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Business Management Organizational Behavior Management

Getting down and dirty with Performance Management

Fellow writers may appreciate the incredible amount of angst involved in trying to write about this highly technical subject in a way that conveys how exciting and powerful it really is without boring the stuffing out of all the non-geeks. Performance management, simply put, is the single greatest tool I can think of to drive tangible, measurable performance improvement in your company that results in more revenue and more profit. All the time. Every time. The problem is that it’s not particularly sexy, or magical. It’s just the thorough application of six behavioral science-based interventions. I write about it because it’s my passion to share this with small and medium sized businesses, to give them a strategic advantage in the marketplace. But it’s a constant internal geek/entertainer struggle, and the struggle is real!

In my last article we talked about targeting and about purpose. The geek in me loves targeting, because that’s where we get to dissect your company down to the gnat’s behind and figure out exactly which behaviors will drive your success. The coach in me sees the value, but would much rather talk about purpose. The purpose of your company is your ‘why’, and will keep you excited about it even after that strange letdown that occurs when goals are achieved. And they will be achieved.

The great thing about this performance management system is that it always works. The bad thing is that it works even if you’re ‘managing’ the wrong thing. The very first step, identifying your critical behaviors, is done by working through, together, the processes and workflow of your company until we’re all confident we’ve hit on the critical behaviors.

One of my business mentors always said that if 51% percent of your decisions are good ones, then you’re doing well. So there is at least the possibility that the behaviors or accomplishments in the targeting phase are not the ones that actually drive your success. Hold on to this scary thought, because it’s coming up later (and don’t worry, it’s not as bad as you think, just something to be aware of).

The next steps are task clarification and tracking. In laymen’s terms, that means explaining to your employees what, why and how to do the tasks you’ve targeted, and then figuring out a way to measure those tasks to make sure they’re occurring.

So to recap the process; you figure out what the most important behaviors are, you explain all this to your employees, and then you start measuring these behaviors. In a perfect world, we’d collect baseline data and do a whole ABA thing (which I’ll explain if you’re interested…just email me). I’ve rarely seen this happen in organizations for two reasons. First, once companies see improvements, they’re reluctant to do something out of scientific interest to see if the improvements go away! Second, some of the interventions just can’t be taken away. You can’t take away the information employees receive in the task clarification.

Task clarification and tracking WILL increase the behaviors you’ve targeted. But what if we picked the wrong behaviors to measure? For example, perhaps we want to even out a revenue stream that is too unpredictable. Maybe during targeting we identify that they problem is the customers we’re going after, and decide we need to pursue clients in Industry X to avoid the fluctuations. We go through the sales process and decide to track initial meetings with clients in the new demographic.

After explaining this, and tracking the meetings (and conducting random, unpredictable cross checks to ensure the meetings are actually taking place), after about six weeks we see a definite increase in these initial meetings. It’s working! Depending on the length of the sales cycle, we find out that we’re proposing and closing more of these clients. Great! But is the revenue really evening out? That’s why you’re doing this, after all. If you are seeing results, fantastic! Mission accomplished and now let’s make sure your operations team is doing all the right things to keep up with your sales demands.

On the other hand, if you’re getting significant improvement across the board in calls, closed sales and revenue in industry X but it’s just as cyclical as before, we might need to dive back in and see if we can even out the revenue, or if it would take you too far away from your core competence and you are better served figuring out how to manage to the fluctuations. In any event, measure the calls, measure the closed sales, AND measure the outcomes. That will allow you to course correct as necessary.

The benefits of embarking on this far outweigh any costs, even including the risk of targeting the wrong thing. A properly executed performance management project has far reaching benefits to your company and more than pays for itself with the financial improvements you’ll reap. Are you interested in trying out this powerful technology in your own department? I’d love to chat with you. We have a variety of options for small and medium organizations to take advantage of this powerful tool.

If you’re eager to get started, click here to get a free targeting tool so you can begin to identify the mission-critical behaviors in your company.

