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Una's Spotlight: Succession Planning – Replacing Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus?

Not all situations that require thoughtful succession planning will be as extreme as the one potentially facing microcredit pioneer Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus as specified in this article. However it is something that prompted some thought on the topic…

What would happen in your team or your business if you or another significant leader weren’t there? Would everything run like clockwork or would it all fall apart? If the latter then it may be time to give the matter some serious consideration. You never know when somebody may need time off for ill-health, to care for a family member, decides to take early retirement or simply is lured by the competition or finally setting off to the South of France to start that vineyard…

Is there someone (or even better, several someones) being groomed to take leaders’ places? Have you taken into consideration the dynamics of the whole team? Could you be lured by the excitement of somebody from outside the business and forget about the hardworking talent already in your company?

Maybe one of the best ways to consider succession planning – and indeed talent management – within your organisation is as a jigsaw puzzle.

  • Who have you already got at different levels that are interested in progressing their careers?
  • Are they and their teams in flow?
  • If not, why not? (Richard Branson says when a team member isn’t performing, its often a sign they are in the wrong role!)
  • What roles could people progress up to in the jigsaw, that still keep them in flow,with the best accountabilities for their profile?
  • Which is the ideal profile to lead the team at this particular time given the goals and targets?
  •  How can you move the pieces around and still end up with the bigger picture that you desire?

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Three Ways to Recognize a Talent Magnet – Anthony Tjan – Harvard Business Review

Found this great blog about not just finding great Talent but finding Great Talent that finds Great Talent… Confused? Read on

Three Ways to Recognize a Talent Magnet – Anthony Tjan – Harvard Business Review.

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Introducing the Newly Accredited Talent Dynamics Flow Consultants!

Michelle with Flow Consultants Jo Shippen (left) and Una Doyle (right)

Its our great pleasure to introduce you to some of the UK’s Top Coaches/Trainers and Leaders, who, last month became the Worlds first Talent Dynamics Accredited Flow Consultants!

From all over the UK, a group met in Preston, over 2 intensive days, to learn about the 8 Talent Dynamics Profiles and the 4 Talent Dynamics Energies. They were assessed by our experienced Talent Dynamics Performance Consultants and were accredited as having met our  high benchmark standard. Here’s what they had to say about the workshop.

What is a Flow Consultant?

Do you remember when you first read your Profile Report? Some of you were delighted.  Some of you confused… but most of all, you had ‘so what’ questions… So what do I do next and how do I do it? A Flow Consultant has been specially trained to help you understand your own Personalised Talent Dynamic Report in depth and to help you to maximise the opportunity to get yourself into flow. They can answer your questions and can help coach you on specific strategies to employ based on your personalised Dynamics report.

Who are the Accredited Flow Consultants?

You can meet the Flow Consultants here and find out more about their individual areas of expertise.

How to become a Flow Consultant

If you want to know more about the accreditation programme and the application process to become a Flow Consultant, click here for more details and dates for 2011, or call the office on 01772 634994 and ask to speak to Michelle.

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How you can educate a child for a month in India, through Talent Dynamics.

We are thrilled here at TDHQ to announce our new partnership with B1G1 — an extraordinary organisation that is causing change in a huge way and directly impacting thousands of lives by involving more businesses in contributing to charities and causes.

As you know, at TDHQ we believe that everyone has a fundamental right to experience flow. That’s our mission; it has been from day one and will continue to be. It’s why we do what we do! We also have a very strong connection and contribution ethic. We have always had a policy that 10% of our profits goes to the charity or cause that we support and we have done this almost ‘covertly’ in the past, because we didn’t think you needed to know about it.

Well all that changed recently when Michelle talked with Paul Dunn, Chairman of B1G1.

During that conversation we discovered that last year in the US alone, less than 4% of all contribution came from business. That’s a very low number of businesses that are making a difference back in to the communities in which they trade, so we decided it was time to ‘out’ our contributions and show it in a very transparent way through B1G1. We firmly believe that by doing this we can encourage other businesses to do something similar.

Here’s what Paul said when TD joined the B1G1 movement

“There is no doubt that ‘flow’ involves giving. Being in flow creates happiness and there’s now so much research to show that giving does precisely the same thing. So at B1G1 we’re really thrilled about this partnership with Talent Dynamics. Even more to the point, we’re thrilled that Michelle and the team really get the significance of ‘embedding’ the giving so that it becomes an effortless habit, connecting us even more to who we really are.”

What does this mean for you?

Whenever you choose to buy one of our products or services, we will make a direct contribution to one of the charities or causes in B1G1 (there are over 600 already to choose from) and we will tell you about it directly, so you will know that as well as your purchase making a difference to your team or organisation, it has made a difference somewhere else as well. You can even choose the charity if you like yourself. In the next few months, we will make it easier on our website for you to see the projects and how they relate to our products and services. 

