December 14, 2018

6 Truths About Leading People

People At WorkAs a leader, you have probably read countless books and articles about how to lead people.  Some of the information you have read in the past is great…some needs to be thrown in the trash.

One of the big problems I have with much of the information out there in books and journals about leadership is that these books focus on the leader…not on the followers.  My belief is and always has been is this:  As a leader, if you know some general truths about people, about what motivates them and what drives them away, you will be a much better leader.  So, today, I want to share with you six truths about leading people.  While these do not apply to every single person out there, these are so common that I feel I need to write about them today.

1.  The majority of people you are leading are doing their best…even if you think they are not.  As a leader, you may have some preconceived ideas and expectations about what your followers should or should not be doing.  The question I have is this “Have you spoken to them about those expectations?”  If not, then this is not their fault…it is yours.  As a leader in today’s world, you have to be willing to place a top focus on the training and development of the people in your company and then be willing to bring in coaching to encourage people and to hold them accountable to their own greatness.  If you are walking around silently complaining about what someone should be doing, there is a good chance your employees don’t know this, and it is up to you to assign someone in your company the job of implementing a world class development program.

2.  People are inspired by public recognition and will do more for you when they get it.  As someone who works with leaders and teams every day, I have heard so many people speak about the lack of public recognition for a job well done.  From my perspective, people are craving recognition, and they are just not getting it, and they are craving recognition for not only big accomplishments but the small things that make the biggest difference in your company.  Why are we doing this to our employees?  My hunch is the old excuse of “We just forgot…or we just did not have time.”  Hmmm…I say it’s time to “make time” for public recognition every day.  The public recognition does not need to be in front of hundreds of people…it could be in front of just one other person, and the employee needs to hear something like this:  “Thank you so much for handling the incoming calls yesterday for 30 minutes.  I cannot tell you how much time this freed up for the whole team to finish the project we were working on.”  So, you name the good deed while explaining how it had an impact on the team and/or your company.

3.  Every person in your company has a different level of readiness for change.  Generally speaking, most people don’t like change, because change challenges us all to go into unknown territory.  Having said that, some people will adapt to change quickly while other people will change gradually over time while others will never buy into the change you are trying to implement.  To expect everyone to jump on board with your change initiative or new idea is almost impossible.  A tool like the DiSC assessment can help you understand a bit about how people view risk and change so that you aren’t blindsided when some people don’t automatically jump on board.   For those people who do not easily buy into change, give them an end date for getting on board. For those people who don’t get on board with your new initiatives, it will be time for a tough conversation.

4.  People are watching you to see if your actions match your words.  Because of the lack of integrity in some of our leaders, our world now looks at leaders through scrutinizing eyes.   They may hear your lips flapping, but they don’t see your actions lining up with the words you speak.  The first rule of integrity is probably “Tell the truth and live the truth, even when no one is looking”.  Right up there with this rule is “If you say you are going to do something or you want your team to act a certain way, you better do it”.  If you don’t, your credibility will instantly become tarnished, and people will lose trust in you and the words you speak.

5.  Not everyone in your company wants to be an “A player” on your team.  Somewhere along the way, company leaders have grabbed onto the idea that every single person in their company wants to “play to their full potential” and “rise to the top”.  This is just not the case.  There are many people in companies who love playing a support role.  They are your “B players”, and they are perfectly content playing that role.  As a leader, if you are going for only “A players” or people who want to get there, I recommend you read the book Topgrading by Brad Smart and then only hire people who have the qualities of the “A players” of the world.  Having said this, I just don’t know how well a company would operate with all “A players”.  I feel that we need people in support roles who don’t want to rise to the top of the company, but that is just my opinion.  The truth is to know that even though you may want everyone succeeding beyond their wildest dreams, there are people who just don’t want that for their lives, and as a leader, you have a decision to make:  You either have a mix of “A and B Players”, or you only hire “A players” who are going to rise to the top of your company.  It’s all up to you.

6.  There is a 99.9% chance that the people in your company are gossiping about you and others.  Let’s face it: People talk about other people in your company.   Of course, they love to spread around the bad stuff, but as a leader, you must be willing to know that there is a grapevine in your company, and it is important to know what is being heard through the grapevine.   I don’t want to suggest that you dwell on this topic, but it is important that you put your ear to the ground enough to know what is being said at the water fountain, over lunch and during breaks about you, your team or your company.  It could be very valuable information that can lead you to making a decision that could turn your company around.

