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…)

Keys to High Performing Teams part 9 – The Physical Environment

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

This is the ninth in a series of Ten Keys to High Performing Teams. This article looks at the role the physical environment plays in workplace performance. The article is a guest post by workplace design consultant Anetta Pizag, founder of Pizag.

JobAdder office-bar

‘One of the best business decisions I’ve made was this office. It had a huge impact on sales, staff attraction, and – definitely – on productivity. Everyone here loves working here, and they tell me that all the time. In 10 years I’ve never had a staff member resign. It’s a testament to the environment that we have here.’ (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 7 – Value individuality, diversity, unique gifts

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

dog wearing party hatThis is the seventh in a series on 10 keys to High Performing Teams. You can see the original post here. This one looks at the importance of valuing and recognising people’s diverse, individual gifts and strengths.

We are each unique one-of-a-kind individuals who think differently. Yet in many workplaces we feel we have to leave our individuality at home and conform. Embracing diversity and individuality encourages people to bring more of themselves to work. Not only that, research shows that diversity drives creativity and innovation. (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…)

Engaged employees significantly outperform – so recognise them.

Friday, October 18th, 2013

This is a guest post from Tony Delaney, CEO of Brownie Points

Happy businesspeople.A recent Gallup survey of Australian companies has concluded once again that engaged and motivated managers and workers are essential to high performing organisations.

The survey also shows that companies with high ‘employee engagement’ financially outperform those with low engagement by up to 24%. This is because there is a direct correlation between motivated staff, brand image, corporate performance and shareholder value. Top brands such as Apple, Virgin and Nespresso all have highly engaged staff delivering products and services which stand out from the competition.

It’s the same for medium sized companies. A 2012 survey of Chief Executives in the San Francisco area ranked a dedicated workforce top on a list of the most important elements of their companies’ success.

The foundations for high employee engagement are created when there is a culture of recognition that catches people ‘doing things right’ and when they go above and beyond basic expectations. This culture starts from the top. Senior management must present a clear vision and commitment to sustaining long term engagement. Recognition or ‘catching people doing the right thing’ is fundamental to this. (more…)

Keys to high performing teams part 4 – Good relationships

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

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

The links between productivity and workplace relationships are so obvious they hardly need spelling out. You are much more likely to work hard and go the extra mile for people you care about. You are much more likely to let down people you don’t care about.

Not only that, good relationships are the number one reason for people to remain in their current jobs. A recent poll conducted by the Australian Institute of Management found that ‘good relationships with co-workers’ topped the list of reasons to stay. It was ahead of job satisfaction, flexible working arrangements, great work/life balance, feeling valued by the organisation, or job security. Salary came behind all of these other reasons.

And supportive colleagues can also help prevent lost work time due to stress-related illness. A major survey of 24,000 Canadians found that lack of social support at work more than doubles an employee’s risk of depression—the leading cause of disability worldwide.

So how to you get your team from being colleagues to being friends? Here are a few pointers: (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…)

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