Finding the balance in leadership styles

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on February 17th, 2020 by admin
In today’s complex, uncertain and fast-paced business environment, it is tempting to simply react to the latest issue and manage what is. The best leaders, however, in addition to reacting to the current situation, are able to create something new. What often separates the best leaders is their ability to be visionary and creative, not just vigilant and reactive. Rather than react to situations and manage what is, visionary leaders—ones who bring a broader awareness and ability to show up with a sense of humanity—focus on creating what is not, but what should be, in service of a greater purpose. Sadly, a recent study* shows that 80 percent of executives today operate from a reactive state of mind.

To meet the numerous challenges of the increasingly complex business landscape, we must create opportunities to be nimble and fluid with our approach; this means going beyond predictive, analytical ways of working (flow charts and hypothesis-driven problem solving) and embracing more discovery and experimentation.

There is good news: We can train creative competencies, and, according to a recent study, women tend to naturally operate from a more creative state of mind. They are more purposeful, system aware and relational in their leadership. Still, at most firms, women are expected to conform to the dominant patriarchal style, thereby limiting their range. Research led by Bart Wille of the University of Antwerp, which included 600 top-level executives (143 women) and 52,000 non-executives (17,643 women), shows women—as they get more senior—tend to conform and be rewarded to fit into this male-centric style of leadership.

For example, an executive was named president of her firm’s fastest-growing business unit. After a recent merger, which involved a complicated IT transformation, several issues had arisen. A meeting to discuss these problems quickly grew contentious.

Rather than exchange in a debate that would likely not lead to a resolution, the executive took time after the meeting with her coach so she could better understand how to focus on the issues they were actually trying to solve. The coach helped her by asking her to replay the meeting. She reflected on the initial exchange and considered the IT lead’s point of view and challenges. Through this process, she became aware of assumptions she was making, saw the bigger system at play and new perspectives that could be considered. She then identified a series of actions she and her team could experiment with in service of helping customers live better lives—the ultimate mission that guided the merger.

At the end of the session, the executive said to her coach, “I used to be so relational and that was my strength to engage teams; I am finding myself more reactive, directive, protecting and controlling. I do not like who I am becoming.”

Her experience isn’t unique. But creative competencies can be developed and practiced by both women and men:

  1. Pause to create space for reflection, listening and awareness.
  2. Develop a vision rooted in purpose to create alignment on direction of where we are heading (not a known destination).
  3. Radically reframe the questions we ask to open new perspectives, curiosity and discovery; even invite opposition to generate creative dialogue.
  4. Embrace our ignorance, let go of our need to know the answer and listen for what information is emerging.
  5. Experiment with a willingness to fail and learn.

In our research, we identified the top nine leadership behaviors deemed most important for organizational performance in the future. Of these, women were rated as applying more in the creative areas of people development, authentic role-modeling, rewards and expectations, effective communications, and participative decision-making. Men only scored higher on applying reactive behaviors such as individual action and control and correct. Yet, the number of women in executive leadership roles is still eclipsed by men.

It’s not just about only women leading, but creating an environment where male counterparts are invited to embrace a more creative approach. This doesn’t negate the need and relevancy of reactive approaches, but rather offers a balance to the type of leadership style that continues to dominate the business world.

Today’s complex business world needs leaders—men and women—who operate with a creative structure of mind and who are able to lean into the chaos, inspire their teams, experiment with a willingness to fail, and deliver results in the face of adversity and constant change.


Så dåligt mår din chef

Posted in Aktuellt, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap on February 12th, 2020 by admin

Chefer mår allt sämre. Långtidssjukskrivningarna för psykisk ohälsa har ökat dramatiskt senaste sex åren.

– En chef ska ständigt vara tillgänglig och sedan sitter de och skyfflar mejl på kvällstid, säger Lena-Karin Allinger, organisationskonsult på Previa.

Trenden är tydlig, chefsrollen blir mer pressad, åtminstone om man ska tro frekvensen av sjukskrivningar. Mellan 2014 och 2019 har antalet sjukdagar på grund av psykisk ohälsa nästan tredubblats, enligt företagshälsovårdsföretaget Previas studie bland 12.300 chefer.

– Ökningen som vi ser är ganska dramatisk, säger Lennart Sohlberg, analytiker på Previa.

Och den har ändrat karaktär. Korttidsfrånvaron har snarast minskat medan långtidsfrånvaron skjutit i höjden, ofta till följd av psykosociala orsaker. Allra värst är det för kvinnliga chefer, vilket enligt Lena-Karin Allinger hänger ihop med att de oftare chefar i den offentliga sektorn där personalgrupperna är större. Problemet med att chefernas korttidsfrånvaro är relativt låg, är att varningsflaggorna då inte syns. Att en medarbetare borta många kortare perioder fungerar ofta som en varningsklocka.

En typisk chefsdag är fylld av möten.
– Sedan får man hantera de andra uppgifterna på kvällstid, säger Lena-Karin Allinger.

I takt med att många företag bantar den administrativa personalen, så landar de uppgifterna hos cheferna, vilket skapar stress och en känsla av att tappa kontrollen.

Fortfarande är chefer mindre långtidssjukskrivna än medarbetarna. Fokus i sjukskrivningsdebatten har därför mest kommit att handla om ickecheferna. Men vem tar hand om chefen?

Chefer som mår dåligt riskerar dessutom ge en spiraleffekt. Underlydande som har en chef som inte är närvarande kan spilla över på personalen i stort, i form av ökad ohälsa.

Källa:, 12 februari 2020

How to develop soft skills

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Customer care / Kundvård, Leadership / Ledarskap on February 5th, 2020 by admin
As automation and artificial intelligence dramatically change the nature of work, employees must fine tune the social and emotional abilities machines cannot master. To encourage this behavior, employers must adjust the ways they assess, educate, train and reward their workforce on soft skills such as collaboration, communication and critical thinking.
Our previous post demonstrated the value of developing and rewarding soft skills, considering the impact of automation and AI on the workplace of the future. But what exactly are soft skills, and how can organizations meet these needs?

