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Rollercoaster of Change

Rollercoaster of ChangeThis blog is a companion to the interview with Mike Sayre and Dr. Dale Meyerrose on VoiceAmerica “Innovative Leaders Driving Thriving Organizations” on February 7, 2017, Focusing on the roller-coaster reality of complex change.

As we listen to leaders talk about their transformation success – it sounds as if they created a plan, executed on the plan and declared victory. In working with large complex change, this is rarely true. Things happen that derail the project, such as acquisitions, divestitures, and market changes. The test of a successful leader is how he or she responds to the changes that happen, pivots to revise the strategy for success, and implements the revised strategy.

The role of organizations is to deliver results aligned with their mission. In a complex and everchanging environment, organizations must change to keep pace.

Scott came into an organization that was in the process of making significant change. His job was to lead the portfolio of transformation initiatives and ensure the business continued to run effectively. This role meant that he needed a strong understanding of the current organizational operations, the direction of the change and the capacity to change.

Given the rate of change we are seeing across the business landscape, rarely do I see organizations that aren’t making multiple concurrent changes. I expect that this trend will continue well beyond my career. Organizations now need to adopt the ability to change as a core competency if they are to thrive long term.

Many leaders believe they are effective at change because they have led a few initiatives. As the bar increases, it is incumbent on you as a leader to continually hone this skill of leading organizational transformation, which means knowing how to both update yourself as a leader and transform your organization. For optimal effectiveness, both need to be done concurrently.

According to Dale, change falls along a continuum – and your approach needs to be adjusted accordingly. Here is the simple example of the continuum – you need to know which level of change you are putting in place:

  1. Fill potholes
  2. Repave the road
  3. Build new road

As a leader of change, it is helpful to categorize each change along the continuum and understand project dependencies as well as people impact. Your employees are the most valuable asset you have in implementing change. If you don’t take concrete steps to attend to the rate of change and their ability to adapt, you risk failure. People are resilient. If you are doing the “right things”, they will be actively engaged in managing through the transformation. You need to build trust and be appropriately transparent during a difficult transformation.

The more extreme the transformation, the bigger the people impact. How you handle people issues governs the success of the change. Because you have a limited number of employees who are familiar with your organization, they will govern the rate of change. While you can augment them with consultant or contingent workers, your long-term ability to perform will depend on your internal staff being prepared at the end of the transformation to operate the business. By attending to their capacity and building their resilience, you can accelerate the pace of change.

A key factor that is often overlooked during transformation is organizational culture. Are your changes aligned with the culture? Implementing change that is inconsistent with your culture can undermine the change initiative and the culture. For many companies the culture is the “secret sauce” of their success. If this is true for you, the recipe should be protected, which means it needs to be included in the change portfolio as a key factor and, in many cases, it should be one of the projects to ensure it is being attended to across the range of changes.

We have talked about people and culture but we have not yet addressed the question of turn-over. In many cases, some of the team will not fit after the transformation is complete. This could be because of the required skills and roles, or it could be because they don’t align with the culture. It is important to be aware of the expected attrition rate during a change and plan accordingly. People want to be treated fairly. When they see their colleagues treated with disrespect, you are at risk. That said, top performers want to be surrounded by top performers so they will expect their leaders to take action if team members are not meeting expectations. Action could be additional support or a different role. These decisions can be complicated because we are talking about employee’s livelihoods. Change leaders need to balance compassion for people with the requirements of the organization to implement the transformation.

By understanding the magnitude of change, planning the process, and taking into account the people and the culture, you will increase your probability of success. Every change runs into challenge, and with the support of your people, you will have the people involved who are committed to navigating the issues. If, on the other hand, you are not actively engaging your people at every step of the way, you risk failure.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Maureen Metcalf, CEO and Founder of Innovative Leadership Institute

, is a renowned executive advisor, author, speaker, and coach whose 30 years of business experience provides high-impact, practical solutions that support her clients’ leadership development and organizational transformations. Maureen is recognized as an innovative, principled thought leader who combines intellectual rigor and discipline with an ability to translate theory into practice. Her operational skills are coupled with a strategic ability to analyze, develop, and implement successful strategies for profitability, growth, and sustainability.

Maureen has published several papers and articles and speaks regularly on innovative leadership, resilience, and organizational transformation. She is the author of the award-winning Innovative Leadership Workbook Series and the co-author of The Innovative Leadership Fieldbook, winner of an International Book Award for Best Business Reference Book. She is also a regular contributor to Forbes.com.

Maximizing Team Interactions: Moving Beyond the Lowest Common Denominator’s Reign

Building Thriving TeamsThis blog is drawn from a paper published by Jim Ritchie-Dunham & Maureen Metcalf, Co-hosting: Creating Optimal Experience for Team Interactions, Integral Leadership Review, November 2016. Jim and Maureen also recorded a Voice America Interview airing on February 14, 2017.

Christopher, the CEO, walked into a planning session with the intent of getting his full team on the same page for how to move key initiatives forward for the upcoming year. His leaders were all in alignment on the core purpose of the organization and how to accomplish it. During the discussion, everyone gave unbiased input intended to move the organization forward irrespective of personal interest. Christopher was highly skilled at understanding the point of view of all participants and synthesizing the various points of view of his trusted leaders to create solutions everyone could support.

Does this scenario describe your normal business meetings? How is it different?

We would like to explore the idea that groups can leverage the skills of individuals across five key perspectives and create an environment in which each participant operates at his greatest level of contribution. We call this the alchemy of co-hosting, whereby the co-host, in conjunction with the participants, invokes a very different mindset and process for the team to function.

