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Adapting to Change: it’s About the Transition

September 20, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Human Resources, Management, Training

From: Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), Leading Effectively   

You know change is hard. But did you know that the ability to adapt to change is the No. 1 success factor for leaders?

CCL research has found that successful executives in North America and Europe:

  • Adapt to the changing external pressures facing the organization
  • Adjust their management style to changing situations
  • Accept changes as positive
  • Revise plans as necessary
  • Consider other people’s concerns during change

But what do you need to do to adapt and respond well to change?

A new CCL guidebook, Adapting to Organizational Change, distills the knowledge and best practices that will help you flex and adjust during changing times.

The first thing you need to do to manage change and be adaptable is understand there is a difference between change and transition.

Change is defined as the situations and occurrences that impact organizations and individuals, such as a new boss, a move to another location or a shift in policy. Change creates the need to move from the way it used to be to the way it is now.

Transition is the internal psychological process of adapting to a new situation. Transition can happen quickly or slowly. It is the process of moving successfully from the old to the new.

Another key strategy is to identify how the changes affect your feelings and thoughts. For many leaders, change challenges their experience with being right or in control. Feelings of anger, fear, powerlessness or frustration, as well as being stressed and exhausted, are common. But if left unresolved, negative feelings and thoughts become more intense, which can lead otherwise successful people to derail.

A final strategy for navigating transition is to guide oneself through three stages. William Bridges, a leader in the field of change management, says transition involves:

An Ending. Let go of the past; honor and grieve the ending but accept it. To fully experience change as an ending, try some or all of these strategies:

  • Learn all you can about the nature of the change without first judging it.
  • Take stock of who is losing what.
  • Define the precise details of what is over and what is not.
  • Admit to yourself and others that the change has occurred.
  • Actively seek information from all relevant sources about the change.
  • Let others know the facts and feelings that you have about the change.
  • Mark the ending in a meaningful way.
  • Take note of what has been lost and what has been gained.

The Neutral Zone. This may be the most uncomfortable transition stage. This is the time of confusion, of living with a clear ending but having no clear beginning. It is also the time for clarity to develop and point you to a new beginning. Tips for this stage:

  • Realize that uncertainty is an integral stage between an ending and a new beginning. Don’t expect to know everything or to be perfect.
  • Set short-term goals to move through uncertainty and advance toward a new beginning. Take stock of what you need to accomplish those goals and identify opportunities that will help you move forward.
  • Look backward to the ending and acknowledge what you had. Look forward to the beginning and the possibilities it could create.
  • Connect to your values. When you feel uncertain and confused, your personal values provide direction.

New beginning. Utilize the clarity that developed in the neutral zone and accept the challenge of working in a changed environment. When moving through the new beginning, experience it as a fresh start. To do so:

  • Imagine what the new beginning looks and feels like. Symbolize the new beginning in words, images and thoughts.
  • Give everyone a part in the new beginning; find a place for all relevant parties to the change.
  • Create strategies for tackling new problems and meeting new challenges.
  • Re-emphasize the reason for the change and recognize that reason as why you are beginning anew.
  • Find ways to mark your success.

People experience organizational change in many different ways and the process of transition will vary. As a leader, you must deal with your own personal uncertainty and resistance to change. Recognize that your process of going through endings, neutral zones and new beginnings will affect your work and the people around you. With greater awareness of the human side of transition, you will be more adaptable — and able to help others adapt to change as well.

A Broad Perspective: A Must-Have for Promotion

August 17, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Human Resources, Management, Training

From Center on Creative Leadership, “Leading Effectively” August 2013

The more responsibility you have and the higher up you go in your organization, the more important it is to see beyond your own functional area.

CCL has found that a broad organizational perspective is one of the most important factors in the advancement of executives. Looked at another way, having a narrow functional orientation can lead to derailment. A promotion might take you beyond your level of competence — you may be pushed out, demoted or fired.

If you are too narrow in your perspective, you can expand it, according to CCL’s Ellen Van Velsor, author of the new CCL guidebook, Broadening Your Organizational Perspective.

