If anyone tells you to do anything you want to resist. Recently some-one told me to do something and I was in a volunteering capacity and I was incredibly resistant. Asking for help and support always gets a better response.
A potential Client was explaining a team member’s response to attending a team meeting. The employee had called a colleague and said they would not bother coming back to the office to come to the weekly meeting. The Manager was obviously irritated and asked the colleague to phone them straight back and tell them they had to attend.
I asked why as the Manager they had not made the call. They could have asked
“Why do you think that your attendance at the meeting would not add value?”
The brain always has to answer a question, and questioning the value they would bring to a meeting is far harder to excuse yourself.
Ask not tell leadership style is much more empowering. Whenever a team member comes to you with a problem the best approach is to always ask them what they would do first rather than offer out a solution.
Another example is a request for holiday during a busy period, instead of an immediate no, ask how they think the company will survive with their absence. Asking is all about pushing responsibility and getting the brain to work for itself.
Telling some-one not to be late, will make the serial offender repeat their actions. Asking them what they think they can do to ensure they are on time, makes them do the thinking.
Ask not tell is more empowering to you as leader and to the recipient.
It is so easy to focus on the here and now and not have those big conversations that can change the direction you are currently focusing on.
To ensure that the discussion is effective you have to set the scene and provide a framework:-
- Meeting booked in the diary well in advance
- A theme agreed being long term discussion on growth, business improvement, expansion anything in the future…
- One to five year time line
- Everyone given time to prepare
- Suspend judgement during the meeting to ensure that there is free thinking
- Discuss points in agreement and ones in disagreement
- Use structure by using the boxes below to guide the discussion and to create a strategy
Use a facilitator to ensure that you stay on track and that you have the tools and resources that will ensure open discussion.
Facilitating a meeting is to take a complex situation and make it easy for a team to see it simplistically.
True definition of facilitation is as simple as “To make easy”.
It starts with a good brief, clarity on what the purpose of the meeting is and expected outcomes. From this initial discussion the Facilitator can then design an event using tools and exercises that will fit around the objectives.
The structure and tools are designed to create collaborative contributions. They must be varied and interactive and to anticipate different energy levels.
The tools and techniques can range from an initial ice breaker to set the tone and rapport of the day. Flip charts around the room to ensure movement, card sorts and post-its bringing colour and vibrancy to content.
The Facilitator will ensure that the day is kept on track from a time and agenda perspective.
There must be ample opportunities for joint problem solving and lots of discussion. To ensure that items are always relevant it is wise to create a car park flip chart so that you can say:- “That is really good point however can we cover it separately and therefore put on the car park”.
Neutrality is really important and is often best achieved if the Facilitator comes from outside of the company.
The Facilitator is there to make sure that you get the most out of your team members and have relevant actions and outcomes.
Please do get in touch for nuggets to facilitate your next meeting. email@example.com
The principles of Agile can be applied to any team they are not exclusive to software development.
The Agile manifesto with its 12 principles was created back in 2001. Underpinning the concept is creating a learning culture which came out of the Toyota Production System. This was the Lean principle one of the foundations of Agile.
All of the 12 principles can be put into 3 main categories:-
- Clarity & Transparency Delivery – approaches to improve how teams understand their system of work
- Learning & Leaning – Approaches to improve and optimise team processes
- People focus – Approached to creating an autonomous and engaged culture
The set of principles increases the awareness of the team to different approaches that lead to improvement over time.
Clarity & Transparency Delivery
- Regular measurements & milestones
- Clear intent & continuing prioritisation – vision and goals
- Understand what is valuable – to the customer
- Visualised work – white boards
Learning & Leaning
- Minimise waste
- Repeating tasks to spot incremental changes
- Limit work in progress
- Short feedback loop
- Team effort and collective ownership
- Empowered to improve as a team
- Collaborative learning
- Driving process through people interaction
“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:-
- Create a progressive attitude to failure – confront mistakes
- Team meetings and team briefings where everyone has a voice
- Empower everyone to speak – create linear management structure
- Break down a big problem into small parts and rigorously establish what works and what doesn’t
- Ensure that blame language is not used or individuals targeted – group responsibility
- Create systems like the Black Box investigations where you review success and failure in the same way every time
- Apply creative thinking to resolve problems
- Be open to change when analysing and during problem solving – do not focus on just one part or one error
- Explain the benefits of learning from failure – reduce costs, advocating practising, as it is better to fail within the company than to the Client
- 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for a workshop on Career Development
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 email@example.com for leadership and management workshops covering many topics.
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