Search WiseTalks
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in comments
Search in excerpt
Search in posts
Search in pages
Search in groups
Search in users
Search in forums
Filter by Custom Post Type
Filter by Categories
Ask Mariposa
Blog
News
Recommended Reading
Articles We Like
Book Reviews
Mariposa Articles
Topics
Coaching Skills
Design Thinking / Creativity / Innovation
HR / Talent Management
Influencing Skills
Leadership
Strategy
Stress / Work-Life Integration
Wise Talk
Press Clips
Press Releases
Uncategorized
Wise Talk Teleconference
Wisetalk
{ "homeurl": "https://mariposaleadership.com/", "resultstype": "vertical", "resultsposition": "hover", "itemscount": 4, "imagewidth": 70, "imageheight": 70, "resultitemheight": "auto", "showauthor": 0, "showdate": 0, "showdescription": 1, "charcount": 3, "noresultstext": "No results!", "didyoumeantext": "Did you mean:", "defaultImage": "https://mariposaleadership.com/wp-content/plugins/ajax-search-pro/img/default.jpg", "highlight": 0, "highlightwholewords": 1, "openToBlank": 0, "scrollToResults": 0, "resultareaclickable": 1, "autocomplete": { "enabled": 1, "googleOnly": 0, "lang": "en" }, "triggerontype": 1, "triggeronclick": 1, "triggeronreturn": 1, "triggerOnFacetChange": 0, "overridewpdefault": 0, "redirectonclick": 0, "redirectClickTo": "results_page", "redirect_on_enter": 0, "redirectEnterTo": "results_page", "redirect_url": "?s={phrase}", "more_redirect_url": "?s={phrase}", "settingsimagepos": "right", "settingsVisible": 0, "hresulthidedesc": "0", "prescontainerheight": "400px", "pshowsubtitle": "0", "pshowdesc": "1", "closeOnDocClick": 1, "iifNoImage": "description", "iiRows": 2, "iiGutter": 5, "iitemsWidth": 200, "iitemsHeight": 200, "iishowOverlay": 1, "iiblurOverlay": 1, "iihideContent": 1, "loaderLocation": "auto", "analytics": 0, "analyticsString": "", "aapl": { "on_click": 0, "on_magnifier": 0, "on_enter": 0, "on_typing": 0 }, "compact": { "enabled": 1, "width": "50%", "closeOnMagnifier": 1, "closeOnDocument": 0, "position": "static", "overlay": 0 }, "animations": { "pc": { "settings": { "anim" : "fadedrop", "dur" : 300 }, "results" : { "anim" : "fadedrop", "dur" : 300 }, "items" : "fadeInDown" }, "mob": { "settings": { "anim" : "fadedrop", "dur" : 300 }, "results" : { "anim" : "fadedrop", "dur" : 300 }, "items" : "voidanim" } }, "autop": { "state": "disabled", "phrase": "", "count": 10 } }
Search WiseTalks
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in comments
Search in excerpt
Search in posts
Search in pages
Search in groups
Search in users
Search in forums
Filter by Custom Post Type
Filter by Categories
Ask Mariposa
Blog
News
Recommended Reading
Articles We Like
Book Reviews
Mariposa Articles
Topics
Coaching Skills
Design Thinking / Creativity / Innovation
HR / Talent Management
Influencing Skills
Leadership
Strategy
Stress / Work-Life Integration
Wise Talk
Press Clips
Press Releases
Uncategorized
Wise Talk Teleconference
Wisetalk
{ "homeurl": "https://mariposaleadership.com/", "resultstype": "vertical", "resultsposition": "hover", "itemscount": 4, "imagewidth": 70, "imageheight": 70, "resultitemheight": "auto", "showauthor": 0, "showdate": 0, "showdescription": 1, "charcount": 3, "noresultstext": "No results!", "didyoumeantext": "Did you mean:", "defaultImage": "https://mariposaleadership.com/wp-content/plugins/ajax-search-pro/img/default.jpg", "highlight": 0, "highlightwholewords": 1, "openToBlank": 0, "scrollToResults": 0, "resultareaclickable": 1, "autocomplete": { "enabled": 1, "googleOnly": 0, "lang": "en" }, "triggerontype": 1, "triggeronclick": 1, "triggeronreturn": 1, "triggerOnFacetChange": 0, "overridewpdefault": 0, "redirectonclick": 0, "redirectClickTo": "results_page", "redirect_on_enter": 0, "redirectEnterTo": "results_page", "redirect_url": "?s={phrase}", "more_redirect_url": "?s={phrase}", "settingsimagepos": "right", "settingsVisible": 0, "hresulthidedesc": "0", "prescontainerheight": "400px", "pshowsubtitle": "0", "pshowdesc": "1", "closeOnDocClick": 1, "iifNoImage": "description", "iiRows": 2, "iiGutter": 5, "iitemsWidth": 200, "iitemsHeight": 200, "iishowOverlay": 1, "iiblurOverlay": 1, "iihideContent": 1, "loaderLocation": "auto", "analytics": 0, "analyticsString": "", "aapl": { "on_click": 0, "on_magnifier": 0, "on_enter": 0, "on_typing": 0 }, "compact": { "enabled": 1, "width": "50%", "closeOnMagnifier": 1, "closeOnDocument": 0, "position": "static", "overlay": 0 }, "animations": { "pc": { "settings": { "anim" : "fadedrop", "dur" : 300 }, "results" : { "anim" : "fadedrop", "dur" : 300 }, "items" : "fadeInDown" }, "mob": { "settings": { "anim" : "fadedrop", "dur" : 300 }, "results" : { "anim" : "fadedrop", "dur" : 300 }, "items" : "voidanim" } }, "autop": { "state": "disabled", "phrase": "", "count": 10 } }
May 4, 2020 / Blog / Design Thinking / Creativity / Innovation / Mariposa Articles / Stress / Work-Life Integration