The Challenge

“Less than one-third of U.S. employees have been engaged in their jobs and workplaces [since 2000]. According to Gallup Daily tracking, 32% of employees in the U.S. are engaged — meaning they are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace. Worldwide, only 13% of employees working for an organization are engaged.” – Gallup

Much of our work is done within teams comprised of many highly effective and highly compensated people. We have found that these teams often function at the level of the least common denominator. Many people, especially leaders, move from meeting to meeting all day, every day. They often do this with little awareness of the specific role they play in the meeting and the value they bring. This is the culture of many organizations. When asking a cohort of vibrancy community members what they experienced in these teams, they suggested that while the participants were generally strong employees with good skills, they were often disengaged and some actively disrupted the work or found ways to interfere with the meeting goals. In some cases, the participants did this as passive aggressive response, and in some worse cases, did it just for personal entertainment. So, what is the antidote to this high level of disengagement considering five key factors other than the highest rank present? How do we capture the highest level of input from each person to create a higher level “field” of operation than any individual would have access to by working alone?

The Approach

We look at five different perspectives or measures of intelligence, then explore how the art of co-hosting can leverage all five intelligences of the participants to create an environment that calls forth the greatest possible capacity in the group.

The five perspectives are:

  • Leadership maturity – describes how adults mature throughout their lifespan, attending to ever increasing levels of complexity in their thinking, emotions, and behaviors
  • State development – describes where people focus their attention ranging from what is immediately in front of them to what is abstract and spiritual
  • Years of experience
  • Skill to identify the perspectives in the room
  • Co-hosting skill – the ability to identify the perspectives in the room and create an environment and approach that leverages the maturity, state, and skills of the participants

It is interesting to note that each of these perspectives is important for an organization to create holistic solutions to the many complex challenges they face. For that reason, it is important to recognize each of these perspectives and be able to identify, recruit, and create environments that genuinely leverage the gifts of each.

By integrating the five perspectives individually, an effective co-host can create the “container” or space to leverage each to the participants’ greatest potential rather than the traditional lowest common denominator.

Summary

During this era of increased complexity and accelerated need for change, it is imperative that we identify methods and processes to help us navigate the challenges we face. Optimally, these methods and processes would create the greatest impact for all involved—creating an optimal experience for the individuals and a holistic solution for the organizations or groups involved.

We believe that the solution integrates a solid process that integrates five key perspectives and a presence of being within the co-host to create the desired outcome. Both elements are critical.

We have an opportunity to enhance the experience and the impact we have in trying to solve problems. By building the capacity to co-host and using this process, we increase the probability of solving our most complex problems and enjoying the process. Knowing that this is possible helps us regain hope that we as a society can resolve the mounting list of intractable problems we hear of every day on the news.

Authors

Jim Ritchie-Dunham is president of the Institute for Strategic Clarity, a global research nonprofit, president of Vibrancy Ins., LLC, a global consultancy and publisher, president of the private operating foundation the Academy for Self-Discovery Leadership, an adjunct faculty member in Harvard’s program in sustainability leadership, and Adjunct Professor of Business Economics in the ITAM Business School in Mexico City.

Jim authored Ecosynomics: The Science of Abundance (2014), co-authored Managing from Clarity: Identifying, Aligning and Leveraging Strategic Resources (2001), has written many articles on systemic strategy for academic and practitioner journals, and blogs regularly at jlrd.me.

As a student of human agreements, Jim Ritchie-Dunham brings over 25 years of research and insights gleaned from working with groups of all make-ups.  Jim named Ecosynomics, the emerging social science of the agreements that guide human interactions. Ecosynomics provides a framework rooted in economics and the sciences of human agreements that begins with an initial assumption of abundance, not scarcity, and a wider view of the human being.

Maureen Metcalf, CEO and Founder of Innovative Leadership Institute

, is a renowned executive advisor, author, speaker, and coach, whose 30 years of business experience provides high-impact, practical solutions that support her clients’ leadership development and organizational transformations. Maureen is recognized as an innovative, principled thought leader who combines intellectual rigor and discipline with an ability to translate theory into practice. Her operational skills are coupled with a strategic ability to analyze, develop, and implement successful strategies for profitability, growth, and sustainability.

Maureen has published several papers and articles and speaks regularly on innovative leadership, resilience, and organizational transformation. She is the author of the award-winning Innovative Leadership Workbook Series and the co-author of The Innovative Leadership Fieldbook, winner of an International Book Award for Best Business Reference Book. She is also a regular contributor to Forbes.com.

 

Is your well-intended project oversight actually obstructing progress?

LeadershipThis post was written by guest blogger, Kathleen Starkoff, Founder, President and CEO of Orange Star Consulting in conjunction with an interview on Voice America aired on August 23 How Can You Successfully Implement Large Scale Change?

Most of us have had the occasion to be participants in or witnesses to complex mission-critical system based projects like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) conversions, company mergers, or acquisitions. Personally, I have engaged in hundreds of complex projects and what often strikes me, is the profound impact that overseeing executives can sometimes play, inadvertently complicating the effort. Have you observed any of these common oversight practices and their unfortunate consequences?

  • Single-dimension coaching is when one parameter, like the implementation date, formally or informally defines success. To be sure, the implementation date is often an important target established, presumably, with good reason. Further, on-time delivery represents a critical and challenging aspect of project management.

A simple and emphatic message like “deliver on time” is compelling. When such a focus is established, well-communicated and emphasized, one can assume that this primary focus will be achieved. Unfortunately, the primary parameter’s success is often achieved at the cost of lesser parameters, like poor quality or missed functionality, the sting of which lives on long after the implementation date.

Leaders who coach from a balanced perspective, understanding and appreciating the interdependencies of dates, plans, scope, and resources, will encourage better holistic outcomes. Further, leaders who support a preemptive plan for talent, time and/or financial contingencies for the inevitable unforeseen circumstance, at levels commensurate with the initiative’s complexity, channels the team’s energy solidly on execution.

  • Overly optimistic coaching is an environment where analysis and reporting tends to be unduly positive because influential leaders, who define the culture, value optimism. In project delivery, like sales and many other business areas, optimism is an important and necessary cultural characteristic.

However, optimism can play an adverse role in decision making when the characteristic is dominant. Project management requires coordinated planning, analysis and realistic progress reporting. When a team is overly-optimistic, and/or hesitant to report failure, the necessary and sensitive synchronization of data is compromised. When such data is then amalgamated across teams of similar optimistic culture, the compromise is magnified. The environment produces a proliferation of “on-target” milestones in project reporting right up until the milestones are unexpectedly missed.

