Leadership and the art of plate spinning

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on november 29th, 2012 by admin

Senior executives will better balance people and priorities by embracing the paradoxes of organizational life.

I often ask business leaders three simple questions. What are your company’s ten most exciting value-creation opportunities? Who are your ten best people? How many of your ten best people are working on your ten most exciting opportunities? It’s a rough and ready exercise, to be sure. But the answer to the last question—typically, no more than six—is usually expressed with ill-disguised frustration that demonstrates how difficult it is for senior executives to achieve organizational alignment.

What makes this problem particularly challenging is a number of paradoxes, many of them rooted in the eccentricity and unpredictability of human behavior, about how organizations really tick. Appealing as it is to believe that the workplace is economically rational, in reality it is not. As my colleague Scott Keller and I explained in our 2011 book, Beyond Performance,1 a decade’s worth of data derived from more than 700 companies strongly suggests that the rational way to achieve superior performance—focusing on its financial and operational manifestations by pursuing multiple short-term revenue-generating initiatives and meeting tough individual targets—may not be the most effective one.

Rather, our research shows that the most successful organizations, over the long term, consistently focus on “enabling” things (leadership, purpose, employee motivation) whose immediate benefits aren’t always clear. These healthy organizations, as we call them, are internally aligned around a clear vision and strategy; can execute to a high quality thanks to strong capabilities, management processes, and employee motivation; and renew themselves more effectively than their rivals do. In short, health today drives performance tomorrow.

Many CEOs instinctively understand the paradox of performance and health, though few have expressed or acted upon it better than John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole Foods. “We have not achieved our tremendous increase in shareholder value,” he once observed, “by making shareholder value the only purpose of our business.”

In this article, I want to focus on three other paradoxes that, in my experience, are both particularly striking and quite difficult to reconcile. The first is that change comes about more easily and more quickly in organizations that keep some things stable. The second is that organizations are more likely to succeed if they simultaneously control and empower their employees. And the third is that business cultures that rightly encourage consistency (say, in the quality of services and products) must also allow for the sort of variability—and even failure—that goes with innovation and experimentation.

Coming to grips with these paradoxes will be invaluable for executives trying to keep their people and priorities in balance at a time when cultural and leadership change sometimes seems an existential imperative. Just as a circus performer deftly spins plates or bowls to keep them moving and upright, so must senior executives constantly intervene to encourage the sorts of behavior that align an organization with its top priorities.

Change and stability
Organizational change, obviously, is often imperative in response to emerging customer demands, new regulations, and fresh competitive threats. But constant or sudden change is unsettling and destabilizing for companies and individuals alike. Just as human beings tend to freeze when confronted with too many new things in their lives—a divorce, a house move, and a change of job, for example—so will organizations overwhelmed by change resist and frustrate transformation-minded chief executives set on radically overturning the established order. Burning platforms grab attention but do little to motivate creativity. Paradoxically, therefore, change leaders should try to promote a sense of stability at their company’s core and, where possible, make changes seem relatively small, incremental, or even peripheral, while cumulatively achieving the transformation needed to drive high performance.

A large universal bank provides a case in point. Given the tumult in the financial-services sector in recent years, it needs to change, and change profoundly. But the cry of “let’s change everything” will be counterproductive in an organization where staff members are mostly hard-working, committed people operating processes that involve millions of transactions per hour.

One large automotive company I’m familiar with, buffeted by three different owners and five different CEOs in the last decade, has recently embraced this paradox with a new management model dubbed “balance,” a word loaded with meaning in the automotive industry because of its association with reducing drag and increasing speed. The simple idea behind the model is that any changes to a company’s systems, structures, and processes should always be introduced in a consistent way, typically quarterly, as part of an explicit change package. If a proposed change isn’t ready in time for one of these regular releases, it is either deferred to the next one or abandoned.

Previously, leaders of each of the company’s functions had been inclined to introduce, on their own, changes they thought might generate value—for example, finance would launch a program to make costs variable, HR would announce an initiative to shake up performance management and compensation, and manufacturing would bring in new vendor-management systems. Hapless middle managers found themselves in a blizzard of change that made it difficult to focus on the organization’s top priorities. Now, before change programs are rolled out more broadly, all of them are integrated, and the resulting complexities are addressed at the top of the organization.

In this way, the company’s underlying operating model has remained more stable than it would otherwise have been, and more stable than it used to be when changes were announced in an uncoordinated fashion. Managers now understand and accept the rhythm of change, while managers and employees alike have gained new confidence that the different elements in the releases will be complementary and coherent.

The result is that a well-intentioned but disjointed flow of unending change has been converted into a well-structured one. Moreover, after years of lagging behind industry peers, the company has shortened its product-development cycles and increased the quality of its products. And it is running much more smoothly, with 20 percent fewer managers.

Control and empowerment
All organizations need at least a thread of control to link those who own the business to those charged with implementing its objectives. Companies that neglect mechanisms that enforce discipline, common standards, or compliance with external regulation do so at their peril. The share price of one global energy group, for example, collapsed when it came to light that poor oversight had allowed internal analysts to develop metrics based on optimistic assumptions and to overstate the company’s oil and gas reserves substantially.

Yet excessive control, paradoxically, tends to drive dysfunctional behavior, to undermine people’s sense of purpose, and to harm motivation by hemming employees into a corporate straitjacket. The trick for the CEO-cum-plate-spinner is to get the balance right in light of shifting corporate and market contexts. In general, a company will probably need more control when it must actually change direction and more empowerment when it is set on the new course.

