All Posts By

crownjewelpro

How Your Commute Can Impact Your Entire Day

R oad rage hardly needs an introduction. We know what it looks and feels like, and if you’ve never experienced it, you may be part of a rare 20% of our population. As for the rest of us, we report experiencing significant anger, aggression, or road rage at least once a year. If you happen to live in Arizona as I do, that number may be significantly higher.

Egregious acts of lawlessness on the roads can be extremely frustrating, especially when the other person’s disregard causes a near accident. In a split second, you may go from calmly cruising along to wanting to pull someone out of their car and teach them a thing or two about the importance of roadway courtesy. How we deal with road rage really comes down to our level of emotional intelligence (EQ), specifically the self-regulation component of EQ.

How we deal with road rage really comes down to our level of emotional intelligence (EQ), specifically the self-regulation component of EQ.

Origin of road rage

I’d like to consider myself a calm and patient person, yet when I get behind the steering wheel in my giant box of metal, I become confident and fearless. That increases when I feel that I’m on the defensive. One study shows that personal factors such as age, gender, beliefs, or your mood can determine the level of anger and road rage you experience.

Additionally, we often “personalize” incidents that happen on the road. Close calls may simply be due to the fact that other drivers aren’t paying attention, yet we often react as if they did something to us intentionally. Judgment and decision-making go out the window and we turn from Jekyll to Hyde in the blink of an eye. This is when it’s most important to tap into our EQ and realize that, regardless of why they are driving poorly, it has nothing to do with us. We shouldn’t take any ownership of the situation. Instead, just let it go.

5 tips for improving your commute (and by extension, your day)

What can we do on the road to ensure we have a better day at work? Try incorporating at least one of these things into your commute each week. After five weeks, revisit how you feel after your morning commute. Chances are, it will have improved and what previously seemed like a chore may have evolved into something you actually enjoy.

  1. Leave earlier! Rushing around is more likely to intensify your irritation with other drivers. Leaving 10-15 minutes earlier than you normally would will help you feel calm, cool and collected.
  2. Drive mindfully. When you drive, just drive. Distracted driving is still an increasing issue. Despite technology advances, 49% of drivers are still holding cell phones in their hands.
  3. Get more sleep. When our children are cranky and fussy, we put them down for a nap. It’s amazing how pleasant they are to be around after some extra rest! That goes for us too – while a nap at work may not be feasible, taking responsibility for your sleep at night could make a big difference on your morning commute.
  4. Don’t respond. We tend to feed off of road rage behaviors. By participating in the rage, we continue to pass this along to other drivers which then carries on with us throughout the day. Instead, try to resist. If another person cuts you off or tailgates, just slow down or change lanes and move away from them.
  5. Breathe. Take a few deep breaths in and out, perhaps even letting out a very intense sigh. If somebody cuts you off, instead of honking or yelling, take a deep breath and say aloud, “I hope they arrive to their destination safely” and then just keep on keepin’ on.

Recovering from road rage

So, how does this relate to the rest of our day at the office? As we cross paths with hundreds of drivers on our morning commute, it’s almost impossible to leave the emotion of negative road experiences behind as we lock our cars and walk toward the office. The intensity lingers as we check our inboxes and begin firing off emails and messages to coworkers. The negativity carries over into other aspects of our day turning minute issues into problems that feel much worse than they really are. Why does this darn coffee machine take so long to brew a cup of coffee?!

The commute is often overlooked as an opportunity to ensure your day runs smoothly and positively.

The commute is often overlooked as an opportunity to ensure your day runs smoothly and positively.

If you drive a vehicle, you play a small part in the complicated dynamic of traffic patterns and commuting. Are you someone who contributes to making the commute a pleasant relaxing experience or might you be the cause of other people’s frustrations? Your small part could have a big impact on the overall commute if we all work together on improving our personal driving experience.

 

The road to a better commute

When a person encounters a highly stressful situation, it can take 3-4 hours to recover from that stressful event.

When a person encounters a highly stressful situation, it can take 3-4 hours to recover from that stressful event.

During that time, everything is affected, including interactions with coworkers and the quality of work performed. Learning to raise your self-regulation will help limit the instances of falling victim to these situations, leading to more peace and harmony in your life.

When you feel good, you perform better. Momentum builds and you accomplish so much more. Whether or not we realize it, so much of that starts with our morning commute. Put the phone down and pick a lane. When someone around you drives discourteously or flat-out breaks the law, let karma be that person’s judge and jury while you relax and enjoy the ride.

Article written by Sarah Merkle, Vice President of People at TTI Success Insights.

Download Our Free Hiring Guide.

In this guide, you’ll get access to the seven most important questions to ask when hiring someone. And yes, they go way beyond a basic job description.

