Secrets Of America's Happiest Companies “Being able to be truly happy at work is one of the keys to being happy in life,” says Heidi Golledge, CEO and cofounder of CareerBliss, an online career database. And what company couldn’t use a little more joy among its ranks? In her book It’s Always Personal, Anne Kreamer points to recent research from Sigal Barsade of the Wharton School of Business that indicates positive moods prompt “more flexible decision-making and wider search behavior and greater analytic precision,” which in turn make the whole company more willing to take risks and be more open. What exactly makes those staffers whistle while they work? Steve McClatchy, founder of Alleer Training and Consulting, whose client list includes top-ranked Pfizer, says a happy workplace is one that is committed to perpetual improvement, and not just as a line item on the balance sheet. Steven Cowart, manager for Visual Display Systems at NASA, agrees. Not surprisingly, another part of joy comes from a simple pat on the back.
The Eight-Minute Test That Can Reveal Your Effectiveness as a Leader - Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman | 12:00 PM August 12, 2013 How can I determine if I am a good leader, or perhaps even a great one? What are my strengths, and do any rise to the very highest levels? I know I have some weaknesses (as everyone does), but are any of them so appalling as to derail my career? Many people have asked us those questions over the years. But as a first step that you can do on your own, we’ve developed an abbreviated self-assessment which you can take here. It will take you about eight minutes, and you will promptly receive a feedback report, which will compare the way you’ve rated yourself with similar self-scores of 45,000 leaders in our global database. A score in the 90th percentile means you have an outstanding strength. But the answers may surprise you. Which one should you start with? Once you identify a competence that meets those criteria, what’s the next step? To improve a weakness, people typically use a linear approach.
Netflix - culture David Kelley on Designing Curious Employees Design thinking is a process of empathizing with the end user. Its principal guru is David Kelley, founder of IDEO and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (otherwise known as the d.school), who takes a similar approach to managing people. He believes leadership is a matter of empathizing with employees. In this interview, he explains why leaders should seek understanding rather than blind obedience, why it's better to be a coach and a taskmaster and why you can't teach leadership with a PowerPoint presentation. Kermit Pattison: How has the design thinking model influenced your approach to leading people? David Kelley: The main tenet of design thinking is empathy for the people you're trying to design for. Empathy is not always talked about as a leadership quality. For me, it's all important. What happens when the leader has to crack the whip? A lot of this must depend on hiring the right people who have an internal desire to do well. What questions do you ask?
Three Differences Between Managers and Leaders - Vineet Nayar by Vineet Nayar | 10:01 AM August 2, 2013 A young manager accosted me the other day. “I’ve been reading all about leadership, have implemented several ideas, and think I’m doing a good job at leading my team. I didn’t have a ready answer and it’s a complicated issue, so we decided to talk the next day. Counting value vs Creating value. By contrast, leaders focuses on creating value, saying: “I’d like you to handle A while I deal with B.” Circles of influence vs Circles of power. The quickest way to figure out which of the two you’re doing is to count the number of people outside your reporting hierarchy who come to you for advice. Leading people vs Managing work. In India, M.K. I encouraged my colleague to put this theory to the test by inviting his team-mates for chats. Agree?