To learn more about the people in your company and what they want from you as a leader, contact me today for a complimentary coaching session.  I am happy to see how I can help you.

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Leadership Coaching Strategies to Stop Top Talent From Quitting

The Revolving Door of Top TalentDo you ever feel like your hiring process is just like a revolving door?  Top talent in…top talent out!

If so, you are not alone!

During the past ten years of offering leadership coaching and executive coaching services to companies, one of the biggest complaints I hear is about the revolving door of the hiring process.  One of two things usually come up in leadership conversations:

  1. Top talent comes, they stay for about six to nine months and then they leave
  2. The company “settles” for bodies rather than digging to find the top talent they need, so the department or project team now has some drag on their team

What I have found is this:  If employees feel disconnected from their work, bored or if the work is elementary and mind-numbing, employees will leave, regardless of the many tricks you try to lure them into staying.  So, here are a few suggestions to help you with this challenge:

  1.  Match the job to the employees talent and level of capability.  Humans actually want to be challenged.  They want to be stretched.  So, if the job is not challenging or could be done by someone with half of their experience, they may be going through the motions, but their heart and soul are not in the work.  Having said this, if the job is too hard, an employee can get very frustrated and just give up.  Striking the right balance is critical.
  2. Offer leadership coaching.  With leadership coaching, you can help your employees strike that “right” balance between being totally bored and disconnected and being way in over their heads.  By offering weekly leadership coaching to your employees, you can discuss what’s working and what is not, how to challenge them more and when and how to maybe back down just a bit.  This is also a great time to provide training to your employees if they feel they are in over their heads.  They may just need some additional training or a tiny question answered to get back moving again in the right direction
  3. Work on building trust.  It is not uncommon for people to simply not trust a boss, a co-worker or the company.  As a leader, one of your biggest jobs to do every day is to build those strong bonds of trust that employees need to feel safe and secure in the jobs they have been empowered to do.
  4. Talk with your employees about what inspires them and what outcomes they most value.  You may think that money inspires your employees, but in my experiences as a leadership coach, I have found that what matters more than money are the following:

The opportunity to be challenged, succeed and then be recognized for that success

The reward of extra free time to spend with friends and family

The feeling of doing a great, great job and bring proud of a finished product

So, if you are having a tough time keeping employees, start looking at both your hiring process and take the time to sit down (without judgment) and ask your employees why they are leaving.  Ask them what you could have offered that would have made them want to stay, and ask them if they felt the work they were doing was truly meaningful.  You may be surprised at the answers as they come forward.

If you are having any challenges with either hiring or keeping top talent, contact me today so that we can talk a bit about how to turn your specific situation around.

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5 Effective Leadership Skills You Can Use to Quickly Settle a Dispute at Work

resolve disputeAs a leader, there will come a time in your career when you have to sit down with two or more people and do your best to help settle a disagreement, dispute or conflict. 

While this is not the activity most leaders enjoy, it is a part of the job, and the best approach is a Childrens Party that engages the kids.

Striking while the iron is hot is critical in helping to settle a dispute.  Many leaders just ignore conflict on their team, thinking that time will heal all wounds.  I have observed the opposite to be true.  If two or more people on your team are in the middle of a disagreement, negative emotions will build, and team chemistry can fall apart.

So, here is what I suggest trying the next time you are settling a dispute.  You will be using these 5 leadership skills:

1.  Addressing conflict swiftly.

2.  The art of using effective dialogue.

3.  Mediation.

4.  Holding people accountable.

5.  Taking action.

For this post, I am going to use the names John and Sue.  Let’s say John and Sue have had a disagreement, are avoiding each other and starting to gossip about the situation to other team members.  It is time to call them both in, and start a dialogue:

Step 1:  Establish the ground rules.  Allow each person a chance to vent for about 2-3 minutes about what is going on.   Then, state firmly but calmly “We are now going to shift into a conversation about what each of you want for yourself, what you want for each other, what you want for the team and what steps you are going to take to get there.

Step 2:  Ask John the following questions:

  1. What do you want for yourself?
  2. What do you want for Sue?
  3. What do you want for your relationship?
  4. What do you want for your team?
  5. What steps will you take, starting today, to
  • Get what you want
  • Help Sue get what he wants
  • Get what you want for the relationship
  • Help the team get the results they need

Step 3:  Ask Sue the following questions:

  1. What do you want for yourself?
  2. What do you want for John?
  3. What do you want for your relationship?
  4. What do you want for your team?
  5. What steps will you take, starting today, to
  • Get what you want
  • Help John get what he wants
  • Get what you want for the relationship
  • Help the team get the results they need

Step 4:  State the accountability system by saying this.  “I am going to be observing your interactions, and I would like to follow up on _____________ date.  State a date that is no later than two weeks into the future.  If at this time, you have not resolved your issues with each other, we are going to have another conversation to see where we go from here.  While I encourage open debate, I have to get my team on the same page, moving in the same direction, so I will be following up in two weeks.