What are soft skills?
Soft skills, which are commonly defined as non-technical skills that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with others, are vital to organizations and can impact culture, mindsets, leadership, attitudes and behaviors. These skills fall into the following categories:

  1. Advanced communication and negotiation skills
  2. Interpersonal skills and empathy
  3. Leadership and management skills
  4. Entrepreneurship and initiative-taking
  5. Adaptability and continuous learning skills
  6. Teaching and training skills

A key difference among today’s large-scale skill shift and those in the past—including the transformative transition from agriculture to manufacturing—is the urgency for workers who exhibit these capabilities.

Reskilling at scale is a concern and priority for 80 percent of C-suite executives worldwide, according to a McKinsey survey. Reskilling significant portions of the workforce within the next 5-10 years will be required—tens of millions of mid-career, middle-age workers, particularly in advanced economies—with the development of soft skills a key element.

How can organizations facilitate reskilling?
Developing required soft skills and ensuring employees, and in turn organizations, are set up for success isn’t as simple as popping in a training video. Instead, companies must change their employees’ processes and behaviors—a much harder task.

Assessment is an important first step. Sizing the soft skill gap proves particularly challenging, since they typically lack systematic evaluation and certification mechanisms. HR departments must be equipped with a framework that codifies soft skills and defines their respective evaluation criteria.

For example, several European firms are employing “stepping stone” initiatives to build a digital platform to help workers evaluate their soft skills, know their strengths and development needs, gain access to specific trainings, and get certified.

Effective reskilling requires blended learning journeys that mix traditional learning, including training, digital courses and job aids, with nontraditional methods, such as peer coaching. One retail giant has distributed over 17,000 virtual reality headsets that immerse employees in unfamiliar situations, such as their first Black Friday sales day, and is training them in new tech, soft skills and compliance.

People naturally operate based on incentives—they do what is rewarded. To encourage people to not only begin their soft skill learning journey but to continue with it, rewards and incentives are critical. One large advisory firm has recently implemented a series of digital badges to reward people who complete certain training sessions. Much like the progression of belts provided to martial artists, these badges serve as public recognition for others that the trainee is becoming an expert in a certain topic, thereby encouraging employees to further invest in key skills.

Given the critical need for soft skills now and in the future, training current employees is not enough. It is also crucial to ensure that new talent coming in the door is ready with the most critical skills on day one. Recruiting for soft skills can be tricky, but it generally involves structured interviews which elicit responses that include details about one’s past work and life experiences that contribute to who they are today, or situational judgment tests whereby the interviewer puts the candidate in a specific hypothetical scenario and asks how he or she would deal with it.

Employers providing soft skills training report positive impacts on their workforce, including higher productivity and improved results. As today’s skill shift accelerates, it is essential that organizations enhance and expand development initiatives for business longevity.


Stressigt att vara sjukligt uttråkad

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Leadership / Ledarskap on January 28th, 2020 by admin

Att ha för lite att göra på jobbet kan leda till utmattningssyndrom och depression. Anki Udd blev sjukskriven på grund av sin understimulerande arbetsplats.

”Man är så uttråkad och understimulerad att en allvarlig stress uppstår”, säger hon.

Som att bli utbränd, fast på det tråkiga viset. Så beskrivs ibland fenomenet att bli sjuk på jobbet genom att ha för få arbetsuppgifter eller för lite meningsfulla saker att göra.

Anki Udd är en av dem som drabbats av utmattningssyndrom till följd av understimulans, så kallad ”bore out”. Hon blev sjukskriven för sina utmattningssymptom och sin depression som berodde på att hon inte hade tillräckligt med arbetsuppgifter. Anki Udd blev sjukskriven på grund av sin understimulerande arbetsplats.

”Det var en känsla av att plötsligt bli osynliggjord och värdelös som ledde till stress, obehag och depression”, säger hon.

Arbetssituationen gjorde att hon började tvivla på sig själv och sin kompetens. Anki Udd tycker att fler borde prata om fenomenet så att medvetenheten ökar.

”Bore out kan vara skamligt, särskilt i dagens arbetsliv där de flesta pratar om för högt tempo. Det är lätt att man skulbelägger sig själv”, säger Anki Udd.

Idag arbetar Anki Udd som ledarskapsutvecklare på fackförbundet Ledarna. Hon tycker att en bra ledning bör vara intresserad av att ha nytta av sina medarbetare.

”Det är en resurs. Att inte utnyttja den är kostnadseffektivt korkat”, säger hon.

Ett av de mest omskrivna exemplen på ”bore out” var i Frankrike där en 44-årig man 2015 stämde sin arbetsgivare, en parfymtillverkare, på motsvarande 3,8 Mkr. Han hävdade att han haft så få meningsfulla arbetsuppgifter att göra i fyra års tid att han hamnade i en depression.

”Jag nedsteg i helvetet”, kommenterade mannen till The Guardian i samband med stämningen, som han senare förlorade. I stället tvingades han betala närmare 10 000 kronor till sin forna arbetsgivare för ärekränkning eftersom domstolen menade att mannen inte kunde bevisa att hans sviktade hälsa var relaterat till arbetet.

Men trots det nedslående exemplet ovan är fenomenet på riktigt och en diagnos som tyvärr existerar i arbetslivet.

Markus Hällgren är professor i företagsekonomi på Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet. Han har forskat om fenomenet tristess och hur det påverkar organisationer.

”Alla upplever tristess någon gång ibland. Det är inget konstigt, men det kan få jättestora ekonomiska konsekvenser för företag, organisationer och hela samhället om det är långdraget”, säger han.

