Rocks Nests and Curiosities of Change

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smRockFormation Rocks Nests and Curiosities of Change

It always surprises me a little when someone says; “I leave my personal life at the door when I come to work.” While that may be what some companies want to hear, the reality is quite different. People’s lives are not compartmentalized, every thought, feeling and emotion they feel permeates every other thing in their day. The person who ‘checks it at the door’ is more than likely in better control when it comes to showing it.

All transition provides lessons and we know transition is that difficult, awkward, uncomfortable time preparing us for the new. Change comes into our work life for all kinds of reasons, sometimes it is a welcome change driven by us, other times it is a change handed to us. Either way, the change is there and we need to face it. But first, we need to move through transition.

The Rock

Transition periods are tough for people. In that period it’s like the person is a rock formation in high tide, being slapped furiously and repeatedly while remaining stalwart at the job, trying to survive. One can imagine how easy it would be to resent being that rock. But there are gifts in change. Check out just what happens to a large rock formation as it gets cleansed, reshaped and even sheds off debris and all that clings to it for security begins to wash away. The old begins to disappear and the new forged beauty begins to show. Surviving transition and being willing to take the hits often leads to better things so try not to run.

Mark Mueller-Eberstein in his TED talk discusses the transition curve of denial, anxiety, shock, fear, anger, frustration, confusion and stress. These are the many emotions of a team member at the end of one way of doing things, and prior to reorientation of a new approach. Morale begins to drop just after fear. Have you as a leader addressed it?

The Nest

It’s easy to see why mitigating resistance during a change is hard. Transition‘s ugly, and the nest of ‘what has been’ is comfortable. Ever awaken on a very cold morning and not want to get out of bed because you know once you do, you’ll be shivering? Loved ones, friends, plans, and yes, even breakfast are right there outside of that bed, but you can’t make yourself move. The comforter isn’t more important or more loved; it’s the transition you are avoiding. The thought of going through the goose-bumps, the shivering, and the cold on your way to the things you love will keep you there so long you even hold off going to the bathroom as early as you should. We like our comfort; we truly hate leaving it especially to move through transition. It’s even worse, when companies fail to prepare their people or help their employees understand what the vision is and what that transition might look like.

The Curiosity

Regardless of the catalyst for change, people want to know what’s going on. They want to know what to expect, what they will be losing and what they aim to gain. They want leaders with enough emotional intelligence to recognize the stages of transition and to carefully guide them past the stress toward creativity, acceptance, hope and enthusiasm. Basically, they need the right information to do their job and believe they will still have success after the change. They need a reason to shed what’s comfortable and move toward the new vision. Honestly, which would get you out of bed faster – if you thought is was cereal for breakfast or you were told it was a 3 cheese omelet with bacon?

Leading Change

Sharing the vision is the most important thing you can do, over and over and over again!

Planning the path is second, and that path is going to be slightly different for every group, person, and department – because ‘what’s in it for them’ will be slightly different. You can use any methodology you like, any system you like, but if you don’t coach and enable a leadership and subsequent management staff to focus on owning and dealing with the people through that change, then adoption will take much longer, I can guarantee it.

Lead change, give vision and time for the rocks, manage the transition, give people a reason to leave their nest and be willing to own it.

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patticropped 150x150 Rocks Nests and Curiosities of ChangePatti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations to develop engaged and successful leaders guiding them toward mastery and leadership through change management, advising, coaching, speaking, and delivering training & team building.

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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Thoroughly Uncommon Common Sense.

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commonsense Thoroughly Uncommon Common Sense.

Everyday people are witnessed doing what appears to us as totally out of the realm of what you or I might call sensible.

Is There Such a Thing as  Common Sense?

From one’s own view point a solution might look simple because the other person just needs to apply some “common” sense.  Unfortunately common sense only consists of the knowledge we have managed to acquire to the point where we need it!   For example, an experienced driver will slow for a corner and accelerate through  the turn.  The inexperienced driver will tend to enter the turn at speed and break in the turn. To the experienced driver the inexperienced driver has no common sense.  Add a race driver and he will assess his speed, visualize the line he wants his vehicle to travel and through a combination of braking and accelerating will minimize deceleration and maximize acceleration. The race driver will view the other drivers as having no “common” sense based on the knowledge the race driver has acquired.