UPDATED: Creating and Sustaining Workplace Culture (for Now and the Next Normal)

by Sue Bethanis, CEO/Founder of Mariposa, sueb@mariposaleadership.com@suebethanis

To download a PDF of this article, click here.

Culture is the cohesiveness that shapes a company. I like to describe culture as the “ways things are around here” and see it as imperative to your company’s success — just like strategy, structure, and operations.

Understandably, in the past month, conscious attention to culture might have fallen by the wayside as your company had to abruptly move from an office work environment to WFH (work from home). You’ve probably been mired in contingency plans and focused on getting situated. If you’re a parent, homeschooling has taken much of your time and energy, and you’re probably still overwhelmed by it (and it’s really okay). Many of you are mastering videoconferencing and finding your team’s productivity sweet spot. Some of you are relishing being at home because less distractions equates to higher quality output. And we have heard that for all of you, it’s been tough to create the “water cooler” on Zoom (or Teams or Slack or Hang-outs), and certainly the “way things are around here” is markedly different now. There is no “here” because there is no office; collaboration is more challenging, cultural artifacts (like snacks to share, those comfy chairs by the window, elevator signage, even the cool color schemes) have faded away; and heightened stress and anxiety from isolation, uncertainty, and/or fear has come into full view.

In this essay, I want to address how you can put more attention on culture now and for the future (the “next” normal); it’s a future that is going to look very different from before Covid-19. If you can put solid practices in place now, and at the same time, design for the future, your team/organization will be better set up for success; you will also be able to cope with stress better and create loyalty and inspiration that will have a lasting effect. Creating consistent cultural rituals, for example, will be the things that people will remember you for. They’ll remember that you checked in with them every week just to be sure they were doing okay. Or that you spent extra time to work out a problem with them regarding a customer. Or that you showed genuine sensitivity when a team member ’s loved one got sick.

Let’s look at three areas of culture: 1) consistent communication practices, 2) morale boosters, and 3) design. These practices are associated with three important and far-reaching cultural values: productivity, engagement, and innovation.

Consistent communication practices (to be productive)

Much of what I am going to suggest here are practices we are hearing from our clients. We have a nose-to-the-ground knowledge because Mariposa has 12 coaches who collectively work with approximately 110 leaders, and we have many HR partners. We have a pretty good handle on how tech leaders are coping with Covid-19, and I want to share what we consider the best practices.