Driven to Distraction: The Reason Why Some People Just Can’t Relax

P eople can become stressed out for a myriad of different reasons. Identifying the “why” behind that stress is half the battle towards reducing it.

When it comes to understanding a person’s behaviors, especially the drivers behind those behaviors, the 12 Driving Forces® assessment is extremely valuable. Created by TTI Success Insights based on the initial works of Eduard Spranger, 12 Driving Forces measures the impetus for why a person does the things they do.

One of the 12 Driving Forces is ‘Resourceful.” Resourceful speaks to people who are driven by practical results, maximizing both efficiency and returns for their investment of time, talent, energy, and resources. This reminds me of a real-life story where a friend of mine was having an internal struggle, due in part to his elevated Resourceful driver.

How drivers shape behaviors

Today is a gorgeous day outside! As we gazed out the window sipping coffee, my friend mentioned that he has difficulty making time for golf, even on a gorgeous day like today. When he does make the time, he can only think about the work he “should” be doing while on the course. Despite wanting to relax, be outside, enjoy friends and relieve a little stress, he just can’t seem to relax. It’s a classic case of possessing a strong Resourceful driver.

A person who has a strong Resourceful driver puts a premium on resources. What resource on Earth can be more valuable than time? This particular person is an achiever and wants to accomplish as much as he possibly can. He is driven to maximize his resources. That drive dictates to him that he needs time to accomplish his goals. Taking time away to golf cheats him of some of his precious time.

While he may have reasons for feeling this way, all work and no play is a recipe for burnout. If he would simply look at golf as an investment in himself and his well being, he may have an entirely new view of his next 18 holes. If he thinks about golf as the resource it is to clear his mind, and that playing golf might give him the energy and mental clarity to be even more effective in his work, he may no longer feel guilty for taking an afternoon away from the job.

The final turn

Drivers explain the why behind we do what we do. When someone has an extremely dominant driver, the tendency exists for that driver to become overextended, causing stress. The key is managing the driver or positioning that driver in a more useful way.

In the same spirit that people invest money in health food, massages or other things that promote healthy living, investing a little time in relaxation will change this person’s mindset for the better, and may even improve his golf game!

Article written by Joe Liss, Founder of New Orleans-based The Wisdom Institute.

Download Our Free Hiring Guide.

In this guide, you’ll get access to the seven most important questions to ask when hiring someone. And yes, they go way beyond a basic job description.

10 Things Successful People Do Every Day

H ave you ever wondered if there is a secret formula for being successful? Why is it that some people seem to have a Midas touch while others struggle to get by? American historian, best-selling author and keynote speaker Kevin Kruse recently interviewed more than 200 highly successful people, a group that included seven billionaires, 13 Olympians, and accomplished entrepreneurs from many walks of life. One simple question provided a tremendous amount of insight. The question was: “What is your number one secret to productivity?”

One simple question provided a tremendous amount of insight. The question was: “What is your number one secret to productivity?”

Avoid meetings like the plague

Notorious time killers, meetings can derail positive progress in a hurry. Billionaire Mark Cuban advises, “Never take meetings unless someone is writing a check.” If you find meetings are absolutely necessary, keep them short and to the point. Stay focused.

Process everything just once

How many times have you gotten a memo or an email and you read it, set it down and put it in your to-do-later file. The next day, you glance at it again but still take no action. Finally, on the third day, you finally respond to it. Time spent looking at it the first two days was wasted time, since you didn’t take action until the third day. Make it a point to finish what you start so you can maximize the use of your time.

 

Carry a notebook

Many people consider Richard Branson to be the standard by which entrepreneurs are judged. His secret to success is having a notepad handy at all times. Regardless of how technology savvy he and his company may be, Branson is most comfortable writing down ideas on paper when they appear in his mind. Doing so gives him a starting point from which to build a more robust concept later. Writing things down allows the idea to have a place to live, freeing his mind to focus on other things.

 

Live in minutes, not hours

The absolute most valuable commodity in the universe is time. Successful people try to use every minute wisely.

The absolute most valuable commodity in the universe is time. Successful people try to use every minute wisely.

To that end, why schedule a meeting for an hour if you may really only need 37 minutes to accomplish what you set out to achieve? Using every minute to its fullest helps a person simply get more done, and do so more efficiently.

Schedule activities through calendar only

How many people spend time creating to-do lists that somehow never get fully realized? Studies show that only 41% of items on to-do lists ever get done. This lack of resolution leads to something known as the Zeigarnik Effect, a fancy term indicating these unresolved tasks will cloud one’s mind until they are resolved. Instead of creating these self-imposed mental distractions, schedule everything through your calendar and leave the to-do lists for the amateurs.

 

Limit distractions

Remember how excited we all were when email was first created, and we could instantly communicate with others with just a few keystrokes? How do we all feel about emails today? What used to be a welcome new addition has become, for many, a pesky gnat that won’t go away.

