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TDYP Goes to Canada!

By Teejay Dowe – Talent Dynamics for Young People

I am really excited to be back from Canada where our program, Talent Dynamics for Young People,  is being integrated in to a very high profile government backed initiative called ‘From Education into Employment’ being led by Celestica Inc. and Ryerson University.

This 13 week extra-curricular program will teach 12-14 yr old’s Talent Dynamics, Business Development Concepts and how to bring a product to market.

Through a series of coaching and workshop programs we will teach young people from who they really are and where they fit in. Our program bridges the gap between education and employment by giving young people soft skills, a sense of identity, and the ability to know what they are naturally talented at so that they can find the best roles in life, teams and business.

For one week,  16 of the most amazing minds from Talent Dynamics for Young People, Business Development, Technology and Academia were locked in a room in Celestica’s Head Offices in Toronto to put together the program that will be launched in September 15. I had many ‘pinch me’ moments as I taught the team Talent Dynamics and shared in the brainstorming and creation of our vision.

“Giving young people the courage, confidence and skills to take risk, embrace innovation, defy the status quo and create their own futures!”

I get goose bumps every time I read that! I am passionate about making a difference in the confidence and self-worth of our young people and empowering them to discover their hidden talents so that they can reach their true potentials.

And, whilst I am thrilled that I get to be a big part of this in Canada, what I really would love to do is bring this home to the UK and then to be instrumental in its spread through Canada, America, Australia, South Africa, Europe and around the world through our sponsors and Talent Dynamics for  Young People Consultants – so watch this space!


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How Sustainable is Your Team’s Energy?

The environment and sustainable energy has been a core feature in news for several decades now.  We are all aware that fossil fuels are a finite resource and to safely secure our future alternate, renewable energy is a must have.

Big Issue, Small Application

Yet how often do we think about our team’s energy?  We all know the feeling of being supercharged with energy and we also know the feeling of being flat.  Where is the source of this energy and how can it be made sustainable?  This blog was spurred by the following conversation overheard between two employees (paraphrased for space):

“Employee 1: I’m not having fun in work any more.  It’s just a real grind now”

“Employee 2: Well work isn’t supposed to be fun is it?  Otherwise it wouldn’t be called work”

Both employees are clearly verbalising a feeling of low energy.  Work not being fun any more.  A real grind.  One employee is clearly suffering because of it, the other seems to have come to terms with the fact that the work they do isn’t fun.

Can Work = Fun?

Employee 2’s point of view is quite common, even if it isn’t verbalised.  Fun and work are mutually exclusive.  You can’t be working and have fun, you can’t have fun if you’re working.

Without going into the detail around what counts as “work” and what counts as “fun”, the principles of Talent Dynamics would disagree with this view.  If you are doing an activity or task that you are good at, you enjoy or are trusted in, chances are you are going to feel supercharged, a state referred to as flow.  If you are in flow you will be having fun (that is not to say there won’t be pressure, that’s a different thing).

And this is the key to understanding how to ensure your team’s energy is supercharged and sustainable.  Ensure that the activities and tasks are given to the right people.  Not necessarily with the skills and experience but the ones who will enjoy it the most.  They will be super productive (even over the ones with skills and experience) and they will enjoy what they are doing.  Enthusiasm will be high and people will have more energy.

Employee 1 sounds like they used to be given the tasks and responsibilities they enjoyed but perhaps because they were so good at it, they have been promoted, moving them out of where they are trusted and away from where they found their flow.

Employee 2 sounds like they have never been given tasks they enjoyed so never experienced flow (and likely not have a high level of trust).  They have come to terms with this fact by switching off and disengaging.  They are in it for the money, not for the pleasure of a job well done or for helping their team achieve success.

Which employee would you want in your team?  How sustainable is your team?  Have you asked which tasks your team would enjoy doing?