It Starts With Common Knowledge

In effect, there really is no true ” common” sense just gained experience and knowledge for each individual.  So it would seem common knowledge would fit as a good base for a form of common sense.

How about an example of common knowledge:

The world is flat (common knowledge) – don’t sail out of sight of land or you will fall off the edge of the world (applied common sense).

Within each persons realm of being, there are multiple sources of “knowledge” that shape the base where decisions are formed.  The first time a person forgets a cast iron frying pan on the stove and they realize something is burning (sometimes the flames are a clue) the first reaction is to grab the handle and remove it from the heat.  Most will get burned because they acted without considering that the handle would be too hot  for an unprotected hand.  Good old common sense says if the pan is hot the handle will be hot too! Sense of survival says get the pan off the heat (put out the flames if there are any).  If you happen to be a child or a teen  you likely were told, “Don’t touch that, it’s HOT!” And we all know a child or two who simply needed the experience themselves to believe it – ouch.

 Can Experience Get In The Way?

Insurance companies know all about experience, common knowledge, and common sense, just ask anyone who runs a golf course.  When dark and scary clouds roll in, golf courses are made to blow a loud horn to signal danger and bring people in off the course, the rule is there for a reason.  You see, common knowledge is…if you play outside swinging sticks of metal in the air, then the risk of getting hit by lightening increases.  Easy, common knowledge, right?  Unfortunately, this is where ‘experience’ can get in the way.  Our common sense is so tightly tied to our own experiential knowledge that the message “It’s never happened to me before” gets in the way  and finishing play often trumps the horn.  The number of golfers that fail to heed the horn is significant and scary, and the insurance rates align with that information.  The fact is, you won’t see a player who has been hit by lightening wait for the horn, his experience tells him to get out of there when the clouds start coming in, and chances are he’s watching them closely.

Strategic Sense

Yes, we know it’s the name of our company, but we also get asked a lot why we chose it. Well, we wouldn’t want to depend on just plain old ‘common sense’, I mean, earlier we said it doesn’t exist!  Great leaders, though, they understand the value of strategic sense in all depths and breadths of decisions.  A few questions to ask prior to making a decision are:

  1. What do we know and believe about this?
  2. What don’t we know?
  3. Are our common understandings really true?
  4. What experiences have we had that may shape our decision?
  5. What experiences haven’t we had that may get in the way of a good decision?

Stop for a moment to consider a big decision you have to make in life or at work.  Try running it through this set of questions.  Odds are, you will discover you need more data  before you make your final decision, at least a wise one.

The Contemplative Leader

Companies don’t always consider the ‘contemplative leader’ as driven enough and look for the quick-answer-dynamo when promoting.  The fact is, contemplative leaders are less likely to blow a cannon off into a crowd the way some dynamos might.  Perhaps contemplative leaders who make good calm decisions are actually naturals at running through a filter of strategic sense.

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Wallyb icon Thoroughly Uncommon Common Sense.Walt Blackstaffe works with Organizations in process and procedure development, streamlining business practices and managing change, guiding them toward mastery and leadership. Walt accomplishes this through Analytics, Change Management, Advising, Coaching, and delivering team building.

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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Positive Patterns in Life and Work

positive change Positive Patterns in Life and Work

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I had coffee with a buddy from high school  a few years ago where he described a bit of his research in neurosciences to me. While much of what he talked about was a little above my head regarding his Alzheimer research, when we moved onto the topic of change, I was completely fascinated and engaged. He told me much of what we perceive regarding our own habits and patterns is a fallacy when it comes to describing those habits as; “It’s just genetics.”- “It’s who I am.” -“I can’t help it. – “I am just not _____________.” (fill in the blank with any perceived short-coming)

Working in the area of leadership development, through the coaching process, and any change-management initiative, we’ve learned many people resist change at the expense of their futures to maintain their current comfort. Some even resist it to maintain their current discomfort. Why? Because changing takes work. There is no magic wand transitioning us instantly to a goal or desired state. We must fight the path of least resistance and begin that hard cognitive work of changing ourselves and, inevitably, it will shake up every part of our lives when we do.

