Why leaders succeed or fail?

 

coaching.jpgAccording to several studies around 75% of the reasons why leaders succeed or fail are Emotional Intelligence related. These reasons include things like leaders (and managers too) are perceived to be self centred, they don’t relate well to others, they don’t inspire or build talent, they are defensive or arrogant. Similarly, you hardly ever hear that someone resigned because her boss was not competent enough in book keeping or did not know the company’s products well enough.

 

Behavioural level

What is Emotional Intelligence (EI)? One definition of EI is “Person’s ability to manage his personality.” This includes behavioural things like how I manage conflict, how I trust people or do I see things in optimistic, pessimistic or realistic light?

 

Awareness level

Another level of EI is the awareness. Awareness consists of you being aware of your own intuitions, feelings and body sensations. It also, even more importantly, includes your ability to be aware of other people (their intuitions, feelings and body sensations). Some people simply call it empathy, but I prefer awareness, because awareness has more in it than plain empathy.

 

Being level

There is one more fundamental level of Emotional Intelligence. That is called self regard and regard of others. This means unconditional acceptance of yourself and other people, as persons. You may think this level as mindset of accepting you and others as they are – “I am OK, no matter what happens” and “You are OK, no matter what you happens.” Obviously you can and will not accept everything others (or you yourself) do. This is the crucial difference, i.e. your ability to separate someone’s being and doing. Do not criticise being of someone (you are….) but rather the actions of someone (this thing your did….).

 

How to become a better leader or manager?

Remember that according to several studies 75% of the reasons why leaders succeed or fail are Emotional Intelligence related. Therefore by increasing your EI you will be able to access the largest untapped potential for your growth – 75% vs. 25%.

 

What can you do in practice to improve you EI? One part, or maybe the most important part, of being emotionally intelligent is the awaress. This includes both self awareness and awareness of other people. That is very logical indeed. Why? People do not always speak out what they think or they do not tell you when they are not doing well or when they are doing well. Also our beliefs, role models and social pressure have a skewing effect on what people speak out and what they don’t. Being able to notice such situations help you tremendously to address the issues behind early enough. Then again in addressing these situations you will need other EI skills, like trust and conflict handling abilities….and in order to feel confident in the whole process you need to believe in yourself and others which means you need high self regard and regard for others.

 

Improving your EI

There is a proven process for assessing and improving your EI. That consist of online questionnaire, a detailed report based on your answers and related coaching to identify your biggest potential. This tool was developed by JCA Occupational Psychologists (www.jcaglobal.com). Join the many people who have already done the online assessment and related coaching and enjoyed improvements in their working and private lives. I am certified JCA EI coach. If you are interested of hearing more, drop me an email: Juhana.Lampinen@innotiimi.com

 

I wish you great week at work and a lot of fun in improving your EI.

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New year – personal change that is sustainable

It is that time of the year again when some people want to start new life and make new year’s promises to do it. 99% of the promises are filled with good intentions but also with a expectations that new year magically will bring the change. Like Albert Einstein (or a few others too) have said:

“The purest form of insanity is to leave everything as it is and at the same time to hope that things will change. ”

This won’t happen.

How can you change and make the change sustainable? Here is a simple way to create sustainable change in your life.

Prerequisites:

1. You have noticed that one very concrete behaviour of yours does not work for you.

2. You must be committed and willing to change.

The process:

1. Identify one behaviour that does not work for you. Be concrete and specific.

2. Write down on a paper what do you do now. Maximum two or three sentences Be concrete and specific.

3. Write down what you want to do and what you are going to instead of it. Use “I-language” and have a positive intention. Example: “From today onwards I will___________.” Your new behaviour should not take more than 5 minutes per day.

4. Write down your commitments to do it. Example: “From today onward I will practice my new behaviour every day next 4 week.

5. Find someone you trust who will check with you every day that you really have done something. This person should be neutral and not emotionally involved in the behaviour you are changing. For example a trusted friend is a good choice. This person could, for example, send you an instant message every day asking: “What have you done today?” You do not have to answer if you do not want to. It is just a reminder for you. For some people an automated calendar reminder would do too.

6. Practice your new behaviour every day. Do not cheat. Do not allow yourself to skip days or have any excuses not to do it.

Aftermath:

After the 4 weeks you will be surprised that the new behaviour has taken over. The old behaviour will also remain but the new behaviour will overrule the old one. There will be days, for example when you are tired or stressed, when the old behaviour strikes back. Be aware of what happened, do not punish yourself but simply return to the new behaviour.

This method is proven and it is based on brain plasticity research. In practice you create new pathways in your brain which overrule the old ones. You may consider this phenomena as you where building your muscles by weight training. In this case you do not build your muscles but your “brain muscle”.

Happy change and happy new year. :-)

….yes it works anytime – not only during the new year. ;-)

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Want to learn something today?

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Giving or receiving recognition – which is more important?

“Leaders don’t look for recognition from others, leaders look other to recognise”
-Simon Sinek-

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How did you treat your colleagues today?

…also very relevant statement what comes to treating colleagues at work. ‪#‎servantleadership‬ ‪#‎humanelement‬

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Do you mentally block innovation without knowing it?

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What do you really do for living?

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Achieving new results

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”

- Peter Drucker -

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How do you feel when you receive and give feedback?

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What time is it?

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Why overload of rules, processes and metrics keeps us from doing our best?

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Reducing stress using simple HRV app on your smartphone

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Facebook führte riesiges Psychologie-Experiment durch

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How investing in increasing the emotional intelligence of employees converts to increased profitability?

I am very curious to know how people WHO LIVE OR DO BUSINESS IN CONTINENTAL EUROPE think about this question. This is because I live in continental Europe myself.

In order to quantify it I have made a short anonymous and absolute non-commercial and no strings attached survey about this topic (3 multiple choice questions). Would be great to know your opinion.

This survey is made with the free version of Survey Monkey which means that maximum of 100 people can answer – so be quick.

Cheers,

Juhana

Here is the survey:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

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Besser führen durch Coaching

Immer mehr Mitarbeiter erwarten von Ihren Führungskräften Coaching-Fertigkeiten. Arbeiten Sie mit Profis an Ihren Coaching-Fertigkeiten.


Nur jeder zweite Mitarbeiter attestiert seinem Chef ein guter Coach zu sein. Dennoch erwarten immer mehr Mitarbeiter erwarten von Ihren Führungskräften Coaching-Fertigkeiten als Ergänzung zur gewohnten Führungsarbeit.

Wir laden Sie zu einem kostenlosen Abend-Seminar ein. Verbessern Sie mit Hilfe von mit 2 erfahrenen Executive Coachs Ihre Coaching-Fertigkeiten.

Dr. Hans Bodingbauer und Juhana Lampinen stellen Ihnen die folgenden Themen vor:

  • Führung und Motivation: Wie uns die Erkenntnisse der Gehirnforschung helfen können, Mitarbeiter zu führen und zu motivieren?
  • Emotionale Intelligenz:
    - Selbstevaluierung und Möglichkeiten zur Entwicklung
    - Emotional Intelligence als Führungsinstrument
  •  Motivation: 6 Schritte in weniger als 10 Minuten die Motivation zu steigern

Es gibt ausreichend Zeit für eigenes Üben, Austausch und Diskussion.

Dr. Hans Bodingbauer: Biologe, Lehrer, Forscher, Manager in internationalen Unternehmen und Unternehmer. Seit 2007 systemischer Berater und Executive Coach der Integrated Consulting Group.

Juhana Lampinen, MSc: 15 Jahre Manager in internationalen Unternehmen, seit 2010 Berater und Executive Coach bei Innotiimi-ICG. Juhana kommt aus Finnland und hat während seiner Karriere in Finnland, Großbritannien und Österreich gelebt. Seine große Leidenschaft: „Being a catalyst for people becoming aware of the resources they did not know they had”.

Die Teilnahme ist kostenlos.
Zeit: 17.30 bis 20.30 Uhr
Maximale Teilnehmerzahl: 16

zum Event anmelden

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71% of employees report low job satisfaction and commitment

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Are you innovator or follower?

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How often are you @home office?

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Are you a cheap pottery leader?

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Who’s got bad consciousness?

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How are your thoughts this morning?

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Concentration training

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Notice how you are going to feel before you actually feel it

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Are you smart phone addicted?

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2014

Instead of sending Christmas cards and buying presents to our clients, Innotiimi makes annually a donation to a project which resonates with Innotiimi’s values. This year we make donation to the new children’s hospital that will be built in Helsinki.

As a partner of Innotiimi I wish you all merry Christmas and Happy New Year. :-)

Juhana

Christmas card 2013

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Emotional Intelligence demo 16.1.2014 in Salzburg / Austria

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Did you know that Emotional Intelligence has arguably become the most essential factor in sustaining high performance in organisations and across society at large. It is the driving force that enables leaders to engage with others effectively and then drive essential change in today’s turbulent and fast-moving world.

Learn more about Emotional Intelligence and become better at managing those difficult situations, more successful at motivating yourself, your team and your colleagues.

How to do that in practice? Due to great feedback from our Emotional Intelligence demo 6.11. in Wien we are arranging another Emotional Intelligence demo in Salzburg/Austria. In this event we expelling what Emotional Intelligence is and how it can be used at work. The event will take place in the 16.11. afternoon. Please find the details below:

Date: 16.1.2014

Time: 15:30 – 19:00 (Presentation starts at 16:00)

Place: Commend Österreich GmbH, Zallweingasse 3, A-5020 Salzburg, Austria

Language: German but the questions are also taken and answered in English or Finnish.

Investment: € 0

The emotional intelligence evening does not cost anything, but the registration is mandatory. This is due to limited number of seats available in the venue. Be quick to secure your seat – the Emotional Intelligence demo 6.11. in Wien was sold-out…

To register, just type your details here:

When you have registered you will get an email including download link to further information about emotional intelligence.

Looking forward to see you in Salzburg on the 16.1.2014

 

Best regards,

Juhana

———-

Juhana Lampinen
Consultant and Partner

Innotiimi-ICG (www.innotiimi.com)
Museumstrasse 3B, A-1070 Wien, Austria
Email: Juhana.Lampinen@innotiimi.com
Mobile: +43 660 2799010
Skype: Juhana.Lampinen
Working languages: German, English, Finnish

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Causing toxic working climate story 2

Emotional-Intelligence-toxic-working-climate-2

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Causing toxic working climate

Business team at a meeting in a light and modern office environment.

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Actively managing your behaviour using awareness of emotions

Did you know how our brain reacts to emotions? Maybe, but how can you actively manage your behaviour using increased awareness of your emotions? Great couple of minutes video about the topic.

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Being emotionally intelligent leader

This short video summarises the very essence of being emotionally intelligent (leader). However, do not be fooled that amygdala would be responsible only for the feelings extreme anger or joy – it is responsible for the rest of the feelings too.

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My top 5 favourite Emotional Intelligence quotes

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You cannot make any decisions without emotions

In this video Daniel Goleman is giving examples about the role of emotions in decision making. One very interesting example is the very first case in the video. It’s about a high IQ lawyer who went through a brain surgery and lost the connection between his amygdala (“emotional brain”) and prefrontal cortex (“rational brain”). His IQ remained completely intact. There was no change in his motor skills.  After the operation he was able to deliver, as he was prior to the operation,  brilliant rational pros and cons to the topics discussed. The difference was that he simply was not able to decide which was the best. This is one of the cases proving the role of emotions in decision making. Furthermore the decision making ability, call it emotional intelligence, can be developed. In contrary to IQ, which is inherited in your genes.

This video is really worth watching. Check it out!