First, determine what is getting in your way. It may be, in part, organizational forces. But it may be your own behaviors that are holding you back. Do you tend to:

Over-rely on strengths? Too much success in one area can lead you to over-rely on what has been working for you so far. Any strength can become a weakness, leaving you with a gap or limitation when it comes to the next job opportunity.

Ignore a flaw? You probably know your weak spots, or you’ve been given feedback about something to improve. Ignoring this insight is a missed opportunity — one that can potentially derail your career.

Avoid untested areas? If you shy away from a function or area, the lack of knowledge and experience may become an obvious gap. Don’t think, “I’ve made it this far” and assume it won’t matter down the road.

Focus on one type of work? Deep expertise is not a replacement for a variety of experiences. A track record of working in different areas or on different types of work demonstrates the versatility needed to move up in an organization.

Underlying these four patterns is the inability to learn, to take a risk and to be challenged by something new. So, go after a variety of challenging experiences — but be sure you will learn from them.

To boost your ability to learn from experiences, rather than just run through the paces, pay attention to three factors:

Willingness to learn. Understand that new experiences may provoke fear or anxiety. Your performance may suffer in the short term. What is your motivation and commitment to engaging in and learning from a new experience? How will you handle the emotions that come along with it?

Ability to learn. When going through a new experience you will want to determine what is important for you to learn. This requires vulnerability. Are you able to seek and use feedback? Do you learn from mistakes? Are you open to criticism without being defensive?

Learning versatility. You also need to understand how you learn — what’s your learning style. Once you’ve identified the tactics you prefer and use most often, you can try new learning tactics to make sure you learn the most from your experiences.

With a solid understanding and commitment to learning, you can find and create experiences to broaden your organizational view. As a result you will strengthen your overall leadership abilities, enhance your opportunities for advancement and improve your ability to adapt to an uncertain and turbulent world of work.

Developing Leaders Within an Organization

May 08, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Human Resources, Management, Training

By Andrea Zintz

The idea of having a succession plan is often associated with company  ownership, but it really applies throughout any organization. When leaders move  on-retiring, getting promoted or choosing to take their talents elsewhere-it can  leave a significant void that can be problematic right away and for the long  term.

Developing leaders from within is one of the best things you can do to  ensure you don’t end up with a leadership deficiency.

A number of best practices exist with regard to internal leadership  development, and they all have one thing in common: buy-in from the top is a  critical component for success. In addition to saying the right things regarding  the importance of “bench strength” and education/training, top leaders must  continually espouse developing leaders as something that’s a highly regarded  company value.


With that thought in mind, let’s take a look at three best practices that can  be used to develop leaders within an organization:

Have a formal executive development program in place. This can be  outsourced or run internally, and ideally it will be tiered, offering different  tracks for senior managers, mid-level managers, supervisors, and even those who  aspire to join the management ranks. With advances in online learning, leaders  can tap into programs from wherever they’re located.

It’s best to supplement  classroom training-which alone can end up being rather weak-with on-the-job  experience in the form of stretch assignments and team projects that accelerate  the learning process. However, collaboration and on-the-job reinforcement must  remain a necessary component.

Employees need to be able to put concepts and  ideas they’ve been learning to work, and they’ll benefit from receiving coaching  and feedback along the way.

Encourage leaders to teach. Education comes in many forms; it can be as  simple as having a discussion at a staff meeting about the work implications of  an assigned article or case study. When leaders take the time to share their  knowledge, what results can be quite powerful. Serving as a mentor or coach can  ramp things up even more, since that provides line-of-sight support and a place  to go with questions, and it may result in career-building opportunities for the  person being taken under a leader’s wing.

Pay attention to the makeup of your leadership team. The need for diversity  aside, it’s important to create an environment of inclusion, so people feel  listened to, and believe they have a path to leadership. Ask whether you’ve  inadvertently excluded women, people of color or those with varied cultural  backgrounds-and what valuable points of view you are thus missing.

I’ve heard an  analogy that diversity is being invited to the party, while inclusion is being  asked to dance when you’re there. When people are challenged to stretch beyond  what they know, that builds leaders.

