Ten habits for highly effective leadership

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on October 29th, 2015 by admin

There are no real secrets to leadership effectiveness. Only well-founded habits that create strong relationships and results. Here are 10 habits of highly effectively leaders.

Leaders are on a perpetual search for the “secrets” to success. What is it that sends people searching for ways to create success in their lives? They grasp at the latest fads and the newest techniques, allEffective 2 with the hope of capturing the magic they see in other successful leaders.

The bottom line is that success on any level requires the ability to follow through, to execute, to persevere … to stick with it.

In fact, sticking with it may be the very best gauge of success. In a series of studies by University of Pennsylvania, researchers found those who persevere are more likely to achieve success than those who cannot or do not. Martin E. P. Seligman, a noted researcher in personal attributes, asserts, “Unless you’re a genius, I don’t think you can ever out-achieve your competitors without a quality like perseverance.”

A good plan might get you into the game, but sticking with it catapults you into the winner’s circle.

Based on 12 years of field research and real-life experiences with the highest-achieving leaders here are the habits they stick with:

1. Keep it simple. Think in threes to simplify strategies, metrics, messages, and actions. Apply the 80/20 principle to focus on the 20 percent of (employees, products, customers) that are your “vital few.”

2. Identify your one thing. Decide what is most important–the one activity that most directly help you execute your plan. Ask your team, “What is the most valuable thing you can do right now?”

3. Keep it visible. Consistently and creatively communicate your focus day in and day out. Highly effective leaders maintain a meeting rhythm to get key messages to key people.

4. Treasure your talent. Highly effectively leaders hire slow and fire fast. They treat employee development as a perpetual priority and they continuously coach for success, helping their employees reach their potential personally and professionally.

5. Get systematic. Create repeatable systems and processes so reinforce daily personal and work habits.

6. Keep score. Create and trackvisible and compelling scoreboard top to bottom in your business. Seek both dashboard (general) and under-the-hood (detailed) knowledge about your operation.

7. Paint the picture. Connect each job to a broader purpose. Clearly communicate goals, plans, roles and rewards

8. Give what you want. Show uncommon respect with common courtesy. Appreciate performance as well as the person behind it. Build your team up vs. break them down.

9. Create connections. Build meaningful ritualizes to connect teams. Be accessible to your team and authentic with them.

The most highly effective leaders understand that leadership is an inside job, and they always start making changes and improvements with themselves first. They never stop learning, and that’s the tenth and most important habit of all.

Source: Inc.com, 2015
Author: Lee Colan
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Sluta jobba i silos!

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Customer care / Kundvård on October 28th, 2015 by admin

När du vill konvertera får du inte stirra dig blind på enskilda säljkanaler. “Ju fler kanaler du syns i, förutsatt att du gör det konsekvent och bra, desto större är chansen att du bygger och förbättrar relationen med din kund”, säger omnikanalkonsulten Mattias Pihlström.

Det här är del två i PostNords artikelserie om omnikanal. Del ett hittar du en länk till längre ned. Del tre publiceras i morgon.

Nätet vimlar av slagkraftiga sammanställningar om hur du skapar köpare av potentiella kunder när du marknadsför ditt företag. Inte sällan handlar det om typsnitt, färger, signaturer och anfanger. Men det företag som tänker omnikanal har en mer komplex verklighet att ta hänsyn till.
”Omnikanalkonceptet handlar om att skapa sömlösa köpupplevelser över alla kanaler, vid kundens alla ”touchpoints”. Marknadsföring och upplevelsen av ett varumärke är inte kanalspecifik. Att finnas där kunderna finns ställer allt högre krav på närvaro i fysiska butiker, kataloger, sms, e-post, mobila appar, läsplattor, sociala nätverk, lojalitetsprogram, traditionell reklam och mycket mer”, konstaterar Michael Klein, chef för industristrategi på Adobe Marketing Cloud.

Inom retail har varje kundkanal traditionellt betraktats som en enskild företeelse och organiserats därefter i separata siloliknande system. Därefter, när arbetet med att konvertera kunderna intensifierats, har de enskilda kanalerna börjat motarbeta varandra. Mattias Pihlström, omnikanalkonsult och vice vd på BrightStep, höjer ett varningens finger.

”Problemet går ofta att hitta i företagens affärsmodeller där man mätt nyckeltal och satt belöningssystem separat för varje kanal. Resultatet: e-handelschefen tjänar varken pengar eller prestige på att driva kunder till de fysiska butikerna och vice versa. Det orsakar suboptimering och kanalkonflikt.”

Han exemplifierar med två stora sportkedjor.
”Sportamore som är en renodlad webbutik har kanske högre konvertering på nätet, men på totalen kanske Stadium trots allt konverterar bättre. Ju fler säljkanaler man har, desto viktigare blir det att inte bara tänka konvertering i de enskilda kanalerna.”

diffFokus på konvertering växer när nya aggressiva aktörer kommer in på marknaden och ruskar om. Apoteket hade länge haft e-handel, men först när Apotea storsatsade på webb började konkurrenterna yrvaket sitt arbete. Stadium var tidigt på bollen, men först när Sportamore gjorde entré satsade aktörer som Intersport och Team Sportia ordentligt.
”Att bli tvingad in i något är på gott och ont. Risken är att man inte är så innovativ om man är pressad. Man härmar andra i ren panik, i stället för att utgå från de egna styrkorna”, säger Mattias Pihlström.
”Det är nog mitt bästa råd. Utgå från vad du gör, vad du har att jobba med som handlare. I min värld handlar omnikanal om att kunden ska känna lojalitet mot ditt varumärke. Ju fler kanaler du syns i, förutsatt att du gör det konsekvent och bra, desto större är chansen att du bygger och förbättrar relationen med din kund. Vilket i sin tur skapar förutsättningar för högre andel konvertering.”