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France

Here are three steps one can take to do the hard work to create positive change:

Own It

Realize if you are an adult and have been for a number of years, you are responsible for your life. You made the decisions to get there, you built or eliminated the relationships, you are the one who reacted to your environment or events and that reaction has put you in the place you now stand. Taking responsibility for your existing patterns and habits is the first step in the change process. Deflecting responsibility or accountability for your life on others will keep you exactly where you are, no matter how much you “wish” things were different. So long as you can pass it off as someone else’s fault, you will not change a thing. (Keep in mind that we are talking about personal choices, not external influences outside of our control.)

Practice Discipline

Changing patterns or habits is a lot like practicing piano. You start with a few easy things and increase the difficulty as you go, however, unless you practice, practice, and practice, you will not create a habit. A habit is just that, doing one thing over and over again until you don’t even have to think about it. This takes discipline over a long period of time, especially if you are attempting to eliminate a different habit. Changing your lifestyle, your money patterns, and your work routines does not happen overnight. It can take as many as 25-27 months in our experience coaching leaders as they use discipline to develop new habits, reactions and work patterns to improve or grow as strong leaders of people.

Reset Thought Patterns

This is the tough one. Just as a truck creates a path in a wheat field, that path grows firmer and more solid every time it is driven upon.  Unfortunately, so do the neurotransmitters in your brain. A farmer who needs to enter the field will take the easiest path, the one created first so as to make it easy to enter without disturbing the crop. Your brain works the same way, each time a similar situation arises, our brains take the path of least resistance, the one created the first time a situation arises, and it does so at lightning speed. Add 25-40 years of traveling that same route and you can see how easy it is to think “it’s just how I am”. But you can drive through a different field. First, you need to identify the patterns needing a reset, and it’s never easy. Get some help in learning how to reset your thought patterns by contacting a counselor for personal and relationship issues or a coach/strategist for leadership and business. There is great value in someone offering you a vantage point from the outside, as well as provide solutions and strategies you had not previously thought about.

Most often, the necessity for change enters our personal lives as a push, a difficult period or a life awakening – our business lives force change for many reasons related to the business or the market/environment. Sometimes our eyes become opened to a better way, or we are simply so uncomfortable stagnating that without change we feel we may not survive. Sound dramatic? Well, life can be that way. How we react to our lives, remain open to new things, accept positive criticism, stretch outside our comfort zones and work hard to reach our greatest potential is when we feel the greatest reward. Notice I said work, great things rarely come easy, but they are usually worth the hard effort it takes to get there.

This post was originally published for the Life Change Network in November 2012.

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patticropped 150x150 Positive Patterns in Life and WorkPatti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations to develop engaged and successful leaders guiding them toward mastery and leadership through change management, advising, coaching, speaking, and delivering training & team building.

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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Are You Leading for Change Management?

website media Are You Leading for Change Management?Leading for Change...a few years ago Patti, our Strategist,  was interviewed for an article of the same title in Success Magazine.  In that article she stressed the importance of involving the team in finding solutions, saying;

“When employees know the plan, the direction, the mission and the goals, it gives them something concrete and real to focus their actions toward. It helps them understand how they add value to the direction of the company and shows them their own worth toward building success for the organization.”

Recently, a new client approached us because they have been struggling with the internal management of some of their change initiatives.  The topic of managing change is a relatively new area for them and they have made assignments regarding the change management role.  When we identified for them that they have not developed a common understanding across the organization as to exactly what change management is, they began to better understand why some of their initiatives were failing.

What was happening?

  • Employees believed they WERE performing change management in their respective areas.
  • The words Change Management were being used but not necessarily performed in the manner the industry recognizes.
  • They were seeing ‘ownership’ of their piece of the project threatened by the new change management role, assuming their piece would be taken away.
  • They were unwittingly sabotaging the change efforts of the change manager.
  • They had a number of ‘change’ initiative going on, but did not support at the highest level.
  • They were treating the process as an administrative duty.

It didn’t take long to get them on the right track, what they needed was a company-wide definition of the Change Management Process for their organization. They needed to engage the people in the organization to clarify this common definition for the entire company.  Then they needed to engage teams in learning just what that involved.  Most had no idea that change management is actually a process, not a series of random steps performed in isolation of the other steps.  “We added a little Change Management to this…” means they had no idea what change management actually involves.SuccessMagazine e1389916187730 Are You Leading for Change Management?