When upper management supports these best practices, and makes sure that  developing leaders from within is part of the company’s organizational values,  the results will be far- reaching. Employees will understand where the company  is trying to go and how they can play a role in getting it there, and those who  seek to move into leadership roles will have the resources and  well-defined pathways to make that happen.

Andrea Zintz, President, Strategic Leadership Resources We are trusted  advisors on shaping the future through leadership development. Our business is developing current and  future leaders and leadership teams to build the capability for fulfilling the  strategic vision of their enterprise

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7681562

Start Making Sense and See Your Career More Clearly

May 08, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Human Resources, Marketing & Sales, Social media

From: Center for Creative Leadership, Leading Effectively

Career paths and development strategies are increasingly self-directed. How do you gain the information and insight needed to steer your course?

One essential strategy for getting a clear view of yourself, your context and your career is to seek “sense-making” relationships.

“Other people can help us see more clearly how specific activities or behaviors or experiences fit into our career path and our development,” says Regina Eckert, co-author of a CCL white paper, Through the Looking Glass: How Relationships Shape Managerial Careers. “This process of sense-making is an important and often overlooked aspect of why relationships are valuable.”

Sense-making is simply the process of assigning meaning to a phenomenon or development. From a career perspective, a CCL study found that relationships help managers to make meaning of their work and development in three key ways:

1. To Guide. Some relationships help managers define what they want to achieve and why. Friends, colleagues, mentors, parents or other more experienced or senior people may guide informally by sharing their experiences and perspective. Guiding can also be very direct in the form of practical advice and tips.

Guidance can also come in the form of what not to do. Learning from other people’s mistakes or the consequences to their own career decisions is a powerful source of guidance.

2. To Affirm. People who know a manager’s field and/or organization are in a position to affirm, encourage and build confidence. These relationships are helpful for calibrating what’s going on in one’s own career development, as well as in the career market inside and outside his or her organization.

Affirmation is especially needed in the absence of obvious career paths and multiple (often competing) choices to make.

3. To Stretch. Another form of sense-making comes from a challenge to managers’ implicit beliefs about their potential and career goals. Some relationships push them to rethink or reframe a situation or experience.

For example, working with someone who has a very different perspective or take on an issue is a huge opportunity. This often feels uncomfortable, but it opens the door to deeper understanding and new possibilities.

“If you don’t have people to help you make sense of your career development, your context and your goals, our research shows you that you have two choices: Either you seek out relationships that give you the sense-making support you need, or you change your existing relationships to be more relevant for your career and development,” says Eckert.

“Depending on your personal circumstances and the kind of support you’re lacking in your relationships, you can decide which avenue is more promising for you.”

Help Wanted to Steer Career

Do you have relationships with people who help you make sense of your work, your organization, your career? Ask yourself:

  • Who guides me? Who is a role model?
  • Who affirms my own interpretations and sense-making?
  • Who stretches and challenges my sense-making? Who adds perspective?

If you don’t have relationships to help you understand and navigate your work life, who can you turn to? How would you go about changing and re-vamping existing relationships so that they meet your needs?

Changing Culture: 4 Phases, Not Four Steps

April 16, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Human Resources, Management, Operations

From: Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), Learning Effectively

Changing culture is about changing minds.

Executives, leadership teams and entire organizations need more mature minds to deal with the increased complexity, uncertainty and inter-connectedness of our world.

 CCL’s approach to changing culture is focused on growing bigger minds and fostering the thinking that allows for creative action in the face of complexity. Based on five principles, we use four broad, overlapping, reinforcing phases:

Discovery learningdetermining willingness. What is the feasibility of entering the culture-change process? This is a mutual learning phase between CCL (as facilitators) and the client (as change agents and organizational leadership). It begins with an assessment of the current level of leadership culture and a look at the capability required by the business strategy.

Players’ Readinessdeveloping understanding. What are the long-term implications of integrating a new culture into the organization’s work? What is senior leadership’s ability to engage in the change process? It requires a commitment to participate in public learning — practices that many conservative institutions will decline.