Featured image used with thanks to Paco Cepas


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A Profiling Workshop – Sysmex Middle East’s Story

Saad Kayali, the Managing Director of Sysmex Middle East, a subsidiary of Sysmex Europe GmbH, had his Talent Dynamics profile done and liked the results so much he asked Susan Castle, Performance Coach & Flow Consultant, to do the same for the entire top level of his company!

There were six managers at this level:

  1. the Managing Director,
  2. the Marketing Director,
  3. the Logistics Director,
  4. the HR Director,
  5. the Sales Director
  6. the Operations Director.

As global leaders in vitro diagnostics and automation services, the managers seemed to have no immediate issues. All communicated well with each other and as a team were seamless.

Uncovering Issues

The issue was they tended to focus on areas they knew they were brilliant at – for example the conception of ideas, but they had blind spots in other areas, i.e. putting things into action.

On completion of their individual Talent Dynamics profiles the explanation became obvious.

Out of the six people on the team, four were Mechanics including Saad, one was a Lord and the other was a Creator profile.

This lack of Blaze and Tempo energy explained why they were good at brainstorming, but not so strong at following through. They were very tunnel focussed and tended not to go for bigger targets those with a more Blaze energy would instinctively do.

Talent Dynamics Workshop

Saad then asked Susan to run a leadership development training session to decide what changes, if any, needed to be made to their management set-up.

“I wanted the Heads of Departments to understand their own profiles, master their own talents as well as ensure that these talents are put into good use for the team and the company. Having a team that is well-honed and performing at their best can only be good for business.”

During the workshop they looked at what was stopping them from setting bolder financial targets. Was it a Dynamo, Tempo, Blaze or Steel problem? The managers ended up with about 30 or 40 different things blocking them.

After narrowing down these blocks further, the underlying core issue became apparent:

the truth was there was no one in that room with the specific kind of business power or ability to deal with Blaze or Tempo challenges.

What Kind of Energy Are You Missing From Your Team?

Each of the directors left the workshop motivated and full of clarity. They had a deeper understanding of what was stopping them from achieving higher targets and more importantly, who to go to in order to solve any issues and help achieve these new goals.

Susan says, “Sysmex found, through the test, that the management roles fitted them quite well but the workshop helped them to leverage these strengths by highlighting them and showing them how they could be leveraged to improve team communication and performance while reducing stress.”

Saad is now planning another workshop for the next level of management in the Sysmex team and we’ll keep you posted on how much of a difference this one also makes!

 “I think Talent Dynamics is a great opportunity to maximize the harmony within the team, to get the needed group mindset and perspectives of “what else we can do”; and thus develop a healthy change culture, opting always to challenge our own achievements and parameters to yield further milestones in the journey of success.”  – – Saad Kayali, Managing Director of Sysmex Middle East


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Transforming Teen Talent Through Trust! Talent Dynamics for Young People

By Teejay Dowe – Talent Dynamics for Young People

It was astounding and inspiring to see so many business people who attended this year’s Trust Conference attend a break out session about ‘Transforming Teen Talent Through Trust’.

Perhaps it’s because so many businesses find it perplexing to employ young people, or they have hired young people and been disappointed, or struggled to trust young people to do a good job or even the right job.

As we all know the cost of poor employment decisions is massive both in terms of finances and morale.  Businesses have lost trust in a young work force.

A Challenge of Self Trust

The biggest challenge that young people face today is that they have low self-confidence and cannot see their worth to an employer or, they have so many options and opportunities that they have no clear vision and are confused about the jobs or careers that would suit them best.

The “hidden talent” remains hidden because our young people are never taught what their natural gifts and talents are and why they are so crucial to a fulfilled life.

They are often made wrong for spending time on what they love to do and told they must spend more time on what they find difficult and whilst this is valuable to a certain degree it becomes counter productive as their confidence takes a huge knock, they question their self-worth and they struggle to know who they are and what direction they should take.

