Excellence – Found, Made or Elusive?

“Why is it so hard to find an excellent employee?”

That was the subject of a recent discussion in a leadership group on Linkedin. Responses (over one thousand to date!) can be grouped into four main themes:
1. that it is indeed nearly impossible to find an excellent person to hire;
2. that there are many excellent people, but they are in the wrong jobs;
3. that the right person may be out of work and not getting noticed; or
4. that employers are so far below excellence that no individual could be excellent in their employ.

Where’s the issue? Is it in the selection? hiring? alignment of person to role? management? something else? all of the above?
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Alignment Series #3: When strategy changes

In Series #1 and #2 I discussed the best steps for aligning people with strategy and how to know when strategy must change.

In this post l get to the execution part of a change in strategy and answer, “How do you re-align people when strategy must change in a way that changes their daily work?”

For their Sept 2015 newsletter, Palladium Group, founded by the fathers of the Balanced Scorecard, Robert Kaplan and David Norton, asked a few thought leaders including me to provide guidance to their readers on this subject.

How Do You Align Culture with Strategy?

Want to get what you expect, even when your expectations change frequently as your company grows? Create clarity around how problems will be discovered, communicated and solved. Communication between individuals and managers can ensure that decisions are made, and resources are allocated smartly – and aimed at keeping execution on track with strategy.
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Alignment Series #2: How do you know when strategy must change?

In the first post of this series, I shared three proven steps in aligning people with strategy.

During times of significant change, alignment requires more attention from leaders and managers. This is especially the case when what is required to execute a new strategy involves more than small tweaks in people’s daily work.

How do you know when strategy must change?

John Caplan explains this well in the first 1.5 minutes of the video below.

He describes an ad agency with a strategy to do cool work but their strength was to do really great, but not cool, retail work. They changed their strategy and landed a deal with Starbucks.

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Alignment Series #1: How to align people with strategy

Strategies change.  At least they should – in order to even just keep up with the change around us.

This series addresses Alignment.  How can you align your people with strategy?  How do you know when strategy must change? (even when it hasn’t been a year)?  How do you re-align people when strategy must change in a way that changes their daily work?

Let’s talk about the first step – aligning people with strategy (when the strategy does not require significant change in roles or the work people do).   Read the rest of this entry »

Scale up, with less risk

What are you doing to keep momentum as you grow?

The practices in Scaling Up are proven effective, with our clients growing 3x average profitability compared to their peers!

Want to learn more?  Let’s connect via LinkedIn

Align YOU with what you do.

Feel great & do even better! Who doesn’t want that for themselves? Who wouldn’t want that for others? So of course we foster feeling great at work. whoops! screech. halt. back up. We don’t? Why not? Mostly because what we think we need to do is hard. But they really are NOT what is needed, or wanted. I call these Better Business Management Myths and I’ve listed three for you below: Read the rest of this entry »

Leadership & Successful Risk-Taking – #1 of Series

Risk & Benefit

Risk & Benefit

This post is about failure and success. It will likely resonate greatest with those who think big, create strategic plans and take risks to see those strategies executed. Read the rest of this entry »

Leadership -Connecting with (your) people to improve results. Step 7: Does cause-and-effect matter?

In this series we are talking about connecting – connecting to people, connecting people to the business results you want, and getting those results.

I’ve noted that as you work through this series you are bound to run into questions (I’ve opened up Ask Lori. for questions to me currently at no cost to you) and bottlenecks…

In this post I address a common question that often becomes a bottleneck, as it seems complex: determining up front the cause and effect relationship between objectives in your Strategy:

Question: Does cause-and-effect matter? When is it critical (figuring it out is slowing us down)? Read the rest of this entry »

Wow! Fitting in, with a value-added mindset

Here’s our “wow” for this week:
This Wow! goes to —, our newest team member for his self-starting attitude and motivation to make a difference in moving us forward.

Why is this “wow!”? To best identify for the employer if the person is the right fit, deliverables are needed. To best identify for the employee if they are in the right fit, they need to take action.

If both the manager and the employee are thinking “how can I add most value to him/her, while staying aligned with company goals” then quick wins will follow. It takes both employee and manager to ensure a good fit and nurture the value for the company. Read the rest of this entry »

Leaders nurture and invest

Recently I shared a “People Measurement’ and leadership conversation with Carlos Santayana, Owner and Principal at Santayana Group, and a prior Training and Leadership VP at Citi Group. I felt power and wisdom in his words and wanted to share them with you. With his approval I am publishing parts of our conversation below.

The selection and promotion of managers who invest in their teams and nurture excellence is a key transformative strategy.

• Leadership can create an atmosphere where subordinates are treated as valued partners and encouraged to think deeply and contribute ideas that increase profit, stakeholder well being and long term sustainability. Read the rest of this entry »

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