Golden Insights Blog Archive
There’s a secret to creating culture. It’s not a magic technique, but a proper perspective. Cultures are created naturally whether it’s in a department, an organization or a whole country. The questions are, what kind of culture is being created and who is guiding its creation.
Coaching can be incredibly beneficial for individuals and organizations, but you can only lead a horse to water, you can't make it drink. For coaching to be successful, the coach, coachee and organization must understand what coaching can do and what it can’t.
Training and development is not just a nice benefit for your employees, but key for an organization’s short- and long-term health. Organizations are composed of human beings, which are the essential resource. The better the quality of that resource the better off the organization is as a whole.
Organizations are continuously faced with the challenge of retaining top talent. Establishing a mentoring program is one value-add that can extend the longevity – and loyalty – of employees. A mentoring program ensures a win-win-win: The mentee wins. The mentor wins. The organization wins. As I see it, there is no downside to hosting a mentoring program in your organization…only an upside.
Mentoring has been formalized into programs, policies and initiatives; repackaged as one of many silver bullets. While there are no silver bullets, mentoring really is crucial for individuals and organizations.
One of the most frequent questions that I am asked as a coach is, “What is the difference between a coach and a mentor?” While the skills required are similar, and both are used as professional development tools, the structure and the outcome are quite different.
Is teamwork really that important or is it just another buzzword? Sometimes the best way to determine the true value of something is to recognize what would happen if it were lost.
Gone are the days when managers were just managers. More managers today are encouraged, even expected, to develop themselves as leaders and acquire coaching skills to more effectively manage their teams. Not only does coaching allow you to grow as a leader, it also makes you more attractive when interviewing for a new position. Add the skill of coach to your professional portfolio and you rise to the top of the list of candidates.
Everyone seems to agree that performance management is a good thing, but few companies are effectively implementing performance management programs. So where’s the disconnect? What’s keeping so many companies from reaping the benefits of something as simple as a performance management program? In short, the answer is leadership.
On-boarding, beyond being helpful for the new hire, is essential for talent retention and employee engagement, which translate directly into efficient productivity. Talent retention has become a hot topic in the human resource (HR) community because of the looming talent shortage as baby boomers leave the workforce. The research is showing that employees more often quit working for their managers, not for their organization, so first impressions for the managers are important.
It seems to be part of human nature to save things; just in case. We want something in reserve that we can fall back on. We like the security. Inventory can serve such a purpose in our workplaces. When we see work in process, we might feel encouraged that there is work to do. We might also feel a bit intimidated or overwhelmed.
There is a lot of discussion in the industrial arena about Lean Enterprise and Six Sigma. Many times, it appears that authors promote their focus on one of these best practice approaches, and discuss the other as if it were a competing or opposing view. If we take a deeper look, however, we should see there is great synergy and value in appropriately combining these powerful approaches.
People that are viewed as good problem solvers are valued. We know they can help. They just seem to have a knack for figuring things out. In truth, we all have different abilities and skills, and some people ARE better at getting to the crux of the problem. But, how do they do it? Is problem solving a learned or innate skill?
An effective continual improvement program needs to include involvement from everyone in the organization. Achieving this level of cultural awareness takes time and must be nurtured employee by employee. One of the first questions that employees ask is, “What do you want me to do?” If we can’t define the roles we want employees to play when it comes to improving processes, how can we expect a cultural transformation to take place?
DMAIC comes to us from the Six Sigma community and PDCA comes out of the Lean community. 8D (Eight Disciplines) was developed by Ford Motor Company to solve problems. All three are valid roadmaps on which you can hang any of the tools for analyzing processes.
As I mentioned in my last article, project management has become a critical skill for efficiently and effectively aligning valuable resources to achieve an organization’s important operational, strategic and sales projects. In this article, I’d like to address something that all three of these categories of projects have in common. They are all constrained by three elements – Time, Cost and Requirements.
Today more than ever, organizations are faced with the challenge to reduce costs and increase capacities while delivering increasingly better products and services. Facing global competition in the marketplace, organizations are struggling to be competitive, struggling to be profitable, and most importantly, struggling to survive. Dr. W. Edwards Deming once commented, “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” With the reality of going out of business, organizations in all industries are asking, “How do we change our approach to business to keep us relevant in our industry?”
As a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, I’ve been known to think differently than others and my family has noticed. And many people have no idea what it is or what it means. “Martial arts? When did you do that? And what does Lean Six Sigma mean?” Ugh! They’ll never understand. Or, maybe this is the perfect opportunity to let them see me in action and they might just gain some insight into, “What is Six Sigma?”
In any organization, work can be broken down into two categories – operations and projects. Operations are the organization’s on-going, repetitive activities, such as manufacturing, staffing or accounting. These activities are primarily focused on keeping things running. On the other hand, project work is temporary in nature, having defined start and end dates; project work produces unique outputs. Though both categories of work have some things in common (people, resources, goals), they require different sets of skills and tools.
Can you answer yes to the following question? At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? According the author Tom Rath in the book Strengths Finder 2.0, those who answered yes to this question are six times more likely to be engaged in their work and three times more likely to have a better quality of life in general. According to this study by the Gallup organization of over 10 million people, only a third of them “strongly agreed” with this statement.