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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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Join us at the Metro Omaha Women’s

Business Center Forum:

Relationships are our most important currency. We can lose our jobs and we can lose our assets, but if we have a great powerbase, opportunities will come to us and we will recover quickly.

Within our organizations, if we have a strong powerbase, we get things done more easily and more opportunities and ‘hot’ projects come our way.

Join us at the Metro Omaha Business Women’s Center Forum “Success Series: Don’t Believe the Lie – The Glass Ceiling is NOT on Your Head.” We’ll look at your powerbase and how to improve it, so that you develop relationships up, down and across in your organization so that opportunities come your way before they are offered to others.

Identify strategies to move beyond the glass ceiling and improve your relationships, communication and powerbase at work.

We’ll show you a unique way to look at the formal and informal power you deal with every day and share effective ways to harness your influence.

In our presentation, you’ll better understand the importance and value of a strong powerbase and what influence has to do with it:

  • Assess where the power is and how your relationships stack up.
  • Create what your powerbase should like look like based on your vision for your career and your future.
  • Develop concrete steps to improve your powerbase.

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light bulb teamIt’s Wednesday…hump day as we sometimes refer to it.  What are your best and brightest employees doing today?   Working hard for you?  Or are they restless, bored, and looking for something new?  Hopefully they’re looking for a new experience, not a new job.

Yesterday, I received a phone call from one of these ‘best and brightest employees’.  She was looking for a new experience – some training that would engage, challenge and help her learn something new.  Sadly, she was frustrated with what she had been finding.

As she went on, she explained to me that while she likes to read, she gets bored reading to learn something new.  She loves her job and those she works with and for but she is bored.  She wants to contribute but doesn’t know what to do next. So she’s looking – right now she’s looking for an experience that will lead her to ways she can improve at work, ways she help her employer, ways that help her employer see her potential.  Sadly, she wasn’t finding it.  What she was finding was training geared for general population that looked boring to her.  She was finding training that seemed outdated because it looked at past ‘best practices’; she is looking forward to creating the next practice. She shared her frustration with me…because she knew I understood and I could help.

We are putting together a coaching plan for her outlining a way for her to feed her brain.  I could ‘hear’ her smile as we said good-bye and I could tell she is looking forward to our follow-up call.

Don’t be fooled – this isn’t about me or my experience with this caller – it’s about you and your company.  Smart employers know they need to ‘feed’ their key employees, those with the fire in the gut, that we go to because we know we can count on them.

What are you doing to feed your best and brightest before they spend today looking for something new?

Do something before you lose them to the employer who will take the time to feed them. Here’s an idea on three ways to do just that…  Read more…

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light bulb team

Creating a Team Building Culture

Last time, we reviewed 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

Now that you understand the individuals on the team and their leaders,  combine what you’ve learned and develop an understanding of how the team members will interact with each another.  This is when you bring them all together to assess the team dynamics.  A team workshop will help everyone see a big-picture perspective. Each employee brings unique skills, behaviors and interests to the work environment.  This process will allow everyone to understand how those qualities interact.

You will no doubt find that you’ll need to make adjustments. Clarity is easily achieved by having the results and data.  Adjustments to the current work environment become obvious and much simpler to make.  The way your team works together directly impacts on productivity and now that you have clear understanding of where strengths and weaknesses vary, managers can make intelligent adjustments to maximize efficiency.

Once a team is correctly assessed and adjusted, job satisfaction improves significantly!  This happens because with the right job fit and a well aligned team, employees feel fulfilled in their roles.  When all roles are understood and appreciated, employees feel engaged and work to their full potential.  Happy employees also encourage their peers and coworkers to achieve maximum productivity.  Better fit and better alignment creates higher engagement, better productivity and increased profits.  It is that connected!

Next time we will bring it all together when the culture of having strong teams really becomes a part of the fabric of your company’s DNA.  No longer a “flavor-of-the-month” management topic, an organization that genuinely values engagement will begin to see the fruits of their efforts through stronger branding, enhanced company identity, better retention and a leg up on the competition when recruiting.

In our final discussion, we will explore the attitudes that will keep this culture at the heart of an organization.

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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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