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 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 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…)

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. (more…)

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. (more…)

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: (more…)