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.