Friday, February 25, 2011

Women in Management

The amazing group in our Women in Management Diploma program had a treat today with our incredible guest speaker, Edyta Torpy, Oceana Diversity and Inclusiveness Leader from Ernst and Young.
Some key pointers from what she said to the group:
Women need a proper road map of how they are going to get to where they are going - not some vague sense of what they want to be.
We also need to be able to ask for help if we need it. That is critical for success.
Women often have a lack of confidence - what on earth is that inner dialogue in our heads saying?? That we are not good enough??
We also often sabotage ourselves. Don't be afraid to join networks. They are simply groups of people talking about things that matter to them.
A big challenge facing women moving up is the unconscious bias of men who do not seem to see things from different perspectives. Find the right sponsors in the organisation and get them to influence others.
Know what the office politics are and what the rules of the game are - even if you decide not to play by them, that is fine - but you must know them.
And a final word - "there is a special place reserved in hell for women who won't help other women!"

Friday, February 18, 2011

Diploma of Management

What an amazing group of learners in our Diploma of Management program today! Such great debates and lots of light-bulb moments.
There has been such incredible feedback on the program from participants who are praising the fact that the program content is so current and that the dynamic of the training is so full of energy.
This is what one of the groups came up with as a summary of the day:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tom Peters live in Sydney

I had the pleasure of listening to Tom Peters - management guru on organisational excellence. He had some great stories and quotations and the most wonderful sense of humor.

He said so much that was music to my ears -
All hail the training department!! No company ever expended too much money or effort on training! In sport we continuously train so why consider training to be an annoyance in business?? Peters says up 25 percent on the people expenditure and cut elsewhere.

Here are some more sound bites from the session:

Never think to be arrogant. Most of us reach high places due to sheer luck or good genes and not through superior intelligence or hard work.

If there are great people like Gandhi and Mandela who saved the world, then by implementing some simple principles you can save your company.

Every single communication you make is an opportunity to be thoughtful - particularly when it comes to email.

Listening is the ultimate mark of respect. Effective listening is the best weapon we have. Listening is a discipline and is trainable. An effective listener can read between the lines.

Women have huge negotiating strengths that they need to make the most of - they can collaborate effectively and have a strong sense of fairness. They have the ability to have empathy and to put themselves in other peoples shoes.

R.O.I.R is a return on investment in relationships and is far more valuable than any ROI you will find.

A leaders is an actor and is on show all the time. It is always showtime.

The people who really run the show in an organization are the frontline managers and supervisors. Select them carefully and train them and mentor them. Don't reserve executive coaching for the senior team. Make training of the supervisors an obsession. They are the multipliers. If you want to treat your customers right, get your supervisory training right.

You are your worst enemy. Don't let the internal turf wars be the focus when you should be out there focusing on the marketplace, your customers and your competitors.

When you are old, you will need to think back on the memories that matter. How many tombstones do you know that talk about the amount of money you made in your lifetime?

If communication is garbled it is your fault. It is up to you to make the meaning the clear.

Be kind to everyone. Everyone is fighting a great battle. Remember that you never see more than 2 percent of the person sitting across from you. The iceberg model really reflects the 98 percent that is unseen.

Planning is over rated. There is much joy in never having a plan. Whoever tries the most stuff is the most likely to succeed. Have the ability to be fickle and respond to the way in which the wind is blowing.

Don't over analyze - try things out.

It is not your credentials that count but your accomplishments.

Remember that the score takes care of itself. Do the right things, get the right talent and your bottom line will take care of itself.

You need 3 different types of leaders. The visionary. The people and politics guy. The inspired profit mechanic. All are equally important. They don't come in the same body.

You don't only need a to do list. Create a 'to don't' list. Have one main thing of key significance.

The only thing that does not lie is your calendar. If you say you are going to prioritize something then your calendar will reflect this.

The principle of management by walking around still applies.

You should script the first ten plays of Monday. Launch the week in a purposeful way. This sends signals to everyone else. January is when the story starts and is the launch time.

