Category Archive: Management

Dec 10 2017

How LEADERS impact the organisations?

A discussion with one of my friend about how leaders shape organizations and careers led me to think deeply about this issue. Why I call this a problem is because I realized that somehow not all who reach the TOP are LEADERS. Of course, I do not have to define LEADERSHIP again for you. Right?

I believe that leaders are expected to give directions to thought-streams and motivate people to bring out the best in them. However, these days these qualities are hard to be found in many of the incumbents in top offices in organizations. Today Leaders are somehow taking employees as well as their motivation for granted.

I am sharing a research note from Scott Blanchard on similar lines, which clarifies that why should leaders not manipulate Employee Motivation.

Have a read: 

 


Why Trying To Manipulate Employee Motivation Always Backfires:


CEOs have two levers they pull on a regular basis to influence their organizations. The first lever adds to or takes away from strategic intentions. The second one controls the hiring of key talent to ensure that the right people are in the right seats.

Levers work well for many of the factors that impact business success; but one area–employee engagement & motivation–resists “leveraging.” Even after a decade of trying, organizations as a whole have made little progress on improving employee engagement.

Why the struggle with improving this particular area? In short, it’s because you can’t control motivation. While traditional carrot-and-stick levers can influence behavior in the short term, they do not create the intentions to apply discretionary effort and work collaboratively that are required in today’s more sophisticated work environments.

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It’s time for a change

It has been known in social science circles for decades: Carrot-and-stick thinking is, at its core, a control method–and people always resist being controlled. Even if they don’t openly resist, people resent being coerced into certain behaviors.

People have their own beliefs and attitudes about their work environment. They make decisions about what is in their best interests based on individual perceptions of what is adding to–or taking away from–their sense of well-being. Building on the pioneering work of Edward Deci and Richard Ryan at the University of Rochester, our recent research into motivation and employee work passion is finding that perceptions of autonomy, relatedness, and competence are the factors that lead to positive employee intentions to stay with organizations, apply discretionary effort, and be good corporate citizens.

We are finding that giving people a chance to succeed in their job and setting them free to a certain degree is the key to motivation, as opposed to trying to direct and control people’s energy. It’s really about letting go and connecting people to their work–and each other–rather than channeling, organizing, orchestrating, and focusing behavior.

 

Read more about “HOW TO” manage CHANGE effectively in the organisation?

 

The role of senior leaders

Senior leaders have an important role to play in creating this type of environment. Top leadership sets the tone for this attitude in a company. But many organizations are still set up–explicitly or implicitly–in ways that work against these three motivators.

For example, a woman recently told us her CEO believed that a little bit of fear was good and that moderate to high levels of competition between people and business units were beneficial and kept the company sharp. This attitude of friendly competition inside the company permeated the culture, flowing out from the boardroom and cascading throughout the organization.

This approach had worked for this technology company in the past but began to become a liability as customers asked for more cross-platform compatibility. Because customers were asking for everything to work well together, these internal divisions needed to cooperate more effectively. This required the different business units to think beyond self-interest to the whole customer experience. It proved difficult to change the mindset of this historically competitive culture.

Without a shift in thinking at the top of an organization, it is almost impossible to change an organization’s culture. A study conducted years ago shed some light on the role of senior leaders in changing organizational culture and behavior. The study concluded that the CEO’s disposition and personality had everything to do with the company’s service orientation and collaborative mindset.

CEOs whose personalities and dispositions were more competitive had a direct influence on the degree of competitiveness and fear experienced by members of their senior leadership teams. This resulted in a greater degree of siloed behavior within the organization and less cooperation among sub-units. The net results were less integration across the business, less efficiency, poorer service, and ultimately lower economic performance. On the other hand, CEOs who were more cooperative generated less competitiveness—and less fear-based anxiety generated better results.

Leaders as environmentalists

It’s important for today’s leaders to be environmentalists. Whatever level of leadership you have, challenge yourself and others to use less directing and controlling behaviors and instead look to create a focused and inspired workplace. Customers are requiring that organizations move toward an environment of internal cooperation to create truly innovative new products and services.