Step 5:  Take action.  If Sue and John cannot come to an agreement, and if they cannot work together and continue to cause tension in the team chemistry, it is time to make changes…either moving them onto different teams or taking steps to determine if Sue and John are really a good fit for your company.  If they “agree to disagree” and still work together, you may continue to see this issue surface, even if you move them to another team or department.

If you or a team member is having difficulty settling a dispute, contact me today for a complimentary consultation to see if I may be able to help you with this challenge.

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5 Steps for Improving Accountability on Your Team

When is John going to get me that report?”

“What is going on with the marketing report? When are they going to finish that thing?”

“I can’t believe Mary is so late in making those phone calls.”

“Okay…who dropped the ball this time?”

“Hey…that’s not MY job.”

Does this sound familiar? If so, your small business team may be faced with a big challenge with accountability, which results in finger pointing, frustration and broken trust…both with your employees and your customers. Personal responsibility and accountability can put an end to the blame game, saving your business thousands if not millions of dollars by increasing productivity and overall job satisfaction, which results in very satisfied customers. These five basic approaches can support you in increasing accountability, which are simple, yet they require actually building a culture of accountability for your business.

1. Communicate the big pictureAccountability stands a better chance of succeeding if everyone in your business embraces a larger responsibility for the success of the entire company. Spend time talking individually with team members about how his or her project affects the vision and mission of the business. With this communication, people can make wiser decisions from the context of the “big picture” rather than from the perspective of what may seem to be a detailed and boring task.

2. State clear expectations- If one person on your team does not meet your expectations, the entire team can fail. It is important from the very beginning of any new project to state the expectations clearly and repeat them over and over again until your team really “gets it.” These expectations need to be crystal clear, including dates, who is responsible for what, the details of the task and how you want the finished product delivered. If your expectations are fuzzy or confusing in any way, your team can break down, and the fine and very important details can fall through the cracks.

3. Accountability work groups-One of the best ways to achieve accountability is to develop shared accountability among team members. Accountability within the team can be accomplished by what Morris R. Shechtman calls “accountability groups,” groups which give team members the permission to speak and listen in a way which is frank and open. This accountability group can include 2-5 people and can then serve as a small unit of people working together to confide in with struggles, weaknesses and insecurities. They can then find creative strategies to work together in the direction of the growth the team intends to achieve.

4. Move to action-In order for accountability to work, people have to know that failure of completion will come with certain consequences, including written warnings, loss of a bonus or extra hours served on a week-end to complete the project on the table. Without consequences, your employees won’t take you seriously. They will think that they can use blame, justification and rationalization as a way to deviate from being responsible, because you have not followed through on what you said you will do if the tasks are not achieved.

5. Reward and recognition program-Employees need to know in a tangible way their efforts are indeed driving the company forward, and it is important for them to share in the fruits of their hard work. The offer of increased pay and benefits (vacations, time off and other perks) can keep accountability and morale high and can motivate employees to continue to strive for high levels of performance.

The 7 Critical Mistakes Most Leaders Make When Leading Knowledge Workers—And How You Can Avoid Them

Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably know that we are no longer living in the Industrial Age. You remember that era…a time where machines and things were the drivers of our economy and people were there to simply “run and churn” those machines.  Machines, things and people were replaceable.  It did not take a brain surgeon to run machines.  It just took an able body who acted like a robot to turn on a machine, run the machine or work an assembly line.

Well, here we are today…the year 2011, and while some companies have truly “gotten” that we are now in the era of the knowledge worker, many modern day companies are still trying to lead based on the rules of the Industrial Revolution.

