Last night, I attended my regular Zumba class. Nothing new there. Our instructor Ellen, leaps around on the stage with more energy than is natural for someone over 10, giving us encouragement and showing us the moves. She breaks new ones down, and shows them to us slowly before getting up to full speed. Then, when we’ve ‘got it’ she takes a moment to stop and look. How wonderful she must feel to see 50+ (that’s total number, not age!) women all moving in unison to a routine and knowing that you created and taught it. That would make me really proud. Sometimes, even in business, it is important that everyone does the same thing in the same way. It may not be a popular opinion (as we are all supposed to show initiative, and encourage creativity), but in many jobs it is necessary. I work with manufacturers of food, pharaceuticals and glass. Their products HAVE to pass all sorts of tests and be absolutely consistent in terms of content and quality. People producing those products must be able to follow a process to the letter and repeat that behaviour time and time again. Line managers have to be able…
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of working with a company purely on a consultancy basis. Until recently I rarely got this type of opportunity, as most consulting that I do is preparation for designing a piece of learning. I was a little concerned at first that the client would feel they have spent a lot of money and got nothing for it. How wrong I was. Despite the lack of tangible outcomes, the HR and training team couldn’t have been happier with the outcome of the day. They had been grappling for some time with what seemed like a large but relatively straightforward project. The trouble is, it wasn’t progressing anywhere near as fast as it should have been. So, we got the whole team into a room and went back to first principles. We identified what they were trying to achieve, why, what that look like, timescales, resources, how they would know if they had been successful, and so on. Every question led to another question, and it became clear that the project was far more complex than any of them had realised.
Building on my last blog about making sure your induction is as good as it can be, I now want to focus on internal moves. It occurred to me that this is something that is not given very much by organisations or individuals for that matter, but still, the matters of induction and ‘settling in’ are important. Remember Tuckman’s model of Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing…any change to team members effectively results in a new team and brings a fresh set of challenges.
In business, little things can make a big difference, and we all want the best for our business. Whether we are selecting a supplier, buying products or using a service, we want to make sure that we get the best. But what is the best? If you ask 10 people, you will probably get 10 different answers.
Ahh, the summer’s here. Everyone tells us so. The supermarket magazines, the ‘seasonal’ TV programmes and of course, the high street. Clothes shops are full of shorts, vests, sandals, bikinis, strappy sundresses and t-shirts. Except, that’s not what we need right now is it?
At just aged six, my son is already learning to be independent. He washes and dresses himself he could run his own bath get his own drinks, breakfast and little things like that. At the weekend I took in him for his swimming lesson, and afterwards I told him to have a shower which he did, and then handed him his towel and told him to get dried and dressed, which he did with no assistance from me.
I had a very long and insightful conversation with an Independent OD Specialist yesterday, and the conversation turned towards fees. Trainers are always very cagey about their fees, so it was nice to talk openly. Now, on the face of it, fees vary wildly, but when you start to look beneath the surface things are not necessarily so different.
And so, another (far too short) series of Sherlock has finished. Back to the brain-dead ‘choice’ of TV programmes involving so-called celebrities doing pointless things, or ‘talent’ shows that don’t seem to encourage talent that can’t be immediately exploited for a fast buck.
In the school holidays I took my kids to see the film ‘Arthur Christmas’ – it was a great family film. The plot was around the fact that the current Santa was about to retire, and his eldest son, Steve would therefore take over the role. Younger son Arthur was considered a bit useless and was left to reply to letters on behalf of Santa.