Enligt honom är det viktigt med mellanrutiner, som att fira födelsedagar med tårta eller ta kaffepauser med kollegor och gå på afterworks, för att motverka tristess. Markus Hällgren är kritisk till arbetsgivare som till exempel tar bort eller tar betalt för kaffe.

”Det är väldigt kortsiktigt. Kaffeautomaten kan vara otroligt viktig för hur människor relaterar till, bryr sig om och hjälper varandra”, säger han.

För att de anställda inte ska bli uttråkade och tappa motivation bör chefer se till att initiera och hålla mellanrutiner vid liv samt vara noga med sitt sätt att uttrycka sig.

”Chefer bör vara ofantligt tydliga med att arbetsuppgifterna som de anställda gör är viktiga och se till att alla är med på den båten”, säger Markus Hällgren.

Anki Udd blev frisk med hjälp av medicin, terapi och träning. Hennes första råd för att undvika ”bore out” är att prata om sina arbetsuppgifter med sin chef, trots rädslan att ens anställning ska verka överflödig. Om man känner sin organisation väl kan en annan lösning vara att avlasta sina kollegor. Om det inte fungerar kan det vara värt att leta efter nya jobb.

”Det är något sjukt i organisationen när sånt här inträffar. Sök dig därifrån, för din egen hälsas skull”, säger Anki Udd.


Källa:, 18 januari 2020



Ny forskningsrapport: Så fattar VD:ar mer lönsamma beslut

Posted in Aktuellt, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap on January 15th, 2020 by admin

Schablonbilden av en bolags-vd som en beräknande, egoistisk och känslokall person har visst stöd i nationalekonomin, där vinstmaximering och strikt rationellt agerande ofta framhålls som nödvändiga egenskaper för framgång.

Men hur sann är vd-bilden av Gordon Gekko, Bobby Axelrod och J.R. Ewing egentligen?

Inte särskilt, enligt en ny SNS-rapport baserad på en studie i Kina.

Jerker Holm, professor i nationalekonomi vid Lunds universitet, konstaterar att företagsledares strategiska beslut är ett svårstuderat ämne. Vd:ar är upptagna personer som har lite tid över för ekonomiska experiment, och det är heller inte oproblematiskt att i efterhand analysera beslut där inte vem som helst tillåts ta del av känslig bakgrundsinformation. Ofta är också fonden bakom ett strategiskt viktigt beslut en så komplicerad bild av omständigheter och förutsättningar att den helt enkelt är omöjlig att koka ner till jämförbar materia.

För att få en bild av hur vd:ar tänker har Jerker Holm och två forskarkollegor genomfört en studie i Shanghai och Wenzhou i Kina, där 200 vd:ar från konkurrensutsatta privatägda företag rekryterades. Vd:arna ställdes inför tre klassiska spelteorietiska situationer eller spel, där de fick ta ställning till att samarbeta eller exploatera, eller att välja en aggressiv eller defensiv linje för att lösa de hypotetiska problemen.

Vd:arnas resultat jämfördes sedan med en kontrollgrupp med 200 personer, som till sin sammansättning liknade vd-gruppen med avseende på kön, ålder, utbildning och bostad. Grupperna ombads dessutom att att gissa hur andra inom samma grupp skulle välja, det vill säga att man mätte förväntningarna på hur den i allt väsentligt liknande motparten skulle agera i samma situation.

Till bilden hör dessutom att såväl vd:arna som kontrollpersonerna hade möjlighet att tjäna ganska mycket pengar på spelen. De ersattes för i snitt 20 minuters jobb med en summa som motsvarade en timlön på 1.000 kronor – men totalsummen var helt beroende på vilka strategiska val de gjorde och hur framgångsrika de blev. Detta som ett sätt att mäta effektiviteten. Vissa gick således därifrån med en rejäl slant samtidigt som andra lämnade tomhänta.

Resultaten förbluffade forskarna.

”I samtliga formuleringar av spelen ser man att vd:arna genomgående valde att samarbeta mer och exploatera mindre än kontrollgruppen. De var mindre aggressiva i sina val jämfört med kontrollgruppen,” säger Jerker Holm.

Skillnaderna i vart och ett av de tre spelen var statistiskt signifikanta.

När det gäller vd:arnas förväntningar på motparten så var företagsledaren dessutom mer benägen än kontrollgruppen att förvänta sig ett icke-aggressivt beteende från motspelaren. Resultaten visar alltså ett beteende och ett beslutsfattande som går rakt på tvärs med stereotypen av den offensive och hänsynslöse företagsledaren.

Det var, intressant nog, också signifikanta skillnader mellan hur mycket pengar de olika grupperna tjänade på spelen:

”Om man matchar grupperna mot varandra så tjänade vd:arna genomgående väldigt mycket mer på att samarbeta och på att välja icke-aggressiva strategier. Faktiskt tjänade vd:arna betydligt mer i samtliga tre spel”, säger Jerker Holm som tillstår att han förvånades över resultaten av studien.

”Det intressantaste tycker jag är just effektiviteten och att den i någon bemärkelse kommer sig av det vi kallar för icke-rationaliteten. Det är så genomgående. Det förvånade oss att det var så tydliga resultat.”

Att studien genomfördes just i Kina beror på flera skäl och Jerker Holm medger att det kan finnas kulturellt betingade skillnader som kan tänkas påverka försökspersonernas val. Samtidigt finns det också stora likheter. Alla företagsledare ställs inför samma utmaningar när det kommer till att organisera resurser, samordna beslut, samarbeta under olika slags osäkerhet och konkurrera, framhåller han.

Lars G Nordström, näringslivsnestor med en lång bankbakgrund och nuvarande styrelseordförande i Vattenfall, uppskattar att studien bidrar till att motverka vrångbilden av den verkställande direktören.

