Photo of Goals

Photo of GoalsIt’s the start of the new year, so, if you’re like most people, you’ve set some form of goal or resolution for well-being that you can achieve in the next 12 months. Perhaps you’re committed to living a healthier lifestyle, connecting with family more often, or reducing your consumption of anxiety-provoking news stories. Unfortunately, research shows that fewer than 10% of people remain committed to their goal after a few months. There are many reasons for why we abandon our goals despite our good intentions. At times, we set goals that are unrealistic, or they don’t show us returns fast enough to boost motivation. Other times, external factors make our plans impossible (like traveling more in 2020).

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Learning culture image

Learning culture image(Editor’s note: We’re re-running this previously published blog to underscore the importance of building a learning culture as we move into 2021.) When was the last time you learned something new? Think back on that moment and how it happened. Perhaps you were searching for more information on a topic and came across something new. Or the information may have been presented to you unexpectedly. If you pay attention, it’s likely true that you learn something new every day. But, establishing a learning culture in an organization is not as simple as it may seem. 

Many organizations have great intentions but fail to execute a strategy that truly transforms a culture into one that values constant development, knowledge transfer, and thoughtful inquiry. The typical shortcut organizations use to build a learning culture is through HR technology. Specifically, learning management systems, access to MOOCs, and other on-demand learning platforms are often used as tools to support lifelong learning. On face value, there is nothing wrong with providing learning resources to employees. But libraries full of books don’t create readers on their own.Read More

Stepping out of comfort zone

Stepping out of comfort zoneWhen it comes to talent and leadership development, there are many powerful pathways to achieve growth. One of the faster growing areas is the strengths-based approach to development. It’s not surprising that this area has become so popular. First, it feels good. When we are able to leverage and expand upon our strengths, we’re operating within our comfort zone. Also, the experience is less threatening. Anyone who has delivered difficult 360-degree feedback to individuals knows how long it can take to break down the defensive barrier most experience when identifying weaknesses. With a Strengths-based approach, the engagement begins immediately and requires little effort to establish buy-in. Finally, there is a strong body of research that supports a Strengths-based approach to development.

However, the key to an effective Strengths-based approach isn’t to ignore weaknesses. One important part of Strengths-based development is to explore if there are ways in which your strengths are experiencing barriers in practice. In other words, to fully realize the potential of your strength, do we also need to explore some weaker development areas?

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Photo of Home Office

Photo of Home OfficeAs we close out this long, exhausting year, a feeling begins to emerge that we are on the verge of a critical turning point. It is possible this feeling is fostered by a false sense of hope that we can put 2020 in the rear-view mirror. Or perhaps it’s due to an overly optimistic view that vaccines will be quickly distributed and adopted en masse. And yet, despite the highest daily recorded deaths due to the pandemic, many organizations are still pushing for a plan to return to the office. Last spring, many employers had to make tough decisions to lay off or furlough employees. People were sad, angry, and frustrated by these actions and claimed “when the economy rebounds, people will remember the choices you made.”

I agree. But I don’t think it will be the choices made in the spring that people will remember— it’s what happens next that will define us.

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Personal Growth Illustration

Personal Growth IllustrationOne core competency for all leaders is understanding how to coach and develop others. This is a particularly challenging skill for any individual promoted to a leadership role based on performance as an individual contributor. Many individuals become first-time managers and have never had any formal training for how to coach and develop others, so they miss a critical step in learning how to lead. Another key step in the process is remembering to prioritize self-development. We can’t develop others if we’re not also developing our own skills.

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Photo of Value Proposition

Photo of Value PropositionDeveloping a value proposition is one of the most important exercises one can do in a sales or marketing role. Clearly defining the value one can offer to the intended customer base and the ways in which they are superior to competitors’ offerings is the foundation for all messaging and outreach. Similarly, HR teams also develop an Employee Value Proposition to articulate the benefits of joining the organization and is used to attract and retain talent. For both the organizational and employee version of the value proposition, it really boils down to defining the essence of the organization and what it can offer in return for commitment/loyalty as a customer or employee. Additionally, the thought process required to develop a value proposition forces the organization to take a hard look at what it really offers and how it compares to competitors. Naturally, in the process of ensuring the Value Proposition is competitive, that also creates clear pathways for improvement.Read More