The story of how a major global technology company recovered from a crisis four years ago is instructive. Forced to write off more than $2 billion of unmanageable contracts—and facing insolvency—a new management team took drastic and decisive action to strip out costs, renegotiate old agreements, change established practices, and impose stringent new controls. The company (with more than 100,000 employees) was saved but in the process found that it had lost the ability to deliver on its top priority: creative new ideas that would fuel organic growth. That’s because an unintended consequence of the much-needed cost reductions had been the emergence of a “parent–child” relationship between the company’s top team and middle managers. These managers had become so used to being told what to do, and had been given so little room to maneuver, that they eventually lost the ability to experiment. The “tree” of top management had grown so large that nothing could grow in its shade.

This company’s solution was to introduce an “envelope” leadership approach, which first involved defining a set of borders. Employees could not go beyond them, but within them there was almost complete freedom to innovate and grow. Other businesses have attempted to copy the envelope idea but few have had the success of this global technology company, whose approach had real teeth. The flame of empowerment was fanned by first identifying some 600 leaders with the best capabilities and then rotating them around different businesses, with a mandate to shake things up. Meanwhile, the company’s purpose, vision, mission, and values were all rewritten and drilled into leaders. Its “signature processes” (five core ones, where it aspired to be truly differentiated) were fundamentally reimagined. And evaluation and reward mechanisms were dramatically tightened to reward stars and actively manage people who seemed to be struggling. As the company added a greater degree of empowerment to the stricter controls—plates both balanced and spinning—its performance improved. Sales are growing again, and fresh energy is palpable throughout the organization.

Consistency and variability
Producing high-quality products and delivering them to customers on time and with the same level of consistency at every point in the value chain is critical to success in most industries. Variability is wasteful and time consuming, not to mention potentially alienating for customers. Most organizations therefore applaud behavior that attacks and eliminates it.

Yet in human terms, consistency too often hardens into rigid mind-sets characterized by fear of personal and organizational failure. It’s been shown that we feel the pain of failure twice as much as we do the joy of success, so employees naturally tend to protect themselves and their teams, behavior that can inadvertently hamper innovation and calculated risk taking. After all, mistakes—from Edison’s countless failed filaments to 3M’s accidental creation of the adhesive behind Post-it notes—can sometimes be the mother of invention; as they say in the mountains, “If you’re not falling, you’re not skiing.”

It’s hard to think of a sector where it’s more important to get the balance between consistency and variability right than it is in pharmaceuticals. Lives are at stake, and the development and launch costs of a new compound often run to billions of dollars. Faced with the approaching expiration of many licenses, one of the world’s biggest pharma companies found that its tradition of reliability and consistency had become a limiting mind-set. Although it desperately needed to make new discoveries, a status quo bias took hold of the organization, which froze around a complex bundle of assurance, governance, and controls. Fear of failure and an obsession with getting these things right produced defensive 100-page PowerPoint presentations in abundance, but little meaningful product-development progress.

Behavioral problems didn’t help, of course. An excessive “telling” rather than “listening” culture had degenerated into bullying; some senior executives literally shouted at their underlings. On one notorious “away day,” a number of exercises revolved around cage fighting, a sport (dubbed “human cockfighting”) that combines boxing, wrestling, and martial arts. The signal this sent from the top was that the culture really was dog eat dog.

Things came to a head when two scientists, frustrated by the time needed to get approvals, left to set up their own successful research business and were openly lauded by colleagues for breaking free of a stifling bureaucracy and dictatorial culture. The morale of those left behind suffered further, and energy drained out of the organization.

The solution the company devised combined building “slack” (additional people) into its resourcing—a bold move in austere times—with a direct attack on negative behavior. The worst offenders were removed, and it was made clear that cage-fighting attitudes were unacceptable.

Steps were taken to bump up the innovation rate by investing in smart people, but the top team went further. It set out fundamentally to alter what it called the organization’s “social architecture” by building worldwide communities of scientists and encouraging exchanges between them across geographical boundaries and industry disciplines.

Successful experiments, to be sure, were more highly valued than failures, but both had their place in the company’s culture. An emphasis in communications on “our wealth of ideas” promoted the simple notion that wealth (economic progress) arises from ideas (experimentation and innovation) and showed how carefully crafted language can help drive change. The result was an increase in the pipeline of products and, over time, a resumption of profit growth.

Embracing the paradoxes described in this article can be uncomfortable: it’s counterintuitive to stimulate change by grounding it in sources of reassuring stability or to focus on boundaries and control when a company wants to stir up new ideas. Yet the act of trying to reconcile these tensions helps leaders keep their eyes on all their spinning plates and identify when interventions are needed to keep the organization lined up with its top priorities. Last, this approach makes it possible to avoid the frustration of many executives I’ve encountered, who pick an extreme: either they try to stifle complex behavior by building powerful and rigid top-down structures, or they express puzzlement and disappointment when looser, more laissez-faire styles of management expose the messy realities of human endeavor. Far more centered and high performing, in my experience, are those leaders who welcome the inconvenient contradictions of organizational life.

Source: McKinsey Quaterly, November 29, 2012
Author: Colin Price, director in McKinsey’s London office.