Men målet behöver inte vara att kunden ska handla vid varje tillfälle i varje kanal.
”Det får inte bli en köptunnel, för det är inte alltid kunden är på köptunnelhumör. I den fysiska butiken har du en dialog med kunden och om en kund kommer till kassan för att byta en vara löser du den situationen först, innan du försöker sälja något mer. Din hemsida måste troligen fungera likadant. Du kan inte plocka bort information om returer bara för att optimera försäljningen, då har du misslyckats.”

Ytterligare ett misstag som många gör är att bortse från grundbultarna. Analysen brister.

”Många fokuserar på att ändra färg på köpknappen och dylikt, men missar de fundamentala sakerna. Man kanske inte täcker alla betal- och leveranssätt som kunderna efterfrågar. Man måste införa fakturabetalning innan man ändrar färgen på köpknappen. Folk kanske inte ens lägger saker i varukorgen när de besöker hemsidan och då handlar det åter om att korrigera annat än färgen på köpknappen”, säger Mattias Pihlström.

Mattias Pihlströms bästa tips för att konvertera bättre:
Tänk ”före, under & efter”
Fundera på hur kunden ser er och för dialog med er i processen före, under och efter ett köp. Gör det genom att dokumentera olika kundresor, identifiera eventuella hål där ni saknar visibilitet eller funktioner, och prioritera arbete där ni tror ni vinner mest effekt.

Hel och ren först
Konverteringsmässigt är det viktigt att täcka grundkraven först – innan man trimmar detaljerna för mycket. Erbjuder ni till exempel de betal- och leveranssätt kunderna efterfrågar på nätet?

Överoptimera inte
Överoptimera inte varje enskild kanal endast på köp, då det finns stor risk för suboptimering totalt sett. Antagligen har ni många kunder som gör research i en kanal och köp i en annan. Hur väl stödjer ni dessa processer?

Samarbeta mer
Skapa en kanalgemensam intern referensgrupp där ni utbyter erfarenheter, alltså med personer från både fysiska butiker, kundtjänst och e-handel. Viktigt att det inte bara är ledare utan personer som faktiskt har dialog med kund. Det ger också bättre förståelse för både kundens beteende och de interna processerna.

Källa: Postnord, 28 oktober 2015
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How can you manage creativity?

Posted in Aktuellt, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap on October 26th, 2015 by admin

Managing creativity may seem an oxymoron, similar to an order to “be spontaneous!” Well, it doesn’t have to be. Today’s leaders can use many methods and tools to set the stage or enhance the creativity that staff may bring to bear on daily problems or needs.

How can you stifle creativity?
Intellectual capital is key to creative thinking and superior results. Many good managers may be surprised at how often they may unknowingly inhibit creative problem solving in their staff. Forcrea 4

crea 1 example, a manager may think he knows what a certain employee is going to say and, as a means of attempting to demonstrate how well he is in sync with the staffer, may interrupt and complete the person’s sentence—incorrectly.

The employee may then be inhibited from correcting the boss, and thus not provide what may have been an unanticipated idea with merit, or may have ultimately led to a better solution. The erring manager probably wouldn’t have realized that he had indeed done something wrong as no one said anything to the contrary about the interruption. The net result is not only inhibited communication, but also inhibited creative problem solving, brainstorming, and likely a ding in the morale of all the team members, as no one likes to have his or her thoughts interrupted or sentences completed.

Beware of groupthink
Other creativity killers may include the odd but powerful phenomenon called “groupthink.” This is a common problem that social psychologist Irvin Janis named in the 1970s. It refers to the fact that many members in a group setting (like a business meeting) will look for the non-verbal cues that the understood leader (the boss) may be unconsciously providing as hints to her opinion on the direction the discussion is leading. These members then conform their opinions to comply with that of the leader to avoid risking trouble (such as exclusion from the group, being ostracized or fired, etc.).

For example, if someone is noting her idea to a solution for a problem, the others in the meeting will be aware of their manager’s body language, facial expression (nonverbal cues) and direct feedback (verbally noting acceptance or rejection). The other members then may alter their true thoughts and feelings about what has been said by their fellow staff member in order to comply with what they perceive (or misperceive) as their manager’s impression. Since they are less likely to offer contradictory perspectives to what it is they believe the boss likes, the result is an inhibition of expressing creative ideas—and inventiveness is lost.

Some people are so predictable that their responses become almost stereotypic and accurately predictable. Often this is in the negative. For example, there is the cliché of the Doubting Thomas—to whom all things are questionable, wrong or bad. The result is that this person is expected to note the negative and then is discounted and ignored when he acts as expected. This is similar to another cliché, that of Peter “crying wolf.” But sometimes Thomas is correct in doubting, and sometimes Peter is correct in that there really is a wolf.

The smart leader must weigh the times when such a person is correct or, better yet, create a work/team environment that supports differences in opinion with polite debate, and no discounting of anyone’s opinion.

So, what’s a leader to do?
Here are a few simple tools that can yield very good results. The key with the following methods, as with any good habits, is to be consistent and to be genuine in their application.

