Culture Matters in M&A

ROIEvery company has their own culture – basically, the manner in which employees behave, follow common norms and interact with each other – this includes values, behaviours, assumptions, and the understanding of a common mission. The culture makes up a company’s ‘personality’. Within that, you will find teams and departments that have their own slightly different culture from the overall company culture, ‘mini’ cultures of a sort.

Typically there are many similarities between the two, although it is possible for companies with a highly competitive culture contain mini cultures of collaboration and entrepreneurial kinship.  For example; where the operations are somewhat cut-throat yet the development team isolate into a unified and solid group of collaborators.

Most companies have a pretty good unwritten understanding of their own culture and with just a few questions are able to define the existing culture fairly well and then work with us to identify areas of needed growth or change.  It is when companies merge or an acquisition has been made that culture becomes a significantly different conversation.  Sadly, few mergers and acquisition (M&A) pre-work evaluates the differing cultures to identify risks associated with the merger or acquisition.

The greatest risks associated with bringing two companies together often lay within the strongest reasons why two companies want to join forces in the first place:

Financial – M&A selection is vital to understanding the financial benefits and possibilities due to a complimentary, formerly competitive or growth opportunity into play.

Brand Association – There are some great benefits to leveraging a solid and well-loved brand to create a stronger and more powerful company offering to the customer.

Knowledge – Picking up or combining forces to obtain or grow the technical or industry knowledge for a company, add technical competency or expand an offering based on an additional functionality desired.

All the above sounds pretty great, but what’s great on paper is not always deemed so great by the people being asked to live the change. In fact, the people with the greatest power to make or break a merger or acquisition can be middle management through to front lines and yet those areas are the most often ignored within the M&A transition plan.

Understanding cultural risk, cultural collision and people strategy are vital in making certain that large investments such as M&A actually realize their return on investment.

Transitional planning is needed right from the beginning of a merger, preparing for culture clash or shock, planning around every small change that affects the manner in which people from both organizations do their everyday work, creating a change plan that involves a solid communication strategy, all of these are vital in an M&A program.

Based on research, where does a good transitional plan begin?

  1. Organizational Culture Assessment: a system of shared assumptions, values and beliefs which govern how people behave in organizations.  Evaluate each company and determine any commonalities.
  2. Evaluate the 8 Organizational Cultural Characteristics: evaluate the priority that the company values would assign to each of the following organizational characteristics.
    • Innovation – risk orientation – evaluate priority high, moderate, or low.
    • Attention to Detail – precision orientation – high, moderate, or low value?
    • Emphasis on Outcome – achievement orientation- high, moderate, or low?
    • Emphasis on People – fairness orientation – high, moderate, or low?
    • Teamwork – cohesiveness orientation – high, moderate, or low?
    • Aggressiveness – competitive orientation – high, moderate, or low?
    • Stability – maintenance orientation – high, moderate, or low?
    • Agility – change orientation – high, moderate, or low?
  3. Develop a transitional plan based on a comparison of both companies developing action items that address commonalities and friction points.

These are steps for the beginning while the purchasing company is assessing financial risk. Companies putting out money to purchase or merge with another company should understand the cultural risks of the deal. Comparing the two organizations is vital in knowing just where to begin with a transition plan.

Do you have examples of organizations that have merged and failed to do the cultural assessments and develop a solid  work it into a solid transition plan? 

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Patti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations for engaged and successful change, guiding leaders and their organizations toward mastery and leadership through change management advising, coaching, innovation, facilitation, process review and efficiency.

You can reach us at 1-855-968-5323

Contact us here to book for:

Innovation | Change Management | Executive Coaching | Team Building | Facilitation

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(Note: 8 Organizational Culture Characteristics from  Professor Roger N. Nagel at Lehigh University – our assessments and research utilizes these characteristics in addition to other organizational research.)

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A New Manager’s Guide to Honesty

LeadingFirst, a short story.

Not long ago, a team we are familiar with described their experience with a difficult manager. The frustration level was such that the core team were ready to quit.

Their issue?  A lying Manager.