For now though, the participants on our first ever License Accreditation Programme will discover today that as a result of ‘buying one’ programme, where they have become educated in using the Talent Dynamics Profile, each of them have also given education to  a child in India for a month

We think that’s pretty cool.We hope you do too and would love to hear your feedback.


Employers must foster shared purpose to succeed, CIPD survey shows

Having a common purpose is vital for increasing engagement and productivity. Organisations that build and implement strong Enterprise Promises and Team Promises, really do see the levels of productivity and profitability increasing as backed up by this CIPD research and article.

Organisations with a strong sense of shared purpose outperform those that lack this unity, research from the CIPD has revealed.

But, in the YouGov survey of 2,000 employees, entitled Shared Purpose: The Golden Thread?, 35 per cent said their daily work was not aligned with their firm’s core purpose.

The research found that workplaces with a profit-based purpose tended to have staff that were less synchronised with the aims of the organisation, while respondents from workplaces with the “golden thread” reported better organisational performance overall.

In addition to improving performance, the survey found that having a sense of shared purpose also improves employee engagement and understanding of the organisation’s core goals.

Respondents working for organisations where a sense of shared purpose exists throughout seem far more likely to be engaged (84 per cent) than those employees who work for an organisation without a sense of shared purpose (32 per cent).

But while more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of employees agree that they know clearly what the core purpose of their organisation is, only 28 per cent believe that the purpose is shared throughout the whole organisation.

Claire McCartney, resourcing and talent planning adviser at the CIPD, said: “The difference between simply having an organisational purpose and having a shared sense of purpose is that the latter is shared by all employees working for the organisation and often beyond, to include external stakeholders. That is why we insist that an organisation’s shared sense of purpose is ‘the golden thread’ to which its strategy should be aligned.

“The research has established that the alignment of an organisation’s purpose, values and goals has clear benefits. In an uncertain economic climate this becomes even more important. As the public sector faces mounting pressures, those organisations that are able to align their purposes, values and goals for all employees will have a clear head start.”

via Employers must foster shared purpose to succeed, CIPD survey shows – People Management Magazine Online.

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Talent management is about people not jobs says CIPD keynote speaker – Training Journal

Horaah, Hooray and we absolutely agree – an organisation is simply a name with out its workforce!!

During his opening keynote this morning at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s annual conference in Manchester Charan told delegates it was not successful organisations that attracted talent but talented people who created successful organisations.

People development professionals, he said, needed to become the trustees of talent within organisations and work to identify and nurture high performing individuals.

To do this HR and L&D professionals must recognise and develop potential by concentrating on people’s “God-given talents” rather than trying to “improve their negatives”.

via Talent management is about people not jobs says CIPD keynote speaker – Training Journal.


Head in the sand or legs that run…

Use conversation to get people's heads out of the sand

According to HR Magazine, employers fear their workforce’s lack of skills will hamper an enterprise’s recovery.

We are meeting more and more employees who we find in a state of paralysis or fear over the economic situation and, faced with job cuts and budget cuts, they feel less empowered to take action and are finding it even harder to see where they can add value. One option is to bury your head in the sand. Another is to create an environment where the team can get into flow and create some ideas to generate profit… ideas with legs.

This of course is the key to the success. Sometimes, just a simple discussion to get clarity about what would be of the most value right now can have a dramatic impact on the bottom line and, more importantly, confidence to continue doing it.

Following just a one hour performance consulting discussion last week with one of my clients, who has been experiencing this paralysis, they were able to create a £100k action that can be implemented immediately, at no extra cost to the bsuiness, just by doing some simple accountability restructuring within the team.

So go on, have a conversation about it. It’s not just about getting more training or developing new skills, sometimes its just about thinking differently.

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One size just doesn't fit all…

We’ve all been invited on courses of how to network better/more effectively. They are always run by some outgoing, extroverted individual who has no problem meeting heaps of brand new folks, who then take time to explain to everyone else just how easy it is to do! Of course they do – they all have a natural extroversion in their profile which makes it so much easier for them to do this!! It’s something they are naturally good at and therefore enjoy more.

Everyone has the ability to network successfully. There are different strategies that are more effective for the eight different Talent Dynamics Profile Types. There simply isn’t one size to fit all.

Now, I’m a Supporter Profile: we are natural, face-to-face networkers, great at building relationships quickly. We enjoy meeting new people and don’t enjoy the detail or the data analysis so much. Give me the choice of being in the office at my desk or at an event with 100 strangers – I’ll always choose the 100 strangers! It’s my natural talent.

