Roc - Blog http://www.roc-group.de/posts/news-blog/de-de Roc - Blog WHY PERFORMANCE REVIEWS DON’T WORK Mon, 04 Aug 2014 05:44:55 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/552/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.”</em><br /> American actress and sex symbol <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mae_West" title="Mae West" target="_blank">Mae West (1893-1980)</a></p> <p>I was recently involved in sitting in with a Regional Head while he reviewed his direct reports, just so I could get an understanding of how he interacted with his people. As I had just embarked on an executive coaching programme with him (at the request of his CEO), I was keen to see how he would handle these quarterly sessions, as I have long been against the whole idea of formal performance reviews, no matter how regularly they are planned. </p> <p><div id="attachment_3863" style="width: 221px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/employee_performance_review_template.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/employee_performance_review_template.jpg?w=211&h=300" alt="Author: Rahulkepapa (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" class="size-medium wp-image-3863" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Rahulkepapa (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>I have long believed that the holding of formal performance reviews does little to actually manage performance, and flies against my strong belief that managers need to manage behaviour rather than manage people</strong> (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/people-performance-pitfalls/" title="PEOPLE PERFORMANCE PITFALLS" target="_blank">“People performance pitfalls”</a> posted October 28, 2013)</p> <p>These particular performance review sessions only reinforced my beliefs, and here are some of the reasons why:</p> <p><strong>- Neither side was particularly well prepared …</strong> I was surprised at how little preparation had been done on either side in readiness for these sessions, apart from some hastily scribbled bullet points, and could only surmise that this was because no-one treated them with a great deal of seriousness, which begged the question as to why they did them at all. The lack of preparation was actually mentioned by nearly all of them, and justified and forgiven because of the “pressures of work” taking priority. <em>If you must do these formal reviews, then serious, studied and thoughtful preparation is key. When I had no choice but to do these, I found that a standard format worked well, and I mostly used the simple one of … Here are the things that I want you to do more of, do less of, stop doing and start doing.</em></p> <p><strong>- They tended to discuss business issues rather than how the subordinate was actually addressing them …</strong> The major part of the sessions tended to be informal discussions on what was happening in their marketplace, their competition and the global economy rather than how the direct report was performing against specific goals that had been set by their CEO, and cascaded down by the Regional Head, and that were actually documented in the strategic plan, of which I had been given a copy. <em>Executives can chat about these topics whenever they want to do so over a coffee or a cocktail, but a performance review should be about discussing how a person is coping with the tasks that they have been assigned, and what is needed to sustain or improve the situation, and not be just an information sharing session.</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3865" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/porters_five_forces.png"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/porters_five_forces.png?w=300&h=225" alt="By Grahams Child; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="225" class="size-medium wp-image-3865" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By Grahams Child; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- They spent the major part of the actual review time discussing financial performance …</strong> I have yet to meet a surviving executive that comes into any review session without a clear understanding of what are his numbers and his performance against them at that time. This means that spending most of any real review discussion on an analysis of the numbers is the wrong focus. <em>Discussing how the numbers can be improved makes sense, but for example beyond saying “watch your spending”, going through a fine tooth-analysis of why marketing expense is 7% over budget for the quarter is a distraction rather than a benefit to the business. If something doesn’t look good, the only valid question is “What are you doing about it ?”.</em></p> <p><strong>- The only time people issues were discussed was with the HR Director …</strong> I was surprised at how little discussion was given to people issues, particularly as I believe that people are the only true long-term sustainable competitive advantage. There was a long discussion with the HR Director about attrition, recruitment, engagement, succession and other related HR “issues de jour”, yet strangely none of these topics had been discussed with the line managers. What I also found fascinating was that there was no discussion at all with the HR Head as to his personal actual performance and what benefit HR brought to the business, only about the HR metrics on their dashboard. <em>I felt like standing up and yelling “It’s all about people stupid” but held my tongue and wondered about whether I may have accepted a coaching task equivalent to Hercules having to clean out the stables of Augeas. The reality is that there are no HR problems, there are only business problems, and discussions about people are at the core of performance management in every division and at every level of the business for every executive.</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3864" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/discussion.png"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/discussion.png?w=300&h=182" alt="Author: Muhammad Rafizeldi (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="182" class="size-medium wp-image-3864" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Muhammad Rafizeldi (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- There were no references back to previous reviews …</strong> Interestingly, this company has a highly developed (if somewhat cumbersome) on-line performance management tool, but this was not referred to at any time by either of the parties, and the only recording that was done was some regular scribbling on pads and notebooks that seemed to be ubiquitous in this management team. The whole process to me seemed along schoolboy lines of “Johnny you are trying hard, but I want you to do better”. <em>There is no point in doing any sort of review if one cannot look at a starting reference point and what actions were agreed in the last session. The objective should at the least be to see whether behaviour is changing in a way that will help to meet the objectives. I am not suggesting that the focus should be only historical, as it should rather be on future behaviour, but it is important that one can see whether you are actually making some headway.</em></p> <p><strong>- There was no feedback to the boss’s own performance requested, nor given …</strong> There was not even a question asked such as “what can I do to help you or to make things better ?”. <em>I believe that any review session has to be bi-directional to be at all worthwhile, as no one does it alone, and the person at the top has the responsibility for the conditions and culture that those below have to work within.</em></p> <p>It is worthwhile remembering the words of American statesman and retired 4-star general <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Powell" title="Colin Powell" target="_blank">Colin Powell</a> <em>“Organisation doesn’t really accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything either. Theories of management don’t much matter. Endeavours succeed or fail because of the people involved.”</em></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3862/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3862/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3862&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/552/de-de WHAT COULD THE GREEK GODS HAVE DONE IN MANAGEMENT ROLES TODAY Mon, 14 Jul 2014 06:16:04 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/551/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”</em><br /> American spiritual teacher, author and lecturer <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marianne_Williamson" title="Marianna Williamson" target="_blank">Marianne Williamson</a></p> <p>I have long had a fascination with the Greek Gods and particularly in the way that they were so good at allocating responsibilities across their team members, ensuring that every element of mankind’s needs was well covered.</p> <p>I have also recently been swamped on Facebook with seductive questionnaires that have established for me that, amongst other things, I would have been a tailor in medieval times, that my animal is a wolf, that my bird is an eagle, that my city is Paris, that my colour is purple and that my true psychological age is 32.</p> <p>It made me wonder, along similar hypothetical lines, about where the Greek gods could have slotted, had they come down to earth, and rather than coupling with some hapless humans to create demi-gods as they normally did when visiting, they had instead spent their time more wisely and completed some personal management development, such as an MBA, and then entered the business world. </p> <p>Would their individual skills, together with their newly found business knowledge have equipped them well for a corporate career in management ?</p> <p>Here are 10 of my favourite Greek gods, and my recommendations for their business career options:</p> <p><strong>- Aphrodite … Goddess of Love, Beauty, Desire and Pleasure</strong> would have definitely been ready-made for a role in Marketing, whose practitioners generally see themselves as being creators of beauty and pleasure in everything that comes out of their creative temple, whether it is TV advertising, sales literature, web-site design or T-shirts, coffee mugs and sweat band giveaways.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3835" style="width: 235px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/aphrodite_of_milos.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/aphrodite_of_milos.jpg?w=225&h=300" alt="By Lepota; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="225" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-3835" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By Lepota; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Apollo … God of Music, Arts, Knowledge, Healing, Plague and Poetry</strong> would have been perfect for a role in Human Resources as no other part of any organisation would see poetry or healing as being part of the job description. I have also many times heard managers from different parts of the organisation make statements such as “a plague on the house of HR for saddling me with yet another employee satisfaction survey.”</p> <p><div id="attachment_3836" style="width: 215px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/apollo.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/apollo.jpg?w=205&h=300" alt="By Saw1998; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" class="size-medium wp-image-3836" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By Saw1998; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Ares … God of War, Bloodshed, and Violence</strong> would have been ready for a career as a VP of Sales, as many sales organisations (at least according to the customers) are known for leaving a trail of destruction behind them, and most sales managers tend to see <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_War" title="Sun Tzu's "Art of War"" target="_blank">Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”</a> as their bible for human interaction, (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/sun-tzu-would-go-broke-today/" title="SUN TZU WOULD GO BROKE TODAY" target="_blank">“Sun Tzu would go broke today”</a> posted October 3, 2011).</p> <p><div id="attachment_3837" style="width: 176px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/ares.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/ares.jpg?w=166&h=300" alt="By Phe; via Wikimedia Commons" class="size-medium wp-image-3837" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By Phe; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Artemis … Goddess of Hunt, Wilderness and Animals</strong> seems destined to be the Head of Corporate Overlay in a matrix organisation, as these acolytes seem to spend most of their time hunting for time-killing reports and activities to foist on those parts of the organisation that actually do something to benefit the business, just to justify their own existence and to save being banished to the wilderness of oblivion, where they truly belong (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/stupid-management-ideas/" title="STUPID MANAGEMENT IDEAS" target="_blank">“Stupid management ideas”</a> posted August 29, 2011).</p> <p><strong>- Athena … Goddess of Intelligence, Skill, Battle Strategy and Wisdom</strong> would seem most suited to a career in one of the large Consulting Organisations such as McKinsey or Accenture, who tend to be peopled with highly intelligent, skilled people who can sell the same strategy document multiple times to large numbers of different organisations in diverse industries, and have the wisdom to do this in a way that enables them to deliver this service at massively inflated costs by convincing clients of the uniqueness of their battle formation.</p> <p><strong>- Dionysus … God of Wine, Parties, Madness, Chaos, Drunkenness and Drugs</strong> and was obviously built for a career in Partnerships and Alliances, who generally seem to believe that the way to build long term business relationships and loyalty is based on providing large amounts of alcohol, entrance to corporate boxes at sporting events, mid-week golf tournaments and the possession of photographs of executives in the partner organisations in compromising situations.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3838" style="width: 162px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/dionysos.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/dionysos.jpg?w=152&h=300" alt="By © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY 2.5" width="152" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-3838" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY 2.5</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Hades … God of the Underworld and The Dead</strong> would be perfectly placed for a career in any Public Sector Tax Authority, who seem to have an uncanny ability to regularly bring down new near-death forms of taxation thus ensuring that as few people as possible have any chance of financial longevity. Unlike taxation authorities, other blood-sucking leeches will actually drop off when there is no more blood left in their victims.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3839" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/hades.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/hades.jpg?w=300&h=245" alt="Author: Prevezamuseum; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="245" class="size-medium wp-image-3839" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Prevezamuseum; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Hermes … God of Boundaries, Travel, Communications, Language and Writing</strong> would have been perfect for a management role in Corporate Communications, particularly with having some increasingly rare skills in the use of language both written and oral, which are two areas under considerable threat with our love of abbreviations, texting, twitter boundaries, and blogging brevity (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/abbreviation-is-gr8ly-changing-our-world/" title="ABBREVIATION IS GR8LY CHANGING OUR WORLD" target="_blank">“Abbreviation is gr8tly changing our world”</a> posted April 16, 2012).</p> <p><strong>- Poseidon … God of Seas, Rivers, Floods and Droughts</strong> seems to have all the characteristics needed for a senior role in Corporate Finance, who are generally in charge of controlling the “feast or famine” approach to budgeting. They also have an ability to generate a sea of indecipherable data, flood management with queries about their travel and entertainment expenses and dry up any joy in a room simply by entering.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3841" style="width: 270px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/poseydon.png"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/poseydon.png?w=260&h=300" alt="By Arman musikyan (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" class="size-medium wp-image-3841" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By Arman musikyan (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Zeus … King of the Gods, Sky, Weather, Thunder, Lightning, Law, Order and Justice</strong> is definitely in line for the role of a Global CEO, although a very autocratic one, as he was known to eat his children, or at the least banish them from Olympus when they displeased him or when they didn’t do what he asked or expected of them.</p> <p>In the words of French philosopher <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltaire" title="Voltaire" target="_blank">Voltaire (1694-1778)</a> <em>“If there were no God, it would have been necessary to invent him.”</em></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3834/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3834/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3834&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/551/de-de WHAT CAN ONE SAY TO A NEW MANAGER IN JUST ONE HOUR Mon, 07 Jul 2014 05:12:43 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/549/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I was recently asked by an exciting and highly successful young salesman, who had just been promoted to his first management role, to give him some “fatherly” advice on what I felt he should focus on to get started with his team. I would have preferred to have at least a year to prepare him for the management role, but we had only one hour together to chat about this vast topic, so it made me not only need to think about being concise, but also made me think about needing to drill down to the key elements of management that would really matter to a “newbie” and that, in his first 100 days as a manager, would define him to his people as their leader rather than as a peer.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3824" style="width: 269px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/salesman.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/salesman.jpg?w=259&h=300" alt="Author: Tomwsulcer; CC0 1.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="259" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-3824" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Tomwsulcer; CC0 1.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Here were the 10 key points that I discussed with him… 4 for him to pass on directly to his sales and support team, and 6 priority areas for him to focus on from the first day.</p> <p>The 4 messages to his team were:</p> <p><strong>- Tell them who you are and in what you believe …</strong> That honesty (no lying, cheating or thieving) and integrity (what you believe is what you say is what you do) is at the heart of who you are and that this is what you expect from all of them. That nothing happens in the world until someone sells something, that this makes Sales the noblest profession in the world and that you will always be proud to be a salesman. That your role as their manager is to help all of them to be successful, and that you are available to them in whatever way that they need.</p> <p><strong>- Give them a dream …</strong> Set them a challenge to be the best (most successful, most professional, highest customer satisfaction) sales team in the company. That you expect the team to be a breeding ground for future leaders in the company and that you will work with all of them on their development for an opportunity to qualify. That you expect them to be the best that they can be at whatever they do. That you want other teams in the company to look at them as the standard to reach.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3826" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/dream.png"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/dream.png?w=300&h=257" alt="Source: Familiengrab_des_Otto_Schurig_-_Mutter_Erde_fec.jpg; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="257" class="size-medium wp-image-3826" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Source: Familiengrab_des_Otto_Schurig_-_Mutter_Erde_fec.jpg; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Tell them what you expect from them …</strong> That you are proud and excited to be given the opportunity to lead this team. That you intend to challenge them to “do more, jump higher, run faster” and to be more successful than any of the other sales teams in the company. That you expect them to always learn and grow so that things become easier as they become more skilled and capable. That you also expect to have a lot of fun along the way.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3827" style="width: 210px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/jump_higher.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/jump_higher.jpg?w=200&h=300" alt="Author: Jimmy Harris; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="200" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-3827" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Jimmy Harris; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Tell them that a team that works together is always more successful …</strong> That while we live in a highly competitive environment, the more that we can all work together and support each other the more we will all achieve. That great teamwork will always deliver more than the sum of its parts. That in the best sales teams, every member of the team succeeds not just a few. That you expect them to support each other so that every team member has a chance for success.</p> <p>The 6 key areas on which I felt he should focus were:</p> <p><strong>- Ensure they all understand and accept their goals …</strong> It is important that people have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, and where/how they fit in to the dream that has been painted by their leader, over and above their financial goals. Most sales managers focus all of the goal-setting on the numbers to achieve, and the monetary rewards that come with achieving them, but this is not enough to build a high performing and professional sales organisation. It is also important to be able to answer the <em>“Why are we here and why it’s important”</em>, as well as the <em>“Here’s what we need you to do”</em>.</p> <p><strong>- Set the standards and know you will be watched …</strong> Many new managers believe that “if they say it so shall it be”, but the reality is more like “if they do it so shall it be”. No matter what a manager says, his people will watch his behaviour and will emulate this rather than follow the spoken words. I once had a manager who talked about working hard all the time, but regularly took long lunches and weekly golf breaks, both activities soon becoming a standard in the team.</p> <p><strong>- Remove the barriers …</strong> Find out what is getting in the way of your people being able to do the job well and make it your responsibility to remove the barriers to their success. Protect them from all sides from things that are time-stealers but that deliver little benefit to the company. This can be particularly true in matrix organisations where some people will “make work” to justify their existence.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3828" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/remove_the_barriers.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/remove_the_barriers.jpg?w=300&h=224" alt="Author: Kenneth Allen; Source: geograph.org.uk; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="224" class="size-medium wp-image-3828" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Kenneth Allen; Source: geograph.org.uk; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Build the team …</strong> Build pride in the team and the privilege of being a member, overcoming the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groucho_Marx" title="Groucho Marx" target="_blank">Groucho Marx</a> comment of <em>“I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.”</em> Set high standards of membership and ensure that people are held responsible and accountable for their actions. The team will either ascend or descend to whatever level of standards you tolerate as being acceptable.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3831" style="width: 246px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/build_the_team.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/build_the_team.jpg?w=630" alt="Author: U.S. Federal government; via Wikimedia Commons" class="size-full wp-image-3831" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: U.S. Federal government; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Recognise and re-enforce excellence …</strong> Recognise and celebrate success and high performance often. It only takes a bit of imagination, rather than huge expense, to be able to recognise individual and team “highs”. I know of one large team that has a wide mix of nationalities working out of the one London office, and every time a team member achieves something worthwhile, the whole team stands and tries to sing their specific national anthem … maybe a bit corny to some, but it shows respect, is a lot of fun and it fits well into the diversity of the team culture.</p> <p><strong>- Don’t over-manage …</strong> Give people the freedom to make mistakes, and give the team the right to self-manage as much as possible. People who are scared to make mistakes are too scared to step out of traditional boundaries, and as such will do what has been done before, rather than what needs to be done today in an ever changing world. New managers tend to focus too much on control, rather than to focus on re-enforcing the needed behaviours.</p> <p>It is also important to remember the words of American Industrialist <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D._Rockefeller" title="John D. Rockefeller" target="_blank">John D. Rockefeller</a> (1839-1937) who said <em>“Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.”<br /> </em></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3823/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3823/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3823&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/549/de-de THE LEADERSHIP GAP Mon, 30 Jun 2014 05:10:54 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/547/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“It is the men behind who make the man ahead.”</em><br /> American editor and author, Merle Crowell (1906-1959)</p> <p>I have recently been invited to give the opening keynote at the <a href="http://www.zukunft-personal.de/content/index_eng.html" title="HRM Expo Cologne 2014" target="_blank">2014 HRM Expo in Cologne, Germany</a> this coming October, my given topic being “Are we ready for workplace democracy ?” The fact that I wrote a blog piece on this topic last March (see <a title="ARE WE READY FOR WORKPLACE DEMOCRACY ?" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/are-we-ready-for-workplace-democracy/">“Are we ready for workplace democracy ?”</a> posted March 17, 2014) may actually be the main reason that I received this invitation.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3814" style="width: 640px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/cologne_at_dusk.jpg"><img class="wp-image-3814 size-large" src="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/cologne_at_dusk.jpg?w=630&h=89" alt="By Fallschirmjäger; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="630" height="89" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Cologne at dusk; by Fallschirmjäger; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>In this post, I reasoned that notwithstanding the changing face of management towards greater freedoms in the workplace, people still needed some direction and structure in their work lives, whilst accepting that this is significantly less than what was needed in my, and previous, generations. I also cited my reasons for rejecting the idea that business leaders should be democratically elected by their staff, as I had seen in one case, as being a leap too far. I felt that I would still rather have them appointed by the board and senior management.</p> <p>I still believe this, but I do have some serious concerns about the way we generally seem to select, develop and promote our business leaders, as despite the changes we are seeing in our new mobile, connected world, these practices seem to have changed little over the last 50 years, including some Business Schools where the business case studies used can be significantly older than the students (see “Business leadership isn’t changing quickly enough” posted October 10, 2011). I have also been critical of the fact that senior management in larger companies tends to be suspicious and wary of promoting creative, imaginative people who are prepared to take some calculated risks and drive needed changes in an ever-changing world, in favour of promotion of those who are more inclined to protect the status quo. <strong>Senior executives do love to promote in their own image.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_3815" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/international_business_school.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3815" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/international_business_school.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="Author: Tatu Monk; CC BY-SA 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 1.0; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="225" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Tatu Monk; CC BY-SA 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 1.0; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>One of the other problems that I see is that there appears to be a growing belief amongst many that leadership and management can be easily taught, and taught quickly, and to foster this belief we have seen a growing availability of short, sharp, quick-hit training courses that seem to cater to the same clientele who see books like “The one minute manager” and “Who moved my cheese” as being great tomes on business life. This “leadership development” industry has grown into a multi-billion dollar business, in the main turning out managers who believe they know all that they need to know to successfully lead a team. I have, for example, interviewed many young MBA graduates who believe that they are ready for a management role immediately upon graduation, <strong>whereas I have always seen an MBA as being equivalent to buying a fishing license, which gives you the right to sit at the river, but which still means that you have to learn how to actually catch fish.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_3816" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/who_moved_my_cheese.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3816" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/who_moved_my_cheese.jpg?w=300&h=199" alt="via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have no doubt that some elements of management and leadership can be taught, but the reality is that <strong>becoming a capable leader and manager is a journey of discovery and experimentation over one’s lifetime</strong>, rather than being a destination that one reaches after reading a few “pamphlets” and some attendance on a few “quickie-how-to” courses. I recently had a newly appointed manager ask me whether I could give him an hour of my time to tell him about the key elements of management so that he could become effective quickly. Up until his sudden appointment into a management role, no-one had thought about how to prepare him properly for the move from an individual contributor to having responsibility for a team of people. I was delighted that he was keen to understand the role of a manager, but somewhat dismayed that he felt that “an hour of my time” was enough to get him started.</p> <p>Another problem that we face today is that, lacking other empirical measures of management excellence, the main way that we tend to identify and recognise outstanding leadership in the business world is based almost entirely on the financial results, which often disregards at what expense these are achieved. A good example of this tendency, were the accolades heaped on the management of Enron right up until the final moments of its sudden and spectacular death. As a result of this focus on “show me the money”, the biggest fee earners and highest revenue generating sales people are the ones who most commonly get promoted, in the belief that they will somehow automatically understand how to pass these skills on to others, and the fact that they could sell product and services was an indicator of leadership qualities.</p> <p><strong>The issue is that when it comes to selecting future leaders, just looking at their potential leadership skills, based on past performance, is not enough, as it is critical that one also evaluates their “followership” skills.</strong></p> <p>The critical question is <strong>“Would anyone follow them if they didn’t have the title ?”</strong></p> <p>This situation was well brought home to me during my own career when a colleague of mine, who had been a successful regional President, was appointed to the role of Global CEO. Despite his previous successes, and despite having been able to build a small band of devoted acolytes, he was not able to build broad “followership” in the company. After only about a year in the role, there was a general uprising amongst staff that forced the board to rethink his appointment and resulted in his subsequent removal.</p> <p><strong>To me, this was at least a real example of workplace democracy at work.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_3817" style="width: 235px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/goddess_of_democracy_replica.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3817" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/goddess_of_democracy_replica.jpg?w=225&h=300" alt="By SchuminWeb; CC BY-SA 2.5 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="225" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By SchuminWeb; CC BY-SA 2.5 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>This taught me not only the power of mob rule, but also the fact that a true leader cannot be defined by his own leadership persona, but is more defined by the number of, and the passion and commitment from, his followers.</p> <p>As said by Harvard University Professor <a title="Barbara Kellerman" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Kellerman_%28academic%29" target="_blank">Barbara Kellerman</a> <em>“Followers are more important to leaders than leaders are to followers.”</em></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3813/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3813/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3813&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/547/de-de THE FIRST CRITICAL HOUR IN THE DAY OF A MANAGER Mon, 23 Jun 2014 04:59:24 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/545/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“A manager is not a person who can do the work better than his men; he is a person who can get his men to do the work better than he can.”</em><br /> <a title="Frederick W. Smith" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_W._Smith" target="_blank">Frederick W. Smith</a>, founder, chairman and CEO of Federal Express</p> <p>Most business people whom I know spend the time taken to travel from home to the office either making phone calls from their car, or checking their emails if they are not actually driving. One of my golden rules of self-management is to NOT look at emails as a first priority (see <a title="FIFTH SECRET OF TIME MANAGEMENT" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/fifth-secret-of-time-management/" target="_blank">“Fifth secret of time management”</a> posted November 11, 2010), and I have also long believed that people who feel obliged to call me from their car on their way to work are either doing it to impress me with how busy they are, or are just making a “boredom call” while stuck in heavy traffic.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3804" style="width: 246px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/first_hour_alarm_clock.jpg"><img class="wp-image-3804 size-medium" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/first_hour_alarm_clock-e1403380448529.jpg?w=236&h=300" alt="Author: Sun Ladder (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="236" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Sun Ladder (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have long believed that the first part of the day for anyone, irrespective of their role and corporate ladder status, is to use the time to address <strong>the important things</strong> before the brain gets cluttered with <strong>the urgent things</strong>, and before any chance for some creative thinking gets buried by the daily avalanche of red-hot tactical issues that will need addressing as a standard part of most business days.</p> <p>However, beyond making sure that you actually use your time well, and that you do get to prioritise your time in such a way that it enables you to address those priorities that will define your own personal measurement and success, there is one critical area that I believe all who are in a people management role must seriously consider on a daily basis.</p> <p>I found that doing it while travelling to work every day not only enabled me to build it into my schedule as a ritual, but also prepared me for the most important element of my role as a manager, as I believe that <strong>the best way to spend that first critical daily time slot is to think about the people that you have been asked to lead, and to consider your own personal role in making their chance of success easier to achieve.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_3805" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/commuters.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3805" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/commuters.jpg?w=300&h=300" alt="Author: Christopher Michel; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmichel67/6294620410/; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Christopher Michel; Source: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmichel67/6294620410/" rel="nofollow">http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmichel67/6294620410/</a>; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Here are the sort of questions that I believe every manager should ask himself every day, on the way to work.</p> <p><strong>- What is the climate in my area of responsibility ?</strong> What do I need to address/change that is hindering my people from doing well ? Are there barriers that I need to help remove ? Are we getting the support and co-operation from other departments/divisions, that we need to do our job well ? Is my business unit seen as being “business critical” ? Are we seen as being strategic, so are we viewed as being part of “change the company” more than just “run the company” ? How is conflict handled in my team ? Is my team co-operative rather than competitive ? How self-managing are they ?</p> <p><strong>- How are my people faring ? Is anyone struggling ?</strong> Am I effectively dealing with people who are not performing well ? (see <a title="MOVE THEM UP OR MOVE THEM OUT" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/move-them-up-or-move-them-out/" target="_blank">“Move them up or move them out”</a> posted August 23, 2010). Am I giving my people regular and ongoing feedback on their behaviour ? On their successes ? Are we meeting deadlines and benchmarks ? Are we seen as creators of talent for the company ? Do the people in my team support and help each other ? Do they share information well ?</p> <p><strong>- Are my people inspired to achieve our team goals ?</strong> Are they “building a brick wall or a cathedral” ? How good is morale and is it consistent across the group ? Do people readily pick up new responsibilities ? Do they buy in to the company vision ? Are they proud to work for the company ? Are they committed to the team and its mission ? Do they come in to work “with a song in their heart” ? Do they love what they do ?</p> <p><strong>- Do they all understand their roles and their responsibilities ?</strong> Do all my people understand their own personal objectives, as well as those of the team ? Does everyone understand “what is in it for them”, beyond their financial incentives ? is there enough freedom for people to influence how they do their job ? Do they respect their direct manager ? Do they respect and trust senior management ?</p> <p><div id="attachment_3806" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/work_environment.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3806" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/work_environment.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="By VeronicaTherese (Own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="225" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By VeronicaTherese (Own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Have I provided all the resources and tools that they need ?</strong> Are there barriers to what they do ? What do my people lack that could make things easier ? Do they have the technology needed to do the job ? Have we supported their need for mobility ? Is the physical environment supportive ? Does the physical environment encourage team interaction ? Are there enough quiet zones ? Can people get privacy when needed ? Am I protecting the team from unnecessary interference from all sides ?</p> <p><strong>- Are they smarter, faster, more capable today than they were yesterday ?</strong> Can they update their CVs regularly with new skills and knowledge ? Am I challenging them enough for their personal growth ? Am I making new assignments available ? Am I across their training and development aspirations as well as their needs ? Am I effectively preparing them for the future ? Do I have effective mentoring and coaching programmes in place, and if so how are they doing ? Am I building future leaders ? Have I identified and prepared my potential successors ?</p> <p>…. And finally and most importantly ….</p> <p><strong>- What is the single most significant thing that I can do for them today ?</strong></p> <p>In the words of Chairman and CEO of IBM, <a title="Thomas J. Watson" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_J._Watson" target="_blank">Thomas J. Watson (1874-1956)</a> <em>“A manager is an assistant to his men.”</em></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3803/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3803/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3803&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/545/de-de THE MANAGEMENT ART OF COOKING Mon, 16 Jun 2014 05:10:50 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/544/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”</em><br /> Newspaper columnist and writer <a title="Harriet Van Horne" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Van_Horne" target="_blank">Harriet Van Horne (1920-1998)</a>.</p> <p>I love to cook (even though I am at best an enthusiastic beginner), ever since my wife once gave me, as a Xmas present, my first ever formal cooking course of one full week in London at the <a href="http://www.leiths.com/" title="Leiths School of Food and Wine" target="_blank">“Leiths School of food and wine”</a> (see <a title="COOKING TIPS FOR MEN" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/cooking-tips-for-men/" target="_blank">“Cooking tips for men”</a> posted November 25, 2010). I loved the course, my only disappointment being that there was nothing about wine on the course, despite its inclusion in their name. I have, since that time, been back to Leiths on a number of different courses and have realised that there are a lot of similarities between being a chef (even if only occasionally) and being in a management role.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3794" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/cooking_chefs.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3794" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/cooking_chefs.jpg?w=300&h=286" alt="By Sir James; CC BY-SA 3.0 license, GFDL; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="286" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By Sir James; CC BY-SA 3.0 license, GFDL; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Here is how I see this:</p> <p><strong>- Do it with total commitment …</strong> Cooking takes commitment and time, and trying to prepare a great meal without focussing on what needs to be done, and when to do it and with what, will generally not result in a successful set of taste sensations. <em>Similarly, management takes real commitment, and just “dabbling” at management while you continue with your vocational activities as your main priority will not bring success, and is the equivalent of believing you are a cook because you fry an egg occasionally, while heating up pre-prepared supermarket food the rest of the time. Management is a serious art and a vocation, and must be given your full attention.</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3795" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/fried_egg.jpg"><img class="wp-image-3795 size-thumbnail" src="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/fried_egg.jpg?w=150&h=129" alt="Author: David Benbennick; via Wikimedia Commons" width="150" height="129" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: David Benbennick; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Learn from those who know how …</strong> I have been cooking since I was about 16, as my father’s severe ulcer limited him to mainly bland foods, and as my mother refused to cook a separate meal for me, it was a question of start to cook or live on boiled chicken for dinner every evening. I thought that I was OK in the kitchen until I went on my first course 45 years later, and realised that there were many things that I did badly, as basic as how to chop an onion. <em>In the same way, you can choose to grow your management skills through trial and error over a long period of time, thus having a negative impact on those who have been entrusted to your care. A far better approach is to learn from others, as you can accelerate your management skills dramatically by some formal training, and more importantly by having some role models and mentors to learn from along the road to management proficiency.</em></p> <p><strong>- Learn to mix complex ingredients …</strong> Not all ingredients mix well, and do not suit all tastes. Quite a few French cooks use “mixed-spice” with meat in the hope that it will give it an exotic taste, but as it is really meant to be used with baking cakes, all it does is to confuse the palate. <em>In the same vein, it is easy to curdle eggs if you do not treat them with respect or if heat is applied too quickly. The same is true with people. Not all personalities or professions mix easily, and it takes management skill and patience to bring together disparate parts of an organisation into a well-functioning business unit. It is also easy to “curdle” people if you do not treat them with respect or “heat” them inappropriately.</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3796" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/herbs_and_spices.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3796" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/herbs_and_spices.jpg?w=300&h=300" alt="Author: David Reber; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: David Reber; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Know your limitations …</strong> I came back from my first formal cooking course flushed with my newly acquired skills, and immediately organised a dinner party for 8 with no thought as to whether I would be capable of executing the menu I had chosen. <a title="Choux pastry" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choux_pastry" target="_blank">Choux pastry</a> filled with smoked trout mousse with a dill cream sauce as starter, racks of lamb with potato en-papillote and beans wrapped in bacon for the main course, store bought cheeses but served with home-made soda bread, and segmented oranges in a caramel sauce to finish. Not a beginner’s menu, which I didn’t realise until I actually started preparations and cooking, and which frazzled, frustrated and nearly ended my cooking career at the start, and which took me nearly 2 full days to prepare (and another 2 to recover) rather than the hours that a skilled cook would have taken. <em>In the same way, it is important in management to “know what you don’t know”. Throwing yourself into elements of management such as recruitment, induction, goal setting and performance reviews without some reading, training and serious learning beforehand, so that you at least know what will be needed, will be unlikely to give you decent results.</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3797" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/choux_pastry_buns.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3797" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/choux_pastry_buns.jpg?w=300&h=199" alt="Author: Two Helmets Cooking; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Two Helmets Cooking; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Preparation is key …</strong> You need to plan everything beforehand to have any chance of success. This includes analyses of the recipes of the dishes that you will prepare, making sure that you have the necessary kitchen equipment and all the ingredients and spices needed. A key element is planning the timing backwards, from when you plan to actually serve the food to your guests to when you will need to start the initial preparations. My first ever attempt at cooking for a dinner party was when I was just 22, and I hadn’t properly planned the cooking timing, so I wasn’t actually in a position to serve the starter (stuffed cabbage leaves in chicken broth) till about 11.00pm by which time we were all under a serious alcoholic haze. The dessert (chocolate mousse) wasn’t served till around midnight. This need for planning came home to me the next day when I was cleaning up and found the whole main course (roasted lamb and vegetables) still sitting untouched, if somewhat dry, in the oven. <em>This need for close planning is also true for any business endeavours. You need to make sure that you have the right people, that they have all the resources that are needed to do the job, and plan back from when you will need to deliver an end result through all the stages back to the actual start time. You also must have regular checkpoints to ensure that you are tracking well, and that nothing and no-one is left behind.</em></p> <p>Cooking, like management, is only worthwhile if you do it for the benefit of others and not just for yourself. The French use “Chef d’entreprise” to describe a senior executive … I can understand why it is an accurate term.</p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3793/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3793/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3793&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/544/de-de KNOWLEDGE IS POWER Mon, 09 Jun 2014 05:35:08 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/541/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>The aphorism <em>“Knowledge is power”</em> (Scientia potential est) has been mostly attributed to author and philosopher <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Bacon" title="Francis Bacon" target="_blank">Francis Bacon (1561-1626)</a>, even though this is not quite what he said. In his “Meditations Sacre” (1597) he does say “Ipsa scientia potestas est” (knowledge itself is power) which is fairly close, though its true meaning is believed to be, for the atheists, “Wisdom is power”, and “Wisdom is His power” for the religious. </p> <p>Whatever is the accurate version, it is obvious that we have known this for a long time.</p> <p>I have long believed that knowledge and learning really do give one power, and that these are ever more critical in today’s business environment. On the other hand, I have also long believed that knowledge must be shared, and that the hoarding of knowledge or information is akin to an act of tyranny.</p> <p>As a result, I have long been an admirer of the correct answer to the question of “What happens if we train our people and they leave ?” as being “What is worse would be that we do not train them, and they stay”.</p> <p>We tend to all generally agree that having well trained, up-to-date and skilled people in any organisation is a key prerequisite for any chance of business success, and yet I continually find that the minute the business environment gets a bit tough, staff training and development is one of the first things that is slashed in the rush to cut costs. Actually, a recent article in HR Magazine suggested that the financial investment in learning and development has actually fallen in Europe over the last 5 years of corporate financial hardship and restraint, as has also the number of attendees at Business Schools. While I have long been critical of many traditional business schools, this has been more about their content and curricula rather that the value that they could actually create (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/business-leadership-isn%e2%80%99t-changing-quickly-enough/" title="BUSINESS LEADERSHIP ISN’T CHANGING QUICKLY ENOUGH" target="_blank">“Business leadership isn’t changing quickly enough”</a> posted October 10, 2011).</p> <p><div id="attachment_3787" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/birmingham_business_school.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/birmingham_business_school.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="Author: JimmyGuano; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="225" class="size-medium wp-image-3787" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: JimmyGuano; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Whilst I can understand that organisations need to do whatever it takes to stay alive during hard times and that training and development spending has to accept its share of the cost cuts that are imposed, I believe that for long term business success, beyond just short term survival, training and development needs to be viewed less as an operational cost and more as an investment for the future.</p> <p>I have also found that some of the best training and development can be more a question of commitment and imagination, rather than just a question of spending money on formal training. I am therefore a fan of the 10/20/70 rule applied to learning of 10% training, 20% mentoring and coaching and 70% on the job learning. </p> <p><div id="attachment_3788" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/on_the_job_training.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/on_the_job_training.jpg?w=300&h=199" alt="Author: Tadas1980; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="199" class="size-medium wp-image-3788" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Tadas1980; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Here are just a few initiatives that I believe can be implemented to keep growing and developing your people, that take effort rather than heavy expense, without having to just spend money on course attendances, and that are relevant irrespective of whether times are tough or not.</p> <p><strong>- Build a learning culture …</strong> It is critical that you build an understanding in your people that learning is a journey rather than a destination, and that you encourage everyone to keep learning and growing. This also means that you have to get people to understand that trial and error, and therefore the making of some mistakes along the way, is an acceptable part of the personal growth process, and that they will not be punished for honest mistakes that are made through trying new things and pushing beyond traditional boundaries.</p> <p><strong>- Make mentoring a way of life …</strong> Some of the greatest leaps that I made during my career have been through the helping hand of a senior mentor, either through helping me navigate the minefields in a new organisation or assignment and/or having a wiser and more experienced person to be able to use as a sounding board and test-bed for new ideas and directions. Don’t wait for a formalised HR process to implement a mentoring process, but help and encourage your people to both look for a suitable mentor for themselves, as well as acting as a mentor for someone else, which can be in itself an extremely rich learning experience.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3789" style="width: 235px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/mentors.gif"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/mentors.gif?w=630" alt="Author: Mamunjoy; CC BY 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" class="size-full wp-image-3789" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Mamunjoy; CC BY 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Set up internal Think Tanks …</strong> Ask people to work together to address some critical real-world issues and opportunities, rather than trying to do this just in controlled meetings, thereby allowing them the freedom to work out the “how and what” on their own. Some of the best management development that I was involved with during my career involved getting a diverse group of people from different geographies and different divisions of the company to look at how to solve some serious company business issues, and to then present their findings and recommendations to the global board.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3790" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/think_tank.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/think_tank.jpg?w=300&h=196" alt="Author: Klimaforum Latinoamérica Network; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="196" class="size-medium wp-image-3790" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Klimaforum Latinoamérica Network; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Give people challenging assignments …</strong> Giving people assignments that will stretch (not break) their skills and experiences, and which will take them out of their comfort zone, is a great way to encourage their learning. It is also a good way to test whether they are ready, and possible timing, to be promoted to a more senior role. This is an area when having a suitable mentor and “carer” assigned to them becomes critical, as you want to ensure that you have created an environment that gives them the greatest chance of succeeding, rather than just throwing them off the deep end and hoping that they don’t drown in the process.</p> <p><strong>- Encourage networking internally and externally …</strong> Learning by mixing with peers costs very little, whether this is through the involvement in internal interest groups, industry organisations or attendance at meetings of the local Chamber of Commerce. This will enable one to gain insights from a broader set of experiences than one tends to find within their own organisation. Some of the best small moments of enlightenment that I have had have come from listening to a speaker from a totally different industry and country describe a relevant business environment, but from a totally new perspective.</p> <p>In the end, it is important to remember the words of management guru <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Drucker" title="Peter Drucker" target="_blank">Peter Drucker (1909-2005)</a> who said <em>“If you think training is expensive, consider the cost of ignorance”.</em></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3786/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3786/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3786&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/541/de-de WHY SO MANY INCENTIVE PROGRAMMES FAIL Mon, 02 Jun 2014 05:26:28 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/540/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“Outstanding performance is not a skill; it’s a commitment and an attitude.”</em></p> <p>I had a discussion a few days ago with a newly appointed manager about the “trip for performance” culture in his company for top performing salesmen, as he felt that they didn’t actually seem to achieve their goal of driving the required behaviour, nor did they actually seem to enthuse the winners with a great feeling of having been well rewarded for their achievements. He therefore felt that as the new incoming manager he needed to rethink the incentive programmes in a way that they could actually be more effective, and he was therefore seeking my advice.</p> <p>His description of the latest incentive trip made me realise that he was right about their minimal usefulness, as the majority of award winners were the traditionally high-performing, high-earning salespeople, who would have overachieved against their goals anyway as a natural outcome of their normal behaviour. Beyond this, the trip that they were about to embark on as their reward for outstanding performance was at a level that would not have seemed much of a reward. It basically comprised a 4-night long weekend trip to Las Vegas from London, travelling economy, without partners, and staying in a mid-level hotel … all done on a shoestring. He rightly pointed out (as one of the award winners) that taking him away from his family for a long weekend was actually a disincentive, as he generally struggled to find time to spend with them anyway, just from coping with the demands of the job.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3780" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/award_idea.png"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/award_idea.png?w=300&h=251" alt="Author: Apogee (own work); via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="251" class="size-medium wp-image-3780" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Apogee (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>It initiated a long discussion of what should be the characteristics of an effective incentive programme. Here are some of my criteria for success.</p> <p>- <strong>It needs to be more than just for salespeople …</strong> I have rarely come across a company where salespeople can be successful on their own, without the support of various groups of people around them. Having incentive programmes that incentivise and reward only the sales part of the effort can create resentment and disillusionment in the rest of the organisation. The most popular winner of one of my President Clubs was the Headquarters receptionist/telephonist, who was the “face to the customer” and who was a consummate professional. Rewarding excellence should include an opportunity for all to participate.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3781" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/receptionist.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/receptionist.jpg?w=300&h=243" alt="Author: Evan Bench; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="243" class="size-medium wp-image-3781" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Evan Bench; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>- <strong>It needs to deliver an opportunity for success to more than just the top 10% …</strong> The top-10% of salespeople will work to over-deliver on their goals anyway, whether driven by their personal need to succeed or their drive for financial reward. A truly successful incentive program will work towards incentivising the next 10-20% as well towards striving for inclusion in the programme rewards. There is no incentive that works better than starting with hope.</p> <p>- <strong>It needs to be achievable, but with real effort …</strong> Having an incentive programme where it is too easy to reach the milestones will not deliver much in terms of benefits and will not deliver a sense of achievement to the award winners. Having a programme where it is almost impossible to achieve the goals will mean that people will give up before they even start. A worthwhile incentive programme needs to give everyone the belief that they have the ability to be an achiever, but only by putting in the commensurate effort to do so.</p> <p>- <strong>It needs to be easily understood by all …</strong> I am always amazed that no matter how complex is a commission scheme, even the most simple salesmen will be able to calculate their commission due on a deal down to the closest centime/cent/penny. However, incentive programmes need to make it easy for everyone, as the last thing you want is to encourage totally inconsistent behaviour that would be needed to achieve the results.</p> <p>- <strong>It needs to be well rolled out with some fanfare …</strong> If the incentive programme is to be considered important by the participants, it should be rolled out with some pomp and ceremony, which just sending out an “email cc: all” doesn’t achieve. One programme that was available to me early in my career involved a trip to Hawaii. After the initial rollout which took place at the airport, we all kept receiving little Hawaiian reminders at about monthly intervals … a lei, a sun-hat, a bottle of Hawaiian tanning lotion etc., … they just kept coming and gave the programme some impetus over time.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3782" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/hawai_leis.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/hawai_leis.jpg?w=300&h=201" alt="Author: Janine; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="201" class="size-medium wp-image-3782" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Janine; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>- <strong>It needs to have a reward worth winning …</strong> Having a few days in Las Vegas on a shoestring is not worth the effort beyond being tagged as an achiever, particularly when the reward entails you sharing it only with people you spend your working time with anyway, but making you leave your partner/family at home during personal time. The reward also needs to be geared to the role, as what will excite a salesman will not necessarily excite a consultant or someone in Accounts Receivable. It doesn’t have to be an expensive prize, but it does need to be worthwhile. One of the most successful incentive programmes I ever ran involved a Rolls Royce hubcap mounted on a wooden plaque, mainly because it was a dig at the company car scheme at that time.</p> <p>- <strong>It needs to be a reward that winners would not normally do or acquire …</strong> the cost of the incentive reward is less relevant than its uniqueness. A 4-day trip to Las Vegas for people living in London is somewhat ho-hum, particularly if done on the cheap, as the award winners in this case were by definition the highest commission earning salesmen, who could have afforded to do it themselves, and probably at a better level of comfort. I suggested that a pampered weekend at London’s Connaught or <a href="http://www.dorchestercollection.com/en/london/the-dorchester" title="Dorchester Hotel" target="_blank">Dorchester Hotels</a> for winners and partners would be a greater reward (and less expensive) as it was something that people who actually lived in London would be unlikely to do themselves.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3783" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/dorchester_hotel.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/dorchester_hotel.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="Author: Stephen Sweeney; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="225" class="size-medium wp-image-3783" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Stephen Sweeney; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>- <strong>It needs to be true recognition for excellence amongst peers and partners …</strong> I have always found that the best incentive programmes ensured that recognition was visible to the personal ecosystem of the award winners. Recognising excellence in front of, and shared with, an achiever’s partner, who generally has to also shoulder some of the burden, is as important as peer recognition, whether it is awarded at a company in-house event or an awards dinner. This truth came home to me at an awards dinner early on in my career, when I heard a spouse say to her husband <em>“Don’t embarrass me next year by not getting up on that stage.”</em></p> <p>As 16th President of the US <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_lincoln" title="Abraham Lincoln" target="_blank">Abraham Lincoln</a> said <em>“A goal properly set is halfway reached”</em>.</p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3779/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3779/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3779&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/540/de-de WHAT DEFINES A GREAT JOB Mon, 26 May 2014 05:14:22 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/538/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I recently had the privilege of speaking to a group of young business graduates in London about how to manage their careers. It was an exciting couple of hours for me, and helped to reinforce my belief that every generation is smarter, more exciting and more interesting than the one that it follows.</p> <p>One of the questions that I was asked was, notwithstanding my three career rules of “never do a job you hate, never work for a boss you can’t respect and never work for a company you can’t be proud of”, which of my jobs did I love the most and why.</p> <p>It was a hard question to answer, as I loved much about most of them, and learned something from them all, not always in a positive sense, but nevertheless in a way that was important for my understanding of the business world and of people, and therefore critical for my future. </p> <p>It did however make me think about what for me were the criteria that differentiated a great job from the rest, so here are the elements that were important to me, and which I discussed with my young audience.</p> <p>- <strong>Doing something worthwhile …</strong> While it was one of the shortest roles that I had (4 years as IT Manager at the North Canterbury Hospital Board in NZ in the early 1970s), it was one of the most satisfying in terms of making a difference. We were pioneers in the truest sense, using technology to develop systems such as ophthalmological testers, biochemical blood testing, patient record keeping, laboratory test management and automated patient admission and discharge. It was not the best paying job that I had in my career, and it was a public sector role which I have always belittled, but it made me realise that it doesn’t hurt if at some time in your career you <em>do something that benefits others more than it benefits yourself.</em></p> <p>- <strong>Getting valid recognition …</strong> Getting a pat on the back and a handshake, or however else you define it, when you have done your job well is incredibly important for everyone, no matter how senior one becomes. I loved the 100% Achievers and the President’s clubs (not just for sales people) that I was fortunate to attend, not only for the fact that you got to mingle with some of the highest performers in the company, but also because it enabled you to show your partner that your hard work was being valued. Even after I became the CEO/President who actually hosted the Achievers’ Clubs, I still found these 3 or 4 days of <em>recognising excellence in others to be some of the most satisfying in any of my roles.</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3771" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/achievers.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/achievers.jpg?w=300&h=201" alt="AUthor: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad Runge; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="201" class="size-medium wp-image-3771" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">AUthor: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad Runge; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>- <strong>Being challenged …</strong> When I joined DEC in 1977 as a salesman, my territory was the whole of the South island of New Zealand. This meant that as well as selling to commercial IT Bureaux and Corporates, I was also selling to Universities and Laboratories. The former put me in touch with some skilled business people, and the latter with some of the sharpest research minds in the country. Just to be able for me to try to understand what these people were doing, with technology that today would not have enough capability to drive a mobile phone, was a perpetual challenge, and one which made me realise that <em>being forced out of your comfort zone is a privilege rather than an onerous task.</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3772" style="width: 225px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/new_zealand_map.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/new_zealand_map.jpg?w=215&h=300" alt="via Wikimedia Commons" class="size-medium wp-image-3772" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>- <strong>Having great people to work with …</strong> When I joined <a href="http://www.sap.com/index.html" title="SAP" target="_blank">SAP</a> at the end of 1993 it was just starting out on its meteoric rise through the enterprise application market. The company at the time attracted people who wanted to change the world, but who wanted the freedom to do it in their way, something I have called “passionate, driven anarchy”. In my time at <a href="http://www.sap.com/index.html" title="SAP" target="_blank">SAP</a> I had the opportunity to work with some of the most exciting, crazy, brilliant, innovative people that I have come across in my 45 year career in IT, and many whom I still count as colleagues and close friends today. <em>Working with great people makes it all so much sweeter and so much more worthwhile.</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3773" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/sap_ag.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/sap_ag.jpg?w=300&h=199" alt="Author: Vladislav Bezrukov; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="199" class="size-medium wp-image-3773" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Vladislav Bezrukov; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>- <strong>Having an awesome mentor …</strong> At Sun Microsystems I was fortunate to be asked to head a project on International Account Management, under the watchful eye of Carol Bartz who went on to head Autodesk and Yahoo. She was a tough, seasoned capable executive who helped me to understand the minefields, the networking, and the way one had to approach getting something done in the “collegiate” Sun environment, as well as making me question my own gender biases at that time. <em>Having a skilled, knowledgeable mentor can save you time, energy and effort in achieving your goals, and will drive a critical learning process in your personal development.</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3774" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/sun.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/sun.jpg?w=300&h=199" alt="Author: Jainux; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="199" class="size-medium wp-image-3774" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Jainux; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>- <strong>Having a boss to emulate …</strong> I have long believed that the main reason that people resign from a company is because they have not been able to build a valid working relationship with their immediate manager (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/people-join-companies-but-leave-managers/" title="PEOPLE JOIN COMPANIES BUT LEAVE MANAGERS" target="_blank">“People join companies but leave managers”</a> posted April 8, 2013), and having a boss that is a role model in management and leadership beliefs and practices is critical in learning the craft. <em>Skilled management is a true art form (and science) and being able to learn from a master practitioner is the best apprenticeship one can have.</em></p> <p>- <strong>Having the freedom to learn and grow …</strong> In the 1960/70s International Harvester was not only a market leader in the manufacture of trucks and farm equipment, but was also a company that was ahead of the pack in the manufacture of future managers. They had a belief in recognising and developing people whom they identified as being potential future leaders for every element of their business. In the early 1970s, and quite some time before I became Head of IT, I was put through a 3 month in-house management development programme to prepare me for a possible future role. I have seen little to rival this in the last 40 years. <em>Finding a company that is prepared to invest in you for the future is a rare and most valuable commodity and an opportunity to learn and grow.</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3775" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/international_harvester.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/international_harvester.jpg?w=300&h=223" alt="Author: Joost J. Bakker; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="223" class="size-medium wp-image-3775" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Joost J. Bakker; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3770/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3770/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3770&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/538/de-de MANAGEMENT PITFALLS Mon, 05 May 2014 05:10:12 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/529/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”</em><br /> English playwright <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Bernard_Shaw" title="George Bernhard Shaw" target="_blank">George Bernard Shaw</a> (1856-1950)</p> <p><div id="attachment_3739" style="width: 221px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/george_bernard_shaw_1925.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/george_bernard_shaw_1925.jpg?w=211&h=300" alt="Author: Nobel Foundation; via Wikimedia Commons" class="size-medium wp-image-3739" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Nobel Foundation; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I recently had one of the subscribers to my blog, and one who is also a very regular reader and commenter, ask me whether I had made any mistakes during my career. I was delighted to be able to tell her that I made hundreds of them, and that hopefully I had learned something worthwhile from most of them. I also said that I plan to keep making them for the rest of my life, and that I hope that I can learn much from these as well.</p> <p>I have found that we can learn much more from our mistakes than we can generally learn from our successes, but there are some serious mistakes that some managers make as they climb the corporate ladder to senior management nirvana, and which are ones that should be avoided at all costs, or rectified immediately if already in place.</p> <p>Here are just a few that can get in the way of becoming a successful senior manager and true leader.</p> <p><strong>- Becoming self-important …</strong> It’s not hard to become somewhat pleased with yourself as you start to climb up into the rarified air of senior management. As you start to accumulate a retinue of personal assistants, executive assistants and a general horde of people who will go out of their way to do things for you, it is no surprise that some managers can start to believe their own marketing. If you then add to this the visibility that is accorded through external government and corporate boards, media appearances, conference keynotes and perks such as cars and drivers, first-class travel and even the use of the corporate jet (for some), many executives start to see themselves as being “well above and well beyond the herd”. It is important to remember that the only real difference between you and your people is that you now also carry the responsibility for their future. I understand that the financial and physical rewards are greater the higher that you climb, but ultimately the only real differentiator is your job description and the added responsibilities that it carries.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3740" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/corporate_jet.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/corporate_jet.jpg?w=300&h=199" alt="Author: Gerry Stegmeier; Source: http://www.airliners.net/photo/Untitled-%28Corporate-Jets%29/Cessna-560XL-Citation/2052731/L/; GFDL; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="199" class="size-medium wp-image-3740" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Gerry Stegmeier; Source: <a href="http://www.airliners.net/photo/Untitled-%28Corporate-Jets%29/Cessna-560XL-Citation/2052731/L/" rel="nofollow">http://www.airliners.net/photo/Untitled-%28Corporate-Jets%29/Cessna-560XL-Citation/2052731/L/</a>; GFDL; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Not communicating …</strong> “Scientia potentia est” (knowledge is power) may be true when translated into its true meaning of “wisdom is power”, but is a serious problem when used in its more common translation of “information is power”. While I do not advocate that you “wear your heart on your sleeve”, the more that your people know about what is happening within the company, the more they are able to understand the issues and opportunities, and then the more they are able to be part of contributing to what needs to be done. Managers who do not share their knowledge with their people do so either because they feel that this is one of their key power differentiators or because they do not trust their people. Neither reason is acceptable. This need for ongoing communication also includes one-on-one interactions to give your people regular and timely feedback on what and how they are doing, as well as giving you a chance to hear from them what they deem to be important.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3741" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/barack_obama_and_david_cameron_on_white_house_south_lawn.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/barack_obama_and_david_cameron_on_white_house_south_lawn.jpg?w=300&h=199" alt="Author: The White House photographer Pete Souza; Souce: https://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/4876682057/; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="199" class="size-medium wp-image-3741" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: The White House photographer Pete Souza; Souce: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/4876682057/" rel="nofollow">https://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/4876682057/</a>; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Believing in “do as I say” …</strong> Some managers seem to suffer from the delusion of believing that because they are senior “if they just say it, so it shall be”, when the reality is that people will always tend to copy the behaviour and attitude of their boss, irrespective of what public pronouncements s/he makes. The only way to set the values and standards for acceptable behaviour in your organisation is to live them totally yourself, without compromise. This also means that you have to spend a significant amount of time on managing the behaviours of your people as they are exhibited, re-enforcing positive behaviour and stopping negative behaviour at its beginning. </p> <p><strong>- Focusing always on the urgent …</strong> There will always be hundreds of urgent issues for a senior executive to address and, if allowed to, these issues will take up all the available time (and more). Sadly, some managers see this need for problem solving as the key skill needed in a management role. It is definitely one of the critical skills needed (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/managers-solve-problems/" title="MANAGERS SOLVE PROBLEMS" target="_blank">“Managers solve problems”</a> posted March 11, 2013) but it is also critical that management spend time planning for tomorrow as well as addressing the problems of today; the need to address the important as well as handling the urgent. In the same way that managers will make appointments to meet with other people, it is critically important that they also make appointments with themselves, and that they treat these allocated times with the same priority as they would accord to any other important appointment. This means no postponements, no cancellations and no interruptions. This time needs to be spent on reviewing current status and planning on how you can move your organisation from where it is to where it needs to go, and managing your own goals.</p> <p>- Not building a dream … It is a serious mistake to believe that people work just for financial reward in a pleasant physical environment, although these are good serious starting points. To motivate people to do great things it is critical that you can also give them a vision and mission, which are aspirational and inspirational enough for them to want to be part of, and to contribute to the success. I am not just talking about a mission and vision statement, which most companies have and which usually just parrot each other about customers, people and innovation (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/the-3-great-business-lies/" title="THE 3 GREAT BUSINESS LIES" target="_blank">“The 3 great business lies”</a> posted August 2, 2010), but about one which paint a dream that really answers “Why are we here and why it’s important” as well as why they should want to be an important part of it all.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3742" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/build_a_dream.png"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/build_a_dream.png?w=300&h=257" alt="Author: derivative work: Neotex555; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="257" class="size-medium wp-image-3742" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: derivative work: Neotex555; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><em>“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.”</em> American author <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_C._Maxwell" title="John C. Maxwell" target="_blank">John C. Maxwell </a></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3738/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3738/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3738&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/529/de-de WHY SUCCESSION PLANS RARELY WORK Mon, 28 Apr 2014 05:22:15 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/528/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>In my last blog post (see <a title="HOW TO IDENTIFY A FUTURE LEADER" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/how-to-identify-a-future-leader/" target="_blank">“How to identify a future leader”</a> posted April 21, 2014) I stated that while many companies have implemented some formalised succession planning processes, most of these didn’t really work, as very few achieve the intended goal of a structured, planned successful handover to a recognised and identified successor. A number of readers have asked me to elaborate on why I believe this is the case, so here are some of the major barriers that I believe can get in the way of successful succession planning both at C-level and also with succession at lower management levels.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3729" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/successor.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3729" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/successor.jpg?w=300&h=214" alt="via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="214" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>CEO LEVEL</strong></p> <p><strong>- Boards are generally not good at picking a CEO …</strong> I see that many Boards tend to promote and hire in their own image, which is generally by its own nature outdated, and tend to protect the status quo while believing they are driving change. This is also one of the reasons why there are few women in senior CEO roles. Whilst I am not an advocate of quotas for gender equality, I do believe in the need for a level playing field for all.</p> <p><strong>- There is a belief that if a CEO has done it before s/he can do it again …</strong> I believe that if a CEO has done it once before then s/he has proved that they can do it once, so far. I am amazed at the C-level musical chairs played by some very average executives who just keep moving from one company to another, avoiding serious testing. Business conditions change almost daily with shifts in market conditions, technology, go-to-market, competition and regulations, so what someone did yesterday will most likely not work today. A good known internal candidate will generally be a much better bet than an outsider who looks as though he may have “done it before”.</p> <p><strong>- Horses for courses …</strong> Bringing in a “hatchet man” to slash-and-burn and to right-size a company that is struggling, and that has lost its mojo, means finding someone with a particular set of skills in being able to drive a turnaround of an ailing business. However, we should not believe that a turnaround CEO will have the same set of skills that will be needed in a CEO to lead the healing and growth phase. A blood-letter will very rarely be able to morph into a healer. When a board brings in a turnaround CEO, they should identify and start preparing his successor on day one.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3726" style="width: 257px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/hatchets.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3726" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/hatchets.png?w=247&h=300" alt="By user 4C; CC BY-SA 2.5 license; via Wikimedia Commons" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By user 4C; CC BY-SA 2.5 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- The step up to a CEO role from the level below is a massive one …</strong> The single-step promotion from Director to a senior VP level is generally not an enormous step, usually involving more of the same but larger, or more of the same but geographically wider. However, the single-step upwards from a VP role to CEO is enormous, and to believe that it can be done without serious preparation is folly. For a starter, the CEO needs to be able to work with a board, large investors, shareholders, the media and financial and industry analysts which all need a new set of skills, together with an even greater focus on culture, values, strategy and flow down execution than in previous lower roles. In some companies the COO, or the occasional brilliant CFO, may find the step up to CEO as being relatively straight forward, but it is a rare Regional or Divisional President who can take this step without serious preparation.</p> <p><strong>AT OTHER MANAGEMENT LEVELS</strong></p> <p><strong>- Who should choose the successor …</strong> Generally the manager that the successor will report to will choose the person that he wants in his team. The problem is that in most companies the succession planning process puts that responsibility on selection on the person to be replaced. I have seen too many instances where these selections are not in accord, which is one major reason that analysts believe that only about 30% of promotions are as per the agreed succession plans.</p> <p><strong>- Sink or swim approach …</strong> Very few candidates are bloodied beforehand. I believe that candidates for promotion must be well mentored long term before promotion, and should be developed, grown and tested with a number of challenging assignments that are broader and more complex than their current role, and that carry elements of any potential future role.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3727" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/sink_or_swim.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3727" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/sink_or_swim.jpg?w=300&h=196" alt="Author: 29cm; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="196" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: 29cm; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>- Most companies develop people for the role they are in …</strong> I have no issue with developing the skills of people in a way that ensures that they get better at what they do. The problem is that in most companies training budgets tend to be limited, and few companies allocate the funds needed to train and develop for the future rather than just for the now.</p> <p><strong>- People are pushed into management …</strong> I have come across a large number of companies, particularly in the Tech sector, where people are “pushed” into management roles because of the absence of a valid dual career path that allows individual contributors to grow in value, influence, recognition and reward. When vertical growth is the only option, good people will feel they have no choice but to start climbing despite this not being at what they can excel.</p> <p><strong>- Talent should be built for the organisation …</strong> Succession and hi-potential plans are generally built vertically rather than cross silo, and successful succession planning must work across all boundaries. Decisions on promotions and external recruitment into senior roles needs to be cross-divisional and decisions should be taken inter-departmentally. This would also ensure that promotions came to people who had already proven skills in building cross-silo trust, relationships and co-operation, which are mandatory skills needed in successful senior management.</p> <p><strong>It is critical to remember that the search, recognition and development of talent for an organisation are critical elements of success. Recognising potential in people is an important skill of any leader and there is little to be gained from unrealised potential.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_3728" style="width: 253px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/potential.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3728" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/potential.jpg?w=243&h=300" alt="Author: Chrisrobertsantieau; via Wikimedia Commons" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Chrisrobertsantieau; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3725/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3725/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3725&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/528/de-de HOW TO IDENTIFY A FUTURE LEADER Mon, 21 Apr 2014 06:33:52 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/524/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“In the C-suite, the need to develop and implement a plan for leadership succession is one of the most frequently discussed topics. Yet the overwhelming majority of companies have done little about it.”</em><br /> Wayne F. Cascio</p> <p>I have found that most companies today have actually implemented some form of succession planning process, and yet I have found very few which have one that actually achieves what one would expect, being an easy, well-structured handover to a planned, ready successor. Many companies treat succession planning as a “tick-in-the-box-done-that-so-it’s-out-of-the-way” chore for management, and the vast majority of organisations will still tend to go outside to fill vacancies for senior level appointments. The excuse is that the organisation will benefit from “new blood” and hence new ideas.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3717" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/to_do_list.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3717" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/to_do_list.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="Author: Purple Slog; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="225" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Purple Slog; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have always believed that an internal candidate who has been mentored, developed and prepared, and who may be only a 70%-fit for the role, and who has already proven loyalty, skill, attitude, commitment and success within the company is a seriously better bet to deliver what the company needs than an outsider who may initially look like a 90%-fit on paper.</p> <p>But it is not easy to recognise the skills, characteristics and personal assets that are needed for leadership, and many companies still make the mistake in believing that it is always the most successful individual contributor who will make the best manager. This means that the most successful salesman is made a sales manager, in the same way that the promotion will go to the largest fee-earning consultant or the most creative product design engineer, often with disastrous results.</p> <p>This is as true for C-level succession as it is for succession and promotion at lower levels.</p> <p>Here are ten key characteristics of potential leadership capability that I have tended to look for in internal candidates for possible promotion at any and all levels, and that I believe give at least some basis for recognising future leaders.</p> <p><strong>They are passionate about the company and what it does …</strong> The vast majority of workers see their company as being in a symbiotic relationship with them of work for reward, but there are some who are thrilled to be part of an organisation that ticks all their boxes, and excites them to the point of passion. I have always believed that this “infectious passion” is a key element of true leadership.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3718" style="width: 121px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/passionate_face.jpg"><img class="wp-image-3718 size-thumbnail" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/passionate_face.jpg?w=111&h=150" alt="" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Barry Langdon-Lassagne; CC BY 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>People listen to them and follow their lead …</strong> Leaders accumulate followers without needing the position title. People will learn from them and emulate their actions and attitudes, because they know what they are doing, are successful and are inclusive, irrespective of what is written on their business card.</p> <p><strong>They solve problems …</strong> Leaders look for a way to solve problems that get in the way of achieving their own and team goals (see <a title="MANAGERS SOLVE PROBLEMS" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/managers-solve-problems/">“Managers solve problems”</a> posted March 13, 2013). People who can build solutions to barriers that get in the way of team success are a rare commodity and should be cherished and nurtured.</p> <p><strong>They love what they do …</strong> Great people put massive energy into doing what is needed of them and focus on doing their job well. This doesn’t mean that they have nothing outside of work, as true leaders have well-balanced lives and interests, but it does mean that they will also, when needed, be prepared to give up personal time if there is a critical issue that needs resolution.</p> <p><strong>They mentor, help, advise and encourage younger team members …</strong> Mentoring, advising, teaching and guiding younger and/or newer team members, without being asked to do so, and as a natural extension of their time and efforts, is one of the key indicators of a potential future leader. It doesn’t need a formal HR driven mentoring programme to be able to identify those who do it willingly and as a matter of course.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3719" style="width: 235px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/mentors.gif"><img class="size-full wp-image-3719" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/mentors.gif?w=630" alt="Author: Mamunjoy; CC BY 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Mamunjoy; CC BY 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>They drive change …</strong> Most people who appear to do well do so by protecting “the company way”, as this is one of the easiest ways to please management. True leaders drive change, and if you have no-one in your team who questions the status quo it is unlikely that you have a worthwhile successor, or that you will change quickly enough to address an ever changing business environment. <em>”A person who does not worry about the future will soon have worries about the present.”</em> Ancient Chinese proverb.</p> <p><strong>They will stand up to you …</strong> Management takes courage in many different ways (see <a title="THE ART OF MANAGERIAL COURAGE" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/the-art-of-managerial-courage/" target="_blank">“The art of managerial courage”</a> posted March 3, 2014) and those you view as potential future leaders need to be prepared to stand up and fight for what they believe in, even if it means going up against their boss or the herd. You must allow people with divergent ideas to have a forum to be heard, even if they do not always get their way, but the attitude of “my way or the highway” won’t work.</p> <p><strong>They can build co-operation …</strong> Good leaders know how to build co-operation and get consensus to ensure that everyone needed is involved and committed. One of my key criteria for promotion is to look for people who can attract support readily from those around them. Great salesmen may be those that can do it all on their own, but great sales managers are those that have shown that the pre-sales and support people were always ready to jump to their side in a sales campaign.</p> <p><strong>They get things done …</strong> there are those who can look good and who can “talk the talk” (empty suits) but you need to look out for, nurture and develop those who show a skill for getting things done, who meet their deadlines and who can make things happen.</p> <p><strong>They don’t play games …</strong> Understanding how to get around office politics is a key skillset for anyone in a company (see <a title="A DUMMY’S GUIDE TO OFFICE POLITICS" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/a-dummys-guide-to-office-politics/" target="_blank">“A dummy’s guide to office politics”</a> posted May 6, 2013), but those who love to play office politics should be weeded out. Game players who try and get ahead through intrigues are destructive and will drive out good people. Weak managers will promote politicians; great managers get rid of them.</p> <p><em>“In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words: people, product and profits. Unless you’ve got a good team, you can’t do much with the other two.”</em><br /> American businessman <a title="Lee Iacocca" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Iacocca" target="_blank">Lee Iacocca</a></p> <p><div id="attachment_3720" style="width: 236px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/lee_iacocca_at_the_white_house_in_1993.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-3720" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/lee_iacocca_at_the_white_house_in_1993.jpg?w=630" alt="Author: Ralph Alswang; via Wikimedia Commons" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Ralph Alswang; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3715/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3715/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3715&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/524/de-de WHEN YOU KNOW IT IS TIME TO CHANGE YOUR BOSS Mon, 14 Apr 2014 05:24:37 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/523/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“Kill my boss ? Do I dare live out the American dream ?”<br /> </em>American actor and writer <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Castellaneta" title="Dan Castellaneta" target="_blank">Dan Castellaneta</a></p> <p>Every boss has their own style and their own set of strengths and weaknesses. It is rare to actually find a boss who is perfect and maybe the best that we can hope for is to find a boss who gives us enough direction to know what is expected of us, and enough freedom to enjoy doing it. </p> <p><div id="attachment_3709" style="width: 232px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/the_boss.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/the_boss.jpg?w=222&h=300" alt="Author: ThisIsRobsLife (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" class="size-medium wp-image-3709" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: ThisIsRobsLife (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>However, there are some bosses whose weaknesses far outweigh their skills, and who will thus have a detrimental effect on your own career development and prospects, and who will remove any of the joy of being at work.</p> <p>Here are some “boss types” that you should avoid, and if necessary to move on from … or as <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill" title="Winston Churchill" target="_blank">Winston Churchill</a> would have said “from whom you should move.” Having just 1 or 2 of these characteristics may be acceptable in most bosses, but having many more suggests that your boss is probably out of his depth, and the sooner you get away from them the better it will be for your own quality of work/life.</p> <p><strong>Business is war …</strong> “The art of war” is an interesting enough book to read and has some valid snippets of advice for managers, but the boss who totally sees “business as war” is as outdated as black and white television. (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/sun-tzu-would-go-broke-today/" title="SUN TZU WOULD GO BROKE TODAY" target="_blank">“Sun Tzu would go broke today”</a> posted October 3, 2011). Business today is based on a complex web of alliances that go beyond the idea that business success is just based on killing all who oppose you.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3710" style="width: 305px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/sun-tzu.