LATEST BLOG ENTRY

Plan Your Career Development Journey Reflection Questions – Eric’s Story

July 23, 2014

I’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my college internship at Metcalf & Associates. In my last post we did an in-depth analysis on our short-term goals to help reach our next career milestones and discovered effective time management techniques. Now we will fine-tune our short-term goals by answering specific reflection questions. In accordance to the nature of innovative leadership, we not only consider how our personal development goals impact ourselves, but we also consider how they impact our organizations.

Reflection Questions for Plan

We have reached the end of the Plan Your Journey step. This is the third of the six processes of developing innovative leadership – you’re halfway there! As you can see in the graphic below, the next topic is Build Your Team & Communicate, in which we will create a group of mentors and partners to help us before we go all-out in the Take Action step.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Implementing Big Data Programs – Building Your Team

July 21, 2014

Big Data and AnalyticsThis blog series is written by guest blogger and co-author James Brenza. James is the Chief Data Officer for Labor Genome. He is also Vice President, Data and Analytics Practice at Pillar Technology.  He provides over 20 years of technology leadership to drive the use of data and analytics for sustainable competitive advantage.

In this series James has been talking about implementing big data and analytics programs using a composite case study to illustrate the process. Each week he will focus on one of the seven steps giving specific examples to help illustrate how the tools can be used in a very practical manner. This is the second of the series that corresponds with the seven stage implementation model (shown below). More information on that robust model is available in the Innovative Leaders Workbook for  Implementing Analytics Programs by Maureen Metcalf and James Brenza (scheduled for release in August 2014).

Leading Organizational Transformation

Define the teams: When leading an analytic initiative, you can start to build your team after you’ve defined the vision and scope, and gained sponsor and stakeholder support. It’s actually more appropriate to say you can start building your teams (plural). Unlike more definitive initiatives, it’s critical to build teams that include the sponsors, steering committee, project team, extended team members, and subject matter experts. To help identify the necessary teams, you can review the data sources previously identified, the type of analytics to produce, the outcomes to be produced, and the measurements identified.

The different teams identified will serve very distinct purposes. The sponsors will be required to meet monthly to help ensure you remain aligned with the organization mission and the initiative vision. They will also be very effective at breaking down high-level barriers. The steering committee should be prepared to meet on, at least, a biweekly basis. Steering committee members that meet frequently will be uniquely positioned to more deeply understand your progress as well as help remove barriers. Another key role for the steering committee members is to provide ongoing communications and updates to sponsors and stakeholders.

The core project team must absolutely embrace all of the core functions necessary to implement the initiative.  This will include ingesting large volumes of data, integrating data, establishing data quality, formalizing data definitions, building analytic models, assessing the strength of the models, tuning the models, training the models, and creating the new business processes so the business value can be realized.  To be successful, the core team will also need to have extended team members. The extended team members will need to include subject matter experts for the data, the IT infrastructure, the statistical models, and the business processes.

Select team members: When selecting your team members, it will help significantly to create a selection matrix. The rows of the matrix should list specifically identified team member candidates, and the columns represent key selection criteria that the members must exhibit. The selection criteria can include areas of expertise, communication, teamwork, credibility, trust, culture, commitment and developmental perspective. As you assess each team member across the selection criteria, it’s important to make sure you have adequate coverage over all columns. If a candidate has many gaps across the columns, it’s appropriate to select a different team member, or find a second representative to help augment that team member.  For any gaps in the coverage for either team members or columns, the leader should consider adding or substituting team members to ensure complete coverage.

For analytic initiatives, the selection of the data scientist is critical. You need to make sure you’re embracing strategic focus, data management, quantitative analysis, business acumen, communication, and problem-solving skills. Attempting to find all of these skills in one individual can be nearly impossible. So rather than hunt for unicorns, the leader can be more successful by focusing on building a small, highly cohesive team—of at least three individuals—to cover all of these areas.

Define the sponsor management plan: After the core project team has been assembled, they can create the sponsor management plan. The sponsor management plan will augment the detailed implementation plan with a list of activities for every sponsor and stakeholder, when an activity should occur, the outcome expected from that activity, and the specific messages that need to be delivered. This will be a precursor to the communication plan that will be developed in subsequent steps. After the plan has been drafted it can be compared to the original list of data sources, analytics, desired outcomes and measures to ensure all aspects of the initiative have been addressed.