What leading with vision really means

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Leadership / Ledarskap on november 28th, 2012 by admin

The essence of farsightedness in business is not simply envisioning a possible successful future–it’s being able to articulate it in a way that’s both compelling and inclusive.

We are drawn to leaders who articulate a possible future in a way that speaks to us and includes us. Farsighted leaders use their clarity of vision and their articulation of a successful future to pull people out of fear or shortsightedness and into hopefulness and a sense of purpose.

People want leaders who look beyond today. They want to have the sense there is a master plan to carry them through whatever short-term trials and tribulations arise. (The recession! The crazy media landscape! Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!) They look to the leader to articulate, in a compelling way, a clear and positive future state toward which they can direct their efforts. When leaders focus only on the current crisis or this quarter’s numbers, it seems to us that they’re more interested in maintain the status quo or protecting themselves than in creating a successful future. They are not seen as leaders.

People also want to see that the leader’s farsightedness is based on a deep sense of what’s necessary, right, and good for the business and the team rather than what’s simply expeditious, popular, or self-serving. We want to feel that our leaders’ “far-sight” is focused on the greater good, that their vision promotes the group and not just their own selfish interests. A truly farsighted leader envisions a possible future that responds to and resonates with people’s aspirations for their individual and collective success. When employees or potential employees hear about the good leader’s vision, their visceral response is, “Yes, I want to go there too.”

This is not to imply that the visionary leader simply goes for the easy win, then thing to which people will most easily commit. True visionaries often see possibilities where other see difficulty and dead-ends. Most people in the first decade of the twentieth century saw motorcars as a fad for the rich, a frivolous and uncertain fancy that would never replace the dependability of the horse. Henry Ford’s vision of a nation where every family would have an automobile seemed laughable, impossible, and even dangerous. Only the clarity of his vision and his consistency in moving toward it brought the support from others that he needed to make his vision a reality.

This brings up a critical point about farsightedness: the leader must not only articulate her vision; she must live it. It can’t be something she dusts off for quarterly staff meetings. People must witness the vision serving as the leader’s compass. She must use it as a screen for strategy and action. True farsightedness in a leader is both practical and aspirational.

A clear and compelling vision can drive extraordinary business results. It provides a focus for people’s decisions and actions, and it creates that feeling of “tribe” that most people find necessary and motivating.

This quality of leadership is especially important when the enterprise is a new one and the future is uncharted. One stunning example of this kind of farsightedness is how Steve Jobs operated at the start of Apple. When Jobs and Wozniak founded Apple Computers in 1976, the personal computer was still new and untested. Moreover, the idea that almost everyone would one day have a computer and that computers would be as accessible and easy-to-use as televisions or telephones seemed like craziness.

But then along came these two young men with exactly these ideas. And Jobs, especially, continued to articulate this possible future in a way that brought together capital, a workforce, and a marketing plan that ultimately led to the achievement of the future he envisioned thirty-five years ago.

The essence of farsightedness is not only envisioning a possible successful future but also articulate it in a way that’s both compelling and inclusive. Compelling means that it’s meaningful to those who hear it, that it’s attractive to them. Inclusive means they want to help make it happen and feel they can have an important part to play in moving toward it.

Clearly Steve Jobs was able (I encourage you to watch any of his company presentations on YouTube or at the apple.com Web site) to express his vision for the future in this way. In January 1984, when Jobs introduced the first Macintosh computer at Apple’s annual shareholders’ meeting, an attendee described the level of enthusiasm as “pandemonium.” As the first commercially successful small computer with a graphical user interface, the Macintosh represented, and still represents, the realization of a vision that was both compelling and inclusive.

How to be farsighted
You may be thinking, Okay, but how do I become more farsighted if that’s not one of my strengths? Fortunately, my colleagues and I have gotten clearer over the years on the specific behaviors that make up each of these leadership attributes.

We start with farsighted. When you deconstruct this element, these are the key behaviors of which it consists:

Leaders who are farsighted:
1. See possible futures that are good for the enterprise
2. Articulate their vision in a compelling and inclusive way
3. Model their vision
4. See past obstacles
5. Invite others to participate in the vision

Author. Erika Andersen
Sourece: Fastcompany.com, November 27, 2012
For more information about “Leading so people will follow”
Read more about Erika Andersen here

Dumsnålhet och bristande kundvård

Posted in Aktuellt, Customer care / Kundvård on november 24th, 2012 by admin

Landar med Thai Airways på Arlanda klockan 05.45 efter ännu en lång natts flygning hem från ett jobb i Asien.
Jag har som vanligt inte ätit något på hela flygningen. Det underlättar sömnen. Nu vill jag bara ha mitt bagage, hoppa in i en taxi och åka hem för en snabbdusch och svensk frukost innan det bär iväg till kontoret.

Äntligen! Här kommer väskan. När jag lyfter den från bagagebandet upptäcker jag att ett hjul är borta. Inte hela världen! Det är sånt som händer. Men när jag sedan lyfter upp den på bagagevagnen ser jag att det är en spricka i väska som är så stor att jag kan få in hela handen i väska! En närmare granskning visar att det är ytterligare en spricka i väskan. Uppenbart har den hanterats ovarsamt. Det hör till saken att det här inte är speciellt vanligt. I alla fall inte för min del. Trots att jag rest drygt 100 dagar / år de senaste tio åren har jag inte drabbats av någon skada på mitt bagage någon enda gång!