Game Board Planningframing the change process. What does culture change look like? How does interdependent leadership play out in business and leadership strategies, the learning process and organizational work targets? What are the beliefs and behaviors required? As senior leaders’ understanding of the change process grows, they are better able to frame the change challenge and engage other leaders.

Playing the Gamebuilding capability. Once senior leadership has internalized the change work and discerned the way forward, they begin to move the new culture forward into the broader the organization. The same beliefs and practices that moved the leadership culture at the top are taught, practiced and required elsewhere in the organization.

The four phases are not a list of simple steps to take, cautions CCL’s John McGuire.

“Many of the traditional serial, step-by-step change management methodologies regard human beings as things to be managed,” McGuire says. “But we’re not things. We’re complex beings with minds and imaginations and beliefs. We have to engage and participate in order to learn and change.”

“We know this work is not for everyone,” McGuire continues. “But if senior leadership is fully engaged, they become adept at their own collaborative learning. Then the senior team is able to immerse larger numbers of leaders from across the organization and develops toward a critical mass for enterprise-wide change. Our goal is to eventually involve everyone in the organization in a learning process that creates trust, ownership and increasing forms of interdependence.”

3 Types of Leadership Culture

Organizations that grow from dependent to independent to interdependent leadership cultures become increasingly capable of creative action in the face of complexity.

  • Dependent: A form of leadership culture or mindset based in conformance or tradition.
  • Independent: A form of leadership culture or mindset based in heroic individual achievement.
  • Interdependent: A form of leadership culture or mindset based in the collaboration of otherwise independent leaders and groups.

Responsive Web Design a Must for Today’s on the Move Customer

April 16, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Marketing & Sales, Marketing & Sales, Social media

By Lou Amico

The days of stationary web browsing strictly from behind a desktop computer  are over. Today’s customers are on the go, relying on their smart phones and  tablets to go online and get information at lightning speed. Over the past three  years there has been an explosion in mobile devices, which includes tablets. In  2010 it was typical to see mobile device visits at 3 to 5 percent of total  visits to a given website.

Today, the majority of websites receive 25 to 50  percent of traffic from mobile visitors. This number will continue to increase  making it even more imperative for companies to innovate with a responsive  website design that adapts easily to the different browser sizes and technology  of today’s mobile devices.

What is responsive design?

A responsively designed website adapts automatically to the viewers browser –  from desktop computers to mobile smart phones to tablets – the content and  images fit the browser so a user does not have to scroll back and forth and side  to side to see the entire page. Instead of seeing only part of your web page  when viewed on a non-traditional browser, the web browser automatically detects  the type of platform accessing the website and adapts the page to fit the  viewers screen, leaving the navigation, text and forms large enough to easily  read and access without adjusting the browser.

It can be a frustrating experience trying to get information on a website  that doesn’t adapt to the browser’s space. If a customer can’t easily scan a  page and find what they are looking for then they will most likely go back to  their trusty friend Google and visit a competitor’s site.

Apple and Flash don’t mix

You know that fancy Adobe Flash slide show, banner and presentation that your  web developer charged you an arm and a leg for? Adobe Flash is not compatible on  iPhones and iPads. A responsively designed platform incorporates non-Flash tools  that work regardless of the browser. So, those important graphics and  presentations can easily be viewed.

We’re a fast moving society and the ability to access information  instantaneously on a variety of technology platforms has caused us to all to be  a bit more impatient. The percentage of mobile and tablet visitors to your  website are only going to increase. Is your website laying out the welcome mat  to this on-the-go technology or slamming the door in its face?

Lou Amico is founder and president of LA Management Company, a strategic  marketing firm specializing in online marketing, video production, multimedia  production, website development and optimization and social marketing. He can be  reached at (704) 560-6274 or visit http://www.LAManagementCo.com for more information.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7580570

Leadership: Don’t Ignore the Young Ones

April 07, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Human Resources, Management, Training

From: Center for Creative Leadership, Leading Effectively Feb. 2013

It’s never too early to learn leadership, according to a CCL survey.

