Posts Tagged ‘change’

The Power of Knowledge and Action

September 4th, 2019

“Knowledge is not power … it is only potential power. It becomes power only when, and if, it is organised into definite plans of action and directed to a definite end.”  (Napoleon Hill) 

When we have momentum, we feel as though anything is possible and we can confidently take on new challenges. Other times, momentum can seem elusive and a struggle to develop.

It’s often hard to describe and yet it is nearly always our secret magic weapon to achieving success. At its best, momentum helps us remain focused, clear minded and forward thinking rather than stagnating.

One of the key roadblocks to momentum, for leaders in particular, often manifests in being caught up with the tactical execution of work, rather than focusing on the strategic and organisational management work that is needed to drive growth and leverage opportunities as and when they arise.

Businesses and their leaders know what they need to do but find themselves unable to do it because they don’t have people in the right place, or people with the right capabilities, which results in stalled momentum time and again.

The key to breaking out of this cycle is turning this knowledge – of what needs to be done – into action, which is often easier said than done.

The reality is knowledge is only useful if we do something with it. Whilst it is very important to develop a strategy, build intellectual capital and remain up to date and aware of new developments, we need to actually do something.

Whether it’s about implementing a new way of working, recruiting new skills for our team, getting fitter, saving more money or simply slowing down, too many businesses and individuals are finding themselves caught in the gap between knowing what they should do and doing what is actually required.

So how can we build a culture of action within our businesses?

Commit to taking action: Many of us have fallen into the pattern of researching, planning and refining our strategy as a way of telling ourselves we are busy ‘doing’ when really we are just playing safe. Essentially all we are doing is walking on a treadmill – yes we are moving but it is not actually taking us anywhere.

Lose the perfectionist tag: Perfectionism is the equivalent of paralysis. Not only does it prohibit us from taking the first step towards action, it also creates unwarranted stress, crushes creativity, prevents productivity and ultimately limits profitability.

Simplify: Leaders and organisations that use simple straightforward language, concepts and structures are better at closing the knowing-doing gap. Simplicity removes ambiguity, blame and confusion. It increases productivity, efficiency and creativity. Quite simply it is the fast track to creating action.

Invest in learning: Closing the gap on knowing and doing requires an investment in training and learning be-it for our organisations or ourselves. Developing expert skill-sets, efficiency and confidence requires commercial tolerance, time and a learning based culture or outlook. Recognising that as learners we need space to explore new ideas, make mistakes and embed new knowledge is critical to maximising the ROI on the learning investment.

Face the fear: Fear is one of the greatest enemies of success and progress. To close the knowing-doing gap we need to face it – both at an individual and organisational level. To take action we need to know that there will be no punishment for taking risks, making mistakes and exploring new ideas without a guarantee of success. If we fear for our jobs, our future opportunities or even for our own self-worth we are less likely to move beyond the safe confines of what we know and have done before which ultimately prohibits any form of growth.
Measure the right things: To encourage action we need to ensure that we are measuring the right things. Pouring all of our energies and metrics into scrutinising hours worked rather than levels of customer satisfaction is not going to drive future results. We need to demonstrate and see the value in what we are measuring and how it relates to what we do our future direction and our success.

Do you feel your business is effectively turning knowledge into action? What opportunities would you be able to tap into, if less time was spent in execution?

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Creating Career Choice

August 30th, 2017

“You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choice.” 

It is said that the average working person makes approximately 15 decisions before 9am. For some of us the first decision can be something as minor as how many times can I hit the snooze button before getting up! Every day though we face thousands of decisions. Some are relatively small such as what will I wear; whilst others are much more significant. Some have short-term effects and others more long term effects. However, regardless of what our decisions are – action or no action – there is no escaping the fact that we all live with the consequences of our choices.

Creating career choice is one of the greatest challenges we all face – especially as we progress through the ranks of experience and seniority. Given the fast moving and ever changing nature of the world today, we as individuals and leaders need to have a passion for personal growth and development. Having a solid road map for that growth and development is essential if we are to continually expand both our capabilities and our degree of choice.

No doubt each of us will have a friend or colleague who always seems to be surrounded by several career choices that are the perfect fit for them. What is it about those people that somehow catches the eye of others; or when they put their hand up for a change there seems to be not one but several choices for them to consider? I believe it is due to several factors:

  1. Clarity about what they want
  2. Confidence in pursuing their ambitions
  3. Relevance to their organisation and market place

As readers of this blog you will know that I believe that the three keys to creating career success are clarity, confidence and choice.