Utan att gå inte på dessa rätt tröttsamma detaljer tar det mig drygt 70 minuter att denna tidiga måndagsmorgon göra en skadeanmälan på Arlanda.

Några dagar senare kontaktar jag Thai Airways, berättar vad som hänt och refererar som sig bör till min skadeanmälan. Jag ombeds sända några kort på min skadade väska. Det ordnar jag samma dag.

Det går nu ett par veckor utan att jag hör något från Thai Airways. När jag i veckan tillskriver dem och undrar hur det går i ärendet får jag svar att man är villiga att ersätta min minst sagt trasiga väska, m e n med ett värdeminskningsavdrag på 1.600 kronor!

Nu till huvudfrågan! I stort sett alla företag är idag medvetna om betydelsen av att vårda sin befintliga, köpande, trogna och lojala kunder. Jag anser mig tillhöra denna kategori hos Thai Airways. Ett snabbt överslag visar att jag gjort affärsresor med dem för drygt en miljon kronor de senaste 6-7 åren (resor till Bangkok, Singapore, Hon Kong, Sydney m.m. m.m.). Jag har i stort sett alltid rest med Thai Airways i denna riktning i världen! Dessutom har jag köpt privata biljetter till min familj vid många tillfällen. All denna information har Thai Airways!

Trots intäkter på över en miljon kronor från mig de senaste åren har man mage att kräva en ersättning på 1.600 kronor för att jag skall få en ny väska efter att de förstörts i samband med min senaste flygning med Thai Airways.

Personligen är det här ett av de mest korkade och flagranta exempel jag sett på ämnet ”dumsnålhet” och dålig kundvård. Det enda jag kan komma på som kan jämföras med Thai Airways syn på lojala och trogna kunder är när min mamma, efter mer än 40 år som trogen kund hos Vattenfall, förväntades betala mer för ett fast abonnemang är någon som var helt ny kund (läs gärna mer om kundvård här) . Hur skulle du reagera om du efter att ha ätit på samma restaurang varje vecka år ut och år in upptäcker att bordsgrannen får 50% rabatt för att han är ny gäst (aldrig ätit här förut) men att du får betala fullpris?

Men man kanske bara följer de regler man har? ja, troligtvis är det så man har gjort i detta fall. Men då är det enligt min uppfattning fel på reglerna. Eller också är det så att man har en organisationsstruktur och / eller en kultur som inte möjliggör för medarbetare att fatta egna beslut. Jag kan förstå beslutet om det handlar om en resenär (kund) som flyger för första gången eller kanske köper Thai Airways tjänster mycket sällan. Men en kund som flyger så ofta (kan inte vara så väldigt många) torde man kunna hantera på ett mer kundinriktat sätt. Inte minst för att visa sin uppskattning för kundens lojalitet. Finns det något bättre sätt att skapa återköp?

Personligen trodde jag att arbetet med kundvård kommit längre än så här hos Thai Airways. Det är trots allt 2012!

Great bosses do these things!

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on november 22nd, 2012 by admin

How expensive is poor leadership? I guess it is difficult to calculate with accuracy. But it has a direct negative impact on earnings, that we know with certainty.

Do you have a clear picture of how leadership works in your organization? Do you know or think you know? It means the difference between “Management By Hope” and “Management By Facts”! And it definitely means the difference between success and failure.
Most management teams we meet do not have a fact-based picture of how operational leadership works and consequently not a picture of how great potential there actually is in the existing organization.

We help our clients to get a “fact-based” view of the current situation and we will help ensure the development of a business driven and profitable leadership. Both short and long term. Read more here or at www.3s.se.

On the theme of “successful leadership”, I recommend the following article:

Where employees are concerned, great leaders don’t take. Great leaders give–especially these seven things:

They give a glimpse of vulnerability.
To employees, you’re often not a person. You’re a boss. (Kind of like when you were in school and you saw a teacher at the grocery store; it was jarring and uncomfortable because teachers weren’t people. They were teachers.)

That’s why showing vulnerability is a humanizing way to break down the artificial barrier that typically separates bosses from employees. One easy way to break down that barrier is to ask for help.
But don’t ask the wrong way. Don’t puff out your chest, assume the power-position, and in your deepest voice intone, “Listen, John, I need your help.” John knows you don’t really need his help. You want him to do something. Instead ask the right way. Imagine you’ve traveled to an unfamiliar place, you only know a few words of the language, and you’re both lost and a little scared.

How would you ask for help? You would be humble. You would be real. You’d cringe a little and dip your head slightly and say, “Can you help me?” Asked that way, John would know you truly needed help. You’ve lowered your guard. You’re vulnerable. And you’re not afraid to show it.

By showing vulnerability, you lift the other person. You implicitly recognize her skills while extending trust.And you set a great example: Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength.

They give a nudge.
From the employee’s point of view the best ideas are never your ideas. The best ideas are their ideas, and rightly so. So don’t spell out what you want done. Leave room for initiative. Leave room for ownership.

When you describe what you want to be done, paint with a broad brush. Give employees room to take your ideas and make them their own. They’ll do more than you imagined possible–and they’ll feel a sense of satisfaction and gratification that simply following instructions can never provide.

They give unexpected attention.
Everyone loves attention. Unfortunately you don’t have unlimited time to devote to each employee.
So make the most of the time you do have. Don’t just comment on the big stuff, the stuff you’re supposed to focus on.

