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Category Archives: Business women

How to Get Everyone on the Same Page

How to Get Everyone on the Same Page

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Why does every organization need a vision statement?

A vision statement explains ‘what you aspire to reach’ as an organization and why that matters.

The purpose of a vision is to focus and inspire each person in the company in a meaningful way. Furthermore, the process and people you involve to craft your vision is also important! Research shows successful companies are true to the vision.

e.g Amazon

“Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

Philips

“At Philips, we strive to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation”


A Vision Health Check

Does everyone in your company know what the vision statement is?

Does your vision resonate personally with individuals? Is it inspiring??

Do people own and share the vision with others in simple language?

What do you do to keep this vision alive?

Does your vision immediately show in the way you

  • behave towards each other
  • the way you do business
  • the way your systems and operations run
  • how you meet customer needs?

Can people in the company relate their daily roles and responsibilities straight back to the vision?

 


 

If you don’t have a vision statement?

Commit to the importance of having a vision statement:

Plan the process

  • Decide who should be involved in designing the vision. It needs to be supported to work. If you want everyone to own it, it needs to be shared and co-created
  • Meet to design a vision – meeting off site, somewhere in nature will definitely help you think out of the box, inspire and keep the energy up

Answers these questions together:

  • Why do we exist? What is our ultimate purpose – this is your vision!
  • How do we ideally want to achieve our vision – this is the basis of the strategy that will help you achieve that vision
  • What specific products and services will achieve our vision

Make it work!

  • Reduce your vision statement to two or three lines that are inspirational, but simple. Make it comprehensive yet detailed
  • Decide how will you communicate the outcome, and to whom?
  • Consider how will you weave the new vision into the fabric of the company on an ongoing basis?
  • Coach your managers and staff to help everyone connect the vision to their team and individual roles. For example making it part of existing team meetings and other work processes already in place

 
When to Bring in the Big Guns!
At SYNQUITY, we are experts at helping you to craft a deep meaningful company vision, co-created and owned by everyone, connected to your teams and individual roles, communicated in the way you behave towards one another, transparent in the systems run and the way you meet customer needs.
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How to Break Through Silo’s, Department Politics & Infighting

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Silo’s, company politics and infighting are detrimental to the bottom line and to our customers. It is also painful for leaders, colleagues, and staff due to the destructive atmosphere it creates.

In a big crisis people often have the natural tendency to draw together, step up, help out, and show the sweeter side of our humanity.

Why?

Because a crisis has the effect of sliding the bigger picture into focus. That picture is – we are all in it together. We need each other to achieve company goals and personal growth. Ego’s dim and empathy wins. Issues that separated previously, no longer have relevance in quite the same way.

The truth is – that this is the most civilised, productive and best way of working. Everyone wins including the customer.

Teams overcome silo’s when individuals reconnect to the bigger goals that matter and observe the personal and team practices to support this. These goals provide us with a sense of meaning and joy in the work we do.

How can you work through silo’s, infighting, and politics? 

Sometimes organisations and people fear openness. The environment is seen as cut-throat and it is “each wo/man for her/himself.

Organisational cultures and structures create boundaries naturally. The more rigid, the more silos are likely to form between divisions, teams, and customers. People begin to accept the status quo unless the leaders step up!

Leaders, managers, and shop floor team leaders can change all this!

One solution to break down silos is to engage external cross-functional coaches like Synquity, with the expert skills and knowledge to help people break through politics, infighting, and silos more efficiently.

When leaders and teams utilise the safe space, insights and structure provided by cross-functional coaching, things can improve quickly. The energy drain caused by politics and silo’s is released and people enjoy working together again.

In cross -functional coaching teams gain insight into the workspaces, challenges and aspirations of colleagues in other teams. They discover opportunities, to co-create and innovate together, that they were blind to before. Teams learn to align and function better together as ‘one organisation’.

In cross-functional coaching, we also give teams the opportunity to get a 360° view of a customer’s needs, desires, fears and aspirations (‘A day in the life of the customer’).

Not everyone has had the opportunity or mindset for collaboration to work.

