Thursday, 8 September 2011

Great advice on sustaining coaching

I got some great advice via the HR Toolbox

"We find that our leaders are always pressed for time and tend to let coaching fall through the cracks unless they are being regularly "coached to coach." We take several approaches to address this:

- Field-based trainers meet with the leaders they support once a month to specifically discuss coaching. They focus on what's working, what's not working and individual opportunities.

- We encourage senior leaders (directors) to host quarterly coaching roundtables with their managers. This provides a forum to share best practices and to reinforce key coaching principles.

- We have an on-line site for leaders that focuses on coaching tips and tools. This site is constantly refreshed with new content. "

Monday, 25 July 2011

Using mind maps for presentations

Many years ago I discovered mind maps through buying a number of books and videos for our open learning centre. It sounded quite interesting but I never got into it until I saw someone using the technique in real life. I was attending a conference and notice the lady sitting beside me had an A5 notebook and she created a mind map for each speaker. So I asked her about mind mapping and she said that some years back, as a whole team, they had decided  that they would all try mind mapping for 3 months. The end result was that they all benefited so much from the system that they adopted it permanently. She then illustrated the value of the system by sharing her mind maps of the speakers of the day and it was a mind blowing experience for me.

So I adopted mind mapping and have used it ever since, so when I have to do a presentation the first thing I do is prepare a mind map. I find that it really works for me and even used the technique to prepare my speech for my daughters wedding.

How do you do mind maps? The best person to explain is the inventor Tony Buzan.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Getting Performance Management to work

We ran a one day session on Performance Management at our very special charity Canine Partners last week, and it went very well. They are a super team to work with, with a real passion for what they are doing, and they want their review system to enhance their performance and not be a de railer.

The thing is that if you get things right with PM you end up with:-

  • Motivated and skilled people 
  • Giving of their best 
  • Delivering challenging objectives 
  • That drive the organisation forward 
  • Who feel secure and confident of their future and that of the organisation 
  • They stay with the organisation 
  • Greater depth of know-how develops 
  • Sustained growth of the organisation
So how do you get there is always the big question because so many fail badly. Who do you know that looks forward to their annual appraisal?

We concluded that what you need to make things work are the following:-
  • Management to act as the role models – make sure the process starts with them
  • Make sure a key function of the process is focussed on the development and retention of your talent 
  • Allocate quality time to your people 
  • Take time to fully align objectives to the strategy of the organisation 
  • Allocate objectives that will grow people in their jobs 
  • Don’t overload people so pick the few objectives that will make a difference (Remember less = more)
  • Keep everything very simple - use just one pagers
  • Prioritise objectives right from the start e.g. 'The Critical few', 'Important to do' and 'Nice if I can'. OR 'Must Win Battles' 'Must Compete' 'Harvest' 'Exit'
  • Train managers to be able to use a coaching approach to managing performance
  • Train employees on how to get the best from the PM process
  • Provide continuous support and at least once a quarter conduct an interim review
  • Call the process anything but Performance Review / Appraisal, names that send shudders through people
  • If you can then get rid of the rating system as so often this final exercise spoils an otherwise great coaching conversation 
I ended the day feeling good about what Canine Partners will be doing as the biggest driver of improved performance is not the 'form' it is the mindset ... and they have got it right!!

Work Life Balance lets get rid of it

Work / Life Balance ......As a concept it was never going to work in the modern age. Balance your work and life …. What a joke! Why add yet another task to your already very demanding to-do list! Why beat yourselves up every year because you had made little or no improvement on your work/life balance.

So you are now free of this dreadful burden, and can now do what you want when you want to, keeping yourself and your key stakeholders happy in whatever way you please.

Why has it taken us so long to come to our senses!!!!

F R E E D O M !!

The above does express my personal sentiment

Isn’t it great, what a wonderful feeling, but do I detect a hint of concern that nothing could be that easy?

What do we put in its place?

How do you keep your stakeholders happy?

Ahhhhhh! Glad you asked!

Well yes, it really isn’t that easy, as you will need to learn a new way of managing your time, but it’s far more practical and it will give you immediate benefits, so let’s get going.

First I must get you thinking in a different way, as the investment manager of your Time Bank.

My guess is that up until now you have been making some pretty bad investment decisions but with a little bit of help we will get you on the right track. Let’s start by identifying your stakeholders as they are rather important in this whole venture.

·         Partner (husband / wife),  Children,  Parents, Boss / Bosses boss,  Direct reports, Peers    Etc  How would each of your stakeholders rate you as a time investment manager?  Poor,  Fair,  Average,  Good,  Excellent

Let me guess, the people you care about the most tend to get the worst service? 


Do you want to make a change?

More to follow but for now  here is an interesting TED talk to start you thinking about how to invest in the small things that do make a difference.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Return to Lausanne ...what fun

With so much happening in the UK I had imposed a travel ban on myself for July through to August. Then I was asked to run the new High Performing Teams (HPT) workshop in early July by my special client Purina, and tried to get  Jerry to run the workshop but unfortunately he was on a golfing week in Devon. So I broke my ban and and headed for Lausanne.

What a fabulous week it was! The team I was working with are great, and Patricia their leader is excellent, so guess what? They scored the highest scores on the new HPT survey so far!!!!! In a number of critical areas they scored in the 90% what an achievement, and you realise what makes them such a good team is that they are not satisfied with their score .... they want to get into the purple zone!

