5 Things to Note for Change Management

  Think about how often you work with outsourcers — whether for background testing, payroll, recruiting, or research. How often do you think about the process and how it will affect your team and your other daily processes? When it comes to outsourcing partnerships, particularly those that are a little more complex or require more give and take with your internal team, the processes you’re now using will naturally change.   Internal employees that were comfortable with the old way of doing things, might be resistant to these changes.   When an outsourcing partner is hired, avoid having their team “just run with it. Instead, go through a basic change management program that addresses some of the common hiccups of bringing on a new outsourced process.   Given its importance, there are a large and growing number of available approaches to change management. One of the more prevalent models today is called the ADKAR approach; it’s practical and straightforward. While this article briefly overviews the model, there’s much more information available on it online, and a few links are listed at the end of this post.   The ADKAR model — the name is an acronym for the steps in the change management process — was developed after research with hundreds of companies undergoing major change projects. It offers a step-by-step approach to ensuring change management, but also serves as a checklist of sorts by helping you pinpoint where the process might be breaking down. While many of the steps seem obvious and self-explanatory, it’s stunning how often organizations fail to manage major changes in business process.   There are five steps to the process: Awareness of the need for change. Desire to participate in and support the change. Knowledge on how to change. Ability to implement required […]

Quiz: Test Your Job Hunting Skills

1.  It’s commonly estimated that what percentage of jobs are filled by word of mouth?? a. Half b. One-third c. Over two-thirds d. Under 10 percent e. Alphabetical (all information listed in alphabetical order)   2. According to a poll of executives, how do hiring managers prefer a candidate’s resume to be organized? a. Functional (organized around skills, experiences and accomplishments) b. Chronological (organized by date of previous work experience) c.  Combination (a combination of functional and chronological)   3. Which of the following is a breach of interview etiquette? a. Admitting that you don’t know the answer to a question b. Taking a seat before the interviewer has offered you one c. Accepting a cup of coffee from the person interviewing you d. Shaking the interviewer’s left hand   4. According to a recent survey, what percentage of executives consider the advice of their administrative assistants to be important when making hiring decisions? a. Over 90 percent b. One-third c. Two-thirds d. Half   5. How many interviews can most employees expect to got through before they are offered a job? a. Four to five b. Two or three c. One or two d. Five or six   6. Executives believe approximately what percentage of job seekers lie on their resumes? a. Two-thirds b. Half c. Over 90 percent d. One-third   7. An interviewer is somewhat less likely to higher the person he or she interviewed: a. First b. Last c. Before lunch d. Doesn’t matter   8. Executives were asked for the quality in job seekers – apart from ability – that impressed them most during an interview.  Three responses each received about 30 percent of the vote.  They were: a. Sense of humor, enthusiasm, appearance b. Appearance, verbal skills, honesty c. Honesty,enthusiasm, verbal skills d. Enthusiasm, appearance, honesty   9. Assuming all other candidates have resumes as impressive as yours, which of the following factors will likely give you an edge? a. Knowing more about the firm than any […]

When Choosing a Job, Culture Matters

Harvard Business Review, Bill Barnett Some organizations will excite you. They’ll stimulate your success and growth. Others will be stressful. They may lead you to quit before you’ve accomplished much or learned what you hoped to. With the pressure (or excitement) of finding a new job, it’s all too easy to pursue a job opportunity or to accept an offer with only a hazy view of how the institution really operates. The path to an institution you’ll like is to investigate the culture you’re thinking of joining before you accept the position.     Sean (name has been changed) is a master at this. He pursued a job offer at a Fortune 500 company to be the first Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). He was well-qualified, presented himself well, and got the offer. He’d been competing with capable people. He was proud he’d “won the contest.”   The next step was a return visit, after which he’d decide to accept the offer. Sean had already learned a lot about the company’s businesses and some things about the organization. His priority now was culture and how the new position might fit: “I asked people, ‘What are you excited about? What are you proud of? Who are your close friends in the company? How does the group function together?'” Sean learned things like who the heroes were, what made them successful, and what his biggest challenges and opportunities would be in the job. The different people he met with were learning from his questions. It was almost like he already worked there, and they were jointly determining how to make the […]

The View from the Top, and Bottom

Bosses Think Their Firms are Caring. Their Minions Disagree. NEW YORK | The Economist   As WALMART grew into the world’s largest retailer, its staff were subjected to a long list of dos and don’ts covering every aspect of their work. Now the firm has decided that its rules-based culture is too inflexible to cope with the challenges of globalization and technological change, and is trying to instill a “values-based” culture, in which employees can be trusted to do the right thing because they know what the firm stands for.   “Values” is the latest hot topic in management thinking. PepsiCo has started preaching a creed of “performance with purpose”. Chevron, an oil firm, brands itself as a purveyor of “human energy”, though presumably it does not really want you to travel by rickshaw. Nearly every big firm claims to be building a more caring and ethical culture.   A new study suggests there is less to this than it says on the label. Commissioned by Dov Seidman, boss of LRN, a firm that advises on corporate culture, and author of “How”, a book arguing that the way firms do business matters as much as what they do, and conducted by the Boston Research Group, the “National Governance, Culture and Leadership Assessment” is based on a survey of thousands of American employees, from every rung of the corporate ladder.   It found that 43% of those surveyed described their company’s culture as based on command-and-control, top-down management or leadership by coercion—what Mr Seidman calls “blind obedience”. The largest category, 54%, saw their employer’s culture as top-down, but with skilled leadership, lots of rules and a mix of carrots […]

Coaches Corner: Mara Brown

Mara Brown is a best-selling author, powerful and effective executive coach, board facilitator, television talk show host/producer, and inspirational speaker.  Mara uses a unique and powerful approach to coaching to help clients achieve their goals, dreams and desires.   Some of the companies Mara works with on the topics of career development, leadership skills, strategic planning, team building, executive development and outplacement include: Raytheon, Oakley, Warner Brothers, AEG/LA Live, Mattel, FOX, Wellpoint, IMAX, Hilton Hotels, CW Network, Activision, Univision, City ofHope, Allergan, Cheesecake Factory, and Reed Publications.  In addition, Mara works with numerous entrepreneurs, politicians, business executives and celebrities.   In her earlier career Mara worked in the Advertising and Marketing industry for fast-food chains, concert venues, newspaper publications and entertainment attractions.  She understands the corporate world having risen high in those ranks in the retail and entertainment industries. Mara has a B.A. degree in Psychology, and an M.B.A. degree in Marketing and Organizational Development.  Mara’s first self-help book, Landing on Your Feet, was published world-wide by McGraw Hill and went on to become a best-seller and translated in to 3 other languages.  Her latest 3 books are:   Soaring to Success…How to Succeed in Any Economy       The Interior Castle… Finding Spirituality in Your Everyday Life       What Now…The Road From Success to Significance   Mara hosts, writes and produces a local cable television show called, “Living Your Dreams.”  Now in its eighth year, the show’s goal is to entertain, inform and inspire its audience.   Mara has also recently served a 4 year term as the Chairperson for the Women’s Advisory Board to the City of West Hollywood City Council, and on the Steering Committee Board for the […]

Word of the Month

Discretionary energy: the energy that an employee chooses to exert in service to coworkers or customers at work – or not. An employer pays for the fundamental tasks that he hires an employee to perform.   The employee’s willingness to perform above and beyond the basic requirements of the job is a reflection of the employee’s willingness to engage his or her discretionary energy.

Business Off-Sites: Love ’em or Hate ’em – Do ’em well

We plan them, we talk about them, we write about them, we complain about them, we love them. They are useful, they are useless, they are essential, they are a waste of time.  To add to the complexity, there are a lot of companies that create them, facilitate them, and produce them.  Regardless of the range of emotions off-sites seem to elicit, they continue to exist because there is a general recognition that a well orchestrated off-site is a powerful tool for strategizing, planning, and unifying a team toward accomplishing important organizational goals and objectives.   Creating a Successful Off-Site Meeting – Plan, Plan, Plan A successful off-site meeting relies on a few key principles.  However, at the core of every successful off-site lies preparation.   Harvard Business Journal, Bloomberg Business Week, and many other experts all emphasize preparation as the key ingredient to off-site success. It doesn’t matter if you pick the most enticing location or provide the most fun; if you (the CEO or executive of the department) haven’t prepared beforehand, you will be disappointed in the outcome or will fail to see the benefit of the time, resources, and effort invested.   Questions help clarify goals and objectives and are an essential starting place to establish the reason for the meeting.  For example:  What is driving the need for this off-site?  Is it strategy, change management, team building, annual business planning, or some other need related to the ongoing health of the organization? What are your overall goals for the off-site? What do you want to have accomplished when you return to the office? How will you […]