Treat your employees like customers - Herb Kelleher from Southwest Airlines. And this is in an industry which is highly unionized.

The employee entrance should be better than the guest entrance.

All leaders are in the human development business. The 'Putting people first' message is vital but not listened to. Leadership is a sacred trust. You should have an oath of office to go with this. You don't make widgets. You develop people who make widgets. Everyone who works for you has a dream and aspires to do something.

There are 7 steps to sustaining success.

You take care of the people.

The people take care if the service.

The service takes care of the customer.

The customer takes care of the profit.

The profit takes care of the reinvestment.

The reinvestment takes care of the reinvention.

The reinvention takes care of the future.

And at every step the only measure is excellence.

New performance management - name the 3 people whose growth you have contributed to most over the past year. Please explain in great detail what your growth strategy was.

Apple's Steve Jobs is unethical in not reporting on his exact health status when billions of dollars are riding on this company.

Don't let the important stuff be absent. Read books on the important stuff. What will you do in the next ninety days to become an all-star hirer...

Always ask people - what do you think? And then listen to the response.

Edgar Schein - wrote a book on help. How to offer, give and receive help. Helping is what leaders do for a living.

K = R = P. Kindness equals repeat business equals profit.

The key importance of expressing appreciation for everyone's contribution. Apologizing is a key to moving forward in leadership. This is a discipline that can be learned.

Acknowledge that people have a problem when they complain. That is great customer service. Is there a course in your company on how to apologize? What is in fact on your course schedule?

The key thing to do is to try the most stuff and in that way you will be successful. Act from day one and not just plan how to plan. It is relentless trial and error. Fail. Fail again. Fail better - Samuel Beckett.

You miss 100 percent of the shots that you never take. Wayne Gretzky

We are what we eat and we are the company we keep. These are strategic innovation decisions.

The bottleneck is at the top of the bottle. Gary Hamel.

Small things make big differences. Walmart increased the size of the carts and encouraged people to keep shopping. Profits went up 1.5 times.

Forget china, India and the Internet. Economic growth is driven by women - headline from the Economist. Women drive the global economy and will be worth 28 trillion in the next five years. Is promoting women your strategic objective?? Women are the majority consumers. Macdonalds shifted their strategy to seeing women as main consumers. Average female client recommends to 26 other people vs men who recommend to 2.6 people. Girls are the new boys. Men had a good 50 000 year run....

Thanks Tom. Now we need to take action...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Women in Management

What an incredible group of women on our Women in Management Diploma program - full of energy and so willing to contribute and participate!

Here are some challenges that these women are encountering in the workplace and some of the initial suggestions and strategies that are being put forward by members of the group:

Women in Management: Personal Challenges


How can I connect with, engage, stimulate, motivate, support, encourage and build a strong team? Where do I start to create a positive team environment?


· Be clear about the team’s goals and how we plan to get there

· All team members should know their roles and who they report to

· Provide clear structure and discipline

· Spend time clarifying their understanding, their actions, their due dates

· Use RAA, CARE, build trust and commitment

· Ask, don’t tell (collaborative decision making)

· Offer training and career development opportunities

· Offer feedback that is regular, immediate, genuine, includes outcome, process and effort and focuses more on strengths than areas of development

· Offer opportunities for team building

· Celebrate success together as a team

· Be open and honest about your own falibilities as a manager

· Remain in adult mode when others move into parent or child mode

· Encourage cross training

· Ensure that your team has OOSEA (outcomes, objectives, structure, energy and atmosphere)

· Encourage informal education

· Utilise guest speakers and subject matter experts


How can I manage the dysfunctions within my team?


Use Patrick Lencioni’s framework for the 5 dysfunctions of a team


I’d like to learn how to progress whilst maintaining balance and building strong foundations


Brainstorm, set deadlines, make decisions


How might I remain open to new ways of doing things?