How is leading a big data/analytics initiative different than other projects? So let’s take a moment to focus on what’s unique about data and analytic initiatives.

  • Due to the analytic nature of the initiative, the team requires extensive balance far beyond traditional teams. These dynamic elements can include:
    • Broad diversity of talents that must incorporate technology, analytics and business acumen
    • Flexibility to collaborate and respond rapidly to opportunities and challenges
    • Ability to simultaneously manage and be managed by multiple organizations.
  • That balance needs to include the vision, technical and business acumen, communication, and extensive subject matter expert involvement. Many other initiatives do not need to encompass this many dimensions.
  • This will create a unique challenge for the leader to make sure they’re keeping this in mind at all times and ensuring all team members stay fully engaged throughout the initiative.

Defining the team is one of the first challenges. In our next section, we’ll discuss how to assess the situation and strengths to help the team succeed throughout implementation.

If you are interested in reading more by James, you may want to read:  Evaluating Big Data Projects – Success and Failure Using an Integral Lens, Integral Leadership Review August – November 2013. You can also listen to the NPR interview that accompanies this paper including a dialogue between James Brenza, Maureen Metcalf, and the host Doug Dangler.

We also invite you to join the LinkedIn group Innovative Leadership for Analytics Programs on LinkedIn curated by James.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills.

If you are interested in receiving James’ seven part blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Photo credit: www.flickr.com by Mike Pluta

Plan Your Career Development Journey Part 2 – Eric’s Story

July 18, 2014

IGoals’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my college internship at Metcalf & Associates. In the last post we discussed identifying a skill/behavior that you would like to improve in order to help you reach your next career milestone, with the understanding that our long-term life goals are made up of a series of short-term goals. In this post, you’ll clearly identify the skill/behavior you’d like to improve upon, and then create a plan outlining how the current state of that skill, future goal, daily routine/actions, deadline for completion and a way to measure progress.

Your goal should be S.M.A.R.T.

We recommend that your goal be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (S.M.A.R.T.).

  • Specific: clearly defined. When goals are specific, or clearly defined, it is easier to know when they are reached. Specify the goal by clarifying what exactly is expected, why it is important, who is involved and where it will happen.
    • For example: I want to increase my focus/productivity by 200%, independently, each month, during internship/work hours, because I will be able to get twice as much work done and be better prepared for when I enter the workforce upon graduation.
  • Measurable: establish criteria for measuring the progress of each goal. This shows what and how much change we are expecting.
    • Focus/productivity will be measured in how many tasks I accomplish during work hours each day. Let’s say I complete two big tasks each day; I will focus on limiting distractions/overthinking so that I eventually complete four big tasks each day
  • Attainable: identify goals that are truly most important to you, you begin to find ways to make them come true. You develop attitudes, abilities and financial capacity to reach them. You begin to see opportunities you otherwise may not see as you realize the importance of such goals. “Attainable”, in this case, refers to how reasonable the goal is overall, regardless of your personal ability to do it.
    • Doubling daily productivity, or reducing time to accomplish each task, in one month is attainable for many people in my situation. Many interns can do that as they develop knowledge and skill in their work.
  • Realistic: to be realistic, the goal has to be something you are personally willingand able to work toward. You are the one who determines when it is completed, so make sure it is something you can realistically accomplish. “Realistic”, in this case, differs from “attainable” because it specifies whether you have the capacity to accomplish the goal. There may be something unique about you, making you better/worse at accomplishing a task than most people in your situation. If too easy, increase to difficulty or tighten the deadline. If too hard, decrease difficulty or push back the deadline, but only after you’ve actually tried it for a bit – don’t give up too easily!
    • Doubling daily productivity is realistic for me because I am increasing my knowledge and skill of my work at a higher rate than I could have ever anticipated.
  • Timely: goals that lack time frames also lack urgency. When setting the time frame, set an actual number or defined period of time, like “one month” or “one school year”. Don’t just say “soon”, “ASAP”, or “eventually”. Would you rather your professors tell you “You have an exam soon!” or “You have your exam one week from today”?
    • “One month from today” is a defined period of time.

Make sure your goal is written down in a way that meets the S.M.A.R.T. criteria. Next, we will use the Development Planning Worksheet. This chart should be simple enough for you to make in Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheet. Follow my lead:

Eric's development planning worksheet

I highly recommend using a digital calendar with cloud capabilities and managing your time well. This link will help you manage your time during the academic semester: http://howtostudyincollege.com/time/. While the link specifies making time for studying, it is still a great time management strategy and it will help you find time for any goals of yours.