Check your assumptions at the door. Assume nothing. Be a blank slate and thus open to any possibility. Do not assume you even know what the problem at hand really is. What appears to be a slump in profits crea 3may not be due to poor sales, but to distribution or production or quality or the weather. Who knows? The first step is to assume nothing and start asking for good questions first, then work to define what the problem really is and its cause.
Suspend judgment. This is a corollary to No. 1. No matter how left-field a person’s perspective may seem, respect it, seek to understand it, ask for evidence, and gently, respectfully, debate it if you differ. This supports not only a healthy diversity of opinion, but also a healthy venue for all to express themselves without worry or fear of embarrassment.
Put on your lab coat and help others on with theirs. Be a scientist. Look for data, clues and information on all sides of the matter, problem or issue—those that support, contradict and appear neutral to your perspective or position on the matter. Scrutinize them with a microscope and have others do the same. Then provide an open, anxiety-free opportunity for all to discuss what they see and think.
Reframe the problem as a great opportunity, or a worse-than-reality threat. Distort reality for a bit in order to look upon the problem with a different perspective or freshness. There is another cliché that even your headache is appreciated by the pharmacist. So do look for hidden opportunity in what at first may seem to hold little value. Pretend you are Thomas Edison and build from the knowledge of failures on your way to breakthroughs.
Conduct true brainstorming. Many people think that brainstorming is the simple offering of possible solutions to a given problem. This is partially correct. However, in true brainstorming, there are no ideas that are too weird, dumb, improbable, etc. Now, people shouldn’t be cavalier in their offerings, but sometimes it is the cockamamie idea, while perhaps not the key solution, that may lead to the key solution. Use the brainpower of your group, staff or team to generate lots of solutions, with judgments suspended (see No. 2 above); sift through them later to separate the wheat from the chaff. You also may want to conclude a session of brainstorming without a resolution and ask people to think about all that has been generated in the session. Let it steep or sink in over the next few hours or days, and then later reconvene and openly discuss subsequent thoughts and ideas.
Rotate the devil’s advocate. While diversity of thought and opinion is good, and while consensus also is good, there too is merit in debate and questioning (like that of assumptions; see No. 1). But this time, do not have the team’s resident naysayer be the person to voice the poo-poos. Instead, have a different person each time do so to avoid the trap of discounting the (expectedly negative) words based on them being said by the resident Doubting Thomas. It’s a good exercise and experience for the members of the team.

Encourage others to read outside of their field or specialty and to consider how what they read could be applied to their work. Or perhaps visit a museum, or listen to a new piece of music, or …? You never know how exposure to something new may provide a unique spark that can catch fire to a brilliant idea.

Source: Linkedin.com, 26 October 2015
Author:Chris Stout
Link

Bättre sömn med smarta prylar

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on October 26th, 2015 by admin

Att vara utvilad i både kropp och hjärna är en förutsättning för att kunna prestera bra. Mesta möjliga återhämtning under nattens sömn kan du få med hjälp av smarta prylar med tillhörande appar, som både analyserar och kommer med råd.
sova
Aktivitetsarmband kan användas för sömnregistrering, men det är långt ifrån alla som trivs med att sova med ett – ganska klumpigt – armband. Det finns andra smarta alternativ som bygger på mätningar av puls, andning och rörelser under natten, här är två av dem:

Bälte under lakanet
Företaget Sleepace har tidigare lanserat den smarta sänglampan Nox, som tonar upp ljuset i ett läge när du sover som lättast. Det nya RestOn-bandet liknar närmast ett bilbälte över sängen, är två millimeter tjockt och placeras under lakanet. När du trycker på ”start sleep” börjar det kommunicera med den tillhörande appen via Bluetooth.

Efter du har vaknat och tryckt ”stop sleep” kommer appen att analysera kroppsrörelser, sömncykler och sömnkvalitet. Du får också en total ”sömnpoäng” på en skala upp till 100, och dessutom tips om vad som skulle kunna göra sömnen bättre. Lösningen kostar cirka 150 dollar och appen finns för Ios och Android.

Kommunicerar med andra prylar
Samsung ska ta sig in på marknaden för sömnhjälpmedel med kommande lanseringen av sin SleepSense, en platt pryl som läggs under madrassen. Du får se resultat som total sovtid, sömneffektivitet, hur lång tid det tog att somna, hur många gånger du lämnade sängen och andel REM-sömn respektive djup sömn.

SleepSense ska också kunna kommunicera med Samsungs andra smarta prylar för att till exempel styra ljus och temperatur för att främja sömnen. Det finns ännu inga uppgifter om pris eller när den lanseras.

Läs om fler smarta sömnhjälpmedel här.

Källa: Telia.se, oktober 2015
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Lär dig att fängsla publiken

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on October 19th, 2015 by admin

En plan, ett syfte och rutiner. Det är kärnpunkter som retorikkonsulten Lisa Blomqvist präntar in i sina kunder. Allt för att deras budskap ska nå ut.

Ord och presentation är hennes jobb och Lisa Blomqvist verkar trivas i rollen som retorikkonsult. Hon berättar entusiastiskt om den brokiga skaran kunder, alltifrån författare till läkare, och släpper inte ens jobbet när hon är ledig.
– Jag kan inte göra något utan att tänka på retoriken, i vilken ordning argumenten kommer och hur de förmedlar budskapet.

talare 1Som retorikkonsult på Snacka Snyggt spänner uppdragen över alltifrån kurser på företag ute i landet till individuell undervisning. Och det är en växande bransch. Många inser vikten av att framföra sitt budskap på ett sätt som får folk att lyssna.
– Kommunikation har blivit stort. Allt fler inser att det kan vara det som skiljer agnarna från vetet om två konkurrerar i samma bransch. Man måste kunna tala för varan.

Vad är då hemligheten för att fängsla en publik? Lisa Blomqvist återkommer gång på gång till hur viktigt det är att ha klart för sig syftet med artikeln eller talet.
– Man kan inte bara ställa sig där och tänka att jag ska berätta lite om det här, utan man måste faktiskt ha en plan så att det viktigaste kommer fram. Det handlar också om att skapa rutiner för hur något byggs upp. De som är väl förberedda blir automatisk tryggare. Att vara väl förberedd är också ett sätt att visa respekt för de som ska lyssna, anser hon.
– Tänk efter vad andra vill ha reda på, uppmanar hon.

Vi ses på hennes ljusa kontor i centrala Stockholm. Här tillbringar hon egentligen inte så mycket tid. Det mesta av arbetet görs ute på arbetsplatser eller i en konferenslokal.

Att hon skulle bli retorikkonsult var inte självklart. Lisa Blomqvists ursprungliga plan var att bli journalist. Men när hon insåg att det krävdes 90 poäng för att komma in på den journalistutbildning i Lund, som hon hade bespetsat sig på, började hon i stället att studera retorik.

Därefter har hon även läst journalistik men kom fram till att retorik var roligare.
– Sedan är det ju en bättre arbetsmarknad också, säger hon.
talare 2
Snacka Snyggt var den enda retorik­byrå hon kände till. När hon var klar med utbildningen ringde hon upp dem och efter ett samtal med vd:n fick hon jobb direkt.
– Branschen är inte jättestor och många startar eget. Det viktiga är att ha en egen vinkel. En del riktar sig bara till akademiker, en del skriver bara tal, vi har mycket kurser.