Messaging: Clear constant messaging is vital from the top of your company. I can’t emphasize this enough. Make your messaging a newsletter or a personal email and make it weekly. Directs and employees want transparency, and they want to hear from you as often as possible. Further, if you’re not the head of your company, demonstrate clear leadership with your own team, and email/phone/Slack/Zoom to ask the CEO to be consistent and transparent.

Communication Channels/Tools: Review all the ways people can effectively communicate now and get clear about how and when teams will use each method. For example:

  • How will they communicate real time? Phone, vidcon, etc.
  • How will they communicate asynchronously? Email, chat, text, etc.
  • How will they think visually together?
  • How will they share content?
  • How will results, recognition, progress be posted/shared?

Meetings: Make all meeting types clear and whatever you were doing before Covid-19, double it; this will demonstrate the value you are putting on communication and connecting. This uptick in communications is not intended to be micro-management; you will need to trust team members and use the time to support and align on expectations and intended outcomes. For example:

  • Have a 15-minute daily video huddle at 9am, and end with one at 5pm. Use it as a way to get clear on goals for the day and any important updates.
  • If you used to have 30 minute bi-weekly 1-1s with each of your directs, make them weekly. Ask each time, “how are you doing?” Or “how are you holding up?”
  • For team meetings, take the time to let everyone check-in and establish clear agendas, actions, and document any actions taken away. For these check-in’s you might try one question each time and hold people to a minute:
    • What’s been hard to navigate lately?
    • What’s been a silver lining in WFH?
    • What’s an achievement you can share?
    • What have you learned about yourself in the last week or two?
  • Use a consistent virtual collaboration tool, to keep meetings fresh and ideas plentiful. We like Stormboard.
  • You can’t do “walk arounds” anymore, but you can do “call arounds” while you’re taking a walk in your neighborhood. We are hearing that team members are already growing tired of formal video meetings all day. So, pick up the phone and call instead, and suggest that you both walk and talk (or talk and walk). Also consider this practice for skip level meetings. Walk&Talks are the one practice that leaders and employees covet the most and the one they hope to continue, for sure.
  • Simulate the “water cooler” by using a Slack channel or Zoom for one hour a day. As the leader, you’re there, and encourage others to stop by and gather around. (And some very collaborative, smallish teams are keeping a Slack or Zoom channel open from 9-5).

Scheduling: I just outlined a lot of meetings; at the same time, it’s important you don’t over rotate on meetings. Choose a few and do them well and consistently. Get input from your team(s) and identify scheduling norms that will work for most everyone. (These will likely change as you transition through different phases over the coming months.) The very best tip we have heard from clients is one from a VP of a 200-person service organization: Two weeks into their now eight-week WFH policy, he highly encouraged (instituted) a 9-12, 2-5 meeting schedule. He did this to give time for parents to be with and teach their kids, have lunch with family, and to emphasize self-care and mental health. This schedule has contributed to great success. Their overall productivity is up, and they are now planning on a WFH approach for the foreseeable future. It has completely changed their thinking and orientation. Put simply, this has changed their culture.

Morale Boosters (to engage)

Morale is a critical component of culture. It is the outlook, attitude, satisfaction and confidence that team members feel working together and working for your company. For many, work is a not just work; it’s social, too. A lot of people — especially single employees — depend on work colleagues. We have heard Shelter-in-Place has been especially isolating for them. Further, getting creative about coping with the isolation is already hitting some roadblocks.

Here are some ideas that our clients have done, and the Mariposa team has generated in a brainstorming session. These morale boosters serve as ongoing cultural rituals that can hopefully carry on once you are “back-to-the-office.”

  • For fun:
    • Virtual happy and coffee hours have been done a lot. Ask a team member to continue to RIF on it to keep it fresh. Change up the drinks, change up the theme.
    • There’s HouseParty – a fun app where a team can get together to enjoy a drink and a game. Give it a try.
    • If you haven’t already, try a best mask contest.
    • Online gaming together.
    • How about sending an inspirational quote every week?
  • For learning:
    • Send each other articles/blogs/videos that are helpful to culture, leadership, teaming, etc., that you circulate once a week. Ask a team member to curate them in one place. Leading effective remote meetings is a hot topic right now!
    • Teach other skills: nutrition, cooking, knitting
    • Use a Slack channel for various things: Share self-care routines, parenting tips, movie tips, etc.
    • Lead a class: Pilates, yoga, weight training. Share your trainer with teammates.
  • For giving and supporting each other:
    • One of our clients — a sales director for a small tech firm — uses UberEats gift cards to get time on their customers’ calendars. Surprise your directs, peers, or customers with lunch or dinner delivery or a gift card they can use for a local restaurant. This supports local small businesses, too.
    • Encourage your team to take walks with each other in their neighborhoods, walking at least 6 feet apart.
    • Use a virtual collaboration tool/white board to post wins, thank you’s, etc.
    • Take time in a regular meeting to allow people to give shout-outs, thank-you’s.
    • Create a chat thread all about recognition.
    • Whatever was working before, amp it up in the digital world.

Design (to understand & innovate)

Cultural rituals like consistent communication practices and morale boosters will go a long way to engage and support your employees during WFH. It’s important to keep the pulse on what’s working and not working. There are various ways to do this, and using a design thinking approach will help you determine what of your company/team cultural values and rituals are most important to keep, and what to shift now and in the “next” normal. Putting together a design team (culture committee) is the first step to innovation.

Culture chair and committee Ask someone to be the Culture Head (guru, czar, chair), who facilitates the culture committee. This committee will be in charge of understanding, developing and sustaining culture values and rituals. The primary role of this group is to be the holder of the secret sauce. Here are some questions the committee can begin with:

  • What makes your company or team special?
  • What are your most sacred values and principles?
  • What is it about the way things were around here (pre Covid-19) that we want to keep?
  • How do we change in our cultural rituals — communication practices and morale boosters — as the work environment shifts?
  • What do we want to add now and more?
  • How do we keep engagement fresh and fun?

And most importantly, how do you get ongoing feedback, distill it, and continuously feed it back to the sponsor, boss, etc., so adjustments can be made. Using a design thinking (Empathy, Brainstorming, Prototyping, Test) approach will be helpful here. Cultural values and rituals cannot and should not be decided in the back room. It requires many voices and iteration. Experimentation is a healthy way of looking at what’s ahead of us. There will be “rolling blackouts” type situations where WFH and/or WFO (work from office) will be more predominant at various times. This means getting clear NOW on what’s most important in your team/company’s collaboration and communication practices, for example, will make it easier as you navigate the scenarios that come next.

Feedback will be especially important when the transition to the “next” normal happens. Because the next normal will be unlike anything any of us have experienced here in the U.S. Other cultures have some experience with it from the SARS and MERS epidemic, and China is in the midst of coming back to offices now. See an example here.

Dealing with the experience of the “next” normal: The “way things are around here” is going to be very different when it is deemed okay from a public health standpoint to start going back to the office. From my research, the common theme among policy makers is that there is no rush: the curve and testing will determine when the economy should open up. #TestTraceIsolate will become standard in our lexicon, and we should brace ourselves for a pandemic summer that includes physical distancing that could last way beyond the summer months.

Here are some excellent resources to learn more about the public policy planning that emphasizes #TestTraceIsolate.

  • Three Harvard’s public health academics view here.
  • Former FDA head, Scott Gottlieb, and his team at AEI here.
  • Earlier this week, California Governor Gavin Newsom laid out the factors he and his team are using to decide on reopening. He explains reopening businesses will begin slowly when both the curve has not only flattened, but starts to go down, and when testing becomes more ubiquitous. Right now, tests are designated for health care workers and those who show obvious symptoms of Covid-19. Ubiquitous testing translates to approximately 10,000 a day for those who have mild symptoms and for those who might have been exposed to someone who has had Covid-19. This type of testing then is followed by careful tracing of others who have been exposed to those who are positive, and then isolating those who are positive (by quarantining). For more details, see press conference here, and summary here.

So what might the first phase after Shelter-in-Place look and feel like? Here is a glimpse into the “next” WFO environment.