Those rules included:

  1. Start at the bottom, working on the assembly line or in the mail room and hope you work your way up to the top (a hierarchical form of leadership was the norm).
  2. Pay your dues for 20 years and then ask for a promotion.  You may get it or you may not.
  3. Don’t rock the boat!  We have about five people who are making decisions, and you will do as we say, and you ARE replaceable.
  4. No feedback meant all was okay, and then suddenly, a worker was called in and handed a pink slip for “not supporting the way we do things…we are a hierarchy, and you are trying to fight that!”
  5. People were treated like commodities…disposable commodities, so trust was not par for the course.
  6. Command and control styles were encouraged.
  7. Just be quiet about what you have seen and know, and do your job, and you will be just fine.
  8. Passion, purpose and voice were “too touchy/feely” so they were never discussed.
  9. The worth of a person was measured by the number of hours they put in and how quickly and effectively  they could run a machine or assemble a product
  10. The more hours your worked, the more loyal you were, the more valuable you were to the company.

I could go on and on about the rules of the Industrial Age.  My point to you is that the above set of rules is  outdated and not in sync with today’s knowledge worker.  Information, creativity and brain power are now our most valuable assets, yet companies are not leading based on this idea.  The following will spell out the 7 most common mistakes I see leaders make with today’s knowledge worker and how you can not only avoid them but shift your strategies so that you get the most out of your knowledge workers.

1.     Discouraging knowledge workers to find and then use their own voice. The new employee wants to know that they can be truly authentic in your organization and be able to bring their own unique voice to your company.  Giving your knowledge workers permission to speak up and to use their own voice will inspire them to actually contribute new ideas and strategies to help your company thrive.

2.     Not offering current, up to date training. Today’s knowledge worker was raised on a diet of knowledge, and they actually crave more knowledge.  Because of the internet, the knowledge worker knows that at any hour of the day, they can go online and find more new information.  Offering training in a second language, leadership or managerial skills or marketing and sales skills and delivering this training using digital media and shadowing will hold the attention of the knowledge worker and will actually help the knowledge worker build out their skill set for a stronger career down the road.

3.     Training the knowledge worker using old classroom-style training methodologies. The Industrial Revolution brought the world a lecture/chalkboard/classroom format, and it worked.  But times have changed.  We now have the internet, social media sites, cell phones with texting and internet capability and digital mechanisms to enhance learning.  It is critical to understand that the knowledge worker of today often comes to the workforce with an environment induced form of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).  This is not to suggest that the new knowledge worker has ADD, but the majority of young men and women between the ages of 22-32 will admit that because of their use of social media, cell phones and instant messaging (and using them all at the same time), their brains have been trained to focus for a short period of time and then flip to a new thought or activity and that this occurs hundreds of times each day.  By using new media, shadowing and experiential training, you will be able to grab and hold the attention of the knowledge worker much better and for longer periods of time than in using the classroom/lecture/power point method of training.

4.     Excluding the knowledge worker from team decisions. This is one area that is a constant concern with the knowledge worker.  They feel that their opinions, ideas and contributions are not valued, so they are deliberately excluded from strategic meetings which could be enhanced by their contributions.  The new knowledge worker wants to know that they are helping the companies they serve be better, “make a difference”, be more profitable or help to conjure up the next big idea that will put your company on the map.  At the end of the day, the new knowledge worker needs to be invited to sit at the table senior leaders, and it is critical that you take their ideas, suggestions and contributions seriously.  These men and women will be your future leaders, and it is imperative that you show them that their minds and ideas do count and you want them in on your most critical discussions.

5.     Treating the knowledge worker like a disposable commodity. If you are a leader, and you are seeing your knowledge worker as a commodity to use for a short period of time and then send them out the door, you are not only doing a disservice to your employees, you are building a brand that says you value things more than people.  This attitude simply won’t fly in today’s world.  Consumers are watching companies more and more to see if they can spot that you have a high level of emotional intelligence, and your knowledge workers will be the first to know if you are “using” them just to drain their brains and then send them packing.  The knowledge worker wants to be treated as a valued member of your team…a human being and not a machine or a thing.

6.     Trying to inspire the knowledge worker by offering more money. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a leader or manager of the knowledge worker.  Young hires between the ages of 22-32 truly have a different set of values than those of their parents.   While they all agree that they do need enough money to be able to live, they truly value time over money, friends over big titles and promotions and opportunities for ongoing learning over getting paid overtime.  When trying to inspire the knowledge worker, offering them two hours off on Friday to spend time with friends, to contribute back to the community or to take an extra course at a nearby location will be much more valuable than offering them a few extra bucks to work harder and longer hours.  This demographic of workers have watched their parents work their fingers to the bone just to keep up with the Joneses, and then watched as their parents were downsized, laid off or fired.   To work longer hours just to please the boss and make overtime pay is not the carrot you will want to dangle under the nose of the knowledge worker, but time off or extra learning will have the knowledge worker’s mouth watering.

