360 degree feedback, organizational trust, change & sustainability
Employees vs Contractors
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Friday, 10 October 2008
Increasingly we hear about contractors, the pros and cons of using one and of choosing to be one. Here's an interesting point about contractors - they like the work, do it well, and are prepared to speak out. A lot of managers don't like their underlings to speak out! You might surmise that these are not the best managers! The good ones seek honest views of the job and how to do it. At the same time, many employees know to keep their mouths shut if they want to keep the job.

Is it possible to have employees who like the work, do it well, and are prepared to speak out? And at the same time have managers who like that kind of interaction, make the most of it, and are therefore very good managers? Seem utopian? Not at all. It simply requires a feedback process that puts all the issues on the table, asks everyone for their ideas, and uses the ones that work - no matter whose they are.

Of course this process has a name (you guessed it), it's 360 Faciliated®. It's what we've been promoting and operating for a good many years. It helps improve productivity, encourage innovation and much more - but most of all, brings managers and teams together to do the best job possible.

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posted by Dr Ron @ 13:22   0 comments
Are cigarettes warming the climate?
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Sunday, 5 October 2008
Well, at first sight it would seem a bit silly to suggest that cigarettes can warm the climate - as fatuous as the Exxon TV commercial that says that CO2 is just 'life' - with a picture of a pretty young girl, in a natural setting, exhaling! Both propositions are stupid and assume that people have very limited knowledge, but Exxon, keen to educate us, generously put a lot of money into theirs (we won't be promoting ours)!

However, it happens that there is a strong connection between the tobacco industry's 'confusion ads' (one of them used to be: 'More doctors smoke Camels'), and the campaigns of the global warming sceptics. In fact, the very same people are often behind them! And they are worth their weight in gold when it comes to confusing us about global warming and stopping us from taking effective action. So, in effect, cigarettes are warming the climate!

To put you in the picture, you might like to watch a short video. Try this:

[or click on the Title above]
We continue to think about sustainability, and that certainly means health - whether impacted by tobacco (it still sells very well, you know, in the Third World where they don't have those nasty regulations), or climate change and pollution.

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posted by Dr Ron @ 08:13   0 comments
Introducing the Leader/Manager: No. 7 - Not stereotyping, but...
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Friday, 3 October 2008
Stereotyping is precisely what the Leader/Manager Model is not about - because that is a pointless exercise, it rarely improves the manager or the situation. At the same time, it is important to point out that the model actually has the power to capture the full range, and hence the extremes, of manager behaviour.

Luckily there are not many managers at the extremes, but when there are, they often make their mark!

Essentially, all managers, if they are to be at their best, must learn to either meet the needs of their teams, or help their teams meet those needs themselves. Needs cannot be ignored.

So, this graphic puts it all together - the worst and the best.

Peter Farey whittled down his collection of a thousand 'good management practices' to 100 simple items that essentially cover the whole range of manager-team interaction. Furthermore, they fell into groups and plotted nicely around his Leader/Manager Framework.

Two further points emerged from this:

1) The chart provides a good measure of strengths, as well as of needs. Following Positive Psychology, our approach is to develop strengths and then check to see what needs still remain - usually these are greatly reduced. Much less problem-solving is therefore required, and

2) As a holistic framework of management behaviour, the model just happens to contain those behaviours that most relate to Emotional Intelligence (surprise, surprise)! In Farey's model it was there all the time - nothing new under the sun!

Next we take up EI and the Leader/Manager Model.

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posted by Dr Ron @ 18:20   0 comments
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