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Carrie Maldonado is the founder of Today’s Leadership Solutions, a Seattle-based consulting firm providing comprehensive organizational development solutions for companies who are growing and who truly value their people.  With certified Executive Coaches, Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) practitioners, SPHR-certified HR professionals, and Organizational Development Specialists, Carrie’s team brings a unique perspective and a cross-functional approach to providing workplace solutions that work.  Carrie can be reached for consultation at carrie@todaysleadershipsolutions.com

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Leadership Development Uncategorized

Make sure you know what you’re asking for with Leadership Development programs

iphone-download-030314-146I must confess I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with leadership development. I was trained right out of the chute (the university chute that is) in Organizational Behavior Management by a pioneer in applied behavioral science. We would teach companies from every industry under the sun how to increase employee productivity, engagement, morale, safety – you name it, using very specific techniques. One thing my mentor would not do, however, was talk about leadership. It was too hard to define, he’d explain, and nobody could really agree on what a leader was. Was it a set of traits? Behaviors? Can it be learned or is it innate? He basically elected to just not go there. And it didn’t really matter, to be honest, because we were able to produce the results people were trying to get through ‘leadership’ and ‘motivation’ without going there.

Not going there is not really an option in today’s climate, however. Most companies aren’t comfortable relying exclusively on the principles of behavioral psychology for their leadership philosophies, nor should they be, in my opinion. Having been on the receiving end of the transformational power of servant leadership done right, I’d be remiss in not emphasizing leadership development as a critical component in building a truly great company. Besides that, most of my clients acknowledge a need for ‘leadership training’.

And here’s where I would caution you. Leadership training is kind of like communication and accountability. A lot of people prescribe it as a solution to a felt problem but it may not solve what you hope it will. Typically, when people want leadership training it’s because of a few different symptoms:

  • Turnover is higher than acceptable, and problems with management is cited as a reason people are leaving.
  • High growth is anticipated, and there are not enough people experienced to take on new leadership roles.
  • Production and profitability are slipping, and management is not able to articulate why.
  • Managers themselves have expressed a need or desire for more training.
  • Owners are just not comfortable that leaders are where they should be in terms of inspiring, casting a vision and impacting the culture of the company.

All of these are legitimate issues that should be solved, but before investing in leadership development, make sure you’re very clear on your needs and what you’d like to see changed as a result of the leadership development you’re seeking. For example, many of the pain points that result in asking for leadership training are actually issues that can be more effectively resolved through the implementation of solid management systems and processes. If that’s what you really need help with, it’s important to state it.

When I’m asked to conduct leadership training, I look at it as two different mini-projects . First is setting up the leadership program. This includes identifying the leadership behaviors and expectations, determining the promotional process, identifying training and assessment goals and timelines and other program parameters.

Developing the content of the leadership program is a much more customized process, simply because there are so many models to choose from. The qualities and behaviors of the leaders in your company directly impact and are impacted by your vision. If your company DNA is to put the customer first at any cost, your leadership values are going to be slightly different (or maybe dramatically different) than a company who puts employees first. I know that while I try to flex with my clients’ preferences, personal experience as well as research leads me to be heavily biased to a servant leadership approach with most of the content built around the 12 areas of emotional intelligence that Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis define.

Just wanting your managers to ‘be better leaders’ will not be helpful in defining your leadership brand and culture. Some people know what they want based on the best leader they’ve ever had, and some based on the worst. Of course, the developmental stage of the employees is a factor as well.

The point is that as you grow, a more formalized process for hiring, identifying, promoting and training leaders is going to put you at a competitive advantage based on improved retention, higher productivity, and the ability to grow more quickly. However, you need to do some prep work to make sure you are clear about what you really expect from your leaders. It’s also important to invest some necessary time and money in making sure you are solid on managing the behaviors and processes required for success as well.lavoro di squadra

As always, there’s no magic bullet – unless you count the magic that follows preparation, hard work and follow through!

