Posts Tagged ‘organization’

by Richard Martin

 

Leaders and managers must learn how to harness their teams for effective and efficient performance. In fact, we can only accomplish great things by mobilizing people, teams and organizations to create value and change. I’ve identified seven key principles of mobilization for teams and organizations. I call it the M7M model:

Morale

  • Morale is the willingness to persevere and fight until the goal is achieved. It’s not to be confused with the mood in your organization, although that is an important indicator.
  • It depends intimately on the intrinsic motivation of the entire team. Why are you doing what you’ve undertaken? Why is it important to you, to others? Do you believe in your goal and value its realization?
  • How is your morale, and the morale of your team or organization?

Mission

  • Do you have one?
  • Is it clear, concise and well-articulated?
  • Does it communicate your purpose, your raison d’être?
  • Does everyone on the team know it? Can they communicate it verbatim, or at least paraphrase it?
  • Do they believe in it? Are they inspired by it?

Markets

  • Do you focus on the needs and wants of your clientele or constituency, or on your own?
  • Are these needs, wants and goals well defined, understood, and part of the DNA of your company, division, or association?
  • Do your people know about them and act on them consistently and coherently?

Marks

  • Have you marked your organization’s targets clearly and concisely?
  • Have they been communicated throughout the membership?
  • Are they concrete or vague and imprecise?
  • Do you have control mechanisms in place and do you apply them?
  • Have they been articulated and adapted at all levels of the organization and to short, medium and long time horizons?

Mass

  • Do you have a realistic appraisal and understanding of your organization’s strengths and weaknesses, its centre of gravity, and its major vulnerabilities?
  • Do you consistently work to eliminate or mitigate non-productive or counter-productive activities, processes, and attitudes?
  • Do you focus your efforts relentlessly on your centre of gravity and your major goals and priorities?

Manoeuvres

  • Do you mobilize and mass your forces at the right time and right place to maximize their impact?
  • Are your plans fully developed and communicated with clarity and precision?
  • Have you identified who is responsible, for what, with what resources and authorizations?
  • Are your people and leaders accountable for results, behaviour, and morale?
  • Do your people and teams have the competencies to achieve their missions and goals? If not, have you built their acquisition and development into your plans and scheme of manoeuvre?

Messages

  • What messages are you conveying internally and externally?
  • Do they support your goals and mission and manoeuvres or are they in opposition to these?

New Testimonial

“Richard has been instrumental in getting me to draw on my hard-won experience and ideas to turn them into marketable intellectual property and products. His disciplined, systematic approach has already led to several significant accomplishments for me. Whether you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur, or working to get to the next level, Richard can boost your productivity and organizational effectiveness. Be forewarned, though. There is no magic formula, just systematic thinking, disciplined execution, and… Richard Martin.”

Caroline Salette, Owner and President, RE/MAX Royal Jordan Inc. and Salette Group Inc. 

Richard Martin’s Business Readiness Process:

  1. Ensure vigilance through situational awareness.
  2. Do preliminary assessment of tasks and time.
  3. Activate organization or team.
  4. Conduct reconnaissance.
  5. Do detailed situational estimate.
  6. Conduct wargame and decide on optimal course(s) of action.
  7. Perform risk management and contingency planning.
  8. Communicate plan and issue direction.
  9. Build organizational robustness.
  10. Ensure operational continuity.
  11. Lead and control execution.
  12. Assess performance.

Contact me to apply the whole thing–or just a piece, as needed–to improve your strategy, your readiness… and your results!

Did you know that an infantry battalion only needs about 3 to 4 hours of prep and planning time to be battle ready? What are you waiting for to get the same benefits for your outfit?

Why Sunday and What Does “Stand To” Mean?

Sunday? I want you to get my insights and advice first and fast, so you can prepare and up your readiness and results before others even know what’s happening!

And Stand To? It’s the order used in the military to get forces to man the parapets and be in a heightened state of situational awareness and, yes, readiness, so they can face any threat or undertake any mission.

My name is Richard Martin and I’m an expert on applying readiness principles to position companies and leaders to grow and thrive by shaping and exploiting change and opportunity, instead of just passively succumbing to uncertainty and risk.

© 2017 Alcera Consulting Inc. This article may be used for non-commercial use with proper attribution.

Morale is the willingness to fight and to make the sacrifices needed to succeed and win. Many people confuse morale with mood. They think that if people are complaining or they are in a bad mood that automatically indicates bad morale. That may be the case, but not necessarily. In fact, people can be in a bad mood BECAUSE they have high morale. They want things to go better and are angry or momentarily discouraged because they aren’t. It’s up to leaders and key influencers to recognize this difference and to not let the momentary lapse get to them.

Signs of good morale:

  • Optimism
  • Realism
  • Cooperation and mutual aid
  • Hard work and sacrifices
  • Constructive criticism
  • Confidence in self and leaders

How is the morale is your team or organization?

  • Do you sense that people in your company have hope?
  • Is the language they use optimistic and hopeful, or pessimistic and despairing?
  • Are people making plans for the future with themselves in the plans, or are they instead making plans to abandon ship?
  • Do people have a lot of idle time, or are they working on ways to continually improve the organization and its performance?

Richard Martin is a Master Strategist and Leadership Catalyst. Richard brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to radically improve performance, grow, and thrive in the face of rapid change, harsh competition, and increasing uncertainty.

© 2015 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.

I have been focusing on each of the 10 leadership principles I learned as an officer in the army. This the 10th of these principles.

