agent of arcadia

Archive for the ‘Strategy’ Category

How to successfully communicate cross culturally

In Collaboration, Communication, culture, Development, Effectiveness, Language, Leadership, Strategy, Team, teamwork on July 3, 2017 at 6:07 am

Once upon a time, some 100,000 years ago, language was born when a human uttered the first word to another human.

Fast forward to the modern day and language is only a part of how we communicate these days as we navigate our way through other communication complexities such as technology, virtual reality and multiculturism.

As we move swiftly forward in a global entrepreneurial world, multicultural teams become more and more prevalent, and having the ability to break down any communication barriers is vital to ensuring that collaboration and productivity stays at a high.

For as if it’s not hard enough to communicate with someone when you don’t even know their preferred communication style, default behaviors, or conflict preferences, or worse, when you can’t even see their visual cues and body language, as in the case of a remote team, add in time difference, distance and cultural differences, and you won’t be blamed if you sometimes feel as if you might as well throw in the towel. What’s more, all of this can occur even if you’re speaking the same language!

Such triggers can frustrate and give rise to conflict.

Not all is lost though. The very crux of communication is about ownership of the message you send as much as the message received. After all, how can you expect someone to understand you when you can’t even understand yourself? There are some things you can do to strengthen and grow your communication toolkit. And its roots come from more than speaking the same language, indeed, more than what you say or the words you use.

So how do multicultural teams successfully deal with multicultural challenges? One of the most successful ways is to recognize complexities and adapt accordingly. Acknowledge the diversity and rather than focusing on this as a barrier, learn to celebrate this. Identify cultural gaps openly and work around them.

Diplomat and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan once said:

“Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where people are becoming more and more closely interconnected.”

He is not wrong. Successful cross cultural communication stems from cultural intelligence, the success of which depends on three pillars.

Read the rest of this entry »

The human side of negotiation

In Communication, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Language, Leadership, Networking, Personal Branding, Philosophy, Strategy on March 6, 2017 at 11:02 pm

How often do you think you use negotiation skills? We may not realize it but negotiation is a big part of our daily life. We negotiate various factors in our roles at work, from project timelines to resources, to parameters for our performance indicators or salaries, and even in our personal lives, with conflicting opinions, or even something as simple as where to dine.

Negotiation is about reaching an agreement where both parties walk away with mutually acceptable terms. The ability to get what we want is only enhanced by our ability to negotiate effectively.

The word ‘negotiation’ has copped a bad reputation. Oftentimes, we associate the act with competition or confrontation or believe that only an all-or-nothing approach can win; the word ‘win’ supporting the act of competing.

But what if we take the notion of competing out of the equation and approach a negotiation in a more fair way?

After all, the reason you’re getting into a negotiation in the first place is either because one party wants something from another, or that both parties want something from each other. Once you each establish what is important and unimportant to each, the negotiations can begin. The questions that each person needs to ask is ‘What do I want from you?’ and ‘What can I give you in return?’

But how to do this? How exactly do you start asking those questions without sounding contentious?

Let’s explore.

Read the rest of this entry »

So you want to become a leader: here’s how

In Development, Leadership, Performance Management, Personal Branding, Philosophy, Strategy, Team on February 23, 2017 at 1:46 am

ewncfww9g8

In today’s competitive environment, standing out can actually be the thing that gives you an edge. For instance, if you’re positioning yourself for a leadership role or promotion, It’s important to develop a strategy to consistently demonstrate your personal leadership traits.

To illustrate this point, let’s take a peek into Tim’s profile. Tim is an inspired, hardworking and conscientious high performer. Tim is great at stakeholder meetings and client-facing events. He is also an empathetic listener and hands on team player.

You could say Tim has high potential to be a leader: he’s a HiPo, that is, he has been identified as having the potential, ability, and aspiration for succession to leadership positions within the organization. However, Tim has no management experience, having never officially led a team before. Apart from his own self-confidence and what some of his peers and his manager know, Tim has no concrete data to make a strong case. What’s more, Tim works in a dynamic firm with dozens of others who could possibly be vying for the same role.

So how can Tim progress his career? Tim could start preparing for his performance review conversations by gathering data. You see, future leaders are made long before they are earmarked for success. It comes from your own desire to excel. So what steps do you take to ensure you outshine those vying for that one coveted position?

Read the rest of this entry »

Five tips to prepare for a performance review conversation

In Communication, Development, Effectiveness, Performance Management, Strategy on January 16, 2017 at 5:46 am

A photo by Liz Weston. unsplash.com/photos/VWceV6QdwS8

It seems performance review conversations have earned a bad reputation. Many managers may dread them because they seem tedious and laborious, followed by endless amounts of paperwork and administration that need to be completed and filed. At least for another six months or so.

