Archives for January 2014

3 steps to clarify your desired results and expectations (third in six video series)

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3 steps to clarify your desired results and expectations (third in six video series) from Hugh Blane on Vimeo.

Video Notes:

Good morning, everyone. My name is Hugh Blane, and this is the Monday Morning Minute. This is the third video in a six-video series that I am doing on creating breakthrough teams and creating breakthrough performance.

Today I want to talk about clarifying your desired results and the expectations. This follows the two previous videos – number one where we talked about clarifying your desired future; and number two, checking for alignment. Let’s talk about desired results and expectations.

Ladies and gentlemen, my belief is that at its core the work you’re doing needs to help create additional value for your team, for your organization, and for the constituents you serve. And in turn, there must be a way of measuring it. We’ve all heard the admonition that what gets measured does get done. We have to be clear about what we’re going to measure, how we’re going to measure it, and what the expectation of each individual is. Here are my three steps for getting clear about your desired results and expectations:

(1) State all desired results in value creation terms. For example, if you want to increase patient care and safety for my friends in health care, if you want to increase student enrollment for my university friends, if you want to increase the adoption of a particular technological advancement for my IT friends, the question must be answered, “Where are we currently with this particular metric? Where do we want to be, and what is at stake? Why is it important for us to achieve this?” That’s number one.

(2) How are we going to measure this? What tools are we going to use? How frequently are we going to measure this? Every person has to know this is the particular tool for measuring value creation, this is how it works, this is why we’re using the tool, and this is how frequently we’re going to check on our progress.

(3) Clarify the expectations/contribution each team member makes to the results. What I mean by that is that you actually have to sit down with each employee and say, “This is the result we’re striving for, this is why it’s important, this is how we’re going to measure it, and this is your contribution. This is how you’re going to help us do this.” Your contribution leads to this result, and you must make a direct line-of-sight connection between what the employee does and achieving the result. If they know what their contribution is, if they can have their fingerprints on it, then all of the sudden, the metrics, results, and expectations completely align with the first two videos which were about:

1. Defining your desired future
2. Checking for alignment
3. And now, clarifying your desired results and expectations.

Ladies and gentlemen, do you those three things, and you will be golden. It will also position you perfectly for when you come back next week and we talk about crafting and clarifying a team agreement.

That’s it, ladies and gentlemen. As always, I look forward to your thoughts. Please put them on the blog, and I’ll respond. I’ll see you here again next week.

Take care, everyone.

Putting the jigsaw puzzle of roles and people together

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Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces

If you’re a regular reader and watcher of the Monday Morning Minute you’ve heard me extol the benefits of defining your future state. I’m an ardent advocate of leaders defining their future or desired state not because I like to rattle people’s cages (which I do), but because I believe that leaders and teams must ask strategic and important questions. Questions such as:

1. Where are we going as a team or organization?
2. Why are we going there?
3. How will our customers lives be enhanced if we travel there?
4. As leaders, are we here to do something, or for something to do?

Here’s an example of a great future state. One of my clients is the Chief Nursing Officer of a group of Seattle Hospitals. She is a talented and charismatic executive and wanted to create a compelling future that each employee could wrap their arms around and commit to achieving. Here’s what she wants:

“…to create a culture where every employee is engaged in creating the extraordinary in patient care and safety.”

I think that’s a compelling and uplifting future state. It’s so compelling that it is now not only top of mind for the thousand or so employees reporting up to her, but it is also infused into the daily priorities of each nurse, nurse manager, and nurse executive.

So where do you go after having defined your future state? A necessary next question that helps pull your desired future toward you is:

1. What roles, responsibilities and organizational structure will be required to facilitate the accomplishment of our future state?

2. Specifically, what functional and or strategic roles will need to be created that we haven’t even thought of today?

I had this conversation with one of my clients this morning. He has experienced tremendous growth over the last five years, and as he looks into the future and sees clearly a company with double the top line revenue, the crucial question is what talent, skill and or competency will he need in order to achieve his aspirational growth and sustain it?