Omitting or disregarding the factor of choice is like electing to sit on a two-legged stool. Whilst you can balance for a while, in time it becomes unstable and down right dangerous. Unstable and dangerous because you are at risk of losing control over your own career pathway and your level of fulfillment.

Take a moment to reflect on a time in your career when you have felt as though you were left with no choice but to adopt a certain decision, accept a certain job or follow a certain path. Invariably you will have felt caged in, disempowered and frustrated. Conversely when you feel as though you have had a choice on how to act or where to invest time, money or effort, you will have felt empowered, confident and in control.

With stagnation – and not failure – being the real risk to our career, we need to ensure that we are investing our time and efforts in building personal capability and relevance to the organisations we work for and the markets we work in. Failing to do so will see our career choices dramatically diminished.

So what actions can you take to create career choice?

  1. Evaluate: Get clear about what you want! This requires you to fully understand your own skills, behaviours, motivations and preferences.

If you are to create genuine growth and or change in your career you also need to evaluate what steps are required to elevate your capability, career currency and relevance to either your current employer or the market place. What can you do to build and leverage your experience and showcase it?

Without this degree of clarity you risk not identifying the choices before you.

  1. Prepare: Once you have clarity about what you want, you can prepare a strategy or road map for getting there.

For some, understanding that the best thing they can do right now is excel in the opportunity they currently have will provide renewed focus and energy for their role at hand. Additionally it will allow them to implement a long-term strategy of career leverage with confidence and purpose.

For those who are actively exploring the market, preparing a personal business and marketing plan will be critical to their effectiveness in engaging with potential organisations and people of influence.

  1. Act: Engage: with your team, your business, your market and your network. Listen to what you hear from both sought and unsought sources. Validate what you hear. Does it apply and if so, how?

 Understanding that we need to continually act, adapt and in many cases unlearn and relearn is what will build and sustain relevance to our business and market.

Life is full of choices and there is a natural give and take in every resulting decision. Even choosing not to act is still a choice. To make wise, well-informed and educated choices you must weigh up the risks against the potential rewards.

When it comes to career decisions rarely will they ever be black and white, all good or all bad, completely right or completely wrong. They are multi dimensional and require you to look at the opportunity(s) with your own unique lens that is reflective of your own personal ambitions.

Understanding though that our long-term growth and success is the result of conscious choices and deliberate effort is critical if we are to create real momentum and fulfillment. Learning how to recognise and create choice is what will set us apart.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts below.

 

Margot BLACK Signature

 

Career Mobility: Why You Need It!

January 30th, 2017

Careers are a funny thing. Invariably where and what we start out doing is a lo’ooong way from where we finish. Often there have not just been role and company changes but state and national transfers; international assignments and major career pivots. When I ask executives to tell me their story or pose the question ‘How did you end up here?’ there is a long pause, followed by a wry chuckle and comments such as ‘I really don’t know… it’s certainly not what I originally planned’ or ‘It’s a long story as it’s quite different to what I studied or commenced my career in’. Invariably though many will highlight a particular opportunity where they feel they ‘got lucky’ by being in the right place at the right time, or working for a fabulous boss or with a great team.

For many though there is a feeling that as they have progressed through their career the ‘lucky’ moments have either disappeared or become very rare. This is no truer than when significant location changes are added into the mix. Not only has that sense of being in the right place, at the right time gone but so too has their ability to identify what that looks like in today’s marketplace. And to some degree they are right, with less opportunities existing in the senior end of the market; and the hidden nature of these roles requiring well crafted networks in order to identify them. However for many, it’s not so much a case of fewer opportunities but rather a reluctance to learn how to embrace the changing nature of work and marketplace demands.

With many roles and job titles today in danger of disappearing altogether and those of tomorrow yet to be defined, there is also a new challenge we all face in how to best manage our own careers. How do you plan out future career paths when the very nature of what we do, how we do it and where we do it is rapidly changing around us? Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha, authors of The Start Up Of You note that building long term career success requires individuals to consider themselves as entrepreneurs and their careers as a start up business. In qualifying this they say that ‘ the skills that start-ups require are the very skills that professionals need in order to advance their careers: nimbleness, personal investment, strong networks and intelligent risk taking”.

To do this we need to embrace and develop the skills of agility and mobility. It is widely recognised that agility enhances performance in activities that require a quick change in direction whilst maintaining the core elements of balance, speed, strength and control. It leads to faster response and can easily provide significant competitor advantage. Mobility is the ability to move or be moved freely and easily. Regardless of whether we are responding to the need for movement (eg Internal requirements) or executing a move of our own accord it will be our ability to do it ‘freely and easily’ that will determine our success. Not only does agility and mobility help improve current performance but it also helps ensure that any sudden change in direction – such as redundancy, promotion or career shifts – are navigated with relative ease and strength.

