I work with University students as an Academic Development Specialist - I coach them toward improved academic performance using a variety of tools, techniques and assessments. In 2014 I underwent professional coach training to expand my toolkit, and one of the most powerful learnings in coach training, was the Observer-Action-Result (OAR) model, and the art of powerful questioning. In this article I take you through an explanation of this technique in a student scenario.
Disclaimer: The content, views and opinions expressed in this article are those of myself, the author, and do not reflect the official policies or position of the University of Calgary or International Coach Federation.
I am trained as an ontological coach. What does that mean?
My specialty lies in helping people see and access the unlimited potential that they have. We all are walking around in human bodies and to varying degrees, we have choice in what we decide to do with our lives. We are all making choices daily that lead to a desired future or outcome.
We are all capable of anything, but we all go different ways.
Why? We all have different ways of interpreting reality.
We are all different observers of life.
We can experience the same reality. For example, a group of students at a workshop are enjoying pepperoni pizza. Their senses pick up the reality of cheese, tomato, layers of pepperoni, the crunch of the crust.
But we experience different interpretations of that same reality.
One student may think "mmm this crust is delicious." Another may think "Ewww it's hurting my teeth!"
One student may think "holy sh*t this is delicious, what a treat!." Another may think "Ugh, I have no self control, there goes my entire week's nutrition. I am disgusting."
We view life through different lenses. What colours those lenses? Many things.
Our bodies, our minds, our personalities, our history, our culture, our families, the people in our lives, media, our mood or current levels of fatigue or hunger, all influence how we interpret things. There are many contributing factors to the way we tend to see things. Some of those factors may lead to an overarching story we have about the world, what we call a master assessment or a grand assessment. The student that ate the pizza and was caught in a cycle of self-loathing? There is something deeper there.
That is what is fun (and challenging) about coaching. Coaches work together with clients to uncover the way that the client sees and interprets their lives.
Armed with new awareness of the lenses that we view life through, and the stories that we carry around with us, we have greater choice in how we decide to interpret life. This opens up new possibilities, and greater motivation to take different actions.
There are many things to discover through conversation. Inner narratives, self-limiting beliefs, habitual thinking patterns and more. You don't need a coach to come to these realizations. When you experience a fundamental shift in the way you see things, you have undertaken this very process. There is no doubt Einstein had experienced a shift in his observer when he said the following:
"The way we see the problem, is the problem."
With this background, I'll jump into why this distinction is so important in working with University students, and how this model (expanded into what we call the Observer-Action-Result or OAR model) is so useful.
We all know that we want to create a great future, improve and do better, right?
We can google to our hearts' content and access all of the information we need to do this. Students are among the most adept at seeking information.
Yet, we don't, do we? We don't change our actions to get better results.
The key to powerful and lasting change lies in shifting the observer that we are.
Here's a great example of a common student scenario in academic performance coaching.
A student came n complaining of poor grades in all of their classes. They had already googled how to study better, what techniques to employ and what was missing in their habits. They explained that they had attended three different workshops on how to study better to improve grades, but complained that they already knew all of the advice ("same old advice") and found the powerpoint slides boring. The student was understandably frustrated.
If we look at the Observer-Action-Result model above, the student was definitely following the Action-Result part. Take different actions and get different results (better grades.)
The real results in this appointment came from a focus on a different part of the model. The Observer part. In the appointment, I spent the first thirty minutes asking open-ended, clarifying questions. My goal was to get an understanding of the way they saw their situation, and some of their perspectives on academic performance. During the 15 minute conversation that followed, we uncovered some interesting observer insights together.
How the student perceived the reality of their bad grades:
-The professors had a clear bias against them and were not willing to meet with them to discuss midterm results.
-Claimed they knew all of the right techniques (questioning uncovered inconsistent use and a lack of motivation.)
-Large amount of time spent on discussing other students; studies as much as other students but they were unfairly getting better grades with less work.(Dominated 20 minutes of the conversation.)
- The exam questions were poorly written and confusing – set up for a poor performance.
The student had a very strong story and through body language and amount of time spent discussing these issues above, I could see they were very attached to the belief that external forces were stacked against them. Their performance was mostly others’ fault.
With this type of world-view, do you think the student was motivated to take ownership over study habits? Even if they went to workshops and already knew the techniques?
We talk about motivation so much in studying, yet, how motivated would you be to study, if everything was someone else’s fault and out of your control? How would your actions be influenced? How would this student be in a meeting with their professor on a midterm, how empowered would this student feel going into final exams?
The conversation offered some opportunities to dig deeper, and herein lies the added value of one-on-one conversations outside of a workshop or lecture format.
There were a variety of contributing factors to the students' mindset – both ungrounded assessments but also legitimate life experiences. The student had repeatedly experienced bad events in their life that were unfair and legitimately out of their control. After years of believing it was their fault, they had developed a coping mechanism by flipping to the opposite, thinking "nothing bad is my fault, it's everyone else's fault."
They spent time focusing on the unfairness of everyone else’s performance and we talked about where this came from. They remembered developing this habit very early on in schooling, and it was deeply ingrained. The result of an unhealthily competitive primary schooling experience. Through conversation, a small window of awareness was opened for the student. They could see that their lens was shaped by a variety of experiences in life. They realied that some were influencing them in an unhelpful way and robbing them of the motivation to study properly and use the techniques they knew would help them.
