Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Decision Making, Goals, Leadership, Learning, motivation, Relationships

Understanding the Service Profit Chain…

Harvard Business School wrote an article on the service profit chain back in 2008 however the relevance of the article is even more prevalent now post Covid.

Back in the 70s and 80s businesses focused on profit goals in isolation with the work hard ethic driving growth.

Today economics of services consider the factors that drive profitability, investment in people, technology, revamping recruitment practises, training and compensation that is linked to performance or effort not just results.

The shift in thinking means that employees are just as important as customers.

The hard value of profit is now being measured by soft measures, for example the profit of the business can be measured alongside the satisfaction of an employee.

To understand the service profit chain see it as journey as follows:-

  1. Internal Quality – Drives Employee Satisfaction (working environment, relationships with their colleagues, customers and their role)
  2. Employee Satisfaction – Drives Loyalty (look after your employees and they will stay)
  3. Employee Loyalty – Drives Productivity – (retaining employees means no breaks in productivity)
  4. Employee Productivity – Drives Value – (delivering your service above and beyond)
  5. Value – Drives Customer Satisfaction – (customers value the result and the services encompassed in the price)
  6. Customer Satisfaction – Drives Customer Loyalty (a good experience will make you return)
  7. Customer Loyalty – Drives Profitability and Growth (quality, satisfaction, loyalty, productivity, value as an equation equal profitability)
  8. Profitability & Growth

The right Leadership underpins the journey and the success of the service profit chain.

The steps form a continuous pattern, and to ensure that you are on top of all the areas involved. You will need to conduct a Service Profit Chain Audit, asking key questions:-

  • How do we define loyal customers?
  • Do measurements of customer profitability include profits from referrals?
  • What proportion of business development expenditures and incentives are directed to the retention of existing customers?
  • Why do our customers leave?
  • Is customer satisfaction data gathered in an objective, consistent and periodic fashion?
  • When are you listening to your customers and when are you getting feedback from your customers and employees?
  • How is information concerning customer satisfaction used to solve customer problems?
  • How do you measure service value?
  • To what extent are measures taken of differences between customers perceptions of quality delivered and their expectations before delivery?
  • How do you measure employee productivity?
  • How do you create employee loyalty?
  • What is the right level of employee retention?
  • Is employee satisfaction measured in a similar way to customer satisfaction?
  • Employee selection criteria is geared to what customers want as well as Managers?
  • How much do you correlate customer satisfaction, quality of service & loyalty to rewarding employees?
  • Do employees know who their customers are?
  • Are employees satisfied with the technological and personal support they receive?
  • Do employees believe they have the right quality of work life?

The measures have to be connected to create a comprehensive picture so that the service profit chain provides a strong foundation for profit and growth.

Please do get in touch for one to one coaching or 90 minute workshops bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, Learning, mindfulness, motivation, personal impact, Relationships, Stress management

Practical ways to be resilient…

When you wake up in the morning decide where you are on a scale, if pain was one end and power the other end – where would you want to be?

The answer is that most of us want to be the power end. Life events can drain our batteries, so keeping a metric of where you are and working out what it tells you can be a practical step to measuring your resilience levels. For a month keep a pain to power tracker and see what patterns emerge.

We can also think about what Mindset do we wish to adopt. Professor Carol S Dweck says that people either have a Fixed Mindset or Growth Mindset. The power of being able to say “not yet” is the Growth Mindset.

Growth Mindset Fixed Mindset
I can learn anything I wantI am either good at it, or I am not
I want to challenge myselfI don’t like to be challenged
When I fail, I learn When I fail, I am no good
Tell me I try hardTell me I am smart & have natural ability

By adopting a Growth Mindset we have the elasticity to be resilient and bounce back.

Recognising our sign symptoms of when we feel our resilience levels are low can also be a very practical tool. We can do this by using five main areas:-

  1. Sense of purpose – reason or focus for your work
  2. Mental toughness – the ability to make decisions
  3. Physical energy – tired constantly
  4. Emotional balance – the ability to regulate our emotions
  5. Social skills – make others feel comfortable

Ask yourself have you noticed any of these areas being harder than normal, these may be indications that your resilience levels are low.

Susan Kobasa a leading psychologist says that there are 3 key elements of a resilient individual:-

Challenge – view any difficulty as a challenge

Commitment – committed to their lives and goals

Personal Control – spend time and energy on stuff they have control over

The last statement aligns with Stephen Covey’s Circle of Concern/Circle of Influence. We should only focus on the concerns that we can influence if not we should let them sit outside our heads and make them a “no concern”.

