Plan to fail - don't fail to plan

Plan to fail – don’t fail to plan

1 month ago 0 0 21

“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything” (D Eisenhower). Planning is such a critical part of success – but plans are not.  How many times are plans made and simply forgotten?  How many times do people and organisations spend massive time and effort generating a ‘plan’ only for it to be completely out of date before the ink is dry? We are living through such a reality now – As we go through the uncertainties of COVID, organisations and individuals are describing how they have had to ‘pivot’ and ‘adapt’ – meaning that whatever that they had planned to do has been made obsolete.  If plans are worthless, why should we plan? Lesson 1: The future is uncertain “No plan survives the first engagement with the opposition main force” (Helmuth von Moltke, 1871). We cannot forecast the future with any certainty.  We cannot know – or control – what is

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Is your success good enough to last?

4 months ago 0 0 139

Summary: Being successful does not guarantee future success. Human biases impact how we research business success Success can breed ‘expectation’, rather than encouraging staying attuned to your customer Change happens, how are you going to adapt to stay relevant, valuable and fit to serve your customers at their new normal? Research in the 20th century focused on what makes a successful company ‘great’?  Business luminaries like Tom Peters and Jim Collins became ‘gurus’ of the business world by applying research to this exact question. The belief was that the things that make a great company can be distilled from examples of companies that have been successful. This led to a range of ‘business principles’ (like the hedgehog concept from Jim Collins) that became the fads of the late twentieth century management ethos. Years after the initial publications of these works, there was almost a sense of ‘glee’ from parts of

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Back to office or back to the future?

6 months ago 0 0 305

Summary: Return to workplace scenarios following COVID are loaded with challenges. Staff have new expectations, experiences and capabilities after being forced to work from home over the past 12 months A leader would benefit from taking a considered approach to getting staff back to the office, and use the opportunity to redefine the way work is performed. Opportunities also exist to build culture, enhance relationships and deepen staff commitment by doing it right. In Australia, we have done an outstanding job of suppressing the Coronavirus, allowing us to contemplate shifting to a post-pandemic footing. One of the big questions that is challenging businesses and business leaders is that of getting the staff back to the office after mandatory work-from-home scenarios. What should a leader consider as they make this assessment for their business?  Should back to the office be simply a return to the past, or should something more valuable

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Are you insane in your approach to success?

7 months ago 0 0 345

I once sat in a training seminar where they ‘challenged’ the group with a (pretend) statistic: “Less than 10 percent of you will implement this fully, and less than 5% will be successful”.  They were obviously trying some reverse motivation – but without realising it, they were clearly identifying the biggest issue with what they were doing.  They were asking their ‘students’ to be insane in their approach to success. The definition of insanity: Einstein has been credited with saying ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”. How does this apply to people and organisations trying to generate sustained success? The answer is simple: you are insane if you think doing what someone else has done will make you successful. It doesn’t seem to make sense – it is insane to do keep doing the same things and expect different

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Frictionless business.

2 years ago 0 0 569

Friction is a force that acts against forward movement. It creates noise, it creates heat, it transforms the kinetic energy of forward motion into something else. Friction is something that takes energy and effort to overcome, and when an object is at rest, can add to the inertia to make it harder to get things moving. It seems like this is just physics, but it is also the underlying problem of so many businesses. Without even realising it they are adding friction to their business processes and slowing down performance. Friction that is converting positive energy into unwanted byproducts, and requiring massive amounts of additional effort to be put in by customers and staff to overcome the inertia that this friction generates. Simply put, a customer experiences ‘friction’ every time the process of doing business with you is slowed or impeded by your rules, habits or inefficiencies. Or a staff

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The trust advantage (building and leveraging trust, part 2)

6 years ago 0 0 1089

Trust is such a critical thing in business. Understanding what trust is, and how to develop it and leverage it is critical to success. Often an even more important question is “how do I rebuild trust when it is broken?” In part one, we looked at what trust really is (predictability of behaviour), its value and its costs. In part two, we explore the concept further, and how it can be leveraged for maximum advantage. How is trust built? We develop ‘trust’ in something or someone in highly personalised ways. In fact, many people would not be able to describe how they know who they can trust, except for a vague statement like “I get a feeling about them”. Feelings and emotions (or ‘intuition’) are often poor methods for deciding who to trust. It can mean that some people, when faced with the same situational cues, will be too trusting,

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Are you flexible enough?

6 years ago 0 0 1231

Leaders often describe a desire to have ‘better leadership flexibility’ – or they want to see it throughout their organisation. Understanding leadership flexibility and how to create it is critical in business – and it is not as hard as most people think! Leadership flexibility can be described as “The ability to lead and manage others in a non-rigid way”. The definition is important, because too often people want leadership ‘flexibility’ to mean only using a more negotiated, discussion and consensus based approach. That is, they want to rigidly adopt a more consensual decision and leadership style. The underlying belief is that this is the “best” leadership style for a leader to have. Perhaps derived from a view that such a style demonstrates high Emotional Intelligence, and therefore must be good. This, however, is faulty. Leadership flexibility is about being able to utilise a full range of leadership styles, from

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You must use IQ before EQ

6 years ago 0 0 1107

A coaching client stated that a key hire they were chasing had to have ‘EQ’. So I asked a couple of refining questions, and it opened up a really interesting discussion. It turns out that the term ‘EQ’ had been thrown around so much in the executive board and no-one was really clear what anyone meant by this term. Reflecting on this conversation, I wondered about all the times EQ is used in conversations about leadership. Has it become a buzz word, or do people really understand and use the term appropriately? EQ as the big thing – or do we mean EI? EQ (Emotional quotient) is reflective of a quotient or score, that is related to the score that someone achieves on a specific test instrument measuring aspects of Emotional Intelligence (EI). Emotional Intelligence, on the other hand, is more reflective of the expression of ’emotionally intelligent’ behaviours. When

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

6 years ago 0 0 1343

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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