Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Best HR Leadership Advice?

In a podcast, Dr. Henry Cloud says there are three categories of people even though, as a psychologist, he dislikes categorizing people: wise, foolish and evil. The latter category he doesn't spend a lot of time discussing. They are the ones who are purely for themselves. They might be the toxic leaders who don't necessarily want the organization to succeed except that it means their reputation is enhanced and they don't care how they achieve it.

The wise appreciate feedback, look for the truth embedded in it and adapt accordingly.

The foolish will deflect feedback and make excuses. It doesn't pay to give them feedback. It just creates defensive mechanisms and you become the enemy. It encourages self-deception. No matter how much you model the right behavior, fools are stuck in their ways. They hinder the ability of your organization to achieve its mission, its strategy, and the culture you're trying to improve towards solid values and collaboration is being undermined. It's time to get them off the bus.

Dr. Henry Cloud has a remedy that he says will save you years of anguish and hopelessness. Let fools know that they will not be tolerated any longer and ask them how to have a dialogue (give feedback) that will actually accomplish the change in behavior, alignment or engagement that you need. And if they can't come up with something constructive, it's time to move on. Find someone wise (or in Lencioni's venacular, humble, hungry and smart).

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A New Framework for Employee Engagement

As noted before, employee engagement hasn't really gone anywhere in the past two decades. It's still a lot less than managers like to think it is. We often think we've got half our team fully engaged (enthusiastic about contributing to the vision, committed to doing their best work, etc.)--the blue line in the graphic below--but reality is that it's half of that (green line below). And we think with a some effort (which we don't have to continue forever), the engagement levels will radically improve.
We can listen to all kinds of engagement gurus but most are missing the vital framework to creating the levels of engagement in their teams that knock your customers' socks off (i.e. gets your Net Promoter Score above 50%).  4ward Associates has developed a proven framework and toolkit that creates those levels. It's starts with realizing that a manager's efforts need to be daily.

It's not rocket science. In fact, many successful leaders do a lot of this because it's common sense. However, it's hard because we have a hard time changing our own leadership paradigms (frameworks) that we don't embrace the new framework. We maintain the bad habits that got us into this situation even though we know it's not the best...but it's working well enough...we think.

If you miss any of the elements above, you'll be skating on the green line above (or stuck at point 1 on that particular line). It's where business has been for 50-60 years probably, ever since the dawn of the 'company man' who does the work because it has to be done but he/she would rather be doing something else.