Leaders who engage from a curious (“Tell me what is happening.”) perspective versus a leading from a goal focused (“We are on target, aren’t we?”) perspective, create a safe environment for the messenger to share the unbiased reality of the project. This open and trusted relationship can be replicated across project teams to create a virtuous cycle of fact based data and information. It also encourages the preemptive identification and resolution of issues, minimizing big surprises and increasing the probability of success.

  • System-centric project planning is when a project’s definition of success is the conversion or implementation of a system. That is, after months or years of IT and business engagement, a system goes “live” with a new system or version, which is, statistically speaking, far easier said than done.

But implementing a system without leveraging the opportunity that large scale system change represents is regrettable. It is a terrific people and process change opportunity, work that can be leveraged for real benefit. The work of engagement around design, training and conversion with the business provides the perfect platform for identifying people and process opportunities and integrating the change into the solution. The benefit annuity is squandered, if the success hurdle is simply system related. Instead, system change can and should be used to drive ongoing business benefits of real dollar savings or customer service improvements. It does not make the system change effort any more difficult. Conversely, the addition of these benefit increases business ownership and engagement providing an effective stimulus for the change.

Leaders who engage early in the project construct to define substantial complementary business outcomes measured in specific quantitative and/or qualitative ways will be able to creatively and sustainably address problems or opportunity areas. The business outcome focus will ensure the enthusiastic engagement of all parties through the project’s duration and a vibrant celebration for the resulting annuities brought to life by the system change.

The number of times that I have witnessed these themes carried out in various forms is material. As real and material as the adverse impact on the mission-critical project or the business; in every case, the leader, while well-intentioned in his actions, caused suboptimal project performance, delivery and outcomes.

I have also witnessed these themes performed in the most positive sense. Leaders, who through their visible and vocal sponsorship, seemingly doubled the energy of the project team, enabling impossibly-tall hurdles to be jumped and ridiculously-aggressive deadlines to be met.

Chances are that you have witnessed a bad example, or two, of the above issue causing themes. After reading the related comments and insights, I hope you are one of the leaders who is learning from the errors of others and you are leading in a way that avoids these errors and better yet sets the standard for what is possible! What are you doing to exemplify the positive representation of the themes and the exceptional results? What do you do to encourage others to avoid the pitfalls and learn from the lessons of others?

About the Author

Kathleen Starkoff, Founder, President and CEO of Orange Star Consulting is a cyber security expert, a talented headline speaker and a senior, trusted advisor to CIOs across a wide range of industries, Fortune 500 companies and the National Science Foundation.  Her ability to provide valuable counsel is a result of her 20 years of IT leadership experience in industry-leading organizations including CIO at The Ohio State University, CTO and Enterprise Risk Manager for Limited Brands and CTO of Bank One Corporation.

Ms. Starkoff is a recognized “Leadership Fellow” and a featured cyber security speaker for the National Association of Corporate Directors.  She is also Board Chair-elect and Chair of the Governance and Nominating Board Committee of Flying Horse Farms, part of Paul Newman’s SeriousFun Children’s Network, which provides transformative camp experiences for seriously ill children. She holds a master’s degree in business administration from Case Western Reserve University, and a bachelor’s of science degree, cum laude, in mathematics from Kent State University.

Leveraging Generational Differences to Drive Success

Team Working cc poughkeepsie Day School

Today’s guest post is from Cam Marston, President and Owner of Generational Insights. He is an expert on the Demographic Trends and Generational Bias Impacting Work & Sales. This post is a companion to the Voice America interview with Cam to air on March 8, 2016.

How important is workplace atmosphere to a millennial? Apparently it was important enough to at least one of them to blow off one of the premier employers in her desired profession.

Hannah Gordon, a journalism student at St. Bonaventure University, recently shared her thoughts about a visit to the New York Times in a letter to TAPinto.net. The Times is considered by many journalists to be the pinnacle of the profession, a place to which the most ambitious reporters and editors aspire.

Gordon, however, saw it differently, noting her disappointment at finding a “near-silent newsroom” instead of “the bustling, comradery-filled (sic) newsroom I imagined.”

“My visit,” she concluded, “made me realize it was sterile journalism.”

Gordon did not give examples of work produced by the Times that she considers sterile, but seemed more concerned with the newsroom environment, saying she knew she “wouldn’t fit in with the culture” in a place where she couldn’t “fully express my creativity and quirkiness.”

She illustrated her point by noting that an internship coordinator at the Times may not have appreciated the “shooting stars and flying bats” on her portfolio.

While Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers will laugh this off as a millennial living down to the stereotype (and wonder what kind of journalism student would show up to the New York Times with stars and bats drawn on her clips), we also must assume that Gordon isn’t alone. Finding a collaborative atmosphere and an outlet for their creative passions is important to millennials – and finding talented millennials is important to employers.

So who should give? Should employers like the Times reconfigure their workplaces to cater to the desires of millennials like Gordon? Or should Gordon realize that not every office is going to feel like the campus newspaper?

There’s no one right answer here, but my hunch is: perhaps a little of both.

As more millennials flood the workforce, many workplaces are moving toward environments that foster the kind of collaborative atmosphere for which Gordon seems to be looking – and one day, even the Times may join them. It makes sense for companies that want to attract and retain the best and brightest to make sure their office environments are going to be seen as an asset.

But millennials like Gordon also need to understand that it isn’t the job of a workplace to fulfill their every desire. It’s to get work done. Very few of us, no matter the generation, are fortunate enough to find a job that feeds all our ambitions and interests. Many of us find other outlets for our creative and quirky sides that aren’t satisfied at work.

Perhaps Gordon will find a job that meets all her expectations. Or maybe she’ll have to temper those expectations to find a job.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

Avoid Toxic Behavior and Build Self-Worth to Retain Employees

Akken Cloud Avoid Toxic Behavior

This guest post was provided by Akken Cloud.  In the past, it was common for people to stay at a company for years, even decades. Loyal employees were rewarded with stability and good benefits. But in recent years, even the promise of stability is not enough to keep top talent. In fact, employees may find that changing from job to job can be lucrative, often resulting in a 10 to 20 percent salary increase.

