None of us wants to believe that we are the roadblocks to innovation and change, yet there are so many times when I hear leaders shoot down opportunities for growth and innovation with one simple sentence. Take your pick of these most common squelchers, including: Read more...
- It won’t work!
- We tried that once back in…
- They won’t approve. (The we/they thing is always a clue to filter.)
- That will never fly here!
- You don’t understand. We’re different. (Healthcare suffers from terminal uniqueness, including one doctor’s patients being sicker than all others, one hospital having unique issues with running 24/7, and—my personal favorite—only angry patients fill out satisfaction surveys.)
I love this time of year – the little lull right before the new year gets underway. It’s a time for me to reflect, regroup and re-energize. A whole new year stretches out before me, holding promises of great things to come. At the same time, I am putting closure on the year that is behind me. This brief period is a great time to reflect on where I’ve been and, at the same time, plan for where I am heading. Over the past week, I have spent hours purging my office of clutter created by old papers, books and periodicals to make room for the great opportunities ahead. I’ve taken time to look back over my journals, the goals I had set for myself one year ago and celebrate accomplishments.
Setting goals is one of the basic tenets of good business, but are equally valuable in our personal lives. Each of us owes it to ourselves to set personal and professional goals to give us direction, structure and a compass to the future. Unlike the New Year’s resolution that runs the risk of obsolescence within days, goals can be set in such a way that you are much more likely to succeed. Here are just a few questions that I ask myself when setting goals.
•Is this goal aligned with core values?
•Is it SMART? (specific, measurable, attainable and time-worthy)
•Is it compelling enough to engage others?
•What roadblocks might keep me from achieving this goal?
•How will I keep the goals front and center throughout the year?
By running my goals through this checklist, I am able to put them in context of my life so that I have a better chance of success.
So what are your goals for 2010? I’ve got some big ones. Stay tuned for some exciting changes.
I love doing employee engagement workshops with leaders because it helps them to take an honest look at the organizational culture and the vital role that they play in fostering engagement as well as the bottom line impact. But one of the most telling parts of the workshop is when I ask the leaders to provide estimates of the engagement in their own organization. After defining fully engaged, engaged, somewhat engaged and disengaged characteristics, I ask them to determine what percent of the organization falls into each of the four categories. In most cases, their estimates will show some percentage of disengaged associates. I have had organizations as low as 5% and others as high as 35%. Inevitably, the conversation starts to drift toward how the disengaged people poison the environment, that they don’t pull their weight, that they create disruption. My next question is always the zinger. “e;Who do they (these disengaged employees) work for?”e; This question is typically met by an embarrassed silence before some brave soul speaks up and says, “e;Us. They work for us.”e; Read more...
I love this time of year when fall is tiptoeing onto the landscape and the lazy days of summer surrender to a routine. I live next door to an elementary school and watched this morning as the kids arrived for the first day of school. As I watched the children arrive, I noticed how differently they approached the changes brought about by their first day of school. I began to notice that they fell into one of three categories. The first group seized the day with all the fervor that they could muster. They literally skipped into the school ready to grab the challenges that lay before them. The second group walked slowly and cautiously showing signs of uncertainty but not fully resisting. They would need to size things up before deciding if this was going to be good or not. The third group clearly wanted no part of it. These were the kids who had to be prodded and cajoled if not dragged into the building kicking and screaming. Read more...