Align People
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Align People
How you can improve focus in organizations and align for success
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Essential Tools of Talent Management - Forbes |...

Essential Tools of Talent Management - Forbes |... | Align People | Scoop.it
Essential Tools of Talent Management Forbes Here the company assigns a more senior and experienced executive to develop a relationship with one or more high-potential individuals within the organization.
Billy R Bennett's insight:

From time to dime we repackage and reframe activities into new functions. "Talent management"an example.  Many organization reduced human resource management and limited it to transactional activities.  What was lost in the process?  The development of people with the skills and capabilities of fulfilling the purpose, strategies need future needs of the organization. 


Talent management is struggling to grow out of this and to return to building talent that creates and sustains growth...not just attempt to follow or keep up.


Here is a short article that gives you a few things people are including in the role of talent management.   One thing to note Talent Mapping... Visual succession planning and projecting future growth area.


www.pyramidodi.com 

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Scaling Enterprise Collaboration Success Across Platforms - Wired

Scaling Enterprise Collaboration Success Across Platforms - Wired | Align People | Scoop.it
Scaling Enterprise Collaboration Success Across Platforms Wired Many organizations believe that they don't have the time or the money to properly plan out and manage their systems — they deploy tools and processes without proper consideration of...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

The analyst firm Gartner Research says that most social collaboration initiatives fail “because they follow a worst practice approach of ‘provide and pray’, leading to a 10 percent success rate.” Almost every project methodology, whether some version of agile or the waterfall method, advises the need for adequate time up front for planning, as the cost of a change increases dramatically over time. Even the most agile management methods rely on strict planning and constant prioritization.

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4 in 10 firms struggling to align talent strategy with business objectives: Survey - Canadian HR Reporter

4 in 10 firms struggling to align talent strategy with business objectives: Survey - Canadian HR Reporter | Align People | Scoop.it
4 in 10 firms struggling to align talent strategy with business objectives: Survey Canadian HR Reporter Major organizations increasingly seek to align their talent management strategy with their business objectives, according to a survey by Right...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

Ouch!  Are we incapable of leading?


Ok, some of these results should not shock us.  However, it still should at least slap us in the face with a cold dose of reality.  We have just gone (some of us are still going...) through the worst recession of our lifetime.  Businesses have become very focused - right?  Well, I guess the answer is 'Wrong!"


Here are the 7 greatest "shortcomings" of strategy in the respondents to the survey  (do any describe your organization):


  1. Strategy is not clearly defined
  2. Hard to measure impact of our strategy on the organization
  3. Fails to be communicated throughout organization
  4. not readily actionable (nine per cent)
  5. lack of alignment between corporate and business units (six per cent)
  6. attempts too much (six per cent)
  7. failure to define business success (six per cent).


So let's turn these into action statements...


  1. If you don't have a written strategy - write one!
  2. If you have one, select measures that tell you if you are making progress - or not.
  3. If you have a strategy let people know what it is - and how you are doing.
  4. If you can't create actions - go back to the drawing board - Hope is not a strategy.
  5. Create  a process to link goals and actions across the organization.  Create a roadmap to success for everyone in the organization.
  6. Translate the strategy into managable "chunks"  make them big enough to stretch but not so big as to choke the organization.
  7. Make sure everyone knows what success is supposed to look like.  Clairfy it and celebrate it. 


Sometimes people make too much ado about strategy - when they have no intention of doing anything with one.  



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5 traits of the best growth-stage CEOs - Fortune (blog)

5 traits of the best growth-stage CEOs - Fortune (blog) | Align People | Scoop.it
Fortune (blog)
5 traits of the best growth-stage CEOs
Fortune (blog)
Successful recruiting in the early stage is more about finding super talented folks with tight cultural alignment. In the growth stage, the ...
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Leadership lessons from an orchestra conductor - The Star Online

Leadership lessons from an orchestra conductor - The Star Online | Align People | Scoop.it
The Star Online Leadership lessons from an orchestra conductor The Star Online According to Talgam, the best orchestra conductor understands his people, allows them to develop, treats them with respect, and yet gently nudges them towards the goal...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

By Billy Bennett


The Orchestra Conductor Model


This article reminded me of a paper I presented at the Work Teams Conference sponsored by the Center for Collaborative Studies at the University of North Texas.   It was 1994 and we were looking at how the organization might evolve beyond the self managed team structures that were  becoming more popular. In that paper I compared the evolution of organization strucutures to the evolution of groups of musicians from orchestras to jazz groups.  In my view, Jazz collaboration was... and is still one of the most collaborative forms of group structure. 