While that’s great for the employee, it’s very difficult and costly for employers. Factor in the time it takes to recruit and train a new hire, loss of work production, and higher salary demands, and turnover becomes a very costly experience for a company. In fact, the Center for American Progress found that turnover costs a company one-fifth of that employee’s salary. Now more than ever, retaining great employees is crucial for a company’s bottom line.

While some companies work to combat high turnover by creating a system to quickly assimilate new employees, it’s not a sound business model. Not only does this model devalue the advantages of a seasoned employee, but it also neglects the influence of turnover on company culture as a whole.

A company culture that encourages each team member to grow can result in tenured employees who add value. Tenured employees are more productive and thus more valuable to a company. But the productivity doesn’t end at one person—it affects the whole team. The longer people work together, the more likely they are to better communicate, which can also result in better productivity. In fact, a survey conducted by Harris Interactive found that 34 percent of respondents noted that “communication bottlenecks impact their productivity” negatively.

But once someone leaves a company, questions emerge from the remaining employees. Why did they leave? Are there better opportunities out there? Could I find one too? One employee’s departure can lead to two, and then maybe three, costing the company even more money.

There are many effective measures employers can take to reduce turnover. One of the easiest ways to reduce turnover is to ensure your workplace instills respect and self-worth among its employees.

Why Respect and Self-Worth Matter

It’s simple, really: People want to feel valued and believe their work has meaning. In a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), 50 percent of employees who reported not feeling valued at work were looking for a new job, while only 21 percent of those who reported feeling valued said they were doing the same. In addition, 93 percent of the employees that felt valued reported they were motivated to do their best work possible. Self-worth and respect not only improve retention, but showing employees you value them can improve work productivity and engagement. Multiple studies show engaged and happy employees perform better, miss less work, and are better assets to a company overall.

By becoming aware of some of the pitfalls many employers make and adjusting a few simple practices within the workplace, employers can create a better work culture that results in happier employees. Happier employees equals reduced turnover and ultimately saves money.

Behavior and Habits That Are Toxic and Disrespectful

Behavior and attitudes, both good and bad, can affect the people around us. Research suggests happiness can rub off on others while negative behavior can cost businesses billions. Negativity is extremely harmful and can poison the workplace. As an employer or manager, it’s important to take a look at your own practices and avoid these behavioral pitfalls:

Tardiness

Showing up late to a meeting, even if it is informal, shows a disregard for other people’s time. Yes, you may be really important within the company. But if you have a meeting time, stick to it. Of course there are unavoidable situations that mean you need to reschedule. In these circumstances, make sure to let the person or people know as soon as there is a roadblock in your schedule, and apologize appropriately. Don’t make a habit of being even a few minutes late to every meeting. The message you send to other people in the meeting is: My time is more important than your time. That is no way to make people feel valued and respected.

Disrespect

Common courtesy can go a long way. There are varying forms of disrespect. For example, showing disregard for an employee’s ideas or talking over him or her is incredibly disrespectful. If you are unsure how employees perceive you, the tried and true method of “treat others as you would like to be treated” is the best way to keep yourself in check.  In addition, make sure employees know they can speak up about workplace disrespect either to you or an HR person, reinforcing the point that their voice matters.

Allowing others to be disrespectful

Equally bad, if not more hurtful, is when a manager sees one peer disrespect another peer and does not appropriately correct the action. This sends the message that you don’t care about the way your co-workers treat each other. Additionally, your silence can be interpreted as agreement with the disrespecting person.

Broken promises

Employees look to their managers for support. If you give your word that you’ll do X or accomplish Y, then you better do it. Otherwise your employee will lose faith in your ability to follow through on your promises, and eventually they may lose respect for you in general. If you can’t produce what you promised, then let your employee know right away and explain why you cannot deliver. This candor shows honesty and leadership, and provides the employee with an example of how you expect him or her to act in the workplace.

Defensiveness

A healthy relationship is one where there is honest and open communication. If you’re defensive every time someone questions one of your ideas or actions, people will think communication is not welcome. This leads to employees who eventually shutdown and remain silent even when they have important and innovative ideas. A company then receives decreased value from its employees.

Gossip

Gossiping about team members to other employees is a recipe for disaster made only worse if you’re a manager. Telling an employee sensitive information about their peers suggests not only that you disrespect that person, but that you cannot be trusted.

Lack of interest in team members

Showing a lack of concern or interest for your employees’ lives, especially their work lives, says you don’t care about them as individuals and probably don’t care about their personal growth or happiness at work either.

Blame

Nothing can lose the respect of your team faster than blaming others for your own mistakes. It makes people fearful and wonder when they’ll be thrown under the bus. It’s best to own up to your mistakes and quickly work to resolve whatever issues are present. This will help fix the issue, and help earn the respect of your team.

Behavior and Habits That Build Self-Worth

Creating a work culture that builds employees’ self-worth means a happier workforce. And a happier workforce means higher quality work, a drive to exceed expectations and goals, as well as more long-term employees. In addition, a positive atmosphere may attract other similarly minded, high-performing employees. Employers and managers should help build their team’s self-worth with the following steps:

Praise good work

Nothing feels better than validation for a job well done. This is not to say you should praise every little thing an employee or team member does. (If you give out praise constantly, then it loses its significance.) However, when someone has completed a project or task exceptionally well, praise them. Acknowledging someone’s hard work costs nothing, yet it boosts an employee’s self-confidence and increases his or her willingness to continue working hard.

Celebrate and reward success

Praising good work is a great place to start, but it’s also a good idea to celebrate success and reward hard work. Whether it’s a celebratory happy hour for completing a project ahead of schedule or give a bonus to someone who had an outstanding sales quarter, celebrations can improve the entire team’s morale and motivate all workers to keep up the hard work. A word of caution: Celebrations and rewards should match the work that’s being recognized. A last minute and poorly planned gathering to acknowledge the end of a project will feel less meaningful. Additionally, financial bonuses should correlate with the amount of money the employee either saved or earned for the company—maybe a $50 gift card won’t cut it if someone just closed a $1 million deal.

