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Posts from the ‘Organizational Behavior’ Category

How to implement change in a traditional energy company

The obstacles plaguing both renewables and traditional utility companies today typically come in two distinct forms — technology transitions and major industry shifts — both with the end goal of better serving and connecting with customers.

Though both obstacles have their own unique challenges, the strategies to implementing and scaling change efforts to overcome each issue are largely the same.

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Design an agenda for an effective meeting

Meetings are one of most time consuming and demotivating events in daily corporate life.

Either for simple communication or complex decision making, the only two justified reasons to organize a meeting, a structured preparation and execution can deliver quite efficient results.

In this article from HBR, a framework to plan efficient meetings is presented, based on the following tips:

  • Seek input from team members
  • Select topics that affect the entire team
  • List agenda topics as questions the team needs to answer
  • Note whether the purpose of the topic is to share information, seek input for a decision, or make a decision
  • Estimate a realistic amount of time for each topic
  • Propose a process for addressing each agenda item
  • Specify how members should prepare for the meeting
  • Identify who is responsible for leading each topic
  • Make the first topic “review and modify agenda as needed”
  • End the meeting with a plus/delta

All items should be integrated into a comprehensive agenda and distributed in advance to participants.

Source: How to Design an Agenda for an Effective Meeting.

Handy rules for better meetings

It’s such a universal truth it’s like a bad joke: most meetings suck!
When they’re bad, they are the epitome of bad corporate culture, inefficiency and mediocrity.

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Diversity and team leadership

Creating a workplace where employees feel included is directly connected to worker retention and growth.

Employees who feel included are “much more productive, their performance is higher, they are more loyal, they are more trustworthy, and they work harder,” says Christine Riordan, provost and professor of management at the University of Kentucky.

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The importance of stress management

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.

The tricky thing about stress and the anxiety that comes with it is that it’s an absolutely necessary emotion. Our brains are wired such that it’s difficult to take action until we feel at least some level of this emotional state. In fact, performance peaks under the heightened activation that comes with moderate levels of stress. As long as the stress isn’t prolonged, it’s harmless.

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Decluttering the company

Peter Drucker once observed that, “Much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work.” Nine years after the management guru’s death, his remark is truer than ever: employees often have to negotiate a mass of clutter—from bulging inboxes to endless meetings and long lists of objectives to box-tick—before they can focus on their real work. For the past 50 years manufacturers have battled successfully to streamline their factory floors and make them “lean”. Today, businesses of all types need to do the same in their offices.

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Effective team productivity

Team productivity, especially for knowledge workers, is both hard to measure and to control.

Based on extensive research, this article explains the actions a manager can adopt and avoid to keep a team motivated by improving other's inner work life.

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Decision delegation

Don’t Make Decisions, Orchestrate Them

The decision making process is most of the times assumed as a role of the manager, either from a team or from an entire company.

While it seems easier to concentrate this process, sometimes a better outcome is achieved by delegating the task and just coordinate the process to make sure all issues are addressed.

This way, everyone in the team will be committed to the success of decisions while they will improve their decision making skills.

Managing brainstorming sessions


Building New Boxes: How to Run Brainstorming Sessions That Work

Brainstorming sessions flourish today almost as much as cross-departmental meetings with the objective of improve performance or efficiency. As most of internal company meetings, brainstorm sessions are not framed in advance so people can really produce results.

This article from BCG states 5 rules one should use when preparing brainstorm sessions:

  • Frame the question effectively
  • Create conditions that foster creativity
  • Begin by revealing and questioning the actual status before dive into the brainstorming session
  • Bring new perspectives to the session to nurture ideation
  • After the brainstorming session, follow up

Of course, the correct diversity of competences on the team composition is also of key importance for the quality of the results.

Managing the hiring processes


In Head-Hunting, Big Data May Not Be Such a Big Deal

We’ve all heard about the brainteasers that big companies use in job interviews. After analyzing historical data from recruiting processes, Google has concluded that those fancy interview question are a complete waste of time, as they do not predict any kind of future performance.

In an interview for NY Times, Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google, explains that structured behavioral interviews, where the interviewed person can talk about previous experience and competences on dealing with real situations, give relevant information on the skills and on the personality.

Personality, or empathy, is a very good proxy for team success.

As for leadership potential, an early assessment is quite difficult because great leadership is related with team perception of equity and decision making ability.

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