Archive for the ‘learning opportunities’ Category

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August 26, 2009 Leave a comment



Webcast: IT Strategies for Supporting a Distributed Workforce

Join BNET for this LIVE Event on:
Thursday, July 16, 2009
1:00 PM ET / 10:00 AM PT / 5:00 PM GMT

Overview: Today’s workforce is a distributed one – workers across industries are telecommuting, working out of satellite offices and connecting into headquarters from the road.

With this increased mobility of the workforce, IT is faced with complex challenges of providing reliable and fast tech support to distributed employees while managing costs and productivity.

Join this live BNET Webcast, featuring guest speaker Chip Gleidman, Forrester’s Principal Analyst, as he reveals the 6 strategies for improving the delivery of reliable and cost-effective IT support.

Attend this Webcast to learn:

  • 6 strategies that every IT help desk should practice for improved service delivery
  • How to improve internal customer-satisfaction levels while lowering operating costs
  • How to leverage remote-support technology to close IT tickets faster

Do You Know the New Rules?

We live in a world of dramatic, tumultuous, and unpredictable change—change that is wiping out time-honored businesses and long-standing institutions and ushering in unprecedented opportunities for creative individuals and entrepreneurial organizations. So pervasive is change today that it has redefined our first task: The job is no longer figuring out how to win at the game of work and life; the job is figuring out the new rules of the game.

Rules of Thumb, Alan M. Webber (co-founder of Fast Company)

Rules of Thumb, featuring 52 “rules,”is a guide for individuals in every walk of life who want to make sense out of these confusing, challenging, and compelling times. The book is practical, philosophical, and fun. And, it is ever so wise. Here is a sampling of a few of the new rules we should all be getting familiar with:

#10 A good question beats a good answer.
#14 You don’t know if you don’t go.
#16 Facts are facts; Stories are how we learn.
#26 The soft stuff is the hard stuff.
#29 Words matter.
#45 Failure isn’t failing. Failure is failing to try.
#50 On the way up, pay attention to your strengths; They’ll be your weaknesses on the way down.
#52 Stay Alert! There are teachers everywhere.

Coaching Staff — Part VII

April 13, 2009 2 comments

The 7th installment of Coaching Staff from the Brilliant Leadership Blog. What else do you want to learn about? Tell me! ~Kristin

Coaching Staff — Part VII
The Brilliant Leadership Blog

Having looked previously in this series at the application of the coaching cycle and how a manager/leader can find time to coach, this final installment is aimed at the relationship between coaching and other learning solutions, in particular, training courses.

There are a variety of learning solutions or tools available for helping staff to learn. The most common is to send staff on a relevant training course but there is also the option of using tools such as eLearning, procedural documentation, technical documentation, team briefings, formal education programs, educational books and online articles, forums and blogs. Critically, all of these tools are predominantly knowledge based and they do not, in the main, develop skills, behaviours or attitudes – all of which are required for a staff member to become fully capable in the relevant area.

For example, is it possible to send a staff member on a relevant training course and as a result, for them to become completely competent in that area without any additional intervention?

The answer is – possibly. But only if they are able to practice what they have learned and develop in that specific task or skill area through self evaluation. From a leadership perspective, it will be completely hit and miss as to whether the individual is able to apply what they have learned and become fully competent.

The chances of a staff member becoming fully competent are significantly enhanced if the leader is able to make regular coaching interventions alongside the alternative learning tool. By all means use training, eLearning or any of the other learning and development tools to kick start or support the learning process but they should always be used in conjunction with one-to-one coaching – not instead of it.

One of the common traps managers fall into is to identify a training need (often as a result of the appraisal process) and to arrange for the staff member to attend a relevant training course and then to simply tick the box – job done! Whereas a smart leader will possibly utilise a training course to kick start the process but they will then work with the staff member upon their return to work to develop opportunities for practice, supported by regular feedback interventions.

In short, training courses, eLearning modules, procedural or technical documentation predominantly fulfil the first stage of the coaching cycle – instruction. They simple do not and cannot replace the following four stages of the coaching cycle – demonstration, practice, observation and feedback. These stages can only be achieved by actively coaching staff on the job.

I hope this series on coaching staff has been useful. Becoming an effective coach is a pre-requisite of becoming an effective manager of people – a workplace leader. If you or your company would like any guidance in developing a coaching culture and improving the leadership capability in this area, please contact me via the ELC website to discuss how we can help you move forward.

Simon Cooper is chief executive of the Experiential Learning Centre, author of the exciting new book, Brilliant Leader and architect of the Brilliant Leadership workshops.

Have You Been a Manager for 2 Years or Less?

There are fewer things more challenging than being a supervisor today. Each day becomes more difficult because of new challenges like ever-changing technology, an increasingly diverse work force and the push to accomplish more with fewer resources.

Nowadays, there are tons of seminars, workshops and books out there to teach new supervisors and managers skills they need. It’s hard to sort through them all and determine which one will give you the most bang for your buck. Many times, it takes trial and error until you find something that works for you. Often, you can rely on the expertise and recommendations of your peers.

National Seminars Training is well-respected and receives rave reviews from past participants. If you’d like to learn what it takes to be a manager, or maybe you’ve been a manager longer than you can remember but want to refresh yourself, I encourage you to sign up for a seminar like “Management and Leadership Skills for First-Time Supervisors and Manager” from National Seminars Training. They have decent locations to choose from and a variety of seminars to offer. You can register here.

Upcoming Webcast — Thursday, April 23

Strengths-Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow

Take Away Messages:

  • The most effective leaders are always investing in strengths.
  • The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team.
  • The most effective leaders understand their followers’ needs.

If It Can Happen to Pluto…

OK, I’m going to show a little of my nerdiness here, but do you remember 2 years ago when the International Astronomical Union striped Pluto of its “planet” status? Most of you probably heard about it, many of you probably didn’t really care… but I urge you to consider this:

If change can happen to something as certain as a PLANET, it can certainly happen to us. And it does. Everyday.

Pluto’s reclassification changed the rules of the game, and organizational change can be like that too. There you were confident and comfortable with your boss, and now you must readjust and reorient to a new one with a different style, focus, and rules. Like it. Don’t like it. Regardless, get on board!

“Change is good. Everybody is doing it… Get on board!” — Will Anderson, Channel Marketing Manager, Double-Take Software

There there 3 things to know when change is afoot. First, when the rules change, it’s uncomfortable… but then you get used to it. Second, your future depends on letting go of the unease and moving forward with the times. Third, this is your growth spurt!

It might not be the growth you’d choose nor the timing you’d prefer, but it’s the perfect opportunity for you to use your talent to reinvent yourself, expand the boundaries of your comfort zone and contribute in new ways.

It’s challenging, unnerving… but exciting!