Notice a small detail. Praise a particular phrase she used to smooth the transition from customer conflict to problem resolution. Praise how he swung by another employee’s desk to grab paperwork he could deliver on his way to another office. Pick something small, something positive, something helpful–something unexpected–to show you really pay attention.
Pick out details and employees know you’re watching–in a good way–and not only will they work harder, more importantly they will feel better about themselves.

They give employees a break.
He messed up. Badly. Not only are you a little pissed, this is a teachable moment. You feel compelled to talk about it, possibly at length. Don’t. For a good employee, the lesson is already learned. Catch his eye, nod, let it go, and help him fix the problem.
Once in a while employees can all use a break. When they get one they never forget it. And they try really hard to show they deserved that break–and to make sure they never need another one.

They give a peek inside.
My boss was nearly yelling at a supplier who hadn’t met a key timeline. It wasn’t ugly but it was close. In the middle of their “discussion,” when the supplier glanced away, he turned and winked at me.

My boss was signaling that his emotional display was partly for effect, that he had a plan in mind and that I was in on things. I was an insider. We were partners. We were in it together. It’s easy, as an employee, not to feel like you and your boss are in it together. Make sure your employees do. Give them occasional peeks inside.

They give an undeserved compliment.
Compliments don’t always have to be earned. Sometimes a compliment can be like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When you see something in employees that they don’t see–at least not yet–they often try hard to fulfill the belief you have in them.
That happened to me. I went out for wrestling in ninth grade and was nervous, scared, intimidated–pick any fearful adjective. It fit. A week or so into practices I heard the coach talking to one of the seniors. “That kid there,” he said, referring to me, “will be a state champion by the time he’s a senior.”
He was wrong. It turned out I wasn’t. But I immediately felt more confident, more self-assured, and incredibly motivated. Those feelings lasted for a long time. He believed in me. And I started to believe in myself.

They give a hat rack.
Employees who need something–whether it’s a day off, a favor, a break, a chance–often come to you with hat in hand.

They’re vulnerable because they need. Take their hat and hang it up for them. You may not be able to provide what they want, but you can work through their issue with compassion and generosity and grace.
Never let an employee stand with hat in hand. It’s one of the worst feelings possible–and one you can make instantly disappear.

Source: Inc.com, November 2012
Author: Jeff Haden
More information about Jeff Haden

Utveckla ditt ledarskap: Bli bättre på att ge beröm!

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on november 20th, 2012 by admin

Skrota Jante, och fila ner dina vassa armbågar. Satsa i stället på att sprida beröm över dina kolleger och chefer. Alla mår bättre, inklusive bokslutet. Det rekommenderar rekryterings- och bemanningsföretaget Adecco, som står bakom nya appen ”Berömutmaningen”.

Det handlar om Sveriges första tränings-app i konsten att både ge och ta emot beröm på jobbet – kolleger emellan, chefer gentemot medarbetare, och medarbetare gentemot cheferna. Och, inte minst viktigt, ditt eget beröm av dig själv.
Studier från uppmärksammade amerikanska HR-forskare och från Karolinska Institutet visar, enligt Adecco, att företag som regelbundet berömmer sina medarbetare är tre gånger så lönsamma som företag som saknar positiv feedbackkultur. Och för den som får beröm på jobbet kan chansen att hålla sig frisk öka rejält. Erkänslan är effektivt bränsle, som får oss att vilja kämpa på.

Men på många företag vittnar de anställda om att de oftast bara får veta när de gör något fel, konstaterar Charlotte Nordén, informations- och marknadschef på Adecco Sverige.
– Svenskar är över lag lite för dåliga på att ge beröm, det är väl delvis den gamla Jantelagen som spökar.

Appen är gratis, och kan laddas ned i din Iphone eller Android. Bara en dryg vecka efter starten den 22 oktober har den uppmärksammats både på facebook och i en HR-blogg, och tankats ned av 863 personer.
Tanken är att du efter tio dagar – och lika många utmaningar – ska ha övat upp din förmåga att ta och ge positiv feedback. Från lättare övningar, som att berätta för en kollega vad du uppskattar hos honom eller henne, till att hitta något positivt att säga även till någon du inte tycker om.

För att utveckla appen har Adecco tagit hjälp av externa HR-experter. Socialpsykologen Bosse Angelöw har i ett kvarts sekel försökt få svenska företag att inse vikten av en uppskattande arbetsmiljö.
De flesta vet att beröm är bra, konstaterar han.
– Men många företag har helt enkelt inte hittat ett systematiskt sätt att använda sig av det, och då glöms det bort.

Källa: DN.se, november 2012
Fler artiklar av artikelförfattaren Tove Nandorf
Vill du mäta hur er kultur är avseende förmågan att ge beröm, kontakta 3s.se här

Enligt Forbes är det här misstagen som spolierar en karriär

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on november 19th, 2012 by admin

Det räcker inte bara med att vara ett chefsämne, du måste också kunna visa det.

Tidningen Forbes har läst en studie som amerikanska Center for Talent Innnovation gjort måste du bli betraktad som en ledare för att befordras uppåt i karriären. Det kräver ”chefsnärvaro” vilket definieras som ha tyngd, bra kommunikationsförmåga ett polerat yttre. Men det räcker inte, du får inte göra misstagen som spolierar hela din karriären. Här är de tio största kommunikationsmisstagen som kan ruinera din karriär.