7. Discouraging dreams and passions. In my experiences, I have been quite saddened to see leaders throw water on a burning passion of the new knowledge worker.  The new worker of today will come to your organization with big ideas, dreams and passions, and these should be encouraged, cultivated and woven into the decision making for your company.  If the knowledge worker feels that her dreams are being supported, she will stick around your company much longer than if she is told to “be realistic” and just put that dream on hold.

At the end of the day, a leadership process where senior leaders are communicating the worth, potential and possibilities to their new knowledge workers, the future for your company can be bright and limitless.

The Top 3 Most Common Employee Complaints

What would your employees write on the wall next to your suggestion box?

This cartoon always makes me laugh.  In looking at this cartoon, simply ask yourself this question “If uncensored, what would your employees write on a wall next to a suggestion box about you and your executive team?”

In the leadership coaching work I have provided executive level leaders and their teams over the last ten years, I have discovered that there are 3 main complaints employees seem to voice regarding upper management and the leadership team.  These complaints or concerns are not isolated.  They are common across all geographical boundaries, so take note of these and rather than take my word for it, go ask your employees how they feel about these concerns.

1.   Micromanagement: We all know what it feels like to be micromanaged.  Your boss, parent or authority figure is constantly checking up on you, breathing down your neck or looking over your shoulder to make sure the job you are doing is absolutely textbook perfect.   Micro-managers are usually obsessed with controlling the project and pushes everyone around them to succeed, beat the clock and “do it the way we have always done it”.  If you are a micro-manager, you are taking a big risk of disempowering your employees,  actually hurting their work performance and destroying their confidence.  In this case, it is not uncommon for a top employee to eventually become so frustrated they will leave and go to work your biggest competitor.

Solution: Prior to the start of a project, fully train your team on the plan, strategy, processes, expectations, where to go for resources and when to ask questions, and then…let your employees go and implement the job you have empowered them to do.  Give them the freedom to take on the project, and if you do observe an employee going way off track, invite them into your office, explain your observations and retrain on that one aspect of the project.   During a new project, you may also notice an employee taking on a task that may not be what you asked, but it is actually getting better results, so take note of that.   Ask someone you trust to observe you during the project and to call you on the carpet when you start back down the micromanagement track.

2.   Lack of Accessibility. It is not uncommon for the executive level leaders and senior managers to become isolated from the employees of the company.  Their offices are located in the executive tower at the top of the building and they literally stay on that one floor for the entire day.  This creates a feeling of a hierarchy at play, and as an employee, if you are  below the top of the totem pole,  you will feel so far removed from the decision makers that you may either:

  • Do a really lousy job, because you think no one is looking or cares
  • Start down a path that is illegal (stealing, harassment)
  • Begin wondering what secrets the company is trying to hide from you
  • Quit your job

In my opinion, there is no excuse for this.  This approach is the “good old boys network” approach, and is really outdated and no longer an advantage for success.

Solution: Lead and manage by walking around the company on an every other day basis.   Simply pop in and out of different departments to say hello and to find out what is going on.  Take a notepad or your digital device with you to jot down complaints and suggestions and notice if you see repeating patterns in concerns, worries or doubts.

Another approach to improving accessibility is to hold town hall meetings two times per month, and give your employees the opportunity to gain access to you and your team and to talk to you openly and candidly.  During the town hall meeting format, as a leader, your job is to listen and to thank your employees for their suggestions…not to justify or make excuses for why something may not be going so great.  It is perfectly fine to explain why a certain decision was made to clear up any confusion, but it is not okay to argue or make excuses during dialogue with your employees.  At the end of the day, your employees need a voice, and if there is a negative perception floating around your company,  it is your job to change the perception from negative to positive.

3.   Wrong Fit. In this scenario, an employee is hired to fill one job and the first day he shows up, he ends up in a completely different role.  In my mind, this is basically a form of lying to an employee.  If an employee is hired to do one job and placed in another, he will forever be miserable.

Solution: Perform a Strengths Finder Profile on each employee and place them in roles where they can thrive.  You can purchase the book Strengths Finder 2.0, and inside the book will be a code to go online and take the assessment.   If you discover at the last minute that the job  OR the job description is going to change, and it is not a good fit for your new employee based on her skill set and strengths, it is critical for you to communicate to her that the job role has changed and give her the option to stay or move on to find a better fit.

