Monthly Archives: August 2011

Info Exchange – Choosing Strategies for Change 1 of 2

Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics. 

 
Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:

  • Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
  • Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
  • Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months

Our information exchange this week highlights the Harvard Business Review Article, “Choosing Strategies for Change,” by John P. Kotter and Leonard A. Schlesinger. This is the first of two installments on this topic. 

 

Diagnosing and Dealing with Resistance 

In today’s world, change is inevitable. Yet, organizational change can be a delicate process. The article in Harvard Business Review provides some insights into why people resist change, and how to deal with resistance to change.

 

Reasons for Resistance:

 

  1. Individuals think they will lose something of value as a result. In these cases, because people focus on their own best interests and not on those of the total organization, resistance often results in “politics” or “political behavior.” 
     
  2. Individuals do not understand its implications and perceive that it might cost them much more than they will gain. Such situations often occur when trust is lacking between the person initiating the change and the employees.
     
  3. Individuals assess the situation differently from their managers or those initiating the change, and see more costs than benefits resulting from the change, for themselves and for the company.
     
  4. Individuals fear they will not be able to develop the new skills and behavior that will be required of them. All human beings are limited in their ability to change, with some people much more limited than others. Organizational change can inadvertently require people to change too much, too quickly. 
     
  5. People want to save face; going along with the change may indicate an admission that some of their previous decisions or beliefs were wrong.

 

Loyalty Factor will cover how to deal with the resistance in the next installment of the Information Exchange.

Concocting Just the Right Mix For Business Success in Today’s Economy

I like to think of myself as a Workplace Mixologist – having been concocting winning strategies for businesses for over 25 years.

With my proprietary tools and strategies I have helped resuscitate multi-million dollar corporation as well as small businesses.  I have diagnosed the core issues associated with the business ailments. Once diagnosed, I and a client team go into full swing to resolve the core issues and develop plans to migrate from the current state to the ideal state of affairs.

 

Here are some creative survival strategies for today’s businesses:

  • Put legs on your organization – this is an opportune time for business leaders to conduct selective hiring and capture the best and most highly trained experts currently available in the job market.  Hiring experts superior to your current employee pool will give you the competitive edge. Your organization, empowered with the market’s top experts, will compete successfully as an industry leader.

 

  • Develop your management team – at all levels. Managers and supervisors have huge responsibilities to increase productivity with often times less people. This means keeping existing employees engaged and committed to the organization. This takes excellent management skills.

 

  • Today’s managers need the right tools and strategies – psychology and a dash of personal and business acumen – to be able to manage and drive their employees’ productivity and engagement to sustain employee loyalty, customer loyalty that will lead to brand loyalty for continued profitability.

 

  • Turn employee training into “the new 401K” – in this economy it is imperative for organizations to offer continued professional learning and growth.  Organizations that provide continued empowerment through trainings are the ONLY ones that can transform their employees into loyal, motivated, engaged workers committed to the success of their organization.

 

Without the above, you can be assured your employees are seeking other positions that offer personal and professional growth.

 

This is a time to look deep and hard, evaluate everything, hire the best talent you can find and develop strategies and programs to fuel momentum and propel a competitive advantage.

 

 

Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people.  www.loyaltyfactor.com

Info Exchange – Leaders Make the Future 2 of 2

Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics. 

 
Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:

  • Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
  • Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
  • Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months

Our information exchange this week highlights the book entitled, “Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain World,” by Bob Johansen. This is the second summary on this topic, covering the additional five new skills future leaders need for success according to the author.

In a VUCA world – one characterized by
Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity –
traditional leadership skills won’t be enough.
Leaders who combine Vision, Understanding, Clarity and  Agility
can thrive in a VUCA world.

These new skills are characterized by: 

 

Constructive Depolarizing – the ability to calm tense situations where differences dominate and communication has broken down – and bring people from divergent cultures toward constructive engagement. The more confident a leader is with cultural diversity, the more likely he or she is to be able to lead in diverse organizations. Future leaders will need cross-cultural grace in order to constructively depolarize a situation: an ability to listen and learn from people who are very different from them.

 

Quiet Transparency – the ability to be open and authentic about what matters to you – without advertising yourself. Quiet transparency in leadership begins with humility.

  

Rapid Prototyping – the ability to create quick early versions of innovations, with the expectation that later success will require early failures. In rapid prototyping, the emphasis is not on the abstract thought about possibilities or plans; it should begin with real people, with the end users, and as early as possible in the process. Leadership in the future will be about high-speed perpetual prototyping.

 

Smart Mob Organizing – Most of today’s leaders communicate well in person, but have a range of skills using electronic media. Leaders of the future must have a strong online identity, as well as a compelling in-person presence. Powerful collaboration technologies are now practical, after more than 30 years of testing. Smart mob organizing is the maker instinct applied to social connectivity and network making. Leaders must be smart about which medium works best to deliver the message at hand.