Embedded in our conversation is an acknowledgment that his organizational structure will need to change. Why? Because he cannot become what he wants to become simply by holding on to what he’s always been. Yes, he can and will leverage his past successes. But he will not be imprisoned by his past successes.

Moment of Clarity: Questions of this type should not consider the people that are currently in your employment first. Yes, the natural tendency is to look at the future roles and start mentally putting current employees into these future roles. While that may happen, don’t limit yourself to that type of thinking. Why? Because you will always find other highly talented people whom you don’t know that will come into your network. As leaders your primary job is to find and retain talent and to convert that talent into accelerated business results.

Am I suggesting that employee loyalty and professional development programs for employees are toast? No, not at all. What I am suggesting is that winning teams are continually reinventing themselves, and until you’ve clarified your future state and what’s required to achieve it you cannot strategically evaluate your organizational structure, your roles and your employees.

When you think in terms of roles first and people second this applies to your leadership also. As a leader you don’t get a free pass. You must have a candid conversation with yourself and with someone you respect and trust about what style and type of leadership will be required. The core question that is at the heart of all performance improvement endeavors is whether your team and organization have the talent and skills to grow exponentially. If you don’t answer this question all the work invested in getting clear about your future state is for naught.

Shameless Self Promotion: I developed a Talent Amplification Process to help you address all of the issues discussed above. If you have any questions feel free to call me at 206.829.9413.

If your tires are aligned why isn’t your team? (second in a six video series)

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MMM 01-27-2014 from Hugh Blane on Vimeo.

Video Notes:

Good morning, everyone. My name is Hugh Blane, and this is the Monday Morning Minute.

This is the second video in a six-video series that I’m doing about high-performance teams. The first video was about clarifying your desired future. This one is about alignment.

When you think of alignment, think of an automobile. All of the wheels and the tires must be aligned. If not, then that slight misalignment will have rubber being burned off the tires prematurely, and you’ll have to replace the tires sooner than you would have had to. It’s expensive, and it also just doesn’t make for good tire performance.

There are three aspects of alignment that are absolutely essential when it comes to your desired future:

1. Make sure that you’re aligned with the strategic initiatives of the organization.
Does your desired future align with the corporate strategies that have been laid out? If your desired future does not align with corporate strategic initiatives, then you may very well be accomplishing a desired future, but the desired future is not going to be instrumental and beneficial to the larger organization.

2. Make sure that your desired future is in alignment with the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of all of your employees. Ladies and gentlemen, when people feel hopeful, when people feel optimistic, they will perform at much higher levels. If what you have created from a desired future does not inspire all of your team members, then it’s really for naught. You’re not going to achieve the kind of performance you want with the desired future. Make sure the desired future is aligned with everyone’s individual hopes, dreams, and aspirations, and invite them into the conversation about how to make sure that it is aligned.

3. Make sure you have aligned your desired future with the necessary talents, skills, and competencies to achieve your desired future. If you create something that is truly aspirational, you will have a group of people who are willing to accomplish it, but they may not have the ability to accomplish it. If there’s misalignment, it doesn’t mean you’ll have to replace people. It means that you’re going to have to align the training and development efforts of the team in order to achieve your desired future.

In summary:

1. Make sure you’re aligned with the strategic initiatives of the organization.

2. Make sure you’re aligned with the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of each of the employees.

3. Make sure you’re aligned with the talents and skills with a desired future.

If you do those three things, you are going to create breakthrough performance in your teams.

As always, I invite you to comment on the blog. I look forward to your questions, and I will see you here again next week when we talk about clarifying the desired results as well as the expectations of each one of the team members.

That’s it, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you have a fabulous week, and I will see you here again next week. Take care.

Six steps to creating high performance teams (first in a six video videos)

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Clarify Your Desired Future from Hugh Blane on Vimeo.

Video Notes:

Good morning, everyone. My name is Hugh Blane, and this is the Monday Morning Minute. But this Monday Morning Minute is the first in a series of six Monday Morning Minutes I’m going to do around team performance, team effectiveness, and how you can create a high-performing team.

