Showing posts from January, 2010

Transforming HR

At the ODNet discussion lists, one of the members asked for input and advice on an organization that has decided to transform its HR function, to be designed using OD principles.

Interesting undertaking. It reminds me of an experience I had in the mid 1980's. After a merger, the new HR leaders initiated a sweeping change of the HR organization, flowing from ideas such as:
- Dave Ulrich on HR as strategic business partners
- Dana Gaines Robinson on becoming performance consultants
- David Hanna on organizational performance consulting

As progressive as it was, this project provoked tremendous resistance, especially among those HR folks who were on the "losing side" of the merger. The attitude was, "Who do they think they are, coming in here, and telling us we have to change?"

The business unit Training Managers, reporting up to HR Directors, were not immune to this change. And we were one of the most recalcitrant groups of all. One of the reasons for our defiance, I…

On Leaders and Leading

On LinkedIn, Houston-based leadership coach Patricia Jackson asked a deceptively simple question that has triggered a torrent of replies: "True leaders are..."

As I said to her in a side note, I like simple questions on LinkedIn (and elsewhere). Simple questions, asked simply. They bring out the best (and the most) replies.

My answer, also kept simple was: "...all around."

Here's what I meant by that.

True leaders are everywhere. And they are not what you would think.

They are the everyday leaders, the modest, unsung ordinary heroes who take the lead, step up to challenges, and get things done, without fanfare, headlines, fancy titles, or big salaries.

What's my definition of leadership? There are three parts:
1. Seeing what needs to be done
2. Mobilizing others
3. Taking action

A lesson I learned somewhere along the way is that there are Leaders (people with big offices and clout), there are leaders (people who take the lead and don't get much credit) and ther…

Caring and Employee Engagement - Janice Lee Juvrud

I am pleased to present my first guest blogger of 2010, OD consultant and executive coach Janice Lee Juvrud of the Meridian Group. Her lifelong work is to support the development of work cultures where individuals and organizations flourish.

Like me, Janice is passionate on the topic of employee engagement. You can read more of her thoughts and follow her at Your Search Lights.

In the following post, Janice explores the importance of caring in helping to build an engaged culture.

The Essence of Employee Engagement by Janice Lee Juvrud

Caring is the essence.....

I am a whole person who comes to work.

I bring my hopes, desires, energy, worries, insecurities, and the joys of my family, as I work with my colleagues.

I am human. I want to be appreciated, trusted — even loved!

My feelings drive my actions. They energize me or they take energy from me.

Having all these feelings, how might I feel cared about at work?

- speak openly and honestly with me

- listen to me

- include me in decisions that affec…

The CORE of Employee Engagement

Last year, I mused about the essence of leadership.

Essence = the basic, real, and invariable nature of a thing; the inward nature; the substance, spirit, lifeblood, heart, principle, soul, core.

This year, in collaboration with my colleague Janice Lee Juvrud , I am pondering: What is the essence of employee engagement?

Now let's get to the core of engagement.

Culture of Caring & Connecting - Highly engaged cultures care deeply about their product, their brand, their customers, and their employees. They connect with every key stakeholder, especially customers and employees, using multiple channels of communication, including new social media. This continuous caring and connecting results in a nourishing flow of innovative ideas and input.

Opening & Owning - Highly engaged cultures are high commitment organizations that open the books to employees and share vital business information with them, turning employees into true business partners who can take ownership of their piece …

Embrace Change in 2010

If you, like me, are a student of change, you are probably familiar with the Bridges model and the Kotter model. Both classics.

But how about the Satirmodel?

Virginia Satir was a family therapist and author whose understanding of the process of change has found a home in the world of coaching and software engineering.

Blogger Steven. M. Smith provides a well-illustrated summary of the Satir model, and blogger David Cheong relates it to his personal change journey.

In his piece called "Embrace change, your life depends on it," Cheong says: "...change is always scary. Yet, it is the Secret to Success."

The Secret to Success! Great point.

So as you look ahead to this new year and formulate your goals and intentions, here are some thoughts on embracing change to achieve success.

Challenge - Satir identified the role of a Foreign Element in triggering change. The foreign element can be an idea, a person, or an action that destabilizes your status quo and threatens your comfor…

Making 2010 A Great Year

As a warm-up exercise, I asked the attendees at yesterday's St. Matthias Employment Ministry workshop (called "LinkedIn, the Job Search, and You") this question:

~ "What are you thinking about doing to make 2010 a great year?"

