• Failure. Who’s to blame?

    blame

    Turn on any news programme and you’re likely to hear a story about a corporate scandal, political faux pas, horrible accident…and a CEO talking about being responsible, or accountable—or both.

    Here’s the thing: in business and life, there is rarely a situation in which the same person is both responsible and accountable for “what went down.”

    The difference is:

    Accountable: One person is answerable for a project’s success or failure. This accountable person must be capable of giving a complete account of what happened (and how and why). The accountable person reports and monitors tasks as they’re being carried out; however, the completion of those tasks is rarely within this person’s direct power. The accountable person’s main assignments are managing, tracking, and monitoring progress.

    Responsible: A person is charged with completing a task, directly. The person is totally in charge of (responsible for) the task’s success or failure. This person takes hands-on action, and the task’s completion is within his or her direct power. The responsible person generally reports to, and works for, the accountable person.

    In most cases, when a task or project fails, one person is publically accountable for its failure—but is rarely directly responsible for that failure.

    When Donald Trump (U.S. Presidential Candidate) was found to be giving away hats made in China (despite the fact that his campaign touts bringing jobs back to the U.S. from China), he was held accountable for the faux pas—even though he was not responsible for ordering those hats. (He may have been just as surprised as the public to see those tags.) Mr. Trump, because of his position, was required to take accountability for that campaign failure. He was not, however, required to be responsible for it.

    We exist in a business (and life) culture centred on placing blame. When something goes right, we want to take credit. When something goes wrong, finger-pointing ensues. I believe this culture has contributed to a lot of the confusion surrounding accountability and responsibility. And this confusion has, in turn, contributed to an overall lack of accountability.

    However, if we were to increase our knowledge around these concepts, we might be more inclined to put them to work. Consider this:

    The probability of reaching a goal is 95% when a specific accountability appointment is made[1].

    In other words, if someone is made explicitly accountable, a project is more likely to be completed—regardless of whether or not that person is responsible for its completion.

    It can help to remember that, generally, managers are accountable and workers are responsible. This doesn’t mean that managers are never responsible—they often have their own tasks outside the projects they’re accountable for.

    Every task must have an accountable party and at least one responsible party assigned to it. In order to keep projects and tasks on-schedule (to properly carry out the business plan), many business owners and managers have turned to the RACI matrix—a method for organising and tracking the completion of tasks. Here’s how it works:

    • R (Responsible): the worker, the person in charge of completing the task
    • A (Accountable): the manager, the person in charge of managing and tracking progress
    • C (Consult): the person whose consultation is necessary for completing the task (2-way communication before the task can be completed)
    • I (Inform): the person who is informed when the task is completed (1-way communication that may result in their starting of another task)

    In order to create your own RACI matrix, simply list tasks down the left side, people involved along the top, and assign each cell with one A, at least one R, and Cs and Is as necessary. Here’s an example:

    Project ABC

    John Blair Sandy Rob Jenny William
    Interview A R

    I

         

    Case Study

    A I R

    C

       
    Press Release

    A

    R

    C

         
    Campaign A C     R

    R

     

    • John is accountable for the ultimate completion of Project ABC. He must oversee all tasks and monitor them to ensure they’re being completed.
    • Blair will conduct the interview, and he will inform Sandy when it’s finished so she can proceed with the research and writing of the case study.
    • Sandy will consult with Rob for the case study, and will inform Blair as soon as it’s done so he can start on the press release.
    • Blair will consult with Sandy about the case study, so he can write a thorough press release.
    • Jenny and William will consult with Blair in order to create a marketing campaign.

    It’s always helpful to share the RACI matrix with all involved before any project is started, to ensure that everyone understands their role(s). This will promote a smooth workflow, will cut down on the “passing of the buck,” and will help to ensure that clear, defined action is taken in order to fulfil the business plan.

    Are you wondering how a better understanding of the difference between accountable and responsible can help you to get things done, in pursuit of business success? Then I invite you to schedule a 30-minute consultation with me. Let’s talk about your business plan, and how implementing it with purpose and efficiency can contribute to your ultimate success. Contact me here.

    [1] American Society of Training and Development

  • From Vision to Reality, with ACTION

    Business-Vision

    Search for advice on how to write a business strategy, and the results are overwhelming.

    Look for advice on how to take action, how to implement that strategy…and the results are as disheartening as hearing that 87% of businesses fail to execute their business strategies[1].