Fully 90 percent of respondents believe leadership development should start before age 18 — and certainly should be part of early-career learning.

The study, and CCL’s work with youth and young professionals, gives insight into what leadership skills matter most and how businesses can invest in next-generation leaders.

What should youth leadership development be developing?

Our survey — along with growing interest in CCL’s leadership initiatives for K-12 and university groups — clearly signals the need for leadership development to be a part of every student’s educational experience. If so, what should be the focus of youth leadership efforts?

One way to look at it is to consider what leadership skills young people need to enter the workforce. Here’s what we found from our survey.

The five most important competencies for young people entering the workforce today are:

  1. Self-motivation/Discipline
  2. Effective Communication
  3. Learning Agility
  4. Self-awareness
  5. Adaptability/Versatility

In comparison, the five most important competencies for young people entering the workforce 20 years ago were:

  1. Technical Mastery
  2. Self-motivation/Discipline
  3. Confidence
  4. Effective Communication
  5. Resourcefulness

Looking ahead, in 10 years the most important competencies will be:

  1. Adaptability/Versatility
  2. Effective Communication
  3. Learning Agility
  4. Multi-cultural Awareness
  5. Self-motivation/Discipline
  6. Collaboration

Notice that effective communication and self-motivation/discipline appear on all three lists — these may be core and enduring competencies that could receive more developmental focus during the high school and college years. Learning agility, too, is a “master” competency or core skill that fuels other skills and allows us to learn from experience.

Two competencies that appear on this future skills list — multi-cultural awareness and collaboration — are driven by the increasing interconnectivity and interdependence of our work and lives. Fortunately, these skills can easily be developed through project-based learning in high school and college, as well as through early leader development experiences on the job.

What can businesses do to develop next-generation leaders?

  • Seek new and creative ways to partner with educational institutions — universities and K-12 — to better prepare young leaders. Southern Methodist University’s Lyle School of Engineering is incorporating leadership content into the curriculum for all 999 engineering students. CCL has also begun a multi-faceted leadership development program involving students, faculty, staff, board members and parents for Ravenscroft, a K-12 private school in Raleigh, NC.
  • Provide support to existing youth leadership programs run by nonprofits and schools. Good programs exist but reach far too few students and are usually under-resourced. For example, CCL and the Greensboro, NC YMCA created an innovative program with 28 modules involving leadership and mentoring for African-American and Latino youth during their high school years. The work is now fully run by the Greensboro Y, but other youth organizations could benefit from program enhancements, financial support and mentoring support for programs like this.
  • Establish two-way, cross-generational leadership and mentoring programs. Pair a young person, either just in the workforce or soon to enter the workforce, with an older, experienced employee for co-mentoring. The youth have much to offer in mentoring their more experienced and/or longer-tenured bosses and coworkers — typically they are comfortable with technology and the pace of change, have good multicultural awareness and adaptability, are willing to learn and eager to make a difference. The more experienced leaders can offer insight on career direction, ideas for greater effectiveness, feedback and opportunities for development.
  • Provide leadership opportunities. Be sure your early-career employees have mentors and bosses who know how to develop others and will give them opportunities to practice their skills in a real leadership context. Intentional, planned job rotations, developmental assignments and involvement with a variety of projects and on cross-functional teams or task forces are effective strategies. Coaching and leader development programs are also good ways to build the self-awareness so critical for leadership.
  • Encourage employees to “own” their leadership role and development. Help people (at all levels in the organization) see themselves as the person in charge of their job, in coordination with others on the team and in alignment with the organization’s goals. Remind them that it is important to seek frequent feedback on  performance, get coaching (formally or informally) on areas where skills need to develop, and do all they can to learn outside of their current skill set and knowledge base. Let them know they can develop off-the-job, too — being on a local Board, directing a community project or creating something new on their own.

Office Politics: Neutral, Not Negative

March 26, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Management, Operations

From Center for Creative Leadership, Leading Effectively

Do you think of yourself as “politically savvy” at work? If not, CCL’s Jean Leslie and Bill Gentry can help you out.