Now you have a great sense of your short-term goals and your strategy to reach them, plus some potentially life-altering time management advice! In the next post, you will be provided reflection questions regarding the entire process of planning your journey. After that, you should have a very firm understanding of how to plan your journey as an innovative leader and outstanding college student.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Plan Your Career Development Journey – Eric’s Story

July 16, 2014

Journey withinI’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my college internship at Metcalf & Associates. I just completed the reflection questions associated with identifying my strengths and opportunities. It is now time to move to plan our journeys understanding that our overall life goals will be achieved by accomplishing many short-term goals. This is the third step in becoming an innovative leader while you’re young.

Short-term goals may consist of milestones that move you closer to your overall achievement, such as internships, degrees, jobs, or promotions. Other short-term goals, which are equally important, consist of personal development, such as learning new skills/behaviors, building on current strengths and minimizing weaknesses. The goals of personal development are very important because as you make progress through your academic and professional careers, you’ll have greater responsibilities and bigger challenges. That being said, to plan the short-term steps that will lead you to the long-term life goal, we must identify which career milestones we will need to get us there, and then choose which personal development goals to accomplish to help us reach the nearest milestone. For each milestone in your life, you may need to create new personal development goals. To optimize personal development (for short-term and long-term), one must include in his plan all four parts of the human experience: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual/purpose.

Short-term Goals: Career Milestones

As you’ve done for previous posts, research and list the steps it takes to get that “dream job”, or long-term goal. Then identify the nearest goal. For example:

    • My Goal: Marketing/management consultant and founder of a nonprofit
  • My Milestones:
    • Do marketing/consulting internships
    • Graduate with relevant degree and great GPA
    • Get marketing/consulting job upon graduation
    • Go to graduate school for MBA
    • Get a great job in marketing/consulting
    • After sufficient experience, create a highly successful nonprofit organization
  • Nearest goal: Job upon graduation

Short-term Goals: Personal Development

Look at your nearest goal, and think of everything you can possibly learn, strengthen and/or fix to achieve the nearest milestone. This will help you find which personal development goals to set to reach the next milestone. The human experience consists four parts: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual/purpose abilities. Enhancing all four of these types of abilities, you will optimize overall personal growth. We separate these four parts into two categories:

  • External abilities (physical and mental):
    • Body: exercise, weight lifting, yoga, relaxation, etc.
    • Mind: reading, studying, attending school/class, etc.
    • Professional skills, learned at school, work, internships, etc.; relevant to your career.
  • Internal abilities (emotional and spiritual/purpose) –
    • Emotional Quotient (EQ): meditation, maintaining strong friendships/relationships, etc.
    • Spirit/purpose: define vision, define values, religious practice, etc.
    • Includes intention, world view, purpose, vision, values, cultural norms, emotional stability, resilience, a sense of being grounded, overall personal well-being, intuition, balanced perspective, and attitude, and serves as the foundation for you to accomplish your deepest aspirations.

According to Ken Wilber, a leading philosopher, one can optimize improvement in one of these areas by “cross training”, or working on an external skill at the same time as an internal skill. For example, people who lift weights (external) and meditate (internal) tend to have more success in both areas than those who only do one or the other.

Planning Personal Development Goals

Choose amongst three developmental focuses: learning a brand new skill/behavior, building on a current strength, or minimizing a weakness. After you pick something to develop in one of those three focus areas, identify whether it is an internal or external ability, and then pick an activity that is the opposite ability for the sake of optimization by cross training. Click here to download the worksheet below (which doesn’t have my answers on it) and fill it out like I did. Feel free to view my answers to maybe better understand the question, or just to get more ideas.

behavior change priorities

Over the next few days, choose a skill and think about how great your life can be if you gain/improve it. In the next post, we’ll make a day-to-day plan for developing that skill to help you reach your next career milestone.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Implementing Big Data Programs – Creating a Vision and Sense of Urgency

July 13, 2014

Big DataThis is the first in a seven part blog series written by guest blogger and co-author James Brenza. James is the Chief Data Officer for Labor Genome. He is also Vice President, Data and Analytics Practice at Pillar Technology.  He provides over 20 years of technology leadership to drive the use of data and analytics for sustainable competitive advantage.  His background includes analytics leadership, business process reengineering, program management and software development. James is also active in the Columbus start-up community as an advisory board member and Chief Data Officer.