    This number is shocking, particularly when you consider how much effort is put into writing a business strategy…and how exciting the big ideas created there can be.

    But it’s not as shocking as this number:

    For every $1 billion spent on business strategy development, $109 million is wasted through failure to execute[2].

    Where does the excitement go?

    Why aren’t businesses converting that energy into action?

    Even among companies that don’t fail—companies that are considered to be “high performance companies,”—33% report delay in action, 34% fail to consistently address a lack of action, and 11% tolerate inaction on a long-term basis[3].

    And to repeat: they are the ones doing well. If your business could bring down those percentages for itself, just think how much you could accomplish.

    How can you do that? How can you create a culture of action among your team members, so that all of the great energy built into your business strategy gets translated to ACTION that increases efficiency and profits?

    Here is a bit of advice for taking the action necessary for implementing your business strategy:

    • View ACTION as a necessity, not as an option. There is only one thing that can bridge the gap between vision and reality, and that thing is targeted action that is aligned with the SMART goals you have set forth in your business strategy. Begin to view action in this way, and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate or to avoid it altogether.
    • See ACTION as more important than your business strategy. Yes, you read that correctly. Think about it: Isn’t a mediocre business strategy that is implemented more valuable than a brilliant business strategy that is not implemented? Just imagine the results you can experience when you implement a brilliant plan.
    • Stop putting perfection before ACTION. All too often, business owners adopt the belief that all operations, all products, all communications…must be 100% perfect before taking any action. They submerge themselves in self-help, in mentoring, in book-reading, and the procurement of mentoring before taking any action. This thinking generally means that no action will be taken, because nothing is ever perfect. Remember that adjustments can be made whilst marketing, whilst making connections, whilst building relationships…without wasting precious time.

    Perfect = Poverty!

    • Stop using the “I’m too busy” excuse. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day tasks of running (or starting up) a business. And sometimes this becomes so consuming that you’ll put it before executing your business strategy, thinking that you must complete those routine tasks in order to keep your business afloat. Always remember this: Without taking action, you won’t be busy for long. Your business will be non-existent. Ask yourself exactly how vital those daily and weekly tasks are. If they are indispensable, hire someone to cover them.
    • Act in the present. Do not dwell on what you should have done yesterday or last month. Do not think about what you will do next week. Instead, be very blunt with yourself about what you can accomplish now, in this moment. No matter if it’s making a phone call, writing an article, submitting a proposal, refocussing a team member…do it now.
    • Understand that ideas—and motivations—go stale. Remember that intense excitement you felt when you came up with your very first business idea? Well, maybe you don’t. You see, immediate action is necessary not just for getting things done, but for motivational and inspirational purposes, too. Every day that an idea sits in your mind without implementation equals a proportionate drop in interest. Before you know it, your brilliant idea doesn’t seem so brilliant any more. Motivation is gone. And you’re on to looking for alternate ideas that are, in all honesty, less likely to be as brilliant as your first. For these reasons, I recommend taking action immediately after your business strategy is written, so that ideas and excitement are fresh, and no opportunity dies in the bread drawer.
    • See ACTION as a competitive advantage. It’s easy to sit and think about what the competition might be doing right now, or wondering how you can match or out-do their actions. It takes courage, however, to focus less on what they’re doing and just do what you do best. Take that step, and believe that you are outdoing your competition with every decision to take action NOW…because statistics say they might not be doing that.
    • ACTION begets ACTION. Once you take action, you may find it difficult to stop taking action. The satisfaction (dopamine rush) you experience from accomplishing something you’ve envisioned is so powerful that you’ll go out of your way to look for more business-enhancing action. This is the only uphill path that will be as easy as a downhill one. It’s the road to success through action, and the more you get, the more you’ll want.
    • Disprove your own self-doubt. Fear and self-doubt are huge players in the condition of inactivity. The voice in your head will tell you, “That won’t work,” “You can’t do that,” “You’re wasting your time,” and more. Make it your objective to prove that voice wrong. Do this enough, and it will disappear completely, slinking into a corner and rarely coming out…as long as you remain active in your business strategy implementation.

    These are just a few pieces of advice you can use as motivation to take action—to take your business strategy from vision to reality. Understand, at all times, that without ACTION, your business strategy is useless. It will do nothing for you or your business. Without execution, the creation of your strategy was a waste of time and resources.

