What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010

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These are the key personal and professional development articles published on the OTM Academy online community http://www.otmacademy.com between July 1st - September 30th 2010.
Author - Gary Ryan

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
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What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010

  1. 1. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 By Gary Ryan
  2. 2. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 – is a compilation of selected articles from The Organisations That Matter Learning Network from July 1st 2010 until September 30th 2010 By Gary Ryan Published by What Really Matters Publishing c/- Organisations That Matter Level 8, 350 Collins Street Melbourne, Victoria 3166 AUSTRALIA Phone +61 3 8676 0637 E-mail: gary@orgsthatmatter.com Copyright © 2010 Gary Ryan, Organisations That Matter® All effort was made to render this ebook free from error and omission. However, the author, publisher, editor, their employees or agents shall not accept responsibility for injury, loss or damage to any person or body or organisation acting or refraining from such action as a result of material in this book, whether or not such injury, loss or damage is in any way due to any negligent act or omission, breach of duty, or default on the part of the author, publisher, editor or their employees or agents. A note about ebooks Ebooks provide a special function that traditional books cannot provide. The links in this ebook are ‘live’, so if you read the ebook while online, you can immediately access the reference material.                      
  3. 3. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 1, 2010 Who should read this ebook? This ebook is for people who are interested in personal and professional development, specifically as it relates to achieving career aspirations and enabling the organisations within which we work to be better places for human beings. This ebook represents articles from the third quarter of 2010 from The Organisations That Matter Learning Network. To join The Organisations That Matter Learning Network please follow this link. Thank You! Thank you to all our members of The Organisations That Matter Learning Network. We hope that you will receive great value from this collection of articles compiled in the third quarter of 2010. Please respect our copyright. This means that if you are a member of The Organisations That Matter Learning Network you have our permission to share this ebook with your friends and to invite them to join our community so that they too can enjoy this book. Best wishes! Gary Ryan
  4. 4. Table of contents OTM Service Strategy® 1 Aker saga highlights the challenges of the 'Specialist' team role 3 Are you prepared to be vulnerable? 6 How ʻawareʼ are you? 9 Is the word 'customer' right for you? 10 Ben Cousins' documentary highlights the importance of balance 11 Service excellence guides resource allocation 13 Understanding expectations - it is where great service starts 14 Beyond a ʻOne Page Plan For Personal Successʼ 15 Step 1 15 Step 2 16 Step 3 16 Step 4 16 How 'Leadership moments' develop your capacity to lead 17 AFL Grand Final Draw Calls For Simple Leadership 19 Why low risk projects are a smart leadership tool 21 Step 1 21 Step 2 21 Step 3 21 Step 4 22 What are you excited about? 23 University Student Group-Work Starter Course 24 Online Courses 25
  5. 5. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 1, 2010 Webinars 25 What Really Matters For Young Professionals! 26 Online Checklist 26 This product is both for Young Professionals and/or their employers 26 About Gary Ryan 28
  6. 6. OTM Service Strategy® Over many years we have experimented and developed our own model for service excellence. Our model includes six re-enforcing elements. Like any re-enforcing model, when performed correctly the model creates a virtuous cycle (things get better and better). On the flip side, if any of the elements are missing or not performed correctly, the model generates a vicious cycle, that is things get worse and worse. The six elements of our model include: Understanding Expectations Service Standards Develop & Recruit Listen Measure & Respond Recognise, Reward & Celebrate. Each element includes a series of sub-elements, the contents of which provide the detail for implementing each of the six core elements. At the highest level the model itself is a story. In order to best serve your customers you need to understand their expectations. Once their expectations are understood the organisation can create appropriate service standards that will give the organisations the best possible chance to meet and/or exceed the expectations of its customers. Existing staff need to be developed so that they have the capacity to meet/exceed customer expectations and the organisations recruitment processes musty give it the best possible chance to attract appropriate people to the organisation. 1
  7. 7. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 1, 2010 Everyone must listen. Management need to listen to staff, staff to management, everyone to their stakeholders, colleague to colleague, department to department and everyone to their customers. The organisation must then be able to measure how it is performing against its service standards and be able to swiftly respond if it discovers that it is off course. Finally, the organisation as a whole must be excellent at recognising, rewarding and celebrating great service. A culture that celebrates great service will re-enforce the importance of understanding expectations and the cycle continues. The OTM Service Strategy is supported by a 50 point assessment tool that can be used to asses an organisation's current practice of service excellence. Please feel free to comment on this article or to share your approach to providing service excellence on a consistent basis. Please feel free to comment on this article. 2