And you, as you sit on the other side of the desk, dread it, too. Perhaps because you can sense how arduous it is for them. So you simply want to get it over and done with. But performance review conversations are not just one-way lectures. After all, they’re conversations, not monologues.

So have you ever wondered how you can proactively make your performance review conversations richer to serve you better?

Entering a performance review conversation having prepared for one has its benefits. By preparing yourself for your performance review conversation, you set yourself up for success in various ways. You work towards ensuring mutual understanding of expectations between you and your manager, ensuring goal alignment between yourself and your role, the department and the business, highlighting your strengths for increased job satisfaction, then identifying opportunities for development and growth to feed self-fulfilment and a sense of achievement.

Whether or not you intend to strive to a leadership status, it pays to approach every performance review conversation with a view to extend and leverage your career. So let’s look at how you can do this.

Read the rest of this entry »

The qualities of a good leader

In Communication, culture, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Leadership, Organizational Development, Personal Branding, Philosophy, Strategy on September 23, 2016 at 6:25 am

bo5urb867f

It takes courage to be a leader. To stand up and say: I can lead these people into the future with my vision. I can guide them through change. I can inspire them to want to tap into their passion and give that one hundred percent to a cause every single day.

No one said being a leader is easy. Whether you’re a person or a company, there is a certain sense of gravity and expectation that goes with the job and the title. So grave is the weight, that it caused Joseph Wambaugh to pen the words: ‘fish rots from the head’. Meaning that when an organisation or state fails, it is the leadership that is the root cause.

So what are the qualities of a good leader? It all starts with how others perceive who you are as a leader.

Read the rest of this entry »

Developing talent for the new organization

In culture, Development, Inspire, Leadership, Learning, Organizational Development, Performance Management, Philosophy, Strategy, Training on September 6, 2016 at 2:52 am

Y4OWV80EPY

Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2016 identified that:

“The ‘new organization’, as we call it, is built around highly empowered teams, driven by a new model of management, and led by a breed of younger, more globally diverse leaders. To lead this shift toward the new organization, CEOs and HR leaders are focused on understanding and creating a shared culture, designing a work environment that engages people, and constructing a new model of leadership and career development. In competition for skilled people, organizations are vying for top talent in a highly transparent job market and becoming laser-focused on their external employment brand.”

External employment brand is about the people feeding the culture internally. It is about a job being more than just a job. It is about a culture where every person passionately gives the best that they can to a cause they believe in the organization.

This is priceless.

There can be no separation between corporate culture and brand. An organization can have the best marketing and corporate communications aligned with a best practice business strategy to market its brand, but if its people do not believe the brand and what it stands for, they will not live it. And if they do not live it. You will hear it in their voice, see it in their actions, and feel it in their work.

This means that human resources (HR) and learning and development (L&D) professionals lend a powerful voice to the paradigm shift from the old organization to the new organization. And senior leaders need to listen to them. Because the competition for skilled people is high and organizations need to focus on developing their talent so they stand a chance of survival in the new world.

But how to do this?

Read the rest of this entry »

How to decide between virtual or classroom learning

In Development, Effectiveness, Instructional Design, Leadership, Learning, Performance Management, Strategy, Team, Training on April 28, 2016 at 6:07 am

BBX50H7QEZ

Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2016 identified that:

“… the ubiquity of always-connected mobile devices makes learning potentially available everywhere and accessible to everyone at any time. Employees can now take a course on nearly any subject online, search for an expert video or podcast to learn a quickly needed skill, and even earn a college degree in a new topic like data science without leaving their desk—or a couch or coffee shop. This new world of consumer-centric learning puts employees, not L&D departments, in charge.”

Indeed, one of the benefits of online and virtual learning is its cost effectiveness and ubiquitous presence. The fact that it allows for easy deployment, administrative tracking and consistent roll out of content to a mass group of learners, is certainly very tempting for organizations pressed to complete training on large scales. With online and virtual learning, induction and compliance training seem a breeze.

But what about how online and virtual learning effects a business’ return on investment? And how do online and virtual learning effect learning objectives and behavioral shifts?

To consider this, we first need to explore a few avenues.

Read the rest of this entry »

Design Thinking: The future of thinking

In Collaboration, Content, Creative, Design, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Instructional Design, Leadership, Learning, Philosophy, Strategy on March 8, 2016 at 11:15 am

Did you know that HR organizations are incorporating Design Thinking into their approach to managing, supporting, and training people? Instead of building ‘programs’ and ‘processes’, they are studying people to aid in the development of interventions, apps, and tools to help make employees less stressed and more productive. This was as reported in Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2016.

According to the report, it was also stated that HR needs to upgrade its skills to include design thinking, people analytics, and behavioral economics.

Design Thinking is not a new concept. Giants such as Lego and Google have been practicing this for years. But why are we suddenly sitting up to join the club?

Because when the client or customer can literally take or leave at the touch of a button, loyalty has never been so coveted. And user experience has become gospel truth.

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: