Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Leadership Forum

Talk about a power lunch to end all power lunches! I was recently at the major lunch with Julia Gillard, Catherine Livingstone, Chairman of Telstra and Gail Kely, CEO of Westpac.
Gail currently sits at position number 8 on the list of most powerful women in the world!
They are all leaders in their own right and have substantial influence over us in some form or other - politically, financially and through the telecommunications we use in Australia.
Key learnings from the discussion:
1. Don't get seduced by complexity. Get down to simple things like focusing on the customer. Ask questions like "What would we like people to be saying about us in 2017?"
2. Get a simple and single-minded proposition that everyone in your business can understand. Your proposition must be in the format of an 'elevator pitch' that you can deliver in a minute or less.
3. As leaders, we are constantly dialoguing about change. If you want things to change, you need to sustain the change conversation. Change management is a key leadership capability. Change requires 'hard-wiring' changes as well as 'soft-wiring' through constant symbols, coaching and on-going training.
4. Be consultative when it comes to decision making - but use your leadership skills to carry the decision through.
5. We have to actively focus on promoting women in the workplace. Run a diversity audit and review policies to see how well they are in fact applied. Sometimes you are not consciously aware of discrimination. Ask if you fail the 'imagination' test - can you imagine what a business person looks like in your organisation? Is that image of a man?
6. Put targets in place for the advancement of women into senior roles. Identify high potential women as leaders and work with them. Have detailed succession plans in place and women will start to move through the ranks. Teach your children to only see open doors.

Friday, October 15, 2010

23 Things for educators and trainers

Some key learnings from a fabulous course that I am attending on using elearning to its full extent.
1. There is an 'avalanche' of information available on elearning and so many tools that are out there - instead of a 'fall-asleep' session for people learning via distance learning.
2. We are finding clients are driving us to work in different ways to enable rural and busy staff to still have access to learning. MCI is taking the step of moving forward with elearning and webinar options for our clients and we are entering this very exciting space!
3. Even if people are not seen via video camera, they still need to 'meet' each other in the virtual training room. Ask questions so that the group gets to know each other and they can chat.
Will keep you posted on all new learnings!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Advanced Diploma of Management

Some incredible presentations from a group of managers who were trained in a major retailer on the Advanced Diploma of Management.
These are some of the comments that the group made during the presentations in response to the question - how did the program benefit you in your work environment and what did you change and implement as a result of having attended the program:
1. Changes were made to the way in which the team motivation takes place.
2. The risk templates are being used more frequently even on smaller projects.
3. Risk management is taken far more seriously as it is far-reaching and gives the business a competitive advantage.
4. There is far more communication happening and when work is delegated to team members, the RAA principle is followed of resources, accountability and authority.
5. There is much higher level of proactivity and networking is occurring more intensively in an effort to break down silos in the business.
6. There have been changes made to the way in which performance reviews take place and feedback from team members has been very positive who have gotten more out of the process than previously.
7. Goals have been more clearly defined for team members and are now readily measured.
8. Relationships between team members are now much stronger and more emphasis is placed on the importance of this happening.
9. The team values are seen as vitally important to the team success.
10. There is more encouragement to think out of the square and to use different processes such as 6 hats thinking to find better solutions to challenges.
11. Managers commented on how they are now more financially aware of the bigger picture.
12. There were comments about the ability to manage change more effectively and to ensure that weekly meetings are used for team members to set their own goals. This creates a more consultative environment.
13. Managers also mentioned that they are beginning to think more systemically and not only systematically.
14. They are also using the skill of story-telling to a greater extent in painting a picture for the team and encouraging them to come on board.
15. They are driving their team to become more of a learning type organisation so that there is not a culture of blame.
16. They are looking for ways to highlight short-term wins particularly in the longer term projects.
17. The section on strategy really worked well for the group who in some cases had their contribution to the organisation's strategy accepted in to the final version.
18. Budgeting was also an important skill that will assist some of the team in establishing targets.
I find it so encouraging that this group has applied their skills into their work situation and really made a huge difference to the business and to their leadership abilities.
Well done to the class of 2010!!