And so, their talent stays hidden from the young people themselves and their prospective employers.  Ask them what they want to do, what job would they love to do they’re like…

“I dunno!”

And we continue to judge ability purely on academic achievements, force young people to stay in education till at least 18 to get more qualifications. Some still have no clue what they want to do and continue to university, sent off by proud parents wanting the best for them, dreaming of how proud they’ll be when their son/daughter graduates.

That young person is also dreaming of what it will be like when they graduate, and then they graduate and the reality most often is £55k debt, still not sure what they want to do  and few jobs to go to anyway.

Young people have lost their trust in academia, adults, employers and their ability to get work.

A Loss of Trust

A poll for LinkedIn questioned 200 Graduates questioned about their experiences after university and discovered that:

65% of graduates are not prepared for the world of work, March 2014

635 senior managers and 52% employers said ‘none’ or ‘few’ graduate recruits were prepared for the working world when starting their first job, YouGov Survey, September 2013

When Trust has been lost on both sides we need to address it on both sides and Talent Dynamics for Young People is a vehicle that does just that.

It starts with stopping! Let’s stop criticising our young people for not being ready for work when actually we never taught them those skills. Let’s start taking collaborative action to ensure young people learn about their strengths and talents, where they will shine as an individual, where they best contribute to a team, who they are as a leader, how to communicate more effectively with themselves and others.

And, start with businesses recruiting young people for their natural energy and talent rather than recruiting for the elusive all-rounders. We are bringing together young people, teachers, parents, apprenticeship providers and businesses  to better work together and understand each other through Talent Dynamics for Young People to build a trusted way forward for tomorrows employees, employers, business leaders,  and entrepreneurs.

It started with me and it continues through YOU!


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Just 2 weeks to go to The Trust Conference!

There’s just 2 weeks to go to the Trust Conference on 11th September!

The Global Trust Conference 2014

If you haven’t yet got your tickets yet…

…why not?

Is your company or organisation already using the Trust paradigm to enviable financial success?

Or, are you unsure what an increase in Trust can actually deliver?

Either way, I urge you to rethink…

When I talk about The Trust Conference and what it can deliver, I’m not talking woolly, abstract ideas.

You should know me better by now!

I’m talking about measurable, hard-edged results in all areas of your organisation.

Don’t just take my word for it either…

Here’s what Karen Gregson, the Learning & Development Manager at BAE Systems, said about last year’s Trust Conference:

“I attended the Trust Conference last year and have recommended this to business colleagues. The highlight for me was Stephen MR Covey whose insights to this subject are second to none. Trust is a fundamental part of organisational effectiveness and it is great to see that we finally have a conference dedicated to this. I would encourage all organisations to attend and learn more about this imperative”

With just 2 weeks to go, tickets are almost all sold out. Already, this year is shaping up to be bigger and better than last year – and that’s saying something!

There are a lot of major companies out there who have already booked their tickets, either to attend in person or via an online stream.

So why not be one of them?

See you in just 2 weeks!

Michelle


PS. Remember if you or your team can’t make it in person, you can still listen in via an online stream.

Check out the various ticket options here >


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Work Ready Program Does It Again! TDYP

By Teejay Dowe – Talent Dynamics for Young People

Thanks to the wonderful generosity and sponsorship from two Swindon-based companies, The Brunel Shopping Centre and Thirdline IT, we ran our second Work Ready Program in July in Swindon. The Brunel donated their board room for the event which meant that once again, our young people had to show up to a place of work. The deal for them was:

a. Show up looking like you are coming to work

b. Show up at 8.45am to start at 9am

c. Present youself politely at reception

d. Play full out for 2 days

e. Have fun 😀

What Happened

10 young people showed up before time to start on time and looking smart (yayy!! – first outcome achieved!)

To break the ice a little we had fun in teams with rope and as you can see is IS possible to tie a bow with everyone working together and NOT taking their hands off the rope at any time during the process 😀

Then to introductions…which…predictably were short and sweet as they struggled to find anything good to say about themselves.