Believe it or not, you already know the very first thing that needs to be done in order to create a high-performing team. It is clarify the desired future.

Oftentimes what people do is create a series of goals and they say, “This is what our future really is.” But I’m going to suggest to you, if you want to know whether or not you have a compelling, desired future, you must answer these five questions in the affirmative:

1. Is your desired future rooted in a desired future as opposed to a probable past? Oftentimes what people do is create a future, but it is rooted in saying, “Let’s look historically at what we have done in the past, and then we can determine what we will be in the future.” This is a bad idea. Don’t do that. High-performing teams create a desired future rooted in something where you can truly say, “This will absolutely make us indispensable to customers if we do this. Your desired future has no bearing whatsoever of what we’ve done historically.”

2. Does it inspire you? Does it breathe life into your thinking? If it doesn’t transform your thinking, ladies and gentlemen, it’s not going to be transformational. It’s not going to be desirous to achieve it. If it doesn’t inspire you, then you’re toast.

3. Would it be bitterly disappointing if you did not achieve this? I mean that sincerely. If you looked at your desired future and said, “It wouldn’t be the end of the world if we didn’t get it,” then it’s not a desired future. It has to be something that is so compelling to you that you say, “Under no circumstances will we not achieve this. It will be too disappointing to everyone if we didn’t do it.”

4. Did you focus on the “what” and the “why” before you ever went to the how in this process?
Did you get crystal clear about what you wanted to achieve and why it was important to you before you ever went to how? If you bring in “how” too early in the process, then it doesn’t become a desired future. It becomes an incremental improvement plan.

5. Has it transformed your behavior?
Has it transformed how you behave on a daily basis? Ladies and gentleman, that is where the proof is in the pudding. If you’re willing to change your behavior and search out new ways to do something so you can accelerate the accomplishment of your desired future, then you’re golden.

Those are five questions about how you will know whether or not you have a clear, desired future. If you answer those questions in the affirmative, you’re on your way.
If you have any questions, I’d love to hear them. Come to the blog and let me know what your thoughts are. I will see you next week where we will talk about checking for alignment.

That’s it! I hope you have a fabulous week. See you here!

Uplifting the human spirit

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Uplifting the human spirit from Hugh Blane on Vimeo.

Only watch this if you want a stellar 2014 (long version of the Monday Morning Minute)

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Only watch this if you want a stellar 2014 (the long version of the 01-06-2014 Monday Morning Minute) from Hugh Blane on Vimeo.

Clarify Your Ideal Day (short version of the Monday Morning Minute)

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Clarify Your Identify Day from Hugh Blane on Vimeo.

Show Notes:

Good morning everyone, my name is Hugh Blane and this is the Monday Morning Minute for January 6, 2014.
Ladies and gentleman I’m going to give you a teaser. This is the short Monday Morning Minute for today. There is a longer version right below this one on my blog, but you should only watch it IF you want to have a truly stellar 2014.

In this the first Monday Morning Minute of 2014 I have this as my greatest recommendation for you. If you want to have a more rewarding and enriching professional life you must clarify what your ideal day looks like. Ladies and gentlemen, I encounter people every day in the workplace that have not clarified what makes them really feel alive, what makes them feel invigorated and what makes them feel so fired up that they become contagious to everyone that they come in contact with.

When you clarify what your ideal day looks like it triggers your brain to become a magnet that draws you to your ideal day just through the process of clarifying it. By clarifying your ideal day it allows you to accelerate the accomplishment of your ideal day.

If you want to experience your ideal day my recommendation is simple. At the end of todays video, put a pen to paper or take out your iPad or iPhone and write down the five things that make you feel alive professionally. It’s as simple as that.

If you want to do something different and if you want to have a stellar 2014, take the Monday Morning Minute and push the pause button and take what I ask you to do and just do it. If you do what I recommend you will start to experience an ideal/stellar day and year.

Thank you everyone. I hope you have an ideal day and week and I look forward to seeing you here again next week.

Take care.