1: Fälla rasistiska kommentarer.
Över 70 procent av de tillfrågade cheferna sa att detta är det största misstaget du kan göra. Den typen av kommentarer är förolämpande, visar på dåligt omdöme och avslöjar dålig empatisk förmåga.

2. Dra dåliga skämt.
Att berätta opassande skämt gör människor obehagliga till mods. En av de viktigaste och mest uppskattade egenskaperna för en chef är att kunna läsa av andra personer och anpassa sitt språk, ton och inehåll efter omgivningen.

3. Gråta
Rätt eller fel, att gråta på jobbet visar inte ledarskapsförmåga, speciellt inte om du är man. ”Du måste kunna kontrollera dina känslor”, sa en manligt bankchef i undersökningen.

4. Låta korkad
Det är viktigt att ha tyngd, språklig förmåga och intellekt. Men låter du korkad när du öppnar munnen är det ändå kört. ”Jag har umgåtts med chefer som ser kompetenta ut men sedan öppnar de munnen och låter som kompletta fånar”, sa en it-chef i undersökningen.

5. Svordomar
Att svära är oprofessionellt och opassande för en ledare. Det är också ett stort misstag att svära i mejl. De tre stora misstagen du kan göra online är att skriva föga smickrande mejl om kollegor, sprida bilder som inte har med jobbet att göra och att vara för personlig.

6. Flirta
Oavsett man eller kvinna, att flirta undergräver ditt professionella rykte. Flirtandet kan lätt bli helt missförstått.

7. Klia dig
Det är inte bara äckligt, det är också distraherande. Fippla med mobile eller kläderna på ett mote gör att du framstår som en icke-lyssnare.

8. Undvika ögonkontakt
Experter på kroppspråk säger den som undviker ögonkontakt framstår som en lögnare eller som någon som har något att dölja. På ett möte framstår det också som att du är ointresserad.

9. Svammel
Kan du inte vara koncis och konsekvent så kan du inte behålla kontrollen. Tidigare Bank of America-chefen Salli Krawcheck berättade att speciellt kvinnor brukar ha problem med tystnad. “Kvinnor gillar att fylla utrymmen med prat. Men om du lämnar utrymmen runt dina viktiga tankar, ger det vikt och tyngd till vad du säger.”

10. Fnittra och prata gällt
Att fnittra och skratta för mycket är en vanlig blunder bland kvinnor. Män ska inte prata med gäll röst. Lämpligt skratt och tonfall är viktiga indikatorer på tyngd.

Källa: Di.se, 19 november 2012

Vad en arbetsgivare inte söker …

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on november 18th, 2012 by admin

Enligt jobbsajten Stepstones undersökning (gransking av 750 platsannonser) är det här de minst viktiga egenskaperna när en arbetsgivare söker personal:
– Initiativrik
– Resultatinriktad
– Disciplinerad
– Säljinriktad
– Prestigelös

Personligen kan jag förvånas över att “resultatinriktad” och “säljinriktad” ligger så lågt i prioritering!

Vad en arbetsgivare söker …

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on november 18th, 2012 by admin

Enligt jobbsajten Stepstones undersökning (gransking av 750 platsannonser) är det i första hand följande som eftersöks:

– Driven
– Social
– Utåtriktad
– Positiv
– Strukturerad

Capturing business value with social technologies

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Digitalisering / Internet on november 18th, 2012 by admin

As these powerful technologies shake up productivity and growth across industries, they will create new organizational imperatives.

Social technologies, in their relatively brief period of existence, have found favor with consumers faster than previous technologies did.1 It took 13 years for commercial television to reach 50 million households and 3 years for Internet service providers to sign their 50 millionth subscriber. Facebook hit the 50 million–user mark in just a year and Twitter in nine months. Sweeping cultural, economic, and social changes have accompanied this accelerated pace of adoption by the world’s consumers.

Companies, too, have adopted these technologies but have generated only a small fraction of the potential value they can create. An in-depth analysis of four industry sectors that represent almost 20 percent of global industry sales suggests that social platforms can unlock $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in value2 in those sectors alone. Two-thirds of this value creation opportunity lies in improving communication and collaboration within and across enterprises. Frequently, these improvements will go well beyond the areas many companies have focused on to date in their social-media efforts: connecting with consumers, deriving customer insights for marketing and product development, and providing customer service.

Since “social” features can be added to almost any digital application that involves interactions among people, the range of uses is immense and measurement correspondingly challenging. Thus, we cast a wide net. We studied several hundred cases of organizations using social technologies around the globe. In addition, we examined the patterns of knowledge work within organizations and drew insights from data covering several years of surveys involving thousands of global executives on the ways their companies use social technologies. Our analysis of successful uses served as a basis for modeling potential improvements across the value chain.

Of late, some bearish sentiments surround social technologies after disappointments for several companies in the capital markets. It’s worth noting, however, that today only 5 percent of communications occur on social networks. Moreover, almost all digital human interactions can ultimately become “social,” and jobs involving physical labor and the processing of transactions are giving way, across the globe, to work requiring complex interactions with other people, independent judgment, and the analysis of information.3 As a result, we believe social technologies are destined to play a much larger role not only in individual interactions but also in how companies are organized and managed.