  • Coming into the office is purely voluntary;
  • There will be required temperature checks to come into your building and your floor;
  • There will be only 2 people to 1 elevator ride, so you will be waiting in line for elevators;
  • There will be physical distancing in cubes and conference rooms (depending on the size of the conference room, that means 2-4 people in conference rooms with others on Zoom);
  • Odd floors are used one day; even the next (so there can be a rotation in deep cleaning);
  • Alternating when segments of your company/team come in: some come in on MW, others on TTh;
  • Touchless doors; touchless coffee makers (does Amazon carry those?);
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes at your desk and every conference room, and an expectation that you wipe your chair, table, and equipment down every time you transition;
  • Everyone wears face protection at all times;
  • You will be happy to go out to lunch with one colleague, grab a sandwich together, and then walk outside to a place where you can sit at least 6 feet apart (well, unless you are freezing your ass off in San Francisco’s July weather — in that case, you will go to a restaurant inside by yourself and sit at least 6 feet apart from the next table over and be greeted with a waiter with face protection).

Picture all of that for a minute. It has a very different feeling then pre Covid-19, doesn’t it? Safety — both physical and psychological — is paramount. So, in order for a culture committee not to become the culture police, it’s going to take some “experience” design to ensure your culture isn’t sterile, even though the work environment has to be. I have addressed with you previously in this paper about the importance of simulating the “water cooler” in the WFH work environment. Same holds true for the new WFO environment: how will you create the “water cooler” in the “next” normal? The culture head and committee should be in charge of this, and brainstorming and prototyping new ideas is key.

The “next” normal is really a hybrid: In addition to coming to grips with how the next office environment is going to be experienced, there is also the issue of having two work environments (WFO and WFH) — and two cultures — being managed at the same time. Preliminary data from our clients suggests that WFH might be preferable for some employees. Some reasons include higher productivity from WFH (more convenience, time, and less distractions) and less costs (as a VC colleague told me, one of his start-ups could save $10mil in real estate costs). Further, as this article points out and as I outlined above, there is actually a heightened awareness/attention on communication practices out of necessity. Finally, the prospect of office meetings with others — all wearing masks, 6 feet away — might just feel too off-putting for some people.

We all were literally thrown into WFH in the matter of days; and what if this experiment works? There are many levels that have to be considered here, and many logistics to coordinate. There are tremendous implications for real estate, as well as facilities, and IT. My suggestion is that before this becomes more than an informal nice to have — “gee, I would rather just go into the office 2-3 days instead of 5” — that cultural rituals are considered along with the usual operational and workplace issues. What are the communication practices that will work in this hybrid (WFO and WFH) environment, what are the points of engagement and morale that should be considered, and how do we get continuous feedback to ensure it’s working (through design work).

Creating and sustaining the culture you want in this hybrid environment starts with having an elevated role for a culture head, in order to put culture central to your company’s success. Here are some more specific suggestions:

I welcome your feedback, questions, and your ideas. Sharing helps everyone.

To download a PDF of this article, click here.

MORE
September 29, 2016 / Articles We Like / Strategy

On Inspire Change: A Step-by-Step Guide to Disrupting an Industry

Disruption involves taking big risks to solve big problems that have never been solved before. If you are looking to know when and how to disrupt a market, take a look at Kevin Rands recent Business article Inspire Change: A Step-by-Step Guide to Disrupting an Industry.

Kevin thinks you need to start by listening to consumers and checking the pulse of your industry. Are there pain points and frequent complaints in social media?  Does the industry lack creativity and innovation? Is there a lack of customer loyalty among the market leaders?  Is it a fragmented market? If there are market issues, you just might be in the right position to change, redefine, or take the lead.

What do think about Kevin’s five recommendations?

MORE
September 29th, 2016|Categories: Articles We Like, Strategy|Tags: , , |
August 1, 2016 / Strategy / Wise Talk

WiseTalk Summary on Transformation for the Digital Age

On July 20, 2016, Sue Bethanis hosted David Rogers, professor at Columbia Business School and the author of the recent book The Digital Transformation Playbook. David is a globally-recognized leader on digital business strategy. David talked with Sue about why traditional businesses need to rethink, adapt, and learn from todays’ digital disruptors and innovators.

Favorite Quote:
“The reason that digital technologies matter so much to businesses is because it matters to customers. Through technology, customers can discover, learn, interact, and influence each other. It’s changing the relationship businesses have with their customers.”