This series will focus on big data and analytics projects based on a variety of case studies to illustrate the process. It will contain seven sections that correspond with the seven stage organization transformation implementation model and each week James will focus on one of the seven steps. The series and this week’s blog starts with sharing an example of how an analytics program was implemented using the first part of the organization transformation model: creating a vision and sense of urgency. James gives specific examples to help illustrate how the tools can be used in a very practical manner.

Predictive Analytics, Big Data, Business Intelligence, Analytics Transformation….. they are all big opportunities and potentially big headaches if your leaders aren’t prepared to drive them effectively.  An analytics transformation requires a unique focus and leadership to ensure a positive outcome. The organization transformation process defined in the Innovative Leaders Workbook for Implementing Analytics Programs by Maureen Metcalf and James Brenza (scheduled for an August 2014 release) provides a robust framework for business analytics initiatives.

Leading Organizational Transformation

In step one of the implementation process, creating a vision, I highlight several key actions and illustrate the steps with examples and considerations for you, as the project participant or leader. My intent is for you to see how these steps apply in a real implementation and provide examples that will be valuable to you when you implement your analytics program.

Assess foundation for change: After attending a recent meeting to organize an analytics initiative, the small team of stakeholders and subject matter experts lacked clarity on their problem definition, intended outcome, team structure and available resources. The team was very excited to leverage the current interest in analytics, but lacked clarity on what they could accomplish, or even how to proceed. Have you ever participated in a similar effort? Without a vision, organization and stakeholder alignment, execution and communication plan, and measured outcomes, your success will be challenged. Let’s examine a composite example to see how leaders have ensured successful initiatives in their organizations.

Clarify the vision: The success of analytic initiatives hinges on starting with a strong vision and realistic assessment of the organization’s ability to structure the effort. It also hinges on the leader’s ability to prepare the stakeholders for a journey, rather than just a traditionally structured implementation project.

The transformation vision needs to focus on leveraging data and analytics to provide a business outcome that is not currently available.  That outcome is best described in financial terms or customer centric metrics.  To help clarify your vision, one of the following example statements may help you to clarify your purpose:

  1. We’ll utilize customer and order data to improve annual customer retention by 10 percent in the next twelve months.
  2. We’ll utilize order, competitive analysis and social media feedback to increase annual sales by 15 percent in the next two years.
  3. We’ll utilize physical asset and energy utilization data to reduce annual operating costs by 2 percent in eighteen months.

Each of these sample statements clarifies the use of data, specifies the use of analytics, and links to a time bound, measurable outcome.

Scope the change: After clarifying the vision, the team can focus on identifying the scope of the initiative. By focusing on each of the business areas that will be impacted by implementing the change, the team can identify the outcomes that are desired. Those outcomes should ideally be linked to the organization’s mission, purpose, financial statements, or customer outcome. For each outcome identified, the team can focus on individual measures that can quantitatively define the current state as well as progress toward the future state. If a quantitative measure cannot be identified, the team should create a qualitative measure and be prepared to gain stakeholder support for that measure.

Identify Stakeholders and Sponsors: Since the vision and scope specify the data and business value, the stakeholders have been identified implicitly.  While implicit definition is a great starting point, it’s vital to identify specific stakeholders and assess their alignment with the initiative.  The team can brainstorm the list of stakeholders by looking at the data source owners, the type of analytics to be performed, the owner of the outcome, and groups impacted by implementing the change. A stakeholder management plan is an ideal tool to accomplish this. By identifying the stakeholder, linkage to the initiative, current level of support, desired level of support and plan to gain their support, you can initiate a communication plan to gain support.  For executive level stakeholders that require a significant shift in their level of support, it may be necessary to identify other stakeholders who can influence them.  It is vital to structure the stakeholder management plan, work through the communication steps, and continuously revise the plan to monitor progress. While working through the plan, it is critical to take time to understand the stakeholders’ individual needs and what you can do to gain their support by incorporating their concerns into your initiative.

The final task before closing the initiation step is to ensure you have identified an executive sponsor. That individual should be one of the stakeholders who has already been identified and included in the stakeholder analysis. The executive sponsor should not be from the technology organization. He or she should be a key owner of an operational area or outcome metric. If you have not been able to identify an executive sponsor who will firmly endorse the initiative from the onset, it is important to wait until you’ve secured their full engagement before proceeding. You can measure someone’s degree of commitment by their willingness to participate in biweekly meetings, co-host monthly sponsor meetings, and assist with influencing other stakeholders. If your executive sponsor isn’t able to commit to these basics, you will not have the support necessary for your initiative to succeed.

How is leading a big data/analytics initiative different than other projects? Let’s take a moment to focus on what’s unique about data and analytic initiatives.

  • One key thing to remember is that this type of effort is more ambiguous than other efforts most leaders encounter.
  • While the vision and scope may sound declarative, the methods used throughout the implementation will vary based on the data and analysis encountered throughout the initiative.
  • Many sponsors will understand the process being used, but have their faith shaken if the data and analysis doesn’t crystalize quickly. It may also be difficult to maintain support since the vision itself must be far reaching but can’t bind the analytic methods too tightly. It’s very important to remember to let the data guide the team throughout the entire implementation. Patience is vital and transparency from the team will help maintain stakeholder support.

In the next section, we’ll discuss how to build your team to help provide that type of support.

If you are interested in reading more by James, you may want to read:  Evaluating Big Data Projects – Success and Failure Using an Integral Lens, Integral Leadership Review August – November 2013. You can also listen to the NPR interview that accompanies this paper including a dialogue between James Brenza, Maureen Metcalf, and the host Doug Dangler.

We also invite you to join the LinkedIn group Innovative Leadership for Analytics Programs on LinkedIn curated by James.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills.

If you are interested in receiving James’ seven part blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

photo credit: www.flickr.com Infocux Technologies

Reflecting on Your Strengths and Weaknesses – Eric’s Story

July 9, 2014

I’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my college internship at Metcalf & Associates. I recently completed a series of assessments and the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis.  As usual, I like to finish each topic with some reflection questions. The “What do I believe” quadrant represents intentions, and “What do I do” represents actual behaviors. The “what do we believe” section refers to what our student organization, community, or major/department believe. And the “How do we do this” section refers to systems or processes of that organization, community, group, etc. In my answers, I am using the context of a competitive student-organization, in which I am an emerging leader among students, and there are hired professionals at top management.

Eric Strength Reflection Questions

Next week, we will cover the third step in becoming successful as a college student and as a leader – planning your journey. Do as many of the assessments as you can, so you have a full understanding of yourself, your strengths, and your situation going into the planning of your journey.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Analyze Strengths and Weaknesses – Eric’s Story

June 26, 2014

I’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my college internship at Metcalf & Associates. I recently completed a series of assessments and now I will analyze the information. Gather what you’ve learned about yourself into the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis tool. This is a great tool that you can use at any time, for many different situations. You can use it n the context of your career plans and some athletes I know use it for their sports also.

Eric SWOT

Real World Application

It helps to take several different assessments to give me different views of myself.  I recommend taking all of the assessments, especially those that are free. After screen capturing or printing the results, read them very carefully to see how you could apply the results to your daily life. Remember to put 80% of your focus on strengths, and 20% on weaknesses. Perhaps take some time Monday through Thursday to focus on a different strength each day, and on Friday focus on a weakness. For example, Monday I’ll play to my groups strengths based on the vibrancy assessment, Tuesday I’ll focus on how to use my “Peacemaker” abilities from the Enneagram, and so on. On Friday I’ll focus on mitigating the weaknesses and threats from my SWOT assessment. Do that, and you may see yourself becoming more comfortable as a leader.

In the next post, I will answer the reflection questions about what I learned during the assessments and SWOT analysis.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Assessing your Strengths – Eric’s Story

June 25, 2014

Enneagram DiagramI’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my college internship at Metcalf & Associates.

Now that you’ve created a compelling vision of your future, it is time to move to the next step in becoming an innovative leader and successful college student – analyzing your situation and strengths.

In this section you will take several assessments to identify what you do well and where you can improve. As you discover your strengths and weaknesses, it is important that you focus 80% of your effort on maximizing your strengths and 20% of your effort on improving weaknesses.

By combining your vision with an understanding of current abilities, performance, and personality type, you will become more aware of strengths, weaknesses and how others see you. The assessment data should help you determine the space between your current state and your vision. Some of them will require you to spend money,

Assessment Tools

You will be using a combination of assessment tools to get a broad range of knowledge about how you see yourself and how others see you. You will be assessing your personality type, developmental perspective, resilience, competency, and organizational vibrancy. All of these assessments are scientifically designed and validated. I’ve taken all of these and I can assure you that they are helpful.

Personality Type: Enneagram

Once you understand your personality type, it will be easier to take the other assessments. For this, we recommend the Enneagram assessment. Their website has a free version of the assessment, but I used the $10 version for maximum results.

  • My top personality type was Type 9 – the Peacemaker: easy-going, receptive, reassuring, agreeable and complacent. I scored a 24 for this type.
  • I also scored 20 for both the Achiever and Individualist types.

Developmental Perspective: DEV:Q

The DEV:Q assessment is an objective summary of how you will most likely perform in a group/organization settings (helping you define where you will best fit right now). The first part of your score shows how you approach decision-making and the second part of your score shows the current role you are likely to play in a group culture. The assessment can be found at www.devqscore.com. When coming across a new job, task, or group assignment, the DEV:Q score is a great predictor of how you can maximize success based on your skills and values. After you take the assessment, take a really close look at your score, because the scoring scale is probably unlike anything you’ve ever used.

  • I scored a 34:5. The 34 means I am a “technician”, or that I like to take a methodical approach to decision-making, meaning that I try to be 100% sure of what I want to do before I make a final decision. The 5 in my score shows I’m a “collaborator”, meaning that I prefer job roles that involve group partnership, or sharing responsibility.

Resilience: Metcalf & Associates’ Assessment Tool

Resilience is a highly underestimated factor in becoming successful. Mental toughness is what prevents you from quitting. Metcalf & Associates developed an assessment tool to help determine and increase your resilience. It considers physical, mental, emotional, and interpersonal behaviors. It is free, and you can find it by clicking here.

  • My scores for Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Interpersonal were 28/35, 42/50, 36/40 and 33/35.

Competency Assessment: Clifton StrengthsFinder

Further identifying your strengths is important for becoming successful. The Clifton StrengthsFinder assesses your top five “themes” and puts them into four domains of leadership strength (executing, influencing, relationship building and strategic thinking). You must purchase the Strengths-Based Leadership book to get the access code to take the assessment. The assessment provides you with an in-depth analysis of your top five “themes”, or strengths. I received pages and pages of information about how to effectively work with my strengths.

  • My top five themes are: Strategic, Achiever, Competition, Learner and Focus

Organizational Vibrancy: ISC Experience of Relational Abundance Survey

Vibrancy refers to the positive feelings associated with places we love to go, conversations we love to have, and people whose presence we enjoy. This assessment will allow you to describe the vibrancy you feel in any group or organization you choose. It really looks at both the organizations in which you work and your preferences. Click here to access the free vibrancy assessment. By identifying how vibrant your group is, you see where you are strong and where you can improve. For my survey, I chose the Ohio State varsity fencing team, of which I am a member.

  • After the assessment, my experience of this group was described as “an experience of your own fullest potential, being seen and supported by another, in a group that collaborates together, where the source of creativity is everywhere, and you are able to translate what you imagine into reality.” It says that our group has the ability to accomplish any task we imagine within our field. “You might ask yourself and the group, ‘is this the best we can do?’”
  • The assessment provided me with much more detailed advice about how my group can improve.

This marks the end of my assessment scores. In the next post I will synthesize all of these scores using an analysis tool called a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis. This tool will help me put all of the scores together and begin to figure out how to use this information.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Strategic Disengagement – Managing Chaos During Change

June 23, 2014

Adjusting the Sail - Strategic DisengagementThis post is written by a guest blogger Brent Barkett Account Manager, Mountain Region at Cardinal Health, Capital MBA student, and former US Marine.

Analogy- Sailing: We must always focus and put the customer’s desires first and foremost and strive to parallel our organizations culture and motivation to align to this. Like sailing, you face into the wind, sails taught, ropes tight, boat crew looking and eager to accelerate in one direction…..then the wind changes (customer needs change), next comes controlled chaos (the need to tack or turn a different direction to meet customer desires), sails luff and bang, ropes go loose, the boom sways, the crew is no longer smiling in the same direction. Ah! But we found the new wind. Again, the sails pull tight, the ropes hug the rigs, the crew looks in the same direction and the captain, ever vigilante of the wind, keeps the vessel on course & on direction…until the need for another change.

