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Add a Little Hoopla to Your Culture

Guest post from Dean M. Schroeder:

Carl Holte loves Hoopla! Not hoopla as in the form of exuberant celebration, but hoopla as in the name of an improvement technique used at the Web Industries Hartford, Connecticut unit where Carl is the plant manager.

Hoopla is a simple, quick improvement technique that is used at the end of every meeting or event. Participants are asked three questions:

1)     What Went Well

2)     What Didn’t Go Well

3)     What Should We Do Differently

Repurposing the Performance Conversation

Guest post by Great Leadership monthly contributor Beth Armknecht Miller:

When was the last time you had a performance conversation that went well? Or better yet, when was the last time you enjoyed having a performance conversation? Let’s face it; both parties of the conversation generally dread performance conversations, more commonly known as performance reviews.
So, why not have a different conversation? How about shifting the conversation to focus on the future and how a person can improve through personal and professional development? The conversation you should be having is the development conversation. These conversations are about supporting and empowering your team members, which will allow them to take ownership for their own personal development.

30 Thoughts We All Have in Staff Meetings:

Right before the meeting:
1. Arrgh, I’m supposed to be at a meeting in 10 minutes. What the heck is it for, who’s running it, and where is it?

2. Oh no, it's the dreaded staff meeting! I’d better take a look at the agenda and make sure I wasn’t supposed do anything to prepare.
3. Dang – we’re supposed to do status updates. No problem, I’ve got 8 more minutes.

The Obligation to Dissent

Guest post By Jeremy Eden and Terri Long: 

When corporate leaders make decisions about a new idea, something we call “executive exuberance” often plays a deceptive role.  Here is what happens: analyses start to show that deciding to go forward will produce good benefits at reasonable costs and risk.  Though the leader has some issues they want further analyzed, they begin to express some enthusiasm for the idea. Those reading the tea leaves see that the top of the house is leaning toward a yes.  Suddenly, everyone starts to see the data supporting the ideas with a bit more of a rosy glow while the data about the costs and risk begin to be minimized.  Sometimes this is just a case of politically pandering to the powerful.  But far more often, this phenomenon happens subconsciously.  When we want something to be true, the evidence that supports our desire shines brightly at us.  At the same time, we ignore or find justification why the evidence against us is irrelevant.  So as executives start to lean toward a “yes”, they and their teams put on rose-colored glasses and voila, initial skepticism turns into enthusiasm which turns into ...

17 Ways to Teach Managers how to Coach

Welcome to the April 2014 edition of the Leadership Development Carnival!
For this month’s Carnival, I asked our community of leadership development experts the following question:

Wouldn't it be great if we could teach managers how to coach? What one book, website, or other resource would you recommend to a busy yet motivated manager who wants to learn how to be a better coach?”
The following is a collection of their responses. Bookmark it, print it, and share it with others. Pick one resource that you didn’t know about and review it yourself. We can all learn something new when it comes to the art and science of coaching.

False Positives

Guest post by David Small:

I’ve been coaching elite athletes and soldiers for the more than a decade now, and recently I learned a lesson about false positives. I’d like to give you four tips to serve your team with honesty, even when it’s uncomfortable.

T.O.I.L.E.T. Training™ -- a breakthrough system to improve workplace learning

As a follow-up to my last post about getting smarter about how we invest our limited training budgets......

PHILADELPHIA, April 1, 2014 -- Rapid Learning Institute (RLI) pulled back the curtain today on its latest innovation in workplace education: the T.O.I.L.E.T. Training System™ -- a new platform that promises to reshape how training is delivered in modern organizations.
The T.O.I.L.E.T. Training System™ -- which is built on RLI’s proprietary Time Optimized Intensive Learning Experience Technology -- combines state-of-the-art hardware and software to transform the standard commercial restroom stall into a fun and exciting learning kiosk that not only increases the worker’s knowledge base, but also enhances the quality of the break event itself.
“Today’s workers and organizations are under unprecedented pressure to maintain high productivity,” said RLI Research Director Walter P. Hokes. “In this time-stressed environment, training is often viewed as a luxury that employers can’t afford. And yet without ongoing training, organizations fall behind. So we asked ourselves, ‘How can we help organizations deliver effective training without negatively impacting productivity?’”

In 2008 ...

Let’s Stop Pushing “Development” as a Cheap Replacement for Training

True confession time.

I once worked for a large, global conglomerate that was in a death spiral and struggling to turn things around. The company was harvesting its mature and declining business in order to pump cash into its growth bets.

Three Communication Tips Every Leader Should Use

Guest post from Joe McCormack:

Brief breakthroughs can come at any time.

“I wish I knew how important brevity was for me 30 years ago.” That’s a powerful confession to hear from an accomplished Fortune 500 professional.

15 Ways to Set a Positive Example as a Manager

“I'm not a role model... Just because I dunk a basketball doesn't mean I should raise your kids.”
- Charles Barkley

When you’re a manager, like it or not, you ARE a role model. All eyes are on you. The example you set has an enormous impact on your direct report employees and those around you. If you are a newly promoted or hired manager, your employees will watch, listen, and learn about what matters to you, what’s important, what to do and what not to do. If you’ve been a manager in the same role for a while, they already have learned, and the norms you’ve perhaps unconsciously established are more powerful than that “Our Company Values” poster on the wall.