Today we realize that control doesn’t work. Find a way to connect your people with the big picture. Create an environment free of fear and anxiety. Leaders don’t need a new lever–they need a new approach to bringing out the best in people. Give a little bit. You’ll be surprised at what can be accomplished when people are free of fear and find their motivation within, instead of being controlled by external carrots and sticks.

 


Scott Blanchard is the co-founder of Blanchard Certified, a new cloud-based leadership development resource, and experience. Ken Blanchard is the best-selling co-author of The One Minute Manager and 50 other books on leadership. You can follow Ken Blanchard on Twitter @KenBlanchardor @LeaderChat and also via the HowWeLead and LeaderChat blogs.


 

Nov 26 2017

Policies & Processes —Are they really HELPING?

Policies & Processes are the lifeline of any organization?—?big or small. These are set of guidelines/actions which are expected to improve efficiency of everything related to business.

Organizations with right set of policies/processes are expected to perform better than those running in whimsical ways.

HOWEVER, is that the case in reality? Are organizations really running on efficient processes? Or do corporations engage in Process Management for the heck of it. Do they audit / examine the utility / benefits of the processes implemented across the company?

Reality is far from the expectation and that is really sad. Corporations create policies & processes that do not serve the purpose of helping efficient functioning?—?instead they end up complicating it by adding layers of non-value add compliances & bureaucratic steps.

Bigger corporations suffer with this even more since these have more people in the hierarchy for everything, which makes things even more difficult to move.

Rounds of approvals and explanations and compliances to senseless steps make corporations lose effort & time.?—?but the sad part is it all is done in the name of Process Adherence, which is merely a tick in a checkbox.

Corporations should put real concerted efforts while devising a policy or a process considering every aspect of business and not do things just because everyone is doing it or because someone in the board room is not happy with something.

These things IMPACT people on ground the most?—?who actually IMPACT the performance on the top the most!

Do you agree? Would you want to share any example? Let me know in the comment.

 

 

Nov 12 2017

INDIA Inc – What’s going on with Work-Life Balance?

I had a candid discussion with an old friend over coffee today. He didn’t sound fun at all – am mentioning that since he was one of the most lively people I ever knew my entire life.

He went on to narrate his ordeal of not being able to manage work and personal life. His manager would call him at any point of night, would send emails and expect him to answer them in middle of the night.

This brings me to think about this issue more and share my thoughts about it.

It’s important for Corporations and Managers to understand that HOW employees spend their time from 6 to 9 actually impacts HOW they perform during 9 to 6.

Do not push them to give away their personal space – it won’t help anyone.

If calling/texting/emailing people late at night is a norm with you – you seriously need to relook at HOW you are structured as an organization.

If you are unable to get tasks accomplished during normal office hours – your work system is flawed – better fix that than wearing your employees out!

STOP getting into personal time of your employees – for they work so that they can have a GOOD LIFE and not otherwise!

It’s for a reason that many countries have LAW around this – employer CANNOT contact employees after a certain time in the day.


But How about India? Where are we heading?

 

 

May 29 2013

Manager vs Leader

Managers and leaders are often referred to synonymously, but only leaders allow their employees to solve problems with their own insight. The truth of the matter is this: Every leader may not be a manager, but every manager should be a leader. It’s easy to see that leadership and management aren’t the same thing, but a manager who lacks effective leadership traits will drive a business into the ground faster than you can count to 10.

Change doesn’t happen overnight when it comes to transforming managers into leaders. It takes time and energy to improve the way you manage and utilize more leadership characteristics on a daily basis.

Here are some tips to help you make the necessary improvements:

1. Managers give answers, leaders ask questions. There’s nothing certain to turn your employees against you faster than shouting orders at them. Why not spare yourself the impending resentment and simply ask your employees this: “What would you do?” or “What do you think of this idea?” Allowing people to participate in the decision-making process will not only transform what could have been an order into something more easily swallowed–it also inspires creativity, motivation, and autonomy.

2. Managers criticize mistakes, leaders call attention to mistakes indirectly. It may seem more efficient to point out your employees’ mistakes directly, but this will only leave them feeling embarrassed and frustrated. You should really be giving them the chance to learn and grow from through your critiques. Instead, give your employees the chance to address their mistakes.