The team was weary, distrustful, often cranky and angry at each other, and they were beginning to unravel thread-by-thread.  It was easily traced to the manner in which the manager had been handling the team.

Sadly, the issues they had went on for a number of years:

  • They were all privately told different versions of what was going on in the team.
  • The manager made promises to all of them, separately, but did not always back it up or follow it through.
  • The manager continually deflected accountability for actions by pointing in any direction but his own, including pointing up the chain or at other team members.
  • Many of the stories pitted members of the team against one another.
  • The manager promised roles to team members when that role already belonged to other team members, without using professional due process.

In addition to lying, the key ingredients to frustration were the manager’s inability to take ownership or accountability for most actions, especially anything the employees disliked or when they challenged his lack of willingness to be open about future planning.

The thing about lying is, as mentioned in a previous post Liars get caught, period, the lies are almost always found out, eventually.  When a manager lies to his team, he destroys trust.  Avoiding difficult situations, or conflict altogether, are as good as lying and continues to diminish trust within a team.

Ways to be an honest Manager, especially through change

Hold yourself accountable and take responsibility for moving the team forward.  The manager who falls into the habit of blaming their bosses for decisions made loses the team and creates an ‘Us against Them’ environment.  This can be avoided by one of the foundational principles of management, keeping the team unified and in alignment with the company strategy.

  • Take ownership of the decisions which are out of your control and made at a higher level.
  • Champion these decisions as your own and encourage your team to do the same.
  • Recognize when you are powerless to change the decision and move on professionally, even if you disagree (keep it to yourself) as you are the ambassador for the people who lead you.

Build the functional capability of the team as a team.  Many a manager believes that once given the title they are empowered to make all the decisions and the team must simply follow it through.  While that may be true in terms of power and authority, by disrespecting your team members’ valuable knowledge and ignoring group decision making, a manager may be putting the team, and ultimately the company, at risk.

  • Make meetings productive by listening, not by trying to be the smartest person in the room. Ask a lot of questions and get answers from your experts, leverage the team ‘on the ground’ and utilize and respect their knowledge.
  • Mine solutions from the whole group then ask all in the room to question the validity and be the ‘friendly critic’ who can identify associated risks.
  • Keep ‘water cooler’ conversations away from planning and decision-making unless you are focused only on that team member’s performance.
  • Never make promises you cannot keep, the entire team will slowly begin to distrust your leadership.
  • Focus on the strengths of the whole team united, the importance of a team that works together and is not in conflict.

These are a just a few ideas for helping your build honesty and trust within your team.  An honest, transparent and trustworthy manager is far more effective than a top-down, distrustful one.  Leadership is not about you, it is about the team and what is best for the company.  Open, honest transparency will be a far better guide through change and will serve you as a new leader in all walks of life.

What ideas can you share with new managers?

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Patti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations for engaged and successful change, guiding leaders and their organizations toward mastery and leadership through change management advising, coaching, innovation, facilitation, process review and efficiency.

You can reach us at 1-855-968-5323

Contact us here to book for:

Innovation | Change Management | Executive Coaching | Team Building | Facilitation

___________________________________________

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Your Yes Men Are Hurting Your Business

clearYes men are the people always willing to agree with or go along with the leader for any of a number of reasons.

Yes men (or women) have a reason to believe that contradicting the boss or executive is detrimental to their career.

If you see this in your business, and you are at the top – you did this.  You either inherited or created a culture of Yes Men and you likely have failed to address it.

At first it feels good.  It’s great to feel like the smartest person in the room that everyone looks up to, the person who everyone agrees with. But it does not bring change, it will not bring innovation, it will never make your company distinctive or set you apart from the competition.  It will stagnate you.

Yes Men fail in the actions your business really needs:

  • Challenging how money is being spent and why
  • Courage to innovate
  • Willingness to be accountable for a creative solution
  • Desire to adopt new ways of marketing or selling your brand
  • Being a unique player in a highly competitive market

Sure your business is doing fine.  But, are you okay with fine?

Yes men are more about someone’s ego than what is right for the business.