· Encourage ideas from your team

· Make ideas valuable (shape answers where needed)


How might I change behaviours and perceptions regarding inclusivity of women, especially in a male dominated environment. More specifically, how do I deal with power struggles to achieve more equality? How can we bridge the gap between Mars and Venus?


· Adjust communication: avoid gossip, take the fluff out of the conversation, plan communication, use bullet point communication

· Don’t use emotion to manipulate i.e. crying

· Use more assertive language e.g. “I need…”

· Make the effort to socialise with men, not just women, at work, join them

· Use the WIIFM principle

· We cannot control or fix other people. We have two other options: 1.) We can become more politically savvy at handling the situation and 2.) We can, as a last resort, leave the situation alone. People come around in their own time through influence, not pushing. Accept that after you’ve given your best shot and that you may need to let go.

· Embrace and accept differences


How might I better manage diversity (personalities, cultures, etc?)


· Understand what motivates different people

· Create a space for each type to succeed

· Use work preference profiling to learn about each other and identify any gaps and areas for improvement


How can I developing leadership behaviour with my team?


· Ask them what their expectations are

· Be the facilitator of the kind of change you want


How might I coach and/or others to be the best they can be?


· Ask open questions, don’t tell

· Set aside time for coaching

· Be clear about both yours and their expectations


How can I strengthening my operational role; developing stronger vision and strategy?


Use the Johari Window, SWOT, PEST


What can I do to better manage the different generations?


· Set up mentoring relationships between Gen Ys and baby Boomers

· Try to include Gen X’s

· Listen to Gen Y’s ideas

· Be open to the asynchronous nature of Gen Y communication

· Give Gen Y’s big jobs and act as a mentor

· Mentor Gen Y to be open to how other generations communicate


How can I improve my own communications skills and those of my team members?


· Understand and use DISC

· Communicate adult-adult

· Focus on the issue/person/behaviour and not the person

· Make face-to face time (Skype, Webex)


I’m in a new management role. How do I recruit the right employees?


Session on recruitment to follow


Managers need to multi-task, so how can we prioritise better?


· Set realistic expectations for yourself

· Delegate what you can using RAA

· Accept that you’ll juggling-nine minutes spent on one task before being called to another

· Use Outlook (task lists, to do lists, reminders)

· Assess best/worst case estimates

· Don’t have a meeting with yourself, just start somewhere. Break things up into manageable parts (compartmentalise)

· Colour code your diary

· Enter meeting requests into your calendar

· Chunk items together where you can

· Plan leave time


How do I go about achieving work-life balance?


· Prioritise myself

· I cannot give from an empty cup


How can we influence upwards? How can I make sure that I’m heard and can exercise my authority without losing my femininity? I’d like to climb the ladder.


Session on Influencing skills to follow


How can I begin to manage my own growth and personal development?


· Discuss your goals with your manager; create a vision for where you’d like to be in 5 years, look for the gaps and set SMART goals to translate your vision. E.g. necessary education/experience you need

· Set aside ‘thinking’ time

· Collect items for your ‘kitbag’ all the time

· Keep checking yourself against your vision

· Look to the future

· Stop looking to others for recognition: focus on developing your internal locus of control which will minimise the impact external influences will have on you

· Think about the bigger picture, outside the building


What does it take for me to build a strong network? For starting my own business or for building better workplace relationships, where do I start?


· Market yourself and your team

· Develop and maintain a high profile within the organisation

· Shout out your achievements

· Stop putting yourself into victim mode and instead focus on the abundance of what you have

· Practise self assertion

· Find ways to use your strengths-be the ‘go to’ person for something in which you’re ‘A class.

· Think about the bigger picture, outside the building


How might I better manage change?


· Be clear about the WIIFM

· Realign RAA to new processes


How can I shift/break through silo mentality?


Make recommendations for process improvements and share skills


How might I manage difficult behaviour? i.e. pettiness, moodiness, sulking


· Remain in adult mode

· Nip it in the bud


How can I overcome the feeling of being isolated?


More to follow in the session on networking