Carrie Maldonado is the founder of Today’s Leadership Solutions, a Seattle-based consulting firm providing comprehensive organizational development solutions for companies who are growing and who truly value their people.  With certified Executive Coaches, Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) practitioners, SPHR-certified HR professionals, and Organizational Development Specialists, Carrie’s team brings a unique perspective and a cross-functional approach to providing workplace solutions that work.  Carrie can be reached for consultation at carrie@todaysleadershipsolutions.com

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management systems Uncategorized

Do you still love the business you started?

If you’re like many business owners I’ve encountered, you started your company because you are passionate about the service or product you provide and confident that you can do it better than anyone. It may be true for you that you know that your employees have a choice when it comes to where they work, and you appreciate that they’ve chosen you. You’ve most likely always succeeded as a result of your hard work and perseverance, and therefore you enjoy having employees and managers who have the same qualities. If you promote from within, it may be because of this, and you likely feel a lot of loyalty to the people who are passionate about your business. Many business owner start their company to give people a great place to work that will support them and their families, and they want to provide an above average lifestyle for themselves and their families as well.

As you’ve started to grow, if you’re like most business owners, you’ve noticed that things are falling through the cracks that never used to. Even though your managers were superstar employees, they might not always be able to get the performance out of their employees that you could in their role. Although you probably don’t feel like you’re asking for too much, maybe it seems like a struggle to get performance evaluations, productivity updates or labor hours managed to expectation.

Most business owners hate feeling like they’re coming down on people all the time, but they also hate never quite knowing how the company’s performing and if they’re going to meet budget. There’s usually so much more they want to do, but don’t feel like the team’s ready. You may have noticed an increase in turnover, with employees starting to complain that they’re not getting treated fairly, or trained enough. It costs far too much to replace employees to keep losing good people and you almost certainly didn’t get into business to train the competition. Sometimes you even ask yourself if it’s worth it. Any of this sound familiar?

Now imagine a different scene:

Your managers treat your company like it was their own, and are diligent about managing your resources so that waste is minimized and you are highly profitable and able to re-invest into your employees. You have systems that identify and reward the hardest working employees, who as a result love working at your company, and recommend it to others. You’re able to give back in multiple ways because there’s so little waste and dead weight. Everyone’s on the same page about the company goals and how to get there, and employees and managers love finding creative ways to make the company better. You truly feel like you’re a team, and the people in your company are all working together to succeed. You actually love coming to work and so do all your employees and managers.

This isn’t a dream. This is the company you deserve, and we can help you get there. Let’s talk.

www.todaysleadershipsolutions.com

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Business Owners: Is that training or system worth your money?

As a business owner you have thousands of opportunities every day to improve your sales, leads, prospects, manager effectiveness, employee productivity, profitability, safety…you name it. Some of these might be the key to success and some of them might be a waste of time. We’ve all been there: an ad, program or service that touches just the right note or pain point we’re feeling and convinces us that THIS ONE THING will solve our problems! Maybe the ‘constant drip’ of cleverly crafted emails finally reaches the tipping point, that free webinar just grabs you, or that vendor calls you right as you’re experiencing the same problem AGAIN – and before you know it you’ve purchased a solution.

None of us are stupid, so when we make the decision to buy it’s either because we are convinced that it will work, or we’re so tired of the problem that we’re willing to take a chance on something we’re not convinced about ‘just in case’.  I’ve been there-done that more times than I can count. Sometimes it’s been the best thing I’ve ever purchased and sometimes I’m left feeling like an idiot who was complicit in my fleecing.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not knocking these forms of marketing. When you have an awesome product or service of course you want to tell people about it!  But as a buyer, how can you determine if you should buy it, or once you have, if it was worth it?

One thing I’ve noticed as both an Organizational Development executive, Business Coach, AND Entrepreneur, is that there is a preponderance of solutions that, while they sound great, do not offer a lot in the way of guarantees. The biggest problem with most of these solutions is that they are necessary, but not sufficient, components of change. Taken in the wrong context they are unlikely to achieve the results you’re paying for, but it’s hard to see that because they just make so much sense!
•    Tired of employee turnover? Increase engagement with roundtable meetings!
•    Want higher productivity? Improve your line managers’ communication skills!
•    Need less injuries? Have more safety meetings!
•    Want this, that, or the other? Training, training, training!

