Showing posts from December, 2009

Retaining Top Talent in 2010

In my prior post, "Will Talent Head for the Door?," I started to summarize some of the key themes that emerged in response to my question on LinkedIn, Will Talent Bolt?

Most of those who responded said Yes there will be some movement. But there was also agreement that the best employees will stay in those organizations that demonstrate the right way to manage and retain top performers.

Let's distill some of the chief elements of the Right Way to take care of your top talent so that they do not head for the door.

1. Leadership - Art Worster wrote: "Good leadership has to be based upon principles of honesty, openness, and personal integrity. Many bosses can create the illusion of leadership skills in good times when conversations tend to be around positive things. However, when things get difficult, they tend to become insecure in these conversations and hide behind various screens. This is the time that true leadership steps out and truly leads. I think that hard times …

A New You in 2010

A few minutes ago on Twitter, management guru Ken ("The One Minute Manager") Blanchard tweeted: "Think about redoing yourself and becoming a better "you" in the new year."

That tweet came at the right moment, the kairos moment.

For the past few days, my wife Joan and I have been enjoying the cable TV show Clean House, a home makeover show, where a team of home organizers descends on hapless couples who are drowning in clutter. A very entertaining show about "letting go" of the material things that weigh us down.

Imagine if you could apply the "clean house" makeover to your career and life?

One of the things I like most about this time of year is the many blog posts on setting New Year's resolutions. The other day, Curt Rosengren had a great one called "What Is Your Theme for the New Year?" where he says:

~ "What if, instead of a random hodge-podge of well-intended but potentially ineffective positive efforts, you created…

Will Talent Head for the Door?

When the recession ends, will your top talent head for the door?

Some recent surveys, indicating that employees are anxious to bolt, have warned HR managers and business leaders to get ready for a talent exodus.

Wondering if this concern is well-founded, I recently asked this question on LinkedIn and got some very interesting responses.

In general, respondents said that some movement is likely. Especially in those organizations that did not do right by their workforces. Jay Foley's comment sums it up: "Organizations which were poorly led through the downturn and have lost the respect of their employees will likely suffer some appropriate backlash in the form of desertions. Those who were more careful, and did their best to maintain trust with employees during these times will reap the benefit of that effort."

But other organizations needn't be too worried about losing key talent when recovery comes. These employers have been doing the right things vis a vis their emplo…

Safeguard Your Future

Yesterday, a financial writer interviewed me about ways to safeguard yourself and prepare for job loss. In particular, she wants to reach professionals that have been at one company for many years, who are often ill prepared for the "shock and awe" of the pink slip. What can they do today to get ready for the rollercoaster ride of being "in transition?"

Here are a few of the ideas, that I offered up for the article, for professionals who are still working but who see "the handwriting on the wall:"

- Take training now - Is your employer offering training? Sign up. Take as much as you can.

- Take charge of your own learning - What are the "hot topics" in your field right now? Green? Sustainability? Lean Six Sigma? Sign up for courses. Read books. Get courses "on tape" that you can listen to in your car or on the train while commuting.

- Read outside your field - Are you a chemist? An engineer? Then start reading articles and books from othe…

Yay! Mr. Splashy Pants

Just watched a very entertaining and incredibly short (3 minutes!) TED Talk by Alexis Ohanian of about the effort to name the whale that was ultimately christened "Mr. Splashy Pants."

Ohanian's breezy talk ends with several key lessons from the world of internet democracy:

- Level the playing field
- No cost
- Be genuine
- You don't have to be serious all the time
- It's OK to lose control
- The message does not have to come from the top down

Can organization's adopt these lessons for their corporate communications?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, Dec 22, 2009

The Gospel of Change

The word "gospel" means "good news." And what is the good news that the gospels proclaim? In a word: change.

As a faith-filled Org Change Guy, I have long been attuned to the messages about change that thread through the four Gospels. For example:

- "Repent for the kingdom is near" - Repent (from the Greek metanoia) means to turn one's self around, to change one's mind

- "He said to him, 'Follow me.'" - Conversion, from fisherman or tax collector, into apostle, can be quite dramatic, even astonishing to onlookers who can't quite figure out what has happened

- "Go and sin no more" - Forgiveness is perhaps one of the most poignant forms of change in that, when we forgive, we are choosing to let go of some past pain that we have been dragging around with us

- "With that their eyes were opened" - Whether one of His miraculous sight-giving cures, or in this case, the "aha moment" of the disciples walkin…

Give the Gift of Wisdom

Sybil Stershic, at her blog Quality Service Marketing, suggests that you give yourself and others the gift of a free e-book on employee engagement. It is chock-full of wisdom from a global community of 200 consultants and managers.

She writes: "This holiday, give the gift of employee engagement … and it’s free! Employee Engagement Advice Book is a new e-book written by members of the Employee Engagement Network (EEN) and compiled by network host David Zinger. EEN members (including me) share advice - limited to one sentence each - on how an organization can improve employee engagement."

Great idea.

Filled to the brim with such themes as caring, connecting, playing to strengths, communicating (especially listening), valuing employees, energizing and empowering employees, recognizing their efforts, growing and demonstrating leadership, and participative involvement.

Sybil adds: "It’s worth scrolling through to find the quotes that resonate with you. Pass it along and sh…

A Christmas Gift

They say that the best gift you can give is your presence. That may be truer in this economy than ever. In that spirit, I want to give you a gift that comes right from me.

It's a free e-pamphlet for job hunters called "Galvanize Into Action," that you can download from the app on my LinkedIn profile. If you have any trouble obtaining it there, feel free to send me an email (terrence dot seamon at gmail dot com) and I'll send it to you.

"Galvanize into action" is a quick guide to accelerating a job search, comprised of material published on this blog, Here We Are. Now What?, during this past year.

If you are seeking re-employment, I hope you find it helpful. If you know someone who is out of work, please feel free to forward it to him or her or them.

Best wishes to you and yours for much joy in this sacred holiday season.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, Dec 14, 2009

Leaders and Systems

With the publication of Henry Mintzberg's new book on managing naturally, there has been a flurry of discussions about managing and leading. Are they the same or different? Do managers need to be leaders? Can an organization thrive without leadership?

All very interesting. All "right up my alley," so to speak.

Lately, in working with some client organizations, I'm sensing that the current leadership model in practice is quite different from the one we may sometimes espouse (i.e. leaders as visionary, wise, virtuous, courageous, role models etc).

The folks I've been working with lately (managers and professionals in the health care sector) describe their workplaces as fierce and stressful environments that are not for the feint of heart. Places characterized as:

~ lean, driven, and aggressive
~ production-focused, numbers-oriented, short-term
~ having high sense of urgency; valuing speed
~ where everyone is being asked to do more with less
~ where employees are expected t…

Spiritual Change Management 2009

In Isaiah, we read: "Prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight a highway for our God!"

John the Baptist proclaimed: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord."

This is Advent, the time of year when Christians get ready for the great feast of Christmas. The time to prepare the way of the Lord. Time to repent.

Repent. A word that is seldom used in the 21st century. What does it mean to repent?

Literally, to repent is to turn away from, to change one's self (the Greek term metanoia means "to change your mind").

To convert.

Spiritually speaking, whether Christian or not, the Advent season is sorely needed in this violence-filled world of ours. If we don't begin the disarmament of our hearts, we are headed for destruction.

The world (all of us) needs to repent, to convert, to turn away from violence.

Repentance means changing the mind, waking up, seeing things as they really are, and recognizing the error of our ways, leading to change of behavior, change in action…