Gandhi and the politics of blame

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
Gandhi's room

Gandhi’s room in Mani Bhavan, Mumbai

The birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, October 2, is a good time to reflect on the theme of leadership and how politics can be a great force for good.

I write as a bitterly divided US congress has led to the first Government shut-down in 17 years with both Democrats and Republicans hoping that the public will blame the other side more than it hurts their own.  And here in Australia we have just had an election which both major parties said would be fought on the question of trust. The result is that the public’s trust in politicians is at an all-time low.

Last February I took part in a Dialogue on Democracy in Panchgani, India. It was the second such conference. Participants came from several countries struggling – often painfully – towards greater participation by citizens in how their countries are run.  We heard people from Syria, Egypt, Burma/Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Tibet express how it sometimes seemed that for every step forward there were two steps back. Continue Reading »

Keys to high performing teams part 3 – Align personal and organisational goals

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Align personal and organisational goals.This is the third in a series of posts exploring 10 keys to getting high performing teams. This one looks at the third key: aligning personal goals with organisational goals.

A recent article in Fast Company magazine made some interesting points about the “onboarding” (orientation for new employees) process and challenged the conventional practice. Currently the emphasis is helping the newcomer understanding the organisation’s practices, values and people, so that they can quickly learn to fit in.

However, drawing on Positive Psychology research, the authors of an academic paper titled Breaking Them In or Eliciting Their Best? found that current practice leads to people performing less than optimally in the job. Continue Reading »

The Daring Greatly Leadership Manifesto

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

From my own learning and observations, one of the biggest barriers to trust in the workplace, and by extension to productivity, is the habits of blame and shame that manifest into toxic blaming and low-trust cultures.

Brené Brown has been doing some pioneering work on understanding the role that shame plays. As well as her excellent TED talk, do yourself a favour and spend an hour looking at an interview she did with Oprah Winfrey.

There is pure gold in that interview.

There is also a link to download several Daring Greatly manifestos, including the Leadershp Manifesto.

This is so in-tune with my work that I share it here. (Click the image to download it as a PDF from Brené Brown’s website)

Daring Greatly Leadership Manifesto

Mike Lowe
Helping individuals and teams get into flow

Fool-proof employee driven engagement

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

EmployeeDrivenEngagementWPMy colleague and friend, Ian Berry, creator of the Enhancing Their Gifts System, has produced a White Paper on Fool-proof employee driven engagement. It is 12 pages of passion and sound advice drawn from Ian’s 20 years experience in this field, and responding to the questions he is most commonly asked.

It also starts with his Manifesto, which could equally read as my own manifesto for business.

Download the White Paper here ->>

Mike Lowe
Helping individuals and teams get into flow

Keys to high performing teams part 2 – Crystal clarity on roles and responsibilities

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

crystal clarityThis is the second in a series of posts exploring 10 keys to getting high performing teams. This one looks at the second key: getting crystal clarity on responsibilities and what is expected.

I’m a keen amateur photographer and I recently got a new camera which came with a 200 page manual. Did I read it before using the camera? No! Fortunately it came with a shorter “quick start” guide with enough information to get me going, and as I got more proficient I have referred to the manual when I needed answers to specific questions. I have also learned from video tutorials on the internet, as well as learning from other users of this camera via online forums. Continue Reading »

Keys to high performing teams part 1 – have the right people in the right roles

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Am I the Right Person?This is the first of a promised series of posts exploring 10 keys to getting high performing teams.

This one looks at having the right people in the right jobs.

A key part of this comes at the recruiting stage. Don’t make the mistake that many businesses do and focus on skills and experience. Skills can be easily taught and experience can be gained. It is more important to look things like personality, strengths and values.

Get this right and you will find people who have an intrinsic motivation to work in that role. In other words they will enjoy what they do. That is a powerful drive, and will mean that they are not so dependent on extrinsic motivators – the carrots and sticks of traditional performance management.

I use the Talent Dynamics test to find out in what roles a person is most likely to find their flow. There are other personality profile type tests, such as Myers Briggs (MBTI) DISC and various derivatives of them with different names. Personally I find Talent Dynamics more suited than the others for reasons I go into here. What it will help you find is the person who is most likely to thrive in the role you want them to fill. It’s no use having someone who is a creative big-picture person trying to do repetitive detail-orientated work. Likewise it’s no use having someone who is systems and numbers focused in role where they routinely need to engage with people’s emotions and irrational behaviour. Continue Reading »

Community, trust and high performing teams

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

For those who missed the webinar this morning, here is the replay. I very much enjoyed our “Candid Conversation” with Ian Berry, Founder of the Talent Enhancers Tribe. We talked about how to create trust, the importance of community and good relationships in the workplace and how it relates to intrinsic motivation and high performing teams. Along the way we also talked about the Discover the Other process and about Talent Dynamics.

Mike Lowe
Helping individuals and teams get into flow

Ten keys to getting high performing teams

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

GoalsThis is the first of a series of ten blog posts where I will expand on each of the ten keys to high performing teams that I have identified.  Watch out for future posts over the coming weeks.  But first off, here are the Ten Keys to High Performing Teams: Continue Reading »

Ian Berry’s Key Discoveries about people and talent enhancement – part 2

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Changing What's Normal logoGuest blog from Ian Berry, creator of the Enhancing Their Gifts system

This is the second of three articles about why I believe that helping your employees to feel valued, fulfilled, and loved is the biggest and best thing you can do to grow your business.

If you missed the first article, Helping your employees to feel loved, you can read it here.

Article two – Helping your employees to feel fulfilled

I love the word fulfilled because of what it means “satisfied or happy because of fully developing one’s abilities or character.”

There are some great synonyms for fulfilled as well like “realized, carry through, accomplish, execute, carry out.”

The number of employees you have who you could say the above about, I guarantee that your business results are a direct reflection. Continue Reading »

Ian Berry’s Key Discoveries about people and talent enhancement – part1

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Changing What's Normal logoGuest blog from Ian Berry, creator of the Enhancing Their Gifts system

When I first consider working with a new client I am keen to find out how much employees of the organisation feel valued, fulfilled, and loved.  Why these three you might reasonably ask?

In my work with leaders in 40 countries since 1991 the above three are the standout pathways to unleashing the unique talents/gifts that are lying dormant in most people.

The results of this unleashing

Higher levels of productivity and engagement from employees, higher sales, lower costs and lower employee turnover, and more time for you to pursue what really matters to you. Continue Reading »