Productivity possibilities
We estimate that using social technologies to improve collaboration and communication within and across companies could raise the productivity of interaction workers by 20 to 25 percent. These dramatic gains would occur thanks to shifts in the way these workers communicate—from using channels designed for one-to-one communication, such as e-mail and phone calls, to social channels, which allow “many-to-many” communication.

Specifically, our research indicates that interaction workers typically spend 28 percent of each day (13 hours a week) reading, writing, and responding to e-mails. A huge amount of valuable company knowledge is locked up in them. As companies adopt social platforms, communication becomes a new form of content, and more enterprise information can become readily accessible and easily searchable rather than sequestered as inbox “dark matter.” Employees will be able to find knowledge in the organization more readily and to identify experts on various topics, given the expertise implied by their patterns of social communication. We estimate that 25 to 30 percent of total e-mail time could be repurposed if the default channel for communication were shifted to social platforms.

E-mail is just the beginning. Companies could also raise the efficiency of the large part of the day—roughly 20 percent—that knowledge workers spend searching for and gathering information. In fact, our analysis suggests that a searchable store of social messages could allow employees to repurpose 30 to 35 percent of their information search time.4 Unisys, for instance, has started along the path to capturing value in this way: 16,000 employees around the world have joined a company-wide social network, and ten social communities provide ready access to specialized expertise from around the company to resolve technical problems.

Capturing these technologies’ full potential to improve collaboration and communication, however, will require organizational change and new management approaches, which often take time to implement.

Adding up the business benefits
Besides these productivity opportunities from improved collaboration, social technologies offer a wide range of business benefits in additional areas—including consumer marketing (for instance, in industries such as consumer packaged goods and automotive), customer service, and even fraud detection (in sectors like insurance). To understand the full company-level potential of social media, we examined four major sectors: consumer packaged goods (CPG), advanced manufacturing, professional services, and consumer-facing financial services. Within each sector, we quantified the value potential in five functional areas—R&D, operations and distribution, marketing and sales, customer service, and business support5— as well as uses that cut across the enterprise and its functions.

Consumer packaged goods
CPG companies have been among the early adopters of consumer social media, both to engage customers and to derive insights. However, substantial gains could arise from additional applications, particularly in marketing and sales, where these companies spend an average of 15 to 20 percent of their revenues. Some leading companies have gained the same level of consumer insight, at only 60 to 80 percent of the previous cost, by substituting insights from extensive online communities for more traditional marketing panels and focus groups. Interactive product campaigns that deploy social technologies, our research further shows, can increase the productivity of advertising expenditures by as much as 30 to 60 percent. New, collaborative forms of engagement with customers too can improve product development, both in speed and level of understanding. Kraft, for instance, discovered key consumer insights and significantly reduced times to market for 48 new South Beach Diet products by enlisting communities of nutrition experts and potential consumers.

Advanced manufacturing
We found significant opportunities for tighter collaboration in the three advanced-manufacturing industries we studied—semiconductors, aerospace, and automotive. Highly educated knowledge workers, though central to R&D operations in these industries, often remain “siloed” in their specific units within sprawling global operations. Collaboration among such employees across organizational boundaries could increase their effectiveness. Supply chain operations in semiconductors and aerospace frequently require a high degree of collaboration and knowledge sharing within and beyond company boundaries in the manufacture of specialized components and complex subsystems. Pre- and postsales customer support in these industries often involves ecosystems where information can be exchanged among knowledgeable customers and company personnel, and collaboration tools can facilitate this sharing. Texas Instruments, for example, uses social platforms to share design information with engineers at client companies, tailoring products to their needs while avoiding costly overdesign.

Automotive is a somewhat special case of advanced manufacturing, in that the end customers for finished products are consumers. Consequently, companies have a significant opportunity to use social technologies for marketing and for deriving consumer insights. Kia Motors, for example, designed more comfortable seats and increased the space of the cabin in one of its models after learning that consumers in social forums found the cabin cramped and uncomfortable.

Professional services
Interactions with colleagues and clients lie at the heart of how professional-service firms, such as advertising, accounting, engineering, and consulting businesses, create value. Productivity gains from the effective use of social technologies could be correspondingly significant, principally by reforming internal work flows and by providing meaningful real-time interactions with customers. Management resistance and legitimate fears of breaching client confidentiality are factors limiting the potential of social technologies, executives say. Of course, this resistance comes at a cost: service providers risk failing to satisfy the rising demands of clients, some of which could be further along the social-leaning curve than they are.

Innovations are emerging, however. Some entrepreneurial firms are experimenting with social networks to cocreate new services with their clients, speeding up knowledge access and implementation. One London engineering firm uses social platforms to manage project communications with road contractors. Disruptive new business models are appearing as well. At Choosa, a global design firm, clients post requests for proposals on a company social platform. The work is crowdsourced to contractors, who submit competing design proposals.

Consumer-facing financial services
In the retail-banking, life insurance, and property and casualty insurance industries, social technologies can help improve service delivery, reduce costs, and enhance the customer experience. Consumers are increasingly open to using these channels for easier, more transparent interactions with their financial institutions. New processes are surfacing across a sector often typified by organizational complexity, siloed personnel, and fragmented processes that stymie collaboration, innovation, and efficiency.