  8. 8. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 Aker saga highlights the challenges of the 'Specialist' team role The sacking this week of professional footballer, Brownlow medalist and three time premiership player Jason Akermanis by the Western Bulldogs (Australian Football League) highlights the challenges of being a 'specialist'. Meredith R Belbin (www.belbin.com) has conducted a vast amount of research and written many books on the subject of creating effective teams. Belbin's nine team- roles include a role known as the 'Specialist'. A Specialist is a person who has exceptional and rare technical skills that the rest of the team do not possess. However, a specialist has a very narrow focus and tends not to be interested in the many facets of being in a team that are being their role as a specialist. Teams are able to tolerate specialists because of their technical brilliance, but that tolerance can come at a cost when the team members are not aware of their various personal team role preferences. This is one of the reasons why we advocate that teams should be aware of the various preferences of the individual members who participate in the team. Belbin's research shows that teams can be successful when a specialist is in the team. However, the specialist MUST be a true specialist (that is, they must possess a current skill or technical ability that is currently rare and outstanding) and the rest of the team MUST be able to accept that they will 'play' to different rules than the rest of the team. Jason Akermanis (Aker) is an example of a 'used to be specialist'. There is no doubt that for much of his career he displayed a rare and exceptional skill set. So much so that his individual approach was sustained by the teams with whom he played. However, as he aged and his career progressed, his specialist technical 3
  9. 9. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 skills became less rare and his ageing body found it harder and harder to perform at such a high level of individual talent. As this occurred the tolerance of the rest of the team to him 'not playing by the rest of the team's rules' became less and less. Until, of course, the tolerance for his 'specialist behaviours' could no longer be outweighed by his lack of 'specialist' performance. In other words, the progress of the game and Aker's age eventually caught up with him - he was no longer a true specialist, yet he continued to behave like one (which, of course is his preference so he was unlikely to change. In addition, he had in fact been justifiably rewarded for such behaviour for 325 games, reducing further the probability that he would change his behaviour.) If you watched the 'Footy Show' on Thursday night many of Aker's comments were consistent with those of the 'specialist' team role. He mentioned that he wasn't very interested in the feedback process meetings and that he still considered that all that mattered was how he performed on the training track and in games. This is exactly how a specialist views the world and there is nothing wrong with that. Except, of course, when the 'specialist' no longer performs to the exceptional standards of a current day 'specialist'. Belbin's research highlights that a person can have a preference for a role and no longer 'perform' according to the expectations of that team role preference. Belbin goes on to say that the most damaging condition that reduces a team's performance is when a team member has what is known as an 'incoherent team role preference'. This means that the person's team role preference is NOT how they behave. This underpins the great challenge of being a specialist. The minute you know longer display rare and exceptional technical ability, no longer are you a true specialist. The very nature of specialists is that they are unlikely to see this change themselves. They will still see themselves as a specialist and will therefore display the characteristics of an 'incoherent team-role preference.' Another challenge of the specialist team role is that Belbin recommends team sizes of no more than ten members. AFL squads include 40 team members when 'rookies' are included. Such a large team size increases the challenges of working with specialists because the increase in numbers also increases the chances that a number of tthe team members will not like having to tolerate the 'individual first' approach of the specialist. In other words, specialists must have other team role 4
