Seven Strategies for Success with Family Businesses

I support a lot of family businesses and regularly hear from my clients how they pride themselves on creating positive work environments for their employees where they treat everyone like family. That’s quite admirable, and I’m sure those employees very much appreciate it. The question though is what to do with all the employees who actually are family!

Family businesses by their very nature are complex organizations. It’s not just about managing and operating a sustainable business with a family business. It’s about the leadership and governance practices required to keep any family drama and unproductive relationships away from work. In multi-generation family businesses, we’re talking 20, 40, 60 and even 100 or more years of history running the company. On the personal side, that’s generations of family members living together and growing up together who need to work together to operate that same business. That can create a lot of added stress and anxiety – something that many family business leaders are poorly equipped to handle – on an otherwise viable business. Read more ›

Posted in Baby Boomers, Family, Family Business, Family Counseling, family relationships, Legacy, Succession Planning, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Building High-Performing Teams to Deliver Superior Business Results

In today’s Information Age and increasingly complex work environment, very few people work alone. Nearly all of us work in teams of some form and rely on others to deliver our intended results. How many of us have the pleasure and privilege of working with World Champion teams though? Unfortunately, more of us than not are probably members of teams that more closely resemble the Bad News Bears with team members who just don’t seem to click or maybe can’t succeed in any position on the field.

So how do we turn our everyday teams into World Champion teams? High-performing teams must have a shared focus and commitment to achieving superior results. Simply wanting it doesn’t make it happen though. It takes much more than a team’s collective desire to be high-performing. If you want to deliver superior business results, the following are three key principles for building high-performing teams. Read more ›

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Team Performance, Teamwork, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Driving Adoption Well Beyond Go Live with Digital Transformation

Change is constant in organizations! Many of these organizational changes, however, can feel like “forced changes” – especially when they’re technology change efforts. The perception can be that the CIO or CFO simply signed a contract to buy a new ERP (enterprise resource planning) package or upgrade outdated systems, and 1000s of employees throughout the organization are forced to accept it.

When we established Plus Delta Consulting, our goal was to create “Positive Change” such that these Digital Transformations could be enjoyable (or “positive”) experiences. That may seem like a lofty and unattainable goal – to make technology change a fun thing – but that is our goal every time we start a new project. We do this because no matter how much an organization invests in technology, it will never deliver the expected ROI if people don’t embrace those changes. By increasing awareness and stakeholder involvement, we get everyone more engaged in and therefore committed to the changes. We want them to learn new skills and feel more valued at work because of these implementations – and if all goes well, like them a little more and hate them a little less! Read more ›

Posted in Change management Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

The Value of People & Good HR in Organizations

The Human Resources function can be quite misunderstood in many organizations. People often think it’s the group who plans the parties or who fails every year to keep the cost of our benefits down. Maybe worse, it’s the folks who make us complete performance reviews at year-end when we’re already too busy to do our “real work”!

Not too long ago, we actually had “Personnel” departments in organizations. Over time, these groups were renamed, but the work and their stereotypes really haven’t changed. As we assess the current state of HR in organizations and consider what drives high-performing organizations, it’s clear that someone needs to attend to these critical people functions.

Read more ›

Posted in Employee Development, employee engagement, Employee Morale Tagged with: , , , , ,

Enhancing Your Employee’s Life-Cycle Experience To Achieve Peak Performance

In today’s tight labor market with historic levels of low unemployment throughout the U.S., it is imperative for businesses to hire the best people – and keep them! But how do you do that when so few people are looking for jobs, or maybe more importantly when so many can jump ship so easily just to get a quick bump in pay? There actually are several key elements in an employee’s life-cycle experience that can make a huge impact for your organization.  Read more ›

Posted in business, Change management, Coaching, Empowerment, Engagement, Executive Coaching, Family Business, Family Values, Leadership, Management, success Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Vacation: The True Sign of a Great Leader

As summer quickly comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the many different leaders I have the privilege of coaching these days. One of whom actually took an extended 4-week vacation this summer, and another who worked her way through a shorter 1-week family trip to Hawaii.

Let’s be clear. I am not judging either of these otherwise very busy and successful results-oriented executives. One for leaving his team to their own devices for an entire month. One for not getting the quality get-away with her family that she had expected. I’m simply recognizing the value of getting away for some good old-fashioned R&R from time to time. The physical and emotional break from work not only gives our bodies the rest they need but also gives our minds the fresh perspective to contribute when we return to work.  Read more ›

Posted in business, Coaching, Executive Coaching, Leadership, people, Performance Improvement, success, Uncategorized, Vacation, Value Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Putting the 70% Back into Learning & Development!

How often do your leadership and team development efforts stall out because you can’t settle on a day when everybody can get together for training? Or maybe you get stuck because your HR partner wants a full day of classroom training to achieve your most critical learning objectives, and your leadership can’t/won’t give up more than two or three hours – at most! Well, what would you say if I told you that you are probably putting 90% of your effort into solving just 10% of the problem?  Read more ›

Posted in Development, Employee Development, employee engagement, Employee Morale, Empowerment, Executive Coach, Executive Coaching, Leadership, Learning Tagged with: , , , , ,

Leading Organizational Change Instead of Trying To Manage It!

For more than 20 years now, I’ve been leading all kinds of change efforts in all kinds of organizations. New CEOs and business leaders with new visions or strategic objectives. Merger integration between two previously separate companies. Technology implementation to upgrade business systems. Small family businesses, high-growth companies, Fortune 500 corporations, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies.

The one constant in all these efforts is PEOPLE. People commissioned with implementing the changes. And people on the receiving end who may or may not want these changes to be implemented. For better or worse, Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) coined the term “change management” back in the ‘90s, so many business leaders more commonly think about managing these complex – often contentious – changes as if it is merely a process you can manage from start to finish rather than leading them forward with the people most impacted by them. The largest association of professionals who specialize in this field even named itself the Association for “Change Management” Professionals just a few years ago. When are we going to learn that we can’t manage change any more than we can manage people’s reactions to and experiences of change?  Read more ›

Posted in Change management, Coaching, Excellence, Executive Coaching, Innovation, Leadership, Leadership Skills, Organizational Change Management, Organizational Values, success, Uncategorized, Vision Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Understanding Why We Hire So Fast & Fire So Slow

I participated in a leadership workshop for other CEOs and business owners several years ago, and the speaker shared one poignant remark that has stuck with me ever since! In many organizations, we have a tendency to hire very fast and fire very slow. While this may feel like the right thing to do in the heat of the moment, it rarely produces the results we’re looking for.

So why do we do it? More importantly, what can we do about it? The first step to solving this problem is understanding the root causes, so here are several reasons why leaders tend to hire fast and fire slow in most organizations.  Read more ›

Posted in Accelerated workplace, Accountability, Achievement, Action, Action Planning, Advice, business, Change management, Coaching, Employee Communications, Executive Coaching, Firing, Hiring, HR, Leadership, success, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Achieving Excellence with Email Communication

When I wrote my doctoral dissertation 20 years ago, I researched a variety of different tools to enhance virtual teaming and communications within and across companies. Email was already the most prevalent form of communication and information sharing back then, but people were not nearly as dependent upon it as they are now. Since then, email has had a profound impact on business and the world around us.

I recently had the honor of facilitating a management workshop that was the final course and culmination of a three-year leadership program for the participants. When asked about the key takeaways from their three-year learning journey, their resounding response was to share stories from and recognize the impact of their Business Writing course. Why? Because of the increased prevalence of email communication in each of their daily lives! Do we need any other proof to demonstrate the critical function email plays in our organizations?  Read more ›

Posted in Accelerated workplace, business, Coaching, E-mail, Executive Coaching, Innovation, Leadership, success, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

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