Next….the MAGIC begins…….we get out all of the blocks to employment that they think they face and using the profiles we explore who they really are:

a. As an individual

b. As a leader

c. As a team member

d. The things that they are naturally great at

e. The things that will challenge them

f. What they bring to an employer

g. How AMAZING they are 😀

Seeing these 10 young people transform before your eyes is truly breath taking, inspiring and mind-blowing! From nothing to say about their strengths on day 1 to each doing a 5 mini presentation about themselves on day 2 – they’re like different people!

Results

A young man with a speech impediment who has been bullied because of it and hardly says a word stands up and tells the world who he is with such clarity and confidence that even he is amazed and immediately asks if he can do it again! Incredible!

Next the opportunity to put to put insight in to action as they take part in a business challenge and work together to provide a solution and present back to the group.

Finally the blocks disappear as they realise that what they thought were obstacles are no longer going to stop them and as the barriers go down the possibilities go up and mentors are chosen to continue them on their journey.

Work Ready

Work Ready also launched in Australia in July and as soon as I have the pics and the news I’ll be sharing that event with you. In August Work Ready will be run in Milton Keynes with Cassie Footman, in September in Swindon with Rachel O’Kennedy and also in September in Blackpool with myself .

If you want to know more about running programs where you are then please get in touch with me teejay@backontrackteens.com and let’s connect to see how we help make that real 😀

Teejay Dowe will be leading one of the Break- Out sessions at the Trust Conference on September 11th.


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Change and Challenges – Amanda’s Story

By Osmaan Sharif

Recently there was a big change in the management team over at Citizen M Glasgow.

The new hotel manager, Amanda, had been a participant on one of my previous Talent Dynamics workshops here at Rapid Transformation, and approached me about doing some work with her new team.

Hitting the Ground Running

Her challenge was for the team to quickly build trust, understanding, and effective ways of communicating with each other.  She wanted them to hit the ground running, especially when it came to the special projects that each manager would now have individual responsibility for.

It was refreshing to work with a team that’s led by someone who’s putting Talent Dynamics to work.  Amanda had already been using all the knowledge and skills that she’d learnt at her previous workshop, by being mindful to recruit a team that spanned the eight profiles, as well as assigning individual projects according to profile strengths and preferences. 

Putting the Pieces Together

Now she wanted the team to gain an understanding and appreciation of each other’s strengths, and to work out how to excel together.  During their Step One (Full Day) Programme, we looked at the challenges the managers faced and how they could improve the way that they tackled them.

For example, we looked at how they could improve communication by understanding the differences in how people from each profile tend to act, communicate and think.  We took some of their pressing challenges and listened to all the different perspectives from each manager, noticing how they view things differently and what benefits that had for the team when it came to finding solutions.

Team Harmony

By the end of the workshop, all the managers recognised that they were part of a well-constructed team.  They were more appreciative of each other, and not only did they recognise that collaboration was key to the success of their hotel; they had the tools in place to make that collaboration a natural way of working for them.

As a result, they all understand why they’re each leading different projects, and how they can help each other to make them a success.  And Amanda didn’t come away empty handed.  Even though she’d been on a workshop before, she learnt more about how to best communicate with and support each individual member of her team.  She told me:

“It was a real awakening for the attendees to see how they each support one another based on their profiles. We came away from the day with real goals and areas for focus and having learned a lot. Since the training day, we have refreshed individual tasks based on profiles and the team harmony is better than ever. I can also use the training day as a starting point for developing each manager.”

Copy and Photo courtesy of Sam Dounis


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The Dynamic Dozen of Real Estate Sales

In the highly competitive world of Real Estate, a high functioning sales team is vital, followed closely by quality listings to satisfy their hunger to sell. One high profile South East Queensland agency turned their struggling sales team full spin into a dynamic force within months, using the guiding force of Talent Dynamics profiling techniques.

