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.