In your best sponsorship, are you leading change by creating clarity and understanding from the top and including people from ALL levels of the organization so that they have both input and a common understanding of initiatives? Here are some ways to help you build the competency in your organization:

  • Bring in someone to help you define a change process for your organization.
  • Train the people you will be assigning as change practitioners
  • Enlighten the organization with clarity on exactly what change management involves.

Let me leave you with Patti’s other quote I like from the article:

“You don’t have all the answers, and science is showing that a group of committed collaborators trumps a single genius for finding amazing solutions.”

Clarity and engagement – two keys to success in Leading Change – Make it Grand!

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Wallyb icon Are You Leading for Change Management?Walt Blackstaffe works with Organizations in process and procedure development, streamlining business practices and managing change, guiding them toward mastery and leadership. Walt accomplishes this through Analytics, Change Management, Advising, Coaching, and delivering team building.

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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Culture, looking to shift…

 

free vintage image retro lady clip art Culture, looking to shift...

It seems the holidays and approaching New Year puts many leaders into a state of reflection and renewal.  January hearkens the desire to keep what works and change what doesn’t.  The time is ripe and prime for a shift….but you have been through this before…it isn’t easy to address a culture shift.

“So, tell a better story…”  Work cultures are built on the stories we tell and most companies are filled with stories that embody the image employees have of their company – sometimes these stories are accurate, and sometimes they are not.  “If they don’t like it they can leave.” is the kind of story employees will share for years, or at least the ones who stayed, even if it was poorly translated and uttered by a single executive who did not intend it to come off quite as harshly as it did.

First step to take is to know and understand what the existing stories are, what compels your staff to either love or hate the company in which they work and what stories do they repeat most often to support those beliefs? If those stories are truly an inaccurate depiction of the whole truth, what are you doing to share the stories that are most relevant to meeting the truth?

Here is the second step…if you are looking for culture shift find the employees who act in the manner to which you wish your culture to shift… then tell their stories proudly and often.  What have they done that is positive?  How do they do those things?  What do you do to support that kind of behaviour?

It isn’t enough to ‘like’ their actions – we need to support those actions, tell their stories, coach others to behave similarly.

What else can you do?  Take action yourself – adopt activities that empower the kind of shift you want the company culture to take – and let your employees tell those stories.

Transition will be weird, even messy at times – the stories won’t match what they already believe, but that will shift over time.  Not an executive?  That’s okay, anyone who witnesses positive action, collaboration, great execution – they can tell stories too!

 

What’s Your Story??

 

 

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Wallyb icon Culture, looking to shift...Walt Blackstaffe works with Organizations in process and procedure development, streamlining business practices and managing change, guiding them toward mastery and leadership. Walt accomplishes this through Analytics, Change Management, Advising, Coaching, and delivering team building.

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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Own It to Change It

french.horn2  Own It to Change It How does organizational change occur?

Change occurs because people, just like you and me, made the decision to change.  How that decision came about may be different for each individual involved; the motivator, influence or even traumatic event that may occur and spur someone toward change is usually personal and unique to each.

In the end, change occurred because the individual decided to take responsibility for their contribution to the current state of affairs & take action toward the future.

Every stakeholder involved plays an instrument in the orchestra of change.

Successful, sustained change occurs when someone owns and takes responsibility for their individual piece of the musical score, especially if it achieved a not-so-appealing outcome based on past performance.

Change is hard.  It involves leaving our comfort zones, habits or belief systems and developing new ones.  The transition is messy while we figure out how to accomplish new behaviours.  There will even be a few mistakes along the way and people will need to readjust, (forgive), move forward and shift action.  It can be awkward or frustrating.  Keeping the whole orchestra (organization) and the final performance (goals) in focus will help.

  • Each person needs to know what instrument they play and how that instrument contributes to the whole.
  • Each person will need their own sheet music and it will be slightly different than someone playing a different instrument.
  • Each person will need to own their personal performance AND how they perform along with others.  (You’ve all heard music when one instrument is off or out of tune.)

