Saturday, March 19, 2016

Welcome Chief Talent Development Officer Magazine

Are you ready for a new kind of magazine? One that will offer fresh ideas and new approaches? Ready to make your team leaders in the industry by putting people first? Here are some thoughts on a new resource to assist you - Chief Talent Development Officer magazine. Here is a guest post by Ann Parker.

Not Your Typical Happily Ever After
By Ann Parker

Are you tired of reading about other organizations’ stories of success (read: seeming perfection) because you simply cannot relate? How is “Company A” able to pull off a huge leadership development program for high-potential employees with such ease, but you can barely convince your COO that your company should invest in its rising stars? Sure, best practices from such case studies can be valuable, but if you cannot apply the principles in your organization, these stories can have very little practical impact.

CTDO magazine has a refreshing and new approach to your typical happily-ever-after workplace fairy tale. Confessions From the C-Suite is a standing column in the free, digital, quarterly publication for talent development (TD) executives. This case study column, written by a TD executive, focuses on a big problem and how he or she did not succeed as planned. It explores the following questions:

·         What was the program, initiative, or issue you were trying to solve?
·         What did you do?
·         Why didn’t it work?
·         What lessons did you learn, and what would you do differently?

You will find authentic accounts of real-life, high-pressure situations involving great risk and even failure. In the Winter 2015 issue, Mary Slaughter expounds on the difficulties new executives face when they join the ranks of a senior leadership team. And in the Spring 2016 magazine, Karie Willyerd explains that not everything was a glowing success for a new leadership development program she implemented, but lessons learned helped to improve future program designs.
Check out the latest issue of CTDO magazine for realistic stories and relatable lessons from your peers.

Ann Parker is manager of the Human Capital Community of Practice and the Senior Leaders & Executives Community of Practice at ATD. Prior to this position, she worked at ATD for five years in an editorial capacity, primarily for TD magazine, and most recently as a senior writer and editor. In this role, Ann had the privilege to talk to many training and development practitioners, hear from a variety of prominent industry thought leaders, and develop a rich understanding of the profession's content. Visit Chief Talent Development Officer Magazine.

Every Body's Guide to Everyday Pain by Ya-Ling J. Liou, DC

Got pain? You can stop it!

I am a chronic allergy suffer who has gone through two rounds of allergy shots with minimal success. The joke is on me because I am allergic to everything green and I am a Master Gardener. Moreover, I come from a line of back pain sufferers which doesn’t exactly help me when I am outside digging and moving plants in my garden during the warm months. It should be no surprise when I share that reading Every Body’s Guide to Everyday Pain by Ya-Ling J. Liou, DC was exactly what I needed to better understand the source of my pain and how to influence it so that I can go about my everyday life.

Liou is an experienced chiropractor and teacher. She understands pain and applauds natural methods for fighting back at pain. Chronic pain is widespread in the U.S with so many of us never getting to the real source of our pain. Like me with my allergies, we just “deal” with it on a daily basis and spend exurbanite amounts of time and money on doctors and medicines we probably don’t need.

Every Body’s Guide to Everyday Pain does an outstanding job of explaining pain and the anatomical processes through layman terms, comics, and pictures. She shows us that pain is the “body on fire” from inflammation and teaches us how to “cool the fire” by methods that help “fire-proof” the body. Liou’s book is the first of 3 volumes to address human pain and after reading this book, I look forward to the next two volumes!

This book focuses on three primary segments; why does it hurt? How can I make it stop? How do I keep it from happening again? Each segment offers a deeper understanding of pain and how we can all control our pain if we just take the time to understand and prevent it. Running to the doctor for medicine is a short term fix. As complicated as the human body is, we need to dig a bit deeper for pain relief.

Why does it hurt? Pain is our own built in warning system. It’s the only way that we learn something isn’t right and we need to act. Pain is caused by irritation and then inflammation. Inflammation makes it feel like your body is literally on fire. You know the feeling, move wrong and you are suddenly doubled over in pain from what seems like no reason. If you understand what triggers pain you may be able to actually get out in front of it. Below are the 3 types of pain triggers.