Now, I’m overgeneralizing to make a point, but you get the idea.  Here’s the irony – I AM a coach, I AM a leadership trainer and I love training people in communication skills! HOWEVER…I am diligent about explaining the role of training in behavioral change, and the inadequacy of training alone in creating sustained change. It’s not that I enjoy complicating marbles (much), it’s just that right out of school I was mentored by a pioneer in the applied behavioral sciences field. Because he was a professor, he made sure I was rock solid on a few key concepts before he set me loose in any organizations and some of the major premises that were ground into my SOUL were:

  • Results happen when the right behaviors occur at the right time with the right frequency.
  • There are very predictable laws as to what interventions lead to more behaviors, less behaviors or no change.
  • You need to measure something to understand where you’re starting so that you can determine the effect of your interventions.
  • Everything is measurable and if you’re spending money on it, you’d better be able to quantify it.

This holds true no matter what your industry. Whenever we’d go to a convention or organization to talk about how to get increases in performance people would listen and then say ‘that sounds great, but you can’t measure what we do’. But we could, and we did.
Because we were essentially conducting experiments, we had to measure the baseline as well as the effects on any intervention we introduced.  For any business owner, the immediate takeaway is that:

  • Before buying ANYTHING to ‘increase performance’, figure out how to objectively determine where you are NOW. Get a baseline and do not spend money until you know where that baseline is. Distill it down to the individual level as much as possible (You can learn more about that on my free download).
  • After applying the intervention (training/tool/meeting/whatever) measure again. What was the effect directly after the intervention? This will tell you if there was any short-term effect. Then measure again after several weeks.

Even though years of applied research definitely declares that training has only a moderate short term effect on performance, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t measure it. That’s better than NO impact, right? And if you’re investing in a more comprehensive system or tool, you will absolutely want to measure performance and results on an ongoing basis. If it’s an awesome system, you’ll be gratified to see the continual results and you will quickly become aware when it’s time to change it up a bit. If it is having no effect, you’re going to want to find out soon, and hopefully get your money back. If that’s not an option, you’ll at least know and either tweak things or mitigate the time and money on the system.

At the end of the day, you’ve worked too hard to waste money on solutions that don’t solve anything. You deserve to know how solutions are working, and the only way to do that is to get a performance baseline first!

Carrie Maldonado is the founder of Today’s Leadership Solutions, a Seattle-based consulting firm focused on helping organizations, leaders and job seekers to identify workplace solutions that work.  As a certified executive coach, organizational development expert and resume writer, Carrie consults with small to medium sized businesses on OD, human resources and recruiting solutions in addition to providing career coaching to managers and executives in transition. Carrie can be reached for consultation at carrie@todaysleadershipsolutions.com 

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Has leadership training really helped your managers be more effective? It’s okay to say no, and here’s why

It only takes about half a day to review trending topics on leadership, motivation and organizational culture to walk away feeling like all one has to do to have an awesome company is a) hire great people, b) treat them like adults and let them do their job and c) ensure leaders are busy removing roadblocks, managing change, fostering innovation and championing creativity and you will have an amazing fortune-100-worthy company with people beating down the doors to come work for you. I’m not saying that’s not true but if you’re a business owner, is this your reality?

The companies I work with are private companies in the manufacturing, construction, and retail industries. The owners of these businesses highly value loyalty and nearly always promote from within. They want a high performing culture with a family feel. This usually means very low tolerance for corporate red tape and bureaucracy and a fierce determination to retain as much control as possible over the employee/employer relationship while still remaining on the right side of the law. They want to manage their companies using common sense, fairness, and the underlying premise that hard work pays off, and doing the right things lead to the right results. The owner is usually an expert in the product or service that the company provides and understands that his/her value is not derived from performing the work anymore (even though that is not always possible).

 By the time these companies have grown enough to have a management ‘team’ the owners almost always have the same growth challenges:

·      How come my managers can’t seem to maintain the level of performance and morale we had when we were smaller?