Making change is not about laying blame, it’s about being responsible for and owning ‘what doesn’t work’ or is no longer sustainable action – owning it personally in your corner of the stage – and it will take practice.  Equally important to successful change is collaborating with others, following the beat or lead of another, being supportive of and aligning with other members of the orchestra, not to mention caring deeply about those people who will bear witness to the performance.

Own it to change it…

With luck, your orchestra has a supportive and active conductor guiding you along the way.

P.S. If you have an absentee or a non supportive conductor, you are still part of an orchestra and need to own your part in the overall performance in spite of a lack of leadership.  Working together WITH the other musicians toward the greater performance is the best way to win with change.

P.P.S. Pointing fingers at others and blaming a lack of leadership as an excuse for poor performance or a bad attitude is a cop-out that shifts responsibility to others – this is a lose-lose activity.  Win-Win activities involve owning it to change it.

 

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patticropped 150x150 Own It to Change ItPatti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations to develop engaged and successful leaders guiding them toward mastery and leadership through change management, advising, coaching, speaking, and delivering training & team building.

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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Are You Asking the Right Questions?

Question Are You Asking the Right Questions?“We find … it’s much more important and difficult to ask the right question. Once you do that, the right answer becomes obvious.
~Amory Lovins

If you want to know more about why people do or don’t change, then ask more questions.

When working with organizations and teams, it is important to first listen and understand before building plans and developing programs for them.  For organizations that do not have coaching as a mainstay offering for their leaders, they may be surprised to hear it is those coaching methodologies that open the door to understanding.  For a large company, it is definitely worthwhile for key individuals and leaders within the organization to be coached, and for those in charge of organizational development (OD) to have some coaching training behind them.

There is a generalized stigma around coaching that can be hard to shake and it’s often referred to as that ‘airy-fairy’ soft-skills stuff.  There is nothing soft about coaching!

If you remember being figuratively pinned to the wall as a teen in high school as some wise adult helped you learn to stand up and take responsibility for your own actions, you can easily recognize the value for coaching in any environment.  Through great questions,  a coach can dig deep enough to get to the root of why you choose your current thought patterns and reactions, helping you better understand where you fit among the dynamics of a multifaceted team of individuals.  There is nothing soft about it.  The secret to a coach’s success is the training they receive within two areas:

  • learning how to ask questions and
  • the right questions to ask.

This is why people in Change Management (CM) are also effective coaches.  One who seeks to understand the stakeholders and the stakes involved in any change initiative is best served by first knowing the right questions to ask.  Great questions return great results, further creating introspective reasoning for the individual who is providing the answers.  The people being asked begin to think a little more about what they do and why they do it, eventually getting to the heart of why, within a change initiative, the stakes are so high for them.

This doesn’t mean the stakeholders are all in an ‘organized coaching program’, but rather, through a varied series of meetings, one-on-one discussions, facilitated group sessions and other forms of analysis and risk analysis, the CM professional is able to dig deep to the heart of any challenges that may inhibit change.

Change is inevitable, but change as a push mechanism is rarely successful.  Change initiatives that take into consideration all stakeholders and build a plan for change that motivates and inspires people to move forward from resistance to desire find greater success.  It is my experience that there is usually a lot more to resistance than what is initially shared, and a little coaching methodology can certainly loan itself to finding the greatest resistance and helping the people within an organization work through it.

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patticropped 150x150 Are You Asking the Right Questions?Patti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations to develop
Happy Workplaces world-wide guiding them toward mastery and leadership
through consulting, advising, coaching, speaking, and delivering training.

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

Contact us here to book for Idea Sessions, Change Management, Executive Coaching or Team Development.

Idea Sessions | Change Management | Executive Coaching | Team Building

 

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Are You A Team Player?

Team 700x350 Are You A Team Player?

In his blog titled, “We Don’t Need To Make it Better” on February 5, Seth Godin says this about improvements.

“Just because it is uphill doesn’t mean it’s hopeless, though.  One of the most essential tasks a leader faces is understanding just how much the team is afraid of making things better (because it usually means making things worse—for some people).

Change is scary for most people, and risky change that might adversely affect someone or cause a wave, even scarier!  The thing is, it is important to do what is RIGHT instead of working in fear.