Keeping boundaries open ensures a flexible and stimulating environment where innovation and creativity can flow and stop silos from developing in the first place.


We have proven experience that as teams reconnect to the customer’s needs, connect to a sense of purpose, gain an opportunity and a willingness to engage in healthy, cross-functional collaboration and team practices, you, customers and the organisation really benefit.

Warmest regards Madeleine van der Steege
Director of Synquity
mads@synquity.com
www.synquity.com

 

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Learn Why This CEO’s Change Efforts Failed


I recently met with a CEO of a large corporation. He was demoralised and confused by the limited impact a 3-year culture change program had, in which they had invested EUR 300 000. Despite a substantial effort, it seemed it was a waste of money. However, there were many aspects at the beginning that they got right.

What did they do Right?

  • The change was initiated and supported at board level
  • During the change program, a clear vision and goals were developed, which fuelled a sense of urgency
  • Change management efforts (information about the change) targeted top level, middle management and pockets of people across the company
  • The change program provided staff with a menu of options such as workshops, team meetings or one on one coaching to help them embrace the changes
  • Changes were rolled out and supported over a substantial period of time
  • They celebrated and marked important milestones
  • The team leaders had an active role in facilitating change with their own teams

Yet, this organizational change failed?

  • The Chairman seemed to be fully on board at the outset, but quickly lost interest and it was visible to all
  • The Voices of Judgement (VoJ), Voices of Cynicism (VoC) and Voices of Fear (VoF) in the organization remained unchecked (see Otto Scharmer’s work)
  • The Chairman’s lack of support (his VoC) for the program was not raised with him this had a snowball effect
  • In the culture of this organization, it was customary to preserve harmony and stability at all costs. Therefore when concerns or issues were noted or raised, they were quickly minimized, shut down or ignored (VoF)
  • Senior managers could not really buy-in to the change since the chairman’s attitude undermined the program. It was therefore not ‘politically correct’ for managers to act as role models for change (VoF)
  • People in the organization, as well as the change leaders, defended the status quo and remained silent, and in denial of resistance (VoJ)
  • The organization lost the ‘critical mass’ which is needed to reach the tipping point for changing the old, dysfunctional, obsolete status quo (VoF)

Solution: Strategic Systems Coaching

In organisations like the one in this case, the executive leadership is the portal to change the rest of the organisation. If commitment and trust are lacking at the executive and management level, it will be difficult to develop leadership and achieve real organisational change. This commitment and trust is therefore vital, and systems coaching is one way to keep this on the agenda and not let it slide.

  • Strategic systems coaching means coaching an organisation’s leadership so that the organisation can change as a whole system. 
  • In systems coaching process, we apply various coaching processes to change management methodology. 
  • This is a highly effective way to facilitate change, connection and integration in organisational systems. 
  • We provide an opportunity for leaders to step back and look at the elements of their organisation and the relationships with and between these elements, and then to examine how these relationships and elements dynamically interact via feedback loops. 
  • Voices of Judgement, Voices of Cynicism and Voices of Fear are part of any organisational reinvention and coaching offers a safe forum to work through it.
  • Changing is not just about doing the right stuff, It rests on true commitment of the spirit and heart of the people to make the changes.
  • Along every step of the way, leadership influences the existing culture by either facing or ignoring the underlying convictions of (fear, judgement, and cynicism) that derail real change.

Our systems coaches help organisations to change as a whole system and make the journey smoother and more effective. 
I want our organizational change to be effective 

Madeleine van Der Steege

For more information or comments please contact me on mads@synquity.com

 

4 Defenses for Leaders Riding the Speed of Change

Speed of changeWelcome to our latest issue focusing on 4 Defenses for Business Leaders in a geo-economy that can be highly unpredictable and hard to navigate. To find out more, please scroll down and read about the 1st defence in this blog. And if you are interested in utilizing our international expertise to build leadership confidence on every level of your organization, no matter where you are based, contact me on mads@synquity.com or view www.synquity.com.