After milling about with other participants for several minutes, I then asked for some to share their answers. There were lots of good thoughts, including:
- exercise more
- learn some new skills
- attend more support groups
- network more
- connect with more people
- use LinkedIn more fully

So how about You. What are you thinking of doing to make 2010 a great year?

Because of the stress inherent in the job search, let me suggest an outline for your thinking, adapted from Dr. Kathleen Hall's wonderful book A Life In Balance.

She recommends that you take good care of your SELF:

Serenity, Slowness, and Sleep - To protect yourself from rising anxiety, seek out your daily dose of serenity. There are many pathways to consider. Find one or two that wo…

Three Things You Like About Your Job - 2010

Two years ago, I wrote a blog entry called "Three Things You Like About Your Job." In that time, it has been one of the most popular posts that folks visit on Here We Are. Now What?

Why? I can only guess. Perhaps it is because people are so dissatisfied at work that they are wondering what others like about their jobs.

Well, the other day, the Conference Board reported that American workers' job satisfaction had dropped like a rock to an all-time record low.

Why so much unhappiness? Could it be that workers are overworked? disengaged? anxious? afraid?

Interesting. Since I was downsized in October of 2008, I have been working for myself. Although, in this recession, it has been a daily struggle to survive, there are some things I like about this job:

- I am my own boss

- I get to work with a wide variety of clients

- I have time to ponder, write, be creative, connect with people, and help others through ministry at my church

So, how about you? What do you like about your job in 2…

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2009

What blog posts garnered the most views in 2009? According to the metrics on Google Analytics, here they are, the Top 5 from Here We Are. Now What?

Galvanize Into Action

Management 3.0

Specializing In the Impossible

Refreshing Advice for the Job Hunt

SMART Goals Again

It's interesting, to me, to see what my readers were most drawn to: two posts on Job Search, two on Management, and one on Organization Development. All five on managing change.

A big "Thank You" to all who stop by this blog and read my stuff. I hope you are finding some value in it. Please leave more comments in 2010. I love hearing from you.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, Jan 5, 2010

Engagement: A New Lens on Performance Review

When this blog turns up in a Google search, what terms are people looking for most often? The answer: Performance review.

I've addressed this topic before (here and here). And these entries are among the most frequently visited posts on Here We Are. Now What?

So what else can I say?

As we start 2010, perhaps a new way of looking at performance review is in order, eh? In that spirit, let's use Engagement as our lens.

If a business leader hears about employee engagement and sees the potential in it to raise his organization's productivity and profitability, how would he link it to his annual performance management process? Here are four design elements to start with:

Commitment - Essentially, employee engagement comes down to commitment: How committed is the employee to the organization? Let's cut to the quick on this and say: Employee commitment is directly related to the degree of commitment they feel from the organization. So, if you want high performance from employ…

Try A New Way

Today at the 12 o'clock Mass, Fr. Nick had a good sermon.

It's Epiphany (in Greek: epi=upon + phanos=shine; in other words, "revealing"), and today we heard, in the Gospel according to Matthew, about the Magi from the East who followed a star, in search of a savior that had been born in Roman-occupied Palestine.

Nick paused to explain that the word "magi" means magician or astrologer or masters of mystery.

When these strangers reached Israel, they stopped to see King Herod, who was very interested in their reason for coming to his land. Secretly hoping to find and slay the newborn king, he told them to be sure to stop by his palace again on their way home to tell him where the infant could be found.

After they found the child, an angel visited the Magi in a dream and warned them not to go home the way they came, but to go another way.

What rich imagery and food for the creative soul:

- astrologers from the East

- following a star

- an angel in a dream

- returning ho…

What Was the Big Idea?

What was the "big idea" in management over the past decade?

The esteemed editors of the Harvard Business Review came out with their top ten list. It's a smart list, but it's missing a few things. And one Big Idea in particular:

~ Employee Engagement!

Last year, I wrote a blog entry on a new era of management, Management 3.0.

Management 3.0 is about engaging and unleashing people.

As I have said before, we are witnessing a paradigm shift in organizations worldwide:

~ from focus on weaknesses to focus on strengths

~ from appraisal to appreciation

~ from “our way or the highway” to flexibility

~ from “one size fits all” to customization

~ from “command and control” to coach and engage

Management 3.0 recognizes that the aims of the earlier eras --increasing productivity and satisfying customers-- are still relevant, but are achieved by hiring the best and trusting that they will do what the organization needs to have done.

Call it the talent management movement, or the positive…