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How to Raise Your Company Culture to the Next Tribal Leadership Stage

The Tribal Leadership tips and tricks ebook for iPad is now available at 50% discount for limited time. This offer will last until 30.9. Check it out if you are interested.

https://itunes.apple.com/fi/book/how-to-raise-your-company/id627390553?mt=11

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It’s not only the amount information and data that makes decisions good

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Your IQ contributes less than 10% to your success

IQ contributes less than 10% to your success. The rest is contributed by emotional intelligence. Listen what Daniel Coleman says about this. Happy emotionally intelligent week!

Life is great! :-)

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Radical innovation evening 6.6.2013

Is your business in decline? Or do you fear it might soon be so? Or perhaps you have opened your eyes already and you want to prevent it going downhill early enough? If you answered to one or the other of the questions by YES, the RadiCamp evening on the 6.6.2013 at 17.00 in Wien is something that will interest you.

RadiCamp is a new concept for creating truly new business changing innovation. This brand new concept is developed by Innotiimi and we are starting our first projects in Austria still this year. The evening event on the 6.6.2013 is an introduction to RadiCamp. I will present the concept there to companies and individuals who are interested about it. Secondly it is a great opportunity to network and meet people and companies who are innovation minded. This event on 6.6.2013 is completely free. The only limit is the number of seats which is around 30. The language of the presentation is German. Obviously the questions and discussions afterwards in the get together (with wine tasting and finger buffet) are going to be multi lingual including at least (Austrian)German, English, Finnish and Swedish.

The event will be arranged in cooperation with Finnish-Austrian Economic Forum (http://www.finnforum.at/main.html). You can find invitation letter with details in German language by clicking here or by copying this url to your web browser: http://bit.ly/10RODqt

If I already convinced you and decided to join, please find the summary of coordinates here:

When: 6.6.2013 at 17.00

Where: Business Base Nineteen

Mooslackengasse 17
1190 Wien
Austria

As already mentioned it ‘s completely free, but it is MANDATORY to register yourself better today but very latest by 30.5.2013. Registration is possible by:

sending an email to: office@finnforum.at
or
by calling by phone on the: +43 664 635 0713 (PLEASE CALL, DO NOT SMS!)

I hope you can come along!

Life is great! Radical is super!

Yours sincerely,
Juhana

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Self leadership workshop in Wien, Austria on the 11.3.2013

Self leadership workshop in Wien, Austria on the 11.3.2013.

Natural Tendencies Analysis is based on the personality type theory of Carl Gustav Jung. His theories are widely used as basis for personality type analysis, stress prevention and team building. The Natural Tendencies Analysis (NTA) helps you to understand your own strengths and weaknesses through understanding your own personality. It also helps you to understand the behavioral preferences of your colleges and family members. This fundamental understanding opens a vast amount of new possibilities in business and private life.

The power of NTA lies in understanding and accepting the differences of behavior of people and letting everyone be as they are. That is one of the main reasons why it has become such a popular tool for individual, team and leadership development.

The Workshop

Date: 11.3.2012

Time: 9:00 to 17:00 (the morning coffee is available at 8:30)

Place: Hotel IBIS Wien Mariahilf, Mariahilfer Gürtel 22-24 , 1060 Wien, Austria

Location: http://goo.gl/maps/y4ez1

The content of the workshop includes:

  • what are my natural tendencies and how can I use them?
  • why do I and why do other people behave as they do?
  • how to notice the early signs of stress?
  • how to avoid stress?
  • how to build teams using people’s natural tendencies?
  • how to give feedback to different people?
  • how to make meetings efficient by using NTA?

The minimum number of participants of this workshop is 10 and maximum 15. The workshop language is either German or English. Please remember to tick the language preference button upon registration.

Price:

The all inclusive price for this one day workshop is:

Companies (with valid VAT number): € 333 (including VAT 0%) per person

Individuals (without a valid VAT number): € 399 (including VAT 20%) per person

The price includes:

  • Participation of one person to the workshop on the 11.3.2013
  • Personalized Natural Tendencies online assessment, including personalized report.
  • Buffet lunch, coffee and refreshments during the breaks.

Extra bonus:

Companies which decide to order their own company specific NTA training(s) afterwards will get this course fee refunded.

Cancellation term:

A cancellation fee of €100 (VAT 20%) will be charged if a egistered participant cancels his/her participation later than 10.2.2013.

Registration:

Registration is compulsory. You can register by clicking HERE!

or

by sending me an email at Juhana.Lampinen@innotiimi.com

“My philosophy is: It’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier.” -Anthony Hopkins-

Looking forward to see you on the 11.3.2013 in Wien.

Yours sincerely,

Juhana

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Are you Organized or Chaotic?

this blog is continuation to my previous blog “Are you extrovert or introvert” which can be found by clicking here.

Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)

The question here is:

How do you make decisions?

The people with Thinking (T) preference tend to base their decisions on the logic, facts, figures and what’s practical and tangible i.e they decide with their “head”. In contrary the people with Feeling (F) as preference tend to base their decisions on their internal value system, feelings, people, empathy and emotions.

Let’s take again an example. You are the coach of a children’s football (or ice hockey) team. Your team has been invited to a tournament which is somewhere nice and geographically far away. All costs are covered by the institution who has invited your team. Now comes the catch, your team has 30 players, but only 17 are allowed to participate. Your task is to select who may and who may not participate. Here are the questions to you:

  1. Do you tend select the players with best track record and performance? Could you imagine that you analyze the statistics to support that? Would you tend to go to the tournament with “we are going there to win” mentality with best performing winning team. Do you find yourself often seeking “clarity” with your decisions?

or

  1. Do you tend to select the players who have been most active in training session, even though they are not necessarily the very best ones? Or could your tendency be toward selecting the best “team players” who motivate the others and build a great spirit in the team? Could you imagine yourself thinking which ones of the kids might come from the families who do not have financial means for traveling and select them to give them a chance to do that once. Do you find yourself often seeking “harmony” with your decisions?

If you tend to recognize yourself answering mostly yes to the question 1. your tendency is probably towards being a thinking (T) person. On the other hand if the question 2 is more like you, your tendency is probably towards being a feeling (F) person. Authors note: my tendency is very much towards Feeling.

Yep, you got it right. Like in the previous functions none of these two are better or preferable. They both just are plain neutral and as important. The key is to understand and recognize your discussion partner and let her/him be herself/himself.

Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

The question here is:

What is your external lifestyle like?

The people with Judging (J) preference tend to be organized, planned, ready well before deadline and they tend to finish things. J persons also often have big respect of the rules and regulations. In contrary the people with Perceiving (P) as preference tend to be chaotic, disorganized, open for possibilities most of the time and they tend to do things only if they really have to and usually on the last minute. P persons tend to understand the rules and regulations as “guidelines” rather than strict rules. Instead of following rules they often question them and prefer using common sense if that is more practical.

Let’s take again one example. How do you plan your holiday? Here are the questions to you:

  1. Do you tend plan your holiday well in time (months or at least several weeks before the holiday, some one perhaps years before)? Do you buy the travel guides before hands at home? Do you prefer going to places where you already visited on some one you know visited? If your travel plans are changed due to airline strike, overbooked hotel or similar event which is out of your control, do you tend to get (very) angry or upset about it? Do you tend to seek security, piece of mind and relaxed atmosphere by planning most of the things well before the holiday? Do you find that leaving things open is just too much stress which would cause you not being able to relax and feel like you are on holiday?

or

  1. Do you tend to book at last minute? Do you find it refreshing and relaxing to just go and book the hotels on the spot when you arrive? Do you usually go on holiday without any plan or with very little plan? Do you find that making firm decisions and committing yourself to a fixed plan makes you feel like you are not on holiday?

If you tend to recognize yourself answering mostly yes to the question 1. your tendency is probably towards being a Judging (J) person. On the other hand if the question 2 is more like you, your tendency is probably towards being a Perceiving (P) person. Authors note: my tendency is very much towards Perceiving.

Yep, you got it right. Like in the previous functions none of these two are better or preferable. They both just are plain neutral and as important. The key is to understand and recognize your discussion partner and let her/him be herself/himself.

How could you use all this?

However, rather than giving solutions here I would like to ask you how you could imagine using this knowledge in your daily life? Do you know which personality type you are? You can share your comments on in this blog just by clicking “comments” section or in Facebook by clicking here. By the way I am an ENFP.


…stay tuned this blog will be continued shortly.

If you are interested to learn more please visit at: www.rework365.com/nta.


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Are you Extrovert or Introvert?

this blog is continuation to my previous blog “Are you outside of your comfort zone?” which can be found by clicking here.


Background

Everyone is different. The older you get more difficult it becomes to change your behavior and accept behavior of others which is different to yours. The first step of the NTA (Natural Tendencies Analysis) is to understand yourself. By knowing how you tick you will be able to understand how your colleges, your husband or your wife tick. You still might not agree with them or you may still find their behavior “strange” or “not my cup of tea” but you can accept it and even smile at it as you know why they behave as they do. Once the whole team (in work or at home) understands their behavioral tendencies and the tendencies of the other team members you can start utilizing the real strengths of the team – together.

The NTA concept

The NTA is a concept is based on the personality type theory of Carl Jung. The NTA model is built of four pairs of functions which can be used to describe all human beings in the world. Obviously there are around 7 billion different human beings in the world and the model is hugely simplified. However limiting the number of different personality types 16, instead of 7 billion, makes it a quite a bit easier to understand and use.

The NTA functions

The personality of each human being can be identified using the four NTA functions. Usually each personality is a mix of both extremes (like some extroverted and some introverted characteristics). However one or the other is always the dominating function. This dominating function is called “tendency” or “preference”. The NTA functions are following:

Function 1: Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)

This function answers to the questions: Where do you get the energy or where does your thinking take place?

Function 2: Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)

This function answers to the question: How do you collect information?

Function 3: Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)

This function answers to the question: How do you make decisions?

Function 4: Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

This function answers to the question: What is your external lifestyle like?

Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)?

The questions here are:

Where do you get the energy?

Where does your thinking take place?

Let me open this topic a bit. Perhaps we start from the question “Where does your thinking takes place” – simply because it is more tangible and somewhat easier to understand. The common misbelief is that extroverted people are the ones who talk a lot and introverted people are the quiet ones. Even though it may externally appear so, that is definitely not the ultimate truth.

Let’s set the scene with a situation where your friend asks you where would you like to go for a lunch? Let’s also assume that you are discussing face to face. Here are the questions to you:

  1. Do you tend to start talking as you think like saying: “Pizzeria would be great, but on the other hand I was in Pizzeria yesterday. Tonight I am going to have pasta at home so Italian would not be such a good idea. On the other hand I have not had Indian for a while. Actually Indian would be great. Yes, let’s go to Indian or what do you prefer?”

or

  1. Do you tend to think quietly first inside your head like: “Hmmm. Pizzeria would be great, but on the other hand I was in Pizzeria yesterday. Tonight I am going to have pasta at home so Italian would not be such a good idea. On the other hand I have not had Indian for a while. Actually Indian would be great.” When your quiet thinking process is finished you say: “Yes, let’s go to Indian or what do you prefer?”.

If you tend to recognize yourself talking as your think (question 1) your tendency is probably towards being an extrovert. On the other hand if the question 2 is more like you, your tendency is probably towards being an introvert. Authors note: my tendency is a little bit towards being Extrovert. However, I am not an extreme extrovert.

Now comes the golden question. Which one is better? Answer: none. Both preferences, or tendencies if you will, are needed and both of them equally important. The key is to understand and recognize your discussion partner and let her/him be herself/himself.

Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)

The question here is:

How do you collect information?

The people with sensing (S) preference tend to live in this very moment and in the world of memories i.e. in the past. The S people could be described to be “down to earth”. In contrary the people with intuition as preference tend to live strongly in the future and in the world of possibilities and ideas. The N people could be described to be “people with crazy ideas”.

