Monthly Archives: June 2016

Leadership in a Crazy World

True to the theme of his new book, 64 shots : Leadership in a Crazy World, Kevin Roberts, leadership expert and Saatchi and Saatchi Chairman walked on stage and proceeded to punch out a series of anecdotes about leadership that were relevant and important for all generations. Moderating the conversation was Alexis Glick. The event, held on Wednesday June 15, was created and hosted by The Academi of Life and held at The Center for Social Innovation. Listening to the conversation, one could not help but sit on the edge of their seat, reflecting a similar stance Kevin took as he spoke about Leadership in a Crazy World.

So, why now? What is different about today’s leadership requirements?

Instant. Constant. Connected. Three words describing today environment where “the medium is the consumer” and measurements of success are correlated to the speed at which you learn, fail and fix. The military coined the term VUCA to describe a methodology that goes beyond strategy to real time situation management. In military terms, the acronym stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. For Roberts, the business leadership definition of VUCA is Vibrant, Unreal, Crazy (as in one person with one idea can change the world) and Astounding (as in speed). To both the military leaders and the business leaders, the message is blunt: Stop strategizing and assessing what actions to take. Be ready to do it NOW.

June 15 shirley moultonEveryone, Everyone, Everyone Needs a Plan
We are all quick to help and to advise others. However, critical to a leaders’ ability to lead others is the development of their own plan. Doing that means:
What is your one-word equity? Bruce Springsteen is The Boss. What is your essence?
When are you at your best? Variables might include time of day, environment, and available resources.
• What will you never do? Things are instant, constant and connected. What if something changes faster than planned; what was “reasonable” before may no longer be reasonable now.
What is your five-year dream? The next five years only happen once.
List three challenges that you will hold yourself accountable for over the next 12 months.

Kevin signed copies of his book while participants discussed their favorite anecdotes. For those who want to do it again, Alexis put the conversation on Periscope. Find it here. Join the conversation and let us know which leadership advice makes the most sense to your situation.


The Ongoing Conversation Needed with Performance Management

How does the performance management system tie to the needs of the business and how does individual performance get measured at the business dashboard level?

This question provided the big picture challenge addressed at the March 22 NYHRPS Forum facilitated by Dr. Anna Tavis. While previous practice sought to replicate the GE methodology, it is no longer the gold standard for management and leadership. Rather today’s leaders have become fast, lean machines that try something and test it on the go.

Intrigued by the case studies presented by Dr. Tavis, NYHRPS members wanted to continue the dialogue with specific action items that they could take back to their offices. And so, on May 3, NYHRPS Board Member Deb Seidman facilitated a Mastermind Group amongst a small group of members who had participated in the earlier Performance Management discussion. Participants brought case studies that reflected their current work. As a Mastermind group, questions were posed and advice was given, allowing the NYHRPS member to leave with an agenda that they could develop in their own organization.

Cultural Changes at the Grassroots Level will Impact the Success of a New Performance Appraisal System

While a wide range of questions came up during the discussion, case study conversations focused on three specific themes across organizations
• How does a small company take the best of the processes followed in a large enterprise while keeping its entrepreneurial spirit and nimbleness?
• How do you create of a culture of feedback at a grass-roots level?
• How do you create a common line of sight across organizational and personal missions… as to improve performance and achieve common goals?

With Forum participants representing both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, Dr. Tavis asked:
• How do employee motivations differ in for-profit vs a non-profit entity?
• If nonprofits are mission driven, what does the concept of top down goal setting look like?
• Is a bottom up approach to goal setting more applicable to the non-profit where grass-roots programs and local area relationships are critical in meeting the organizational objectives?

One group considered what they would do if they were starting a performance system from a clean slate. Lessons learned from previous discussions provided the important anchors for building a new system or revising one in place.
• First and foremost end with a positive impact on the business strategy
• Focus on a simple method to identify good performers
• Create a culture of constructive feedback to accelerate and sustain high performance
• Get buy-in by incorporating the employee perspective
• Include customization for significant groups by division, generations, etc.

Another interesting moment in the conversation focused on finding champions to support those spearheading the organizational changes. Both the General Counsel and the Marketing teams were singled out as strong partners.
The Mastermind meeting structure was a new format for the Forum Committee. It brought nuances to the meeting that can only be discovered when individuals share the specifics of their individual stories in the spirit of trust, confidentiality and peer advisement. The Forum Committee thanks both Anna and Debbie for their contributions in facilitating these programs and to our participants who came prepared to share and to learn.

A recap from the March 22 discussion can be found here.

NYHRPS Break-Through Innovation Series of Forums provides a platform to discuss emerging issues among thought leaders, peers and HR decision makers in intimate settings limited to 15 participants and 2-3 experts.