The student also realized that this way of interpreting reality did not just occur in academics. It extended to other events in their life. They could see that this was a way of perceiving the situation, rather than the truth of the situation.
There were many long moments of silence towards the end of that conversation, where the student just sat with these new realizations and a shifting reality.
The student began to realize how these ways of seeing and interpreting their academic performance was disempowering, and would not contribute to better actions and better results.
To generate new ways of observing, and new possibilities would be for another meeting, but the progress for this student in one hour was profound. I simply asked questions, and the student did the rest of the work. We all have within us the tools to profoundly change our lives. The coach is simply there to be a catalyst.
In working with students, do not be afraid to explore, to dive, to ask open-ended and powerful questions to understand a person’s perspective. It is the human connection and deep conversations that students so desperately want in a time of massive lectures and group workshops.
You do not need a coaching certification to ask powerful questions and have the courage to engage in thought-provoking conversation. A student appreciates that you care, and want to understand them, and get to know them. Beyond a lasting impression and the human connection so many students are missing on large campuses, you may help them uncover a new level of awareness of themselves, which will complement the learning and study skills we teach and lead to lasting change in their lives.
Originally Posted on Linked IN by: Carina Huggins
It continues to be tough for veterans to build a career in the civilian workplace. Here's why some employers are missing the mark in attracting talented candidates with military service experience.
On this Election Day our sights turn to country, duty, and of course, voting. But we wouldn’t have what we do, and live under the protections that we have, if it wasn’t for our military service men and women.
To that end, military service is probably the greatest honor that any American we can bestow on the nation, but it is also a sacrifice. The trouble comes for some veterans when they try to rejoin the civilian work world. A recent report looked at the topic and arrived at a discouraging statistic: 85 percent of employed post-9/11 veterans are not completely satisfied with their current job. And, according to the iCIMS report, titled ‘America’s Heroes at Work: The Veteran Hiring Report,’ 86 percent of post-9/11 veterans spend time each week looking for a new job.
In collaboration with RecruitMilitary, the nation’s leading veteran hiring firm, the study was conducted to gain a better understanding of post-9/11 veterans’ experience and expectations while job hunting and at work, following their military experience.
The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans has declined 1.4 percentage points from 2014 to 2015 to 5.8 percent. While the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans is on the decline, the iCIMS survey reveals just how tough it continues to be for veterans to build a career in the civilian workplace – and why some employers fail to attract talented candidates with military service experience.
“The results from our survey are eye-opening, and reinforces the need for employers to focus on nurturing their veteran employees and enhance their recruitment efforts to attract veteran job seekers,” said Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer at iCIMS. “Although it is encouraging to see the unemployment rates for post-9/11 veterans on the decline, our survey reveals just how tough the transition continues to be for those who are trying to build a career in the civilian workforce and why some employers are missing the mark in attracting talented candidates with experience in the military.”
Job Hunt Challenges
When looking for a job, post-9/11 veterans might not be finding the right opportunities. In fact, 86 percent of post-9/11 veterans decided not to apply for or accept a job after leaving the military. Disappointment with the salary or benefits offered (56 percent) was the top reason, followed by believing they didn’t have enough education or training to do the job (41 percent), and reading negative reviews about the company’s culture or work environment (30 percent).
Corporate veteran hiring initiatives and programs make a difference, but here’s some discouraging news from post-9/11 veterans: 74 percent believe it would take them longer to find a job than a non-veteran with the same level of work experience.
Many veterans expressed the fears and challenges they face during the job search process, including a perceived bias and skills gap. In fact, 41 percent of post-9/11 veterans believe hiring managers do not understand their military experience, 37 percent believe hiring managers devalue their military experience, and 36 percent believe job postings require more specialized experience than they have.
In the face of a perceived anti-military bias, veterans in the civilian job market may downplay their military experience. In fact, 47 percent of post-9/11 veterans have understated or excluded their military service on their resume or online job application. Among those who have understated or hidden their military experience, 44 percent were concerned their military service would negatively impact the hiring decision.
Even after being hired, veterans can still experience a career slump. Among those who have been employed post-discharge, 59 percent of post-9/11 veterans believe they have fewer advancement opportunities than expected and 58 percent feel their work was less meaningful than their military service, and 54 percent feel overqualified for their position.
According to a recent survey of employers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), leadership, strong work ethic, problem-solving skills, and ability to work in a team were among the top six skills employers seek on a candidate’s resume.
Leadership is something that comes naturally for many veterans – and companies can tap into this if they have a strong mentorship program says the ICIMS study. In fact, 93 percent of post-9/11 veterans would be willing to serve as a mentor to a civilian employee, for example, teaching skills they learned in the military and how they can be applied to the workplace.
Forty four percent of veterans feel they have a strong work ethic, 35 percent say they have good problem-solving skills, 28 percent report they have great adaptability, 26 percent said they work well in a team environment and 24 percent report they excel in organization and discipline.
If you’re looking for the best and the brightest veterans to join your team, keep in mind the job qualities post-9/11 veterans say would most attract them to a company: salary or employee benefits (67 percent), advancement or promotion opportunities (58 percent) and on-the-job training opportunities (32 percent).