  10. 10. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 preferences that they can also behave in alignment with, so that they aren’t ‘just a specialist’ if they are to survive as team numbers grow. The challenge of course for elite sport is that specialists have, over time, contributed to team success. I do wonder if the evolution of the AFL is such that the specialist team role preference (if that is the only functional preference of the team member) is unlikely to be sustainable for long periods as the challenges of working with a specialist increase the complexity of team cohesiveness. That said, Belbin's research highlights that teams can tolerate and take advantage of 'specialists'. In order to do so teams need a high level of both individual and 'team' awareness. I appreciate that the concept of team-role preferences is foreign for a lot of people, and that some people see this type of concept as 'fluff'. However, in my 15 years of Personal & Professional Development experience I have seen time again the lack of awareness of these issues cause teams to perform well below their capacity. How aware of team role preferences are you regarding the members of your teams? Do you talk about these preferences and how they manifest themselves in how team members behave? If you do have a specialist in your team, how are you managing the complexities that arise from such a preference? Please feel free to share your experiences of working with specialists and/or how you use team role awareness to enhance the performance of your team. Anecdote Gary Ryan has worked for several years in elite sport and currently sits on an Advisory Board for the AFL Coaches Association. Please feel free to comment on this article. 5
  11. 11. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 Are you prepared to be vulnerable? Over the past few weeks I have conducted a number of teamwork programs. One of the activities that I enjoy facilitating is asking the participants to form small groups and to identify the characteristics of the effective and ineffective teams of which they have been members. Examples can from from any team experience and I encourage participants to broader their thinking about their definition of a 'team'. Some examples of this definition include: A workplace A family A university study group A sporting team A community group Traveling with friends or family After providing the participants with enough time to share their stories, I collect the results. An interesting characteristic that always comes up for effective teams is trust. Similarly, a lack of trust is always raised as a characteristic of ineffective teams. Trust. Easy to say. Hard to give. Why? It is my view that trust involves a willingness to be vulnerable. In a team concept, to trust your team members means that you have faith that they will do what they say they will do to the best of their ability. When I ask program participants to describe what it was like to be trusted, they say things like: "He never looked over my shoulder. Even though it was the first time I was doing this task, he asked if I needed any further help and I said that I didn't. He told me that I could contact him at any stage if my circumstances changed. If I were him I'm not sure that I could have trusted me like he did. And that was special. I think I actually did the job better because I was trusted. I found it really motivating." 6
  12. 12. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 "She was the leader, there was no question about that. But when we allocated tasks and she was clear that we understood what needed to be done, she let us 'go for it'. Her door was always open and we knew that, and from time to time we would go to her for assistance, either physically or via email or on the phone. She was always available when we needed her. But she never, ever behaved like she didn't trust us. It never felt like she was looking over our shoulder making sure we did it exactly how she would. And this was an important project. And we knew that, and we respected that. That's why we created such a wonderful result. We were a real team and she trusted us!" You can't fake trust. It is either genuine, or it isn't. In today's complex world it is nearly impossible to 'go it alone'. Leaders have to trust their team members to do their job, even if the leader could do parts of the job 'better' on their own. To trust, however, requires the leader to be okay with being vulnerable. Trust can't be broken if it isn't given. So, by nature genuinely trusting someone means that you are prepared for the possibility that they might break your trust, which in turn makes you vulnerable. In our world of accountability and responsibility, trust can become very hard to 'give'. If I'm the leader, the 'buck stops with me.' If this project fails, then it's my fault. It's complex, isn't it. I doubt there is any golden rule with regard to trust. I am a trusting person, but I am not prepared to trust 'just anyone'. I use all my 'three brains' (I'll explain what that term means in a future blog) to determine whether I will trust someone or not. Each time I trust someone I am conscious of the choice that I have just made. Trust is behavioural, so saying, "I trust you" means nothing, if (in a work example) all I do is look over your shoulder every step of the way. Being prepared to be vulnerable is a tension leaders have to grapple with. Are you prepared top be vulnerable? What are your experiences of trust both as a team member and as a leader? How have you managed the 'vulnerability' tension? 7
  13. 13. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 The chances are that if trust is not present then high performance will be a long way away. So what is the bigger risk, the preparedness to be vulnerable or the preparedness to under-perform? Please share your experiences, thoughts and comments. Please feel free to comment on this article. 8
  14. 14. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 How ʻawareʼ are you? Today my family and I were at the airport saying good-bye to one of my nieces who had been staying with us during the school holidays. I was amazed at the number of times there were groups of people who were collectively blocking the various thoroughfares as we were trying to make our way through the airport. Each time we 'excused' ourselves to make our way through these groups of people it struck me that each individual seemed to be unaware of the impact that the group of which they were a member was causing the people around them. This caused me to wonder about personal awareness, particularly when people are part of a larger group. In general, how aware are people of the impact of the larger group on those around them? Do they even care? 'Awareness' is a Servant Leadership characteristic and includes a consciousness of 360 degrees around us, much like a martial artist is aware of the full circle around them. What is your level of awareness, both individually and when you are part of a group? Is awareness a leadership characteristic that you have ever considered? What experiences of 'awareness' have you had that you are comfortable sharing with others? If you have been part of a larger group and then you have become aware of the negative impact of that group upon others, what you have done about that situation? Has your awareness led to positive action? Please share your stories. Please feel free to comment on this article. 9
  15. 15. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 Is the word 'customer' right for you? Many people get hung up on the word ‘customer’. This is the challenge with the concept of ‘customer service’ because many people don’t think that they have customers. And maybe they don’t. Maybe they have clients, colleagues, administrators, staff, stakeholders, lawyers, doctors, labourers, community members, students, guests and any other label that you can think about. The issue is not the label; the issue is the ethic behind how you treat people. This is why we prefer the term, “service excellence” over “customer service”. Unfortunately because many people don’t think that they have customers (because they use a different term) they think that service has nothing to do with them. But it has everything thing to do with them. Everyone is your customer. Everyone. Quote from a research participant "You know that I can’t stand the word ‘customer’. The people I serve are staff, not customers. I find out what they want and I do my best to exceed their expectations every time. So I wish people would stop saying that I have to be ‘customer’ oriented. I’m staff oriented and that is what is important!" What words do you use to describe your 'customers'? Please feel free to comment on this article. 10
  16. 16. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 Ben Cousins' documentary highlights the importance of balance Irrespective what you think about the content of the Ben Cousins documentary, a powerful message that the program highlighted related to the importance of balance as it relates to success. Our society often applauds people for 'making it'; whether that be as an elite sportsperson, a rock star, a movie star or in achieving a senior position in an organisation. Success is defined purely by career success. Yet as Ben's documentary highlighted, career success doesn't necessarily mean that all other aspects of life are in balance. As the attached illustration highlights, balance consists of a number of elements: health & fitness career education establishing a clear plan for personal success having the financial capacity to live the life that you desire establishing and maintaining relationships for enduring success If any one of these key elements for success are not addressed, the individual is at risk of becoming stuck; much like the person in the background of the attached illustration. The outward appearance of being successful can be undermined by not having had a truly balanced approach to life. Balance, in this context does not mean that all the key elements for success are equal. Rather, it means that an appropriate amount of focus is being applied to each key element for overall 11
  17. 17. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 balance in the context of the life stage that the individual is experiencing. For example, university students will have a much larger focus on their education elements than other people, while graduate employees will have a much larger focus on their career activities than other people when they commence their first job. Likewise elite sports people will also have a much larger emphasis on their career element than the average person. Where people lose balance is that they tend to completely neglect some of the key elements for success. So, while their career element is being addressed, poor health habits, such as taking drugs as highlighted by Ben's documentary, can undermine their life balance and ultimately, negatively affect their career. For some people it is a complete focus on their career that causes them to neglect the key relationships in their life, resulting in relationships breaking down. If you are interested in finding out how to create a Plan for Personal Success that includes a personalised approach to Life Balance, please email us at info@orgsthatmatter.com . Gary Ryan has assisted over 500 people in creating a Plan For Personal Success. Gary's clients have included elites sports people and coaches including Troy Simmonds (Richmond Tigers), Kane Johnson (Richmond Tigers) and Darren Harris (Carlton Blues). Please feel free to ask questions and/or to make a comment on this article. 12