·      Why do employees complain that they’re not being paid enough, or not being trained well enough?

·      Why is it so hard for my managers to quantify our team and individual performance?

·      When did this stop being fun and become such a headache, and is it too late to scale back to when things seemed to be working so much better? (Is this even worth it?)

At this point one of two things usually happens; the business owner either blames him/herself or the managers. What usually comes from this is an assumption that someone else could do better under the circumstances (whether as owner or as manager). This leads to looking for replacements or additions to the team to ‘shore up’ a lack of talent or research and training for the leaders. In most cases though, a perfectly good solution is applied to the wrong problem!

Trying to solve the above problems by simply empowering leaders to empower employees, or giving unlimited vacation time, or doing more ‘team building’ is not the answer. All those things may be good, but in absence of solid management systems, you will likely have a highly inspired team wandering around unproductively or, worse, your best and hardest working employees will become bitter and cynical. It’s very similar to what we’ve done over the years trying to instill ‘self-esteem’ in our children rather than focusing on resiliency. Just telling someone they’re great doesn’t do much if you’re not teaching them how to do great things, which requires pushing through failure.

The answer for the companies I work with is to help managers help employees do the things they need to do to make the organization successful. It means thoroughly understanding your business to know what are the things that need to be done to achieve the results that achieve your results.  It means differentiating between task purpose and task behaviors (or what to achieve versus how to achieve it). Successful business owners know this intuitively, but when their company grows beyond their own personal sphere of influence it can be hard to articulate and pass this down to managers.

Helping managers focus on employee’s behavior has been villainized because of fear of taking the humanity of the workplace, of ceasing to see employees as the creative, independent people they are and of focusing on the bottom line more than the value of the people. Which is absurd. The best environments I have ever seen are ones where everybody understands the goals of the company (revenue, profit and social), how their job fits into those goals and…HOW THEY ARE DOING performing the behaviors required to hit the goals. Absent this, companies rely on annual performance evaluations (or NO evaluations) and kneejerk responses to unanticipated financial setbacks. The result is fear and uncertainty and you don’t need a psychology degree to know what that does to performance.

So if you find the preponderance of leadership and management articles interesting, and you agree with them, but you don’t find them helpful to get the results you want in your company, it’s not you! It’s all (most of it) good stuff, it’s just not sufficient to get you where you want to be. Your time might be much better spent clarifying for managers and employees your goals, the achievements that lead to the goals, how to achieve them and how people are doing at achieving them.

If you found this article interesting, you may enjoy a deeper look at the Targeting Handout from our Organizational Behavior Management teaching series. 

Carrie Maldonado is the founder of Today’s Leadership Solutions, a Seattle-based consulting firm focused on helping organizations, leaders and job seekers to identify workplace solutions that work.  As a certified executive coach, organizational development expert and resume writer, Carrie consults with small to medium sized businesses on OD, human resources and recruiting solutions in addition to providing career coaching to managers and executives in transition. Carrie can be reached for consultation at carrie@todaysleadershipsolutions.com

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How a triangle (and a square) can lead you to peace of mind, financial well-being and the business you always dreamed of owning!

I’ve been involved in a lot of organizational ‘clean-ups’ over the years. Unlike coaching, where the premise is that you are making a good thing better, Organizational Behavior Management is usually called in to solve a specific problem. Sometimes the problem is that a sales team is not able to achieve the top line revenue goal, other times the sales are there but there are efficiency or waste issues in the fulfillment side, affecting profit. Alternatively, there are times when the impetus behind the call isn’t either of those things, but an increase in good people quitting, or a general sense that employees are not doing their best and it’s beginning to affect business. The reason I (or any consultant) is called is because the business owner has tried everything they know how to do, the problem is still there, and they are convinced they don’t have the answer.

A major reason I started my business was that I realized that business owners DO have the answer but they don’t know that they do, and they don’t necessarily know what to do with that information! If this is you, don’t worry, by the time you finish reading this article you will begin to understand the process for identifying what needs to happen in your organization and where things are getting derailed. This first step is the key to opening a door leading to peace of mind, financial well-being and the business you always dreamed of owning.