Be willing to hire strong, capable people who are experts in their field.  Create an atmosphere of trust where they feel safe telling you what they believe or think. Learn how to facilitate the kind of meetings that pull the best ideas out on the table.  Ask yourself these:

  • When a “friendly critic” comes into the company, are they embraced or chased out?
  • Do you take challenge as a personal attack?
  • Think about it.  Who could you ask or trust in the business to tell you what you really need to hear?
  • Who is the person who has the guts to challenge the status quo?
  • Are your ‘challengers’ really contrarians or do they have a passion for success?
  • Are they discounted because they are not following in the steps of your Yes Men?

Are you a strong enough leader to allow yourself to be challenged by your employees?

It’s YOUR culture, what are you going to do about it?

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Patti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations for engaged and successful change, guiding leaders and their organizations toward mastery and leadership through change management advising, coaching, innovation, facilitation, process review and efficiency.

You can reach us at 1-855-968-5323

Contact us here to book for:

Innovation | Change Management | Executive Coaching | Team Building | Facilitation

___________________________________________

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What’s the Protocol?

What the Show ‘Covert Affairs’ Can Teach Leaders. 

Covert affairCovert Affairss is a spy show about CIA operatives.  A few years ago I learned a hard lesson when I failed to ask a very important question while media were gathered around a significant event; “What’s the protocol?” This question appears a lot in Covert Affairs.

Background

Let me explain.  As the Chair Person of a Board of Directors of a not-for-profit, I was given the honour of leading a ground-breaking ceremony for a new school being erected that served preschool children with disabilities and their families.  I will admit, it was a great feather in my cap personally, and I was extremely proud to see the model moving to the building of a school, when all previous expansion had been through purchase of an existing building or rental.  I had spent almost 10 years with this organization and saw it grow from one building serving 173 children to the building of a 6th school that would eventually assist over 900 Children with disabilities.  I was very proud of that growth, especially since during that time the organization successfully maintained the importance of focus on the child with an 83+ percentage of outcomes reached.

The Protocol

As a leader intent on supporting the good work of the team, I don’t particularly care for the focus on me, but as an ambassador of the organization it was occasionally my job to showcase the organization to groups.  What I had never done before was a ground breaking ceremony.  I worked hard in preparation, the Development team had prepared a schedule, a script, reviewed my speech, and I’d practiced until I was blue in the face.  They had a wonderful child there who would be helping with the ground-breaking and many community individuals, dignitaries and media had been invited.  The event had been very well organized and I was amazed at all that went into it.  I just had to show up and be the spokesperson.

What I forgot to ask about the dignitaries and their respective roles, was; “What’s the Protocol?”

My role had always been to highlight the organization and its history, to use real and compelling examples of children and their progress, the heart-strings would always find themselves drawn into the story.  I loved it being about the kids, about success and about the way kids overcome adversity. I was on a role, and my young 5 year old helper was a smashing hit, I made sure of it.

Sadly, I was completely unaccustomed to the importance of political dignitaries.  Basically, I failed to understand the significance of their presence as it related to the funding, publicity and importance their role plays in the ongoing workings of a non-profit school.  Their presence was about future dollars!

Basically, they were ignored. Ground-Breaking

And the Crowd Dispersed

Yes, there were photos with them at either side of my little pal and I holding the golden shovel, but they were just a stand in presence to what should have been a more significant role.  What a wonderful media gift it would have been had I known the best part would have been giving those politicians the shovel and asking them to take the first dirt with their new little 5 year old friend and stepping back to let them!

Then I forgot to properly thank them, I took my little 5 year old over to the play area the event team had set up and I talked about the kids, with my little friend sharing his laughter and heart with the crowd.  Oh the media loved the little guy – and I was asked for interviews later (which I never do well as cameras intimidate me) and those politicians went on with their busy day, wondering why they’d been called to attend in the first place.  Talk about poor political moves!

In the end, the Development Team deemed the event a success, as they did get some much needed media attention, the cameras moving to the main school to shoot additional footage.  They never once commented on my faux paus or political immaturity, but I am sure words unsaid were thought.  Conversations around, “how do we keep MLA so-and-so here for a bit?” and other comments I heard as the crowd milled about in smaller groups made it obvious, and I grew increasingly aware of what I’d just done.

