We present a video of our CEO, Kristin Robertson, sharing her thoughts on Mindful Leadership. Mindfulness practices are gaining in popularity in the business sector. This is due to the growing body of research that documents the benefits of practicing mindfulness, including better health, greater happiness, reduced emotional reactivity, and stronger leadership/mental capacities. Listen to our Vlog to learn a quick mindfulness practice to reduce stress in the midst of your day.
In a survey of 75 members of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Board, respondents rated self-awareness as the most important capability for leaders to develop. Executives need to understand their own foibles and propensities – the characteristics that executives assume to be the norm but in fact are the exception – to be an effective leader.
One powerful way to build self-awareness is to practice self-reflection, and what better time to start than at the end of a year? It’s time to look back on the last twelve months to identify you and your organization’s successes and where you missed the mark, so you can prime yourself for the new year.
In this article, we offer a series of questions that you can use to do a self-evaluation – either of yourself or of your team. Light a candle to symbolize the importance of the moment and answer these questions by recording them in a journal. Note: these questions are equally valid when applied to your own personal accomplishments or those of your team.
It’s almost year-end and it’s time to set your company’s sights on the new year. Large companies have been working on next year’s budget since August but mid-size and smaller companies are usually focused on finishing the current year with a bang. Companies of all sizes need to make strategic plans for the new year. Now is the time to plan a leadership retreat or half-day planning session to envision a fantastic new year for your organization.
Brio Leadership has helped a multitude of companies and large departments make plans for their new year. We want to share five secrets with you about the process.
Gender diversity in the workplace is not just a feel-good issue for women; it’s a financial imperative for companies. Studies show that gender diversity, especially in the top ranks, positively affects financial outcomes of an organization. McKinsey & Company, the global consultancy, and Lean In, a non-profit dedicated to women’s parity in the workplace, recently published their latest research report on gender diversity called Women in the Workplace 2018. The results of this year’s research show women are vastly underrepresented at every level of the organization and that their percentages have not increased over the past four years. Indeed, progress towards gender diversity has stalled.
Furthermore, this study states that women are doing their part to “lean in”: they are getting college degrees at higher rates than men, they ask for raises and promotions, and they stay in the workforce at the same rate as men.
The Queen of Hearts in Louis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland commanded “Off with her head!” at the slightest offense. Although this fictional story was written over 100 years ago, there are lessons from this story that can be applied to 21 st century work culture. Many inexperienced or uninformed leaders in today’s dynamic workplace may inadvertently “kill” the whole team when only one person makes a mistake.
I was reminded of this ill-advised practice by a colleague of mine, a millennial who is still early in his career. He told me that his boss sent out an email to the whole team with a correction, a directive that asked for different behavior. The boss said that he’d heard complaints and wanted them all to pay better attention to their customers.
Trouble is, this colleague of mine was already doing just that.
The boss acted the best he knew how – he sent out an email to all eleven of his team members. But the result of his action was an unintended consequence of his inability to address the one or two team members who were not paying proper attention to customers.
In our increasingly secular world, religious participation is on the decline overall. However, at the same time in the United States, there are many religious institutions that are in fact thriving and growing. What do these organizations do to create a cohesive community of thousands and excite their congregations in these times of religious decay? I was pondering this at a recent conference on organizational culture, where I began listing some traditions churches and other religious communities use to draw people together and create positive organizational cultures. I thought of practices like community worship, commitment to high ideals, prayer, small group meetings, potluck dinners, receiving an offering and community service or mission work. While not all religious practices are best
applied to a diverse and inclusive workplace, there are many ideas that a company can re-purpose from religious organizations to create a better team culture. Let’s examine them separately:
We complete our series of the shocking revelations found in Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance – and What We Can Do About It, by author Jeffrey Pfeffer. Professor Pfeffer cites numerous research studies that show that toxic management practices are very harmful to the human body, perhaps even more detrimental than exposure to second-hand smoke. In this part of our book review, we focus on the need for social support in the workplace, and the detrimental effects on both workers and organizations when social support is not present.
As before, the picture is not a pretty one.
We continue our series of the shocking revelations found in Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance – and What We Can Do About It, by Jeffrey Pfeffer. In this book, Professor Pfeffer establishes that there is a connection between toxic workplace practices, employee health, and organizational performance. Part one of this blog series on this book focuses primarily on Pfeffer’s most damning claim, which is that toxic workplace practices are more harmful to an employee’s health than exposure to second-hand smoke. Pfeffer effectively makes the claim that modern workplace stress can literally kill you. In Part Two of our book review, we’ll discuss two of the ten dangerous workplace practices identified in the book.
Those two practices are #6: Work/Family conflicts and #7: Low job control.
Again, the picture is not a pretty one.
In his shocking book, Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance – and What We Can Do About It, author Jeffrey Pfeffer recounts the research he and colleagues have done to examine the management practices that establish the expectation that employees must work themselves to death – literally – to advance their careers. Pfeffer, Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, firmly establishes the connection between dysfunctional workplace practices and both employee health and organizational performance. It isn’t a pretty picture.
Recently I was made to wait two weeks to get an important prescription filled. Two weeks! And I live in a first-world country and have decent health insurance. After a week of receiving pre-recorded apology updates from the pharmacy, I called both the doctor’s office and the pharmacy, and discovered the doctor’s office hadn’t received any of the faxed pre-authorization requests the pharmacy was sending every morning. Knowing that, I asked the pharmacist to directly call the doctor’s office and ensure they completed the authorization form for insurance. I finally got the medication and felt better within a day,
but now I am looking for another doctor because of this debacle!
Poor customer service is always a reflection of a negative culture. The root cause of my unfortunate experience was the poor organizational culture at my doctor’s office, reflected in their unresponsive administrative personnel and poor customer service processes. Here is the formula:
To say it succinctly, employees treat customers in a manner consistent with how they are treated. If management yells at employees, they are in turn likely to be surly with customers. If management does not give the employees the tools, empowerment or training to serve the customer well, the customer will suffer. And when the customer suffers, so does loyalty and satisfaction and that negatively impacts customer retention, which negatively affects profitability. It’s a vicious cycle.
From the desk of