Where to Find Job-Seeking Veterans
General job boards such as Indeed or CareerBuilder are the most popular among job-seeking post-9/11 veterans with 61 percent looking for jobs on them, followed by government websites (45 percent) and career websites of specific companies (42 percent). While our research has shown that many jobs seekers now use social media to search for and apply to jobs, surprisingly only two percent of veterans said they use these sites to look for open jobs.
“Executive recruiters can also help military personnel transition out to the civilian business community to land jobs, especially in an era of tightening labor supplies,” reports Greenwich, Conn-based talent tracking firm Hunt Scanlon Media. The U.S. military is a workforce similar to any other major corporation that goes through an expansion or contraction. Leveraging their human assets during times of contraction, such as now, is a strategic business move for companies looking to bolster talent reserves in areas as diverse as supply chain, cyber security and logistics to name just a few.
What Employers Can Do to Improve
Even when companies recruit and hire veterans, they may be failing to make the most of their talents and experience. Disappointingly, 63 percent of employed post-9/11 veterans believe they use 50 percent or less of the job skills they learned in the military. This could be causing frustration and even boredom for veterans transitioning to civilian jobs. By gaining an understanding of the top skills veterans hold, employers can tap into this talent and ensure they are providing a challenging and rewarding career path.
Employers are still missing the mark when it comes to building out great veteran hiring programs and continuing to improve them. In fact, 89 percent of post-9/11 veterans who have been employed post-discharge have never been asked by an employer or prospective employer for their feedback regarding its veteran hiring program. In order to recruit and retain veteran top talent, employers need to be asking for feedback about the application, interview, and employee onboarding processes to make sure they are not missing the mark.
Below are three tips on how to put these insights into action with technology:
1. Monitor and Adjust Sourcing Strategies – In order to make an organization more visible, employers should regularly use multiple channels to discover which sources are most effective. Employers can make open positions easy to discover by advertising where candidates are looking, such as government websites or veteran job boards. Dedicated talent acquisition technology helps companies more effectively build candidate pipelines with automation and ease. Companies of all sizes can explore and test candidate outreach channels to attract more candidates and reduce their time to fill. Employers should partner with a technology provider that allows for a seamless flow of information from multiple vendors into a single talent acquisition system of record.
2. Encourage Employee Referrals – Leverage your existing veteran employees’ networks and encourage them to refer others to your open positions. Part of the reason employee referrals are considered so successful by employers is because they are effective at attracting talent that easily fits into a company’s existing culture. By capitalizing on employee networks, companies can enhance their ability to compete for veteran talent.
3. Promote Your Employment Brand – In order to market your organization as an employer of choice for veterans, companies need to build their employment brand in the military community. Allow candidates to sign up for email communications and automate the process with a recruitment marketing tool. Produce veteran facing recruitment marketing email campaigns that highlight the veterans who work in your organization and what they have accomplished while working for you. Address why your company is interested in recruiting veterans and clearly outline how a military background is a good fit for your open positions.
“It is evident that there is a disconnect and a lack of understanding between veterans and employers,” Ms. Vitale concluded. “Our servicemen and women, who have received some of the most sophisticated training and experience and have made extreme sacrifices for our country, are having trouble gaining job security, stability, and a sense of purpose as civilian workers. By gaining more awareness of the top skills veterans hold, employers will be more equipped to tap into this talent and create mutually beneficial relationships with candidates who have served.”
Employers That Are Doing It Right
According to MilitaryTimes, the top five employers for veterans in 2016 were Verizon, Union Pacific Railroad, USAA, PwC, and BAE Systems.
Scott A. Scanlon is founding chairman and CEO of Hunt Scanlon Media. Based in Greenwich, Conn., Scott serves as Editor-in-Chief of Hunt Scanlon's daily newswires, its recruiting industry reports and Executive Search Review.
This blog first appeared at http://huntscanlon.com/
Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503
I grew up in the 80s. Rock and roll, in all flavors, was part of my DNA. Especially the heavy stuff. From Joan Jett to Anthrax to The Misfits to Yngwie Malmsteen, crunchy chords and killer solos were my thing. I played guitar (my favorite being a purple Charvel I upgraded more than my BMX bike). I had a Carvin half-stack amp in my garage that shook the small Cleveland suburb I grew up in. I even did a short stint in a band called Terror (seriously).
Point being, I loved rock music and the stars that performed it. It was a big part of my life and it let me express myself in a myriad of ways – most of them a bit reckless. Like most people, though, I lived and learned through it.
James Bond has a license to kill. Rockstars have a license to be outrageous.”
– Gene SimmonsBack to the future, I come across a job postings for a “rockstar” designer, developer, producer, or the like every week. Each time I roll my eyes. No, that's not quite right. I actually close my eyes and let out a long painful sigh at the thought of actually having to work with a rockstar, regardless of their area of expertise.
It sounds cool, I guess, to suggest that someone is a rockstar-caliber candidate. But let’s explore the association between what the label rockstar really implies and what employers and coworkers really want. Because, frankly, I just don’t see the match.
For the record, I’m not suggesting every rockstar is a mess. But the general connotation – or the ‘persona’ as my UX friends call it, or the ‘archetype’ as Carl Jung called it – simply isn't loaded with positive traits for being a desirable teammate.