    Are you ready to take action? Are you clear on what actions to take? Contact me for a FREE 30-minute consultation, in which we’ll talk about your next move, and the motivation to get it done.

    [1] http://www.businessknowhow.com/manage/thirteener.htm

    [2] https://www.pmi.org/~/media/PDF/Business-Solutions/PMI_Pulse_2014.ashx

    [3] Harvard Business Review, March 2015, Donald Sull, Rebecca Homkes, Charles Sull

  • 7 Reasons Why Business Coaching Won’t Work For You

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    There is much evidence to prove that having a good business coach can have a significant positive impact on your business.

    An industry study in the UK found that CEOs who consent to business coaching are able to improve their working relations by 77 percent, leading to a 53 percent boost in productivity and increased profits of 22 percent. The International Coach Federation in another study note that PricewaterhouseCooper have established the average return on investment from coaching to be 787%.  Whilst the evidence is strong, business coaching is not appropriate for every business.

    If you are reading this, you might be wondering if you are right or ready to hire a business coach help you to grow and develop your business. However, before you invest in finding a good business coach check out 7 reasons below why having a business coach won’t work for you:

    • You are happy with where your business is today. If you satisfied with your current level of organisation growth and performance, there is no need to look at ways to grow the business further or faster.
    • You are reluctant to change. Whilst you may want to grow your business or feel frustrated at certain areas within your business, if you are not willing to accept that changes are required, and that most importantly you may have to change your thinking and behaviours, then there is no point engaging a coach in your business.
    • You would prefer to stay in your comfort zone. It is quite natural to feel uncertainty and doubts at times, however these fears can keep us stuck doing the same things. To get different results it is necessary to do different things and this can sometimes feel challenging and stretch us out of our comfort zone.
    • You don’t feel the desire to learn new things. If you run your own company, you may feel that the last thing you have right now is the capacity for learning new ideas and ways of doing things.
    • You are not particularly interested in feedback on your performance. If you are confident that you are doing a reasonable job, then you may not feel the need or desire to get feedback on how you are doing from either a coach or your employees.
    • You don’t feel you can afford to make the investment. As you are running your business and you will have many demands on your money and time. Hiring a coach will cost money and require you to make the time for meetings. Maybe you don’t feel that you can commit the time or money required to make a lasting difference to your business.
    • You aren’t committed to taking the actions required to move forward. There is a world of difference between knowing that you need to do verses actually applying this in real life. Implementation is the key and without the commitment to take the right actions on a regular basis nothing will change.

    So whilst you may want to improve and grow your business if you can recognise or identify with one of the reasons in the list above then this is a pretty good indicator that business coaching won’t work for you right now.  There may be other approaches that will work better for you to achieve your aims but it would be better not to waste your time or money investing on business coaching.

    For business coaching to work well the desire for change in your current business must be strong enough, or the frustrations you are facing intolerable enough.

    Business coaching is based on the principle that what got you here is unlikely to get you where you want to get to.  A good business coach will challenge your thinking, encourage you step out of your comfort zone and create a tracking structure that to hold you accountable for your actions.

    To have a successful coaching relationship you will need to be open, willing to listen to and learn new ideas, concepts and principles and be able to hear feedback on your performance – the good, the bad and the ugly.  It is facing this honest truth that you will help you to grow in self-awareness, develop your leadership skills and give you the confidence to lead your company to its full potential.

    “I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their full potential.”  Bob Nardelli, CEO Home Depot

    If you think that your company is right and ready for business coaching, then please contact me to find out more about how business coaching could help your company to reach new levels of growth and success.

     

     

  • Values: Vital for a Driven Business

    images

    When we talk about being driven in a business sense, we think of moving forward with intense desire, toward a destination, and acquiring valuable things along the way…things like experience, connections, notoriety, revenue and more.

    When you know Why you’re in business, then you can move onto creating the How—which is predominantly determined by your core “drivers” (i.e. Values). When the values of your business are clearly defined and so deeply embedded within your professional operations that every interaction demonstrates those values, then the question of How? is more easily answered, because all things will be executed in alignment with those corporate values.

