Question: Use of Myers Briggs and other personality assessments in workplace
At various points in my career, I could have aligned with any of the answers above--all good insights.
What I'd maybe add: it depends significantly on how they're used, and the intention.
For example, years ago, I would have gone into a rant about the Enneagram. No where near the validation of other tests, low predictive accuracy for the instrument, more problem than strength oriented as ap...Read more
Question: Persuading a reluctant professional to get coached
When people aren't doing something they logically ought to, there's often a part of them that has objections--quite possibly valid ones--that aren't getting honored. I'd want to find a way to make those discussable and get really curious about them. If you're successful in that--and not coming from an agenda that holds them inherently invalid--you will reach a place where you can say, "aha, I ge...Read more
Question: Kickstarting a mentorship program
Wow, lots of great info here.
Check out the HBA (Healthcare Businesswomens Association), for a great mentor program model. They set up pods: two leaders, and 4-5 mentees--actually, a lot of co-mentoring going on. A wealth of insight, good return to input ratio, and everyone learned from everyone (including leaders; I did that twice). A side benefit: helping mentees become mentors.
Reach out i...Read more
Question: Countering the culture of workaholism
Hmm. I wonder how other execs feel. It was amazing how often, when I'd done a diagnostic in a breakthrough-oriented project, that virtually all of the execs in a top management team (approached one-on-one) would lament an aspect of the culture they didn't like, but felt powerless to change it. In effect (in your case) "I don't like crazy hours, but I have to put them in because everyone else do...Read more
Question: Value of creativity in organizational leadership
If you're as creative and smart as I'm guessing you are, you pretty much know why you're in the situation you're in. It has to do with supply and demand, what's easiest to measure, and organizational culture/values. That might not seem fair, or just, but sometimes reality isn't fair or just...it just is.
Seems like the more productive question might be an internal one: what will it take for you...Read more
Question: Changing my team's perception of my behavior
It is normal. Sadly, we're not as objective noticing things as we'd like to think we are, so once we have a hypothesis formed, we tend to filter in data that supports it and filter out data that doesn't. Especially around stuff that's emotionally problematic in some way. "Leaving the toilet seat down" is a good real-life example of that for most people. (If you're the female partner of someone...Read more
Question: How can we better engage employees on our strategic initiatives?
Hmmm. I wonder if you're asking the wrong question.
Maybe rather than focusing on how to push the message out more effectively, I'd want to understand what's getting in the way of (most) employees wanting to get it. And also, what differentiates the ones who do from the ones who don't.
Also, what you're doing sounds kind of exhausting to me. Are you maybe communicating too much too freque...Read more
Question: Should we welcome back a former executive who left on bad terms?
What has John done to shift himself, and what evidence is there that the shift is sustainable?
If there's compelling evidence...and it needs to be compelling...is it worth the value to your company for team members to overcome past experiences and support John? There's a statement you'd be making, also, and how does that relate to company core values. What you don't want: "we felt bad f...Read more
Question: Ensuring continued executive support in a long and difficult HR undertaking
From the way this inquiry is written, it sounds like a very hands-off process: as if management assumes there's a simple answer, and it's your job to get it figured out mostly alone. Iva's right: don't do this in a vacuum. And, to extend Michael's good advice, don't just get numbers, find out some of the issues others have had with these kinds of challenges, and tee those up to the leadership t...Read more
Question: Need guidance to become a more collaborative leader
I'm sure there's lots of material out there on leadership development...this is a pretty normal transition, for example, for people who used to have a more "expert" role and are now more responsible for producing results from others.
But how about asking your team what that would (and wouldn't) look like to them. Maybe start 1:1, and perhaps a group meeting as well?
At the heart of the conv...Read more
Question: Revenue-share arrangement with a vendor
Sounds like this "vendor" wants to be your "partner." Do you know you don't want to explore working with them more intimately? (In which case maybe the question's more about who to work with, rather than how to work with them.) Otherwise, how could that not be a good discussion to have, if done in a way focused on intentions and with an open mind about the best strategy to do it? If nothing else...Read more
Question: Role of diversity in leadership team
Your question reminds me of a project I was on 35 years ago as a junior consultant. We were hired to explore the role a COO should have for a multidivisional company. The division presidents experienced him as too controlling--good for when he was brought in and the company needed a turnaround; overkill for the current situation. With my fresh MBA, I found the bulk of the evidence in favor of g...Read more
Question: How can I persuade senior executives on projects without clear ROI?