  1. Remember that people aren’t mushrooms. They don’t grow better in the cold, damp, and dark. Be ruthlessly honest and open about the real situation.
  2. Ensure everyone understands the mission and end state, so they can exercise their initiative when the inevitable changes occur.
  3. Assume that there will always be friction in the execution of plans and procedures and work to minimize it.
  4. Provide ongoing feedback and status updates so people know what is going on.
  5. Inform your followers and other stakeholders of important information they need to know.
  6. Inform people on a “need to know” basis.
  7. Make regular rounds “at the front” and ask people for their opinions, what’s happening, and their understanding of the situation.
  8. Correct mistakes and misinterpretations quickly and effectively.
  9. Kill rumours ruthlessly and quickly with accurate information.
  10. Be prepared to exploit successes and breakthroughs.

Richard Martin is a Master Strategist and Leadership Catalyst. Richard brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to radically improve performance, grow, and thrive in the face of rapid change, harsh competition, and increasing uncertainty.

© 2014 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.

Military forces engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade or so adjusted their structures, weaponry, and training to the exigencies of an originally unforeseen operational context. They went from Cold War based large mechanized formations to smaller, tailored units that could interact with local populations and government forces while keeping insurgent forces at bay.

The same applies to organizations and businesses in the public, private and non-profit sectors. How many organizations are still working within a framework that is no longer relevant to its new reality? I often say that the biggest challenge a small business faces is becoming a medium-sized business. The same goes for medium-sized organizations becoming large or multinational ones. Or vice versa, companies and institutions that must become smaller, more nimble, faster, and adjustable rapidly enough to remain relevant and continue thriving.

 

  • When is the last time you reviewed your organization, structures, systems, and processes to evaluate their relevance?
  • Do you have people and teams working on tasks and responsibilities that are low priorities while others working on high priorities and vital areas are starving for resources?
  • How often do you validate the relevance and effectiveness of your training and professional development?
  • Can you reconfigure teams quickly and effectively or does your organization meander aimlessly and sluggishly while the world changes?
  • Do you conduct regular after-action reviews with all stakeholders and people at all levels of your organization?
  • How quickly can lessons be learned and incorporated into your structures, equipment, training, processes, and systems?

Richard Martin is The Master Strategist. An expert on strategy and leadership, Richard brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to exploit change, maximize opportunity, and minimize risk.

© 2014 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.

Signs of good morale:

  • Optimism
  • Realism
  • Cooperation and mutualaid
  • Hard work and sacrifices
  • Constructive criticism
  • Confidence in self and leaders

How is the morale is your team or organization?

  1. Do you sense that people in your company have hope?
  2. Is the language they use optimistic and hopeful, or pessimistic and despairing?
  3. Are people making plans for the future with themselves in the plans, or are they instead making plans to abandon ship?
  4. Do people have a lot of idle time, or are they working on ways to continually improve the organization and its performance?

Richard Martin is a consultant, speaker, and executive coach. He brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to exploit change, maximize opportunity, and minimize risk.

© 2014 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.

After every major undertaking, it’s always a good idea to conduct an after-action review to determine what went well, what went poorly, and how to improve for the next time around. This is modelled on the military approach to after-action review, which I’ve described in more detail here.

I’m currently working with a client that has been through a merger and now an acquisition. Here are some of the areas to examine in conducting an after-action review to improve the next time around:

  • Competitive and corporate strategy
  • Financing & ownership
  • Brand & repute
  • Competitor reactions
  • Strategic planning
  • Planning & budgeting
  • Operations
  • Information technology and management
  • Website and online presence
  • Client relations & communications
  • Client retention & turnover
  • Other stakeholder reactions
  • Marketing & promotion
  • Employee relations (especially management)
  • Revenue generation
  • Redundancy & cost control
  • Administrative processes & systems
  • Compensation & benefits
  • Recruiting & integration
  • Key people retention & turnover
  • Succession planning

For each of these areas, you can ask your key stakeholders to identify the following:

  • Successes
  • Mistakes
  • New strengths resulting from merger/acquisition
  • Weaknesses & vulnerabilities resulting from merger/acquisition
  • New opportunities
  • Risks & threats
  • How to improve the process in the future

Today is Remembrance Day, when we salute the sacrifices and service of veterans and those who have served in the armed forces in war and peace operations. However, it is also a time to reflect on the accountability, or lack thereof, of leaders. In the military, leaders are responsible for their decisions and actions. The system sometimes falters, but by and large, military leaders are held accountable for their conduct. Even more important is that leaders can’t be treated differently than the rank and file. They must suffer with them and they must triumph with them.

We can’t say the same about all of our political and business leaders though. Thorsten Heins has overseen the demise of Blackberry. It wasn’t of his making, but he certainly didn’t improve the situation. His recent dismissal with a large “golden handshake” is completely out of sync with the poor results he achieved under his watch. Meanwhile, some Canadian senators have been suspended for claiming personal spending as official expenses. Unrepentant, their excuse is mainly that the rules weren’t clear. But this is nothing but a surrender of ethical judgment. Just because a rule about an action is vague doesn’t let you off the hook. Something might be considered legal, but not necessarily ethical or legitimate. It’s all in how your exercise your faculty of rational judgment and self-control. In the US, whatever you may think of the need for public healthcare, there is no masking the fiasco that is the roll out of ObamaCare. The president has taken no responsibility, and what’s more, it is now evident that he lied about the effects of the the Affordable Care Act in full knowledge that millions of people would be left high and dry, with no option but to subscribe to officially sanctioned health care policies that cost more and offer less coverage.

Food for Thought
Leaders give the ethical tone to an organization by their own ethics. If these are questionable, they will soon undermine morale, and permeate the organization at every level, producing perverse results in individual and collective behaviour.

Richard Martin is a consultant, speaker, and executive coach. He brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to exploit change, maximize opportunity, and minimize risk.

© 2013 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.