Acknowledge strengths and weaknesses

Calling attention to an employee’s weak point in a constructive manner can help foster growth and show you care. The trick is to be helpful in this criticism and demonstrate you’re willing to assist toward making a positive change. In addition, when discussing weaknesses, it’s a good idea to praise an employee’s strengths. By addressing weaknesses and acknowledging strengths, you help an employee feel like you appreciate and value them enough to work on self-growth.

Help employees grow professionally

Employees want growth opportunities. One of the main factors that leads to losing talent is the lack of growth and advancement opportunities. For this reason, it’s crucial to help employees succeed in professional goals, even if it means losing them to another department at the same company. If your company is small and doesn’t have much upward mobility, provide other ways to help employees grow, such as teaching new job skills and providing more challenging projects.

Create open discussions

Employees want to be a part of the team and company. They want to feel that their opinions matter and can directly influence their work. By creating open discussions that allow team members to be included in decision making, you create an environment where employees know their opinion matters.

Trust employees and stop micromanaging

Micromanaging can be the death of employee happiness. Micromanaging every task conveys you don’t trust employees to do their jobs.  And, no one wants to be micromanaged.  Instead, focus that energy on providing adequate training. Then allow the employee to do that job, perhaps away from the office at times (if possible). Allowing people to work from home from time to time shows you trust them to get the job done. In addition, studies suggest flexible work arrangements are also related to employee happiness and job satisfaction, further increasing higher morale and self-worth.

Engage

Engaging with your team members can go a long way in growing an employee’s self-worth. By engaging with people on a personal level at work, employers show they legitimately care. A simple “hello” in the morning or check-in after lunch takes little time out of the day, but the overall effect it has on morale is astounding.For managers, this reduces the potential hesitation for an employee to ask for help.

Listen

Just like engagement, listening to an employee can positively affect self-worth and company culture. Meet with team members and allow them the opportunity to tell you what is going well, what went horribly wrong, and what landed somewhere in between. A lot can be learned in these check-ins, but you have to listen. Ask a few questions to get things going, but allow the employee to direct the conversation. They will feel valued knowing their manager took time to listen to what they had to say. These quick meetings can also bring your attention to anything that may be amiss and needs correcting.

By avoiding negative behaviors that show disrespect and instead engaging with employees in a meaningful way that improves their self-worth, employers will create a more positive company culture, reduce turnover, and ultimately save money.

About Terra Clarke Olsen

Terra Clarke Olsen is a writer and content manager with a background in sales. She is a member of GeekGirlCon’s Board of Directors, also serving as treasurer. Terra has a BA from UCLA and a MA from University of Toronto. She resides in Seattle, WA with her husband, son, and two cats. Find her on Twitter: @Terrasum

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

Five Key Elements in Performance Management Design – Part 1

Blog post written by Rob HarmanPath to success cc traumaandissociation, II CPA, MBA, PHR, SHRM-CP.  You have just received an email from your Human Resources Department advising you it is time to begin the annual performance review process. Do you react by thinking, great, I have an opportunity to showcase the great work I’ve done and provide meaningful feedback to others? Or do you suddenly feel the 12 week job assignment overseas is looking like a real opportunity? I think most of us will agree the performance management process is something that can be improved upon at most organizations. It is often a once or twice a year task that is required by the company in order to assess performance, determine promotions, discipline, or terminate employees who are not performing at a level that is expected.

While having the greatest intentions, many organizations come up with sophisticated competencies that are often very long, cumbersome, and complicated at best. The performance management process then becomes a necessary evil. Since most of us are being asked to do more with less, performance management becomes a low priority because the business of doing business always comes first. Often then, the performance management process becomes an annual exercise of trying to remember what you did for the year, what your team did, how well it was done, and what you can say about it in enough words to satisfy the owners of the process, while getting it done quickly enough to move on to your other tasks.

The sad part is that performance management is very much about running the business and meeting client needs, both internal and external. What is needed in today’s workplace is an efficient, effective, easy to use, continual performance management system that is transparent. Everyone needs to be trained on how to give effective feedback, and how to receive it. This should be an ongoing refrain! EVERYONE needs to be trained to give and receive feedback! Repeat – EVERYONE needs to use the training they received to give and receive feedback. Think of how many people you know who are ineffective at giving and receiving feedback and either are too busy to get better or think they are already good enough. The changes we recommend ONLY work if leaders and managers are GOOD at giving and receiving feedback!

With those criteria met, the performance management process will become a much easier task, one that is continual throughout the year, will deliver feedback, and will help set goals to help employees and the business.

In the following sections are five things to consider when building a successful performance management process and system. Use, design, measurement, output and competencies. We will cover use this week and the following four next week.

1. Use.

How will you use the system and what is your goal for the system? What organization and talent objectives are you trying to meet? Common uses are compensation decisions, promotion decisions, training, and what I’ll call leveling. Leveling can mean holding someone in their current position for a period of time, providing them with additional training, or finding other opportunities for them in the organization if their current position isn’t the right fit. Ultimately, it can mean counseling someone out of the organization.

As a side note, when making compensation decisions based on performance, many organizations are considering unlinking the direct connection between compensation decisions and the overall rating. Compensation decisions can still be made by performance, but other factors such as job position, job skills, market conditions, and contributions to the organization can be the main drivers1. This allows for more direct and honest feedback, and ultimately improving employee engagement and performance by honest coaching.

In part two, I will talk about what your intended use of the system should be, what to measure and how, as numeric ratings are falling out of style. We will also touch on competencies and how those are built into the system.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

If you are interested in receiving our ongoing blog series or other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Photo credit: www.flickr.com traumaanddissociation

Implementing Big Data Programs – Building Your Team

Big Data and AnalyticsThis blog series is written by guest blogger and co-author James Brenza. James is the Chief Data Officer for Labor Genome. He is also Vice President, Data and Analytics Practice at Pillar Technology.  He provides over 20 years of technology leadership to drive the use of data and analytics for sustainable competitive advantage.