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/sun-tzu.jpg?w=295&h=300" alt="Author: FrankWilliams at en.wikipedia; PD-ART permission; via Wikimedia Commons" width="295" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-3710" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: FrankWilliams at en.wikipedia; PD-ART permission; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>The one minute manager …</strong> life is complex, the management of people is even more so, and your boss needs to be smart enough, sophisticated enough and experienced enough to be able to handle the vagaries and subtle nuances of business, and the immense complexities of people. A boss who believes that he can learn enough from reading simplistic views of business life is not smart enough to survive.</p> <p><strong>The emperor …</strong> Some bosses believe that they can never be seen to be wrong and will therefore not brook any disagreement. The boss who believes he is always right, and who will not listen to anyone else, is unlikely to drive innovation and creativity in his team. A capable manager will try and find people who are even smarter than is s/he, and will then show that they have a right to lead by listening to the opinions of his people.</p> <p><strong>Never their problem …</strong> Some managers have an ability to let responsibility for tough issues go right past them “to the keeper” (“to the backstop” for my American readers). No matter what goes wrong, it is never their responsibility and they can always find someone to “blame and shame”. A capable manager understands that if it happens on their watch, and in their team, it is always their responsibility.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3711" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/keeper.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/keeper.jpg?w=300&h=261" alt="Author: Stephen Turner at en.wikipedia; GFDL CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="261" class="size-medium wp-image-3711" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Stephen Turner at en.wikipedia; GFDL CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>No feedback …</strong> Good managers give their people constant and timely feedback. It is impossible to work for a boss who doesn’t let you know how you are doing on an ongoing basis (both good and bad). Waiting till the end of the year to find out how you have performed from a historical perspective does little in managing behaviour, and doesn’t allow people to adjust what they are doing to be acceptable.</p> <p><strong>Captain chaos …</strong> Some managers have the uncanny skill of being able to create an incredibly chaotic environment around them. I have even come across managers who will deliberately create crises, which they can then solve, as a way of proving their worth. While flexibility in a work environment is a critical catalyst for creativity, perpetual chaos is totally destructive.</p> <p><strong>The meeting organiser …</strong> I have generally found that the number of meetings and conference calls that a manager arranges is in direct inverse proportion to their skills as an executive (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/meetings-bloody-meetings/" title="MEETINGS BLOODY MEETINGS" target="_blank">“Meetings bloody meetings”</a> posted April 18, 2011). The premise is that you have meetings to keep people informed, and to involve them in the decision process, but the reality is that managers who call meetings all the time are just trying to cover themselves in case things go wrong. Managers are paid to make decisions and take calculated risks. Most meetings are a waste of time, effort and energy.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3712" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/meeting.png"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/meeting.png?w=300&h=225" alt="Author: Areyn; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="225" class="size-medium wp-image-3712" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Areyn; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>The bureaucrat …</strong> Bureaucrats achieve little in public sector roles, and achieve even less in the private sector business environment. A manager who “does it by the book” and who lives his life totally by the terms and conditions in the “Policies and Procedures” manual will take too long to move, and today inertia is death. Doing the right thing is always more important than doing the thing right, notwithstanding the need for honesty and integrity at all times.</p> <p>The politician … I hate business politicians (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/a-dummys-guide-to-office-politics/" title="A DUMMY’S GUIDE TO OFFICE POLITICS" target="_blank">“A guide to office politics”</a> posted May 6, 2013), though I do accept that being able to manage upwards is a critical skill needed in a manager. However, managers who love listening to and spreading gossip, who love the political intrigues of a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machiavelli" title="Machiavelli" target="_blank">Machiavelli</a> and who believe that “who you know and who you can manipulate” is more important than what you do and what you achieve, should be avoided like rabid dogs.</p> <p><strong>The body-bagger …</strong> Business at any cost, no matter how high is the casualty rate, is not good business and I have never tolerated managers who have been successful but have left a trail of “death and destruction” behind them on their road to achieving their goals. Good managers take everyone along with them, no matter how tough is the hill that they are storming.</p> <p>To really succeed in life you should find something to do that you can really love doing, and if it means working for a boss, rather than yourself, then you need to find one that you can admire and that gives you the opportunity to stay in love with what you do. If you go through life tolerating a bad manager just because he pays you, or just because he scares you, will ultimately destroy your love of life. Find a better management role model.</p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3707/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3707/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3707&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/523/de-de NOT ALL MANAGERS ARE CREATED EQUAL Mon, 07 Apr 2014 05:18:35 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/521/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“We are all flawed, but basically effective managers are people whose flaws are not fatal under the circumstances. Maybe the best managers are simply ordinary, healthy people who are not too screwed up”.</em><br /> Canadian academic and author <a title="Henry Mintzberg" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Mintzberg" target="_blank">Henry Mintzberg</a></p> <p>I have interviewed, hired and/or rejected, hundreds of managers during my career, from first level young potentials to possible CEOs and Board members, and have realised that no matter how experienced they may initially appear, they can come in many guises, including some that need to be quickly disqualified from consideration for employment, no matter how good they may look on the surface. (see <a title="WHY ARE SO MANY MANAGERS SO BAD AT RECRUITING ?" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/why-are-so-many-managers-so-bad-at-recruiting/" target="_blank">“Why are so many managers so bad at recruiting”</a> posted December 12, 2011).</p> <p>The problem is that it is never easy to totally and accurately measure how well someone will do in a new management role, no matter how well they have done in previous senior roles, even if there are roles that they have held in the past that appear to be similar to the one you are currently trying to fill. As we all know, CVs can be somewhat embellished with some artistic freedoms and some judicious re-engineering, and there are some people who look great on paper and present themselves really well, but who are really a well-developed facade with very little solid structure supporting the attractive visible front.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3700" style="width: 240px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/resume.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3700" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/resume.jpg?w=230&h=300" alt="Author: Rkwriting (own work); via Wikimedia Commons" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Rkwriting (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Here are a few of these that I have come across in my time, and that one needs to look out for:</p> <p><strong>The 2-year cycler …</strong> On the surface, from their CV, they may look like they have 20 years of experience, but in reality they actually have only 2 years of experience repeated 10 times. These people have the ability to come in, stir everything up and drive change, but cannot sustain the momentum so run out of steam after about 2 years. The IT industry is full of people like this, as the industry has grown so quickly over the last 50 years that many people have never had to live with their own implementations and could just move on and start all over again before being seriously tested. Unless you have a 2-year assignment for them, don’t bother.</p> <p><strong>The empty suit …</strong> Looks the part and says the right things, but has an extremely shallow set of management skills and capabilities. This is the sort of person who works harder on looking as though they belong in the role rather than on actually doing the job. I once, in error, promoted a national sales manager to the role of MD. He immediately upgraded his suits and ties, whipped up his travel to first class and his hotel accommodation to suites, but changed nothing else in the way that he did the job, thus continuing to fulfil the function of the sales manager without taking up any of the responsibilities of a CEO, but he sure looked good while the business stalled.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3701" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/menswear_shop_empty_suit.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3701" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/menswear_shop_empty_suit.jpg?w=300&h=199" alt="Author: Argenberg; https://www.flickr.com/photos/argenberg/308888568/sizes/m/in/photostream/; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Argenberg; <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/argenberg/308888568/sizes/m/in/photostream/" rel="nofollow">https://www.flickr.com/photos/argenberg/308888568/sizes/m/in/photostream/</a>; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>The gift to mankind …</strong> Presents himself as the great saviour and the great leader. One interviewee described himself to me thus “I am very inspirational and a brilliant public speaker”. I decided to test him on his self-perception, so told him he had 5 minutes to prepare an impromptu speech on his view of “The meaning of life” and left the room for a cup of coffee. When I came back 5 minutes later he launched into a platitude-filled meaningless ramble which was far from brilliant and not at all inspirational, with really old hackneyed expressions like “I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy”. I have found that really great people don’t have to tell you of their greatness, in the same way that I am always suspicious of people who have to tell me how intelligent they are. Mensa members please take note.</p> <p><strong>The Engineer …</strong> I am always nervous about people who believe that it is all about the product rather than being about the people. I have no really serious issues with managers with an engineering background, though I do use them as a regular source of humour (see “Teaching old dogs new tricks” posted June 20, 2010), but I do sometimes struggle with senior managers in Europe who still believe that product is the main competitive advantage rather than having passionate, committed and self-driven people who understand what has to be done and how to go about doing it.</p> <p><strong>The seen-it-all-before …</strong> This is the “I’ve been everywhere, man” (made famous by Johnny Cash <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmFN9C9PVpg" rel="nofollow">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmFN9C9PVpg</a> ). I have come across candidates in a recruitment process who have tried to convince me that the reason that I should hire them is that they have done everything, and seen everything that exists in their environment. As I have a strong belief that the right attitude is more along the lines of Randy Bachman’s <a title="Randy Bachman’s “You ain't seen nothing yet” " href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBzWBf_Q1b0" target="_blank">“You aint seen nothing yet”</a>, I have little time for people who believe that there is little left for them to learn, see or do. Learning is a life-long journey not a destination, and people who do not understand this do not deserve consideration for a senior role.</p> <p><strong>The sound-biter …</strong> Perhaps driven by the need to say something memorable in a 30-second TV news clip, I am surprised by the number of people who have forsaken the need to say something original and meaningful in their own words, for the convenience of dropping some sound bites. I once had a candidate tell me that “Leaders do the right thing whereas Mangers do the thing right” as being part of his personal philosophy. He went all a-dither when I asked him to explain to me what that actually meant for him, but in his own words. For much the same reason I have always looked somewhat suspiciously at people who see <em>“The one minute manager”</em> and <em>“Who moved my cheese”</em> as being great works of management insight, rather than being just some interesting brochures. Being a successful leader and/or manager is a tough role to fill, and is not for the simple-minded.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3703" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/cheese.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3703" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/cheese.jpg?w=300&h=245" alt="Author: Andre Engels; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="245" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Andre Engels; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>The recruitment process is one of the most critical elements of any manager’s role, and having the best people in place to provide leadership and direction to great people everywhere in any organisation is the key driver of success.</p> <p>As said by American business consultant and author Jim Collins <em>“People are not your most important asset. The RIGHT people are.”</em></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3698/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3698/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3698&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/521/de-de LEADERS BUILD ENEMIES Mon, 31 Mar 2014 05:43:17 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/520/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“You have enemies? Good. That means that you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”</em><br /> <a title="Winston Churchill" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchillhttp://" target="_blank">Winston Churchill</a> (1874-1965)</p> <p>It is an old adage that political leaders need enemies, and that if they don’t actually have one at any specific time, then they will have to create one. Look at how readily we in the west rushed to convince ourselves in 1990 that <a title="Saddam Hussein" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein" target="_blank">Saddam Hussein</a> was the obvious “enemy du jour”, leading to the Gulf War in 1991 and the coalition force’s invasion of Kuwait (Desert storm), and which ultimately led on to the full invasion of Iraq in 2003, and Hussein’s sentencing and execution.</p> <p><strong>Hussein was the perfect enemy.</strong> He had already nationalised the oil and banking sectors in Iraq as well as a slew of other industries (always gets everyone angry), and was known for his brutality against any opposition through his ruthless paramilitary and police organisation, which had a penchant for torture and executions. As well, both US President George Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair had incontrovertible proof that he had been amassing weapons of mass destruction, and in particular nuclear and chemical weapons that he was ready to use against Israel just as a rehearsal for full scale terrorist attacks on the US. Well, I guess that even world leaders can be wrong.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3689" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/blair_and_bush_whitehouse_2004-11-12.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3689" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/blair_and_bush_whitehouse_2004-11-12.jpg?w=300&h=193" alt="via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="193" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>So, if political leaders need enemies, is the same true of business leaders ?</strong></p> <p>The IT vendor companies that I worked for during my career tended to have a designated enemy (not just because they were a competitor) on which we not only kept a serious eye, but one we were also encouraged to deride and dislike. At DEC it was Data General (and vice versa), at <a title="SAP" href="http://www.sap.com/index.html" target="_blank">SAP</a> it was/is <a title="Oracle" href="http://www.oracle.com/index.html" target="_blank">Oracle</a>, and at Sun Microsystems it was Microsoft. It was even commonly known at the time that there were regular dinners hosted by Scott McNealy of Sun and Larry Ellison of Oracle, where the main topic of conversation was focussed on how to destroy Microsoft. They should have planned more and eaten less.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3692" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/sap_ag_headquarters.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3692" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/sap_ag_headquarters.jpg?w=300&h=232" alt="Author: amadeusm; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="232" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: amadeusm; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span><br /> <div id="attachment_3693" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/oracle_headquarters.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3693" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/oracle_headquarters.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="Author: Peter Kaminski; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35034359460@N01/3772015/; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="225" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Peter Kaminski; Source: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/35034359460@N01/3772015/" rel="nofollow">http://www.flickr.com/photos/35034359460@N01/3772015/</a>; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>These are fairly obvious business enemies, as the belief is that every piece of business that one loses to a competitor is taking food off the plates of our employees and their families. I have always believed that competition is important, as it takes more than one vendor to create a market, and that for example, SAP was seriously more successful once Oracle came onto the scene as a provider of competitive business application software, which at least gave the marketplace some credibility as well as some choice.</p> <p><strong>But I also have a belief that every successful leader, no matter how widely loved and admired s/he is, will create their own horde of enemies along the way, even amongst those close to him/her, which is something that comes with having strong beliefs and a strong drive to execute.</strong></p> <p>It appears to be virtually impossible to do great things and to please everybody at the same time. Great leaders will, by dint of the strength of their beliefs and convictions, create antagonism from those that cannot share these for a number of reasons, and in particular from those that are close to them.</p> <p><strong>Envy …</strong> there will always be those that are jealous of what you have achieved and will therefore go out of their way to try and discredit you. At an early part of my career, I was asked to move from the role of running a high-performing region to take over another region that was struggling, and after I agreed to do so, my predecessor was reassigned to a non-line role. When his old region started performing well, he went out of his way to tell anyone who would listen that while I might have some limited skills and qualities of leadership, things would only work as long as I was in place, and would immediately fall apart once I moved on. It could be one of the reasons that I have an obsession with leaders leaving a lasting legacy (see <a title="LEADERS LEAVE LEGACIES" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/leaders-leave-legacies/" target="_blank">“Leaders leave legacies”</a> posted January 13, 2014). Turning a failing organisation into a success will not get you thanks from your predecessor, who would rather that you also failed so s/he can justify their own previous poor performance.</p> <p><strong>Collateral damage …</strong> as you start to implement a direction and strategy, it sometimes becomes obvious that there are people in your area of responsibility that will just not be able to make the grade. You owe it to them to do everything that you can possibly do to try to help them succeed, but there are times when you have to accept that this is not going to happen, and you then have to cut them loose. Do not assume that they will immediately be grateful for removing them from a role where they will definitely fail badly, and suggesting that they would be better elsewhere. I once had to remove a country MD who was failing dismally and, although he then went on to build a successful career elsewhere, he still won’t talk to me nearly 20 years later.</p> <p><strong>Personality clash …</strong> not everyone will be won over by your charms and personality, and whilst some may well see you as “the great saviour”, there will be others who will just not be able to accept what you are doing and how you are doing it. You will need to remove some of these that are openly antagonistic and defiant, but you must remember that removing everyone who disagrees with you is not a great strategy, as you must keep people who are prepared to disagree and question things. The ones to get rid of are the politicians who use subterfuge, rather than those that just have a strong opinion. It is just important to remember that you should give people the option “to agree and commit, or to disagree and commit”, as ultimately, after all the discussion is over, there can only be one way forward, and commitment is key.</p> <p><strong>Overlooked contender(s) …</strong> the person who was the runner-up to the role to which you have been appointed is a potential enemy, just based on the fact that they were overlooked, will feel slighted, and can be dangerous based on the fact that they probably still have a following. The reality is that this is an important person to get onside, as for you they may also be a potential successor, and bringing them onside will also bring their followers. US 16th President <a title="Abraham Lincoln" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_lincoln" target="_blank">Abraham Lincoln</a> (1809-1865) said <em>“I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends”</em>.</p> <p><div id="3690" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/abraham_lincoln.jpg"><img class="wp-image-3690 size-medium" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/abraham_lincoln-e1396207531478.jpg?w=300&h=300" alt="Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents, The White House; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Source: <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents" rel="nofollow">http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents</a>, The White House; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>It is also important to remember what was said by <a title="Oscar Wilde" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Wilde" target="_blank">Oscar Wilde</a> (1854-1900) <em>“You can have no enemies, but be intensely disliked by your friends”</em>.</p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3688/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3688/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3688&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/520/de-de ARE WE READY FOR WORKPLACE DEMOCRACY ? Mon, 17 Mar 2014 06:12:06 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/516/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried.” </em> <a title="Winston Churchill" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill" target="_blank">Sir Winston Churchill</a> (1874-1965).</p> <p><div id="attachment_3670" style="width: 280px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/winston_churchil.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3670 " alt="Author: Hanhil at nl.wikipedia; PD-AUTEUR; Released into the public domain; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/winston_churchil.jpg?w=270&h=236" width="270" height="236" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Hanhil at nl.wikipedia; PD-AUTEUR; Released into the public domain; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I am seeing an increasing amount of discussion about the concept of workplace democracy, and have even most recently come across a company where all staff members were invited to vote “yea or nay” on the appointment of a new CEO, when the current founder and CEO felt that it was time for him to step aside. The outgoing CEO chose his successor, and then asked all staff to vote on whether they agreed with his choice. Luckily they did (although it was not unanimous) which was fortunate, as I feel that this particular partial attempt at the democratic process may have been somewhat short-lived had it been a resounding “nay” vote.</p> <p>I have also had the privilege in the last year to meet, and hear talks from Heiko Fischer of Resourceful Humans, who believes that the greater the level of democracy and the less management that exists in a company, then the more will people drive themselves and therefore the more they will drive the success of the company. Heiko likes to compare traditional hierarchical management structures to a hamburger where the patty (employees) needs a large bun (management) to hold it together, rather than to what he feels is needed today being more like a burrito which has a thin unobtrusive layer (management) holding all the ingredients (employees) together. As well, a hamburger needs considerable structure within the bun, whereas structure is less important in a burrito. Not a bad analogy if you are a supporter of his premise.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3667" style="width: 226px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/hamburger.png"><img class=" wp-image-3667 " alt="Author: Tebu.an; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/hamburger.png?w=216&h=189" width="216" height="189" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Tebu.an; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I feel that that one of the drivers of this flirtation with workplace democracy is the current belief by some that this is exactly what the new generation wants … that young people today have a significantly different set of work expectations than did my generation, and particularly in terms of company loyalty (now more to a role), flexibility of working times (less based on 4 weeks annual leave and more on long breaks as needed), <strong>and significantly less management control (less direction from above and a greater say in what they do and how they do it).</strong></p> <p><strong>But, are they really demanding democratic-style freedoms, and just how much structure is too much structure ? Are we really ready to do away with traditional management structures and build more democratically based organisations ?</strong></p> <p>I have long been against over-management (see <a title="SIXTH RULE OF MANAGEMENT" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/sixth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Sixth rule of management”</a> posted November 19, 2012) and in particular matrix management, which despite its potential benefits for vocational career development, is mainly the creation of people who know that change is needed, and who have decided that added complexity is the answer. I have always believed that complexity is never the answer, and that when it is, then it must have been a pretty stupid question to start with. <a title="Albert Einstein" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_einstein" target="_blank">Albert Einstein</a> (1879-1955) nailed it when he said <em>“If you can’t explain it to a 6 year old, you don’t understand it yourself. Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.”</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3668" style="width: 280px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/einstein-emc2.png"><img class=" wp-image-3668 " alt="via WIkimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/einstein-emc2.png?w=270&h=158" width="270" height="158" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via WIkimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>I have no question that the traditional “command and control” management style is totally passé, but I am of the belief that some structure is still needed, not just for the sake of management control, but also more importantly for the benefit of the employees. </strong></p> <p>When I retired I had a final session with my boss, who asked me for some feedback (the first time that this had happened in nearly 15 years).<br /> Amongst other things, I told him that <em>“he had been a great boss because he had left me entirely alone to do the job in my own way, but that he was also an awful boss because he had left me entirely alone to do the job in my own way.”</em></p> <p>It was not that I was a needy person that wanted continuous advice, feedback and recognition, but I disagreed with him that being left totally alone, all of the time, was something that senior people wanted. His belief was that as we had monthly board meetings, this should have been enough to set the context for all of us to act accordingly. The problem was that apart from the one annual 2-day session to discuss strategy, management meetings were nearly always about content rather than context. As a result, cross-divisional alignment tended to be difficult. For example, aligning the field with product development was somewhat hit and miss, and as a result sales incentives tended to suit sales rather than corporate direction; the service organisation, in isolation, hiked maintenance prices by about 30% at one stage and then had to back-pedal after a customer revolt; software development delays impacted the performance of the field organisation as customers delayed orders in anticipation of new products, but didn’t impact the development organisation who worked to their own timetable insulated from the real world, and who kept recruiting during hiring freezes based on their self-appointed immunity from restrictions.</p> <p><strong>I believe that we cannot expect people to have any ability to define what they will do and to know what is expected of them if we do not clearly articulate the reasons for “why we are here” in the first place, as a company, as a division, as a team, and we do not give then enough direction and understanding to help them to be an integral part of the strategy. </strong></p> <p>People should definitely be given the ability to define how they will handle the content of the role that has been assigned to them, within guidelines for quality and standards that apply, but I also have a strong belief that this can work only if the context has been well defined beforehand, and that this context must also include the appointment of those who have been asked to lead the organisation.</p> <p>To leave these corporate decisions to the vagaries of “voters” is likely to lead to a similar situation as Switzerland finds itself in today, where its latest referendum result appears to have been based more on an emotional response to immigration rather than any real understanding of the implications of the referendum result for their country, its prosperity or the ultimate benefit of its citizenry.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3669" style="width: 204px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/flag_of_switzerland.png"><img class=" wp-image-3669 " alt="Author: User:Marc Mongenet; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/flag_of_switzerland.png?w=194&h=194" width="194" height="194" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: User:Marc Mongenet; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3666/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3666/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3666&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/516/de-de WHEN DID EVERYONE BECOME A LEADER ? Mon, 10 Mar 2014 06:15:13 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/513/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“Life isn’t easy, and leadership is harder still.”</em><br /> Bard College Professor <a title="Walter Russel Mead" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Russell_Mead" target="_blank">Walter Russell Mead</a></p> <p><div id="attachment_3657" style="width: 239px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/walter_russell_mead.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3657 " alt="Author: Chatham House; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/walter_russell_mead.jpg?w=229&h=240" width="229" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Chatham House; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I can remember a time when the term “leader” was used to describe the most senior person in any human run entity, such as the CEO of a large company, a President or Prime Minister of a country that actually had a seat at the United Nations, or even the head of any religious organisation that needed more than one minibus to take all its adherents to the annual sausage sizzle. (See <a title="MANAGEMENT OR LEADERSHIP" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/management-or-leadership/" target="_blank">“Management or Leadership”</a> posted March 7, 2011).</p> <p><strong>This does not seem to be the case today, when we appear willing to accord a leadership title to all.</strong></p> <p>It is as though words like “specialist”, supervisor” and even “manager” have all been discarded from our business lexicon.</p> <p>Project Managers have been replaced by Project Leads and Team Leaders, even if the entire team consists of 2-3 people, Senior Maths Teachers in schools are now The Maths Leader, and Shift Leader has replaced Shift Supervisor even in small factories.</p> <p>My first promotion in 1968 was from the position of Computer Programmer to the role of being in charge of a 6-man programming team, which carried the exalted title of Senior Programmer. Today that title is more likely to be Leader Software Development, just as the person who is responsible for looking after the elevator staff at Harrods Department Store in London will no doubt be carrying the title of Leader Vertical Displacement Services.</p> <p>Even my next promotion carried the title of Supervisor, and it took me another two years to actually get to a position that carried the word “Manager” in the title. We had a leader … he was the CEO.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3658" style="width: 280px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/management.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3658 " alt="via Wikimedia Commons; {{PD-US}}" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/management.jpg?w=270&h=181" width="270" height="181" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons; {{PD-US}}</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I find that it is very rare these days that anyone even talks about management training, as people who are seen as being of management potential are now sent on Leadership Development Programmes rather than management training, despite the fact that statistics tell us that most will never get beyond a first level management position. Even Primary school teachers today go on leadership development courses even if most don’t/won’t/can’t become a school principal, and just want to be able to teach young children, and to do it well.</p> <p>Is it just a question of time before we replace the increasingly more humbly titled MBA with the more importantly sounding MLA (Mater of Leadership Attainment), as business schools finally come to the realisation that this is a whole new gravy train?</p> <p><div id="attachment_3659" style="width: 253px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/mba_logo.gif"><img class=" wp-image-3659 " alt="via Wikimedia Commons; PD-TEXT license" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/mba_logo.gif?w=243&h=97" width="243" height="97" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons; PD-TEXT license</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I was recently asked to come and talk about leadership at an annual company event that brings together all staff that are in any “people responsible” roles (to be somewhat cautious in my use of language) for a 2-day talk fest to kick off the new business year. In discussing the remit with my host, I innocently asked whether, as my session would be on the topic of Leadership, I could assume that I would be addressing the senior executive team. It turned out that I would actually be presenting to everyone except their “Top-100” senior managers, being the 1000 or so first and middle level management.</p> <p>When I asked whether, based on the audience, discussing “management rather than leadership” would not be more appropriate, I was told that the company had decided to run a programme that was planned to make everyone “a leader in their role”, and that this was all part of the key messaging of this year’s kick-off meeting. My suggestion that what he was describing was surely more about “empowerment, engagement, taking responsibility, initiative, autonomy and showing the way” rather than being about “leadership” almost lost me the assignment.</p> <p>However, as it was an existing client, and it was a good fee, I titled my session, as they had suggested, “We are all leaders” and spoke about “empowerment, engagement, taking responsibility, initiative, autonomy and showing the way”.</p> <p>I do wonder however, whether we have come to a point where the word “leadership” has become so overused that it is losing its true meaning, just like the word “cloud” is today in the tech industry where everything is now labelled as being cloud, when much of it is really just smoke.</p> <p>Are we trying to give everyone the title of leader as this then removes the need for senior management to actually do something about “empowerment, engagement, taking responsibility, initiative, autonomy and showing the way” ? By making everyone a leader does that just conveniently shift this responsibility from the top of the pyramid down to the individual ? Despite the changes in titles I have not seen the commensurate increases in authority and levels of freedom that one would normally associate with someone in a leadership role.</p> <p><strong>I salute the whole idea of giving people more freedom, fewer barriers, more responsibility, the right to manage themselves and how they do their job, as I have long believed that when we remove the shackles from people, many will take the opportunity to soar rather than just make do.</strong></p> <p>I am also not questioning that people can take up a temporary leadership role dependant on the situation being faced at the time, like one team member being quiet during a team discussion on technology, but leading the discussion when the topic switches to sales and marketing.</p> <p>But I don’t think that this makes them a leader. It can, however, make them a liberated employee who is committed to making a serious contribution to the company in areas where they have subject matter expertise, and as such we should treat them with respect, hear what they have to say, and make sure that we nurture them as one day, in the right environment, they may actually become a true leader.</p> <p><strong>If we really want to build leaders, we need to give people the culture and the freedom to act, to learn and to grow, rather than to just give them a title with the word “leader” embedded in it. </strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_3660" style="width: 206px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/nelson_mandela_1998.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3660" alt="Author: Arquivo/ABr; CC BY 3.0 BR license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/nelson_mandela_1998.jpg?w=196&h=300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Arquivo/ABr; CC BY 3.0 BR license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><em>“Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work and time. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal.”</em> American Football Coach <a title="Vince Lombardi" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vince_Lombardi" target="_blank">Vince Lombardi</a> (1913-1970).</p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3654/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3654/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3654&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/513/de-de THE ART OF MANAGERIAL COURAGE Mon, 03 Mar 2014 06:01:16 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/511/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not the one who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”</em><br /> Anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and President of South Africa <a title="Nelson Mandela" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela" target="_blank">Nelson Mandela</a> (1918-2013).</p> <p><div id="attachment_3643" style="width: 195px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/nelson_mandela.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3643 " alt="Author: South Africa The Good News / www.sagoodnews.co.za; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/nelson_mandela.jpg?w=185&h=243" width="185" height="243" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: South Africa The Good News / <a href="http://www.sagoodnews.co.za" rel="nofollow">http://www.sagoodnews.co.za</a>; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have no question that a key necessary element for any successful manager is to have a high degree of managerial courage.</p> <p>Someone once defined managerial courage to me as being prepared to make the tough decisions and taking responsibility for them, but I believe that this is too simple a definition as I believe that it is much broader than this, so here are 10 of the key criteria that I consider to be critical.</p> <p><strong>To face reality …</strong> A successful manager has to ensure that he and his team can face the realities of the business situation, as a false view can create complacency when serious remedial action may be needed. Too many managers try and find enough good news about how things are going to enable them to put a tick in the box and move on. I once had a new sales manager try and convince me of the veracity of his $10m sales forecast for the quarter based on his having a total team pipeline of about $100m. The problem was that deeper analysis showed that none of the opportunities in the pipeline were advanced enough in the sales cycle to be able to close within the next 90 days. The $10m forecast was based on hope and little else.</p> <p><strong>To rely on others …</strong> You can’t do it all yourself no matter how much of a control freak you are. It takes courage to rely on other people to do what is needed to drive your success as well as their own, but delegation is a key to success, not only by sharing the load, but also by enabling people to be trusted and challenged so that they can learn, grow and develop.</p> <p><strong>To weed out those who can’t succeed …</strong> I have long believed that if you hire people for their strengths, you have no right to fire them for their weaknesses without first working hard to help them to try and overcome these. However, the time may come when you realise that no matter how hard you both try, this particular person will never rise to the needed level of competency needed in this role, and that it is time to part company. It takes courage to do this quickly and decisively, particularly if you were the manager responsible for their recruitment, but it has to be done without hesitation for the sake of the individual involved so they can move to a more suitable role, as well as for the team and the company.</p> <p><strong>To question the status quo …</strong> I have found that in most companies, promotions come faster for those who are seen to protect the status quo than for those who are creative and who are prepared to question those things that are considered untouchables. Successful managers have to be courageous enough to question the right to survival of all sacred cows, and to even turn some into hamburgers if they have outlived their use-by-dates.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3649" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/bull_attacks_matador.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3649" alt="Author: en:User:ChrisO; GFDL/CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/bull_attacks_matador.jpg?w=300&h=204" width="300" height="204" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: en:User:ChrisO; GFDL/CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>To test the boundaries …</strong> I have always told my people that I trust them to do the job that I have asked them to do and that they should be courageous enough to test their boundaries, which meant that when dealing with me it was better to seek forgiveness than to seek approval. The problem is that when you are scared to test the boundaries and go to your boss for approval all the time, s/he may say no, which then means that for you to proceed is insubordination, which is unacceptable.</p> <p><strong>To live by and enforce the values …</strong> It is not enough to talk about the values, not even if you have them carved into stone; you also have to live by them and to ensure that so does every member of the team, especially the top performers. It takes courage for a manager to tell a high performing employee that while you appreciate them achieving their goals, their behaviour is unacceptable. You cannot, for example, allow a highly successful salesman to leave a trail of body bags as a by-product of their successful results, no matter how much business they are generating.</p> <p><strong>To make decisions …</strong> Procrastination is easy, and one can always justify holding off on a decision because of a heavy workload, but the longer you hold off on taking a decision the more the situation can deteriorate. Have the courage to make a decision and then commit to it. If you are an experienced manager, the direction that you decide to take, from some well thought through alternatives, will be less important than your commitment to its execution. I see more failures from procrastination, or a lack of execution and commitment, than I do from the actual decision taken.</p> <p><strong>To tell the truth …</strong> It takes courage to stand up in front of your boss and tell him something that you know s/he is not going to like, especially if they an aggressive, self-opinionated, brilliant founder of the company, but it is important do so. If in doubt, remember the story of the Emperor’s new clothes. I accept that there may be some instances when it may be better to stay silent, but when asked for your opinion it is ultimately more important that you are honest rather than follow the yes-men.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3645" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/emperor_clothes.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3645" alt="Author: Vilhelm Pedersen (1820 - 1859); via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/emperor_clothes.jpg?w=300&h=230" width="300" height="230" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Vilhelm Pedersen (1820 – 1859); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>To take calculated risks …</strong> Business life is full of risk, and managers are paid to take calculated risks as a natural part of their responsibilities. You take risks with your recruitment, your business strategies and their execution and in driving change. Just doing the same thing over and over again is a recipe for disaster.</p> <p><strong>To be yourself …</strong> You need courage to be yourself rather than to play-act a role that you think will be best accepted in the organisation. Integrity means that what you think is the same as what you say is the same as what you do. I have seen managers who are very loving, caring and tender people with their family and friends and then try and act like tyrants in business. It won’t work as ultimately people will see through you, and your role playing won’t be effective.</p> <p><a title="Aristotle" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotle" target="_blank">Aristotle</a> understood all this 2400 years ago when he said <em>“You will never achieve anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honour.“ </em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3646" style="width: 192px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/aristotle.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3646 " alt="Source: Jastrow (2006); via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/aristotle.jpg?w=182&h=243" width="182" height="243" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Source: Jastrow (2006); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3642/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3642/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3642&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/511/de-de BUSYNESS OR BUSINESS … THAT IS THE QUESTION Mon, 17 Feb 2014 06:21:10 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/510/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“Some people can look so busy doing nothing that they seem indispensable”.</em><br /> American cartoonist and journalist <a title="Kin Hubbard" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kin_Hubbard" target="_blank">Kin Hubbard</a> (1868-1930)</p> <p>I was interested to read recently that Goldman Sachs has announced that it will lessen the workload for its banking staff and in particular for its junior bankers in acknowledgement that interns can be asked to work 100+ hour weeks and under tremendous pressure. Goldman has sent a memo to its executives that all staff must not enter the office between 9.00pm on Friday and 9.00am on Sunday, declaring as well that <em>“work should not shift from office to home”</em>, and that staff are <em>“strongly encouraged to take three weeks holiday a year”</em>. However, the memo does go on to say that despite all this <em>“… junior bankers are still expected to check their blackberries on a regular basis over the weekend”.</em></p> <p>This may well have been driven by the death of a 21 year old London finance student who died after completing a highly competitive Bank of America summer internship. It is believed that Moritz Erhardt died of an epileptic seizure after working for 3 nights straight with no sleep. Following the Goldman Sachs lead, a number of other banks on Wall Street are now also considering similar changes to their entry level programs.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3624" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/bank_of_america.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3624" alt="Author: Alex Proimos; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/bank_of_america.jpg?w=300&h=199" width="300" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Alex Proimos; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I found this all to be extremely fascinating.</p> <p>At 100 hours, if one works a full 6 days per week, this translates to about 16 hours per day, leaving scant time even just for travel to and from the office, minimal sleep, some siphoning up of some fast food as nourishment, and the development of what appears to be the obligatory drug habit. Even at 7 days per week this needs about 14 hour work days, which still leaves little spare time to plan what one will be able to do with all that money that they will earn, and that will enable them to win the title of <strong>“The richest person in the cemetery”</strong>.</p> <p>I have no real issue with hard work, nor with working extended hours, having had my own 60-80 hour work habits over my 40 year career. I also have no problem with the idea of pulling the occasional all-nighter, which happened to me even when I was a junior programmer in the 1960s and I became obsessed with a particularly fascinating problem that I was working on. In fact I am even a very vocal critic of the French obsession with the 35 hour work week.</p> <p>However, even in the most demanding parts of my career, I still made sure that I had enough time available to shower and eat regularly, to pursue some interesting pastimes, to spend time with friends, and despite all the pressures, even found the time to woo and win my wife of now 34 years. I cannot see how one can do any of these things when working 100 hours per week when we only have available to us a total of 168 hours.</p> <p><strong>One key thing I did learn along the way was that “business” and “busyness” were not synonyms, and that one did not necessarily translate into the other.</strong></p> <p>In fact, I have regularly found that the busiest people were rarely the most effective, in the same way that the people who told me how hard they were working, usually were not. The most successful people were the ones who had built a plan to achieve their goals, and who worked steadily and systematically towards execution of the plan. This did not mean that they spent an inordinate amount of time developing a plan that was something beautiful to behold and to be worshipped by all who saw it. The best plans were the ones that could be well executed by the plan owner, with recognition of the support that s/he would need to ensure its successful outcome. The more complex and convoluted was the plan, the less likely was it to succeed, <strong>and I have never seen a plan that worked well where its success was predicated by the need to work 100+ hours per week.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_3625" style="width: 280px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/work_life_balance_rat_race.png"><img class=" wp-image-3625 " alt="Author: KVDP; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/work_life_balance_rat_race.png?w=270&h=205" width="270" height="205" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: KVDP; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have always believed that the whole work-life balance discussion has little real meaning if we are doing something we really love to do, as work needs to be an integral part of life, and the work we apply our passion and energy to is ultimately a part of the definition of who we are as a human being. However, I strongly believe that working 100+ hours per week over a protracted period of time, not only threatens our health, but also diminishes the richness of our humanity, even though it may grow our bank balance.</p> <p>Over 100 years ago, before the banking industry took over the role of defining the meaning of life, American inventor and businessman <a title="Thomas Alva Edison" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Alva_Edison" target="_blank">Thomas Alva Edison</a> (1847-1931) understood this when he said <em>“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. <strong>Seeming to do is not doing.</strong>”</em></p> <p><strong>How can anyone truly believe that working 100 hour weeks will generate the quality that is needed to do anything well ?</strong></p> <p>Sadly, I now have an image in my mind of the world financial system being brought to its knees in 2008, not just by the greed that we now understand drives much of the banking sector, but also by a horde of drug-addled, coffee-driven, sleep-deprived, un-showered, unshaven, fast food-poisoned bankers, who made decisions that affected us all when using the only handful of brain cells that were still able to function.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3623" style="width: 255px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/the_banker.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3623" alt="Author: Reginald gray; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/the_banker.jpg?w=245&h=300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Reginald gray; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Sadly, it appears that American athlete <a title="Vernon Law" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernon_Law" target="_blank">Vernon Law</a> was right when he said <em>“Some people are so busy learning the tricks of the trade that they never learn the trade”.</em></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3622/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3622/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3622&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/510/de-de THE ART OF MANAGEMENT Mon, 10 Feb 2014 06:36:03 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/509/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“Art is the proper task of life”.</em><br /> German philosopher <a title="Friedrich Nietzsche" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_nietzsche" target="_blank">Friedrich Nietzsche</a> (1844-1900)</p> <p>I have in the past written about where management skill should sit in the palette of business acumen (see <a title="MANAGEMENT… IS IT AN ART OR A SCIENCE ?" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/management-is-it-an-art-or-a-science/">“Management … is it an art or a science”</a> posted September 9, 2013), and come to the conclusion that it is a bit of both art and science. However, there are some elements of management that I do consider to be an art form. Here are 5 of them.</p> <p><strong>Small steps … I believe that good management is based on steady and structured small steps over a period of time, rather than happening in giant leaps.</strong> A manager who is a great speaker can whip up a frenzy in his team almost at will, but generally the effect will be short-lived if not supported beyond the rhetoric. A <em>“the world belongs to us if we just have the courage to reach out and take it”</em> type speech may be great for a Monday morning sales meeting, but will need to be backed up with the right leadership, behaviours, support, team culture and collaterals to result in any true business benefit. It takes time to build a set of values that your people will live by (beyond just having them posted in your vision statement), and with them the culture and acceptable behaviours that are necessary to support these. This is one of the reasons that I have never been a big fan of the <a title="Tony Robbins" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Robbins" target="_blank">Tony Robbins</a> style one day “rah-rah” sessions that people flock to around the world, as I am sure that the <em>“I can do whatever I put my mind to”</em> resultant belief has disappeared in most attendees after just a few days. Managing behaviour takes sustained time, effort and energy.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3613" style="width: 190px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/tony_robbins.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3613 " alt="Author: Steve Jurvetson; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/tony_robbins.jpg?w=180&h=240" width="180" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Steve Jurvetson; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Passion more than skills … Skills are important but passion and attitude are even more so.</strong> I know that it is critical that managers ensure that their people have the skills that are needed to be able to do their job well. However, I believe that as a manager, you must put serious focus on ensuring that your people are also passionate about doing it at all. I have long told young management people (only a little tongue in cheek) that the ultimate test of a manager is that his people are prepared to get up at 6.00am on a cold, wet Monday morning and say “Thank goodness the weekend is over, and I can now go back to work”. <a title="SAP" href="http://www.sap.com/index.html" target="_blank">SAP</a> in the 1990s just exploded onto the business world, with annual growth rates of well over 100%. I have always put this down to the fact that it was mostly due to being driven by people who were “passionate, creative anarchists”. Yes, we had great technology, but this alone would not have been enough to achieve that level of success without the driving passion to change the world.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3612" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/sap_cebit_2010.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3612" alt="Author: Roger Wo; CC BY 2.0 license; Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/sap_cebit_2010.jpg?w=300&h=199" width="300" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Roger Wo; CC BY 2.0 license; Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>People need structure but not rigid boundaries … I believe that if you give people the freedom to do great things, then there is a greater chance that they will.</strong> I do believe that people need some structure in their working life, as it is important that they understand where they fit in, what is expected of them, what is in it for them and how they slot into the team. I also believe that good managers will give their people the freedom to perform their role in their own way, the right to question the status quo, to test the traditional boundaries and to regularly make mistakes. I see fear of failure as being one of the most important shackles that a manager needs to remove from his people. What we did to succeed yesterday will not necessarily work today, and what we do today will most likely not work tomorrow. Continued success needs continuous experimentation and change, which by definition presupposes that not all experiments will work, but experiment we must.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3614" style="width: 280px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/shackles.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3614 " alt="Author: Urban; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/shackles.jpg?w=270&h=145" width="270" height="145" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Urban; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Being yourself works best … there is no one management style that fits all, so you should stick with who you really are.</strong> Some managers are more controlling than others (see <a title="ARE YOU AN AUTOCRATIC OR PERMISSIVE MANAGER ?" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/are-you-an-autocratic-or-permissive-manager/" target="_blank">“Are you an autocratic or permissive manager”</a> posted June 4, 2012), and whilst I am a strong advocate of giving your people the space to spread their wings, I also believe that people are at their best when they are true to themselves. If you are by nature a control freak, it will not be easy for you to become a laissez-faire or consultative manager no matter how hard you try. Whilst you should work hard to temper your need to try and make all decisions and be in total control all the time, you may as well accept that this is your natural style and let your people learn to work with you in a way that works both for you and for them. It does mean that you may not be able to keep some of the more creative people nor those that need more freedom, so you should let them go elsewhere and you should look for people that can survive and prosper under your specific leadership style.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3615" style="width: 280px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/masks_be_yourself.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3615 " alt="Author: Vassil; CC0 1.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/masks_be_yourself.jpg?w=270&h=227" width="270" height="227" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Vassil; CC0 1.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>You can’t win them all … no matter how good you are, you will make mistakes.</strong> This is as true when it comes to recruiting the right people as it is for management and team decision making. Some people will not succumb to your charms, no matter how well-honed they are, and not all decisions you take will work all the time, particularly in the fast changing business environment we all face today. You need to accept responsibility when things don’t work out as planned, learn from the mistake and move on. I believe that you should publicly celebrate failures in the same way that you do successes by sharing them with your team, and discussing the lessons that you have learned, and that they can also learn from them, and the steps that you can all take to try and minimise their occurrence in the future.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3616" style="width: 220px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/mistake.png"><img class=" wp-image-3616 " alt="Author: MesserWoland; GFDL, CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/mistake.png?w=210&h=181" width="210" height="181" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: MesserWoland; GFDL, CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>It is also critical that as a manager you remember well the words of American artist <a title="James Whistler" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Whistler" target="_blank">James Whistler</a> (1804-1903) <em>“An artist is not paid for his labour but for his vision”.</em></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3611/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3611/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3611&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/509/de-de LEADERS LEAVE LEGACIES Mon, 13 Jan 2014 07:31:08 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/507/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“The only thing you take with you when you are gone is what you leave behind.”</em><br /> John Allston (1666-1719).</p> <p>I find that one of the things that you think about as you get older is whether you will leave anything worthwhile behind after you are gone, particularly when it comes to elements of one’s life (other than children and grandchildren) such as whether after 40+ years of working you have left some sort of legacy in the businesses for which you worked. I accept that it is a bit arrogant to hope that you were able to make a significant enough contribution to have made a real difference to other people’s work lives. I also accept that I am no <a title="Bill Gates" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_gates" target="_blank">Bill Gates</a> or <a title="Steve Jobs" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs" target="_blank">Steve Jobs</a>, to pick on two obvious examples, but there is a part of me that would like to feel that I had made a difference to at least some small extent.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3564" style="width: 215px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/billgates.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3564 " alt="Author: World Economic Forum; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/billgates.jpg?w=205&h=270" width="205" height="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: World Economic Forum; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>About 10 years ago, while visiting New York on vacation and after I had recently taken up the role of Global Head of HR at <a title="SAP" href="http://www.sap.com/index.html" target="_blank">SAP</a>, I was asked whether I would be prepared to do a press interview about my new role. It seemed that my having moved from the post of a Regional CEO at <a title="SAP" href="http://www.sap.com/index.html" target="_blank">SAP</a> to an HR role was considered to be so unusual as to be mildly newsworthy.</p> <p>Patrick Kiger, the journalist who interviewed me, was charming and very relaxed and we chatted about topics as diverse as what I believed about HR, the role that I felt I needed to play, my priorities, my background and a 100 other different subjects like the meaning of life, and even the accidental creation by the KGB of an anti-hangover pill.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3566" style="width: 280px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/dunfermline_city_chambers_hangover.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3566 " alt="Author: Paul McIlroy; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/dunfermline_city_chambers_hangover.jpg?w=270&h=158" width="270" height="158" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Paul McIlroy; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>The interview subsequently appeared in <a title="Interview in Workforce" href="http://www.workforce.com/articles/7328" target="_blank">Workforce</a> on July 30, 2004 and despite a few small typos (such as my finding 100 rather than 1000 different HR programmes underway which we cut to 30, rather than to 300 as was stated in the article) it was fairly accurate.</p> <p>Just a few days ago, I had a close friend send me the article after she had accidently stumbled upon it whilst trying to find something that I had written in one of my blog posts. I had completely forgotten about this particular interview so it was interesting to reread it, to revisit my thoughts of a decade ago, and to consider whether I had actually managed to achieve the things that I had discussed in the interview. It turned out to be a bit embarrassing to do so.</p> <p>I have long believed that one of the key measures of successful leadership is whether there is a sustainable legacy left in place after departure. I have met many managers who appeared to be good at holding things together, and who were capable of running a successful operation as long as they were in place, but who left very few long term sustainable initiatives behind them. I consider that there are important measures for true business leadership success beyond just financial health, such as did they build talent for the organisation, did they grow future leaders, did they build a culture based on strong values that could live on after they were gone and did they leave customers and partners who were loyal.</p> <p>In my own assessment, I felt that I had mostly achieved this in both my roles as Regional CEO for SAP Asia Pacific and later for SAP EMEA, but having revisited this interview, I now wonder whether I had actually managed to do so, in my final full time role before retirement, as SAP Global Head of HR.</p> <p>In my business management roles, I had always felt that I had left behind a strong management team and that my chosen successor had been ready, and champing at the bit, to take over from me. I had felt that the culture that had been created during my stewardship was one that enabled people to thrive and grow, that engendered passion and commitment from my people, and was one that encouraged calculated experimentation and risk-taking without fear of failure.</p> <p>Now when I look at that interview in 2004 and at the goals that I had set for myself and for the HR organisation those 10 years ago, unfortunately I cannot say the same things.</p> <p><strong>When I was asked to step out of business management into the HR role, I was initially very hesitant to do so, but eventually acquiesced because I seriously and honestly believed that I could make a measurable difference.</strong></p> <p>As an existing board member, I believed that I would be able to position HR into a more strategic role and that we could ensure that people, as well as technology, would be at the forefront of business strategy. I believed that I could build an HR management team that would be seen as adding value to the business and that would be seen as being a “player” in helping to build business success (see <a title="HR... Polite to Police to Partner to Player" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/hr-polite-to-police-to-partner-to-player/" target="_blank">“HR … Polite to Police to Partner to Player”</a> posted August 26, 2010).</p> <p><div id="attachment_3567" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/human_resources.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3567" alt="Author: RickyMartin (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/human_resources.jpg?w=300&h=104" width="300" height="104" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: RickyMartin (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Former American football head coach <a title="Bill Parcells" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Parcells" target="_blank">Bill Parcells</a> set the challenge into words when he said <em>“When asked what I want my legacy to be, I am content at this point to say that it is those who will follow me”.</em></p> <p>The reality is that since my retirement from <a title="SAP" href="http://www.sap.com/index.html" target="_blank">SAP</a> in 2006 no subsequent head of HR has lasted more than 12 months, the role of global HR Head has been vacant for longer than it has been filled, the status of HR has remained one of low strategic value, and HR is still not perceived as being of significant value-add to the business. My planned successor whom I worked with during my 3 year tenure and who, I still believe today, was one of the few true HR professionals capable of doing this job at <a title="SAP" href="http://www.sap.com/index.html" target="_blank">SAP</a>, was never given the role and subsequently left the company.</p> <p>If the measurement is as defined by American entrepreneur and author <a title="Jim Rohn" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Rohn" target="_blank">Jim Rohn</a> (1930-2009) when he said <em>“All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take those that follow to a level we could only imagine”</em>, then I can only conclude that during my tenure as a global head of HR I did not really achieve a great deal (see <a title="HR... Why is no-one listening" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/hr-why-is-no-one-listening/" target="_blank">“HR … Why is no-one listening”</a> posted July 30, 2012).</p> <p><div id="attachment_3568" style="width: 168px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/jim_rohn.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3568 " alt="Author: Ramine5677 (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/jim_rohn.jpg?w=158&h=216" width="158" height="216" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Ramine5677 (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Interesting development … A week after I actually wrote this piece for posting on January 13th, <a title="SAP" href="http://www.sap.com/index.html" target="_blank">SAP</a> announced on January 9th that my original planned successor, after a 3 year absence, would re-join the company as Global Head of HR (<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/stefan-ries-joins-sap-global-120000529.html" rel="nofollow">http://finance.yahoo.com/news/stefan-ries-joins-sap-global-120000529.html</a>) … strange synchronicity !!</p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3563/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3563/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3563&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/507/de-de LEADERS BUILD LEADERS Mon, 02 Dec 2013 06:36:55 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/505/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I have long believed that one of the key measures for any senior manager should be whether s/he is a net creator of talent for their organisation. It is also critical that this focus is not only to build the skills of people in their own area of responsibility, but to also help to build leadership talent that can be deployed across the divisional boundaries.</p> <p>I believe that it is not enough for companies to just have a formalised succession planning process, as there also needs to be a culture in the company of building leaders, as I believe that great leaders will understand and have a focus on ensuring that “leadership” is more than just a topic for an intellectual discussion, and will make it a priority to build leadership at all levels.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3511" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/successor.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3511" alt="via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/successor.jpg?w=300&h=214" width="300" height="214" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>While I do believe in formalised succession planning in all companies and at all levels, unfortunately I have most often found that these tend to be a “tick in the box” exercise rather than a serious attempt to recognise and develop real talent. In my own experience I have found that the majority of promotions tend to have little to do with what has been documented, reviewed and accepted as being the planned succession strategies. For example, one company where I worked, despite having a widely implemented and much trumpeted succession planning process which went all the way to the executive board, would still fill almost 70% of vacant management roles from external candidates. Not only does this disillusion and disengage existing staff about the possibilities for their own promotion opportunities, it also disrupts any real attempts to build long term, sustainable leadership capabilities.</p> <p>The Hays Group’s 8th “Best Companies for Leadership” (BCL) survey of 18,000 individuals from 2200 companies world-wide found that “… we have learned from studying the BCL over the past eight years that success is a long-term game based on three core leadership habits: <strong>investing in identifying and growing leaders at all levels</strong>, <em>focusing and rewarding organisational efficiency and, at the same time, building business agility to respond to new markets and environments”</em> and <em>“The world’s best companies for leadership (BCL) are purposeful and strategic in developing, enabling and motivating leaders throughout the organisation.”</em></p> <p>I feel that the critical element needed is that building leaders needs to be company-wide, as <strong>Leadership is not reserved just for senior executives, but needs to be cultivated in all areas of the organisation and at all levels.</strong> It is important for long-term sustainable success that companies are able to define the roles that are critical to their future, and then systematically identify the individuals that can develop the required leadership skills to fill them. Most companies talk about this, but I have seen few that really make it part of their core priorities. Companies that do understand this work hard to empower their employees to take leadership roles in every area of the business, and particularly in regards to innovation and customer relationships, whether they are in management roles or not.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3512" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/leader.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3512" alt="Author: Wolfgang Hägele; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/leader.jpg?w=300&h=187" width="300" height="187" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Wolfgang Hägele; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>It means that there has to be serious investment of time, energy and continuous focus placed on developing current and future leaders in the business, and that this has to be driven from the top down through the entire organisation, and not just relegated to being an HR initiative, as it appears to be implemented in most companies. It also means that succession planning needs to be real rather than just a “put the names in the boxes” exercise. This will not only enable the recognition of those with potential and those for development, but will also point out the gaps that exist in the people, and the missing skills that need to be developed because they are needed to build sustainable business success.</p> <p>The issue is that building a leadership culture needs more than the traditional management training, assignments and mentoring, that one would normally associate with executive development. It needs the creation of a “leadership mindset” that allows people the freedom and support to work without fear of failure, and the ability for people to take leadership roles as subject-matter experts rather than just staying within structured organisational management reporting lines. It really needs a belief in the fact <strong>that if you give people the opportunity to do great things, then they will strive to do great things.</strong></p> <p>The dictionary defines leadership as <em>“a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”</em>, which doesn’t limit it to executives, but must by definition also include thought leaders and key individual contributors to whom people look to in the organisation for influence and direction. The skills that were once seen as being required mainly for senior leadership, such as emotional intelligence and finely honed analytical thinking, are now critical at every level and in most roles in an organisation.</p> <p>As so ably put by American political activist <a title="Ralph Nader" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Nader" target="_blank">Ralph Nader</a> <em>“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders not more followers”.</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3510" style="width: 200px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/ralph_nader.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3510 " alt="Author: Don LaVange (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wickenden/); CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/ralph_nader.jpg?w=190&h=270" width="190" height="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Don LaVange (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wickenden/" rel="nofollow">http://www.flickr.com/photos/wickenden/</a>); CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3509/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3509/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3509&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/505/de-de A POINT OF REFERENCE Sun, 17 Nov 2013 23:37:40 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/504/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I am quite often named as a referee for old colleagues who are looking to change their roles. I generally have no issue with doing this, but I have been surprised that on some occasions I have had no prior knowledge that they have given my name as a referee until I actually get a call from the reference checker. This does put me in a difficult situation, as I therefore have no understanding of what the intended role entails, and sometimes even no understanding of what the sourcing company actually does, meaning that I first need a lengthy conversation to try and understand whether there may be any fit at all. In most situations such as this I try and politely decline, suggesting that I should first speak to the applicant, despite the fact that I know that this will most likely add some negative element to them being considered for the role.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3488" style="width: 190px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/phone.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3488 " alt="via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/phone.jpg?w=180&h=240" width="180" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I am also faced with the situation quite often when I am asked to be a referee for someone, and then agreeing to do so, of not being asked by the applicant as to what I would actually be prepared to say about them. I had this situation very recently when I was asked to act as a referee for a sales manager who had worked for me some 10 years earlier and who had become a CEO during the past decade. I received the referee request by email, replied in the positive by email, and then heard nothing until I received a phone call from the PA of one of the recruiting board members to establish a time that I would be free to have a conversation about the applicant’s suitability. It was not until this call with the board member took place that I realised that the vacancy they were trying to fill was for the role of CEO for a mid-sized global business. As I had no idea whatsoever about the applicant’s ability to fill a CEO role, having only worked with him as a country sales manager, I had to politely decline to act as a referee.</p> <p>From the applicant’s viewpoint, for a referee to be suitably supportive it is critical that the applicant does not only get agreement to getting the referee to act on their behalf, but it is also critical to get agreement that the referee is prepared to support their application for a particular role in a specific company. It is also most important to find out what the proposed referee intends to say about them both from a positive and negative viewpoint, as even the most average reference check will definitely want to get an understanding of both sides of someone’s skill set.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3489" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/referee.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3489" alt="Author: Steindy; CC BY-SA 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 1.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/referee.jpg?w=300&h=199" width="300" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Steindy; CC BY-SA 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 1.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have also found that from the recruiting side, the people who do the reference checks will quite often use the reference checking process not so much to verify the applicant’s view of career realities, but more as a way to justify their personal selection for the role, thus accentuating the positive and tending to diminish any negative elements that come out of the reference check discussions. I had this happen a few years ago with one company who went on the search for a global CEO. One candidate in particular excited some of the board members, and the decision was taken to progress to the next stage with this applicant through broad-based reference checking with four referees provided by the candidate and two that came from personal board member contacts. The resulting reference check discussions resulted in four positive responses, one negative response and one seriously damning response. What was also interesting is that the worst response came from a referee actually provided by the candidate, as did also one of the more negative responses. At our board review I was surprised to find that the board members who favoured this particular candidate actually tried to justify their selection by suggesting that the negative responses were the result of politics rather than pinpointing actual deficiencies in the candidate.</p> <p>The other board members insisted on further reference checking which ultimately unearthed serious discrepancies in the candidate’s view of reality compared to the views of those that had worked with him.</p> <p>I am also disappointed that I am often faced with a fairly standard and predictable set of text book questions that I get asked by reference checkers, such as:<br /> - Are they a team player or better on their own ?<br /> - What are their 3 strongest qualities ?<br /> - What are their 3 greatest weaknesses ?<br /> - What areas should they develop ?<br /> - Why did they leave ?<br /> - Would you rehire them ?</p> <p><div id="attachment_3491" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/teamplayer.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3491" alt="Author: Jonathan Steffen; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/teamplayer.jpg?w=300&h=199" width="300" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Jonathan Steffen; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I must admit that for any senior management roles I prefer questions like:<br /> - What did they do that drove you crazy ?<br /> - What was their greatest success ?<br /> - Did they leave a legacy ?<br /> - Did they create and build talented people ?<br /> - Did they change anything ?<br /> - How far could they have gone in the company ?<br /> - Did they act as a mentor to younger people ?<br /> - How well did they protect the status quo ?<br /> - Having been their boss in the past could you work for them ? What would they need to change ?<br /> - Who did they not get on with ?<br /> - How big a network did they build internally and externally ?</p> <p><div id="attachment_3490" style="width: 235px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/mentors.gif"><img class="size-full wp-image-3490" alt="Author: Mamunjoy; CC BY 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/mentors.gif?w=630" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Mamunjoy; CC BY 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Reference checking is a critical part of any executive selection process and I believe that most companies do it badly. I also believe that if they do this half-heartedly they do so at their own peril.</p> <p>The best response that I have heard from a referee when doing a reference check on a potential candidate’s management strength was <em>“Is there a category below inadequate ?”</em>.</p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3487/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3487/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3487&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/504/de-de A RISING TIDE LIFTS ALL MANAGEMENT BOATS Mon, 11 Nov 2013 07:23:14 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/503/de-de <p><em>“If at first you don’t succeed, blame the fat nincompoop with bad breath who just got promoted over you.”</em></p> <p>The phrase <strong>“A rising tide lifts all boats”</strong> is most commonly attributed to President <a title="John F. Kennedy" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Kennedy" target="_blank">John F Kennedy</a>, who used it in a speech in 1963 to counter criticism that a dam project that he was inaugurating was just being done as payback for political favours. However, Ted Sorensen, Kennedy’s speechwriter, revealed in his memoirs “A life at the edge of history” that he had actually plagiarised the phrase from the New England Chamber of Commerce who had it as a slogan.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3477" style="width: 182px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/john_f-_kennedy.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3477 " alt="Author: White House Press Office; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/john_f-_kennedy.jpg?w=172&h=219" width="172" height="219" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: White House Press Office; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>It is a phrase that I have liked for a long time, less for its use in an economics discussion of free market policies but more in relation to how fast-growth industries have a way of lifting people well above their true competence levels, simply because demand far outstrips the availability of truly capable people.</p> <p>This phrase resurfaced in my mind in the last few weeks as I started working on a speech that I have been invited to give at the 20th IT “old-timers” lunch which is held annually in Sydney Australia, the criteria for attendance being that you can show that you had worked with paper tape and/or punched cards during your career. This does mean that the lunch event increasingly resembles an outing from an old people’s home, as widespread use of the “Holerith cards” started to decline rapidly in the 1970s, meaning that those who worked with them commercially in the then called field of “Data processing” can now qualify for free bus travel in most countries. Those who can show that they worked seriously with paper tape as a commercial input medium, and who live in a Commonwealth country, will by now be starting to wonder about their ability to hold out long enough to get a congratulatory birthday telegram from Her Majesty the Queen.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3478" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/punched_paper_tape.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3478" alt="Author: Cromemco; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/punched_paper_tape.jpg?w=300&h=192" width="300" height="192" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Cromemco; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have realised that the idea of spending time with a large group of the aged is somewhat terrifying for me, as it is not something that features largely in my current life. My working with Hi Tech start-ups, my lecturing and my speeches tend all to be with younger groups of people, including my involvement with UBB (Bordeaux Rugby Club) which has given me some friends in their late twenties and early thirties who are only now starting to have children, whilst my chronological peers and I are all well into grand-children with some being even further along in the creation of multiple levels of generations.</p> <p>However, having to spend a meal and an afternoon discussing prostates, joint pain and hip replacement with some old friends and colleagues is not what is really bothering me, as these are topics in which I am well versed. My dilemma is that I have been asked to discuss some of the great companies that I have worked for, and some of the great people that I have met during my 45 years in the Data Processing/IT/Hi-Tech industry (A rose by any other name …), and to make this speech light and amusing.</p> <p>The first problem is that most of the “great companies” that I worked for have long gone to Tech-heaven having at some point dropped too short and too rigid an anchor chain to actually catch the rising tide, and thus were drowned instead. Davy Jones’ Locker is littered with the remains of great IT companies. The second problem I face is that for every outstanding individual that I have met, and there are many, or one that was there to give me a hand up when I needed it (and I know that there will be at least one in attendance at the lunch), or someone who I feel actually made a significant contribution to our industry, I keep coming up with many more people who at best were pretty average, but who rose to giddy heights as the industry exploded and struggled to be able to meet the demand for people at every level.</p> <p>I know that this view now fits with my growing reputation as a “grumpy old man” but I just can’t get the idea out of my mind that <strong>a rising tide in a fast-growing industry actually does lift all the boats, but that if the industry had been more mature, many of the boats would have instead just run aground.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_3479" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/boats.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3479" alt="Author: Ben Salter; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/boats.jpg?w=300&h=199" width="300" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Ben Salter; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I guess that in my speech I could run through a list of some of the famous people that I have met over the last 45 years, but that just comes across as name-dropping, and as I said to President Obama just last week, I really hate name-droppers.</p> <p>I also can’t really go on about some of the bosses that I have had over the years, as some of them may actually be there and they wouldn’t find it amusing, even though I have written about some of them in previous blog pieces. At least I am safe in the knowledge that even if they have read my blog, they probably would not have seen themselves reflected in my less than flattering descriptions. I guess my only real option is to be pleasant and ramble on for my allotted time about how privileged we all were to have been there when it all really began. <strong>At least this is the truth.</strong></p> <p>I am sure that the IT industry is not the only one that has this problem, as I have met incredibly senior but unimpressive executives in industries as diverse as Oil and Gas, Advertising and Airlines, being just a few examples of industries which had their spurts of growth at some stage in recent history. Even today, we have seen what happened when we allowed very average people to control the banking sector, and thus the global economy, whose only competence appears to have been the ability to live by the maxim “Greed is good”.</p> <p>It seems to be a fact that when an industry is going through rapid growth, those who look good, who work on being highly visible, who can manage upwards, who can show that they fit in well with their superiors and who are seen as being able to protect the status quo are the ones who most often get promoted, rather than the game-changers, who tend to appear threatening to those above them.</p> <p>The situation that this creates is best described in this old Irish saying <em>“Nodding the head does not row the boat.”</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3480" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/rowboat.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3480" alt="via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/rowboat.jpg?w=300&h=194" width="300" height="194" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3476/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3476/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3476&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/503/de-de MOST CEOS ARE NOT MANAGED WELL ENOUGH BY THEIR BOARDS Mon, 04 Nov 2013 07:21:44 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/502/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I have served on quite a large number of different boards for companies of all sizes, in different countries and cultures, and believe that generally boards do not manage their CEOs well enough.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3467" style="width: 280px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/board-meeting.png"><img class=" wp-image-3467 " alt="Author: Areyn; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/board-meeting.png?w=270&h=203" width="270" height="203" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Areyn; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>This is particularly true for skills other than the non-financial skills needed in the role.</p> <p>The Business Schools, as well as management consultants are continually telling us that there are critical “soft skills” that every CEO needs today to be able to succeed in our ever-changing, globally competitive environment, such as driving innovation, building talent, growing customer care, monitoring employee satisfaction, building strategic growth and ecosystem development. However, it has been my experience that it is very rare for a CEO to be tested on anything other than financial metrics, if he is measured at all.</p> <p>The belief seems to be that as long as a CEO is delivering against his revenue, profit and share price metrics he must be doing a good job, and should just be allowed to get on with it.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3469" style="width: 280px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/share_price.png"><img class=" wp-image-3469 " alt="Author: Peter L Salmon; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/share_price.png?w=270&h=154" width="270" height="154" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Peter L Salmon; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I see this as a very short term strategy that may suit start-up or PE/VC driven companies that have a well-defined exit strategy, but does not make sense in companies that are trying to build a sustainable long term business future.</p> <p>In all my CEO roles, whether the role was national, regional or global, I was only ever measured on my financial performance, and while I have no doubt that the boards I worked for expected me to do more than that, it always seemed to be easier for them to just measure and reward me on the numbers. I have seen very little difference in some of the boards that I have served on since my retirement from full time corporate executive roles, and attempts that I have made to change this at board level have often been met with some resistance, and in a number of cases my change attempts have even been put down to the fact that I spent the last three years of my full-time working career as a global head of HR, the implication being that this had somehow softened me from being a hard-nosed business person to a touch-feely one.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3468" style="width: 188px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/ceo.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3468 " alt="Author: ThisIsRobsLife; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/ceo.jpg?w=178&h=240" width="178" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: ThisIsRobsLife; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>The reality is that my 45 year career has strengthened my belief in the fact that there are two key business elements which are mandatory and which are critical for sustainable success, and that need to be measured in any CEO by his board …</p> <p><strong>1. The numbers are a given …</strong> once the financials have been fought through, agreed, accepted, allocated and signed off, they are a blood commitment to be delivered, and “woe betide those who miss.” The budget that the business has been built on cannot be a moving target. I served on one board where, about 6 months into the year, the CEO started presenting the budgeted revenue numbers as being billing numbers instead, thereby effectively giving himself a 10%+ drop in the company revenue target, without any equivalent cut in the expense lines, changing the year from a planned success to a less than break-even. Nice try, but totally unacceptable.</p> <p>2<strong>. Building the future for all the stakeholders is a non-negotiable goal …</strong> This is as true for our shareholders, as it is for our customers by delivering the needed customer service and support, as it is for our employees through building an environment where people can succeed, as it is for our partners who have built their business, and who rely on their business success on our making it easy for them to do business with us, and on ensuring that we “share the spoils” equitably.</p> <p>I believe that these two business elements are inseparable, and that boards that do not goal and who do not evaluate their CEO (and entire executive team) on both elements are not fulfilling their role. Even worse, I have come across many situations where the CEO was not evaluated at all, beyond having to present and defend the financial performance at the monthly or quarterly board meetings. Although I believe that formal performance reviews do not work well for general staff members, they are better than doing nothing. The same holds true for the CEO, and there should at the least be a formal review process put in place for the CEO. A better process I believe is for the Chairman to meet regularly with the CEO, say monthly, not only to ensure that they are working together in a way that benefits all the stakeholders and that there are no surprises at the board meetings (from either side), but also to manage and guide the performance of the CEO, in the same way that an executive would manage the performance of one of his team members.</p> <p>One of the critical roles of any board is to mentor and guide the CEO and the executive team in all elements of the business, which means that the board needs to be comprised of people who are capable of doing this through a wide set of experiences, skills and knowledge and these need to be more than just how to evaluate the numbers. I feel that it is important that board members are allocated some key executive mentoring and coaching responsibilities over and above their normal board fiduciary responsibilities, and that if these skills are not available in the board it does call into question the whole board member selection processes.</p> <p>American VC <a title="Fred Wilson" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Wilson_%28financier%29" target="_blank">Fred Wilson</a> was right when he said <em>“Board meetings should not be for the benefit of the board. They should be for the benefit of the CEO and the senior team.”</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3471" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/fred_wilsonj.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3471" alt="Author: Joi Ito; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/fred_wilsonj.jpg?w=300&h=199" width="300" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Joi Ito; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3466/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3466/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3466&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/502/de-de PEOPLE PERFORMANCE PITFALLS Mon, 28 Oct 2013 07:10:10 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/501/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I have always disliked formal performance reviews, irrespective of which side of the table I was on and irrespective of whether they were with a top performer or someone struggling with their role. I have long believed that they are not the best way to manage performance, no matter how regularly they are conducted, as I believe that “we do not manage people, but we manage their behaviour” (see <a title="Fourth Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/fourth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Fourth rule of management”</a> posted October 15, 2012). This means that managing performance is a day by day responsibility of a manager, who can use every interaction with a direct report to reinforce the behaviour needed within the team, with the proviso that one shouldn’t over-manage.( see <a title="Sixth Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/sixth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Sixth rule of management”</a> posted November 19, 2012).</p> <p><div id="attachment_3458" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/employee_performance.