”Men jag kan inte säga att jag är särskilt förvånad att företagsledare har den här lite mer sammansatta bilden som studien visar”, säger han och poängterar att den vd som tror att det är att köra på som Gordon Gekko snart blir nertagen på jorden.

”Väldigt snart inser man i vd-rollen att det finns kunder, anställda, politik och samhället i stort som man måste lära sig att hantera. Då förstår man att man inte kan köra enligt mediebilden utan det är en helt annan verklighet man har att hantera.”

Ofta är det också så att de personliga egenskaperna är en parameter som sorterar bort de vd:ar som inte kan hantera intressenthantering och samspel och så vidare, tillägger han.

Som styrelseordförande är en av dina viktigaste uppgifter att tillsätta vd. Vad letar du efter där?
”Det beror rätt mycket vilken situation bolaget är i. Jag tycker att man kan lära sig mycket från lagsporternas värld. Det fel man gör i näringslivet i för stor utsträckning är att man tillsätter vd:ar utifrån CV och vad personen har presterat, och för lite i förhållande till vad de faktiskt kan förväntas att komma att prestera. Det skulle aldrig falla en tränare in att sätta ihop laget baserat på matchen man spelade i söndags, utan man försöker sätta ihop ett lag inför den kommande matchen och det kommande motståndet”, säger Lars G Nordström.

Källa:, januari 2020

Conflict, lack of clarity, and decision making: The 3 biggest derailers of work teams

Posted in Aktuellt, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap on December 3rd, 2019 by admin

Conflict—and the inability to deal with it effectively—is one of the three biggest derailers of work teams, says Lael Good, director of consulting services for The Ken Blanchard Companies and coauthor of the company’s new Team Leadership program.

“In the absence of training, people won’t naturally seek out conflict solutions where others can be seen and heard. Instead, they will resort to their own strategies for dealing with conflict,” says Good. “One of the things we teach in the Team Leadership program is how to understand if you have a fight or flight approach to conflict—because neither of those options is necessarily the best way for a team to work together. Our goal is to create an environment within a team where people share their opinions and discuss conflict openly—because that’s the only way it is going to become a high performance team.”

Good explains that team members may have different personality styles that need to be considered. For example, some may be battlers—very open about announcing their opinions to the team, and some may be avoiders—careful about bringing up their concerns or even trying to avoid talking about them.

“Each person’s approach to conflict has a lot to do with their personality preferences. Diversity within teams is important because it creates more opportunities to find solutions. It also opens the possibility of discrepancies between people who see things differently and act differently. But if conflicting viewpoints are not brought out in the open and discussed, the team could fall apart.”

The team leader plays an important role, says Good. “Some leaders run for the woods when conflict arises. Others say ‘Knock it off and get back to work.’ It’s difficult for a team to progress with either of those approaches. Leaders need to embrace conflict in a way that opens a door rather than closes it.”

Lack of Clarity is number 2
A lack of clarity is the second big derailer of a high performance team, says Good. “Lack of clarity causes problems at many levels. Clarity and alignment must exist between goals of the team and those of the organization. There must also be clarity among team members about what they are doing and how they are doing it. And finally, it is necessary to have clarity around decisions that are made and the impact the team will have on other teams and individuals in the organization.

“Unless all of these areas of clarity are sorted out, we often find that teams step into other territories without meaning to. Questions may come from others regarding the purpose of the team and how the team’s actions link to what the organization is trying to achieve.”

Decision Making is number 3
The third big derailer of successful teams is decision making. “Most teams strive to make key decisions by consensus. But in the midst of the challenges and pressures brought on by conflict, the leader or subject matter expert makes the decision or it is reached through a majority vote. If the decision making process isn’t defined at the outset, these and other difficulties can result in no decisions being reached.”

To fix these three major derailers of teams, Good recommends using a common language and process to launch and accelerate the growth of a team through the four stages of development: Orientation, when a team is just starting out; Dissatisfaction, when conflict inevitably arises; Integration, as the team begins to learn how to work with each other; and Production, when the fine-tuned team is achieving its purpose and goals.

“At the Orientation stage, a team needs clarity and alignment. Team members are excited but they also have a lot of questions. The team leader’s role is to not only ensure the team is aligned on its purpose, goals, and roles, but also provide clear objectives and norms around communication, accountability, and decision making.

“At the Dissatisfaction stage, the team begins to experience conflict as team members present different ideas about how the team should work together. Many teams never progress to a level of high performance because they can’t manage or communicate through that conflict.

“At the Integration stage, things are beginning to improve, but the team needs to keep talking. We teach team members to voice their concerns and share their thoughts and observations with the team. This is where having clear agreements about objectives and norms at the front end helps. Now people can ask “How are we doing with our norms?” This check-in process gives the team a way to openly discuss what’s happening and what might be getting in the way of the team’s ability to deliver results on time.

“At the Production stage, the challenge is how to sustain high performance. This is about keeping the team nourished and growing. Don’t take the team for granted. The team leader needs to ask ‘Are we demonstrating our team’s contribution to overall organizational goals? Have we recognized and appreciated each team member’s efforts? What’s next for our team?’”

Good offers some encouragement. “If leaders are meeting the team’s needs at each stage, the team is going to accelerate through all four stages of development. The more broadly this is understood by both team members and team leaders in the organization, the more likely the organization will be a high performance organization. And if that means going a little bit slower in the beginning, rest assured it will pay off with additional speed and better results in the long run.

“The speed of change in organizations today is such that no one person can go it alone. We simply can’t accomplish everything that needs to be done, or gain enough skill or expertise to do it, by ourselves. Well-structured teams with a common language and process allow organizations to leverage diverse skill sets and approaches when they bring together a group of people to address common goals.”

Source:, September 2019

Varför alla företagare borde ha en mentor

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap on November 26th, 2019 by admin

En mentor bidrar till att du får tillgång till mer kunskaper och mer information som kan hjälpa dig med ditt företagande

Är du helt ny som företagare? Då borde du ha en mentor. Har du drivit företag ett tag eller rent utav flera år? Ja, då borde du också ha en mentor. Vill du exempelvis utöka till nya marknader? Skapa nya produkter eller tjänster? Digitalisera din verksamhet? Växa eller tjäna mer? Oavsett vilket läge du befinner dig i kan en mentor hjälpa dig på traven. Mentorskap är ett fenomen som lär ha funnits sedan antikens Grekland och innebär att du har en personlig rådgivare som du kan tala förtroendefullt med om din affärsverksamhet och få hjälp med tips och råd. Idag är det minst lika aktuellt och anledningarna till att alla egenföretagare borde ha en mentor är flera, här är några av dem!

Ensam är inte starkast
Ensam kan absolut vara stark men tillsammans blir vi starkare. Som egenföretagare har du bara dig själv och det blir lätt både ensamt och sårbart i längden om du inte omger dig med personer som stöttar dig på din resa. Ensam är inte starkast utan det är tillsammans som vi blir verkligt starka.
Det sociala nätverkets kraft
Ungefär 70 procent av alla arbeten tillsätts idag genom nätverkskontakter. Hur den statistiken ser ut för egenföretagare förtäljer inte denna svenska studie men rekommendationer och kontakter är A och O för alla företagare. Oavsett om det gäller att få in nya affärer, leverantörer, medarbetare eller något annat du kan tänkas behöva. Genom en mentor kommer du att nå ut till ännu fler personer via hens nätverk och bara det kan vara ovärderligt för din framtida verksamhet.

Lär av andras misstag
Alla gör vi misstag, det är knappast något nytt. Det är inte heller nytt att det en lär sig bäst genom sina egna misstag. Men varför nöja sig med det om du också kan lära dig av andras misstag och därmed undvika att trampa i fler företagarfällor än de du redan har upptäckt? Ju tidigare du kan få hjälp med att upptäcka vilka risker du står inför desto bättre kan du förhindra dem.

Möjligheten till att kunna fråga allt du undrar över
Alla har vi saker som vi undrar över. Stora som små. Så, varför gå och undra när det finns erfarna människor som antingen har svaren eller kan hjälpa dig finna dem? En bra mentor fungerar som din mentala PT och hen kommer att kunna hjälpa dig och ditt företag att må bättre och bli starkare.

Du kommer kunna lyckas snabbare
Goda råd sägs vara dyra men är det verkligen dyrt om de goda råden kan få din företagsverksamhet att växa både mer, tidigare och snabbare jämfört med om du skulle ha kommit på allting själv? Njä. Det tar mellan ett och fem år att etablera en affärsverksamhet beroende på vad det är för typ av företag, förutsättningar och marknader som det gäller. Att ha en mentor som kan hjälpa dig att navigera både inför och under tiden som du startar upp eller implementerar något nytt kommer att hjälpa dig spara både tid, kraft och därmed hjälpa dig att lyckas snabbare.

Kä, september 2019

Organizations do not change. People change!

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Leadership / Ledarskap on October 28th, 2019 by admin

Addressing an organization’s mindset has a tangible business impact and is the key that opens the door to successfully transforming an organization.

Albert Einstein once famously remarked, “Today’s problems cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created them.”
Consider the example of a Latin American consumer goods manufacturer under pressure to change its performance after not having performed well for several quarters. Due to urgency, the chief transformation officer went off to set more stretched targets and created a weekly governance to review performance initiatives with more rigor.

Yes, people worked hard. Yes, at first some KPIs improved, but all of this drained more energy than the results it was delivering. It soon became clear that the people would not last a marathon at the speed of a sprint; they had started to become disengaged.
Like in this organization, most enterprise transformations focus on changing business metrics and, at best, employee behaviors—and not the thinking what created the need for a transformation in the first place. And, not surprisingly, 70% of them fail. Companies with failed transformation programs identify employee resistance or management behavior as the major barrier (72%) to success.

To avoid that statistic, this manufacturer for the first time shifted the focus on the people. What was driving their behavior? What made their eyes shine? What would truly engage them in a transformation? Looking for these answers, the top team discovered that up until then, people were gaining praise for doing new things even if they were not delivering their promised results. They thought that short-term results were more important than satisfying the consumer. And when the time came to choose, they felt that their individual goals were bigger than the company’s. All this was limiting them from participating wholeheartedly in the transformation underway.

In fact, these mindsets, as we call them, needed to be flipped to make things work. Through a set of targeted initiatives, these mindsets were shaken. The people came to realize that satisfying the consumer is what will bring the short-term results. There is no success for the individual if the company is not doing well. And they started to be recognized for executing with discipline focusing on our full potential to deliver challenging goals. Sharing the story of why the transformation was necessary and addressing these mindsets engaged the employees with a whole new level of energy, and only few months later the organization was able to deliver its first quarter back on track and continue the trend.

Companies that take the time to identify and shift deep-seated mindsets were 4x more likely to rate their change programs as “successful,” according to the McKinsey Quarterly Transformational Change Survey, 2010. In fact, mindset shifts are linked to the highest impact behaviors a person wants to change.

Unless you first identify the mindsets, both limiting and enabling your people, your transformation initiatives may be wasting resources, time and energy. Another company, a telco, found that managers spent the majority of performance reviews explaining the complex rating process vs giving feedback. So, the telco simplified the process and rating system, increased frequency of conversations, and provided training on delivering feedback. However, it’s important to keep in mind that “from” mindsets aren’t necessarily bad; many rational, competent and well-meaning people could and do operate in this way.

In the case of the telco, leaders cancelled reviews and/or spent most time on small talk. Why? Leaders actually avoided difficult conversations and focused the feedback on process because they were afraid that criticism and difficult conversations would damage their relationships. Once this mindset transformed into “honesty (with respect) is the essence of building strong relationships,” leaders started to engage in regular, honest and courageous feedback conversations, and focus their feedback on performance.
Addressing the organization’s mindset has a tangible business impact and is the key that opens the door to successfully transforming an organization. In our next articles, we explore how to uncover those mindsets and how to turn them around.
The authors wish to thank Natasha Bergeron for the practical insights she provided for this post.

Source:, October 2019
Authors: Anita Baggio, Eleftheria Digentiki and Rahul Varma

Building conversational capacity to address conflict in today’s work teams

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on October 25th, 2019 by admin

Work teams progress through four basic stages of development: Orientation, when the team is just starting out; Dissatisfaction, when conflict inevitably arises; Integration, as team members begin to learn how to work with each other; and Production, when the fine-tuned team is achieving its purpose and goals.

“The ability to balance candor and curiosity is particularly important in the Dissatisfaction stage of team development, where conflict is higher, misunderstandings are more prevalent, and the risk to team cohesion is greater than in any other stage,” says bestselling business author Craig Weber in a recent article for HR Grapevine.

Weber, author of the books Conversational Capacity and Influence in Action, worked with The Ken Blanchard Companies on the design of their new Team Leadership program.

“High candor creates conversations that are open and direct. People put forward their best ideas, biggest concerns, and most creative suggestions in a clear and compelling way.

“At the same time, high curiosity leads to conversations that are open-minded, inquisitive, and learning focused. If one team member has a view that differs from the rest of the team, rather than getting defensive, other team members get interested in exploring how that colleague sees the issue differently. They ask questions to discover what they might learn. It’s in this sweet spot—where candor and curiosity are in balance—that the best teamwork occurs.”

Weber refers to the ability of an individual or a team to remain in the sweet spot under pressure as their conversational capacity. And the more difficult the issue a team is facing, the more challenging their goals, and the more intense the differences of personality or opinion around the table, the more important this ability becomes to team performance.

“When a team leaves the sweet spot and conversational capacity begins to drop, it’s usually because team members have drifted too far toward one pole or the other. If I’m in a meeting and I let go of candor, for example, I may become overly guarded and cautious. I’ll sit there quietly, not saying something I should. Or, if I do speak up, I’ll water down or sugarcoat my point. If I drop curiosity, on the other hand, I may become more closed-minded, arrogant, and argumentative. I’ll participate in the conversation with my mind shut and my mouth open.

“Conversational capacity, therefore, isn’t just another aspect of effective teamwork—it defines effective teamwork. A team of people who can’t talk in a productive way about their most important issues isn’t really a team at all. It is just a collection of people who can’t work together effectively when it really matters.”

The good news, says Weber, is the ability to work in the sweet spot is a discipline that can be mastered if team members are willing to put in the practice to improve the conversational capacity of their teams and work relationships.

“One person can have a profound effect on the way a meeting unfolds or a decision gets made—even if they’re the only person in the room with the skills. Some of us are more naturally curious while others are more instinctively candid, but we can all learn to communicate in a more balanced way and use this ability to make a powerful difference in our teams, organizations, and communities.

“In both of my books, I quote from Airto Moreira, a Brazilian jazz percussionist, who says this about playing jazz: ‘I listen to what’s being played and then I play what’s missing.’ That’s a great way to think about how each of us can wield more influence. We can learn to pay closer attention to what’s being played in a conversation and then learn skills for playing what’s missing. Is there a lack of candor in this meeting? What can I do to ratchet it up a notch or two? Or is there a lack of curiosity and people are starting to butt heads? What can I do to slow down the conversation and get it focused back on the issue we’re trying to address?

An organization is a community of discourse, says Weber. Leadership is about shaping the nature of the discourse—and effective leaders shape discourse in the direction of learning, progress, and growth.

“A core idea in my work is how, no matter your status or station, you can play a leading role in building healthier work relationships, teams, organizations, and communities. Building your conversational capacity, and that of your team, is the key.”

Source:, October 2019

Unlocking the potential of frontline managers

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on October 13th, 2019 by admin

Instead of administrative work and meetings, they should focus on coaching their employees and on constantly improving quality.

A retail manager responsible for more than $80 million in annual revenue, an airline manager who oversees a yearly passenger volume worth more than $160 million, a banking manager who deals with upward of seven million questions from customers a year. These aren’t executives at a corporate headquarters; they are the hidden—yet crucial—managers of frontline employees.
Found in almost any company, such managers are particularly important in industries with distributed networks of sites and employees. These industries—for instance, infrastructure, travel and logistics, manufacturing, health care, and retailing (including food service and retail banking)—make up more than half of the global economy. Their district or area managers, store managers, site or plant managers, and line supervisors direct as much as two-thirds of the workforce and are responsible for the part of the company that typically defines the customer experience. Yet most of the time, these managers operate as cogs in a system, with limited flexibility in decision making and little room for creativity.
In a majority of the companies we’ve encountered, the frontline managers’ role is merely to oversee a limited number of direct reports, often in a “span breaking” capacity, relaying information from executives to workers.1 Such managers keep an eye on things, enforce plans and policies, report operational results, and quickly escalate issues or problems. In other words, a frontline manager is meant to communicate decisions, not to make them; to ensure compliance with policies, not to use judgment or discretion (and certainly not to develop policies); and to oversee the implementation of improvements, not to contribute ideas or even implement improvements (workers do that).
This system makes companies less productive, less agile, and less profitable, our experience shows. Change is possible, however. At companies that have successfully empowered their frontline managers, the resulting flexibility and productivity generate strong financial returns. One convenience store retailer, for example, reduced hours worked by 19 to 25 percent while increasing sales by almost 10 percent. It achieved this result by halving the time store managers spent on administration; restructuring their work (and that of their employees) to focus on the areas most relevant to customers, such as the cleanliness of stores and upselling efforts at the cash register; and creating easy-to-understand performance metrics that managers now had enough time to coach employees on daily.
The key is a shift to frontline managers who have the time—and the ability—to address the unique circumstances of their specific stores, plants, or mines; to foresee trouble and stem it before it begins; and to encourage workers to seek out opportunities for self-improvement. In difficult economic times, making employees more productive is even more crucial than it is ordinarily.

