We often wonder if we can change the way people in our organization behave. It seems like such an impossible task, but much work has been done in understanding some basic concepts which leaders can use to modify the behavior of others and improve productivity. How do you correct the behavior of a staff member who is always late or someone who wants to take up your time complaining about others? How do you develop a more productive group or team? There are some concepts and ideas which can help with these matters.… Read the rest
Over the last few years, we have had the opportunity to work with a wide range of family businesses. As students of formal business education, we have had to learn to adapt to the family business environment because it differs from that which is associated with Corporate America. From that experience,there are a number of ideas which we would like to share:… Read the rest
When the almighty created each of us he threw away the mold. No two us have the same personalities, think in the same way, or are motivated by the same things. This is one of the great wonders of the world, but it provides us as leaders with some difficult challenges. Why do people react differently to what we say? Who is best suited to handle a role in our group? How do I best motivate an individual? Let’s consider a better way to answer these questions.
Physiologists tell us that there are four general dimensions of behavioral styles; decisiveness, interactive, stabilizing and cautiousness. Part of what makes each person an individual is their unique combination of these four dimensions of behavior.… Read the rest
For those who have spent a portion of their careers in a large organization, they had expert assistance when it came to hiring new employees. That assistance may have come from a Human Resources staff who helped to locate prospective employees and then assisted with the initial screening. For many of us, our careers transitioned to either smaller businesses or nonprofits, where that assistance does not exist. That being said, we need some basic principles to guide us through the hiring process.… Read the rest
Great teamwork is one of the most important keys to your organization’s success. The more harmoniously people work together, the better it is for your overall efforts. Teamwork is the way that things get done these days and if you don’t have a cohesive team, you’re seriously handicapping your company out in the marketplace. Team building is necessary for success because it’s unnatural for people to come together in a new group and immediately begin to get along. Throughout history, building a team has been the function of shared experiences and history. When that experience and history is lacking, it’s difficult for a group to share a common vision and goal, or to function together in a way that promotes the best qualities of each team participant.… Read the rest
Success and Failure in Business
One of our passions at RLS Focused Solutions is to help businesses be successful and sustainable. Each business must define for itself what success means. It may be just to make a good living or it might be to grow and prosper. Our definition of sustainability is that it will be prosperous, not just at a point in time, but well into the future. We are one of approximately 600 worldwide members of Resource Associates Corporation who has reported the results of work done to determine the difference between successful and unsuccessful business people. Let us consider their findings.
Ideas for team building activities can include virtually anything that involves getting your people to interact, cooperate, communicate, and hopefully have some fun at the same time. This is a great way to get staff away from the rules and roles of the office and take a break from the projects and pressures everyone has been dealing with, yet still work on developing transferable skills to take back to work. Some of the essentials of team building include:
emphasizing a team focus on shared goals- maintaining individual commitment to these goals
identifying problem areas and working together to overcome these
As a new business owner, your role may encompass all of the important aspects of the company. Sure, you may have had employees, but they were assigned specific tasks and you kept an eye on everything they did. You were the salesman, the supervisor, the customer service contact, the scheduler of the work, and even the bookkeeper. But as your business grows, you feel yourself pulled in many directions. You cannot effectively completely cover all the roles you filled in the past.… Read the rest
Many organizations rely on volunteers to help provide services. These may include charities, recreational organizations, hospitals, social groups, civic clubs, and governmental services. These volunteers become a vital part of providing those services, yet in many cases they are taken for granted. Learning to properly use the skills and energy within these volunteers can be a major contributor to the success of these non-profits.… Read the rest
I recently read the book, Boys in the Boat. It was a true story of a sculling team from the University of Washington, who through hard work and discipline became national champs and went on to win the 1936 Olympics in Germany. It’s a great story, set against the dramatic background of the Berlin Olympics hosted by Adolf Hitler. It describes how a rowing team developed into the fastest in the world. Of course, the members of the team need to be strong and fit, but there comes a point when all come together in harmony to maximize their performance. It is said that the team is only as fast as its slowest rower, but once they reach that synchronized harmony, they outpace the rest of the competitors.… Read the rest
Getting good feedback from customers and employees is vital for any business that expects to grow. Without knowledge, business leaders can not make educated decisions. Uneducated decisions lead to a higher rate of failure, which can have detrimental impacts on a business. Without high quality information, a business owner is flying blind.… Read the rest
In our discussions with business leaders, they often express frustration with the inability of people in their department or company to work together without distracting conflict. They say:
Why don’t they work well together?
Some refuse to even talk to a particular individual.
I don’t understand why people act the way they do.
Why don’t they see things the way I do?
Overcoming these issues is never simple, but the common approach is referred to as team building. This approach is often accompanied by direct types of game planning, where team members participate in a variety of activities. The games are helpful exercises, after which a facilitator helps the group discuss the lessons learned. We have used this technique on several occasions and we find the results interesting.… Read the rest
Great teamwork is one of the most important keys to your company’s success. The more harmoniously people work together, the better it is for your company. Teamwork is the way that things get done these days and if you don’t have a cohesive team, you’re seriously handicapping your company out in the marketplace. Team building is necessary for success because it’s unnatural for people to come together in a new group and immediately begin to get along. Throughout history, building a team has been the function of shared experiences and history. When that experience and history is lacking, it’s difficult for a group to share a common vision and goal, or to function together in a way that promotes the best qualities of each team participant.… Read the rest
There comes a day in the growth of a business or organization where the owner or founder must hire people with the expectation that they will help to contribute to its growth and success. This is true whether the hire will be working in the shop, taking orders at the front counter, writing software, or managing a part of the business. So often the entry of this new employee results in negative results. The manager and the new employee are frustrated and disappointed. With this hiring, comes some new skills which the leader must master to produce the desired results. Let us start with the assumption that the interviewing and selection process was done well and the new employee arrives for their first day on the job.… Read the rest
To be more responsive to customer needs, emphasize customer satisfaction, develop closer relationships with their customers and flatten the management structure, some companies have adopted Customer Teams or Customer Focus Teams. These are cross-functional, customer focused teams that exist to provide customers a one-stop shopping service.… Read the rest
What goals do you have for your next conference or business meeting? Why go through the time and expense of bring a group of employees together? Why do association members want to spend their time and money coming to your annual meeting? It just can’t be because we always do it.
In difficult situations, when companies are in crisis and can only be saved by major effort, group morale often rises to far higher levels than before. Individual objections and objectives are bypassed in the collective drive to do what must be done. This is where recognition awards take importance. High group morale can enrich individual motivation and performance remarkably! These are two types of awards: planned and unplanned.… Read the rest
Many managers fail to realize how their actions, attitudes, and communications affect the performance of a team or group of employees. They place the responsibility for performance on others and not themselves. Management success only comes when they learn to practice some basic principles of leadership and become someone who the employees wish to follow. Here are seven of these principles.… Read the rest
Everyone in an Organization Plays an Important Role in its Overall Performance
It’s no longer enough to be good, you must be exceptional. It is no longer enough to have satisfied customers, you must seek to develop a loyal and delighted customer base. It’s no longer enough to maintain. You must be aggressive, responsive, and quick. Your challenge is getting everyone on your team or in your department committed and focused on achieving organizational success. As an effective team leader, your role is to build the best, strongest, most productive team possible. Your team or department’s results, or lack thereof, will be in direct proportion to the cohesiveness of your team.… Read the rest