The process is very simple and you will need two tools – a triangle and a square. The first tool is the Behavior Management Triangle and it is…a triangle. The beauty of the Behavior Management Triangle is it can often clarify your most important processes and what is actually required to get to your goal. In OBM we call this ‘Targeting’ and it can take up to a day with key decision makers to really go through all the processes and work flow but at the end of it all you will have absolute clarity on your revenue and profitability goals, what key accomplishments and metrics are involved in getting there and, most importantly, what behaviors each person in your company needs to be doing, in what order, and at what frequency, to get there. I’ve never worked with an executive who hasn’t found this incredibly valuable. Often, this exercise alone leads to huge innovations in how companies accomplish things, because it can challenge the ‘that’s just the way we do it’ mindset.

But as anyone who’s ever paid $10,000 for a training intervention, or any parent who has demonstrated how to make a bed, can tell you, just knowing what to do does NOT ensure the actual doing! This is where your square come in. Draw a square on a piece of paper and then divide it into 4 equal quadrants. Over the top left quadrant, write ‘Desirable Consequences” and over the top right write ‘Undesirable Consequences. Beside the top left write ‘Desirable Behaviors’ and beside the bottom left write ‘Undesirable Behaviors’. We will be using this to determine whether your company is set up currently to reinforce the right things happening or not.

Now, I’ll let you in on a secret; the fact that you’re talking to me usually means your balance of consequences is out of whack (a highly scientific term meaning, ‘not supporting your desired objectives’). I can walk through any organization (and so can you, for that matter) and tell you exactly which behaviors are being reinforced the most…it’s the ones that are occurring!!

Now, you may say to yourself, ‘This is dumb. If my employee is doing a good thing, I reward her. I would never punish someone for doing the right thing.’ I will argue back that companies do it all the time and I’ve never encountered one that didn’t. Every time you give more work to the employee you know can handle it without any positive associated (and this doesn’t always mean a tangible) you are in effect setting up a balance of consequence to eliminate that good behavior.

I invite you to take one of the key behaviors you have identified as leading to organizational success – whether it’s cold calling, or building widgets, or what have you, and take a thorough and honest inventory of the good and the bad consequences for both performing that behavior and NOT performing that behavior. I’ll give you a couple ideas; some very common positive consequences for NOT performing are, less work, less stress, low likelihood of discovery, and some common negative consequences FOR performing are more work without more pay, more stress, chance of criticism if not done correctly, and so on. Think about what is in place in your company as well as any positive consequences for doing the right things and any negative consequences for doing the wrong thing. Think money, bonuses, positive recognition, preferred tasks, autonomy, social interaction…any and everything that can be a ‘motivator’ should go on the balance of consequences. When you’ve finished, you should be easily able to see whether the balance of consequences supports performing the desired behavior or suppresses it and now you’re off to the races!

So to summarize; first we identify the required behaviors using the triangle, and then we use the square to determine if the work environment is rewarding or actually punishing the desired behaviors. You now have laid the groundwork to begin changing your company’s trajectory, rewarding the employees who are doing the best work and achieving your goals!

Yes, there’s a little more involved, but if your company is not where you’d like it to be, I invite you to try these two exercises. Please reach out if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to walk you through this!

Carrie Maldonado is the founder of Today’s Leadership Solutions, a Seattle-based consulting firm focused on helping organizations, leaders and job seekers to identify workplace solutions that work. As a certified executive coach, organizational development expert and resume writer, Carrie consults with small to medium sized businesses on OD, human resources and recruiting solutions in addition to providing career coaching to managers and executives in transition. Carrie can be reached for consultation at carrie@todaysleadershipsolutions.com

 

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The solution to your biggest business problem is easier than you think

I recently took a poll, asking business owners and leaders what they thought the biggest obstacle standing in the way of their business achieving their targeted revenue and profitability and do you know what the overwhelming answer was?