Förutom orden är även det fysiska framträdande viktigt för dem som står inför publik. Någon universallösning på hur man ska stå eller gå lär inte Lisa Blomqvist ut.
– Det viktigaste är att man känner sig trygg. Vet man inte var man ska hålla händerna kan man hålla i en penna. Känns det bra med en fusklapp är det inga problem.

Själv gör Lisa Blomqvist ofta en poäng av sin Skövdeklingande dialekt.
– Ibland måste man vara personlig för att det professionella ska gå igenom. Publiken måste förstå att man inte bara är proffsig, utan att det också är en person som står där, för att de ska vilja lyssna på dig.

Källa: DN.se
Av: Marianne Björklund (marianne.bjorklund@dn.se)
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Så blir du piggare i höstmörkret

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on October 14th, 2015 by admin

Hösten är sen i år och grönskan har precis börjat skifta i varma gula toner, ännu är många positiva och njuter av oktober på Stockholms gator. För att behålla energin när solen alltmer sällan visar sig finns en rad olika knep – och myter. Vad är det egentligen som fungerar?

Många svenskar känner sig nedstämda när dagarna blir mörkare. Tre procent av befolkningen drabbas avtired årstidsbunden depression (SAD) och cirka 90 procent känner av trötthet, orkeslöshet och sömnproblem.
– Ljuset är betydande. Att vara ute dagstid även när det blir mörkare gör skillnad. Ljusbehandling har också visat sig fungera för flera som varit allvarligt drabbade av depression, säger Jerker Hetta, senior professor i socialpsykiatri vid Karolinska institutet som har forskat om ljusets betydelse för just årstidsrelaterad depression.

Enligt den danska psykologiprofessorn Svend Birkmann i en tidigare intervju i DN (30/9) sover vi en halvtimme mindre per natt än för fyrtio år sedan, och upp till två timmar mindre än på 1800-talet. Just sömnbehovet blir ännu större under vinterhalvåret då hormonet melatonin ökar och gör oss tröttare.

Är mer sömn en lösning på problemet?
– Det är individuellt, men det bästa är att försöka hålla en regelbunden dygnsrytm. En finsk studie visade till exempel att befolkningen i Tromsö inte alls var drabbade av höstdepression i större utsträckning trots det ihärdiga mörkret som råder så långt norrut. Därför att de bibehåller sina tider, säger Jerker Hetta.

D-vitaminbrist är vanligt bland svenskar och vitamintillskottet i form av tabletter skyltas flitigt i apotekens fönster när höstrusket drar in.

Kan D-vitamin motverka nedstämdhet?
– Jag känner inte till någon studie som är kristallklar när det gäller D-vitamintillskott. Kroppen tar inte upp tabletterna lika väl som när D-vitaminet absorberas från solens strålar. Byggs det upp genom sol kan vitaminet däremot lagras i kroppen under flera månader. De som åker i väg till soliga länder under vinterhalvåret kan dra stor nytta av det, säger Jerker Hetta.

Andra vanliga symptom vid höstdepression är att känna sug efter sötsaker och kolhydrater, koncentrationssvårigheter och minskad arbetsförmåga. Träning och umgänge med familj och vänner kan vara ett sätt att fylla på med energi och räcka långt, men mår man riktigt dåligt är det viktigt att söka hjälp.
– Det är alltid bra med fysisk aktivitet och hälsosam kost, men man ska inte driva sig själv för hårt och låta det gå för långt. Mår man dåligt ska man söka hjälp, säger Jerker Hetta.

Tips
1. Var ute och ta vara på dagsljuset. Även under dagar som upplevs som mörka gör en promenad nytta.
2. Håll samma tider och rutiner som övriga årstider.
3. Undvik tv-tittande och användning av datorer och telefoner på kvällen. Artificiellt ljus (blått ljus) minskar sömnhormonet melatonin som annars gör oss trötta.
4. D-vitamin från solen kan lagras i kroppen i upp till flera månader, medan det inte är helt säkert hur väl D-vitamintillskott i form av tabletter tas upp av kroppen. En solresa kan därför göra mer nytta än kosttillskott.
5. Ljusterapi är omstritt bland forskarna men har visat sig fungera för vissa och det finns effektiva ljusterapilampor att köpa.

Källa: DN.se, 14 oktober 2015
Av: Linnea Gustafson (linnea.gustafson@dn.se)
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Bringing out the best in people

Posted in Aktuellt, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap on October 13th, 2015 by admin

Providing good service has never been easy. Meeting rising customer expectations requires companies focus on building the capabilities their people need to make full use of their talents.

Providing good service has never been easy. And service expectations are only rising: unprecedented technological change and access to data have made customers better informed and more demanding than ever, while the rise of social media gives them more power to publicize their experiences—making each customer interaction more important.

Ex 1As organizations get larger, moreover, the sheer number of customer interactions becomes a disadvantage in that the risk of a customer-experience problem increases. The rapidly consolidating US banking industry is a case study: for 20 years, customer satisfaction at the largest banks has usually underperformed that of the rest of the sector.1
With services accounting for an ever-increasing share of economies from Canada2 to China,3 improving service quality has never been more important to more large organizations. And the way many organizations are achieving this impact—in sectors from banking and retail to government and telecommunication—is by adopting lean-management systems, which reinforce four integrated disciplines across the whole organization (see sidebar “What are lean-management disciplines?”).

What are lean-management disciplines?
One of the four—enabling people to lead and contribute to their fullest potential—is especially critical in transforming a large organization at adequate scale and speed, as well as in ensuring that it will continue improving into the future. At its core is a strong focus on capability building at all levels, which then becomes an integral part of how the business operates.