Play along with me on this one.
It's just me myself and I:Rockstars generally come across as egocentric, impulsive, and out of control. They often thrive at being the center of attention and can do some extremely selfish things in the name of fame and personal success. They have also been known to do very irrational and dangerous things when reality throws them a curve ball.
Think of all the rockstars who took their own lives. Or the ones arrested for assault, drug use, and even violent crimes. Or the ones that couldn’t get along with the rest of the band – which resulted in a nasty breakup. I don’t want to call out anyone by name for fear of some slander-based lawsuit, but if your memory isn’t rich with the topic just Google rockstar and: suicide; drugs; money; assault; or any other negatively-associated keyword. The results are seemingly endless.
When we weren't being transcendent we specialized in self-inflicted disaster.”
― Saul Hudson aka Slash
In all of this there’s a sense of irresponsibility that pervades the term rockstar.
Great teammates aren’t irresponsible or saturated with selfishness. Their personal needs aren’t placed above those of the team around them, which is core to why they’re a valued team player and trusted partner. They look out for one another. They're dependable, supportive, and continually looking for ways of making things better for themselves and those around them. One could even say they’re somewhat predictable in their reactions when things get tough: They step up. These are the types of traits I want to elicit when I look for a new employee.
I want you to want me:Rockstars often live for validation from other people. Great teammates don't.
I suspect that fear is a driver for a lot of rockstars. Fear of being what they were as a child; fear of being ‘normal’ like their friends and family back in Iowa; fear of failure; fear of not having enough of, well, everything. Way up high they can't bear the thought of coming back down to the rest us.
Fear and insecurities often manifest as putting other people down in order to rise above them. We'll see rockstars wearing lavish clothing and expensive jewelry, owning a stable of exotic and expensive cars, and getting into trouble with their behavior. (Ironically, they buy all of this stuff with what once was our money and flaunt it right back in our faces. Remember this the next time you ‘can't afford’ something.)
Great teammates don't elevate themselves above the team around them. Their genuine connections are built on personal relationships, with a focus on raising the team collectively. Sure, everyone has different motivators, personalities, and flair for fashion – and healthy competition within the office environment can be very constructive. But the underlying reason great teammates may separate themselves from the pack is different from rockstars. Self expression is important whereas self worship is toxic.
Simply put, being one among many, as an equal, is a critical condition for being a great teammate, and a leader. I think a healthy indifference of what others think about them is the root reason for this – from interns to CEOs alike.
What other people think of me is none of my business. One of the highest places you can get to is being independent of the good opinions of other people.”
– Dr. Wayne DyerBeing true to one's self while doing amazing work with other people is an intrinsic motivator for great teammates. I highly advise you include this type of language, implicitly or explicitly, in all your job postings.
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto:Look, I don’t follow modern pop culture. I’m stuck in the 80s when it comes to music, games, and, well, general awesomeness. I still own and play an Atari 2600, and I consider WarGames and Ghostbusters to be some of the best movies ever made. So I'm clearly a bit disconnected.
But I did catch wind of the recent Grammy Awards, and was thrilled to hear about Beck being recognized for album of the year. Watching several weeks later on a video site, I saw a man genuinely surprised and out of place on stage; a wonderfully talented musician amongst a sea of new-era rockstar entertainers. When he gave credit and thanks to others involved in achieving this award I actually believed him! Quite unique in an environment set up for the famous to feel even more famous amongst themselves, and where swift, half-hearted thanks are often given to the dozens if not hundreds of people who actually made these entertainers the center of attention they have become.
My point here is that rockstars generally take credit for the hard work of others. In reality they're the front-person for a much lesser-known and lesser-paid supporting cast who really should be getting a lot more recognition (and money).
Credit is something that should be given to others. If you are in a position to give credit to yourself, then you do not need it.”
– F. Scott FitzgeraldRockstars also attract weaker-minded people to them like groupies and paparazzi who only fuel the flames of their illusion of importance. Sure, they're tools of the much larger industry of entertainment – but I would bet that a large number of celebrities actually believe that they're more important than others around them. There are millions of photos and news articles to support this.
But thinking you're better than other people is very different than being great at what you do.
Great teammates learn to take praise and compliments with a grain of salt. I think they have an inner knowing that their successes relied on the efforts of many others around them. They’ve demonstrated to me that, while they take pride and credit (and accountability) for their work, they're the first to point out the contributions of others on their team.
That said, thank you Virginia Raike for the proofread and edits to this article!
Going full circle, I hope you see why I say don't hire rockstars, hire great teammates. Rockstars are great at breaking up our routines. They're great at getting on the news, getting noticed, and giving us something to talk about – and sometimes they're even great at making music. But being a professional career partner just isn't their specialty; and the label isn't a positive one in team environments.
That's my advice, take it or leave it. But consider this: The next time you post a job for that rockstar candidate, you just might get what you're asking for.
Gunter gleiben glauchen globen.
Originally Posted on Linked In By:
On my lunch break, I took the only open seat at a small three-person table. After quick greetings the two ladies already seated continued their conversation. Since we sat so closely I couldn't help but overhear.
At first I felt awkward; it's no fun trying to pretend you're not listening when you can't help but overhear. But they immediately noticed my discomfort and smiled and nodded at me to make me feel included.