In this series James has been talking about implementing big data and analytics programs using a composite case study to illustrate the process. Each week he will focus on one of the seven steps giving specific examples to help illustrate how the tools can be used in a very practical manner. This is the second of the series that corresponds with the seven stage implementation model (shown below). More information on that robust model is available in the Innovative Leaders Workbook for  Implementing Analytics Programs by Maureen Metcalf and James Brenza (scheduled for release in August 2014).

Leading Organizational Transformation

Define the teams: When leading an analytic initiative, you can start to build your team after you’ve defined the vision and scope, and gained sponsor and stakeholder support. It’s actually more appropriate to say you can start building your teams (plural). Unlike more definitive initiatives, it’s critical to build teams that include the sponsors, steering committee, project team, extended team members, and subject matter experts. To help identify the necessary teams, you can review the data sources previously identified, the type of analytics to produce, the outcomes to be produced, and the measurements identified.

The different teams identified will serve very distinct purposes. The sponsors will be required to meet monthly to help ensure you remain aligned with the organization mission and the initiative vision. They will also be very effective at breaking down high-level barriers. The steering committee should be prepared to meet on, at least, a biweekly basis. Steering committee members that meet frequently will be uniquely positioned to more deeply understand your progress as well as help remove barriers. Another key role for the steering committee members is to provide ongoing communications and updates to sponsors and stakeholders.

The core project team must absolutely embrace all of the core functions necessary to implement the initiative.  This will include ingesting large volumes of data, integrating data, establishing data quality, formalizing data definitions, building analytic models, assessing the strength of the models, tuning the models, training the models, and creating the new business processes so the business value can be realized.  To be successful, the core team will also need to have extended team members. The extended team members will need to include subject matter experts for the data, the IT infrastructure, the statistical models, and the business processes.

Select team members: When selecting your team members, it will help significantly to create a selection matrix. The rows of the matrix should list specifically identified team member candidates, and the columns represent key selection criteria that the members must exhibit. The selection criteria can include areas of expertise, communication, teamwork, credibility, trust, culture, commitment and developmental perspective. As you assess each team member across the selection criteria, it’s important to make sure you have adequate coverage over all columns. If a candidate has many gaps across the columns, it’s appropriate to select a different team member, or find a second representative to help augment that team member.  For any gaps in the coverage for either team members or columns, the leader should consider adding or substituting team members to ensure complete coverage.

For analytic initiatives, the selection of the data scientist is critical. You need to make sure you’re embracing strategic focus, data management, quantitative analysis, business acumen, communication, and problem-solving skills. Attempting to find all of these skills in one individual can be nearly impossible. So rather than hunt for unicorns, the leader can be more successful by focusing on building a small, highly cohesive team—of at least three individuals—to cover all of these areas.

Define the sponsor management plan: After the core project team has been assembled, they can create the sponsor management plan. The sponsor management plan will augment the detailed implementation plan with a list of activities for every sponsor and stakeholder, when an activity should occur, the outcome expected from that activity, and the specific messages that need to be delivered. This will be a precursor to the communication plan that will be developed in subsequent steps. After the plan has been drafted it can be compared to the original list of data sources, analytics, desired outcomes and measures to ensure all aspects of the initiative have been addressed.

How is leading a big data/analytics initiative different than other projects? So let’s take a moment to focus on what’s unique about data and analytic initiatives.

  • Due to the analytic nature of the initiative, the team requires extensive balance far beyond traditional teams. These dynamic elements can include:
    • Broad diversity of talents that must incorporate technology, analytics and business acumen
    • Flexibility to collaborate and respond rapidly to opportunities and challenges
    • Ability to simultaneously manage and be managed by multiple organizations.
  • That balance needs to include the vision, technical and business acumen, communication, and extensive subject matter expert involvement. Many other initiatives do not need to encompass this many dimensions.
  • This will create a unique challenge for the leader to make sure they’re keeping this in mind at all times and ensuring all team members stay fully engaged throughout the initiative.

Defining the team is one of the first challenges. In our next section, we’ll discuss how to assess the situation and strengths to help the team succeed throughout implementation.

Click to purchase the Innovative Leaders Workbook to Implementing Analytics Programs.

If you are interested in reading more by James, you may want to read:  Evaluating Big Data Projects – Success and Failure Using an Integral Lens, Integral Leadership Review August – November 2013. You can also listen to the NPR interview that accompanies this paper including a dialogue between James Brenza, Maureen Metcalf, and the host Doug Dangler.

We also invite you to join the LinkedIn group Innovative Leadership for Analytics Programs on LinkedIn curated by James.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

If you are interested in receiving James’ seven part blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Photo credit: www.flickr.com by Mike Pluta

Leader as Team Member in Effective Mergers and Acquisitions

Team EffectivenessImplementing a project when in a role other than leader is challenging, yet it is critical for organizations to leverage the skills of a broad range of people (not all in formal leadership roles) to successfully implement complex change. This post, co-authored by a team of successful Corporate Development mergers and acquisitions (M&A) leaders, is the second in a series and looks at the mindset of a high-influence leader in M&A.

But it’s a team sport, right? There are several key roles in an acquisition. The following list conceptually covers them, though each company and deal may be slightly different.

  1. Deal Lead – takes a holistic view of the transaction, synthesizing all relevant perspectives and ensuring the acquiring team thinks and acts as a cohesive unit. This role may be combined with the project manager and/or relationship builder.
  2. Acquiring Manager – is responsible for the asset’s P&L performance after Close. S/he must be intimately familiar with the target’s details and have a clear plan for post-Close activities. This role may be combined with the relationship builder.
  3. Functional Leads – evaluate the target to understand the current state and trajectory of key functional areas. Their goal is to understand the organization and its market in detail and identify important elements to be addressed during integration based on whether the approach is to fully integrate all functions or leave the acquired organization “alone.”
  4. Legal Counsel and Investment Banker – attend to deal structure and financing to ensure the deal generates value (financial or otherwise) for the parties.
  5. Project Manager – coordinates among the various roles and ensures activities are completed in a timely manner.
  6. Relationship Builder – while not a formal role, is an important part of a successful transaction. Trust relationships built with key individuals during due diligence smooth all aspects of the deal, from negotiation, diligence and announcement, to integration planning and execution.