An example is a regional financial institution whose transformation reached more than 15,000 employees over the past four years. By investing heavily in capability building, the leaders changed the way the organization worked. Faster processing times and fewer errors meant that customer satisfaction rose by 11 points while the company’s cost-income ratio fell by 20 percent. At the same time, employee satisfaction rose: the proportion who scored the strength of their affiliation to the company as four or five on a five-point scale rose by 15 percent, to almost 80 percent of employees.

To make these results possible, however, the organization did more than just build the right capabilities, which can fade surprisingly quickly. It also followed several success factors that helped the capabilities persist even after the core transformation work was complete.

The importance of capability building
Why is capability building so important in a services context? Much of the answer concerns variability. In services, the work itself tends to be highly variable—both in terms of content (such as the wide range of questions customers may have) and in form (such as the major swings in demand that may occur depending the time of day or year). Moreover, providing services usually means relying mainly on people, who are far more variable than machines. This compounded variability can make consistent delivery appear almost impossible, unless people are able to perceive the issues that are produced by variability, react to them, and provide solutions on a continuous basis.

Over the long term, these capabilities become even more important so that the organization can identify new customer needs, take advantage of new opportunities, and create new value. Senior leaders and managers cannot know everything about what their customers want or how their products are doing. The closer people are to the front line, however, the more likely they are to have a real answer—but only if they have built skills in listening to customers and analyzing problems.

Capability building thus involves more than just teaching people how to complete their day-to-day tasks. Instead, it focuses on a broader set of skills that increase each employee’s value to the organization, such as learning to reach problems’ root causes, or providing effective feedback. With the greater value that more skilled people can create, the organization will enhance its unique competitive position. That means tailoring the capability building to the organization’s business context, culture, and needs—especially to the factors that allow the organization to create value.

A Latin American bank, for example, sought to build on its service reputation by enabling employees not just to respond to customer requests, but to anticipate them based on a combination of external circumstances (such as the level of activity in the bank), emotional cues (such as the customer’s visible stress or fatigue), and theEx 2 customer’s history with the bank (such as a record of the customer’s interactions and their outcomes). For employees to respond effectively from the moment they encountered the customer, they needed greater interpersonal awareness, faster information gathering, and a deeper understanding of the bank’s own products and processes. Together these formed the core of a new capability-building program that comprised more than two dozen initiatives, ranging from in-person training for the front line on how to provide clear product explanations to a new performance-management system and in-house “university.” In one year, customer satisfaction rose from second to first place in the market across all three of the bank’s major segments: corporate, small business, and retail banking.

Once an organization knows which capabilities it must build, though, the next challenge is to start building them quickly and at scale—two prerequisites for a transformation to build credibility across an organization and sustain its momentum. That’s where additional factors come into play.

Four success factors
Those large organizations that have most dramatically accelerated their capability building have integrated four success factors, which together support the transformation and the organization’s continued progress once the major changes are in place.

Engage every level of the organization
The first success factor concerns the scope of the capability building. Too often, leaders assume that the capability gaps that matter are only at the front line. But in fact, capability building is necessary at every level, all the way to the executive suite. Indeed, with role modeling critical to sustain almost any organizational change, a clear example from the top is usually the most important success factor in a capability-building effort.

Coaching direct reports is an essential skill for every executive, up to the CEO. At a global asset manager, the CEO began convening a recurring problem-solving meeting for the top team, underscoring for everyone in the company the importance both of the new skill, and of capability building more generally.

Support from the next level of leaders, who may head entire businesses or functions, will also be critical for persuading the rest of the organization to embrace the new capabilities. These executives should be involved as early as possible in designing curricula to help their respective teams become more effective. At one US insurer, the resulting development program started yielding results so quickly that the CEO is now accelerating the transformation across the enterprise worldwide.

The middle-management level is where scale starts to become especially difficult. Middle managers’ development needs involve more customization than is typical at the front line, but there are so many middle managers that the type of one-on-one counseling offered to senior leaders is not feasible. The content differs as well. Like senior leaders, middle managers need to understand the enterprise-level picture, but they also must translate that understanding into the detailed, concrete actions that the front line is taking every day.

Accordingly, the insurer’s mid-level curriculum centered on these “translation” skills—such as how to analyze the leadership team’s strategic messages into operational trade-offs. For example, if leaders announced that they were reviewing the company’s privacy policies, a service-center manager would need to be able to recognize the resources implications for her contact-center teams (see sidebar “The pressure for capabilities”). What could they de-emphasize to provide additional capacity? What would the balance look like between the telephone and instant-messaging channels?

Create excitement and pride
For capability building to endure, people must see it as representing an opportunity for the future rather than a critique of past practices. The best programs therefore communicate a well-defined value proposition that encompasses each level of the organization and reaches well beyond promises of career advancement.

In this type of environment, people see capability building not as just a mandatory box to tick, but as a way to build an individual reputation. Leaders can reinforce the message by celebrating their organization’s programs: serving as faculty, hosting graduation ceremonies, and boosting exposure for the program throughout the enterprise. These symbolic measures are especially important in the first few years after launch, when the capability-building program is still developing its reputation and people need reassurance that their leaders are truly committed to it.

Over the longer term, robust capability building can raise the profile of a company as a place to work and deepen the connection people feel to their employer. One of the insurer’s ambitions has been to become known in the financial-services industry for its capability-building opportunities, so that it can both retain and attract the high-potential individuals who are most committed to learning. That message is reinforced at the start of every curriculum the company offers, so the entire organization knows that the program’s goal is to make the company an even more attractive place to work. Employees see the value, with more than 90 percent of participants saying they are satisfied with the program.

Apply a range of learning techniques
Traditional corporate training programs still rely on classroom learning, even though researchers have long found that the classroom alone is a poor fit for adult learning patterns. Most adults instead need a mix of concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation.

In practice, this means that as much of the learning as possible should occur in the actual workplace, ideally based on actual work during the course of the workday. Leaders, managers, or even peers can work with the “student,” providing immediate feedback as he or she practices the new skills—such as at a multinational retailer, where each store manager now confirms standard procedures with employees while they are performing the relevant tasks. The approach works for virtually any skill, ranging from how to handle a particular type of customer request in a store to how to provide coaching for senior executives.

