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One of the greatest obstacles to progress can often be our awareness of past failures. If we tried something a couple of years ago and fell flat on our faces (and especially if we were ridiculed or derided as a result) we tend to be reluctant to rock the boat again. When we believe that history will repeat itself, we become paralysed by fear.
Mentoring managers through a process that I sometimes refer to as "directed introspection" in order to expose attitudes and prejudices can often produce startling results. Knowing where we are starting from does not in and of itself guarantee that we will arrive at our desired destination (on time and within budget) but not knowing weights the odds heavily against us. I believe that if we want to go somewhere we must first know who we are and where we are. When we know the starting point, personally and professionally, in regard to ourselves, our people and our company we are more likely to have a clear picture of where we want to go, how to get there and what must change.
I believe that as many people as possible in an organization should be involved in the process of creating statements of Vision, Mission, Purpose, Values, and Goals. When people have had a hand in the creation, buy in to do what ever is necessary to get results is almost automatic. When these guiding principles are understood by everyone from the "Ivory Tower" all the way to the Shop Floor everyone knows where we are going, why we are going there and what we have to do to get there. They also know the down side of not going there and of not participating in the process. Is not the search for heaven made more intense by the awareness of hell? In addition, when everyone understands his or her WIIFM, (What's In It For Me) getting results is like picking low hanging fruit.
Vision must be followed by a plan
Strategic planning can be an arduous (but exhilarating) process. Often a three day retreat with an outside facilitator is the only way to get the concentrated focus, the brainstorming, necessary to initiate the process. We must examine all aspects or the organization, physical and human resources, management skills and needs, culture, attitudes, market place, industry, supplier relations, customer relations, government regulations, labour agreements, etc., etc. We have to remember that Rome was not built in a day. If we are looking for instant gratification we will surely be disappointed.
When we have suspended our doubts and fears, set aside our memories of past failure, forgotten our prejudices, examined our strengths and planned to enhance them, seen in our minds eye the potential within ourselves and our organization, created a vision in which we believe, we will become advocates for our organization and evangelists for the realization of that vision.
Once we are over the initial hurdle we will be driven by the power of our vision for the future. A clearly articulated vision coupled to a specific plan of action for its attainment (including target dates for each step), and a firm commitment to that action, is an unstoppable combination. YES, it will require perseverance, dedication and hard work; and YES, it will be extremely satisfying!
Effecting organizational and personal change is never a cake walk but learning the basics of how to set goals and create plans with specific, time sensitive action steps for their achievement can be learned in only a few hours. When coupled to powerful statements of Vision, Mission, Purpose, and Values, and a well-organized coaching, mentoring and measurement process, the pain is minimal while the results are huge!
Len McNally C.I.M. President of The Leadership Centre
Len McNally is President and founder (in 1996) of The Leadership Centre, dedicated to leadership development, management team building and change management through executive and corporate coaching - from the top floor to the shop floor. With more than thirty years experience in sales, marketing and business development Len has for many years been an avid student of psychology, behavior and motivation. He still reads three to four books a month and has writen several book reviews for Amazon.com. He can be reached at (519) 759-1127 or email: email@example.com. Other articles may be seen at: http://www.tlc-leadership.com
Creativity and Innovation Management: Goal Setting
Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation whilst innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialisation.There are other useful definitions in this field, for example, creativity can be defined as consisting of a number of ideas, a number of diverse ideas and a number of novel ideas.
How Can A Communications Audit Help You?
Organizations communicate in two directions: internally to staff and externally to clients, customers, shareholders, stakeholders, the media. Faulty internal communications can lead to mistakes, discouraged and unhappy staff, employees leaving the company.
Problems with Group Decision Making
DECISION BY AUTHORITY RULE: Many groups start out with-or quickly set up a power structure that makes it clear that the chairman (or someone else in authority) will make the ultimate decision. The group can generate ideas and hold free discussion, but at any time the chairman can say that, having heard the discussion, he or she has decided upon a given plan.
Creating Your Own Business Upturn - Powering Business Development
We all see it . .
What Cross-cultural Training Can Do for You
International business is more complex than ever before. Success in every sector is now seen in global terms.
Profits and Business Success - 5 Profit Traps to Watch Out For
The old saying 'You have to spend money to make money' can be a dangerous one. Every business has it's costs, but not every business owner takes the time to distinguish between what is an essential expense, and what is a 'nice to have' expense.
What to Ask When You're Invited to a Meeting
1) Where is the agenda? A meeting without an agenda is like a journey without a map; it will always waste your time. Once you have the agenda, make sure that it consists of more than a list of words because this is almost useless.
Travel the World - for Free!
I have been very fortunate to travel to several countries of the world while on business - countries I may have never visited on a holiday. There are pros and cons to working/doing business in a foreign country vs.
Problem-Solving Success Tip: Measure
Measure.The first key question to answer in starting a problem-solving project is, "How will you know when the problem is solved?" Answer this question in measurable terms before you start trying to solve the problem.
A Winning Way to Handle New Ideas
Janet DiClaudio, who was charge of medical records at two large American hospitals, had an unusual problem. But, the past master in finding creative solutions to work related problems that she was, she found an equally unusual solution.
When Code Freeze Turns To Code Slush
Time To Market (TTM) is a vital concept that every executive understands. Releasing a product to market before your competition gives you a significant first-mover advantage.
Dealing with Difficult People
You know, this would be a great business if it weren't for having to deal with people all the time?OK, so maybe I've exaggerated things a bit, but we've all certainly heard that saying before. Why does that sentiment ring true for so many folks? Obviously it's because of all the people challenges we're presented with in our business.
ISO 9001 and Total Quality Management
Total Quality ManagementTotal Quality Management, or TQM, has become one of the most frequently discussed topics in current business literature. Because of the competitive pressures created by Japanese companies, quality became a competitive weapon in the 1980s in most industries.
How to Beat the Turf Mentality
Want to hear a fascinating story? Let's sit in at a meeting of the human resources department of a large corporation. A number of human resources specialists are gathered in the board room.
ISO 9001 Registration - 8 Steps for Success
You've made the plans, built the quality system and conducted the audit. So how do you register your company as ISO 9001 conformant? And how can you be sure you're getting the most value for your investment? Here's how the process works.
Business Intelligence & Data Warehousing in a Business Perspective
Business IntelligenceBusiness Intelligence has become a very important activity in the business arena irrespective of the domain due to the fact that managers need to analyze comprehensively in order to face the challenges.Data sourcing, data analysing, extracting the correct information for a given criteria, assessing the risks and finally supporting the decision making process are the main components of BI.
Five Steps to Increase the People Power in Your Business
Take some bold steps and help your employees and business partners open up to real change and help them start thinking again to the longer term. Send a message that you are ready to commit to new ways of thinking and that that includes a commitment to the success of your employees in the changing workplace.
Making Powerful Requests That Launch People Into Action
Do you ever wonder why people do not simply do the things that you want them to do? Well, instead of waiting for things to happen, decide to take responsibility for making them happen. The way to do this is often as simple as making an appropriate request.
The Seven Essentials of Business Communication
There are seven essential elements to successful business communication:StructureClarityConsistencyMediumRelevancyPrimacy/RecencyPsychological Rule of 7±2If you are going to communicate effectively in business it is essential that you have a solid grasp of these seven elements.So let's look at each in turn.
Create Your Methodology Based on a Standard Framework - Part One
OK. So you have decided that your organization has to improve the way in which it works.
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