The article reminded me that two things have happened since then... Orchestras have become much more collaborative - while most corporate strucutres have become much less collaborative.  Hmm.  Not what I expected.  However, much has happened in the last 20 years.  Fiscal control legislation has had a tremendous impact on organization policies and procedures.  IT systems have driven organization design to fit the system rather than the organization.    Put these two things together and you see large organizations with more managers making decisions two to three levels below their own - "micro managing" because they think they can and should.  The problem is that while they are doing the jobs (badly) of those reporting to them, they fail to do their own.


In this article, one example was of the 700 person orchestra that asked their conductor to resign.  That is much more freedom and unity than you would think to find in a "top down" leadership model.  So in that respect orchestras have changed.  The reason given by the orchestra members... they failed to be developed by their leader.  

 

If your organization was an orchestra how well would you survive the vote of confidence?




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Want engaged employees? First, do lots of listening - Ask Annie -Fortune Management

Want engaged employees? First, do lots of listening - Ask Annie -Fortune Management | Align People | Scoop.it
The way most of us go about trying to influence others is exactly backwards, says a new book. Here’s how to get it right.
Billy R Bennett's insight:

A familiar story...


How many times have you seen this... a company repeatedly attacks the same poor performing unit by sending in new managers with the instructions to "turn things around."


You would think that when two managers fail in succession then the INSANITY alarm would go off - (you remember "insanity is doing the same things over and over again expecting different results").   Perhaps someone would say Hmmmm, that didn't work we must try something else.  But NOOOOOOO!   That does not happen...usually.  In fact, we frequently see the pattern of continuing to replace managers until... 


  1. You find one that works
  2. Reorganize the unit into another VP's  area
  3. Sell the business
  4. Outsource the activity


The costs of each of these options is large...VERY LARGE!  Customer issues, waste, error rates... costs, costs, costs.


Rarely, do senior mangers do as Anne suggests... start by listening.  In fact, if you are the senior manager who keeps rotating managers into a failing unit I would say you definatley are not listening


Several years ago the Benelux GM of client said to me "Billy, we have replaced four managers of this facility in under 3 years.  Before I place one more in there to fail, do you think we could try something else?"  


We did.  He had the courage to bring in resources and we were a part of that.  The result was an operating unit going from last palce to the benchmark for all other operations.  They were not only fixed - they became models for everyone else.


Here are the steps that might help you:


  1. Algin resources with experience in tackling problem units.  Don't just pick the next manager - it usually takes a team.  We call then Intensive Care Teams.   If did not get into this mess with one manager... it won't get better with just one more.  If you don't have them available inside, then get professionals from the outside.
  2. Start FORMAL listening... Show you care by asking questions.  We use surveys (100% mandatory participation), followed by intense feedback sessions where people can say more about results... followed by actions 
  3. Support people fixing their own challenges.  Let the people in the unit have more than just input into the problems - help them to fix the problems themselves.
  4. Hold multiple open discussion forums along the way where questions can be asked and answered.  Let people know that this is not a "one and done" action.
  5. Be clear about Winning! - often when performance and engagement are this bad, then it is very likely that the definition of winning is very unclear to the people in the work unit.  Spend time defining and discussing.  Again, this is not a "one and done" conversation. 
  6. Look for ways to redesign work that allows for better alignment and engagement - the more control people have over the work, the more they make things work!


You do not have to keep the insanity going by continuing to do the same thing over and over again.  Bad operations can be fixed more often than you think... but not by revolving door managers.


www.pyramidodi.com


We put "intensive care teams" into failing units.  It is a unique approach but it does work.








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Do Your Employees Think of You as Valentine or Claudius?

