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Talent Time and Place

Talent, Time and Place

Talent Team WEBThis year, how are you going to fill the bill for your organization to provide  innovative products and services, high performing work teams and higher profitability? Today, market demands are changing at a head-spinning rate. This requires your organization to have greater flexibility. Stakeholders are looking for greater ROI, the need for talent with specialized skills and employees who want meaningful work are examples of other changes affecting businesses. Is your organization keeping pace? Are the right people in the right positions to meet the needs of conducting, leading and implementing the strategic changes needed to beat the competition?

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Rebuilding Teambuilding

DivRow WebBuilding a team from scratch is a rare privilege that few CEOs get to experience. Inheriting an executive team is more the norm. The functioning state of a team can be ubiquitous.  A newly acquired team could be at any stage of the forming, storming, or norming process. It could consist mostly of people who like to take action, or people who are skeptical. It could include a majority of those who like to analyze every detail, or those who chase the next shiny, new management fashion, process, or business trend.  Not every leader has the ability of accurately judging others. How can a CEO build on such chaos?

It used to be that teambuilding was composed of exercises just to help everyone get along and tolerate one another. For example, one exercise might be for each team member to tell two truths and a lie about oneself. Then, everyone else has to guess which fact is the lie. Another exercise is to tell the team about some item you brought with you and explain why you brought it and what it means to you thus providing “deep” insight into your psyche or personality. Obviously, this is a facetious observation. The point is that while these types of exercises might have their place and purpose, cultivating a highly functioning team with true insight and understanding requires a more scientific approach.  

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Culture Club

Culture Club

Culture Club was a rock group popular in the 1980s. The group originated in the UK. However, they were able to compose and deliver music that had a broad appeal. Companies facing a merger or acquisition face this same challenge in needing a culture with a broad appeal. 

Culture has been defined as the sustainable competitive advantage that an organization can control. Culture surrounds the raw competency of an organization. In other words, how the organization does what it does and how well it does it. So how is culture manufactured and where does it originate within an organization?  

Boy George was the leading influence in establishing the culture of the successful group and in setting certain fashion trends. The culture of an organization is often created from the top leadership. However, surprisingly enough, it can come from other areas within the company. For example, oftentimes middle management can create the culture. This can result when top management is weak. Weak leadership can even be dangerous within leadership itself. For example, many of you will no doubt remember the Daimler-Chrysler merger.

 

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FREE Webinar

TTI Webinar: Executivng your strategic plan with the right talent.

In this informative webinar, we’ll look at the concept of having the right seat on the bus (addressed in Jim Collins’ Good to Great) and take it one step further. Do you know what your bus looks like? Do you know what purpose each seat plays in making your plan come to fruition? Join Ashley Bowers as she identifies five steps to understanding your “bus,” designing your seats and hiring the right people for each.
 Register here.

After the webinar, if you have any questions or comments, contact us at 404.320.7834 or 1.800.906.7834 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Ten Steps to Create a Culture of Commitment and Accountability

1) Organizations need to communicate to everyone that accountability and commitment are important. This provides an opportunity to analyze your communication system.
2) Align every job description to your company’s strategy and goals for the coming year. Ask everyone to commit to a shared vision of results. Annual strategic planning will keep you on track with this step.
3) Make accountabilities clear for everyone by using the benchmark for their job to start a discussion about how their individual contributions matter. Incorporate this strategy into your hiring system.
4) Have job-related professional development planning in place for new employees. This will help them reach their full potential consistently and more quickly. 

5) Build accountability into your company culture using “what and by when” goal and task planning. Project management can be very sophisticated, but the bottom line is “who, what, and by when?”  Having simple project management tools in place will work wonders for this step.
6) Offer ways for employees to communicate obstacles and request the help or resources they need to achieve their goals. When you listen to them, recognize that what you’re listening to is someone who is committed to producing results.
7) Involve employees in an ongoing dialogue about how they can identify process improvements or otherwise increase the quality of their work and the team’s productivity. A great way to do this is through brainstorming sessions. These can be fun and productive!
8) Use small “course corrections” on a monthly or as-needed basis to guide employees toward behaviors and practices that are effective for meeting goals. Don’t wait for the annual performance review. You wouldn’t wait until arrival at a destination to notice a wrong turn along the way, would you? Always build in check points on every project to help eliminate processes and components from falling through the cracks.
9) “Catch” people doing something right: Give frequent, honest and positive feedback. As a general rule of thumb, a ratio of five positive interactions to one critical interaction will help managers build an open communication channel with direct reports. A true performance system involves constant feedback.
10) Identify ways to recognize and acknowledge employees company-wide when their actions exemplify an “above and beyond” commitment to company objectives. Success breeds success!

If you’re serious about achieving spectacular results next year, get everyone involved. Call 404.320.7834 or 1.800.906.7834 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for help benchmarking jobs, onboarding new employees and creating development plans for everyone on the team.

 

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Tenured Talent

It is the desire of those who teach and hold doctorates to become tenured in the educational facility of their choosing. Typically, in Corporate America, The CEO has climbed the ladder of success within an organization. Maybe this individual started in the mailroom, or was hired right out of college. In some cases, the person was hired through a recommendation by another executive either inside or outside the company or a Board member. If the person making the recommendation is trusted, perhaps the one being recommended is a good fit. Time will tell.

Time may indeed tell, but by the time a mistake is discovered, you may be out of time and it will be too late. Mulling over some recent examples of succession nightmares, may help with your succession planning. Bernard Ebbers became a self-made millionaire by investing in motels. Soon he discovered LDDC (Long Distance Discount Company). He invested in this company. While operating WorldCom, it became one of the largest companies in America. Mr. Ebbers was the driving force growing the company through no less than 75 acquisitions. He was also over-zealous in his attempt to have WorldCom as the number one stock on Wall Street. He may have had the talent for making deals, but not so much for managing them into a cohesive, well-functioning and profitable company. WorldCom could no longer bring in the revenues it needed, there were ethical questions, and soon thereafter, WorldCom was no more. While Mr. Ebbers was the founder, there weas no one in place who could have succeeded him. Bear Steams, an 85 year-old, well-respected corporation suffered a similar fate.  

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Leading in Times of Change - Menu for Success

Volumes have been written on leadership. Some sources discuss whether leaders are born or made, some are written about how to become a leaders, and still other sources write about what constitutes good leadership. Good leadership is required in all aspects of our lives, business, community and family. Just as everyone has a different communication and behavioral style, we also have different leadership styles. In fact, while conducting research for this article I found several styles. There were the four basic styles that everyone learns about in school, autocratic, laissez-faire, bureaucratic and democratic. In addition to these, I found information on 18 other leadership styles! No wonder leadership is often thought of as an enigma. Just as it is important to understand your behavioral and communication style, it is important to understand your leadership style. Amazingly, enough, these styles are the same. Using the DISC assessment as a guideline, these styles would translate like this:

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Once is Not Enough

Strategic Planning may be an enigma to some, a pain to others, and others may view it as a necessary evil. Still others believe that there is only one-way to do strategic planning and become paralyzed seeking out that silver bullet. It may help to understand that strategic planning is a process that involves the synthesis of creativity, imagination, intuition, and of course, planning. Planning incorporates the process of analysis. Creativity and imagination never follow just one path. Neither does strategic planning. Strategic planning plays one role. However, strategic thinking is quite different.  

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