Leading the Team – Inspiring achievement

How do you get one person, never mind a team, to work together to achieve something useful? Leading a team is a challenge. This is the first of five videos that will tell you one way – that doesn’t involve throwing money at the problem! The five videos are: Inspiring Achievement The management books are wrong! The science of why people work A human story Making people want to work  

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Why Do People Work?

People work for money obviously! We all know the answer to that don’t we? Our team leader, supervisor and manager training courses tell us? People go to work for money to keep a roof over their heads, raise a family and enjoy a few luxuries. We are trained to regard human resources, units of labour, as primary inputs to getting the job done. We are taught to measure their performance against target, train them, and manage their performance. The Human Resources Department provides all the legal tools that allow us to do that legally. Isn’t it a shame that all that misses the point. People do go to work for the money, but what they do at work, depends on something else. There are selfish, very human, reasons why people work. Let’s explain these.

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Business is a Marathon!

Challenging business environment Business is a marathon – so often, people say, “Oh that’s well known”. Running a business is not like running a marathon. It’s a long race but it is filled with all sorts of problems, like taking part in a race with hurdles, water jumps, the occasional pause to throw the javelin or discus and sprinting to the next challenge! That’s the competitive challenge. Is your business fit?

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The Most Elaborate April Fool’s Day Joke Ever?

What are you doing to prepare for the future? Do you think this could be the most elaborate April Fool’s Day joke ever? Better than the spaghetti trees and the new species of flying penguins put together? Are you assuming this is, in fact, the case and that on April 1st 2019, David Cameron, Teresa May and whoever, is going to pop up and shout “of course Brexit isn’t happening – April Fool!”. Or do you think Brexit is actually happening, and despite the alternative future trading relationships extremes being readily discovered, you have decided that doing nothing is the best way forward.

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People management is broken

The right attitude Everyone in business should have a commercial attitude. It’s all about delivering a customer need and getting paid for it. Do you treat your employees in the same way? Do you think of your salary costs in terms of getting the most work done for the least cost? Would you be surprised if your employees think they should do as little as possible for as much as possible? Is that your experience? Whose fault is that? It isn’t very effective, is it? But you probably don’t know any better! What has gone wrong with people management? You have suffered successive onslaughts of HR flummery: employee engagement solutions, rewards and benefits, workspace design, CSR, culture change programmes or training as a good thing for heaven’s sake! All this, and more, has led to the horrors of matrix management, and the consequent politics. Who carries the can when matrix management goes wrong? Who is responsible? Care to guess? It isn’t all bad That is not to say that all that flummery doesn’t contain a seed of value, but it needs fertile ground, not the desert of commercially-based employee relations. Otherwise, it is just conscience money spent for public relations. […]

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Employee Engagement AND Continuous Improvement

Extra productivity How much extra productivity, what gain in performance and what happens to profits are all good questions that I’ll point the way to answering here. The amount of extra productivity, performance and profit depends on where you are now. My experience is most commercial organizations can expect to double their profit over a few years. The behaviour change that delivers the benefits, drives the speed and scale of the outcome. Continuous improvement If you are too timid in your employee directed continuous improvement then you will achieve very little.

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Change Leader – will you lead the change or be changed?

My definition of leadership is that which delivers better results than is normal or could be expected. This is the definition of the Alpha of investments – the degree with which they outperform the rest. This is a good definition for the Chief Executive’s or Managing Director’s role. Unless you are delivering a better than expected performance, a better return on investment (ROI), you are not doing your job. How many leaders do you know who found a formula for success and stuck to it, even though the circumstances, and the results, stopped flowing? Being the leader is being prepared to change, to drive your organisation to change. The Shareholders are not patient when the Alpha, the ROI, loses its sparkle. If the leader doesn’t drive change, the shareholders change the leader for one that will. Yes, it is tough at the top, why did you think you got the big pay packet? Most leaders ensure that their organisation has all the resources, the training and staffing that is required. Often, after all this investment, the sparkle is still absent. When you ask yourself, or Google, “What on Earth do I do next?” you know you’re in trouble. Over the […]

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Do you thank the vending machine?

People management skills It might be helpful to say that my people management skills came about through picking up a glowing meteorite. That would have been easier for sure. Rather, any ability I may have developed is the result of many attempts to get it right, or better at least, with many failures along the way: a lot of experiments, testing hypotheses and checking ‘facts’.

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Managing Your First Employee

Are you a natural born leader? Perhaps as a child you were the one that organized all the games? Naturally as you grew people just expected you to be in charge? You might even regard yourself as a ‘very stable genius’? Of course, this means you have never needed to think how you relate to people, and more importantly, how they relate to you. But you won’t be reading anything to do with self-development so this is not for you. But this article is for the rest of us. We who worried about, or still worry, how to relate to our first employee, our first direct report.

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