When “sit withs” such as these are not possible, capability building works best in settings that resemble the actual work environment as closely as possible: an office or retail floor, for example, rather than a classroom. These surroundings allow for realistic role playing that tests real problems in the workplace. Indeed, a model setting can allow people to envision solutions that might not seem possible under the constraints of their current offices.

Ex 3One European company with more than 50,000 employees has built an advanced “model office” to increase the capabilities of about 3,000 leaders and managers, who are overseeing the company’s transformation. The office uses actual company data to set up real problems that particular regions or businesses are facing—and that participants learn to solve over the course of their training.

As people progress through each module, the underlying IT system replicates the work environment by generating e-mails setting up realistic scenarios for role-playing exercises. Participants then use the lean-management techniques they are learning to understand and address the issues and to think more critically about the issues they deal with every day. Once they return to their roles, program graduates report that they can recognize difficulties at a far earlier stage and have a far easier time thinking of solutions.

Institutionalize through HR
The final step is to embed capability building in HR processes so that they become part of the organization’s culture. A financial-markets company started by redefining required competences and skills for all leaders, including problem solving, daily-meeting facilitation, and coaching, with personalized follow-up from HR. In parallel, HR revamped the company’s compensation systems to reward capability-building efforts and progress, with lean-skills development incorporated into performance objectives for all employees. Over subsequent years, the changes made lean management so fundamental to the organization that it became simply the way it operated. The impact is visible through almost every measure: volume of completed work increased by 30 percent and errors fell by 80 percent, while client and employee satisfaction both rose by more than 10 percent.

Finally, the regional financial institution mentioned previously illustrates how the four success factors come together. The CEO launched the company’s transformation by describing how he wanted everyone—including him and his leadership team—to learn new approaches for understanding and acting on customer expectations. The core of the new capability program was squarely in the middle of the organization: in addition to 200 “change agents,” 500 middle managers went through intensive capability building. The organization also developed a new internal brand, supported by a comprehensive communications platform encompassing all media from wall posters to sophisticated video presentations. Their collective message emphasized what teams were achieving with their new skills, and thereby generated new demand for the changes. As the program expanded, the company built an experiential-learning center that could train about 1,000 people per year. Company leaders now require all managers above a certain level of seniority to complete the program, which certifies them in their new skills.

Four years into the program, the changes have helped increase the company’s return on equity and cement its leadership in customer services in its market.

The experiences of these organizations demonstrate what companies can achieve when they build their transformations around the capabilities that their people need in order to make full use of their talents. Once people see the value they can create, they engage more deeply in their work in ways that give an organization not just short-term performance, but the long-term flexibility and resilience that are essential to thrive over the long term.

Sourece: McKinsey.com, 2015
Authors: Stefan De Raedemaecker, Javier Feijoo, and David Jacquemont
About the authors: Stefan De Raedemaecker is a senior expert in McKinsey’s Antwerp office, Javier Feijoo is a consultant in the Madrid office, and David Jacquemont is a principal in the Paris office.
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Cheferna som lyckas bäst

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on October 8th, 2015 by admin

Vad är det som gör att vissa chefer lyckas bättre än andra? Teorierna har gått isär, men nu har forskning visat vilka egenskaper som gör att vissa chefer når framgång.

bra chefLedarskap ser olika ut på olika arbetsplatser och skiljer sig åt mellan olika chefer. Medan ledarskapet utvecklats i en allt mer demokratisk och humanistisk riktning under de senaste årtiondena leder fortfarande många chefer med pondus och distans till sina medarbetare – trots att ett tufft ledarskap inte ger bättre resultat.

Forskning visar faktiskt att det är precis tvärtom. Arbetsplatser där chefen stöttar och bryr sig om sina medarbetare är mer lönsamma än andra arbetsplatser. Det framgår av en studie som Bård Kuvaas, professor i organisationspsykologi vid Handelshögskolan i Oslo har gjort. Undersökningen, som genomfördes bland 550 anställda på 75 bensinstationer, visade att stöttande chefer både fick mer nöjda medarbetare och lönsamma verksamheter.

De bensinstationer som fick högst betyg gällande ledarskap uppvisade ekonomiska resultat som var 38 procent högre än de stationer som hade lägst betyg.

Stöd i amerikansk forskning
Amerikansk forskning ger stöd för Bård Kuvaas undersökningsresultat. Studier som Emma Seppälä, doktor i psykologi vid Stanford University, har gjort visar att trevliga och snälla chefer vinner i längden.

Seppäläs forskning visar att schyssta chefer får schyssta medarbetare, vilket leder till ökad lojalitet och mer samarbete. Medarbetare som har snälla chefer blir dessutom mer produktiva, både i grupp och individuellt.
– Hårda chefer tror ofta att produktiviteten hos de anställda ökar om man drar åt tumskruvarna. Det enda som ökar är stressen och forskning visar att höga stressnivåer leder till kostnader för både arbetsgivare och anställda, skriver Emma Seppälä i Harvard Business Review.

Seppälä drar slutsatsen att snälla chefer får sina medarbetare att känna trygghet, vilket minskar stressen av att känna sig hotad. Den minskade stressen leder också till ökad glädje och färre sjukdagar.

Källa: saljledarskap.se, 6 oktober 2015
Av: Anders Nilsson
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The Best Managers Are Boring Managers

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on October 6th, 2015 by admin

What would the perfect robot manager be like? Looks aside, it would arguably be objective, transparent, unselfish, and apolitical. Because of this, it would assign the right task to every person and reward unselfish team behaviors, creating a culture of trust and keeping morale high. It would monitor individual and team performance with the precision of the best quantified-self app, and provide real-time feedback to boost everybody’srobot 1 productivity. Undoubtedly, it would operate according to data rather than intuition and make only evidence-based recommendations. In short, the perfect robot manager would be utterly predictable – and completely boring.

