Posted in Bite size learning, Leadership, Management, Problem solving

Redefine failure…

“If we wish to fulfil our potential as individuals and organisations, we must redefine failure” – Matthew Syed author of Black Box Thinking.

At school they used to say mistakes were learning opportunities and all too often you would raise your eyes incredulous at the platitude.

However now we can see that effective cultures are the companies that have an environment that is open to mistakes.  Organisations that provide an open forum to talk about challenges and errors, means they are open to new ways of working.

In the book “Black Box Thinking” the culture of the aviation industry is compared to the NHS.  The safety record of aviation is phenomenal with every incident being thoroughly investigated with the help of the Black Box.  The NHS culture is still incredibly hierarchical with a fear of admitting mistakes.  We are now in a world far more litigious where there is a threat of liability hanging over people’s heads.

To implement Black Box Thinking into your organisation here are some tips:-

  1. Create a progressive attitude to failure – confront mistakes
  2. Team meetings and team briefings where everyone has a voice
  3. Empower everyone to speak – create linear management structure
  4. Break down a big problem into small parts and rigorously establish what works and what doesn’t
  5. Ensure that blame language is not used or individuals targeted – group responsibility
  6. Create systems like the Black Box investigations where you review success and failure in the same way every time
  7. Apply creative thinking to resolve problems
  8. Be open to change when analysing and during problem solving – do not focus on just one part or one error
  9. Explain the benefits of learning from failure – reduce costs, advocating practising, as it is better to fail within the company than to the Client
  10. Wash up meetings and reviews should be common place and enjoyable leading to effectiveness and ultimately success

Please do get in touch if you would like a 90 minute workshop on Black Box Thinking.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Advertisements
Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, Leadership, Management, Relationships

Keeping stars…

The old saying was “People leave People not jobs” therefore we must treat are star employees like people.

Invest in a relationship with them, understand their values, what do they get out of bed for in the morning.  Some people say work is work, however there is always something behind their motives.  Work is a need to fulfil all other areas of life.

Therefore when we are in work how can you ensure they stay on the journey with you:-

1. Get to know your employees.  

Meet with them for 1:1 meetings once a fortnight.  Take time within those meeting to go beyond current workload.

2. Make it fun

Look for opportunities to build enjoyment into their role.  The brain absorbs more when it is relaxed and having fun.  Laughter releases endorphins, all the ingredients of creating the right atmosphere for work.

3. Meaningful interactions

Employees who understand the big picture and feel connected to the purpose of the business, foster more loyalty.  Get your team members to connect with clients make them feel a part of the whole thing.

4. Harness strengths

Identify the strengths of your employees and make sure they are exaggerated.  Leveraging what some-one is good at, could be a better investment than developing an area of weakness.  The opportunities within their strengths can lead to new areas of expertise.

5. Invest 

Invest your time and money in your employees.  Pay for them to be developed and give them your time to understand the future they see for themselves.

Please do contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk for a workshop on Career Development

Posted in Bite size learning, Leadership, Learning, Management, training

Colourful learning…

When I set up nuggets I wanted to create a “wow” factor the moment people entered the room.  I wanted to show that I had made an effort.  If you came to a party at my house I would ensure that my house looked fabulous.  You are the host to an amazing experience it is not “just a training course”. My heart always sank if I entered a workshop and there was the biro on a lined pad.

The brain needs to be alive the moment the course begins and you can do that by bringing as much colour to the room as possible. As the Facilitator I always wear colour and I ensure that I display flip charts around the room with lots of colour.  This can only happen by using “Mr Sketch” markers you need more than black, blue, red and green. Post-its and even fiddling toys provide the colour and texture needed to get the brain ticking.

Colourful learning is not just about the colour, you need minds to come alive and think in a colourful way.  The brain always has to answer a question and needs space time and input from others to help.  Creating exercises where the group can move around room working together gets them to think differently.  Colourful thinking is creative thinking, when you have new answers to existing situations.

nuggets works on modules, bearing in mind that the concentration rate on average is only 45 minutes.  The preferred route is weekly or monthly interventions of 90 minute workshops.  This provides an entrance on a topic where you have created a “Disturb” of the delegate wanting to learn more and action more.

The residential Management programmes are costly to companies and do they give the return on investment.  Learning that is practical and applicable with less time away from the desk is where the training future is.

Please do get in touch with bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk for leadership and management workshops covering many topics.

We are currently promoting “Making email work for you…”

 

 

Posted in Leadership, Management, Relationships

Team briefings…

Organisations often change their strategic direction, sometimes due to external factors or to their own internal changes.

External could be a price reduction due to competitor or the overall economic landscape.  Internally you might have lost several key skilled workers which means reallocation of tasks.

Communicating to your team strategic changes is vital and you should have in place regular team briefings or meetings.

Preparation is key to delivering announcements to your team.

You must be able to deliver the key points in a consistent and professional manner and be able to handle general questions and answers effectively and confidently.

