Oftentimes, managers don't closely monitor the outcomes their staff are required to deliver. It happens easily enough: a full workload, lots of conflicting demands, running around like a headless chook – all things that may divert a manager's attention from ensuring the deliverables are delivered on time, every time. The problem with assuming that work is being done or ignoring the work that's due but very late, is that it signals to staff that deadlines don't mean much or the deliverables aren't that important either.
Keith Tyler-Smith, Project Manager (eLearning) for TANZ, speaks about online courses and the opportunities they present adult learners. 'Listen to Keith', 31.05 mins.
I work with self employed business owners and have discovered that all, at one stage or another, find the business of being in business, too much on occasions. This is because small business owners with no staff or one staff, find themselves being the Jill and Jacks of all trades – the cleaning, the administration, the strategic thinking and planning, the marketing person, the accounts person, the IT person, the you name it, they're it. It does get tough at times.
An area small, medium and large organisations often overlook when things are getting busy or difficult, is their infrastructure – their policies, procedures and systems; their company culture and climate; the way they talk to one another; view clients or colleagues. So often an organisation's infrastructure suits how things were when there was less staff, fewer clients or less operating complexity. Unless any organisational growth is recognised as a time to also check the infrastructure,
I've just read a thought provoking editorial from the editor of NZBusiness, Glenn Baker. In it, he talks of a concept from Jonar Nader, on how organisations can invigorate their business. One idea for continual business improvement was OPEX – standing for One Percent Excellence. The aim is to be one percent better than yesterday in all that you do, and eventually you'll have a healthy business. It's a simple concept and sounds eminently doable.
A website is now available that focuses on positive psychology – the science of looking at what makes people happy. Apparently there are three sources of long lasting happiness – mental resilience, healthy relationships and finding meaning in life and there are downloadable audio files that give specific techniques to help the listener with this. The site is now publicly available at http://www.calm.auckland.ac.nz/
Im always a bit surprised when I see some managers who work at a middle management level, struggle with the concept of operating at a higher level. By that I mean, removing themselves from lots of unnecessary operational stuff i.e. inappropriate involvement in their staffs' work, to working at a strategic level i.e. taking a bigger view of their patch, planning and thinking about known and unknown eventualities, ensuring the operating infrastructure is sound and can support all the activities.
I've come to the conclusion that within most workplaces, within the workforce, lurk organisational saboteurs. These are a group of people from all levels of an organisation who intentionally or unintentionally may: block organisational change; stifle initiative in others; do just what's needed in the job and no more; withhold information; refuse to learn to use new technology; mock others or constantly whine and whinge about how dreadful colleagues, managers, clients, suppliers or others are.
In reading about professional development the other day, I discovered there are four learning stages a person must go through before a behaviour change can occur: the first requires us to be aware of something i.e. an idea, a requirement; the second requires us to have an understanding of what the idea or requirement may mean or require of people; the third requires accepting that what needs to change must be changed and then changing one's own ideas,
There's something about the New Year hype that may create pressure on people to set goals for the year ahead by January 1st at the earliest, possibly January 2nd by the latest and start working on them by January 3rd, at the very least. It's unrealistic and unnecessary and is to be avoided. A less pressured approach to determining what you may want to achieve in the year ahead is to spend time resting and relaxing to give your brain and body a necessary break from thinking and doing.