©2017 Switch and Shift, LLC
Fall marks another seasonal shift – a time of transition and change, a turning over of a new leaf.
While change is a natural part of a growing organization, leaders know that most change efforts don’t resemble the peaceful image of a leaf falling gracefully towards the ground.
Competing forces cause your change efforts to veer away from its intended course.
Perhaps your culture needed a course correction, your leadership needed an overhaul, or your systems, tools or processes needed to be fixed or improved.
Share with our audience a pivotal change you made during your professional or organizational growth journey.
How did you leverage Change Champions within your organization to help you “weather” the change?
How did you deal with the forces that tried to work against you? Or, share with our audience a change tip you learned that you’ll never forget.
When I was in college, the president of our university, Steven Sample, spoke to one of my classes and shared a tip I will never forget. He told us, “In your lifetimes, you will have five to six different careers. Not jobs, but careers.” His underlying message was that change is inevitable, and to succeed professionally you need to develop a broad-based skill set that is transferable.
As startups grow, it’s inevitable that people’s roles will change. When my company grew from four people to 10 over the span of six months, there was an enormous amount of uncertainty and transition. But through honest conversations — we call them “courageous conversations” — with all of my employees, we were able to find the right roles to set up every employee for success.
It’s very easy to say yes to meetings and small tasks throughout the week. But all these little tasks and scheduled meetings add up and become death by a thousand cuts. In the latter half of this year, I implemented meeting days on only two weekdays — rarely more — and this has allowed me to capitalize on the “mental mode” I need to be in to get more done on those days.
Sometimes, after months spent building a challenging product, it can seem like the light at the end of the tunnel will never come. In these darkest moments — when the gratification of customer feedback and revenue hasn’t yet happened — it’s crucial to revive your team’s belief by reminding them of your “why”. For us, it’s creating a never-before-seen piece of tech to reinvent our industry.
There are many types of boards, but the best are your champions. They only get in the way when you are doing something stupid. So when our board saw we were launching too many products at once without the capital to do so, they encouraged us to go with the most valuable one, and shift the rest of our company toward consultancy and publishing. The results have been fantastic.
After launching a brand new venture and getting flooded with leads, I was running ahead of the steamroller trying to pick up every quarter. This is clearly a plan that will end in disaster. You can’t sacrifice your process to chase every lead. As soon as I stepped back, I was able to take a look at the leads objectively and figure out a process to better qualify them and quantify them.
During a rough patch in our growth, we went through every aspect of the company and made massive changes to improve, which has drastically helped our efficiency and profits. Change should be a part of the culture: If something doesn’t work, employees should not be scared to scrap it and go in a different direction.
When my side business started taking off, I’m ashamed to admit it took me over a year before I finally quit my day job. I loved my job, I loved the friendships I built, and I couldn’t bring myself to leave it all behind. Here’s my plan that finally helped force me to cut loose: Setting a deadline three months in advance and giving notice, and booking a trip starting the day after the deadline.
We decided to split our long-time Silicon Valley office into three offices: San Francisco, San José and Provo. This was a seismic shift that, at times, was difficult. The lesson: Don’t be afraid to make radical changes in how you run your company. We work differently now, but the flexibility opened other doors — shorter commutes, lower cost of living, a bigger house or even better choice of schools.
Most entrepreneurs will tell you to trust your gut. While I believe that as well, the data scientist in me says decisions need to be backed up with empirical evidence. If someone says they can do something, ask for proof or talk to past clients. If you can, optimize everything scientifically and verify results. It may seem like a lot of work, but it will save you time and a lot of money, too!
There is significant political and legislative risk associated in the law practice. Our firm has branched out our practice into areas such as business and risk consulting, as well as venture investing. Our struggle was staying engaged with the base operations that serve as the foundation of the firm. Shifting focus and adding revenue streams is vital, but never forget to stick with the basics.
o successfully dive into the future of work, we need to better understand each generation’s mobile communication preferences. To do this, EmployeeChannel, Inc. – a leading provider of mobile apps for employee engagement and communication – compiled the infographic below.
You – and your team – are better because of your mistakes. Mistakes – and the messages we take away from those experiences – is valuable feedback that propels us forward as we grow and learn as people. The problem is all too often, we find ourselves hiding our flaws from others. But veiling or denying our missteps doesn’t serve us well. A false mask of perfection is nearly impossible to maintain, and almost always something others can see through.
Optimism, joy, purpose and exhilaration are key inputs into doing work that matters. Work that matters is possible when a team, even an organization, shares the experience of it. It is also possible when you can stand alone knowing why your work is important even when you face skeptics, doubters or even haters. Work that matters is a calling. It’s practical. It’s possible.
Champ was my canine companion, my soulmate, my BFF. A unique mix of St. Bernard and German Shepherd, he was a wonderful blend of speed, power and gentle spirit. I cried for three days when he passed away during my teen years, and I’m still emotional today as I write this article. So, what strategic business principles and leadership lessons can we, as leaders and coaches of our organizations, learn from Champ’s life? Much more than you might think.
According to a report by Microsoft, from 2000 to 2015 the average attention span has decreased from 12 seconds to 8 seconds — just one second shorter than that of a goldfish. And it’s not just teenagers hooked to their devices who suffer from distractions in the digital age; adults’ focus is waning, too. Mindfulness is one approach mega-corporations like Google, Apple, and others use to spark employee creativity, improve focus and increase productivity.
Next time you attend a meeting, notice how people interact with their mobile phones. Is it appropriate for them to read emails if the meeting is boring? Are those who keep their phones out of eyesight more conscientious about how it influences conversations? What impact does either of these actions have on the meeting’s effectiveness? There is growing interest in better understanding the effects of technology on our social skills. This includes understanding how the digital era affects our mental and physical well-being, including personal happiness.
Innovation has become imperative for companies of all sizes – whether Fortune 500 or “mom and pop” businesses. Skilled leaders ask, “How can we provide something for our customers no one else can? How can our be processes more efficient than anyone else’s? How can we increase employee engagement so they think outside the box?”
Do you ever feel confused about what employee recognition is really all about? I want to help you get unstuck – in fact, I want you to think about recognition in a completely different way. But first, let’s do a quick dive into to the world of employee recognition. Then, I promise to give you a perspective on recognition you might not have considered before.
A good business needs to maximize the use of every tool in its arsenal. However, one major tool often goes underappreciated: the creation and reinforcement of learning communities. Learning communities are one of the most powerful driving forces for change and improvement within a company, and their successful implementation can result in a stronger workforce.