Here is a simple habit that can boost productivity in your organization. One client credits this technique for an 18% increase in annual revenue with a reduced headcount. It takes practice but quickly becomes second nature.
I brought this method into the workplace from my flight training. Pilots and air traffic controllers (ATC) must communicate precisely and briefly while also executing specialized tasks. Misunderstandings in aircraft can have horrible consequences, so specific communication techniques are required. Many of the most serious accidents are caused by failure to follow these practices, including the 1977’s Tenerife Airport Disaster, commercial aviation’s deadliest incident.
Talk may be cheap but miscommunication is costly.
Have you ever listened to the (more…)
Of all the management tools I recommend, one of the most effective is both very simple and very unlikely to be consistently employed—if it is used at all: the written progress report, completed on a consistent schedule.
The power of progress reports to promote results and reduce anxiety is demonstrated daily, on matters titanic and trivial. The U. S. Constitution requires that the President “from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union.” Public companies are required by law to present results to shareholders, at fixed intervals and in specific formats. Schools send regular reports to parents, our GPS tells where we are, and UPS sends a text when a package arrives.
Still, managers and employees resist implementing this simple process.
Who cares about why? Just grow up and start doing a progress report. Declare your goals. Confront your results. Adjust to living in reality. Enjoy the benefits of clarity while the less disciplined fail and fail in a fog of vague expectations and inchoate regrets.
Before I explain how to format and prepare a good progress report, let’s deal with some common excuses questions.
Q: I don’t have a boss.
A: If you have (more…)
I believe that community matters. … Pixar is a community in the true sense of the word. We think that lasting relationships matter, and we share some basic beliefs:
- Talent is rare.
- Management’s job is not to prevent risk but to build the capability to recover when failures occur….we don’t second-guess or micromanage.
- It must be safe to tell the truth. …get honest feedback from everyone.
- We must constantly challenge all of our assumptions and search for the flaws that could destroy our culture. …Nobody pulls any punches to be polite.
Pixar’s Operating Principles
1. Everyone must have the freedom to communicate with anyone.
2. It must be safe for everyone to offer ideas.
3. We must stay close to innovations happening in the academic community.
… if we aren’t always at least a little scared, we’re not doing our job.
–How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity
by Ed Catmull, President
Harvard Business Review
It’s always been the major belief of our company, take good care of your people, they’ll take good care of the customer and the customer will come back.
And we celebrate them. We train them. We teach them. We provide opportunity for them. You’ve got to make your employees happy.
If the employees are happy, they are going to make the customers happy.
–J. W. Marriott, Jr.
speaking of his father,
the founder of Marriott Hotels
How Bill Marriott’s Putting Employees First Transformed A Family Root Beer Stand Into $14B Hotel Giant by Steve Forbes in Forbes Magazine January 8, 2014
I just noticed an interesting feature of the Amazon Kindle software. It can display passages most often highlighted by other Kindle users. Here are some quotes favored by readers of my first book.
Our desire to belong is a life and death concern. It’s not a weakness or personal failure.
I realized that everything I wanted in life required the actions of other people.
Shame is being pushed out, excluded, and rejected by others. Avoiding shame is a universal human priority. It always has been.
Shame is so frightening, belonging so vital, it seems that we are continually confronted with this dichotomy of choice. We must either risk being emotionally vulnerable and open to attack and rejection, or we cover up, we fake, we pretend, we stifle ourselves.
We go along to get along.
Vulnerability is choosing my actions with the knowledge that other people participate in my life.
You can’t hide when you need other people. Pulling away from pain or risk, or responsibility, just leaves us alone and incomplete; fitting in but missing out.
“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.” (quoting Brené Brown)
Courage is being true to your heart, your core. Bravery is a cover-up, hiding your true self so that people might respond to the way you’d like to have them think you are.
Scientific evidence and personal experience tell us that sincere, engaging personal relationships are essential for health and happiness. Yet, little is said about how we might actively nurture such relationships for ourselves and for people near us at home and work.
This short book offers specific advice and motivation to open up, reach out, and connect with all of our community members.
Expanded 2nd Edition Now on Sale!
Tony’s short book on building community is now available
with an extra chapter and a guide to additional resources.
The new chapter is a simple, practical guide to building better relationships at work and at home. The focus of the book is the importance of compassion and authenticity, while this new section is all about implementation, with specific advice on how to be compassionate and authentic in your day-to-day life.
This expanded edition also includes links to recommended books and articles for further study and practice.
➤ Paperback , hardcover, and Kindle available on Amazon!
➤ Paperback and hard cover available on Barnes and Noble!
Audio version read by Tony Mayo also available.
To hear a sample click here for Audible or iTunes.
Everyone’s favorite radio station is WII-FM
Broadcast on their frequency and they’ll tune in.
Fun happens when you are intellectually excited. It’s people interacting with each other – with one idea leading to another. It’s the struggle, and even the failures that go with the struggle, that make work fun.
Founder & Chairman of AES
market capitalization: $6 billion
As I discussed in my popular article, Truth or Consequences: Beyond the Punishment Model, employers are too quick to act like cops with the result that employees respond like criminals. Here is more support for my advice, this time from a rigorous study of new restaurant software. Instead of using the software mainly to fire workers suspected of theft, all employees were made aware that the software was looking for misbehavior. The results were positive and–to those not familiar with my approach–surprising.
The same people who are stealing from you can be set up to succeed.
–Prof. Lamar Pierce
“The savings from the [monitoring software’s] theft alerts themselves were modest, $108 a week per restaurant. However, after installing the monitoring software, the revenue per restaurant increased by an average of $2,982 a week, or about 7 percent.
“The impact, the researchers say, came not from firing workers engaged in theft, but mostly from their changed behavior. Knowing they were being monitored, the servers not only pulled back on any unethical practices, but also channeled their efforts into, say, prompting customers to have that dessert or a second beer, raising revenue for the restaurant and tips for themselves.”
––How Surveillance Changes Behavior:
A Restaurant Workers Case Study
The New York Times