Politically savvy people have better career prospects, are seen as more promotable and are less likely to have derailed careers. People who bumble through the political realities — or avoid or ignore them — are missing opportunities, connections and resources.

Politics is neither good nor bad 

According to Leslie and Gentry, the first step in overcoming your political weaknesses is to accept politics as a natural, neutral part of work life. Politics is neither good nor bad.

“Navigating politics doesn’t come easily for most of us, so we have a negative reaction to it,” says Leslie. “But you can be politically savvy without playing games or taking advantage of other people. Political savvy isn’t about being false and inauthentic. Instead, it involves the sincere use of your skills, behaviors and qualities in order to be more effective.”

Focus on Behaviors

A key CCL study found that a select set of leadership behaviors vary according to level of political skill.

“These findings suggest that if you strengthen these behaviors, you’ll strengthen your political skills in the process,” says Gentry.

  • Building collaborative relationships. Developing and maintaining effective working relationships is related to two measures of political skill: interpersonal influence (a convincing personal style) and thinking before you speak (ability to size up situations well before speaking). Those who are highly skilled in interpersonal influence are capable of adapting their behavior according to their audience, which appears to translate into especially strong relationships with bosses.
  • Composure. Are you calm in a crisis? Do you recover quickly from mistakes? Composure has to do with controlling impulses during difficult times and being responsible for what you say. Composure ratings seem closely linked to measures of how well an individual thinks before speaking.
  • Putting people at ease. This gets at the heart of what it takes to make others relaxed and comfortable in your presence. People who are warm and have a good sense of humor are often able to make others feel at ease. Bosses saw the ability to put people at ease as related to interpersonal influence. The ability to adapt according to contextual conditions is related to how comfortable others are in your presence.
  • Career management. How well do you manage your own career? Those adept at career management develop, maintain and use professional relationships for mentoring, coaching and feedback. Bosses related career management to two important political skills: networking ability (adept at developing and using diverse networks) and thinking before you speak. In other words, managers who are seen as being good at managing their careers are likely to have strong networking skills and are able to think about the potential impact of their words on others.

A Word to the Women

Office politics can be especially difficult for women.

“Many women are uncomfortable with the idea that political savvy may be an important component of leadership,” Leslie explains. “Because of this perspective, they find it difficult to incorporate political behaviors into their repertoire.

But, if you accept that organizational politics is a neutral, natural part of the workplace, you can build your capacity to lead, influence and persuade others in a sincere, authentic manner — advice that applies to politics-wary men, as well.

Changing Culture: The Language of Leadership

March 06, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Marketing & Sales

From: Center for Creative Leadership, Leading Effectively, Feb. 2013

A change in business strategy demands a change of leadership culture — and a shift in language, too.

CCL’s organizational leadership work draws on ideas, definitions and practices that aren’t part of the conversation in most organizations. Here, an introduction to terms and definitions, which shape the process of organizational culture change:

Leader: The role of a person who participates in the process of leadership.

Leadership: The social processes producing the outcomes of direction, alignment and commitment among people with shared work.

Leadership Culture: The self-reinforcing web of individual and collective beliefs and practices in a collective for producing the outcomes of shared direction, alignment and commitment.

Leadership Development: The expansion of a collective’s capacity for producing shared direction, alignment and commitment.

DAC: The outcomes of the social process of leadership are shared direction, alignment and commitment (DAC).

Interdependent: A form of leadership culture or mindset based in the collaboration of otherwise independent leaders and groups.

Independent: A form of leadership culture or mindset based in heroic individual achievement.

Dependent: A form of leadership culture or mindset based in conformance or tradition.

Vertical Development: Transformation of leadership cultures or mindsets from dependent, to independent and to interdependent, such that each more capable successive stage transcend, yet includes, earlier ones.

SOGI: The social processes of leadership operate, and can be developed, and analyzed, at four nested levels: individual, group, organizational and societal (S for Society, etc.).

Culture Tools: Tools and methods to help people see and experience, reflect upon, and then begin to intentionally and strategically shape their culture. “Quick” tools are portable and adaptable with ease-of-use for groups.