For example, say a project was sent to a client and you receive back a disgruntled message. Calmly ask your employee about the clients concern and whether they feel what was provided was on par. This will give them a chance to provide their input, while also improving for the future.

3. Managers forget to praise, leaders reward even the smallest improvement. Praise pays off when it comes to increasing the overall success of your company. Finding time to recognize your employees for even the smallest accomplishment will only increase their interest in what they do. If you’re interested in ensuring your employees take pride in all that they do, regular feedback and recognition is certain to do the trick. Everyone wants to be genuinely appreciated for their efforts.

4. Managers focus on the bad, leaders emphasize the good. This really comes down to seeing the cup half empty or half full. If you’re only willing to point out the flaws of a project or an employee, you’re not giving them much interest in learning or improving. Instead, create a sandwich effect. Start with some form of praise, follow with the criticism, and end with praise.

5. Managers want credit, leaders credit their teams. Managers who lack leadership abilities are always first to take credit. But effective leaders understand the importance of crediting their teams for the big wins. This pays off in the long run for creative a workplace with a more positive company culture and employees who are driven toward more successes as a team.

Management shouldn’t be approach through force, but rather through influence. Put these techniques in place to improve the way your employees perform.

Ispired by :Ilya Pozin, Founder of CIPLEX

Jan 27 2013

Steer your career in 2013!

I have been working on different teams, doing different things and exploring new avenues in last few years of my career. However, lately a sense has starting developing within me – where am I going? What direction is my career going in? I did have some fantastic moments in my career in the past and I am doing great things in present as well – but can I keep doing that for rest of my life?

I realized that we become so consumed in our careers that we fail to really think about our careers.

As a habitual reader, I came across a wonderful piece of information which outlines some steps to avoid the trap. It is a fruitful exercise which must not take more than a couple of hours to reflect on one’s career – and plan the next year.

Let’s see how it goes:

Step 1: Review 2012. Review the past year, month by month. Make a list of where you spent your time: include your major projects, responsibilities and accomplishments. No need to over-complicate this.

Step 2: Ask, “What is the news?” Look over your list and reflect on what is really going on. Think like a journalist and ask yourself: Why does this matter? What are the trends here? What happens if these trends continue?

Step 3: Ask “What would I do in my career if I could do anything?”Just brainstorm with no voice of criticism to hold you back. Just write out all the ideas that come to mind.

Step 4: Go back and spend a bit more time on Step 3. Too often we begin our career planning with our second best option in mind. We have a sense of what we would most love to do but we immediately push it aside. Why? Typically because “it is not realistic” which is code for, “I can’t make money doing this.” In this economy—in any economy—I understand why making money is critical. However, sometimes we pass by legitimate career paths because we set them aside too quickly.

Step 5: Write down six objectives for 2013. Make a list of the top six items you would like to accomplish in your career in 2013 and place them in priority order.

Step 6: Cross off the bottom five. Once you’re back to the whirlwind of work you’ll benefit from having a single “true north” career objective for the year.

Step 7: Make an action plan for first 2 months. Make a list of some quick wins you’d like to have in place end of March 2013.

Step 8: Decide what you will say no to. Make a list of the “good” things that will keep you from achieving your one “great” career objective. Think about how to delete, defer or delegate these other tasks. Emerson said, “The crime which bankrupts men and nations is that of turning aside from one’s main purpose to serve a job here and there.”

A few hours spent wisely over the next couple of days could easily improve the quality of your life over the 8760 hours of 2013–and perhaps far beyond. After all, if we don’t design our careers, someone else will. (Greg McKeown)

 

Jan 26 2013

Are you planning to ask your manager for PROMOTION?

Before you even think about asking your boss for a promotion or a pay rise one of the key questions you need to ask yourself is do I know exactly how much I am worth?

We are obviously operating in a very challenging economic environment and for a company to give a member of staff a promotion or a pay increase there have to be some compelling reasons to do so.

At the same time it can be incredibly demoralizing and frustrating to feel that you are not being properly recognized or valued.