According to Gallup:

  • Economically, $370 Billion is lost due to lack of production associated with disengagement
  • Companies with highly engaged employees improve operating income by 19.2% YOY
  • 67% of employees were classified as Engaged….33% are bailing out
  • 70% of the engaged employees say they know how to meet customer needs
  • 75% of all employees say they would work harder if they were better recognized

Summary: When your customer facing culture needs to change to better align with the customer’s needs and your businesses objectives focus on  serving the customer, what do you do or think about disengagement?

My view: Worker Disengagement is “OK”, as long as it is strategic. Disengagement is not a chronic disease but collateral and proxy to following customer needs which are always in flux.

The Gallup entries I referenced are incomplete in that they suggest to me that employee disengagement is bad. While this is generally true, I submit that it is a necessary element in a change process. The ultimate goal is to recognize the disengagement and manage the amount of time they are disengaged, returning them to full engagement in a reasonable span of time. Every business changes as customers’ needs change. We should not meet disengagement with anger but with help and effort. Not everyone is going to go along with the new twist. However, as leaders it should be on us to communicate help and development instead of disappointment. You will lose some employees in turnover during a major change, but will gain stronger, leaner, more efficient culture once the business is aligned to the consumer/customer and the hiring is done on point with this. Recruiting the right people for the “Current” cultural/customer alignment…balanced with needs  for the long run, at each turn will build success. Engagement will still run high if effective leadership prepares the users not just for their current roles but for other positions when the need for change must take place. Hire the motivated and adaptive!

While your business is changing direction to find the wind; this is the right time to communicate with employees and users. This is the controlled chaos phase. Embrace them if they fear or dislike the change and help them through it. They will either adopt and thrive in the new culture or need to seek their hierarchy (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs) in a different division. And that is ok! Foster seeking and motivation.

After the controlled chaos settles and the leaders have set sail with the new wind; just image the motivation and engagement you will get when you hire talent that is aligned to your needs and the customer! Like the NFL draft, Special Forces, Strategic Kaizan Events..etc. That’s a powerful team.

Personal Case Study: My observation of The United States Marines as a former Marine – Disengagement is low, morale is high, esprit de corps and motivation drip off every palm tree on every base. The reason:  Marines are trained to adapt. We welcome change, understand change is the only constant, and the Corps promotes the fact that you will take on various tasks in various environments. Change, adapt, and overcome….success since 1775. We in the business community need to focus on hiring for ability, resilience, and adaptability, to learn so we can lower and limit disengagement. Recruit the motivated, smart, and adaptable talent that CAN BECOME the specialist in new positions – which means we must understand our environment and know what we are looking for when we recruit.

Thoughts and expressions stem from Maureen Metcalf’s book Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations. This book quantifies and encourages managers to become leaders by being more engaged with the pulse of your work force. Strategic disengagement is not a theory in the book but examining motivation and workers engagement are. Strategic Disengagement is a personal theory of mine in part from my experiences.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills.

If you are interested in receiving our ongoing blog series or other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

photo credit: www.flickr.com Finn Class

Reflecting on Personal Vision – Eric’s Story

June 19, 2014

Eric Philippou FencingI’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my college internship at Metcalf & Associates. During the past three posts I completed exercises to help me define my vision and values.

Reflection Questions

After each of the six steps in the innovative leadership development process, I’ll provide you with some helpful reflection questions. Basically, if you can answer all of these questions in detail, you’ll develop a firm understanding of your vision and your plan of action can be implemented almost immediately. The “What do I think/believe?” section refers to your intentions, and the “What do I do?” section refers to your actual behavior. The “What do we believe?” section refers to your group’s intentions, and the “How do we do this?” section refers to your groups actions and processes. Think of any organized group you belong to (student club, sports team, fantasy football league) and use that to answer the last two sections I mentioned. If you’re not in an organized group, join one and save those reflection questions for after you’ve joined. Remember – even as a new member of a group, and not a leader, you can still display leadership by influencing change. In my answers, the organization I refer to is my varsity fencing team.

Reflections on Eric's Vision

This marks the end of the first step in becoming an innovative leader as a college student. The next post will go into step two – analyzing your strengths and situation. I’ll provide you with some personal assessments to take, this way you get a firm understanding of your personality type, special skills, how you can work best in a group setting, and much more.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

photo credit: OSU Athletics, Ohio State University