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1st Defense: Get your Organization to Function as a Whole by Jointly Developing Purpose & Vision

Madeleine van der Steege

Enabling those in the organization to function as a whole is much like preparing an orchestra to deliver its best performance. Each member is engaged to demonstrate mastery and to inspire others. The communal performance rests on solid, specific preparation, during which people make errors. They should play the parts they are comfortable with and flow with the unknowns that come up in the performance.

Paying attention to how people and functions interconnect across the organization and getting the peer economy to collaborate are often challenging. Centering activities, such as the clarity of a unified overall goal or purpose (‘we are in the business of’), acts like gravity. Yet an overall integrated performance involves so much more. An organizational vision is a practical tool, not just an abstract concept. It provides meaning and purpose to the existence of the organization and everyone in it.

“When people know the purpose of an organization, they don’t need to check in or get permission to take the next step; they just create value.  When people know the purpose, they are not waiting to be told what to do. – Nilofer Merchant 2012

IF you, the leader, and your leadership team, and the rest of the organization are not aligned to the essential purpose, vision and values of the organization (and this happens surprisingly often in the field), a systems coach can assist you in the process by collectively connecting you to your essential leadership and organizational purpose, vision, core values and a pliable strategy.  These organizational roots need to be deeply embedded for an organization to thrive in, let alone withstand, 21st century turbulence.

But how do you get everyone connected and caring while pressure is so high? Using systems coaching to reintegrate an organization creates sustainable improvements without excessively compromising ongoing operations. Systems coaching is an important organizational and leadership development process that spans multiple organizational levels. It is based on the notion that, as leaders, you are interested in getting support, but still want to own your organizational development. We use clients’ objectives (e.g. new vision or culture change) to strategically launch a combination of coaching forms, sometimes concurrently, to help organizations function collectively as more connected, integrated systems. These include one-on-one, local-global, divisional leadership, team, cross-functional, customer and cross-organisational coaching etc.

Leaders and teams can then reconnect on every level through more effective feedback loops and by crystallizing customer value and figuring out how to deliver this in unison.

Feedback on the Impact of systems coaching

We needed to strengthen our position in a highly competitive environment. To achieve this change, we looked for a company that would not only be able to help us define the direction, but also guide us in making it happen. We found an ideal partner in Synquity, with whom we worked very closely over a period of two years to incorporate changes we designed and which then enabled us to achieve a cultural change. I firmly believe that we as a company are now in a stronger place and better able to overcome the challenges facing us now and in the future. Ben Haneveld, CEO, NL.

I look forward to your comments or feedback. In our next blog we feature the 2nd Defense for leaders riding the speed of change : How to be a great Board member. Warmest regards Mads

 

Sync Yourself!

Sync Yourself!.

 

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The Benefits of Listening to Yourself – The Costs if You Don’t

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The source of your inner judgement and wisdom may include your well-fed IQ, your faith, or your past experiences. Whatever the source, the fact is that you have wisdom to tap in to by listening to yourself, and it will benefit you because;

  • Listening to yourself often simplifies a situation. Your choices become clearer because you are in touch with who you are.
  • Acceptance of and respect for yourself grows as a result, and as you begin to figure out what is right for you, so your life takes on a deeper meaning.
  • It causes you to act. Listening is a verb. If your kids don’t do what you asked of them, you first think they were not listening. Listening is connected to you taking action.
  • If you really listen to yourself, you take responsibility for what you know you need to attend to. You act, as opposed to waiting for someone to tell you what to do, or relying on a crisis or illness as an excuse or way out.
  • Listening to yourself gives you all the bounding energy and conviction to act. It is fundamental to your motivation and energy being released.

 The Cost of Not Listening to Yourself

It takes a lot of courage to ferret out the reasons you so often ignore your inner voice, but, to tune into your inner judgement frees up a lot of personal energy and allows you to refocus on the path your life is taking. When you don’t listen to yourself, all your actions and inaction will be moving you in the wrong direction. And your heart knows it. Your energy is soaked up trying to live in one world whilst your heart is yearning for another. If this state of perpetually ignoring yourself continues for too long, you will find your inner judgment becoming harder to discern. And as you split off from what is right for you, so your self-deception grows. And all this is at the expense of valuable energy. You become stressed, unhealthy, loose your judgment and you compromise on your performance and thus on the impact you are able to make.