Profiled by Rebecca Mitchell, Talent Dynamics Master Trainer and Performance Consultant from Brisbane, this team of twelve real estate professionals achieved some surprising results.

From Flagging Sales…

Sluggish sales and unmet targets were an early warning sign that the team were falling out of step, despite a strengthening property market.

The General Manager knew every individual had the qualities of a great salesperson, yet somehow their motivation was lagging their ability. So he brought in Talent Dynamics Master Trainer, Rebecca Mitchell to decipher the cause of their failing KPI’s.

Each rep took a Talent Profile test. The GM had assumed all profiles would be Stars– known for their prowess as promoters and delivering results, or Supporters – able to reap sales with their Blaze energy leadership. But the Talent Dynamics profiling results proved different.  From the eight reps only three were Stars and one a Supporter, complemented by a Deal Maker, two Traders and one Accumulator.

By understanding how their Talent Profile powered their performance, the team identified changes that would take them into rapid flow.

But what quickly turned their team into a “dynamic dozen” was working together to change how each person went about selling that also complemented the others.  Their new goal: to increase revenue by $100,000 over the following 6-12 months.

The Stars came up with the strategies to help the Deal Maker, Traders and the Accumulator, instantly inspiring and reducing competition between them. Each eased into action – and their natural flow.

To Flogging It!

Over the following weeks, the sales team completely changed their focus and responsibilities. The Deal Maker shifted to partnering with other agencies and financiers in the region.  The Trader took over the ‘walk ins’ and incoming phone and website enquiries. The Accumulator concentrated on telesales and follow-up sales, as well as reporting weekly sales figures. The Supporter took over the Office Manager role and recruited a small team of three commission-only sales agents who worked closely with her – running information evenings, connecting with the local Chamber of Commerce, promoting their office and running monthly events.

The three Stars continued with traditional listing strategies by marketing direct to home owners. They also featured at the monthly events, each month in turn, which further developed them into their own area of expertise; one in apartments, one in standard priced houses and the other in executive homes and house and land sales.

Within six months the team had exceeded their initial $100,000 target! They are now set to increase their bottom line by $500,000 by the end of this year.

This shining real estate firm has jettisoned their motivation and their performance to new levels by embracing Team Dynamics at its best.


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DT’s Tower: The Importance of Scale

See that picture of a tape measure?  It will be important.

I’ve been thinking and writing a great deal about getting things done lately.  The reason being is that I’ve been laying the groundwork for growing the business.  I thought it might be useful to share some of my thoughts with this.

Growth means growing in size.  Seems obvious?  On the surface maybe, but me being a Lord I get my kicks out of the detail.

Growing Pains

So what exactly is ‘growing’?  Well turnover and profit would be a really nice answer.

But that’s not the answer I’m afraid.  That is the measure.  You can only tell that you are growing if turnover is increasing.

“Ah ha DT, I hear you cry.  You left out profit”

Well yes because profit is a result of how well you are doing what you do.  If you are an example of efficiency your profit will be higher but you are not necessarily growing.

True growth means that you are doing more of what you promise to do, what you are good at.  Where you deliver value.

So you have the same amount of time.  But you are doing more (hence why I’ve been thinking about getting things done).  I’m not a fan of working 24/7.  I need recharge time.  My iPhone gets better treatment than me sometimes! 😀

So I think true growth means ‘making time’.  Feel free to argue.

Making Time

“Hang on DT, I’ve been with you so far but making time?  Its a universal constant! You can’t make it”

Well, no.  Grant me a little hyperbole.  When I say ‘making time’ what I’m looking at are the two sides of the Talent Dynamics square.

Systems allow you to save time and improve efficiency.  In essence you make time by doing what you do more effectively.

People allow you to add time and improve how much can be done.  In essence you make time by employing people to do ‘stuff’ (dazzling use of technical terms).