Insights:
Digital transformation is a question — How does a business that was started before the digital era need to adapt in order to grow, thrive, and reach its next stage of profitable growth?
According to Rogers, digital transformation really isn’t about technology, it’s about changing strategic thinking and organizations’ need to upgrade their thinking across these five domains of strategy:

  1. Customers – Businesses need to shift from thinking about their customers as targets (who they market to) to thinking about them as networks. We need to look at customers as active and dynamic participants and partners. Technology is changing the customer relationship with businesses and with each other. There is now a much more reciprocal dynamic relationship with customers and it is important to understand the ways that they (customers) are interacting with each other and making decisions. Businesses now have better insight into the customer’s very rapidly changing path to purchase.
  2. Competition – We are shifting from a world where traditional competition was very much a zero-sum game. We are now not only dealing with rivals within our industry, but also with competitors from outside our industry (for example, Uber and the auto industry). We are now in an environment where companies are dealing with “co-opetition”. The same company may be your fiercest rival and a critical business partner.
  3. Data – Traditionally, data was expensive to obtain and was primarily used in an organizational silo fashion to manage processes and forecasting. Basically, businesses used data to operate more efficiently and effectively. Now, data is everywhere. There is an incredible sea change in unstructured data which is commonly called “Big Data”. We are now seeing businesses that can bring this data together in an integrated fashion. Instead of just improving operating efficiency data can be used to create new value and to innovate and drive the business forward.
  4. Innovation – There is a big shift from the traditional model of innovation that is based on senior organizational leaders making tough decision and placing big bets. We are shifting to a model that is based upon a process David Rogers calls “rapid experimentation.” The role of leadership is very different in this model. Instead of trying to figure out the answer, leaders set the goal and the question of innovation and enable their organization to figure out how they can effectively learn as quickly and rapidly as possible. Digital technologies now enable continuous testing and experimentation so that business leaders don’t sink everything into one big bet that may or may not work.
  5. Value – The last domain of digital transformation is the value a business delivers to its customers. Industry definitions and borders are becoming much more fluid and evolving. As the environment changes, businesses need to shift from taking a static view of who they are. Every business should look at every change and new technology and ask itself, “How can this create a new opportunity for me to deliver value to my customers that I wasn’t able to deliver yesterday?” It is important to be thinking about how to be as relevant to your customer today and going forward as you’ve been in the past.

On Data Sharing:
Certain industries are more comfortable with sharing data and there are certainly key differences among age groups.

  • Brand Trust – Even when an individual is hesitant to share data, if there is a particular brand where they thought they had a trusted relationship with for more than six months they were more likely to share their data.
  • Creating Value – People are really influenced by the perception that there is value being exchanged. When they feel that by giving the data to your company they can see that it allows you to serve them better, they are much more open to the idea of sharing data.

On Learning to Experiment:
Experimentation is really just an iterative process of what does and doesn’t work. Thinking about innovation as a series of experiments is about organizing your innovation process around learning.
There are a couple of different types of experiments and as a manager it is important to understand the distinctions.

  • Convergent Experiments – You start with a specific question and you are converging on an answer (example: an A/B test). In the ideal situation, these experiments can actually be designed using a scientific method.
  • Divergent Experiments – There is not a single specific question like an A/B test. You are posing an unknown set of questions that require a different process design. This is where you might be putting a prototype in the hands of customers or discovering through an iterative process what may be most meaningful for the business. The process may actually generate new questions for each stage. The ultimate goal is to test as many assumptions as possible behind a general idea of an innovation.

What We Found Most Interesting:
Businesses must understand the importance of strategies to build platforms, not just products. In the digital era, the competition shift is being driven by the growth of platform business models – a business that creates value by facilitating direct interactions between different types of customers. So, instead of the business creating the value – the business is creating value by bringing together different parties that are each contributing and exchanging different kinds of value themselves.

To learn more about David Rogers and his thoughts on digital disruption, listen to the WiseTalk recording.

MORE
February 2, 2016 / Articles We Like / Leadership / Strategy

On "The Wild West of Measuring Corporate Sustainability"

Many companies have made sustainability measures part of their corporate goals. The impetus to do so might be driven by cost reduction measures, the need to ensure a future supply of materials, or a desire to make a positive impact on the communities they serve. Reporting on progress of sustainable development is a fairly recent business trend, and as such, varying degrees of standards exist, with varying degrees of transparency. At the same time, investors are becoming more savvy about the information they want from their portfolio companies.