    Consistency is HUGE when it comes to the success of any business, and when values take a central role in decision making (for all parties involved), then there will be common threads that run through all operations. Your ideal customers will take note of this, and will come to trust your business as the go-to in the industry because they know what to expect and can respect your way of doing business because they share the values your brand demonstrates. Those same clients will then spread the word to others who share those values, working to bring more ideal customers on-board to grow your business and drive it forward. When values are at the core of every manoeuvre and professional relationship, the snowball effect is practically undeniable.

    When Values are Core to your Standards of Doing Business, then you have a Values-Based Organisation in which…

    Loyalty begets Loyalty.

    Growth begets Growth.

    A values-based organisation sounds great, right? Everyone should have one, right? Well, there are reasons that some companies that say they are values-based simply aren’t able to make it work. Here are a few of those reasons:

    • A Lack of Honesty: If you’re operating under the guise of values you’ve chosen just because you think that’s what your audience wants to hear, or because those values seems to be ‘trendy’ at the moment, you will be found out. Trust will disintegrate, as will your brand. Instead of putting values down on paper that you pull from exterior sources, pull values from your heart. Choose values that you hold dear, and that you naturally demonstrate every day without prompt. These are the values that will motivate you to drive They are also the values that will foster authentic professional relationships that will be enjoyable as well as profitable.
    • Hiring without Attention to Values: If you want your entire team to drive forward with a common goal and with true allegiance to your business’s purpose, they must share your corporate values. Without this, how can they genuinely support and build your brand? How can they stand behind your brand, make decisions that will grow your brand, seek out opportunities that will benefit your brand…champion your brand? Skipping this step is like marrying someone with the intention of ‘changing them.’ It rarely works, and the business is usually the biggest casualty.
    • A Lack of Focus: Let’s face it: there’s a lot of noise out there. The competition is doing this, the market is doing that, the industry is moving in this direction, the community is moving in that All of these external influences, and many more, can detract focus from How you have committed to accomplish your Why They can cause you to lose sight of your values, and to make decisions that harm the consistency and trustworthiness of your company. Stay focussed by making your values visible to all involved, so that they are top-of-mind at all times. Meet regularly to discuss the team’s adhesion to values. Monitor, measure and refocus when necessary.
    • An Emphasis only on the External: There’s a tendency amongst businesses to hyper-focus on what the public sees, with little attention paid to values that are demonstrated internally. In truth, the unwillingness of any team member to adhere to corporate values will eventually manifest externally. Alignment is crucial, inside and out.

    Your business growth strategy cannot exist [for very long] without a How, and that How is facilitated by an honest, working list of values. Your corporate values may be integrity, excitement, fun, adventure and friendship. Or they might be accuracy, reliability, helpfulness, teamwork and knowledge. No two lists are alike, and yours will be no exception.

    Have you clearly defined your corporate values? Do those values align with your vision? Do your team members, affiliates and clients share those values? For help with these questions and more, contact me via email or phone to have a free 30-minute consultation. This is a brilliant way to become clearer on the core values that will drive you and your team toward delivering a highly effective business growth strategy.

     

     

     

     

  • Mind-Set Change: for Business Growth

    Change mindsetThere are many different reasons why business growth strategies fail. A common one is having an organisational or team mind-set that doesn’t match the strategy you wish to pursue.

    An organisational mind-set or paradigm is made up of the collective conscious and unconscious thinking and beliefs of the people who work there: about themselves, their colleagues and the company itself.

    If business growth slows or stalls, it’s often an indicator that the current mind-set is not aligned with of the organisation vision and goals. This can pose quite a challenge, since our mind-set is often buried in the subconscious, and like a computer operating system with a virus, if there is a poor mind-set this can sabotage your efforts.

    When this happens, it’s time to face the reality:

    What got you here isn’t going to get you there.

    When you first established your business you had certain beliefs, thoughts and a mind-set that enabled you to grow your business to where it is today. The thing is this: to get to the next level of business growth, your thinking and beliefs need to evolve and change because your current mind-set is not going to help you reach the next level of success.

    Two things must happen in order for business growth to continue:
    1. The thinking/mindset of all involved must shift. Old beliefs in the organisation need to be uncovered and replaced with a new empowering mind-set that matches the business vision and goals of the company. Creating a new mind-set requires that everyone involved changes their way of thinking—and this must start with changing the thinking of the senior management team. When thinking changes at the top, change and growth can occur throughout the organisation.