Finally in summary what key things can you be doing to develop your resilience:-

1.Learn to relax

2.Practice thought awareness

3.Edit your outlook

4.Learn from mistakes and failures 

5.Choose your response

6.Maintain perspective

7.Set yourself some goals 

8.Build your self confidence 

9.Develop strong relationships 

10.Be flexible 

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Resilience – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness, Problem solving, Stress management

The curse of overthinking…

Many of us have become over thinkers because it gives us the illusion that we’re doing something about the problem we’re overthinking about” – Nick Trenton

We all have moments where we have so much in our heads that our bandwidth is stretched to capacity. We then decide to focus on just one problem and overthink it so that it becomes a really huge problem. The bigger it gets the more you lose the ability to see any clarity, make any decisions or to feel calm.

Nick Trenton the author of Stop Overthinking says the first mistake is to think that you can think your way out of overthinking. Understanding that you can’t think and feel at the same time is liberating. When you are too emotional and in feelings you need to move away from whatever is triggering the anxiety and move into thinking, and likewise too much in your head you need to feel instead of think.

Trenton suggests the 5,4,3,2,1 approach, using all five senses to reset. Imagine sitting at your desk overthinking. Stop and take a moment to :-

5 – look at 5 things in your office – really stare and visualise them, lamp on your desk, tree outside, the sky, pen you have been using, a chair opposite you

4 – hear 4 things and really hear them – the fan on your computer, your breathing, car outside, ticking of a clock

3 – feel 3 sensations, your hands on the desk, the fabric of your shirt, warmth of mug on your desk

2 – smells you can detect in the room – your own perfume/aftershave, the aroma in the room

1 – taste sensation, the coffee, or just your own taste in your mouth

This method gives you the control back.

Behind every overthinking episode is a deliberating belief, Trenton describes this second method as “counter belief experiment”.

You are about to present to a large audience and you are overthinking and you believe you are not prepared enough. He says take the following steps to challenge that anxiety belief:-

  1. What must I believe about myself, or the future to justify my anxiety?
  2. Invert the belief to form a counter belief – if you believe you are not prepared for the presentation – the counter belief – I am fully prepared for the presentation
  3. Spend a least a minute in the counter belief – you are full prepared – what does that feel like?
  4. Look for evidence to support this new belief – you are fully prepared

Finding evidence to support your counter belief, helps you dispel the original belief, this will lower the anxiety and stop you overthinking.

The final method Trenton suggests is worry postponement. When the overthinking starts, book a worry appointment for later. The delay often takes away the anxiety. The worry just wants to be acknowledged and that maybe all it needs as often when you revisit the problem it is not a problem.

To book a workshop on “How to stop Overthinking…?” please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Decision Making, Leadership, Learning, Relationships

Infinite mindset…

The difference between a finite game and infinite game is the context of Simon Sinek’s book. Finite game you know the goal to achieve and you know the players and everyone understands their role. There are fixed rules and there is a clear beginning and end. An infinite game is played by known and unknown players – there are no rules, and the players can operate however they want, they can change how they play the game at any time and for any reason. As there is no end there is no such thing as winning 

There are finite goals within life such as school but ultimately life is infinite.  There is no such thing as coming in first in marriage or friendship, the same with global politics and there is no declaration of being a winner.

When we lead with a finite mindset it will lead to all sorts of problems the decline in trust. Infinite mindset we create high levels of trust co-operation collaboration innovation.

The game of business has no finishing line you want to build organisations that are strong enough and healthy enough to stay in the game for many generations to come.

Five principles of an Infinite mindset:-

  1. Advance a just cause – vision of a future state that does not yet exist – people are willing to make sacrifices to help advance forward to follow you. An example of a finite just cause:-  Fighting against poverty – makes it appear we can win – however if we said instead “We fought for the right for every human to provide for their own family” it is positioned as a cause that you want to be a part of. The first offers a problem to solve the second offers a vision of possibility and dignity. 

2. Build trusting teams – a current buzz term is psychological safety if your employees feel safe then they will trust you more. Creating an environment where failure is embraced and the team/organisation believe in a growth mindset.

3. Study your worthy rivals – In the book Sinek uses the tennis players Chris Everett-Lloyd and Martina Navratilova as examples of worthy rivals. They respected each other off the court and to that end they wanted to improve to be a worthy rival. Everett Lloyd particularly altered how she played from being a baseline player to coming into the net, she learnt from her rival and improved her game.

4. Prepare for existential flexibility – Be prepared to flex your business be aware of your just cause being limiting. The US railroad was about improving rail roads and with the decline of train travel they have been left behind. Imagine if they had invested in “just moving people” they could have invested in other forms of transport. Other examples are Blockbusters did not move the business from video rental and got squeezed out by Netflix who worked on a subscription model.