Let’s take another example. Your boss asks you to prepare a sales plan for next 6 months. That’s it, no more instructions than that. Here are the questions to you:

  1. Do you tend start collecting data from the past? This could mean going through the sales of past 6 months or the same period last year or perhaps couple of last years? When you have the data you just calculate, taking into account the trends, where you are going to end up during next 6 months. Is your written report likely going to consist of large amount of facts and arguments (from the past and present) which support your estimated 6 months sales figures? Shortly, do you base your plan on existing facts?

or

  1. Do you tend to start thinking about the opportunities and risks now and in the future. You might also consider if there are going to be any discontinuities in the market coming up. Do you think if there are some great new opportunities with new services or products coming up? Is your plan likely to short (one page or so) or do you even prefer not making a plan at all but explaining your vision verbally? Do you feel unease when your boss wants to have more (or even some) facts and figures which support your plan? Shortly, do you base your plan on gut feeling?

If you tend to recognize yourself answering mostly yes to the question 1. your tendency is probably towards being a sensing (S) person. On the other hand if the question 2 is more like you, your tendency is probably towards being an intuitive (N) person. Authors note: my tendency is very much towards Intuition.

Like in the previous function none of these two are better or preferable. They both just are plain neutral and as important. The key is to understand and recognize your discussion partner and let her/him be herself/himself.

…stay tuned this blog will be continued shortly with functions Thinking (T) and Feeling (F).

If you are interested to learn more please visit at: www.rework365.com/nta.

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Merry Christmas!

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Merry X-mas and Happy New Year 2013

I would like to wish to all rework365 blog readers Merry X-mas and Happy New Year 2013. All Innotiimi partners decided to donate money to the great work of Unicef, instead of sending X-mas cards this year. Maybe it helps some children who are not as lucky as we are. :-)

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Cheers and once more Merry X-mas to all,
Juhana

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Are you outside of your comfort zone?

You are likely either left or right handed. Similarly you cross your arms either left or right arm on top. Also you probably cross your hands either left of right thumb on top. Most of the time, or actually nearly every time, you tend to do it the same way. Could you write with your other hand or could you cross your arms or hands the other way? Of course you could, but most likely it would feel a bit strange or uncomfortable to you. Actually let’s try it.
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Please open the 1 minute video below and follow the instructions:
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How did it feel? For most of us it feels either difficult or at least somewhat uncomfortable. Why is it so? That is because your natural tendencies, or preferences if you will, are guiding you. The natural tendencies are not limited to the physical things like crossing your arms or being right or left handed. They steer your behavior as well and it all happens without you noticing a thing. That’s why they are called natural tendencies. Remember how uncomfortable you felt trying to cross your arms “the wrong way around”? After trying you probably managed it but you were not in your comfort zone – right? Similarly behaving against what is naturally to you also feels difficult and it is also one large factor contributing to stress. The good news is that it works other way around too. Namely by focusing on things that are natural to you, you feel comfortable and your performance and well being increases.
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You might say that you cannot always do only the things that are natural to you. Yes that is very true. Especially at work your job description surely includes tasks that are outside of your comfort zone. This is a simple fact of life to most of us. However, you can learn to be good at these tasks and even start somewhat enjoying them. The fact is though that you are working against your natural tendencies and increasing the risk of stress. The key here is to find the right balance between what is natural to you and what is not. Otherwise sooner or later you are going to face stress and in worst case burn out or physical illness.
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For businesses the natural tendencies offer possibilities of collaboration beyond the traditional job descriptions. For instance you probably would not assign a super chaotic person to project management, a very introverted person to press and media relations or detailed oriented person to vision work. It just would not make much sense to do so. But how to identify the natural tendencies of people? Some of the managers are more capable of doing than the others. One could say they are natural in assigning the right people to the jobs. The NTA (Natural Tendencies Analysis) gives a simple tool to you and your team to understand and learn how to use the natural tendencies in the daily work. By doing that your improve the innovativeness, efficiency and communication of your team. At the same time your people (and the customers) feel more engaged and respected and their well-being increases. If you are interested to learn more please visit at: www.rework365.com/nta or stay tuned and wait for the next episode of this NTA blog series.
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Have a splendid working week!
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Life is great!
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Tribal Leadership session in Innsbruck 7.11.2012

What is tribal leadership?

One very powerful tool for firstly understanding the current state of your business, secondly defining your goals and thirdly providing tools for achieving the goals is called tribal leadership. Tribal Leadership is based on focusing on your company culture. It claims that every group of people in any setup (country, city, town, company, department even a family) can be seen as a tribe. The members of your tribe are people who you probably would greet if you meet them on the street. You may also share also a certain set of common beliefs, ways of thinking, values or you are on the same mission.

In the tribal leadership framework the tribes are divided in to five different tribal levels. The levels range from full blown anarchy up to working commonly towards a noble cause. In between there are levels such as self promotion and real team work. The whole point of the model is that it gives you an easy tool to recognize where you are as well as it gives you simple practices and tips how to advance to the next level.

Why to advance to the next level? The research done by the authors Dave Logan & co proves that over a longer period of time the higher levels always outperform the lower levels. The most interesting thing to know is that globally 75% of the businesses are on the levels 1,2 and 3 and only 25% on the levels 4 and 5. In the other words, there is plenty of potential for improvement that can be done focusing purely on your company culture and without touching your products and services at all.

Would you be willing to hear the truth about your business? Would you be ready to change your company culture? If you are smart you would.

Free tribal leadership introduction session.

If you are interested in hearing more, please come along to this free introduction session:

Date: 7.11.2012

Time: 16:30 (This intensive session lasts about 2 hours. Afterwards free discussion and networking.)

Location: Altes Rathaus Herzog-Friedrich-Straße 21, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Language: German

Price: € 0,- (number of participants is limited)

Please register yourself until 4.11.2012 by emailing at: office@finnforum.at

You can find the original invitation (in German) by clicking here.

Please do not forget to download my free Tribal Leadership tips and tricks iPad ebook. You can download it by clicking the icon below.


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Finnish Business Awards 2012 in Austria

The Finnish Business Award in Austria is given to the most successful companies who offer Finnish products or services in Austrian market. This award is presented by Finpro, Finnish Austrian Economic Forum and the Embassy of Finland in Austria. Last time this award was given in year 2009.

I was very honored to receive the 3rd place in the Finnish Business Award in Austria 2012. I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate all the other participants and of course especially the other winners. The winners this time in the same category were:

1. Neuhauser Speckstein Öfen

2. Asta Eder Composite Consulting

3. Rework365 Consulting, Juhana Lampinen

Once again many thanks for that! That makes me feel good and even more importantly it is yet another sign that I am doing things that really matter.

Here is a picture of the award. I am going to hang this onto to the wall of my office. :-)

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10 things to remember when creating an online presence

What is the best internet marketing advice you have heard? I recently asked this question in LinkedIn “Answers” and got plenty of great feedback (you can have a look at the answers by clicking the link in the end of this post).

First of all what does the word “best advice” mean? I guess the best advice is the advice which works for you and brings you closer to your goal. This could be very different depending on your area of business and obviously your goals. Many thanks for everyone who contributed! In this blog post I am trying to crystallize the answer to 10 most relevant points to remember when creating an online presence.  Note that these advice are nor in order importance neither this list is covering all relevant points. You should understand it rather as a teaser to ignite your thinking process. OK, we are ready to go. Let’s open the 10 points up a bit.

1. Focus on what you can give, not what you can get.

It is not about you being cool or great, it is about adding value and giving something interesting to the listener or reader. Share your knowledge, experiences, good and bad practices and help people. You might get great response, create business or you might not. Do not expect to get something.

2. It is all about dialogue and collaboration.

Do not just broadcast your messages or links to your websites. Engage people to a dialogue with you and with each others.

3. Do not expect to get paid.

People online hate commercialism. Do not be the annoying sales guy who just pushes his/her message and always expects to get something in return. Be generous, give something to your audience that they can’t pay back.

4. Share stories.

Stories are the most powerful tools to convey a message. By telling a real life story you involve people on the emotional level. It is even better when people feel the story is personal to them.

5. Ask (open ended) questions.

Why not asking what people want to know, before telling them something?

6. Give stuff away for free.

Make great information products that you actually could sell too. But do not sell them. Rather give them away for free. Afterward you will be surprised when the sales on other areas start kicking in. (Free) content is the king or actually content is way more than that, it is the whole kingdom.

7. Be authentic and sincere you.

Come as you are. Do not try to be anything else than you really are. You are great as you are. I recently watched (again) the heavy metal band Metallica’s documentary called “Some kind of Monster”. This documentary is about the creative process producing their record called “Some kind of monster”. In this film Metallica was hiring a new base player. After the initial casting Lars Ulrich (Metallica’s drummer) said that Robert Trujillo (who was then selected as the new base player) was the only one who was himself, not trying too much and also not struggling even playing the hardest parts. In contrary the other candidates were “trying to be 10% over their capabilities all the time”. So, do what you can, don’t be the guy trying 10% over his capabilities.

8. Go where your customers are.

Do not expect the people come to you. Go yourself to the (online) places where the hungry crowds already hang around. There is no point trying to help people (even with brilliant stuff) if the people do not need your help.

9. It takes time.

Do not expect overnight success. You might think an analogy to classical off-line business development. Let’s imagine that you meet the potential customer for the first time. Do you expect him/her to buy immediately from you? Probably not. Even more ridiculous sound that you would expect that he/she recommend you to all of his/her friends too. I doubt you would expect that either in the first meeting. So the question is that how on earth could you expect one or the other online? Summary: know your missing and vision and be patient.

10. You are in customized mass marketing business.

The times when it was profitable to produce average products to average people in large volumes are gone for good. People online expect highly customized and personalized products and information. If you’re designing for everybody, then you’re really designing for nobody.

Wrapping it all up

In the LinkedIn answers the person who asked the question can always rate one of the answers to be the best one. It got plenty of great answers, however one of the answers was so short and simple that I rated it to be the best. Many thanks for the answer Nagesh.

Here it is:

What is the best internet marketing advice you have heard?

“Participate, Listen, Add Value, Share Knowledge, Assist, Don’t expect to get paid every time and for everything you do.”

-Nagesh Dudam, Software Architect & Consultant-

So, finally one could ask what is the difference in marketing online and offline? Actually there is no difference really. In the past marketeers did not have to worry about people who got upset or even hated the message they broadcasted in the TV/Radio/Print because it was not possible respond or have any kind of dialogue. Marketeers just produced messages that they liked themselves or thought that their target audience would like. In the online world the dialogue is possible and negative feedback spreads like a virus. That has lead to the fact that finally marketeers need to produce stuff that is interesting, entertaining or useful to the people. If they don’t they are going to hear about it and their business is going to suffer.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, I wish it added value to you or maybe this post inspired you to think about the internet marketing from a bit different perspective. My biggest wish is, however, that this blog post respected the 10 points discussed above.

Many thanks for your precious time!

Links:

LinkedIn answers: What is the best internet marketing advice you have heard?

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A quick guide for selling your products and services online

What is actually e-commerce? Many people think that e-commerce is pretty much the same as opening a webshop. For me e-commerce is much more, it is the whole system that enables selling your products and services online. That includes the digital point of sale, free digital content and digital content distribution. All of these can be under a single website or actually more often they are on several independent websites. What do I mean with these parts of e-commerce? Let me explain it a bit.

Digital point of sale

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digital point of sale is obviously the most fundamental part of the online sales system. This is the place where consumers or B2B customers can buy your products or services. The point of sale can be:

1. your own web shop

2. your business partner’s webshop

3. Amazon

4. eBay

5. any other digital market place.

Which channel should I choose? Let me play this question back to you: which single sales channel would you choose in brick’n mortar (classical retail) world? I guess the answer is obvious: you probably would not choose any single point of sale but a mix of them and further on as many as you can manage in profitable manner. The good news is that the online world is no different in that sense! You need an online sales channel mix. There are pros and cons in all of the channels above as well as there are in the brick’n mortar world, too. You just have to choose the ones that work for you.