    2. Everyone involved needs to believe that those shifts will cause positive changes. Many times, when a vision is big, people first adopt the belief that they can do it…but then very quickly they start doubting themselves and others, fearing failure and entertaining uncertainty at every turn. These limiting beliefs lead to a focus on negative outcomes and turn into realities. To get positive results, those limiting beliefs need to be identified and then changed.

    In life and in business, when we aren’t getting desired results, we try to do something different. Often, that “something different” doesn’t work either. Then what? If new actions aren’t delivering the results you want, you must dig deeper to uncover what you and your team really think about the situation. Are fears, doubts and uncertainties holding you back or delivering the negative scenarios you are focussing on?

    In order to create new results, you need to start by thinking differently. When you change your thinking, you behave differently and take different actions. We all know this because we have experienced it at some point in our lives.

    The same is true in a company. To deliver your business growth strategy, you need to think differently, as a collective unit. Every successful business has undergone changes as it grew—it altered from what it once had been. And of all the people involved in growing the business had to think in new ways because…

    Changes in Beliefs  =  New Actions  =  New Results

    Before you decide to take any different action, look into the following:
    1. your mindset (your beliefs)
    2. the team mindset (collective set of beliefs)

    Do those beliefs support your business vision and strategy? Will they lead to success for your current-day business goals…or were they only effective for the goals your business once had?

    The beliefs that are holding back your business strategy and its growth are made up of a number of things, including thoughts that have gone unspoken, paradigms that are considered unchangeable and subconscious philosophies that have been long-held. Excuses are symptoms of these limiting beliefs, so where an excuse exists, a belief needs to be changed.

    Awareness brings its own rewards. If you start to recognise your own and your organisation’s limiting beliefs, this means they can be changed. You’ll find that when you shift your mindset to support your business goals, you’ll have an easier time thinking positive thoughts and believing in yourself and your team’s potential.

    Of course it can be difficult to see the ways in which you’re holding yourself back from the inside. If you would like to find out how you can shift your limiting beliefs to deliver your business growth strategy, contact me via email or phone to have a free 30-minute consultation that will impact your results.

  • Who’s stealing your Time???

    2014-08-04 16.23.38

    Who doesn’t wish that there were an extra two or three hours in the day to just get everything done?  One of the most pressing issues that we face daily is how to manage all the demands placed on us by work, family, friends and others, whilst also maintaining our health, well-being and emotional sanity.

    It is all too easy to become victims of working too hard, playing too little, perhaps drinking too much and sleeping too poorly.  No wonder we end up drawn out and stressed, feeling like we are barely surviving rather than living with passion.  Whilst I am a big supporter of endeavouring to be more, do more, have more, give more, this cannot be to the detriment of our inner alignment and ensuring a fully balanced life.

    How can we stop this vicious cycle of feeling constantly that there is not enough time?

    The first place to start is to ask: “Where is my time going?”

    To Do or Not To Do?

    Do you start your day with a clear achievable plan of what you want in terms of results for your day?  Or are you just blindly following your “To Do” list?  I know that for much of my adult life I have let my To Do list be the dictator in my life.  My To Do list is never satisfied; it is a hard task master and never acknowledges me.

    No matter how hard you work during the day do you end the day feeling a sense of overwhelm with just how many things that there are still on your list?

    So here is some bad news…there will always be too many things on your list to ever get finished.  The good news though is that you can change how you view your To Do list so that you become master of it and use it to serve you in your life to get what you want.

    The first place to start is to use Steven Covey’s time management matrix (from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) to assess what is important to you and how you are spending your time.

    So create a table like the one below with 4 boxes labelled as shown in the diagram. Re write all your To Dos in each of these 4 boxes depending on each task’s level of urgency and importance.

    Isabel

    Like most people you will probably find that most of your To Dos are in quadrant 1 whilst those tasks in quadrant 2 (those what will make a positive difference in your life) perhaps keep getting moved from one To Do list to another e.g. update CV, write chapter of my book, create business plan, organise “date night”, go to new yoga class etc.

    One of the key ways to feel a sense of accomplishment every day is to look at your To Dos daily and pick at least one thing from quadrant 2 and make sure that you take one step towards completing the task each day.  This way you know that you are moving forward and step by step making a difference in your life.

    Where Does Time Go?

    How can we ensure that there is enough time to get done some of the things in quadrant 2?