Given that agility and mobility are built on strength and co-ordination it is imperative that we gain clarity on what our core strengths are: what knowledge, skills and styles do we have to leverage. We then need to understand where we best fit: where we can co-ordinate our skills and knowledge with those of others. I would also encourage you to consider the following five actions for creating career agility:

  • ‘Think global, act local’: We are working in an increasingly globalised world that is responding to change, disruption and connection at every level. Our role is to be aware of it so we can leverage and apply it with relevance and confidence to our own careers and positions.
  • Remain informed: Navigating any form of change requires us to be informed of what it is. Too often we look ‘across and down rather than up and out’ and as a result our awareness outside of our immediate world is diminished and therefore limiting. It is important to be informed of relevant industry trends; interesting collaborations and market announcements.
  • Take considered risks: Low risk is often associated with stability. However it has been suggested that in the long term, continually opting for the low risk options leads to increased vulnerability as it reduces our resilience to deal with sudden and high level change. ‘Playing it safe’ with your career can in fact create higher risk through an inability to cope with the volatility and rate of change which is all to common in the market place today.
  • Invest in learning: With the constant change happening in our workplaces and industries you can never assume that you know all there is to know about managing your career. Invest time to acquire the right intelligence and know-how that will accelerate your career. Consider what projects, opportunities and courses will build, stretch, leverage and maximise your knowledge, skills and style.
  • Create diverse networks: Invest in the right relationships and dedicate time and energy to them. Identify your key influencers and thought leaders, and identify a meaningful pathway of how to approach and engage with them. Build a networking plan that fosters authentic professional relationships where you can also offer valuable contributions.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts below.

 


If you would like to discuss ways to build career mobility, please call Margot on 0400 336 318.

Creating Career Agility

September 27th, 2016

We all know that we are living in rapidly changing times but this was really highlighted to me last week when hearing how knowledge is currently doubling at a rate of every 12 months with this soon to be every 12 hours. Navigating that sheer volume of new information and more importantly letting go of what has become obsolete seems like an almost unfathomable concept.

There is no doubt that planning for future business needs has therefore become more complex. Not only are we navigating unprecedented volumes of new knowledge and levels of change but also the very way in which we work is being reshaped. With new technologies emerging almost daily, how we communicate, collaborate and make decisions is significantly impacted. We have people remaining in the workforce for longer, greater diversity than ever before and now find ourselves operating and responding to a more globalized economy providing unprecedented access to new markets and talent pools.

With many roles and job titles today in danger of disappearing altogether and those of tomorrow yet to be defined, there is also a new challenge we all face in how to best manage our own careers. How do you plan out future career paths when the very nature of what we do, how we do it and where we do it is rapidly changing around us? Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha, authors of The Start Up Of You note that building long term career success requires individuals to consider themselves as entrepreneurs and their careers as a start up business.  In qualifying this they say that ‘ the skills that start-ups require are the very skills that professionals need in order to advance their careers: nimbleness, personal investment, strong networks and intelligent risk taking”.

To do this we need to embrace and develop the skill of agility. It is widely recognized that agility enhances performance in activities that require a quick change in direction whilst maintaining the core elements of balance, speed, strength and control. It leads to faster response and can easily provide significant competitor advantage. Often associated with sport, it is considered one of the main components of fitness and consequently forms an integral part of training schedules.

It makes sense then that it should form an integral part of establishing our own career fitness. Not only does it help improve current performance but it also helps ensure that any sudden change in direction – such as redundancy, promotion or career shifts – are navigated with relative ease and strength.

Given that agility is built on strength and co-ordination it is imperative that we gain clarity on what our core strengths are: what knowledge, skills and styles do we have to leverage. We then need to understand where we best fit: where we can co-ordinate our skills and knowledge with those of others. I would also encourage you to consider the following five actions for creating career agility:

‘Think global, act local’: Whilst this saying was originally used to heighten environmental awareness, it is very apt for our careers. We are working in an increasingly globalised world that is responding to change, disruption and connection at a global level. Our role is to be aware of it so we can leverage and apply it with relevance and confidence to our own careers and positions.

Remain informed: Navigating any form of change requires us to be informed of what it is. Too often we look ‘across and down rather than up and out’ and as a result our awareness outside of our immediate world is diminished and therefore limiting. It is important to be informed of relevant industry trends; interesting collaborations and market announcements.

Take considered risks: Low risk is often associated with stability. However it has been suggested that in the long term, continually opting for the low risk options leads to increased vulnerability as it reduces our resilience to deal with sudden and high level change.  ‘Playing it safe’ with your career can in fact create higher risk through an inability to cope with the volatility and rate of change which is all to common in the market place today.