How the roles are filled varies greatly. A single individual may play multiple roles – the important factor is that all roles are filled.

It is expected that leaders in M&A transactions demonstrate strong leadership qualities, but it is almost more important that team members be high-influence leaders in their own right. As outlined in the first installment of this series, the mindset of a high-influence leader involves being:

  1. Professionally humble – Cares about getting it right ahead of being right
  2. Dogmatically committed to right action – Is unstoppable and unflappable when on a mission
  3. A 360-degree thinker – Has a “balcony view” of the business; is able to step back and observe the overall organization and the interconnected impacts
  4. Intellectually versatile – Has developed interests, expertise, and curiosity beyond the job and organization
  5. Highly authentic and reflective – Is not constrained by personal appearance but is highly focused on personal behavior
  6. Able to inspire followership – Has a special ability to connect with people at all levels of the organization to create a shared vision
  7. Innately Collaborative – Welcomes collaboration in a quest for novel solutions that serve the highest outcome for all involved 

One transaction that leveraged high-influence leaders involved a large company making a sizeable acquisition. The target spanned several continents and employed many hundreds of people. The acquiring general manager wanted the asset, but was not interested in day-to-day details or in reporting progress to his executive management. His personality and role as head of the acquisition was a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, his M&A team contained several high-influence leaders who ultimately executed a successful integration that was positively viewed by all.

Among other things, the integration required relocating large labs and offices, reorganizing staff and decoupling from business-critical systems. Though the separation period, the typical challenge required empathy, diplomacy and creativity – attributes the acquiring GM did not exhibit, but members of the M&A team did. Innately collaborative, they relied on each other as sounding boards and approached problem solving in an unconstrained way. Their solutions were often quite creative, borne of an ability to step back from the problem and view the transaction as a system. This 360-degree perspective allowed them to see options where others found barriers.

Though they frequently had to go up against strong personalities and tackle difficult issues, they were professionally humble, more concerned with arriving at the best solution than their own. It didn’t matter if someone who yelled or threw his ego around had a better idea – what mattered was the better outcome. They also were dogmatically committed to right action, patiently bearing the brunt of someone’s displeasure (including the acquiring GM) when the better solution wasn’t desirable to one side or another.

These individuals earned the respect of everyone, from their own CEO to newly-acquired staff.  And though the acquisition didn’t meet all its financial targets, the CEO acknowledged that he would make the same purchase again, given how well the target integrated into the existing business – something he would not have felt had the bull-in-a-china-shop acquiring GM been left to handle the transaction.

Hear insights from Maureen and other highly experienced corporate development leaders on deal-related leadership and ask your questions on June 11 during the third webinar in ē•know’s Art of M&A series, Leadership in M&A – Deal Maker or Deal Breaker?

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

If you are interested in receiving our articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Building Individual and Organizational Resilience

Dominos of ResilienceIn leadership terms, we define resilience as the ability to adapt in the face of multiple changes while continuing to persevere toward strategic goals. In the current environment where change is the norm and time to bounce back between stressors is minimal at best, we, as leaders, need to think about how we manage our personal resilience and also how we support our organization in adapting to the changes it is facing.

We break resilience into four primary categories (link to resilience assessment):

  1. Maintain physical well-being
  2. Manage thinking
  3. Fulfill life purpose using emotional intelligence
  4. Harness the power of human connection

Each of these categories is interlinked with the others and has a domino effect. It’s hard to think clearly if you are physically exhausted and so on. Resilience is an essential element of leadership that becomes increasingly important during times of change when uncertainty can cause high-performing people to become distracted and uncertain.

I’m working with a client whose organization is navigating a major transition. Her boss has just taken a significant promotion and, as of this writing, the impact on her and her team is uncertain. It’s likely his promotion will mean a promotion for her. To support her personal transition into an even more stressful job than she already holds, she has been taking steps using a fitbittm to manage, track, and maintain her physical well-being. Her efforts are paying off; she’s moving toward consistently meeting her personal goals and finding that she has more energy and is more able to navigate with ease during highly stressful situations.

In addition to building her personal resilience, she also brought her direct reports together to discuss resilience and explore how they can become a more resilient team in advance of the next round of changes. This discussion focused not only on managing thinking and how individuals respond to challenges, but also on physical habits that support healthy sleep and exercise.

“What was most fascinating to me about this conversation,” wrote my client, “was the impact that it had on our entire team. We have a very open, supportive culture, but when one team member spoke up during our monthly leadership meeting with Maureen, and said that nighttime emails gave her a sense of pressure to respond immediately, several other people spoke up and said they felt the same way. Although I often say that there is no expectation of work outside of business hours – and I encourage the entire team to focus on self-care and work-life balance – my own nighttime emails were having the exact opposite effect. What I said and what I did were not in sync and this was creating unspoken tension on the team. As soon as one person brought it up, we all realized that few of us wanted to be on email regularly outside of work.”

“We are a diverse group with a wide range of interests and passions outside of work. I have seen again and again that the most creative and passionate employees on my team are also extremely creative and passionate in their lives outside of the office. By taking time outside of our regular work routines to check in, not just about what the work is that we do, but how we do it, and how we can work as a team to be successful, we were able to make a small but vital shift to our practices. Now the people who want to work through email at night or on weekends simply write messages and save them in draft form till morning. This lets each of us work at the time and in the ways that are most comfortable for us, but our inboxes have a chance to settle down outside of work, so we can too.”