So I listened and was fascinated.
They talked about how they felt a huge responsibility to their employees, not just financially but also in terms of training, development, and personal fulfillment. They talked about how a contract may start a business relationship but ensuring both parties succeed is the only way to keep a business relationship from ending all too soon.
Most of all, though, they talked about themselves -- but in a way I never hear.
"I feel like I'm failing one of my managers," one said. "He does a good job, but the way he does it is so different from the way I I would. So I wind up critiquing his 'style' instead of just focusing on the results he achieves."
"I know exactly what you mean," the other said. "But I have the opposite problem. I have an employee I know has potential, but I can't seem to reach him. No matter how hard I try I can't find a way to see things from his perspective. It's like we're constantly butting heads."
"Will you have to let him go?" she was asked.
"I should, but I just can't do it," she answered. "At least not yet. How do I fire someone when I think it's my fault they aren't performing well?"
And they kept talking. They talked about how they felt guilty they weren't developing their employees more, but resources were just too tight. They talked about how they felt guilty for not spending more time with certain members of their staffs, yet the need to fight fires always got in the way. They talked about constantly trying to balance business with family, and how, no matter what they did, they could never escape feeling they were letting both sides down.
To say I was stunned was an understatement. It was clear these two women had just met, yet there they were admitting to weaknesses -- not in a faux self-deprecating way, but openly and honestly.
How many people do you know that readily admit to falling short where leadership and professional relationships are concerned? (And when someone does admit that, how many people respond thoughtfully, compassionately, and without judgment?)
Instead practicality tends to dominate our business discussions. We talk, especially with people we don't know particularly well, almost exclusively about strategies and technologies, metrics and analytics, big data and big ideas.
Practicality is everything -- in not only our public conversations but often also in our private thoughts.
My lunch companions appreciated a different kind of discussion. They clearly felt the fundamentals of business are found not in data, or strategy, or finance but in the emotions, the experiences, the skills and faults and strengths and weaknesses of people.
Business, to them, was all about leading, following, and working with people... something that is all too easy to forget.
Hats off to them.
And hats off to all of you who work so hard to make the lives of other people better -- since, after all, that's what great leaders do best.
Originally Posted on Linked In By:Jeff Haden
During my “Corner Office” interviews, I always make sure to pose these questions to CEOs: “How do you hire? What qualities are you looking for? What questions do you ask?”Over the course of more than 250 interviews, I’ve heard some surprising answers, particularly about the questions they ask job candidates.
After all, these leaders face a clear challenge when they meet with prospective hires: Most of the people they meet have been coached and trained to come up with the “right” answers to questions, so that they can present a blemish-free and upbeat narrative about their career. And so, when they are asked about their weaknesses, candidates will inevitably try to turn a
negative into a positive, as in, “I care too much.” Or, “I’m a perfectionist.”
Or, “I work too hard.” The CEOs have heard them all before, and the answers can
sound like Muzak after a while.
And so the CEOs have had to devise clever questions to get people off their
scripts. I’ve come to think of them as “bank shot” questions that get around the
façade that people present, so that they can get a sense of what the person is
really like, and how self-aware the candidate is.
Here are a few particularly interesting examples -- the first one is from Tony Hsieh of
One of our interview questions is, literally, on a scale of 1 to 10,
how weird are you? If you’re a 1, you’re probably a little bit too strait-laced
for us. If you’re a 10, you might be too psychotic for us. It’s not so much the
number; it’s more seeing how candidates react to a question. Because our whole
belief is that everyone is a little weird somehow, so it’s really more just a
fun way of saying that we really recognize and celebrate each person’s
individuality, and we want their true personalities to shine in the workplace
environment, whether it’s with co-workers or when talking with
Here's another question that Hsieh asks in interviews:
'If you had to name something, what would you say is the biggest
misperception that people have of you?' Then the follow-up question I usually
ask is, 'What’s the difference between misperception and perception?' After all,
perception is perception. It's a combination of how self-aware people are and
how honest they are. I think if someone is self-aware, then they can always
continue to grow. If they're not self-aware, I think it's harder for them to
evolve or adapt beyond who they already are."
This notion of honesty and self-awareness are tough qualities to get at in an
interview, but here's an interesting approach from Wendy Lea of Get
Here’s my favorite interviewing question: 'Let’s assume we’ve worked
together now for six months. There’s something that I’m going to observe of you
that I have no idea about right now. What would that be?' And it could be good
or bad. I’ll let them decide. It forces them to clean out their closet a little
bit. The human condition is so complex. I’m not a zipped-up girl. I have moods.
I have emotion. I need people to show me their own complexity, because if they
don’t have any, they may freak out with me. I might hear, 'Well, you might
notice I get overwhelmed.' And I’ll say, 'What would be the circumstances that
would put you in that state?' This is not a formula, but it does help me
understand how self-aware they are. I had one person say: 'I think you would be
surprised that I’m as decisive as I am. People think I’m not because I’m kind of
easygoing, but I’m more decisive than I look.'”
And here's a great way to get at the question of somebody's weaknesses,
without falling into the trap of predictable answers, from Seth Besmertnik, the CEO
I ask people where they want to be in the future. They tell
me, and then I say, 'Do you think you’re going to be different then than you are
today?' And they’ll usually say, 'Of course I’m going to be different.' Then
I’ll say: 'So how are you going to grow from the person you are today to the
person you are then? Where do you most need to grow to achieve where you need to
go?' This is a very indirect way of asking people what they need to work on.