  18. 18. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 Service excellence guides resource allocation Organisations that are clear about meeting and exceeding the expectations of their customers are also clear about where resources should be allocated. Maybe your organisation has discovered that it has a serious Service Delivery Gap. Where would you allocate resources if you discovered such a gap? Clearly there is more than one answer to this question and the actions that may be taken and the resulting allocation of resources will be guided by the organisations overall business strategy and the level of importance of closing the Service Delivery Gap in the short term. In this example there may not be a long term future for the organisation if it does not address the short term Service Delivery Gap. In this context, a service focus enables short term decisions to be made in the context of achieving the organisation’s long term desired future. Quote from a research participant We’re a small operation. Just three of us operate the store. We know everyone who works on the larger site; it’s like we are one community. Rather than spend our money on marketing pamphlets etc we hired a student to work in the store with us. We targeted one who was well connected within the community. It’s amazing how much business she has brought in. It’s the smartest money we have ever spent and all our jobs are just that little bit more secure! What are your experiences regarding organisational resource allocations? Once you have read the article please feel free to post a comment. 13
  19. 19. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 Understanding expectations - it is where great service starts This is the starting point for great service. If you don’t understand the expectations of your customers, then everything that you do is likely to contribute to failing to meet them. Customers will have expectations whether you understand them or not. They usually consist of outcome factors and process factors and have a zone of tolerance for them to be acceptable. The outcome factors relate to the reliability of the service/product and determine whether the service/product meets the customers’ expectations. The process factors relate to the customers experience and will determine if the customers’ expectations have been exceeded or not. Quote from a research participant Once you realise that the starting point is understanding expectations, everything else becomes a whole lot easier. All you have to do is ask people what they want, and then do your best to deliver that to them. Please feel free to comment on this article. 14
  20. 20. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 Beyond a ʻOne Page Plan For Personal Successʼ Have you completed a One Page Plan for Personal Success? If so, follow the steps below to take your plan to the next level. When completing your Plan for Personal Success it is critical that you take each of the main strategies in your Prime Chart and create a Support Chart for them. Support Chart timeframes tend to be less than your prime Chart timeframe. So, if your prime Chart is for ten years, your Support Chart may be for three to five years. Support Charts follow the same structure as your Prime Chart. Step 1 Complete the Title for your chart. This is the name that you have given the strategy in your Prime Chart. Next identify which one of the Six Vital Strategy areas the strategy directly supports, and write that in brackets next to the name of the strategy. This helps to ensure that when you review all your strategies, you can quickly determine if you have at least one strategy for each of the Six Vital Strategies. 15
  21. 21. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 Step 2 Complete your Desired Outcome specific to this strategy. Be clear and as specific as possible. As you did for your Prime Chart Vision, keep asking yourself why you want what you are writing. This helps to uncover your real reason for wanting to achieve this Desired Outcome and usually helps to clarify exactly what it is that you are aiming to achieve. Step 3 Complete your Starting Point/Current Reality section of your chart. Provide as much information as possible that specifically relates to the Desired Outcome that you are striving to achieve. What is positive about your present reality, and what is currently a challenge. Step 4 Determine your actions that will move you from your Starting Point to your Desired Outcome. Upon brains-storming actions, review your list and identify which actions will provide the greatest leverage. These become the most critical actions to complete because all the actions will tend to fall into place. Complete this process for each of your Prime Chart strategies and you will take your Plan for Personal Success to the next level. If you would like to know more about creating a Plan For Personal Success, or would like to be individually coached through this process, please contact Gary.Ryan@orgsthatmatter.com . 16
  22. 22. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 How 'Leadership moments' develop your capacity to lead Recently in the article How 'aware' are you? I explained that awareness is a characteristic of Servant Leadership. Another benefit of being 'aware' is that it opens up the opportunities for you to develop your capacity to lead. It is my view that too many people see leadership as only being in the realm of formal roles. In that context, many people don't see themselves as leaders nor their own capacity to lead because they have never held a 'formal' leadership role. Of course this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and people who have this view of the world and themselves rarely become formal leaders. I would also argue that these people also miss opportunities to 'lead' when 'leadership moments' arise. Primarily because they just don't see them. What are, 'Leadership moments'? To me, a leadership moment is any time that a set of circumstances arise that are quietly asking, or sometimes screaming for someone to take action. Just today at my eldest son's Under 10s football match a barbeque had been prepared by two of the parents at the conclusion of the game. Quickly a line formed as the children, their parents and family members queued for some food. One of the 'cooks' was called away due to an urgent issue. Suddenly there was only one person trying to cook and serve food. The 'Leadership moment', while only 'visible' to some appeared. What do you think that 'Leadership moment' was? Not everyone noticed. Would have you? Even if you did notice the opportunity, what would have done? Stepping out of the queue and helping to cook the barbeque, or at least asking if this action would be helpful, was what this moment was asking to be done. 