It’s About Trust, Stupid!

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Ever since Bill Clinton used the phrase ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ in his successful 1992 campaign for the US Presidency, it has been almost an article of faith that voters will, at the end of the day, elect leaders on the basis of economic self-interest.

Whether or not that was every completely true, recent events in Australian politics point to a new catch-phrase: ‘It’s about Trust, stupid.’ (more…)

The seven workplace passion killers

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Sevel passion killers‘Passion is the Number 1 Business Development Tool’, says my friend Jesper Lowgren, author of On Purpose – the path to extraordinary business transformation. Passion is what drives engagement (both internally and externally) and leads to simplification through asking the right “Why” questions.

Listen to leading organisations like Zappos and Google and it is clear that people there are passionate about what they do. Yet in too many other organisations passion is a scarce resource. Most people when they start a new job are excited and engaged. Most new projects and change initiatives start out with a lot of enthusiasm. And yet STILL about 2/3 of these initiatives fail – a figure that has not altered significantly in the last 30 years.

Where does all the passion go? (more…)

Passion and Flow: How to make the most of your greatest asset – People!

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

People potentialI’m running an event in Melbourne on 12 August at 6.30pm. You can find the details here.

But first some background:

Like it or not, we live in revolutionary times. Everywhere I go I find conversations about working in a different way. Some of the regular themes include:

  • unleashing human potential and creativity
  • working collaboratively across silos and organisations
  • building tribes and communities with trust
  • the shift away from patriarchal structures and the rise of feminine values
  • a new environmental awareness
  • putting values at the centre of everything we do
  • being authentically human

(more…)

Keys to High Performing Teams part 8 – Workplace Conflict Resolution

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Businessman yelling.This is the eighth in a series of Ten Keys to High Performing Teams. This article looks at the role that conflict resolution plays in workplace performance.

Conflict, like change, is inevitable. But it does not have to be destructive. Handled well, conflict can be a driver of innovation leading to better outcomes for everyone. The good news is that if you implement the other Keys to High Performing Teams in this series, you are already avoiding some of the drivers which can make conflict damaging and costly.

But because conflict is usually seen as something negative, painful and destructive, many people and organisations try to live in denial, seeking to avoid open conflict at all costs. This is not a good idea! It leads to even more pain over time as the conflict goes underground spreading its toxic fruits without being given a chance for a positive resolution.  (more…)

Keys to high performing teams part 6 – Daily accountability conversations

Monday, June 16th, 2014

accountability conversationsThis is the sixth article in a series on 10 keys to high performing teams. You can see the original post here.

When organisations want to lift performance, often the first strategy that comes to mind is to set goals – perhaps coming up with one Big Hairy Audacious Goal or a set of Stretch Goals for individual teams. But a 2009 paper Goals Gone Wild by the Harvard Business School points out that the benefits of goal setting are exaggerated while the potential negative side effects are often ignored. In some cases, an over emphasis on goals can lead to lower performance. This happens for two main reasons: Firstly when extrinsic motivators are pushed, it means there is less intrinsic motivation. Secondly, it can emphasise the future at the expense of the present. (more…)

Keys to high performing teams part 5 – catching people doing things right

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Bunch of carrots.

This is the fifth article in a series on 10 Keys to High Performing Teams. This article looks at the “sticks and carrots” approach of traditional performance management systems. The article draws on research from behavioural psychology to show why a culture of recognition is one of the most powerful ways to lift performance, and looks at some of the common mistakes that organisations make.

One of the great things about behavioural psychology is the insight that all behaviour has a cause (or causes) which can be understood. By working on understanding the causes of a behaviour, it becomes possible to then change it.  (more…)

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. (more…)

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