    One important exercise is to start monitoring how you are actually spending your time.  This will help you to raise your awareness to see if you are getting results or simply “being busy”. It is very easy to be the latter so start by splitting your day into 15 minute slots and use the same quadrants you have created previously to note down how you spend your time.

    If you are like me when I did this exercise I was amazed by just how much time was spent in quadrants 3 and 4.  These are areas where time can be regained as To Dos in quadrant 3 and 4 can often be ditched as they are either other people’s agenda, or it is simply wasting time (e.g. filing, cleaning, meetings without purpose etc).  If you want time to do things in quadrant 2 note how you spend your time and start to limit or entirely stop doing these To Dos in quadrants 3&4.

    You can only improve that which you measure.

    Small steps pursued consistently lead to massive change.  Learning how to manage your time is a key skill to master, to help you feel more fulfilled each day and enjoy a sense of well-being and achievement.

    Try these two small steps for the coming week (review your daily To Do’s using the Covery time matrix model and monitor how you spend your time), and see what a difference it makes to you.

    As always awareness brings its own rewards and note what happens this week when you do these exercises.

    My own experience is that by monitoring my time and making sure that every day I do something from quadrant 2, I have found myself becoming more efficient and less distracted by activities in quadrant 3&4. Over time I have learnt to spend less time in fire-fighting mode and more time focused on really moving my life forward and spending it doing what I love.

    Certainly by making and spending time doing things that are important to you, life feels less “busy” and you start generating positive results in your life helping you to feel more fulfilled and stay aligned to your highest purpose.

    For more information on how to create aligned, high performance teams click here to get your free e-book:

    Engage, Enthuse and Empower your Teams

  • Alignment is the key to High Performance

    Alignment is the key to High Performance

    The world we live in seems to be moving at warp speed, and one of the biggest challenges facing most of us is to feel a sense of alignment. Our lives are often composed of a demanding array of disconnected components all of which bid for our attention, focus and energy e.g. work, children, partner, health, fitness, friends, home, finance, leisure, spiritual practice to name but a few. With all these different areas of our lives competing for relentless amounts of our time, it is easy to be distracted, flitting from one thing to another, feeling slightly out of control much of the time and leaving us with a disappointing lack of fulfillment. Who has not wondered at some point: “Is this all there is?”

    Whilst the obvious solution to the problem of too many demands and not enough time might be to learn better time management skills, a more fulfilling and sustainable solution to creating a more harmonious, engaged and empowered life starts with looking inside ourselves. We feel dysfunctional as individuals because we are not aligned with our highest values and what is important to us. The key to feeling well, energised, and with a sense of purpose in life, is to create alignment in the four key areas of life: mind, body, heart and spirit.

    Most of us tend to focus intently on one area – often using mental energy at work and perhaps exercising obsessively or to extremes in our spare time. Whilst we are overusing our energy and flat lining in one or two areas, we generally under-use or ignore our needs in the other areas. All four areas need to be aligned for us to feel whole and connected again and to be able to function at higher levels of personal performance.

    Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in alignment.”
    Brian Tracy

    We have become misaligned as a result of a life time of poor habits, shortcuts, staying in our comfort zone, fear of failure and resistance to change. To feel aligned we need to spend time exploring what our values are, what is important to us, how we need to take care of ourselves and how we can return to our core, our true inner self.

    Creating internal alignment takes time in much the same way that re-educating the body through physio and exercise takes time after it has been stressed or injured. It has taken years of misalignment to get to this point so it is important to spend the necessary time and be patient to be able to realign all four areas of life.

    One of the first things we need to start the process of realignment is to shift old ways of thinking. The way that we live in the world has/is/and will continue to change dramatically. Collective ways of thinking are changing and with that new paradigms are being created daily.

    As individuals we need to create new paradigms for the way that we operate in life. The old mindset consists of beliefs such as:

    • We need to manage our time;
    • Reduce our levels of stress;
    • Be disciplined;
    • Work hard all the time;
    • Financial rewards and recognition drive performance.

    However to enjoy a more fulfilled and engaged life these mind sets need to be altered to encourage new paradigms along the lines of:

    • Manage our energy,
    • Enjoy intense but limited levels of stress,
    • Introduce habits and rituals to support us,
    • Take time for recovery,
    • Purpose is the key to high performance.

