“We do innovation” or, “we are innovative”, and numerous other phrases are used time and time again by leaders to explain just how innovative their organizations are. However, sometimes upon further discussion, sadly, you come to find that in reality they may have an Innovation Lab, rooms filled with white boards, lots of sticky notes, and sleep pods, but do not really have the environment, people, processes, or infrastructure in place to enable ideas to thrive, be tried, vetted, and brought into fruition strategically – for the benefit of their customers, employees, or the business…
A focus on Employee Success
Billions upon billions are spent on leadership training and development and studies demonstrate that many companies plan to increase this, with priorities including growing the succession pipeline, retaining high potential employees, and fostering innovation and creative thinking. Even with all of this investment, with the state of the leadership landscape, 77% of organizations are experiencing a leadership gap. Going beyond the typical skills you associate with leadership, in 2017 the Engagement Institute identified stressed leaders as a large cause of employee disengagement, however, stress is on the rise with as many as 8/10 Americans afflicted by stress….
We were recently invited to participate at the United State of Women Summit, partnering with equallet and Amazon who sponsored our prize draw. We were there to conduct some live data analytics to explore the various challenges, mindsets, and behavioral blockers that were most frequently being experienced by women. During our time there, we were lucky to be invited to a fireside chat by Amazon’s Glynis Moore, with some of their female leadership - Miriam Daniel and Meeta Mishra. Their stories definitely resonated with the audience and there were many great points made - so here are some that can serve as good reminders for anyone!
There is always so much to do. In life and at work, the demands and responsibilities seem to be never ending. For years in corporate it was so easy for me to get consumed by what “needed” to be done, those fires to put out, the 50th iteration of a deck, the meeting to plan for the planning meeting for another meeting....
Think about this situation... you created a presentation for a meeting. During the meeting some of the other people question you in what seems like an attacking way. After the meeting you think about, what could you have said? What should you have presented? Maybe you do not know the subject as much as you think you did? What should you have said to them in the moment? You go home, and along your drive you are still thinking about it. You try and forget it so that you can watch a show with loved ones, or eat dinner with your family, but you are still thinking about it. You go to bed, but you are still thinking about it. This, is rumination. Rumination is any situation where you replay an event repeatedly in your mind, mulling it over and over.
Recently I was honored to be a part of a panel during the inspirational Allison Kluger’s workshop on Executive Presence for Women at Stanford - where she covers topics such as how people carry themselves, present themselves, communicate with others, and project competence and calm. I was joined by some incredibly talented women, who had many nuggets of wisdom to share - Yolanda Mangolini (Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Google), Kathrina Miranda (CEO at MiMA), and, Nadine Terman (CEO, Solstein Capital). There were so many great points made, here are just a few that I took away!
We have been working with many organizations and individuals on growing their behaviors and mindset to enable them to better take lead of their lives. As such, we have been privy to many conversations about the challenges faced by leaders, managers, and individual employees alike when it comes to development that helps drive the business and personal outcomes that matter to people. While there are several reasons that we came across, we wanted to share the top 3 most commonly found to be hindering the value that development efforts delivered.
The word mindful--or mindfulness --has exploded in recent years, for many reasons and most importantly for many benefits - even though the concepts and practice has been around for ages. That seems to be the trend with many industry crazes, a concept that has been around for some time, which when applied in the right way can be incredibly valuable, arises, gains popularity, and spreads like wildfire. Opportunities like this often arise in the world marketplace, and before you know it, the core message of what made that thing beneficial in the first place soon becomes lost in all the noise. As with many "buzzwords" before it, such as customer experience, mindfulness has also morphed into all sorts of implementations beyond its initial intention, which of course has brought around some potential pitfalls, if, mindfulness is not done 'mindfully'.
We often joke in the office that the word “busy” would appear to need a new definition as it seems to have become the standard response to the question: “How are you?”
Think about it, when you are asked ‘how you are,’ or you ask someone ‘how’s it going?’ What are the most common responses? We asked around and got a plethora of “things are just so busy at the moment,” “I’m good, you know the usual, busy,” “Same old here,” for which they all simply meant tired.
Changing behaviors is no easy feat. It takes a lot of effort, time, and patience. While we work on driving behavioral changes in individuals and teams on a daily basis, I personally have experienced three things that have helped me when I myself am working on engaging new behaviors and making them stick...