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3458" alt="Author: Employeeperformance; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/employee_performance.jpg?w=300&h=71" width="300" height="71" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Employeeperformance; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>However, we need to remember that managing people performance can actually start even before an employee joins the company, and that there are many pitfalls that managers need to be able to overcome to generate outstanding performance. ITT President <a title="Harold Geneen" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Geneen" target="_blank">Harold Geneen</a> (1910-1997) had it right when he said <em>“I think it is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises – but only performance is reality.”</em></p> <p>Here are just a few of the major areas to focus on from an early stage:</p> <p><strong>Don’t oversell the job.</strong> While I understand that when we find a great candidate we are keen to sell them on the idea of joining us, it is critical that we do not cloud the reality of the actual role nor the culture that s/he will have to work within. The disillusionment, when expectations that have been set to entice a candidate to join are not met, will have a dramatic impact on their commitment to the role and the company, and will affect their performance to a great extent. Early in my own career I accepted a role in a company that was seen externally, and represented to me, as being dynamic and non-bureaucratic and with a commitment that I would have the authority needed in the role and the autonomy to do it in my style. Nothing could have been further from the truth, and I was so disillusioned with the charade that had been played out to get me on board, that I immediately started looking for my next move resulting in diminished commitment from me to the current job.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3459" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/job_interview.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3459" alt="Author: bpsusf; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/job_interview.jpg?w=300&h=200" width="300" height="200" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: bpsusf; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Make sure that they have all the skills and knowledge needed to do the job well.</strong> I have a strong belief that we should put a heavy weighting on attitude, and not just on skills and experience, when we are recruiting, but we should not assume that when, for example, we recruit someone who is currently in a similar role at a competitor, that they will have everything that is necessary to do the job well in their new company. Skills can be developed through training, development and mentoring/coaching, but performance can also be greatly enhanced for new hires by ensuring that they also understand how to navigate their way through the minefields that most companies tend to have for the unwary, and also how the critical informal internal networks operate.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3460" style="width: 199px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/goals.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3460 " alt="Author: Kfuot001; CC-BY-SA-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/goals.jpg?w=189&h=189" width="189" height="189" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Kfuot001; CC-BY-SA-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Make sure that they fully understand their goals and how they will be measured against them.</strong> I have seen too many instances where the goals are too broad and not well defined, particularly the non-financial elements of a goal sheet. I was once told that one of my key goals was “To build teamwork”. I never quite understood what this actually meant in this particular situation, and neither did my boss at the time, but he was very keen on it as he stressed that “Teamwork” was a company-wide initiative. When I had my annual review I pointed out that I had not had any departures that I had not initiated myself and that none of my team had tried to inflict injuries on any other team member, and was thus given the teamwork tick on my review.</p> <p><strong>Address low performance immediately.</strong> Don’t wait till people actually fail, as the longer you leave it the harder it will be to rectify, and you cannot just live in the hope that they will get better in time. Your role as a manager is to ensure that you have a continual view of your team, and particularly on who is at the bottom of your “performance ladder”, even if everyone is supposedly meeting their goals (see <a title="MOVE THEM UP OR MOVE THEM OUT" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/move-them-up-or-move-them-out/" target="_blank">“Move them up or move them out”</a> posted August 23, 2010). By working with, and improving the performance of your lowest performer, you can then focus your attentions on the next one who drops to the bottom of the ladder, thus building a team that is continually developing and improving. Know when to cut your losses remembering that if you hire people for their strengths, you do not have the right to fire them for their weaknesses until you, as their manager, have done everything possible to help them to overcome them.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3461" style="width: 213px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/ladder.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3461 " alt="Author: SOIR (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/ladder.jpg?w=203&h=270" width="203" height="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: SOIR (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Build a culture of self-managing teams.</strong> Team goals rather than just having individual goals do help to build a culture where team members tend to ensure that everyone pulls their weight, removing the need for you to be the only person who is worrying about overall performance. I found great success with targeting my sales managers with goals that included reaching a high target percentage of successful salesmen in their team, rather than just meeting their overall team sales targets, and with an extra incentive for all salesmen if the entire team achieved their individual goals. As American football coach <a title="Joe Paterno" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Paterno" target="_blank">Joe Paterno</a> (1926-2010) said <em>“When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality”</em></p> <p>American author <a title="Michael Bergdahl" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Bergdahl" target="_blank">Michael Bergdahl</a> gets it right when he says <em>“Good companies with good management can hire average people, but can squeeze above average performance and results from them.”</em></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3457/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3457/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3457&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/501/de-de MANAGEMENT WEAPONS OF MASS DISTRACTION Mon, 07 Oct 2013 05:42:47 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/498/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“You can always find distractions if you go looking for them.”</em></p> <p>Most managers clearly understand that distractions get in the way of focussing on what really needs to be done to be successful, yet despite this many will go out of their way to find, and actually welcome, the relief provided by distractions. I find that this is often the case when managers are under significant pressure, whether from their external market or from internal volcanic eruptions, like a mass defection of senior management to a newer and more exciting competitor. I witnessed this situation in one European company where the President of the US operation and his next layer of management all quit on the same day. Rather than face and handle the situation immediately with a real sense of urgency, the global CEO went sailing for 2 weeks to “clear his mind”. By the time he came back he may have actually managed to clear his mind, but he had also managed to clear a large part of the remaining management team in the US in his absence, all as a result of his distraction from the actual issue at hand which needed his total focus and immediate action.</p> <p>There are times when distractions are needed to release a pressure valve, and I have to confess that I would on occasion sneak off to a movie on a work afternoon, just to get away from the office and the demands of the job, but we need to be able to control distractions in a way that they do not negatively impact our ability to be effective and timely in what we do.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3418" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 180px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/emails.jpg"><img class="wp-image-3418 " alt="Author: PCL-BO; CC BY-SA 2.5 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/emails.jpg?w=170&h=170" width="170" height="170" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: PCL-BO; CC BY-SA 2.5 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Today, the worst distractions are meetings (see <a title="Meetings Bloody Meetings" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/meetings-bloody-meetings/" target="_blank">“Meetings bloody meetings”</a> posted April 18, 2011) and emails (see <a title="Emails Bloody Emails" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/emails-bloody-emails/" target="_blank">“Emails bloody emails”</a> posted April 21, 2011), and many managers use these as excuses to escape an unpleasant task. In my tenure as Global Head of HR at <a title="SAP" href="http://www.sap.com/index.epx" target="_blank">SAP</a>, I once had to sit in on a performance review of a senior executive based on our 4-eyes principle at this level of management. The problem was that as part of this session the executive under review was to be asked to step out of his management role and move back to being an individual contributor, based on his continued inability to effectively run his division. His boss did not like the task at hand, and used every chance that he could to step away from the objective. Every time his PC “pinged” that a message had arrived in his inbox, he used the excuse that he was waiting for some urgent news to break off the review discussion and check his email. This enabled him to come back to us with a “where were we ?” comment and thus re-start the whole process until the next time that his PC pinging gave him an excuse to escape again. This happened so many times that eventually the executive under review turned to me and said “Do they want me to step aside ?”. When I confirmed that this had been the intention from the beginning, it was a moment of visible relief for all of 3 of us.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3417" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 192px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/sap_building_in_raanana.jpg"><img class="wp-image-3417 " alt="Author: Юкатан (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/sap_building_in_raanana.jpg?w=182&h=243" width="182" height="243" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Юкатан (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>We all procrastinate at times, and I have come across quite a few people who tell me that they do this based on the fact that they work best under pressure, so will leave everything till the last possible moment, which enables them to continue to believe this self-driven delusion. There are times when some time pressure can provide the added adrenalin to get something done, but to live in a continuous state of procrastination and last minute vigils is not a characteristic of a successful manager. The larger and more complex is the task, the better it is to start to address it as soon as possible, even if this first step is to just break it down into its component parts. This will at least give you an opportunity to decide whether there are others that need to be enlisted to ensure successful completion within the required time available for a quality result. The longer you leave it alone, the more is the likelihood that you will have to address the problem, and its solution, on your own.</p> <p>The worst example of this procrastination and distraction came very early in my career.</p> <p>In the late 1960s and early 1970s I worked at <strong>International Harvester</strong> in New Zealand. The company had for decades dominated the truck and farm equipment markets, but was under attack from a horde of new competitors, many from Japan, with highly competitive products and better pricing models. This resulted in a number of important dealerships jumping ship to become distributers for the competition. As I was the IT Manager at that time, I was a member of the management team that was eventually, and probably too late anyway, tasked with developing a strategy to build loyalty in the network of dealers across the country and to protect them from competitive penetration. Despite this being the most serious challenge facing the company at the time, it was impossible to get the CEO to focus on the issue and it took about 3 months longer than it made sense, to get his attention enough to be able to implement a meaningful strategy. By the time we did, IH had managed to lose over 30% of its distributers and was well on the way towards its demise. During this time, the CEO continued to find time to play “business golf” and to spend time every day “managing by walking around”, mainly in the assembly plant, where he could slap a few backs, shake a few hands and tell people what a great job they were doing,. Despite having the time to indulge in these activities, he didn’t seem to be able to find the time to focus on the one significant issue that was threatening his company, and his own future, of dealer retention. It was obvious to many of us that he just couldn’t face the challenge of how to handle tough competition after decades of facing very little, and so welcomed any distraction that would enable him to stave off facing a tough reality.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3419" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 250px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/international_harvester.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3419 " alt="Author: Zindox (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/international_harvester.jpg?w=240&h=182" width="240" height="182" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Zindox (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><a title="Blaise Pascal" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaise_Pascal" target="_blank">Blaise Pascal</a> (1623-1662), French philosopher and mathematician rightly said <em>“Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.”</em></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3416/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3416/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3416&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/498/de-de THE LESSONS THAT MANAGERS CAN LEARN FROM SINGAPORE Mon, 23 Sep 2013 06:10:39 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/490/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I have been a big fan of Singapore, and in particular of its founder Dr. <a title="Lee Kwan Yew" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Kuan_Yew" target="_blank">Lee Kwan Yew</a>, since I first visited the island in 1977. I had the privilege of living and working there for over 6 years, before being transferred to Europe, and after an absence of more than 10 years, I recently revisited this vibrant, exciting city state for a week for a family reunion, and also for some of the best food in the world.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3394" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/singapore.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3394" alt="Author: Jxcacsi; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/singapore.jpg?w=300&h=225" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Jxcacsi; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I loved the energy and the sense of purpose, and I also realised that there are many things that people in management positions can learn from Singapore and from <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Kuan_Yew" title="Lee Kwan Yew" target="_blank">Dr. Lee</a>.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3395" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/lee_kwan_yew.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3395" alt="Author: R. D. Ward; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/lee_kwan_yew.jpg?w=300&h=213" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: R. D. Ward; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Build a vision …</strong> I am not talking about the importance of a “vision statement”, which most companies have proudly posted on their web sites, and which usually only state what companies tend to believe their markets want to see (see <a title="The 3 Great Business Lies" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/the-3-great-business-lies/" target="_blank">“The 3 great business lies”</a> posted August 2, 2010), but a true roadmap of where to go, and of what has to be done to get there. When Singapore was expelled from the Malaysian Federation in 1965, and became an independent republic, it was a tiny, impoverished island port with a population of under 2 million. In the following 50 years it built its population to a well-educated 5.5 million, built a world class reputation for transparency and integrity, and become one of the wealthiest nations in the world on a per capita basis. <strong><em>Just like Dr. Lee, as a business leader you need to have a clear plan of what it is you wish to achieve, how you plan to do this, and how you will enlist the wholehearted support and commitment of your people, making sure to take them with you on the journey.</em></strong></p> <p><strong>Look after your people …</strong> After independence in 1965 a major emphasis was placed on building programmes to overcome serious housing shortages, coupled with financial incentives that enabled citizens to easily purchase their government provided housing, resulting in one of the highest home ownership numbers in the world, and propelling many ordinary people into high asset wealth. My PA in Singapore sold the family home inherited from her parents for over S$6 million, and moved to Australia for a life of comfort in her retirement. In the almost 50 years since its independence Singapore’s economy has grown by an average of 9% annually, improving the lot of its people from an economic, education, healthcare and all quality of life viewpoints, and continues to do so each year. It has now attained a life expectancy that has reached 4th position in the world for males and 2nd position for females. <strong><em>In business, achieving results is critical, but you must look after your people along the way. Rewards and success must be shared throughout the entire team, and not just a few individuals.</em></strong></p> <p><strong>Build a solid working environment …</strong> Dr. Lee was once questioned about his view of what he considered to be the most important inventions of the 20th Century. He answered that for Singapore, a country with a daily temperature of 34C with 100% humidity, it had been “air conditioning”, as it finally enabled Singapore workers to compete with the west. Dr. Lee established English as the primary language of Singapore, reasoning that if Singapore was to take its place on the world business stage, it needed to be able to speak the business language. It now has 4 official languages being English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil, but English remains the language of education, business and government. <strong><em>As a manager you must ensure that you build the conditions, and provide the resources that are needed to enable your team to achieve its goals and to be successful.</em></strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_3396" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 250px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/air_conditioning.png"><img class=" wp-image-3396 " alt="Author: Paul Robinson; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/air_conditioning.png?w=240&h=178" width="240" height="178" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Paul Robinson; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Build Talent …</strong> After independence, quality education for all was established immediately, and the government also began an accelerated programme of overseas assignments and learning for its best and brightest, ensuring that capable people were exposed to the latest business, scientific and technological thought and innovation which could be re-imported back into Singapore to help accelerate the development of the island state. <strong><em>In too many companies, managers limit training and development for their people based on the fact that if you spend time and money to educate them they may then leave. A significantly worse alternative is that you do not educate them, and they stay. Those managers who feel that education is expensive should consider the cost of ignorance.</em></strong></p> <p><strong>Bring in missing skills …</strong> From day one, Singapore welcomed skilled, knowledgeable expatriates and mixed them into the local government and business communities to not only use their skills and experience, but also to help “infect” the locals. During my time in Singapore, I spent 2 years as a board member of IDA (Infocomm Development Authority), which had responsibility for helping to establish and develop Singapore’s competitive positioning in Telecoms and Technology. It was an eclectic blend of people from Public and private sector, both Singaporean and Foreign, and unlike some other Government boards that I have served on, was actually listened to, with its recommendations implemented at private sector speeds. <strong><em>In business you need to first look at developing the needed skills and capabilities in your own people, but there are times when you need to go outside for missing skills. It is a sign of strength for managers to know when they need to ask for help.</em></strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_3397" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 235px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/school_of_infocomm_technology.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3397" alt="Author: Zeng Peng (own work); via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/school_of_infocomm_technology.jpg?w=300&h=225" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Zeng Peng (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Use story telling …</strong> Some foreigners saw Singapore as a repressive and authoritarian environment, driven mainly by the amount of press, mosly in the US, that was accorded to the banning of chewing gum, and the high fines for littering, even for something as small as a cigarette butt, both being initiatives that I fully endorsed. However, I found few restrictions to my quality of life when I lived in a clean, green, beautifully maintained, low crime environment. The reality is that populace behaviour was controlled less by edict and more by fable and storytelling. For example, there was a thriving black market in Viagra in Singapore before the Food and Drug Authority had had a chance to validate its use. One day a story appeared in the Straits Times daily newspaper describing the plight of a man who had used a questionably acquired form of Viagra and as a result had been rendered impotent. The Viagra black market died overnight. <strong><em>Great business leaders can benefit from telling compelling stories and doing so frequently. Stories have a significant impact on our lives. Our memory consists of lots of stories. When we talk about things we remember they are usually in the form of a story. We primarily communicate through stories.</em></strong></p> <p>As <a title="Lee Kwan Yew" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Kuan_Yew" target="_blank">Lee Kwan Yew</a> said <em>“Mine is a very matter-of-fact approach to the problem. If you can select a population and they’re educated and they’re properly brought up, then you don’t have to use too much of the stick because they would already have been trained.”</em></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3393/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3393/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3393&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/490/de-de MANAGEMENT… IS IT AN ART OR A SCIENCE ? Mon, 09 Sep 2013 05:51:48 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/486/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>Is good management more of an art or a science ? Or, is this even a valid question ?</p> <p>From the dictionary, <strong>science</strong> is defined as <em>“… a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions”.</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3374" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 160px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/science.png"><img class=" wp-image-3374 " alt="Author: Halfdan; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/science.png?w=150&h=170" width="150" height="170" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Halfdan; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Art</strong> is defined as <em>“… the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination …”</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3372" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 163px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/oil_painting_palette.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3372 " alt="Author: Mlaoxve; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/oil_painting_palette.jpg?w=153&h=197" width="153" height="197" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Mlaoxve; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Most people tend to hedge their bets on this question by declaring that management is both an art and a science, and that they are just the two sides of the same coin. In this respect, one of the better attempts that I have seen that tries to support this belief is from Jesse Brogan, of The Management Engineering Newsletter.</p> <p><em>“As a management engineer (technical support for managers), I do have a very specific view. First, we must separate management (gaining performance through those who are managed) from supervision (maintenance of resources).<br /> Supervision has no result, nothing measurable to gain, and accordingly cannot be managed. By definition, management does have something to gain through the efforts of those who are managed; it has a measurable difference between success and failure.<br /> Science is a gathering and organization of knowledge/observation for the purpose of prediction. Where we are addressing a result, there is definitely a science of performance. Industrial engineering provides the principles and approaches that guide managers to application.<br /> Management, in its application, deals with a gathering of individuals for a productive purpose; and people are only predictive in a statistical sense. In all else, they are individuals and working with them to bring people to a common and interactive purpose is a high art form.<br /> Those who work in the productive environment know the ability to apply the basic principles of industrial engineering, and that they do work to effect. There is a science of management.<br /> Any who work in supervision know the art of management, and use it regularly in dealing with people to bring them to common purpose and productive unity, neither of which can be attained in any final level of perfection. The art is both intimate and reactive.<br /> I say management is an artistic application that has a scientific foundation, even if that foundation has been largely ignored by many who work in management.”</em></p> <p>However, the question we need to ask is that <strong>if management were really a science, why do we struggle with teaching it well ?</strong> (see <a title="WHY MANAGEMENT TRAINING RARELY WORKS" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/why-management-training-rarely-works/" target="_blank">“Why management training rarely works ?”</a> posted July 1, 2013), and the follow-on question being that if management were really a science, <strong>why do we not have more success with the results that are achieved by Business Schools ?</strong> (see <a title="BUSINESS LEADERSHIP ISN’T CHANGING QUICKLY ENOUGH" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/business-leadership-isn%e2%80%99t-changing-quickly-enough/" target="_blank">“Business Leadership is not changing quickly enough”</a> posted October 10, 2011).</p> <p>The issue is that whist I do believe that good management, being mostly about people, relies mainly on considerable artistry supported by some scientific application, I have long believed that for it to be really successful, <strong>management needs to be practised mostly as a profession.</strong></p> <p>I do understand that “management” as such does not meet some of the criteria that currently define a profession, as a profession tends to arise when any trade or occupation transforms itself through <em>“the development of formal qualifications based upon education, apprenticeship, and examinations, the emergence of regulatory bodies with powers to admit and discipline members, and some degree of monopoly rights”.</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3373" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 226px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/mba.gif"><img class=" wp-image-3373 " alt="via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/mba.gif?w=216&h=86" width="216" height="86" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>However, I am talking about “management professionalism” as a vocation, as one of the problems that I see with many European managers is that they see themselves more as vocational specialists with some management responsibility add-on, rather than as professional managers who came from some vocational background.</p> <p>I believe that management professionalism means that your first and only priority is to deliver the results for which you have been given responsibility, through the team of people that are in your care. At some early point in your management career you have to make the decision that you will let go of some of the need to become an ever more brilliant vocational specialist, and focus on becoming an ever more capable manager. This means that you will have to accept that <strong>your prime responsibility is to make your team more vocationally brilliant and capable, rather than yourself.</strong></p> <p>Being the best software engineer in a global company may get you noticed in the first place, but doesn’t add a lot if you believe that maintaining that position will add significant value to the company as you climb the management ladder. I am not suggesting that you do not stay current with your vocational skills, just that the emphasis needs to be changed to a new set of skills that fit the management responsibilities.</p> <p>In my earlier years at SAP, when I was President/CEO of South Asia Pacific I reported to one of the SAP Global board members, who happened to be head of a large part of the SAP development organisation, and in 1997 we flew together to India for a regular subsidiary visit and review. When it came time to fill in the Indian government immigration forms, under “Profession” I wrote “Executive”, and my boss wrote “Software Engineer”. This bothered me, as if I saw myself as an executive, I felt that I should at least be reporting to an even more senior executive. Somehow “Software Engineer” didn’t quite get there for me.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3375" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 149px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/executive.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-3375" alt="Author: Viphotels; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/executive.jpg?w=630" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Viphotels; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I questioned him about this, and he suggested that I was mixing up his job and his profession. He felt that his job was being an SAP Board member, but professionally he was a software engineer.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3377" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 166px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/software.png"><img class=" wp-image-3377 " alt="Author: El lobo; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/software.png?w=156&h=59" width="156" height="59" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: El lobo; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>He would not buy my argument that his role, seniority and responsibilities demanded that first and foremost he now had to be a professional manager rather than a software engineer, and we have carried this argument on into both our retirements from full time corporate life.</p> <p>As so succinctly put by American businessman and president of ITT, <a title="Harold Geneen" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Geneen" target="_blank">Harold S. Geneen</a> (1910-1997) <em>“Management must manage”</em>.</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3371/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3371/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3371&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/486/de-de THE MANAGEMENT ART OF GARDENING Mon, 05 Aug 2013 06:12:29 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/480/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“A garden requires patient labour and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfil good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.”</em><br /> <a title="Liberty Hyde Bailey" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_Hyde_Bailey" target="_blank">Liberty Hyde Bailey</a>, American Botanist (1858-1954}.</p> <p>I have often compared being in a management role, and being given responsibility for a team of people, as being similar to being given a garden to tend (see <a title="It was good enough for me" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/it-was-good-enough-for-me/" target="_blank">“It was good enough for me”</a> posted August 16, 2010), and one that you will ultimately have to hand over to a successor.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3346" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/chc3a2teau_de_fontainebleau_2011.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3346" alt="Author: Basvb (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/chc3a2teau_de_fontainebleau_2011.jpg?w=300&h=225" width="300" height="225" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Basvb (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>The question is … what sort of “gardener” are you ?</p> <p><strong>Leave it to nature approach.</strong> Many managers take the laissez faire approach to management. This is particularly true of many vocationally brilliant specialists who are pushed, sometimes reluctantly, into a management role. This enables them to keep focussing on their vocational tasks, now with a better title and an increased salary package, but with minimal change to what they had been doing most of their working life as an individual contributor. Like the laissez faire gardener <strong>this is a hope based strategy</strong> that hopes the fates will provide the right amount of sunshine and rain at the right times and in the right quantities for the garden to stay alive, without them actually having to do anything. One Head of Development that I worked with spent most of his time debugging software for members of his 3000+ strong software development organisation, whenever they got stuck. This was because it was what he loved to do and at which he considered himself to be quite brilliant. He ran his organisation in the hope that his own management team would not act the same way that he did, and that they would focus on actually acting like real managers. He was only partially correct in this assumption.</p> <p><strong>Cultivate mushrooms approach.</strong> Some managers will keep an eye on their people and wait for them to do something wrong, so that they can show them the correct approach. This is another style common with vocationally blinkered managers, as it not only gives them an opportunity to use their vocational skills, but also enables them to show their people that “they still have it”. I find this to be an approach much favoured by those with a strong engineering background (see <a title="Teaching old dogs new tricks" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/teaching-old-dogs-new-tricks/" target="_blank">“Teaching old dogs new tricks”</a> posted June 20, 2010). One manager I worked with would prowl his domain looking for things that needed fixing, and whenever he found something amiss that he felt merited his attention, he would call an all-hands meeting for a lecture on what he had discovered that was being handled incorrectly and the correct procedures that he expected to be followed. He saw this as a way of achieving improvements in his business area, but the real result was that he just held a lot of meetings. I see this as being along the same lines as cultivating mushrooms, which are mostly kept in the dark, but occasionally have some manure dumped on them.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3347" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/shiitake.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3347 " alt="Author: Rob Hille (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/shiitake.jpg?w=270&h=203" width="270" height="203" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Rob Hille (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Dabble occasionally approach.</strong> Some managers see their management responsibilities as being something that they need to do only from time to time, generally because they are just badly organised, are serial procrastinators or are just too busy trying to put out fires that they have allowed to ignite in the first place. These tend to be easily recognisable as they are the ones that never quite meet the deadlines for necessities like performance and salary reviews and monthly reporting. They are also always the ones who never seem to get around to agreeing annual goals and objectives for their people, and who don’t have compensation plans signed even by the end of the first quarter, and who only actually get things done when leaned on from above. This approach is actually the way that many people tend to their gardens. They mow their lawns when either pressure from their neighbours or their spouse mounts to a point where it cannot be ignored, weeding is only done when the weeds block the view and the access to the swimming pool, and any fresh planting is generally only to replace what has died due to neglect.</p> <p><strong>Let’s make it flourish approach.</strong> Good managers leave little to chance. They plan the year ahead and ensure that their “plants” are well supplied with everything that they need to survive and grow. They act to encourage the growth of all that they are responsible for, not just the brightest, and they weed out those that add no value and that could end up strangling those around them. They ensure that they have a strong base that will encourage their charges to spread out, and they try different things, such as new plantings from outside their area, so that their “plot” gets better each year. They also ensure that larger individuals do not shade the smaller ones to stop them from growing. They work hard so that the best of what they have grown are transplanted to other gardens to facilitate their continued growth in new areas.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3348" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/french_formal_garden_in_loire_valley1.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3348" alt="Author: Aernoudts jean; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/french_formal_garden_in_loire_valley1.jpg?w=300&h=225" width="300" height="225" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Aernoudts jean; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>In summary, managers must ensure that they have improved their domain to give their successor an easier start, and a better developed facility than the one that they themselves started with originally,</strong> even if s/he understands that the effort they put in is for long term development that will benefit the successor even more than the originator. As so well said by <a title="D. Elton Trueblood" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._Elton_Trueblood" target="_blank">D. Elton Trueblood</a> (1900-1994), American author and theologian, <em>“A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants a shade tree under which he knows full well he will never sit”</em></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3344/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3344/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3344&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/480/de-de MANAGING EXECUTIVE BURNOUT Mon, 29 Jul 2013 05:09:22 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/479/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“I’ve tried yoga, tai-chi and meditation, but I find stress less boring.”</em></p> <p>I had an interesting comment posted by a colleague in response to my last blog post, which was about Leadership (see <a title="Leadership is a subtle art" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/leadership-is-a-subtle-art/" target="_blank">“Leadership is a subtle art”</a> posted July 22, 2013. He felt strongly that expecting an executive to be both a leader and a manager created too much stress in an individual, often leading to executive burnout.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3336" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/burnout-logo.png"><img class=" wp-image-3336 " alt="Author: Rexrodo (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/burnout-logo.png?w=270&h=81" width="270" height="81" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Rexrodo (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Whilst I do not necessarily believe that this is the main cause of executive burnout, I do acknowledge that burnout is a real issue in the business world and that, according to all that I read, its incidence is actually increasing.</p> <p>Even in a country as laid-back as Australia, it is estimated that the cost of executive burnout costs local businesses over $20 Billion annually. (see <em><a title="Executive burnout costing billions" href="http://www.news.com.au/business/executive-lounge/meltdown-exec-burnout-costing-billions/story-fng3e17m-1226508470134" target="_blank">Executive ‘burnout’ costing billions</a></em>).</p> <p>David Lassiter, founder and President of consulting organisation, Leadership Advantage, summarises the reasons thus <em>“The atmosphere at work has changed in recent times. The pace of change keeps accelerating. As companies continue to search for ever higher levels of quality, service and overall business agility, the pressures are felt on individuals at all levels of the organization. The treadmill moves faster, companies work harder, improvements are made only to be changed again and again. Today’s managers are experiencing a whole new order of exhaustion. Performance targets become tougher to meet in each succeeding quarter and fiscal year. Managers have ever-widening spans of control. In the boundary-less organization, work goes on round the clock. The post-dinner time zone has become prime time for answering e-mails, voice mails, faxes and the rest of what didn’t get done during office hours. Thanks to technology, work is now very portable. It’s easy to see why many managers feel overwhelmed. The only way they can get it all done is to take the writing, reading and reviewing tasks home. Finding personal fulfillment through one’s work is becoming more of a challenge. Job burnout is a reality for many people”.</em></p> <p>The average life expectancy of the average CEO is now estimated to be between 30-40 months and one in four CEOs of UK businesses with sales of over £500m leave before planned. This is twice the early departure figures for 1990, and this trend is continuing to grow today (see <a title="CEO: A Life on the Brink" href="http://www.the-chiefexecutive.com/features/feature265/" target="_blank">CEO: A Life on the Brink</a>).</p> <p>However, not all executives burn out, and they don’t all succumb to allowing the levels of stress mount to a point where it all becomes unbearable.</p> <p><strong>So what are the secrets to sanity and survival as a business executive ?</strong></p> <p>Here are some that worked for me in my 40 years of frantic, stress driven life in the Hi-Tech industry.</p> <p>- Don’t do a job you hate, no matter how much they pay you.</p> <p>- Don’t work for a boss, or a board, that you cannot respect or that isn’t supportive.</p> <p>- No senior executive should be allowed to stay in the same role for over 5 years without rotation. Make it part of your career plan.</p> <p>- Play truancy occasionally, like sneaking off to a movie in the afternoon during a busy work day. It feels deliciously mischievous, and gives you the stress relief similar to that provided by a long weekend.</p> <p>- Laugh long, laugh hard and laugh often. Fortunately there is much to laugh at in the business world. Work is meant to be fun.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3338" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/yeltsin_and_clinton_laughing.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3338 " alt="Author: White House Photographic Office; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/yeltsin_and_clinton_laughing.jpg?w=270&h=186" width="270" height="186" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: White House Photographic Office; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>- Don’t procrastinate on tough decisions or tasks, as they will not get easier with time, and doing them straight away gives you something less to dwell upon to create another sleepless night.</p> <p>- Build a team of skilled people that you can rely on to do their job without constant supervision.</p> <p>- Delegate whenever possible and sensible to do so. It will give good people a challenge and a chance to grow.</p> <p>- Remember that control freaks tend to burn out faster than collaborators. Let go the reins and rely on your people to deliver. They will surprise you.</p> <p>- Build a support group of peers (not current colleagues) with whom you can mutually share issues and challenges that you face. 5-6 ex colleagues that you respect and trust works well.</p> <p>- Get an executive coach that you can regularly dump on in confidence. Knowing that you need help is a sign of strength not weakness.</p> <p>- Build habits. Doing 30 minutes of exercise when you first get up in the morning works, whereas telling yourself that you will get to the gym as soon as you finish your priority and past-due list doesn’t.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3339" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 134px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/exercise.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-3339" alt="Author: NPS Graphics, converted by User:ZyMOS; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/exercise.png?w=630" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: NPS Graphics, converted by User:ZyMOS; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>- Manage your time to minimize interruptions. Schedule specific times when you will check your email, rather than doing it on demand. The same with when/how you make phone calls. Doing one thing at a time takes too long. Doing many of the same things in a batch makes you more precise, succinct and bloody minded.</p> <p>- Limit your attendances at meetings to only those that you determine are necessary because you are needed for a group decision. For all others, apologise for non-attendance and ask to be copied only on any resultant action items that will impact you or your organization.</p> <p>- Celebrate victories and successes often letting people know that you appreciate their contribution and commitment, both to the company and to you as their manager.</p> <p>- Acknowledge failures, learn from them and move on. Do everything possible not to repeat them.</p> <p>- Understand your strengths and weaknesses. If they don’t closely match your current job requirements, do something about getting the skills needed, or ask for reassignment to a different role where they match up.</p> <p>- Grow and develop your people to make the business goals easier to achieve each year. The better that your people are, the easier will be your job to lead them.</p> <p>- Share your situation with your family. Sharing with them up front, for example, that you will be working 12 hours per day, and travelling a lot for the next 3 years, and why this is important for all of you, is better than letting them work it out themselves through your continual absences. However, commitments you do make to them for your availability must be met.</p> <p>Just remember that <em>“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.”</em> <a title="Bertrand Russell" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Russell" target="_blank">Bertrand Russell</a> (1872-1970).</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3335/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3335/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3335&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/479/de-de LEADERSHIP IS A SUBTLE ART Mon, 22 Jul 2013 06:15:43 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/478/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”</em><br /> <a title="Lao Tzu" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lao_Tzu" target="_blank">Lao Tzu</a>, founder of Taoism.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3329" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 179px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/lao_tzu.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3329 " alt="Author: Page 72 of Edward Theodore Chalmers Werner's Myths and Legends of China on Project Gutenberg; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/lao_tzu.jpg?w=169&h=240" width="169" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Page 72 of Edward Theodore Chalmers Werner’s Myths and Legends of China on Project Gutenberg; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I generally try to keep out of the academics’ desire to differentiate between leadership and management (see <a title="Management or Leadership" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/management-or-leadership/" target="_blank">“Management or Leadership”</a> posted March 7, 2011), as I believe that the two have become mostly inseparable in real life, both being areas of skill needed by everyone in an executive role.</p> <p>However, I am increasingly asked to give my definition of what constitutes good leadership, so with the caveat that I still believe that great management skills are an integral part of successful leadership and vice versa, I do believe that there are some measurable key elements that when taken together constitute skilled leadership.</p> <p>The best general and concise dictionary definition of leadership I have found is that it represents <em>“a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.”</em></p> <p>Here are my three elements of leadership that I feel are needed, and that I would use to expand this definition:</p> <p><strong>Inspiration </strong>… Many people tend to equate the ability to inspire people mainly with charisma, verbal skills and extroversion, and while I agree that these can help, I do not believe that they are necessarily the only criteria. There is no question that a good leader needs to be able to paint a compelling vision that people want to be a part of, and thus want to contribute to, its attainment. However, this may in many circumstances need visible expertise in the key individual elements of the “dream”, such as product (Apple) or go to market (eBay), even more than the unbridled enthusiasm and oratorical skills of someone like a <a title="Steve Ballmer" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Ballmer" target="_blank">Steve Ballmer</a> of Microsoft. <a title="Steve Ballmer" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Ballmer" target="_blank">Steve Ballmer</a> going crazy on stage when he starts his presentation to the Microsoft developers may, to many of us, look like a man who has lost the plot, but would have been seen as inspirational and enthusiastic to his audience of software developers. (see <a title="Steve Ballmer's presentation" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvsboPUjrGc" target="_blank">video</a>). Compare this with the quite confidence of <a title="Lee Kwan Yew" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Kwan_Yew" target="_blank">Lee Kwan Yew</a>, founding father of Singapore, who I consider to be one of the great inspirational leaders of our time (see <a title="Lee Kwan Yew's national day rally speech" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ofjSBGmOcY" target="_blank">Lee Kwan Yew’s National Day Rally speech 1984</a>). Style may vary, and will depend on the leader as well as the makeup of the team, as inspiring a group of sales people will require a different approach than inspiring a team of techies. However there are some common elements in good inspirational leadership such as setting stretch goals, growing and developing team members, encouraging innovation and creativity, being even-handed with people and creating a culture of high integrity and honesty.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3325" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 210px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/steve_ballmer.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3325 " alt="Author: Microsoft Sweden Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/46411239@N05; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/steve_ballmer.jpg?w=200&h=240" width="200" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Microsoft Sweden Flickr – <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/46411239@N05" rel="nofollow">http://www.flickr.com/photos/46411239@N05</a>; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Collaboration </strong>… Successful leadership is never about going it alone, as by definition, it requires people who are keen to follow. Getting team buy-in and commitment is critical, and the starting point needs to be the right of the key team members to be an integral part in the development of the vision, direction and actions needed to achieve the goal. Successful collaboration requires skilled “social intelligence” in the leader, being the ability to have a basic understanding of people and having the skills needed to interact with them. This has been defined as having the 5 key dimensions of presence (external image or sense of self as perceived by others), clarity (using language effectively while persuading with ideas), awareness (ability to read situations), authenticity (behaviour that shows honesty and integrity) and empathy (ability to connect with others which encourages co-operation). Ultimately every leader must be able to lead by example.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3326" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 226px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/collaboration_logo.png"><img class=" wp-image-3326 " alt="Author: Berdea (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/collaboration_logo.png?w=216&h=146" width="216" height="146" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Berdea (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Concentration </strong>… Good leaders have the ability to focus their time and energy on what is critical, and have the discipline to be able to either disregard or delegate everything else. Being a “control freak” that gets involved in every decision in every piece of the business will generally only work for a short time, a small group or a simple task. The 26th President of the USA, <a title="Theodore Roosevelt" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Roosevelt" target="_blank">Theodore Roosevelt</a> (1858-1919) had it right when he said <em>“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”</em> Those in Leadership roles today are under growing pressures of speed, complexity, changing markets and competition, financial pressures and the need to do more with less. It is critical for success not only of the individual executive, but of the entire organisation that those in leadership positions have an ability to focus on what is critically needed for success. By this definition (and I believe few others, see <a title="Are Fanatics or Fools the Problem" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/are-fanatics-or-fools-the-problem/" target="_blank">“Are Fanatics or Fools the problem ?”</a> posted April 23, 2012) <a title="Steve Jobs" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs" target="_blank">Steve Jobs</a> was exactly the leader needed to bring Apple back from the brink of disaster by focussing on “gadgets” based on his own skill-set, and on his belief and understanding that the market was ready for this. Focus involves taking “calculated risks”, and this is a key element of successful leadership at all times, as it is of any successful business. Ultimately the ability to focus on driving the execution of a widely committed strategy is an integral part of success.</p> <p>I am sure there are many others elements needed in a good leader, but I do see these three to be common in successful leaders, whether in sports, business or politics, remembering that <em>“No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organised in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings”.</em> <a title="Peter Drucker" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Drucker" target="_blank">Peter Drucker</a> (1909-2005), management guru.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3327" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 192px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/peter_drucker.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3327 " alt="Author: Jeff McNeill; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/peter_drucker.jpg?w=182&h=240" width="182" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Jeff McNeill; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3324/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3324/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3324&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/478/de-de WHY MANAGEMENT TRAINING RARELY WORKS Mon, 01 Jul 2013 05:16:17 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/477/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>It’s what you learn after you know it all that really counts.</em></p> <p>I have long been of the opinion that most formal corporate management training sessions actually deliver very little real benefit to the participants, beyond making them feel good about the fact that their company has been prepared to spend some time, money and energy on letting them get away from their normal work for a short time.</p> <p>Corporate management training whether it is for negotiation skills, time management, conflict resolution, how to do a performance review or any other topic deemed to be important for today’s managers, is generally done via a lecture process, despite the fact that studies have shown that the average retention rate of a lecture is only about 5%, which is even less than just reading about the topic at 10% (taken from <a title="The Learning Pyramid" href="http://www.virtuala.com.au/essays/learningpyramid.html" target="_blank">“The Learning Pyramid of the National Training Laboratories Bethel, Maine”</a>).</p> <p><div id="attachment_3296" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/lecture.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3296" alt="Author: Vaibhavgang (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/lecture.jpg?w=300&h=199" width="300" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Vaibhavgang (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Also, quite interestingly, in 1996 Michael Lombardo and Robert Eichinger of the Centre for Creative Leadership developed the 70/20/10 Learning and Development model. This concept states that about 70% of true learning comes from on-the-job experiences, tasks and problem solving, about 20% from feedback, reinforcement and mentoring, and about 10% from courses and reading, and this model has since become well accepted as the basis of how people really learn.</p> <p>Despite all this, many companies still use the approach to training of issuing a directive that mandates that everyone in the company will receive 2 weeks training per year, and to then proceed to cram as many people as possible into a pre-set series of fairly generic courses, enabling everyone involved, especially HR, to feel good about the fact that the directive has been met.</p> <p><strong>The problem is that beyond the short-lived “feel good” factor, this achieves very little in actually developing sustainable new skills, knowledge or understanding.</strong></p> <p>If most of our real learning is done on-the-job with the support of some worthwhile hand-holding, it also does not mean that people should just be left alone to ultimately work it out for themselves. I worked for one large company that believed that management training in any form was basically unnecessary as smart people, once promoted, would ultimately work out what was needed in any management role. Possibly some of them might with time, but I believe that it would have sorely impacted their subordinates while they did so.</p> <p><strong>Management training</strong> is important, but there are some key elements that are critical if any training and development programme is to deliver some worthwhile results.</p> <p><strong>Training needs to be personalised rather than generic</strong> … Just having a generic course for a large number of people may be the most cost effective approach, but it is rare that every sales manager in a company, for example, needs the same level of training on any given topic. Throwing everyone into the one course for say “Major Account Planning” may give some measure of consistency for a short time, but I have never seen any programme like this that actually survived more than about 12 months, and that delivered serious benefits to the company. Training needs to be specific to the individual, their development needs and their growth and progression plan if it is to have even just a valid starting point.</p> <p><strong>Reinforcement from above</strong> … there is no point teaching people how to better do some element of their job, if their manager has not had the same training or if s/he doesn’t reinforce the new behaviour. I have seen training programmes where the attendees come back into the office with the flush of enthusiasm of new converts, only to be shot down by a boss who has not been through the same epiphany, and hence does not support the new behaviour. I have also seen a dysfunctional executive board where politics and backstabbing were cultural standards, but who nonetheless insisted on teamwork training for those below them, in the misguided belief that people would “do as we say, rather do as we do”.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3298" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/org_chart.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3298" alt="Author: Graeme Campbell (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/org_chart.png?w=300&h=226" width="300" height="226" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Graeme Campbell (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Training works better when it’s real world</strong> … Theoretical training, no matter how interesting are the case studies, has less value than working on real live problems that face the company. One of the better corporate management programmes I saw was where people were put in groups made up of geographically spread, diverse individuals from various parts of the business and given about 4 months to solve some serious issues facing the company at that time. The programme was run in association with a leading business school, and all teams also had a board sponsor and mentor. The team task was over and above their normal management job responsibilities and it was designed to teach them how to work across disparate divisions with differing priorities, across multiple time zones and cultures, and under considerable time and budget constraints, all being the realities that the board members had to face daily. Their goal was to present their final team-developed and team-agreed solutions and recommendations to the board and the other teams, and to convince the board to accept these for implementation in the company.</p> <p>Beyond these, successful training also depends on ensuring that the course purpose and outcomes promise and deliver real benefits to the attendees, that the styles of the trainers are a good fit with company culture, that the content is exciting, interesting and results in some epiphanies and awakenings, that participants have the opportunity for involvement and contribution, that the atmosphere is conducive to learning and not just a Powerpoint-fest, that the participants are well selected for cultural mix and that there are some important takeaways that can be measured and reinforced afterwards.</p> <p>However, it is also important to remember that <em>“Creative minds have always been able to survive any kind of bad training”.</em> <a title="Anna Freud" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Freud" target="_blank">Anna Freud</a> (1895-1982), founder of child psychoanalysis, and daughter of Sigmund Freud.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3297" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/anna_freud.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3297 " alt="Author: Simon Harriyott; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/anna_freud.jpg?w=270&h=203" width="270" height="203" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Simon Harriyott; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3295/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3295/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3295&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/477/de-de WHEN BOARDS GET IT WRONG Mon, 24 Jun 2013 06:13:44 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/475/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“God made the idiot for practice, and then He made the … Board”</em><br /> American author and humourist <a title="Mark Twain" href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Twain" target="_blank">Mark Twain</a> (1835-1910)</p> <p><div id="attachment_3286" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 189px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/mark_twain.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3286 " alt="Source: 1890 painting by James Carroll Beckwith; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/mark_twain.jpg?w=179&h=243" width="179" height="243" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Source: 1890 painting by James Carroll Beckwith; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have come to realise that quite a few boards of directors don’t add much real value to the company that they are meant to be helping to steer, and that instead of helping, a dysfunctional board can actually seriously hinder a company’s ability to succeed (see <a title="Why many company boards are ineffective" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/why-many-company-boards-are-ineffective/" target="_blank">“Why many company boards are ineffective”</a> posted July 4, 2011).</p> <p>Part of the problem appears to be that many executives, on their retirement from corporate life, seem to believe that joining a board is a natural next step, without really understanding why they want to do so, nor what value they need to add beyond their business experience, nor as to what is the true function of a non-executive director.</p> <p><strong>This means that many boards can get it seriously wrong in some critical areas.</strong></p> <p><strong>Interfering in operations</strong> … Other than its fiduciary and legal responsibilities, and the importance of protecting the interests of all the stakeholders of the company, one of the main functions of a board of directors is to advise the CEO and the executive team on direction and strategy, and to review progress. It is not the role of the board to interfere in the operational areas of responsibility of the executive team. I recently came across a board where the Chairman has little respect for the CEO, but where they have to live and work together as they are equal, and jointly, the majority shareholders. To try to overcome his view of the CEO’s operational weaknesses, the Chairman, without any buy-in from the CEO, keeps recruiting COOs. Not surprisingly, none of these have lasted more than 6 months as the CEO and the executive team have no commitment nor buy-in to their existence in the company or to their success. <strong>The role of the board is to advise and support the executive team, not to take over their responsibilities and, if there is no confidence in their ability to deliver, the board must act to find replacements for non-performing executives to ensure that stakeholder interests are protected.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_3288" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/board-meeting.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3288" alt="Author: Areyn (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/board-meeting.png?w=300&h=225" width="300" height="225" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Areyn (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Not guarding confidentiality</strong> … I sat on a board where two of the founders, who were also employees, were the staff representatives on the board, the other founders also still being company employees, and collectively still the majority shareholders. It meant that everything discussed at the board meetings was speedily and automatically relayed to their founder colleagues, and therefore was quickly disseminated into the whole organisation, often with disastrous results. For example the joint weight of the majority employee shareholders would often be used to not only continually discuss and dissect, but also to disagree with board direction, and would therefore also often result in pressure on the board to reverse some of its decisions. As a result the board could not function effectively, and I did not stay very long. <strong>Just as in Las Vegas, what happens in the board needs to stay in the board.</strong></p> <p><strong>Wrong VC representatives</strong> …. VCs need to be more than just interested equity partners who sit on the board to protect their investment. It is important that the right people are appointed at the right time, based on the need of the company at its particular stage of development. Having a VC board member who only focusses on the numbers when the company needs advice and direction in building go-to-market and/or globalisation strategies will not add much value at that time, and will mostly just duplicate the skills that one would rightly expect from the CFO. There is no question that a “number cruncher” can be valuable, but timing is critical. <strong>All members of the board must be there to add value or they should be replaced, and as for CEOs, should not be allowed to serve for more than about 5-6 years maximum, to ensure that they do not get too comfortable nor too complacent</strong> (see <a title="How do you know when you should step aside" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/how-do-you-know-when-you-should-step-aside/" target="_blank">“How do you know when you should step aside”</a> posted April 2, 2012).</p> <p><div id="attachment_3289" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/george_soros_-_world_economic_forum_annual_meeting_2011.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3289" alt="Author: World Economic Forum; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/george_soros_-_world_economic_forum_annual_meeting_2011.jpg?w=300&h=201" width="300" height="201" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: World Economic Forum; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Friends of the founder(s)</strong> … I have seen too many early boards that are constituted mainly from friends of the CEO/founder in the belief that the friendship will ensure their commitment to the success of the company. Unfortunately this rarely works, as their tendency is to support the Founder/CEO in whatever s/he does rather than to act as sanity, performance review and sounding boards for the executives. Friends will tend to prefer to work on sustaining the friendship rather than being prepared to hold the executive team to task for their actions. <strong>To be effective a board needs to be constituted by people with a broad set of skills including financial savvy, some entrepreneurial spirit, good business experience and also be “connectors” that have the ability to introduce the company into some required strategic markets and companies, as well as the presence to elevate the reputation and standing of the company. It must also have a Chairman who can manage the board effectively and with integrity from within both business and legal frameworks.</strong></p> <p>Being a board member is not necessarily a valid next step for all retired executives no matter how senior or experienced they may have been in their corporate life. It takes people who not only have the skills and knowledge that are needed, but who also fully understand their roles and responsibilities as a non-executive board member, and who have the right mind-set to take a strategic and advisory role, rather than retaining the operational mind-set that they have held for the previous 35-40 years of their working life. As not all executives will find it easy to make this transition, it is important that boards be constituted with considerable planning to meet actual needs, as well as with wisdom, caution and forethought.</p> <p><em>“In modern business it is not the crook who is to be feared most, it is the honest man who doesn’t know what he is doing.”</em><br /> English poet, <a title="William Wordsworth" href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wordsworth" target="_blank">William Wordsworth</a> (1770-1850).</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3285/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3285/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3285&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/475/de-de THE MANAGEMENT ART OF MUCKING OUT HORSE STABLES Mon, 10 Jun 2013 06:12:07 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/472/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.”</em><br /> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dale_Carnegie" title="Dale Carnegie" target="_blank">Dale Carnegie</a> (1888-1955), American author, trainer and lecturer. </p> <p>As we are the enthusiastic owners of two horses, I regularly try to increase my knowledge about their care and feeding. I recently came across this vey old beginner’s guide to horse care, and couldn’t help but notice that it was still very relevant, and that with the changing of just a few words here and there, these four paragraphs actually had some good advice, and horse sense, along the lines of what I would say to managers about the care and feeding of their people. (See also <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/the-management-art-of-stacking-firewood/" title="The Management Art of Stacking Firewood" target="_blank">“The management art of stacking firewood”</a> posted March 18, 2013).</p> <p><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/img-20120316-00232-2.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/img-20120316-00232-2.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="" width="300" height="225" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-3270" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/img-20130117-00585-2.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/img-20130117-00585-2.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="" width="300" height="225" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-3271" /></a></p> <p>……………………………………………………..</p> <p><strong><em>Original version on horses</em></strong></p> <p><em>“Having horses is a big responsibility. By nature, these animals are easy to be with, and are fit to be together with their herd in open spaces. To care for them, you have to keep that in mind, and work your way towards helping them achieve a good disposition. You have to take the time and effort to give them the necessary activities that they require, as they can become discontented if they are not handled in a proper manner. Make sure that there are no hazards which can hurt them, such as holes and waste. You should also spend time and effort in training your horses well so that they can understand what you want from them. and to allow them to work better with you.</p> <p>To avoid waste and other hazards, build a fence around their pasture. This ensures that your horses are in a safe and secure area. If a horse escapes, it might encounter problems such as injury or getting lost. Make sure that the fence you use is strong enough to secure your pasture, but not so hard that it may cause injury to your horses.</p> <p>Aside from a secure and well-built fence, your horses should also have enough protection from the harsh environment. A tree grove will provide nice shade for when it is too hot, but for winds and rain, it is best if you have a three-sided enclosure which your horses can retreat into. Study the direction of the wind well, so that the back part will be able to protect your horses from coming winds.</p> <p><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/img-20110626-00023-2.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/img-20110626-00023-2.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="" width="300" height="225" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-3273" /></a></p> <p>Make sure that you feed your horse properly. They need a lot of water daily, so always see to it that they have access to drinking water all the time. And with the right diet and nutrients provided for them, your horses will have a good disposition and you will be able to enjoy their company much better. Caring for horses is a full time job, so be sure to learn as much as you can about them and how to look after them.”</em> </p> <p>……………………………………………………..</p> <p><strong>My version on management</strong></p> <p>Being a manager is a big responsibility. By nature people are easy to be with, and can work well together in their team, even if placed in an open-plan environment, as long as it has been built for people rather than being just in rows of mind-numbing cubicles. To care for them, you have to keep “humanity” in mind, and work towards helping them to achieve their life goals as well as their work goals, and work your way towards helping them achieve a good disposition. As their manager you have to take the time and effort to give them the necessary goals and motivation that they require, as they can become discontented if they are not handled in a proper manner. Make sure that you remove the barriers to their success, such as company political landmines and the sort of “holes and waste” that can come from all sides and that can hurt them. You should also spend time and effort in training your people well so that they can understand what you want from them. and to allow them to work better with you. </p> <p>To protect them from external assault, you should build an environment that protects them enough to do their job well, but not so strong that they cannot wander out when they feel the need to find out what is going on around them. Your role as their manager is to ensure that they do not get “injured or lost”, and that they understand what it is that they find out in the wide expanse of the corporate wilds, and how it can affect them. The fence just needs to be strong enough to protect them from outside threats and time-wasters, but with lots of visible exits.</p> <p>Aside from a secure and well-built fence, your team should also have enough protection from the harsh environment that can arise from elements like changes in corporate direction, tough economic environments, squeezed budgets, hiring freezes and even company downsizing, It is easy to shelter your people in good times, but a good manager will work to protect his team under the harshest of conditions. You need to be able to study the direction of possible ill winds, and plan ahead to ensure that your team will be well protected from all sides.</p> <p>Make sure that you feed your people properly with everything that they may need to do their jobs well and to do them with energy, commitment and passion. They will need access to resources and information daily, so make sure that they have what they need all the time. And with the right tools and knowledge provided for them, your people will have a good disposition, and you will be able to enjoy their company much better. Caring for people is a full time job, so be sure to learn as much as you can about them and how to look after them.</p> <p>……………………………………………………….</p> <p><strong>They say that a horse gallops with its lungs, perseveres with its heart, and wins with its character … so do people.</strong></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3267/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3267/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3267&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/472/de-de NEVER RUSH TO RECRUIT Mon, 03 Jun 2013 06:17:11 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/471/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“I am convinced that little that we do as managers is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies.”</em><br /> <a title="Lawrence Bossidy" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Bossidy" target="_blank">Laurence Bossidy</a>, author and former COO of GE</p> <p><div id="attachment_3256" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 232px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/general_electric.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3256 " alt="Author: Thomas Alva Edison; {{PD-US}}; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/general_electric.jpg?w=222&h=145" width="222" height="145" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Thomas Alva Edison; {{PD-US}}; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Hiring the right people into the right positions is one of the most critical responsibilities of any manager, and yet it is one that most managers do extremely badly (see <a title="Why are so many managers so bad at recruiting" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/why-are-so-many-managers-so-bad-at-recruiting/" target="_blank">“Why are so many managers so bad at recruiting ?”</a> posted December 12, 2011).</p> <p>One would think that in today’s economic environment, with about four people unemployed for every job available, companies would have a wonderful treasure trove of candidates available to choose from, and would therefore find it easier than ever to bring in the right people to fill their vacancies. However, this does not appear to be the case, as studies show that on an average it takes twice as long to fill a vacancy today than it did just three years ago. In itself, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as I believe that <strong>we should not rush to recruit at any time</strong> nor at any level, but it also appears that the quality of recruitment has not improved much in that same time.</p> <p>A recent study documented in the <a title="Harvard Business Review" href="http://hbr.org/" target="_blank">Harvard Business Review</a> found that over 70% of staff turnover can be directly linked to incorrect recruitment. One problem is <strong>that companies still tend to recruit more for skills than they do for attitude</strong>, something that I have long felt is the wrong way around, as the needed skills can always be developed much more easily than can the right attitudes.</p> <p><strong>However, the real problem that I see today is that in most companies, managers tend to be measured more strongly on how long it takes to fill a vacancy in their area of responsibility, rather than on how well the vacancy has been filled</strong>, despite the fact that incorrect recruitment can have a devastating effect on a company. It is estimated that a bad hire can financially cost a company three to five times the annual salary, but over and above the direct cost there is also an impact on employee morale and productivity, as well as the potential indirect costs of the impact on customer and partner relationships if the role is an externally facing one.</p> <p>To speed up the recruiting process, managers tend to give away most of the responsibility for recruitment to third parties. This is understandable, as few managers have the available time to sift through wads of CVs, and then do a raft of initial interviews to come up with a final shortlist, for personal and serious one on one interviews.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3257" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 218px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/resume.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3257 " alt="Author: Rkwriting; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/resume.jpg?w=208&h=270" width="208" height="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Rkwriting; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>This means that the development of this critical shortlist is generally left to the HR organisation to deliver, which despite being skilled in interview techniques, and despite probably having some understanding of the role to be filled, may not necessarily be in total synchronisation with the attitudes, culture and values of the hiring manager and his team. And yet, this approach is meant to work, despite the fact that <strong>people tend to join companies but leave managers.</strong></p> <p>In my own experience, I have found that letting my own team vet the available CVs, and hence develop the shortlist, has had considerably more success than using HR for this task, even to the ultimate point of allowing my team to come up with the final candidate for me to meet.</p> <p>While your team may not have the same level of professional interview techniques as trained HR recruitment specialists, they will have a better understanding of what characteristics and attitudes are needed in <strong>their team</strong> (rather than your team), and in reality I have found them to be even more significantly bloody-minded than I am about ensuring that the right person is added to their group.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3261" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/job_interview.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/job_interview.jpg?w=300&h=200" alt="Author: bpsusf; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="200" class="size-medium wp-image-3261" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: bpsusf; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>If you have great people working for you, and you know that they can do their job well, who better is there to recognise someone else who could do a similar job, and who would fit well into the team ?</p> <p>I have also been fortunate in my time to have some great PAs, and I never hired anyone without getting their opinion of the people we had shortlisted. If the interviews had taken place in our office, I would also check with the people on reception, as they generally had a good skill for recognising the arrogant and self-important.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3258" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/reception_desk.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3258 " alt="Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/reception_desk.jpg?w=270&h=217" width="270" height="217" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>This process of team recruitment may take longer than the normal one of using HR, but I have always found that this approach delivered a better end result than doing it myself, and had the added benefit of getting a team commitment to the new hire, even before they actually started on the job.</p> <p>This also means that there are more people ready to volunteer to get involved in the new person’s induction, in the effort expended on them coming up to speed, their education about the land-mines and barriers that exist in most companies, and a greater commitment overall to their success. It also means that the team will take a greater responsibility for ensuring that team values and culture are maintained, without necessarily needing the team leader’s involvement.</p> <p>If something is worth doing at all, it is worth doing well, and <strong>recruiting the right people into the team is such a critical part of an organisation’s success</strong> that responsibility for doing it well should not be parcelled out to HR. HR can be involved in ensuring that the net for recruits is thrown in the right ponds and HR should manage the relationships with external professional recruiters who are an increasingly important part of candidate identification, but their role is really just to give you some realistic choices.</p> <p>It is ultimately a critical part of your role as a manager to make sure that you recruit those people that have the best chance of succeeding, and who will have a serious chance to add value to your team and your company, and you should therefore <strong>never rush to recruit</strong>.</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3255/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3255/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3255&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/471/de-de EVERY COMPANY NEEDS PEOPLE WHO CAN REGULARLY FAIL Mon, 27 May 2013 05:09:56 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/470/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. <strong>I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.</strong>”</em></p> <p><a title="Michael Jordan" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Jordan" target="_blank">Michael Jordan</a>, the greatest basketball player of all time</p> <p><div id="attachment_3240" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 191px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/michael_jordan.jpg"><img class="wp-image-3240 " alt="Author: Steve Lipofsky Basketballphoto.com; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/michael_jordan.jpg?w=181&h=203" width="181" height="203" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Steve Lipofsky Basketballphoto.com; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have long believed that people who do not make mistakes are people who are not trying hard enough, and are people who are unlikely to succeed in their endeavours.</p> <p>I have never admired Steve Jobs for his leadership, as he was a despotic egomaniac , but I certainly have admired him for the fact that he was a brilliantly unreasonable agent for change. Before returning to Apple from the wilderness in 1996, and flooding the world with iPods, iPhones and iPads, he made lots of mistakes along the way including bringing Apple to its knees in 1985, when he was unceremoniously ousted by the board.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3241" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 172px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/iphone.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3241" alt="Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blake4tx/352328190/; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/iphone.jpg?w=162&h=300" width="162" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Source: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/blake4tx/352328190/" rel="nofollow">http://www.flickr.com/photos/blake4tx/352328190/</a>; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have always told my people that they would not get fired for making honest mistakes, as long as they learned from it so as to not have repetitions, as I have long believed that if we could try 10 different things and six or seven of them worked, we would be well ahead. The reality being that we would not have achieved the six or seven successes if we had not tried the ten. The problem is that many people are too scared to try anything new because of a fear of the repercussions for failure.</p> <p><strong>The truth is that we tend to learn more from our mistakes than we learn from our successes, as success can sometimes even blind us to the fact that it may have been more a result of circumstance and timing rather than personal skill.</strong></p> <p>I have a good friend who made an embarrassing amount of money in the Sydney property market in the late 1970s, as did most other people at the time, as Sydney went through a massive property boom. Sadly this success taught him little, as rather than accepting that “all boats rise in a high tide”, he started to believe that his success had to be due to his personal brilliance, so he then proceeded to lose everything that he had made in the previous decade, by playing the futures and currency markets for just one year. This failure was a better learning exercise, and he has now managed to rebuild his personal wealth, with a better understanding of his own limitations as well as his skills.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3245" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/sydney_harbour_bridge_night1.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3245" alt="Author: DAVID ILIFF; CC-BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/sydney_harbour_bridge_night1.jpg?w=300&h=67" width="300" height="67" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: DAVID ILIFF; CC-BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>The problem starts with most educational systems that tend to encourage conformity much more than creativity, as very few schools and few teachers find it easy to handle students who are different. As a result, children who do not fit into the “normal mould” are generally not accepted, and tend to be pushed to the side, while the focus stays on the herd. The emphasis is much more on learning to be right rather than learning to be creative or innovative, and if they then move into the business world, they tend to hit these same attitudes.</p> <p>There was a wonderful example of this in Australia in the 1970s, which was so good that I have long wondered whether it was just an urban myth. A question in an Australian history exam said simply <em>“Take any year and discuss sheep and sheep distribution in Australia”</em>. One student, as his answer, wrote <em>“100 BC, no sheep”</em>. He didn’t give an answer that was acceptable to the guardians of educational rightness at the time, however he was totally accurate in his analysis, as sheep didn’t arrive in Australia till 1788 with the first fleet. I am sure that his creativity was not rewarded then, and I have no doubt that neither would it be rewarded today.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3242" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 250px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/sheep_in_australia.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3242 " alt="Author: Cgoodwin (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/sheep_in_australia.jpg?w=240&h=194" width="240" height="194" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Cgoodwin (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I find that most companies also tend to reward those who protect the status quo rather than those who want to experiment with change, thereby creating a culture where any failure is a serious career limiter. This will then ensure that people become strongly risk averse and will then only do what has been done before (see <a title="If you always so what you have always done" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/if-you-always-do-what-you-have-always-done/" target="_blank">“If you always do what you have always done” </a>posted April 29, 2013). Building a culture that is risk averse means that managers will tend to recruit and/or promote only those people that fit the existing mould and who will be unlikely to test the existing boundaries. This protection of “the way we do things around here” will start on day one with the induction of new employees, to put into them the fear of being or thinking differently.</p> <p>At our induction programmes in Asia Pacific in the 1990s, when we were growing by 60+% annually, I would personally start every induction programme. I would tell the intake to take out one of their new SAP business cards, to cross out their official title, and replace it with “agent for change”, as what we did yesterday to be successful would not work today, and what we did today would not work tomorrow. I would also encourage them to be not scared to make mistakes, as the management believed that people who did not make any mistakes at all, were less valuable to us in the long run than those who were not scared to experiment. We did everything that we could do to try to help them remove the fear of making mistakes, as we needed them to be prepared to question what we did if they felt there could be a better way. Our expression was that “sacred cows made great hamburgers” (with apologies to our Hindu employees).</p> <p>Every company needs people who are courageous enough to try new things, are not scared to question and challenge the status quo, who are unreasonable enough to drive change and who therefore are likely to regularly fail, safe in the belief that they are doing what is needed.</p> <p>Someone wise once said <em>“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather that something is more important than fear”</em>.</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3239/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3239/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3239&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/470/de-de CAN WOMEN LEAP HIGHER UP THE MANAGEMENT LADDER Mon, 20 May 2013 06:33:50 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/468/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“For real change, we need feminine energy in the management of the world. We need a critical number of women in positions of power, and we need to nurture the feminine energy in men.”</em> Written by <a title="Isabel Allende" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabel_Allende" target="_blank">Isabelle Allende</a>, world famed Chilean author.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3228" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 193px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/isabel_allende.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3228 " alt="Author: paal / Paal Leveraas; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/isabel_allende.jpg?w=183&h=243" width="183" height="243" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: paal / Paal Leveraas; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I was recently invited to do a presentation to a group of women managers involved in a Leadership Acceleration Programme (LEAP) that had been built to help create a workplace environment that would enable them to compete more effectively for increasingly more senior management roles, in their large global company.</p> <p>The issue they were trying to address was mainly based on the fact that whilst they did already have women in about 30% of their management population, the majority of these were in first level management roles, and the percentages diminished rapidly the further up the ladder one travelled.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3229" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 189px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/management_ladder.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3229 " alt="Author: SOIR; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/management_ladder.jpg?w=179&h=240" width="179" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: SOIR; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have generally been against mandated gender equality programmes and particularly against externally enforced quota systems(see <a title="Stupid Work Fads" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/stupid-work-fads/" target="_blank">“Stupid work fads”</a> posted 5 September, 2011), but as this programme was more focussed on working towards trying to level the playing field, I agreed to participate.</p> <p>In my presentation on “How to manage your career” as well as my generic “3 golden rules” of career management that I always stress of “don’t do a job you hate, don’t work for a boss you can’t respect, and don’t work for a company you can’t be proud of”, (see <a title="People join companies but leave managers" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/people-join-companies-but-leave-managers/" target="_blank">“People join companies but leave managers”</a> posted April 8, 2013), I also covered some areas that I felt would be specific to their situation, and those that I feel that men on a management ladder tend to do better than the women with whom they compete.</p> <p>Two critical ones were:</p> <p><strong>1. Find a champion</strong></p> <p>I have generally found that successful male executives have had a champion during critical times in their career. I believe that having a mentor is important, but even more advantageous is having a champion in a very senior role in the company. Someone who can, and who will, help to accelerate a career is a serious asset. From my own experience, I have seen a fairly competent, but not necessarily world shattering, manager move in just a decade through the ranks of country manager to regional President to company CEO. This was because of the then current CEO championing his every move into his own successor role, forgiving his transgressions and failures along the way, because of the champion’s unfailing belief in his own succession plan. In my own early career, I have had a boss who stepped aside so I could climb past him because he believed I would make a better CIO than would he, thus launching my management career. Later on, I was fortunate to have a President of a global company who believed that I could be more than a small country CEO, and started to build my broader experience with some critical and highly visible global projects.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3230" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 189px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/mentor.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3230 " alt="Author: François Fénelon (1651-1715); via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/mentor.jpg?w=179&h=216" width="179" height="216" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: François Fénelon (1651-1715); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>2. Build a brand</strong></p> <p>Men have long understood that it is important to build their brand and reputation, in much the same way that successful companies do for their products. This means that it is not enough to be a successful manager, it is also important to be seen to be a successful manager. This cannot be achieved if you are seen as just “blowing your own trumpet”, but building one’s reputation is a critical part of career progression, and you can rarely do it just through self-promotion. You achieve it by doing your job well and then by doing more than the current role demands. You can help build your brand, for example, by becoming a net contributor of talent for your whole organisation, rather than trying to hold on to your best people to fuel your own immediate success. The more people from within your own organisation that can move on to senior roles in your company will help to build your reputation as a skilled and capable people developer and manager, as well as spreading your own “acolytes” through the organisation. You can also help to build your brand by becoming a spokesperson for your company in areas that will give you not only visibility, but that will also establish you as someone who can represent your company well to the outside world. As most people, including senior executives, fear public speaking more than death, it is usually not hard to step into a role such as this (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/how-to-give-a-great-speech/" title="How to give a great speech" target="_blank">“How to give a great speech”</a> posted 21 March, 2011 and <a title="How to really give a great speech" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/how-to-really-give-a-great-speech/" target="_blank">“How to really give a great speech”</a> posted March 24, 2011).</p> <p><strong>I believe that the business world cannot continue to protect the upper echelons of management as a predominantly male bastion.</strong></p> <p>When it comes to education, in the UK, 45% of eligible women will attend university versus 40% of eligible men, women now make up over 55% of university attendees and outnumber men in most courses including law and medicine, as well as outnumbering men in the number of graduates that achieve upper honours degrees by 64% to 60%.</p> <p>In the US, whilst 46% of eligible women will go on to college, only 36% of men will do so. Based on current attendees, by 2015 women will represent over 60% of Bachelor’s and Master’s degree graduates and 58% of PhD’s.</p> <p>The reality is that we all need to face up to the fact that women in the business world are here to stay and that the companies who are quick to take advantage of this simple fact and the advantages that women can bring to management roles, will be the ones who benefit the most quickly.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3231" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 220px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/ginni_rometty.