Leading Change Tag All blog entries tagged as Leading Change http://www.htgpeergroups.com/blog/latest.html Tue, 25 Nov 2014 21:38:37 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb The Emotional Temperature of Your Company http://www.htgpeergroups.com/blog/entry/the-emotional-temperature-of-your-company.html http://www.htgpeergroups.com/blog/entry/the-emotional-temperature-of-your-company.html In my blog post “Leading Your Way to Cultural Success,” I wrote about the HTG Q1 Leadership ForumSteve Anderson shared a powerful keynote with us about what he calls “Natural Laws.”  He says that natural laws are those that are consistent and predictable.  He gave the example of gravity.  Steve has 101 of these natural laws of human behavior that he has identified, but he chose to focus on one during his time with our members.  That law was the Law of Emotion which he defines as follows: Humans make decisions emotionally and then justify those decisions with logic.

Steve gave the example of the workplace, saying that colleagues impact one another emotionally.  The evidence speaks for itself: within fifteen minutes of arrival at the office, the physiology of everyone in the space is remarkably similar

If you don’t like the emotional atmosphere in your office, look in the mirror.  You will be staring back at the biggest determining factor in office climate—the owner’s own attitude.  Recently I did a consulting engagement with a company and during one-on-one interviews with the staff, I asked them a question I like to ask a lot: “If you had a magic wand and could change one thing to make you more successful at your job and to make working here more enjoyable what would you change?”  Several of the employees voiced the same thing: my boss’s moods.  They shared that the day can start on a high note but if their owner/manager comes in and is in a bad mood, the office quickly picks up on that feeling and soon no one is in a good mood.

It reminds me of the saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”  While that saying might be a joke we sometimes make about marriage or life at home to tease our spouse, it could be equally applied to the office environment of many of the companies I visit.  If you as the business owner aren’t happy, your employees really aren’t likely to be in a good mood for long either.

The good news is that this natural law states that the converse is also true.  When you are happy or choose to act happy (Steve called it choosing to “be a 10!” every day), the physiology of the other people in your office will be similar and they also will feel more content.  You get to determine your own attitude.  You choose every day what you feel and what you believe.  For those of you in attendance in Dallas, remember that silly exercise Steve had us do when we wrote the number between 1-10 we felt like when we woke up that morning and then put it on our forehead?  I know I won’t soon forget that or the point that he was making…that I was the one to choose the number I wrote.  So, why would I ever want to be anything less than a 10?

Steve defined culture as the emotional and behavioral work environment in an organization.  As a business leader, you impact culture in huge ways—this natural law shows that everyone else takes their cues based on the emotion of the owner. 

Here’s my challenge to you: Choose to be a thermostat, not a thermometer.  Don’t just measure the emotional temperature of your organization every day.  Be accountable for your moods and choose to set that temperature at a level that sets your employees at ease and makes them glad to come to work.  Wake up every morning, and choose to be a 10!  Why not try it for a week and see what a difference it makes in your organization’s emotional climate?  I can promise your employees will be grateful.

It’s never too late to jump into the 2013 Leadership Track. If you are an HTG member, you can plan to join us live for the Q2 and Q4 HTG Leadership Forum events and catch up on what you missed in Q1 by watching the recorded content online. If you would like to take part in either the remaining two events or purchase the entire track (Q1 recorded content and the Q2 & Q4 live events), e-mail Scott Scrogin. If you are not in HTG and want to learn more or join us, check us out here. We are always eager to share how HTG can make a difference in your business and your life.

Several of our members have already made the decision to continue learning how to be more effective leaders and will be joining the Leadership Forum in in Q2 and Q4.  I’d love to invite you to join them as we learn how to create an accountable culture and effectively manage our businesses without being managed by them.  Be a thermostat and set an emotional temperature of excitement and continual progress as you learn with others how to make your company a little bit better tomorrow than it is today See you in Dallas

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asorensen@heartlandtechnologies.com (Arlin Sorensen) Peer Power Thu, 21 Feb 2013 00:22:28 +0000
Learnings From The Road http://www.htgpeergroups.com/blog/entry/learnings-from-the-road.html http://www.htgpeergroups.com/blog/entry/learnings-from-the-road.html I spent a few days in Redmond this week at Microsoft.  There is a lot happening that is going to change the technology world in 2012, with a host of new products coming to market.  I was there for some meetings, particularly around the upcoming Worldwide Partner Conference which happens in Toronto in July.  WPC is an amazing event – one I have attended now for over 10 years.  I serve on the Partner Executive Board – a group of people who are Microsoft Partners from every corner of the world.  We all run different types of businesses in some way related to Microsoft and serving customers.

The thing I love about this group is the perspective they provide.  We often get caught up in a pretty narrowly focused view of reality.  We only know what we can see from our vantage point, and in this ever changing and quickly shrinking world, that sometimes is not nearly enough.  So by attending events like this recent board meeting, and the WPC conference itself, I am able to see and gain perspective through the eyes of people from around the globe serving people in every kind of environment.  It is so valuable and important to get that kind of input.