 

Commons Creating – What is it that we have in common that could make the world a better place for more people? 

 

Readying Yourself for the Future: From the Negative to the Positive

 

Moving from the negative VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) to the positive VUCA (Vision, Understanding, Clarity and  Agility) will be the ultimate challenge for leaders in the future. Connectivity will bring the leadership skills to life and amplify their impact.

 

Are you Ready to Lead Gen Y?

This is by far one of my most favorite topics and a timely one as thousands of college graduates are entering our workforce.

First, as a manager or a business leader you must understand your Gen-Ys.

They are 72 million strong!! Their life value was shaped in a high-tech world with hyper-involved parents and overscheduled lives. They are used to being both seen and heard.

In the workplace they speak out if they don’t think something is being done correctly.  Their positive, can-do attitude about getting the job done well and efficiently, means they’ll get the job done and move on to doing the things they really enjoy.  Like being with friends and family!

They are confident of their skills, with a keen eye on their careers.  They want active involvement in management decision-making which makes leading these very goal-oriented individuals a challenge.

Get Gen Y involved in the corporate vision and enable them to grow and stay committed to the company.  Seek their opinions on what the company is doing well, what it needs to do to improve, and how it should implement these improvements.

You will have committed and loyal Gen-Y employees when they:

  • Believe they can make a real difference in the world.
  • Are connected to the vision and purpose of the organization.
  • Clearly see how their individual efforts contribute to moving that purpose forward.

 

Lead your Gen Y employees by:

  • Building a culture of recognition to foster dedication and loyalty – recognize and value their efforts immediately and consistently. These computer literate and internet savvy folks are accustomed to instant results.
  • Give small, frequent rewards (i.e., Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts gift card) and  personal recognition like “Great job on that project” and the utilization of the two most underutilized words in the English language, “Thank you.”
  • Creating balance – Provide Gen Ys with opportunities to balanced life, staying healthy and fit and philanthropy — new recycling techniques, stopping world hunger and supporting relief efforts. They’re committed to getting the job done on time and right, and will remain accountable provided you provide them flexibility.

 

Foster your Gen Y’s long-term relationships with your organizations by:

  • Providing constant learning, growing, and recognition for their efforts. 
  • Since they thrive on teamwork combine talents and individuals to achieve a common solution to any goal.
  • Offer mentoring programs and involve a variety of people with different talents, styles and expertise to further Gen Y’s loyalty.  
  • Pair Veterans and Baby Boomers with Nexters to pass on their knowledge and expertise before they leave the company. This will allow communication and the building of rapport, respect and trust.

 

Finally, no matter when your employees were born — in 1950 or 1980 — happy employees are productive employees committed and dedicated to the growth and success of your organization.

 

Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people.  www.loyaltyfactor.com

Info Exchange – Leaders Make the Future 1 of 2

Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics. 

 
Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:

  • Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
  • Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
  • Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months

Our information exchange this week highlights the book entitled, “Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain World,” by Bob Johansen. This is the first of two summaries on this topic, covering the first of ten new skills future leaders need for success.

In a VUCA world – one characterized by
Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity –
traditional leadership skills won’t be enough.
Leaders who combine Vision, Understanding, Clarity and  Agility
can thrive in a VUCA world.

These new skills are characterized by:

 

Maker Instinctthe ability to exploit your inner drive to build and grow things as well as connect with others in the making. The challenge is to synchronize the maker instincts of leaders with those of others. The leaders of the future will be more engaged with others, since connectivity will be required to make the future. Leaders with the maker instinct are able to approach their leadership with the commitment of a job and the energy of a hobby. The leaders of the future will kindle this maker energy in themselves and in others.

 

Clarity – the ability to see through messes and contradictions to a future that others cannot yet see. Clarity requires external engagement. Leaders must express themselves clearly in ways that inspire others to follow and be able to make sharp statements about plans for the future with an enthusiasm that attracts others. Clarity requires flexibility. The best leaders will be clear about their long-term intentions, but very flexible about how to get there.

 

Dilemma Flippingthe ability to turn dilemmas into advantages and opportunities. In facing dilemmas, leaders of the future must revel in the space between judging too soon and deciding too late, leaning toward action.

 

Immersive Learning Abilitythe ability to immerse yourself in unfamiliar environments, to learn from them in a first-person way. Immersive learning requires active attention, the ability to listen and filter, and to see patterns while staying centered. Once leaders get toward the top of organizations, even open and informal ones, they get more and more insulated from what is really going on. Leaders need to step outside their protected roles to step inside very different experiences from which they can learn.

 

Bio-Empathythe ability to see things from nature’s point of view; to understand, respect and learn from nature’s pattern. One characteristic of bio-empathy is being able to see the big picture of ecological systems, not just the components. There are many ways to develop bio-empathy, but the first step is to observe and appreciate the natural processes that are always going on around you.

 

Loyalty Factor will cover the next five characteristics in the next installment of the Information Exchange.