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3231 " alt="Author: Asa Mathat / Fortune Live Media; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/ginni_rometty.jpg?w=210&h=243" width="210" height="243" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Asa Mathat / Fortune Live Media; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3227/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3227/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3227&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/468/de-de A DUMMY’S GUIDE TO OFFICE POLITICS Mon, 06 May 2013 05:12:25 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/466/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“The person who says “I’m not political” is in great danger, as only the fittest will survive, and the fittest will be the ones who understand their office’s politics”.</em> Jean Hollands (US Trainer and Coach).</p> <p>Politics in the workplace is a fact of life in most companies and, even if you do not want to take part, it is important for your own survival and success that you are aware that it exists, that you can recognise the players, and that you understand how to navigate around it.</p> <p>William Shakespeare, in Henry the Sixth, wrote <em>“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”.</em> Whilst I do not advocate wholesale slaughter, I do believe that as a manager you would be well advised to be able to identify and weed out the politicians. Leave the lawyers alone as you may actually have need of them, whereas politicians are dispensable.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3209" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/shakespeare_globe_theater.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3209" alt="Author: Tohma; GFDL license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/shakespeare_globe_theater.jpg?w=300&h=225" width="300" height="225" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Tohma; GFDL license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Here are the major types of business politicians and how to recognise them:</p> <p>- <strong>The Friend.</strong> This is one of the most insidious as they will befriend you and build your trust in them, but they will be trying to destroy your reputation and status behind your back at the same time as they are declaring their undying commitment to you. They will be positioning themselves to others as “I am his friend so I know his strengths and weaknesses ……”.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3212" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 208px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/telling_a_friend_or_enemy.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3212" alt="via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/telling_a_friend_or_enemy.jpg?w=198&h=300" width="198" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>- <strong>The Enemy.</strong> These are the easiest to handle as their antagonism is open and full on. Unlike the friend who is stabbing you in the back, this type will openly be trying to stab you in the front, so at least you will have no trouble to see them coming.</p> <p>- <strong>The Gossiper.</strong> This is the one at the water cooler or coffee corner who knows all the juicy gossip about everyone else. They know who is a secret drinker, who is having an affair, who has a gambling problem, who is having marriage problems and what is going wrong in the company. They have little care about the truth of what they are saying, as their only intent is to undermine confidence, and will cover themselves by saying things like <em>“I am not sure if it is true, but I have heard that …..”.</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3211" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 204px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/gossips.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3211" alt="Author: Rebecca Kennison; GFDL and CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons " src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/gossips.jpg?w=194&h=300" width="194" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Rebecca Kennison; GFDL and CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>- <strong>The Yes-man.</strong> S/he will agree with everyone about anything and everything that you are saying, to try and ingratiate themselves with you, and to gain a position of being supportive and collaborative, but they will ultimately pursue their own agenda items. Be suspicious of people who never disagree with you as no-one can be right all the time.</p> <p>- <strong>The Shape Shifter.</strong> This person will agree with whomever they have had their last conversation, and will shift sides as needed, as the need to seem to actually have an opinion dictates. They will agree completely with you on an issue, give their commitment, and then will go away and do something completely different.</p> <p>- <strong>The Trouble Maker.</strong> S/he just loves to play the political game, and will go out of their way to create issues that don’t actually exist. They will turn people against each other just for the power of being in control and the sport, and for the fun of watching people get angry about things that really don’t matter.</p> <p>- <strong>The Hard Worker.</strong> If someone is always telling you how hard they are working, the chances are high that they are not. True hard workers just focus on getting the job done. You need to measure people on their ability to deliver results that are reasonably expected of them, and the quality of how they do so. I would rather have someone who works a normal week and gets things done, than someone who works twice as long and keeps telling me how hard they are working, but never quite delivers on time or with quality.</p> <p>- <strong>The Unionist.</strong> This person will stir up those around him on pretend issues like the ergonomics of the chairs, the lack of choice in the cafeteria and the degree of softness of the toilet paper. Their only objective is to try and turn people against their manager and the company.</p> <p>- <strong>The Altruist.</strong> This one will never have a problem themselves, but will only raise issues that they say that they are bringing to the surface because of their concern for someone else in their team who is not coping. This enables them to stick the knife into that person while positioning themselves as someone who cares about others. They don’t.</p> <p>- <strong>The Bad Apple.</strong> S/he may have identified a real issue, but rather than bringing it into the open, will spend time, energy and effort in infecting and poisoning others until the issue takes on an enormity that it didn’t deserve, and which could have been quickly resolved had it been raised early enough.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3213" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/bad_apple.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3213" alt="Author: Janine Pohl; CC BY-SA 2.5 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/bad_apple.jpg?w=300&h=200" width="300" height="200" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Janine Pohl; CC BY-SA 2.5 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>As much as possible, you should try and work hard to stay out of the political games that are played by others. Total avoidance may be hard to achieve, but you should at least try to sidestep obvious political situations.</strong></p> <p>- Don’t indulge in gossip, no matter how juicy it may seem, particularly during coffee, cigarette or lunch breaks where the gossipers seek out an audience. Instead, take steps to ensure that you have the best information available about what is really happening in the company.</p> <p>- Don’t take sides in office political issues. If you do have a problem, or if you see a serious issue that needs resolution, try and resolve it by talking to your boss. That is one of the tasks in their job description.</p> <p>- Doing a great job speaks for itself, and ultimately will win against people whose only skill is to schmooze the boss. If you are in a company where the politicians keep winning out, you should seriously consider taking your skills elsewhere, where competency and professionalism are traits that are truly treasured.</p> <p>- Think before you act. Be conscious of company culture and the way that things get handled and resolved. If someone attacks you by gossiping or spreading rumours about you, remember that revenge is like biting a dog because it bit you first. If it becomes serious, try and find out what is bothering the attacker, and if you can’t resolve it face to face, take it higher. However, if you do escalate, you must be sure that you have all the facts right before you do.</p> <p><strong>You should also remember the wise words of Larry Hardiman who said <em>“The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly’ meaning ‘many’, and the word ‘ticks’ meaning ‘blood sucking parasites’.”</em></strong></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3208/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3208/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3208&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/466/de-de IF YOU ALWAYS DO WHAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS DONE ….. Mon, 29 Apr 2013 05:07:19 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/465/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><strong>Most people do not want change; they just want things to get better.</strong></p> <p>The majority of people would like to have their life improve in some way; to have better health, better family relationships, better friends, a better job, a nicer living environment, be more loved, be slimmer, taller, better looking, less wrinkled, fitter and for most, to have more money.</p> <p>But very few people seem to be prepared to accept that in order to successfully achieve anything in life, particularly in an ever-changing world, the first requirement is that they change something about what they are doing today.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3201" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/change.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3201 " alt="Author: Felix Burton; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/change.jpg?w=270&h=203" width="270" height="203" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Felix Burton; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><a title="Sir Winston Churchill" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill" target="_blank">Sir Winston Churchill</a> (1874-1965) understood that “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”</p> <p>The reality is that this desire to not have to change anything is also true of many companies, particularly during times of success. Strangely, this is true despite the fact that business history is littered with the corporate epitaphs of companies that believed that they didn’t need to change what they were doing, and that all they needed to do was to hope things would get better and then people would just buy more of their products and/or services.</p> <p>I have two such examples from my own personal career history.</p> <p><strong>International Harvester</strong> (where I worked 1966-1973), who invented a large part of the farm equipment and machinery which is still used today, and who dominated their industry for decades, came to believe that their customers would stay loyal to them even if they stopped investing in R&D. They embarked on a major cost savings programme to improve profitability, and their customers deserted them in droves when smaller competitors appeared who could differentiate themselves, even in small ways, from the then giant.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3202" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/international_harvester_733.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3202 " alt="Author: Joost J. Bakker; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/international_harvester_733.jpg?w=270&h=203" width="270" height="203" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Joost J. Bakker; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>The same is true of <strong>Digital Equipment</strong> (where I worked from 1997-1984) who dominated large parts of the IT world with their range of minicomputers in the 1970s and 1980s. They would not accept that “people would want a computer on their desk or in the home”, despite the fact that the workstation revolution was happening all around them. (see <a title="Hero to Zero in the Corner Office" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/hero-to-zero-in-the-corner-office/" target="_blank">“Hero to zero in the corner office”</a> posted October 29, 2012).</p> <p>Despite all the lessons available from history, I too often see this same sort of attitude today in some companies who appear to believe that their survival and success is now mainly dependant on them just being able to get through the current economic crisis. A belief that everything will return to “normal” when the crisis is over, and that this should happen fairly soon, as it has already been going on for 5 years since 2008, so can’t go on forever. Anyway the media do deliver to us the occasional hopeful sign.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3203" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/crisis.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3203 " alt="Author: Slowking4; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/crisis.jpg?w=270&h=203" width="270" height="203" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Slowking4; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>However, I believe that this view that we are in a traditional crisis state, that has a beginning and an end, is a complete misunderstanding of the financial situation that the world is in today. I believe that we are going through a more fundamental shift in the economic environment, and that companies who cannot adjust to the new economic realities will not survive, in the same way that in the past we have seen companies die because they did not change to meet fundamental shifts in their industries. (see <a title="Growing a new leg" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/growing-a-new-leg/" target="_blank">“Growing a new leg”</a> posted June 20,2010).</p> <p>In the Western economies we have built national, corporate and personal wealth on a belief in continual growth, and the availability of inexpensive capital to fund our drive for growth. Growth has been the major change agent for everything that was needed for success, and growth could disguise basic weaknesses in any structure whether at a country, corporate or personal level.</p> <p>At a personal level, as long as we had a job, and our wages went up every year, we could build our future life on debt, as growth would guarantee our ability to manage it all and we could continue to survive and prosper.</p> <p>Countries and companies were no different. Growth drove taxation to fund country administrations and citizen wealth, and hence loyalty, and growth drove companies’ profits to enable them to continue to drive growth, for business growth was the ultimate goal that forgave most sins and delivered success.</p> <p>But today, in most countries, most industries and most companies there is neither the ready availability of inexpensive money nor economic growth, and I believe that those that are not fundamentally changing, but are just waiting for these to return, will continue to struggle for survival.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3204" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 200px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/growth.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-3204" alt="Author: Pictofigo; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/growth.png?w=630" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Pictofigo; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Today, even if we want to stay the same, we have to make changes to be able to do so, because our only choice is to live within an environment that is driven and changed by others, or to make the changes that enable us to live within an environment that we have helped to create.</strong></p> <p>Companies that will survive this current revolutionary shift in business fundamentals will not only have to change the way that they manage their finances, but will have to change the way that they compete, find and keep their customers, satisfy their ecosystem, the way that they go to market and the way that they find, recruit, manage, motivate, reward and retain their people.</p> <p>As is often attributed to <a title="Charles Darwin" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin" target="_blank">Charles Darwin</a> (1809-1892) <em>“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”</em></p> <p>I have long believed that <strong>if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you already have, but I have now come to believe that you will actually keep getting less and less.</strong></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3200/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3200/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3200&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/465/de-de HR … DOES PERISH COME NEXT AFTER PARTNER AND PLAYER ? Mon, 22 Apr 2013 05:10:28 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/464/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I have long believed, written and spoken about the fact that HR organisations need to go through a major transition to be allowed to survive as a business unit, rather than just ending up handling administrative functions in a shared service centre in some low cost country. (see <a title="HR... Polite to Partner to Player" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/hr-polite-to-police-to-partner-to-player/" target="_blank">“HR … Polite to Police to Partner to Player”</a> posted August 26, 2010).</p> <p><div id="attachment_3191" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 254px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/hr.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3191" alt="Author: indo consultores; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/hr.jpg?w=244&h=300" width="244" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: indo consultores; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have based this belief on the fact that if HR organisations cannot transition from a “run the company” position to a more strategic “change the company” role, they will continue to come under pressure to do more and more with fewer resources, as companies drive hard to cut costs to be able to survive the new economic realities which we all face today. I have therefore felt that becoming an “HR Business Partner” is not enough, as a partner is someone who may be asked to help implement the strategy built by others, but an “HR Player” is someone who is actually an integral part of the creation of the strategy. This ensures that the strategy is built around people, and takes into account critical issues such as ensuring that the strategy is actually supported by, and synchronised with, the corporate culture, and that the skills and competencies needed for strategy execution can be developed and/or acquired.</p> <p>I have also long believed that a critical element of any corporate success is the commitment to building <strong>“management as a profession”</strong> rather than just a vocational add-on, which unfortunately tends to be most prevalent in European companies today. A critical part of professional management is an understanding of how to recruit, lead, motivate, develop, challenge, evaluate, reward and inspire your people, in other words those areas of concern that are generally associated with HR.</p> <p><strong>I had therefore concluded that the stronger and more capable is the management of the company, the less does the company need to be dependent on an HR organisation to identify and take responsibility for human issues.</strong></p> <p>Hence my belief that for HR the future is to either transition to a more important strategic role, or just stagnate as merely administrators of payroll and personnel records, roles that could easily be outsourced or even taken over by a capable F&A organisation.</p> <p>However, I recently had the opportunity to hear an exciting young man called Heiko Fischer speak at a conference in Zurich, who made me wonder whether I needed to add another word to my alliteration to make it <strong>“Polite to Police to Partner to Player to Perish”, and whether the true ultimate goal of HR is to make itself totally unnecessary, by making management more capable.</strong></p> <p>Heiko is the founder of <a href="http://www.resourceful-humans.com/" title="Resourceful Humans Consulting" target="_blank">Resourceful Humans Consulting</a> and he believes that the word “perish” should apply to our traditional understanding of management as well as to HR. He believes strongly that companies that adopt the principles of resourceful humans can do away with both HR and middle management.</p> <p>They believe (from their web site) ….</p> <blockquote><p>“ … to sustainably produce meaningful contributions for your customers in the 21st century marketplace, a few great leaders are simply not good enough. To succeed in such highly demanding environments you need a critical mass of great people who can all lead and innovate when needed. To that end the RH-Way combines a proven entrepreneurial management mindset with a shared leadership architecture from the Gaming Industry. The Way of Resourceful Humans helps you enable your people’s potential, by relentlessly structuring the enterprise around their desire to produce results.”</p></blockquote> <p>Heiko postulates that while we all want to live in a democratic country, we do not translate the core elements of democracy to the way we work, and particularly as companies grow. He believes that the key elements to building companies that can succeed through continuous innovation is firstly to understand that making a profit is necessary for a company to survive, but that <strong>contribution </strong>to the entire ecosystem of staff, customers, partners and community should be the primary goal, and if successful then profit is one of the valuable by-products.</p> <p>My simplified interpretation, of his three critical elements (in the space available) are:</p> <p>- <strong>Democracy</strong>. Note that he does not advocate anarchy nor the abolition of management, but that its function is to create the <strong>minimum </strong>structure needed for an environment where people can be successful through having a greater say in what they do and how they do it. He sees our current management structures as being like a hamburger where management is the oversize bun, and where the people are what tends to be a very small patty squeezed in between. Heiko feels that modern structures need to be more like a burrito where the wrap is very thin and the major part is the filling.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3192" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/barack_obama_votes_in_the_2012_election.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3192" alt="Author: Pete Souza; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/barack_obama_votes_in_the_2012_election.jpg?w=300&h=199" width="300" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Pete Souza; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>- <strong>Information</strong>. We need to ensure that people are kept informed of what is going on in the company at all times so that they can manage their own behaviour and actions based on what is needed. His belief is that if you give people the chance to work as entrepreneurs within a company environment, they will do so, and they will work towards their own success and therefore that of the business.</p> <p>- <strong>Gain sharing</strong>. His feel is that the way that we reward people today is all based on management handing out largesse, whereas a more realistic way to reward people, particularly in a networked environment, is to base it on company success, but on value and contribution to the team as viewed by their peers.</p> <p>Heiko uses the example of the Starship Enterprise of Star Trek. James Kirk is the captain and sets their direction under their broad strategy of going “where no man has gone before”, but doesn’t spend a lot of time telling people what to do, as his team understand their roles and how and when to perform them. On top of that, no-one on the Enterprise has been ever known to pick up a communicator to talk to HR.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3193" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 228px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/james_kirk_star_trek_1967.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3193 " alt="Author: McFadden, Strauss, Eddy & Irwin for Desilu Productions; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/james_kirk_star_trek_1967.jpg?w=218&h=270" width="218" height="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: McFadden, Strauss, Eddy & Irwin for Desilu Productions; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I am not yet a <strong>total</strong> convert to the concepts of “resourceful humans” as seen by Heiko Fischer, though I may not be a long way away. I do believe in simple, flat management structures and am an opponent of complexities such as matrix management (see <a title="Stupid Management Ideas" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/stupid-management-ideas/" target="_blank">“Stupid management ideas”</a> posted August 29, 2011). I also believe that skilled management includes being very people focussed, and that many tasks generally seen as belonging to HR really belong with line managers. However, I will need to have some more discussions with Heiko Fischer to decide if I am really ready to add <strong>“perish”</strong> to my transition list.</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3190/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3190/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3190&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/464/de-de MOVING AT THE SPEED OF SHELF LIFE Mon, 15 Apr 2013 05:03:27 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/463/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>The dictionary defines <strong>shelf life</strong> as <em>“the length of time that foods, beverages, pharmaceutical drugs, chemicals and many other perishable items are given before they are considered to be unsuitable for sale, use or consumption”.</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3177" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 179px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/shelf-life.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3177 " alt="Author: Jü (own work); via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/shelf-life.jpg?w=169&h=189" width="169" height="189" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Jü (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>When it comes to “use” it appears that we now need to add humans to this list of perishable items with a shelf life.</strong></p> <p>I recently came across a series of discussions, amongst senior executives in the IT industry in India, on the shelf life of a techie, and there was general agreement that the current shelf life of a “techie” is about 15 years.</p> <p><a title="The Times of India" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Times_of_India" target="_blank">The Times of India</a> led off the reporting of this discussion with:</p> <p><em>If you have seen Skyfall, you will doubtless remember the 20-something Q. It’s the first time ever in a James Bond film that Q or the Quartermaster – MI6′s resident tinkerer who creates all the wonderful spy gadgets that Bond uses – is younger than Bond himself, much younger. So when Bond meets Q in Skyfall, he scoffs, “You still have spots (pimples),” to which Q replies, “Age is no guarantee of efficiency.In the world of technology, that’s almost a truism today. Youthful Qs are becoming the norm. Technology is changing so rapidly that older engineers must put in an extraordinary amount of time and effort into new learning and also to unlearn old ones. Otherwise, they are likely to find themselves less relevant.</em></p> <p><em>“The shelf life of a software engineer today is no more than that of a cricketer – about 15 years”</em>, said one of the senior executives of a European technology company with over 4,500 employees in India. <em>“The 20-year-old guys provide me more value than the 35-year-olds do.”</em></p> <p><strong>Scary to think that one could be past their “use-by-date” as an individual contributor by the age of 35.</strong></p> <p>Some companies guide technical professionals towards taking on more managerial responsibilities over time. One Indian Head of HR for a large IT multinational says he <em>“advises employees to map their career graph into a 5-5-5 formula, three blocks of 5 years each. In the first five years, the employee is a technical contributor. In the next five, he or she moves on to become a team leader or an architect, understanding the P&L (profit & loss) requirements of the company. Subsequently, the employee takes on much stronger leadership responsibilities, with technical skills upgrade”</em>.</p> <p><strong>Great for those who are cut out to be in a management role,</strong> but what then happens to those individuals who are brilliant technically but have no desire to move into management. Firstly, there are never enough management roles for everyone, and secondly not everyone is suited to, nor desirous of, taking up the added responsibilities of leading a team. (see <a title="To be or not to be a manager" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/to-be-or-not-to-be-a-manager/" target="_blank">“To be or not to be … a manager”</a> posted August 20, 2012).</p> <p><div id="attachment_3184" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/management.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3184" alt="Author: Wayiran (own work); via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/management.png?w=300&h=295" width="300" height="295" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Wayiran (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have always believed that <strong>education is a journey rather than a destination</strong>, and I have no doubt in my mind that smart, sharp, young technical specialists can spend the time and energy needed to ensure that they stay up-to-date with changes in technology, even despite the accelerating speed of change.</p> <p>I also know that most IT companies have courses available that enable technical people to upgrade their skills on an ongoing basis. Infosys, Indian IT giant as just one example, says that they have over 1000 courses that employees can choose from as part of their competence plan, <strong>but what hope do people really have if the people leading the major companies have the attitude that that most of their people are heading for the scrap heap at such an early age. </strong></p> <p>What I find most interesting however, is that <strong>very few companies appear to have the same requirements for testing and upgrading the shelf life of their executives, in the same way that they seem to do for their technical people.</strong> It appears that once you reach the heady heights of a management role you are generally safe, as long as you keep meeting your goals and don’t actually screw up really badly.</p> <p>But the reality today is that the global business landscape is changing at much the same rate as the technology that it is built on. The emergence of new BRIC-like nations, new competitors, new business challenges, new business models driven by the internet and social media, changing expectations of the workforce, the upheavals in the economies of most countries creating new “economic realities” (see <a title="Growing a new leg" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/growing-a-new-leg/" target="_blank">“Growing a new leg”</a> posted June 20, 2010), means that the management skills and capabilities that were relevant for success 15 years ago (a la techie shelf life) are not necessarily all relevant today.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3182" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 296px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/bric_flags.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-3182" alt="Author: Chafis; CC BY 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/bric_flags.png?w=630" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Chafis; CC BY 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I found it very telling that one of the Indian executives said <em>“I can’t be just a manager, I have to be technically hands-on. If I have to have a conversation with my CTO, and if I say I don’t understand technology, then there is no conversation.”</em></p> <p>More importantly in today’s ever changing business environment, I feel that he should be worrying just as much about being management-relevant as he does about being technically-relevant for his own survival and continued success.</p> <p>As one of my favourite quotes from <a title="Charles Darwin" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin" target="_blank">Charles Darwin</a> (1809-1882) says so well <em>“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”</em></p> <p><strong>This is just as true today for managers as it is for technicians.</strong></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3176/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3176/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3176&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/463/de-de PEOPLE JOIN COMPANIES BUT LEAVE MANAGERS Mon, 08 Apr 2013 06:04:47 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/462/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“So many people out there have no idea what they want to do for a living, but they think that by going on job interviews they’ll magically figure it out.”</em><br /> <strong>Todd Bermont</strong>, Dean of The Careers College.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3163" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfbps/4607149870/"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3163" alt="Author: bpsusf; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/job_interview.jpg?w=300&h=200" width="300" height="200" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: bpsusf; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Not so long ago I was asked to do a presentation and chat on <strong>“Managing your career, and how to get the most from a life of work”</strong> with a bunch of graduates from a number of different universities in Germany. As these were considered to be some of the best of their year, there was little concern amongst them about their ability to find an interested employer, and most of them actually already had job offers.</p> <p>I started with my standard three rules being:</p> <p><strong>- Don’t do a job you hate.</strong> I find it amazing that many people will work for 5 days doing something that they hate, so that they can “live” for 2 days over the weekend. This means that they can spend about 70% of their life doing something they dislike, just to get the money to keep doing something that they dislike. At least if you do something that you love to do, there is a greater chance that you will do it well, and a greater chance that you will benefit.</p> <p><strong>- Don’t work for a boss you don’t respect. </strong> Your boss will control your entire work life and therefore your chance for success, learning and progress, so you should at least try and work for someone whom you believe is a skilled and capable manager and from whom you can learn.</p> <p><strong>- Don’t work for a company you can’t be proud of.</strong> It is not enough that the company has a good reputation for its products and services, it is also critically important that your values are a fit with the company’s values, and that the company has a high degree of integrity in the business world and in the community at large.</p> <p>I went on to discuss topics like the importance of finding a mentor, mapping your career steps rather than leaving it to chance, that learning is a lifelong journey rather than a destination etc. etc. the usual stuff that I had been asked to cover by the organisers.</p> <p>Fortunately I was the last speaker of the day, because while my presentation took just 40 minutes, the planned 20 minutes of Q&A turned into a 2 hour heated discussion. <strong>What really surprised me was that their criteria for job selection were mainly based on only 2 elements, being company reputation and the salary/conditions of the job.</strong> A few of them even mentioned the reputation for quality of the staff cafeteria as important. Many of those that had job offers had only met the company’s recruiters, being a mix of both external and internal recruitment teams. I told them that I felt that their selection criteria were too limited and that many of them were doing themselves a dis-service, particularly as these were graduates that technology companies in Germany were in competition to recruit.</p> <p>So we spent some time putting together these 3 rules as a starter for proper job selection. I do not know how many of them followed through on these, but I hope that many did, as I have a strong belief that <strong>people join companies but leave managers.</strong></p> <p><strong>Rule 1: You should not accept any job without having met and interviewed the person who will be your direct supervisor</strong>, as that person will have almost total control of your entire working environment, and if you do not fit well with them, as a “newbie” you will have limited choices. If this is not offered, you should ask for it, and if the request is refused, and it may be if they are recruiting large numbers, you should understand that you are being recruited as “cannon fodder”. If granted the interview ask questions like … what they expect of their people, how do they view/handle personal development, how do they measure performance, how do they handle mistakes/failure, are they interested in experimentation, do they mentor anyone and if not why not, how do they define autonomy, how do they handle performance reviews, promotions, pay for performance ?</p> <p><div id="attachment_3161" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 211px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/the_boss.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3161 " alt="Author: ThisIsRobsLife; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/the_boss.jpg?w=201&h=270" width="201" height="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: ThisIsRobsLife; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Rule 2: Find out every detail about the actual job that you will be doing.</strong> Just knowing that you will be writing software or doing customer hot-line support or pre-sales is not enough to understand how you will spend your time, even if you have done something similar in the past. You need to find out what level of freedom will there be, how is the job viewed in the company, are there examples of people who have moved from a similar role to a more senior one, how flexible are working hours, what are the full job requirements beyond the technical job description, what training is available beyond that needed to do the job, is the role part of a team or solitary, and finally can you meet someone who is doing the same job today ?</p> <p><strong>Rule 3: It is important that you get a strong personal feel for the company culture and values</strong>, beyond their market image and beyond the number of “Great place to work” awards that they have won. Such things as how were you handled at reception, what does the environment look like, is it made up of noiseless cubicles, is it all offices, how formal does it feel, how busy do people seem, how quickly do people move about, how happy do people look, what is company policy on such things as children, dogs and family involvement, how do people dress and does it suit your own style ? You should also ask specifically to see where you will actually be working.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3162" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/61023128@N08/5553353725/"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3162" alt="Author: lizzielaroo; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/zappos_cubicles.jpg?w=300&h=200" width="300" height="200" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: lizzielaroo; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>The important lesson is to arrive at the interview(s) not only strongly prepared to present yourself well to a potential employer, but also seriously well-prepared with the questions for which you need answers, to be able to make an informed decision.</p> <p><strong>I believe that any worthwhile potential employer should expect you to do this anyway.</strong></p> <p><em>“I do not believe that I have had an interview with anybody in twenty-five years in which the person to whom I was talking was not annoyed during the early part of the interview by my asking stupid questions.”<br /> </em> <a title="Harry Stack Sullivan" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Stack_Sullivan" target="_blank">Harry Stack Sullivan</a> (1892-1949) American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3160/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3160/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3160&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/462/de-de MYTHS ABOUT MANAGEMENT Mon, 01 Apr 2013 05:20:28 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/461/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.”</em><br /> American President <a title="John F. Kennedy" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Kennedy" target="_blank">John F. Kennedy</a> (1917-1963)</p> <p><div id="attachment_3143" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 212px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/john_f_kennedy.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3143" alt="Source: The White House Historical Association; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/john_f_kennedy.jpg?w=202&h=300" width="202" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Source: The White House Historical Association; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>There are many management myths, the worst ones being around the belief that companies are sufficiently alike that what works in one company can generally be applied to another, meaning that if we can lump together the experiences of a large number of companies, we can come up with general principles that will apply to most.</p> <p>This mantra does suit some of the large global consulting companies, as it enables them to build a single “methodology de jour” that they can then use as the basis for multiple projects globally. They can then people these projects with less experienced consultants who are nonetheless well trained in the particular methodology being sold at the time, whether it is “Business process re-engineering” or “6-sigma” or some other must-have –ology at the time.</p> <p>The reality is that as long as people are individually different and unique, so will be the companies that employ them, and successful management will remain individual and unique.</p> <p>Nevertheless, here are some management myths that do need dispelling.</p> <p><strong>1. Managers make more money.</strong></p> <p>This is not necessarily true and definitely not true if one considers the hourly rate. In companies that understand the need for dual career paths, outstanding individual contributors can (and should) earn at least on par with management. When I was a sales manager, I always considered it to be a mark of success if the majority of my sales team earned more than me. The management level that can make significantly more money generally represents a tiny percentage of those in management roles.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3144" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 184px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/gold.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3144 " alt="Author: Shizhao; CC0 1.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/gold.jpg?w=174&h=240" width="174" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Shizhao; CC0 1.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>2. Managers need to be smarter than their team members.</strong></p> <p>This could never have worked for me, as I always believed that I needed to try and attract people who were smarter than I was. Managers do need to be smart, but smart management involves using the best skills available in the team to get the best results.</p> <p><strong>3. There is never enough time. </strong></p> <p>There is always exactly the same amount of time available to everyone being 24 hours, 7 days per week. Yes, managers can tend to work longer hours, but the skill is to make sure that you allocate your time to the tasks that actually belong to you, and that you prioritise your use of the time available to <strong>the important rather than just the urgent.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_3145" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/time.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3145" alt="Author: chris 論 (own work); CC BY 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/time.png?w=300&h=140" width="300" height="140" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: chris 論 (own work); CC BY 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>4. Empowerment is all about leaving people alone to manage themselves.</strong></p> <p>I read this all the time, particularly in relation to the new generation of young people coming into the workforce today, with seemingly strong expectations of autonomy. People need the ability to have some involvement in the areas that affect them, but I believe that everyone, no matter their level of seniority, needs some guidance. As a team leader it is important that you set guidelines for acceptable standards, and then review progress against these.</p> <p><strong>5. The best managers have MBAs.</strong></p> <p>There is no question that it doesn’t hurt to be well qualified academically these days, and an MBA is not a bad thing to have on your CV, but formal education is only one component of management skill and capability. I have always seen an MBA as being the equivalent of buying a fishing license as you now can get all the gear and know where to find the river, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will actually be able to catch fish successfully, which takes some practice and experience to do well (see <a title="Business Leadership Isn´t Changing Quickly Enough" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/business-leadership-isn%E2%80%99t-changing-quickly-enough/" target="_blank">“Business leadership isn’t changing quickly enough”</a> posted October 10, 2011).</p> <p><div id="attachment_3146" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/mba.gif"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3146" alt="via Wikimedia Commons; PD-TEXT permission" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/mba.gif?w=300&h=120" width="300" height="120" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons; PD-TEXT permission</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>6. You can separate leadership and management.</strong></p> <p>This may be true from an academic viewpoint, and as a topic for a successful book, but when it comes to real life they should not be separated too readily. The skills needed may be somewhat different, but they are so interrelated as to be inseparable. Great leaders tend to be great managers and vice versa (see <a title="Management or Leadership" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/management-or-leadership/" target="_blank">“Management or Leadership”</a> posted March 7, 2011).</p> <p><strong>7. Who you know is more important than what you know.</strong></p> <p>As a manager it is important that you build a network that enables you and your team to have the linkages that are needed for success (see <a title="Third Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/third-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Third rule of management”</a> posted October 1, 2012), but to believe that this is more important than your track record is nonsensical.</p> <p><strong>8. Good managers delegate sparingly to ensure retaining quality.</strong></p> <p>Delegation is an integral part of management, and if you are not delegating effectively you are not managing effectively. Your role as a manger is to set the standards and objectives clearly and then let people get on and do the job, with your guidance. If you want your people to grow and develop you have to give them the chance to do so. I have long believed that “if you give people the opportunity to do great things, then they will do great things”.</p> <p><strong>9. Managers must treat everyone in their team the same.</strong></p> <p>Good managers treat everyone in their team differently based on their individual needs, level of competence and abilities. The need is to treat everyone with fairness and respect, remembering that a task that can be a great challenge for a skilled and experienced individual can be an insurmountable barrier to another.</p> <p><strong>10. Managers need to be tough all the time.</strong></p> <p>There is no question that managers need to be strong and have a sense of purpose and direction, and an ability to spread commitment and confidence in their team. Good managers are tough externally when it comes to fighting for resources needed for their team or when the team needs protection, but true toughness internally needs to be reserved for managing behaviour, performance and breeches of integrity or honesty, as most of the time a manager needs to be mostly supportive and mentoring.</p> <p>As said by English novelist Eric Arthur Blair aka <a title="George Orwell" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Orwell" target="_blank">George Orwell </a>(1903-1950) <em>“Myths which are believed in tend to become true.”</em></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3142/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3142/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3142&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/461/de-de MANAGEMENT TIME STEALERS AND WASTERS Mon, 25 Mar 2013 06:15:55 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/459/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I have long believed that whilst <strong>we should not count every hour in the day, we should try and make every hour in the day count.</strong> We are all given the same 24 hours in every day regardless of who or what we are, and while we can’t actually manage time, we can definitely take control of how we spend the time that we have available.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3125" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/clock.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3125 " alt="Author: Mosborne01; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/clock.jpg?w=270&h=179" width="270" height="179" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Mosborne01; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>There are many opportunities in a manager’s day to waste time, and part of good time use is the ability to recognise and minimise these as much as possible.</p> <p>Here are 10 of the worst time wasters:</p> <p><strong>Meetings.</strong> We seem to have become obsessed with holding meetings. Whether it is in the name of consensus, information sharing or just weak management, it is now estimated that managers attend on average about 60 meetings per month (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/meetings-bloody-meetings/" title="Meetings Bloody Meetings">“Meetings bloody meetings”</a> posted April 18, 2011). You should refuse to attend meetings that do not have an obvious business benefit as an outcome of the meeting, remembering that the larger the number of attendees, the less likely is it that the meeting will be capable of achieving anything worthwhile. If by some fluke of chance something important does occur, someone will tell you about it anyway. Definitely avoid going to any pre-meeting meetings.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3126" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/meetings.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3126 " alt="Author: Awersowy; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/meetings.jpg?w=270&h=203" width="270" height="203" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Awersowy; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Emails.</strong> Emails now seem to be accorded the same level of urgency as does the discovery of a blood clot, thus requiring immediate attention. As most managers on average now need to handle somewhere between 200-300 emails daily, email management is critical to get under control. You should never do them first thing when you are at your most creative, and should only handle emails in a minimum number of pre-planned time slots during the day. Bulk handling of emails makes you more concise and bloody minded and therefore much more efficient in their handling (see <a title="Emails bloody emails" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/emails-bloody-emails/">“Emails bloody emails”</a> posted April 21, 2011).</p> <p><strong>Lack of planning.</strong> No plan or a weak plan will always require rethought, redraft and repair. It is a much better use of your time to allocate a sufficient amount of time to the planning phase before embarking on execution. Planning the future is a critical element of a manager’s responsibilities, yet most managers spend less than 10% of their time doing so. Anyway, <strong>if you can’t find the time to build a proper plan in the first place, how will you be able to find the time to do it over ?</strong></p> <p><strong>Procrastination.</strong> The longer that you put off doing something, the longer it will take you to do it when you finally realise that you have no choice anymore, and generally the quality will suffer because of the urgency to complete the task (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/the-sooner-you-fall-behind-the-more-time-you-have-to-catch-up/" title="The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up">“The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up”</a> posted October 31, 2011). One example I see often is in preparing a speech or presentation. The later that you leave it, the more you will tend to rely on the PowerPoint slides rather than on honing the messages that you should be leaving with your audience. Shakespeare rightly said <strong>“Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends”</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Lack of delegation.</strong> You can’t do it all, and allocating tasks and responsibilities to your people early will give them a chance to not only plan and execute well, but will also give them an opportunity to learn and develop. However, you must ensure that you give them the necessary authority needed for successful execution, rather than only passing over the responsibility.</p> <p><strong>Crisis management.</strong> Every time you have to drop everything to address “an alligator snapping at your heels”, you not only have to delay your ability to focus on the important rather than the urgent, but you also tend to disrupt your entire schedule. You must have a procedure in place in your team for crisis handling that only involves you on a “must have” basis. If you are fortunate enough to have an Executive Assistant, this is a wonderful learning opportunity for them.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3130" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 204px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/crisis_control_group.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3130 " alt="Author: Tlcmgmt (own work); GFD license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/crisis_control_group.jpg?w=194&h=200" width="194" height="200" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Tlcmgmt (own work); GFD license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Interruptions.</strong> People dropping in unannounced, and unplanned phone calls, interrupt trains of thought and are disruptive to controlling your task management. Plan and schedule your “open door” times and let people know when you will be available. I have found that even an hour or two spread across the day for drop-ins is more than enough, but only if people are aware of these times well in advance.</p> <p><strong>Reading proposals and business plans.</strong> Early in my management career I would spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get through voluminous business plans and proposals, trying to find the relevant and critical details such as cost versus value, usually well hidden away from the enthusiasm of the executive summary. I changed all this by asking the authors to come into my office and read their plan to me instead. It was amazing how quickly they discarded this suggestion and instead moved quickly to outlining the key elements of their proposal. I could then decide if I needed to go into more detail.</p> <p><strong>Not saying no.</strong> You must learn the art of saying no to things that are not critical, whichever direction these requests may come from. This is particularly true in a complex matrix organisation, where many requests are made only to justify someone’s existence in the matrix. Say no to requests that will have no benefit to the business or when they can negatively impact the success of your team.</p> <p><strong>Leaving the sanctity of your desk.</strong> Moving away from your “cone of silence” seems to be an immediate signal for people to come and chat to you about the latest rugby scores or the ailments of their children. A recent survey suggests that chatting to co-workers takes up about 15% of an average working day. This is particularly true for smokers who take regular breaks outside, and for coffee addicts like me. I am not suggesting aloofness or unfriendliness, but installing my own Nespresso coffee machine in my office saved me an incredible amount of time by removing my need to visit the office coffee and natter corner.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3128" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/coffee_break.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3128" alt="Author: LA2 (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/coffee_break.jpg?w=300&h=199" width="300" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: LA2 (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Time is like a handful of sand. The lighter you grasp it, the faster it runs through your fingers.</strong> ~anon</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3124/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3124/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3124&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/459/de-de THE MANAGEMENT ART OF STACKING FIREWOOD Mon, 18 Mar 2013 04:17:58 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/458/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><a title="William_Faulkner" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Faulkner" target="_blank">William Faulkner </a>(1897-1962), American writer and Nobel Prize winner said “The Swiss are not a people so much as a neat, clean, quite solvent business”.</p> <p>I am in <a title="Klosters" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klosters" target="_blank">Klosters </a>in Switzerland for two weeks of skiing with my family, and it is almost impossible to not see how right Faulkner was, particularly when it comes to neatness, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the way that the Swiss put so much effort into cutting and stacking their firewood.</p> <p><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/stack1.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-3111 alignnone" alt="Stack" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/stack1.png?w=630" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/stack2.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-3112 alignnone" alt="Stack" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/stack2.png?w=630" /></a></p> <p>Not only is this an art form, but the Swiss believe that as a wood pile tends to be public, it also says as much about the person who has created it as does their garden, their letterbox or the car that is sitting in the driveway.</p> <p>For example, a hard-working, serious man will stack straight and square with true symmetry, which will create a woodpile that will stand well and look good, whereas a lazy person will just leave all the wood in the pile that is dumped on delivery, or will start to stack but will never finish. A timid man will build a low stack with the larger pieces on the bottom and the smaller on top, whereas a socially or politically ambitious person will make his stack very high with large pieces on top just to show off to those who pass by. A person who puts the stack too far from the house, even if the stack is to be admired, is obviously a non-thinking person, as collecting the wood in the middle of a snowy winter will be harder than it should be.</p> <p><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/stack3.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-3113 alignnone" alt="Stack" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/stack3.jpg?w=630" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/stack4.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3114 alignnone" alt="Stack4" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/stack4.jpg?w=213&h=159" width="213" height="159" /></a></p> <p>It is obviously not easy, nor straightforward, being Swiss with a pot-belly stove or a wood burning fireplace.</p> <p><strong>There are some basic rules that must be observed in building a suitable firewood stack, and as I began to understand these, I also couldn’t help but notice that they are not very different to the basic rules that need to be observed to be a successful manager.</strong></p> <p><strong>These woodpile stacking rules are:</strong></p> <p>- Do not put your base directly on the earth, but put your wood on a prepared base that will be stable and that will be dry to prevent bottom rot.</p> <p>- Make stable end towers. It is important to find the right pieces to fit well together to be able to withstand shifting and thus keep the integrity of the stack.</p> <p>- Remember that you will need to allow for different shapes and sizes, and allow for thick and thin ends that will taper.</p> <p>- Do not forget that wood shrinks as it dries, and if one side gets more sun than another it will dry and shrink faster, and this can cause the stack to lean and even collapse.</p> <p>- Do not stack too tightly but allow for airflow to assist in drying.</p> <p>- Build the stack close to where it will be used.</p> <p>- Protect the stack from the elements with a cover such as wooden shingles or black plastic.</p> <p>There are many more, but these are the salient ones.</p> <p><strong>The parallels that I see with capable management are as follows:</strong></p> <p>- You can only build a successful team at any level if you first prepare the base, meaning that you need to be able to build the values that will drive team behaviour both internally and with every part of the ecosystem that the team will be in contact with. A team that does not have integrity, being “what is thought is what is said is what is done” will not succeed for long.</p> <p>- You must ensure that you protect the integrity and stability of the team by finding the right people to put together to ensure that the team can overcome shifting, whether this is in the markets that you address or the competitive landscape that you work within.</p> <p>- For a team to be strong, it is important that you allow for “different shapes and sizes”. Having a team that is made up of clones of the leader may make the team easier to “stack” and direct, but ultimately will not create a team that will drive change, creativity and innovation. It is important that the team has some players who have “knots”, and while this will make them “hard to stack”, they will look at situations differently to the herd, and will question decisions where others may fear to tread.</p> <p>- As a manager it is important that you ensure that all parts of your team get an equal amount of “sunshine”. You have to spend as much time and effort addressing those that struggle as you do spending time with those who are doing well. If one part of your team or organisation is allowed to “dry out” it will affect the success of the entire team.</p> <p>- You cannot control your people too tightly, but must allow for “airflow”, meaning that you must give your people the room to put their stamp on their job and on the team. Nobody has as much ownership in something as when they have helped to build it, and building ownership builds commitment and engagement.</p> <p>- A good manager will build his team as close as possible to where it will be used, being both internal and external customers. Most companies will have emblazoned on their crest that “the customer is number 1”, but from what I have seen, in many companies the customer would be lucky to make it into the “Top-10”.</p> <p>- It is important that the manager protects his team “from the elements”. This does not mean that a manager should keep information from his people, as keeping your team well informed on what is happening in the company removes the need for rumour and gossip. It does however mean that the role of a manager is to ensure that s/he protects the team from interruptions, distractions and the politics that exist in most companies, so that the team can get on with doing their job, and doing it well.</p> <p>The Swiss may well be the neatest nation on earth, but I believe that the reason that they are so successful is that <strong>when they commit to doing something they commit to doing it well</strong>, even if it is something as mundane as building a firewood stack or as complex as building a successful banking or pharmaceutical industry.</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3110/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3110/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3110&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/458/de-de MANAGERS SOLVE PROBLEMS Mon, 11 Mar 2013 06:37:42 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/457/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I believe that one of the key critical skills of anyone in a management role is the ability to be able to solve problems, despite my loving the fact that <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein" title="Albert Einstein" target="_blank">Albert Einstein</a> said <em>“Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them”</em>.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3101" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 240px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/albert_einstein.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/albert_einstein.jpg?w=230&h=300" alt="Photograph by Oren Jack Turner; via Wikimedia Commons" width="230" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-3101" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Photograph by Oren Jack Turner; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>In this context, and assuming that genius is generally a rare commodity at any time and at any level in management, it is important that we start off by defining what is a problem.</p> <p>Too many managers have a limited view of a problem, believing that it is either an issue that a subordinate brings to his superior for resolution or an obvious “fix-it” situation. These are important and should not be discarded, as in the words of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Powell" title="Colin Powell" target="_blank">Colin Powell </a></p> <blockquote><p>“Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”</p></blockquote> <p>I feel that problems cover a wider area of definition than those that come to you from subordinates for resolution, and that in the same way that a question will generally have more than one answer, a problem will have more than one correct solution, and that not all problems are the same. </p> <p>Here are a few categories that I see:</p> <p>1. A problem can be an opportunity for improvement. It can be a situation of “opportunity knocking” or a fortunate stroke of good luck. I was very fortunate early in my career, when at the age of 25 my boss at the time, who was the 45 year old senior analyst at our company (when I was senior programmer), was told by the IT manager, who was being promoted to company controller, that he would be his replacement. The issue was that my boss did not want the job, creating an immediate succession problem, so he recommended me for the role instead. Luckily, I had been doing a part-time Business Administration course at the local university, and the company senior management decided that this was an indication that I was someone who was serious about a management career. I was immediately sent off to the US headquarters to join a three month management programme that the company ran annually in conjunction with one of the US universities. I came back to NZ as the new IT Manager, but one who had at least been somewhat prepared for the role. For me it was a major stroke of luck and the start of my management career for the next 40 years. I was very lucky that this opportunity came to me so early in my life, but <strong>rather than waiting for a good stroke of fate to put an opportunity like this at your feet, I have found that successful people tend to seek out problems to solve, rather than just wait for them to be presented.</strong></p> <p>2. A problem can be the difference between the current state and a goal, which can result from situations like a new way of thinking, a change in market conditions such as the way that countries like China and India have exploded onto the world stage, or a new innovation from a competitor. When you can define where you are today and where you want to be, the problem is then to define the steps of how you will get there, usually and most importantly for success, from a myriad of possibilities. I was working for Digital in the late 1970s when it announced the 32 bit Vax minicomputer and VMS operating system. This was a terrible blow to arch competitor Data General who were still trying to sell 16 bit technology. DG founder Edson de Castro knew that he had only a short amount of market tolerance to be able to come up with a credible competitive solution. Their ability to achieve this is well documented in an interesting and readable book written by Tracy Kidder in 1981 called “The soul of a new machine”, which documents how a DG engineering team worked under immense pressure and mind-boggling speed to be able launch their 32 bit Eclipse minicomputer in answer to Digital in 1980. <strong>Knowing where you are and where you need to be and then marshalling the resources and plans to get there is a critical skill of good managers.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_3103" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 266px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/digital-vax.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/digital-vax.jpg?w=630" alt="Author: Emiliano Russo; via Wikimedia Commons" class="size-full wp-image-3103" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Emiliano Russo; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>3. A problem can be the recognition of a present imperfection and the possibility of a better future in its resolution. This recognition is a wonderful opportunity to challenge yourself as a manager, whether to become personally better at some required future skill yourself or to prepare your team to be able to better handle situations that exist today or are looming as challenges for the future. This ability to “build the future” is a critical skill for successful management and why I continually stress the fact that “learning is a journey not a destination”, and that we never reach a state of perfection, but that <strong>our abilities to recognise “imperfections” and address them is key to our success.</strong></p> <p><strong>Only once we have understood and defined fully the problem(s) that we face, can we then put in place plans to address them.</strong> I find that too many managers find it significantly easier to attack the symptoms of the problem rather than the cause of the problem itself. For example, it is much easier to try and solve a lack of skills in a team by rushing towards external recruiting, rather than looking at why the current team that is in place (and which presumably was successful for quite some time in the past) has not advanced significantly enough over time, in its skills and knowledge, to be able to now address current needs. External recruiting will then only be a short term fix, as the same lack of focus on people development and preparation will once again create a lack of capability in the team in the future. This will once again necessitate the need for external recruitment, and so the pattern of solving the symptom rather than the problem will keep recurring, with the same solution being applied by a manager who believes that he is doing the right thing.</p> <p><strong>Good managers are good problem seekers, good problem definers and good problem solvers.</strong></p> <p>Anyway, for those in management, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_A._Lovell" title="James A. Lovell" target="_blank">James A. Lovell </a>(former NASA astronaut and commander of the Apollo 13 mission) got it right when he said </p> <blockquote><p>“Be thankful for problems. If they were less difficult, someone with less ability might have your job.”</p></blockquote> <p><div id="attachment_3104" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 250px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/james-lovell.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/james-lovell.jpg?w=240&h=300" alt="Author: NASA; via Wikimedia Commons" width="240" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-3104" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: NASA; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3100/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3100/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3100&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/457/de-de ARE MANAGERS LOSING THE ABILITY TO FOCUS ? Mon, 04 Mar 2013 06:21:27 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/456/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Waldo_Emerson" title="Ralph Waldo Emerson" target="_blank">Ralph Waldo Emerson </a>(1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer and poet said </p> <blockquote><p>“Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, in war, in trade, in short, in all the management of human affairs.”</p></blockquote> <p>Like Emerson, I have long believed that a clear focus is one of the critical elements for success.</p> <p>I am an admirer of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_Gladwell" title="Malcolm Gladwell" target="_blank">Malcolm Gladwell</a>, British-Canadian author who in his book “Outliers” talks about the fact that to become an expert at something you need to spend 10,000 hours of practice to reach the highest levels of competency (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/first-secret-of-success/" title="First Secret of Success">“First secret of success”</a> posted September 16, 2010). His examples include <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_gates" title="Bill Gates" target="_blank">Bill Gates</a> and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_McNealy" title="Scott McNealy" target="_blank">Scott McNeally </a>founders of Microsoft and Sun Microsystems respectively who were fortunate enough to get to start their time at university at the same time as interactive computing had arrived, enabling them to put in their 10,000 hours of practice long before they launched their business endeavours in information technology. Previously students had had limited access to the university mainframes via batching their work, and hence would have found it hard to accumulate their 10,000 hours of practice. His other examples include Tiger Woods whose father Earl introduced him to golf at the age of 2. “Tiger” first broke 80 at the age of 8 and broke 70 on a regulation golf course at the age of 12. During his youth, his father made him practice his golf for at least 2 hours every day, and by the time he turned professional in 1996 at the age of 21, he had been playing and practising his golf for a lot more than 10,000 hours. </p> <p><div id="attachment_3089" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 210px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/malcolm_gladwell.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/malcolm_gladwell.jpg?w=200&h=300" alt="Author: Kris Krüg; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="200" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-3089" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Kris Krüg; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I accept that just practising for 10,000 hours is not necessarily enough to become an expert, as I know people, for example, who have been in management roles for more than 10,000 hours and who appear to have learned very little about managing people in that time, but I do believe that focussing on doing something well is a critical starting point for success.</p> <p>As I do strongly believe that focus and concentration are keys to success, I now find it somewhat worrying that not many managers I meet appear to exhibit these qualities, most of them finding that today’s market conditions make it hard for them to do so.</p> <p>I recently spent some time on some executive coaching with a senior VP of a large company whose boss had suggested to him that he could do with having some sessions with a personal coach. I spent a two hour session with him in his office and found it interesting to see him fidget and move from one task to another without focussing on what we were both there to try and achieve. We had had a previous session away from his office and he had been somewhat more focussed, although he did sneak regular looks at his smartphone during our discussions, to the point where I eventually walked over to him, picked it up off the arm of his armchair, and popped it into his briefcase. I prefer most sessions to be away from the office, but I do find it worthwhile to observe “my charges” for some time in their actual work environment. During our session, he found four reasons to get up and pass some tasks to his personal assistant (all of which he adamantly justified because of their urgency), and he also couldn’t resist taking surreptitious, if somewhat guilty, looks at his PC every time that a “ping” would alert him to the arrival of a new email. I find this obsession with email being accorded the right of immediacy to be one of the biggest killers of successful time management, and hence focus, today (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/fifth-secret-of-time-management/" title="Fifth Secret of Time Management">“Fifth secret of time management”</a> posted November 11, 2010). We are working specifically now on trying to get him to focus more on the key elements of his management responsibilities that are significantly more critical to his success than his ability to handle emails and practice timesharing to an illogical extreme.</p> <p>He is not alone, and I come across many executives who are so busy trying to do so many things at once, that they have lost sight of what they need to really focus on to be successful. </p> <p>I find a similar lack of focus in many managers in small companies, when deciding on a business strategy.</p> <p>There is so much apparent opportunity out there that one can address today, but the skill for a small business is to understand where to deploy the resources needed to be successful, remembering that unless you are backed by <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croesus" title="Croesus" target="_blank">Croesus </a>(King of Lydia from 560-547BC, who was so rich that he would have every guest depart with as much gold as they could carry), you can’t afford to be everywhere, and be all things to all people, at once. I have worked with companies who have only just scratched the surface of their home market, but who want to talk to me about moving into the US and Chinese markets overnight, simply because of their size and market hype on opportunities that exist there. Yes, they are large markets, and yes they are potentially great opportunities, but I have seen too many really good small European companies rush into the US or Asian markets too early, spend an inordinate amount of money and resources doing so, and after a couple of years come slinking back with their tails between their legs, blaming bad luck. <strong>However I have always liked the definition of good luck as being when preparation and opportunity meet.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_3090" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/francken_croesus_showing_his_treasures.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/francken_croesus_showing_his_treasures.jpg?w=300&h=203" alt="Source: Beata Lejman; PD-Art license; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="203" class="size-medium wp-image-3090" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Source: Beata Lejman; PD-Art license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_McNealy" title="Scott McNealy" target="_blank">Scott McNeally </a>called it <em>“putting all the wood behind one arrow”</em>. The key to real success is to focus on the critical tasks that are needed to be successful and to concentrate on doing them well, no matter how many attractive, attention getting shiny baubles pop up to tempt us. Only once these are mastered can one move on to the preparation needed to now include the ability to focus on new opportunities. </p> <p><div id="attachment_3087" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/arrow.png"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/arrow.png?w=300&h=53" alt="Author: Pearson Scott Foresman; via Wikimedia Commons" width="300" height="53" class="size-medium wp-image-3087" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Pearson Scott Foresman; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Robbins" title="Anthony Robbins" target="_blank">Anthony Robbins</a>, American self-help author quite rightly said </p> <blockquote><p>“Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives”.</p></blockquote> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3086/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3086/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3086&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/456/de-de MEN AND WOMEN ARE NEITHER FROM MARS NOR FROM VENUS Mon, 25 Feb 2013 06:02:36 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/452/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>In early 1993 I read the book called <a title="Men are from Mars, women are from Venus" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men_Are_from_Mars,_Women_Are_from_Venus" target="_blank">“Men are from Mars Women are from Venus”</a> written by <a title="John Gray" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gray_%28Men_Are_from_Mars,_Women_Are_from_Venus%29" target="_blank">John Gray</a>, American author and relationship counsellor. The book sat on the American best seller list for 121 weeks and reportedly over the last 20 years has sold over 50 million copies.</p> <p>For that rare group who have not read the actual book, <a title="John Gray" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gray_%28Men_Are_from_Mars,_Women_Are_from_Venus%29" target="_blank">Gray </a> asserts that men and women are so different, particularly in the way that they view the “mechanics” of relationships, that they are effectively from planets very distant from each other, men being from the planet Mars and women from Venus. As a result they are each very comfortable with their own society and customs, but not with each other’s.</p> <div id="attachment_3067" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 139px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/male_symbol.png"><img class="wp-image-3067 " alt="Author: RRZEicons; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/male_symbol.png?w=129&h=151" width="129" height="151" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: RRZEicons; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div> <p><div id="attachment_3068" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 101px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/female_symbol.png"><img class="wp-image-3068 " alt="via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/female_symbol.png?w=91&h=151" width="91" height="151" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>The choice of planets is obvious but important as Mars is represented by the male sex symbol and iron, and the planet Venus by the female sex symbol and copper. In Roman mythology the God Mars was the God of war and Venus the Goddess of love, beauty, sex and fertility. Also fairly obvious, but central to the book’s premises, for example, that men are “problem solvers” whereas women are driven by their emotions and are “problem discussers”. According to Gray this creates problems when a man offers solutions to a woman’s problems rather than just listening to her and offering sympathy.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3069" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 196px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/mars_and_venus.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3069 " alt="via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/mars_and_venus.jpg?w=186&h=240" width="186" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I came across my old copy recently and decided that it was worth revisiting, and having just finished rereading it I would like to say <strong>“John, whilst some of what you write makes sense, when it comes to reality today, I think that you are talking out of Uranus !”</strong></p> <p>The problem I have with the book is that it just reinforces the stereotypes that men are strong, capable and the natural hunters while women are soft, emotional and are here to beautify the planet for men and to bear their children.</p> <p>I came across a recent example of this reinforcement of the stereotypes, which whilst very funny, is very close to reality, when a friend sent me these <a title="Rules for Women and Men" href="http://rebirthofreason.com/Articles/Setzer/Rules_for_Women_and_Rules_for_Men.shtml" target="_blank">“Rules for Women and Men”</a>.</p> <p>Some of those rules for women that relate specifically to Gray’s book are:<br /> - Crying is blackmail<br /> - Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!<br /> - Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.<br /> - Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That is what we do. Look to your girlfriends for a sympathetic ear.<br /> - If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.<br /> - If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing,” we will act like nothing is wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.</p> <p>The same spirit exists in the rules for men:<br /> - The female has the right to be angry or upset for any reason, real or imagined, at any time and under any circumstance which in her sole judgement she deems appropriate. The male is not to be given any sign of the root cause of the female’s being angry or upset. The female may, however, give false or misleading reasons to see if the male is paying attention<br /> - The male is expected to read the mind of the female at all times. Failure to do so will result in punishments and penalties imposed at the sole discretion of the female</p> <p>I do agree that this is very funny in a “Blokey” way, but the problem that I have with it is that, like Gray’s book, it reinforces all the attitudes that help to strengthen the barriers that men erect to keep women out of senior management roles and out of the board rooms. Whilst I am not an advocate of externally imposed quota systems for women in senior roles (see <a title="Stupid Work Fads" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/stupid-work-fads/" target="_blank">“Stupid work fads”</a> posted September 5, 2011), I do believe in the need to create a level playing field for all. For example, I find it unfortunate that of the 5 boards on which I now serve, only two have a woman board member. In the first she is the CFO (increasingly a role becoming more acceptable for a women to fill along with HR), and in the second she is one of the two founders of the company so there is no choice). <strong>In the Top 300 European companies women still make up only about 12% of board members</strong> (up from 10% in 2008), although Norway at 38% does skew the results somewhat. The latest Catalyst figures show that women only make up 11% of Fortune 1000 company board members, and that 25% of the Fortune 1000 still have no female board members at all.</p> <p>Male dominated business environments use anecdotes, humour and publications, such as Gray’s book, to perpetuate the whole myth of <strong>“how can you entrust business seniority to women who are generally too sensitive, too needy, not problem solvers and who are not self-sufficient but are always in need of a sympathetic ear?”</strong>.</p> <p>This description has not been my personal experience with women in senior management roles (see <a title="Do Women Make Better Managers" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/do-women-make-better-managers/" target="_blank">“Do women make better managers”</a> posted November 22, 2010), yet I have to admit that I was personally guilty of perpetuating the “maleness” of the business environment when I recently worked with one management team on defining the direction of a competitive strategy as needing to be either “Kill the dragon” or “Rescue the Princess”, both tending towards the myth of man being the brave hunter or the rescuer of a female in distress. Obviously my conditioning has been as strong as the next man’s.</p> <p>Even Poet laureate <a title="Lord Alfred Tennyson" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Alfred_Tennyson" target="_blank">Lord Alfred Tennyson</a> (1809-1892) was guilty when he wrote in his poem the Princess</p> <blockquote><p>“Man is the hunter; woman is his game: The sleek and shining creatures of the chase, We hunt them for the beauty of their skins; They love us for it, and we ride them down.”</p></blockquote> <p><div id="attachment_3076" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 180px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/lord_tennyson.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3076 " alt="via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/lord_tennyson.jpg?w=170&h=240" width="170" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3066/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3066/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3066&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/452/de-de NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PASSION Mon, 18 Feb 2013 06:00:01 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/451/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><a title="Nietzsche" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nietzsche" target="_blank">Nietzsche </a>(or Madam de Stael or someone called Angela Monet) said <em>“Those who dance are always considered crazy by those who can’t hear the music”.</em></p> <p>I was recently contacted by an ex colleague who wanted to know if I still had the notes of a speech that I had made some 10 years ago during my time at SAP, when I had stated that SAP stood for “Strength Action Passion”. I had always preferred this particular interpretation (or Software and People) during my time there, rather than the actual German “Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung” (Systems Applications and Products in Data Processing), as despite this accurate acronym being possibly quite catchy in German, it was hard to use it as the core of a stirring speech to staff.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3050" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 266px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/sap_ag_headquarters.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-3050" alt="Author: amadeusm; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/sap_ag_headquarters.jpg?w=630" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: amadeusm; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I didn’t have the notes requested, but it did enable us to have an electronic conversation about the importance of passionate employees in delivering business success.</p> <p>I had always tended to agree with French writer and philosopher <a title="Denis Diderot" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denis_Diderot" target="_blank">Denis Diderot</a> (1713-1784) who said <em>“Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things”</em>, so was somewhat surprised to hear that <strong>there are many managers who believe that passionate employees are more of a pain than a pleasure, and that they would prefer to have employees who just want to come to work and do a good job.</strong></p> <p>As I have often said (somewhat tongue in cheek) that the test of a good manager is whether his people will get up on a Monday morning at 6.00am on a cold, wet winter day and say “thank goodness the weekend is now over and I can get back to work”, I have long been an advocate of the importance of creating passionate employees, rather than just expecting people to do their job well.</p> <p><strong>But now I was starting to wonder whether I had been over-romanticising the whole idea of passionate employees. Could a manager actually cope with a team of 10 or 20 people who were all wildly passionate about what they were doing ? How much passion did people need to be successful ?</strong></p> <p>Living in the Bordeaux region, I have many friends who are winemakers. Some are wildly passionate about wine and talk about nothing else, and others are clever business people who see the whole wine industry as a way of making a good living and supporting an interesting and rewarding lifestyle, these “producteurs” being enthusiastic rather than passionate. In most cases (pun intended) the “wine passionatas” are generally less successful than the “business enthusiasts”. Those driven by passion can spend an inordinate amount of time trying to achieve miniscule improvements in their wines, often well beyond the tasting skills of their consumer market, whereas the business people make great and saleable wine, and then focus their time on trying to build their penetration and sales in their markets, in what is an increasingly competitive business environment.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3051" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/bordeaux-wine.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3051" alt="Author: Benjamin Zingg; CC BY-SA 2.5 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/bordeaux-wine.jpg?w=300&h=179" width="300" height="179" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Benjamin Zingg; CC BY-SA 2.5 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>In the wine industry, one needs to be enthusiastic about wine, but in the end it will be those who understand that to survive and prosper, as in all other industries, any business success is much more multifaceted than just a love and a passion for the product.</p> <p>The dictionary defines passion as <strong>“A strong and extravagant enthusiasm, fondness, love or desire for something”</strong>.</p> <p>I have no issue with the definition, but I am a bit bothered by the use of the word “extravagant”.</p> <p>Some of the most annoying people I have known, and worked with, had an “extravagant enthusiasm” for what they were doing, whenever and however they were doing it. One I have never forgotten was at that time my west coast State manager who would often call me with his latest and greatest idea, late at night his time, with no regard for the fact that I was 3 hours ahead of him on the east coast. No matter how many times I told him not to call me after 11.00pm east coast time, he continued to call whenever his passion for his own brilliance overpowered his understanding of time or tolerance. He exhibited this same level of passion in everything that he did.</p> <p>He was a highly successful manager, and I did not want to dampen his enthusiasm, but there is no way that I could have been successful, nor could I have stayed sane and survived, had my entire team of about 15 direct reports possessed this same level of passion. I was more than content to mainly have a hard working, and enthusiastic team who did what was needed and a bit more.</p> <p><strong>The question is “at what point does passion morph into fanaticism and obsession, and how much can any manager or organisation handle successfully ?”</strong></p> <p>For companies to be successful, I believe that they do need some passionate employees, as passionate people tend to be unreasonable and it is unreasonable people who drive change.</p> <p>However, organisations also need people who are just seriously committed to doing a great job and are enthusiastic about what they do, even if they hate getting up at 6.00am on a wet Monday morning to start the work week, and take the time to understand the world’s different time zones.</p> <p>I have come to the conclusion that it is exciting to have some passionate people in our lives, and that we should all at least be enthusiastic about many things, whether it is work, sport, hobbies or our families, but that being surrounded by only seriously passionate people would be more than most of us could bear.</p> <p>On this subject, I do like the words of a founding father of the USA, <a title="Benjamin Franklin" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin" target="_blank">Benjamin Franklin</a> (1706-1790) <em>“If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins”</em>.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3055" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 203px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/benjamin_franklin.png"><img class=" wp-image-3055 " alt="Author: Joseph Siffred Duplessis; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/benjamin_franklin.png?w=193&h=243" width="193" height="243" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Joseph Siffred Duplessis; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3049/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3049/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3049&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/451/de-de TENTH RULE OF MANAGEMENT Mon, 11 Feb 2013 06:57:01 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/450/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>The first rule of management is that successful management is actually more about how you manage yourself rather than being about how you manage others (see <a title="First Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/first-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“First rule of management”</a> posted June 25, 2012).</p> <p>The second rule of management is that the key to your own success is totally dependent on the success of your people (see <a title="Second Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/second-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Second rule of management”</a> posted September 24, 2012).</p> <p>The third rule of management is that no man is an island, and you need to build a network in all directions (see <a title="Third Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/third-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Third rule of management”</a> posted October 1, 2012).</p> <p>The fourth rule of management is that you do not manage people, but you manage their behaviour (see <a title="Fourth Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/fourth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Fourth rule of management”</a> posted October 15, 2012).</p> <p>The fifth rule of management is that if you are serious about moving up, you need to first move sideways (see <a title="Fifth rule of management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/fifth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Fifth rule of management”</a> posted November 5, 2012).</p> <p>The sixth rule of management is that you should not over-manage your people (see <a title="Sixth rule of management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/sixth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Sixth rule of management”</a> posted November 19, 2012).</p> <p>The seventh rule of management is that if you don’t manage the financials they will manage you (see <a title="Seventh Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/seventh-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Seventh rule of management”</a> posted Nov 26th, 2012).</p> <p>The eighth rule of management is to keep it simple (see <a title="Eight Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/eighth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Eighth Rule of management”</a> posted January 21, 2012).</p> <p>The ninth rule of management is that it’s meant to be fun for all those involved around you (see <a title="Ninth Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/ninth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Ninth rule of management”</a> posted February 4th, 2013).</p> <p><strong>The tenth rule of management is that it’s important that you know when to hand over the reins and move on.</strong></p> <div id="attachment_3027" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 253px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/queen_beatrix.jpg"><img class="wp-image-3027 " alt="Author: Emiel Ketelaar, FrozenImage; GFDL & CC-BY-SA license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/queen_beatrix.jpg?w=243&h=243" width="243" height="243" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Emiel Ketelaar, FrozenImage; GFDL & CC-BY-SA license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div> <div id="attachment_3028" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 213px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/prince_willem-alexander.jpg"><img class="wp-image-3028 " alt="Author: srslyguys; CC BY 1.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/prince_willem-alexander.jpg?w=203&h=243" width="203" height="243" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: srslyguys; CC BY 1.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have long believed that a manager should not be allowed to sit in the same role for more than about 5-6 years (see <a title="How do you know when you should step aside" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/how-do-you-know-when-you-should-step-aside/" target="_blank">“How do you know when you should step aside”</a> posted April 12th, 2012), this limit to a term of office becoming even more critical the higher up the ladder one climbs.</p> <p>I see that after about 5-6 years most managers are starting to feel too comfortable in their current role and tend to prefer protecting their own implementations, rather than to drive the innovation and changes that are needed for continued success in an ever-changing business environment, particularly if those implementations have served one well. This behaviour is unfortunately re-enforced by the fact that managers tend to be rewarded more for protecting the corporate status quo than for driving dramatic creativity and change, for other than product innovation.</p> <p>In the same way that most people are loath to throw out a pair of well worn, well fitting, comfortable shoes, most managers are loath to throw out the strategies that have brought them success in the past.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3032" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 212px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/comfortable_old_shoes.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3032 " alt="Author: Medjaï; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/comfortable_old_shoes.jpg?w=202&h=270" width="202" height="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Medjaï; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have realised over the last 45 years of working in the IT industry,that <strong>as soon as it all starts to make sense to me, someone goes and changes it all</strong>, and that this is happening with increasing rapidity.</p> <p>In this, I have absolutely no doubt that I am not alone, but I am regularly surprised that I continue to come across senior business people who believe that what they did yesterday to be successful will continue to succeed today and into the future.</p> <p><strong>When it all starts to feel really comfortable, and you believe that you have all the answers, it is definitely time to move on and let someone else take over, as it really needs someone who will still be somewhat uncomfortable in the role.</strong></p> <p>Another real sign that your time in the current role is up, is when you start to get a sense that you are seeing the same issues and their solutions keep re-surfacing. I have recently heard a number of “old hands” in the IT industry state that this whole move to “on demand” computing (SaaS) is just another version, and is just a re-jig, of the bureau movement that exploded in the 1970s through availability of interactive computing from companies like DEC. Yes, it probably is, but it will require new strategies if it is to deliver real benefit to businesses, and the “here we go again” attitude is just another sign that fresh approaches, and different people, will be needed to make it all successful.</p> <p>I spoke to one senior executive who told me that he had realised it was time to pass on the baton when he ran out of space in his office for his collection of memorabilia, and at the same time realised that he would need to have the carpet replaced under his desk because of the ruts from his chair’s wheels. Another told me that his realisation came when he realised that he was prefacing many of his statements with <em>“stop me if you’ve heard this before”</em> and <em>“I may have already told you this but … “</em>.</p> <p>There are many signs … it is just critical that you recognise them.</p> <p>A great manager will always have spent some considerable time and effort building at least one capable successor, and to withhold the opportunity for leadership from that person in the long term will not only risk their frustration, but will also risk their departure, locking you even more rigidly into the current role. In the same way that you need to develop your direct reports, you should have also spent time developing yourself along the way (with your boss’s help and support) in readiness for you to move on to the next challenge when the time is right.