Digital content is the king

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Imagine this: you just opened your new fancy brick’n mortar retail store with all the latest bells and whistles. You have super cool point of sale furniture, stunning interior design, all the fancy products everyone is dying to get and you accept all possible payment methods from cash to credit cards. But, your store is in the middle of the desert. There are no roads, no cities or towns nearby, nobody knows the way to your store. This is the case when you open your own webshop! Absolutely nobody knows that you exist! It will remain the same if you just rely on classical SEO or keyword optimization. Your great webshop/website will remain (nearly) unused. According to studies about 90% of the all websites in the world have less than 10 visits per month! Please note that I am not saying SEO and keyword optimization is useless, no by all means not. It simply isn’t enough.

What does digital content have to do with all this? Short answer: everything. Long answer: digital (free) content is your lure to attract consumers to your digital point of sale or place where the consumers can interact with you. How? In theory is it pretty simple. All you need is to know your target group and produce content that has high real or perceived value to them and it costs nothing or very little to deliver. Digital content is a great tool for this. What could the content be? The content could be for example videos, blog posts, podcasts, photos or anything else telling how to use your product. The content could also be about tips and tricks for using your product, it could also be user generated funny or informative content involving your products or services. Whatever this content is and in whichever format it is, the content should have always a call for action included. The call for action might be link to your website or webshop. It could be a registration link to your newsletter. It could be a Facebook like button. The bottom line is this call for action should either sell something now or give you means to contact this potential customer proactively in the future again – preferably both.

Digital content distribution channels

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ok, now you have the content. But imagine this: you have written a good book, you have printed it and the boxes full of books are filling your warehouse. Nobody knows that you actually have written this great book and even better that you are planning to give it away for free. You have guessed it: you need to make sure people hear about you and your great book. Therefore you need digital content distribution channels.

Where could you distribute your digital content? There are numerous ways of doing it and again there is no “one size fits all”- solution that works for everyone. You may consider opening a fan page in Facebook and posting videos in YouTube and Vimeo, you could participate in relevant discussions in LinkedIn groups, you could be active in twitter or any other of the thousands of social networks and you could participate in numerous discussion forums where people passionately discuss about your topic. Where ever you are, try sincerely to help the people. Do not be the annoying guy who tries to sell something all the time and by doing it pushes people away. Help people out only when your solution really meets the needs of people. Do not push. Be proud to guide people to your competitors too when it really is in their best interest.

In every case you should offer your free content to people who are interested in it. By doing so you gain trust, respect and loyal and interested followers. Please do not fall into the trap of expecting a quick sale because that is highly unlikely.

If I should name one distribution channel that is the most efficient of all it would be email marketing. By email marketing I mean informative emails to people who have given permission to you to send them information that they are interested about. Namely distributing using your content via email. This is the best form of marketing online as it is targeted, relevant, timely, expected and informational. This blog post is an example of informational email marketing by the way. You probably got this blog post through an email from me. Hopefully you have enjoyed reading it and I sincerely hope that you feel the information I am giving you is valuable to you.

Putting it all together

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By now you may think that this whole thing is a bit time intensive. You got it! Yes – it is time intensive. Not only because you should produce content periodically, distribute it to your listeners frequently and try not to sell too much and too often. But also you should interact with your audience in all of your selected distribution channels (your blog, Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, discussion forums, emailing list, amazon seller feedback sections, eBay, etc). However it is far more efficient and cheaper than any form of traditional marketing.

How to build an efficient e-commerce system as I just briefly described? Probably the most important thing is to know your goals and limitations. In the online world you should rather do less and do it well. This means being active in the areas you choose to and forget the rest. Nothing is worse than a (nearly) empty blog or a Facebook page updated with only a few posting or interaction with a disappointed reader or customer later than 24hours after complaint. 24 hours is an eternity online!

Outsource and use cloud services. For example tracking your online presence can be done free using google alerts. The traffic on your website can be tracked, also free, using google analytics. Managing your email list on your own server or manually at your laptop is totally old school. There are plenty of good email marketing tools in the internet that are no or low cost like mailchimp or aweber. Ask advice from people who have done it before or ask you kids – they are online all the time. Last but not least make a real online strategy, implement it and follow it up. If it does not work for you – adjust.

A short sales pitch
…and if you need help making all this happen from strategy to making it, feel free to contact me at any time to help you out.

Note: if you did not receive this blog post because you are already a subscriber of my email newsletter, you could register now by clicking this link: join.rework365.com and receive the future blog posts automatically to your email.

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A must watch: management guru L. Vaughan Spencer

How to guide for manager. Learn to: motivitalize, succeederize and deny the sausage rolls.

It is a really good laugh. Thanks for posting this video tip Andy! :-)

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Starting is everything!

Every success story in the world has a start. This is the point when you actually do something to your idea to make it reality. Without start there is no success. Brilliant, superior, beautiful, great, stunning or simply plain awesome idea that nobody actually implements is never going to succeed. Sounds simple enough, nearly naive – but let’s face it, what did you really start today?

Stop planning forever!

Start doing things!

Now!

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Tribal Leadership – improving your business culture part IV

…this blog is continuation to the Tribal Leadership series in rework365.com. The previous articles discussed the foundation of the tribal leadership as well as introduced you to the stages 1 through 5 in detail. The previous articles can be found under these links:

Does your business focus on meaningless details and micro management?

Tribal leadership – improving your business culture part I

Tribal Leadership – improving your business culture part II

Tribal Leadership – improving your business culture part III

This article goes to practice telling you how how to move your (business) culture from one level to another. Please note that the key to improvement is to understand on which stage you are now. Most of the people rate themselves too high. Don’t make the same mistake. As important to know is that you can only take one step at the time. Example: if your culture is at stage 2 and you aim to stage 4. You have help your team to climb on to the step 3 first and after that to the stage 4. That is why large cultural changes take time.

From stage 1 to stage 2

Here are some practical tips how to help people to move from stage 1 to stage 2:

  • Encourage him to meet other people. Simple thing like having a lunch together will do.
  • Encourage him to participate meetings.
  • Help him to notice that not everyone’s life sucks.
  • Encourage him to cut off his ties from the groups of people who think their life sucks.

You have succeeded when you notice that:

  • He start talking that “My life sucks” instead of “Life sucks”.
  • He appear passive and apathetic rather than aggressive and desperate. This may sound harsh but as a matter of fact it is a huge leap forward to him,  because now he feels that he has hope instead of despair.
  • You notice he stops hanging out in stage 1 groups.

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From stage 2 to stage 3

Here are some practical tips how to help people to move from stage 2 to stage 3:

  • Encourage her to network one on one (to form dyads)
  • Encourage her to find mentors who are firmly on the stage 3.
  • Praise her for her achievements. Do it personally.
  • Tell her how talented she is and how important her work is.
  • Give her projects where she can experience feelings of success quickly.

You have succeeded when you notice that:

  • She starts using me, mine and I language.
  • She behaves like a “lone warrior” comparing her achievements with the achievements of the others.
  • She often comes to the conclusion that she is better and the others are worse.

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From stage 3 to stage 4

Here are some practical tips how to help people to move from stage 3 to stage 4:

  • Encourage him to network in groups of three or more (to form triads)
  • Encourage him to understand that the real power is not in the information but in your network.
  • Encourage him to involve himself in projects which are far too complex to complete alone.
  • Give positive feedback for personal achievements, but remind that improving from here onwards requires real team collaboration.
  • Describe him how people behave and act on stage 4.
  • Tell your own story how you got from stage 3 to stage 4.

You have succeeded when you notice that:

  • He starts using we, our and us language when he is talking about success.
  • He starts forming triads.
  • He works less but achieves more.
  • He starts sharing information openly with anyone.

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From stage 4 to stage 5

Here are some practical tips how to help people to move from stage 4 to stage 5:

  • Stabilize her onto the stage 4 using values.
  • Encourage her to continue building triads.
  • Encourage her to discuss and further develop values with others.
  • Encourage her to think about the reason of existence of the team/company/business. This is the so called “noble cause”.
  • Encourage her to see the unlimited possibilities there are for further business and development.
  • Encourage her notice that this team could truly make history.
  • Help her to understand success can be reached by offering solutions to real needs of people.

You have succeeded when you notice that:

  • She starts using “Life is great” language instead of we/us/our language.
  • She stops referring to traditional competitors. Instead is improving the lives of people.
  • Her network and the diversity of her network grows.
  • Her time management is based on values and noble cause.
  • When she talks about achievements she sounds surprised and shows respect rather that celebrates for another victory.

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Conclusion

The tribal leadership offers relatively simple framework for continuos cultural development. However you may wonder why should you do it. There is one simple answer to it. You find it from this picture:

This picture tells you simply how many business can be found on each stage. Yes, you got it right! The stages 4 and 5 are not exactly very common in business. I would like to remind you about the underlying reason for the whole tribal leadership. The reason is: each higher stage outperforms the lower stages on the long run.

(Source: Dave Logan & co, Tribal Leadership 2008)

My question to you is: can you really afford not focus on improving your business culture?

Contact me if you like to learn more:

Juhana.Lampinen@rework365.com

or join my emailing list:

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Tribal Leadership – improving your business culture part III

…this blog is continuation to the Tribal Leadership series in rework365.com. The previous article about the stages 3 and 4 can be found here: “Tribal Leadership – improving your business culture part II“. This part describes the tribal stage 5. The tribal stage 5 is the highest cultural stage known today. The stage 5 cultures outperform all the other levels on a long run.

Stage 5: “Life is great!”

Screen shot 2012-02-20 at 12.16.28 .png

The tribal stage 5 can be described with one sentence (or way of thinking if you will). This sentence is “Life is great”. People, groups and cultures at stage 5 truly believe that each person, other companies, cultures and the world generally is a great. Life is just simply great, awesome, super.

For companies at the stage 5 there is no competition in the classical sense at all. People do not feel competing against another company or group of people. Instead they see competition being completely something else. Examples of competitors for stage 5 companies could be following. For companies in pharmaceutical business competition could be cancer, parkinson’s decease or Infant mortality. Similarly for the companies in virtual collaboration business competition could mean things such as fighting against casual flying, CO2 and global warming by offering virtual collaboration services or stress caused by not being able to spend enough time with family.

The examples above explain in simple terms the tribal stage 5 characteristic that other stage do not have. That is called “The noble cause”. As the name suggest it is the simple and humble cause for existence of the tribe. The stage 5 tribes believe, instead of just making products and services to sell, that they are making something remarkable and life changing. They feel they are changing the world and making history.

Stage 5 companies collaborate truly and over and across the traditional barriers. Why they do so? They believe that in order to achieve something truly remarkable and extraordinary you need to get the best experts of the world on board. The fact is that none of the companies in the world have all the experts on board. The cross collaboration is the only way.

Good example of stage 5 cultures can be found online. The very concept of Tribal Leadership is one of them. Dave Logan & CO encourage all the interested people (like me) to study and to use their theory whenever they wish. This also includes commercial use of it and all of that for free. Why? Simply because of the noble cause of spreading the word of better leadership and improving the lives of people. Obviously it is also free marketing to the authors.

Stage 5 represents only 2% of the businesses. (Source: Tribal Leadership/Dave Logan & co). The stage 5 can be found in all areas of business. However, as stage 4, it is very seldom in governmental structures and politics. There are only few exceptions, two of them in the stage 5 title photo above. :-)

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In the coming blog I am going to give you tips how to help your company culture to advance to higher levels.

STAY TUNED!

TO BE CONTINUED!

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Join my email list!