From that answer, you get a strong sense of a person’s confidence. If people are
confident, they’re willing to admit weaknesses and insecurities. And you get a
sense of how self-aware they are."
What do people think of these questions? How would you answer these
Originally Posted On LinkedIn By: Adam Bryant
Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503
A "cross-functional project" is a synonym for "nightmare project" in any corporate. One has to remain on guard from so-called cross-functional team members. And be very cautious and politically bolted in communications. The term 'team' is a misnomer there.
A team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other. - Simon SinekCross-functional teams are the fundamental weak link for all development methods (lean, agile, kanban, waterfall etc.). Its inefficiency deprives these methods of realizing their full execution benefits. The credibility of the development method itself goes down. Despite the root problem was in the team dynamics.
Cross-functional teams - "Complete your assigned tasks."These teams are present in all projects involving different departments. The representatives from different departments work together. They play their defined part in a larger project and do not need to worry about other counterparts tasks. The final outcome is not everyone's responsibility.
Characteristics of typical Cross-Functional Teams:
Solver Teams - "Sail and sink together. Get-Shit-Done!!"Solver team is a self-sufficient set of people who are tasked to 'Solve' a defined problem. Together they are accountable for the outcome.
It is called 'Solver' team, as the intent is to solve a problem, not just build features. Often a problem can be solved just by using docs, spreadsheets or even pen-paper itself. The success metric is same for all team members. This motivates members to help each other and avoid failing together.
Characteristics of Solver Teams -
*P.S. - Solver teams concept was conceived in the early hyper growth and expansion phase at OYO. Phase in which OYO grew from ~5 to 200 cities, ~50 to 6000 hotels, from few to ~3000 employees. Now it is also powering the violent execution at Knowlarity, as it gets set to conquer the cloud communications space.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Ajay Shrivastava
Co-written with Simon Howard of DRYVER.
It seems to be that everywhere we look, there is a new title for a similar role. We’ve seen VP of HR, People and Culture, Happiness, and People. We’ve seen titles that have ‘Ninja’ in them, and organizations that are stripping titles as much as they can. Some organizations are expanding the role of HR faster than others, but one thing seems to be consistent: HR is changing, and the role is only getting more important.
After various hackathons with leaders in the HR space, research on the subject, and experiences we’ve had through the work we are doing at DRYVER, it seems that in many cases, Human Resources is the Hermit Crab that has moved out of its smaller shell an into a much, much bigger one.
Traditionally, the role of HR has, of course, been to look at recruiting, on-boarding, training, benefits, pay, holidays, conflicts, rewards in the workplace, and so on. And while these roles are no less important today, there are often additional responsibilities that many employees in the space have now. In some cases, we would go as far as saying that HR is moving to be included in a larger operations role, while still being focused on people.
Diving in a little further, it became glaringly apparent that employee experience in the workplace is far more important than it was in the past. There is more accessibility to information than we’ve seen before, and as a result, there is more awareness as to where we can be working and why. In many cases, we no longer chase jobs just for the skills to do them, but for the experience at work and the life we are able to live as a result.
And so how does HR play into this evolution of the workplace and how we communicate it?
1. Organization Design
Having HR be at the table for the creation of the organization design or structure is really important in ensuring that people have the resources available to do their best work possible. We’ve seen many articles and books (a great one being Flat Army by Dan Pontefract) that explain that a traditional structure may not be as effective as it once was.
Let’s take an accountant working at a big firm, for an example, and compare it to an accountant working at a golf course, one who works in government, and another who does the books for a restaurant down the street. Though the jobs may be quite similar, how are we articulating the value of the job and the purpose behind it? Purpose is, and will continue to be a great differentiator between companies, especially when skills aren’t.
3. Employee Experience
Perhaps this isn’t as drastic of an evolution as the others, but as we see overall tenure decreasing the the workplace, and the need for a sense of community and belonging increase, there has to be more of an emphasis if we are to keep our best employees. Work has to be something that is bigger than just a 9-5 that we punch in and out of; it has to be an experience where we build community with people that share similar values, wants needs, and expectations.
And so as we see the workplace evolves, and realize that people are the foundation of any business, the role of HR has to continue to expand. Understanding how we differentiate our companies from our competitors, in many cases, comes to the people and the experience on the job. HR is, of course, at the centre of this.
So as you have likely noticed, a lot of the HR groups we work with really embrace their new roles within the respective organizations. Does this mean that the organization is evolving though? Not necessarily. The people in these roles are very good at what they do, but already have full time jobs. A primary reason people bring organizations like DRYVER in is often to help with implementation. Once created, it is easier for them to take the lead.
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Originally posted on Linked IN by:Eric Termuende
What do you need to learn to continue to be successful in your profession as we look to the future? This is a question that keeps many people, and definitely me, on edge and wanting to make sure that I don't fall behind.
How do I keep current? What are the skills that I need to enhance to remain on top of my game? What new proficiencies do I need to master?Over the course of my career, I have always asked myself those questions and I have tried to be focused on new developments along with gaining expertise with new techniques, technology advancements, and new approaches to doing my work better.