Don’t be too quick to knock on your boss’s door! First, take a look at the market and understand what others are earning, this will give you a rough benchmark to compare. Next, take a close look at your role and the contribution you make to your organisation. Where do you add value and how do you measure and define this?

It could be in terms of how much business you bring into your company or it could be in terms of the size of the department you run and how many people you manage.

If, after carrying out the analysis, you feel that you are not being rewarded sufficiently then I think it is reasonable to go ahead and ask for a pay rise or a promotion.

If you have got to the stage of looking to improve your situation then don’t play games with your employers. Tell them how you feel and point out the contribution you make and always be honest and open.

You also have to remember that employers have a responsibility to the rest of their staff. It’s a fact of life that people in the workplace always get to know how much others are earning.

The reasons for not getting that pay rise may not always be that clear but you have to remember it is the management’s job to ensure there is parity in the workplace and that everyone is treated fairly.

If you are good at your job then competitors will be aware of that. Firms run a big risk of losing their most valuable and productive members of staff if they fail to pay them a fair salary for the work they do. That is something you should bear in mind if you are thinking of asking for that promotion.

I liked this particular note from James Cann (CEO – Hamilton Bradshaw) and wanted to share.

Jan 23 2013

Creating the right culture

As read from a post by JAMES CAAN – CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw

ONE of the things that people often don’t understand or realize about companies is that their culture and style of working is not created by accident.

Creating the right atmosphere or vibe around a company is not something that happens by chance and often a great deal of effort and thought goes into the process.

Any large organisation or company has to think carefully about the culture or ambiance it creates if it is going to get the most out of its workforce.

If you take a look at digital and internet firms such as Google they are operating in an incredibly competitive market-place where attracting the right caliber of staff is key to driving the business forward.

When the rewards are roughly similar in industry sectors then it becomes even more important to create the right kind of culture in the work-place especially if you want to attract the best candidates. People perform better when they are working alongside like-minded souls in a setting where they feel comfortable, appreciated and most important of all part of a team.

Obviously every business culture is different and finding the right approach can take time. The truth is most people would not choose to go to work but that does not mean it has to be an unpleasant experience. And you can create the right atmosphere with just a little bit of thought and effort and with very little expense.

Just a few simple steps like supplying staff with a kettle, microwave, daily fruit and drinks, as well as, comfortable chairs and breakout areas can make a big difference. If people are going to spend a large part of their lives in the workplace then it is only fair that you make them feel as comfortable and valued as possible.

In fact I have found in my experience that spending lots of money on large events is not always the best way forward. The big corporate gatherings can work for training days and celebrations, but I much prefer the smaller informal gatherings for the team, which give people a chance to relax and enjoy themselves.

As I said it really doesn’t take a great deal of effort to create the right culture but the rewards in terms of staff loyalty and performance can make it even more worthwhile.

Dec 03 2012

OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE – In my view

The design and performance of integrated systems and processes that create superior strategic, competitive and operational value through speed, flexibility and cross-purpose adaptability – can define Operational Excellence in any given organisation.

Operational Excellence is a methodical approach used to drive an organization toward world-class execution, integrating Operational Excellence concepts, methods and tools into an organization’s operating model, principles, and culture.

Operational Excellence, at the conceptual level can be understood as methodical designing of systems and processes that are integrated to deliver competitive and world class operational value by providing flexible and adaptable methods and tools for functioning.

It might be a bit perplexing to understand the right meaning of Operational Excellence. Let’s try to understand it from the perspective of an organization.

Every organization in the business world has the core focus on delivering quality product/services in time to earn maximum revenue. To achieve more, organizations need to scale and with scaling come the challenge of high level of management. Imagine an organization that wishes to grow many times its revenue and customer base but is completely ignorant about the maturity of its operations! Do you think it can achieve its goals? NO would be the obvious answer to this question.

The way an organization is designed to function defines the scope of growth. An organization with poor structure, systems and processes is destined to find it troublesome to grow beyond a certain point. By any chance if any such organization happens to grow to certain level of success, it will not be able to sustain it without improving the operational capabilities.

