May06

Undercover Boss

Yet another management gimmick!

Undercover Boss

The urge for CEO’s to go “undercover” as employees or work safe officers in order to truly understand what’s happening on the “shop floor” highlights the disconnection between senior management and employees. If anything it goes to prove that a lack of trust exists between and within the management ranks and employees at all levels. What does it say about a company’s culture when the CEO feels he or she has to go “undercover” to understand or learn about what’s happening in the business? Clearly it is says, “I don’t trust you!”  More so it undermines the leadership of first line supervisors and managers.  If CEO’s truly feel they need to go “undercover” then it raises serious questions about how much management is trusted.

Posted in Business Management

Apr05

If you build it they will come - the affect that beliefs have on performance

People who believe intelligence can be developed perform better

If you build it they will come - the affect that beliefs have on performance

 

Research on how high school students' beliefs about intelligence affect their math grades found that those who believed that intelligence can be developed performed better than those who believed intelligence is fixed.

The findings come from two studies conducted by researchers at Columbia University and Stanford University, and were published in the journal Child Development. Vol. 78, Issue 1 in 2007.

One study looked at 373 12-year-olds over two years of high school. All students began the study with equivalent achievement levels in math but the students who believed that their intelligence could be developed outperformed those who believed their intelligence was fixed. Furthermore, the researchers found, the gap between these two groups widened over the two-year period.

Researchers concluded that the difference between the two sets of students stems from the fact that students who believed their intelligence could be developed placed a higher premium on learning, believed more in the power of effort, and had more positive and constructive reactions to setbacks in school.

A second study looked at 91 12-year-olds in two groups, both of whom had shown declines in their math grades. One group was taught the expandable theory of intelligence as part of an eight-session workshop on study skills. Another group participated in the same workshop, but did not receive information on the expandable intelligence qualities of the brain. The students who learned about the intelligence theory reversed their decline and showed significantly higher math grades than their peers in the other group, whose grades continued to decline.

"These findings highlight the importance of students' beliefs for their academic progress," said Carol Dweck, one of the researchers and professor of psychology at Stanford University. "They also show how these beliefs can be changed to maximize students' motivation and achievement."

Perhaps one of the greatest gifts that teachers and parents alike can provide students and their children is the belief that they can achieve what they set out to do.

Posted in Change Management

Jan24

The toughest of all leadership skills

Performance management....not for the sqeamish

The toughest of all leadership skills

In my 20 plus years of management consulting experience there is still one skill that I see performed poorly or not at all.... PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT. I am not talking about remuneration or financially based incentive schemes for performance, that's easy. I am referring to the ability for a manager to give direct performance management feedback or coaching to their subordinates for the purpose of improving performance or reinforcing existing performance. There are two major reasons for this:

1 - Managers are not trained in performance management ie they don't know how to communicate feedback in a timely and specific manner;

2 - they, managers, don't know how to define and hence measure performance.

Posted in Business Management

Jan23

Why some athletes performance will never improve

Evidence based learning best way to go

Why some athletes performance will never improve

The Australian Open Tennis is in full swing and I have had the pleasure of attending a few matches, not only seeing the top 100 players in action but also the players in the qualifying rounds who hope to make it into the final draw. I am always interested to listen to the post game interviews to see what interesting bits of information I can glean from each player as to why they won the match. Then, if interest piqued, I will further investigate the athlete to see how they have managed to get to where they are. I also do the same for some athletes who are branded the "next big thing" or who once were rising stars to see why they (in many cases) have not realised their potential.

Posted in Performance Improvement

Dec09

Never Underestimate the Power of the Frontline Manager

Frontline Managers have a significant impact on employee performance - the better managers generate over 26% more than their peers.

Never Underestimate the Power of the Frontline Manager

Of all employee attitudes considered, managers have the most impact on job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and intent to stay.

Clarity of Performance Standards and Performance Feedback Matter Most: Of all the developmental activities on which managers could focus, those with the highest impact provide employees with clarity around job expectations and feedback on their performance.

Posted in Business Management

Dec08

Lack of employee trust eroding competitiveness

Lack of employee trust eroding competitiveness

Worker trust and confidence in senior management have fallen over the past two years and, unless reversed, present a major threat to future corporate competitiveness, according to a soon-to-be released survey of nearly 13,000 workers conducted by Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

Posted in Business Management

Oct05

Leadership Lessons 101

Management By Walking Around

Leadership Lessons 101

How would you spot a leader if you saw one and what could you do to develop your own leadership potential? If you do a Google search on the word “leader” you’ll find that there are 264,000,000 hits; the word “leadership” has 155,000,000.

The good news is that while there is a vast ocean of information on the subject of leadership there is a fair consensus as to what skills are required for effective leadership.

Posted in Project Management

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