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Tribal Leadership – improving your business culture part II

…this blog is a continuation to the Tribal Leadership series in rework365.com. The previous article about the stages 1 and 2 can be found here: “Tribal Leadership – improving your business culture part I“. This part describes the tribal stages 3 and 4. It makes sense to discuss these two stages at the same time because the leap from stage 3 to stage 4 has the biggest potential for improving your result i.e. your bottom line. So, pay attention and think a little bit on which stage you or your team could be. But: be honest, most of the people rank themselves (as an individual or team) half or one stage higher than they really are.

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Stage 3: “I am great (and you are not)”

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The tribal leadership stage 3 can be described with one sentence (or way of thinking if you will). This sentence is “I am great” and the unspoken part of it “…and you are not.” This may sound harsh and in a way it is harsh. People at stage 3 focus on their own success, their own goals, their own agendas and often they are very keen on climbing higher on the career ladder. Political games thrive, but people feel generally motivated and they have “drive”. On the other hand people can feel that someone else (usually external power beyond their control) is preventing them being even better. This “force” could be budget, difficult customers, company pricing policy, resource allocation or simply other employees or departments. Often the stage 3 “culture individualism” is strongly supported by the financial incentive structure as well as by social factors such as showing public respect to people who are successful. In plain english this means paying bonus based on individual performance rather than performance of the team or whole company.

People on the stage 3 tend to build relationships between two persons, so called dyads. In dyads the communication happens between two persons. Working dyads require a lot of time and effort. This is simply because you end up talking the same story over and over again to many people – one at the time. You can be seen as a “gatekeeper” as hardly anyone gets the information without talking to you. Dyads are bottlenecks of information flow and absolutely deadly to team working. The stage 3 managers, however, do not always form dyads purely because of political or career reasons. Many manager simply feel that they are obliged to help people out in all tasks. They see that it is the reason why they are managers and fall into the endless micro management trap.

People at the stage 3 tend to say thing like “I was meeting customers and closing sales while you where sitting in internal meetings”, “They gave ME this opportunity”, “I am leading MY team” or “I told MY employees to…”. I guess you get the point by now. The common sign of the stage 3 culture is “ME, I and MY” language. This leads easily to self promotion (and pushing others down) instead of focusing on the subject itself.

Stage 3 is the most common tribal cultural level representing 48% of the businesses. (Source: Tribal Leadership/Dave Logan & co). Being the most common culture, the stage 3 can be found in all areas of business.

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Stage 4: “We are great (and they are not)”

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The tribal stage 4 can be described with one sentence (or way of thinking if you will). This sentence is “We are great” and the unspoken part of it “…and they are not.” People at stage 3 are truly proud of their work and achievements as a team. The highest goal is the performance and goal achievement as a team. Often (but not always) the financial incentives are built around team achievement.

The unspoken part of the stage 4 culture is “and they are not.” Who are “they” actually? At stage 4 “they” can be understood as competing businesses and also as other departments inside the company. One of the most common examples of the rivals inside a company are marketing and sales. That is, in the companies where marketing and sales are separate departments.

The characteristic of the stage 4 relationships are triads. Triads are relationships formed by three people. Let’s make an example. You are the boss and one of the team members comes to you and tells there is a problem between him and another team member. How would a stage 3 boss react? He would probably say “Thanks for telling me that. I will look into it and talk to her (the other team member)”. By doing this he would for two dyad relationship, he being the “gatekeeper” in the middle. How would stage 4 boss react? He would probably say something like this “OK, I see. Let’s go and talk to her”. Then he would bring all three (himself and the two team members) to the same discussion. He would explain them that they are the experts on this issue and they should find a solution together, without his intervention. This is one example what building triads mean.

People and businesses on the tribal level 4 are strongly driven by their values. This is their own values, what they feel is valuable for them. It is often mixed with the, unfortunately so common, company values defined solely by the management. The fact is that the people live their own values regardless what management decides. Key to success is to define the company values by asking the people what is important to them and further developing the answers the company values.

Stage 4 represents 22% of the businesses. (Source: Tribal Leadership/Dave Logan & co). The stage 4 can be found in all areas of business, however it is very seldom for example in governmental structures and politics.

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In the coming blogs I am going to introduce you to the stage 5 and it’s characteristics in detail. After that I am going to give you tips how to help your company culture to advance to higher levels.

STAY TUNED!

TO BE CONTINUED!

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Tribal leadership – improving your business culture part I

…continues from the last week’s blog “Does your business focus on meaningless details and micro management?“.

In the beginning I am going to remind you about the motivation behind tribal leadership. The motivation is simply following:

“The research done by the authors Dave Logan & co proves that over a longer period of time the higher stage always outperforms the lower stages. The most interesting thing to know is that globally 75% of the businesses are on the stages 1,2 and 3 and only 25% on the stages 4 and 5. In the other words, there is plenty of potential for improving your bottom line by focusing purely on your company culture and without touching your products and services at all.”

Tribal leadership stages

The five tribal leadership stages are following. They are named according to the typical “feeling” within the tribe or individual member of the tribe.

Stage 1: “Life sucks”

Stage 2: “My life sucks”

Stage 3: “I am great (and you are not)”

Stage 4: “We are great (and they are not)”

Stage 5: “Life is great”

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Stage 1: “Life sucks”

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The tribal leadership stage 1 can be described as full anarchy. One sentence to describe the life at this stage is “Life sucks”. For the people and tribes on this level the life truly sucks big time. They are stuck in very deep trouble (drugs, violence, blackmailing, large debt and similar) and there really is no way out. It is all about living or dying in the literal meaning of the words. People see that their life is hopeless and everyone  is their enemy. There is absolutely no feeling of security and there is no better future sight. Everyone is literally focused on their own survival.

Stage 1 is thankfully not very common business culture. However, shockingly maybe, still around 2% of businesses are at stage 1. (Source: Tribal Leadership/Dave Logan & co). Stage 1 is more commonly present in prisons, gangs and criminal organizations.

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Stage 2: “My life sucks”

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The tribal leadership stage 2 can be described as being a victim of circumstances. One sentence to describe the life at this stage is “My life sucks (and the unspoken part of it: because of someone else).” However, in comparison to stage 1, it is only not the whole life and world but only their own lives that are miserable. The people and tribes at this stage have given up trying. They are not very motivated to do anything else than the very minimum. Their life is somewhere else than at work or maybe they have no real life at all. A good example of a working place like this is a stereotypical Public Administration Office (in German: Amt and in Finnish: Virasto). As you may imagine at stage 2 there is nearly zero proactivity and absolutely no new ideas or innovation. People behave sarcastic towards the business, handle customers in rude way and often blame the management and co-workers. There is also no initiative to make it better. The management style is hierarchical “command and control”. The only thing that may connect the people is the common enemy: the management or the system.

Stage 2 is more common than you could imagine. It represents around 25% of the businesses. Yes, really 25%!  (Source: Tribal Leadership/Dave Logan & co).

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In the coming blogs I am going to introduce you to the stages 3, 4 and 5 and their characteristics in detail. After that I am going to give you tips how to help your company culture to advance to higher levels.

STAY TUNED!

TO BE CONTINUED!

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Does your business focus on meaningless details and micro management?

Reporting, filling in the figures is various sheets and applications, having meetings and teleconferences to discuss the figures over and over again. Being like a cog in large machine or factory. Feeling numb, brainless and non-creative. Does this sound familiar to you? If not, you can consider yourself lucky. Many medium and large companies often live in a factory culture and in deep mistrust. This has resulted an overblown structures of command and control and related reporting. Sometimes it goes so far that there is hardly enough time to do something productive which would have an real impact to the bottom line. The overblown reporting sure has a large impact to the bottom line – unfortunately a negative impact.

What the mistrust, ego-driven decisions, overblown reporting and control cause to your business?

1. culture of even stronger mistrust

2. motivational problems

3. proactivity disappears

4. large hurdles to innovative thinking and creativity

5. forgetting the customer (who actually pays your daily bills)

6. at very best focusing on doing the very least

7. endless arguing about the minor things, instead of doing something to improve them

8. culture of blaming

….and the list goes on and on.

I guess by now you get the point. What can be done?

One very powerful tool for firstly understanding the current state of your business, secondly defining your goals and thirdly providing tools for achieving the goals is called tribal leadership. Tribal Leadership is based on focusing on your company culture. It claims that every group of people in any setup (country, city, town, company, department even a family) can be seen as a tribe. The members of your tribe are people who you probably would greet if you meet them on the street. You may also share also a certain set of common beliefs, ways of thinking, values or you are on the same mission.

In the tribal leadership framework the tribes are divided in to five different tribal levels. The levels range from full blown anarchy up to working commonly towards a noble cause. In between there are levels such as self promotion and real team work. The whole point of the model is that it gives you an easy tool to recognize where you are as well as it gives you simple practices and tips how to advance to the next level.

Why to advance to the next level? The research done by the authors Dave Logan & co proves that over a longer period of time the higher levels always outperform the lower levels. The most interesting thing to know is that globally 75% of the businesses are on the levels 1,2 and 3 and only 25% on the levels 4 and 5. In the other words, there is plenty of potential for improvement that can be done focusing purely on your company culture and without touching your products and services at all.

Would you be willing to hear the truth about your business? Would you be ready to change your company culture? If you are smart you would.

To be continued….

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Tough boss

Is your own leadership like this or is your boss practicing this kind of leadership? No worries, it can be changed.

Click the (almost Oscar nominated) video for the whole story.

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Can you lead virtual teams successfully?

Working virtually is the key word of today. Increasing amount of multicultural and multinational teams work in companies, which are internationally active. Today the work ethos is characterized by independence of place and time, technological development, non- permanency, and multiculturalism.

Virtual teams are challenging to the team leaders. Leadership, teams and trust have to be built without face-to-face contacts.

Authoritarian leadership is not the most successful type of leading in virtual environments. The leader has to be mature for democratic leading. The leader has to learn how to lead, manage, motivate and inspire the team members, regardless of the nationality or multicultural background. Leadership in the net is much more than just giving orders.

One of the main reasons why virtual teams often fail is that they overlook the implications of the obvious differences in their working environments. Team members and leaders do not make accommodation for how different it really is when they and their colleagues no longer work face to face. Teams fail when they do not adjust to this new reality by closing the virtual gap.

Challenges of multicultural and multinational teams can be categorized into different categories: 1) Developing trust and good relationships, 2) Developing intercultural competence, 3) Managing conflicts and virtual team dynamics.

Picture 1. The fortune wheel of leading virtual teams successfully.

Virtual work and teams need to have result oriented, purposeful, and a strong leader. The team members have to know the goals and the target of the work. Also they have to be repeated during the work. Otherwise, one or some of the team members can make their own goals and target, which are different from the original one. And then might happen the teams are not working to the same direction with the organization. But how can you lead the teams to success? It is simple; you just have to make the fortune wheel turning.

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Employee driven leadership at Semco

When you hear word leadership you probably associate with manager/leader leading the employees. That is obviously the case in most of the businesses, but not all of them. One great example of successful employee driven leadership is at Brazilian company called Semco.

Shortly there the employees decide most of the things themselves including their working hours, salary, business traveling, physical workspace and most importantly their superiors as well as who gets fired and who not.

Instead of describing the whole story here let us hear it directly from Ricardo Semler (CEO or Semco) himself.

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The core of good leadership

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Happy New Year 2012

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Merry X-mas!

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Discover your strengths!

You are unique. Find a job that is made for you. Forget the rest!

Christmas is just behind the door. As a Christmas present Rework365 will draw one free of charge coaching session (about 2 hours) where we discover your strengths and your natural preferences. You can use this information for your career or simply for your self development. The details of this coaching session can be found here:

http://www.rework365.com/mycoach/

The lucky winner will be randomly selected from all who “Like” rework365 in Facebook and “Share” this wall post to all their Facebook friends. Easy enough right?

To participate:

1. “Like” rework365 in Facebook (just click the like in the banner on the right hand side of this page)

2. “Share” this blog post to all your Facebook friends.