Invest in learning: With the constant change happening in our workplaces and industries you can never assume that you know all there is to know about managing your career. Invest time to acquire the right intelligence and know-how that will accelerate your career. Consider what projects, opportunities and courses will build, stretch, leverage and maximise your knowledge, skills and style.

Create diverse networks: Invest in the right relationships and dedicate time and energy to them. Identify your key influencers and thought leaders, and identify a meaningful pathway of how to approach and engage with them. Build a networking plan that fosters authentic professional relationships where you can also offer valuable contributions.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts below.

How Are Your Daily Habits Shaping Your Career?

July 7th, 2015

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“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken”

– Warren Buffett
I was recently reading an interview with Diane von Furstenberg (renowned fashion designer) and Jack Dorsey (co-founder of Twitter) about their daily habits and routines. I was particularly taken with Diane’s response to the question of how she started her day: ‘I start by sending one email each day that does not benefit me at all’. She went on to explain that it could be an introduction, a note of congratulations or a simple compliment.

What an incredible, simple act of generosity and influence and one that has an enormous capacity to impact individuals, workplace culture and broader networks!

Whilst this daily habit does not immediately or directly benefit her day-to-day responsibilities, I do believe that over time it has the potential to greatly impact her business and career success. Her personal and professional reputation, the quality of her networks, the engagement of her staff, the potential for new opportunities and least of all the shaping of a positive and grateful mindset are but a few of the long term benefits to be had from this simple action.

We all know that success can be made or broken by the habits we form. They either become the major obstacles or the greatest foundations to all that we do. In short the actions (big and small) we take or don’t take today, do shape our tomorrow.

In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg, a highly regarded New York Times business journalist explores why some people and companies struggle with change while others seem to effortlessly reinvent themselves overnight.

The answer he says is in our ability to understand how habits work and to focus on the daily patterns that shape our lives. Knowing what triggers our routines and what rewards we are really seeking is critical to changing or motivating our future actions.

Habit LoopIn his book, he uses the example of how every day at 3pm he would stop what he was doing, head for the office cafeteria, grab a biscuit and chat with colleagues before returning to his desk twenty or so minutes later.Whilst he knew that he was putting on weight, he just couldn’t seem to break the habit.

When examining his habit he established that the time of day was his ‘cue’, the trip to the cafeteria was his ‘routine’ and the cookie was his so called ‘reward’. However when he really looked at it further, it wasn’t the cookie that was his reward it was the opportunity to engage with his colleagues. When he realised this, he was able to create new practices or habits that gave him the same reward. In doing so, he also saved both time and money whilst also greatly increasing productivity.  In essence we need to identify habits that serve our purpose.

To eliminate or change those that are not we need to develop the ability to diagnose why we continue to do what we do. When we can effectively diagnose them, we can influence them. With this in mind, it is worth asking what patterns am I focusing on to shape my current and future career success?

What daily habits am I taking (or not taking) to support how I effectively deliver on my role, grow my capability and brand, and to develop my team and myself?

I would encourage you to think about some of the daily actions below that are widely regarded as the key habits of successful leaders and ask yourself how they could reward you and your career:

  1. Start your day early: Creating space for both ourselves and to think about the day ahead provides a buffer to its demands. It helps us position ourselves strategically, positively and with a sense of control about what we are doing.
  2. Commit to adding value: There is no way to get ahead without committing to add value. Everyone you engage with needs to see, hear and feel value in the interactions they have with you. When they do they will invariably talk about it and seek to replicate it with what they do.
  3. Read something related to your industry: To remain informed and in-demand, you need to know what’s being demanded. What are the current trends, practices and opportunities for your industry? With sources such as LinkedIn and online industry free publications that can be delivered straight to your inbox it is all too easy to source the information.
  4. Focus on your network: Daily actions taken to invest in the growth and relevance of your network will help future-proof your success.
  5. Learn how to ‘fold time’: Learning how to maximise ‘incidental time’ not only improves your productivity but also helps us create time. Time spent commuting can be converted to daily exercise routines, your personal development time or engaging with networks. Rather than having to find extra time, we can simply maximise the use of the time we already have.
  6. Acknowledge your wins and achievements: This does not mean shouting from the corner office or endless self-promotion. Recognising how and where your capabilities, knowledge and skillsets have added value will help you determine new and relevant opportunities.
  7. Reflect: All to often we race through our day ticking things off our to-do lists or filing things away with little consideration to how they add value or ways we could further enhance it. Taking a moment at the end of each day to reflect allows you align your daily tasks with the bigger picture and ensures that you remain focused on the immediate requirements at hand.

