Posted on July 24, 2008 by Mike Chitty
I regularly read Wally Bock’s blog. He is always coming up with great insights and ideas.
In a recent post he reminded us that:
- Leadership is behaviour.
- Theory doesn’t count unless it turns into behaviour.
- Principles don’t matter until you incarnate them.
- If it doesn’t find its way into what you say or what you do, it can’t be leadership.
- Leadership is situational.
- One size doesn’t fit all.
- What works in one situation may not work in another.
- Your choices of what you say and do depend on the situation.
- If you aspire to leadership, understand that leadership is about actions measured by results in a specific situation.
Much the same can be said of management. I even agree with the situational nature of leadership – although I also believe that a single, simple management system can provide the basics of good organisational practice in the vast majority of situations. A system where you:
Thanks Wally. You can read the full post here.
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Posted on July 11, 2008 by Mike Chitty
- People do not resist change.
- Nor do people hate it.
- They do not fear it either.
If you are trying to lead a change process and are experiencing resistance, hatred or fear of change consider this:
It is not change that people resist/hate/fear. It is the way you are trying to change them that they are reacting to.
They are not the problem!
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Posted on July 8, 2008 by Mike Chitty
I get fired up about management because it the best tool for helping both organisations and the people that work in them to make progress.
Outstanding managers are able to facilitate the progress of both the individual and the organisation and to connect these in a way that results in win/wins for both.
They do this by:
- regularly creating time and space to allow people to understand what progress looks and feels like right now – for them and for the organisation
- building a consensus around the ‘direction(s) in which progress lies’
- enabling people to make things happen in pursuit of progress – they promote a ‘bias for action’
- by building the skills and confidence of people to act creatively and pro-actively in pursuit of progress within the mission, vision and values of the organisation.
One of the greatest opportunities for performance improvement is to take more time to explore these questions about progress in some depth and then to link them to immediate next steps – practical things that individuals and groups can do to close the gap between where we are now and where we want to be. And this is what Brilliant 121s are all about.
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Posted on July 1, 2008 by Mike Chitty
Sue Wylie is the office manager at re’new in Leeds.
She has attended four PMN workshops and has used much of what we have covered in her work. In this podcast she talks about PMN and how it works for her.
Sue explains why;
- she thought she would never have enough time for 121s – but now would not be without them, and
- how 121s actually save her time and avoid interruptions in her working day
- how the principles and practices have driven progress in her team
- the impact that 121s with her manager have had in her
You can listen to the podcast here.
Many thanks Sue!
If you have attended PMN training and benefitted from it, and would like to make a podcast with me – just let me know! You could become an iTunes star!
Filed under: 121s, change, communication, feedback, leadership, management, one to ones, performance improvement, performance management, Teamwork, third sector | Tagged: 121s, change, communication, feedback, leadership, learning, management, marketing, one to ones, performance improvement, performance management, practical, progressive, talent, talent management, Teamwork, third sector | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 10, 2008 by Mike Chitty
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.”
Stephen R. Covey
Without doubt the commonest problem I find with managers who struggle with time management and worklife balance is the failure to understand the difference between ‘prioritizing their schedule’ versus ‘scheduling their priorities’.
So many managers schedule the ‘hard’ stuff. The meetings and appointments. And then they try to schedule every other piece of work around these commitments. Instead of getting clear on the things that matter (key projects, 121s, time with loved ones etc) and getting them on the schedule first they fill the calendar with trivia and then find know quality time left to do what really matters.
Time and again I ask managers what their main objectives are and then, when I look at their calendar, find very little time scheduled to work on them – just a mass of appointments around much less important stuff.
Then they wonder why they find it so hard to find time to make progress…
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Posted on May 19, 2008 by Mike Chitty
This post first appeared on my other blog ‘Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in the Community‘ but I have reproduced it here because it contains some insights on working with ‘Vision’ that are relevant to the progressive manager. Apologies to those of you who have got it for the second time!
Our Vision for Leeds is an internationally competitive European city at the heart of a prosperous region where everyone can enjoy a high quality of life.
Leeds Initiative Vision for Leeds – 2004 2020
That must seem like a pretty distant vision for many Leeds residents. For the tens of thousands that are living on incapacity benefits. For those who have no job. For those who work in the third sector and are more interested in social justice than international competitiveness. For parents who are struggling to raise and educate their children. For pensioners. For migrants and refugees.