The key partners in achieving the operational maturity in any organization are People, Processes and Technology. These three working together can build sustainable and profitable organizations.

Nov 09 2012

Tips to be successful at your JOB

I came across a piece while browsing through some of the work of global leaders, who have been steering some of the greatest  establishments in the world.

Below is the extract of the same, which primarily was addressed to ‘New Employees’ in any organisation; however to me it seems to be mantra that everyone should apply – new or old!

These are a few tips to succeed as an employee at your workplace and it is applicable through the length breadth of any organisation’s chart.

  1. If you want to get ahead in the world, become a highly-concerned observer of the passing scene.
  2. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN – Don’t try to show off your knowledge – it will become known as you use it – if your mount is open, you are not learning
  3. Mentally challenge everything – not vocally – particularly the assumptions that are build into the situation
  4. Really listen to your peers – make them to like you – they are your best resources
  5. Do all possible to help your boss raise his/her status
  6. Develop a business plan for every assignment you are given – allocate your time and resources – develop calendar checkpoints
  7. Your availability is your most important asset – it should be directed UP, DOWN and SIDEWAYS
  8. Work at giving the perception and the fact that you are aware of the feelings and goals of others
  9. On entering a new situation, get an organization chart of your department showing names and responsibilities of your peers – walk the halls and let others see you
  10. Ask for help and show that you appreciate it, it is the best way to make friends
  11. Do not try to impress others by relating your education, travels or accomplishments – they will all become known in due time
  12. Do what you say you will do – if you can’t, let that be known
  13. Your first assignment is to become part of the team and not its leader

I, for sure, do relate to these words and can find a lot of meaning to all that has been said. Most of us always feel that we know all these things, but the big question is: Is just knowing it good enough? Are we applying these in our work life?

If your answer is YES, then you must be a successful person in professional life. Else, you know what you have to do!! Right!!

All the best!

Disclaimer: The above is not my creation and I do not intend to claim any right on it. I could not trace the source of this information, hence am not able to mention the same. 

Sep 16 2012

Employee Engagement – Are they truly ENGAGED?

freedigitalphotos.netMost of us, at some point in our professional careers must have been in a situation where we question ourselves – What am I doing? Is there a purpose in doing that? Why am I doing what I am doing?

I recently spoke to one of my newly assigned subordinates, who after putting in long enough years into service was not satisfied with what he was doing. He asked me a very open yet powerful question – Is there any meaning to what I am being asked to do or is it only to keep me occupied?

That one question made me ponder upon how we are mistreating the notion of ENGAGEMENT in the organizations today. The question itself was sufficient for me to realize that this fellow was not really engaged!!

Now, when I talk about ENGAGEMENT, what does it actually mean?

Let me put up a short story here (as told by David Nour, managing partner of The Nour Group, Inc.)

In a small village in Persia, a group of villagers is weaving a basket together. A wise man walks by and asks them what they are doing. The first says, “I am pushing one straw against another.” The second says, “I am making a basket.” The third answers, “I’m helping a family carry food to feed his family.”

Though they were all three working on the same project, they each saw their jobs very differently. It is about how people see their jobs. Is it as the same mundane pushing of one woven strip against another, or do they see a little bigger than that – which is the basket itself – or do they see a purpose for why they are doing what they are doing?

The clear difference here is that the last villager was ENGAGED.

Organizations that have been able to ENGAGE the employees have seen sustainable growth over the years. Employees feel energetic, motivated and more productive when they are engaged. They feel very strong sense of belonging and connection when they know what they are doing and more importantly WHY they are doing so!

I always believe that people genuinely want to play an important role. No matter how trivial any task may be, but it contributes to the bigger picture anyhow. Everyone wants to have the sense of accomplishment by being attached to real results.

Most organizations fail at engaging its employees by giving them clarity on the bigger picture and how they can contribute to it.

Every individual wants to be a part of something BIG – BIG Successes, BIG accomplishments! It also gives a sense that one is as BIG as the effort!

There is a huge difference in SAYING that you are a part of the BIG picture and actually ENGAGING people. I feel that today’s leaders and HR folks need to give a serious attention to this issue if they want their people to stay with the organization in thick and thin.

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