Malcolm Gladwell notes in his book, “The Tipping Point:  How Little Things Make a Big Difference

Cooperation and conciliation and compromise and teamwork are all arts, and like all arts they require practice and commitment.  In a complex world, success is not possible without teamwork.”

Let me put it this way, if you are a member of a team or a ‘Tribe’, as Seth Godin calls them, you have a responsibility to that team; not only to each other, but to the overall mission (or company) as well.  If you have been hired in a role and you work with other people to accomplish that role, you are being paid to work with them and help develop plans for reaching the BIG PICTURE.  Not sure what that is?  As a team, ask these questions:

  • What is our collective why?
  • What exactly does success look like, what are we trying to accomplish overall?
  • Who is needed to accomplish that goal?
  • What do I have to do in my specific role to make it an amazing success and who do I need to collaborate with in order to reach success for the BIG PICTURE?

Now bump it up…..

  • How can I bring the very best of myself to that role and help everyone else shine so they too can accomplish our BIG PICTURE Mission?

Ultimately, it is not about you. If your loyalty is only to yourself and not with the team and the company who is paying you, you are in the wrong job or at the very least not giving your best to the job you have.

Here are a few great actions of a team-player.

  • They keep professional confidences and do not put the company or their team mates at risk for selfish gain.
  • They see and recognize the strengths that EVERY member of the team brings to the table and are willing to work WITH those people for the BIG PICTURE success.
  • They are both transparent and honest, protecting the path to the BIG PICTURE along-side their team members.
  • They deal directly with the individual they have a qualm with and do not drag clients or outside individuals into their emotional dramas or insecurities. (P.S. that is called gossip)
  • They do not disparage other team members to each other (or anyone else for that matter), but rather find ways to turn the other team member’s poor performance or lack of success into a coaching opportunity before writing them off.
  • They are loyal to the BIG PICTURE realizing the people or organization paying their salary are where their loyalty lies, and they work together to meet that big picture.

Getting the drift?  If you are a member of a team within which you can take these actions, then you are on the right team.

If you cannot find yourself loyal to the team or play well in the sandbox with the people you are supposed to be reaching the collective goal with, united for a common cause, (or you don’t believe in the cause), it is time to find a different place to work.

Why?  Your heart is with you, not the team or the goal.

Go do something GRAND, something you can be passionate about in reaching a common BIG PICTURE goal WITH people you can respect – or – find a way to be a solid member of your existing team, unite and build a plan together so that you can again be passionate about what you do and who you work with.  Stop waiting for your company to change so you can make this happen – you have much more power than you think.

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patticropped 150x150 Are You A Team Player?Patti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations to develop engaged and successful leaders guiding them toward mastery and leadership through change management, advising, coaching, speaking, and delivering training & team building.

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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Policies, Procedures and the Leadership Team

people 1 150x150 Policies, Procedures and the Leadership TeamWhether you have 10 people walking in the door for work or 1000, they all bring with them their dreams, hopes, values, frustrations, problems and their desire to make their career the best it can be. People bring with them every experience they have ever had, and their perception of what that experience has meant to them, good or bad.  Most of them will react to everyday situations based on those experiences, putting a wrapper around the situation based on what they believe it means to them.

Witnessing the human dynamic can be both awe inspiring and difficult, depending on what is playing out at any given time within the organization.  You will have motivated and non-motivated employees, you will have great leaders and managers who are biding their time.  There will be people with good intentions and the odd one with not-so-good intentions.

And this is why every company needs to have policies and procedures in place with strict adherence to them.

For the routine actions and for the unusual actions that will occur in any company, a set of guidelines for both employee and employer provide clarity and help avoid miscommunication.

First, the best place to start is to look at your Provincial or State labour standards or code.  These are the guidelines you as an employer must uphold, it is the law in the place where you live.  It is also the job of every manager in your company to know what these are; are you helping them?  Small companies without a solid HR presence will especially need to know what the rules are.

Second, you need to protect the company and your employees from harm.  Harm includes law suits, security issues, labour problems and safety.  There are clear guidelines in all of these areas as well.  Do your homework, make sure you know what your rights are and make sure you know the rights of your employees.  A company handbook can include some of these items.