The reality of the front line
To unlock a team’s abilities, a manager at any level must spend a significant amount of time on two activities: helping the team understand the company’s direction and its implications for team members and coaching for performance. Little of either occurs on the front line today. Across industries, frontline managers spend 30 to 60 percent of their time on administrative work and meetings, and 10 to 50 percent on nonmanagerial tasks (traveling, participating in training, taking breaks, conducting special projects, or undertaking direct customer service or sales themselves). They spend only 10 to 40 percent actually managing frontline employees by, for example, coaching them directly.
Even then, managers often aren’t truly coaching the front line. Our survey of retail district managers, for example, showed that much of the time they spend on frontline employees actually involved auditing for compliance with standards or solving immediate problems. At some companies we surveyed, district managers devote just 4 to 10 percent of their time—as little as 10 minutes a day—to coaching teams. To put the point another way, a district manager in retailing may spend as little as one hour a month developing people in the more junior but critical role of store manager.

In our experience, neither companies nor their frontline managers typically expect more. One area manager at a specialty retailer with thousands of outlets said, “Coaching? A good store manager should just know what to do—that’s what we hire them for.” A store manager in a global convenience retailer told us, “There are just good stores and bad stores—there’s very little we can do to change that.” Another store manager, in a North American electronics retailer, said, “They told me, ‘We don’t pay you to think; we pay you to execute.’”
These shortcomings are rooted in the early days of the industrial revolution, when manufacturing work was broken down into highly specialized, repetitive, and easily observed tasks. No one worker created a whole shoe, for example; each hammered his nail in the same spot and the same way every time, maximizing effectiveness and efficiency. Employees didn’t necessarily know anything about the overall job in which they participated, so supervisors (usually people good at the work itself) were employed to enforce detailed standards and policies—essentially, serving as span breakers between workers and policy makers. Many manufacturing companies still use this approach, because it can deliver high-quality results on the front line, at least in the short term. In many service industries, the same approach has taken hold in order to provide all customers in all locations with a consistent experience.
Although attention to execution is important, an exclusive focus on it can have insidious long-term effects. Such a preoccupation leaves no time for efforts to deal with new demands (say, higher production or quality), let alone for looking at the big picture. The result is a working environment with little flexibility, little encouragement to make improvements, and an increased risk of low morale among both workers and their managers—all at high cost to companies.
The effects of poor frontline management may be particularly damaging at service companies, where researchers have consistently detected a causal relationship between the attitudes and behavior of customer-facing employees, on the one hand, and the customers’ perceptions of service quality, on the other. In service industries, research has found that three factors drive performance: the work climate; the ways teams act together and things are done; and the engagement, commitment, and satisfaction of employees. Leadership—in particular, the quality of supervision and the nature of the relationships between supervisors and their teams—is crucial to performance in each of these areas.2 Clearly, the typical work patterns and attitudes of frontline managers are not conducive to good results.
At a North American medical-products distributor, for example, one supervisor reflected that the company “is like California—forest fires breaking out everywhere and no plan to stop them. A lot of crisis-to-crisis situations with no plan. We’ve been in this mode for so long, we don’t know how to stop and plan, although that’s what we desperately need to do. I wish I knew how to intervene.” Because frontline managers were so busy jumping in to solve problems, they had no time to step back and look at longer-term performance trends or to identify—and try to head off—emerging performance issues. It’s therefore no wonder that the company’s performance had begun to decline: inventories were increasing and errors in shipments became more frequent. Companies can also get into frontline trouble if they fail to maintain well-managed operations (see sidebar, “The danger of complacency”).

Time better spent
At best-practice companies, frontline managers allocate 60 to 70 percent of their time to the floor, much of it in high-quality individual coaching. Such companies also empower their managers to make decisions and act on opportunities. The bottom-line benefit is significant, but to obtain it companies must fundamentally redefine what they expect from frontline managers and redesign the work that those managers and their subordinates do. The examples below explain how two companies in different circumstances and
industries made such changes.

Manufacturing and the front line
Sometimes a corporate crisis drives frontline changes. A global equipment manufacturer, for example, was facing backlogs, capacity constraints, and quality and profitability issues in its core vehicle assembly business. The company’s senior leaders concluded that they would have to change operations at five plants by running two shifts rather than three while also raising production levels and quality. “Substantial” results would be needed in no more than seven weeks. Frontline managers were to have a critical role in the changeover—indeed, it couldn’t succeed unless they adopted a new way of working. To communicate the importance of the changes being introduced, senior leaders, among other things, ordered vice presidents to spend full days in vehicle assembly stations and sent the company’s director of operations to participate in daily shift start-up meetings at each plant. More on the importance of the senior leadership’s role in driving change can be found in Carolyn B. Aiken and Scott P. Keller, “The CEO’s role in leading transformation,”, February 2007.
Meanwhile, the jobs of frontline managers changed. They were to spend more time in active roles: critical processes and workflows were redesigned according to lean principles,3 and the managers played the principal part in implementing these changes. Administrative activities, such as writing reports to plant managers and gathering data to prepare for site visits from regional managers, were eliminated. Innovations spouted—boards posted on factory floors, for example, were continuously updated with performance information, such as hour-by-hour tracking of lost time, as well as long-term problems and the solutions found for them. End-of-shift reports let each shift know exactly what the previous one had accomplished. Weekly reports informed workers about the five most important defects to correct and the five most important actions needed to improve performance. A typical manager’s span of control fell to 12 to 15, from 20 to 30.
Such changes freed managers to spend more time providing on-the-floor coaching and helping teams solve immediate problems. Managers received on-the-job training in lean technical skills as well as in coaching, team building, and problem solving. They also moved their desks from offices to the shop floor and spent at least five hours a day there, literally putting themselves in the middle of the transformation.
As a result, managers and workers identified and implemented other improvements—for example, making parts more available, with fewer defects, and routing materials more efficiently—so that lost production and the need for rework fell. Overall, though the transformation took ten weeks rather than seven, the initial targets were exceeded. Across the five plants, the number of completed vehicles rose by 40 percent a month—despite the elimination of a shift—and quality by 80 percent. Worker hours fell by 40 percent.