What’s the Desired Outcome?

Leaders, managers, employees all function under a layer of expectation and understanding.  Some of the expectations may seem obvious to their bosses, but not to them.  By asking the question, “What’s the protocol here?” gives them an opportunity to truly understand the expectations being placed upon them.

Basically, all meetings, all gatherings and all activity needs to lead to a desired outcome or outcomes.  Some of those will be assumed.  Some of us will be so entrenched in our duties we will fail to see the importance outside of our typical actions.  We need to always be asking – what is the desired outcome, what is my protocol in this situation.  Many a problem could be avoided, especially in terms of media communication of we knew that.

Change Management includes a strong definition of desired state for a reason, we want all activities to lead to the desired outcomes we are trying to achieve.  Without a clear understanding we will be involved in changes that will be less than successful than we had planned.

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Patti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations for engaged and successful change, guiding leaders and their organizations toward mastery and leadership through change management advising, coaching, innovation, facilitation, process review and efficiency.

You can reach us at 1-855-968-5323

Contact us here to book for:

Innovation | Change Management | Executive Coaching | Team Building | Facilitation

___________________________________________

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Change Management & Leading

Where Are We Going?

Change Management (CM) is quite the buzz word in business lately – everyone knows they need it, but few organizations truly understand the science or the way to go about leading and managing change for their organization.  Many companies are still fixated with tossing it into a separate department or onto a specific project for the middle managers or project managers to ‘figure out’.  For many companies, especially project-specific ones, the focus appears to only be on getting buy-in for difficult changes.

“Let’s wrap a little change management around that.”

It’s a frustrating phrase we hear quite often in our consulting practice that not only demeans change management professionals and the means by which change is successfully adopted, but it also makes it sound like the people were the afterthought – like a dictator suddenly realizing three minutes into a coup that they may need a strategy for placating the masses.

“Change Management is about bringing the people with you through change, not shoving it down their throats in a more digestible fashion.”

~W.Blackstaffe

Change Management is just a small bite of Organization Development, not the whole meal.  Leading change for the entire company is best accomplished by the leadership within the organization first.  It is not enough for an executive body to decide to make a change, there are some very important readiness steps that are often missed.  Projects that are completed fully through to implementation before the organization decides it’s time to bring on a change manager miss the most important steps to successful change.

In this article by Forbes,   Donna Wiederkehr offers some very poignant advice on preparing the change at the leadership level in her commentary on change.

  • Have a clear vision
  • Articulate the vision
  • Give your teams a reason to believe
  • Use transitions for inspiration, not just explanations

Most of this is prepared in the decision making process, long before project start or during implementation, and the heart of it is developed at the leadership level. Read more of her article to dig a little deeper into Donna’s thoughts on change.

Our point is this:  A watered-down Change Management effort designed solely for last minute buy-in is not going to be as effective as creating an organization that is Poised for Change™. Your organization needs to be capable of handling the many forced changes through market disruptions, environmental change and technological shifts that businesses are facing today.  Companies need an over-all change strategy that reaches the heart of the employees who are being asked to make changes on a continual basis.

What do you see missing in change efforts you have been involved with?

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Patti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations for engaged and successful change, guiding leaders and their organizations toward mastery and leadership through change management advising, coaching, innovation, facilitation, process review and efficiency.

You can reach us at 1-855-968-5323

Contact us here to book for:

Innovation | Change Management | Executive Coaching | Team Building | Facilitation

___________________________________________

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Open Letter to Criticizers of Restaurant Manager as new MLA in Alberta – no matter what party you support

restaurant_managementDear Criticizer,

RE: Graham Sucha voted in as MLA for Calgary Shaw

Both a daughter and a son in our family are restaurant managers, and I take great exception to the insinuation that restaurant managers are of a lower unqualified class of flunkies as portrayed by the comments I am seeing on several news posts.  Let me make myself clear, restaurant management is one of the most complex, detailed, and difficult businesses in which to succeed and the companies that run them do not select flunkies to be in charge of their margins. 