Good luck and happy pre-Christmas time!

Juhana

ps. The competition goes on until 23.12.2011. The winner will be informed personally on 24.12.2011

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Which tribe you belong to?

I read recently the book “Tribal Leadership” from Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright. To be honest, actually listened the free audiobook version of it that you can download too.

This model they build claims that every company or any group of people can been seen as a tribe. A tribe can be in size of 20 to 150 people who share the same values, interests and cause. All of the companies in the world can be categorized with 5 different tribal levels. The level 1 being the lowest and 5 highest.

The interesting part of the model (supported by extensive research work with real life companies) is that on a long run companies on a higher level always outperform the ones on lower level. The level 2 outperforms the level 1 and the level 3 outperforms levels 1 and 2 – and so on. You may think that “So what, I am on the highest level in my opinion.” The reality is that you are not. Most of the companies are stuck on the levels 1,2 and 3. In terms of percentage this is more that 75%. Yes you heard it right, only 25% of the companies are on the highest two levels. It is needless to say that there is tremendous potential for performance increase. The book gives you clearly defined methods that lift your company from one level to another. These methods are no rocket science and openly available to anyone who wishes to read the book.

Having worked with several different organizations (either myself or in business relationship with them) I have always wondered why certain company cultures just perform better than the others. This book explains it easy terms and with common sense. Reading, I mean listening to, it was an epiphany to me.

Have a look at this short video where Dave Logan explains the Tribal Leadership in nutshell. Maybe you will experience an epiphany too.

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Finance (banking) crisis and innovation

As we all know, we are (again) living the times of banking crisis. Someone blames Greece, some other blames Italy or Spain. It is correct that the public sector spending in these countries has been out of control for many years. Having said that the European Banks have also been “very innovative” in pumping large amounts of money into various projects hoping for large profits. At the same time there has been very little if any proper risk assessment, not to mention innovative risk management.

What could be done? Banking sector has been working more or less the same since tens of years or even longer. This way of operating has become business as usual. Like Richard Branson’s new book is titled: “Screw the business as usual.” So let’s screw it and try to do something new. Now I am going to make a bold statement: By applying Innotiimi’s participative methods and front end innovation concepts to investment evaluation and risk management banks could make a quantum leap in their future performance. In contrary by continuing on the current path we are just going to get more of what we already have i.e. deeper recession and credit crisis.

It is time to start-up the rescue Helicopter. What do you think?

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Participate and win Innotiimi GroupExpo book

Participate and win a free book about GroupExpo – a proven method to participate biggers groups developing multiple ideas simultaneously. More information here.

You can participate by registering on Innotiimi web page, liking Innotiimi in Facebook, or following Innotiimi on Twitter or LinkedIn.

The competition ends on 25.11.2011.


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The Squirrel Wheel

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You may see when it is happening to someone else. How about yourself, can you also see and notice when it is happening to you?

I think that it is important to help other people, remind them of what is important, help them to recognize where they are and what they are doing. That is part of my mission and purpose, part of my work as a coach. And I really enjoy it. I belive many agree with me that it is important and do and work as I do.

Question is – do we live as we learn? Do we follow the safety instruction at the airplane and put the oxygen mask on ourselves before assisting others? To be able to do that it is important to take care of ourselves first, to have the energy and inner strenght so we are able to help the others to reach to take of themselves as well. Sounds logic and understandable, but not always that easy to make it happen in real life.

What could you do today to take a break from the squirrel wheel?

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Have a big dream and make it reality

This video has couple of good analogies to business life and how we all are different. Understanding the differences between people and accepting them would help to solve so many workplace conflicts.

On the other hand this video is completely, I mean really completely, outside of business setup. Maybe it helps you to pick up the few messages. If not, it much fun to watch anyway. So, enjoy.

For HD quality click the “360p” in the YouTube window and change it to “720p”.

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How much ego-boosting people cost?

First of all many thanks to A-J Wihuri from Innotiimi for the excellent blog about this topic. Unfortunately the blog is for time being only in Finnish. So, I am going to just drop you a tag which may make you think.

In their book called “Egonomics” David Marcum and Steven Smith tell about their research work. They interviewed about 1000 people who work for SMEs and corporates. These people were asked to estimate how the egos of people affect the discussions, decisions and quality of meetings and how much they estimate these ego damage the business. The results were shocking: more than half of the people estimated that “the bad egos” cause between 6-15% extra costs (calculated from turnover). Many interviewed people estimated that the damage is even bigger.

Doesn’t that make you think?

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Should You Reward Bad Ideas?

In order to create good products or service you have produce an large amount good ideas. In order to create remarkable or great or outstanding products or services (innovation) you have to produce a vast amount of ideas: good, neutral, bad, very bad and absolutely crappy ideas. Actually you should not rate them at all in the brainstorming phase. Why? Because at some point of time in the brainstorming process there will be something excellent popping up. This usually happens when people stop rating, criticizing or filtering their own and the ideas of others.

So, in short, in my opinion you should not only reward but encourage all ideas, especially the bad ones! What do you think?

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A fair change manager

Experiencing fairness:

John felt he was treated unfairly. He did not get the challenging job that he, in his own mind, thought belonged to him. His boss was not “a fair guy” in this matter. John believed he was the best man for this particular job, and it was also the work he wanted to do. This sense of unfairness did not ease, so John, in his annoyance, expressed his feelings to a couple of his friends and his wife. People he trusted then passed the story on to others, coloring, even changing it. Gossip, the biggest bug in all organizations, had broken loose.
For the person who feels genuinely mistreated, no one can dissuade otherwise. If his emotions include envy, misunderstanding, or other personal feelings, it does not change the intensity of the emotions underwent. Often it is hard to look at oneself in a mirror and admit to what s/he sees.
Changes in situations or organizations often cause many suspicions and fears to surface: what happens to my position; can I respond to challenges of the future? Justness, fairness, and experiencing their opposites are common for all organizational levels, as well as for directors, experts, and workers.

What actually is this fairness? To define it is only possible by using very general terms, for the exact definition will always meet contradictory opinions. This could be one reason why in a change or transformation situation it is so easy to forget fairness and focus on matters on which one can get a practical handle.

“To give everybody what belongs to him/her” (Plato on fairness)

How does the Change Manager know that a person lacks what should belong to him/her, or what is the foundation of this demand?
Fairness can be considered to well, among other things, from the following:
During a change the policies and processes are enforced using the same principles and valuesAny deviation from fair-play rules calls for immediate intervention and confrontation.The Change Manager and other decision makers will personally pay attention to fairness.The facts on which the decisions are based are correct and the influence of wrong information is rectified.People are treated ethically.People have the possibility to influence affairs (things) and to express their opinions.What can we achieve by being fair and just during a change situation?
It is easier to accept a decision different from own when a person trusts in a fair process to handle the matters.  Possible conflicts regarding fairness can through cynicism and bitterness cause individuals to act openly or passively against decisions.  Trust of the process helps in accepting decisions and in achieving peak performance. The unfairness experienced in the beginning of the change process has a greater effect on the acts of the employees than if felt later in the process.
Being as open as possible in all objectives and steps related to change, the Change Manager can ensure that the information in an organization is correct. This is achieved by constantly evaluating fairness and focusing on it from the very beginning. This is how one can cut unnecessary speculation based on partial information and gossip. I believe that paying attention to fairness early enough, our efforts will be rewarded.

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Power of words

Watch this extremely good video about the importance of how you communicate things. Thanks for ICG for finding it in YouTube.

How did you feel after watching this video?

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Mindfulness as a management tool

When speaking about mindfulness many people associate it only to yoga and eastern philosophies or generally speaking the “soft stuff”. You may also think: what does that have to do with management and leadership? Actually it does and as a matter of fact a lot.

The current business life is filled up with interruptions, short sighted tasks and overflow of information. This repeats it over and over and over and over again. Long term exposure to this spiral dive may cause Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In short terms this means inability to focus on anything on longer term.

Just think about your working day. How many times you check your email? In average an office worker checks his or her email 50+ times a day. This means in average every 9 minutes. On top of that come the telephone calls, meetings, ad-hoc discussions with colleges and coffee break and so on. For most of the people that is simply too much and hardly anything tangible is achieved.

Mindfulness can be used to address this clutter of information and interruptions. How? Basically practicing mindfulness exercises you can learn to slow down and focus. Mindfulness brings your wondering mind from past and future to present. You cut out the unnecessary information that is keeping your brain busy and preventing you to think straight. It simply helps you to focus on the things that truly matter.

Situations where mindfulness could be beneficial for you:

a) making big decisions

b) brainstorming a new diverse strategy

c) innovating

d) implementing (large) changes

e) braking routine

f) generally when “thinking out of box” is needed

How to exercise mindfulness?

There are many ways of exercise mindfulness and it varies which kind of exercise suits your personality. These exercises include:

* Mediation and relaxation

* Sport where you are alone away from the crowds

* Painting, photography and art generally

* Playing an instrument

* Listening to music

The old wisdom is that if you keep on doing the same you have been doing in the past you become more of the same you already have. Unfortunately that does not apply to money and business results. How about staring to think differently and trying something radically different, like mindfulness?

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Let’s scrap the word innovation

What is innovation? Innovation is a buzz word that had been around for quite some time. Obviously everyone needs innovation and is pretty clear why. But what is innovation? I would describe it simply with following sentence: “Doing anything that ensures the long term profitability and growth of a business.” Sounds pretty simple really, but in reality it is not. Why? In today’s world nearly every large (and small) publicly listed company is focused on pleasing their share holders in short term. The profit is optimized for quarterly reporting. What happens? The long term sustainability goes many times down the toiled. When you ask the managers they often mean that they don’t have a choice. That is what the markets need. Let me ask you a question. Let’s assume you were investing your money. Yes, I mean your own private money to something. You would have two alternatives:

1. an investment with a promise to deliver great quarterly results but practically no guarantees for the future.

2. an investment with a promise to delivery reasonable profit over next 3-5 years.

Which one would you choose?

In order to deliver the promise of reasonable profit over 3 years the company needs substance beyond press conferences, promises and roadmaps. Yes they (press conferences, promises and roadmaps.) are important, but you can’t monetize them. You need attractive products and services to sell or an alternative business model (like google or facebook) to monetize your substance.

Many times the product or service development decisions are made by only a few people in the company. The decisions are highly subjective to the person’s own judgement. It is true that someone needs to take the development decision and it will always be so. The point is to bring product and service candidates with high potential and better quality to the decision table in the first place. This is called “innovation front end”. Innovation front end ensures that the products or services that are going to be developed have a higher probability of succeeding. They are a result of simple but efficient innovation front end process or actually way of working if you will. Bold promise right? Good new is that this is not only a promise but it also works in the “real life”.

Want to hear more? Check it out here, call me or send me an email.

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Do what you love and the rest will follow

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It is time to reload your batteries

Summer is here in the Europe and to be more precise I am experiencing it here at the Austrian Alps. Today the forecast is sunny, blue skies and hardly any wind. Excellent possibility for slowing down and perhaps later today for going outdoors.

At the moment I am sitting on the sofa of our holiday home, writing this blog and watching the Hochkönig mountain-range which is bathing in the sun. I am enjoying this very moment. There are no thoughts about past nor about the future. There is only this present moment, what is happening right here and right now. I feel great. It is a very liberating experience.

Are you really able to stop for a moment and deliver absolutely nothing? It can be difficult as you are probably very used to the result oriented working culture of western world. You cannot change the culture in anytime soon, but you can change how you face it daily. Do you feel like trying stopping for a moment during this summer?

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Leadership: I cannot believe these guys are so slow in making decisions!

Do you think that the decision making in your team takes way too long? On the other hand does someone in your team feel that decisions are made in hurry without any exploration of possibilities? Even more confusing is that this happens simultaneously in the very same meeting. How come? Now you are probably completely confused right? Don’t worry, that’s natural.