“I was surprised to realize that just talking about a few ways to increase resilience has led to a very broad set of changes for our team and for all of us as individuals too. Once we started talking about the ways that we are already taking care of ourselves, and also articulated a personal goal for resilience that we’d like to move towards, the team’s culture started moving more towards practices that support resilience. I regularly hold walking meetings, in particular for one-on-ones or small group conversations. We have started bringing healthier snacks to our team meetings, people check in about opportunities to de-stress or support each other in our personal and collective goals to take better care of ourselves. What I love most is that this leads to healthier, happier individuals and healthier, happier (and more productive) professionals too.”

Many leaders struggle to find a balance in life, maintaining physical well-being, managing the stress of high impact jobs, finding the quality and quantity of time for family and meaningful supportive friendships, and even time to volunteer. As careers progress, the demands generally increase, so creating agreements that support fun work environments and group resilience become an important foundation for work groups to perform at their best.

To learn more about resilience, we encourage you to take the Resilience Assessment, watch a resilience webinar, or take our course: Building Resilience.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

By Maureen Metcalf

Photo credit: www.flickr.com Louish Pixel

How Vibrant Is Your Organization?

Organizational VibrancyIn this post, we invite you to experience greater organizational vibrancy and business results. We define organizational vibrancy and invite you to get involved by taking a vibrancy assessment. An understanding of vibrancy along with your assessment scores will support you in choosing agreements that allow you to flourish.

Mike runs a highly successful organization that has made significant progress against its strategic goals over the past 18 months. Now, the leadership team is looking forward to determining what they need to put in place organizationally (and what barriers they need to remove) to accomplish some very aggressive goals. To support this process, Mike asked the leadership team to take the organizational vibrancy assessment. Each leader provided an individual response and the data were synthesized to create an organizational picture from which he determined recommended organizational changes. These results are part of the next leadership off-site to plan for the upcoming year. The information gathered was very helpful in identifying very specific actions and will also help leaders revise how they look at organizational change. One of the most valuable elements of the vibrancy assessment is helping leaders change their paradigm about leading change to be more comprehensive.

Organizational Vibrancy. We know the positive feeling we experience in places we love to go, homes we enjoy visiting, conversations we relish. We call this experience of vitality “exuberance and flourishing community vibrancy.” People feel it and seek greater vibrancy, whether consciously or subconsciously, to guide their interactions with others. To enable organizations to attract and retain the best talent, and engage in the most effective business practices, Jim Ritchie-Dunham, President and researcher at the Institute for Strategic Clarity and an adjunct researcher at Harvard, created a study to identify key factors that could help us improve our overall organizational vibrancy and outcomes. You can use the survey findings to guide your actions in improving your organizational vibrancy. This study is part of Dr. Ritchie-Dunham’s ongoing research—with his very talented research team— and is being offered at no cost to you, your organization, or participants in your organization.

Why Care? By understanding where your organization excels and where it falls short, you will be able to address challenges and build on your strengths to create more vibrancy and greater success. Our goal is to support vibrant, sustainable organizations that will attract and retain the best talent, and continue to build a sustainable community that will renew itself for the next 100 years and beyond.

Questions. If people care about the vibrancy they experience in an organization, and it is an attractor for business and talent, what are its characteristics? Can people discern higher and lower levels of it? What is the role of leadership in the experience of vibrancy in a group? Do all groups within an organization have access to this higher vibrancy or does it depend on the resources the group has?  Does this higher vibrancy lead to stronger, more sustainable outcomes?

What We See. Jim Ritchie-Dunham and the research team from the Institute for Strategic Clarity, including leaders from diverse disciplines, have surveyed over 1,400 individuals about the groups in which they participate. The survey participants and the data told an interesting story. In some of the groups, the survey participants experienced total scarcity, in others some scarcity and some vibrancy, and in still others, they experienced deep vibrancy. They told us that in the groups where they experienced greater vibrancy, they also experienced a higher quality in the group’s leadership. They also shared that where they experienced greater overall vibrancy, they experienced a greater connection to five key elements:

  1. self
  2. others
  3. the group
  4. process of innovation
  5. source of creativity

The interesting and counter-intuitive finding is that these relationships are experienced at similar levels of health: when any relationship is strong, the others are also relatively strong, and when any relationship is weak, the other relationships are also relatively weak.

Implications. These findings fly directly in the face of prevailing theories of economics, where one relationship (e.g., the self, the other, the group, nature, spirit) prevails over all relationships. If there are, indeed, groups where people experience a deeper vibrancy, and these groups seem to have similar characteristics, what does this mean for how we engage in groups together? Can we, as an organization, identify these characteristics and the organizations that have them? How do we share best practices with other groups within the community to raise the overall community vibrancy measure? How do we create tools to help organizations within our community increase their vibrancy, as the drive to improved vibrancy will happen with one organization at a time?

How Will We Do This in the Long Term? We are just undertaking the data-gathering phase of this plan. After we have a comprehensive picture of our organizational vibrancy across seven key dimensions, we will create a more concrete action plan with our clients. Our initial plan includes the following:

  • Gather data using the vibrancy assessment
  • Identify top performing organizations across multiple sectors (city and state government, business and nonprofit)
  • Create an approach for top-performing organizations to share their best practices, and continue to share best practices and tools
  • Create tools for medium and lower-performing organizations that will allow them to become high-performing organizations (the nature of the tools and method of sharing will depend on the survey results and interest among participants). We will ask for your input to

Next Steps.  Invest 10 to 15 minutes to take the free survey. If you are unable to click the link from this document, please cut and paste http://instituteforstrategicclarity.org/take-the-survey/ into your browser.

What You Get Back Personally.  For everyone who takes the online assessment, you will receive an online response that contains a spider chart of seven key dimensions (relationship to self, other, group, process of innovation, source of creativity, leadership quality, and group well-being)

Follow-up Actions upon Study Completion. Jim Ritchie-Dunham has agreed to do the initial data collection and feedback at no charge to the participants. He will use this data to build his research database. Should you choose to take action after the data collection, we will formulate a proposal for the next steps based on the survey findings and report feedback. There is no obligation to engage in follow-up work.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.