My gut reaction to any business-related question like "how can I persuade...without ROI" is don't. But that wouldn't be fair, especially since you included the word "clear." The point is that some projects have ROI; they're just hard to measure.
So in that case, you need to see what the CEO/organization values in their terms, as they express it. Also understand what they want to avoid. And ...Read more
Question: How can I master the dynamics in a new organization?
A quick answer: listen well, especially for shared purpose across groups. When you have the opportunity to guide the conversation towards those overarching goals, and away from divisive gossip, do so--not by making people wrong, just by what you demonstrate in your focus. Build trust by being impeccable in your word, and showing openness and vulnerability and willingness to take good risks as pe...Read more
Question: How does one develop an ability to "see the big-picture"?
My personal favorites on systematic ways to see the forest are:
1. Michael Porter's Competitive Strategy http://amzn.com/0684841487
2. From a career perspective, Stephen Cope's The Great Work of Your Life http://amzn.com/055380751X
There's also a book, Seeing the Big Picture, that purports to solve exactly this problem... http://amzn.com/1608322467
I'd also be curious about to what extent this...Read more
Question: How much of our strategy should be driven by current capabilities?
That depends. [Can you tell I was a consultant for 35 years? :) ]
If what you mean by "driven by current capabilities" is "limited to what we currently know how to do," the answer is none. It's useful to have that as a reference projection. But what needs to drive a game-changing strategy is what you'd be really excited about doing...which should identify some gaps between what you current...Read more
Question: Overcoming the challenge of public speaking
When people are phobic, they've generally got parts of themselves that have fears a lot stronger than parts of themselves that want to do the thing they're afraid of.
It can really help to listen to the positive intentions that those phobic parts have. They're rarely as "logical" as you'd think, and once you really hear what's going on, there's often other ways to provide the safety those pa...Read more
Question: How can a new leader build trust rapidly?
Make bold promises and meet them.
Be responsible and authentic--especially around the hard stuff.
Hire Charlie Green as a coach. Failing that, read his stuff about trust, especially in leadership contexts. He's a genius around trust, especially because he boils down what it takes to earn it in a very real-world, accessible way.
And practice compassion and curiosity--including for you...Read more
Question: How do we use performance appraisals to drive a change in employee behavior?
Cultures never change from process. Cultures change because leaders develop compelling shared vision that the organization can't help but go for, and as that unfolds, culture change follows.
Traditional performance appraisal is a hygiene factor in this: it can screw things up royally, and often does, especially because it drives a focus on activities, not outcomes. Put in rest in place, and t...Read more
Question: How to confront overselling practices in the sales department?
As others have remarked, you're describing a pretty typical polarization in organizations. Finding common ground will be key.
In addition to Rick's great comments and reading list, I see a wave of people realizing that trust-based selling is critical to having the kinds of strategic partnerships most high-tech companies yearn for, especially as they mature. So you have to be able to deliver on...Read more
Question: Smooth talked into a bad bonus package during the hiring process
I get a sense that there's a certain amount of "right/wrong" thinking going on in the background--well, of course, you're human. How could there not be? The problem is going into charged dialog with an iota of wrong-making hardly ever works. You might win this battle...but set yourself up to be at war with your boss.
There's already lots of stuff out there about finding ways to be "at choic...Read more
Question: My boss is trying to 'own' me
Looks like you found a growth opportunity! "Tormentors" can also be "tor-mentors"...that is, they mentor us by identifying areas of discomfort that are also trailheads for personal growth.
A few more things that might help:
1. In addition to clarity about the boundaries you want to explore, don't forget to focus on results. What is it about 24/7 that's important to your manager? What els...Read more
Question: Trouble adjusting to the culture of my new organization
If this is representative of the how the organization works, and you're committed to being successful in it, there are traditionally two ways people address this kind of culture fit.
One is by trying to learn skills that enable them to fit in better--they do a lot of small things, step-by-step, that gradually build comfort. Coaches and books can help you on this, but I'd also want to find a ...Read more
Question: Disillusionment with the current executive coaching process
I'll confess a bias here, since I don't even invoice clients who aren't delighted with the result they get (100% up to them), and make sure we've got a clear definition of ROI before either of us go ahead.
That said: coaching should always have an ROI, or it just ain't useful coaching. And I think many of us inadvertently put burdens on our clients, albeit with the intention of helping them, t...Read more