In this Stanford Social Innovation Review article, The Wild West of Measuring Corporate Sustainability, author Eric Nitzberg builds a case for why executives ought to stay ahead of sustainability reporting trends to meet the expectations of modern investors. He also cites key sustainability reporting resources leaders can leverage to inform their sustainability strategies moving forward.

MORE
January 28, 2016 / Articles We Like / Strategy

On “Shake It Up: How to Identify Industries That are Ready for Disruption”

Innovation is a top priority for all companies, with the unicorn of innovation being “disruption”. Possibly the easiest way to innovate is to disrupt an existing industry (think Uber or Airbnb).

Many executives we work with are tasked with innovation as part of their jobs, and need a strong strategic thinking toolkit to do so. We share this article because it provides a framework for thinking about industry trends, to spur new ideas on where disruption might be possible.

In the business.com article by Anna Johansson, Shake It Up: How to Identify Industries That are Ready for Disruption learn about the telltale signs of markets that are ready for disruption, and read some examples of markets the author believes are poised for disruption. Add this to your strategic thinking toolkit!

What are your favorite tools for spotting industry trends?

 

MORE
January 28th, 2016|Categories: Articles We Like, Strategy|Tags: , , |
May 15, 2015 / Articles We Like / HR / Talent Management

On “5 Dos and Don’ts of Talent Development”

Effective talent management processes balance internal talent development with the introduction of new talent into an organization. The blend of existing high-potential talent and the qualities and experiences fresh high-potential talent can infuse into your culture is what enables innovation.

Leadership guru, Louis Carter’s recent article on Human Resources Online, 5 Dos and Don’ts of Talent Development, highlights five ways to effectively recruit and develop high-potential talent. From developing a common language to discuss potential through allowing process ownership, these five suggestions combined with five tendencies to avoid, remind us all of the importance in balancing tradition with innovation.

What are some ways your organization strikes the balance between tradition and innovation in your high-potential talent management processes?

MORE
March 3, 2015 / HR / Talent Management / Wisetalk

WiseTalk Summary on Disrupting Talent Management

On February 26, 2015, Sue Bethanis hosted Steve Cadigan, a Silicon Valley talent, people and culture expert, founder of Cadigan Talent Ventures LLC, a Silicon Valley-based talent strategies advisory firm, and former Vice President of Talent at LinkedIn. Steve helped us understand why traditional talent sourcing and hiring methods are in need of disruption, shared his vision on how disruption can benefit both prospective employees and employers, and shared innovative ideas for changing the way employers source talent.

Favorite Quote:
“If you want to win the war for recruiting, you have to change the game.”

Insights:

  • The process of recruiting and building an organization is still in its infancy of what it can be and could be. The traditional model is “I have a need”, put a job description together, hire a recruiter, and the recruiter hunts for talent. Steve thinks the reason this model perpetuates is due to priority and ownership. He believes talent drives value creation but rarely sees the right investment of priority, attention and time from executive teams. It’s the last thing on their agenda, the people systems are an afterthought bolted onto an ERP solution, and boards of directors rarely have people serving on them who have a strong understanding of the powerhouse muscle of talent. He believes ownership of talent belongs with the whole company, not just human resources, especially in Silicon Valley, where the biggest thing a company needs to be great at is building a great team. It should be a core responsibility and the biggest muscle being working on.
  • Steve believes the employee-employer relationship is changing, and power is shifting to employee, particularly in Silicon Valley. Potential employees have more information available to them, more choice, and can decide where they want to go to. He argues that an employer brand in a company that’s growing is almost as important if not more important than your product brand. Consumers want to buy from someone who treats their employees well and is providing a good work environment. Brand can’t be spun anymore. It’s the collective voice of Glassdoor, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, bloggers, all of which is the manifestation of the voice of your employees.
  • In an increasingly transparent world, instead of investing in a huge recruiting team, Steve argues the better investment is to try to make your organization the desired destination for the best people in the world. This is different from needing a few hours to source and interview every week. This is about what kind of environment, culture, organizational structure, communication plan, relationships, how the workspace is designed, etc., which contribute to a differentiator in answering the question, why does someone want to come work here? Steve believes if companies do that well, and they know what kind of person they’re looking for, they’ll create a magnetic pull for talent. Hunting for talent in the traditional sense won’t allow a company to scale fast enough.