But the problem is not with the vision per se. The problem lies with the capacity available to help a very wide range of people and communities to connect with it. To understand why it is relevant to them and how it can help them to make progress on their agenda. How it can help them find a sense of belonging in a Leeds community that is striving to make ‘progress’.
For a vision to be effective a wide range of stakeholders have to be able to connect with it and make sense of it in their own context, and then to use it to leverage action – to make things happen. Otherwise it is just words. I suspect it is no accident that this ‘Vision for Leeds’ appeals so directly to the white collar community, to the developers and the investors. To those that have power shall be given more.
Visions can help to pull us towards a more attractive future, but only if they are relevant to us and are dripping with possibilities for action.
In the world of organisational and business development the ‘Vision backlash’ has started. Instead of dreaming of distant possibilities those leading the backlash ask:
- ‘What is it that we are on the verge of becoming?’,
- ‘How, at this time, is it possible that we could change?’
This ‘emergence’ based on a process of ‘presencing’ (understanding the ‘here and now’ and then acting to tip the balance in favour of progress) honours the past as much as the future. It ensures that the future is rooted in the strengths and cultures of the past. It encourages placemaking based on history as much as on the future. And this matters because it is the history that has shaped us all. Our cultures, our psyches our potentials and our preferences. Development that honours who we are, what we have become and what we believe it is possible for us to be.
Perhaps we should compliment the Vision with a real understanding of what we have the potential to become – not by 2020 – but right now.
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Posted on May 2, 2008 by Mike Chitty
Chip Conley has written a great book called PEAK – How great companies get their mojo from Maslow. In it he gives grave warning of the dangers of whelmers.
According to Chip there are three types of recruit in your organisation.
There are the over-whelmers – those people that ‘over-whelm’ you with their energy, skill, passion and enthusiasm. These people are what you need. They provide the foundations on which excellent can be built. However you will need to work hard, very hard, to recruit and retain them. These people have choices about where they work – so why should they choose to stick with you?
Then there are the under-whelmers – those that leave you distinctly unimpressed. According to Chip these don’t constitute a real problem either – because they are easily recognised and managed. As a consequence they either perform or get fired. I only wish it were this simple – but I do get the point. Under performance is easily recognised and can then be managed if you have the courage and commitment to do so.
The real dangers are those people that neither over nor under whelm. These are the whelmers. Their work is OK without being great. Customers are satisfied without being thrilled. Colleagues have kind of got used to the mediocrity. And the over-whelmers will not want to be any where near them as they sap energy and enthusiasm. They are passion vampires.
And this is the pernicious culture killer – mediocrity. If the whelmers are allowed to carve out a quiet life of mediocrity they will drag the culture of your organisation down to their level.
In the words of the legendary Van Morrison:
“You gotta fight every day to keep mediocrity at bay”.
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Posted on March 28, 2008 by Mike Chitty
Tom Peters encourages managers to obsess on R.O.I.R – the Return on Investment in Relationships.
ROIR through 121s comes in many forms:
- increased staff retention
- improved productivity
- recognition and acknowledgement of progress
- appreciation of those who are performing well
- identification of under performance and early resolution
- promotion of behaviours that reinforce strategic goals and values
- increased tempo of coaching to develop potential and performance
- deeper professional relationships
- increased trust
- increased influence
- increased responsiveness
- better support of team members in their work
- conduit for ideas from the front line to be heard and acted upon
- management support for every member of the team – every week
- improved communication and focus on what matters
- progress made and recognised on a weekly basis
- increased sense of urgency in the team
- encourage individuals to think through their contribution to team or organisational objectives
- increased initiative and enterprise
- planning remains flexible and dynamic
- documentation makes performance reviews simpler and less contentious
- barriers to high performance are removed
- factors contributing to poor performance are identified and resolved
- formal opportunities for delegation
- feedback – both given and received
- increased employee engagement
- improved knowledge management and knowledge sharing
- better talent management and development
- increased creativity
- more responsibility taken voluntarily by more people
- reduced absenteeism
- more diversity as 121s recognise that ‘one size fits one’
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