5. Demonstrate the courage to lead – making decisions that are bold and brave. The example of CVS Caremark in February 2014 taking the decision not to sell cigarettes as it was not in line with the healthy just cause they wanted to follow. Shareholders were not happy about the downturn in revenue but it is about having the courage to lead your team and the organisation to follow your cause. Consumers did not leave and in fact some shopped there to follow the cause and data showed a small decline in smokers in localised stats near their stores.

Please do reach out if you would like a workshop on the Infinite Mindset bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Learning, motivation, personal impact, Stress management, Time management

Why does everything feel so hard…?

The dialogue we have with ourselves is all wrong, we say this going to be hard. We even speculate that it will take so much time and therefore it must be hard. Greg McKeown in his book “Effortless” says the first thing we should say is “What if this could be easy?” Already your mindset alters with possibilities and even enthusiasm.

Getting to an Effortless State is the first step to believing the task will not be hard. We can look at the following steps and what to say in our heads to move us forward:-

  • “What if this could be easy?’
  • “What if this could be fun?”
  • Let go of old memories of the task being hard
  • Be realistic as to how you work on the task factoring in breaks
  • Who is there for you?

Once we have the belief that the task is going to be easy we also need to have an Effortless action plan. McKeown says another reason why we often don’t move into action as we have not determined the obvious steps to get there. This is his Effortless Action Plan:-

D – Done – What does done look like?

D – Delete – What steps could you delete or combine?

O – Obvious – What is the obvious first step?

G – Gradual – What does gradual progression look like?

G – Grateful – What are you grateful for whilst working on this task?

Staying with an Effortless mindset and action plan, can lead to Effortless Results. McKeown says look at how many things can be automated going forward. Trusting others to perform tasks and also what steps can you take to prevent things becoming too much like hard work.

To explore the book much more, please do come to nuggets bookclub this Friday 17th June 2022 at 10.00am the link to register is here:-

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nuggets-bookclub-tickets-333571209467

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness

Less but better…

Do you find you are stretched to thinly, attending meetings back to back and often not remembering the content.

Greg McKeown’s book “Essentialism”gives advice on how to get disciplined in the pursuit of less. Simply put a value on what you are saying yes to and say no more. We often struggle to say no as we think we are saying no to a person but you are saying no to the request not the person.

Often when we say yes to the wrong things we have short term comfort that we have done the right thing, however this may well give us long term discomfort. Not all effort is equal, be careful what you are saying yes to.

The over used word of “busy” means a brain that is operating without clarity. You are never that helpless that you cannot make the right decisions. Think about the best yes, be discerning take time and have an awkward pause to think is this the best use of your time.

Time out refreshes us whether it be play or sleep. Escaping helps with concentration time away gives an expansion of our awareness. This then gives more elasticity in the brain, greater bandwidth and again more discernment about the right choices. Sleep is the best asset you have in resting and growing your mind. The antidote to stress and the best recharge ever.

Be a journalist of your own life. By adopting the discipline of journalling everyday, you begin to get perspective and notice patterns. You can understand what is important now.

In essence is it a “Hell Yeah or a No” this is the title of Derek Sivers book and arguably a good compass to follow.

Please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence

Values that work for you…

Living or leaning into your values can be life changing. We all need a sense of purpose and direction and finding values that resonate can provide a compass for life.

Brene Brown’s book Dare to Lead shows the way to find jus two values which completely define you and provide that direction we all need. The first part of the exercise is to identify 15 values that sit well with you. When you start to explore the 15 further, you might identify that some are saying the same thing and some might be too aspirational and some just not true to you. It sounds crazy but you can get this list down to 2.

Why only 2?

If you want to really lean-in then these 2 values:-

  • Define you
  • They are who you are at your best
  • They are the filter through which you make hard decisions

The second part of the exercise asks you to identify behaviours that support your values.

For example:-

Making a difference

Behaviours that support my value of “Making a Difference” are listening and being there physically and mentally. Through this value I want to make decisions that are right and kind.

The third part which gives the value even greater clarity, what are the slippery behaviours that are outside your value.

With the Making a Difference value it would be not listening and making decisions that are repeat thinking and not individualised or personalised.

You are also asked to provide an example when you were fully living into your value.

Making a Difference – changing a client’s thinking around how they see a situation and through coaching getting them to adopt new behaviours.

The final part of consolidating your values is finding a “Values Buddy” who really sees you?! They know the early signs of you living outside of your value, they know when you are fully leaning into it. They are your supporter and cheer leader.

Brene Brown’s website provides a pdf document for you to walk through, well worth the time and please do contact me if you would like one to one coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

https://brenebrown.com/resources/living-into-our-values/

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Learning, mindfulness, motivation

Cast a vote for who you want to be…?