Do Your Employees Think of You as Valentine or Claudius? | Align People | Scoop.it
Valentine’s Day.  A day when you will think about hearts.  Candy hearts.  Plastic hearts.  Neon sign hearts.  Big paper hearts inscribed with the declaration of devotion, “ from your...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

Valentine’s Day.  A day when you will think about hearts.  Big paper hearts inscribed with the declaration of devotion, “from your Valentine…”    
 

However, the original story of Valentine's Day was not a story of romance, but a story of service and sacrifice.

It is the story of two leaders... one a ruthless and ambitious ruler, leading for personal gain...and another who served others taking personal risks making the lives of others better.  Both died before their time, but today only one is remembered year after year - the other barely a footnote in history.

 

When you read the story you will think differently about the day - you may even think differently about your leadership.


You will certainly think a little differently about signing "Your Valentine"


From your Valentine...


By Billy Bennett

Pyramid ODI


We

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Social media will ultimately permeate the enterprise | ZDNet

Social media will ultimately permeate the enterprise | ZDNet | Align People | Scoop.it
The disruptive social cloud of people and data that is today's Internet has created all new business possibilities. Speakers at Oracle #CloudWorld this week explored how enterprises can organize better to take advantage of these opportunities.
Billy R Bennett's insight:

Dion Hinchcliffe posts an excellent summary of issues relating to the emerging thinking around developing the social business.


For years we have been working to move the needle in collaboration, participation and engagement.  What is becoming more obvious is that these topics align perfectly with the evolution of social business...connecting people to people in a way that rises above and enhances functional groups and delivery processes.


However, the issues and barriers are the same as they have always been...


Understanding the power shift in organizations and the resulting problems of resistance.


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Is Changing Company Culture the Biggest Hurdle for Social Business? #ibmconnect

Is Changing Company Culture the Biggest Hurdle for Social Business? #ibmconnect | Align People | Scoop.it
Forty six percent of companies increased their investments in social business in 2012, while 62% said they would do so in the next three years an IBM report has found..
Billy R Bennett's insight:

75% of companies are under prepared for the culture changes needed to succeed with social business... And my thought is the other 25% don't have a clue.


In a massive denial of change, companies have placed fingers in their ears and "la la la"'ed themselves through the social media revolution.  The irony: the same consumers embracing social media daily are also the people making up the labor and leadership within these companies. Hello! 


Social business is a tsunami change... it is not going away.  This is a change or die situation. 


You must start today. 


 Worry less about metrics and more about stimulating purposeful action.  I am all in favor about metrics but honestly, most organizations don't know enough to select metrics with meaning. Instead, but the top priorities on observing and developing communities with purpose. 


Identify and support natural work groups with open communication tools...


Encourage in everyway possible knowledge sharing via social media...


Find social media "naturals" who can model for others and promote, promote, promote them.


Get your people talking now... and make sure you are participating in the discussion. However, if the only way you are participating is via email... maybe you need to sit down and let the "20 somethings" explain what just what is this thing called "social".


We help organizations make changes in behavior that change culture.  If we can help you, we would love to chat... even by phone.


Contact us.


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Want to Understand Engagement? Steal Their Ipad.

Want to Understand Engagement? Steal Their Ipad. | Align People | Scoop.it

My wife recently lost her Ipad and the experience was the perfect example of real engagement .  Within moments I learned two things: first, my former anti-technology wife had clearly shifted to the dark side...

Billy R Bennett's insight:

Our latest blog post on Algining People. 


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Os Ishmael's curator insight, February 1, 2013 7:31 PM

Haha.. This is interesting

Billy R Bennett's comment, February 9, 2013 2:20 PM
Thanks Os! It was an interesting lesson for me too... it really got me thinking about how little we think about designing for engagement. Could be because we design for convenience rather then the people we want to be engaged.
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Management Consultants Can Save the World (...but read between the lines)

Management Consultants Can Save the World (...but read between the lines) | Align People | Scoop.it
The global elite have again descended on Davos for their yearly pundit-fest. Prognostications have been made, as have commitments to save the world, end poverty, and clean up the environment.
Billy R Bennett's insight:

I hate the original title to this article.  It may lead to a dangerous assumption that all "consulting" may be the same.


