these responses are not the best possible responses for the individual or the society in which they exist. How do people respond to uncertainty? When people experience uncertainty, it can mean that the person is out of their comfort zone. When there is uncertainty, people struggle to decide on what to do moving forward. They get stuck, and often have a lack of skill or strategy in deciding how

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5 steps to achieving your goals in 2016

3 years ago 0 0 1235

So, it is that time of year to plan for 2016 – perhaps to set some goals for the year ahead to be the foundation of your success. There are many reasons people set goals. We are encouraged to set goals to work out what we want to achieve, what we want to prioritise, and to build action plans that we can follow. We also create goals because we have to or are expected to. We may be asked by the board to set some specific targets and goals for the business, or we may even have a coach that pushes us to set ‘big hairy audacious goals’. Goals are important. They provide targets, benchmarks and measurable steps to achieve something of value. They allow review and learning, coordination and ongoing development. Regardless why your goals are set, there is every likelihood that they are simply set to fail. Just

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Are you making the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ mistake?

3 years ago 0 0 744

Focusing on both successful outcomes and successful behaviours is the key to building sustainable high performance in business. Caveat emptor – buyer beware. It really is true that you get what you pay for. This is absolutely true when you consider the things we focus on – and incentivise – in the workplace. Consider the following examples: • Jordan Belfort – the ‘Wolf of Wall street’ only focused on outcomes (making money), which encouraged behaviours which ended with him in prison. • Companies set their salesforce a goal, and once they achieve it, they start ‘banking’ sales for the next quarter. • The business puts out a behavioural edict to ‘manage costs’ – and misses business opportunities because it becomes more important to ‘watch the penny’ that capitalise on opportunities to deliver business results. In these examples, if we focus only upon ‘outcomes’ we may get exactly what we pay

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7 ways you are screwing up performance reviews (and what o do about it)

3 years ago 0 0 920

I get calls at this time of year from leaders in organisations who have left the mid-year assessment to the last minute (or their managers have). Regardless of which side of the review they are on, they all say something like: “Phil, I hate these things. They are such a waste of time. They just do more harm than good”. They seek help to make the performance appraisal process more palatable for them, and more valuable for the organisation. It raises an important question- should organisations do away with performance appraisal processes? My simple answer is an emphatic NO. Performance reviews are critical on a number of levels, and simply because people perform them poorly is not a signal to ditch them, but rather a signal to somehow do them differently. Why are they critical? Performance reviews are important for individuals and for organisations. They provide the link for learning

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Giving feedback to enhance performance

3 years ago 0 0 923

There is a lot of commentary about the value of formalised performance reviews. Unsurprisingly, when only 37% of employees in a major survey reported that they had never received valuable feedback from their employer or manager, the majority of comment seems to suggest that feedback processes are a waste of time. Feedback is imperative to enhancing performance, however giving and receiving feedback is fraught with problems, often institutionalised in such workplace processes. Understanding the true nature of feedback, and how to use it successfully to enhance performance is a critical leadership skill. Feedback on our performance comes in many forms – from what we see happening as an outcome of what we do, how we personally feel about what we do, and what other people observe, interpret and communicate to us. Feedback is important for developing performance at an individual, team and organisational level. Without feedback, we would perform a

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Great leaders ask great questions

3 years ago 0 0 1126

Too often we look to leaders and managers to ‘tell’ the staff what to do, or how to do it. This is a habit of management and leadership left over from the ‘command and control’ model of management that we left behind last century. It assumes that all of the knowledge resides in the leader or manager, and ignores what the staff member knows. It also fails to account for the collaborative potential of what may be discovered or created during a quality conversation. If we believe that individuals can bring motivation, intellect, experience and innovation to the business, then rather than simply ‘telling’ them what to do we may engage them in appropriate conversations on the topic. This allows the leader to realise the inherent potential of the person or people they are leading, and enhance overall performance. The best way to encourage such quality conversations is for the

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Who is your coach?

4 years ago 0 2 1135

Who is your coach? A great question to ask anyone who is (or who wants to be) a leader is to ask them one simple question: “Who is your coach”? The question reveals a lot about the person and their thinking on flexibility, adaptability, help-seeking and personal growth focus thinking.  All of which can be critical in the role of leader.  Sportspeople, entertainers and performers all rely on coaching to improve their performance, and keep them at the top of their games – which is exactly what we need from our business leaders. In business, we need our staff and our leaders to be able to step up and play their biggest games.  We know that the organisation that is demonstrating high performance is doing so because its people are not only surviving, but thriving on the challenges of the workplace, are deeply engaged and seeking to make a difference.

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Do you need to change how you change?

4 years ago 0 0 1171

 Are you, and those you lead, scared of the idea change? Do you recognise the need for change, but wonder how you can make your change program successful when so many other change programs, started with the best of intent, simply fail? Why is change so hard, and how can we ensure change programs succeed? Understanding the need to change: Change is inevitable.  Even with a highly successful organisation, change needs to happen as things around them evolve.  Things inside and outside the organisation change, and over time the requirement to change just to keep up, let alone ‘stay ahead’ gets bigger and bigger.  New technology, new processes, new customer requirements, new competitors, new regulations and even new social norms can rapidly turn today’s success into tomorrow’s obsolecence Because change is inevitable, we just need to decide if we will adapt to change, lead change, or become obsolete (there is

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Rule 1 For Great Leadership: Don’t buy into the myths

4 years ago 0 0 2084

I was driving my son to a music lesson, and I asked him an interesting question (we always have interesting conversations in the car!).  The question was “When someone says they are a leader, what assumptions do you automatically make?”.  Whilst it is easy to talk about leadership, we rarely look at the assumptions that we make when discussing leadership and how to be a great leader. For example, if you follow any discussion on social media or listen to a presentation at any conference on ‘leadership’, then often the unspoken assumptions about leaders and leadership are trotted out –  and never questioned.   This simply strengthens the myth.  The current political landscape is a clear example of how the ‘myths’ of leadership are simply accepted without question – and can get the leaders, and those they lead, into trouble. The myths of leadership can get in the way of creating

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Leading tribes: Leadership secrets you need to know

4 years ago 0 0 1507

How do you ‘define’ yourself?  If you were to list five things that describe you, what would they be? It is human nature to want to be in tribes, and to define ourselves by the tribes that we belong to, the ones we aspire to, and the ones that we want to distance ourselves from. “I would not dream of belonging to a club that is willing to have me as a member” [Goucho Marx] Knowing the social psychology of how we behave in tribes can help us really understand aspects of our culture, behaviour and even how we can be better leaders.  It can help us understand what drives extremism, group think, innovation and fads.  We all belong to many tribes and this act of belonging can influence us in powerful ways. Understanding human tribal behaviour is critical for businesses to understand their customers, for leaders to understand their

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