Discovery: Beginning, and then tracking, the process of culture change by deeply understanding the future vision and strategic purpose to be pursued.

Public Learning. Learning as a group activity, such that potentially difficult topics require social risk-taking and personal vulnerability as they are explored with the goal of shared insights and better solutions.

Four Arts: Dialogue, Headroom, Inside-Out, Boundary Spanning: The time and space for leadership groups to practice extending internal experiences, which expand public learning across human and system boundaries and channel better design choices into organizational action.

  1. Dialogue: A public learning conversation that temporarily suspends judgment and explores underlying assumptions across differing perspectives with the goal of shared learning and deeper mutual insight.
  2. Headroom: The time and space to model risk-taking in public that explores breaking old patterns and experimenting with new behaviors, and that lifts up, or vertically advances the leadership culture toward interdependence.
  3. Inside-Out: The subjective, internal individual development experience of focus on imagination, intuition, curiosity, emotions, identity, beliefs and values.
  4. Boundary Spanning: Seeing, bridging and leveraging five types of group boundaries: horizontal, vertical, demographic, geographic and stakeholder.

“Beliefs-in-Action” Story Telling. A type of dialogue using personal and shared stories about experiences in the organization that illustrate how changing beliefs result in different kinds actions and a changing set of outcomes.

“Learning Pathways Grid.” A public learning technique for debriefing a difficult interpersonal situation that looks at outcomes in terms of actions and the assumptions and beliefs underlying those actions.1

HP Pipeline: Work/Life Conflicts Hurt Business

January 30, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Management, Operations

From: Center for Creative Learning, Learning Effectively

Looking to increase employee engagement and boost productivity?

Then help employees better manage their work/life conflicts.


Companies that foster employee well-being — including a culture that supports people’s commitments outside of work — are more productive and profitable, according to Ellen Ernst Kossek, a Basil S. Turner Professor at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. “Helping employees manage work/life conflict also gives organizations greater ability to attract top talent, reduce turnover and reduce health costs.”

So, why do so many work/family policies fall short, leaving employees and employers wondering about their value?

Employee support programs have not filtered through

 An international authority on workplace issues related to changing work/life relationships and new ways of working in a 24-7 global world, Kossek argues that the business case for supporting employees has not filtered through most organizational cultures.

“At all ends of the labor market, work schedules and demands are dictated by short-term employer needs,” Kossek says. “Many companies — and managers — just don’t buy into the idea that helping people better manage work-life conflicts will improve productivity.”

In contrast, productive organizations that use human capital effectively take a longer-term perspective on the employment relationship. Quality human resources are seen as a core competency of the organization. People are seen as an asset to be nurtured and developed rather than merely a cost to be minimized.

“In these healthy work environments, employees feel engaged in their jobs and also in their home lives. They feel an energetic connection to their work and family activities,” says Kossek. “This fuels their engagement, productivity and effectiveness both on and off the job.”

Concentrate on greater congruence between employee and employee interests


Rather than thinking of work/life issues only in terms of policies or benefits, HR teams, top executives and managers across the organization should focus on creating greater congruence between employer and employee interests.

Kossek says three factors are indicators of employee well-being:

  1. They feel they are recognized and valued for good work. They believe that their jobs are a good fit with their abilities and interests.
  2. They believe they are able to have a career with their employer with “mutual positive social exchange in the employment relationship.” This means they are fairly paid and job demands are not excessive. They do not feel they have to sacrifice their personal and family well-being in order to perform their jobs.
  3. They are developing skills and knowledge that keeps them employable for a lifelong career.

In addition, the organization can provide support for individuals looking for new strategies to better manage their work/life conflicts. CCL partnered with Kossek to develop the WorkLife Indicator, a tool to help people understand the factors that come into play when managing work/life boundaries.

The WorkLife Indicator is a simple 10-minute assessment that managers or human resources can provide to help employees as well. The tool helps people to rethink how they manage the boundaries between work and family, identify choices and put together a plan that will benefit them as well as their employer.