So maybe tomorrow before you open up your to-do list, tackle your inbox, or dive head first into your day, take a moment to consider how your daily patterns and habits are setting you and your team up for career success.

For me, I am going to try and adopt Diane von Furstenberg’s daily practice of sending an email that doesn’t (immediately or directly) benefit me at all.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts.

Margot Andersen[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”853″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”]If you would like to explore ways to build confidence, clarity and choice in your career please contact Margot on 0400 336 318.

The Business Of You

December 2nd, 2014

[vc_single_image image=”418″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”][vcex_spacing size=”50px”]

Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves
– to break our own records to outstrip our yesterday by our today.

~ Stewart B Johnson 

[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vcex_spacing size=”10px”]Current employment trends have seen us bear witness to ever increasing job competition; rising unemployment figures; increased redundancies and company downsizing; low job security; and new technologies continuing to disrupt the way in which we do business.

‘Getting ahead’ on the career ladder and successfully navigating the volatility and ever-changing nature of the employment landscape is a challenge we all face. I recently heard a comment that obtaining career success requires individuals to consider themselves as entrepreneurs and their careers as a start up business. Reid Hoffman (Linked in Co-Founder) and Ben Casnocha wrote a book on this very topic, stating that the skills that start-ups require are the very skills that professionals need in order to advance their careers: nimbleness, personal investment, strong networks and intelligent risk taking.

Building these skills into your career requires a high degree of self-awareness, confidence and foresight: it requires a well-executed plan. Without one it is all too easy to become caught in the whirlpool of uncertainty, change and fierce competition.

So why are so many of us not creating plans for our careers? For many it seems to be a case of the ‘rabbit in headlights’ scenario – not knowing what we want, not knowing how to effectively develop or implement a personal plan, and not having the time. If you are to accelerate your career or stand out in the market place, there is no denying that you need a robust and adaptable plan. Creating one that offers you clear direction, practical building blocks, and builds resilience, is critical if you are to achieve personal fulfillment and career success.

Consider how you can apply these following seven strategies to help you future proof and accelerate your career today:[vc_single_image image=”433″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_blank” alignment=”none” link=”http://talentinsight.com.au/private-coaching/”]

Be ready for change: It is estimated that over 65% of today’s children are currently being educated for jobs that don’t yet exist (Cathy Davidson – Futures specialist). The ability to develop and adapt your personal career plans as you change, as our social environments change, and industries and business protocols change is critical if you are to maintain relevance and protect your career.

Invest in your strengths: To build your competitive advantage you need to not only know your strengths but how best to build upon them, where to apply them and where they are most valued.

Never Stop Learning: Never assume that you know all there is to know about managing your career – even transitioning out of a full time career takes planning and foresight. Begin by investing time to acquire the right intelligence and know-how that will accelerate your career. Investigate key industry trends and challenges; recent business success stories; know who the key influencers and thought leaders are. Be proactive in educating yourself in what is required from both an industry and individual perspective.

Invest in a career coach or mentor: Building and maintaining career momentum can be difficult. It is all too easy to get caught up in the business of doing and for many the career management process becomes a stop start process. A career coach can provide clarity of direction, consistency of focus and provide new tools and perspectives to elevate performance and productivity.

Strengthen your professional network: Invest in the right relationships and dedicate time and energy to them. Identify your key influencers and thought leaders, and identify a meaningful pathway of how to approach and engage with them. Build a networking plan that fosters authentic professional relationships where you can also offer valuable contributions.

Take intelligent risks: Low risk is often associated with stability. However it has been suggested that in the long term, continually opting for the low risk options leads to increased vulnerability as it reduces our resilience to deal with sudden and high level change. ‘Playing it safe’ with your career can in fact create higher risk through an inability to cope with the volatility and rate of change which is all to common in the market place today.

Create balance: When we create balance we create strength. Healthy relationships and interests outside of work help not bring a strong sense of calm, being grounded, resilience and motivation. You can contribute to the success of your career by building balance and dedicating time and attention to your family and personal life.

In the words of Mark Twain… the secret to getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is knowing your career purpose, breaking down your larger goals into manageable, realistic tasks and simply starting on the first one.

What are you starting on next to advance your career for 2015?[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”126″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”]If you would like to discuss ways to advance your career and capability in 2015, please contact Margot directly on margot@talentinsight.com.au or +61 3 9866 3842.[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”88″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_blank” alignment=”none” link=”http://talentinsight.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=961a17dac8287c94458c7983d&id=f81e0aac65″]

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