</p> <p>There is little question that your successor will consider themselves to be ready to step up before you do (didn’t we all), but it is your responsibility to ensure that when they can, with some real chance of success, they should be given the opportunity to do so.</p> <p><strong>Your successor should be given the chance to build his own directions and make his own mistakes, rather than to have to go on living with yours forever.</strong></p> <p>As said by <a title="Donald Rumsfeld" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Rumsfeld" target="_blank">Donald Rumsfeld</a>, American politician and businessman</p> <blockquote><p>“Have a deputy and develop a successor. Don’t be consumed by the job or you’ll risk losing your balance. Keep your mooring lines to the outside world.”</p></blockquote> <p><div id="attachment_3033" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 201px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/donald_rumsfeld.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3033 " alt="DoD photo by R. D. Ward; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/donald_rumsfeld.jpg?w=191&h=240" width="191" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">DoD photo by R. D. Ward; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3026/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3026/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3026&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/450/de-de NINTH RULE OF MANAGEMENT Mon, 04 Feb 2013 06:38:38 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/449/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>The first rule of management is that successful management is actually more about how you manage yourself rather than being about how you manage others (see <a title="First Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/first-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“First rule of management”</a> posted June 25, 2012).</p> <p>The second rule of management is that the key to your own success is totally dependent on the success of your people (see <a title="Second Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/second-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Second rule of management”</a> posted September 24, 2012).</p> <p>The third rule of management is that no man is an island, and you need to build a network in all directions (see <a title="Third Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/third-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Third rule of management”</a> posted October 1, 2012).</p> <p>The fourth rule of management is that you do not manage people, but you manage their behaviour (see <a title="Fourth Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/fourth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Fourth rule of management”</a> posted October 15, 2012).</p> <p>The fifth rule of management is that if you are serious about moving up, you need to first move sideways (see <a title="Fifth rule of management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/fifth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Fifth rule of management”</a> posted November 5, 2012).</p> <p>The sixth rule of management is that you should not over-manage your people (see <a title="Sixth rule of management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/sixth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Sixth rule of management”</a> posted November 19, 2012).</p> <p>The seventh rule of management is that if you don’t manage the financials they will manage you (see <a title="Seventh Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/seventh-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Seventh rule of management”</a> posted Nov 26th, 2012).</p> <p>The eighth rule of management is to keep it simple (see <a title="Eight Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/eighth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Eighth Rule of management”</a> posted January 21, 2012).</p> <p><strong>The ninth rule of management is that it’s meant to be fun for all those involved around you.</strong></p> <p><a title="Dale Carnegie" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dale_Carnegie" target="_blank">Dale Carnegie</a>, author and personal development guru (1888-1955) had it right when he said <em>“People rarely succeed unless they have <strong>fun </strong>in what they are doing.”</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_3011" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/dale_carnegie_signature.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3011" alt="Signature of Dale Carnegie; via Wkimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/dale_carnegie_signature.png?w=300&h=77" width="300" height="77" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Signature of Dale Carnegie; via Wkimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>It is important to note that the emphasis is on “fun”, rather than on” funny”. I have had bosses who believed that they had a wonderful sense of humour, but who actually did little to make it fun to work for them. I have always believed that it is important that we take the job that we do seriously, but that we do not necessarily take ourselves too seriously.</p> <p>It is critical that a manager creates an environment where not only are they excited about coming to work, but so are their people and those around them. People will define “fun” in different ways, but there are some key elements that tend to help in making the workplace a welcoming environment while rightly maintaining the challenges and behaviours needed for success.</p> <p>Some focus areas:</p> <p><strong>Celebrate often.</strong> Not all the time, so as to not trivialise the successes, but often enough so people can enjoy and share in them. These do not have to be elaborate affairs … ring a bell for a new order, hand out a Rolls Royce hubcap for outstanding performance (see <a title="Being serious is overrated" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/being-serious-is-overrated/" target="_blank">“Being serious is overrated”</a> posted November 18, 2011), hand write a personal letter of thanks … whatever suits your style as a manager and the culture of your team.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3012" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 240px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/hand-write-a-letter.jpeg"><img class=" wp-image-3012 " alt="Painting The Writing Master by Thomas Eakins; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/hand-write-a-letter.jpeg?w=230&h=216" width="230" height="216" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Painting The Writing Master by Thomas Eakins; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Create a level playing field</strong> for everyone in terms of opportunities. For example, I am not a great advocate of imposed diversity quotas for any minority groups in business (including women), as I believe that these can be failure traps, but I am a great believer that we should make it totally possible for people to have a chance to succeed, such as creating and/or supporting child care facilities for your own team members who are parents of young children.(see <a title="Stupid work fads" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/stupid-work-fads/" target="_blank">“Stupid work fads”</a> posted September 5, 2011).</p> <p><strong>Whenever possible, include family members</strong>, particularly when celebrating success, as often they have as much to do with the success of an employee as does the individual being honoured. Success recognition when family members are present adds significantly to the value of the achievement.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3013" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/british_royal_family_june_2012.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3013" alt="Author: Carfax2; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/british_royal_family_june_2012.jpg?w=300&h=199" width="300" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Carfax2; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Help the stragglers.</strong> Even the best people will have times when things are not going as planned. It is the responsibility of the manager to ensure that people understand that you are there to help them get through these times with the support that is needed. (See <a title="Move them up or move them out" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/move-them-up-or-move-them-out/" target="_blank">“Move them up or move them out”</a> posted August 23, 2010}.</p> <p><strong>Use open plan as a way to build teamwork</strong> rather than just as a way of saving money on office fit-out. Replacing boxes of offices with boxes of cubicles misses an opportunity to create a dynamic and vibrant environment where teams can come together, disband and reform as needed. If used properly a flexible, mobile, open plan design can be colourful and exciting, and can foster a climate that enables people to collaborate effectively.</p> <p><strong>Let people know that they are allowed to make honest mistakes</strong>, as long as they don’t try to cover them up, and on the condition that they learn from them so that they are not repeated. A blame and punishment culture will limit creativity and innovation as people become nervous about trying anything new because of a fear of failure.</p> <p><strong>Challenge people</strong> so that they have an opportunity to learn and grow, and ensure that they have available the things that are needed to give them a strong chance to succeed. Goals should be achievable, but with some effort and stretch, otherwise their achievement has only minimal and fleeting pleasure.</p> <p><strong>Develop people</strong> so that they can grow the skills and knowledge not only to do their current job, but also to be able to compete for future opportunities that may arise throughout the entire organisation, as skilled and valued managers are creators of talent for their whole company, not just for themselves.</p> <p><strong>Laugh often</strong> as the business world and the individuals involved in it are a wonderful source of merriment and humour, particularly in my own industry of IT. Laughing at others is easy to do, but it takes real skill and gives greater return on effort to learn to laugh at ourselves. If unsure how to go about doing this, see “Dilbert” regularly.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3014" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 130px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/laugh.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-3014" alt="Author: GNOME icon artists; GNU General Public License; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/laugh.png?w=630" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: GNOME icon artists; GNU General Public License; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Let them go when their time is over</strong> with thanks for what they have contributed whilst in your team. You cannot hang on to good people forever, and when they are ready to move on, even when their choice is not pleasing such as moving to a competitor, you should do so with grace and gratitude. It makes good sense to keep the relationship alive after they move on.</p> <p>As Bob Basso, American trainer and author, says <em>“If it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right.”</em></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3010/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/3010/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=3010&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/449/de-de THINKING OUSIDE THE BOX, WE HAVE THE BANDWIDTH FOR A CLOUD BASED PARADIGM SHIFT Mon, 28 Jan 2013 07:08:43 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/448/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>Now that the end of year holiday season is over, it is time for the start of the New Year business meetings. We are being blessed with a multitude of annual business results reporting and Field kick-off meetings as companies try to fire up their investors and their sales organisations for the year ahead.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2998" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 266px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/europeana_awareness_kick-off_meeting.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-2998" alt="Author: EuropeanaEU; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/europeana_awareness_kick-off_meeting.jpg?w=630" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: EuropeanaEU; CC BY-SA 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Generally, January is the month when management ask those around them to <strong>“gird their loins”</strong>, <strong>“step up to the bar”</strong>, <strong>“take no prisoners”</strong>, and to <strong>“storm the market”</strong> with <strong>“leading edge technology”</strong>.</p> <p>In other words, it is time to roll out every cliché to make sure that no-one has to actually deliver any statements comprised of any original thought or language construction …. It is definitely the time for <strong><em>“drivelspeak”</em></strong>.</p> <p>Here are some that I have heard, and hate the most, in the last month.</p> <p><strong>Thinking outside the box</strong> metaphor for creative thinking is believed to have come from management consultants (who can be blamed for most of drivelspeak) in the 1970s and 1980s, who challenged their clients to solve the “nine dots” puzzle.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2999" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 177px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/nine_dots_puzzle.png"><img class=" wp-image-2999 " alt="Author: Steve Gustafson; GFDL license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/nine_dots_puzzle.png?w=167&h=144" width="167" height="144" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Steve Gustafson; GFDL license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Today it has come to represent the fact that the team being tasked to think outside the box have hit a problem that they cannot solve, but are now being exhorted to believe that since they are suddenly trapped in a room, they will be able to think totally differently than they have ever been able to do in the past. As creativity cannot be suddenly successfully mandated in a meeting, it has as much chance of “pushing the envelope” as most teams would have of pushing a mountain. Innovation and creativity are driven by company culture and behaviour and can only flourish when “part of company DNA”.</p> <p><strong>Paradigm shift</strong> is believed to have been first postulated in 1962 by <a title="Thomas Kuhn" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Kuhn" target="_blank">Thomas Kuhn</a> in his influential book <a title="The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Structure_of_Scientific_Revolutions" target="_blank">“The structure of Scientific Revolutions”</a> in describing a change in the basic assumptions (paradigms) of science. Now it is used to refer to every change, in any and every aspect of life no matter how trivial, whether it is a change from paper to electronic invoicing or whether a baby should now be carried on a parent’s front rather than the back. In the IT industry it usually describes a new release of an ageing piece of software that has had some bug fixes applied.</p> <p><div id="attachment_3000" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 199px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/paradigm_shift_logo.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-3000 " alt="Author: Wncody; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/paradigm_shift_logo.jpg?w=189&h=189" width="189" height="189" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Wncody; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Bandwidth </strong>had an obvious meaning when an engineer was describing the net bit rate capacity of a channel in a digital communication system. Now it is used as a trendy I-am-so-hip-and-IT-savvy way to replace the word “capacity” or even “time”. Now <em>“Mothers do not have the bandwidth to raise children and have a successful career”</em> and <em>“Executives struggle with finding the bandwidth to run their business, spend time with their family and get out on the golf course”</em>. Apart from “net bit rate capacity” the only other valid use of the term should be in comparing the band width rate of a band like Meat Loaf as against The Rolling Stones (much greater).</p> <p><strong>Eating your own dog food</strong> also called “dogfooding” generally refers to a company (usually a computer software company) using its own products successfully as a show of confidence to the marketplace. As a software company has a hoard of experts internally that could install, implement and bug-fix any piece of their own software, unlike its customers, it is hardly proof of ease of use. I have worked in one software company that implemented much of its own product set, and told the whole world, despite the fact that most managers were loath to use it, and tended to rely more on their own spread-sheets.“Drinking the kool aid” has much the same meaning in North America, despite the fact that it is based on the death by poisoning in 1978 of the members of the People’s Temple, so the true meaning should be that using your own products will definitely kill you. I could understand using the phrase “Eat your own cooking”, but as the owner of three dogs I would never consider fighting my dogs for a taste of their kibbles or packs of Cesar dog food.</p> <p><strong>Cloud computing</strong> is the use of computer resources, both hardware and software, that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the internet), and is hailed by those who provide it as a major “paradigm shift”. Starting with “SaaS” (software as a service), every aspect of IT Services can now be described as being cloud-based just by adding “aaS” to the first letter. So we have now gained a plethora of new wondrous acronyms such as (but not limited to) “RaaS” (Reporting as a Service), DaaS (Data as a Service), NaaS (Network as a Service) and so on. In support of “Accuracy as a Service” I believe that they should add “BaaS” (Bullshit as a Service).</p> <p><div id="attachment_3001" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/cloud_computing.png"><img class=" wp-image-3001 " alt="Author: Davide Lamanna; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/cloud_computing.png?w=270&h=177" width="270" height="177" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Davide Lamanna; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Going viral</strong> has absolutely nothing to do with bird-flu, swine flu or norovirus. It now refers to internet content which, mainly through social networking sites, can spread rapidly through a population by indiscriminate “sharing”, and it has now become a major life goal to have some content go viral, today being rated as having more than 10 views, many by relatives. As a result we can now fully understand that it does not take much to amuse small minds. Video clips such as obese Korean teenagers dancing half naked, young women singing to a hairbrush and babies laughing have spread across the globe faster than did the great plague. Linked to this is the obsession with collecting a million “likes” on Facebook. There are people on this planet who will not give their child a puppy, have sex with their boyfriend, buy themselves a lobotomy or have their next chemotherapy treatment without first collecting a million “likes”. I would immediately like to start a movement to collect one million Facebook users to endorse my demand that Facebook immediately include a “Hate” option alongside “Like”.</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2997/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2997/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2997&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/448/de-de EIGHTH RULE OF MANAGEMENT Mon, 21 Jan 2013 06:01:28 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/442/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>The first rule of management is that successful management is actually more about how you manage yourself rather than being about how you manage others (see <a title="First Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/first-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“First rule of management”</a> posted June 25, 2012).</p> <p>The second rule of management is that the key to your own success is totally dependent on the success of your people (see <a title="Second Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/second-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Second rule of management”</a> posted September 24, 2012).</p> <p>The third rule of management is that no man is an island, and you need to build a network in all directions (see <a title="Third Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/third-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Third rule of management”</a> posted October 1, 2012).</p> <p>The fourth rule of management is that you do not manage people, but you manage their behaviour (see <a title="Fourth Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/fourth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Fourth rule of management”</a> posted October 15, 2012).</p> <p>The fifth rule of management is that if you are serious about moving up, you need to first move sideways (see <a title="Fifth rule of management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/fifth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Fifth rule of management”</a> posted November 5, 2012).</p> <p>The sixth rule of management is that you should not over-manage your people (see <a title="Sixth rule of management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/sixth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Sixth rule of management”</a> posted November 19, 2012).</p> <p>The seventh rule of management is that if you don’t manage the financials they will manage you (see <a title="Seveth Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/seventh-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Seventh rule of management”</a> posted Nov 26<sup>th</sup>, 2012).</p> <p><b>The eighth rule of management is to keep it simple.</b></p> <p><a title="Albert Einstein" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein" target="_blank">Albert Einstein</a> said <em>“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” </em></p> <p><div id="attachment_2984" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 194px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/albert_einstein.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2984 " alt="By Oren Jack Turner; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/albert_einstein.jpg?w=184&h=240" width="184" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By Oren Jack Turner; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Life was meant to be simple, but people have a habit, a real insistence, in making life complex. Weak managers will go out of their way to create complexity as a way of justifying their role. Good managers on the other hand will put effort into removing complexity from every element of their business responsibilities and ensure that it is as easy as possible for their team to fulfil the role that is expected of them, and that the organisation depends upon.</p> <p>Here are just a few areas that are worth focussing on:</p> <p><strong>Good managers make sure that they quickly get rid of the inessentials, and understand that what should not be done is as important as knowing what has to be done.</strong> If tasks do nothing to add to the financial success of the company (revenue and profit), or if tasks have no impact on supporting a benefit for some part of the company’s broad ecosystem, then they have no right to exist and should be discarded without delay. Business tasks (sometimes even entire departments) can stay alive long after they have outlived their original usefulness, continuing simply out of the tradition that “we have always done it that way”. As well, requests for actions from people outside your own team should be reviewed (and regularly re-reviewed) to see if they meet the criteria of providing some real benefit to the ecosystem, other than to the person requesting that the task be done. If it has no real worthwhile benefit, stop people from doing it.</p> <p><strong>Organisational structures are meant to be simple and should enable people to understand where they fit in the greater scheme of things, and also allow an organisation to be nimble and quickly reactive to changing market conditions and customer needs.</strong> This is not true of most complex matrix organisations which I believe are an aberration, and are in most cases created in organisations where people are not trusted, as it is based on the belief that multiple views from differing perspectives will give someone somewhere higher up the ladder a better understanding of reality. It won’t, but it will create a lot of extra reporting and time wasting. I do accept that some simple matrix organisations can help professional cohesiveness and development across different departments and geographies in for example engineering roles , but the more complex the matrix the more it becomes a barrier to business success ( see <a title="Stupid Management Ideas" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/stupid-management-ideas/" target="_blank">“Stupid management Ideas”</a> posted August 29,2011). I have come across matrix organisations that could not have been explained to Einstein let alone to a 6 year old.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2985" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 266px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/matrix_organisation_scheme.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-2985" alt="Author: Chery; via Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/matrix_organisation_scheme.png?w=630" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Chery; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Make sure that people understand what is expected of them and make it as easy as possible for them to achieve their goals</strong> (with stretch otherwise the achievement will have little meaning), by removing the barriers that could hinder their success, remembering that the only real task of a manager is <strong>“to create an environment where people can be unbelievably successful”</strong>. Don’t set too many individual goals as people should understand what is critical for success, and ensure that these goals are understandable, understood and that there is commitment to their successful completion. Also ensure that your people have a serious understanding of how to achieve them and that they have the skills necessary to do so, and if they don’t, it is your responsibility to ensure that there are plans in place to remedy this. Make sure that you then use every opportunity to give them feedback on their progress.</p> <p><strong>Be the role model for simplicity.</strong> Don’t flood your people with too many emails. My average before retirement was receiving about 300 emails per day, and I did not have the time to spend sifting out the important from the rubbish, so generally treated all emails with a low level of priority, deciding that if it was really important someone would talk to me directly (see “Emails Bloody Emails” posted April 21, 2011. Don’t tie up precious time with never ending meetings that have little real benefit other than filling time (see <a title="Meetings Bloody Meetings" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/meetings-bloody-meetings/" target="_blank">“Meetings Bloody Meetings”</a> posted April 18, 2011).. Keep messaging simple and interesting, for example one of my messages to the SAP sales force about our major competitor was that “there is no company out there in the world that is so bad that they deserve to do business with Oracle”, rather than going in to a long diatribe about beating the competition.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2986" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 195px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/no_e-mail.png"><img class=" wp-image-2986 " alt="Author: RRZE; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; Wikimedia Commons" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/no_e-mail.png?w=185&h=157" width="185" height="157" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: RRZE; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have long believed that any fool can create complexity, but it takes real genius to do things simply, and this is particularly true in management.<br /> As so ably put by <a title="Leonardo da Vinci" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_da_Vinci" target="_blank">Leonardo da Vinci</a> <em>“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”</em></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2983/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2983/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2983&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/442/de-de SEVENTH RULE OF MANAGEMENT Mon, 26 Nov 2012 05:57:10 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/438/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>The first rule of management is that successful management is actually more about how you manage yourself rather than being about how you manage others (see <a title="First Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/first-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“First rule of management”</a> posted June 25, 2012).</p> <p>The second rule of management is that the key to your own success is totally dependent on the success of your people (see <a title="Second Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/second-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Second rule of management”</a> posted September 24, 2012).</p> <p>The third rule of management is that no man is an island, and you need to build a network in all directions (see <a title="Third Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/third-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Third rule of management”</a> posted October 1, 2012).</p> <p>The fourth rule of management is that you do not manage people, but you manage their behaviour (see <a title="Fourth Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/fourth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Fourth rule of management”</a> posted October 15, 2012).</p> <p>The fifth rule of management is that if you are serious about moving up, you need to first move sideways (see <a title="Fifth rule of management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/fifth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Fifth rule of management”</a> posted November 5, 2012).</p> <p>The sixth rule of management is that you should not over-manage your people (see <a title="Sixth rule of management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/sixth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Sixth rule of management”</a> posted November 19, 2012).</p> <p><strong>The seventh rule of management is that if you don’t manage the financials they will manage you.</strong></p> <p>French author <a title="Jules Renard" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jules_Renard" target="_blank">Jules Renard (1864-1910)</a> said <em>“I finally know what distinguishes man from the other beasts: financial worries.”</em></p> <p>What differentiates <strong>professional managers from amateurs is that good managers work hard to totally understand and worry about the financials at all times</strong>, and don’t just hand over all the financial responsibilities to their senior finance person. Ultimately the responsibility has to lie with the most senior manager, no matter how much reliance he has placed on his finance team.</p> <p>This was shown in a big way last week, with the release of the latest financial results from <strong>Hewlett Packard</strong>.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2936" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/davis_cup_2011_zagreb_deutschland.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2936" title="Hewlett Packard" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/davis_cup_2011_zagreb_deutschland.jpg?w=300&h=197" height="197" width="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Roberta F.; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>The results were bad enough on their own, but were not helped by the write down of $5 billion related to the acquisition of Autonomy for $11.7 billion, just over one year ago in August 2011. According to HP there had been improprieties in the way Autonomy had been valued, and HP had been misled by Autonomy’s questionable financial reporting.</p> <p>Former Autonomy CEO, Mike Lynch said “It took 10 years to build Autonomy’s industry-leading technology and it is sad to see how it has been mismanaged since its acquisition by HP”,and that this was just an attempt by HP to distract the market from its poor results.</p> <p>The CEO of HP, Meg Whitman, said that the HP Board had relied for the purchase of Autonomy on financials supplied by Deloitte, and that they had even hired KPMG to audit Deloitte. Apart from having <strong>“watchers watching watchers”</strong>, there was no mention of their own due diligence carried out by HP itself, which one would have expected with a trade purchase of any size. This excuse just seemed like a blatant attempt to move the responsibility for the disaster away from the management team, where it always belongs. It was too obvious and not acceptable.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2935" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 202px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/meg_whitman.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2935 " title="Meg Whitman" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/meg_whitman.jpg?w=192&h=243" height="243" width="192" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Steve Jurvetson; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikipedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Managers do not have the luxury of being able to shift the blame to others for actions that occur on their watch, and in their area of responsibility.</strong></p> <p>Whilst Whitman was not the CEO at the time of the purchase, she was at that time a member of the board that ultimately approved the deal, and there is no way that the senior team in any organisation can pass the responsibility to anyone else.<br /> To me, this seems like management incompetence on a grand scale, but serious financial management is just as critical at every level of an organisation. It is just as mandatory for the leader of a small team as it is for the CEO of a large corporation.</p> <p><strong>Business management is a people and a numbers game.</strong></p> <p>It is not enough, for example, for a sales manager to just work on the number of suspects needed to supply the requisite number of prospects to drive the number of qualified opportunities that will provide the number of successful deals closed to deliver the committed revenue numbers, and then believe that these responsibilities alone are enough to do the job. It is just as important for success to also closely manage elements like the travel expenses needed to deliver these opportunities.</p> <p>I once had a country MD who was skilled at driving the top line, and rarely had problems making his revenue forecasts. The problem was that he believed that as long as he made his revenue goals the bottom line would look after itself. <strong>It didn’t in his case and it rarely does in any case.</strong> He achieved his sales goals by over incentivising his sales force with end of quarter and end of year extra commission schemes, which not only blew up his cost of sales, but also drove un-natural behaviour in his field organisation which skewed business towards the end of whatever time period was being rewarded. He also believed that it was the responsibility of his CFO to manage the numbers, but as an over-confident MD he would override his CFO’s concerns. The real issue is that, like many managers, he really did not understand how to manage the financials of a complex organisation. The end result was that the subsidiary did not meet its profit goals and the MD had to be replaced.</p> <p>To be successful a manager must develop “a nose” for the financial health of his business area, in the same way that a wine connoisseur can tell everything about a particular wine s/he is tasting. S/he particularly has to be able to “smell” that something doesn’t feel right, particularly when it comes to understanding the numbers. This means that every manager has to make it their responsibility to totally understand not just how to read a Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss report, but has to be able to understand that s/he needs to have access to a dashboard that gives the metrics needed to measure the health of the business area in real time.</p> <p>The problem is that few managers have the financial skills to do more than to cast a cursory glance at the financials, and it often gets worse as one travels higher up the organisational pyramid.</p> <p>As so well supported by <a title="Robert Toru Kiyosaki" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Toru_Kiyosaki" target="_blank">Robert Toru Kiyosaki</a>, American investor, businessman and author <em>“Academic qualifications are important and so is financial education. They’re both important and schools are forgetting one of them”.</em></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2934/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2934/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2934&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/438/de-de SIXTH RULE OF MANAGEMENT Mon, 19 Nov 2012 07:29:12 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/436/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>The first rule of management is that successful management is actually more about how you manage yourself rather than being about how you manage others (see <a title="First Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/first-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“First rule of management”</a> posted June 25, 2012).</p> <p>The second rule of management is that the key to your own success is totally dependent on the success of your people (see <a title="Second Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/second-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Second rule of management”</a> posted September 24, 2012).</p> <p>The third rule of management is that no man is an island, and you need to build a network in all directions (see <a title="Third Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/third-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Third rule of management”</a> posted October 1, 2012).</p> <p>The fourth rule of management is that you do not manage people, but you manage their behaviour (see <a title="Fourth Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/fourth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Fourth rule of management”</a> posted October 15, 2012).</p> <p>The fifth rule of management is that if you are serious about moving up, you need to first move sideways (see <a title="Fifth rule of management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/fifth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Fifth rule of management”</a> posted November 5, 2012).</p> <p><strong>The sixth rule of management is that you should not over-manage your people.</strong></p> <p>Eric Schmidt of Google was at one stage known to have about 60 direct reports. When he was asked how he could successfully manage so many people, he replied that that was the whole point of it, and that <em>“When you have so many direct reports you can’t actually manage them.”</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_2924" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 170px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/eric_schmidt.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2924 " title="Eric Schmidt" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/eric_schmidt.jpg?w=160&h=240" height="240" width="160" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Guillaume Paumier / Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-3.0; http://www.gpaumier.org</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Skilled managers understand that their primary role is to <strong>“create an environment in which people can be incredibly successful”</strong>, and are also aware that this is significantly easier to say than it is to achieve, but they do understand that their <strong>people need to be given the freedom to act and to achieve their goals.</strong></p> <p><strong>The first priority</strong>, which may actually be the hardest for many managers, is to recruit the right people which is something that many find a struggle (see <a title="Why are so many managers so bad at recruiting" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/why-are-so-many-managers-so-bad-at-recruiting/" target="_blank">“Why are so many managers so bad at recruiting”</a> posted December 12, 2011).</p> <p>One of the problems is that most managers focus on recruiting mainly for quality of skills.</p> <p><strong>I believe that skills are a critical component of selection, but that it has become even more critically important to hire for attitude, as it is significantly easier to develop skills through training, mentoring and on the job learning than it is to change someone’s attitudes to work and life.</strong></p> <p>This means that the focus should be to <strong>recruit for attitude and be prepared to train for skills.</strong></p> <p>I do not mean to suggest that managers should not recruit skilled people for a role that requires experience and knowledge, but I am suggesting that most managers tend to spend the greater part of the recruiting process looking at experience, skills and knowledge and not enough time looking at ethics, integrity, attitudes, values and cultural fit. <strong>Most managers still seem to believe that the perfect recruit is generally someone who is already doing the job needing filling, at one of their competitors, despite the fact that the cultures may actually be in direct conflict, and the fact that one should hire for future potential rather than just for filling the current need.</strong></p> <p>You will have significantly more success if you can recruit people who are a good fit with your work environment, and particularly if they are capable of working without continuous supervision and hand-holding, or even better, <strong>filling the role with someone in the team who already fits the environment and who with development and mentoring can grow to meet the need.</strong></p> <p>The skilled manager knows that he should spend his time interacting with his people, but understands that the days of “command and control” are long gone, and that his role is not to manage his people but to manage their behaviour ( see the fourth rule above ).</p> <p><strong>The second priority</strong> for a manager is that s/he has to ensure that s/he has created the environment where s/he does not have to spend all the time on tight management of the people, and that s/he has answered some critical questions for them to be able to understand the freedoms and boundaries of what they have been asked to do.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2926" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 242px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/freedom-not-fear.png"><img class=" wp-image-2926 " title="Freedom not Fear" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/freedom-not-fear.png?w=232&h=240" height="240" width="232" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Pascale Riby; CC BY 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>These are:</p> <p><strong>Why are we here ?</strong> People must have a clear understanding of the reason for the team’s existence and of the behavioural standards expected from team members. This means a clear understanding of the mission, vision and values that the team works within, and the “shared greater dream”. A manager needs to be able to paint the picture of “building a cathedral rather than just laying bricks”.</p> <p><strong>What is expected of me ?</strong> Once people buy into the dream you need to be able to show them how they can play a role in its achievement. This means clear, measurable goals and objectives that must be achievable (otherwise people give up), but with effort (so people get satisfaction from the achievement and learn along the way).</p> <p><strong>What’s in it for me?</strong> Reward for achievement of goals should not be just financial incentives, but should be tailored to the individual, as for some it could be promotion to a more senior role, continued education or an overseas assignment, all rewards that can add to the value of the individual.</p> <p><strong>How am I doing ? </strong>People must have feedback along the way, and your continuous interaction with your people gives you not only the ability to reinforce the required behaviours, but it also allows you numerous opportunities for real-time feedback on their performance. For some this will mean regular weekly reviews, for others, particularly the more senior ones this will be significantly less often, and may be enough with managed, seemingly chance, encounters.</p> <p><strong>Where do I go for help ?</strong> A skilled manager will ensure that the team is as self-managing and self-supporting as possible, to ensure that not all issues always float up to him for resolution. The more that the team can help each other to resolve issues, the more time the manager has available to focus on strategy and planning, rather than fire-fighting.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2925" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 189px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/help_me.png"><img class=" wp-image-2925 " title="Help" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/help_me.png?w=179&h=207" height="207" width="179" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Lilyu; via Wikimedia Commons; WTFPL 2.0</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I believe that if you hire more for attitude rather than just for skills, that you create an environment that can breed success, that your people are aware of what is expected of them and that you give them the freedom to do their jobs, including allowing them to trip up regularly, not only can you increase your span of control, but you can also be significantly more successful.</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2923/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2923/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2923&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/436/de-de WOULD DISASTER HAVE STRUCK LEHMAN SISTERS ? Mon, 12 Nov 2012 06:40:44 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/435/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I have been inspired by <a title="Jonas Ridderstrale" href="http://jonasridderstrale.com/" target="_blank">Jonas Ridderstrale</a>, a speaker at the <a title="AtelierSAP" href="http://www.ateliersap.org/" target="_blank">AtelierSAP</a> conference in Berlin last week, to speculate on what would be the state of the world today if Lehman Brothers had not been founded in 1850 by Henry, Emanuel and Mayer, but had instead been started by Henrietta, Emanuelle and May to become Lehman Sisters.</p> <p>On September 15, 2008 Financial Services firm Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2911" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 213px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/lehman_brothers_times_square.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2911 " title="Lehman Brothers Times Square" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/lehman_brothers_times_square.jpg?w=203&h=270" height="270" width="203" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: David Shankbone; GFDLicense; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Lehman Brothers was forced into this position through the mass exodus of its clients, drastic losses in its share price and the devaluation of its assets by the credit rating agencies, mainly driven by the number of defaults in their sub-prime mortgage business. With holdings of over $600 billion in assets it was the fourth largest investment bank in the US and it remains the largest bankruptcy filing in history, many seeing it as having played a major role in precipitating the global financial meltdown that we are facing today. Major Banks across the globewho dealt with Lehman Brothers lost billions, bankrupting millions of small investors and what followed has been called “the perfect storm” of economic distress factors, which we are still struggling with today.</p> <p>(Note that I hesitate to call it a “crisis” as traditionally a crisis has a beginning and an end, and I believe that this is not so much a crisis as a dramatic shift in the economic environment and in business fundamentals that will necessitate rethinking of many business principles that we have taken for granted as “truisms” over the last 200 years, such as the ready availability of loans to fund growth.)</p> <p>Chairman and CEO Richard S. Fuld Jr had been with Lehman Brothers for over 30 years and was the longest serving CEO on Wall Street (1994-2008), which should have already been a red flag (see “Hero to Zero” posted October 29, 2012), and he also had a history of long serving underlings such as Chris Pettit his second in command for 20 years finallyserving as President and COO (Second warning sign see “How do you know when you should step aside” posted April 2, 2012). In 2008, even as Lehman Brothers was disintegrating Fuld’s annual salary was $22 million and he is estimated to have earned in the vicinity of $500 million during his tenure at Lehman Brothers.The bankruptcy examiners found that he had also been involved in “cosmetic accounting practices” in his quarterly reporting to make Lehman Brother’s finances appear less shaky than they really were.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2912" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 250px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/richard_s-_fuld_jr.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2912 " title="Richard S. Fuld Jr" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/richard_s-_fuld_jr.jpg?w=240&h=180" height="180" width="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: World Resources Institute Staff; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have long speculated on whether women are better managers than men (see <a title="Do Women Make Better Managers" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/do-women-make-better-managers/" target="_blank">“Do women make better managers”</a> posted November 22, 2010), despite the fact that today they fill so few board seats, estimated at 10% in the western world in 2012 (16% UK, 13% US), but <strong>the question now is whether women would have made the same insane gambles and been driven by greed as much as did the leaders at Lehman brothers.</strong></p> <p>I believe from personal observation within my own family, friends and colleagues over the last 40 years, and supported by numerous studies over the decades (example <a title="Women, Men and Risk Aversion" href="http://aysps.gsu.edu/isp/files/ISP_Ind_3.pdf" target="_blank">“Men, Women and Risk Aversion” paper</a>) that women are definitely more risk averse than are men, which may explain the low number of IT company start-ups by women entrepreneurs, Arianna Huffington being one rare example. Couple this with women generally possessing a greater social conscience and sense of responsibility for the longer term than do men, and it brings me to the belief that the world would currently be in a calmer and safer state had it been Lehman Sisters rather than Lehman Brothers that had had control of the $600 billion. It is not that business women are totally risk averse, it is just that they are more risk cautious than men, and are therefore unlikely to bet everything on the throw of a single die.</p> <p>I believe that the difference between men and women in their attitudes to risk can be summed up in the following quotes:</p> <p><strong>If it’s a good idea with calculated risk</strong>, go ahead and do it. It’s much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.–<a title="Rear Admiral Grace Hopper" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper" target="_blank">Rear Admiral Grace Hopper</a>, computer scientist and pioneer (1906-1992).</p> <p><div id="attachment_2915" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 202px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/commodore_grace_m-_hopper.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2915 " title="Commodore Grace M. Hopper" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/commodore_grace_m-_hopper.jpg?w=192&h=240" height="240" width="192" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: James S. Davis; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>versus</p> <p>Life isn’t worth living unless you’re willing to <strong>take some big chances and go for broke</strong>.–<a title="Eliot Wigginton" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliot_Wigginton" target="_blank">Eliot Wiggington</a>, American historian and writer.</p> <p>As <a title="Jonas Ridderstrale" href="http://jonasridderstrale.com/" target="_blank">Jonas Ridderstrale</a> said during his presentation <em>“Companies have been built by men, for men, but we will need to rely more heavily on women to find the talent needed to build companies for the future.”</em></p> <p>A recent study by the <a title="HEPI" href="http://www.hepi.ac.uk/" target="_blank">Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI)</a>, an independent university think-tank in the UK has found that women outperform men in almost every single aspect of higher education, and that the number of women at university began to exceed the number of men nearly 20 years ago. The study shows that not only are there more of them studying, but they are less likely to drop out and will most times end up with a better degree. It also found that about 50% of women now opt for higher education compared to about 37% of men. It is no different in the US where American women today are more likely to earn college degrees than men, with women receiving 57%of all bachelor’s and 60% of all master’s degrees.</p> <p>Sadly however, a recent survey shows that when it comes to <a title="STEM" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STEM_fields" target="_blank">science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)</a> they’re still far behind men. In fact, in the US women receive only 21% of degrees in the field of computer and information science, and only 19% of engineering degrees. European numbers are similar but are rising steadily with support from EU initiatives like “Science. It’s a Girl Thing”, which despite being lauded for its intent, was criticised for its representation of young women (focussing on giggling, stilettos and makeup,so no doubt an initiative designed by men). It does however show a changing and growing commitment to attracting women into the STEM courses.</p> <p>I have little doubt that this move to STEM courses by women will change dramatically over the coming decade, particularly as women realise that this will open higher paying opportunities for them, and I believe that as women take their rightful and equal place at the highest corporate levels, we will actually build a better and more sustainable business world.</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2910/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2910/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2910&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/435/de-de FIFTH RULE OF MANAGEMENT Mon, 05 Nov 2012 06:44:44 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/434/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><strong>The first rule of management</strong> is that successful management is actually more about how you manage yourself rather than being about how you manage others (see <a title="First Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/first-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“First rule of management”</a> posted June 25, 2012).</p> <p><strong>The second rule of management</strong> is that the key to your own success is totally dependent on the success of your people (see <a title="Second Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/second-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Second rule of management”</a> posted September 24, 2012).</p> <p><strong>The third rule of management</strong> is that no man is an island, and you need to build a network in all directions (see <a title="Third Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/third-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Third rule of management”</a> posted<br /> October 1, 2012).</p> <p><strong>The fourth rule of management</strong> is that you do not manage people, but you manage their behaviour (see <a title="Fourth Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/fourth-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Fourth rule of management”</a> posted October 15th, 2012).</p> <p><strong>The fifth rule of management is that if you are serious about moving up, you need to first move sideways.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_2894" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 170px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/number_5.png"><img class=" wp-image-2894 " title="Number 5" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/number_5.png?w=160&h=134" height="134" width="160" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Rover 777; GFDL license; via Wikimedia Commons;</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have observed that there appears to be no real shortage of people trying to build a career in their own professional and functional area. For example, for every sales manager that is currently in place there are generally more than enough salesmen below him who are elbowing each other as contenders for the next sales management slot. This doesn’t mean that all of them are really suitable for a management role, nor that they will all be successful if given a chance to lead a team of people, but it does mean that generally they are in a very crowded field with a large number of aspirants and starters in the race.</p> <p><strong>The shortage that exists in senior management skills and roles, in every industry that I have had contact with over the last 40 years, are people who have shown an ability to perform effectively in a much broader set of experiences, both functionally and geographically, rather than just in a single functional vertical silo, in other words there is a really serious shortage of people with general management experience.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_2897" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/silos.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2897 " title="Silos" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/silos.jpg?w=270&h=203" height="203" width="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Virtual Steve; CC BY-SA 2.5 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>To be able to compete effectively in today’s global and highly competitive markets, the need for senior executives who have spent time in multiple geographic regions, and in a number of different divisional areas, is significantly greater than the need for purely functional managers, and this becomes even more important the higher up the ladder that one climbs. The complexity of business today means that senior executives need an understanding of every element of their business, and it is unlikely that someone will be able to achieve this by staying in a single functional area and in the one country, no matter how successful they have been.</p> <p>I therefore believe strongly that people who have a serious desire to move up the corporate ladder to the most senior levels in their company will need to spend some significant amounts of time in different parts of the business, either in a totally different role or at least on a long term project assignment. They should also be prepared to look at opportunities in different parts of the world, even if this means taking a sideways rather than an upward move at the time.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2895" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 160px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/crab-icon.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-2895" title="Move sideways (crab)" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/crab-icon.png?w=630" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Stemonitis; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>The boards that I serve on always value most highly the breadth of experience of candidates when evaluating them for an executive management team role, and one executive board that I was a member of, even stipulated that no-one would be invited to join the board from an internal position without having worked in at least two of our various business areas, with a preference for three. I have often been surprised at finding candidates who according to their CVs seem to imply, and they also probably believed, that they have 20 years of experience, but on closer scrutiny, really may only have four years of true experience repeated five times, but with different and ever more impressive titles.</p> <p>The best software development executives that I have worked with over the four decades of my career in the IT industry were without fail those that had also spent some time in a customer facing role. Those that had moved up the ladder only vertically from developer to development management roles tended to always have too inward-looking a view of what their markets and customers needed, and were generally more fixated on the technology and the “elegance of the architecture” that they were creating, rather than on the customer experience with trying to use the technology for some business benefit.</p> <p>One positive example of a general management driven successful career from my personal past is that of Jim Hagemann-Snabe, currently co-CEO at SAP.</p> <p>Jim joined SAP in 1990 in a software product consulting role in Denmark, helping customers implement SAP, rose to the role of country consulting manager, then on to a sales role moving to the position of Danish country MD and then to the position of Nordics regional manager. In 2002 he moved to Germany to join the software development division,went through a number of different management roles there to become global head of software development, and ultimately co-CEO of SAP in 2010. A 22 year career progression and development through the three major functional areas of SAP across various countries from an individual contributor role as a software consultant to co-CEO of a global company with over 50,000 employees and revenues of about € 15 B in 2011.</p> <p>The ability to work in different functions and in different geographic regions is a wonderful adventure and is not just great for your career, but also gives you a chance to mix with different people, experience different cultures and business challenges, and to develop a greater understanding of what drives and excites people and how different, and yet how similar we all are.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2898" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/world-no-borders.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2898" title="World without borders" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/world-no-borders.png?w=300&h=138" height="138" width="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: E Pluribus Anthony; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>To be a great global leader you need more than single silo slices of life experiences … you need to have also developed your versatility and sense of adventure.</p> <p>As summed up by <strong>Mark Jenkins</strong>, English professor and author</p> <blockquote><p>“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have first-hand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.”</p></blockquote> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2893/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2893/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2893&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/434/de-de HERO TO ZERO IN THE CORNER OFFICE Mon, 29 Oct 2012 07:27:34 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/433/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I find it interesting that many people seem to have an assumption that a senior executive who has shown a measure of success for some time will continue to do so ad infinitum.</p> <p>This belief in an executive’s ability to sustain a never ending “onwards and upwards” is totally unrealistic.</p> <p>In my own industry of IT, many CEOs who were successful and seen as shining lights during the reign of the mainframes, did not survive the transition to distributed computing. One only needs to witness the demise of industry heavies such as <a title="Burroughs" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burroughs_Corporation" target="_blank">Burroughs</a>, <a title="Univac" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Univac" target="_blank">Univac</a>, <a title="NCR" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCR_Corporation" target="_blank">NCR</a>, <a title="Control Data" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_Data" target="_blank">Control Data</a> and Honeywell.</p> <p>Similarly companies like <a title="DEC" href="en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Equipment_Corporation" target="_blank">DEC</a>, <a title="Data General" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_General" target="_blank">Data General</a> and <a title="Sun Microsystem" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Microsystem" target="_blank">Sun Microsystem</a> did not survive later generational shifts despite their CEOs Ken Olsen, Edson de Castro and Scott McNealy respectively all having been seen as visionaries and great leaders in their time. Nevertheless, they were not able to cope with and survive the external changes that bore down on them.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2880" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dec-digital-pdp-8.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2880" title="DEC (Digital PDP-8)" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dec-digital-pdp-8.jpg?w=300&h=183" height="183" width="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By User:Arj; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia License</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Few would have predicted their demise, but they managed to take their companies into oblivion.<br /> There are hundreds of examples to choose from, but I have taken these three as they are companies where I actually worked.</p> <p>So what went wrong ?</p> <p>I accept that CEOs have to be full of confidence, <strong>but the first problem was their own over-riding arrogance</strong>. I believe that many CEOs just become victims of a belief in their own marketing, as they start to believe in their own “wondrousness” and therefore infallibility. Being included in the initial 62 companies (later culled to 43), named in the Tom Peters book “In Search of Excellence” for DEC and Data General only helped to support this belief. As it was first published in 1982, the year Sun Microsystems was founded, they were too new to be included. Interestingly other industry failures like NCR, Wang and Amdahl were also included on the list.</p> <p>Ken Olsen of DEC refused to believe that people would ever want a computer on their desk or in their home, let alone in their briefcase or in their pocket, despite the obvious explosion of PC companies and Microsoft. He also resisted the whole idea of “professional salesmen”, never allowing commission to be paid, and believing that he could replace salesmen simply by mailing out a copy of the PDP-8 and PDP-11 handbooks to all IT and lab managers around the world, being beliefs I heard him enunciate regularly during my time there in the 1970/80s. No-one was ever able to dissuade him from these beliefs even as the company began to founder <strong>(I have always found the double meaning of the word “founder” to be so apt)</strong>. DEC was being so successful in the 1970/80s that complacency and self-belief took over from innovation and paranoia, both needed for success.</p> <p>Scott McNealy, founder, Chairman and CEO at Sun Microsystems, originally seen as a world changer, grew Sun to a point where he came to fully believe in his own infallibility, and in doing so drove out many of his senior executive team such as Eric Schmidt and Carol Bartz who went elsewhere. Maybe even more importantly, despite the efforts of Bill Joy, a Sun co-founder, McNealy on three different occasions personally scuppered a mooted merger with Apple, dubbing the Apple iPod as being no different to an answering machine, being something that would only survive a few years.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2881" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 260px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/bric-flags.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-2881" title="BRIC flags" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/bric-flags.jpg?w=630" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Georgemcarvalho; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Secondly, many <strong>CEOs do not see strategic threats coming</strong>, until it is too late.</p> <p>There is so much pressure on CEOs to meet and exceed market expectations that most of their time becomes focussed on meeting operating goals, leaving little time free to keep a studied eye on assessing possible external threats. For example, the signs have been there for more than a decade that India and China not only had the population size, but also the determination and intellectual capital to force themselves onto the world business stage, but many CEOs chose to disregard this. Those that did, most times, could not look beyond the size of these populations as a potential market for their own products. Over the last 5 years I kept hearing the phrase “If I could just get 1% of the Chinese populace to buy my (insert whichever product you wish), I could grow my business by (insert whichever % you wish)”. Those that looked closer would have quickly realised that both China and India have long seen themselves more as suppliers rather than as consumers for international markets, and therefore posed more of a threat than an opportunity.</p> <p>Finally, companies can <strong>become so market dominant that they defocus on innovation.</strong></p> <p>In my own career, 40 years earlier, International Harvester, the world’s largest and most successful manufacturer of trucks, farm and construction equipment (where I spent 8 years of my early working life in the 1960/70s) did not see, nor believe in, the onslaught that would come from Japanese competitors that ultimately dominated their global market and sent International Harvester to the scrap heap in the sky. A crippling 6 month strike in 1979 which cost the company about $600 million in revenues (over $2 Billion in today’s currency) didn’t help either. The company had stopped innovating and had focussed more on internal cost cutting (which initiated the strike), believing that their “tried and true” products would continue to excite their customers. They didn’t, and customers moved to the Japanese products which were less expensive as well as being “sexier”.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2882" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/international_harvester.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2882 " title="International Harvester" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/international_harvester.jpg?w=270&h=250" height="250" width="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Mick from Northamptonshire, England; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I believe that the problem is that Founders and/or CEOs tend to hang on to their corner suite for too long, and that very few know when it is time to step aside. Rather than moving on when they are at their peak performance, many CEOs stay until they are pushed out by a Board of Directors that has tended to be a bit too forgiving, particularly of a Founder/CEO.</p> <p><strong>I have a firm belief that senior executives, including CEOs, should not be allowed to stay in the same role for more than about 5 years, as after that time I see that they start to recycle their thinking and tend to run out of steam</strong> (see <a title="How do you know when you should step aside?" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/how-do-you-know-when-you-should-step-aside/" target="_blank">“How do you know when you should step aside”</a> posted April 2, 2012). Intel, as one shining example, rotates its executive team including the CEO regularly and despite generational shifts continues to be a market leader.</p> <p>As so ably put by Donald Trump, American business magnate, on one of those rare occasions when he didn’t put his foot in his mouth <em>“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure”.</em></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2879/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2879/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2879&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/433/de-de FOURTH RULE OF MANAGEMENT Mon, 22 Oct 2012 06:49:08 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/432/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>The first rule of management is that successful management is actually more about how you manage yourself rather than being about how you manage others (see <a title="First Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/first-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“First rule of management”</a> posted June 25, 2012).</p> <p>The second rule of management is that the key to your own success is totally dependent on the success of your people (see <a title="Second Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/second-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Second rule of management”</a> posted September 24, 2012).</p> <p>The third rule of management is that no man is an island, and you need to build a network in all directions (see <a title="Third Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/third-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Third rule of management”</a> posted October 1, 2012).</p> <p><strong>The fourth rule of management is that you do not manage people, but you manage their behaviour.</strong></p> <p>This means that the values and culture (sum of the behaviours) that you create as a leader is significantly more important than any controls, policies and procedures or rules that you put in place for your team, whatever its size.</p> <p>Managing behaviour is a moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day activity for a manager and not something that can be done occasionally, which is why <strong>formal performance reviews do not work</strong>, even if they are scheduled more often than just as an annual event.</p> <p>Firstly you need to build a framework for the needed behaviour patterns to flourish by establishing a strong set of ethics based on a sense of integrity in the team, being “what we believe is what we say is what we do”. This is critical, as some managers seem to have a belief that “if I say it, so it shall be”, without understanding that their staff will mainly disregard their words but will watch their actions, and will ultimately copy their behaviour patterns, no matter what rhetoric they sprout, no matter how often they sprout it, and no matter what they write in their mission and vision statements.</p> <p>You can continue to write and say <strong>“our customer is number 1”</strong> an infinite amount of times but, if you do not actively and personally live your management business life with this belief at the core of all your actions, no one will believe you and they will all tend to act the same way that you do.</p> <p>One CEO I worked for never stopped talking about the importance of the customer, but went out of his way to avoid customer contact, and spent much of his time complaining to his executive team about how ungrateful the customers were about the “pearls” that we provided for them. As a result, the pervasive attitude in the company towards its customers was one of arrogance and general disdain. When I had the need one time to bring a customer issue to the attention of the VP Engineering, his response was that the problems the customer was facing with our products was due to the fact that they kept hiring “stupid people”, and that I should tell them that if they had smarter people in their team the problems would go away.</p> <p>“Actions do speak louder than words …”, and as so ably added by <a title="Mark Twain" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Twain" target="_blank">Mark Twain</a> “… but unfortunately not as often.”</p> <p><div id="attachment_2867" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 202px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/mark_twain.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2867 " title="Mark Twain" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/mark_twain.jpg?w=192&h=270" height="270" width="192" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Source: steamboattimes.com; Author: A.F. Bradley; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Secondly, you need to understand that every interaction you have with a member of your team is an opportunity to reinforce desired behaviour, remembering that positive reinforcement is a significantly more effective way to manage behaviour than telling someone where they went wrong (see <a title="Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/teaching-old-dogs-new-tricks/" target="_blank">“Teaching old dogs new tricks”</a> posted June 20, 2010). <strong>The goal is to catch people doing something right,</strong> and to tell them that this is the case, that it pleases you and that it benefits the team and the company. This not only reinforces the behaviour that you want to see repeated, but also establishes the fact that you care about your people and are aware of what they are doing.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2871" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/teaching_old_dogs_new_tricks.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2871 " title="Teaching old dogs new tricks" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/teaching_old_dogs_new_tricks.jpg?w=270&h=203" height="203" width="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Glen Bowman; via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0 license</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>As said by <a title="Keith Henson" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Henson" target="_blank">Keith Henson</a>, American Space engineer and evolutionary psychologist “People repeat behaviour that leads to flooding their brains with pleasurable chemicals. The short-term reward loop acts over hours to years …”.</p> <p>You also need to ensure that you dedicate a significant amount of time to spend managing the behaviour of people in your team who are struggling in their allocated role. Too many managers leave “strugglers” alone till the end of the year formal performance review, which for some subordinates will be the first time that they will learn that their performance during the previous year was not at an acceptable level. I believe strongly <strong>that if you have hired people for their strengths, you cannot fire them for their weaknesses if you, as their direct supervisor, have not made significant efforts to help them redress these</strong> (see <a title="Move them up or move them out" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/?s=Move+them+up+or+move+them+out" target="_blank">“Move them up or move them out”</a> posted August 23, 2010). The sooner you address performance issues the sooner you have a chance to correct them, and the sooner you are able to make a considered judgement on whether the underperformer will ever be able to meet the standards of required behaviour, and hence the performance needed, to be successful.</p> <p>Annual performance reviews are at best only an analysis of historical activities and as such have little influence on effectively managing behaviour, which is best handled when it is first exhibited and noted, and not left to fester till many months later. Behaviour that is unacceptable, if left alone for too long, can become so ingrained in a person and/or a team that it becomes seen as being acceptable and becomes part of standard behaviour and hence much harder to change or eradicate.</p> <p>The way that you and your people behave both internally to other departments and externally to your wider ecosystem is what defines you as a manager and leader, in the same way that your behaviour in the community defines you as a neighbour, a friend and ultimately a human being.</p> <p>“When man learns to understand and control his own behaviour as well as he is learning to understand and control the behaviour of crop plants and domestic animals, he may be justified in believing that he has become civilized.” American author <a title="Ayn Rand" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand" target="_blank">Ayn Rand</a> (1905-1982)</p> <p><div id="attachment_2868" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/ayn_rand.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2868" title="Ayn Rand" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/ayn_rand.jpg?w=300&h=207" height="207" width="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Playing Futures: Applied Nomadology; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2866/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2866/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2866&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/432/de-de WHY NEAR ENOUGH IS MOSTLY GOOD ENOUGH Mon, 15 Oct 2012 06:24:35 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/431/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”</em><br /> Albert Einstein</p> <p><div id="attachment_2851" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 229px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/relativity-formula.png"><img class=" wp-image-2851 " title="Relativity formula" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/relativity-formula.png?w=219&h=128" height="128" width="219" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have realized over my 40 year career that in most business situations you should never have an idealist or a perfectionist in charge of a critical project.</p> <p>During the early days of my tenure as a Global head of HR, towards the end of my corporate career, I put together a team to develop a much needed dual career path structure for our software development organisation that would ensure that we did not needlessly push brilliant people into management positions, when they really wanted to remain as individual contributors but with greater recognition, influence, prestige and compensation. The head of one of my HR departments volunteered to head up the team and accepted a deadline of 6 weeks for completion.</p> <p>We had regular weekly review meetings of his department’s general activities, and the dual career path project as a part of these, and the updates suggested that all was tracking to plan right up until the 5th week into the project when he asked me for a 2 week extension. This sounded the first warning bells, but as I had believed that the original time scale was tight anyway I accepted his reasoning and acquiesced.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2853" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/project_management_phases.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2853" title="Project Management phases" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/project_management_phases.png?w=300&h=97" height="97" width="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Alphamu57; GNU FD license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>The following week, having now become a trifle nervous, I decided to delve into the project more deeply, and was staggered to find that the team, under his direction and encouragement, had greatly extended the scope of the project to cover a full job grading and classification system, across every division of the entire company of over 35,000 people, across more than 70 countries. Their plan had been to present to me, at the end of the project timeline, not a solution to the pressing problem of a dual career path offering for our software development organisation, but a grandiose project plan covering 12 months, and a horde of contributors, to this now vastly expanded project scope. A veritable “thing of beauty”, but not delivering a solution to a desperate need of the business.</p> <p>I had made some basic but critical management errors.</p> <p>Firstly, I had not been bloody-minded enough in ensuring that my project manager had understood, accepted and committed in blood that the project was for a dual career path only, even though this fact was clearly stated in the project plan. Also, rather than relying totally on trust, I should have dug more deeply into the actual project activities during our weekly review meetings.</p> <p>Secondly, and most sadly, I had believed that one of my HR people could head a team to solve a real business problem. This would come with time, but I had inherited an HR organisation that did not yet understand that <strong>there are no such things as HR problems, only business problems that HR need to help to solve.</strong></p> <p>Thirdly, and most critically, I had used someone to lead the project who believed that, given enough resources, time and money not only could he solve the one critical issue that he had been tasked with, but he could solve all human woes, including world hunger, at the same time.</p> <p><strong>I had allowed an idealist to take charge, rather than a pragmatist.</strong></p> <p>I removed him from the team lead role, replaced him with one of the other team members who actually worked in the software development organisation, and who had a personal interest in the outcome, and had a workable solution in 3 more weeks.</p> <p>It was not perfect in every way, and it took a few iterations, adjustments and some tweaking over the years, but it quickly solved a serious problem facing the business, and had an immediate impact on the career choices for some of our brightest and most valuable employees.</p> <p>I have found that, apart from some obvious areas of finance, <strong>there are no perfect solutions in the business world.</strong> There are only good solutions and better ones. No business strategy is ever 100% perfect and the skill needed from management is to know when to stop talking and planning, and when to start execution, with the understanding that some “do it, try it, fix it” will ultimately bring greater results than trying to reach perfection before actually making a start.</p> <p>Generally, a 70-80% solution to a business problem that has been thought through by smart, capable and experienced people within a reasonable time scale, and which is well executed, will have significantly more chance of success than tying up a team for an excessive amount of time in the hope that they can get close to a 100% solution.</p> <p>I am not suggesting that critical strategic decisions should be taken haphazardly and without allocating the right people and enough time to do them justice, but I have found, over and over again, that the more time you allocate to a project, the more time it will take, and that <strong>the quality of the solution will not increase proportionately to the amount of extra time that is allocated</strong>, as was so well postulated by <a title="Cyril Northcote Parkinson" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._Northcote_Parkinson" target="_blank">Cyril Northcote Parkinson</a> in 1955 in an essay in the Economist.</p> <p>A strategy that is well enough thought through to be a good fit with the team’s needs, its capabilities, values and culture, that is well communicated and with excellent execution is what is needed for success, and in today’s fast moving and ever changing business landscapes, no-one has the luxury of excessive time for over-deliberation and discussion.</p> <p>As so well put by <a title="Jack Welch" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Welch" target="_blank">Jack Welch </a>“An organization’s ability to learn, and <strong>translate that learning into action rapidly</strong>, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”</p> <p><div id="attachment_2852" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 220px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/jack_welch.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2852 " title="Jack Welch" alt="" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/jack_welch.jpg?w=210&h=240" height="240" width="210" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Hamilton83; CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2850/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2850/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2850&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/431/de-de THIRD RULE OF MANAGEMENT Mon, 01 Oct 2012 06:54:41 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/428/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>The first rule of management is that successful management is actually more about how you manage yourself rather than being about how you manage others (see <a title="First Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/first-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“First rule of management”</a> posted June 25, 2012).</p> <p>The second rule of management is that the key to your own success is totally dependent on the success of your people (see <a title="Second Rule of Management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/second-rule-of-management/" target="_blank">“Second rule of management”</a> posted September 24, 2012).</p> <p><strong>The third rule of management is that no man is an island.</strong> To borrow from <a title="Scott McNealy" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_McNealy" target="_blank">Scott McNealy</a> one of the founders of Sun Microsystems who said “the network is the computer”, <strong>the network is the successful manager.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_2820" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 220px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/scott_mcnealy.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2820" title="Scott McNealy presents the Duke's Choice Award to Steve Hoffman" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/scott_mcnealy.jpg?w=210&h=300" alt="" width="210" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Derek Kaczmarczyk from Naperville, US; via Wikimedia Commons; CC BY 2.0 license</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>These network linkages are critical to success and are not just to support the adage that <em>“It’s not what you know, but who you know that is important”.</em> In today’s business world every manager has to foster these linkages to every part of his ecosystem to support and enable the success of his area of responsibility.</p> <p>When I moved to a multi-country regional role, I backfilled my own country management position with a successful national Sales Director. A large part of his success had been based on his close connection to his sales and pre-sales teams, and to me it seemed to be a reasonable assumption that as his responsibilities increased so would his understanding that his connections would have to expand outside of this sole focus. Not being one to leave anything to chance, I initiated a long discussion with him about the responsibilities that a CEO carried for his entire ecosystem. Despite nodding wisely, and his assurances that he understood all this and that I needn’t worry about his ability to take over from me, he never really managed to do it, and he continued to spend his entire time focussing on his sales people.</p> <p>Despite some initial success, his business area started to suffer, and after some investigation I found out that he never actually met with our customers unless there was a specific deal in which he was needed to help close. This meant that not only did he not have any understanding of what was happening in our customer base, he also had little understanding of what was happening in the general market place, as large company CEOs are a rich source of market data. It also meant that the C-level executives in our major accounts started to see us as being less of a business partner who was interested in helping them be successful but more as an organisation that was only interested in how much money we could get out of them, and as a result they became less inclined to give us their business. This lack of attention was particularly true with our public sector customers, and when I questioned the MD about this he gave me a long story about how boring public sector people were to do business with. As the public sector represented about 50% of our business this revelation was particularly disturbing.</p> <p>CEOs of large companies talk to each other and rely a lot on personal anecdotes and referrals from each other, and to be part of this network is critical for the success of any CEO.</p> <p>As defined by best-selling author <a title="Bob Burg - The Go-Giver" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Go-Giver" target="_blank">Bob Burg</a></p> <blockquote><p>“Networking is about cultivating mutually beneficial, give-and-take, win-win relationships. The end result should be to develop a large and diverse group of people who will gladly and continually refer a lot of business to us, while we do the same for them. All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.”</p></blockquote> <p>The situation on non-attention was no different in our ecosystem of business partners who had previously been very loyal to our company and had invested considerable amounts of money and resources in building consulting practices that supported our ability to take our products to market. As our country MD had shown little interest in their businesses, and we were now not close enough to sense and at least try to influence their business activities, their senior management teams had taken the decision to expand their practices to include competitive products. Whilst this expansionary move was ultimately unstoppable, a closer relationship to their senior executives could have held these moves at bay for at least a few more years, as we were managing to do in other countries.</p> <p>Unfortunately I had no choice but to replace this particular MD.</p> <p>I believe that no manager can succeed without fostering and growing all these external network connections covering customers and business partners, but also suppliers, distributers and service providers. For example, fostering strong relationships with the Headhunter/Search firms who specialise in your industry can result in your being at the top of the contact list when an outstanding candidate surfaces.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2823" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/contacts.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2823" title="Contacts" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/contacts.jpg?w=300&h=194" alt="" width="300" height="194" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: liz west from Boxborough, MA; via Wikimedia Commons; CC BY 2.0 license</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>The same is true internally in your own organisation.</strong></p> <p>A smart manager will ensure that s/he has strong links to every part of the organisation, and particularly with those departments that can have an impact on the speed and dexterity, and hence the success, of their own team, no matter the size. Strong relationships will result in your people being given priority over others when speed is essential, for example when needing support from the legal department in a contract negotiation or from HR when needing to expedite a geographic relocation.</p> <p>It is also critical that you remember to include in your network all the admin, clerical and support people who can be an integral key to your success. PAs can make it as easy or as hard as they feel inclined to in granting you access to their execs, just as the people on reception can influence your visitors’ views of your company and of you. Treat all of them with the respect that all professionals deserve and warrant.</p> <p>As business management guru <a title="Tom Peters" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Peters" target="_blank">Tom Peters</a> said</p> <blockquote><p>“Your power is almost directly proportional to the thickness of your Rolodex, and the time you spend maintaining it. Put bluntly the most potent people I’ve known have been the best networkers — they know everybody from everywhere and have just been out to lunch with most of them.”</p></blockquote> <p><div id="attachment_2821" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/rolodex.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2821 " title="Rolodex" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/rolodex.jpg?w=270&h=270" alt="" width="270" height="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Hannes Grobe; via Wikimedia Commons; CC BY-SA 2.5 license</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2819/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2819/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2819&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/428/de-de SECOND RULE OF MANAGEMENT Mon, 24 Sep 2012 04:56:01 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/426/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><strong><em>The first rule of management</em></strong> is that successful management is actually more about how you manage yourself rather than being about how you manage others (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/first-rule-of-management/" title="First Rule of Management" target="_blank">“First rule of management”</a> posted June 25, 2012).</p> <p><strong><em>The second rule of management is that the key to your own success is totally dependent on the success of your people</em></strong>. To borrow from Bill Clinton’s successful US Presidential campaign against incumbent George Bush in 1992, <strong>“<em>It’s all about the people, stupid</em>”</strong>.</p> <p>There is no question that you have to have good products, and it is a wonderful competitive advantage to have great products, as has been shown to a remarkable degree by <strong>Apple </strong>in the last few years, and having wonderful customer service can give you an even more sustainable market lead, as shown by Asian airlines such as Singapore and Cathay over the last two decades. </p> <p>But how long can these advantages last ?</p> <p><strong>Apple</strong> is increasingly under attack from competitors, and so far in 2012 in smartphones, for example, Android devices have outsold the Apple iPhone by a factor of 4 to 1, and at the same time Middle Eastern Qatar Airlines beat out all the Asian airlines to be named best airline in the world in 2012.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2811" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 172px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/iphone_at_macworld1.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/iphone_at_macworld1.jpg?w=162&h=300" alt="" title="IPhone at Macworld" width="162" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-2811" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: blakeburris; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>The problem with basing competitive advantage on product superiority is that it doesn’t last forever as there will always be someone, somewhere who can either copy your time-based advantage or come up with an even better idea, meaning that having a wonderful product advantage is not sustainable on its own.</p> <p>A culture and reputation for great customer service will sustain you longer, but again may not be enough.</p> <p>If product superiority was the only critical element for success, companies like <strong>IBM</strong> would have disappeared a long time ago, and companies like <strong>DEC</strong>, <strong>WANG</strong> and <strong>Sun Microsystems</strong> would all have survived, as they all had leading edge products and technologies in their time, and even drove dramatic change in IT landscapes and in the way we worked.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2807" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/sun_microsystems.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/sun_microsystems.jpg?w=300&h=199" alt="" title="Sun Microsystems" width="300" height="199" class="size-medium wp-image-2807" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Jainux (own work); CC BY-SA 3.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I do understand that there are other criteria involved in success and failure of an enterprise, such as founders outliving their usefulness (<strong>DEC</strong>), missing critical technology trends (<strong>WANG</strong>) and general arrogance (<strong>Sun</strong>), but in their zenith all three had no troubles attracting great people. What they all overlooked was that to be successful in the long term you also had to retain them, inspire them, grow them and have them fully engaged, loyal and committed to the continued success of the company. The problem was that when all these companies started to lose their way, their people deserted them in droves for companies with “sexier” products.</p> <p><strong>Your people are the only real sustainable competitive advantage … if you let them !!!</strong></p> <p>I am surprised at how many companies appear to have not learned this lesson, as I continue to encounter organisations which seem to believe that extensive product development can overcome dysfunctional behaviour in their people. One only has to look at the disastrous state of our banking industry to see that the combination of lax management, highly saleable, but toxic, products and a general culture of greed and self-interest can not only destroy companies but also national economies.</p> <p>In the same way that a great teacher can inspire generations of students with a love for learning, great management can inspire teams to take merely adequate, but useable and serviceable products to great heights. The small cadre of early adopters may all be running around looking for the next brightest geegaw, but most of us just need products that will do the needed job, supported by services that meet our expectations … we rarely need to be amazed or delighted, we just want to be satisfied with what we buy. The simple fact that “people buy from people” is enough to make companies highly successful if they have good products made even better by great people who are well trained and skilled, enthusiastic and dedicated, and who are natural evangelists for their company.</p> <p>Skilled professional management with integrity (what we think, is what we say, is what we do) are at the heart of business long term success, as they will build organisations on values that will sustain them for the long term (<em>“People join companies, but leave managers”</em>), and they will attract, inspire, grow and retain the people needed to effectively support and sustain the product and service strategies. </p> <p>The challenge is to get the values and culture right in the start-up phase and then sustain it as the organisation grows. Not easy to achieve as most companies will dilute and bastardise these with growth, but if it can be accomplished will help to create an organisation that can compete and succeed over the decades, rather than just through a technologically limited lifespan. </p> <p>If the culture and values are strong, it doesn’t take many great people to get it started.</p> <p>In the words of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Eddy" title="Nelson Eddy" target="_blank">Nelson Eddy</a>, American singer and actor (1901-1967) …</p> <blockquote><p> “Give me some men who are stout-hearted men who will fight for the right they adore<br /> Start me with ten who are stout-hearted men and I’ll soon give you ten thousand more.”</p></blockquote> <p><div id="attachment_2808" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/nelson_eddy_and_jeanette_macdonald_in_sweethearts_trailer.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/nelson_eddy_and_jeanette_macdonald_in_sweethearts_trailer.jpg?w=300&h=248" alt="" title="Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald in Sweethearts trailer" width="300" height="248" class="size-medium wp-image-2808" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Sweethearts trailer; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2805/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2805/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2805&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/426/de-de TO BE OR NOT TO BE … A MANAGER Mon, 20 Aug 2012 06:44:14 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/423/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>The best job I ever had was being a computer salesman for <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Equipment_Corporation" title="Digital Equipment Corporation" target="_blank">Digital Equipment Corporation</a> in the 1970’s. I was the only one in my territory of the South Island of New Zealand and my boss was miles away in Auckland so I saw him only rarely. I shared the office in Christchurch with two young hardware engineers and my secretary, whose only job was to look after my business needs.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2733" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 197px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/digital_equipment_corporation_1987_logo.png"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/digital_equipment_corporation_1987_logo.png?w=630" alt="" title="Digital Equipment Corporation logo" class="size-full wp-image-2733" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Brianski; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>The only responsibilities that I had were to win some new deals, make my quota and look after my customers, and all of these tasks were easy to do. I had total control of my work time and when I left the office in the evening my time was my own. My weekends were devoted to doing whatever I wanted to do and that rarely involved anything at all to do with my job. The 70’s were really exciting times in the computer industry and DEC was changing the world with its range of PDP-8 and PDP-11 minicomputers and setting it afire with the new VAX range. I was being well trained and developed mainly in Australia and the US, being well paid and rewarded with a good salary, generous performance bonuses and trips to exotic places for Achievers clubs.