Like any other task, emails need to be managed. Limiting time spent reviewing emails will help you focus more and be distracted less, allowing you to accomplish so much more. Be sure you are managing emails and not letting emails manage you!

 

Create a consistent routine

Having a solid foundation for starting one’s day off right leads many successful people into hugely productive days.

Having a solid foundation for starting one’s day off right leads many successful people into hugely productive days.

Habits can vary from person to person. The key is to find what works for you that makes you feel good, provides energy and propels you to attack the day with vigor and purpose. For some, these habits include a morning run or yoga. Others prefer eating a healthy breakfast or a period of mediation. Find what works for you and do it consistently.

 

Master the art of delegation

Successful people don’t need to have their hands in everything. They simply want projects to get done. Those who understand delegation realize it’s about the task, not the person, and completing the task is far more important than having an active role in the process. The more that can be outsourced, the clearer the mind to focus on the things that really matter.

 

Prioritize the important things in life

The most successful people on Earth find time for the things that matter. Going back to Richard Branson, he often breaks midday from work to go kitesurfing. This activity provides an opportunity for him to clear his mind as he focuses on staying upward in the water, while serving the added bonus of being a great form of exercise. Nothing like clearing one’s head while doing the body good!

Work hard, but be prepared to walk away when the work is done. Make time for those who are important in your life. Have family dinners. Be present for the kids’ recitals. Take the family vacation and extend it an extra three days, just because. When you prioritize what matters, it creates a balance that makes everything else become that much easier and more enjoyable.

Article written by Dave Clark, Staff Writer and Editor at TTI Success Insights.

Download Our Free Hiring Guide.

In this guide, you’ll get access to the seven most important questions to ask when hiring someone. And yes, they go way beyond a basic job description.

4 Ways to Unlock Creativity

J ohnny Dwinell, veteran Nashville artist/producer/businessman, recently shared insight into increasing one’s creativity. Inspired by John Cleese of Monty Python fame, Dwinell recounts Cleese’s wisdom on how to get into a creative zone, do it quicker and remain there longer.

According to Cleese, creativity is not an innate ability that you either have or you don’t. Creativity is not, in and of itself, a talent. Creativity is not related to IQ. Creativity is a way of operating.

Creativity is not an innate ability that you either have or you don’t. Creativity is not, in and of itself, a talent. Creativity is not related to IQ. Creativity is a way of operating.

Becoming creative is all about being able to get into a particular state of mind, a playful state. Psychologist Donald Wallace McKinnon studied creativity and described it as an ability to play describing the playful mood as ‘childlike’ among most of the creative people he studied. Getting into this playful mode allows people to think without restrictions or judgment. The more free a person’s mind is during creativity, the more creative the person can be.

In his talk, Cleese mentions another study that breaks down the functions of people into two modes: OPEN and CLOSED.

Closed is the mode in which we spend most of our time. Closed is where we are purposeful with our actions: we are getting things done; we are practical, pragmatic, and businesslike. This mode is very is very results-driven and comes with a certain amount of anxiety, expectation, and pressure. Creativity does not happen in the closed mode.

Open is a state of creativity. You are open to anything.

These aren’t judgments — both are necessary. In fact, you need to be in the closed mode to execute that which is created in the open mode.

Four requirements to unlock creativity

1. Space: Like a garden, creativity needs space to grow. The mind doesn’t naturally switch on and off, it needs space before the necessary mindset can be achieved. Finding a place that is free from daily tasks and stresses, a creative “oasis” of sorts, can help the mind get to a creative state quicker.

Think of it like an old car on a cold winter’s day. If you start the car and immediately drive it without letting it warm up, it won’t perform well. Giving it a few minutes to heat up will allow the car to perform optimally. Your creative state is the equivalent to an aged car engine on a winter’s day. Let it warm up and watch it roll!

 

2. Time: Give yourself ample time in which to be creative. When you start down a creative path,  you need time to separate yourself from the rigors and stresses of daily life. Creativity won’t come immediately, but the longer you allow yourself to be in this stress-free state, the higher the chances for creativity.

Creativity won’t come immediately, but the longer you allow yourself to be in this stress-free state, the higher the chances for creativity.

A good rule of thumb is that if you wish to yield 60 minutes of creativity, give yourself 90 minutes of total time so you have time to transition from a closed to an open mind where creativity flourishes.

When it comes to creativity, the goal is to try to resolve a situation; to find a solution to something. These situations can be anything from writing a song, creating a story or painting a picture. Creative endeavors often do not have a definitive start and ending point. Wanting to reconcile the “problem at hand,” the brain may produce something rather quickly. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the first thing you come up with will be all that great. Give yourself enough time to think beyond those initial thoughts that come to mind, and you’ll likely get to something better.