This week, The Learning Blog from LinkedIn published this article, These Are the Skills of the Future. They spent, "more than three months interviewing more than 39 experts across 10 industries and asked them,”
"What skills do you believe will become increasingly more important to your industry over the next five years? Why?"
So with full disclosure here, I was one of the people they asked about, The Future of Sales. It was interesting how each of the sales professionals queried came up with very similar comments about the skills necessary although we did each have our own take on things.
No matter what our profession is, I think it ties back to the critical importance of lifelong learning. If we are to be ready for the future we must be #AlwaysBeLearning new skills. The article makes this very important statement that applies to all of us.
Preparing for the future requires a commitment to learningI am a firm believer in this and a few months ago I posted this article that is now updated with a free video from one of my LinkedIn Learning Courses. Always Be Learning: It's a Nice Idea If We Actually Do It Open up the link and watch what I have to say about lifelong learning.
Frankly, I believe #AlwaysBeLearning should be a mantra for all of us.
Here's a complete list of the 10 industries and the link to each for, "Skills of the Future." #FutureSkills
The Future of Sales
The Future of Tech and IT
The Future of Marketing
The Future of Creative
The Future of Human Resources
The Future of Learning and Development
The Future of Management
The Future of Project Management
The Future of Business Leadership
To help all of us get started, LinkedIn Learning has this great offer! You can view courses for a week without giving your credit card. Candidly we would all be foolish if we didn't take advantage of this. Then you have an additional 30 days of viewing before your credit is charged.
So, the question really becomes. What are you waiting for? You can get ready for the future today. Agree?
Dean Karrel a career and executive coach and LinkedIn Learning author. Dean has worked in sales management and leadership positions for a number of major global publishing companies.
#AlwaysBeLearning #FutureSkills #LinkedInLearning
Originally posted on Linked In By: Dean Karrel
About Artificial Intelligence:
Artificial Intelligence is the science and engineering of creating intelligent machines or computer programs, this is how the father of artificial intelligence John Mc Carthy defines or describes it. It is one of the most effectual ways of making an adept and beyond belief computer, a robot controlled by computer, or software which seizes an aptitude and potential to think smartly.
AI woks on the principal of how a human brain thinks, learn, decide, and work in different situations or problems; it is a research wherein once the desired outcome is attained, is then used in creating extremely intelligent softwares and systems which can be of a great use. If we look at the two basic goals of AI, they are to create expert systems and implementing human intelligence in machines.
It is so effective that it can be used in any sphere, and can do wonders if used in the education sector.
Using Artificial Intelligence in Education:
Following are the things which Artificial Intelligence can do for Teachers and Students:
1. Enhancing Adaptive Learning: For good number of years adaptive learning has left an amazing mark in the education sector across the nation. Using Artificial Intelligence in order to augment the excellence of adaptive learning which fundamentally is using various software, programs, games that can assist students learn with no trouble and efficiently, can do wonders in the teaching as well as learning process. It will help the students master many topics or skills which they’ll be able to learn repetitively with the help of AI.
2. Recuperating Course Structure: It is not always possible for the teachers to be aware about the gap in their lectures which leads to students being perplexed about different topics, that’s where AI steps in and can actually lend a hand to the teachers to get over such hitches. One example of such an effective system is Coursera, which is already helping many teachers bridge the gap and administer their lessons effectively.
3. Attaining Suitable feedback: Where it can help the teachers and students in creating and indulging the course effortlessly, and customizing it according to their requirements, it can also endow them with a feedback about the efficacy of the course. The schools which are tech savvy these days are already using effective AI systems to scrutinize the student performance and alerting the teacher about the same.
Such AI systems can help the students to get lucidity of concepts, and can help teachers advance the mode of their instruction which can help the students who struggle with diverse subjects or topics.
4. Amending the role of teachers: Teachers are an imperative part of education system and will always be, AI can help them transform themselves into amazing facilitators. AI could be adapted in many aspects of teaching, if the teachers will get used to this remarkable system they can help their students conquer myriad problems related to a topic or subject as there are plentiful AI lessons which can aid them in doing so. Artificial Intelligence is being used in most of the schools that are following the flipped classroom model, and can be used by anybody who have an impulse for making teaching and learning effectual. It can also help the teachers in the grading system, and make it easy for them to work on that exacting area.
Apart from them AI can be used in other areas as well, as it is a valuable and smart mechanism to attain the finest yet desired results if used aptly.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Tina Sobti
Courage is the quality that distinguishes great leaders from excellent managers.
Over the past decade, I have worked with and studied more than 200 CEOs of major companies through board service, consulting, and research as a member of Harvard Business School’s faculty. I’ve found the defining characteristic of the best ones is courage to make bold moves that transform their businesses.
Courageous leaders take risks that go against the grain of their organizations. They make decisions with the potential for revolutionary change in their markets. Their boldness inspires their teams, energizes customers, and positions their companies as leaders in societal change.
The dictionary definition of courage is “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear.” Courageous leaders lead with principles–their True North–that guide them when pressure mounts. They don’t shirk bold actions because they fear failure. They don’t need external adulation, nor do they shrink from facing criticism.