When you have briefed your team you need to clarify their understanding of the message and the next steps.

As a checklist see below:-

  • Effectively covered opening statement points.  Got to the point quickly but sensitively.  Positioned the local picture in the wider context.
  • Showed respect and empathy whilst maintaining focus and formality.
  • Responded to questions effectively and listened actively.
  • Show understanding & handle any emotional reactions effectively.
  • Check for understanding and give helpful and factual explanations.
  • Give a personal commitment to support the team.
  • Make sure you write up action points and that you circulate.

To summarise the things to include:-

  1. Introductory statement & purpose
  2. Content and context of announcement
  3. Explanations
  4. Q & A
  5. Review & close

Please do contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk for a workshop on conducting team briefings.

Posted in Change management, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, personal impact

Manager to Leader…

Promotion to management is initially great, business is good, new trips, making big decisions and learning a lot. Team are performing well and results being achieved, so much so that you take your eye off their performance.

You try really hard to still be one of the team, you want them to like you, so that they want to work for you. You attend dinner and drinks and even share with the team some of the issues you are facing.

You even comment on Senior Management, saying that they could do a better job.

The economy changes and results are harder to achieve and the performance issues you ignored are now becoming a problem.

You work longer hours to cover the performance issues and your team are unhappy and the results reflect this.

You seek help outside from a business mentor.

The first thing the mentor does is reassure you that you are not alone. Making the transition from Manager to Leader is hard and often being liked has to be put to one side, and instead being respected for the right reasons.

“If you want to be extraordinary you have to stop being ordinary”.

Your team needs to like you for the right reasons, being fair, consistent, empathetic and positive. If they like you for the free drinks and the dinners and the gossip on Senior management, you are in the wrong position. Making tough decisions will get harder if they are your friends.

Remember when you first learnt to drive, naturally you were excited and confidently proclaimed you would be the best driver ever. Sadly that over confident attitude led to an accident, no-one was injured but why did it happen?

It was the difference in responsibilities between being the driver and being a passenger.

Passengers are free to do a lot of things the driver can’t do. As a driver your focus needs to be on the road and not on the distractions. As a driver you no longer have the right to mess around, playing with the radio, texting and eating snacks.

The same principle applies when you become a leader. You are no longer a passenger you are the driver. Even though your responsibilities increase when you become a leader, you lose some of the rights or freedoms you may have enjoyed in the past.

If you want to be successful you cannot join criticisms of Senior Management. You lose the right to blame others for a problem in your department, you are now responsible for everything. You even lose the right to some of your time because you are responsible for other peoples time as well as your own.

The opposite of accepting responsibility is to find some-one or something to blame for the issues you are facing. There is always some-one or something to blame, but a real leader spends his time fixing the problem instead of finding who to blame.

“What happens when you place blame is that you focus on the past. When you accept responsibility you focus on the future and you can create actions to achieve your objectives.”

Be a Driver:

  • Until you accept total responsibility – no matter what – you will not be able to put actions in place to achieve your objectives.
  • Transitioning from Manager to Leader requires that you make different decisions.
Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management

Managing change…

Change is inevitable in the business world, clients change orders, suppliers let you down or you change a process to be more efficient.  Teams are reluctant to embrace change as whatever is occurring a loss is involved somewhere. It can be minor to major, however the emotional reaction can be managed with a clear formula.

John Kotter’s book “Our iceberg is melting” tells the tale of a colony of penguins and their need to move as their iceberg is melting.

The change you may be involved in, might not be as dramatic, however follow Kotter’s steps to smooth the way for your team:-

  • Create a sense of urgency – help others to see the need for the change
  • Pull together a leading/guiding team to provide guidance for others
  • Decide what to do – create a vision or strategy so everyone understands
  • Make it happen – communicate for understanding and buy in
  • Empower others to act
  • Acknowledge short term wins – celebrate the small stuff
  • Make it stick – ensure this is a cultural change so you are ready for the next change

In the book the penguins realise icebergs will always melt and that is true of the world of commerce, prices go up and down and we always need to adjust our business.  Creating a culture of change is more sustainable than just managing reactively.  Your team will feel more secure and more adept towards change if they have a plan and a process as Kotter’s book demonstrates.

Please do contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk  for a 90 minute workshop on Change.

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, Leadership, motivation

Why goal setting matters…?

 Harvard Business School Goal Story

In the book “What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School”, Mark McCormack tells the story of a study conducted on students in the 1979 Harvard MBA program. In that year, the students were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” Only 3% of the graduates had written goals and plans; 13% had goals, but they were not in writing; and a whopping 84% had no specific goals at all.

10 years later, the members of the class were interviewed again, and the findings, while somewhat predictable, were nonetheless astonishing. The 13% of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84% who had no goals at all. And what about the 3% who had clear, written goals? They were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% put together.

Write your goals down for 2018 or speak to nuggets about a workshop on goal setting.

Please contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk