Worthy of imitation

All other things being equal... they never are. Managing ourselves with an inverted pyramid

I manage volunteers, and when I ask them to do something, they often respond, "Yes, if you'll supply me with ____." One of the days, I'm going to get smart enough to recognize that as a "no." I admire them for finding a way to push back and delay. Here are more good tips from Sam Spurlin. 

The Ready on Medium: Why Effective Organizations and People Know “The Inverted Pyramid is Fractal”, 2016-May-25 by Sam Spurlin

“What is critical and what can be pushed until later?” “What’s a need to have vs. what’s a nice to have?” You ask these questions at the beginning of a project, at the beginning of a day of work, at the beginning of a session of work, at the beginning of the next five minutes ad infinitum.

It forces you to become much more clear-eyed and ruthless about prioritizing the work you need to do to vs. the work you’d like to do or think maybe you’ll do.

  • All work is not created equal.
  • All work not shipped doesn’t count.
  • All resources are finite.

... 

I don’t build my daily schedule around the myriad of minor tasks and responsibilities that make up my life, but instead let them filter between the cracks of the most important work I do.

Tq150721rm


How to become more trustworthy, from Fast Company magazine

While it seems like being honest and reliable is enough to make us trustworthy it's actually not. People trust people who notice, understand and assist them without being asked. 

Fast Company: The Three Habits Of The Most Trustworthy Person In Your Office, 2016-Apr-1 by Karissa Thacker

It’s all too easy to get locked into patterns of perceiving and behaving that don’t build trust, leaving us unaware of them and even further from understanding what things we actually can do in order to build it. As a result, our own feelings toward others—how much and whether we trust them, and vice versa—remain a bit of a mystery.

Changing that can dramatically improve how well your team works together, and it starts by understanding what the most trusted people actually do in order to get that way. Here are three of the primary habits of those who command others' trust at work.

According to @KarissaThacker

They consider the signals they're sending Are you behaving in ways that send similar signals that others can rely on you?
They take time to understand the pressure others are under We tend to trust people who listen and pay attention to us more than those who don’t.
They help out unexpectedly Make the conscious effort to do something nice that you don’t have to do.

Commit to writing down what you do

Tq160216wd
As we organize people, we are usually receive pressure to write things down. It's challenging, and you can't just do it once and be done. It needs to be a living document. At Percolate, they try to write everything down and post it on Google Docs. If you are interested in keep a group of people well organized and free to lead themselves, you should read this article. 

First Round: The only onboarding timeline you'll need, 2016 from Percolate

Nothing scales better or faster than words. The average adult reads two to three times as fast as she listens. Plus, documentation is a ready resource, while people aren’t always available.


Social learning embraced by an old dog

Tq160205sd

Geoffrey Moore became an influential business consultant long before social media was available. (His Crossing the Chasm is now in its third edition.) Recently on LinkedIn he shared how enthusiastically he has embraced social media, and listed six amazing benefits he finds. Even more amazing, the post attracted many valuable comments. You can see a couple of excerpts below, but I recommend reading both posts all the way through. 

LinkedIn: Getting Social in the Enterprise... Seven Things to Get Your Head Around, 2016-Jan-12 by Geoffrey Moore

3. Social is efficient. There is no queueing in a social network. This means principals can connect directly peer to peer and get on with whatever it is they want to get on with. Among groups, it lets people opt in to eavesdrop on conversations that may have implications for their work. It also allows for the unexpected expert to surface unprompted with an insight or a solution to the problem no one else thought of. The opportunity cost is low, and the serendipity is high.

LinkedIn: Social is Social! 2016-Jan-28 by Geoffrey Moore

Jill Rowley, Startup Advisor, Marketing Expert: I'd add Social is humanizing. Social Networks like LinkedIn and Twitter give us the ability to understand someone's identity (their skills, where they've worked, where they went to University, where they live), their relationships (to whom they're connected, what groups they're a member of, who they follow and are followed by), and their interests (what they care about, what makes them tick).


How Kroger earns world-class loyalty and we can, too.

When Kroger launched their state-of-the-art loyalty program in 2003, I was immediately won over. It helped that there was a Kroger store four blocks from my home (yes, I have an inner city lifestyle). At every touch, my loyalty grew stronger. Tq140417qdThe program seem to mold itself around my needs. Now they have one of the highest ranking loyalty programs in the world. 

What if we don't have millions of dollars to spend on a world-class loyalty program? We follow these guidelines from Bond Brand Loyalty:

Elements that ranked as the top functional drivers of satisfaction include:

  1. The appeal of rewards. (Kroger offers rebate checks, grocery discounts, fuel discounts, and more.)
  2. The ease with which rewards can be redeemed. (We choose our mechanism: credit card, loyalty card, mobile app.)
  3. The amount accumulated per $1 spent. (Savings are substantial.)
  4. Ability to reach rewards in a timely manner. (We can get something every visit, and monthly rewards pile up.)
  5. Number of ways benefits can be earned. (Co-operating with Shell, Liberty Mutual, and more.)

Elements that ranked as the top experience drivers include:

  1. The program is worth the effort of participating.
  2. The program meets my needs.
  3. The program is enjoyable.
  4. The program is simple. (Kroger's program is not simple overall, but our access to rewards is simple.)
  5. The program is easy to understand.

Learn more with Bond's '15 Loyalty Report


Why we have to stop answering our own questions

Most of us believe we have to talk in order to be persuasive, but one of the best ways is to ask good questions, listen to the answers, and integrate those answers into the way forward, acknowledging the person who contributed. 

PeterBregman.com: If You Want People to Listen, Stop Talking, 2015-May-26 by Peter Bregman Tq150605ldl

It is easy to fall into the habit of persuasion by argument. But arguing does not change minds — if anything, it makes people more intransigent. Silence is a greatly underestimated source of power. In silence, we can hear not only what is being said but also what is not being said. In silence, it can be easier to reach the truth....

I could tell what George was doing, because when he decided to speak, he was able to articulate each person’s position. And, when he spoke about what they said, he looked at them in acknowledgement, and he linked what they had said to the larger outcome they were pursuing.

Here’s what’s interesting: Because it was clear that George had heard them, people did not argue with him. And, because he had heard them, his perspective was the wisest in the room....

“When you ask a question into a group,” he told me, “think of it as a competition. If you answer your own question, you’ve lost."


Asking to get (what Sarah said)

Medium: The art of asking: or, how to ask and get what you want, 2013-Sep-9 by Sarah Kathleen Peck [highlight added.]

Put the ask on the table. Make it easy to find. Make your wishes known.

  • Give alternatives if you’d like, but stick to two, maximum three. Sometimes it’s easier for people to say yes to one of two options rather than having to choose between many. Stick to just one or two things.
  • Start with small wins. Ask incrementally for specific, small things. Get a foot in the door. Don’t ask for the big thing until you’ve established rapport, responsibility and demonstrated follow-through with someone.

14. Pay attention to context and surrounding cues. People make decisions based on their physical surroundings—much more than they would probably believe.