The reason behind this phenomena is natural tendencies. Different types of personalities have different preferences and expectations for instance what comes to the decision making process. For example very organized and thinking people are most of the time well prepared and structured. They have a good idea about the topic and they often have a preferred solution in their mind already before a meeting. Obviously they are extremely frustrated when the meeting lasts for a long time without any decisions. On the other hand the people who are extroverted and who’s natural tendencies include perceiving and feeling enter the meeting often completely unprepared. For them it is completely natural, as the issue was not discussed yet. These people form their ideas about the topic as well as the solution during discussion with others. When these persons with different natural tendencies go into the same meeting the results will nearly always be mutual frustration. By the way, that is the case in most of the meetings, you cannot avoid it and it is perfectly normal.

Good news is that diversity of personalities is absolutely crucial for success. A mix of different personality types are needed for making “good” decisions and building long lasting solutions. It helps tremendously if you and the whole team realizes and understands the fact that people are vastly different. There are methods for understanding the personality types and their preferred behavior. One of then is called Natural Tendencies Analysis (NTA). This simple method helps you to understand your own tendencies and the characteristics of your preferred behavior. According to NTA (or MBTI) there are generally 16 types of personalities. It is relatively easy to find out your own personality type. After knowing your type and the type mix of your team you could adapt your way of working so that it support the mix of people in the team. This would help you to remove unnecessary frustration, build and work in diverse teams capable of brainstorming, taking timely decisions and implementing with precision. Aren’t you curious to know how you are? For me it was an eye opening and liberating experience that turned my world around!

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Leadership: Nothing happens without me

Why I always have to do everything. Nothing happens here without me. Why on earth these headless chickens cannot do anything right? Sounds familiar? Maybe you have felt like that once or twice too? It is unfortunately pretty common.

What is it then? Why some managers feel that nothing happens without them? There are plenty to reasons for that. One of the big ones is the habitual need to feel “in control of things”. This may lead to involving yourself to some details of daily tasks and eventually doing things right yourself as you feel that the other cannot do them right. You may find yourself in a ever deepening spiral of firefighting the micro managerial daily topics and actually mixing in to tasks that your team should do? You may even feel that is it expected from you. Believe me, it is not. Each and every person generally likes to be appreciated, capable and wants to feel the success and pleasure of achievement. People want work and perform and feel good about them. People cry for the authority to do things and leaders should give the authority to the team.

So, here comes the big question: is your leadership style helping or preventing your team to work?

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The new innotiimi.com website is live!

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www.innotiimi.com

Check it out and click the “Like”.

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Innotiimi is launching a new social media friendly website

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Inspiration = Leadership Balls on Fire

As a leader, can you get people to follow you without forcing them? Do you have “leadership balls” to be an inspirational leader?

It is said that you are a leader only if others follow. How can you create this kind of positive bias? People don’t want to follow negative or non-genuine people around…

Inspiration is the internal energy which makes us act, change and follow. I claim that all of us have experiences from a non-inspirational presentations, strategy discussions, leadership guidance etc. Yeah – boring, no energy, didn’t believe or buy what he said, won’t change unless forced, and the list goes on.

Sounds simple to improve – let’s just get inspired and everything goes fine. But, why don’t we act that way as leaders? Probably we haven’t realized how important inspirational leadership is because the content of management is still the King, right? Sorry to say but you are wrong. The content won’t make others to follow – you need to try harder than that – be genuine, put yourself in the game, be compassionate, be inspirational.

By being inspirational your “leadership balls” are on fire. People are ready to get also inspired and follow you. You can make that happening by developing e.g. your body language, tone and intonation of our voice, words, gestures, spirit etc. You can get yourself into right kind of flow by listening to your favourite music, dancing to it, repeating your mantra, breathing in compassion and positive energy. When you are inspired yourself, others will follow and get inspired too.

So, next time when you need to get your message through and get people to follow you, be prepared, use your energy and share it with others – Leadership balls on fire!

Writer’s name: Olli Torvinen

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Talking alone? Call Ghostbusters!

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There was this neatly dressed business man, looking very normal and formal, walking in the middle of Helsinki – and he was talking alone.

It sure looked strange, kind of contadictionary: sharply dressed lunatic. It took me quite a while to realize that he was carrying one of these things I had only vaguely heard about, a hands-free. Well, that was late 1990′s…

Now, crossing the city today (May 2011) I saw three people walking on the street and talking alone. And I can assure that none of them was talking on the phone or wearing a hands-free.

The first man, around 40, dressed casually, was walking and moving his lips slightly, but clearly, and smiling and grinning every once in a while. A happy man…

And only 30 seconds later I observed the second person talking alone: he communicating loud and clear, and he emphasized his words with vivid body language, like a lively speaker. Well, this guy looked a bit shagged, so I figured he’s a bit nuts anyway.

The third guy was a tourist, with a map in his hand. He seemed a bit lost and talked aloud alone, like if he was wondering where he is, and speaking out that confusion.

Why did I observe now, in such a short time span, so many examples of this behaviour? Has it increased lately? Why do people talk alone? Do you do that?

I confess, I do it sometimes at home or when I’m stressed. But these guys – is it epidemic? A side-effect of the swine-flu?

But to be frank, I think there’s something in the air, and it is epidemic. Maybe that’s the reason why we established a Well-Being Team early this year. The way the team got created reminds me of Ghostbusters: we still don’t know what it is, but we’re ready!

If there’s something strange inyour neighborhood

Who ya gonna call?

GHOSTBUSTERS

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Diversity rocks

I am a passionate photographer. I started photographing back in 1977 when I was only 6 years old. My father gave me a small camera on my 6th birthday. Since then I have been photographing extensively. However, my hobby took a quantum leap when the first digital cameras came into the market back in late 90′s. The reason was obvious: I could see the results of my creativity immediately which was extremely rewarding. It also allowed me to improve my creativity with a such a speed that just was not possible in the film photography era.

Seeing the world through different lenses

Being able to see things from various points of view can learned. In my case photography teaches me how to find new answers and points of view to the same “subject”. On one hand it is matter of choosing the right lens. With wide angle I can see the big picture, a lot of detail will be buried into the holistic view that it shows. But that is alright, the wide angle lens gives me in a way the “leadership” point of view. In contrary a macro or close-up lens frames the same subject from another more detailed point of view. It shows me the details that I was not able to see in the big picture taken with “leadership lens” lens. The macro lens gives me in a way the detailed “expert” point of view. On the other hand observing the world only with macro lens prevents me of seeing the big picture. There is still another choice of lens, the telephoto. Telephoto helps me to see the distant subjects in more detail, which helps me determining where to go. I see telephoto lenses as the “tool for future vision”. It is very much like in business, all three points of view are absolutely crucial for understanding subject and successfully approaching it.

Seeing things in different light

My subject of photography looks very different when I observe it in different light. The light can be physically in the front, behind, on the side, under or above of my subject. The intensity and color of the light varies as well. The light can be bright and strong light at noon, reddish and dimmed dusk or dawn light, white overcast light when there are clouds or even artificial light. In all of these cases the subject looks very different. I can literally see things “in different” light.

Changing my point of view

Then there is still another angle: how I position myself. I can stand up, I can be on my knees, I can lie on my belly on the ground, I can even lie on my back and look upwards or I can fly and take the photo from “bird’s view”. There are unlimited variations that I can choose from, if I like. In every case I will be able to see very different things. I have a very different point of view to the same subject. It is crucial to remember that every point of view is equally important and gives me more insight.

Creativity

What is creativity? For me creativity is a combination of what I just described above. Creativity is the ability and will to observe the things through various lenses, in various light conditions and from different points of view. Creativity means to me being able to accept that there are plenty of right answers to the same question.

Analogy to leadership

Analogy to business is to me very clear. Without openness and will to explore there will be only many similar answers to the same question. By thriving diversity and alternative ways of thinking I will find new truly different ideas and alternative solutions. In some cases this will lead to commercial successes i.e. innovations. Does your leadership style nurture creativity?

I love visualizing things. Therefore I made this short video showing one example of framing the same subject from different point of view. Enjoy!

Join my email list!

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Animate it: Leadership and trust

Without trustworthiness and fairness there is no trust. Without trust there is no open communication. Without open communication great ideas remain unspoken. Without great ideas you will not be successful.

You can express trust in your everyday actions, like these two people do in the short animation. The question to you remains: are you trustworthy yourself?

Note: I find the smile of the guy annoying too. Maybe he is not trustworthy at all?

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Animate it: Leadership and empowerment

Empowerment and trust are the key values in good leadership. But are you used to being empowered?

This short animation starts the Rework365 “Animate it!” series. Stay tuned.

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Greatest risk is to play always safe

Blog.jpgLet us imagine a company that has reached a status of market leadership through its innovative products and services. The road to the leading position may well have been a tough fight against thecompetition. Innovation work has been successful, and a great deal of the new stuff has been radical: Many products have been something completely new to the market. Through successful development and commercialization, our example company have now reached its goals as #1 in the market, with an overwhelming market share against the competition. Everybody are looking up to the company, and executives go to seminars to give keynote talks about how they made the success happen.

What is interesting, what happens in these most entrepreneurial companies after they have reached their market leader position? What will the executives most probably set as targets for the coming years? Yes, maintain the leadership position. Preserve the status quo in the marketplace. Keep milking the cow. The strategy seems to work, since money keeps pouring in. Executives keep talking in innovativeness seminars with applause.

What just happened here? The key is to understand that our example company just turned its thinking from entrepreneurial to conservative – and not even realizing it (remember, due their continuous success, they still may enjoy the reputation of Innovation Gurus of the industry, and believing it themselves;). What this means in everyday development in the company? Indeed, the development activities also reflect the new strategy of maintaining the status quo. In practice, the R&D and business development targets become increasingly more incremental in nature. Many of the development projects deal with the issues with the existing product and aim at improving it. The new proposals are screened against a tight stage-gate process in endless committee meetings. The pace of change in the company is maintained with continuous internal reorganizations with little relevance to the customer benefit. The over-organized R&D process essentially kills everything other than the ‘safe’ ideas. Radical ideation or proposals of new ways of doing business is seen as rocking the boat.

What then happens around the company? A handful of new (still) truly entrepreneurial companies develop their fresh ideas and commercialize them. One or two probably develop a new blockbuster solution to the market. Our market leader is caught with their pants down. Overnight, we have new keynote speakers.

We all can think of examples of these companies. Then, what are the lessons learned? Certainly, when you are the challenger, the only way to climb the ladder is the fresh and sometimes risky innovation. No news here. But how the market leader would have avoided its faith? How could they have maintained true entrepreneurial attitude?

The other day I heard a great quote saying “Greatest risk is to play always safe”. This applies also after you have reached your targets. Any more thoughts how our imaginary company would have avoided their defeat? Please comment!

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Why are you using external advisors, contractors and consultants?

The LinkedIn voting feature keeps on fascinating me. That’s why I decided to create a few more polls.
I believe that to stay commercially fit and viable you need to be in continuous development. Instead of guessing what could be interesting it is always better to ask the opinion of the people who have experience. So, here are the two questions I would like to ask you:

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Rework365-user-poll

LinkedIn has made it possible to create user polls. So, that needs to be tried out. It would be very much appreciated if you could distribute this poll as wide as possible. More volume = better quality results. Here is the, yes very polarizing, question.

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Strawberries and Champagne

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(At least) Two strategy approaches are at the moment very much affecting the business life: sense of urgency vs. Blue Ocean.

THE strategy guru everybody refers to is John Kotter. Especially his 8-Step Change Model has become the mantra of change management. The first step is to create Sense of Urgency.

That’s basically what you usually hear, like just recently when Nokia’s new CEO Elop talked about “burning platform”.