What we found most interesting:

Inherently, Steve thinks recruiting is broken because, as has been proven time and again, the traditional hiring process is not the best indicator of job performance. The best hires he’s made were those hired through internships, where the candidate is interviewing the company and the company is interviewing the candidate.

To learn more about Steve’s experience, and hear some of the innovative ideas for recruiting, hiring and building company culture, listen to the recording here.

 

MORE
February 2, 2015 / Book Reviews

Book Review | Finding the Next Steve Jobs

finding-the-next-steve-jobsFinding the Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Keep and Nurture Creative Talent
By Nolan Bushnell with Gene Stone

Head: 3 ( out of 5)
Heart: 4 ( out of 5)
Leadership Applicability: 4 ( out of 5)

Companies want to cultivate creative thinking in employees, believing that without it, they won’t survive. And it’s true: creativity sparks new ideas and when it permeates the culture, leads to competitive advantage.  Companies, therefore, need talent passionate about the present as much as about the future, and who don’t mind being considered different.  A diverse and inclusive workforce is a recipe for innovation in today’s business environment.

The author, Nolan Bushnell, is the founder of Atari Corporation and Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theater. He knows a thing or two about finding and hiring creative talent. Drawing on his experience, each chapter offers insight and tips on how to do just that. While the focus of this book is on hiring creative talent, the innovative concepts could apply to recruitment of other talent. The ideas force us to rethink traditional recruiting and hiring practices, which many studies have shown to be flawed.

Some the ideas presented include:

  • Hiring for Passion and Integrity: Passion is a quality that is inherent; one can’t be trained to be passionate.
  • Ignore Credentials: Employers should stop using a college degree as a sole qualification for employment. Instead, ask unusual questions to test for curiosity and resourcefulness.
  • Look for Hobbies: Hobbies tell us about passions
  • Hire Under Your Nose: Observe people doing their jobs outside of your workplace. Talent can be found anywhere.
  • Comb Through Tweets:  Use Twitter to identify talent. Twitter is a means of expression for many and a lot can be learned by their tweets.

Leaders and human resource professionals interested in building an innovative culture that thrives in the future will want to read this book. Buy it now.

 

MORE
December 22, 2014 / Articles We Like / Design Thinking / Creativity / Innovation / Leadership

On “Research: 10 Traits of Innovative Leaders”

To successfully innovate, companies need strong leaders. As executive leadership coaches, our work with clients in Silicon Valley is inherently tied to helping companies achieve their innovation goals, and that’s why this article resonates with us.

The Harvard Business Review article, Research: 10 Traits of Innovative Leaders, by Jack Zenger and Joseph Falkman, reveals the 10 behaviors innovative leaders consistently demonstrate that make them effective at driving innovation.  We contend that these behaviors are not only key innovative leadership behaviors, but core skills to hone for effective leadership overall.  Read the article now.

Do you agree with this list of behaviors? Why or why not?

MORE
November 30, 2014 / Articles We Like / Design Thinking / Creativity / Innovation

On “Beyond MVP: 10 tips for creating your Minimum Loveable Product”

Creating a minimum viable product (MVP) is the goal for most new product innovation, and for many of our clients in Silicon Valley. So many decisions go into making an MVP, and balancing those decisions with speed to market is not a small task. With many MVPs failing to leave a lasting impression on customers because their expectations are not met, is there a better way to successfully bring new products to market?

According to Laurence McCahill, yes there is! From a customer experience perspective, the MVP might be an outdated way of thinking about new product innovation. Instead, consider the Minimal Loveable Product (MLP). In the article, Beyond MVP: 10 tips for creating your Minimum Loveable Product, Laurence outlines 10 tips to go from MVP to MLP. In the process, you’ll build a community of users, delight them from the start, and get them talking. The author advocates for design as a critical element, which we love!  Propel the success of your new product by reading this article now.

What’s the greatest challenge you face in creating new products?

MORE
Load More Posts