So, for you salaried employees who work a 40-60 hour work-week, who are not in charge of your department’s budget, marketing, training, staffing, or procurement – perhaps you have a bit to learn about just what kind of a job this is.

The Restaurant Business is a Business!

It is hard-won, always changing, consistently challenging and one of the most difficult roles to take on because you must give up your whole life to make it successful. The dedication of someone who chooses restaurant management is tough, they must be responsible for much more than most MBA’s will have to experience in a life-time. Their fiduciary responsibilities go beyond duty and care, they are the stewards of the entire operation and must do so with fewer resources to support them than the average business.

Data Analysts

Restaurant managers must make good business decisions, and they must do so in good economies and bad.  Data gathering and forecasting for both supply and service is a detailed and constantly moving target. They must gather data, understand the meaning behind the data and use that data to ensure consistency of service at the same time costs are being tightly controlled.

Re-engineering Gurus

Policies, talent management, streamlining, constant quality improvement, minute-by-minute business and resource optimization and continual response to environmental shifts outside of their control are all necessary for a restaurant manager to be successful. They are hit by more outside influence than most businesses and they are required to react on an instant.

Ultimate Customer Experience Experts

Few people either understand or care to learn about all that goes into your customer experience within an organization that gets an hour or two of your time while you are enjoying yourself.  But to give you your water, wine and put a meal out in 12 minutes that is the right temperature, high quality, delivered with exceptional service in an ambiance that meets with your high standards is nothing short of miraculous.  Restaurants require a high level of collaboration of all its parts, both front and back of house, and is like a well-oiled machine. Only an exceptional manager can achieve this kind of coordination from all their employees.

Business Management

I reiterate, restaurants are a BUSINESS.  They have margins and budgets, supply, demand, service, and staffing issues. Unlike most businesses which are affected by occasional outside influences over the period of a year, restaurants deal with outside factors on an hourly basis. A downtown-city restaurant can have one day where they pull in $1500.00 in receipts to another day where $20,000.00 of receipts are brought in – all within the same week. This fluctuation of supply and demand cannot change the quality or experience to the customer, thus making their job extremely difficult.  Budgetary forecasting, review of multi-year actuals, detailed understanding of the complexity of their location, client base, city events, sporting events, special days like Mother’s day, Father’s day, Canada Day, and more –  are all on the agenda for pre-planning long before a customer even considers them.  And as for competition, they have 8 other stores down the street that are vying for the very same customers so they must be dedicated 24/7 to win the hearts and loyalty of their customers, and they don’t do it by being lazy flunkies.

Personal Commitment

I’m guessing that some of you may head into work on a day off on occasion, that’s because you are dedicated!  But did you know that the average restaurant manager is there on their ‘scheduled’ day off almost always as a rule? They are dedicated to their craft, they miss out on all of your fun events because nights and weekends are their busy times, they miss a lot of family functions, they are lucky if they marry a thoughtful spouse who is willing to manage children, house and home while they are consistently raising the bar to compete with the other store down the street, and at a lessor salary than you.  So why do they do it?

It is a vocation, it is a love of people, of service and is a dedicated craft that involves dealing with all kinds of people in all kinds of situations.  They are faced daily with incredible experiences and for a moment are brought into the lives of their patrons who are celebrating, enjoying and feeding their lives through experience.

Yes, even the arrogant, entitled people who look down their noses at restaurant management as a lower-class choice in work leave with a meal served in only minutes with a high quality of standard and their glass filled.

Compared to a few MLAs of the past, I am thinking perhaps a little business management, by a people oriented person, would be welcome in our legislature, regardless of what party you support.  The fact that this one chooses to seek advice from someone who is familiar with public life, is right out of the books of some of these folks.

Kind Regards,

Patti

NOTE:

I happen to know the young man that has been voted in as NDP MLA in Calgary Shaw and have witnessed his dedication and commitment, I am certain he will apply it as steadfastly to this new role as he has in management, and learn just as quickly. 

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Patti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations for engaged and successful change, guiding leaders and their organizations toward mastery and leadership through change management advising, coaching, innovation, facilitation, process review and efficiency.

