Leadership Series: Wake Up With A Sense Of Purpose

This is one of my core principles. Everyday I work hard to ensure that members of my team can wake up with a sense of purpose. It sounds easy, but like most things in leadership – it’s difficult.

It’s a big goal to set. I try and achieve it every day – and to be honest I don’t always succeed. That’s why this is a team task. During the retros and during my walks and conversations with people, I ask and collect information that will help me work out how to make everyone ‘wake up with a sense of purpose’.

This is how we put a bounce in our team mates step, how we make them want to jump out of bed in the morning and how we inspire them to bring their best to work.

Continue reading Leadership Series: Wake Up With A Sense Of Purpose

Leadership Tip: Inspiring Your Team

I was working with a client the other day and was asked how we attract such great talent to our projects.  “Steve, you always seem to have the motivated team, the stars… that makes delivery easy”

Whilst attracting bright talent is a focus of mine (who doesn’t want to work with bright people?), we work hard at it, we also work hard at keeping them and maintaining the motivation.

Our underlying philosophy is pretty simple and is broken down into three points that anyone can use. Continue reading Leadership Tip: Inspiring Your Team

How to get people to innovate

My plane from Sydney has just been delayed 4 hours.  I’ve just finished up facilitating a day long workshop with a high energy client.  My brain is alive with ideas, i’m pumped, so what better time to write a blog on innovation.

Ok, i’m going to correct myself right here.  You don’t GET people to innovate.  As a leader you create an environment where innovation, ideas and suggestions are the norm.  Then, using the right ‘tools’ you stimulate and capture innovation.

Innovation, sadly its a term that has been used to death, but I hope that it never loses its importance in peoples priorities.

The days of having an idea then milking the market for 20 years with the same idea are all-but-gone.  Companies, and now Governments need to continually be coming up with better ways to do what they do, continually changing what they do, testing, ditching the failures, leveraging the wins and trying again.

… but how to do embed a culture of innovation through our your team, your department, division or enterprise?

I have implemented what I call the ‘Innovation To Implementation Cycle’ which has consistently shown great results – it is not easy to implement, but if you don’t…

I’m going to put some Continue reading How to get people to innovate

I’m Worried About Customer Experience

Customer experience is the latest buzz word, as popular as … a cold beer on a hot day… and rightly so, delivering what your customers want in a saturated market place is a smart way to stand out and compete, that’s exactly why I created Emotional Based Design… a tool for everyone to do just that.

But… Continue reading I’m Worried About Customer Experience

Customer Not Digital Transformation

Having just completed arguably the #1 transformation in Australia (possibly the world) I have learnt (the hard way) a thing or two about what to focus on.

In a published whitepaper from the Gartner Group, our transformation was called “Exemplary Public-Sector Digital Service Model”

Vivek Kundra (ex US Fed CIO for Barack Obama) said “The mistake you guys have made is this… you think you are #1 in Australia; I want to tell you, what you have done here… you are #1 in the world”

A couple of proud moments (yep, I tell everyone!) for our team.

What is interesting here is the language used.  Gartner didn’t call it a digital transformation.  They called it a Digital Service Model… because that is what it is.  In reality it is a Customer Service Transformation (underpinned by digital channels and technology).

I have met with over 40 institutions who are getting ready to start their transformation journey.  95% of these were focusing on the technology and not the customer.

Digital Transformation – The process of using new technologies to become more innovative, agile, and above-all else, customer-centric.

Don’t ever forget, Continue reading Customer Not Digital Transformation

Leadership Tip Achieve

No-one likes a long running task.  Day after day, coming in to work to do more of the long running task.  Its a demoraliser…

I teach teams an agile/SCRUM trick, and that is to create your tasks so they can be completed within one day.  This way you go home with a sense of achievement, not dread!

Impossible you say… well let me explain a bit more.  I don’t mean Continue reading Leadership Tip Achieve

Dirty Agile

The other morning I was a guest presenter (I really don’t like that word… I interacted with people) at a breakfast with Deloitte in Brisbane.  The topic was, agile, how I’ve implemented it and the results achieved at my latest client.

Half way through this session I chuckled to myself and coined the phrase ‘dirty agile’ – agile from the trenches.  Since then I have received a lot of interest in dirty agile.

The term dirty agile reflects scrum after many retrospectives.  The flavor of agile that we now run throughout this program can be clearly traced back to the manifesto principles and you can see its roots are in SCRUM, however it fits the organisation, their risk tolerance and low project maturity very well.

Jeff Sutherland – the founder of SCRUM explains that SCRUM is ‘onboarding for agile’.  It is a set of ‘rules’ to get you going, it is not Continue reading Dirty Agile

Executive support is mandatory for agile

Over the past 25 years of delivering solutions in multiple countries and multiple organisations I have never had the support from exec like I do from my current client.  From the board, to the CEO to the executive directors, to the business… we are backed and supported.

This stacks the odds of makes top down, bottom up change, success heavily in our favor.

It is common for the CEO to walk into the program room, sit down with me and ask Continue reading Executive support is mandatory for agile

Leadership Tips (series) Wake up!

Recently I am being asked a lot of questions around leadership.  It is inspiring that so many managers are now become interested in leadership and even more inspiring that a few are understanding the difference between the two.

… so I thought I would start a series so I can capture my thoughts in one place.  I hope you find something that inspires and helps.

As a leader I believe that your role is to achieve a better outcome from your team, compared to if you weren’t there.  Now don’t laugh, I have met more managers than I could count that made no difference at all (or worse… they had a negative impact) on the output of their teams.  Some managers are reporters, others are enforcers, the a few are leaders.

One philosophy I try to embed is Continue reading Leadership Tips (series) Wake up!

The Human Side of Business – Minimize Management, Maximize Leadership.

Managing should be an invisible, yet a productive force.

So, how do you improve the efficiency of the human-side of Organizations needed for the future success of a business?

Everything to do with work can be changed for the better, if only Management today is comfortable with simply pointing out where the business needs to go and how it intends getting there. Then letting go, and being flexible enough to adapt and evolve as that future unfolds with all of its uncertainties.

We definitely, need another measure of people performance other than by their economic contribution, which is often not within the control of the individual. We need to measure their commitment and leadership to the well-being of the Organization.

To achieve this we need to make work something worth committing to.

Adequacy and monotony is not something that just happens; it is built into your system.  It’s the result of thoughtless social engineering, which adds nothing to improve the human-side of the business, or the abilities of the individual, Continue reading The Human Side of Business – Minimize Management, Maximize Leadership.