    The key to high performance is creating alignment in these 4 cornerstones of life:

    Mind – our ability to focus our attention and organise our lives
    Body – our fundamental physical well-being which is the key source of energy in life
    Emotional – our ability to manage our emotions, connect with others, access positive emotions and experience joy, challenge, excitement and inner calm.
    Spiritual – our connection to, and courage to live by, our deepest values and a purpose beyond self-interest.

    I will explore in further blogs what it means to be aligned in each of these areas and things that you can start to do to find greater alignment in your life.

    To be fully engaged in our lives, we must be physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused, and spiritually aligned with a purpose beyond our immediate self-interest.”
      Jim Loehr

    Creating high performance teams starts with creating highly aligned individuals. If you take the analogy of the body again, if you have an ache, pain or injury somewhere, the body will try to compensate for this but in doing so other parts of the body will become misaligned, leading to strains and pain elsewhere. The same is true for machines. If there is a part that is misaligned then the rest of the machine will not function in a coordinated fashion and damage and excessive wear and tear occurs.

    The most empowering condition of all is when the entire organization is aligned with its mission, and people’s passions and purpose are in synch with each other.”

    Bill George Peter Sims

    If you want to create great results in your organisation it is necessary to work with the individuals in the organisation to ensure that they are aligned in themselves and aligned as a team. It is hard to have one without the other. Creating individual and team alignment takes time and can be undoubtedly challenging. The rewards, however, are immense, not only in terms of the business results generated but also in terms of the creation of highly energised, motivated and engaged individuals. Who wouldn’t want to work in a team or organisation made up of people like this?

    For more information on how to create aligned, high performance teams click here to get your free e-book:

    Engage, Enthuse and Empower your Teams

     

    For more information on how to create personal alignment click here to get your free e-book:

    The Secrets of How to Produce the Results you Want in your Life;

     

     

  • Engage, Enthuse and Empower your Employees

    Engage, Enthuse and Empower your Employees

    It is fair to say that the new modern age of social connectivity is changing how we do business.   It is also having a profound effect on how businesses are managed.  Old structures and ways of thinking and behaving are changing.  The typical hierarchical model where employees are viewed as simply cogs in a machine is having to change to adapt to a new paradigm that emphasises connection, collaboration and innovation.

    Companies have to take a serious look at the current culture within their organisation and examine whether it supports an environment of employee engagement.  Employee engagement has become a buzz word but it has very real consequences for the organisation.

    A study by Towers Watson, a professional services firm, interviewed 90,000 employees in 18 countries, and identified that companies with high employee engagement had a 19% increase in operating income compared to a 32% drop in operating income for companies with low levels of engagement.

    How do you create higher employee engagement?  Two simple steps to implement are to clearly define and articulate your organisation vision and your core values.  An inspiring business vision creates purpose for employees beyond their current day to day activities. Defining your core values signals to your current and future employees what is important to your company.  The core values of your business determine your expectations about behaviour in your staff and your partners.  Knowing your core values helps to identify the type of people you want to work in or with the company, and vice versa.

    Longer term employee engagement comes from changing the top down culture of being told what to do to one that encourages personal responsibility and accountability.  Supporting staff to be accountable encourages people to behave outside their current comfort zone and explore their inherent potential.  This allows for personal growth and ultimately generates higher levels of performance. Studies have shown that employees who are offered the opportunity for self direction, the chance to better themselves, and given a greater sense of purpose are much more highly motivated. 

    One of the keys to changing the existing culture, thinking and behaviour in an organisation  is to examine the underlying operating paradigm within it. Uncovering the unspoken beliefs about how the team operates  is not an easy thing to do as they run unconsciously in the background. 

    In the team leadership sessions that I run with clients when we get to the point of identifying the underlying limiting beliefs or paradigm we call this the “moment of Change”.  It is really an “ahhh” moment for the team when they can see the thoughts that have been running them in the background and what has been holding them back.  It is called the moment of change since at this point teams can choose a new paradigm that is more effective and empowering. It is akin to upgrading the operating system of a computer to make it work more effectively.

    Creating a culture of accountability and responsibility takes time to develop.  It is not something that will change overnight but once done the impact is enormous.  Individuals are happier, teams perform better and ultimately the results in the organisation are significantly improved. 

    If you would like to find out more about how one of our team programmes could impact the culture and performance in your organisation please click this link so that we can plan a time to talk together.