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Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

Businesses like to put off spending money on training by questioning, “What if we train them and they leave?”  While the trainers fight back with the sales pitch, ‘What if you don’t train them and they stay?” you get caught in the middle.  It’s not that your boss doesn’t want to invest in you or that you’ll leave if you are trained.  It’s an excuse bosses throw trainers because he or she doesn’t want to waste your time and their money on something that isn’t working.

We hear a litany of complaints about traditional training and development programs.  We can group them into 5 reasons your boss won’t invest in your leadership development:

1.  The content has no relevance to your unique organization or challenges.

2.  There are cute lists of “immutable laws” or “habits” but nobody gives you a practical way to do it.

3.  Training is the same for everyone.

4.  The much-hyped curriculum is generic and gives you no relief for ever-growing ‘To Do List’.

5.  Nothing of value is measured.

Coffee shops are full of people trying to get caught up on generic homework. Until more businesses realize there is an effective way to develop their next generation of leaders, the painful coffee shop experience is likely to continue.

Read more: “Why Your Company Isn’t Training You: The Dirty Little Secret.”

 

Nikki Ellison is a business adviser and master-certified executive coach. She Co-Founded ELEVATE Results and Franchise Success Institute with Andrew Neitlich, Founder of the global Center for Executive Coaching.  Their renowned leadership skill development program, ELEVATE Your Leaders, was recently launched as a licensed program and will soon be operating in 16 states in the U.S. along with locations in Canada and Southeast Asia.   Her firm, Ellison Partners, facilitates ELEVATE Groups in Omaha and offers certification workshops for Leadership Coaches and Executive Coaches.

2013 ©Nikki Ellison

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I’ve just returned from a week in Tampa where we trained 21 new ELEVATE Your Leaders™ licensees and facilitators. They are a dynamic group who are bringing the ELEVATE program to many new communities around the world including 8 of 25 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA’s) in the United States.

This group of experienced executives, business leaders and coaches came from three countries to master the framework that makes ELEVATE effective.

I was humbled by their intellect so you can imagine how shocked I was when the room stilled itself following one comment from ELEVATE Co-Founder and Principal, Andrew Neitlich.

The quote that stopped 21 experienced executives, business owners and coaches in their tracks.

frustrated-businessman

2013 ©Nikki Ellison

Nikki Ellison is a business advisor and master-certified executive coach.  She co-founded ELEVATE Results and the Franchise Success Institute with Andrew Neitlich, owner of the global Center for Executive Coaching.  Their renowned leadership skill development program, ELEVATE Your Leaders, was recently launched as licensed program and will soon be operating in 15 states in the U.S. along with locations in Canada and Southeast Asia by the end of 2013. Her firm, Ellison Partners, is Omaha’s only provider of the ELEVATE Your Leaders program.

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EinsteinEinstein put it bluntly when he said “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”   The harsh reality is that leadership programs and experiences that delivered today’s leaders will not continue to deliver the next generation of skilled leadership.

Changing business landscapes are requiring new leadership skills.  Subsequently, the gaps between current leadership skills and the new required skills are driving businesses to rethink their leadership development to keep pace.

Key to success will be the alignment between the goals of business, its leadership development programs and the resulting impact on customers.

Businesses are under pressure to ensure leadership is aligned with changing business strategies.  Every day, our clients share with us the problems they face in developing new skills of future leaders in response to the ever-changing external marketplace.  These problems include:

  • A continued struggle to find the leadership skills they need externally despite recent upswing in the stock market and economy.
  • Constantly evolving is the definition of what success looks like for each businesses.
  • Businesses are being forced to develop more leaders from within to manage gaps between future business goals and the skills that will be required to achieve them.

Top talent must be identified, developed and retained. With key skill shortages in the marketplace, many businesses will not be able to buy their way out of their leadership shortages. They will need to build from within. Three key priorities will help businesses succeed today and in the future:Bright ideas

  1. Alignment of business goals with the strategies required to achieve real results.
  2. Identifying the gaps between leadership skills necessary to drive the strategy and what leadership skills are currently available to the business.
  3. Identify those in your organization with the potential to take on a stronger leadership role and dedicate to developing their skills in new, more usable ways.

Recently, Aberdeen Group released a research report on Accelerating Leadership Development. Their research cited the need to find more creative, lower-cost means of developing leaders and called on businesses to rethink their leadership development to keep pace.  “Successful organizations know that the key to ensuring a steady stream of leadership talent is to provide differentiated opportunities to individuals who demonstrate the greatest potential for future organizational impact.” 

Critical thinking is an essential leadership skill but it doesn’t stop there.  The ability to apply critical thinking is equally important.  The harsh reality is that leadership programs and experiences that delivered today’s leaders will not continue to deliver the next generation of skilled leadership. 

The big question is what will you do about it?

 

Read more: Helping your managers use their critical thinking skills.

 

2013 ©Nikki Ellison

Nikki Ellison is a business advisor and master-certified executive coach.  She co-founded ELEVATE Results and the Franchise Success Institute with Andrew Neitlich, owner of the global Center for Executive Coaching.  Their renowned leadership skill development program, ELEVATE Your Leaders, was recently launched as licensed program and will soon be operating in 16 states in the U.S. along with locations in Canada and Southeast Asia by the end of 2013. Her firm, Ellison Partners, is Omaha’s only provider of the ELEVATE Your Leaders program.

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Congratulations to our Spring 2012-2013 leadership program graduates!  They are:

  • www.ellisonpartners.comCarmen Sirizzotti, Director of Strategic Staffing and Compensation at University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Cathy Spicka, Vice President of Accounting at DEI Communities
  • Crystal Thompson, Production Planning Manager Epsen Hillmer Graphics
  • Kari Heunink, Compliance/SBA Officer, Washington County Bank
  • Mike Arkfeld, Vice President of Operations at Titan Medical Group

We are proud of your leadership, your hard work and most of all we are proud of the business results you have achieved.  Read More!

Contact us today for a no-obligation, no pressure conversation about your leadership development needs and whether our program is right for you.  402.884.7300.

Nikki Ellison is a business advisor, master-certified executive coach, and founder of Ellison Partners.  Through effective leadership coaching, proprietary skill acceleration programs and assessments, Ellison Partners helps individuals and business leaders achieve results.

2013 ©Nikki Ellison

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light bulb team

We have been ticking down the list of the four things you must do to create a

Team Building Culture and they are:

  1. Assess the individual employee
  2. Assess the leader
  3. Assess the team
  4. Create a culture that values engagement

Today, we’ll take a look at our leaders.  Too often, folks are promoted to a position because they have proved themselves to be very good at the job they did.  There is a huge difference between being a great “Do-er” and an engaging “Lead-er”.  Since these skills often do not go hand-in-hand, appropriate assessments will tell you about the job fit of your leaders.

If employees are the foundation of a business, leaders are the essential framework as we begin building a business to a higher level.  The ability to engage others is the most essential part of every leader’s job profile and leadership skill set. The daily actions of senior leadership, managers and supervisors are the key drivers of engagement.

Appropriate assessments will tell you about the job fit of your existing leaders. This will allow you to identify top-performing and lesser-performing leaders.  The results will reveal a predictive performance pattern.  With this, you can compare the results to these benchmarks and accurately determine if your leaders are in the right jobs.  You can then decide if the gaps are because of a selection issue or if coaching and development can provide the solution.

Always begin by identifying the leadership skills that are most effective in engaging employees.When you increase the effectiveness of your leaders’ ability to engage and motivate their team, job satisfaction, productivity and better profits increase along with it. You will need feedback about each leader from his boss, peers and direct reports to accomplish this. When you have this information, you can successfully align leader’s behaviors and skills with the expectations of the organization and his boss.   Now, by the use of on-the-job coaching and performance feedback, you can begin to close the gaps in the desired skills and behaviors.

Next time, we’ll put together all the pieces of the team!

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Creating a Team Building Culture

 

Last time, we discussed “what not to do” when your mission is creating a culture that puts a high value on strong teams.  We identified the four things you must do to create a

Team Building Culture and they are:

  1. Assess the individual employee
  2. Assess the leader
  3. Assess the team
  4. Create a culture that values engagement

We begin with employees, because they are the foundation of your strong teams.  First, make sure they are in the right jobs. The average employee wants more than just a paycheck from his employer, many want training and stimulation so they can develop and promote. You can provide this opportunity using predictive performance or job matching technology. This way, you can strategically invest in your people, fully developing them for the jobs they are in, and you can tailor specific training for career advancement.

Identify your target employees, those who fit well in their current job, are fully engaged in their current role, and whose performance exceeds expectations. This is the kind of employee who achieves goals and has the ability to elevate the performance of other employees, teams, departments, and divisions. The right assessments will tell you about employees’ cognitive skills, job-related behaviors and occupational interests. You’ll need the right data for identifying your stand-out, target employees and those employees who are doing a good job but may not yet have emerged as your rising stars.

Challenge your employees! Managers may be four times more engaged than frontline employees because they have additional responsibilities. Give your employees stretch goals and let them learn from their mistakes. This will enhance the level of employee engagement.  Get their feedback as you challenge them because what you learn from them can be extremely important in helping implement solutions. Try this approach: Encourage the employee to identify: What can be improved?  What do we need here?  What can be adjusted? What should we start or stop doing?

The actions of senior leadership, managers and supervisors are the key drivers of your employee engagement. This is critical because it needs to be a vital part of every leader’s job profile and leadership skill set.  Next time, we’ll learn the value of assessing your leaders to reveal how adept they are at engaging those on their teams.  We will show you how!

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Return on Investment, otherwise known as ROI, is calculated on most business investments.  For money invested in training and development programs, ROI is measured by how well the participants apply the newly learned skilled.  Or is it?  Disappointingly few skills are actually implemented on the job and business results achieved as a result of applying those new skills are lacking.  Worse, effective leadership skills are among them.

Asleep at DeskBersin & Associates research found nearly 75% of all leadership teams fail to achieve business goals.  I cannot help but think about the sinking feeling you get when you realize your leadership team didn’t hit their business goals. It’s one we’ve all felt at times but successful leaders understand that to remain competitive they cannot afford to fail in achieving business goals.

The good news is that the Bersin research proves organizations have signficant opportunities to improve their bottom lines by developing leaders with the ability to act on their organizations’ business goals.  In fact, Bersin asserts the business case can be made for effective leadership training by citing research showing that good leaders can double profits.

So what can you do to ensure that your employees apply the skills they learn in training?

It’s really fairly simple when you think about it.  Start measuring the ROI on your training dollars spent.   If you aren’t measuring your ROI on training,  you’re risking ineffective training and employees who miss their business goals when they fail to carry out the skills learned.   I can’t help but wonder why any leader would tolerate this?www.ellisonpartners.com/leap.php

A colleague of mine, Andrew Neitlich, posed a key question to leaders he coaches: “What are you tolerating in your leadership role that is costing your team and organization revenues, profits, productivity, employee morale, and/or customer loyalty?”  Neitlich, Founder and Director of the Center for Executive Coaching, noted that ‘In life as in business, you get what you tolerate’.    He challenges leaders to control what they tolerate and what they don’t and to set the tone by chosing one thing you are going to stop tolerating in your organization and to take action today.

Smart leaders are chosing to stop tolerating another dollar being spent on training programs without a direct way to ensure skills learned are applied on the job and in their companies.  They’re taking action to ensure training ROI is achieved by insisting the training programs they invest in:

  • Show how they support the application of the newly learned skills on the job; and,
  •  Prove the link between the training and improved business outcomes as a result of applying new skills.

Nikki Ellison is a business advisor, executive coach and founder of Ellison Partners. Through effective leadership coaching, proprietary skill acceleration programs and assessments, Ellison Partners helps businesses and their leaders achieve results.

© Nikki Ellison, 2013.

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