I managed to catch up with an old buddy Andy, as we are designing a special programme for HR that if it pleases the powers that be, should find itself in the international training offer next year. Andy and I have long believed that if HR are to become partners to the business, then they need to be developed to add real value to the teams that they support. They need to be able to coach on a one to one basis, but also to be able to coach/facilitate the team. In Purina we proved it time and again that give HR the right tools and skills and they do a super job, and in the process earn the respect and trust of their teams.

Then I received an invite from Jackz to join the Starfish guys for dinner, together with a group of Inspirational Leadership delegates on a part 2 and that was fabulous catching up with old friends. They were all looking so well and Jackz is on top of the world, I think life with the Imagineers suites her.

I ended the week spending half a day with a super person who I will be coaching over the months ahead - great start and I believe magic will be happening later this year!!

So ended a wonderful week in Lausanne.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Mastering the inner game

WOW! What an amazing talent and I am delighted that he was able to manage his inner game which had previously held him back.
Graham Jones and Adrian Moorhouse wrote a great book called 'Developing Mental Toughness'  and their four pillars of mental toughness, or sustained high performance are:-

  1. Keeping your head under stress
  2. Staying strong in your self-belief
  3. Making your motivation work for you
  4. Maintaining  your focus on the things that matter
Well Rory certainly came of age yesterday, and I'm sure the lessons he has learned will mean he will continue to break records in the future.

When big change projects stutter

Recently a small group of us brainstormed a big change project that was just not achieving the results that had been expected. This is what external consultants were seeing:-

  • Low confidence across the business, with low motivation.
  • Unsure of the direction and the 'how'.
  • Not sure how to engage in the change.
  • Pressure to match the results from other sites.
  • A struggle to engage people lower down the ranks.
  • Key messages not being communicated.
  • Getting them to 'imagine' what success looks like - what could and should be achieved.
  • Corporate laziness - getting them to intellectually extend themselves.
  • It is something they want BUT don't fully understand.
  • The change is seen as 'scary'.
  • Too many key players are passive.
  • Lack of real buy-in from the top.
  • Quite a few middle managers acting as blockers.
  • A general lack of personal leadership.
 I think these problems are so typical of all head office initiated changes in our global corporations, it does take a fair amount of time to get the people at the coal face bought in, so often this quality time is not part of the game plan. BECAUSE .... it will take too long!!! What happens when you don't get this buy-in you really don't get the results either!  Change programmes are probably 50% technical process and 50% social / people / soft skills yet so often they are seen as 90% technical process!

If you want a good lesson in how to manage change, then read 'Our Iceberg is Melting'. Have a watch of this video as John Kotter explains the book.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Growing-Leaders kicks off

We had a really interesting day yesterday as we kicked off the 1st pilot of Growing-Leaders our new leadership programme. This programme has the following attributes:-

  • Aimed at middle management who are so often the neglected majority who are so vital to any organisation. 
  • Designed for generation X and Y which means they can complete assignments using video, podcasts or whatever works best for them.
  • A 3 to 4 month programme where participants earn the Certificate in Management and Leadership.
  • This is a blended learning programme which includes 3 one day workshops. The Induction gets the group motivated to learn, setting up learning sets of six people each with their own coach. Next comes the Know Yourself where they receive the results of their 360 survey, and finally comes the Celebration when they receive their certificates and plan their next steps.
  • The programme is designed to be run within organisations, and part of our 'preparing the ground' will be to train a programme Mentor, plus get the senior management teams fully on board and supporting the participants.
  • The whole programme is run through a Virtual Learning Environment that gives the learner access to a variety of learning materials, their learning blog, online access to their coach, plus keeps the learning set connected.
  • They say only 15% of a traditional training course ever gets implemented into everyday actions and behaviours. I'm pleased to say the G-L programme requires 100% of what people learn to be implemented - in fact via their blog/eportfolio they have to prove that they have done so!!!
  • Plus they get access to the amazing resources of the CMI ... have a look for yourself!
 Personally I think we are developing one amazing programme here and I can't wait to get the pilots over and to get selling!!

Friday, 10 June 2011

High Performing Teams

We had a great day last week when we took the managers of Canine Partners through our High Performing Teams workshop. They are a good team with a good leader, so we didn't expect too many shocks when we got them to complete our High Performing Teams survey as part of preparation for the workshop.

We decided as part of the workshop to introduce them to the support matrix (thanks John & Rich for the tool) which is always such an eye opener as they identify where they are as a team and where they want to be. When Jerry and I were at Purina this was so well referred to that if you wanted to get some tough feedback you would ask someone to give you the 'loving boot'.

The new High Performing Team models has a number of bells and whistles but funtamentally comes back to the following. A good team needs to know 'why' they exist, 'what' they have to do, and 'want' do do it, plus have the 'energy' to get the job done.

No surprises that the highest ranked area was ENERGY, as they all believe passionately in what they are doing. They are a real example for other teams around particularly in the UK where they are struggling to implement cuts in government spending and where morale must be at an all time low. Here is a charity that does an amazing job without any government funding, they have to work very hard to get their funding but no matter what the challenges are they still get on and do it.

What a pleasure to be helping them to become an even better team.