That might be right, and it is so simple and straight-forward: if the house is in fire, you better move! Right?

Well, it might suit some environments sometimes. My question: Why would you wait for the fire to catch your house? (My answer: In order to legitimize “crisis management” and bad leadership.)

The point: If you wait for the burning platform, you’re a damn fool. How about taking care of the things in advance!?

Rather, creating Blue Ocean (Kim & Mauborgne 2005), uncontested markets and relying on continuous improvement is a more sound strategy to me. It also requires a very different leadership approach. How do you motivate people who are having a nice picnic with strawberries and champagne?

Intro to Kotter

Intro to Blue Ocean

Writer’s name: Perttu Salovaara from Innotiimi.


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Are you expected to sit in the office?

The factory called office

If you have a factory it is pretty obvious that putting more hours and more labor and investing to new production line will increase the output of your factory. This of course translates to more sales given you are able to sell the goods. Since the beginning of the 20th century industrial and manufacturing era this principle has been applied. Unfortunately it has been applied to office work as well without questioning it. The common belief and largely adapted practice was and largely still is that longer you sit in the office more you achieve and produce. As a matter of fact you probably produce more but do you really achieve more?

Full time employment

As in the factory, also in the office, people are usually employed full time. As they are employed full time, they are expected to stay in the office full time too. There are incentives set up to steer people to do the right things, in the other words to deliver and achieve. However the incentives are often quite small compared to the fix pay. This does not necessarily motive enough. I am not saying that the incentive should be higher but I am rather proposing that the whole full time employment culture should be reconsidered. What do I mean? Lately I have been speaking with many people about their opinion about full time employment. Many of them have expressed that they are only moderately motivated in their job. Large part of then cannot really use their talent and natural tendencies to full extend. Some are only staying in the job because they do earn easy money. There are a lot of complaints about doing the wrong things which do not contribute to the mission of the company at all.

I was curious about finding out their opinion about the “factory called office” and I asked the following question from all of them: “Would you be happy to trade 50% of your salary against 50% more free time?” In the other words instead of working full time working only 2-3 days a week. The majority of the questioned answered positively. Even more surprisingly most of them very sure that they could achieve the same results with 50% of the time if the non-productive practices were removed. Excuse me, but isn’t this a vast waste of time and talent?

The alternatives

There are surely plenty of alternatives to full time employment. Here are two of the possibilities:

1. Part time employment

You could employ a person for instance for 50% of his or her time. This person could use the rest of the time to work for some other employer, within given limitations of competition etc of course. This would give you and the other company great deal of diversity and new ideas. Alternatively the person could dedicate the 50% of the time to his or her family, hobbies or self development. You may be asking: ok, but 50% time won’t be enough to do the job! Believe it, in most cases will. Of course you have to reconsider your processes an focus on the things that contribute to your business goals. Furthermore if the 50% of the time is not enough, you can always employ another person 50% of his or her time to do the rest. I am absolutely positive there would be plenty of people willing to work in this mode.

2. Project based employment

The further step would be to focus on the targets only. Why not setting up clear projects and employing part time or project based employees and experts to deliver the results on-demand basis. Define clear targets and deliverables, agree what it costs to deliver and when it should be ready. Yes, you surely have tried it in small scale like employing a few consultants every now and then, but I mean using this as a main mode of operation. The challenge is, of course, that you must know what you are doing, where you are going and what the priorities of your company are. If these facts are not clear it is going to be difficult to define the targets and deliverables.

Conclusion

My hypothesis is that our world is going towards more and more consumer to consumer commerce and toward the use of expertise on-demand basis. This applies especially to “white collar” office work. Part of my hypothesis is also that the full time employment will be less and less attractive from the company point of view and will therefore be decreasing. The ever increasing pressure for cutting costs will boost this development sooner than we think. Instead of keeping the factory called “office” artificially alive, would you like to be the forerunner on the new era of employment? What kind of innovative alternative model you have? Why not giving it a try?

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Making change happen – on three levels

You have to get it. To want change you have to want it, feel the need for it, understand Why the New and Why Not the Old.”

When you are planning change for yourself you get this, you know why you’re planning to find a new home, why you are looking for a new job, why you want to achieve something. You put your mind, heart and hands into it.

When planning change for others at work you also know. You work hard on understanding the purpose, the alternatives, the cost/benefit, the references, the implementation, the new goals, the first steps and the obstacles. And later, when you know the plan is good, you tell “them” about it. What do they do?

They kill or ignore our newborn baby. The openly criticize the idea or have nothing to say when we ask “do you have any questions?”. They resist passively. They spread rumors that grow. We’ve been there.

Why is this a surprise and if it is not, why do we so often drive everyone crazy with change?

In the process We have our mind, our heart and our hands engaged building everything for a long time and then – for a brief while – we engage Their eyes and ears. They activate their minds = critical thinking, and then decide they do not like/understand/trust all they see and hear. But when we ask them: “Any questions?” there are almost none. A bigger group – less questions. They walk out of the auditorium not understanding the new plan.

This is a decisive moment in leading change. This is where we often go wrong.

How can we touch and engage their minds, hearts and hands as we need to? If you think you can do it via a presentation you are off track. Even a great, Steve Jobs-like presentation is a success only if you bring in an important positive development to a believing crowd and you have a proven track-record. Was the previous change effort in our organization a thundering success?

Engaging the intellect

When telling people about forthcoming change we tend to activating the intellectual, critical mind. But only the business-minds on a management team get turned on by ROI, savings of 4,3 % equalling 5,7 million (or was it 57 million?), only for them is a percentage a driver that activates all three levels of mind, emotions and will. They understand, love and want money and numbers.

But for others, a sound business decision to change needs to be translated to a different language or an experience that makes sense of it even if ROCE does not really drive their heart.

Engaging emotions

If we try to engage emotions via presentations we may try to build a sense of urgency, an image of the burning platform and a crisis like Steven Elop recently did at Nokia. Danger is that the tactic may indeed induce an emotion, fear. People react to fear with fight/flight and paralysis, not really the positive engagement, initiative and courage we need when entering the new world. If we engage the wrong emotions, we then lose the minds and the wills.

Stating that the emperor has no clothes can be really good, when what we are doing makes no sense. Generally this is true for organizations where fear and staleness have already crept in and the joy of work has disappeared. Facing the facts is good. It will be interesting to follow the change and language at Nokia during the next couple of years. Fear and losses or enthusiasm and drive?

What to do?

To be successful, we must help people experience the need for change and the solutions for change in a way that touches them on all three levels. One way:

Talk with them, not to them.

Create a sense-making dialogue that makes it possible for people to say, ask, praise & criticize. Don’t let them out of the room worrying about the new plan without having a process in place where they can make sense of the issues.

How can you know what people understand about your plan? Only by asking them and listening. Only if you listen with respect can you correct misunderstandings and solve problems you did not know existed. Only if people also hear each other praise the benefits of the change can they really understand it, in and on their own terms. Help them do all of that.

Writer’s name: Tommi Gustafsson from Innotiimi.

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Thoughts about the change in business enviroment: John Kotter

This is a great short video summarizing what John Kotter thinks about the future and the pace of change. It is definitely worth checking out.

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Only the future matters

Many people are so fixed in maintaining the status quo that they simply cannot create something new. Having said that, luckily there are people who understand that the past is not unimportant, but what matters more is the future.

You do not have to be university professor or exceptionally successful business man or rocket scientist to understand it. The ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky used the same principle. One of his well known mottos was: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

If you share the vision, have a look at this hilarious video about attitude towards new and unknown.

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Leadership at it’s best: conducting an orchestra

Do want to learn what leadership is all about and how to be a great leader in 30 minutes? If your answer is yes, take the time to watch this video. Thanks to Pekka Heikurainen from Leaderforum.net for finding this great video from internet.

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Do you want your product to be unique and cool?

There are plenty of research available which claims that about 90% of the thinking of 5-6 years old children is creative. This includes creativity itself, alternative thinking and surprising ideas. The picture changes a bit when they get older. Namely the creativity of 9 years old children has decreased to 20%. When we reach 40 years of age, only 1% of our thoughts are creative. It is pretty obvious that people get less creative when they get older. There are plenty of reasons for that: school, role models of the society, traditional hierarchical organizations, traditional family setting, religion, mass media etc.

The good news is that the creativity does not disappear. Creativity is just hidden because it has not been actively used for a while. With right tools, exercises and methods the creativity can be woken up again. This could be the key differentiating factor for your business if you decide to promote creative working methods. Similarly your business maybe left behind if you don´t. The choice is yours.

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New value year 2011

The new year is always a discontinuity point and time for making promises. Why not deciding to start thriving your business towards new growth and untapped markets? Here are couple of ideas that might be relevant to you.

Understand your value curve

First you need to understand how your product and service offering is positioned in compared to your competition. This is not because of trying to beat your competition in existing markets but to try understand the reasons why you sell your products and why does your competition. Many cases the reasons are very similar and therefore your product is not diverse. This causes your value curve to merge with the value curve of your competition. In the market economy merging value curves lead to price competition and erosion of the value.

Divergence

Seek divergence. Providing small incremental product innovations does not often make a big difference in your value. Seek something completely different and unique. It all boils down to people. Similarly minded people with similar backgrounds produce similar ideas. This do not get you very far. Seek radical divergence. Employ people from completely different areas of business than yours. Use external brainstorming facilitation. Read books. Study art. Go sky-diving. Start rock climbing. Observe people who use you products. Travel somewhere completely strange and new place. Do pretty much anything that you have not done before. See it, feel it. I can say from my own experience that diverse activities give you fresh point of view and plenty of new ideas. There maybe even couple of hidden diamonds there that open new markets for you. But it will only happen if you choose the seeking of divergence to be a integral part of you business.

Focus

Pick you fight. Focus on the areas which have value. Do not try to do everything, this will only make you mediocre me-too player. Rather choose to be world-class in something. Every extremely successful business has focused on a specific area. There is no point of trying to conquer the whole world at once. Similarly focus your effort on the activities which add value in your chosen area. Forget the rest.

Tell what you have

No one is going to buy your products or services if they do not know they exist. Communicate targeted at your selected audience. Do it with over simplified, even naive, but compelling tag-line. Do not change your message, stick to it for a rather long period of time. Use alternative channels like social media when appropriate.

These tips may sound obvious and oversimplified. As a matter of fact they are! There is also a good reason for that. The reason is to provide a starting point and to focus on few things instead of trying to do everything at once. So, maybe you wish to give it a go starting 2011.

Welcome

Happy NEW VALUE year 2011!

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Merry Christmas 2010

Rework365 and Innotiimi wishes Merry X-mas to all

Customers, Blog readers, Fans and Customers to be.

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The cornerstone of innovation

Innovation happens no longer somewhere in deep basements of geek departments. Modern innovation can be seen as a creative way of putting existing and new building blocks together. Have a look at this short and simple 1 minute video.

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Innovation: thinking out of box

Many of us are used only to certain way of thinking. Businesses think they have boundaries which are set be some force called “the market”. As a matter of fact these boundaries are setup by the businesses themselves. The key is to try to forget them, to innovate outside of “the box” which anyway is a product of you imagination. Maybe this short video inspires you to see what I mean. Let’s break some boundaries today!

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Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy

First: this video is really polarizing. If you are extremely conservative “old school leader”it is probably nothing for you. On the other hand this video does not directly have anything to do with “classical business school leadership”. However, many important ingredients of good leadership, or making a movement if you will, can be easily identified in it. Enjoy, laugh a bit and do not take yourself so seriously.

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Creativity in the workplace needs diversity.

Is your team diverse? Are you encouraging people to speak up and not agree all the time? If not, perhaps you should reconsider your leadership style. Have a look at this 1 minute video.


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What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership has many faces. Here is one of them.

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