Trouble is… you can’t grow effectively by focusing on only one side.

The downside of systems (unfortunately there are some) is that they simply exist.  Something needs to go in one side… data, projects, money, ideas etc, to be turned into something else… graphs, completed projects, more money, results etc.

If you don’t have enough to go in to the system, the system is not going to be as effective as it can be.  Many systems sit in our businesses not being used effectively.

The downside of people (and as an introvert I can talk at length) is that they increase costs.  Unlike a system which only has a set up time, people take recurring time and money to get the best out of them.  Yet they think for themselves!  They don’t just exist.  If something is going wrong, they’ll spot it.  If something needs to be done, they’ll do it (as long as they are fully engaged with what they are doing).

The Importance of Scale

Remember the tape measure?  That is one way to demonstrate size.   But it doesn’t really show what need to be done to get there.  Hence the old style weighing scales.

For true growth, the importance of scale is balance in ‘making time’. Systems to ensure that the minimum effort is expended for the maximum result (and quality) and people to ensure that more can be done whilst keeping variety, initiative and values in the business.

If you are on one side of the Talent Dynamics square you’ll be better at one side than the other, systems or people.  That doesn’t mean that you can ignore the balance!  Far from it!  You actually need to put some thought into the opposite of what you are good at.

A systems heavy company won’t need many people but the people they do have need to be tip top to manage the systems and add a bit of diversity into the production line.

A people heavy company will need lots of simple systems to ensure that everyone is pointing and moving in the right direction.

What do you think?  Is the secret of growth in getting the balance right?


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Nicci’s Call: Are You Giving Relevant Value?

By Nicola Bonfanti – Talent Dynamics for Sales

There are three basic pre-requisites to being successful at selling which are open to ALL profile types:

  1. Believing in your services, products and yourself.  See ‘What is Blocking Your Flow of Sales?’
  2. Understanding and caring about your prospects.  See ‘One Thing That Differentiates Trusted Selling From Bad Selling’ 
  3. Being able to communicate what you sell to your target audience in a value-driven way to solve their problems or achieve their dreams.

Making People Feel Great!

As a Supporter coach and trainer my goal has always been to make people feel great about themselves, to achieve things they didn’t think they could, to reach the potential I see in them which is not as limiting as the potential they see in themselves.

If you listened in to Roger James Hamilton’s interview with Michelle last week you will have heard him say a similar thing and point out that if your sales and marketing is focused on people’s problems, they feel like a victim and keep the information to themselves.

If however, you focus on what they are proud of and good at, they will want to shout it from the rooftops, share it with everyone and thus give you a firm recommendation which is much more valuable than any email campaign coming directly from you.

Giving Value

So are your emails and social media posts giving value, is there something your prospects can learn from, take away and use, share with their clients and colleagues?

Is that value relevant for everyone on there? If you don’t know the answer to that question or you are guessing, ask them. We get in the habit of sending the same email to our entire database whether it is still relevant for them or not. By asking them, you’ll be able to target your marketing with more relevance and value for your different audiences.

Are you listening to your clients? Communication is a 2-way street. Once they have come back to you, reply. Amend their emails from now on accordingly as much as you can so that you demonstrate that you have listened, you care and only send relevant content and ideas to them in future.

Roger talked about an engagement tree rather than a marketing funnel. The implication is that prospects can follow their own paths with you rather than you pushing everyone in the same direction towards the same end.

This implies sophisticated email and database software but even without that you can have different messages for different segments of your audience and whilst that may seem time consuming the results are bound to be higher within smaller targeted groups than the same message going out to thousands and not being read by the majority of them.

Roger’s final point was: Don’t get seduced by big numbers in your sales and marketing but focus on the smaller group of trusted people who you can support and who support you by sharing their experiences of you to the wider audience.

Nicci Bonfanti will be leading one of the Break- Out sessions at the Trust Conference on September 11th.


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