You can reach us at 1-855-968-5323

Contact us here to book for:

Innovation | Change Management | Executive Coaching | Team Building | Facilitation

___________________________________________

 

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Use Your Simplicity Super Powers

Super PowersWhen I am with a coaching client, it is my job to focus on that client without distractions.  They are often grateful for the time because they are able to focus on their own personal goals without their usual complex environments filled with distraction.

Finding simplicity in a confusing and chaotic world can be as good as a vacation. I can hear the resounding “ahhhh” now as all you readers begin to imagine your lives with less stress, less connection, less of everything.  Not feeling the simplicity love? Use your superpowers.

Simplifying 

The Tiny House movement is one example of how many people are feeling burdened by the trappings of what was once a lofty goal – big house to hold lots of things and more and more gadgets.  And yet there is a feeling of great weight that seems to have loaded people up to the point where more and more people are sharing, dreaming and talking about tiny houses…but not living in them.

Real Simple, the magazine, strikes deep longing breaths as one paws through each page longing for less pressure, less clutter and less hassle, yet it gets stacked in a pile next to all the other interests beside the couch in a living room filled with so many children’s toys one can barely move.

Software websites that once held flashing reminders to buy, buy, buy have simplified to beautifully designed simplistic pages with a small scattering of visual-based links that draw the mind into believing solutions are simple, but people are failing to purchase because the choices of similar software are far too grand and need more investigation.

Not Really Simplifying

The thing is, we want and crave simplicity, less distraction, less of all the millions of messages hitting us on a daily basis, overwhelming our senses and distracting our focus – but actions and wishes do not always match. Goodness knows, I am guilty of getting sucked into the ‘always on’ mentality!

Human beings crave attention – and the digital age has provided us with an attention banquet unsurpassed in history – often at the expense of giving attention to those we are with.  We have at our disposal, hundreds (if not thousands) of attention getting gadgets, platforms and media to fill every minute of our day and keep from every getting anything of value accomplished.

Sit in a coffee shop and watch the throngs of people sitting with each other but all looking down on their phones.  Sit in a meeting and notice how many people are actually listening compared to how many are checking phones. Notice how many people on their drive home from work are texting, talking or handling their handheld devices – in spite of legislation that tells them it’s illegal.

We crave simplicity, yet we ignore the many avenues for gaining it.  I find I am most successful when I drop the gadgets and start listening and doing and that requires super powers!

Use Your Super Powers for Good!

All your gadgets, devices, applications and digital connectors to your world have hidden super powers.  That’s right – and we are going to show you a few.

  • Voice Mail: For meetings, driving, paying at the till, walking your dog, getting stuff done.  This little super power of your cell, desktop and home phone gives you the power to organize your life.  Stop running to answer and be respectful of the people who you are actually with.
  • Airplane Mode: This is great for tablets, laptops, phones and other devices we may not know about. Can’t get something done?  Shut ‘er down, my friend and finish that project.
  • Flag or Close Your Email: You are the hero of this story – you get to decide when you check your email and you get to decide when you will get back to someone.  Prioritize who gets instant gratification from you.
  • Stop answering texts – hit the call button. Are you getting inundated with texts? They take time, especially if you are a slow texter.  Hit the call button and call them back when you are finally alone, make it quick and answer fast.
  • The power button, on your T.V., computer, or any other distracting electronics.  This ultimate of super un-power gives you those long craved for moments – go for a walk, soak in a tub, play with the kids – escape the time suckers.
  • Turn off Social Media Notifications – you don’t really need to check EVERY ping and knock from your social media, it’s not like it’s going anywhere! Check it after a nice lunch – perhaps

You get the hint – take control, because the attention you are getting from a text, social media notifications, email, or any other distracting forces in your life is taking you AWAY from simplicity and pulling you toward loneliness and complexity.

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Patti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations for engaged and successful change, guiding leaders and their organizations toward mastery and leadership through change management advising, coaching, innovation, facilitation, process review and efficiency.

You can reach us at 1-855-968-5323

Contact us here to book for:

Innovation | Change Management | Executive Coaching | Team Building | Facilitation

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One Man One Kit

own-itI have a friend who was in the military and one evening over dinner he and his wife were discussing their training for an upcoming lengthy backpacking trip where the wife was slowly increasing weight by adding  10lb bags of sugar each week in order to build up to the experience.  It was the first time I’d heard the expression, “One man. One kit”.

Those four little words convey so much meaning.

A military ‘kit’ is comprised of 90+ lbs of military supplies used while deployed on mission or training.  The expression is clear in its understanding – it is your job to take care of your own equipment.  You pack it, you haul it, and you bring it back.  (I am not military – so please, if you are, feel free to correct me if my understanding is incorrect.)  What impressed me the most about the saying ‘one man, one kit’ is its use is very applicable for our roles in companies.

You have a job to do, it is your job and you are responsible for the outcome.

On a military mission, there will be roadblocks, challenges and one might even encounter the enemy, no matter what happens, you are responsible for your part of the mission and your own kit. This doesn’t mean your squadron or troop won’t step-up when you are down, it means you are responsible for your part in the mission.

Used in accordance within a company, if everyone owns and takes care of their own ‘stuff’ it becomes much easier to work together, have each other’s backs, and work as one so no person is dragged down by having to bear the weight or ‘kit’ of another unless that person truly needs a hand. Unnecessarily over-burdening another when you are fully capable of doing the job builds resentment and frustration in a team. There are always exceptions to a rule or times when one needs to get a little help, but the point here is to be responsible and accountable for what you were hired to do.

Owning your own ‘stuff’ contributes to a healthy organization.  One man.  One kit.

There are many leadership lessons that translate from the military to corporate, do you have any to share?

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Patti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations for engaged and successful change, guiding leaders and their organizations toward mastery and leadership through change management advising, coaching, innovation, facilitation, process review and efficiency.

You can reach us at 1-855-968-5323

Contact us here to book for:

Innovation | Change Management | Executive Coaching | Team Building | Facilitation

___________________________________________

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A Little Bit of Anarchy

People will meet performance evaluation before they exceed expectation.

People will meet performance evaluation before they exceed expectation.

Many businesses going through a transformation do so for two reasons:

1. Their business is struggling and they need to stop the bleeding.
2. Their leadership is intent on maintaining a continual path to improvement and growth as they remain competitive.

The latter speaks for a leadership who understands that a little bit of anarchy or disruption can feed innovative solutions, and perhaps create innovation itself.  But these leaders don’t make change for the sake of change.

Fear of change is a well-documented and well-understood reaction to ‘doing things differently’, but it is not necessarily true that people don’t like change itself.  Ask anyone who is on the hunt for a new car, a bigger house, a better job, or who has solved a significant problem – change is exciting and worth the anticipation.  The kind of change people dislike is the kind that is thrust upon them, without consideration of the impact it has on lives, jobs, teams, or culture.

Companies that ‘change right’ are open to positive anarchy and growth disruption.  Their leadership does not need to pretend they know it all, they make great efforts to be involved with the process and are open to learning from their front-line experts.

Leaders who fight change?  Sometimes it comes down to ego and those egos might just need a shake while they learn to measure for what they are seeking from their teams.

·         Measure performance like you want your teams to innovate, and they will live up to it.
·         Measure performance solely based on cost cutting and your teams will live up to it.

On average, people will meet performance evaluation before they exceed expectation.

Straight across cost cutting does not grow a company.  Innovative companies that grow are not afraid to investigate ways to grow, many stick to the 70-20-10 rule.  70% of time on core business, 20% of time in supporting efforts for the core business and 10% of time reaching outside the core to innovate and grow the business, and they measure their teams’ performance accordingly, creating an environment for innovation.

Funny, companies with a top-down structure have a fear of disruption, and are often unwilling to change, yet they are the companies who eventually land themselves as the first example; they will struggle and be forced to change to stop the bleeding – somewhere down the road.

Which company do you work for?

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Patti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations for engaged and successful change, guiding leaders and their organizations toward mastery and leadership through change management advising, coaching, innovation, facilitation, process review and efficiency.

You can reach us at 1-855-968-5323

Contact us here to book for:

Innovation | Change Management | Executive Coaching | Team Building | Facilitation

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