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.
Years ago, I worked for a large corporation where annually we would implement succession planning exercises that cascaded from the top of the organization to the frontline management level. This was a labor-intensive process for Human Resources (HR), and the management team and managers complained about having to complete these exercises when, particularly at the lower levels of the organization, we never really implemented the plan if a vacancy occurred. After several years of completing the exercises, the HR team decided to only complete succession planning activities at the top level and talent planning exercises for the rest of the organization.
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.
Originally introduced in the 1950’s, the concept of Management by Objectives (MBO) encouraged the involvement of employees in the company’s goal setting process to increase engagement and improve results. By the 1980’s practically every modern Fortune 500 Company had implemented a goal setting process as part of their overall performance management practice. By setting goals, the organization could focus performance on those activities that would yield the greatest results.
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.
Most successful organizations have transitioned from the traditional employee appraisal process to the more enterprising performance management process that ties employee performance to organizational performance through its mission, vision and values. Management teams have discovered that when they do not deploy cascading goals from the executive suite to divisions, departments and individual employees, the organization experiences a misalignment with their overall goals. This misalignment results in unclear goals at the department and employee level.
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.
Today we hear a great deal about including job competencies in our job descriptions. One question I hear often from students and practitioners in my SHRM certification course is: “exactly what are job competencies and how do they differ from job skills?” This is a great question and the confusion lies in the fact that competencies are, in fact, skills.
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.