Millennials on the Job: All They Really Want Is a Little Appreciation Do Millennials care about “length of service” recognition? I can hear you saying no. But you’re wrong. A study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership in San Diego found Millennial employees have about the same level of organizational commitment as other generations. And there’s even better news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A recent study found employees are staying longer with their current employer than they have in nearly 15 years. Millennials want engaging, meaningful work Add an effective career achievement program, where employees are rewarded for their years of service, and that number jumps to 6.7 years. But being pegged as a job-hopping generation isn’t the only myth surrounding Millennials. But what they really want is engaging, meaningful work that doesn’t take over their lives. Sure Millennials expect to be listened to when they have an idea even if they are the youngest person in the room, but why shouldn’t they be? “They want to know their work matters”
Lead Like All Your Employees Are Volunteers The other day I read an article about a well-known company anticipating a big competitive problem: huge attrition when its first employees are vested for their stock options, four years after their hire date. The CEO expects to hemorrhage talent, many of which he expects to be snapped up by his competitors. His question, asked mostly of himself, is, “Why should we train our competition’s talent force?” Really? CEO, I’m writing to you. Here’s what I think. Most companies are not startups, and even among those that are, most will not have IPOs that make the founding talent rich. Guess what folks? Money will always be a factor for some people, and no matter what you try, some of your most talented performers will leave for a (financially) better offer. But for most of us, money only starts the conversation. But there are so many other, much more important reasons to want to work for a company, and even more to stay for one that we’ve grown to love! Image courtesy of SJ White Ted Coiné
The 5 Ways to Spot an Emotionally Intelligent Leader Research has shown us that more than 90 percent of top leadership performers have a high amount of emotional intelligence, or EI. The higher up the ladder that leaders are, the more people they impact and their EI becomes increasingly important. The person at the top sets the atmosphere that permeates the organization, including the emotional temperature. Not only does a leader with low emotional intelligence have a negative impact on employee morale, it directly impacts staff retention. Here are five ways to spot an emotionally intelligent leader: 1. Insecure leaders that demonstrate low EI become defensive and take it personally whenever they encounter anything that appears to them as criticism and a challenge to their authority. A secure leader with a healthy dose of emotional intelligence strives to listen, understand and find out what is behind behaviors and actions of those they are responsible for managing. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Goodies and Gimmicks Won’t Get You a High-Performing Workforce A while back, I was doing a public program on how to keep employee morale high and shared my “Forget the Goodies, Gimmicks, and Gala Events Approach to Building Employee Morale” maxim. I’ll talk a little about that here, but if you want to read a more in-depth riff (rant?) on it, go to Are You REALLY Serious About Improving Morale? After I shared my thoughts about the all-too-common Goodies, Gimmicks, and Gala Events approach to morale and engagement and why it’s such a huge mistake, an HR manager raised her hand and shared her experience with this approach. Each year, her employer spends about $20 per employee on a Christmas gift (this was before the PC Police starting trying to make people pariahs for using the world Christmas). An all-too-familiar story She said how one year the gift was a plush beach towel and the previous year’s gift was a really nice picnic basket. Does some variation of that story sound familiar? After she shared her story, I found myself thinking: 3 things you can do
Creating Strategy Tools for the Next Generation Our solution: a series of visual strategy and innovation tools for the future. Through three years of action research and active experiments, we have developed and/or identified 32 powerful visual tools. Tools that help companies make strategic innovation happen. These are the tools we belief students and executives of all ages could benefit greatly from mastering. All our work builds on Creative Commons. For this Hack we highlight four of these tools: - Strategic Innovation Canvas - Innovation Thinking Modes - The Innovation Pyramid - The Action Roadmap Strategic Innovation Canvas Strategic Innovation Canvas is our default innovation tool. After having run the Strategic Innovation Canvas with management teams across private and public organizations, we can state; it simply works. The design principles and the visual thinking behind it helps management teams across all industries and all areas of expertise grasp strategic innovation in a record short amount of time. Innovation Thinking Modes 1.
High Performance Is Not the Same as High Potential If your company is like most, you probably identify your next leaders from a pool of your top performers. They might be salespeople or project managers or skilled developers, but in any event, they've got a reputation for delivering results. Stong performance and the results it carries are all well and good, of course, but it does not necessarily indicate that an employee will make a good leader. And according to research from member-based executive team advisory company CEB, companies are seriously hurting themselves by failing to differentiate between performance and potential. Defining True Potential CEB's report says that just one in six high-performance employees also display the attributes that indicate potential. What goes into a high-potential employee? Aside from those personality traits, the CEB report says that potential also shows itself in actions. Why You Need Leadership Development But an even bigger risk?
Are You Really Serious About Improving Employee Morale? One of the questions I’m most frequently asked is “How can we improve morale?” because morale affects every aspect of a company’s competitive advantage, it is a critical question to ask. Business objectives that relate to your company’s success, such as increasing quality, productivity, and customer loyalty, while reducing turnover, absenteeism, and safety related costs, are all influenced by employee morale. In difficult times like the ones we are facing, when many employees are anxious and overwhelmed, it is more important than ever to know how to keep employee morale high and employees engaged — despite what’s going on in the world. Knowing this will help you combat the negativity that can drag down a workforce and make it less productive, less capable of providing great customer service, and less adaptable to change. Therefore, keeping employee morale high should be on every manager’s radar screen, and knowing how to do so a central part of their skill set. It won’t. What does?