This was a study by the World Bank and Stanford researchers testing the impact of management technology


Here is what I agree with...


Success is built with clairty of purpose, roles and assignments - and systems/procedures to manage production.  Sometimes things are very difficult to change without external help.  Systems can be so chaotic - for good and bad reasons - rapid growth or gross inattention.  Either way difficulty seeing means difficulty doing.   When people are drowning, telling them to swim faster is not helping.  That's when externals - with experience and fresh eyes can play jump in to help.   However it's not any experience - there must also be experience at getting out of difficult situations and skill at helping people to fish for themselves. 


Talent - know how - is unevenly distributed around the world.   Even within top rated countries.  However, the full understanding is worse than that.  Some top rated countries have talent problems due past to focus more on financial dealing than building productivity...or resolving the productivity issue with poorly implemented technology.  A generation of leaders who grew up in that period may not have receieved the benefit of experience in "making things better" and aligning people to work.  When seeking external help make sure the people helping have the right experience for your situation. 


Experienced external talent can help people create their own systems and behaviors producing real results.  In our experience, much more than the 20% return mentioned in the article.


From the comments, you see what I expected to be the reaction to the article... skepticism based upon the experience of bad companies with bad external help.


We built our business on being external help (notice I avoid the C word) to fill the gaps many organizations missed in their development... or were not ready to build.  By bringing experience from top  companies and tested practices we bring hope, alignment and engagement to struggling companies...or accelerate success in healthy ones.   



www.pyramidodi.com


We help with interventions to align people, systems and behaviors building great work, great workplaces and released potential. 


Think of us as lifeguards who save the drowning, then teach them how to prevent it from happening again. 

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HBR Video: Design an Organization that Makes a Difference

HBR Video: Design an Organization that Makes a Difference. Christian Busch, cofounder of Sandbox, built his company to offer innovators a vehicle for … [Read More...] ...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

"First do well, then do good?"  Not according to Christian Busch


I enjoyed this short video of Christian Busch, cofounder of Sandbox.  What I liked best was his personal "ah-ha" moment where he saw that most or our recent enterpenurial heros created a very linear process - "first do well, then do good."  His view is that for this generation do both simultaneously.  As he said this generation will not look back regreting what it did, rather what it didn't do.



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Survey Reveals Business Alignment Trumps Cloud Computing and Application Costs as Top IT Priority for 2013

Survey Reveals Business Alignment Trumps Cloud Computing and Application Costs as Top IT Priority for 2013 | Align People | Scoop.it
SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwire - Jan 23, 2013) - IT Executives Polled on Top IT Priorities, Trends at Gartner AADI Summit for the Third Straight Year Findings Reveal Speed and Business Alignment as Top 2013 Application Development Priorities Reducing...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

48 percent cited better alignment to business needs as the top priority, more than double the percentage of last year's survey;


Wow.  You mean this wasn't the top concern of IT folks before?  Seriously, this is good news.  The difficult economic times of the past few years are yileding some silver lining benefits.  One is natural development of tougher and more thoughtful leaders of every part of our organizaitons.  If you consider that this used to be less than 24%, then perhaps we will will have more systems developed which meet the needs the organizaions and the users.


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Why companies need to change the way they change - Fortune

Why companies need to change the way they change - Fortune | Align People | Scoop.it
Why companies need to change the way they change Fortune This is particularly true for aspects of the management model that HR controls, such as change management, organizational design, talent acquisition and deployment, learning and development,...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

An interesting event is about to start.  Gary Hammel, professor at the London Business School is a Co-Founder.  The event is an "HR Hackathon"   I've signed on...perhaps you should too.

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3 Simple Steps to Transform into a Bonafide Social Business ...

3 Simple Steps to Transform into a Bonafide Social Business ... | Align People | Scoop.it
An organization must first exemplify characteristics of a social business if they truly want to be an effective social brand and ultimately achieve an alignment between an engaged internal organization and its ability to ...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

Are you catching up to the need to add social media to your alignment strategy.  If you think social media is just about liking pictures of cute babies you may miss what's coming next.  This article is a good checklist of topics to consider when your boss asks you "What's our social media strategy?"