And yet dullness is not how most organizations choose managers today. Instead, they look for flash and vision, and bold displays of confidence – whether or not that translates into actual competence. Indeed, despite the vast body of knowledge – including independent scientific evidence – on what makes a good manager, too many people get promoted to management positions based on past technical expertise or their previous individual job performance, so they end up, in effect, transitioning from skilled labor to unskilled management.

This problem can be mitigated if we are able to assess managerial potential more effectively. And the barriers to achieving this have less to do with finding the right tools to assess managerial talent than our inability to understand what we should be looking for. You can have the best tools in the world but if you are really good at measuring the wrong thing then your problems won’t go away.

So, what does a boring – and very good – manager look like?

First, let me explain in more detail what I mean by “boring.” In psychology, the technical – and less socially loaded – term is emotional maturity. It is mainly a function of being emotionally stable, agreeable, and conscientious. Unsurprisingly, we all become more “mature” (boring) as we age. In any culture people are more volatile and antisocial during their teens, and they become more conforming, conservative and rule-abiding as they grow older. Although this tends to have a negative connotation in much of the Western world – which avowedly values creativity, disruption, and individuality – it is clearly an asset when it comes to managerial potential.

In the most compelling and comprehensive synthesis of independent scientific studies about managerial competence, Tim Judge reports that effective managers tend to be highly adjusted, sociable, friendly, flexible, and prudent. They are, in fact, the reverse of the famous self-made billionaires and tycoon entrepreneurs we often use as examples of great leaders. Imagine working directly for Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, or David Rockefeller; it may sound great, but most people are happiest working for people who are the exact opposite. As Michael Maccoby pointed out in an influential HBR essay, these entrepreneurial leaders “tend to be poor listeners who are sensitive to criticism and demonstrate low levels of emotional intelligence.” In addition, it should be noted that people who are as ruthless, impatient, demanding, and excitable as Jobs and Bezos usually lack the genius to get away with it, so they are much more likely to derail than to invent the next Apple or Amazon.

Second, as you transition from individual contributor to manager, you shift your focus from solving technical problems to solving people problems. To achieve this, you need to be able to delegate in order to robot 2concentrate on your team members. This makes emotional labor a key quality in managers. Much as in the service industry the best performers can connect emotionally with the customers, when you are a manager you need to be able to connect emotionally with your subordinates. As an employee, you labor to manage your own emotions; as a manager you also labor to manage other people’s emotions. This depends on having quality interactions with your team, and you can only do this if you are calm and cool-headed, if you are able to display strategic emotions – which involves a fair amount of faking it – and if you are capable of understanding that it’s not really about you.

Again, when we think of classic charismatic or colorful leaders, you get a very different type of profile. To have emotional intelligence is not to be overwhelmed by emotions and unwillingly leak non-verbal communicational cues; it is about having low emotional reactivity and being as phlegmatic as the Queen of England. As psychological studies have indicated: “The most effective leaders are found to be those who operate from a stable center, who are personally grounded, other-directed and create the kinds of secure and supportive environments where creativity and productivity thrive.”

Third, what people value most in a manager is integrity, which is best conceptualized as an attribution and assessed via others rather than self-ratings. The best way to predict counterproductive or unethical work behaviors is by asking subordinates to report on the probability that their manager will, in not-so-subtle language, screw them over. And once again, it is boring managers who take the prize: the fewer dysfunctional dispositions or dark side personality traits they display, and the more predictable, reliable, and, yes, boring, they are, the higher they’re rated on integrity, and the more morally they behave. This issue reminds us of the many famous case studies of leaders who are clearly brilliant from an expertise or competence standpoint, but morally feeble: Sepp Blatter, Bernie Madoff, and Pablo Escobar come to mind.

In brief, it is time for organizations to understand that their best potential managers are not the people who stand out; they are not the people who self-promote and take credit for others’ achievements, or have mastered the art of politics and upward career management. They may lack charisma and have no remarkable vision for the future, yet they are probably the best people to help execute the company vision and ensure that staff stays engaged and productive.

Source: Harvard Business Review, September 2015
Author: Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
About the author: Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is the CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems, a Professor of Business Psychology at University College London, and a faculty member at Columbia University.
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Building marketing and sales capabilities to beat the market

Posted in Aktuellt, Försäljning / Sales on October 4th, 2015 by admin

Consistent growth is difficult; consistent outperformance rarer still. Yet many companies still fail to develop their marketing and sales capabilities to drive performance.

The lean-manufacturing revolution profoundly altered the business world as companies reinvented how they built things to be more efficient and productive. We believe it’s time that companies apply that same level of scrutiny and commitment to marketing and sales. Our research is increasingly clear: companies with better marketing and sales capabilities grow faster. At a time when growth is not only more important but arguably more elusive than ever, companies must tap the potential of marketing and sales to deliver better results.

To help leaders understand marketing and sales performance, we recently conducted a detailed benchmarking study involving 15,000 employees at more than 140 leading B2B and B2B2C global businesses. Our findings were clear: revenue growth at companies with more advanced marketing and sales capabilities tended to be 30 percent greater than the average company within their sector (exhibit). That means in an industry growing at 4 percent annually, a company in the top quartile of marketing and sales capabilities typically grows by around 5.3 percent.1
Exhibit

Companies that invest in marketing and sales capabilities drive above-market growth.

Seven hallmarks of superior marketing and sales
Many senior executives still argue that the return on investment (ROI) from marketing and sales is just too difficult to assess, especially when compared with revenue-generating line businesses. So, instead of taking a systematic and deliberate approach to investing in their institutional marketing and sales capabilities, many companies choose to focus on tactical efforts that provide quick, visible results. That’s a mistake. Sustainable competitive advantage flows to companies with the best marketing and sales capabilities, and our research and deep industry experience has identified these seven hallmarks of leading companies:

Viewing marketing and sales as an investment, not an expense. Our research shows that, if done well, investing to build a carefully chosen group of marketing and sales capabilities can yield a massive return—as much as five or ten times that of an investment in hard assets such as factory equipment. However, companies rarely calculate the ROI of building marketing and sales capabilities. Too often, leadership looks at marketing and sales as an expense rather than an investment in top-line growth.