7 Ways To Ruin a New Employee by Jeff Haden on BNET

Great article on BNET by Jeff Haden on seven ways you can set the wrong course, and in the process ruin a new employee:

1. Welcome them to the family. Strong interpersonal relationships, positive working relationships, friendships… all those come later, if ever.  You hire an employee to work, not build relationships.  Be polite, courteous, and friendly, but stay focused on the fact the employee was hired to perform a job, and jobs involve work.  Let new employees earn their way into the “family” through hard work and achievement.

Read the other 6 ways here on BNET.

Jeff Haden has a variety of great articles.  Check them out here.

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7 Questions to Answer Before Reinventing Your Business Model

Is Your Company Truly Prepared to Reinvent Your Business Model?With the unpredictability of the economy and the unrest on a global scale, people are starting to panic, screaming “We have to get on top of this!  We have to change our business model!”  Woah…slow down!  Reinventing a business model takes time and a great deal of planning, and it can be done by answering the following seven questions:

1. Do you have a solid strategy in place before you being the reinventing phase? Many companies will tell you they simply react and don’t stop to plan.    This plan needs to include very serious thought about how you are going to operate, the team you need in place and how you are going to educate your stakeholders about the reinvention.

2. Do you have the right person at the top of your organization? This is a quandary that organizations bump up against during a reinvention phase.  The CEO or President of the company may have been a superstar during a crisis or in managing an old business model.  The new model may be entrepreneurial, innovative or driven by technology, so looking at the person at the top and analyzing their skill set will be a critical component during a reinvention phase.  If the person at the top is not your right man or woman, it may be time for a change.  As hard as it will be, the visionary of your company must be forward thinking, or the new business model will die in about one month.

3. Can you explain how a loan works and how you financially afford to reinvent your business model at this time? Times are tough, and the financial resources may not be available for a full overhaul of your company.  If this is the case, you might consider reinventing one department in your company as a beta test to see if reinvention makes sense and if you can truly afford to take this change to a company-wide level.

4.  Do you have the very best talent on board...talented people who are not only great in one area but who have a wide variety of skills whose talents and knowledge can be used in a variety of ways.  During reinvention, you will be asked to dare to be innovative and you will be bumping up against a multitude of obstacles, and if your employees have a wide variety of skills, you can pull them in when a challenge strikes and leverage their talent and skill sets. Tools like the Strengths Finder Profile can help you in analyzing the strengths of everyone in your company (including people who are your wage workers…they may have just what it takes to address a tough problem).

5.  Do the employees in your company have the ability to drive new business growth? Some people are just plain stuck in the past and some people are forward thinkers.  When it comes to driving new business growth, this  is where online social networking can truly be an asset to your company.  If your employees are what I call the “super connectors” of the world, they can bring new customers, partners, investors, talent and consultants to the table who can help you master your reinvention process and actually drive growth by bringing in their networks.

6. Does your culture need an overhaul? Look around your company.  What does it look like?  What does it feel like?  Are you living with the 60’s look of vinyl furniture and cubicles from the 70’s and 80’s?  Are people walking around with scowls on their faces, just watching for the clock to strike 5:00 so that they can get the hell out of dodge?  If so, it’s time for a culture change.  In today’s world, the cultures of companies that are working are open, bright, with the latest technology and most employees are receiving coaching and feedback on an ongoing basis.  People are excited and dancing out the door just to go to work.  If your culture is one that is stuck back in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s or even the year 2000, then wake up!  We are in the year 2010, and boy have times changed.  Your culture needs to change with what’s going on in the year 2010 and should pull you into the future…not the past.

7.  Are you ready to think? In order to reinvent, true, deep thinking, brainstorming and masterminding to look to the future will be a part of your process.  The thinking, brainstorming process is not as easy as it sounds, because you are going to have people on your team who are going to play devil’s advocate and will pop every balloon you blow up.  I truly believe that the brainstorming process should be managed by someone on the outside who is skilled with pulling all ideas out onto the table…even the ones that are the crazy, far-fetched ones.  Once all ideas are on the table, you can then bring in the nit-pickers to pick apart the ideas to see which reinvention strategy is going to best serve your company.  But…at the end of the day, you are going to have to be willing to truly brainstorm, and if an employee just cannot get on board with this process, maybe it’s time to let that person find another place to hang his hat.

If you or your company is in the middle of reinventing your business model and you need help from a coach, give me a call at 910-692-6118 or email me at beafields@beafields.com.  I am happy to talk with you to see if I can help or if I can find someone from my network (which is quite large) to help you.