This a line from James Clear the author of Atomic Habits. He talks about establishing identity based habits, so if you want to run take on the identity of a runner. Every behaviour or action you then ask yourself does this support the identity you wish to adopt.

The runner identity is quite a clear role but what about the type of person you want to be, leaning into your values. If you want to be more caring what actions and behaviours support this person.

Clear talks about the two minute rule, so the identity you wish to adopt scale it down, and simply just start showing up.

He tells the story of Mitch who goes to the gym for 5 minutes, 4 days a week. Mitch knew that he had to master the art of showing up.

We often put off action as we think we need to learn more about the identity, however the best way to learn is to take action. Don’t buy all the equipment and just look at it. Keep the bar low and you will then step into the repetition as with Mitch’s visits to the gym. You gradually build momentum and you will progress which is directly correlated to motivation. (Teresa Amabile the progress principle)

The showing up is reinforcing your desired identity and a desire to repeat the behaviour.

To keep on track rewards are helpful when we were at school it was about getting a badge, now it might be tracking a good decision or casting votes and logging behaviours that compliment the identity. It is always good to make your progress visual. External rewards must be aligned with the internal identity you are driving to adopt. Simon Sinek calls this the “Celery Test”, if you want to be a healthy eater you are not going to have a reward of an unhealthy food, it must be aligned to your new identity.

True behaviour change is identity change eg. The goal is not to run a marathon the goal is to become a runner.

Reshape the way you think about yourself and be happy in yourself.

Every action or behaviour you are casting a vote – building a body of evidence that this is the person you want to be.

Please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, motivation

Add an egg…

In the 1950s General Mills launched a line of cake mixes under the name/brand “Betty Crocker”. The cake mixes included everything in a powered form milk/eggs etc… All you needed to do was just add water, mix and then pop in the oven. It saved everyone time and effort and was error free.

The product did not fly off the shelves. General Mills decided to bring in some psychologists. They needed to work out why consumers were not purchasing the product and the short answer was “guilt”. People felt bad using the product despite its convenience.

General Mills could have spent more money on advertising promoting the benefits of the time saved instead they made it less convenient. The product was revised with the addition of a “real”egg as well as the water. They relaunched the product with the slogan “Add an egg”. Sales of Betty Crocker soared.

By adding the egg, it took away some of the guilt, still saved time and most importantly the egg symbolised ownership and effort so the cake maker was invested.

The significance of the egg is relevant in so many ways at work:-

  • When delegating allow for team members to add their egg (their ideas and input)
  • Leading a team invite “eggs”
  • Motivating yourself, add an egg, make a task slightly harder
  • Measure yourself against the egg metaphor – how invested are you in the project
  • Team meetings ask for eggs don’t tell

The egg is such a powerful story and shows how we can motivate and empower our team members by asking for their input. Never present or delegate a project step by step, you will have presented a complete powder mix. The enlightenment and the novelty comes from the “real egg” which means team members connect as they can see their input.

Please do reach out and share your stories about adding an egg – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships, Stress management

Letting go…

Getting a sense of who you are does not have to be quite as dramatic as the route of Jay Shetty the author of “Think like a Monk”. Shetty spent three years living as a Monk to understand why they are so happy and centred, he discovered at the core of their life was their ability to master the art of letting go.

First step we can take is to let go of external expectations, which have evolved via our parents/friends and society at large. Shetty says we can take stock of what we value in life and then practice choice awareness against our values. Think daily do you want to spend that time or money doing what you are doing. You have the power of choice and if there is no value attached to the outcome is it the right choice. Attending a conference to learn, or alternatively attending as you have been told to, both give you different choices.

Letting go of negativity towards others, especially if you are holding onto them for a long time. You have a row with your partner which may take you 1% of your time to reach resolution and yet 99% of the time is left with negative thoughts swirling in your head. Shetty says that we should forgive without waiting for the person to apologise, and we should also get into the habit of well wishing, passing and sharing our own happiness. We should delight in other’s success be genuinely happy for them.

Letting go of attachment is possibly the one I found most poignant. If you think in life that everything is borrowed you will enjoy the moments you are in so much more. As an example, in the book he explains you rent a luxury car and you enjoy every moment of the experience as you know it will not last and you don’t own the car. Imagine taking on this mindset for everything. You are only borrowing your family for periods of time. Detaching from people and things makes you love them even more and then when you are attached to them in moments of time, they are all the sweeter.

In summary:-

  • Let go external expectations
  • Let go of negativity towards others
  • Let go of attachment

Please do get in touch to book nuggets for coaching or bite size workshops bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk