The following is a guest post by Doug Sundheim.
When I talk to clients about effective goal setting someone invariably mentions that good goals are SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. I agree these are critically important to strengthening goals. But they’re not the whole story. They don’t tell you how an individual or team arrived at the goal. And that’s more than half the battle.
Anyone can slap a specific, measurable, and achievable number on things and give you a due date. “We’ll have 6 new clients by the end of the quarter!” Great, but how did you arrive at that goal? Did you really think through it or does it just sound good? More often than not I find it’s the latter.
And more often than not I find people lose steam in pursuing their goals if they don’t go through a thoughtful goal setting process to arrive at them and keep them alive.
I’ll share an example of what I mean… Click here to continue reading »”There’s More To Goal Setting Than Making Them SMART”
The following is a guest piece by author Dennis N.T. Perkins and Jillian B. Murphy.
In 1998, a tiny 35-foot boat called the AFR Midnight Rambler accomplished an amazing feat — winning one of the toughest ocean races in the world. The Sydney to Hobart is demanding every year, but in ’98, an unexpected “weather bomb” hit the fleet, creating 80-foot waves and 100-mile-per-hour winds.
While bigger, better-equipped boats tried to maneuver around the storm, the crew of the AFR Midnight Rambler chose to head directly into its path, and ultimately won the coveted Tattersall’s Cup — the smallest boat in ten years.
How did they do it? And what lessons can we learn from this team of “amateur” sailors to make our own teams more successful?
One of the keys to the Midnight Rambler‘s success was their ability to recover quickly from setbacks. Just as people vary in their ability to deal with stress, so do teams. And like individuals, teams can develop the capacity for rebounding from pressure and setbacks. Click here to continue reading »”Into The Storm: 4 Lessons In Teamwork From The High Seas”
There’s been a lot discussion lately on the merits of telecommuting, in terms of fostering teamwork and innovation among disparate employees in an organization. While there’s certainly been a number of valid points made on both sides of this issue, one fundamental problem with this on-going discussion is the focus on how we work without any evaluation of how these strategies address the issue of why we work.
By now, all of us are familiar with the numerous studies that have unequivocally demonstrated that the ability to motivate employees through salary or other financial incentives has a very short shelf-life and is especially difficult to maintain when obstacles or challenges are placed in our way.
These studies have also shown that the most effective way to sustain our motivation and drive over the long run is being able to connect what we do with an internalized understanding and appreciation of the purpose behind why we do it; of why it matters both to ourselves, and to the organization and community we serve.
This is exactly the approach we see in many of today’s thriving organizations which have a clear connection between their collective efforts and the purpose behind their organization. These purpose-driven organizations don’t care about what their competition is doing because they don’t need to rely on others to define the value of what they do. That definition has already been created internally and collectively.
Our purpose tells us why what we do is so important that only we could do it, if not also why we have to do it. In the pursuit of profits and market share, it’s easy for an organization to Click here to continue reading »”What Organizations Really Need To Succeed And Thrive”
When it comes to successfully leading today’s organizations, one skill that’s been growing in importance and need is the ability to manage change. While many of us have read about various organizations to understand how they’ve dealt with change, I’d like to share an experiment done with crows to highlight some key lessons we can glean from this research on how to embrace change.
In his TED talk, Joshua Klein describes an experiment he performed to understand the nature of intelligence found in crows. For his experiment, Klein created a vending machine that would dispense peanuts when a coin was dropped into the coin slot. At first, he placed the peanuts on a feeding tray above the coin slot, along with a number of coins, to help attract the interest of the nearby crows.
Once Klein saw that the birds had become comfortable eating peanuts on the vending machine, he removed the peanuts from the feeding tray, leaving only the coins behind. When the other birds and squirrels inspected the device and found only coins on the tray, they left to forage for food elsewhere. The crows, on the other hand, used their beaks to push the coins around in order to see if they could find a peanut.
Naturally, this action caused one of the coins to fall into the coin slot, resulting in the machine dispensing a peanut. In a short period of time, the crows caught on that Click here to continue reading »”How To Embrace Change In Today’s Organizations”