 

3. Confidence: In the realm of creativity, there is no “wrong” or “bad.” There is no room for judgment. During brainstorming of ideas, it’s all about creating as many ideas as possible, then focusing on the strongest of those ideas.

Those creating in solitude need to reserve judgment about their own ideas and keep moving forward. Those creating with others need to employ a “yes, and” approach, rather than “no, but” response. Any form of negative feedback can easily derail, if not outright sabotage, a brainstorming session. There is no “bad” creativity; keep it positive.

 

4. Humor: Injecting humor into your world is the fastest way to go from a closed to an open state. Humor relieves stress and puts people in a playful mood. Watching a funny movie or TV show or listening to your favorite comedian can transport a mind from “stern and serious” to “loose and playful” in minutes.

When we understand the concept of creativity being a way of operating, we can better work toward channeling our inner creativity and be creative more often.

Final thoughts

When we understand the concept of creativity as a way of operating, we can better work toward channeling our inner creativity and be creative more often. The best part about creativity is that it is irrespective of intellect; absolutely anyone can be creative if they know how to put themselves into the proper state.

All you have to do is make the time, enjoy the ride and have some fun along the way.

Article written by Dave Clark, Staff Writer and Editor at TTI Success Insights.

Download Our Free Hiring Guide.

In this guide, you’ll get access to the seven most important questions to ask when hiring someone. And yes, they go way beyond a basic job description.

How to Use Core Values to Craft Your Perfect Job

G iven that we spend about a quarter of our lives at work – maybe more – it’s kind of a travesty to say we’re going to spend most of our waking hours doing something that we don’t think matters that much. So it’s not a surprise that people are searching for meaning in work.” These are the words of organizational psychologist Adam Grant, who specializes in improving the work lives of employees.

For those who want to change their fortunes at their place of employment, the key may lie in the ability to identify what you are passionate about and work those passions into your job.

 

Discovering core values

“Make a list of the biggest sources of meaning in your life,” says Grant, and then ask yourself a one-word question about each: Why? The goal of the exercise is to eventually reach a core value. These values are at the heart of who we are as individuals. Incorporating core values into your daily activities will provide a much happier and satisfying work life.

Make a list of the biggest source of meaning in your life.

Grant says that once you identify your core values, two actions need to be taken. First, connect parts of your job that don’t feel meaningful to a core value. Second, find ways to work core values into your job.

To illustrate the first action, I will use a first-person perspective. As our company’s staff writer, I craft all types of content from blogs to website copy to emails. Without a doubt, there are some things I enjoy writing more than others. Email composition resides pretty low on my list of preferred tasks.

However, an important core value I live by is to be a great communicator. I strive to communicate in a way that is easy to understand, and leaves little room for misinterpretation. While emails may not be terribly inspiring, doing so gives me a chance to connect with my core value of being a good communicator. When I think of it in those terms, I view the task much more positively.

 

Job crafting

Grant referenced an article from the Harvard Business Review when he discussed the concept of job crafting.

Job crafting is this idea of saying, I have unique interests, values and skills that I could bring to the table that would allow me to be more effective and find more meaning in my work. So, I’m going to become an active architect of my job and I’m going to change the way that I do it, or I’m going to change what I work on.”

Job crafting does not advocate turning your job into a free-for-all, but it does mean incorporating elements that will inspire you and help you maintain a high level of energy and engagement. One idea is to come up with a side project from your day-to-day duties that really speaks to a passion you possess. Even if you spend just 10% of your work time on that project, it will help put you in a better place mentally to take on the rest of your tasks with a clearer mind.

Depending on your interests, this idea might come to fruition in the form of a social group that meets outside of work, such as a book club that furthers learning, or a charitable activity that can benefit your workplace.

Job crafting involves serious introspection about your job with the purpose of redefining it to incorporate your motives, strengths, and passions. Going through this process helps you to have influence on your daily activities, creating a job that will feel more meaningful and fulfilling. It serves the additional benefit of giving you more control over what you do on a day-to-day basis. You are the one that ultimately controls your outcome, not your boss or the leadership team.

Job crafting involves serious introspection about your job with the purpose of redefining it to incorporate your motives, strengths, and passions.

Why would an organization support job crafting?

Most people have more to do than time in which to do it. Having the ability to delegate tasks can free up time to address other important job tasks. Typically, leaders are the ones that determine what a worker does on a regular basis. By delegating job crafting to the employee, it frees up the manager to accomplish other things.

Not only does job crafting empower employees, it can serve the additional bonus of being a company benefit in lieu of cash bonuses or time off.

 

How to job craft

Begin by identifying motives, strengths, and passions, three vital components that will lead to higher engagement, better performance and overall happiness. Then look at how those things apply to work-related tasks, relationships and perceptions. Considering each of these three factors will ensure a thoroughly devised plan and greatly increase its chances for success.