</p> <p>I lived in one of the nicest places on earth. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christchurch" title="Christchurch" target="_blank">Christchurch </a>was a city of about 300,000 close to some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world with a great climate, wonderful cultural facilities such as the Czech quartet who were visiting in 1968 and who had stayed on when Russia invaded Czechoslovakia. I had a wonderful group of friends and was enjoying an active single life.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2734" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/christchurch_city.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/christchurch_city.jpg?w=300&h=199" alt="" title="Christchurch city" width="300" height="199" class="size-medium wp-image-2734" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: P. Stalder; GNU Free Documentation License; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Life could not have been much better, when I was offered a promotion to Auckland as NZ Sales manager.</p> <p><strong>What actually makes people move into management roles, particularly when they love doing what they are actually doing, and what possessed me to give away an idyllic life and move to Auckland to accept a management role ?<br /> </strong></p> <p>I had been in a management role before joining DEC, as the IT Manager at <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Harvester" title="International Harvester" target="_blank">International Harvester</a>, and while I had also loved this job, I knew that with my move to Auckland I would be losing all the freedoms that I now had, and would have to spend my time worrying about what and how others were doing, rather than just worrying about and pleasing myself.</p> <p>I would actually like to be able to say that the reason for my move to management was that I craved a promotion, that it was a calling and that I understood that a management career was my divinely inspired fate, but the real reason that I accepted the promotion was just a case of “cherchez la femme”, and no other reason. I had met an incredibly exciting young woman and she just happened to live and work in Auckland, and I felt that she was definitely worth the move.</p> <p><strong>I now know that I am not alone in that my move into management had little to do with any true, deep desire to actually be a manager</strong>, and it took me some considerable amount of time and learning over the coming years to realise that it was what I was meant to actually do with my work life.</p> <p>When, towards the end of my career, I took up the role as a Global Head of HR, we thought it would be important to run some surveys amongst management people in the company to find out what issues and challenges they were facing, to ensure that the HR organisation could do some things that would actually help the business units.<br /> One technical division that we chose to work with had over 300 people in management positions, being roles that were defined by the fact that they had performance responsibilities for people other than just themselves.</p> <p>One interesting, and yet troubling, finding was that about one third of these managers didn’t actually want to be in “people responsible” roles, and not only would have preferred to have stayed in “individual contributor” roles, but most of them also said that they would gladly move out of their management role if they were given the chance to do so without repercussions.</p> <p>It turns out that most of these people had been offered promotion into management roles primarily because of their vocational skills and their bosses’ belief that this would make them capable of leading and inspiring others in their field of expertise, without anyone really discussing and evaluating not only their suitability but also their actual desire to move up the ladder into leadership roles.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2735" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 233px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/the_boss.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/the_boss.jpg?w=223&h=300" alt="" title="The boss" width="223" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-2735" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: ThisIsRobsLife; CC BY-SA 3.0 license</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>The reason that they had accepted the promotion was that this was the only way that they had felt they could make more money, get more influence or more status in the company or just have a greater say and some input and control on what projects that they got to work on.</p> <p>It was obvious that the dual career paths that we had in place for the vocationally brilliant didn’t actually work, and as a result we had ended up with a large percentage of people in management roles who didn’t particularly want to be there, and despite their upgraded titles and improved salaries were doing little in terms of managing their people, but were spending most of their time actually doing their pre-promotion tasks.</p> <p>Over the last 40 years I have realised that many people working in management roles didn’t actually plan for nor make the decision to do so, but that it just <em>“sort of, somehow, kind of happened”</em>. </p> <p>I have found this particularly true in European companies where management is still seen as just an add-on to vocational brilliance rather than as a profession, and where there is little chance for true advancement outside of a management stream (See <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/07/02/flogging-a-dead-horse/" title="Flogging a dead horse" target="_blank">“Flogging a Dead Horse”</a> posted on July 2, 2010).</p> <p>Until we can get to a stage where we recognise the difference between vocational and management characteristics and skills and treat each accordingly, and hence differently, we will continue to make management appointments a hit and miss art, and keep putting people into roles where we lose the vocational brilliance and replace it with incompetent management.</p> <p>As author <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Dickson" title="Paul Dickson" target="_blank">Paul Dickson </a>said <em>“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.”</em> </p> <p><div id="attachment_2736" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/singing_pigs.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/singing_pigs.jpg?w=300&h=200" alt="" title="Singing pigs" width="300" height="200" class="size-medium wp-image-2736" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Guido Gerding; GFDL license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2732/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2732/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2732&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/423/de-de ANGER IN MANAGEMENT Mon, 13 Aug 2012 04:52:11 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/422/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“In a controversy, the instant we feel anger, we have already ceased striving for truth and have begun striving for ourselves.”</em><br /> <a title="Abraham Joshua Heschel" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Joshua_Heschel" target="_blank">Theologian Abraham J. Heschel (1907-1972)</a></p> <p>Anger is a human process that has been felt by most normal people at some time and that has allowed humans to evolve, adapt and change. The flow of adrenalin that comes with anger generates a burst of energy that has enabled many people to perform beyond their normal capabilities, but unchecked anger can result in aggression against others in a way that is harmful, whether it is expressed in a verbal way or is allowed to move on to physical abuse. This flow of energy that anger generates can also result in a secondary problem, in that to some it can become quite pleasurable and hence have an almost addictive effect, particularly if it results in a sense of power.</p> <p><strong>So, if it is a natural emotion, and even if it can be controlled, is anger ever acceptable in a manager?</strong></p> <p>At a fairly early stage in my career, I had a boss who got angry with those around him openly and often, and seemed to carry anger with him as a perpetual and normal state of being. The problem was that his anger tended to target individuals rather than problems, so that even when things were going well there was always someone who was the focus of his anger.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2718" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 226px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/angry_talk.png"><img class=" wp-image-2718 " title="Angry Talk" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/angry_talk.png?w=216&h=195" alt="" width="216" height="195" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Stefan-Xp; GNU-FDL license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>This created a number of problems with his ability to manage and motivate his team and to interact with others.</p> <p>Firstly, as his anger surfaced regularly, over time it became impossible for those around him to easily evaluate whether he was just miffed, really angry or furious, as the tone and volume of his voice when expressing anger seemed fairly constant. Anyway, when someone is screaming at you, it is hard to think about trying to define their actual level of anger, even if you have a good view of the vein throbbing in their forehead.</p> <p>Secondly, because his normal reaction to any issue was to get angry, his people stopped coming to him with problems that under normal circumstances would have needed him to help resolve, so many issues were left to fester until they surfaced as a serious problem. The normal state of affairs was that he would always be excluded if there was any way that he could be left out of a loop, which meant that he was generally not aware of what was happening around him.</p> <p>Thirdly, his peers saw him as someone who was impossible to deal with so offered him only minimal interdepartmental support and co-operation, which only made him angrier. We had to live through a daily diatribe about the incompetence of the rest of the organisation, despite the fact that they all seemed to get on well with each other and seemed to function well in terms of company need. This meant that it was impossible for him to build a working network for information, co-operation and support.</p> <p>Fortunately he did not last long.</p> <p>This early experience did however make me understand that getting angry didn’t actually achieve very much, as in arguing any point at all, the minute you get angry you have to all intents and purposes already lost the argument. I also realised that when one gets angry, one tends to stop focussing on trying to solve the problem, and are focussing more on trying to win the argument.</p> <p><strong>The reality is that when you are angry there are many reasons that you can use to justify being so, but afterwards it is very hard to find that you actually had any good ones.</strong></p> <p>I understand that anger is an emotion that is sometimes impossible to stifle, but it is better to take it out on something like physical exercise than to take it out on the source of the anger, usually another person. The focus should always be on solving the problem or issue that has generated the anger, rather than on the anger itself. There is no question that one should never take any decisions in anger, other than to just get over it, and to leave the decision process to when the anger has abated.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2719" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/24028533@N03/4117766506/"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2719" title="Angry Bull" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/angry_bull.jpg?w=300&h=199" alt="" width="300" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Bart Hiddink; Creative Commons license; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I believe that one of the problems with inexperienced or incompetent managers is that they see “righteous anger” as being a privilege that comes with power and position, and thus a way of showing that they are in charge, and that they are a tough boss. But true management toughness has little to do with title, and is more about setting stretch (but achievable with effort) goals for your people and ensuring that they deliver on their commitments. Toughness is about fighting for resources and funding for your team to ensure that they have what is needed to be successful. It is about not tolerating incompetents and non-contributors in your team, but only after having made every effort to help them be successful. It is rarely about losing your cool, and therefore true anger must be reserved for those rare occasions when it may actually be justified, such as for serious lapses in integrity or honesty.<br /> <strong><br /> It is also important to remember that when you get to anger, there is nowhere further that you can go.</strong></p> <p>As said over 2000 years ago by <a title="Aristotle" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotle" target="_blank">Aristotle </a>(384-322 BC)</p> <blockquote><p>“Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”</p></blockquote> <p><div id="attachment_2720" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 192px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/aristotle.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2720 " title="Aristotle" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/aristotle.jpg?w=182&h=243" alt="" width="182" height="243" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Source: Jastrow (2006); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2717/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2717/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2717&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/422/de-de HR …. WHY IS NO-ONE LISTENING ? Mon, 30 Jul 2012 05:14:45 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/420/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>Everyone continually tells HR people that they need to become more strategic, that <strong>“HR needs to get a seat at the table”</strong>.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2689" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/get_a_seat_at_the_table.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2689" title="Get a seat at the table" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/get_a_seat_at_the_table.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="" width="300" height="225" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: TUBS (own work); vie Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I have been hearing this admonition for decades, and yet beyond the advice that HR needs to get closer to the business, there is little real understanding of what this should entail from either side of the discussion.</p> <p>I have always believed that HR organisations have to make the difficult transition from just being a Business Partner to becoming a Business Player, a Player being someone who is part of building the strategy rather than someone who only helps to implement a strategy built by others. (see <a title="HR ... Polite to Partner to Player" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/hr-polite-to-police-to-partner-to-player/" target="_blank">HR … Polite to Police to Partner to Player</a> posted August 26, 2010).</p> <p>I also strongly believe that it is impossible today to build any business strategy, which can actually be successfully implemented, without “people” being at its core. One of the most critical elements of any successful strategy is always whether the culture (sum of the behaviours) in the company is in line with the strategy. For example it makes no sense to build a strategy whose success is based on creating a large, strong, loyal partner ecosystem if the company culture is one that sees partners as <em>“a necessary evil of vultures that live off our success”</em> (actual quote from a CEO). You need to change the attitudes and behaviours first to ensure that they support rather than oppose the strategy. While most companies struggle with doing this alignment in a way that ensures that they have at least some chance of succeeding, and the obvious fact that this is an area where any HR organisation that is worth keeping can add significant value, it is very rare that HR is actually asked to be part of ensuring that the strategy is executable from a people perspective.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2691" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/business_strategy.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2691" title="Business Strategy" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/business_strategy.png?w=300&h=142" alt="" width="300" height="142" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Theunixgeek (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>So if this is so critically important today, why is it not happening ?</strong></p> <p>I think that the single core problem is that it is virtually impossible for most HR professionals to achieve this strategic status, despite it being at the heart of business success.</p> <p><strong>Firstly</strong>, very few business executives give their HR Organisation the chance to even try. Most CEOs in today’s tough business environment have a critical challenge to address, being “How do they cut the costs of <strong>running the company</strong>, so that they have enough money and resources available to go about <strong>changing the company</strong> to be able to meet the future ?”. HR, like IT, is seen mainly as just being part of “run the company” and so are being squeezed more and more as a part of cutting down on overhead costs. If HR cannot position itself as being an agent for change, it will never be accorded a position reserved for strategists who can add value by helping to “change the company”. It is a serious cleft stick for HR Organisations. At the same time as they are being told that they have to cut their costs and their manpower, they are being told that they have to become more strategic and more valuable to the business.</p> <p><strong>Secondly</strong>, the sad reality is that very few HR professionals would actually be able to fill the role of a strategist even if they should be given the chance to do so. Very few HR people that I have met over the last 40 years have any serious understanding of the underlying characteristics of the business that their company is involved in, and even less understanding of general business and market fundamentals. Even when attempts are made to try and educate HR people in their understanding of the business, it is rarely more than at a very superficial level.</p> <p><strong>Thirdly</strong>, even in their core areas of HR responsibilities, most HR professionals struggle with converting from theory to practice. The theories of key areas such as recruitment, engagement, succession planning and performance review and management are well understood and keenly discussed and debated by HR professionals. However, for example, very few recruitment strategies deliver future talent for the organisation, being based almost entirely on either selection from the best of what the recruitment net happens to land at that time, or the enticement of people from competitors who are currently in a similar role to the one needing filling. The first may bring in the best of what has been found, but not necessarily what is really needed, and the second “musical chairs” game may meet today’s need but is just playing-the-odds that it will be any benefit for the future. The same tends to be true with employee engagement, which is measured in employee satisfaction surveys and various employment metrics, but rarely translated into remedial actions that are agreed and are then actually implemented by line management. I have seen attempts to include employee engagement metrics in management bonuses with minimal success, and have even seen them being totally disregarded when a manager has made his financial goals despite leaving a mound of body bags in his wake.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2692" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 230px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/hr.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2692 " title="HR" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/hr.jpg?w=220&h=270" alt="" width="220" height="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: indo consultores; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Finally</strong>, very few HR professionals are tough enough to be able to change the situation. When faced with limited budget availability, it is a rare HR person who can win additional resources and funding for management development programmes for example, against the field organisations desire for more quota-bearing sales reps, or the engineering teams demand for more software developers for the next generation of products. This remains true despite the fact that the quality of management in any company is what drives nearly all elements of success, and that building the next generation of capable and skilled management for the organisation remains one of the key challenges for most companies today.</p> <p>In the role of Global Head of HR in my last 3 years of a 40 year career mainly in business management, I came to understand the critical role that HR can and needs to play in a company’s success, but sadly I also came to the conclusion that it is also virtually impossible to actually achieve.</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2688/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2688/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2688&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/420/de-de WHEN HEAD OFFICE BECOMES A LIABILITY Mon, 23 Jul 2012 05:23:29 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/417/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>The most feared words in any field organisation, irrespective of industry, number of employees or revenues are <em>“Hello, I’m from Head Office and I am here to help.”</em></p> <p>I spent the first twelve years of my working life as a “Techie”, initially as a programmer, systems analyst and then as an I.T. Manager (the term ”Chief Information Officer” had not yet been coined in New Zealand in the early part of the 1970’s as we were still struggling just with data ), and my real titles were “Manager, Systems and Data Services” and also “Executive Officer EDP”.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2676" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/it_manager_ibm.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/it_manager_ibm.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="" title="IT manager IBM" width="300" height="225" class="size-medium wp-image-2676" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: waelder (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>In 1977 I crossed over from the customer side of the desk to “the dark side” and joined Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) as a salesman and spent the next 25 years in the field in various hi-tech companies in sales and management roles.</p> <p>In the last three years before my retirement in 2006 I took up my first real head office role as a Global Head of HR.</p> <p>It was probably the worst career decision that I took in my entire working life despite the fact that I learned a lot, and benefitted even more from doing the job, but I also realised very quickly that someone who has spent most of their working life in the field should not end their career at Head Office.</p> <p>The situation today for Global companies is that there are so many administrative functions that tend to be centralised at Head Office, with departments like Finance, Treasury, IT, Legal, Marketing, R&D, Engineering, Procurement, M&A to just name a few in the almost endless list, most of them supported these days by Shared Service Centres and Centres of Expertise.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2677" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/headquarters.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/headquarters.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="" title="Headquarters" width="300" height="225" class="size-medium wp-image-2677" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Peter Kaminski; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Even worse, they seem to be able to justify their perpetual and continued growth even in tough economic times, generally at the expense of the field. One company I worked for, whenever it went through any “downsizing” exercises, always tended to protect the Head Office personnel using European employment laws as the excuse, and focussed headcount cuts in the rest of the world. I could never really understand the rationale that it made good business sense to decrease the number of people who were close to the customers and the markets, and just keep growing the Headquarters staff.</p> <p>I have found that as companies grow, the HQ staff tend to get further and further removed from the field, the customers and therefore from the reality of what is happening in their markets, and yet at the same time they are the ones who take unto themselves most of the control of the business direction and strategy. I have also found that no matter how many people already sit at the Corporate Headquarters, they can always justify their existence based solely on their own view of how much benefit they bring to the business and how busy they really are.</p> <p><strong>They may actually really be busy, but I have realised over the last 40 years that many of the roles are “make-work”, very few of them actually deliver much benefit to the business and they tend to not be able to differentiate between busy-ness and busi-ness, having become just another overhead cost for the field to carry. </strong></p> <p>I have even met some Headquarters people who can spend their entire day handling emails and then go home at the end of the day feeling satisfied that they have achieved much. When not handling emails, people at Head Office can also keep themselves incredibly busy with office politics and intrigues, in working out a myriad of ways to arrange the numbers in the reports that the field are asked to supply on a regular basis, or in constructing barriers to hinder the ability for the field people to do their jobs. </p> <p>The first problem is that being physically located at the corporate headquarters means that they are close to the bosses, see them on a regular and frequent basis, and have too many opportunities to sell themselves and their importance to the powers that be. The second problem is that they breed like rabbits on a Viagra diet, as the only way that they can measure their importance against their peers, being not based on delivering either revenue, profit or customer satisfaction, is by how many people they have in their slice of the Headquarter hordes. </p> <p><div id="attachment_2678" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 262px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/viagra.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/viagra.jpg?w=252&h=300" alt="" title="Viagra" width="252" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-2678" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: user:SElefant (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><em><strong>Apart from legal and statutory requirements, Headquarter functions only have one solitary, true role in life which is to support the field functions in their endeavours to sell to and effectively service and support their customers, both existing and new, and to make life as easy as possible for the field organisations to do so.<br /> </strong></em></p> <p>However, I have met many Head Office people who seemed to be under the impression that <strong>even if the field organisation never sold anything at all ever again, the Headquarters would still continue to exist.</strong></p> <p>Great companies limit their Headquarters to the minimum number of people that is humanly possible, and push functions out to the field and closer to their customers, rather than keeping on adding more people in ever growing campus real estate at the centre. They limit the number of people sitting like spiders at the centre of a web, at the top of complex matrix networks that do little more than just measure what is happening in various different cuts and slices. </p> <p><div id="attachment_2679" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/matrix_organisation.png"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/matrix_organisation.png?w=300&h=191" alt="" title="Matrix organisation" width="300" height="191" class="size-medium wp-image-2679" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Chery (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>You can “count the beans” a hundred different ways, but ultimately the real test of business success is how many beans can you harvest every year and how many beans do you get to keep at the end of the year for the benefit of all your stakeholders.</p> <p>As said by US aerospace businessman <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Ralph_Augustine" title="Norman Ralph Augustine" target="_blank">Norman Ralph Augustine</a> <em>“Two-thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered with water. The other third is covered with auditors from headquarters.”</em></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2675/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2675/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2675&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/417/de-de HUMAN ENERGY IS THE GREATEST RENEWABLE RESOURCE Mon, 09 Jul 2012 05:14:50 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/414/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>The dictionary defines <strong>renewable energy</strong> as <em>“any naturally occurring, theoretically inexhaustible source of energy, such as biomass, solar, wind, tidal, wave, and hydroelectric powerthat is not derived from fossil or nuclear fuel.”</em></p> <p>I was in India last year running some management development programmes at SAP Labs in Bangalore. One group of young managers were incredibly enthusiastic and threw themselves into the programme with passion and high energy, and were thrilled that we were going to have a follow-up session the next morning. When I told them that the only way we could get through the agenda of the next day’s session would be to start at 6.00am, the drop in enthusiasm and energy in the room was immediately visible, as many of them would have to get up at 4.00am to be able to be in the office on time, which meant that they would only get about 4 hours sleep that night. The relief in the room was immediate and visible when I told them that I was just kidding and that we would actually be starting at 9.00am.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2647" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/sap_labs_bangalore.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2647" title="SAP Labs Bangalore" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/sap_labs_bangalore.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="" width="300" height="225" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Amol.Gaitonde (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I pointed out to them that if instead of saying that they would have to get up at 4.00am to attend some management training, I had invited them to have breakfast at my hotel with me at 6.00am, and that my special guests would be <a title="Aishwarya Rai" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aishwarya_Rai" target="_blank">Aishwarya Rai</a> (Miss World 1994) or <a title="Shilpa Shetty" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shilpa_Shetty" target="_blank">Shilpa Shetty</a> (stunning Bollywood star), or even more importantly <a title="Sourav Ganguly" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sourav_Ganguly" target="_blank">Sourav Ganguly</a>, India’s most successful cricket captain ever, they would have reacted totally differently.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2648" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 261px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/aishwarya_rai.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2648 " title="Aishwarya Rai" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/aishwarya_rai.jpg?w=251&h=270" alt="" width="251" height="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Aishwarya_rai_1.jpg: lifi crystal; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Instead of the immediate drop in energy there would have actually been a palpable surge of energy and excitement, and that instead of worrying about only getting 4 hours sleep most of them would have spent the night sitting wide awake in my hotel lobby to make sure that they were at the breakfast on time.</p> <p><strong>Human energy is a wonderful, renewable and almost limitless resource.</strong></p> <p>We live in a world beset with energy issues, struggling with our dependence on fossil fuels and our nervousness about nuclear power, yet not moving quickly enough to replace these with sustainable energy sources, resulting in ever climbing energy costs. As a result most companies have implemented major programmes to cut their energy usage based on their commitment to being good citizens and their contribution to “save the planet”, and the simple truth that it makes really good business sense to save money on energy use. For example, I am aware that <a title="SAP" href="http://www.sap.com" target="_blank">SAP </a>has a programme to cut their energy costs by 50% by 2015. As a shareholder I heartily approve of this initiative.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2649" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/tauernwindpark.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2649" title="Tauernwindpark" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/tauernwindpark.jpg?w=300&h=200" alt="" width="300" height="200" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Kwerdenker (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>As a frequent traveller, I do however find it a source of amusement that hotels ask you to reuse your towels to help the environment, rather than the fact that they have worked out what it actually costs to wash a towel every day, and it makes seriously good business sense to save money wherever you can. The latter reasoning would actually convince me more to not drop my towels on the floor after use.</p> <p>I find all these moves to save money on energy use highly laudable, and it’s one of the reasons that I serve on the boards of both <a title="Carbon Guerrilla" href="www.carbonguerrilla.com" target="_blank">Carbon Guerrilla</a> and <a title="PE International" href="www.pe-international.com" target="_blank">PE International</a>, both being companies that are focussed on helping their customers to achieve this.</p> <p><strong>What I don’t understand is that so few companies have programmes to try at the same time to increase the energy outputs of their people, as the returns to the business could be even greater if management understood how to harness this limitless source of energy.</strong></p> <p>Whilst I do not question its importance I am not talking specifically just about passion in this instance, as I have seen people who can show awe inspiring passion for 2 hours every week while lounging on their sofa in front of their TV to watch their sports team play, but who show very little real energy in their lives.</p> <p>I am also sure that there are many people who can show passion when talking about their employer, particularly when things are going well and the share price is strong, and that there are a lot of people who work more than the required weekly hours as defined by unions and/or government, but energy is more than about working long hours and having pride in one’s company.</p> <p>The challenge is … How can a manager build the sort of energetic commitment that most people can exhibit which results in them having no problem getting up at 5.00am for something like a round of golf, but then struggle to get out of bed on a workday ?</p> <p>How do we create, sustain and build up the same high level of excitement, fun, pleasure, commitmentand feeling of achievement at work that people can find with little effort outside of it ?</p> <p>I have always believed that the only role of management is to <strong>create an environment where people can be unbelievably successful</strong>, in whichever way that individuals variably define “success”. However this means that we have to be able to create a work environment that people find as attractive as their leisure alternatives, which means they need to be able to get up on a wet Monday morning in the depths of winter and think “thank goodness the weekend is over and I can now spend 5 days at work”.</p> <p>I have only 3 criteria that serve as a starting point for this state of nirvana.<br /> - Only do a job you love<br /> - Only work for a boss you can respect<br /> - Only work for a company you can be proud of</p> <p>The role of management is to ensure that people are able to achieve these, as only then can you have the springboard to develop the passion, engagement and commitment in your people which will then give you a chance to harness the unlimited energy source that exists in humans.</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2646/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2646/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2646/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2646/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2646/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2646/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2646/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2646/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2646/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2646/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2646/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2646/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2646/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2646/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2646&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/414/de-de FIRST RULE OF MANAGEMENT Mon, 25 Jun 2012 05:33:52 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/412/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em><strong>The first rule of management is that successful management is actually more about how you manage yourself rather than being about how you manage others.</strong></em></p> <p>Management life tends to be extremely busy and demanding, particularly when you manage a large and complex organisation or business unit, and it is easy to forget that just having an external focus is not enough for one to be successful as a manager. It is critical that you take the time to also manage yourself as well as those for whom you have been given responsibility.</p> <p>Here are some of my main focus areas for self-management.</p> <p><strong>How you manage your own integrity, ethics, goals and performance</strong></p> <p>Good managers do not wait for their boss to initiate a performance review to discover how they are doing in their job. It is important that you keep a critical and subjective view of your own performance and behaviours in the same way that you would do for the members of your team. Too many managers tend to readily see weaknesses in their employees without serious review of their own. It is easier, for example, to blame weak sales on underperforming salesmen than it is to look at how you, as the sales manager and the person who controls the culture and environment, are impacting the business levels being attained. Managers who fail tend to blame others, rarely themselves, but a skilled manager should monitor his own performance with even more rigour than he measures others.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2622" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 222px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/journal_of_international_business_ethics.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2622 " title="Journal of International Business Ethics" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/journal_of_international_business_ethics.jpg?w=212&h=270" alt="" width="212" height="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Robin8376 (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>How you manage your own career</strong></p> <p>No matter how senior you get it is critical that you manage your own career rather than allow it to depend on the vagaries of the fates. Too many managers are driven by opportunities that arise around them, or that come to them, rather than having a clear understanding of what they actually want to do and how they plan to get there. I was regularly amazed at how many young people I interviewed in my time who told me that their goal was to “have your job”, but when I asked them how they intended to achieve that goal, had absolutely no idea of what it would entail. A successful manager must have a clear understanding of his intended career path and the planning, training, development and mentoring needed to get there, as well as how to go about showing to the corporate “heavies”, through current performance and proof of future potential, that s/he is suitable for promotion.</p> <p><strong>How you manage your time, both work and personal</strong></p> <p>If you don’t focus on managing your own time, others will do it for you and then you will then have no control over your own life. The more senior you get the more you will find that your year will start off pre-planned to a major degree. Towards the end of my corporate life, by the time that my calendar allowed for both internal and external board meetings, my own and my boss’s management meetings as well as customer events, speeches, lecturing, teaching, mentoring, shareholders meetings, partner events and press involvements, my year was already about 70% pre-determined, and mostly involved considerable travel commitments. You must get control over your discretionary time by blocking out time for focussing on the tasks that drive your own success rather than that of others. It is also critical that you ensure that you block out time for vacations andpersonal and family events as I have rarely found a successful executive who does not have a supportive, understanding and forgiving family life.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2626" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 263px"><a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:You_can%27t_stop_time.JPG"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/you_cant_stop_time1.jpg?w=253&h=300" alt="" title="You can't stop time" width="253" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-2626" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">by Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>How you manage upwards and sideways</strong></p> <p>Successful managers understand that they have to build a suitable and effective working relationship with their boss. You have to be able to convince your boss that s/he can trust you enough to leave you alone to do your job, yet be there when you need him for things like advice or to remove a road-block that s/he is better placed to do. This means that you have to ensure that s/he has a detailed enough understanding of what is going on in your area of responsibility, both good and bad, to feel comfortable with according you the right to continue to control the destiny of your business area. I always told my management team that the five words that they should fear most from me was if I told one of them that “I am here to help”. You also have to build solid relationships with your network of peers as success is rarely driven in isolation.</p> <p><strong>How you manage your health</strong></p> <p>Management roles can be tough on the body and the mind, and personal physical fitness is a key element in promoting mental health. The strains of continuous travel, with changing time zones, cultures and cuisines can place massive stresses on the body and it is rare for a successful executive today to be heavily overweight and unfit. When you are “on the run” most of the time it is critical that you watch your diet, alcohol intake and exercise levels. There is no need to become excessive about it, but it is important that you keep up a fitness regime that enables you to meet the pressures of the role without it impacting your ability to do the job. In particular it is critical that you have an ability to differentiate between pressure and stress. I have found that pressure can be a key ingredient to drive the adrenalin that makes you achieve great results, but unmanaged stress can kill you.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2624" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 250px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/health_pictogram.png"><img class=" wp-image-2624 " title="Health pictogram" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/health_pictogram.png?w=240&h=240" alt="" width="240" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: User:KVDP, User:Slashme; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><a title="Dee Hock" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dee_Hock" target="_blank">Dee Hock</a>, founder of VISA International said</p> <blockquote><p>“Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50% of your time leading yourself—your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct. Invest at least 20% leading those with authority over you and 15% leading your peers. If you don’t understand that you work for your mis-labeled ‘subordinates,’ then you know nothing of leadership. You know only tyranny.”</p></blockquote> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2621/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2621/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2621/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2621/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2621/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2621/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2621/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2621/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2621/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2621/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2621/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2621/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2621/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2621/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2621&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/412/de-de HOW TO DRIVE PRODUCTIVITY IN YOUR TEAM Mon, 18 Jun 2012 05:12:22 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/411/de-de <p><strong>Getting the most from your people</strong> is one of the most critical goals of every manager. This doesn´t just mean that you have to get your team to work long hours and work hard, but it also means that you must ensure that your people work on the right tasks within the right conditions.</p> <p>As <a title="Peter Drucker" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Drucker" target="_blank">Peter Drucker</a> said <em>“Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.”</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_2607" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 237px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/peter_drucker.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2607" title="Peter Drucker" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/peter_drucker.jpg?w=227&h=300" alt="" width="227" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Jeff McNeill; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>To get greater productivity from your team you must focus on some critical elements.</p> <p><strong>CONTROL MEETINGS</strong></p> <p>You must control the number of meetings, their duration and the number of people attending. Limit the number of standing meeting as these have a way of growing in numbers and in duration till they take up too large a proportion of available time. Spend more time talking to individuals and small groups about what is important to them rather than pulling all managers in for multiple days every month to sit through meetings that generally affect each individual attendee for only a small part of the time. When you must call a group meeting limit the number of people attending as well as the duration, making sure you have a tight and pre-circulated agenda and that everyone comes to the meeting well prepared. (See <a title="Meeting bloody meetings" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/meetings-bloody-meetings/" target="_blank">“Meetings bloody meetings”</a> posted April 18, 2011)</p> <p><strong>GIVE PEOPLE ACCESS TO QUIET SPACES</strong></p> <p>Pablo Picasso said <em>“Without great solitude no serious work is possible.”</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_2608" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 209px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pablo_picasso.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-2608" title="Pablo Picasso" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pablo_picasso.jpg?w=630" alt="" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Argentina. Revista Vea y Lea; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>The most common office layout these days is open-plan, mainly because it is a space, and therefore money, saving way to build a floor layout, and yet most organisations do it badly. However, if handled properly it can also be a great way to build team spirit and to get people working closely and collaboratively together. To achieve the most benefit from an open plan office layout it is important that, as well as having places where teams can work, think and plan together, you also have quiet closed-door spaces available for when people need to focus on things that can be best done alone.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2609" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/trademe_offices.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2609" title="TradeMe offices" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/trademe_offices.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="" width="300" height="225" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Benn; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>DON’T OVER-EMAIL</strong></p> <p>As the team leader you set the standards for behaviour so if you use email all the time to communicate with your people you will create a culture where they will be perpetually checking their emails to see what it is that you need next from them. Talk directly with your people either by walking over to them, or by calling them. Overuse of email is one of the worst time stealers and productivity destroyers so ensure that you instil email management as a critical behavioural standard. (See <a title="Fifth secret of time management" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/fifth-secret-of-time-management/" target="_blank">“Fifth secret of time management”</a> posted November 11, 2010).</p> <p><div id="attachment_2610" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 104px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/arobaze.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-2610" title="AROBAZE" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/arobaze.png?w=630" alt="" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Source: User:MG; License: GFDL; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR PEOPLE</strong></p> <p>Listen to your people when they need the time to talk to you directly. Most managers, even good ones, have a lot on the plate at any time, and busy managers have a tendency to cut off subordinates when they have issues to discuss … resist doing so. It is worthwhile giving people enough time to talk with you and to have their say. It will ensure that your people understand that they can come to you to resolve things rather than have to leave them to fester and which could therefore impact their ability to deliver on their goals. It will also enable you to have more immediate understanding of what is happening and in particular of things that could impact your team’s ability to perform.</p> <p><strong>LET GOOD PEOPLE GO WITH THANKS</strong></p> <p>Don’t get angry and cut off good people if they decide to leave whatever the reason, and no matter how much it impacts you and the team, as you should always keep strong links to people that you believe are true professionals. You never know when their situations can change and when a critical vacancy comes up in your requirements it is worthwhile checking with previous employees as to how they are situated at that time. It is always less risky to bring back someone who understands the organisation and whose strengths and weaknesses are well known to you, rather than go outside to someone unknown and untried.</p> <p><strong>SEND PEOPLE HOME</strong></p> <p>Dedicated professionals often have no real idea of time, particularly when engrossed in a critical project that they find fascinating and challenging. It is important that the manager tracks their hours/days/months to avoid burnout. You need to ensure that people work hard and put in the hours that are needed to get the job done, but you also need to ensure that people get reasonable time to unwind and to rejuvenate, and that means sometimes dragging people away for a drink after work, making them take some vacation or just sending them home in the evening. When your team starts talking about work-life balance you have already let it go too far.</p> <p><strong>GET THINGS DONE</strong></p> <p>Getting things done, achieving results and having successes is the greatest boost not only to team morale but also to on-going productivity. You need to ensure that goals that are set and projects that are undertaken have a measurable endpoint that can be visible and celebrated. Creating a culture that acknowledges successful outcomes is fuel that is needed to fire up the team. It is important to have a strategic plan, but the only worthwhile part of it is getting things done well.</p> <p><strong>PROTECT THEM FROM ALL SIDES</strong></p> <p>It is a critical role of any manager to protect his people from interference, politics and rumours from other parts of the organisation and from all directions as these can just act to defocus the best of teams. As their manager, and protector, you must establish an understanding with your people that you will keep them updated on the realities of what is going on in the company, and they can therefore disregard external noises.</p> <p><strong>HAVE FUN</strong></p> <p>Never forget that work is also meant to be fun, and by this I don’t mean funny. People define fun in many different ways, but I believe that in a work context it should mean that people get to work with great colleagues, where their skills are appreciated, used, challenged and expanded, working within an ethical, rewarding and supportive environment that sustains their souls.</p> <p><em>“I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”</em> — Thomas Edison</p> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2606/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2606/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2606/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2606/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2606/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2606/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2606/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2606/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2606/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2606/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2606/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2606/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2606/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2606/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2606&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/411/de-de HOW TO SURVIVE AN INCOMPETENT BOSS Mon, 11 Jun 2012 05:41:33 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/410/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>We have all at one time or another been really disappointed with our boss, if for example it is because we believed that he had made some bad choices, struggled too long with a decision, or promoted someone who was more politician than professional. </p> <p><div id="attachment_2599" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 233px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/the_boss.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/the_boss.jpg?w=223&h=300" alt="" title="The Boss" width="223" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-2599" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: ThisIsRobsLife (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>It is not unusual to sometimes disagree with what your boss says and does, but this does not necessarily mean that you need to view him as being incompetent, just that he is fallible as are all humans. It is a rare boss who is 100% right 100% of the time.</p> <p>Unfortunately <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle" title="The Peter Principle" target="_blank">“The Peter Principle”</a>, which states that ultimately everyone gets promoted beyond their level of ability, is alive and well, meaning that in many organisations there are quite a few people in management roles that are totally out of their depth (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/when-you-know-that-managers-are-amateurs/" title="When you know that managers are amateurs" target="_blank">“When you know that managers are amateurs”</a> posted March 19, 2012).</p> <p>So, what can you do if your boss does continually show that he really is incapable of living up to the needs of the job, and that his lack of leadership and management skills is having a negative impact on the performance and success of his team, of which you are a part ?</p> <p><strong>Firstly, you have to make sure that your view of your boss being incompetent is realistic</strong> and is not just your jaundiced view through either resentment or jealousy. Is it just that your boss is annoying you, picking on you, pushing you harder than you want to be pushed or micromanaging you ? Any of these things on their own may be enough to make you peeved with him, but do not necessarily make him incompetent. Young and ambitious people can build a resentment of their boss that they translate to being due to his incompetence as a way of justifying their own position on things. The competent boss is articulate, inclusive, decisive, focussed on results and inspiring but may still be a pain in the arse. It is only when the boss allows the team to build dysfunctional behaviours through fear, political intrigue, backstabbing, factionalism and lack of purpose that one has the right to conclude that he is incompetent.</p> <p>Even if you are 100% sure that your boss is incompetent, and even if your evaluation is backed up by solid evidence of his behaviour, <strong>you should never indulge in open complaining about him to colleagues.</strong> It pays to remember that someone higher up the ladder will have promoted your boss into his current role and will therefore have some personal interest in justifying this decision. This means that he will therefore be likely to protect your boss, particularly from a subordinate bitching over the coffee machine about someone he personally selected for advancement. The old adage “… if you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything” holds very true in this situation. Even if those around you are openly negative about your boss, it is in your own interests to not join in with the herd.</p> <p>To build a solid career, it is important that you make it about you and not him. <strong>It is critical that you focus on your competencies and benefit to the organisation</strong> rather than his weaknesses. I have a strong belief that <strong>in worthwhile organisations</strong> skilled and capable people will ultimately always be valued.</p> <p>When your boss is struggling, <strong>it is a great time to show your leadership skills</strong> by compensating for his weaknesses for the benefit of the team. Under these circumstances, it is worthwhile having a discussion with your boss about you expanding your knowledge and learning by “helping him with his workload”. If he really is struggling with the role he will be pleased for the offer of help, and will gladly hand over responsibility for parts of the job to you. This will give you the opportunity to grow your own skills and will also give you a chance to help other members of the team to stay focussed on their roles and on the success of the team. It is important to <strong>remember that there is great benefit to your career to be part of a high performing team</strong>, irrespective of how good is your boss. A team that is seen as being weak taints all members of the team, not just the weak boss, even if he is the main cause. Focussing on your strengths to help overcome the weaknesses of your boss will help to position you at a senior level by those in the team, who by now will be hungering for some strong leadership and direction. People in the team who positively sing your praises will always outweigh negative discussions about your boss. However, you do need to be careful that you don’t become so indispensable to your boss’s success that he ensures that you never get a chance to move out of your current role.</p> <p>It is also important at this time that you <strong>continue to expand your network within the company.</strong> Competent managers are well connected and have a good understanding of different elements of the whole organisation, and it will significantly help your team to have solid links throughout the company as this will work well in your favour when you need things to get done that requires support from people who are outside your immediate ecosystem.</p> <p>If all this fails, your only choice is to find a strong positive reason for re-assignment, or if that doesn’t work you need to make sure that your CV is up to date (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/third-secret-of-success-3/" title="Third secret of success" target="_blank">“Third secret of success”</a> posted October 21, 2010). You do however have to assume that in any standard 35-40 year career not all your bosses will be a source of inspiration and an example of skilled professional management.</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2598/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2598/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2598/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2598/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2598/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2598/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2598/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2598/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2598/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2598/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2598/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2598/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2598/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2598/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2598&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/410/de-de ARE YOU AN AUTOCRATIC OR PERMISSIVE MANAGER ? Mon, 04 Jun 2012 06:32:13 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/409/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><strong>Management styles</strong> are mainly based on the two key elements of how one goes about making decisions and how one relates to people, which tend to point towards someone being either an autocratic or a permissive manager. </p> <p>Whilst many managers may have little self-awareness of in which category they actually belong, most seeing themselves as being somewhere between benign dictators and kindly father figures, their subordinates generally have no doubt of their boss’s true style, and will therefore react accordingly.</p> <p>However, I have long felt that these two categories of either autocracy or permissiveness are not definitive enough, and that within these two fairly broad categories of management styles, there are many sub-categories that define how managers tend to act when it comes to the decision processes that they use and how they interact and manage their people. </p> <p><strong>Autocratic</strong><br /> An autocratic manager believes that it is his role to make all the decisions with little regard for his subordinates, and as such the business unit will totally reflect the opinions and personality of the manager. Whilst this may give an impression of a well-run business, it is a style which does tend to drive away the better people who will find it hard to be excluded from any decision making process and who will find it even harder to live within very limited bounds of freedom. This style of “command and control” is still very evident in many French companies, which helps to explain why French workers are amongst the most dissatisfied with their management as shown in global surveys (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/engagement-has-a-nice-ring-to-it/" title="Engagement has a nice ring to it" target="_blank">“Engagement has a nice ring to it”</a> posted March 5, 2012).</p> <p><strong>Consultative</strong><br /> Whilst a consultative manager tends to be a bit more people oriented, it is still essentially an autocratic style but with some emphasis being placed on employee interests as well as those of the business. Communications still tend to be downward, but feedback upwards to the manager is encouraged mainly in an attempt to build morale. This can work when the manager is highly charismatic and can build loyalty from his people, as at least their social needs are being addressed, but it does build an organisation where people are totally dependent on the leader. This is the typical style of many religious cult leaders.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2587" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 203px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/reverend_jim_jones.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/reverend_jim_jones.jpg?w=193&h=300" alt="" title="Reverend Jim Jones" width="193" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-2587" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Attribution: Jonestown Institute; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Persuasive</strong><br /> The persuasive manager is very aware of his subordinates, but not necessarily more inclusive and the management style has much in common with the dictatorial manager, as they still maintain total control over the decision process, but just spend more time working with people to convince them of the benefits of the decisions that have been made. This can be useful when the manager is a subject matter expert, for example a project manager in a complex project, who will take time to explain how the project will be run to ensure that the team is all “on the same page”, but where s/he will retain overall responsibility for making it work to plan.</p> <p><strong>Democratic</strong><br /> A democratic manager involves employees in the decision process and consensus on decisions is sought from the majority, with extensive bi-directional communications. This is supportive of high job satisfaction and quality of work as it tends to drive high engagement, but can be an incredible barrier to speed of decision and execution as there are always many “chefs in the broth”. It can work well in complex projects that require many different subject matter experts for varied inputs to ensure a workable solution.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2588" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 214px"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/15237218@N00/2219282958/"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/carlos_ghosn.jpg?w=204&h=300" alt="" title="Carlos Ghosn" width="204" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-2588" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: World Economic Forum; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Laissez-Faire</strong><br /> A French term but definitely a rare French style of management where the manager is more of a mentor and staff look after and manage their own business areas. This style can work well with an inspirational leader that truly understands all the different business initiatives, and who has creative and capable people who understand and share the organisational vision and mission. It can be successful where there are strong, entrepreneurial and creative groups of people, but can be a disaster when the leader does not have broad expertise and the skill to communicate a strong vision, as it can all degenerate into conflicting and divergent activities that deliver little benefit to the organisation because of lack of focus and direction.</p> <p><strong>Paternalistic</strong><br /> A management style where the manager is still very autocratic but does really care about the quality of life and work of his people. Very common in Asian companies where staff turnover is rare and loyalty to the company over-rides all else. There is little questioning of authority and it is thus very similar in the way that most parents run their household. Like fathers, paternalistic managers will make decisions based on the fact that they know best what is needed for their children (workers) and that as long as one resides “in their house”, they have to abide by their rules.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2589" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 281px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/lee_kuan_yew.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/lee_kuan_yew.jpg?w=271&h=300" alt="" title="Lee Kuan Yew" width="271" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-2589" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Robert D. Ward; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Many managers tend to live and act within just one management style, as generally that is the only style that they have and they feel that at least this ensures consistency, in that their people know how they will act in any given circumstance. <strong>I feel that the best managers have the ability to shift between the styles depending on the particular team and the situation or project being faced</strong>, particularly in complex and fast changing organisations, industries and markets, and that they can do this without evercompromising their values or their integrity.</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2586/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2586/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2586/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2586/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2586/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2586/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2586/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2586/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2586/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2586/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2586/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2586/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2586/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2586/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2586&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/409/de-de WHAT THEY DON’T TEACH YOU ABOUT PEOPLE Mon, 07 May 2012 05:16:12 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/397/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>Business schools may be great at teaching people how to read a balance sheet, calculate net present value, internal rate of return and discounted cash flow, but they do not seem to do a great job at teaching future “masters of the universe” that management is really all about people.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2532" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/students_in_a_harvard_business_school_classroom.jpeg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2532" title="Students in a Harvard Business School classroom" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/students_in_a_harvard_business_school_classroom.jpeg?w=300&h=199" alt="" width="300" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: HBS1908; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Unless they will end up working for someone like <a title="Goldman Sachs" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldman_Sachs" target="_blank">Goldman Sachs</a>, students will spend significantly more time analysing balance sheets during their business studies than they are likely to do in an entire career spanning 30-40 years in the business world. However, no matter which industry they end up in, and whatever management role, position or level they achieve they will never have learned enough about why intelligent, well educated people can act in ways that are illogical, frustrating and totally incomprehensible to their supervisors. Those challenges will only hit them in the real world.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2533" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 220px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/balance_sheet_mesopotamia_louvre.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2533 " title="Early Balance Sheet (Mesopotamia)" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/balance_sheet_mesopotamia_louvre.jpg?w=210&h=199" alt="" width="210" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Here are some things that they should have learned to give them a faster start to successfully coping with the art of managing people.</p> <p><strong>1. What isn’t measured rarely gets done</strong></p> <p>Even if you have great people working for you, people will rarely stick to a task if it doesn’t get regularly scrutinised and measured. I am amazed at how many times I have seen a manager hand out the responsibility of a task to someone without setting down the criteria by which the results will be measured, a completion date and also a schedule for review. It’s not that people are generally lazy or not committed, but good people are generally very busy, and the urgent will take priority over those things that appear to be less so, and anything not measured will always drop to the bottom of the pile.</p> <p><strong>2. If someone doesn’t personally own a project it is unlikely to succeed</strong></p> <p>All projects need a champion to have any chance of success. Not just someone whose career is on the line based on its success, but also someone who has the ability and authority to pull in the resources and to take decisions that are needed to bring the project to a successful conclusion. I have sat through management meetings that kick off projects that are seemingly owned collectively by the management team. This helps but is not enough. There must be one person who is held responsible for the successful outcome.</p> <p><strong>3. You can’t manage behaviour through annual performance reviews</strong></p> <p>Not even through quarterly ones. Waiting until a formal performance review to address unacceptable behaviour or even good performance doesn’t work well. To effectively manage behaviour, both positive and negative, it needs to be as soon as possible after the action. Too many managers wait until the scheduled formal performance review to tell an underperformer that they have a problem, by which time it is likely that the behaviour which resulted in the poor performance has become even more ingrained. Every single interaction with an employee at even an hourly rate gives the manager an opportunity to reinforce required behaviour.</p> <p><strong>4. No matter what you say, and how often you say it, your people will interpret, copy and act based on your real attitudes and behaviour</strong></p> <p>I have come across CEOs who never stop talking about how their customers are the their #1 priority, and that they are committed to customer service excellence, or even customer delight, but who will never take calls from customers nor meet with customers on a regular basis (see <a title="The 3 great business lies" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/the-3-great-business-lies/" target="_blank">“The 3 great business lies”</a> posted August 2, 2010). People in the organisation will build their own attitudes and behaviours based on what they observe in those at the top, irrespective of how much they talk about the subject. Actions do definitely speak louder than words.</p> <p><strong>5. You must be specific about what you want done</strong></p> <p>A manager cannot just throw out a multitude of ideas that he carries around in his head as a stream of consciousness, and assume that people will understand what it is that he actually considers important. I worked for one company where one of the founders has one of the greatest minds that the technology sector has spawned, and which never stopped working. He had thousands of ideas at any time, and would share these with people whenever he visited a company site. When he would subsequently return there 6 or 12 months later, he would be amazed that quite often people had translated some of these thoughts into a real project, when all he was doing was sharing ideas. If you want something done then assign someone to the task and tell them specifically what you want. For the rest, make sure that people understand that you are just sharing thoughts and ideas.</p> <p><strong>6. Meetings are generally the worst way toget something done</strong></p> <p>Other than meetings being ok when you want to give a specific group of people some common information, they are mostly a waste of time and energy (see <a title="Meeting bloody meetings" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/meetings-bloody-meetings/" target="_blank">“Meetings bloody meetings”</a> posted on 18th April, 2011). <a title="JK Galbraith" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JK_Galbraith" target="_blank">JK Galbraith</a> had it right when he said <em>“Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything”</em>.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2535" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lselibrary/4166114552/"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2535" title="John Kenneth Galbraith" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/john_kenneth_galbraith.jpg?w=300&h=207" alt="" width="300" height="207" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via WIkimedia Commons; LSE Fotostream</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Managers are paid to make decisions, so trying to pass the decision process on to a committee defeats the whole management purpose. Work with those around you whilst accepting all input needed to call the shots, then work with those that you have selected, and tasked, to bring the decision to a successful conclusion.</p> <p>In the words of <a title="Warren Buffett" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Buffett" target="_blank">Warren Buffet</a> <em>“The business schools reward difficult complex behaviour more than simple behaviour, but simple behaviour is more effective”.</em></p> <p>I would change this slightly to <em>“The business schools reward difficult complex analytical behaviour, when the ability to understand people is more effective for successful management.”</em></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2531/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2531/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2531/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2531/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2531/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2531/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2531/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2531/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2531/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2531/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2531/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2531/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2531/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2531/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2531&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/397/de-de HOW TO DRIVE YOUR BOSS CRAZY Mon, 30 Apr 2012 06:07:02 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/392/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>During my career I have worked with many colleagues who have inspired and motivated me, some who made me laugh and many who made me proud of them, but I have also had a few of them who drove me crazy. Some were managers (see <a title="There is nothing worse than a nervous boss" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/there-is-nothing-worse-than-a-nervous-boss/" target="_blank">“There is nothing worse than a nervous boss”</a> posted August 15th, 2011) and some were my own staff members and direct reports.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2522" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 211px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/the_boss.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2522 " title="The Boss" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/the_boss.jpg?w=201&h=270" alt="" width="201" height="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: ThisIsRobsLife; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Here are some of the characteristics that made me tear out my hair and that can drive your boss crazy:</p> <p><strong>Don’t meet commitments</strong></p> <p>Whether these were to do with commitments like bringing a large contract to completion due at a quarter end, reports to be submitted by a particular date, or just a commitment to carry out some action item, people who were always ready to commit but rarely delivered on time and in quality were frustrating. In many cases their late deliverables impacted the work of others who were dependant on them, and this would invariably scatter timelines to the wind. If you make a commitment, then drive to deliver, otherwise let someone else who can, do so.</p> <p><strong>Tell him not to worry</strong></p> <p>I had one country MD who was always telling me not to worry about him, but to focus on others who he felt were less experienced than him. With days to go to the end of a quarter, when he would only be sitting on about 50% of his most recent forecast, he would still be telling me not to worry because everything would be all right. It occasionally was, but I quickly realised that the only way that I could get to a lack of worry about his operation was if he was physically not there to worry me at all. Your boss is paid to worry about the business but you just need to make sure that you are not the one that is making him do so.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2519" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/dont_worry.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2519 " title="Don't worry" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/dont_worry.jpg?w=270&h=189" alt="" width="270" height="189" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Vincerama at de.wikipedia; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Cover up mistakes and bad news</strong></p> <p>Covering up mistakes just makes them harder to resolve as time passes. The same is true for delivering bad news, as it will rarely get better through neglect. The sooner after it happens that a problem can be highlighted and addressed, the easier it is to resolve. Covering up mistakes, or delaying bad news, is no different to lying and therefore totally unacceptable in any business context.I always told people that they would not be fired for making an honest mistake, but only if they quickly made it known to the right people who could help with its resolution and that they learned from it.</p> <p><strong>Be negative all the time</strong></p> <p>I find it hard enough to cope with people who have been told that they should always be positive and optimistic about everything no matter what, but I find it even harder to live with people who are always negative about everything and everyone around them. People who will always focus on what can go wrong and why things haven’t worked before and can’t work in the future, are incredibly frustrating, and are a destroyer of the mirth and joy that comes from a great job in a great company. It is good business sense to identify barriers to progress, and having a devil’s advocate in the team provides balance, but perpetual “nay-sayers” need to be weeded out.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2520" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/think_positive.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2520" title="Think positive" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/think_positive.jpg?w=300&h=198" alt="" width="300" height="198" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Jean.julius; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Have all the answers</strong></p> <p>It is wonderful to have smart people in the team but people who believe that they always have the right answers get in the way of building creativity in a team, as they stifle input from others. (see <a title="Is it fanatics or fools who are the problem" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/are-fanatics-or-fools-the-problem/" target="_blank">“Is it fanatics or fools who are the problem”</a> posted April 23rd, 2012). A great team needs people who encourage debate and dissension, and draw out ideas from those around them. Those that believe that they themselves are always right get in the way of long term sustainable success.</p> <p><strong>Sacrifice the outcome for the process</strong></p> <p>I have always believed that “doing the right thing trumps doing the thing right”, particularly when it comes to servicing a customer’s needs. I have never understood, for example, why Air France will not let you get on an earlier connecting flight when you have a restricted ticket, if the flight is not full anyway, and it really makes no difference to the airline whether you take up a seat on this flight or the next. It is just that mindless staff, who have not been empowered to make any decision beyond when they take a loo break, stick to the rules, when bending them would make the airline not only more human but would also engender more loyalty in their customers, while not costing them anything extra. Empower your people so they can focus on doing great things, sometimes even despite what is written in the policies and procedures manual.</p> <p><strong>Spring surprises on him</strong></p> <p>As a manager, I hated last minute surprises. I always preferred to know well ahead of time if, for example, a country operation was looking like not meeting its forecast, as this could at least give us an opportunity to try and do something to remedy the situation. Waiting till the eleventh hour to surprise your boss, when it is too late to do anything, other than get angry, is not a smart position in which to put yourself.I was once taken in to a customer meeting which had been presented to me as a friendly “meet and greet” with their CEO. It actually turned out to be a “bash the supplier” session where I was berated about our lack of commitment to their success, about which it later transpired our account exec had been pre-warned, but was too scared to report. All I could do was listen intently, nod wisely and commit to doing something about remedying the situation, and then give the sales exec a decent boot where the sun doesn’t shine when we got away from the tirade of abuse.</p> <p><strong>Play politics</strong></p> <p>I have always hated company politicians even more that I have hated people who struggled in their role, as at least you could try and do something about strugglers with some developmental activities, whereas those that love the Machiavellian intrigues are hard to change. Politicians will always be the ones who are ready to listen and spread rumours and are always the ones who can cloud “bad-mouthing” of others in the cloak of concern for the well-being of the team. The only way to handle those that love the political game is to make them go and play their games somewhere else, preferably in a competitor.</p> <p>I understand that one’s primary focus should be on doing your job really well, but it doesn’t hurt your career to ensure that your boss doesn’t see you and your area of responsibility as being an area of concern, as <em>“There is nothing worse than a nervous boss, particularly if you are the one that is making him nervous.”</em></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2518/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2518/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2518/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2518/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2518/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2518/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2518/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2518/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2518/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2518/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2518/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2518/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2518/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2518/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2518&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/392/de-de ARE FANATICS OR FOOLS THE PROBLEM ? Mon, 23 Apr 2012 06:48:35 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/391/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><em>“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”</em><br /> <a title="Bertrand Russell" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Russell" target="_blank">Bertrand Russell </a></p> <p>Whilst it may not have been his primary intent, I always find it interesting how accurate <a title="Bertrand Russell" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Russell" target="_blank">Bertrand Russell </a>was about the business world.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2503" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 275px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/bertrand_russell.png"><img class=" wp-image-2503 " title="Bertrand Russell" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/bertrand_russell.png?w=265&h=270" alt="" width="265" height="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I understand that executives have to show absolute certainty and no doubts when presenting themselves or their plans to their people, but when looking at building a business strategy and direction for an organisation, I have found that <strong>those that start with absolute certainties often end up with doubts, whereas those that start with some doubts can ultimately build some certainties.</strong></p> <p>I love people who are enthusiastic and passionate about the world, their business and their ideas, and I have tended to believe that “nothing succeeds like excess”, but find it very hard to work with fanatics who believe that they are the only ones who have access to, and an understanding of, the ultimate truths in life, whether it covers their business strategy or their understanding of how to work with and manage people.</p> <p>Like their religious counterparts, business bigots not only believe that their way is the only way, but as a result believe that everyone who diverges from their version of the truth is a heretic and hence needs to be purged. These managers tend to surround themselves either with those looking for a messianic vision or with “yes-men” who toe the line and who offer no dissension, no questioning of the path to be taken and hence who offer little chance for driving change and innovation. Skilled managers not only hire people who will challenge them but also add a few “crazies” to the mix who will challenge most things as a matter of principle.</p> <p>The problem that I find with managers who are fanatical about their own beliefs is that they either have little ability to drive true long term sustainable innovation, or else tend to drive their version of innovation down their own narrow alley, as summed up by <a title="Winston Churchill" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill" target="_blank">Winston Churchill</a> with <em>“A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”</em></p> <p><strong>So, at which point does a fanatic become a fool ?</strong></p> <p>The easy answer is that a fanatic becomes a fool when he gets it wrong, for as long as he is deemed to be right, he is seen as a visionary.</p> <p><a title="Steve Jobs" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs" target="_blank">Steve Jobs</a> was seen by many to be such a visionary and fanatic after forming Apple in 1976 with <a title="Ronald Wayne" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Wayne" target="_blank">Ronald Wayne</a> (who sold out in 1977 for $800) and <a title="Steve Wozniak" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Wozniak" target="_blank">Steve Wozniak</a> who had just invented the Apple 1. They enjoyed considerable successes and Jobs was seen as being charismatic and persuasive, but he was also seen as an erratic and temperamental manager who believed it was “… either my way or the highway …”. Despite the successful launch of the Macintosh in 1984, the following year Jobs lost his attempt at a boardroom coup against John Sculley the CEO, who had been brought in from Pepsi. The board had sided with Sculley because, despite being told to stop doing it, Jobs continued to <em>“ … launch expensive forays into untested products …”</em>, wasting R+D budget at unsustainable rates. The board removed Jobs from his management position, resulting in his resignation and departure from Apple to form Next.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2504" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 277px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/steve_jobs.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2504 " title="Steve Jobs" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/steve_jobs.jpg?w=267&h=270" alt="" width="267" height="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: jurvetson; Source: flikr; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>The board had sided with the manager rather than the fanatic.</strong></p> <p>Many analysts believe that had the Jobs coup succeeded , the company, which struggled under Sculley, would have found it even harder to stay afloat under Jobs had he won the boardroom battle for control of Apple.<br /> He came back to Apple in 1996, when they purchased Next, and took the helm in 1997 until his death in 2011.</p> <p>This time the fanatic was right, and his fanaticism drove Apple towards its position today as the world’s most valuable company and well on the way to becoming the first company with a market cap of over $1 trillion.<br /> But I believe that <a title="Steve Jobs" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs" target="_blank">Steve Jobs</a> is the rare case where fanatics can actually sustain the business success for a long term.</p> <p><strong>The problem is that the so called “Steve Jobs leadership style” has become a holy piece of corporate truism, when it is in reality a work of fiction, asI find it fascinating that a man who was a great “gadget designer” has become the epitome of the great leader. </strong></p> <p>Jobs always believed that people who disagreed with him just didn’t understand Apple or the market and he didn’t tolerate them. He paid little attention to building a successor despite being aware of his illness since 2003, and built a culture where people at Apple were scared to get into an elevator with him in case even a minimal conversation with him could result in them losing their job, despite the fact that this “Elevator Encounter” story was pure fiction and was only meant to illustrate his mercurial and despotic style (see http://vanshardware.com/2010/07/the-legend-of-apples-steve-jobs/ ). However, the story and its resultant culture creation in Apple is a true indication of the Steve Job’s style of management.</p> <p>Fortune called Jobs <em>“… one of Silicon Valley’s leading egomaniacs …”</em> and <a title="Jef Raskin" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jef_Raskin" target="_blank">Jef Raskin</a>, a former colleague, said of him “Steve would have made an excellent king of France”, alluding to the fact that disagreement and disobedience would automatically result in death.<br /> The issue is that leadership success is very situational, and Jobs came back into Apple at a time when his vision, gadgetry and fanaticism were needed to turn around the company’s fortunes, but to believe that this formula then applies well to other start-ups or companies generally is nonsensical.<br /> Fanatics have their place, but for very specific situations and mostly for limited times, as they will always be unreasonable, and while it takes unreasonable people to drive change, it takes professional management to turn change into sustainable success.</p> <p>As even understood by a true “King of France”, <a title="Napoleon Bonaparte" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon" target="_blank">Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte</a> said <em>“There is no place in a fanatic’s head where reason can enter.”</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_2505" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 265px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/napoleon.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2505" title="Napoleon" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/napoleon.jpg?w=255&h=300" alt="" width="255" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons; GNU Free Documentation License</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2502/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2502/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2502/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2502/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2502/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2502/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2502/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2502/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2502/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2502/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2502/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2502/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2502/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2502/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2502&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/391/de-de WHY CEOs FAIL Mon, 09 Apr 2012 06:34:48 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/384/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>A lot of <strong>CEOs</strong> don’t succeed, and some who do, do so only for a short time. I have come to the conclusion that there are a number of different reasons that CEOs fail. Here are 10 of the most common ones.</p> <p><strong>1. Outlive the Founder/CEO role</strong></p> <p>There comes a time when the most successful founder has to step aside and hand over to professional management, and I have seen too many founders who did not see that their time had come and gone. In my own career, <a title="Ken Olsen" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Olsen" target="_blank">Ken Olsen</a> of <a title="Digital Equipment Corporation" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Equipment_Corporation" target="_blank">Digital </a>is one such example. Olsen, a visionary who pioneered the minicomputer revolution was well past his use by date when he uttered the phrase <em>“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_2468" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 197px"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/digital_equipment_corporation_1987_logo.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-2468" title="Digital Equipment Corporation 1987 logo" src="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/digital_equipment_corporation_1987_logo.png?w=630" alt="" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Snaevar; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>2. Believe their own marketing</strong></p> <p>Being a successful CEO is heady stuff. You are loved by your people, your customers, the markets and the press. It is not hard to get to a point where you lose all humility and start to believe that you have all the answers, and start to believe in your own brilliance and omniscience. CEOs can lose contact with their own people, their customers and their markets, after all, when one is so important, why bother with anyone else ? CEOs who lose perspective are unlikely to be able to continue to succeed.</p> <p><strong>3. Run out of steam</strong></p> <p>Some CEOs just run out of momentum. The business world today is a tough, competitive, ever changing environment which requires continuous rethought and re-invention, and not all CEOs have the ability to live through more than a limited number of product and technology generational shifts. For example <a title="Ken Olsen" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Olsen" target="_blank">Olsen </a>at <a title="Digital Equipment Corporation" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Equipment_Corporation" target="_blank">DEC </a>did not prepare for the PC revolution and Wang did not manage to live past proprietary operating systems being replaced by the likes of Unix.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2469" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 190px"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/wanglogo.png"><img class=" wp-image-2469 " title="Wang logo" src="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/wanglogo.png?w=180&h=72" alt="" width="180" height="72" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By Dpbsmit; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>4. Lose the faith</strong></p> <p>It’s not easy to stay motivated and lead a company on a downward slope, and at any given time about half the companies in any industry, are heading in the wrong direction. Once great companies like Kodak, who pioneered and once dominated their industry can lose the way completely and the CEO, no matter how skilled, may not be able to reverse the slide once the downward momentum is too steep.</p> <p><strong>5. Peter strikes</strong></p> <p>The <a title="Peter Principle" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle" target="_blank">Peter Principle</a> is alive and well. Great divisional heads do not necessarily make great CEOs, and even CEOs who have been successful in one company can hit their competence ceiling in another company in the musical chair movement of CEOs that we see in some industries.</p> <p><strong>6. Generational shifts</strong></p> <p>Some successful CEOs just get non-chronologically too old and out of date too quickly and do not adjust to the changing expectations in the new generations of workers. Younger employees have different expectations of “the meaning of work”, and CEOs who do not understand these differences will find it hard to lead and motivate their organisations</p> <p><strong>7. Diverge from the corporate path</strong></p> <p>I have seen Country MDs who decide that the global corporate direction just isn’t right for their country, and therefore decide that they will just continue to head on in their current well-trodden path rather that toe the company line. This is fine if you own the company, but is not acceptable to global management in a large, multinational, publicly listed company. I have recently seen one country MD in a large global F-1000 company who just made the decision that his market was not subject to the quarterly reporting requirements imposed, and started just doing an annual forecast. He didn’t last much longer.</p> <p><strong>8. Test of time</strong></p> <p>What we did yesterday to be successful will not necessarily work today, and what we do well today will not necessarily work tomorrow. You can be surfing on the crest of a wave one moment and the find yourself buried head first in the sand in the next. The markets and customers can be very fickle and in the dynamic and changeable environment in most industries today, not all strategies will necessarily have a long shelf life.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2470" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/oahu_north_shore_surfing_hand_drag.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2470" title="Riding a wave" src="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/oahu_north_shore_surfing_hand_drag.jpg?w=300&h=199" alt="" width="300" height="199" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By Stan Shebs; via Wikipedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>9. Cultural misfit</strong></p> <p>Some executives can be great in their own environment but cannot make the shift to a global CEO role because they do not understand nor accept that there are serious cultural differences that need to be complied with and honoured. One company I worked for had the global CEO come and visit a major account of ours in the waste disposal business in Asia. The customer CEO was always very serious, very decorous and had never exhibited an open sense of humour, all which fitted well with the local cultural standards. During the meeting, despite a clear briefing, our CEO suddenly decided that he had come up with a wonderful slogan for the customer’s company being “Your trash is our cash”, and could not resist uttering this pearl of wisdom again and again. It took us months after the visit to convince the customer that our CEO was just exhibiting an American sense of humour and was not a raving lunatic.</p> <p><strong>10. Lose the plot.</strong></p> <p>Some CEOs just lose the plot. The quirks and peculiarities that helped to get them to the top just get more pronounced and more unbalanced after they get to the top office. As we age our personality traits tend to become more pronounced, and some characteristics that seemed somewhat endearing and mildly idiosyncratic can turn into serious lunacies. I knew one CEO who was a fairly aggressive driver, who always kept a running commentary going about the stupidities of everyone else on the road. When his chairman visited him at his holiday home in Marbella Spain one time, he completely lost the plot while driving to a restaurant, and gave chase and finally rammed another driver who had moments before suddenly cut in front of him. This incident made the chairman question the CEO’s sanity and ultimately resulted in his removal.