I was at such an event recently. I had stood up confidently and shared my 60 second update on my company (extroverted profiles are OK with this public speaking as well). During the break I met with an Accumulator Profile. The first thing she said to me was “I wish I could be more like you!”.

I asked her why and she explained that, as a member of the legal profession, she didn’t favour these kind of events but had to do them. Many of her legal clients were expecting more extroverted and naturally-outgoing solicitors to work with! I really felt for her in that instant. I explained, that Accumulator’s make the most risk-averse of all the Profiles and are very well-suited to this role. They are the safest of all of the talent Dynamics Profiles and I assured her that, I for one, would prefer my solicitor to be an Accumulator Profile!

I also discussed with her some specific strategies she might like to employ with her networking that plays to her natural strengths.

So please don’t feel that you have to be this super-duper, over-the-top natural networker, constantly wondering why others are so much better at it than you.

Or the complete opposite, you find you are a natural networker but struggle with the detail in running your organisation. Realise your natural talents, utilise your natural strengths and find a team to support you with the talents that don’t come so naturally to you!

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Jan's Corner: know thyself — as relevant in business as it is in life

A sign at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi in Greece reads Nosce te ipsum or Know yourself. More than 2000 years ago, philosophers like Socrates knew that a meaningful life and a successful, prosperous society was based on deep self-knowledge.

What has knowing yourself to do with business in the 21st Century? Everything. Businesses exist for people and with people. More then ever before, people seek to discover and express their passions, talents, values and aspirations — to live a meaningful and fulfilling life — as customers, business owners and employees.

Those businesses that allow self-knowledge be an integral part of their philosophy and practice witness real magic.

How does that work? Knowing yourself and others knowing themselves allows for an unusual alchemy to happen, not just in business. Everyone sees their unique value and is appreciated for what they bring to the table. Differences are celebrated and effectively used. New opportunities and synergy is created when unique perspectives, natural strengths and passions are melded with those of others in total self-awareness of what the process is. Excitement is pervasive and no vision is out of reach.

Invest your time in knowing yourself, and understanding others below the surface, and you’ll be surprised at what happens.

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Increasing productivity following a restructure

During the current economic climate, with sales becoming harder to stabilise and costs becoming more challenging, companies are being forced to restructure and to slim down their salary bills. Individuals who are lucky enough to remain in the organisation are given more responsibility and accountability, to take on the demands of the colleagues roles they are replacing. There is then an expectation of an increase in the individuals productivity levels, to compensate for the reduction in the staffing quota.

Sometimes, following these restructures, organisations re allocate roles and responsibilities, fairly and taking into account workload’s, which, whilst on the surface may appear to be the best strategy, in practice, can often result in member’s of your team taking on areas that they are unfamiliar with, perhaps don’t enjoy so much, or dont have a natural talent in achieving results with. When people are asked to do tasks which they dont naturally have a talent for, they often find it harder to get the result and can also, in extreme cirumstances suffer from work related stress, which occurs when an individual is out of flow.

Of course, company restrutures are neccessary, so when planning for one with your team, here are a few things for you to consider, which will allow individuals to continue in their natural flow and to maintain a high level of productivity, immediately following the restructure.

  1. Get to really know the natural talents of the individuals in your team and do your best to ensure you not only select the best people to stay in the company but you also select the best people for the job’s that you are now structuring. Ask them which aspects of their job they enjoy the most and why. Find out what makes them tick and motivates them. Everyone is motivated in a different way, so dont be tempted to treat everyone as you would wish to be treated, instead find out how they would wish to be treated.
  2. Allocate the additional tasks according to an individuals ‘natural talents’. Avoid giving your energetic, extroverted sales person, who is great with people and networking, additional spreadsheets to analyse or complete in the back of office, instead focus them on specific sales routes or targetted customer accounts where they can drive more sales with bigger accounts. Think about giving more operational, task focused activities to the person who really enjoys ‘completing a list’ and is able to juggle many operational activities at a time with great detail. Try not to give them the job of creating the new strategy or new sales plan, which takes them away from the detail and requires them to think in big picture thoughts, which is in complete contrast to their natural way of working and the way they often enjoy working the most.
  3. When selecting the individuals to stay in the team Consider the balance of natural talents that you want in your team to ensure that all the tasks get effectively completed and on time. If you have a team that is very creative, bright, enthusiastic and full of fantastic ideas, you may find you are lacking in a grounded energy to actually bring the ideas to fruition. Balance here is key.

Following these 3 basic guidelines when restructuring will enable your ‘new’ team to hit the ground running and for productivity to not just get back to normal but to increase as well.

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