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.

Continue reading “Alignment Series #2: How do you know when strategy must change?”

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).   Continue reading “Alignment Series #1: How to align people with strategy”

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. Continue reading “Leaders nurture and invest”

Leadership Connection- Step 6: How People Fit to your Bottom-Line

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

If you are just starting this series, you can catch up by reviewing the earlier posts. Find a recap at the end of this post.  In this post we’re focused on two points:

1. You must measure what you expect to get, in order to get it.

2. Instead of doing things (those things as you’ve always done them) right, you must be doing the right things right to be successful.

And I provide you with action you can take right now – using information you’ve already gathered in Job Descriptions and Performance Reviews – to improve performance now for your company.

In the last step of this Series you collected important materials, many and maybe all of which you are using to plan what you expect and see if you’ve realized that. Some of you may even have information that clearly shows where you were, and were not aligned, leading from your plan to your reality. Most of you won’t have this clear story connecting expectation to reality. You will soon if you are following these steps.

I listed five (5) groups of materials in Step 5. Since you may have recently completed Performance Reviews for last year, I’m going to start with those. If the Review does not specify the most important duties for a role, please also grab the Job Description associated with each Review. There is a huge opportunity waiting for you in this process, which you can start realizing benefits from right away, so bear with me… Continue reading “Leadership Connection- Step 6: How People Fit to your Bottom-Line”

Leadership -Connecting with (your) people to improve results. Step 5: NOW GET GOING

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

Let me intro this next step before we recap, so that those that have been reading along don’t have to repeat (thanks to those who gave me this good feedback; the recap is at the end of the post)…

In Step 4 you removed roadblocks to aligning people’s actions with Strategy. Woot! Let’s get going!

For Step #5, collect these materials:

1. Your 1-3 Critical Strategic Objectives, which are now mapped to show relationship and the priorities of these Objectives and their Steps

See the Recap below for links to these prior steps. Questions? Click to “Ask Lori

2. Your Annual Budget

If you do not have access to this, even for your department, you may want to pass this blog and Leadership series on to someone who does. Continue reading “Leadership -Connecting with (your) people to improve results. Step 5: NOW GET GOING”

Leadership -Connecting with (your) people to improve results. Step 4: Removing roadblocks

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

Recap:
In Step 1 you selected up to three of the most critical strategic themes or objectives. In Step 2 you mapped these themes to your Strategy so that key objectives can be prioritized and contrasted (it is not uncommon to have conflicting objectives that need to be sorted out). And in Step 3 you prioritized so that you’d be sure that what is most important gets done.

Now before we move on, it is critical to have a plan for identifying and removing roadblocks. You will face at least one. I’m going to list a few of the most common ones here, along with answers that have worked for others. I’d love to have comments and additions from readers.

Here are three common roadblocks to getting what you expect: Continue reading “Leadership -Connecting with (your) people to improve results. Step 4: Removing roadblocks”

Leadership -Connecting with (your) people to improve results. Step 3: Prioritizing

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

Recap:
In Step 1 you selected up to three of the most critical strategic themes or objectives. In Step 2 you mapped these themes to your Strategy so that key objectives can be prioritized and contrasted (it is not uncommon to have conflicting objectives that need to be sorted out).

Step 3 is to prioritize so that you are doing the right things. Continue reading “Leadership -Connecting with (your) people to improve results. Step 3: Prioritizing”

A scorecard for your Wellness initiative

Until recently, employee benefits costs – healthcare, in particular – have been considered a necessary cost of doing business, external to a company’s core products or services. An emerging school of thought, however, suggests that employee wellness affects much more than a company’s bottom line as a human resource expense. Wellness also affects absenteeism, productivity and efficiency. In other words, healthy employees are more likely to successfully contribute to a company’s core business than sick or injured employees who are unable to perform at optimal levels.

In this way, wellness does, indeed, contribute to every company’s bottom line and, as a result, needs to be stated as a measurable goal of every company. But how can wellness be quantified? Continue reading “A scorecard for your Wellness initiative”

Communication tips for leaders: when times are uncertain

This transformation guidance is more personal in nature. In the last post I posed some questions about communication in tough times.

Here are a few tips if you are open to mental work:

Take steps to rid your uncertainty with the present (or past). Be certain about the future.
How? There are many ways to do this. I’ve found some that work well for me that I’ll touch on here and can expand if you are interested. I’ll focus on leaders, who are often processers and problem-solvers.

If you are a problem-solver you may not feel settled without fixing whatever it is right now. Many will say that the best thing to do is to focus on solving the problem. That was me. I’ve made progress.  Sure I still solve problems – lots of them. It is that I select the problem and typically tackle it very early when something still can be done about it, sometimes even catching it before the problem is well known.

Continue reading “Communication tips for leaders: when times are uncertain”