·         Mechanical – compression, lengthening of the muscles, and tension.
·         Chemical – the body is slammed by cellular waste or by products. My allergies are a clear example of chemical pain. My sinus headaches and thick throat are very real almost year round.
·         Emotional – how do we react to pain and try to fight it.

How do I make it stop? I must ask myself this a million times in a year especially when allergens are floating about. In order to stop pain you need to find out what is causing it. I know some of my key pain triggers so I trying to avoid them when I can. Do you have a cat? I wouldn’t be the best house guest if you do. By finding the source you can identify the fire and douse it. Ya-Ling Liou shares numerous natural ways to find your pain and release it by laying down, changing how you move, changing key positions, and stretching. No medicine needed and she has a plethora of images and photos to help you find the right moves.

How do I keep it from happening again? Ultimately you need to make yourself “fireproof” to pain. By being proactive you may be able to prevent inflammation from building up and turning into that nagging knee or back pain that has plagued you in the past. There are three effective ways to do this. Ready?

·         Physically through body mechanics. The body needs to remain in motion BUT it needs to be in a natural and healthy manner. Liou illustrates the proper way to move to prevent injury and inflammation from building up. This chapter was one of my favorites because there are outstanding pics to show the proper way to reach for things, best way to pick items up, how to sit , and even how to turn your head to prevent injury. I quickly noticed that I move in all the wrong ways and can see why I may get aches and pains.
·         Chemistry. This concept fascinated me because of my severe allergies. Any imbalance in the chemistry of the body is bad news. The body can develop an imbalance of PH which spells trouble. A gradual buildup of inflammation can sneak up on you. Fight or flight hormones can wreak havoc. My body is guilty on all three counts and I better understand how I can combat the chemicals.
·         Emotions and mindset. It’s no surprise that the mind can rule the body. When I become stressed my stomach acts up or I grit my teeth. Once that happens I need to try to take my mind off whatever is stressing me and fight off the stress. You need to protect your brain in order to “fireproof” your emotions and mind. Luckily it’s easier than it sounds and no medicine is needed. The key? Exercise and sleep are the body’s best stress fighters. They can offer up a firm punch and help the mental and physical effects of stress. In order to impact your outlook which fights pain, continually focus on developing a strong self image and positive world view. Your mind rules your body and you know exactly where to start.

What I love most about Every Body’s Guide to Everyday Pain is the practical, natural approach to identifying your pain and taking control of your pain before it controls you. The approaches that Liou offers are intuitive and address the key areas of the human body. She reminds us how powerful our bodies are and encourages us to retrain our physical and metal movements for better health.

If you suffer any pain at all or find yourself pulling muscles just by moving, this book deserves a permanent spot on your home bookshelf. Pull it out to regularly remind yourself how to identify your pain and stop it before it impacts your life.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Under New Management How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as Usual

"If human beings could invent the modern industrial organization, then they can reinvest it" - Gary Hamel

I have spent most of my career in the banking world. Professional, rigid, rule abiding, and corporate. I tried to work at smaller banks to avoid the corporate ways and games. Some things have changed over my 20 year banking career – just not enough. Today I work in an open office atmosphere, email rules the day, and there is a bigger focus on team. It just isn’t quite enough.

 Under New Management How Leading Organizations are Upending Business as Usual by David Burkus represents my corporate dream. David examines new methods to manage and lead people. He pushes aside the traditional management tools and throws out some innovative ideas that are fresh, new, and probably pretty controversial to conventional managers. The thing is, some companies are very successful using some of the new ideas that Burkus shares. What will it take for more to jump on the bandwagon?

David challenges us reexamine our current ways. As a manager, I ate this book up page by page. I love new styles that focus on people and this book delivers. Life is fast paced today and some managers refuse to be innovative and challenge the status quo. Is that you? Under new Management focuses on 13 chapters each outlining a new idea, concept or way of thinking. Some of them will make you uncomfortable and saying “No Way!” Others may have you ready to jump out of your chair chanting “Yes! Yes!” The old ways of managing just don’t work anymore and it’s time make change and impact the world.