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Cultivate Customer Connections and Grow Your Bu...

Cultivate Customer Connections and Grow Your Bu... | Align People | Scoop.it
Cultivate Customer Connections and Grow Your Business TIME Connie Certusi, the executive vice president and general manager of Sage's Small Business Solutions, believes that building closer relationships with your customers will set you apart from...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

When aligning people within the organization, a good place to start is making sure you are aligned with your customer!  


Social media tools give you the opportunity to be a great facilitator between your customers and your people.  Get your staff involved in working on social media projects and developing real relationships. 


Have them field questions, share insight, develop conversations.  It does not matter what your product or service, customer-employee social bonds will only help both the organization and the client.


Do you have an example?



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Building a New Nonprofit Workforce With Millennial Leaders - Huffington Post

Building a New Nonprofit Workforce With Millennial Leaders - Huffington Post | Align People | Scoop.it
Building a New Nonprofit Workforce With Millennial Leaders
Huffington Post
For example, we have seen organizations strip professional development from their workplace culture -- the very benefit that Millennials rank above salary.
Billy R Bennett's insight:

More Thoughts on Leadership...


My favorite quote... "Our continued reliance on top-down decision-making given today's rapidly changing environment is a recipe for disaster"


While the author used this comment to chastise non profits (charities) the truth is that many Millenials are headed to these organizations because the freedom to create and grow something significant has become much greater  in this world than in the corporate world. 


If you are a not for profit or an edgy start up technology company, you may not recognize what I am talking about.  If you are not in one of these two camps you may want to look at what is happening in these organizations - it is where you people go when they want to find meaning and growth. 


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Why Leadership & Team-Development Programs Fail - Human Resource Executive Online

Why Leadership & Team-Development Programs Fail - Human Resource Executive Online | Align People | Scoop.it
Human Resource Executive Online
Why Leadership & Team-Development Programs Fail
Human Resource Executive Online
... engage the emotions of leaders and employees positively in a variety of settings.
Billy R Bennett's insight:

A Very Good Review


If you are about to begin a new leadership development program or are evaluating the success of your current program, you will benefit from a quick read of this article.


Dip Training?


The basic takeaway from this article is that a successful leadership development must focus on the individual in development.  Leadership is a multifacted, situational, and diverse art.  There are basics that can be taught and learned but each person brings personal assets into leadership.  The shaping of those assets into a style and a career is an individual effort.  However, there are rarely development options beyond signing up for the course.


We used to call this "dip training"... you know, "they just need a dip in the training pool"  


We have helped with developing and implementing Leadership Development Programs for clients and the most successful programs allow for individual progress with workshops, job challenges experiences and coaching.  If you are not moving beyond the classroom you need to take another look


Billy Bennett

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As resources tighten, strategic learning offers advantages - Federal Times

As resources tighten, strategic learning offers advantages - Federal Times | Align People | Scoop.it
As resources tighten, strategic learning offers advantages Federal Times With uncertain or negative answers, you'll know that your strategic learning is not aligned with your organization's goals and mission, and that it must be retooled to fit...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

Don't wait for your funds to be pulled out from under you to do the right thing with development.  Take smart risks today to spend money developing capability that will be invaluable to you when you have no choices remaining. 


Money well spent today develops the capability of your leaders to teach and engage the people around them in achieving purpose. 


How much of that are you doing today?


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Another story set free via @HaikuDeck "Factory Week"

Another story set free via @HaikuDeck "Factory Week" | Align People | Scoop.it
Single focus work weeks to get you the breakthrough you need.
Created by Billy Bennett
Pyramid ODI
www.pyramidodi.com
Billy R Bennett's insight:

This is a "2fer"....


First, Factory Weeks.  We mentioned these a few weeks ago in a scoop.it we curated.   The idea is simple.  Getting all of the people needed to get that one big breakthrough.  A Hackathon for your organizations big headaches.  Programmers do it... Kaizen events were built this way. 


