Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Challenges of Change

Businesses are facing change like never before. Numerous driving forces to this change include:
• A rapidly expanding marketplace (Globalization) and increasing competition
• Diversity among consumers
• Availability to new forms of technology
Creativity and innovation are often the keys to the success of a changing business, particularly when developing new strategic directions, or designing new products and services.
It is easy for management to say, “We want to innovate,” yet it is difficult to leave what you know behind for a visit to the unknown and whCommunicatingat may even be chaos.

The steps towards innovation include:
• Breakdown means taking the situation breaking it down to manageable pieces.
• Breakthrough is allowing people to brainstorm ideas and bounce ideas off one another for all possibilities.
• Complexity can be caused by too many options. Keep it simple!
• Mystery appears when the solution is not totally obvious and the pros and cons need to be analyzed.
• Manifestation is when people in the organization begin understanding and seeing the benefits and living the changes.
These steps will foster an environment for exploration, imagination, acceptable risks and what ifs. Embrace this innovation and your business will thank you!

DD-Queen-of-Loyalty-2011Dianne 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. Durkin has over 25 years experience in finance, direct sales, international marketing and training and development.

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. She authored “The Loyalty Factor: Building Employee, Customer and Brand Loyalty,” and the newly released “The Power of Magnetic Leadership: It’s Time to Get R.E.A.L.

Culture of Influence

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A recent article in Leadership Excellence Essentials by B. Kim Barnes addresses how you can build a culture of influence – where employees leave their good ideas at work and communicate directly and freely. 

Below are seven leadership practices that encourage influencing:Sustainable Performance People

  1. Be clear with your team about the end goal by inviting them to develop means.  Allowing them to determine the path fosters engagement.
  2. State plainly when you can and cannot be influenced about a decision
  3. Use receptive influence – questioning and listening – when you want involvement, commitment, and/or new ideas.  A leader who listens to ideas and then implements some of them can turn passive resistance into active engagement.
  4. Challenge your assumptions and invite and support others in challenging yours and one another’s.  Assumptions make our lives easier, but also blind us to possibilities that lie outside of these structures.
  5. Invite and encourage disagreement and ask for a broad range of options before making important decisions.  Often it isn’t the first good option that is the best option.
  6. Level the playing field in a conscious way when you want to encourage two-way influence.  Make sure all parties know certain forums or meetings are designed with all individuals being on the same level to avoid power plays.
  7. Inform your team on how best to influence you and encourage them to do the same with one another.  Whatever your chosen style of arriving at new ideas, communicate that with your team.

A culture of influence is critical to inspiring creativity and innovation at work.  For additional ideas on how to encourage a culture of influence and build an integrated management team, contact Loyalty Factor at dmdurkin@loyaltyfactor.com or 603-334-3401.