Communication, Leadership, and Writing Your Own User Manual

Unfortunately, newborn children and team members don’t come with a set of instructions.  But here’s your chance to write your own “user’s manual.”  Creating your own set of instructions for yourself can be a great way to build stronger relationships in your organization.  It’s a technique we use at Performance Strategies Groupin which two or more people jot complete a series of sentences to identify ways to better coach and be coached, allowing team members to create a common baseline for behavioral and cultural dialogue.

This tool may be particularly useful to do so when new team members join an organization, enabling the parties participating in the exercise to accelerate an understanding about what is important to each of them.   Often, we employ this exercise to compliment our use of several behavioral profiles we use in leadership and teambuilding exercises and become the foundation for creating a coaching culture.  With that understanding, please complete the following sentences with the realization there may be one or more ideas that come to mind.  Try to identify the two or three things that are most important to you, rather than list all your possible responses.

  1. If you want to motivate or energize me, you should…
  2. If you want to frustrate or demotivate me, you should…
  3. I give you permission to….
  4. If I have done something well please…
  5. If my productivity, accuracy, or some other performance measure by which I am gaged falls short, you should…
  6. I would prefer…
  7. I like a work environment in which….
  8. It is difficult for me to…
  9. It is really important for me to…
  10. Conflict is…
  11. As I understand them my primary responsibilities by which my performance will be measured includes…
  12. I need help when…
  13. I get upset when…
  14. I am the kind of employee/manager who values…
  15. I think our organizational culture values…
  16. When I am under stress I tend to…
  17. I feel devalued when…
  18. I feel valued when…
  19. When our organization is undergoing change in policies, people, or processes, I would appreciate
  20. I am not sure who is responsible for…
  21. I am at my best when…

Keep in mind this is only a brief list of statements, not a comprehensive one.  When discussing your responses with someone else in your organization, you will likely find yourself adding to the list.  You should feel free to do so and revisit this dialogue regularly.

If you’d like more information about how Performance Strategies Group can help you and your organization improve your communication, sales and leadership skills, or with our strategic planning process, contact principal consultant, Jim Owens at jim@psghsv.com

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Performance Matters: Strategic Planning and Relentless Measurement

For the past four weeks, we’ve been discussing the essential components of an effective, actionable strategic planning process for your organization.  We’ve addressed the need to engage stakeholders, ask (and answer) critical questions, plan continuously,  and to implement only needle-moving strategies and tactics.  This week, we’ll address the essential need to have a relentless measurement process in place to insure you successfully implement your plan.

Keeping score matters. So your strategic tactical must include a systematic and relentless measurement component. Some things need to be measured every day. Some every week. And some need less frequent measurement. But everyone must know what is being measured and how often if they are to help the organization achieve its goals and fulfill its mission. And that measurement system must in answer the following questions.

What’s the goal?

Who is responsible for achieving that goal?

How will it be measured?

How often will it be measure?

What will we do if we are not being successful?

Most leaders would like to believe their organizations are agile. But if they aren’t consistently and accurately measuring the effectiveness of their strategies and tactics, they don’t know when to make changes in their policies, processes, people, or procedures. In short, they won’t know when their execution of tactics is out of alignment with their organizational mission. So they will simply be wasting resources in their effort to achieve it.

Obviously, no series of blog posts can adequately comprehensively address the topic of strategic planning.  So if you’d like to know more abut how PSG works with clients to build and execute simple and effective strategic plans, contact Principal Consultant, Jim Owens, at jim@psghsv.com.

 

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Performance Matters: Strategic Planning, Looking Up, and Amazon

It’s been a busy few weeks at PSG, so you haven’t heard from us in a bit.  Among other things, we’ve been working with several clients on their strategic planning efforts.  And one theme keeps popping up.

Assumptions. 

We all make assumptions about many things—about how things will be in our lives and in our businesses.  And we often do so without realizing it.  We make assumptions about our health, our industry, our own expertise, and how well we are anticipating and responding to the changes we face.  Which can lead us to unexpected places and difficult places.

When Amazon purchased Whole Foods a few years ago, several major public grocery retailers lost almost 50% of their market value within thirty days.  And the executives at those firms said they never saw the acquisition coming.  But if they had been paying attention. they would have seen how years before Amazon had purchased a 35% stake in an online grocery store.  They would have recognized how Prime Pantry, Amazon Fresh, and Wickedly Prime Foods, their own brand, was changing the competitive landscape in the grocery business.

Assumptions can be dangerous things.  So if we are to remain agile and keep our businesses ahead of the competitive curve, we have to remain vigilant.  We have to watch out for our own assumptions and how they can blind us.  As Peter Sheehan, the renowned consultant has said, there’s a fine line between experience and baggage! 

So look up. Look around. And look inside yourself to identify the difference between experience and baggage.  Your strategic planning will be the better for it.

 If you’ve found this information useful, encouraging or might see a way we can improve it, please let us know.  And if you thought it was encouraging, forward it to a friend so they can subscribe. If you want to find out more about how Performance Strategies Group helps organizations sharpen their strategic planning sales skills and processes, builds more self-aware and resilient leaders, or equip more productive teams, find us online at http://www.psghsv.com, or call Principal Consultant, Jim Owens @ 256-426-0305.

 

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Performance Matters: Making Better Decisions

Among the many challenges facing leaders and sales people is the endless number of decisions they must make.  We have to make decisions about new products, strategies, people and how to invest our time.  

But we’re sometimes so busy (and fatigued) we often make decisions based on faulty memories (yep, their really bad—message me if you want to see the science.) and without recognizing our own cognitive biases. 

So what do you do if you want to make better decisions?  Here’s an outline of the model we use in coaching clients and in our organizational development work. And we’ve provided a few brief notes about the process below. If you’d like to see the full graphic and learn more, message us at the email address below.

The Decision-Making Process

Stage One:  Identify the problem, not the symptom.  They’re different!

Stage Two:  Generate all possible solutions.  Do not evaluate solutions for suitability at this stage.  Just list them.

Stage Three:  Look for objectively measurable means by which each possible solution is to be evaluated.  This is hard.  But essential.

Stage Four: Select the best solution based on objective requirements.  Contemplate the objective implications of failure, so you can adjust your tactics as you see how effective it is.

Stage Five:  Track the solution’s effectiveness  adjusting or abandoning it in the event unforeseen circumstances arise.

Of course, no decision we make has a guaranty of success.  But if we use a well-defined process, we can avoid many of the pitfalls of “going with our gut” or choosing paths that are rife with unidentified risks.

If you’ve found this information useful, encouraging or might see a way we can improve it, please let us know.  And if you thought it was encouraging, forward it to a friend so they can subscribe. If you want to find out more about how Performance Strategies Group helps organizations sharpen their sales skills and processes, builds more self-aware and resilient leaders, or equip more productive teams, find us online at www.performancestrategiesgrouponline.com, or call Principal Consultant, Jim Owens @ 256-426-0305.

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