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2472" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/peugeot_206_in_collision.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-2472 " title="Rammed car" src="https://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/peugeot_206_in_collision.jpg?w=270&h=244" alt="" width="270" height="244" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Charles01; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>As <strong>M.H. Alderson</strong>, American sports coach said <em>“If at first you don’t succeed, you are running about average”.</em></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2467/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2467/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2467/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2467/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2467/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2467/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2467/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2467/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2467/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2467/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2467/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2467/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2467/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2467/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2467&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/384/de-de HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU SHOULD STEP ASIDE ? Mon, 02 Apr 2012 05:31:16 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/383/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I have always believed that <strong>someone in a senior executive role, particularly a CEO, should not stay in the job for more than about 5-6 years</strong>, as I believe that everything that you will do after that is likely to be just a rerun, and you will also become too accustomed to what is, rather than what should be.</p> <p>This realisation hit me personally when I was in the chair of <strong>President/CEO <a href="http://www.sap.com/index.epx" title="SAP" target="_blank">SAP </a>Asia Pacific.</strong> I had built the Asia Pacific Region initially from Australia/NZ where I had started as MD in 1994 and then into ASEAN/India and finally Japan/Korea/China. By 2001 we had operations in 13 countries with 3500 employees and revenues of € 1B. It had been one hell of an exciting 8 year comet ride, basically from a standing start.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2457" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/asia-pacific_map.png"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/asia-pacific_map.png?w=300&h=132" alt="" title="Asia Pacific map" width="300" height="132" class="size-medium wp-image-2457" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: ASDFGH; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I had been fortunate to be able to gather a really solid management team, with strong young regional VPs, including a skilled, mentored and ready successor, a great CFO, well blooded and experienced services heads and good country MDs. Our management meetings in the early years were exciting, energetic, passionate, noisy, animated and interesting.</p> <p>I noticed in about 2001 that these meetings were becoming less controversial, less fiery and less passionate. I guess that I could have written this off as just being the maturing of the organisation, which would have been an easy excuse with which to convince myself, but it just didn’t sit well with me. </p> <p>I collared two of my closest advisors in my team to find out what had changed, and found out that since I had been appointed to the SAP Board in 1999, my management team had decided that with my now added global responsibilities, I should not be burdened with handling internal, general SAP Asia Pac issues. They had therefore instituted a separate Asia Pac regional management meeting, on the day before the one that I chaired, to nut out all the issues so that they did not have to bother me with them. This was where all the energy, passion and fire that should come from any management team was been exhibited and expended. By the time it all got to me, things had already been discussed, fought through, agreed, resolved and sanitised.</p> <p>This definitely made my life easier, while making my management meetings somewhat bland, but it also made me think about the fact that after 8 years at the helm, I may have actually become unnecessary, and that it was time I gave my Asia Pacific management the chance to create their own successes and mistakes (just as I had been given), and build their own future, rather than having to live with mine.</p> <p>Luckily, <a href="http://www.sap.com/index.epx" title="SAP" target="_blank">SAP </a>had some interesting things for me to do in Europe, so I was able to hand over to my successor and ride off into an <a href="http://www.sap.com/index.epx" title="SAP" target="_blank">SAP </a>European sunset where I stayed for another five years to my retirement, and where I have continued to live.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2458" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/sap_ag_headquarter.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/sap_ag_headquarter.jpg?w=300&h=232" alt="" title="SAP AG Headquarters" width="300" height="232" class="size-medium wp-image-2458" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: amadeusm; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I was fortunate that I had this epiphany at the time because in hindsight the region was definitely ready for a change. Having built the region from infancy to adulthood I had come to think of it as belonging to me personally, rather than being something that I held in stewardship for, and by the good grace of, SAP-Ag. The region had also been built piece by piece over the eight years, so I was personally connected to the employees, but as growth continued at this frantic pace the region needed more structure and process as well as personal relationships and linkages. My successor, being Swiss, was more capable of achieving this than I would have been.</p> <p>I have met quite a few CEOs who were not as fortunate to have received the warning shot early enough, and have stayed on longer than they should have to the eventual detriment of the organisation. </p> <p><strong>So when is enough, enough ?</strong></p> <p>There is no question that you should go before others want you to go, but long-serving executives are generally so because they have built a record of successful performance, and usually a team of fervent supporters and allies in the organisation, and these make it hard to believe that this success is not sustainable into the future. It is also hard to give up something where you feel ownership and responsibility, that is familiar, that is comfortable, where you are well connected and networked, and when the culture, having been built by you, is in line with your personal and business belief systems.</p> <p>One ex-CEO, who I now sit with on a board, told me that he knew <strong>it was time to step aside when after 6 years in the job he started to see a re-cycling in the issues that his executive team, and his organisation, had to face and resolve.</strong> This made him understand that it was time for a new team to face these issues in new ways, and he put a plan in place to not only replace himself as CEO, but also a number of his older senior management team at the same time.</p> <p>A good leader understands that his responsibility is not to himself but to the health and success of the organisation and its people and to hand over the reins, particularly at a time of great success, is not easy to do, but totally necessary. One critical strength of any leader is how well he can build his successor, and I believe <strong>that the time to step aside is even more a question of how over-ready your successor is to step up to your role than how under-ready you are to step aside.</strong> (See <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/characteristics-of-a-successful-manager/" title="Characteristics of a successful manager" target="_blank">“Characteristics of a successful manager”</a> posted July 18, 2011).</p> <p><a href="http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietmar_Hopp" title="Dietmar Hopp" target="_blank">Dietmar Hopp</a> one of the SAP founders and CEO for 10 years till he unexpectedly stepped aside in 1998 at the height of the company’s success, said it all <em><strong>“It is better to go too early than too late”</strong></em>.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2459" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 293px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/dietmar_hopp.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/dietmar_hopp.jpg?w=283&h=300" alt="" title="Dietmar Hopp" width="283" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-2459" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Smalltown Boy at de.wikipedia; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2456/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2456/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2456/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2456/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2456/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2456/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2456/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2456/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2456/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2456/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2456/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2456/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2456/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2456/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2456&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/383/de-de WHEN YOU KNOW THAT MANAGERS ARE AMATEURS Mon, 19 Mar 2012 06:23:37 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/380/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I have had a number of instances in recent years where I have become involved with a company and fairly quickly come to the conclusion that the management team that has been tasked with effectively running the company is actually incapable of delivering on that responsibility.</p> <p>I believe that anyone in a role where management capability needs to be observed and measured, whether in the role of a management coach or as a board member, should be aware of a number of <strong>warning signs that point to the fact that the company executive management may be actually incompetent.</strong></p> <p><strong>1. Wrong hiring decisions keep being made at senior levels.</strong></p> <p>When the executive team too often have to terminate senior people who they themselves recruited, it is a serious sign that something is wrong with the management team. <strong>Good managers hire good people and go through a stringent recruitment process to make sure that they are hiring the right person for the role.</strong> Incompetent managers hire emotionally and with <strong>“gut-feel”</strong> rather than with a structured understanding of what they need and what they should be looking for, and tend to hire people who are weaker than they are, and who will not be a challenge to manage. These weak hires can then be blamed and terminated when things go wrong as a way of diverting attention from the manager involved.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2436" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/directors_chair.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/directors_chair.jpg?w=300&h=168" alt="" title="Director's chair" width="300" height="168" class="size-medium wp-image-2436" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Tanemori; Source: Hatena Ftolife; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>2. Tough decisions are made but rarely executed</strong></p> <p>Strong management can not only make tough decisions, but will carry out their plans to successful execution and completion. <strong>Managers who talk tough but do not execute are a danger to success.</strong> I worked with one management team which rightly took the decision that they had no option but to go through a process of cutting heads and the closing of some small non-performing subsidiaries, as the previous 12 months had seen rapid headcount expansion without the expected increase in revenues (a warning sign in itself). The executive team agreed on “who, where and when”, and advised the board of their decision and the details for execution. When the dust had settled, very little had actually been achieved against their own plan, beyond having a long list of excuses and justifications as to why they had changed their minds at the last minute.</p> <p><strong>3. Deadlines are not met</strong></p> <p>A deadline that is set, and agreed, is a commitment and executive teams that consistently miss committed deadlines will not honour other commitments either, and this is unacceptable, and a serious sign of incompetence. One board that I am a member of regularly receives its board papers from the CFO on the night before the board meeting despite the commitment that this will be distributed at least 48 hours beforehand, enabling the board to have some chance to review them. This has happened so often over the months of my involvement in this board that it is just another indicator that the CFO needs to be replaced.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2431" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/revenues_and_expenses.png"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/revenues_and_expenses.png?w=300&h=170" alt="" title="Revenues and expenses Wikimedia Foundation, Inc." width="300" height="170" class="size-medium wp-image-2431" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Financial Statements Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>4. Love of external consultants and professionals</strong></p> <p>A management team that readily calls in external consultants is often covering up their lack of skill, knowledge and capability. Bringing in an external consulting company to ratify the strategy, or perpetually bringing in external legal advice for example is generally a sign of “covering one’s arse” and can show that a management team does not have enough confidence in themselves nor their decisions to be effective. Not only is it expensive and habit forming, but external consultants are generally like a case of herpes, in that once established internally are impossible to get rid of.</p> <p><strong>5. Inconsistent stories from the members of the same management team</strong></p> <p>A management team that can’t agree on their stories is an obvious sign of a management team in disarray. I recently sat through a presentation from a CFO who presented the proposed budget for the coming year to the board, to find that half of the management team refused to commit to the numbers when pressed for their agreement. The management team were so divided that work was occurring and decisions being taken in camps and without the involvement of all the team members. When a management team is this divided it is a sure sign that not only is the team not working but that the CEO is incapable of pulling the team together. Definitely time to make serious changes in the team.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2433" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/board_meeting.png"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/board_meeting.png?w=300&h=225" alt="" title="Board Meeting" width="300" height="225" class="size-medium wp-image-2433" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Areyn (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>6. Meetings bloody meetings</strong></p> <p>Competent management take the decisions needed for their area of responsibility and keep the relevant people advised of their actions. Incompetent management teams spend most of their time in meetings, which are a great way to try and spread responsibility when things don’t work (See <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/meetings-bloody-meetings/" title="Meeting bloody meetings" target="_blank">“Meetings bloody meetings”</a> posted 18th April, 2011), and are also a great way for managers who don’t know what they are doing to look incredibly busy and always “on the go”. Meetings are one way of keeping everyone advised on what is happening but are rarely successful vehicles for decision making or business management.</p> <p><strong>7. Working incredibly long hours</strong></p> <p>Executive teams that always work very long hours, and tell everyone about it, are generally not functioning well. Effective managers know how to prioritise and manage themselves in a way that means that they work hard (and mostly longer hours than those they manage) but that still gives them time to “refuel and replenish” with friends and family. Incompetent managers try to cover up their lack of capability by working excessively long hours as their visible “badge of courage”, and as a smoke screen to the fact that they don’t know what they should be doing. If they can’t manage themselves they definitely can’t manage anyone else.</p> <p>As Peter Drucker said </p> <blockquote><p>“Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done”</p></blockquote> <p><div id="attachment_2434" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 237px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/peter_drucker1.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/peter_drucker1.jpg?w=227&h=300" alt="" title="Peter Drucker" width="227" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-2434" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Jeff McNeill; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2430/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2430/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2430/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2430/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2430/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2430/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2430/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2430/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2430/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2430/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2430/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2430/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2430/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2430/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2430&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/380/de-de ENGAGEMENT HAS A NICE RING TO IT Mon, 05 Mar 2012 06:43:40 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/377/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I have long found it worrying that all of the numerous studies of employee engagement point to the fact that at any one point in time, in most companies, <strong>only about one-third of employees are fully engaged</strong>, with about one-third partially engaged, and one-third actively disengaged, some of these last ones being “terrorists” who actively work to recruit others to actually undermine those who are engaged.</p> <p>I define engagement as being actively involved physically, mentally and emotionally with passion and energy, and with a profound connection to the company.</p> <p>I have no question that <strong>employee engagement is directly related to the quality of management in an organisation</strong>, and that in tough economic times when people are being asked to do more with less, it can become harder to keep people fully engaged, as people become emotionally disconnected driven by pressures like fatigue, lack of direction, belt-tightening and downsizing of work-mates.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2395" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/fatigue_tired_brown_bear.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2395" title="Fatigue: tired brown bear" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/fatigue_tired_brown_bear.jpg?w=300&h=256" alt="" width="300" height="256" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Jonnie Nord (User:Zaphod); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>But <strong>employee engagement needs to be a key critical focus of all managers and should be a major measurement of management performance, as it is one the most important elements of business success</strong>, significantly more than having a sexy product or marketing message, both which can be very short lived.</p> <p><a title="Gallup_organization" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallup_Organization" target="_blank">Gallup</a>’s analysis of about 200 separate employee engagement surveys in 2009 found that </p> <blockquote><p>“business units scoring in the top half on employee engagement double their odds of delivering high performance compared to those in the bottom half, and that those in the 99th percentile are five times more likely to deliver high performance than those in the 1st percentile.” (See <a href="http://www.gallup.com/consulting/52/employee-engagement.aspx" title="Gallup´s employee engagement analysis" target="_blank">Gallup´s Employee Engagement Analysis</a>).</p></blockquote> <p> Furthermore their survey of 42,000 randomly selected working adults showed that disengaged workers cost the US economy an estimated $ 350 billion annually.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2397" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 160px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/george_gallup.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-2397" title="George Gallup" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/george_gallup.png?w=630" alt="" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">George Gallup; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>In France, whilst I have no numbers for the loss to the economy, a recent article in the Economist highlights the fact that French workers are not lazy, as most of Europe cares to believe, but that they just actively hate their bosses. (See <a href="http://www.economist.com/node/21538733" title="Economist article" target="_blank">http://www.economist.com/node/21538733</a>).<br /> The report states</p> <blockquote><p>“In fact studies suggest that the problem with French employees is less that they are work-shy, than that they are poorly managed. According to a report on national competitiveness by the World Economic Forum, the French rank and file has a much stronger work ethic than American, British or Dutch employees. They find great satisfaction in their work, but register profound discontent with the way their firms are run.”</p></blockquote> <p>A 2010 study by BVA, a polling firm showed that over 40% of French employees actively dislike their firm’s top management, ranking France last out of 10 countries for worker’s opinion of company management. Whereas in US, UK and Germany about 70% are satisfied with their management, in France it is less than 30%.</p> <p>French management styles are still generally very hierarchical seeing management concepts like “empowerment” as being an Anglo-Saxon maladie. Furthermore the majority of French CEOs come from one of the handful of “grandes ecoles”, and through what is known as “parachutage” suddenly appear in CEO roles direct from the civil service. Alexandre de Juniac was unexpectedy appointed CEO of Air France in 2011, coming directly from his position as Chief of Staff to Christine Lagarde when she was Minister of Finance. No need to fight your way through the ranks in the business or even the industry, no need to develop some management skills along the way, you just need to get high marks in the school exams and keep your nose clean in the public sector long enough to end up in the top slot of a multi-billion euro enterprise.<br /> No wonder Air France is such a moribund, infuriating airline with rude, arrogant, condescending and uncaring staff (See <a title="I hate Air France" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/i-hate-air-france/" target="_blank">“I hate Air France”</a> posted July 11, 2011), and no wonder French workers are generally disengaged from their companies and their jobs, even more than the global average.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2398" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 249px"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/priceminister/5026382092/"><img class=" wp-image-2398 " title="Alexandre de Juniac (CEO Air France)" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/alexandre_de_juniac.jpg?w=239&h=270" alt="Alexandre de Juniac (CEO Air France)" width="239" height="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: priceminister; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Despite all this information about the impact of employee engagement on a company’s performance, very few organisations use employee engagement as a measurement of management performance.<br /> I have seen it regularly measured in employee surveys, usually through responses to 5 or 6 questions like <strong>“I am proud to work for the company”</strong>, <strong>“I am seriously considering leaving in the next 12 months”</strong> and <strong>“I actively promote the company to external candidates”</strong>, but generally many just seem to accept the 1/3 ratios as being an acceptable metric of business reality.<br /> I consider this to be short-sighted and believe that most companies should focus less on recruiting more people and more on increasing employee engagement as a way of driving improvements to business results.</p> <p>I have managed to convince one company that I work with <strong>to use employee engagement as a key measurement in management performance and its inclusion in calculating management bonus payments.</strong> Furthermore they will not allow incremental recruitment if the business area has less than 60% of employees that are fully engaged and more than 20% disengaged. These are not world shattering metrics even though they are a great improvement on current results, as they still allow for 20% sitting on the fence, but at least they are a starting point in making employee engagement seen as a serious business metric in this particular company.</p> <p>I am actually surprised that employee engagement and other metrics such as employee turnover are not seen as major decision points when people make financial decisions about in which companies to place their investments. I would always rather bet on the people as a starting point before I would even start to look at products, services and past financial performance.</p> <p>I have long believed that <strong>people are the only true sustainable competitive edge</strong>, and how passionate and committed they are to the company is the only true measure of whether great performance can be achieved.</p> <p>As <a title="Peter Drucker" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Drucker" target="_blank">Peter Drucker</a>, business guru, said</p> <blockquote><p>“But I like to think that a lot of managers and executives trying to solve problems miss the forest for the trees by forgetting to look at their people — not at how much more they can get from their people or how they can more effectively manage their people. I think they need to look a little more closely at what it’s like for their people to come to work there every day.”</p></blockquote> <p><div id="attachment_2399" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 237px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/peter_drucker.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2399" title="Peter Drucker" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/peter_drucker.jpg?w=227&h=300" alt="" width="227" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Jeff McNeill; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2394/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2394/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2394/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2394/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2394/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2394/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2394/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2394/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2394/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2394/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2394/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2394/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2394/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2394/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2394&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/377/de-de WHEN YOU KNOW IT IS TIME TO CHANGE COMPANIES Sun, 19 Feb 2012 19:32:09 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/366/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><strong>I have always believed that people join companies, but leave managers.</strong><br /> Surveys tell us that over 70% of corporate departures are because an employee was not able to build a working relationship with his immediate supervisor, which seems logical as one’s boss does totally control the major elements of your working life. </p> <p>But there are times when even having a great boss is not enough. Here are some of the times when you should think about whether you are working for the right company.</p> <p><strong>1. When the politicians get promoted</strong></p> <p>There are companies where the ability to <em>“play the game”</em> becomes more important than just getting on with it and doing the job well. People who spend a lot of time telling everyone how hard they work usually aren’t, and those that tell everyone how good they are, are generally not, so when self-promotion is mistaken for a true indication of skill, it means that the politicians, rather than those who are the real contributors to company success, are getting recognition through managing upwards, which is a serious sign of a dysfunctional environment.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2370" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/banner_politics.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/banner_politics.jpg?w=300&h=84" alt="" title="Banner politics" width="300" height="84" class="size-medium wp-image-2370" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Alaiche (own work); GDFL permission; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>2. When senior execs don’t have integrity</strong></p> <p>Integrity is when what one believes is the same as what one says is the same as what one does. Talk is cheap, and anyone can tell the world that the most important element of business is, for example, the customer or the employee, but behaviour is the only measure of whether senior executives in a company actually live their beliefs. Lying is never acceptable. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Lay" title="Kenneth Lay" target="_blank">Kenneth Lay</a>, Chairman and CEO of Enron, said just before its collapse <em>“Our liquidity is fine. As a matter of fact, it’s better than fine. It’s strong.”</em> Any company where reality and behaviour do not match rhetoric is not a worthwhile employer.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2371" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 133px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/bouguereau_integrity.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/bouguereau_integrity.jpg?w=123&h=300" alt="" title="Bouguereau Integrity" width="123" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-2371" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>3. When the customer is not a priority</strong></p> <p>You can survive for a while on clever marketing (<em>“We are the dot in dot.com”</em> didn’t save Sun Microsystems) or great technology (the Segway is sexy but used mainly only by lazy tourists), but ultimately if you disregard the needs of the customer you cannot have long term success. Modern communications enable customers to be widely heard, and the old maxim that a happy customer will tell 10 others while an angry customer will tell 100, now needs to be updated to the reality that an irate customer can tell tens and even hundreds of thousands.</p> <p><strong>4. When people are not treated as the major asset</strong></p> <p>Ultimately, people are the only sustainable competitive advantage, and companies that do not treat their own people with respect will never accord respect to anyone else. Companies that are serious about their employees ensure that they have a chance to develop and grow, and ensure that there are opportunities available for them to progress in their skills and their careers. If you can’t go off to work “with a song in your heart” you should find somewhere else where you can sing with passion and gusto. </p> <p><strong>5. When the bureaucrats take over</strong></p> <p>Doing the thing right should never get in the way of doing the right thing. Making sure that the right processes are in place ensures accuracy and consistency, but when the processes delay the ability to act, and get in the way of actually running the business it is a slippery slope. Data General in the 1980s had a reputation as a dynamic, fast moving upstart that could have given Digital Equipment, the much larger mini-computer market leader, some serious competition. The reality was that it was a centrally controlled, process-bound, bureaucratic, administrative nightmare. The only person in the company who could make any real business decisions of worth was Edson De Castro the founder and CEO, who ran everything from his office in Westborough, Massachusetts. Despite being four times larger, and despite DG having better “bang for the buck” offerings and a more aggressive sales force, Digital could hold them at bay just through being less bureaucratic and hence more responsive to competitive needs.</p> <p><strong>6. When the silo walls become impenetrable</strong></p> <p>When departments compete rather than co-operate and openly bad mouth each other it will be impossible to align strategies and therefore difficult to drive success. When Sales and Marketing can’t say anything good about each other, people complain about HR, Engineering whinge about the lack of financial data and everyone hates the IT Department it is time to accept that something is seriously amiss with both the CEO’s and senior executives’ abilities to build cohesive, supporting teams to effectively run the business.</p> <p><strong>7. When the majority of promotions are from outside</strong></p> <p>Great companies build their people and prepare them to be able to compete for vacant senior roles. One measure of a worthwhile employer is that at least 70-80% of promotions are made from internal candidates rather than mainly rushing to steal from a bunch of look-alikes at competitors. If there is not any effective succession-planning or mentoring process implemented, and little emphasis is placed on personal development, it is unlikely that it is a company with great advancement possibilities for internal candidates.</p> <p><strong>8. When pay for performance never quite rewards the best people</strong></p> <p>Nearly all companies tout their commitment to rewarding people for their contribution to the success of the enterprise, however that is defined, but few have true performance based reward systems in place beyond sales commission schemes. Reward systems need to go beyond the sales organisation, and beyond a token “bonus for all”, and should include rewards based on more than just monetary incentives. Effective reward programmes need to include individually tailored elements such as opportunities for overseas assignments and paid learning to be truly worthwhile.</p> <p>My belief is that to be truly successful in whatever job you do, you need to do something you really love, working for a boss you respect and admire, in a company you can be proud of, and which values and rewards you as an individual. It may not be easy to find, but it is definitely worth the effort to try to do so. </p> <p>As best-selling business author <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Mackay" title="Harvey Mackay" target="_blank">Harvey MacKay</a> said </p> <blockquote><p>“Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”</p></blockquote> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2369/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2369/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2369/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2369/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2369/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2369/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2369/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2369/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2369/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2369/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2369/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2369/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2369/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2369/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2369&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/366/de-de Bewegung im Markt für HR-Cloud-Anwendungen: Oracle und SAP zahlen Milliarden für den Markteinstieg Tue, 14 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Thomas Wolf http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/360/de-de <p>Als agiles und vorausschauendes&nbsp; Unternehmen bietet ROC seit dem letzten Jahr <strong>RaaS&trade;</strong>, HR Reporting as a Service. Wir haben den Trend zu Cloud-Services im HR-Bereich offenbar richtig erkannt: SAP und Oracle investieren erhebliche Summen in die Akquisition von Firmen, die L&ouml;sungen auf diesem Gebiet anbieten. Oracle strebt&nbsp; die &Uuml;bernahme der auf Personalmanagement-Software spezialisierten Taleo Corporation an. SAP &uuml;bernimmt gerade&nbsp; die Firma Success Factors, die Cloud-Anwendungen f&uuml;r Personalmanagement anbietet.<br />Der Umstieg auf SAP- oder Oracle-L&ouml;sungen in der Cloud wird bei den meisten Firmen sicher noch einige Zeit in Anspruch nehmen.</p> <p><strong>RaaS</strong> k&ouml;nnen Unternehmen dagegen in einigen Tagen oder Wochen live nutzen, abh&auml;ngig vom Zustand ihrer HR-Basisdaten.&nbsp; Wenn alle Daten gepflegt sind, die man zur Berechnung von Performance-Indikatoren braucht, dann reichen Tage, um Reports, Dashboards und Cockpits des strategischen HR-Reportings &uuml;ber das Internet auf die Bildschirme der Entscheidungstr&auml;ger des Unternehmens zu bringen.</p> <p><br />Mehr Informationen zu RaaS finden Sie <a href="http://www.raas-hcm.com/" target="_blank" title="RaaS, Reporting as a Service">hier</a>.<br /></p> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/360/de-de Neuheiten in den verschiedenen Versionen von SAP Talent and Org Visualization by Nakisa (TVN) Thu, 09 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Oliver Stegmann http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/359/de-de <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ibrahim Nagy, ROC Experte zu TVN (der SAP HCM-L&ouml;sung zur Visualisierung von Organisationsstrukturen und Nachfolgeplanungsprozessen)&nbsp; und verwandten Themen, stellt in seinem neuesten Blog-Beitrag im SAP SDN Community Network die Geschichte der Neuerungen in den verschiedenen Versionen dieser L&ouml;sung vor, beginnend mit Version STVN/SOVN 1.0 bis zu SAP TVN und SAP OVN 3.0 SP2<br />Wenn Sie sich fragen, ob eine Migration sich f&uuml;r Sie lohnt, lesen Sie <a href="http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/28413" target="_blank" title="History of SAP Talent and Org Visualization by Nakisa Solution Extensions">hier </a>nach (in Englisch)<br />Ibrahim als ehemaliger Nakisa-Mitarbeiter kennt die Applikation bestens, sowohl von seiner Ausbildung bei Nakisa wie aus vielen Kundenprojekten bei Naksia und bei ROC. <br /></p> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/359/de-de WHY ARE SO MANY MANAGERS SO BAD AT RECRUITING ? Mon, 12 Dec 2011 07:57:23 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/367/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><strong>Putting the right people in the right place is a critical skill of any manager</strong> and yet for many this is a serious weakness, resulting in them regularly putting people into roles where they can’t succeed. Not only is this an expensive mistake to make, but it can be highly disruptive to the team and the organisation.</p> <p>Here are the most common recruitment mistakes that I have seen.</p> <p><strong>1. Overlooking internal candidates too quickly.</strong></p> <p>A key role of any capable manager is to ensure that they develop some strong successors, yet in most large companies about 70% of management positions are filled from outside. This not only shows that many managers do not do workable succession planning, either from a fear of competition or because they just don’t have the skills needed to build the next generation of leadership (See <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/characteristics-of-a-successful-manager/" title="Characteristics of a successful manager" target="_blank">“Characteristics of a Successful Manager”</a> posted July 18, 2011). </p> <p><div id="attachment_2261" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/the_grass_is_greener_on_the_other_side.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/the_grass_is_greener_on_the_other_side.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="" title="The Grass is Greener on the Other Side" width="300" height="225" class="size-medium wp-image-2261" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Colin Smith; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>This <em>“grass is greener”</em> need to often look outside, can demoralise existing employees who rightly believe that they should be given the opportunities to advance their own careers. Rarely does someone come into a new role, from any direction, being 100% competent. Even the most brilliant, well experienced and capable external hires will need the time <strong>to come to grips with basic drivers like understanding the culture, identifying the land-mines and sacred cows and mastering the informal networks that enable things to get done.</strong> I have found that an existing employee who has been with the company long enough to be “blooded”, and who may be a good 70% fit for promotion is in many cases a better solution that an external candidate who may appear to be a 90% fit. The problem is that we tend to be more aware of the gaps in skills/knowledge of an internal candidate than being able identify them in an external one, so we favour the external option.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2263" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/robot_removing_a_claymore_land_mine.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/robot_removing_a_claymore_land_mine.jpg?w=300&h=214" alt="" title="Robot removing a claymore land-mine" width="300" height="214" class="size-medium wp-image-2263" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Robert R. McRill; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>2. Looking for someone who has done this exact same job before.</strong></p> <p>Many managers (and professional recruiters) tend to look for candidates who are currently in exactly the same role to be filled, in the same industry, generally at a competitor. There is no question that past proven behaviour in a similar role is a reasonable indicator of future behaviour, but only if nothing is ever going to change, which is not true in the business world. Successful recruiting needs to take into account some new and differing elements that candidates can bring to the role. For SAP to just fill roles by poaching from Oracle and vice versa does little to drive innovation and creativity, and ultimately is just another version of musical chairs.</p> <p><strong>3. Hiring in one’s own image.</strong></p> <p>Many managers recruit by looking in their own “rose-tinted” mirror. The belief is that <em>“I have been successful in this company doing things this way, so anyone who looks, thinks and smells like me will therefore also be successful”.</em> It creates a team of clones that do everything in the way that their manager would do them, and who therefore question little and change nothing. I believe that it is important for the health, and ultimately the success, of any organisation that there is a group of people with a common goal, but with varying ideas, styles and opinions, and not just a group of leader look-alikes. It is important that you have at least a few “crazies” in your team, who do question things, have a way of looking differently at situations, and are capable of creative thought. It is unfortunate that creative people are viewed with suspicion and dread by most managers, as <strong>If you always do what you have always done you will always get what you already have.</strong></p> <p><strong>4. Believing that smart, well educated people can do anything and everything.</strong><br /> They can’t !!!<br /> One senior executive who I worked with continually kept putting really well-educated, loyal, technically brilliant, incredibly intelligent people that he really liked, into senior management roles for which they were totally unprepared and unsuited. He was then surprised that, despite his support and protection, most ultimately failed and had to be replaced, and in many cases pushed out of the company. It meant that by putting people into positions for which they had not been groomed and prepared, not only did he screw up key elements of his organisation, he also kept losing really great people who could have added significant benefit in the right roles. It may be true that really smart people, with the right characteristics, can do most things, but it is unlikely that they can do everything well immediately, and demands of the business world can rarely wait for them to ultimately work it all out.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2262" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/phds.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/phds.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="" title="PhD's" width="300" height="225" class="size-medium wp-image-2262" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Uri Rosenheck (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>5. Believing that professional recruiters will always give you what you need.</strong></p> <p>Professional recruiters whether internal or external will only give you the best of what they have on their books, or what they can find through their network, rather than what you may actually need. Add to this the reality that very few managers can adequately define and describe to them what it is that they actually need, beyond handing over an HR prepared and fairly standard job description for the vacancy. You therefore end up hiring the best of the candidates that are available to you at that time. It’s just like democracy at work. You get to vote for the best candidate that the party machines have put in front of you from a small and generally unimpressive bunch, which is why we end up with politicians with about as much real value as a toothpick (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/we-get-the-leaders-we-deserve/" title="We get the leaders we deserve" target="_blank">“We get the leaders we deserve”</a> posted February 2, 2011). A far better solution, particularly if going externally, is to involve as many people at the right level in your company in the search. The odds are that they will know of people who would be strong candidates, and they would tend to recommend people that they would welcome, and be proud of having found for the company.</p> <p><strong>You always need to dig deeper and work harder to find the right person to fill a critical slot.</strong> It should never be done with haste or without adequate thought and investigation.</p> <p>As <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisabeth_K%C3%BCbler-Ross" title="Elisabeth_Kübler-Ross" target="_blank">Elisabeth Kübler-Ross</a>, Swiss-American psychiatrist and author says </p> <blockquote><p>“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”</p></blockquote> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2260/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2260/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2260/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2260/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2260/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2260/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2260/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2260/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2260/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2260/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2260/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2260/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2260/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2260/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2260&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/367/de-de GIVING POSITIVE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK Mon, 05 Dec 2011 08:19:03 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/368/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>Noted French writer <a title="François de La Rochefoucauld" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francois_de_la_Rochefoucauld" target="_blank">Francois de la Rochefoucauld (1613-1680)</a> said <em>“Few people have the wisdom to prefer the criticism that would do them good, to the praise that deceives them.”</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_2250" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 146px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/franc3a7ois_de_la_rochefoucauld.jpg"><img class="size-thumbnail wp-image-2250" title="François de La Rochefoucauld" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/franc3a7ois_de_la_rochefoucauld.jpg?w=136&h=150" alt="" width="136" height="150" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons (United States public domain)</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>Many managers find it uncomfortable to give negative feedback</strong> or to criticise one of their team, but it is a key part of a manager’s responsibilities if s/he is to ensure that unwanted behaviour does not become seen as being acceptable.</p> <p><strong>Before launching in to a formal session of “constructive criticism”</strong> the manager must ask himself whether it is really necessary because it is a serious departure from what is acceptable, or is just a minor blip in normal behaviour. Perpetual need for negative feedback with the same individual means that more serious action may be needed, or if needed regularly to many of the team members it suggests that there are deeper issues with what values have been established as acceptable in the group. It is far better to work on having your team members buy into the values and culture (sum of behaviours), than to spend a great deal of your time chastising your people.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2252" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 202px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/escaping_criticism_by_caso.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2252 " title="Escaping criticism by Caso" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/escaping_criticism_by_caso.jpg?w=192&h=240" alt="" width="192" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons/United States public domain</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>If negative feedback on behaviour is needed, <strong>it is important that it is done as close as possible to the occurrence</strong> if it is to have any real impact, but it must be handled and delivered in a way that ensures it is effective in driving behavioural change and does not demotivate the receiver. <strong>It must be specific and relevant</strong> as if you are too tough, emotions and resentment will over-ride common sense and hence learning, and if too vague the message will not be understood.</p> <p>Here are some ways to help handle it.</p> <p><strong>1. Make sure you have all the facts before giving your feedback.</strong></p> <p>There is nothing more demotivating to a subordinate than to have you rush in with negative feedback if you are not 100% sure of the real facts. It not only undermines your position of authority, as your team member can divert discussion by correcting you, but also questions your thoroughness as a manager by being seen to act on misinformation. Ask questions not only about what actually happened, but also what the person was trying to accomplish by their actions and therefore why did they act the way that they did. Remember that you will be giving “constructive criticism” of the actual behaviour that you do not want to see repeated, rather than of the individual.</p> <p><strong>2. Make sure that they accept ownership.</strong></p> <p>You must ensure that they understand what happened and that they have ownership of the situation before giving your feedback. If they do not accept that they were at fault, or if they blame it on factors outside their control, you will have little chance of getting them to accept that they will need to change their behaviour in the future.You need to focus them down to their own actual actions and accept the results. You should also not try and “sugar coat” the situation by telling them how wonderful they are despite this slip. You are there to be specific about this instance and not about their past performances, and the oft recommended style of <em>“You are a really punctual person, but you need to shower more than once a week”</em> is only for weak beginners.</p> <p><strong>3. Don’t state the obvious.</strong></p> <p>If the subordinate states that s/he knows that he messed up in this instance, there is not much point going on about the fact that s/he did so. It is better to be able to discuss why it happened and what caused the “lapse” rather than harping on about the error. Smart people actually do know when they make mistakes, and <strong>your job as a manager is to make sure that they learn from them and don’t repeat them.</strong> Continuing to beat them around the head after they have truly acknowledged their transgression has a diminishing return, so you should move on as soon as you see that they fully understand why the behaviour is unacceptable.</p> <p><strong>4. Praise can be public but criticism cannot.</strong></p> <p>Berating someone in front of others is generally more negative on the manager than on the employee. It suggests that you either cannot control yourself or that you struggle with confronting someone in a one-on-one situation. You must privately ask the person to come to your office and have the behavioural adjustment conversation behind closed doors. Sticking your head out of your office door into an open plan area and screaming <em>“John get your arse in here immediately”</em> won’t cut it, as <strong>you want them to focus on the message that you deliver, rather than on the embarrassment that you are handing out.</strong></p> <p><strong>5. With criticism, one size doesn’t fit all.</strong></p> <p><strong>You have to know the person, and understand how they will take criticism before you start. </strong>The highly sensitive and more junior staff will need to be handled differently than the tougher and more experienced ones. It is important that you remember that your goal is to stop unwanted behaviour rather than to just berate someone for their faults. <strong>You are trying to build a person’s usefulness and not stifle their creativity</strong>, rather than get them to a point where they are scared of making a mistake and therefore will not try anything new ever again.</p> <p>As <a title="Winston Churchill" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill" target="_blank">Winston Churchill (1874-1965)</a> said</p> <blockquote><p>“Criticism may not be agreeable but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”</p></blockquote> <p><div id="attachment_2251" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 172px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/winston_churchill.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2251 " title="Winston Churchill" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/winston_churchill.jpg?w=162&h=210" alt="" width="162" height="210" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Birtish Government; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2249/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2249/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2249/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2249/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2249/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2249/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2249/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2249/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2249/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2249/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2249/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2249/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2249/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2249/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2249&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/368/de-de WHO WANTS TO BE A CEO ? Mon, 14 Nov 2011 07:56:41 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/369/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I am often asked about <strong>what characteristics I believe are needed to be able to become a successful CEO.</strong> It’s not an easy question to answer as there are so many different aspects that one can address, and libraries of management books have been written in an attempt to quantify some reasonable directions for those that are keen to see whether they have the wherewithal to get to the top office.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2203" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/steacielibrary.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2203" title="Steacie Library" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/steacielibrary.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="" width="300" height="225" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By Raysonho@Open Grid Scheduler; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>I understand that a CEO needs to be able to drop the “I” in favour of “We”, have a good strategic mind, be creative, be able to build a great team, be able to delegate and cascade responsibilities through the organisation and possess many more <strong>elements that are key to all senior executives</strong>, but I also believe that there are some <strong>characteristics that are at the heart of, and are specific and critical to, being a great CEO.</strong></p> <p>Here are just a few that I consider to be mandatory.</p> <p><strong>1. While you don’t always have to be right, you do have to always appear to be certain.</strong></p> <p>Once you have all the needed input from all relevant areas, you have to be able to make a decision, come up with an idea, a plan, a strategy and act quickly to make it happen, taking your team with you. I understand that “consensus” is important in the leadership team (See <a title="Stupid Management Ideas" href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/stupid-management-ideas/" target="_blank">“Stupid Management Ideas”</a> posted 29 August 2011), but the role of the leader is to ultimately choose a direction and pull the team together to achieve it. You cannot allow the organisation to flounder through indecision at the top.</p> <p><strong>2. Being a business leader is not just about being able to paint a wonderful picture of what can be done</strong>, but means that you are able to keep a watchful eye on the business, ensuring that everyone has an understanding of where they fit in, what is expected of them, and how they need to go about successfully fulfilling their role, all driven with a sense of urgency to make it happen.This means that you need to have a real understanding of what is happening in every part of your own business as well as within your external ecosystem. It means understanding what behaviours are being reinforced at all levels, rather than just a belief that “If it is stated, so it shall be”.</p> <p><strong>3. You really do have to fully understand the numbers.</strong></p> <p>It’s not enough to be able to read, understand and decipher the P&L and the Balance Sheet, but you have to get to a point where you have a solid feel for what is happening in the organisation from every aspect of the business, and to be able to use the numbers to drive needed change. Great CEOs can “smell” things that are starting to fester before they go bad, and will act immediately to drive initiatives to attack areas of potential weakness.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2202" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/estimating_spreadsheet.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2202" title="Estimating spreadsheet" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/estimating_spreadsheet.png?w=300&h=192" alt="" width="300" height="192" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By Hooton99; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>4. A CEO needs to be passionate about identifying and solving problems</strong>, and being able to understand the ones that s/he needs to specifically focus on, and those that should be delegated to others. There will always be too many things to do in the time available and the most successful CEOs know which problem areas s/he should attack with passion, these being the most critical for them to personally address for the success of the organisation. CEOs must learn to manage their time expertly by making sure that they understand how to focus their energies on the important issues rather than just the urgent ones.</p> <p><strong>5. You will need to have a highly developed sense of farsightedness</strong>, even prescience, to be able to understand what has to be done for the future health of the business. This means that you will need to be at “expert” level in what is happening in your industry, in your competitors and most importantly with your customers’ changing needs and expectations. You will also need an ability to look around corners as well as just looking straight ahead. What can appear as a tangent to others can also be an important business direction for the future needs of yourmarketplace.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2201" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 226px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/logo_tc3a9lescope.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2201 " title="Logo télescope" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/logo_tc3a9lescope.png?w=216&h=216" alt="" width="216" height="216" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By Jupiter75 (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>6. You have to be a great communicator</strong>, rather than just a great public speaker, though it does help if you can develop and hone this skill to an art form as well. You will need to ensure that people have a clear understanding of what needs to be done and their roles in achieving the set goals, and to do this well CEOs need to have highly developed written and oral skills. This means being concise, specific and non-ambiguous. You will also need strong communication skills to be able to build confidence in staff, investors, partners and customers not only when the business is humming, but also when the company is facing challenges, which even a great company gets to do from time to time.</p> <p><strong>7. You have to learn to skilfully sift reality from bullshit.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_2200" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 226px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/bullshit-svg.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2200 " title="Bullshit" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/bullshit-svg.png?w=216&h=216" alt="" width="216" height="216" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By User:Anynobody; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><em>“If it sounds too good to be true it probably is”</em> is a great starting point, and commitments that are not built on valid, measurable and reliable data (such as a strong pipeline supporting an aggressive forecast), should be relegated to hope rather than substance. The higher you climb, no matter how approachable you believe you are, the harder it will be for people to tell you any really bad news. You have to ensure that people understand that the sooner weaknesses can be identified the sooner they can be addressed and rectified, and you cannot have people around you that do not help you drive the business based on all realities, not just the pleasant ones.</p> <p>As <a title="Peter Drucker" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Drucker" target="_blank">Peter Drucker</a> said “There is nothing that is so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”</p> <div id="attachment_2199" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 237px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/peter_drucker.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2199" title="Peter Drucker" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/peter_drucker.jpg?w=227&h=300" alt="" width="227" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By Jeff McNeill; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2198/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2198/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2198/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2198/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2198/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2198/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2198/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2198/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2198/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2198/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2198/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2198/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2198/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2198/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2198&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/369/de-de COME BACK E.T. EUROPE NEEDS YOU Mon, 07 Nov 2011 08:01:23 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/370/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>Here we are in <strong>November 2011</strong> and despite efforts by the Greek Prime Minister to personally derail the rescue, <strong>the Euro has been resolutely saved … yet again.</strong></p> <p>This time all that was needed was to increase the <a title="European Financial Stability Facility" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Financial_Stability_Facility" target="_blank">European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF)</a> bailout fund from 440 billion to one trillion euro, which represents a mere € 3000 per person in the Eurozone, which is made up of about 350 million now thankful and relieved residents. These large numbers just roll off the tongue now that we have all come to regularly confront numbers that go well beyond the familiar 6 zeros for 1 million to 12 zeros for 1 trillion.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2184" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 193px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/frankfurt_european_central_bank.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2184 " title="European Central Bank" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/frankfurt_european_central_bank.jpg?w=183&h=243" alt="" width="183" height="243" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By en:User:Eugene van der Pijll; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>It was also decided to let the Greeks off paying back 50% of their sovereign debt, which the European banks will just have to accept as their share of supporting the Greek standard of living. This was considered to be an easier solution to implement than getting the Greeks to actually pay taxes. It is important to understand that this cannot be considered a “default” as that would spook the markets and create a global financial meltdown, but should just be seen in the same light as retail pre-Xmas sales discounting, meaning we can all sleep more easily knowing that our savvy leaders have saved us from a <em>“fate worse than death”</em> … or should that be <em>“a fate worse than debt”.</em></p> <p><strong>China </strong>was immediately identified as being ready to contribute to the <a title="European Financial Stability Facility" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Financial_Stability_Facility" target="_blank">EFSF </a>bailout fund with an amount of about € 100 billion euro which is less than 5% of their foreign exchange reserves currently sitting at about € 2.3 trillion, so really “just a drop in the China Sea” ( as we will all now have to describe small amounts).<br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>The <a title="European Financial Stability Facility" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Financial_Stability_Facility" target="_blank">EFSF </a>themselves have agreed to take a “junior tranche” of € 200 billion and thus take the first 20% of the risk away from other investors, in a very similar way that the U.S. banks were able to convert high risk toxic mortgages into AAA loans up until 2008, when it all started to unravel.<br /> Credit Rating Agencies immediately confirmed the <strong>EFSF Fund’s AAA rating</strong> so everything must be OK this time around, as these Agencies have all proved themselves to be so accurate and believable.</p> <p>The Chinese are keen to invest in the <a title="European Financial Stability Facility" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Financial_Stability_Facility" target="_blank">EFSF</a>, even though it will not give them a great return, as it will establish them as a responsible major world power and will also enable them to protect their export markets, as there is little benefit to the Chinese economy to have a bankrupt Eurozone. It is also important for the Chinese to keep the euro alive as a counterweight to the US dollar, thus ensuring that no one currency can overwhelm the <strong>Chinese Yuan (Renminbi)</strong>.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2185" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/chinese_yuan.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2185" title="Chinese Yuan" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/chinese_yuan.jpg?w=300&h=224" alt="" width="300" height="224" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Elyyo; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>It will also be an opportune time for the Chinese to ask for the removal of the European arms embargo, as it would be hard to keep denying our benefactor access to life’s basics such as modern weaponry.</p> <p>As China will still have over € 2 trillion to play with, it will also put them in a strong position to buy up some interesting European assets as Governments try to raise much needed funds from some serious privatisation moves.<br /> Not bad for a communist regime which only recently started moving towards “free market” reforms.</p> <p>The only question that now remains is … <strong>Where does the other € 700 billion come from ?</strong></p> <p>If we look at <strong>the foreign exchange reserves of other potential investors</strong> we see the following in the top 5 … Japan € 800 billion, Russia € 370 B, Saudi € 325 B, Brazil € 250 B, India € 220 B.<br /> These 5 therefore have a total of about € 2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, and if they were willing and able to invest an average of say 5% each (also for very little return), the EFSF could raise another € 100 billion giving them a total of about € 400 billion.</p> <p>I know that my calculation is just a simple layperson’s view of the problem, and that it would take some serious economists to work out the real numbers. I also know that even though € 400 billion is a decent number, but even allowing for a large error factor to compensate for my simplicity, we do seem to be a little bit short of our € 1 trillion target. Even if Germany and France could contribute another € 100 billion on their own (about 30% of their combined foreign exchange reserves of € 280 billion) we would still only be about half-way.</p> <p>This would mean that as the money is not readily available here on earth, the only way to get it would be that we find some extra-terrestrial life-forms who might be keen to buy up some interests in Europe as part of a longer term colonisation program.</p> <p><strong>E.T. where are you when we need you ?</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_2186" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/array_of_space_shields_as_a_message_for_extraterrestials.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2186" title="A Message to Extraterrestials" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/array_of_space_shields_as_a_message_for_extraterrestials.png?w=300&h=136" alt="" width="300" height="136" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Inyuki (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>However, <strong>finding E.T.</strong> may be hard to do quickly, and as the markets are still jittery and will not accept any long delays for an acceptable solution, I recommend that we should just sell <strong>Italy and the “PIGS” (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) </strong>in their entirety to the Chinese, rather than forcing them to buy up these countries in a piecemeal fashion.</p> <p>This sale of the <strong>“I-pigs”</strong> ( to give it a more modern name and as a tribute to the late Steve Jobs) will also get rid of <strong>Silvio Berlusconi</strong>, who is embarrassing all of us, raise significant amounts of capital and remove the need for a bailout fund anyway as we will have gotten rid of Europe’s sick little piggies. We can then distribute the proceeds amongst those of us who are left in the 12 remaining Eurozone countries and who have been almost-nearly-just-about living within our means. This will then enable us all to rush out and buy significant amounts of Chinese manufactured goods making sure that the economic system which we have built over the last 200 years is perpetuated.</p> <p>Sadly, <a title="Gerhard Schröder" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerhard_Schr%C3%B6der" target="_blank">Gerhard Schroeder</a> called it correctly in March 1998 when he said <em>“The euro is a sickly premature infant, the result of an overhasty monetary union.”</em><br /> <strong>It should finally resolve itself when we all adopt the Yuan.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_2187" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 218px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/gerhard_schrc3b6der.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2187" title="Gerhard Schröder" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/gerhard_schrc3b6der.jpg?w=208&h=300" alt="" width="208" height="300" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By: SPD-Schleswig-Holstein; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2183/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2183/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2183/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2183/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2183/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2183/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2183/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2183/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2183/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2183/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2183/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2183/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2183/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2183/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2183&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/370/de-de THE SOONER YOU FALL BEHIND, THE MORE TIME YOU HAVE TO CATCH UP Mon, 31 Oct 2011 07:30:18 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/371/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><a title="Douglas Adams" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_adams" target="_blank">Douglas Adams</a> (1952-2001) author of “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” said – <em>“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_2169" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 184px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/the_hitchhikers_guide_to_the_galaxy.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2169 " title="The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/the_hitchhikers_guide_to_the_galaxy.png?w=174&h=240" alt="" width="174" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Nicosmos (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Why are most people so prone to <strong>procrastination ?</strong><br /> Why do so many of us <strong>keep putting off things that we know need to be done ?</strong></p> <p>I actually know a significant number of colleagues (as well as friends I was with at school) who convinced themselves that “they worked best when under pressure”. This meant that they could justify to themselves and all around them,that their best approach was to leave everything till the last possible minute. They could then do a panic-induced, adrenalin-driven rush to complete the task at hand, and would seriously believe that the result was their best work.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2170" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 226px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/procrastination_crossword.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-2170 " title="Procrastination Crossword" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/procrastination_crossword.jpg?w=630" alt="" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Sallybradford; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>This ability to procrastinate appears to be as prevalent in CEOs preparing for a shareholder meeting as it is to low level staff asked to complete a relatively simple task.</p> <p>I believe that there are <strong>4 main reasons why people tend to procrastinate</strong>, and you will need to learn how to handle these within yourself, and also in your subordinates if you are a manager.</p> <p><strong>1. When the task is so large it seems overwhelming.</strong></p> <p>When we are presented with a large task, it is often hard enough just to see how it can even be started let alone how it can be achieved, and we can become totally overwhelmed by the task. The only solution is to just accept the age-old advice that <strong>the only way to eat an elephant is to do it one bite at a time.</strong> However it is not just enough to start with trying to break down the one massive task into many small “bite-sized” tasks, but most importantly you have to do it as soon as possible. The problem with these elephant tasks is that with the passing of time they tend to grow in size and perceived complexity to reach mammoth and mastodon sizes. The quicker you can break a large task down into its smaller composite pieces, the sooner you can start to tackle parts of the project that can be attacked and resolved in a reasonable time, and the sooner you can see which parts of this project can be allocated to other people around you.</p> <p><strong>2. Fear of failure</strong></p> <p>Many people have a problem with procrastination because they are so obsessed with being right that they have built a belief that the only workable solution is a 100% solution, which then paralyses their ability to act. The most afflicted are the <strong>“Super-analytics”</strong>. These people are so task perfection driven that they can never have enough data to actually make a decision. If you give one of these people 100 days to complete a task, they will spend 99 days doing research and gathering as much data as possible and the 100th day trying to convince you that they are almost there, but if you could just give them another 100 days to complete the task they will be able to come up with the perfect solution. Trust me on this … they won’t. The solution is to not give large complex tasks to people like this, but to give them to people who understand that 100% solutions only exist in fairy tales and business school case studies, and who are driven to deliver a well thought through, well-constructed solution that can be implemented, and that has more than just a reasonable chance of success.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2171" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 150px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/fail.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-2171" title="Fail" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/fail.png?w=630" alt="" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Pablo X (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>3. It’s just the way some people are built</strong></p> <p><strong>Some people seem to have made procrastination an integral part of their personality.</strong> They are easily distracted, do not have a lot of self-control and find it very hard to make decisions about their lives. These are the people we all know who are always <em>“about to start a diet”</em> or <em>“about to start saving for a big holiday”</em> or <em>“about to start learning French”</em>, but never quite get around to actually doing it. The only way to manage these people (if you actually do want to keep them in your team) is to take the decision and planning out of their hands. If you need them to do something, make it a mandatory part of their schedule. For example … <em>“every Monday, every week from 9-11.00am you will be in this room to do this task”</em>, or <em>“every Friday at 5,00pm you will put on my desk your weekly report. You will schedule one hour every Friday from 3.00-4.00pm for this task and no other”</em>. If you can take the uncertainty out of their lives, they can actually perform the tasks that are assigned to them but they do take extra management time.</p> <p><strong>4. People tend to put off doing unpleasant tasks</strong></p> <p>It’s never easy to get around to doing a boring or unpleasant task whether this as pedestrian as preparing a report for someone in a position of power knowing that this will never actually be used for anything worthwhile, or as tough as having to haul someone over the coals for unacceptable behaviour.<br /> To handle something like the former, I would always try and treat it as sport by challenging myself to insert things in the report that would not only test whether the recipient actually read it, but if s/he did, whether s/he was actually smart enough to find them. Just in case s/he did read it, it was always done in ways that I could always blame on “typos”, after all s/he was in a position of authority. Doing it this way made it challenging and turned it into a more pleasant task.<br /> As for the latter, I have always found that delaying something tough, like feedback on behaviour, will never make it easier than it is if done immediately on seeing it or on finding out about it. The longer the time that you allow to pass, the more the perpetrator will believe that it is acceptable behaviour and the harder it will be for you to address. Do it immediately and get it done when the rebuke and correction will have the most effect.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2172" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 189px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/neurologic_tasks.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-2172" title="Neurologic Tasks" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/neurologic_tasks.png?w=630" alt="" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: L'Aquatique (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>As <strong>Olin Miller</strong> says <em>“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.”</em></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2168/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2168/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2168/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2168/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2168/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2168/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2168/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2168/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2168/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2168/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2168/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2168/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2168/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2168/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2168&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/371/de-de Strategisches Personalcontrolling in 24 Stunden? Fri, 28 Oct 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Rolf Hagenow http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/350/de-de <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Einf&uuml;hrung eines strategischen Personalcontrolling Systems in nur 24 Stunden? Wie soll das gehen?</p> <p>Wie so oft heute liegt die Antwort in der Cloud: Reporting as a Service, RaaS&trade; von ROC. Und nat&uuml;rlich brauchen Sie eine solide Basis, damit das funktionieren kann: ein SAP&reg; ECC HCM System.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Falls Ihnen 24 Stunden trotzdem kaum glaubhaft erscheinen: Wir haben das gerade erfolgreich bei einem amerikanischen Unternehmen umgesetzt, sogar in einem internationalen Projekt, mit unterschiedlichen Zeitzonen und komplexen Kommunikationsbedingungen. Der Kunde war sogar in etwas weniger als 24 Projektstunden &bdquo;live&ldquo;.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ganz konkret, wie geht das, RaaS&trade; Pro in 24 Stunden zu installieren?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>Sie ben&ouml;tigen ein SAP&reg; HCM System</li> <li>Sie spielen unser Datenanalyse-Tool &bdquo;RaaS Extraktor&ldquo; in ihr SAP HCM-System ein</li> <li>Sie pr&uuml;fen und validieren die Daten</li> <li>Sie laden die Basisdaten f&uuml;r Ihr monatliches Berichtswesen via Excel auf ihren Rechner</li> <li>Sie melden sich bei RaaS Pro mit ihrer User Id an</li> <li>Sie laden die Daten via sicherem Upload direkt in unser RaaS Business Warehouse</li> <li>Sie rufen unsere vorkonfigurierten Strategiedashboards, Detaildashboards und Webberichte auf</li> <li>Sie sind fertig und k&ouml;nnen ihrem Chef die neuesten HR-Kennzahlen in eing&auml;ngigen Grafiken vorlegen</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Wenn Sie mehr &uuml;ber RaaS Pro erfahren m&ouml;chten, dann klicken Sie einfach hier: <a href="http://www.raas-hcm.com/">www.raas-hcm.com</a></p> <p></p> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/350/de-de IT’S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY ….. Mon, 24 Oct 2011 06:35:13 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/372/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I understand that the salary that you are paid for the work that you do is important, but <strong>there are many things that are more important if you want to have a successful career</strong>, and to ultimately do well.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2159" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 204px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/gold_currency_symbols-svg.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-2159 " title="Gold Currency Symbols" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/gold_currency_symbols-svg.png?w=630" alt="" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">By Hersfold; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Here are <strong>10 things that I see as being more critical to focus on than your actual salary:</strong></p> <p><strong>1. Never do a job you hate</strong></p> <p>No matter how much you get paid for doing it, if you hate what you are doing the odds are that you won’t do it well. <strong>Doing a job that you love does give you a greater chance of being good at it</strong>, which will bring you a greater chance of success and ultimately more rewards.<br /> You work 5 days (at least) out of the 7 available each week, so why would anyone in their right mind want to spend 70% of their time doing something they actively dislike.</p> <p><strong>2. Never work for a boss you can’t respect</strong></p> <p>Your immediate supervisor controls your working life. S/he decides what you do, who you get to do it with, how you are measured, whether you are developed, how you are rewarded, what resources you get, if you get promoted etc. If you cannot build a solid working relationship with your boss, you have little chance of doing well. If you love the company you are in, try to get reassigned to another team. If not, find a company you can love, and make sure that you meet and interview your future direct boss (rather than just a recruiting team) before accepting a job.</p> <p><strong>3. Never work for a company you can’t be proud of</strong></p> <p><strong>It makes life significantly sweeter if you can feel seriously proud of the company you keep.</strong> It makes it easier to sell and support the products and services that they offer, to believe in the company direction and objectives, and to sell the company to people you know and do business with, and hence add to your success. The most successful marketing is done by staff, customers and partners rather than by TV advertising. <em>Air France</em> has interesting TV ads, but it is very rare to hear anyone say anything really positive about the company.</p> <p><strong>4. Never work where you can’t directly contribute</strong></p> <p>The more you can make a serious, measurable contribution to the success of the business, the more valuable you will be in the organisation, and the more promotions and rewards will come your way. For example, I have always believed that it is better to have a direct line job in a revenue/profit role than to take a head office role counting and collating the success of others, even if that role appears more senior and is initially for a higher salary. The counter/collater is always more dispensable than the business generator and ultimately less valuable.</p> <p><strong>5. Try to get equity as part of you compensation package</strong></p> <p>Money is an obvious need today for paying the bills but equity is a chance for building some future wealth. This is true not just for start-ups but for established companies as well. If you pick your employer well, both for what they do and the people that they have, there will be a serious possibility that you will benefit significantly as they build shareholder value into the future.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2157" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/usa_stock_exchange.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2157" title="USA Stock Exchange" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/usa_stock_exchange.jpg?w=300&h=201" alt="" width="300" height="201" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Roland Weber; via Wikipedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>6. Negotiate a pay for performance package</strong></p> <p>Try and negotiate a package that is based on your personal contribution and efforts rather than one where they share a standard bonus for everyone.<br /> I had one role in my career where the executive team were all paid the same performance bonus on the overall success of the company, irrespective of the individual’s contribution, and I always felt that this was inequitable. I have always believed that team performance should form a part of the performance evaluation but should not be the whole, and that the major part of the performance bonus should be paid on individual measurement and contribution against one’s goals. If you believe in yourself, find a company that thinks the same way and then work your arse off to overachieve against your goals.</p> <p><strong>7. Find a job where hard work is seen as more important than work-life balance</strong></p> <p>I understand that you should not kill yourself on the job, and that these days it is critical that you manage your time effectively and that good luck and timing can play a role in success, but I have always found that the harder (and smarter) I worked the luckier I got. We all have examples of people who did not have much ability and were not one of the sharpest quills on the porcupine, but who happened to be in the right place at the right time and who walked away with millions. Wish them luck because they belong to a very privileged but very small club. The majority of successful people have worked hard for what they have achieved, and if you want to join them then you need to copy their commitment and their attitude to hard work.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2156" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 250px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/work_life_balance_rat_race.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-2156" title="Work life balance rat race" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/work_life_balance_rat_race.png?w=630" alt="" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: KVDP (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>8. Look for a company that has built a true reputation for people development</strong></p> <p>I have always stressed that <strong>it is critical that you be able to update your CV every year with new knowledge and/or skills</strong>, and that if you can’t do that every year you have not just stood still, but have actually fallen behind your peers. Find an employer that believes that they have a responsibility to help their people grow and develop, not just in formal education but also in on-the-job-training.</p> <p><strong>9. Try to find a company that believes in overseas assignments as part of their culture</strong></p> <p>We live in a global market with global competition, and <strong>gaining experience in multiple regions is not only a lot of fun and interest in the acquisition, but will build your worth in an ever changing ever more complex marketplace.</strong> The trick is to prepare for it. I know of a young man who spent 3 years learning Mandarin and when his company opened an office in China he was asked to be part of the team to do so, at a significantly more senior role than the one he held. His peers felt that he had been blessed by good luck, but as we all know, real luck is when preparation an opportunity meet.</p> <p><strong>10. Find an employer that is known for having “the best and brightest”</strong></p> <p>This will not only position you as (hopefully) being part of an elite group but will give you access to smart people to learn from and emulate. In the IT sector in the 1960/70/80s, having worked for IBM was a great thing to have on your CV. In the 1970/80s so was having worked for <strong>DEC</strong>. Today it definitely helps to have spent some time at companies like <strong>Google </strong>or <strong>Apple</strong>. Target the equivalent companies that stand out in your industry and go and sell yourself to them … it is worth the apprenticeship.</p> <p>As <a title="Marilyn Monroe" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_Monroe" target="_blank">Marilyn Monroe</a> said <em>“I don’t want to make money, I just want to be wonderful.”</em></p> <p><div id="attachment_2155" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 213px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/statue_of_marilyn_monroe_at_the_womens_museum_in_dallas_texas.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2155 " title="Statue of Marilyn Monroe at The Women's Museum in Dallas, Texas" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/statue_of_marilyn_monroe_at_the_womens_museum_in_dallas_texas.jpg?w=203&h=270" alt="" width="203" height="270" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author:Stephen Witherden; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>If you focus on being wonderful at what you do, rather than on the job that pays the most today, the rewards will come and in the long run will be significantly greater.</strong></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2154/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2154/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2154/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2154/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2154/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2154/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2154/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2154/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2154/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2154/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2154/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2154/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2154/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2154/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2154&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/372/de-de BUSINESS LEADERSHIP ISN’T CHANGING QUICKLY ENOUGH Mon, 10 Oct 2011 06:43:10 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/373/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><strong>If global competition and business processes are changing so quickly, why aren’t our leadership practices changing at the same rate to keep up with business needs?</strong></p> <p>A recent study carried out by <a title="Development Dimensions International" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_Dimensions_International" target="_blank">Development Dimensions International (DDI)</a>, a US based Talent Management organisation, showed that whilst business needs and the business environment have all changed dramatically, business leadership practices have hardly changed in the last decades to keep pace.</p> <p>The DDI study showed that:</p> <blockquote><p><strong>“The leadership practices in most organizations received a resounding thumbs-down</strong>, with only a quarter of the HR professionals questioned for the report rating the quality of leadership in their organization as very good or excellent, and just a third of leaders giving themselves and their peers high marks.”</p></blockquote> <p><div id="attachment_2122" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 172px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/symbol_thumbs_down-svg.png"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2122 " title="Symbol thumbs down" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/symbol_thumbs_down-svg.png?w=162&h=210" alt="" width="162" height="210" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>A worrying finding of the study is that despite the emphasis that is being given to all aspects of leadership today, and despite the fact that corporate leaders are under global and public powerful scrutiny at all times, the results of the survey show that <strong>the quality of business leadership has not improved, and may have actually been declining for a long time in relative values against new and confusing market environments.</strong></p> <p>Of even greater concern is that there was little confidence that companies are building the next generation of high quality leaders. Only 18% of those surveyed felt that <em>“… the leadership pipeline will produce the individuals needed for the future … “</em> (only 14% in the US), yet less than half of the companies surveyed had a process for identifying high potential talent and even fewer had a process for growing and developing these individuals once identified, despite the fact that this was seen as one of the key skills expected in business leaders. This becomes even more critically important in an environment where the baby boomers are all in the process of moving out of their corner offices and into their retirement condos in Florida and Nice.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2123" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/nice-night-view-with-blurred-cars.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2123" title="Nice: night view" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/nice-night-view-with-blurred-cars.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="" width="300" height="225" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: W. M. Connolley (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Supporting the DDI findings, the <a title="American Management Association" href="http://www.amanet.org/" target="_blank">American Management Association</a> found that fewer than one in ten Fortune 1000 organisations actually had made any attempt to integrate recruitment, or management development and succession planning, with strategic business objectives, and found that only 1 in 5 companies even have any succession plans in place to cover the sudden loss of a key executive, and a quarter of them had no succession plans in place at all.</p> <p>Even when companies do have <strong>Hi-Potential programmes and succession plans in place</strong>, these are often just window dressing and thus disregarded, as in many cases they are done to be seen to be doing the right thing rather than representing any real plans to identify, develop and build future leaders. Most Hi-Potential programmes are based more on a manager’s propensity to identify and salute those that are acting in his image, and most succession plans are based more on what those above expect to see rather than a true reflection of who should be the right person to take a step up. When it comes to promotions, over 70% of senior executive appointments tend to come from outside the organisation anyway, and of the less than 30% that are internally filled, about 70% will be totally different to that shown in the succession plan, meaning that <strong>generally less than 10% of promotions are based on any real planning at all.</strong></p> <p>This may be the one major reason that so few companies bother to do any real succession planning in the first place.<br /> <strong>Quite a vicious circle !</strong></p> <p>If management in an organisation is not good enough to start with, how will they know what initiatives are needed, and how they should be implemented to drive the changes that are needed to improve the situation?<br /> <strong>This is also not helped by today’s business schools.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_2124" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/international_business_school.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2124" title="International Business School" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/international_business_school.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="" width="300" height="225" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Tatu Monk (own work); via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>For example, many of the case studies used in helping to educate our future business leaders are even older than the MBA students, and whilst they may help students in the process of problem solving, and may even deliver some interesting lessons in business life, they do tend to suggest that not much has changed in the last 20+ years, for example, in the way that business is done, in the way that technology has become so pervasive, in how people are managed and motivated, in the changing expectations and definitions of work in successive generations or in the way that partnerships or co-opetitions are handled. <strong>Most importantly these case studies do not take into consideration how social media are changing the entire world, including business, and not just personal, communication.</strong> I understand that some of these topics may be covered separately but this does not seem to be enough.</p> <p>One problem with most business schools is that many of their academic theories don’t actually work well in business practice, while conversely the things that good managers do to succeed in practice don’t actually work well in the business school theories.<br /> So we keep seeing once great companies going into decline, and we excuse this as just being a result of some global economic downturn, new competitors or changing markets, rather than on inadequate management skills that have had little real chance of being able to adjust and adapt quickly enough.</p> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin" title="Charles Darwin" target="_blank">Charles Darwin</a> said <strong>“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is that is the most adaptable to change”.</strong></p> <p><div id="attachment_2125" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 184px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/charles_darwin_1880.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-2125 " title="Charles Darwin, 1880" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/charles_darwin_1880.jpg?w=174&h=240" alt="" width="174" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Elliott & Fry; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>To this I would add … <strong>“At some time in the life cycle of every organisation, its ability to succeed in spite of itself runs out.” </strong></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2121/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2121/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2121/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2121/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2121/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2121/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2121/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2121/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2121/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2121/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2121/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2121/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2121/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2121/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2121&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/373/de-de SUN TZU WOULD GO BROKE TODAY Mon, 03 Oct 2011 06:50:47 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/374/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I am amazed at how many business people falsely believe that <strong>“Business is War”</strong>, and how many young managers and MBA students see <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_War" title="The Art of War" target="_blank">Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”</a> as being the holy bible for waging business in the same way that one would wage war. I know that <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_tzu" title="Sun Tzu" target="_blank">Sun Tzu</a> made some very pithy and relevant statements like <em>“Know yourself, know your enemy, win the war”</em>, but how this became an earth shattering business truism is questionable, except maybe for those who look for easy answers to the meaning of business life in books like <em>“The One Minute Manager”</em> and <em>“Who Moved My Cheese”</em>.