'Leadership moments' call for someone to take action. Strangely, this can also mean that you consciously choose not to take action (see How doing nothing can be an example of leadership). Other examples of 'Leadership moments' include: You may be at work with a colleague who has a presentation and they are expressing their concerns about the presentation to you. They express that they 17
  23. 23. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 don't think they are 'up to it' and you would do a far better job than them. Either you can be 'caught' in their negative self-talk or you can remind them of the good job that they have done in the past and support them through their presentation, and then remind them at the end that they had not only survived but done a great job. In this example it might be easier to do the presentation for them, but would that really help them in their development? You might be in the foyer of your office building and you see someone who looks lost. What do you do? You are out with your friends and you can see that one of them is drinking too much and is getting a bit rowdy. What do you do? I am not suggesting that you should take action on every 'Leadership moment' that presents itself to you. That might in fact be selfish (others need to be able to take opportunities to develop too). I am saying that if you consciously raise your awareness of the 'Leadership moments' that are around you, and then you consciously decide to take action or consciously decide not to take action, both can be examples of developing your leadership. After all, participants in the leadership programs that I facilitate often nominate helping, guiding, taking action. foresight etc. as characteristics of leadership. What are your examples of 'Leadership moments'? How have they helped you to develop? Please feel free to comment on this article. 18
  24. 24. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 AFL Grand Final Draw Calls For Simple Leadership As a guest of the AFL Coaches Association for their annual Awards Dinner during the week, little did I realise that I would hear some fateful words of advice for the 2010 AFL Grand Finalists. Legendary coach Ron Barassi was being inducted into the AFL Coaches Association Hall of Fame. As part of his induction, premiership player (and later a coach in his own right) Stan Alves was delivering a speech regarding the special characteristics of his former coach. Part of Alves' speech focussed on the 1977 drawn Grand Final. Alves shared the absolute confusion that swept the players and officials immediately after the final siren sounded. "We were spent. I was spent. None of us knew what we were supposed to do. It was absolute mayhem." Alves shared that when the players, officials and supporters made their way into their rooms, the confusion seemed more intense than out on the ground. Then Ron Barassi did what he did best. He focussed everyone on what needed to be done. First Barassi asked the players to go into the meeting room and to sit in the order in which they had played. "Henshaw, you were in the back pocket so you sit here, now everyone else sit in your playing positions." Club officials were then invited into the room and Barassi instructed that the meeting room door be left open so that all the supporters who had entered the rooms could hear what he was about to say. Alves reported that this is what Barassi instructed his players to do. 19
  25. 25. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 "If you do the two things that I am about to tell you, and then you turn up to training in the morning, we will win the premiership. Number one, turn up to the club function tonight. Number two, go home at 10pm. Do these two things and we will win the premiership." Alves reported that immediately upon Barassi finishing his short speech, the sense of confusion evaporated. Barassi was able to get everyone, players, officials and supporters to focus on some simple actions. Doing this enabled everyone to have clarity about what they needed to do. In many ways the simplicity of the actions enabled everyone to say to themselves, "Yeah, I can do those two things." Barassi's actions highlight that keeping things simple and helping people to focus on what is doable are magnificent leadership traits in the face of confusion and uncertainty. For those of you who don't know, Barassi's North Melbourne went on to win the Grand Final Replay the following week. I wonder how St Kilda and Collingwood are coping with their current situation? Will similar leadership to Barassi's example be present? What are your examples of leadership that enabled people to focus on simple actions that helped them to cut through complexity and confusion? Please feel free to add a comment to this article. 20