Courage is neither an intellectual quality, nor can it be taught in the classroom. It can only be gained through multiple experiences involving personal risk-taking. Courage comes from the heart. As Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh once said, “The longest journey you will ever take is the 18 inches from your head to your heart.”
It takes bold decisions to build great global companies. If businesses are managed without courageous leadership, then R&D programs, product pipelines, investments in emerging markets, and employees’ commitment to the company’s mission all wither. These organizations can slip into malaise and may eventually fail, even if their leaders can move on to avoid being held accountable.
Why do some leaders lack courage? Many CEOs focus too much on managing to hit their numbers. They avoid making risky decisions that may make them look bad in the eyes of peers and external critics. Often, they eschew major decisions because they fear failure. I know, because it happened to me.
In my first year as CEO of Medtronic, I passed up the opportunity to buy a rapidly growing angioplasty company because it faced patent and pricing risks. While those risks proved valid, Boston Scientific bought the company instead, transforming both enterprises and creating a formidable competitor for Medtronic. I didn’t have the courage to accept short-term risk to create long-term gain. It took Medtronic two decades of expensive research and development programs and additional acquisitions to become the leader in this field.
Let’s look at some recent examples of courageous leaders whose actions transformed their companies:
Alan Mulally When Mulally arrived at Ford, he found a depleted organization losing $18 billion that year and unwilling to address its fundamental issues. To retool Ford’s entire product line and automate its factories, Mulally borrowed $23.5 billion, convincing the Ford family to pledge its stock and the famous Ford Blue Oval as collateral. His bold move paid off. Unlike its Detroit competitors, Ford avoided bankruptcy, regained market share, and returned to profitability.
Mary Barra In contrast to Mulally, General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner and his predecessors refused to transform GM’s product line, even as the company’s North American market share slid from 50 percent in the 1970s to 18 percent. When the automobile market collapsed in late 2008, Wagoner was forced to ask President George W. Bush to bail the company out. Even so, GM declared bankruptcy months later.
Mary Barra, GM’s CEO since 2014, demonstrates the difference courage can make. Immediately after her appointment, she testified before a hostile Senate investigating committee about deaths from failed ignition switches on Chevrolet Camaros. Rather than make excuses, Barra took responsibility for the problems and went further to attribute them to “GM’s cultural problems.” Three years later, she is well on her way to transforming GM’s moribund, finance-driven culture into a dynamic, accountable organization focused on building quality vehicles worldwide.
Paul Polman When Polman became Unilever’s CEO in early 2009, he immediately began transforming the company, declaring bold goals to double revenues and generate 70 percent from emerging markets. He aligned 175,000 employees around sustainability, publishing the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan with well-defined metrics the following year. Polman’s efforts in his first eight years returned 214 percent to Unilever shareholders. Nevertheless, Kraft Heinz, owned by Brazilian private equity firm 3G, made a hostile bid to acquire Unilever on February 17, 2017. Polman immediately wheeled into action, convincing KHC to drop its bid two days later. Then he announced seven bold moves to enhance shareholder value without compromising the company’s ambitious long-term plans.
In comparison, Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld quickly capitulated when confronted by activist Nelson Peltz in 2012. He wanted to split Kraft’s global business by spinning off its North American grocery products unit, which Rosenfeld wound up leading as an international business renamed Mondelez. Without the ability to access global markets, the old Kraft went into a period of decline, making it vulnerable to 3G’s 2015 takeover; meanwhile, Mondelez is adrift with declining revenues and earnings.
Indra Nooyi: Named CEO of PepsiCo in 2006, Nooyi foresaw the coming shift among consumers, especially the millennial generation, to healthier foods and beverages. She immediately introduced PepsiCo’s strategy “Performance with Purpose,” that focuses on complementing the company’s core soft drink and snack business with healthy foods and beverages. In 2013, PepsiCo was challenged by activist Peltz to split the company, but Nooyi steadfastly refused. Instead, she restructured her leadership team to deliver strong near-term performance while continuing to invest in her transformation strategy.
Nooyi’s arch-rival, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, decided instead to concentrate on sugar-based soft drinks while ignoring these obvious trends. As a result, Coca-Cola’s performance has consistently lagged PepsiCo’s. Since 2011, PepsiCo stock is up 70 percent, while Coca-Cola’s has increased only 15 percent.
The courage cohort
There are literally thousands of competent managers who can run organizations efficiently using pre-determined operating plans, but few with the courage to transform entire enterprises.
The courage cohort includes Delta’s Richard Anderson, Starbucks’ Howard Schultz, Xerox’s Anne Mulcahy and Ursula Burns, Nestle’s Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Novartis’ Dan Vasella, Tesla’s Elon Musk, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Merck’s Ken Frazier, and Alibaba’s Jack Ma. They join the growing list of authentic leaders that have made courageous decisions to build great global companies.
To quote poet Maya Angelou, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently.” Boards of directors need to examine their leaders carefully to determine if they have the courage to navigate their organizations through turbulent times while enduring hardship, risk, and criticism to ensure they are building sustainable enterprises./p>
With more courageous leaders like those cited above, the business world will be able to create enormous value for all its stakeholders.
Bill George is Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School, former Chair & CEO of Medtronic, and author of Discover Your True North.
This content was originally posted on HBSWK.hbs.edu on 4/24/17.
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