Posts Tagged ‘values’

Why Did You Become a Manager?

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 5/1/2013

Many employees become managers out of necessity. They were great individual contributors so their organizations’ promote them into a position that requires them to manage others. For the employee, one day you’re responsible for your individual results, the next you’re responsible for the results of others.

Through our coaching interactions we often ask, “why did you become a manager?” or “why should your direct reports follow you?” Seemingly easy questions, but difficult to answer the more you reflect on them.

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The Struggle to Define Work

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 1/17/2013

How do you define work?  If you are like many individuals, your responsibilities have expanded since you first joined the workforce.  As you have progressed through your career, you most likely have gone from an individual, task-based definition of work (i.e., completing x number of tasks, producing x number of widgets) to a more team-based approach to work, meaning, transitioning from producing results as an individual contributor to producing results through others. For many of us, the transfer from task-oriented to team-oriented work occurs suddenly with a promotion to supervisor or manager.

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Never Forget the ‘Why’

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 5/23/2012

As I’ve trained and coached new managers over the years, one area I try to focus some attention on is connecting the “manager” to the “individual.” So often we are forced to wear the “manager” hat at work. The “manager” cares about what gets done. The “manager” is interested in the assignment of tasks, the completion of projects, and the quantifying of results.

But what about the “individual?” We as “individuals” care about the why. The “individual” wants to find the connection between who I am as a person and who I am as a manager. The “individual” asks questions like, “Why did I become a manager?” “Why should others follow me?” “Why do I do what I do?” “Why am I putting in so much effort?”

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Create a Department Vision

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 3/16/2012

Your company has a clear organizational mission and vision.  If you are lucky, the mission and vision can be differentiated from that of other organizations (e.g., “We want to be the premiere…”).   Values are espoused and drive organizational behavior.  So, how do you take the organizational vision and roll it down to your department or team?  How do you ensure that your team’s efforts align with that of the overall organization?

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Current Culture: A Starting Point for Change

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 4/26/2011

“The only thing of real importance that leaders do is to create and manage culture. If you do not manage culture, it manages you, and you may not even be aware of the extent to which this is happening.”

–Edgar Schein, professor MIT Sloan School of Management

I often hear leaders talk about the need to change organizational culture. According to Schein, in most organizational change efforts, it is much easier to draw on the strengths of the current culture than to overcome the constraints by changing the culture.

So, how do we better understand current culture?

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New Year, New Beginnings

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 1/4/2011

The new year often means new beginnings.  Yes, there is just one day’s difference from December 31 to January 1, but there is something about turning the calendar over that feels exciting and energizing.  These new beginnings cause many of us to reflect on the previous year and contemplate the next.  New beginnings bring change.  The changes might be small (writing 2011 instead of 2010); or, they might be more significant (living a healthier lifestyle, making the decision to change careers).  Failure to change (or failure to make the decision to change) often comes from fear.  John F. Kennedy said, “We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes.”  As you embark on 2011, make a decision about what is important to you, clarify your purpose and vision, and create a path to make a difference (in your life and the lives of others).  Don’t let fear hold you back. 

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Accountability Defined

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 12/7/2010

Interested in finding out if your organization struggles with accountability? Pose this question from the book Influencer (Patterson et al) to your co-workers, “What does it take to get fired around here?” If the responses you hear are not performance-related, then what are employees telling you they are accountable for? What examples are given? Are the responses consistent with the mission, vision, and values of your organization? What are employees rewarded for or punished for? What message does a lack of punishment send to poor performers or those that violate the mission and values of your organization?

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Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 10/19/2010

Much has been written about transparency in business. When I work with senior executives they talk about wanting an organization that is “more transparent”. When I work with directors and managers, they voice concerns about the “lack of transparency” throughout the company. And, frontline supervisors and employees—well, the further removed you are from the actual decision-making, the less likely it is that you feel that the organization is actually transparent (at least in many companies). So, why is that? Why do we long for transparency, often build it into our corporate values, and yet fail to follow through in our day-to-day actions.

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Your Stories, Your Culture

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 9/21/2010

In the course of our work, we are asked to assess organizational culture. Common areas we focus on in our assessment of the organization are the elements of culture. While there are a number of elements, one I’ve found particularly interesting is organizational stories. Stories are defined as the written or spoken accounts that take a variety of forms including legends, myths, and sagas. These may be “official” accounts or “unwritten rules” about what it is like to work at the organization. They are the “physical” descriptions of culture that are passed from employee to employee that help define what the organization is all about. To help define what it means to work in your organization, think about the following:

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