What I have noticed over the years is that as we become more and more distributed and distracted, we need more times of complete focus.  We have been doing this for years and we have developed quite a skill set at both the prep work as well as the facilitation required.  You see, as a facilitator of one of these events you must have skills and tools that allow adapting to changes.  You must be good at getting decisions made for the next step to keep things moving.  It is a highwire act not for the faint-hearted.


Second, Haiku Deck


This is a great tool for the Ipad user. it forces you to keep words to a minimum (hence the Haiku connection...my English teacher's would be so proud that I got that).


We will be using this in an upcoming workshop introducing techncial trainers to tools that will help breakthrough the barrier of "too much work" to create content. 


and here is the rest of the 2Fer...


Back to our Align People topic...


As a leader you need to think like a producer and a marketer.  Get people engaged with short interesting messages that reinforce key themes.  Get everyone developing messsages that share interpretations of those themes.  You will end up with content that will payback multiples.



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At Multinationals, Country CEOs Should Be Both Local and Global

At Multinationals, Country CEOs Should Be Both Local and Global | Align People | Scoop.it
Leaders in emerging markets must fit in with the country and the corporation.
Billy R Bennett's insight:

This is a good Alignment topic.


There is a huge upside to moving high potential leaders around the various countries of an organization.  However, don't forget a stint in the home country of the organization


Relations still take time and "face" time is one of the most important.  Knowing language is not knowing culture - that must be experienced by being in the culture. 


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Effective Leadership in a Virtual Workforce - T+D

Effective Leadership in a Virtual Workforce - T+D | Align People | Scoop.it
Effective Leadership in a Virtual Workforce
T+D
Research indicates that one of the most critical challenges facing organizations is developing leaders with the requisite skills to succeed in the global and complex work environment.
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Bad leaders can change their spots - Business Mirror

Bad leaders can change their spots - Business Mirror | Align People | Scoop.it
Business Mirror Bad leaders can change their spots Business Mirror Here's why: We looked at data from 545 relatively senior executives who participated in recent leadership-development programs in three different organizations—a large bank, a large...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

Can coaching and development help?


In a study where 96 executives rated in the bottom 18% by their peers received specific coaching and development - 3 out or 4 were able to change their behavior enough that their colleagues could readily see improvement.


As you will hear us say - it is not just what you do but how you do it.  Jack Zenger is one of the best when it comes to developing the right skills in the right way. 


Here's what's likely to be behind the scenes... and what you can learn


  1. Expect results by planning to measure - evaluate outcome.  in this study they know what they have accomplished by evaluating before and afters.
  2. Target help where it is needed.  This was not a dip everyone in the same water solution. People who needed focused attention were given the individual help they needed.
  3. Concentrate on behaviors that can be useful and seen by others as effective.   It is not just important to do the right things - but to do the right things for the culture of the organization. 


Need help with your performance issues?  We have coaches with proven track records


www.pyramidodi.com



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How to build an innovative company - HRmagazine.co.uk

How to build an innovative company - HRmagazine.co.uk | Align People | Scoop.it
How to build an innovative company
HRmagazine.co.uk
The most innovative organisations may often look like the most out there, but they have a systematic approach to innovation that never fails to get the most out of their talent.
Billy R Bennett's insight:

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Only 14% of Employees Understand What They Should Be Doing ...

Only 14% of Employees Understand What They Should Be Doing ... | Align People | Scoop.it
Using the results of a Metrus Group survey he identifies six gaps that get in the way of organizational alignment. While each factor on its own isn't enough of a problem to explain the overall poor alignment figure, Schiemann ...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

The article is good but the headline is better. 


In our work, the key to creating high performance, organization alignment, employee engagement...etc.  - is clarity.  Understanding purpose, understanding priorities, understanding boundaries, etc. again.


Leaders lead by providing clarity and feedback to everyone in the organization.  Sometimes this is merely communicating - but usually this is so much more.  Another leadership responsibility is examining the organization design for easy alignment. Over time, organizations evolve to satisfy needs other than purpose. Over time, these evolutions need gardening... pruining, weeding and plowing under.  When was the last real organization redesign?  Just changing the chart does not count... or as a former boss used to say "You are just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic."


Interested in creating real alignment?   www.pyramidodi.com

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