It is possible to measure the ROI of building marketing and sales capabilities; in fact, it’s necessary to measure salesROI to be effective. The best-performing companies focus on building capabilities that are directly linked to specific growth and margin opportunities by instilling ROI discipline. For example, a building-materials business found there was enormous value available (about two percentage points of margin) from improving capabilities in transactional pricing, sales, and local tactical marketing. Historically, the company had found it hard to fund the investment required to build those capabilities, given that it was a large expense without a return in the same year. But when executives calculated the internal rate of return of a serious and sustained performance-linked investment to build those capabilities (such as new account-planning tools, pricing software, value selling, sales-manager training, and targeted hiring), they found it was four times greater than building another manufacturing plant.

Knowing what needs to be fixed. It is virtually impossible to fix something if you don’t know what’s wrong with it. Yet while most businesses rigorously measure and track key performance indicators, few apply the same approach to capabilities—and if they do, they typically look at individual rather than true institutional capabilities such as tools, methodologies, core processes, and systems. Companies should not only know their marketing and sales capabilities but also how they compare against their best-performing peers.

Acquiring this knowledge requires undertaking a diagnostic that reveals capability strengths and weaknesses—and does so with sufficient granularity and analytical rigor to allow action to be taken. When a global chemical company benchmarked the specific capabilities of its marketing, sales, and pricing functions, it found that while one business unit was strong at delivering value, its strategic marketing capabilities needed improvement to drive growth. Just as important, the company rolled out a shorter version of the diagnostic on an annual basis to gauge ongoing performance and to spot emerging trends.

Targeting the capabilities that matter the most. Companies tend to invest in capabilities without thinking through which are likely to have the most impact or are most important to beat the competition. This is generally the result of a faulty understanding of existing capabilities and/or decisions driven by personalities rather than a set of facts everyone agrees on.

While there are as many as 40 clusters of marketing and sales capabilities, top-performing companies tend to focus on improving only about 6 that are important to the company’s individual goal. One leading consumer-electronics player, for example, identified the most important capability gaps it needed to close: product launches, in-store execution, tactical marketing-spend optimization, and managing sales growth at granularity. For product launches, it retooled its approach and trained the key marketers involved (for example, about 45 product-launch champions in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa). Focusing on improving these capabilities enabled it to gain up to ten percentage points in market share in targeted product categories.

Not trying to do too much. Building capabilities requires focused attention. For example, we know one manufacturing company that found, when working to upgrade its commercial capabilities, that any unit that built out three capabilities at once failed. However, if units stuck to two capabilities at a time, they succeeded. Not trying to do too much, too soon ensured they met their goal of improving margins by three percentage points. Another reason for keeping the scope narrow is that changing how an organization works is a prolonged endeavor. The likelihood of failing or losing momentum only increases when companies do too much at once.

Tailoring the approach to the company’s stage of development. A successful investment in marketing and sales isn’t just about choosing the right capabilities; it’s about choosing to develop them in the right sequence. Our research suggests that where you are on the business-performance curve should inform your decisions about which capabilities to develop:

Stage 1: Low growth and profitability relative to market. Investment should focus on foundational capabilities that give businesses the tools to grow, such as transactional pricing, performance management, and customer-portfolio management. Without this foundation, companies will not be able to make it to the next stage.

Stage 2: Low growth but high profits. To promote growth, companies should focus on building capabilities in branding, strategic marketing, customer life-cycle management, and customer service.

Stage 3: High growth and high profitability. To become a market leader, businesses need to invest in higher-factor skills such as channel performance and integration as well as alternative go-to-market approaches such as inside sales or e-commerce.

Thinking institutional capabilities, not just individual skills. Different elements of a business often have their own perspective on the relative importance of a given capability. That can be problematic: individuals leave, but companies need to sustain capabilities over time. The only way to implement true institutional capabilities is to encourage a broad, inclusive discussion that creates a clear view of which capabilities are necessary across the entire company and how to prioritize them. In effect, companies must create a common and accepted frame of reference. For example, one company regularly surveys 2,000 of its marketing and sales people about their sense of the need to build a particular capability. While this feedback provides valuable insights, it also helps to create a single working vocabulary about capabilities.

Having an operating model to keep it all running. In the end, building marketing and sales capabilities alone isn’t enough. Without the right operating model to support change, even the most advanced capabilities will wither. An operating model needs to be specific and measurable, including elements such as clear annual performance-improvement goals; scheduled and formal reviews throughout the year by segment, key account, and other categories; individual and business-unit performance reviews; incentives aligned with institutional goals; and leadership role modeling to shape the culture.

Culture, in particular, should not be underrated. Top-performing companies actively build a culture that’s customer-focused, managed for the long term, creative, confident, flexible, and fast moving. One consumer-electronics company, for example, revitalized its sales in Europe by focusing on a program to deliberately build a growth culture. It reorganized teams so they spent more time with customers, became more focused on execution, and enforced stronger accountability both for teams and individuals. In addition, executives worked to become more agile through faster decision making, creating cross-functional teams around specific initiatives and using technology to collaborate virtually.

Questions to get started
While transforming marketing and sales capabilities to drive growth is not easy, many companies have difficulty simply knowing where to start. In our experience, CEOs and senior executives should ask the following three questions to get the process moving in a fruitful direction:

How good are our marketing and sales capabilities today compared with best practice?
How much value is at stake in radically improving our marketing and sales performance?
What’s the ROI on our current capability investments?
Starting with these questions will help ensure that your company focuses on building capabilities that improve the business’s financial performance and help it beat the market.

Källa: McKinsey.com, March 2015
By: Bart Delmulle, Brett Grehan, and Vikas Sagar.
About the authors: Bart Delmulle is a principal in McKinsey’s Antwerp office, Brett Grehan is a director in the Sydney office, and Vikas Sagar is a director in the Johannesburg office.
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