  26. 26. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 Why low risk projects are a smart leadership tool As a People Leader/Manager do you have more ideas than you can implement? Are you frustrated by not achieving as much as you would like? Our experience shows that one of the Top Ten motivators for employees is 'opportunities for improvement'. Imagine if you joined these two factors together; your frustration with not getting as much done as you know needs to get done, with your team members desire for opportunities for improvement. Below is a four step process for creating low risk successes from this situation. Step 1 List all your ideas/actions for things that you believe need to be done. Step 2 'Chunk' these ideas/actions into groups - these groups of ideas/actions form the basis of possible projects. Step 3 Using the attached matrix, identify whether or not your projects are: High Risk - Hard Implementation Low Risk - Hard Implementation High Risk - Easy Implementation Low Risk - Easy Implementation 21
  27. 27. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 High Risk means that if the project fails there will be a significant and negative impact on the organisation. Low Risk means that if the project fails there will be no major negative impact on the organisation. Hard Implementation means that the resources required to implement the project involve both a lot of people and a lot of money/assets to successfully complete the project. Easy Implementation means that existing resources with minimal budgetary impact can be used to successfully complete the project. Step 4 Low Risk - Easy Implementation projects are your gold. These are the projects that you can easily provide to your team members. Should the project be a success then the organisations benefits (because it gets something useful that otherwise may not have existed), the staff member benefits (because they have implemented something that didn't previously exist) and you benefit because a number of the ideas/actions that you had on your original list will now have been implemented. The beauty of creating low risk projects is that they generate opportunities for people to shine. If you have never tried a system like this before, try it out and please let us know how you go. Please feel free to comment on this article. 22
  28. 28. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 What are you excited about? This week my ten year old son headed off for his week long Year 5/6 school camp. His week will be filled with hiking, canoeing, ropes courses, flying foxes, storytelling, drama and all sorts of fun activities to thrill a ten year olds soul. For weeks all he could talk about was his upcoming camp. he was packed (mostly) days before he was due to leave. He couldn't get to school early enough on the day the camp was to begin. His excitement was tangible; you could feel it. Watching him got me thinking. Short term goals are incredibly motivating. Having something to look forward to generates the energy to sustain many of the more mundane activities of life. For example I have recently launched my first book What Really Matters For Young Professionals! and welcomed my fifth child to our family, another son. Both experiences involved a long build up and great joy was experienced when both our son and my book arrived. Life is not just about achieving short term goals for the sake of achieving them. Rather, the short term goals should be in the context of a bigger picture. For example, my book is part of my career, business and finance strategies. Clearly my son was about completing my family. In this context, what are you excited about? How do your short term goals relate to your bigger picture? Please feel free to comment on this article. 23
  29. 29. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 University Student Group-Work Starter Course Are you frustrated by your university group/team work experiences? Do you find them to be a painful experience? Students report that university group-work is one of their most dreaded experiences at university. Yet employers highly value university group-work because it is where students have to learn how to work with different people, just like in the 'real world'. This free two lesson introductory course will ensure that you give your university groups the best chance to achieve the success you desire. You will also learn how to ask some critical questions that will help your team to be successful. These questions are not unique to student groups - which is why they are so useful to master while you are a student! Learning how to influence the starting phase of a team in a positive and constructive way that helps your team to work well as a team is a critical skill for the success of your career. So why wouldn't you want to start developing that skill now. And best of all, this course is free! Delivered straight to your inbox, you will receive the first lesson immediately upon signing up for the course. The second lesson will be emailed to you in three days time. So you will complete this course in four days! Sign up for this free course here. 24
  30. 30. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 Online Courses Organisations That Matter provides a wide range of Online Courses to assist you in your personal & professional development. Our courses include: Creating a Plan For Personal Success How to Create High Performing Teams Weekly Inspiration University Student Group Work For Success and much more Please visit here for more information. Webinars A webinar is an online seminar. Providing you have access to a computer and the internet, webinars are a simple, easy and cost effective way to access critical information for your personal & professional development. Samples from our webinar program can be viewed here. Please remember to view the videos in fullscreen mode. Please sign up for our newsletter if you would like to be invited to our upcoming webinars. 25