Retailing and the front line
Changing the mind-sets and capabilities of individual frontline managers can be the hardest part. In our experience, many of them see limits to how much they can accomplish; some also recognize the need to restructure their roles but nonetheless fear change. At times, before the job of coaching can begin, companies must address more insidious mind-sets—such as a belief that employees can’t learn, their negative attitudes toward customers, or a lack of confidence that frontline managers can influence performance.
The first step is to help frontline managers understand the need for change and how it could make things better. At the convenience store retailer mentioned earlier, for example, an analysis revealed that store managers spent, on average, 61 percent of their time on administration and that they struggled with poorly defined processes for interacting with customers. In addition, these managers felt that they had no control over key performance drivers (such as sales in important product categories), lacked simple tools to monitor daily performance, and had inadequate leadership and coaching skills. They were also tired of “flavor of the month” corporate-improvement initiatives that dictated more work without addressing the fundamental causes of problems.
To give store managers a sense of what could be, this company showed some groups of managers a radically different model store. There, work processes such as stocking took much less time than it did in the company’s ordinary stores, because similar products were grouped together, and high-volume stock was stored in a common and much more accessible location. Cleaning was easier because the layout had been improved, employees had the equipment and supplies to clean more frequently and quickly, and an if-it’s-simple-clean-it-now policy had been introduced. Such steps created a more attractive store environment, simplified the work of employees, freed them to interact with customers, and reduced the amount of time managers had to spend dealing with problems in these areas.
Managers also gained time in other ways: for example, they no longer had to complete long weekly sales reports, respond to corporate directives that arrived at unexpected times, and accommodate too-frequent visits by district or regional sales managers. Streamlined sales reporting captured fewer but more essential indicators, such as the volume of sales in key product categories. All visits from district or regional managers were scheduled in advance and followed a predetermined and performance-focused agenda.
As a result, the time store managers spent on administration fell by nearly half, so they could devote 60 to 70 percent of their days to activities such as coaching workers and interacting with customers. These managers spent more time on the sales floor with individual employees and regularly discussed store strategies and performance metrics with them. The discussions took advantage of a new performance scorecard with just a few key metrics, such as the number of customers greeted during peak hours, success rates on “suggestive selling” at checkout, and immediate follow-up with customers to gauge their satisfaction. Because the stores stayed open 24 hours a day, managers weren’t always present. They therefore engaged all employees in regular problem-solving sessions to create a better selling and service environment in the stores—for example, by ensuring that more employees would be available at critical times of the week. Furthermore, managers could now adapt the company’s general operating model by deciding how many (and which) employees would be present in stores at any given time.
This vision of a well-run store, contrasting starkly with the stores of the managers who visited it, overcame their fears. Once frontline managers have accepted the need for change, however, they must learn the new ways of working required by the demands of their redefined roles. At the convenience store retailer, training sessions and trial-and-error fieldwork helped the managers develop the needed capabilities quickly. Some of these skills were technical, focused on managing more effective processes and revised daily routines, as well as keeping track of the simplified store performance scorecards. Other forms of training enhanced the managers’ interpersonal skills, such as how to engage and empower subordinates; to have regular, constructive conversations about performance; and how to provide feedback and coaching.
Managers were also made aware of the negative mind-sets (such as, “I am just another associate when I go on the store floor,” and “My job is to make sure that tasks get done”) that made it harder to develop the right skills and capabilities. They learned how to counter these mind-sets and to adopt more positive ones (for instance, “I regularly provide my employees with constructive feedback and tips,” and “My job is to ensure that tasks are complete and that customers are served as well”), which promote more appropriate behavior and better performance. When the company rolled out the program broadly, the results were impressive: productivity rose by 51 percent in one region and by 65 percent in another.5

Companies that succeed in redefining the job of the frontline manager can improve their performance remarkably. Successful approaches can be applied across many industries. A mining company that implemented such a program enjoyed a 10 percent increase in tonnage per frontline employee. A bank branch found that cross-selling went up by 24 percent within a year. Total sales at a department store rose 2 percent in one six-month period.
The key is to help frontline managers become true leaders, with the time, the skills, and the desire to help workers understand the company’s direction and its implications for themselves, as well as to coach them individually. Such managers should have enough time to think ahead, to uncover and solve long-term problems, and to plan for potential new demands.
A nursing supervisor at a European hospital that empowered its nurses offered perhaps the clearest description of the way frontline leaders ought to think—a description that couldn’t be more different from the role of traditional frontline managers: “I am a valued member of this team, who has responsibility to make sure my ward nurses have the right coaching to improve patient service while contributing to the overall functioning of our ward—for the first time, I feel as important as a doctor or an administrator in the success of this institution.” That kind of frontline leader can consistently help employees to enhance their impact on an organization’s work.

Authors: Aaron De Smet is a principal in McKinsey’s Houston office, Monica McGurk is a principal in the Atlanta office, and Marc Vinson is a consultant in the Cleveland office.