To improve collaboration and communication not only across an extensive branch network but also with headquarters, TD bank, for example, deployed a social platform for 85,000 employees. One result: a reduction in the number of phone calls, meetings, and unwanted e-mails. Insurance broker Friendsurance has launched a social platform that allows potential customers to form insurance groups (think Facebook friends) that lower costs. (The groups themselves insure lower-cost claims and crowdsource administrative tasks.) Movenbank has targeted 50,000 customers in a novel Facebook-based institution that will be branchless, as well as paper and plastic free. Clients will use the bank’s Web site and their own mobile devices for transactions, and an intelligent system called CRED will advise on financial matters and analyze customer information for credit decisions.

‘Next practices’
Because the landscape is evolving swiftly and remains largely uncharted, a universal set of prescriptions for business leaders to follow in exploiting these opportunities has yet to emerge. Furthermore, there are risks to be managed, including concerns about productivity-dampening distractions, privacy, the potential loss of proprietary information, and reputational issues.

Some companies have begun to develop a body of knowledge on how to use social technologies for applications such as marketing.6 However, for most applications of social technologies—particularly enhancing collaboration and communication—we recommend that instead of focusing on best practices in the early stages of the journey, executives should be open to discovering next practices, to which broader principles apply:

• Since these are social technologies, the decisions that will make the most difference often won’t be about the choice of the technologies themselves but about how to encourage interactions among people. Social technologies can bring the scope, scale, and economics of the Internet to human interactions, but a successful transformation will ultimately rest on practices and culture. The companies that have the greatest successes will be those with cultures conducive to broad collaboration and sharing.
• Activities appropriate to one organization may not succeed in another with a different workforce, competitive context, or customer base. Purposeful experimentation that tests an array of practices and technologies will therefore be crucial. Testing “minimal viable products” to determine what works should help companies learn and implement the right practices for them while they develop new “muscles” that allow the organization to pivot quickly and opportunistically to new models.7
• Creating a critical mass of participation is crucial, and companies will need to nurture self-reinforcing cycles of adoption. Bottom-up use of technologies is essential, but our research also has shown that role modeling and vocal support by leaders can be decisive. In addition, technologies should be baked into employees’ day-to-day work flows, or usage will probably decline after an initial burst of interest.8
While the adoption of social technologies is growing rapidly, a huge untapped potential for them to create value remains. Companies open to the principles and practices we have outlined here can begin to exploit these possibilities and may find that the resulting gains form the basis of a competitive edge over their rivals.

Source: Mc Kinsey Quaterly, November 2012
About the Authors: Jacques Bughin is a director in McKinsey’s Brussels office; Michael Chui is a principal at the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) and is based in the San Francisco office; James Manyika is a director of MGI and a director in the San Francisco office.
For the full McKinsey Global Institute report on which this article is based, see The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies, on mckinsey.com.

Hur ska man attrahera Generation Y?

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on november 16th, 2012 by admin

De är toleranta och flexibla, men också mer krävande och kritiska än tidigare generationer. Arbetsgivare som vill anställa och företag som vill sälja produkter till Generation Y måste tänka i nya banor.

Arbetslösheten är det största världsproblemet som måste lösas, följt av svält och den ekonomiska krisen. Det anser Generation Y, det vill säga personer födda 1982–2003, enligt en stor undersökning.
Just oron för att inte få jobb i framtiden är inte lika stor i Sverige som bland genomsnittet. Men det är annars mycket som förenar hur unga människor från olika delar av världen resonerar och tänker om sig själva, enligt Mattias Behrer, global marknadschef för MTV:
– Vi har aldrig haft en sådan globalt homogen generation som Generation Y, särskilt i storstäder. Alla har tillgång till samma information, oavsett om man bor i Stockholm, Berlin eller Tokyo, säger han.

Viacom har intervjuat 15.000 personer i 24 länder. Mattias Behrer ser tre huvudsakliga drivkrafter för Generation Y, även kallad Millennials. Den första är att familjen är oerhört viktig. En kärleksfull familj är svaret på hur man blir lycklig såväl som ett mått på ett bra liv. Det är också inom familjen många har sin bästa vän, och då oftast mamma, enligt undersökningen.

Det är också den första generationen som har växt upp med internet som en självklar del av sina liv, och som hela livet har varit en kommersiell målgrupp.
– Det har fostrat dem till att vara kritiska. Det går inte att lura dem med ett kommersiellt budskap. Och de kan uttrycka sig via sociala medier och sänka ett företag totalt, säger Mattias Behrer.
– Som företag blir det då oerhört mycket viktigare vad man gör än vad man säger. Man måste eftersträva en dialog med Generation Y, en monolog med ett budskap som kommer uppifrån fungerar inte.

Generation Y surfar mellan stilar, experimenterar med olika identiteter och kan tillhöra olika subkulturer, allt beroende på vilket humör man är på när man vaknar på morgonen. De som ska anställa den nya generationen måste också tänka i nya banor.
– Generellt förväntar de sig feedback och bekräftelse varje dag. De har fått så mycket uppmuntran under uppväxten, säger Mattias Behrer.

De har även mindre respekt för auktoriteter än tidigare generationer. Ansvarsfullt företagande har varit på tapeten i flera år.
– I framtiden blir det viktigt att inte bara använda det som ett marknadsknep, och göra något gott för att locka personal. Anställda vill känna stolthet över företaget där de jobbar, säger Mattias Behrer.

Källa: DN.se, 15 november 2012