Make sure that you are shaping your job, not letting your job shape you.

Conclusion

According to a survey of 5,000 U.S. households by The Conference Board, only 45% of those polled say they are satisfied with their jobs, certainly a downward trend from the 60% who were satisfied in 1987, the first year the survey was conducted. More recent studies from Gallup about job engagement show numbers even more disheartening.

Much of that dissatisfaction may lie in whether or not individuals control their own workplace destiny or are simply following orders and completing tasks on a daily basis. Make sure that you are shaping your job, not letting your job shape you.

Article written by Dave Clark, Staff Writer and Editor at TTI Success Insights.

Download Our Free Hiring Guide.

In this guide, you’ll get access to the seven most important questions to ask when hiring someone. And yes, they go way beyond a basic job description.

When It Comes to Developing Your Organization, Do Your Numbers Add Up? [Infographic]

W hen it comes to training your current workforce, including your next generation of leaders, having a first-rate training plan that employs assessment solutions is key. Assessments can be used to uncover the how and why behind behaviors, soft skills, and EQ, producing results and increasing engagement.

Download Infographic

Download Our Free Hiring Guide.

In this guide, you’ll get access to the seven most important questions to ask when hiring someone. And yes, they go way beyond a basic job description.

Bottom-up Thinking Through Messy Strategy: Creating Alignment Within Organizations

H ow do we do what is right by the people of our organization while protecting the company’s bottom line? The answer lies in reimagining the way we plan our strategies. Rather than relying on the age-old method of “top-down” thinking, we need to consider a new, more effective approach, that begins at the bottom and works its way up. This is a method we employ at TTI Success Insights and it works.

The concept of Messy Strategy is based on a “bottom-up” strategic planning process. Messy Strategy involves every employee seeing themselves in the company’s overall plan. This strategy succeeds when all employees have input in the plan and work toward a common goal. When the entire staff feels like they are a part of the planning process, they take ownership of the plan, even if their own personal contribution is a very small part of the overall strategy.

Messy Strategy involves every employee seeing themselves in the company’s overall plan.

What is Messy Strategy?

What if an organization had a roadmap to achieve consistently high-levels of success? What if the organization was able to bubble up all the unique and diverse ideas from the receptionist to the CEO, hearing the voice of every employee and incorporating that into the strategic plan? Imagine the results a company could achieve if every employee felt heard. What would that do for employee morale and engagement?

At TTI Success Insights, we use this approach and have been extremely happy with the results. It starts out with leadership asking the staff for candid feedback to an annual company survey. Year after year, our people contribute more and more constructive feedback, which gives us a better perspective of where we are and where we need to go.

An important thing to understand about the process is that it can be a significant investment of time – and messy – thus the name, Messy Strategy. In our case, the process involves reading hundreds of pages of feedback from employees. Going line by line, we read every single word that is written.

Messy Strategy may be intense, but it is also very invigorating. It gives us the intelligence we need to be able to formulate a plan that makes sense for our business. As leaders, we may believe we know exactly what the organization needs, but it’s not until we get the feedback from the entire staff that we fully understand the breadth and depth of the organization’s challenges.

Messy Strategy gives us the intelligence we need to be able to formulate a plan that makes sense for our business.

Once all the feedback is read, we brainstorm ideas, pasting a countless number of sticky notes on the walls. This helps us sort out what to do now, in the near future, in the distant future and whenever we get to it.

The key takeaway is that it’s not top-down, it’s bottom-up. Messy Strategy means hearing, feeling and understanding what every employee is thinking. Employees want to see themselves in the company plan. When they feel they are heard and that their input matters, they buy in. Having the ability to achieve a bottom-up strategy will give you a top-down confidence to execute your strategic plan.

 

How to make Messy Strategy work effectively

A few basic tenets need to be in place for Messy Strategy to work effectively. Organizations need to have a tolerance for failure, but not be willing to accept incompetence. Experimentation is acceptable if implemented with a highly disciplined approach. Brutally candid communication throughout the organization allows recalibration if the plan veers off course. Any member of the organization should be encouraged to speak up if something is not working.

Collaboration with individual accountability ensures everyone does their part. Finally, over communicate! Too much communication, rather than not enough, helps to address any uncertainty and confusion that may arise within an organization.

7 Techniques to Messy Strategy

Make sure the process fits your organization. Consider your company’s culture and employ a process consistent with that culture so the process feels natural. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to Messy Strategy. Do what feels right for your company.

Plan for planning. Be very strategic about dates and times. If possible, break up planning sessions to provide time for reflection. Start with a deep dive, then pause and reflect. We tend to get overly optimistic during planning, so having time to reflect brings real-world perspective back into the process.

For us, taking a break between sessions, or having a day to contemplate the multitude of ideas, provides perspective. Time gives us a true feel for whether or not a strategy makes sense and is viable.

It’s recommended to do the planning on-site if your company has the right space. When employees see the leadership team working diligently to create a solid plan, it’s energizing to the staff. Off-site strategy can easily be misperceived by employees as leisure time for leaders. Let them see you working hard!

Give voice to the entire organization. Get a pulse on the culture. A great question to ask is, “If there is one thing you can change about the organization today, what would it be – and why?” Be sure to ask that question! It’s better to know what issues your employees have with your organization now, so you can make every attempt to correct any shortcomings. Try to ask the same questions year after year to find trends and common themes.

We didn’t realize our need as a company for a human resources professional until that fact came to light consistently during our surveys. Once we had that information, we took action by creating a new position and hiring a great candidate to fill it. The employees know they are being heard.

Identify “start, stop and continue” behaviors and actions. Figure out what is working, what isn’t and what is currently missing. This concept pertains to individuals and the organization as a whole. This recognizes jobs well done, while also pointing out areas of improvement. It’s just as important to celebrate the victories as it is to address the problems and challenges.

Start with actions, end with numbers. Once you can identify what needs to be improved, you can more effectively translate that into numbers, creating much more accurate goals. Taking this route usually results in higher-stretching goals compared with processes that start with the numbers.

Make the plan presentation special. In today’s virtual world, be sure to keep it tangible. At TTI SI, we hand out binders and schedule a full-staff presentation around the year’s strategic plan. We end the presentation with a Q&A session encouraging employee feedback. This interaction makes the strategic plan become a two-way agreement.

When presenting the plan, look for employees who light up because they see themselves in the plan. Positive energy is contagious! Once employees know they are being heard, it encourages them to be even more candid and forthcoming in the future.

Create a meeting cadence and follow it. There’s no “right” formula when it comes to best practices for meetings. Do what works best for your organization. Once you’ve identified a certain cadence, do your best to stick to it.

Circumstances may dictate making changes to the meeting schedule or format throughout the year, which is ok, as long as you clearly communicate those changes with the organization. Employees want to know that leadership has a firm grasp on the pulse of the organization.

Leading by example will help you accomplish strategic alignment with complete buy-in from the organization. Several times throughout the year, we follow up by sending short surveys to the staff enabling us to understand the pulse of the organization. This process lets us know if we are on track or need to make adjustments.

Final thoughts

Every organization has its own culture and its unique way of doing things. How Messy Strategy is implemented will vary company to company. The key is to make it work for your organization. The good news is that this is not the same old way of conducting business. Messy Strategy is an invigorating process that leads to positive results.

At TTI Success Insights, we believe in being as authentic and transparent as possible. Involving your staff and gaining their buy-in throughout the planning process will provide an organization of happy, productive employees aligned to the company’s strategic plan.

Article written by Ashley Bowers, President and Chief Strategy Officer for TTI Success Insights Global Consulting.

Download Our Free Hiring Guide.

In this guide, you’ll get access to the seven most important questions to ask when hiring someone. And yes, they go way beyond a basic job description.

The New Super Hero Team – Business, IT and HR

T he ongoing disconnect between business, HR, and IT is legendary and many managers and even some executives may believe this thrilling threesome has nothing in common. Business can no longer operate without good talent management and HR can no longer be effective without IT. Why do these three bickering siblings need to get along for a more successful future?

One might say that business is the hero that built America.

The Business of Business

America, unlike many believe, was not founded for political or religious reasons. When Queen Elizabeth I of England sent people to explore the New World, it was in pursuit of riches. Business helped grow those riches for England and America. Business has spawned many other heroes in the building of America. The United States is still one of the few places on the planet where anyone can build their own empire.  One might say that business is the hero that built America.

The business of business is all about another hero, its people. There will be no numbers to crunch, no products to sell, and no services to deliver without people. While there are giant heroes in America’s past, these are the everyday heroes who continue to build organizations. Boards and CEOs are staying awake at night worrying about recruiting and hiring good talent. This is particularly troublesome for organizations that are not born digital. Many an article has been written about the need for in-depth recruiting, good hiring processes, and fitting the right people to the right job. Oftentimes, an organization will get all that right but fall short once their valuable heroes are on board.

“The workforce continues to change, and people today need different requirements for recognition, communication, engagement, and motivation. A more individual approach is necessary to address these needs and ensure that every worker realizes his or her hero value. The other side of this coin is that organizations need talent that can adapt, be agile, and embrace changes brought about by the market, the economy, customer demands, and of course, technology.

IT is It

Years ago, I remember the sales department arguing that nothing would happen in business without them. They thought they were the business hero. HR would argue that if it wasn’t for them, there wouldn’t be any jobs because there would be no one to fill them. They thought they were the business hero. Today, IT may very well be the hero because neither sales nor HR can function efficiently without them. Technology touches every part of our lives and is now recognized for making valuable contributions to business success, customer service, including making life easier for HR. Indeed, technology touches every part of business playing a significant role in keeping every department operating smoothly. That’s a heroic feat if ever I heard one.

Many of the jobs available today didn’t exist just a few years ago and many new jobs are not too far away on the horizon.

While everyone is smart to keep abreast of trends, IT must do it on steroids. While change is rampant, changes in technology come at blinding speed. Technology not only changes how we work, but the jobs we do, as well. Many of the jobs available today didn’t exist just a few years ago and many new jobs are not too far away on the horizon.

 

HR The Caped Crusader

Having been in HR, I can appreciate the effort it takes to walk the fine line between the dictates of business and keeping up morale. Or, between dishing out discipline and building a friendly culture. And finally, between building diversity and being fair to everyone. Any manager who has forgotten to dot an “i” and cross a “t” who has had HR swoop in, bail them out and, magically make all the distress go away, will call HR a hero. However, HR must now enfold business and IT under its collaborative cape as “friendlies.”

Now HR must become a business partner. It’s not enough to know the organization sells stuff, money comes in and everyone gets paid. Now HR must understand business strategy, marketing, sales, and profit margins. Now HR must understand a lot of technology and partner with IT to operate efficiently, attract hero talent, and use technology to help the business grow and prosper. Technology is changing every aspect of business including HR. It’s changing the way jobs are posted, the way people apply, and employee development.

 

Stay in Your Own Lane

Recently I was at an international conference and the audience had the opportunity to ask questions to a panel of executives. I asked for their thoughts on the CEO, the CHRO, and the CFO becoming business partners. I was told that everyone should stay in their own lane.

Business heroes who might not have thought about being collaborative in the past must change their thinking pattern must solve problems together.

Business heroes who might not have thought about being collaborative in the past must change their thinking pattern must solve problems together. The same can be said for business, HR, and IT.

Article written by Diane Bogino, President of Performance Strategies, Inc.

Download Our Free Hiring Guide.

In this guide, you’ll get access to the seven most important questions to ask when hiring someone. And yes, they go way beyond a basic job description.

How Emotional Intelligence Can Help You Succeed in Work and in Life

E Q, or Emotional Quotient, was once known and understood by only the most savvy business executives who understood its importance in the marketplace. Those in the know knew that having a high EQ was often as important, or maybe more so, than possessing a high IQ. There was a time when EQ had a modest, at best, following. Not anymore.

There was a time when EQ had a modest, at best, following. Not anymore.

Much in the way that a band may enjoy nothing more than a cult-following before being thrust into mainstream stardom with a hit record, there was a time when EQ was generally unknown and often misunderstood. The select few who did understand the importance of EQ were small in numbers and their beliefs and management tactics may have been considered against the grain by mainstream’s thinkers of the time. Not anymore.

 

EQ goes mainstream

Today, EQ has gone mainstream. Less and less hiring managers are focusing on skill sets, extensive experience or IQ, instead focusing on candidates who possess a high EQ and appear to be a solid culture fit.

Savvy leaders understand the true value provided by a person possessing high emotional intelligence.

Savvy leaders understand the true value provided by a person possessing high emotional intelligence. EQ has reached the big time.

 

The importance of EQ

EQ is short for Emotional Quotient, also known as emotional intelligence. A foremost expert in the field, Daniel Goleman says that EQ refers to being aware of how our emotions drive our behavior and impact people (positively and negatively) and being able to manage those emotions, especially when under pressure.

Everyone has high EQ when things are going right. It’s easy to get along with people, have positive conversations and be an upstanding member of the organization, or society as a whole. What sets those with high EQ apart from the rest is how they operate under pressure.

 

Challenges to EQ

EQ can be challenged in a number of ways, and it can happen in an instant. For example, maybe you received some negative feedback. Your first impulse may be to get on the defensive and fight to protect your reputation. Do you act on that impulse? Do you tell that person exactly how you feel, for better or worse, or do you accept the feedback? Accepting and learning from negative feedback is a sign of higher EQ.

What happens when you are close to a deadline and have more work to do than time left to do it? Are you able to stay calm and systematically knock out the necessary tasks? Or, do you panic, begin to freak out and lash out at the first person you see because your world is coming unraveled? Staying calm is a sign of higher EQ.

Certain people can be a huge challenge to EQ. Some people are simply hard to get along with and can be a source of continuous conflict. How do you handle that coworker, customer or family member with whom you regularly clash?

If you are able to stay calm, keep the peace and show restraint, even when they push your buttons to red alert, you probably have high EQ.