  31. 31. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 What Really Matters For Young Professionals! Are you taking full advantage of your first years of employment? Are you consciously developing yourself and taking full advantage of the opportunities presented to you? Are you fully aware of the opportunities that you have to accelerate your career? If you answered "No" to anyone of these three questions then we can help you to master 15 practices that will accelerate your career. "This book is the definitive tool for young professionals with loads of expert knowledge who need to quickly develop high-level employability skills. It can also be used by managers and HR professionals for induction of their graduate recruits, or young at heard professionals willing to adjust to the contemporary workplace. If you want to succeed in the 21th century as a high-performing individual I recommend you read this book." Renata Bernarde Relationship Manager and Career Counselor Online Checklist Take the Online Checklist for the 15 practices that are explained in the book, What Really Matters For Young Professionals! Your results will help to quickly identify how you can use the book to accelerate your career! This product is both for Young Professionals and/or their employers What Really Matters For Young Professionals! How To Master 15 Practices To Accelerate Your Career is a resource that will help Young Professionals (people in the workforce with between five to ten years experience) to accelerate the speed of their career progress. While Young Professionals are unlikely to suffer the high unemployment rates of previous generations in countries like Australia, this is not the situation in many countries throughout the world. In the USA and the UK Young Professionals are having significant challenges finding employment. For those who are employed, even in Australia achieving promotions are a challenge because of the high competition for these 26
  32. 32. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 opportunities. This is why continuous practical development is essential for career progression. What Really Matters For Young Professionals! is both a resource for Young Professionals and their employers. The book and Online Course create a space for practical development to occur. In these challenging economic times employers can provide the course to their Young Professionals. Alternatively, Young Professionals can invest in their own development. At less than the cost of three coffees per week over 16 weeks, the investment for becoming a high performer is minimal. If you are an employer and would like to discuss how the book and Online Course can be packaged for your employees, please email Gary@orgsthatmatter.com . "Wow! This book is jam packed with useful and practical strategies for young professionals wanting to take the next step up in their careers. In a time where young professionals are constantly asking for more mentoring and training, this book is the perfect do-it-yourself manual to improve your employability." Alicia Curtis www.ygenclub.com Out now! 27
  33. 33. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 About Gary Ryan Gary Ryan is a Founding Director of Organisations That Matter. He is a consultant, facilitator, author and speaker who helps organisations, organisational leaders and employees to be the very best that they can be. Gary is passionate about helping organisations to matter to their people; to their stakeholders and customers; to their community and to their environment. Gary helps everyone from the executive team to the frontline to align what they say with what they do. This ensures that everything he does is about helping organisations matter! With over 17 years executive management and facilitation experience, Gary has a broad range of experience covering corporate, government, elite sport and education. In addition, Gary has a passion for service excellence and has personally led teams to four national awards. Check out acceleratingcareers.tv for effective tips for your Personal & Professional Development Gary is also a Senior Assessor for the Customer Service Institute of Australia and incorporates the practice of service excellence into everything he does. As a Licensed 0-10 Relationship Management® Elite Trainer Facilitator, Gary is able to assist organisations to achieve higher performance through improved internal and external relationship management. Gary’s recent clientele include: National Australia Bank Monash University (Faculty of Law, Faculty of Business and Economics, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Office of the Vice President - Advancement) Boom Logistics Carlton Football Club AFL Coaches Association Commonwealth Car Service (COMCAR) Hospira – Asia-Pacific Region RMIT University 28
  34. 34. What Really Matters! Volume 2, Number 3, 2010 Eastern Recreation and Leisure Services Holding multiple degrees including: Bachelor of Education in Physical Education (1994) Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management (2002) Master of Management (2004) Gary is a proud father of five and is passionate about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In this context Gary is currently training for his eleventh marathon. 29

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