Listening to yourself for a change helps to keep you congruent, effective, and healthy. Please listen and attend to what gets you out of sync with yourself. Then click your heels and act boldly. But keep those inner ears forever tuned.

By Madeleine van der Steege

We enjoy reading your comments and feedback and input on our blog comment box.

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Powerful triggers to unlock latent talent

(Part 2) A True South African Story

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I had one prayer. It was an early morning on my way to my work as HIV-Aids Lay Counselor-Coordinator. The hill in front of me was very steep, and summer time in the Cape is not made for hard walking. From deep within me came the prayer “I want to grow and develop more”. It was an ache inside me that I had ever since I left school. It was a hunger to know more, and to be more than just another Coloured woman with a fractured past, an unfinished education and only legs for transport.

The beginning of the answer to that prayer happened unexpectedly. Through a friend I was invited for an interview at a company. The interview was very informal and unstructured, and I, the candidate, was unprepared. I so clearly remember it. That day would set me on a path of self-discovery and self leadership.

Knowledge is a powerful word. It means “to know”. I began “to know” the amazing worth of my talents as a human being and how much of my world is waiting on me to rise up and deliver. My relationship with my new employer, an entrepreneur – later partner would add another highly prized value that I desperately needed, affirmation. In the world I came from, the one I lived, I was not nurtured – the plight of many women, I know. To be stuck in a culture of day-to-day survival.

Needless to say, I got a job and for the first time in my life worked in an environment where values were highly prized and human capital was viewed as the greatest asset on the books. Process was important, but it was designed around an amazing vision of which the results were a natural consequence.

 The term “give a man a fish…”fails to detail the complex process and support it took for me to shed my “victim mentality” and to see myself as a victor. How empowering it was to me to work in a culture that affirmed me as an individual and for my unique contribution to the bottom line. Because of the value placed upon me, it was inevitable that I then participated in and cared about our results. And yes, working to me became fun – nowhere else did I get to play and produce. In world wherein work can be likened to a production factory, here I was, the amazing creator of my own contributions.

 I began as a kind of informal on-the-job coachee and my employer turned into a wonderful friend and coach. Every terrain in the company was a training ground. My three years there left me with a sense of direction and purpose. I am amazed at how the beliefs I internalized then have shaped the manner in which I have grown and still do.  I went from waiting for something to happen, to knowing that my dreams are waiting on me to make them happen. The most important contribution to my life was the view that the seedbeds of talent are inherent to everyone. I learnt to build my life from a strong vision of my future, which propelled me forward. A conviction was birthed in me that I am more than my circumstances or what life throws at me! How does this happen?

It happens as someone teaches you how to use a computer patiently. It happens when someone recognises you in a meeting, filled with executives, and asks if you would you like to add anything.  It was is as if a finger was placed on the latent potential inside me and whispered “breathe!”. Many doors were opened to me and later opened by me. I have finished my course at Wits Business School. I obtained a car license and bought my own car. I have since then moved on in my career. So what did this empowerment opportunity mean to me? It meant everything to me. It became the catalyst for ongoing growth and the wealth of wisdom I gained has become the foundation of my  career. It has impacted on my family, my children, my friends, my life.  – Marie Sukers 2013.

Powerful triggers to unlock your latent talent

  • Listen and respond to your urge to grow, learn, or do more
  • Develop a powerful meaningful personal vision
  • Reconnect to your incredible worth and potential as a human being
  • Connect with people who affirm you, express faith in your capacity
  • Get out there, exposure yourself to opportunities
  • Stop blaming your situation or making excuses for your passivity
  • Take complete ownership for your career and life

Sneak preview : Why should I pull someone else up ?  (Part 3)

There is an equality created through inclusivity and it can be as healing and empowering for disadvantaged women as it is for those from a first world family or society. To relax your boundaries and allow someone to shadow you closely, as you run your entrepreneurial business, provides an invaluable learning experience for them. However, when you are in an unusually vulnerable phase, too stressed or not reconciled to having your leadership or business imperfections exposed to an audience…

Join our life changing workshops and coaching at http://www.synquity.com

 

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