Third, you need to understand what processes you as a company wish to work within, basically; “What are my manager’s supposed to do and what are they allowed to do within these walls and how do I want them to accomplish it?”  AND “What are my employees supposed to do and how do I want them to accomplish that?”

Many companies are unaware of how important their own policies and procedures are.

Executive team, not everyone ‘works like you and thinks like you.’

I know a lot of companies are weary trying to keep up with the legislated pieces and want to apply more of the budget to operations rather than HR.  However, HR, when given the right direction and authority, have the ability to save the company many dollars in the long run.

From vacations to stress leave, from benefits to complaints, without a solid set of procedures to access and the guidelines of what to do, your employees will be scrambling for answers and wanting support.  In most companies employees want their immediate manager to have both the answers and the authority to make a difference for them.  Have you prepared your management team to handle all they will need to handle when they encounter a difficult situation or event, a budgetary shift, a grievance?  Have you prepared your HR team to take on what the manager cannot?  Have you outlined the differences in their roles?  Are you tracking attrition, complaints, costs of transition, and more?  Have you outlined the overall ‘behavioural intolerance level’ your company will not accept and what happens when they arise? If not, you have some work to do.

It is easy to make the assumption your staff understands how you want the company to run, after all, you are there every day and you are showing them how to do it.  Be cautious, leader, these people need things clearly laid out, eliminate as much opportunity for misinterpretation of your desires as possible.  Empower your staff to make decisions without you because the policy or procedure is spelled out in a way that supports your teams and protects your organization.  But be aware, this is not a quick task or a two month answer, you will need facilitation and direction through about 18 months to two years of development if this is the first time you have embarked on such a task and you have more than 20 employees.

Give your Managers and HR department the tools and the power to make a difference for you and for your staff.  Develop a company where everyone knows what support looks like and your teams are empowered to shine.

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patticropped 150x150 Policies, Procedures and the Leadership TeamPatti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations to develop
Happy Workplaces world-wide guiding them toward mastery and leadership
through consulting, advising, coaching, speaking, and delivering training.

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

Contact us here to book for Idea Sessions, Change Management, Executive Coaching or Team Development.

Idea Sessions | Change Management | Executive Coaching | Team Building

 

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Why I Can’t Be Hired

Be willing to do the work, not play the victim of circumstance

get hired 150x150 Why I Cant Be HiredWorking in Organizational Development (executive coaching and change management) is my passion.  I love situational, character and behavioural development within an organizational environment.   I personally study hard to build my programs and I take neuroscience, anthropology and psychology research into account for all jobs involving people.  I have done this self-study for almost 20 years regardless of where I have worked – I am fascinated by people.  What really charges me is when I am asked to come in and work with teams for greater collaboration and communication.

To determine if I am a good fit for the consulting contract, I ask the following two questions:

  1. How much action and change is the executive leadership willing to take on in order to make my efforts worthwhile for the company?
  2. What kind of support will be available from the top in order to make positive change happen?

The one statement that leads me to decline a consulting role with a company is this:

“I just want you to come in and fix ______________.”  (This statement is rarely associated with actions of the executive leadership.)

First, your people don’t need fixing.  Second, I am powerless to ‘fix this’ because as the consultant that is not my job, as the leader it is YOUR job.  Third, I am hired to guide you and lead the way, the work involved belongs to each and every individual within the company STARTING with the top level leadership and supported through to the front lines.

When a problem exists, the first step is for the leadership to be able to admit there is a problem, but they cannot stop there.  They must be willing to admit the actions they have been taking thus far are not working and something needs to change.  It needs to change first at their level.

I have been known to decline any job whereby the hiring individual is unwilling to do what it takes to turn around the morale or working relationships within the company.  I will also turn down coaching jobs with any manager who is not willing to take the action necessary to make change at their (leadership) level.

Coaching and consulting are about providing the assist, but we don’t come in and score the goals for our client, that is their job.  They must be willing to do the work – not play the victim of circumstance.

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patticropped 150x150 Why I Cant Be HiredPatti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations to develop
Happy Workplaces world-wide guiding them toward mastery and leadership
through consulting, advising, coaching, speaking, and delivering training.

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

Contact us here to book for Idea Sessions, Change Management, Executive Coaching or Team Development.

Idea Sessions | Change Management | Executive Coaching | Team Building

 

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