·      No, not lack of customers

·      Not better equipment

·      Not even systems and processes (although you’re getting warmer…)

·      THE biggest obstacle to your business achieving the revenue and profitability is ‘lack of quality employees’ (according to my responders)!

Now granted, employment is at an all-time low and I have been stunned at how difficult it has been to fill some positions for some of my clients (it kind of reminds me of the glory days of 2003 or so, but I digress) but I am just not buying that the employees out there are all some lesser quality, like they are spoiled milk or something.

There is nothing wrong with employees, there is nothing wrong with the newer generation and there is nothing – absolutely nothing – standing in the way of your business achieving record-breaking potential. Nothing, that is, except for a fundamental mistake you are making in your management process.

What I’m about to share may come as a shock to you. It may go against everything you ‘know’ and everything the experts are telling you these days. That’s okay – I’ve strayed from the beaten path myself because the siren songs of the opposing ‘theories’ are very appealing. The problem is they don’t work. At least, not consistently and not in a way you can replicate with all your employees, teams and departments in any kind of reliable or efficient manner.

The system is called Organizational Behavior Management. I think it’s safe to classify it as a ‘basic’ (as in, back to the…), based on how long it’s been around and how reliably it works. The underlying premise to OBM is that there are ‘laws’ of human behavior that work all the time, just like the law of gravity works all the time, and if you incorporate these laws into a structured management system you WILL get:

·      The right behaviors, in the right amounts, at the right times. Every time.

·      At least 15% increase in profitability if you are focusing on operations.

·      At least 25% increase in revenue if you are focusing on sales.

·      Employees who understand their role in the big picture, feel appreciated, and are more engaged and less likely to go to your competitor.

I mentored under one of the pioneers of this system early in my career, Dr. D. Chris Anderson. He had applied the technology in industries such as retail, banking, real estate, teaching, manufacturing, hospitality, professional services, high tech sales…even college sports! When I met him, he was looking for projects that he thought would fail, just to test the limits of the program. Our third project together was a power solutions company in the construction industry. There were so many variables out of our control; employees driving unsupervised from site to site, a lack of any way to systematically track and record tasks, huge variations from anticipated to actual workload, lack of static work teams…you name it. And yet we were wildly successful!

Chris claimed that if upper management is committed to the program, it always works, and I don’t think he was ever proved wrong.

Later in my career I became a certified coach and studied more about theories of leadership and motivation. There is some amazing research out there concerning workplace motivation (I particularly love Daniel Pink), and what drives people, and I love incorporating them into my leadership coaching. It frankly feels like the right thing to do, and makes leadership much more meaningful and enjoyable. I’m not for a second dismissing that.  But for a management foundation that WILL drive a successful and thriving company, I’ve never found a system to rival Organizational Behavior Management in terms of not only the results you achieve, but also the morale boost it provides.

Chris always told me that I would burn out running OBM projects – he predicted a max of 3. I think I did 5 before I saw what he meant. The nature of the system requires the collection and management of a lot of data. The technology to do this effectively was just emerging 20 years ago so a big part of my job was jockeying spreadsheets. The constraints we faced then just aren’t there anymore with the advent of all the tools we have today to communicate, automate, track and report; tools you probably already have in your business or have access to very affordably!

So if you’re struggling to reach performance goals, or frustrated because it feels like your employees don’t care as much as you do, or even finding yourself at a loss at how to create a ‘workplace culture’ that engages employees and drives excellence and still get actual work done, this solution may be just what you’re looking for. I’m finalizing some resources that I’ll be publishing soon outlining the basics of the program. Until then, if you’re interested in learning more, please reach out. I love talking about this stuff!

Carrie Maldonado is the founder of Limitless HR Solutions, a Seattle-based consulting firm focused on helping organizations, leaders and job seekers to identify workplace solutions that work.  As a certified HR Professional, executive coach and resume writer, Carrie consults with small to medium sized businesses on organizational development, human resources and recruiting solutions in addition to providing career coaching to managers and executives in transition. Carrie can be reached for consultation at carrie@limitlesshrsolutions.com