One area we spent time on was an update from each of us on what was happening in our part of the world.  We talked trends, challenges, opportunities and reality.  I personally like to focus on what people see as hot trends in their market and customer set, as that often gives a great insight as to what will be coming to us in rural America in the Midwest.  That is one advantage of the people we serve – they are typically 3-6 months lagging those on the coasts for example – so we can watch what is happening there and know what will likely be coming our way soon.  So time spent with people around the world serves as a predictor of what is to come, along with providing perspective on the business overall. 

So what are the coming trends?  Well here are some that caught my attention:

  1. Economy.  Let’s just say it is of considerable impact worldwide.  There are bright spots, and then some not so bright.  Governments create a lot of the challenges, particularly in Europe and the US.  Overall the attitude around 2012 was pretty upbeat, but the economy is very global now, so even the smallest of disruptions cause ripples all over.  So I believe it will be a challenging year with the issues in the EU as well as the uncertainty about the elections here.
  2. Pipelines.  Very full and active.  Every partner indicated a lot of interest and pent up opportunity.  Decisions are coming slowly, more so in the SMB sector than larger companies, but uncertainly tied to the economy is impacting the speed at which signoff is occurring.  That has been our experience as well – January was very slow, February much better.  Until there is come clarity around the US election I expect the year to ebb and flow.
  3. Voice.  This is a hot area for many in markets of all sizes and places.  Lync is finally becoming a product that is being recognized for its value.  Communication is about far more than a phone today and the beauty of this Microsoft solution is the way it seamlessly integrates a variety of communication platforms including voice, business class messaging, email etc.  It is a digital communication platform and many reported that interest has been exploding as have implementations.
  4. Security.  This continues to be a very hot area driven heavily by compliance requirements.  Of course governments are a key driver of this, and that does not seem to be slowing at all.  In fact, it is increasing as many countries around the world are placing demands on where and how data must be stored and secured. 
  5. BYOD.  One of the hottest trends is around mobility and people brining their own devices to the office.  This creates a host of management and security issues, and that translates into opportunity.  Apple is definitely in the driver seat currently, but as the new Windows operating system comes to market later this year, that may begin to change.  This is happening worldwide across customers of all shapes and sizes.  It is a significant change for the industry.
  6. Thought leadership.  More and more IT companies are spending time with executives of their customers having meaningful discussions about policy and planning.  They are helping guide company direction and budgets.  We need to adapt how we serve to step up a notch and become resources to those we serve in areas of thought leadership.  That requires us to invest the time to understand the factors that impact our customers, and be informed on best practices and government policy.  It takes the relationship to a new level which is a very sticky sort of interaction.
  7. Applications.  If there is one area that everyone talks about – it is the proliferation of apps that are available.  That is continuing to grow and mature, and more IT companies are looking for ways to make that a part of their repertoire of serving their customers.  It may not mean we need to hire developers, but we need partnerships that give us access to those skills.  This will not slow down, but only accelerate with the new Windows platform.
  8. New products.  Microsoft will be refreshing a significant portion of their product line in 2012.  Foundational to those new products will be Windows 8 and the new version of Office, among a host of others.  The biggest buzz is around the common platform this release will provide across desktops, notebooks, tablets, pads, phones and servers.  It should be a significant game changer for Microsoft as they work to become relevant in the phone and pad space.  The fact that you will be able to finally have a set of applications that will be consistent across every device will likely be a game changer and will likely begin to level the playing field a bit.
  9. Cloud.  It is never far from the discussion when you are talking IT.  This remains an area that is continuing to be defined.  It appears that for most businesses, there will be a hybrid containing some public cloud use for certain workloads, potentially some private cloud for certain apps, and some on premise deployments for many for financial and other sensitive information.  Over time, more may migrate to the cloud, but currently there is a resistance to wholesale move data and applications to the sky.
  10. Refresh.  There is a lot of old hardware and software still being used across all customer segments.  There was not a sense that customers were waiting for the latest updates as much as the feeling that the equipment and software is working longer and meeting needs, so many are not doing the three year refresh cycles that they have in the past.  Many felt the new product releases, and the associated new hardware platforms, will open the floodgates for refresh.  That has the potential to drive a strong year as a result.

What does all this perspective mean?  There is a lot of opportunity coming.  With every challenge comes opportunity.  It is all about perspective.  Of course, gaining perspective doesn’t really change much.  It can provide the platform to lead change, but it is execution that will take perspective and opportunity and turn it into results.  Vision without execution is merely hallucination as Edison once said.  Don’t be a hallucinatory – gain perspective and put it into action!

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asorensen@heartlandtechnologies.com (Arlin Sorensen) Peer Power Thu, 08 Mar 2012 13:19:42 +0000