Welcome to the Winter edition of True North. As always, we try to give you something of real value to help you and your organization to grow and progress. In this edition, Tony writes about how to motivate a team. This is a massive subject in itself, but Tony's piece is spot on and guaranteed to get you thinking.
As for us as a business, we are now 3 months in to our new financial year, and it has been a fantastic first quarter. We have delivered successful programmes in no fewer than 6 countries: the US, Norway, Chile, Korea, Azerbaijan and across the UK. From aquaculture to energy, and healthcare to transportation, the range of industries that we are involved in has never been greater. Thanks to everyone we have worked with so far for their energy and commitment!
Enjoy True North. We really value your feedback, so please feel free to drop me a note if you have any comments or questions
Houston – We Are Good To Go!
The New Year saw the leadership team in Houston to help Tony officially launch people=positive™ Inc. But it wasn't all big hats, coffee and grits. A reception held to mark the launch was a great opportunity to say thanks to everyone that helped get us off to such a positive start.
We will be exhibiting at getenergy in Dubai from March 27th – 29th. If you are planning to be there, please make sure you look us up – we are on Stand 28. We will be presenting a special session in the Learning Zone on the morning of the 28th on how to “Make it Stick” in learning and development. If you would like us to reserve a place for you there, then please can contact Barbara at email@example.com.
You can lead a horse to water but …
people=positive™ is committed to finding creative ways to add value to our leadership and team development programmes. We work regularly with a range of partners including actors, acrobats and samba drummers. Recently, we have begun to work with LeadChange, a business specialising in leadership, communication and team building through interaction with horses. The idea is that by working with horses and appreciating the effects of our behaviour on them, we can learn about our own leadership and communication skills. Horses have a unique ability to give immediate and honest feedback to actions, attitudes, beliefs and emotions and the experience of working with them is a powerful learning opportunity. Contact Barbara to find out more. firstname.lastname@example.org
New Face at eXtend
We are pleased to be welcoming Bronia Fleet, who will be taking over the post of Project Co-ordinater for eXtend, the people=positive™ youth development trust. Bronia will be graduating form Aberdeen University this summer and will take up the post in June. Bronia has a strong background in youth development and is currently a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament. We look forward to seeing eXtend progress and continue its positive impact upon youngsters.
Catching Bigger Fish
November saw a first for people=positive™ with a working visit to South America. In the true spirit of our commitment to working with our clients wherever they need us most, Barney travelled to Chile to support the Management Team from EWOS, a global fish-feed company, in working through strategic planning scenarios. After an initial session in Santiago, Barney and the team travelled south to Northern Patagonia, and after a three hour journey by small minibus on a very narrow road up the side of a fjord, arrived at a small fishing lodge where the next two days were split between trout fishing and ‘future thinking'. This inspirational venue stimulated the team to think differently and despite the challenges of heavy rain and creative use of whiteboards, the event was a great success. The principle that involving people across the organisation in shaping future direction releases energy and innovation, was once again proven.
A Word to the Wise
Simple strategies for improving performance
I want to share with you some of the great insights that Ferdinand Fournies outlines in his book “why employees don't do what they're supposed to do…. and what to do about it”
His work is based on over twenty-five years of research, which involved gathering information from over 25,000 managers. He started out by trying to answer the question: How do I motivate my staff? He concluded that there is no agreement on how to do this. In fact many experts believe that you cannot actually motivate someone – it has to come from within. I believe that. And I believe that what you can do is provide the right environment within which people are most likely to choose to become motivated.
So following this line, Fournies concludes two things:
Firstly he says that there are 16 reasons that cover virtually every eventuality of why people (employees) don't do the right things. I have grouped these into four main themes:
1. Purpose - Don't know what needs to be done
- Don't know why it needs to be done
- Don't know the relative importance
2. How - Don't know how to do it
- They think your way will not work
- They think their way is better
- They think they are doing it
3. Barriers - There are obstacles beyond their control
- No one can do it
- They have personal limits
- They have personal problems
4. Consequences - They anticipate future negative consequence
- There are no positive consequences for doing it
- There are no negative consequences for not doing it
- They may be punished for doing it (well)
- They may get rewarded for not doing it
The second thing Fournies says is that most effective managers are fundamentally ‘friendly' towards their people. He is not talking about being their best friends, but about having a respectful, open and friendly working relationship with people. It's all the little things that effective managers do that build the trust and respect of their employees.
To finish up: If a person isn't doing what you need them to do, you can have respectful and open conversation with them and use the above list to find out why. Then you can focus on correcting the specific problem(s) identified.
There is a lot more in the book itself, but hopefully this snapshot has given you the basics of a useful tool that you can get out and start using.