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2108" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 250px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/sun-tzu.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/sun-tzu.jpg?w=630" alt="" title="Sun Tzu" class="size-full wp-image-2108" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: FrankWilliams; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p>Whilst there are some obvious similarities between the business world and that of the military, these are not enough to ensure ultimate success if one was to run a business in the same way that one would conduct a war. For a start, if business really was war, then it would be easy for senior officers from the armed forces to transition into the business world when they retire from military service, which it rarely is.<br /> I have many friends from different branches of the military who had to go back to square one to try to adjust to the business world, despite being at the rank of at least Colonel, Commander or Air Commodore, and who were used to leading large numbers of troops.</p> <p><strong>War and business are based on winning and beating the opposition and there is nothing wrong with that analogy, but it really doesn’t go much further.</strong></p> <p>Here are some reasons why …</p> <p><strong>1. War is based on death.</strong></p> <p>The power of a military in war is not just based on whether its people are prepared to die for their country, but also on how good they are at making their opposition die for theirs. Business is not based on the body count that you can inflict on your competition, and is never a matter of life and death no matter how many times one uses that analogy to motivate a sales force. </p> <p><strong>2. War will have dramatic negative impacts on communities, both economically and physically, on both sides of the conflict.</strong></p> <p>The sacrifices that are made by non-combatants in wars have generally been higher than that made by the military personnel involved. Businesses are there to benefit the communities that they are in from both an economic and a human perspective, and will help to grow and nourish a community. Contrast this with the destructive impact that warring forces have on any community that they come in contact with. </p> <p><strong>3. In war, your enemy is to be hated and slaughtered at every chance and there is never any thought that there could be advantages to working with your enemy to benefit both sides.</strong></p> <p>Contrast this with the business world where serious competitors will share technologies in ways that enhance their abilities to succeed, and ultimately deliver choices to the marketplace in which they compete strenuously. One example being that SAP traditionally has always been one of the biggest resellers of the Oracle database. The more successful that SAP is, the more money it has to pay in royalties to its arch rival Oracle. The net result is that both companies benefit and so do their customers.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2110" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/sap_ag_headquarter_walldorf_building_1.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/sap_ag_headquarter_walldorf_building_1.jpg?w=300&h=199" alt="" title="SAP AG Headquarters Walldorf" width="300" height="199" class="size-medium wp-image-2110" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Vladislav Bezrukov; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><div id="attachment_2111" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 310px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/oracle_headquarters.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/oracle_headquarters.jpg?w=300&h=225" alt="" title="Oracle headquarters" width="300" height="225" class="size-medium wp-image-2111" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Autthor: Peter Kaminski; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>4. Military management is based on command and control in strict hierarchies and blind obedience.</strong></p> <p>An order is an order and must be carried out as given, or offenders can face strict punishment, court marshal and even death.<br /> Great businesses thrive on dissension, discussion, creativity and innovation. The “lower ranks” are encouraged to question things and to drive change, and are rewarded for this.</p> <p><strong>5. In war one of the greatest atrocities that can be committed by any member of the armed forces is to change sides.<br /> </strong><br /> In business the movement of personnel from one company to another is part of the lifeblood, maturity and richness of any industry. Some movement is considered advantageous for personal growth and development, and it helps that one can show a reasonable number of different employers throughout ones work history, and to be able to show how each of them helped to create a more rounded and valuable individual.</p> <p><strong>6. Historically, the army officer corps was made up from the ruling classes</strong>, usually the second oldest son of a wealthy family who had little financial future as his elder brother was due to inherit both the title and the property, and therefore leaving him only a choice between the military and the clergy. This meant that wars were generally orchestrated by the in-bred offspring of cousins who had married each other, and times haven’t changed all that much, as officers are rarely built from the ground up, and the lowest ranks are generally made up with those that have little choice. <strong>Businesses on the other hand are much more Darwinian.</strong> The most successful business people are those who are smart, have learned how to live and succeed within ever changing environments, can manage resources, are visionary and have shown that they have the ability to lead and motivate others.</p> <p><strong>The problem is that the “Business is War” attitude is not only invalid on its own, it also drives all the wrong behaviour.</strong><br /> It rewards autocrats</strong> who believe that they are always right, it stifles innovation</strong> by limiting dissent, it sees people as dispensable headcounts and it encourages empire building, hoarding of information and viewing everyone outside the team, division and company as adversaries. Customers are seen as needing to be conquered rather than as business partners, and competition to be crushed rather than being seen as business opportunities.</p> <p>I have no question that conversely “War is Business” but the belief that “Business is War” is only for the simple minded, and they need to get a wider reading list than <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_tzu" title="Sun Tzu" target="_blank">Sun Tzu</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Blanchard" title="Ken Blanchard" target="_blank">Kenneth Blanchard</a> and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spencer_Johnson_%28writer%29" title="Spencer Johnson" target="_blank">Spencer Johnson</a> if they want to succeed in today’s business world.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2109" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 250px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/war_is_business.gif"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/war_is_business.gif?w=630" alt="" title="War is business" class="size-full wp-image-2109" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Carlos Latuff; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2107/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2107/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2107/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2107/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2107/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2107/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2107/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2107/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2107/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2107/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2107/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2107/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2107/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2107/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2107&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/374/de-de Neuer Blog der RaaS-Community Thu, 29 Sep 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Rolf Hagenow http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/340/de-de <p>Unsere RaaS-Kollegen haben einen dedizierten Blog geschaffen, in dem Sie Informationen aller Art zu HR-BI in der Cloud finden k&ouml;nnen:</p> <p><a href="http://reportingasaservice.wordpress.com/" title="RaaS-Blog">RaaS-Blog</a></p> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/340/de-de WITH THE GREATEST RESPECT Mon, 12 Sep 2011 06:37:31 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/375/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>To be successful in any career it is critical that you become au-fait with “management speak”, as there are many instances when what is said is not really what is meant. Saying one thing and meaning another can be called irony, but it can also be called hypocrisy, being two-faced, dishonesty and cowardice. Whichever form it takes, it is important that you familiarise yourself with the true meanings of these phrases that are used by many managers.</p> <p>Here are a few to get you started:</p> <p><strong>“With the greatest respect”</strong> is generally used when someone is about to insult you, but they hope that it won’t get you too angry. It actually means “with no respect at all”, and is just an attempt to diffuse the insult that will follow. This expression can also be used upwardly.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2071" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 250px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/sign_respect.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/sign_respect.jpg?w=630" alt="" title="Sign Respect" class="size-full wp-image-2071" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: ChinaFlag (own work); via Wikimedia Commons </p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>“In all honesty”</strong> is used by people who want you to feel that what they are about to say has significantly more value than if they just said it on its own. It is meant to elicit the feeling that the speaker must be telling the truth, and that what they will say next has great significance and will be equivalent to a wondrous pearl of wisdom.</p> <p><strong>“I haven’t started yet but I have been thinking about it a lot”</strong> is a cover-up for the fact that a project is behind schedule and that the speaker will either need an extension or will submit an inferior result.</p> <p><strong>“The pipeline is light but I am confident of making the numbers”</strong> means that the sales strategy is based on hope, despite the fact that hope is never a strategy. It means that even if the numbers are actually achieved, the speaker has no understanding at all of what is actually going on in his business area and that it was just good luck that he achieved the goals … this time.</p> <p><strong>“What a creative idea”</strong> usually means that the idea will not get past the speaker, either because s/he hates or mistrusts anyone who is truly creative (as most managers prefer the safety of those who support the status quo), or else s/he thinks that you are an idiot and has used the word “creative” as a synonym for “stupid”.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2072" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 250px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/creative_logo-svg.png"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/creative_logo-svg.png?w=630" alt="" title="Creative logo" class="size-full wp-image-2072" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: -Majestic- at en.wikipedia; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>“Let me get back to you on that”</strong> means that they have no interest in what you are saying and are just trying to stop the conversation, or that what you have said is too complicated for them to understand, so they will have to go to their assistant to explain it to them in case it is actually something that they should know.</p> <p><strong>“Great idea but the CEO would never go for it”</strong> always means that they do not like the idea, but do not want to say that to you, so they will feign their support and will lay the blame on an authority figure above them who is not as creative or supportive of you as they are.</p> <p><strong>“Why don’t we sleep on that”</strong> means that they do not want to discuss this any further, or generally ever again, and that they would prefer to move on to their own topic which they consider much more interesting than yours.</p> <p><strong>“I hear what you say”</strong> means that they have not been listening to you at all, and will now comment on the one thought that is in their mind on this topic.</p> <p><div id="attachment_2073" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 130px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/ear.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/ear.jpg?w=630" alt="" title="Ear" class="size-full wp-image-2073" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: David Benbennick; under GNUF License; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><strong>“My mind is open on this issue” </strong>means that the speaker has no idea of what needs to be done and is therefore accepting of any opinion, generally taking the most recent one that s/he has heard as their interim stated position. What they really mean is that their mind is blank on the issue.</p> <p><strong>“Let’s look at this from 30,000 feet”</strong> usually means that the manager has no idea of the details that are needed to solve a problem or set a specific direction, so looking at something from 30,000 feet allows the speaker to pontificate his own brand of generalisations without having to admit that s/he has no clue about what actually needs to be done.</p> <p><strong>“It’s hard to turn an oil tanker”</strong> is the manager’s way of saying that he has no idea of how to circumvent the bureaucracy that exists in the organisation to actually achieve anything worthwhile, by suggesting that change is impossible (and unwelcome) in anything as large and as wonderful as the company has become.</p> <p><strong>“Let’s talk about that offline”</strong> usually means that the conversation has become embarrassing for the manager so he is not prepared to continue it in public where it will become increasingly obvious to the whole group that he actually knows nothing about the topic. This way he can make it personal by pretending that it can be better handled in a one-on-one.</p> <p><strong>“Help me to understand”</strong> is usually a roundabout way of saying that what has been said is really stupid, and that no matter how many times, or different ways, the idea is repeated it will never make sense to the speaker.</p> <p><strong>“How brave of you”</strong> is just another way of saying that you have either just uttered, or done, something that is totally career-limiting, and that you may as well go and start to update your CV and to pack up your cubicle.</p> <p>As was said by German scientist and satirist <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Christoph_Lichtenberg" title="Georg Christoph Lichtenberg" target="_blank">Georg Christoph Lichtenberg</a> (1742-1799) “The most dangerous untruths are truths moderately distorted”</p> <p><div id="attachment_2074" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 235px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/gc3b6ttingen_lichtenberg_closeup.jpg"><img src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/gc3b6ttingen_lichtenberg_closeup.jpg?w=225&h=300" alt="" title="Lichtenberg closeup" width="225" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-2074" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Author: Daniel Schwen; under CCA-Share Alike 2.5 License; via Wikimedia Commons</p></div><br /> <span style="margin-top:0;font-size:4px;line-height:4px;"><strong> </strong></span></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2070/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/2070/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2070/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/2070/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2070/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/2070/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2070/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/2070/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2070/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/2070/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2070/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/2070/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2070/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/2070/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=2070&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/375/de-de ROC-Experten aktive Blogger im SAP Developers’ Network (SDN) Thu, 04 Aug 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Oliver Stegmann http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/336/de-de <p>Unsere Experten sind aktive Mitglieder der SAP SDN Community. In diesem Beispiel (<a href="http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/25597" target="_blank" title="Blog Eintrag von Ibrahim Nagy">link</a>) macht Ibrahim Nagy Vorschl&auml;ge zur Verbesserung von Nakisa OrgChart.</p> <p>Ibrahim als ehemaliger Nakisa-Mitarbeiter kennt die Applikation bestens, sowohl von seiner Ausbildung bei Nakisa wie aus vielen Kundenprojekten (sowohl bei Naksia als auch bei ROC). Seine Vorschl&auml;ge zielen auf praktischen Nutzen in Projekten. Bis sie in neue Produktversionen von Nakisa Einzug halten, k&ouml;nnen Kunden von seinen selbst entwickelten Ad-hoc-L&ouml;sungen profitieren.</p> <p></p> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/336/de-de RaaS unter den 3 besten Cloud Service Produkten bei den EuroCloud Deutschland Awards Thu, 19 May 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Rolf Hagenow http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/334/de-de <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>RaaS von ROC (Reporting as a Service) wurde von EuroCloud Deutschland als eines der drei besten Cloud Service Produkte ausgew&auml;hlt, neben Produkten von weltweiten Schwergewichten wie VMWare (2.9 MRD $ Umsatz) und Salesforce.com (Umsatz 1,6 MRD $).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Wir freuen uns nat&uuml;rlich &uuml;ber diese Auszeichnung, insbesondere dar&uuml;ber, dass RaaS sozusagen aus dem Stand in die erste Liga aufgestiegen ist. Im &Uuml;berschwang erlauben wir uns ein kleines Selbstlob: Wir haben offenbar fr&uuml;hzeitig einen Trend erkannt und die notwendige Agilit&auml;t bewiesen, ihn in ein konkretes und solides Angebot umzusetzen.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Wichtiger f&uuml;r unsere Kunden: RaaS bietet ihnen einen schnellen und sicheren Einstieg in professionelles HR-Reporting und in Cloud Computing, gem&auml;&szlig; dem Motto der&nbsp; EuroCloud Conference: Cloud Computing ist die Zukunft &ndash; aber sicher.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Wir waren uns nat&uuml;rlich sicher bez&uuml;glich der Solidit&auml;t und der Sicherheit von RaaS. Die Nominierung unter den drei besten Cloud Service Produkten zeigt, dass kompetente Fachleute unsere Auffassung teilen.</p> <p>Ein Grund mehr, RaaS zur Erh&ouml;hung Ihrer Agilit&auml;t im HCM zu nutzen.</p> <p>Mehr zu RaaS finden Sie <a href="http://www.raas-hcm.com" target="_blank" title="Reporting as a Service">hier</a></p> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/334/de-de DO WOMEN MAKE BETTER MANAGERS ? Mon, 22 Nov 2010 07:34:22 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/324/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I was recently asked during a press interview <strong>to describe the best boss that I had ever worked for.</strong></p> <p>It wasn’t hard to do, as during my time at <em>Sun Microsystems</em>, when asked to drive a global project for 6 months in the US, I had the opportunity to work for <strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_Bartz">one of the most impressive executives</a></strong> that I have met in the last 45 years.</p> <p>The fact that she was a woman, and her having moved on to greater roles over the last 20 years despite a serious bout with illness, <strong>made me wonder whether women actually make better managers than do men.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christine_Lagarde">Christine Lagarde</a>, French Finance Minister and someone tipped as a potential future Prime Minister, and one of the few really impressive politicians that I have met (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/vive-leuropean-parliament/">« Vive l’European Parliament »</a> posted 20/09/2010), believes that women make better policians than men <em>« … because they are not slaves to their libidos »</em>, which she believes made them <em>« … more able to make more cool-headed judgements ».</em> She told the US Network ABC « This Week » programme on October 11, 2010 that <em>« … men’s sex drive, testosterone and egos impaired their decision making ability ».</em></p> <div id="attachment_1134" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 171px"><a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christine_Lagarde_WEF.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-1134 " title="Christine Lagarde WEF" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/christine_lagarde_wef.jpg?w=161&h=243" alt="" width="161" height="243" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Christine Lagarde at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 25, 2007. Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch/Photo by Remy Steinegger</p></div> <p>If this is true, and I have a lot of admiration for Lagarde and not much for most politicians I have met, who did tend to be male, <strong>does the same hold true for management roles ? And if it is true, why are there not more women in senior management positions ?</strong></p> <p><strong>In the Top 300 European companies women make up only about 12% of board members</strong> (up from 10% in 2008), although Norway at 38% does skew the results somewhat. The latest Catalyst figures show that women only make up 11% of Fortune 1000 company board members, and that 25% of the Fortune 1000 still have no female board members at all.</p> <div id="attachment_1143" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 280px"><a href="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/3-women-managers-of-successful-wine-chateaux-close-friends-of-mine.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-1143 " title="3 women managers of successful wine chateaux (close friends of mine)" src="http://leshayman.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/3-women-managers-of-successful-wine-chateaux-close-friends-of-mine.jpg?w=270&h=203" alt="" width="270" height="203" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">3 women managers of successful wine chateaux (close friends of mine)</p></div> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalid_Aziz">Professor Khalid Aziz</a>, CEO of Aziz Corporation, a leadership development « maven » believes that women managers have a <em>« … less short term outlook and are more holistic, big picture and reasonable ».</em></p> <p>He lists <strong>his top-10 reasons why women make better bosses than men :</strong></p> <p>1.      In a still sexist world, women have to be better than men to succeed.</p> <p>2.      Women tend to be less « bullet-headed » than men and prefer to understand the big picture before proceeding.</p> <p>3.      More adaptable to the needs to change</p> <p>4.      More willing to see other people’s point of view</p> <p>5.      Less bloody minded in conflict.</p> <p>6.      More holistic people managers, understanding the different influences on staff.</p> <p>7.      More willing to admit mistakes.</p> <p>8.      Better at collaboration.</p> <p>9.      More open to seeing their own failings.</p> <p>10.  Better team players.</p> <p>I once asked a male CEO why there were no women on his board, and he told me that he would love to have some women on the board, but hadn’t been able to find any that were suitable. I therefore asked him what were the backgrounds and qualities that he was looking for in a female board member, and he listed a long string of qualities that most of his current male board members didn’t actually have.</p> <p><strong>I guess that he just wasn’t really looking hard enough.</strong></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/1130/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/1130/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/1130/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/1130/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/1130/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/1130/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/1130/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/1130/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/1130/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/1130/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/1130/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/1130/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/1130/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/1130/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=1130&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/324/de-de BEING SERIOUS IS OVERRATED Thu, 18 Nov 2010 07:29:27 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/323/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>I have found that many people, particularly as they become more senior in their corporate life (or just get older), <strong>start to take life and themselves much too seriously</strong>, supposedly in line with their elevated status. They therefore tend to create an environment that only has focus on the seriousness of the tasks involved, and the important role that they actually play in achieving them. I once had a software developer describe his supervisor as <em>“… someone who could suck the joy out of the room just by saying good morning”</em>.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/portrait-sulking/image/5225480?term=serious+ceo" target="_blank"><img src="http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5225480/portrait-sulking/portrait-sulking.jpg?size=380&imageId=5225480" border="0" width="266" title="Portrait of a Sulking Businessman Wearing Spectacles and a Pinstripe Suit" height="196" alt="Portrait of a Sulking Businessman Wearing Spectacles and a Pinstripe Suit" /></a></p> <p>I have always believed that <strong>while it is critical that you are serious about the role you perform in life</strong>, whether as an individual contributor, an executive or in the community, <strong>you should never take yourself too seriously.<br /> </strong></p> <p><strong>In business, it is important to regularly remind yourself that the only difference between a manager and the people being managed is the job description.</strong> I understand that there are differences in salaries and other elements like office space, remuneration, status and visibility, but one should never grow to believe that these differences include self importance. </p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/portrait-group-serious/image/5070621?term=serious+manager" target="_blank"><img src="http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5070621/portrait-group-serious/portrait-group-serious.jpg?size=380&imageId=5070621" border="0" width="266" title="Portrait of a Group of Serious Businessmen" height="196" alt="Portrait of a Group of Serious Businessmen" /></a></p> <p>For me a sales manager has no more importance in a company than the 10 salesmen in his team who collectively generate $ 20-30 million in revenues each year. <strong>In reality the role of the sales manager is mainly to support and serve the sales force by ensuring that he makes their role as easy to execute as possible, and to facilitate their success.</strong> This means that the manager has to spend his time as a coach and mentor to his people, but also has to spend time and effort removing barriers to their success and protecting them from internal politics and bureaucracy so that they can focus on selling. </p> <p>I have therefore always believed that the critical measure of a great sales manager is that the vast majority of his sales team individually earn more than he does.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/euro-notes/image/248296?term=values" target="_blank"><img src="http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/248296/euro-notes/euro-notes.jpg?size=380&imageId=248296" border="0" width="239" title="Euro Notes" height="160" alt="Euro Notes" /></a></p> <p>Ultimately, <strong>the only role of any manager, at any level, is to create an environment where people can be unbelievably successful</strong> (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/07/05/i-live-to-work-or-i-work-to-live/">“I live to work or I work to live”</a> posted 5 July, 2010). Amongst other things, this means that work needs to be enjoyable. I don’t mean “entertaining” which is an objective of the manager (Michael Scott in the US version) in the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Office">TV series “The Office”</a> , who at one point says <em>“I guess the atmosphere that I’ve tried to create here is that I’m a friend first and a boss second, and probably an entertainer third”</em>.</p> <p><strong>I don’t believe that the objective of any manager is to be a friend to his people, and one should not confuse “friendly” with “friendship”.</strong> Neither should a manager see his role as being one of “entertaining the troops”, but I do believe that it should be an objective to make it fun, and that to ensure that the lighter sides of life (and there are many) are regularly celebrated.</p> <p>I understand that people will define fun in many different ways but, <strong>in a work context, I see fun as being able to work in an environment where people can succeed and be suitably rewarded, where their skills can be utilised and developed, where they can be challenged, where they can work with people they can trust and from whom they can learn, where they feel safe and valued, and very importantly where they can laugh often and loudly.</strong> People need to want to be at work as an integral and worthwhile part of their life, not just as a place that they have to go to so that they can make enough money to pay their bills.</p> <p>Back in the early 1980s <strong>DEC Australia</strong> had a very basic company car policy, particularly when compared to other IT companies. Irrespective of your role, if it justified a company car, you could have <strong>either a Toyota Corona or a Mitsubishi Sigma</strong>, neither being cars that would have excited the boys of “Top Gear”. </p> <p>One year I ran <strong>a sales competition that involved mounting a Rolls Royce hubcap on a plaque and calling it the “DEC luxury car scheme award, phase 1”</strong>. It was a great success and sales reps worked hard to earn the right to have it sit on their desk for a month, as not only did it signify their personal success, but at the same time it had a minor dig at the company. Despite its success I was asked to drop my plans for phase 2 the following year, which was planned to be a Rolls Royce steering wheel … I guess that we were just having too much fun.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/entertainment/the-rolls-royce-logo-seen/image/9889090?term=rolls+royce" target="_blank"><img src="http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9889090/the-rolls-royce-logo-seen/the-rolls-royce-logo-seen.jpg?size=380&imageId=9889090" border="0" width="152" title="The Rolls Royce logo is seen at their stand on media day at the Paris Mondial de l'Automobile" height="228" alt="The Rolls Royce logo is seen at their stand on media day at the Paris Mondial de l'Automobile October 1, 2010. The Paris Auto show opens its doors to the public from October 2 to October 17. German carmaker BMW is recalling own brand and Rolls-Royce cars powered by V8 and V12 engines in Britain, the United States and other markets because of a potential braking problem. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen (FRANCE - Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS)" /></a></p> <p>Creating an environment that is always serious, that does not see the humour in life’s situations, that believes that laughter should be reserved for private rather than work time and that does not understand that all of life is meant to be fun, can never achieve the balance that makes the work environment a serious way to work and a fun place in which to do it, and therefore will not create an opportunity where people can succeed.</p> <p>As <a href="http://www.cmgww.com/historic/wilde/">Oscar Wilde</a> said <em>“Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow”</em>.</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/1114/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/1114/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/1114/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/1114/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/1114/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/1114/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/1114/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/1114/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/1114/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/1114/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/1114/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/1114/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/1114/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/1114/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=1114&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/323/de-de FIFTH SECRET OF TIME MANAGEMENT Thu, 11 Nov 2010 06:29:40 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/322/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p>You have to kill interruptions as much as possible.</p> <p><strong>The first step is to take control of emails. </strong></p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/blue-globe-with-email/image/5065510?term=email" target="_blank"><img src="http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5065510/blue-globe-with-email/blue-globe-with-email.jpg?size=467&imageId=5065510" border="0" width="233" title="Blue globe with email icons circling" height="183" alt="Digitally generated image." /></a></p> <p>It’s interesting that <strong>we have established rules and procedures for physical interruptions</strong>, for example if someone’s office door is closed, if they are obviously on a phone call or If they are in conversation with someone else, we are conditioned not to interrupt unless it is a serious emergency.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/man-knocking-door-mid/image/8395953?term=door+knock" target="_blank"><img src="http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/8395953/man-knocking-door-mid/man-knocking-door-mid.jpg?size=365&imageId=8395953" border="0" width="183" title="Man knocking on door, (Mid section)" height="233" alt="Man knocking on door, (Mid section)" /></a></p> <p><strong>Email doesn’t work this way</strong>, and for many people is an immediate interruption, as too many people look at email as it hits their inbox and bleeps, whether on their desktop, laptop or hand-held. </p> <p><strong>The other problem with an email is that until you open it, you have no real understanding (beyond the alert and who was the sender) as to what priority level it may be</strong>, and therefore whether it actually warrants the interruption that it has created. We tend to give emails elevated levels of priority that go well beyond what they deserve. I believe that very few emails are sent with the belief that they will be handled instantaneously, but most people accord them that privilege. </p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/technology-concepts/image/232525?term=email" target="_blank"><img src="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/232525/technology-concepts/technology-concepts.jpg?size=500&imageId=232525" border="0" width="250" title="Technology Concepts 2" height="166" alt="Pathway of @ symbols" /></a></p> <p><strong>Try this for test.</strong></p> <p>Send an email to a group of 6-8 subordinates or peers saying <strong><em>“Call me when you read this”</em></strong>. You will be surprised at how quickly you will get the return calls, despite the fact that no competent manager could ever assume that email is a way to get an instantaneous response. If it was time critical they would at the least have left a message on your voicemail.</p> <p><strong>The problem is that handling emails one by one is a terrible time waster. </strong><br /> What happens is that when something interesting happens you can receive at least 20 emails on the same topic, for example <em>“Leo Apotheker being appointed CEO of HP”</em>. At least if you group your emails, and only actually work your inbox just a few times a day rather than every time you are beeped, you can save yourself a lot of individual responses describing your surprise.</p> <p><strong>Secondly when you know that you have 100 emails to handle in just the 1 hour that you have scheduled, you tend to be much more succinct and bloody-minded about how you handle them than doing them one at a time. </strong>The key is to turn off the email bleepers, and schedule email time when it suits you to handle email rather than as though each email was a gift from above.</p> <p><strong>The second step in managing interruptions </strong>is to try and club physical interruptions together as well by letting people know when you will be readily interruptible. You can do this by <strong>regularly scheduling “open door” (green) time</strong>. In the same way that I suggested that you need to <strong>schedule private time (red time) for appointments with yourself</strong> (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/second-secret-of-time-management/">“Second Secret of Time management”</a> posted 30/9/2010), you should also schedule regular times when anyone can come in to interrupt you. </p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/businesswoman-office/image/273494?term=interrupt" target="_blank"><img src="http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/273494/businesswoman-office/businesswoman-office.jpg?size=380&imageId=273494" border="0" width="266" title="Businesswoman in Office Doorway" height="177" alt="Businesswoman in Office Doorway" /></a></p> <p>Whenever I was in home base, I would always try and schedule 2 regular 30 minute sessions per day when anyone could come in to my office for a chat or to ask or tell me something. The rules were that no-one could actually make an appointment during that time or close the door, and anyone could come in at any time no matter who was already in the room. It was not allowed to become an unscheduled meeting, just an ad-hoc chat session. I considered this to be <strong>a true open door policy, rather than just writing that you have one</strong>. Once people got to know that these times were available they started to schedule their time around my availability, seriously minimising my interruptions, but still leaving me easily approachable on any quick-fix topic.</p> <p>Some executives I have worked with have even taken the <strong>additional step of not having chairs available in their office during these sessions</strong>, making those who drop in much more succinct and much keener to have their say and then depart.<br /> As you may actually also have some free time during these open-door sessions, <strong>it’s also a good time to do some of those tasks that are graded as “C”s on your do-list</strong>, as these do need to get done some time and they can normally handle interruptions.</p> <p>By the way,<strong> it doesn’t hurt to turn the mobile phone off occasionally </strong>as well.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/businesspeople-meeting/image/5294472?term=office+meeting" target="_blank"><img src="http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5294472/businesspeople-meeting/businesspeople-meeting.jpg?size=380&imageId=5294472" border="0" width="266" title="Businesspeople in a Meeting" height="194" alt="Businesspeople in a Meeting" /></a></p> <p><strong>Focus can have a great bearing on success, and the more you can control interruptions, whether physical or electronic, the more you can achieve it when needed.</strong></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/1080/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/1080/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/1080/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/1080/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/1080/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/1080/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/1080/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/1080/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/1080/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/1080/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/1080/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/1080/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/1080/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/1080/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=1080&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/322/de-de SELL, SELL, SELL Mon, 01 Nov 2010 06:56:17 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/320/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><strong>Nothing happens in this world until somebody sells something!</strong></p> <p>Which makes “selling” the noblest profession of them all !!<br /> It may not officially be the oldest profession, but I doubt that even that could have existed without some sales effort.</p> <p>I am not talking about the pressure selling of things that people don’t need and can’t really afford such as we have seen in the housing industry in the US most recently and which has brought the world to its economic knees. <strong>I am talking about the professional selling of products and services that can add value to people and organisations.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/realtor-front-house/image/95432?term=salesman" target="_blank"><img src="http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/95432/realtor-front-house/realtor-front-house.jpg?size=380&imageId=95432" border="0" width="240" title="Realtor in front of house" height="160" alt="Realtor in front of house" /></a></p> <p>I was surprised when I first joined <a href="http://www.sap.com/index.epx">SAP</a> to find that the Germans generally don’t actually hold any salesmen in high regard. The common term for a salesman is <strong>“Klinkenputzer” (door knob polisher)</strong>, and salesmen are considered to dwell way down the bottom of the social scale with grave diggers and septic tank cleaners, and only just barely rank above serial killers.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/body-exhumed-grave-dig/image/8990978?term=grave" target="_blank"><img src="http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/8990978/body-exhumed-grave-dig/body-exhumed-grave-dig.jpg?size=380&imageId=8990978" border="0" width="240" title="BODY EXHUMED GRAVE DIG EXHUME BODY BURIAL TOMB" height="180" alt="BODY EXHUMED GRAVE DIG EXHUME BODY BURIAL TOMB" /></a></p> <p>In the same way that <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Olsen">Ken Olsen</a>, co-founder of <strong>Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC)</strong>, believed that salesmen were really unnecessary, as he believed that they couldn’t do anything significantly more than could be achieved by mailing out the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDP-8">PDP-8</a> and PDP-11 handbooks, the German culture of engineering excellence tends to believe that <strong>“ … if you build it they will come …”</strong>. This is based on the fact that if people or organisations need things they will seek them out, and then you just need to demonstrate that you are the best available. It may work well when you are the only game in town, but starts to get shaky when you have serious competition and the market starts to look for more than just product excellence from its suppliers, such as industry knowledge, an understanding of its pain points and how to solve them, and a mutually beneficial business relationship that is based on more than just product price-performance ratios.</p> <p><strong>DEC</strong>, who drove the mini-computer revolution and dominated the market in the 70s and 80s, is no longer with us, and I have no doubt that part of their demise was <strong>because they never really overcame this basic lack of belief in the need for a skilled, professional, passionate, capable sales force</strong>. It did survive and prosper for a time based on the “let’s change the world” culture, and brilliant engineering, but <strong>faltered as competition flourished and the world started to change towards non-proprietary operating systems and networked workstations and PCs</strong>. (Building a multi-directional matrix organisation that strangled initiative and killed personal accountability didn’t help either, but that’s another story).</p> <p>I remember an article in <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortune_%28magazine%29">Fortune magazine</a> in 1979 comparing <strong>DEC </strong>and <strong>Data General</strong> titled the <em>“The Gentlemen versus the Upstarts”</em>. It was interesting that both companies used this as marketing material, as they were equally proud of their labels. The problem is that gentlemen finish last and upstarts can eventually annoy everyone, so both are now resting with the Dodo.</p> <p>The one serious survivor in our industry is <strong>IBM</strong>, who I believe have written the book on professional selling. When I first started playing with computers back in 1965 (See <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/my-son-is-in-typewriters/">“My son is in typewriters”</a> posted on July 08, 2010), the IT Industry was dominated by <strong>IBM </strong>and the <strong>“BUNCH”</strong> being Burroughs, Univac, NCR, Control Data and Honeywell), all no longer with us. <strong>IBM</strong>, despite a serious hiccup in the 80s is still here and flourishing. Whilst they have always been towards the forefront of most technologies, they have rarely been at the leading edge, having been a fast follower in many instances rather than the initiator, and yet they have remained a force for over 60 years.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/news/cebit-technology-fair/image/4158977?term=ibm" target="_blank"><img src="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/4158977/cebit-technology-fair/cebit-technology-fair.jpg?size=380&imageId=4158977" border="0" width="190" title="Cebit Technology Fair" height="283" alt="HANOVER, GERMANY - MARCH 04: Visitors crowd the IBM stand under an IBM logo at the 2009 CeBIT technology trade fair on March 4, 2009 in Hanover, Germany. CeBIT, the world's largest computer and IT trade fair, will run from March 3-8. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)" /></a></p> <p>I have always believed that <strong>one of the major reasons for this has been their sales professionalism</strong>. Many companies paid significantly more, many companies had hungrier and more aggressive compensation plans and sales forces, but few have matched the skill and power of the IBM sales machine. I had the opportunity to experience this first hand in my 8 years at <strong>International Harvester</strong> in NZ and afterwards when competing with them in the late 70s and 80s (<strong>IBM </strong>was a partner rather than a competitor at <strong>SAP</strong>), and have always been impressed with their sales excellence, which I believe has been unmatched in the industry.</p> <p>The major thing that <strong>IBM </strong>seems to have always understood, beyond the need for serious training programs and the protection of their culture, is that <strong>whilst being at the forefront of technology is important, true competitive edge lies in the quality of your people and the right to engage with the customer</strong>, elements that <strong>IBM </strong>have built into their corporate DNA over the last 60 years. </p> <p>Outside of a small handful of the large global consulting companies <strong>IBM </strong>more than anyone has earned the right to engage at all the relevant senior levels in major companies around the world. <strong>Their sales teams are welcomed in board rooms because they are seen as serious value add and as business advisors</strong>, not necessarily because they have the latest “hot” products. </p> <p><strong>That’s what professional selling is all about.</strong></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/1034/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/1034/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/1034/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/1034/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/1034/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/1034/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/1034/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/1034/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/1034/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/1034/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/1034/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/1034/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/1034/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/1034/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=1034&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/320/de-de FOURTH SECRET OF TIME MANAGEMENT Thu, 28 Oct 2010 06:51:47 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/319/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaker_Morant">H.H “Breaker “Morant</a> (1864-1902) is credited with having said <strong>“Live every day as if it was your last, because one day you will be right.”</strong></p> <p>He was spot-on as on February 27, 1902, at the age of 38, he was executed after conviction for murder during the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Boer_War">Second Boer War</a> (1899-1902). He became an Australian folk hero (despite the fact that he was actually English), with a <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080310/">major movie about him </a>having been made in 1980 and which is still considered a classic today. </p> <p>I am sure however that his notoriety is not based on his advice on time management.</p> <p>There is no question that his advice is sound, it’s just very hard for people to live their lives as though they really did believe that their life span was seriously limited without actually casting a dark veil over their existence. In actual fact <strong>we all tend to live a large part of our lives as though we were indestructible</strong>, which does help to explain the kamikaze style of driving one finds in most of Europe.</p> <p>I believe that the more realistic advice is to<strong> live every day as if it was in the last week before going on holidays.</strong></p> <p>I am always amazed at how much can be achieved in just one week as people focus on finishing off all the things that have lain dormant on their to-do lists for months, just before they set off for their annual 4-6 weeks break (usually starting in August here). </p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/dedicated-businessman/image/254604?term=Dedicated+Businessman" target="_blank"><img src="http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/254604/dedicated-businessman/dedicated-businessman.jpg?size=234&imageId=254604" border="0" width="210" title="Dedicated Businessman" height="142" alt="Dedicated Businessman" /></a></p> <p>For some, they could actually achieve most of their annual goals by coming in to work just for the latter part of the month of July.</p> <p>I believe that this is driven mainly by the fact that <strong>most people seem to feel that they will not be able to relax completely on vacation if they still have items that have not been crossed off their list of outstanding tasks</strong>. The fear that somehow this list will then rob them of sleep with nightmares of things like business plans not written and performance reviews delayed. </p> <p>Even more compelling seems to be the fear that coming back to all these, now even more delayed, tasks will mean that they will be already behind their work schedule on the first day that they come back from vacations, rather than allowing themselves to just get more and more behind over time as a natural part of their working life.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/thinkstock-single-image/image/238632?term=work+schedule" target="_blank"><img src="http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/238632/thinkstock-single-image/thinkstock-single-image.jpg?size=234&imageId=238632" border="0" width="163" title="Thinkstock Single Image Set" height="245" alt="Person writing in calendar on desk" /></a></p> <p>There seems to be a visible build-up both at work and at home, of making sure that that the time to vacation departure exhibits better planning, better focus, and significantly better use of time available to finish off outstanding tasks.<br /> <strong>Imagine the amazing increases in productivity that could be gained if everyone worked like this every single week of the year.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/vacation-written-calendar/image/106752?term=Vacation+written+on+calendar+in+an+office" target="_blank"><img src="http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/106752/vacation-written-calendar/vacation-written-calendar.jpg?size=234&imageId=106752" border="0" width="163" title="Vacation written on calendar in an office" height="245" alt="Vacation written on calendar in an office" /></a></p> <p>I am therefore of the opinion that companies would be better served if instead of allowing a single 6 week vacation break, they forced their staff to actually <strong>take three lots of 2 weeks annual leave spread across the year</strong>, as at least that way they could guarantee at least 3 weeks of focussed activities per year rather than just the one.</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/1024/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/1024/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/1024/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/1024/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/1024/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/1024/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/1024/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/1024/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/1024/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/1024/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/1024/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/1024/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/1024/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/1024/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=1024&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/319/de-de THIRD SECRET OF SUCCESS Thu, 21 Oct 2010 06:53:45 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/308/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><strong>Being able to update your resume (curriculum vitae) every year is an important part of success.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/close-businessman-showing/image/5199510?term=resume" target="_blank"><img src="http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5199510/close-businessman-showing/close-businessman-showing.jpg?size=234&imageId=5199510" border="0" width="140" title="close-up of a businessman showing a resume" height="187" alt="close-up of a businessman showing a resume" /></a></p> <p>I am not suggesting that you update it and put it out on the street, just that you need to be able to update the contents every year, and that you should also set up a formal process, and allocate time, to make this happen. (See <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/second-secret-of-time-management/">“Second Secret of Time Management”</a> posted 30/9/2010).</p> <p>You have to ask yourself <strong>“What do I know today that I didn’t know a year ago, what can I do today that I couldn’t do a year ago or what can I do measurably better today than I could do a year ago ?”</strong></p> <p>If you can’t answer positively to at least one part of this question, then you have not only just wasted a year of personal growth, but you have actually gone backwards, as those that you compete with may not have let the time pass so unproductively.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/businesswoman-with/image/102676?term=business+woman+with+business+qualities" target="_blank"><img src="http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/102676/businesswoman-with/businesswoman-with.jpg?size=234&imageId=102676" border="0" width="140" title="Businesswoman with business qualities" height="210" alt="Businesswoman with business qualities" /></a></p> <p>I am not just talking about competition as being the sole concern of those that are seeking to climb the corporate ladder, but I am including all elements of business, politics, study and life in general.<br /> <strong>It is just as true for a corporate executive, a wine maker in Bordeaux or an MBA student, and it also holds true for retirees, despite their supposed non-compete status.</strong></p> <p>As the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rolling_Stones">Rolling Stones</a> say <strong>“And time waits for no one and it won’t wait for me”</strong>.</p> <p>I also believe that you do <strong>need to do this personal review as a formal process</strong>, as just doing it whilst you drive to work, or navigate your tractor through the vines, makes it too easy to gloss over details and so delude yourself into believing that you have actually achieved a year of personal growth. A formal process implies that not only will you need to list these “upgrades” to your skills and/or knowledge, but that you will also be able to document evidence that these upgrades have actually occurred. </p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/weary-driver-stuck-traffic/image/253307?term=Weary+Driver+Stuck+in+Traffic+Jam" target="_blank"><img src="http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/253307/weary-driver-stuck-traffic/weary-driver-stuck-traffic.jpg?size=234&imageId=253307" border="0" width="210" title="Weary Driver Stuck in Traffic Jam" height="139" alt="Weary Driver Stuck in Traffic Jam" /></a></p> <p>I find that it also helps to seek outside confirmation from for example peers, subordinates and superiors (in a work context), or partners and friends (in a personal context) that they have also seen visible evidence of these changes, and would be prepared to sign off (if asked) on the changes in your resume. </p> <p>It’s also not enough just to list a promotion, as climbing a rung on the corporate ladder is not in itself a sure sign that you have actually advanced your skills or knowledge in the last 12 months, only that you have been chosen as the best of what is available in the selection process. </p> <p>Some promotions are more an indication of the lack of skill of the promoters rather than a sure sign of skills in the one promoted. In the latter half of the 20th century, the <strong>IT industry</strong> grew massively each year, and became a breeding ground for promotions of the <strong>“most visibly able” rather than the “truly capable”</strong>, as in many companies the growth in the number of management positions to fill was greater than the growth in skilled candidates. It was only towards the end of the 1900’s that tough times showed that many had titles that far exceeded their true abilities, skills and experience to actually effectively fill the role.</p> <p>These are generally the people who are first to go when culling processes start, and we should have learned by now that in this century the regular corporate cull has become a fact of life.<br /> <strong>True learning and skills development, and putting this knowledge to use, is not only a key element in corporate life preservation, but is also what makes life more interesting and worthwhile.</strong></p> <p>The <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_symbols#Motto">Olympic motto</a> in Latin is <strong>“Citius, Altius, Fortius”</strong> which translates to <strong>“Higher, Faster, Stronger ”</strong>.<br /> <strong>To this we should add “Acutulior” which means “cleverer”.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/seoul-olympics-group/image/8516635?term=Seoul+Olympics%2c+group+of+runners+racing%2c+focus+on+legs" target="_blank"><img src="http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/8516635/seoul-olympics-group/seoul-olympics-group.jpg?size=234&imageId=8516635" border="0" width="234" title="Seoul Olympics, group of runners racing, focus on legs" height="156" alt="Seoul Olympics, group of runners racing, focus on legs" /></a></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/990/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/990/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/990/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/990/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/990/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/990/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/990/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/990/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/990/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/990/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/990/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/990/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/990/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/990/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=990&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/308/de-de SECOND SECRET OF SUCCESS Thu, 07 Oct 2010 05:55:54 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/304/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <blockquote><p>“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_Toffler">Alvin Toffler</a></p></blockquote> <p>I am often amazed that so many people seem to not understand that <strong>learning is a journey and not a destination</strong>.</p> <p>You should never stop learning, whether it is for new skills or new ideas, and you need to be prepared to adjust both elements as the world changes around you. It is also important these days to <strong>differentiate between information and knowledge</strong>, and to understand that information may be interesting for conversations at dinner parties but little else if not applied, and that knowledge that is not translated to actions has little value, as knowing what to do is less important than actually doing what we know.</p> <p>Too many people seem to believe that there are distinct stages in their lives, with very little overlap:</p> <ul> <li> Ages 1-25 <strong>“Learning” phase</strong> (School and University)<br /> <br /> <a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/group-teenagers-walking/image/285283?term=Group+of+Teenagers+Walking+Home+from+School" target="_blank"><img title="Group of Teenagers Walking Home from School" src="http://view3.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/285283/group-teenagers-walking/group-teenagers-walking.jpg?size=234&imageId=285283" border="0" alt="Group of Teenagers Walking Home from School" width="234" height="156" /></a></p> </li> <p></p> <li> 25-65 <strong> “Doing” phase through working</strong> (25-55 in France … see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/vive-l%E2%80%99avantage/">“Vive l’avantage”</a> posted 27 Sept 2010)<br /> <br /> <a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/colleagues-examining-model/image/206742?term=architect" target="_blank"><img title="Colleagues examining model building" src="http://view3.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/206742/colleagues-examining-model/colleagues-examining-model.jpg?size=234&imageId=206742" border="0" alt="Colleagues examining model building" width="234" height="156" /></a></li> <p></p> <li> 65-85+ <strong>“Resting” phase</strong> (for many the “TV watching” phase … see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/vive-la-france/">“Vive la France”</a> posted 25 June 2010)<br /> <br /> <a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/two-men-and-woman-sitting/image/5074267?term=Two+men+and+woman+sitting+on+sofa%2c+watching+television" target="_blank"><img title="Two men and woman sitting on sofa, watching television" src="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5074267/two-men-and-woman-sitting/two-men-and-woman-sitting.jpg?size=234&imageId=5074267" border="0" alt="Two men and woman sitting on sofa, watching television" width="234" height="156" /></a></li> </ul> <p>There is a pervasive attitude amongst many senior, well educated people that once they have graduated with their PhDs and MBAs that they are now past their learning phase and that from now on they will just absorb anything extra by osmosis as they just go about doing things. <strong>I have always seen early formal education mainly as a way to learn how to learn, and as acquiring a “hunting license” in the job market. </strong>However, just because you have a license to do something doesn’t actually mean that you will get the opportunity to actually do it, nor does it mean that you already have the skills to do it well. In most cases these skills need to be developed and honed over a lifetime before they can be well deployed. <strong>To become proficient, learning and practice must continue forever whether formal, on the job, through coaching and mentoring, reading and trying, and failing sometimes just to not get too overconfident.</strong> (See <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/first-secret-of-success/">“First Secret of Success”</a> posted on 16.09.2010).</p> <p>This belief that they already know enough tends to be truer of people in management roles, as individual contributors, such as engineers, at least have an understanding that their science keeps changing with each new breakthrough in their field. <strong>Managers have to go through this same process of learning, as the science of management changes with the changing expectations of each generation.</strong> Management styles of “command and control” may have worked with my father’s generation, but already didn’t work with mine, and certainly don’t work with today’s generation who see a much more collaborative style of management with much more involvement in things like job definition and measurement. (See <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/quality-of-management-for-the-future/">“Quality of Management for the Future”</a> posted 02/09/2010).</p> <p><strong>It is our ability to continually redefine ourselves as the world changes around us at an ever more rapid rate that will define our ability to keep on succeeding.</strong></p> <p>As <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin">Charles Darwin</a> so succinctly puts it “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor is it the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”</p> <p>I have less problem convincing younger people of this, but am amazed at how many board members of major companies resist ongoing training, some even seeing this need for further learning as being a visible show of weakness to subordinates. It may be acceptable to have a noted university professor come in and talk to the board on some related subject as this can be seen more as an intellectual exercise rather than a learning one, but I have found significant resistance when I have suggested that a corporate board could do with some serious training on, for example, how to function effectively as a board.</p> <p>At least I am fortunate that in my retirement I get to mix with lots of younger people. I could not imagine a more terrifying existence than having to spend all my time just with people my own age, as <strong>I have long believed that it’s what you learn after you know it all that really counts.</strong></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/907/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/907/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/907/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/907/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/907/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/907/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/907/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/907/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/907/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/907/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/907/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/907/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/907/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/907/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=907&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/304/de-de HR … WHAT’S HR GOT TO DO WITH INNOVATION? ISN’T THAT R&D? Mon, 04 Oct 2010 06:22:06 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/303/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/computer-keyboard-and/image/5118089?term=innovation" target="_blank"><img style="border:0;" title="Computer keyboard and binary code (Digital Composite)" src="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5118089/computer-keyboard-and/computer-keyboard-and.jpg?size=380&imageId=5118089" border="0" alt="Computer keyboard and binary code (Digital Composite)" width="190" height="126" /></a></p> <p><strong>Why is it that when you talk about innovation most people can’t look beyond product innovation?</strong></p> <p>It’s a wonderful thing to have superior products, particularly if you can create products that people just love to have and to use, like <strong>Apple</strong>. My wife only got her first Apple product, an i-Phone, about 6 months ago and quickly followed up with an i-Mac. She is now very keen on the idea of an i-Pad.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/news/apple-iphone-goes-sale/image/9200675?term=apple+iphone" target="_blank"><img style="border:0;" title="Apple iPhone 4 Goes On Sale" src="http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9200675/apple-iphone-goes-sale/apple-iphone-goes-sale.jpg?size=380&imageId=9200675" border="0" alt="NEW YORK - JUNE 24: The new iPhone 4, which went on sale this morning, is displayed at the flagship Apple Store on Fifth Avenue on June 24, 2010 in New York City. People waited outside of stores overnight to be first in line when doors opened at 7 a.m. in New York and at 8 a.m. local time in Germany, Japan, France and the United Kingdom. The iPhone 4 will cost $199 for a 16-gigabyte version and $299 for a version with 32 gigabytes of storage. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)" width="168" height="113" /></a></p> <p>Apart from the fact that I can’t play <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angry_Birds">“Angry Birds“</a> I am quite happy with my Blackberry, which I see as being a reasonable competitor to the i-Phone.</p> <p>I believe that what makes <strong>Apple </strong>unique is not just its product line as whilst I can accept that this is outstanding, I also understand that there are serious alternatives, and that under the law of averages I am sure that someone, fairly soon, will come up with another quantum leap in “hand-held magic”, and that this will become the newest god to the cognoscenti. I believe that what makes Apple so unique and competitive is that <strong>on top of their great products, they also seem to have a great culture, and it’s this culture that drives their innovation, and hence their superior products</strong>.</p> <p>It’s interesting that even though <strong>Apple </strong>has been around since the 70’s it doesn’t seem to have developed the rigidity that long established companies tend to have, despite the changes in CEO over the years and despite their growth. They have somehow managed to retain a casual and free character, and resisted any real push for policies and procedures or dress codes or time sheets. As a result, <strong>they seem to have created a common desire, energy and enthusiasm to create great products and to beat and baffle their competition.</strong></p> <p>I believe that this ability to grow from start-up in 1976 to a company of about 35,000 permanent and 2,500 temporary staff and revenues of US $ 43 B in 2009, and yet <strong>retain this “maverick” culture </strong>after 35 years, is a rare and enviable achievement, and I believe that <strong>this ability to help create, protect and build culture is a critical role for HR to play, as it is a major driver of innovation.</strong></p> <p>I have always believed that innovation is not just about genius (hiring the brightest and the best), but more about “How we do things around here” (culture), and as<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Drucker"> Peter Drucker </a>says “ … hard work over a long period of time … “ (see<a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/the-3-great-business-lies/"> “The 3 great business lies”</a> posted August 2, 2010).</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/businesspeople-walking/image/185271?term=creativity+business" target="_blank"><img style="border:0;" title="Businesspeople walking toward circular maze" src="http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/185271/businesspeople-walking/businesspeople-walking.jpg?size=358&imageId=185271" border="0" alt="Businesspeople walking toward circular maze" width="140" height="187" /></a></p> <p>I was once asked to help a senior software development manager who was having a problem with his team, which was made up of about 20 young “geniuses”, and who just weren’t delivering the goods. I was in his office listening to his complaints about his team’s lack of creativity, when one of his young team members interrupted us in an obviously high state of excitement. It seems that he had been up most of the night working on a technical roadblock that had been bothering the team for over a week. After I pushed his boss into accepting the interruption, this young man proceeded to describe his breakthrough with considerable pride. His boss heard him out, and then without missing a beat described his own solution, which he had come up with some days earlier, but had kept from the team to see what they could do. As the young man left the room, his boss turned to me and said<strong> “See that … no creativity”. I added “… and even less tomorrow”.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/businesspeople-jumping-for/image/185200?term=creativity+business" target="_blank"><img style="border:0;" title="Businesspeople jumping for a light bulb" src="http://view3.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/185200/businesspeople-jumping-for/businesspeople-jumping-for.jpg?size=358&imageId=185200" border="0" alt="Businesspeople jumping for a light bulb" width="151" height="203" /></a></p> <p>I have found that the further you move up the management structure, the less is management aware of the real culture of the company, and the more there is a belief that <strong>“… if you write it, so it shall be .. “</strong>, and hence a belief that as it is written in the published mission, vision and values statements it must be true. This is one of the reasons that companies sometimes struggle to execute a strategy, as the culture will oppose it, and <strong>for a company to be successful it must ensure that its culture, being its values and behaviours, are aligned to its strategy.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/black-and-white-low-angle/image/5244374?term=change+business" target="_blank"><img style="border:0;" title="black and white low angle view of a road sign saying change of strategy ahead" src="http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5244374/black-and-white-low-angle/black-and-white-low-angle.jpg?size=336&imageId=5244374" border="0" alt="black and white low angle view of a road sign saying change of strategy ahead" width="126" height="191" /></a></p> <p>It is important to understand that <strong>culture is evolving and changing all the time</strong>. As the company grows, it will change. Every time new recruits come in to the company, they will bring their own behaviours and values with them, and will have some impact on the culture, even if only a little if the company culture is very strong. But if the company is going through significant growth, these changes can be dramatic. Culture will also be impacted by external conditions, like changes in legislation, competition or market conditions, and whilst some of these may be positive and some may be planned, a vast majority happen clandestinely, and out of sight and awareness of senior management.</p> <p><strong>This is where a strong HR department can play a critical and pivotal role by working with management to help identify and develop the patterns of behaviour and values that the company needs for it to be successful.</strong></p> <p>HR needs to be able to assess what is the true company culture, (for example, by noting what people do rather than what they say), to work with management to develop what they see as being the desired culture and the roadmap to move from one to the other, by determining the elements in the current culture that should be kept, and the elements that need to be changed.</p> <p><strong>This whole process of change is one of the key platforms for driving innovation, and HR organisations have a key role to play in its successful execution.</strong> This covers many areas that HR has traditionally been responsible for anyway such as stringent recruiting practices, induction programmes that ensure recruits understand the integrity of the company, being “What we believe is what we say is what we do”, and the values that the company holds to be true. Adding to this the management, protection and development of the required company culture should be a critical step for HR, and will bring HR closer to the CEO as it should be his priority as well.<br /> I see this as being <strong>a key business “value-add” role for HR to deliver, and a significant step towards an HR organisation becoming a “Player”.</strong> ( see<a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/hr-polite-to-police-to-partner-to-player/"> HR … Polite to Police to Partner to Player</a> posted August 26, 2010).</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/888/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/888/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/888/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/888/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/888/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/888/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/888/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/888/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/888/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/888/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/888/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/888/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/888/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/888/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=888&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/303/de-de SECOND SECRET OF TIME MANAGEMENT Thu, 30 Sep 2010 12:11:53 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/302/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><strong>Diaries </strong>are meant to be an aid to help us all manage our time allocations but in most cases are rarely used in a way that actually helps people to really achieve this.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/man-using-electronic-diary/image/5277708?term=diary" target="_blank"><img style="border:0;" title="Man using electronic diary" src="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5277708/man-using-electronic-diary/man-using-electronic-diary.jpg?size=380&imageId=5277708" border="0" alt="Man using electronic diary" width="211" height="140" /></a></p> <p><strong>The problem is that most people use diaries mainly as a means of giving other people access to tying up the available time.</strong> For example, when I was working at <a href="http://www.sap.com/index.epx">SAP</a>, by the time I had diarised the requirements of things like board meetings, executive meetings, regional reviews, country visits, budgeting sessions, sales meetings, direct report weekly one-on-ones, mentoring sessions, customer conferences and speaking engagements about 70% of my available time was already allocated by the time the year started. The 30% that was left was quickly eroded by ad-hoc meetings, emergencies and a myriad of other reasons why people just had to see me.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/close-view-diary-open/image/5255800?term=diary" target="_blank"><img class="alignnone" style="border:0;" title="Close up view of a diary open" src="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5255800/close-view-diary-open/close-view-diary-open.jpg?size=380&imageId=5255800" border="0" alt="Close up view of a diary open" width="168" height="168" /></a></p> <p>If one of the critical success factors of competent managers is to spend time planning and building the future, then there was not a lot of time available to do this. <strong>Most studies have shown that very few executives spend more than about 10% of their time planning</strong>, and actually spend most of their time in meetings, “fire fighting” and handling emails and correspondence.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/businessman-juggling/image/5216838?term=planning+time" target="_blank"><img style="border:0;" title="Businessman juggling clocks" src="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5216838/businessman-juggling/businessman-juggling.jpg?size=347&imageId=5216838" border="0" alt="Businessman juggling clocks" width="132" height="187" /></a></p> <p>So how is an executive meant to be able to find the time to plan and the time to actually complete the “A-level” items on his priority list (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/first-secret-of-time-management/">First Secret of Time Management </a>posted September 23, 2010)?</p> <p>I have found that one key way to help achieve this is <strong>to make appointments with yourself</strong>, in the same way that you would make appointments for other people, and to treat these with the same level of priority and importance. You have to make sure that your assistant understands why this is important. I used to always tell my PAs that they had to give these times the same level of priority for non-disturbance as if I was with one of my direct reports doing a formal performance review, which meant that unless the building was burning down I did not want to be disturbed. My PA was not to say that “I was on my own”, as that is an immediate invitation for a knock on the door, only that<strong> “I couldn’t be disturbed” </strong>and to then either schedule an appointment or to take a message for me to call back when I was free.</p> <p>These “private-times” need only be as little as an hour each, but <strong>it is important that you do not allow interruptions as these can destroy any creative train of thought, and planning requires both thought and creativity.</strong> If you don’t have a PA or are in an open-plan cubicle, book a meeting room or go and sit in the park, and turn off your portable. I have found that<strong> it is better to schedule these daily private-times early in the morning when your mind is fresh and there is also less chance of interruption.</strong> If you leave it to later in the day there is a good chance that circumstances will overtake you, and you will end up having to surrender them to address some “emergency”, but I also understand that this is not always possible. I always set these daily ones at 8.00-9,00 am each day, before most people came into the office, before the normal day’s frenzy had begun, and before most scheduled meetings. Travel permitting, I would try and schedule an hour per day, an extra 3 hour session per week, and also a day per month out of the office, <strong>giving me about 10 hours of uninterrupted, jealously-guarded, personal time per week.</strong> Not a great amount to take out of a 50+ hour working week, but precious and productive if used properly. You should also try and schedule these before you start looking at emails, as these have a way of taking over your attention and activities, and are also just another distraction from your focus on those tasks that are critical for your own role, its responsibilities and your own success.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/computer-keyboard-keys/image/5265692?term=email" target="_blank"><img class="alignnone" style="border:0;" title="Computer keyboard keys spelling the word email" src="http://view3.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5265692/computer-keyboard-keys/computer-keyboard-keys.jpg?size=380&imageId=5265692" border="0" alt="Computer keyboard keys spelling the word email" width="211" height="140" /></a></p> <p>I know of people who receive, and handle, over 200 emails per day, leaving very little time to actually do very much else, and who probably go home at night content in the thought that they have achieved a lot in their day.<br /> <strong>The challenge is to be able to differentiate between the important and the urgent.</strong> The urgent will always be there, but if you don’t make time for the important, it just won’t get done.</p> <p>It is important to remember that <strong>“When you are up to your arse in alligators, it is hard to remember that your original objective was to drain the swamp”.</strong></p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/861/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/861/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/861/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/861/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/861/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/861/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/861/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/861/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/861/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/861/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/861/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/861/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/861/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/861/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=861&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/302/de-de FIRST SECRET OF TIME MANAGEMENT Thu, 23 Sep 2010 06:24:27 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/301/de-de <div style="width:580px;"> <p><strong>Can anyone really manage time?</strong></p> <p>We all get allocated exactly the same amount, <strong>just 24 hours per day</strong>, and yet some people never seem to have enough time and always have a growing mountain of undone tasks, and others seem to be able to do an incredible amount in the same period, and rarely fall behind.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/upset-businessman-with/image/84769?term=inbox" target="_blank"><img style="border:0;" title="Upset businessman with documents piled in inbox" src="http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/84769/upset-businessman-with/upset-businessman-with.jpg?size=234&imageId=84769" border="0" alt="Upset businessman with documents piled in inbox" width="211" height="140" /></a></p> <p>I believe that it is obvious that we can’t actually manage time per se, but <strong>we can all definitely manage the events that take up our time..</strong></p> <p>We have always been taught that to be successful, one of the first things that we should do regularly is to take our <strong>“To Do List”</strong> and categorize it by importance into <strong>A,B,C tasks</strong>, and that we should not do the Bs until all the As have been done and so on. <strong>I believe that in managing how to effectively use our time, this is definitely not the starting point.</strong></p> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/clipboard-with-checklist/image/166655?term=checklist" target="_blank"><img class="alignleft" style="border:0 none;" title="Clipboard with checklist" src="http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/166655/clipboard-with-checklist/clipboard-with-checklist.jpg?size=234&imageId=166655" border="0" alt="Clipboard with checklist" width="163" height="218" /></a><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/writing-calendar-weekly/image/9009593?term=to+do" target="_blank"><img class="aligncenter" style="border:0 none;" title="Writing On Calendar Weekly Schedule - Things To Do" src="http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9009593/writing-calendar-weekly/writing-calendar-weekly.jpg?size=234&imageId=9009593" border="0" alt="Writing On Calendar Weekly Schedule - Things To Do" width="139" height="209" /></a></p> <p>The critical starting point is to look at <strong>whether the task should be on the “do list” in the first place and</strong>, particularly for those in management roles, <strong>whether it should be allocated to someone else or whether it should be done at all.</strong></p> <p>For example, over most of my working life, I had a basket on my desk marked <strong>“PRORITY”</strong> in very large letters.</p> <p>Whenever I got a request from above or from a peer requiring significant work by me or my people, usually having to provide <strong>some mountain of statistics on my part of the organisation</strong> to someone in some vague part of the matrix, I would always ask myself whether, by completing this task, I would be adding serious value to the organisation. <strong>Would this task somehow enhance critical elements such as revenues, profits, competitiveness, customer or staff satisfaction? </strong>If the answer was a resounding “no” to all of them, I would place it in this priority basket strategically placed in a prominent position on my desk. If the requestor then stuck his head in my office to ask me where I was with his request, I would show him that it was in my priority pile and that I would get to it as soon as I could get out from under the mountain of other tasks that had even more priority. This would normally satisfy him long enough for his departure, usually pleased with the fact that his request was considered critical.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/metal-tray-filled/image/5288762?term=inbox" target="_blank"><img style="border:0;" title="Metal tray filled in documents" src="http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5288762/metal-tray-filled/metal-tray-filled.jpg?size=234&imageId=5288762" border="0" alt="Metal tray filled in documents" width="211" height="140" /></a></p> <p>I would then ask myself the same questions as I had originally, as to what would be the value to the organisation if I now spent the time to complete this task. If the answer was still “none at all”, it would go back in the priority basket. If the request had come from my direct supervisor, or above, after about three requests or a serious demand, I would actually allocate the time to do it. However, most of the time, it simply just went away.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/fire-extinguisher-beside/image/5288558?term=inbox" target="_blank"><img title="Fire extinguisher beside office tray containing burning paper" src="http://view3.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/5288558/fire-extinguisher-beside/fire-extinguisher-beside.jpg?size=234&imageId=5288558" border="0" alt="Fire extinguisher beside office tray containing burning paper" width="163" height="163" /></a></p> <p>I am not advocating open anarchy in the corporate environment, but am just illustrating an example of what I mean about <strong>our ability and responsibility to “manage events”</strong>. I have found over the years, and particularly in a matrix-obsessed structure, that <strong>there are many people who justify their existence simply by asking others to provide multiple variations of metrics in the organisation</strong>. These can create an incredible amount of work for many, but do very little to actually deliver any benefit to anyone except for helping build the perceived importance of the requestor. I have found that many times these requests are just based on an incompetent’s need for some visible activity, and like a bad case of wind, will just pass with time.</p> <p>The skill in effectively managing ones use of available time is in <strong>allocating priorities, but only after deciding whether the tasks should be done at all, and if so, then by whom.</strong><br /> Too many managers, particularly if vocationally brilliant, will pick up difficult tasks or problems from their subordinates, <strong>just to show the world that they still have the vocational skills.</strong><br /> This then creates a situation where the subordinate can now take management control by being able to ask his manager for progress reports, removes an important learning opportunity for the subordinate, and <strong>takes up time that the manager should be using to run his business.</strong> I once worked with a senior head of development, with responsibility for about 5000 people, who often took on the task of debugging a piece of software that one of the programmers had been struggling with, and he considered this as being a reasonable way to spend his time.</p> <p>The best (and most amusing) book I have read on this subject was <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Managing-Management-Time-Whos-Monkey/dp/0135510864">“Managing Management Time”</a> written in about 1960 by <strong>William Oncken, Jr</strong> (1912-1988), and I have always recommended this book as <strong>one of the most illuminating on this subject</strong>. Even after 50 years, I still consider this book a must read for anyone in a management role.</p> <p>The ultimate way to succeed is <strong>to do the critical things that focus on the business of effectively fulfilling the role and responsibilities of the position to which you have been appointed</strong>. This is very different from focussing on the busyness of completing a myriad of tasks, particularly if you should not be doing them anyway.</p> </div> <br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/825/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/leshayman.wordpress.com/825/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/825/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/825/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/825/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/825/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/825/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/825/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/825/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/825/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/825/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/leshayman.wordpress.com/825/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/825/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/825/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=leshayman.wordpress.com&blog=14238592&post=825&subd=leshayman&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/301/de-de THE PROBLEM WITH COMPROMISE Mon, 06 Sep 2010 00:00:00 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/295/de-de <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/hands-with-blueprints-and/image/204567?term=compromise" target="_blank"></a></p> <strong>I have always hated compromise!</strong> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I believe that the problem with compromise is that no-one really gets what they want and therefore no-one is really committed to the success of the compromise decision, and I find this to be as true in personal as well as in business life.</p> <p>On a personal level, I have a belief that outside of politics and religion, it is very rare that two people can feel as strongly about any decision, and therefore whenever there is disagreement about something like where to go for the next holiday, what colour to paint the living room or what next car to buy, you should always ask each other <strong>how strongly you each really feel about this on a scale of 1-10</strong>. If you are really honest about the scoring, it is unusual for there to be a tie, and you should always go with the highest rating in the belief that that person will be the most committed to the success of the decision taken.</p> <p>I am amazed at how many times I will strongly disagree with someone about something until I am asked to give my passionately stated position a score and, when I think about it honestly, realise that I may really only be say a 4 and don&rsquo;t really have a strong position on the subject, as against having a strong propensity to having a position on the subject.</p> <p>I believe that this is true of most people. We are taught through life to defend our position on most (if not all) subjects, so <strong>tend to be ready to defend every belief we have without really thinking through whether this is seriously important to us</strong>. I love it when this leads to serious debate and discussion over a dinner party for example, but it can be incredibly disruptive when you have family and friends who will disagree on everything as a matter of course.</p> <p>I have found this to be particularly true of some friends the older that they get. I have one old friend from Australia, who moved to Spain about the same time we moved to France. Over the last 10 years he has become more and more strident about the fact that we chose France, and he has even called me an idiot for doing so, when Spain should have been a more obvious choice. I find this hard to cope with as the question of where I choose to live is definitely a 10 for me, but I doubt that where I should live should even rate as a 1 for him. When I point this out it just seems to get him angrier about why I chose France, particularly when I tell him that where he chooses to live doesn&rsquo;t actually rate at all with me. I understand that he is just trying to justify his decision, but I don&rsquo;t understand why we are having this disagreement at all, as I consider it irrelevant to our relationship.</p> <p><strong>I find it just as true in a business context</strong>, and I believe that much of it is the result of moving vocationally-brilliant, rather than people-brilliant individuals into management positions. Rather than let people get on and do what is important in the way that makes most sense to them, vocationally brilliant managers will often tend to try and come up with a better solution than their subordinate, and a better way of doing the task, as this will satisfy their vocational needs, and also show their subordinate how clever and innovative they still are, despite having been pushed into a management role.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/negotiating-the-treaty/image/7207258?term=treaty" target="_blank"></a></p> <p>I have always believed that <strong>a subordinate with a solution that I would have graded as being 70% right, will make a better go of it, than my riding over the top of him with my 80% approach</strong>. I will of course try to advise and counsel him, but will eventually let him know that I will support him in every way that I can, but that it&rsquo;s his project, his decision, and his responsibility to make it work. If he is committed, and capable, I know that he will go out of his way to make a success of it, which I believe would not necessarily have been the case had I overridden him with my proposed solution, or had tried to talk him into a compromise approach, which would have meant that neither of us would have been fully committed, and I believe that commitment is key.</p> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_McNealy">Scott McNealy</a> at Sun Microsystems used to have a saying that <strong>&ldquo;You can agree and commit, or you can disagree and commit, but you have to commit&rdquo;</strong>, an expression that I have loved since I first heard it in 1989. I have sat through numerous meetings, even at global board levels, where everyone commits to a direction that has been forged over hours of argument and debate, only to be already discussing with cronies about how to get around, or away from, the decision on their way out of the meeting room. It&rsquo;s one of the reasons that I hate meetings as a format for decision making. <strong>I have always preferred people to come to a meeting with the decisions for their business area already made, and then have to defend them to their peers.</strong> This at least gives you a clear understanding of ownership, and also removes the &ldquo;hide-in-the-herd&rdquo; reaction if things don&rsquo;t quite pan out.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/business-meeting/image/258474?term=decision+making+business" target="_blank"></a></p> <p><strong>Meetings tend to be built on compromise, and I believe that this is the worst starting point for decision making.</strong> I believe that it is better for business success to give people the responsibility and the authority to make decisions needed for their business unit, and to build the culture in the organisation that encourages and supports this, and doesn&rsquo;t punish people for making honest mistakes along the way.</p> <p>In the long run, this approach yields much better results both in private and business life, than does any approach built on compromise.</p> <p><strong>I remain uncompromising on not making compromises!</strong></p> <p><br /> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/leshayman.wordpress.com/731/"></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/leshayman.wordpress.com/731/"></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/leshayman.wordpress.com/731/"></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/leshayman.wordpress.com/731/"></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/leshayman.wordpress.com/731/"></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/leshayman.wordpress.com/731/"></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/leshayman.wordpress.com/731/"></a></p> http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/295/de-de QUALITY OF MANAGEMENT FOR THE FUTURE Thu, 02 Sep 2010 05:44:40 +0000 Les Hayman http://www.roc-group.de/posts/show/294/de-de <div style="width:580px;">I believe that <strong>“People join companies, but leave managers”</strong>.</p> <p>People will join a company in the belief that the image and reputation that it projects is what they are looking for in an employer, and as such somewhere that they can learn, develop and grow, be challenged, meet and work with great like-minded people, and have fun along the way.</p> <p><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/filling-out-employment/image/9008119?term=application" target="_blank"><img title="Filling out employment application form close-up" src="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9008119/filling-out-employment/filling-out-employment.jpg?size=380&imageId=9008119" border="0" alt="Filling out employment application form close-up" width="234" height="154" /></a></p> <p>The vast majority of people tend to leave a company because they have not been able to establish a credible working relationship with their immediate supervisor. It is rarely about money or working conditions. This seems reasonable, as your boss is the one who determines what you do, who you get to do it with, how you are measured, how you are rewarded, how you are developed and what opportunities are presented to you.</p> <p>I therefore consider <strong>“Quality of Management”</strong> not only one of the critical elements for talent retention and development, but also the key element for business success.</p> <p>One of the disappointments in my move to Europe in 2001 was that I have seen little evidence that European companies have created <strong>a culture of management as a profession</strong>. Management skill appears to be more of an add-on to vocational brilliance, rather than being viewed as an art, a science and an asset in its own right. The idea is that management skill is a “nice to have” rather than a mandatory part of an executive’s role.</p> <p>I had a long series of interchanges with one executive who actually told me that managers were like horses, and that “ … in life you were either born a race horse or a draft horse, and race horses shouldn’t pull carts and draft horses shouldn’t run at Epsom … “. His belief was that any skilled, intelligent, well educated professional could become a manager, and that being intelligent he would work out what was needed to fill the role. Interesting thought, but <strong>I have always believed that the difference between a race horse that looked good, and one that could also win races, was how well you trained and prepared the horse for what was expected of him.</strong> (see <a href="http://leshayman.wordpress.com/2010/07/02/flogging-a-dead-horse/"><strong>Flogging a Dead Horse</strong></a> posted on July 2, 2010)</p> <h5>1. Furthermore the predominant European management style of “command and control” will not wash well with the next generation.</h5> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/businesswoman-complaining/image/298945?term=manager+serious" target="_blank"><img class="alignleft" style="border:0 none;" title="Businesswoman complaining in a meeting" src="http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/298945/businesswoman-complaining/businesswoman-complaining.jpg?size=322&imageId=298945" border="0" alt="Businesswoman complaining in a meeting" width="147" height="220" /></a><a href="http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/creative/conceptual-caricature/image/8506697?te