Let’s dive into some new ideas from David Burkus. Here are 13 of them for you to discover in Under New Management.

·         Outlaw Email. The book starts with a shocker. Outlaw email? Email can be very distracting and pulls us away like a delicate piece of chocolate. We hear and see them roll in all day. They interrupt us, stress us out, make us feel like are missing something if we don’t respond immediately. I worked in an office where I swear there was a contest going on as to who answered emails first. I always lost. Emails “pollute” the work environment, keep people from communicating, and freak us out. Some companies are eliminating emails or at least limiting the hours it can be used. Sound radical? It is, but it may just work.
·         Put Customers Second. Wow. I loved this chapter. By putting people first you will have happier customers and improved performance. Invest in what is important (people) and the chips will fall into place. Make managers accountable to your first line people and watch satisfaction and productivity skyrocket.
·         Lose The Standard Vacation Policy. I love this idea because it empowers people and makes them responsible. Companies like Netflix have seen increased freedom and trust which translates into higher productivity. I love this idea for me however, I’m not so sure that all employees are ready for this novel idea.
·         Pay People to Quit. Zappos pays people to quit. Yup, quit. If you hire in and want to leave after 3 weeks you receive $4000 to do so. No strings. In the end this offer keeps great employees who want to be a part of the culture and they are more engaged with a higher self worth. Better to cut sunk costs early rather than later.
·         Make Salaries Transparent. Some companies have instituted policies where everyone knows what their coworkers make. They claim that it is more efficient and actually increases productivity. The secrecy is gone and after awhile people stop being interested in what others make.
·         Ban NonCompetes. So many of us have been hand tied by non compete agreements. They ultimately hamper true competition and fail to motivate people. Clients and employees will follow those that they trust and admire; a non compete won’t stop that process.  
·         Ditch Performance Appraisals. This is one of my favorites. As a manager I have always hated the traditional review process and hate getting them today. They are aged and out of touch, I was cheering for this idea. Let’s have more check ins, more ongoing coaching and development, and bring morale up. Stop rating people on curves and dehumanizing your team.
·         Hire as a Team. I love this idea and have always tried to make hiring decisions based on a team decision process. The team owns their projects and productivity. They need to choose the talent and enhance collaboration.
·         Write the Org Chart in Pencil. This is a novel approach. Rather than building teams in traditional roles, build a team around projects and change things up when a project wraps up. It’s flexible, fluid, and talent is shared. Why not?
·         Open Offices Shut Employees Down. Here! Here! This is another idea that I cheer on. I love hustle and bustle as well as my teammates but open offices are distracting. I don’t want to hear about everyone’s woes or their rough party last night. Studies show that open offices worsen relationships, are too loud and distracting, lower job performance, and plain annoy people. There is a better way and leaders need to own up to change.
·         Take Sabbaticals. This is a refreshing idea. Initially my reaction was negative. It could never work. Then I really thought about what David wrote and changed my mind. Granted sabbaticals won’t work with every industry however, rejuvenation, new ideas, cross training, and less stress won me over.
·         Fire the Managers. Since I am a manager, this wasn’t my favorite idea. However, it grew on me the more that David explained the idea and shared examples where it is effective. This idea is probably best employed in a smaller company and offers more autonomy, better work control, more loyalty, and shared leadership.
·         Celebrate departures. I have always rejoiced for people who left my teams for better opportunities. Good companies do the same and form networks to reunite people and keep alumni ties. I worked for a smaller bank and we have an alumni group with occasional reunions. Although most of us are gone due to a merger, we remain close and will always have a special bond.

Reading Under New Management was a delight and I almost read it without putting it down once. This book fed my management dreams and really convinced me to take a second look at some new ideas that I originally scoffed at. The old ways are hindering our competitiveness and stifling people and innovation. We all have a responsibility to challenge ourselves and our people to do better, be better, and grow better. Happy reading!