If you are able to stay calm, keep the peace and show restraint, even when they push your buttons to red alert, you probably have high EQ.

 

EQ is not engrained

The good news is that EQ can continuously be improvedEmotional Intelligence should be looked at more as a journey than a destination. Every single day we can be a little better than we were yesterday, and it all starts with becoming more aware. The more aware we can be of our own emotions and the emotions of those around us, the more in control we will remain, and the more respect we will gain.

Download Our Free Hiring Guide.

In this guide, you’ll get access to the seven most important questions to ask when hiring someone. And yes, they go way beyond a basic job description.

Secrets for Attracting High-Performing Talent in Today’s Competitive Marketplace

T oday’s workers have different wants and needs compared to those of previous generations. Security and predictability have given way to preferences for flexibility, culture fit and a people-first focus.

Google recently published an article stating that psychological safety can be the number one dynamic that sets a successful team apart from others; more important that actual talent or resources. Psychological safety speaks to an environment where individuals can take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other.

Psychological safety speaks to an environment where individuals can take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other.

Defining employee experience

The employee experience can be defined as a set of perceptions that employees have about their experiences at work in response to their interactions with the organization. The employee experience (EX) signifies the entire life cycle an employee has with a company, from onboarding to departure.

When unemployment was higher, posting a job opening could often attract hundreds of candidates eager to find employment. That dynamic has changed. Now it can take several months to find that high-performing employee that possesses all the desired attributes. A great culture, people-focus and employee experience will be the components that will attract the best candidates.

The employee experience is all about people feeling good about the work they do and the company for which they work. It’s about being excited to go to work. A positive employee experience gives workers a feeling that they are a part of something special and that their contributions are meaningful to the organization.

A positive employee experience is not reserved for the elite workplaces in the world such as Apple, Zappos and Disney. EX is something that all organizations should aspire to in order to compete for top talent in the modern workplace.

“Employers must provide development more quickly, move people more regularly, provide continuous cycles of promotion and give employees more tools to manage their own careers.” Employees don’t want to come in and do the same thing day after day, week after week, year after year. They want to be challenged, know someone is listening to their ideas and that their ideas can and will take the organization to the next level.”

Components of a great employee experience

If an employee leaves the office exhausted day after day, or gets knots in his or her stomach every Sunday just from thinking about the upcoming work week, he or she is probably not having the best employee experience. Companies need to create an environment that attracts people; an environment where current employees want to recruit their friends to work. Imagine the productivity of a company where every employee loves his or her job!

One of the most successful entrepreneurs of our lifetime is Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. He breaks down employee experience simply and succinctly in his quote, “There’s no magic formula. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated. Think of it as the Golden Rule for creating an exceptional employee experience.” Leaders need to think about what type of experience they themselves want and how that experience can be translated to the entire staff.

Leaders need to think about what type of experience they themselves want and how that experience can be translated to the entire staff.

According to a recent Deloitte report, “Employers must provide development more quickly, move people more regularly, provide continuous cycles of promotion and give employees more tools to manage their own careers.” Employees don’t want to come in and do the same thing day after day, week after week, year after year. They want to be challenged, know someone is listening to their ideas and that their ideas can and will take the organization to the next level.

The cost of finding a new employee

For general employment, it can regularly take between 45-75 days, on average, to find the right person for the right job. Hiring for specialty positions can take significantly longer, sometimes many months. Most high-performing workers are currently employed, though they realize they have choices.

A study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management revealed that employers need to spend the equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s salary in order to find and train their replacement. Hiring mistakes are costly. A new employee can take up to two full years to reach the same level of productivity as an existing staff member, according to business expert Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte. A new hire will need to acclimate and be trained, likely taking productive work time away from co-workers.

The Harvard Business Review points out that as much as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions. While organizations may be anxious to fill positions, a more prudent approach is to put a little extra time and effort into hiring to ensure getting it right the first time.

Engagement

Employee engagement is getting a lot of publicity these days. Despite engagement being on the upswing, the majority of workers (53% of them) remain disengaged according to a recent study by Gallup. The question an organization needs to ask is…what’s missing? What can we do to tap into to true talent and abilities of that 53%?

Imagine the possibilities if organizations started to get high-level production from workers that are just working to get by.

Imagine the possibilities if organizations started to get high-level production from workers that are just working to get by. Putting more focus and attention on soft skills may be the answer to moving some of those disengaged workers to the engaged side.

Putting people first

Putting people first – sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Companies that put people first will have a staff of employees that say “I love my job and I’m excited to do what I do.” Not only will these employees do better work, they will act as the company’s own recruiting arm by promoting the virtues of the company to their peers.

Download Our Free Hiring Guide.

In this guide, you’ll get access to the seven most important questions to ask when hiring someone. And yes, they go way beyond a basic job description.