Everyone Can Do Better

You can do better.  It’s not a judgement.  It’s a statement of fact.

improve renjithkrishnan

Likewise, your business or organization can do better.  It doesn’t mean your business is bad, it means the potential of your business is limited only by the efforts of every employee from top to bottom to improve.

It comes down to attitude.  If we think we’re good enough, we stop looking for ways to do things better.  If we stop finding better ways to do things, we stagnate, and since others are improving, we fall behind.
Even if you gave 100% today, if you learn more about what you do, practice it, work at it and refine it tomorrow, you will be better at it.

Next week, with the improvements you make, your 100% will amount to more than the 100% you gave today.  How can you increase your 100%?

Image courtesy Renjith Krishnan / freedigitalphotos.net

About Mike Bonn: I offer Business Coaching Services and facilitate the unique LMI process to help individuals and organizations improve performance.  If you would like to contact me to learn more about my excellent services, give me a call at 613.743.5642 or send me an email: mbonn@lmicanada.ca.


On Transparency

I believe that organizations and people operate best when their values are known, their actions are consistent with these values and information and results are communicated freely.  This is what transparency means to me.

Here is why I think it’s so important.

1. Creates accountability. When everyone in an organization has access to information, they can assess  effectiveness of activities, challenge the status quo and offer ideas for improvement.

2. Allows people to focus on actual results instead of speculating on what might be happening. This is huge. How much time and energy is wasted debating what might improve a process, when people don’t have accurate data to tell them how the process is performing in the first place.

3. Creates credibility for individuals when everyone can see the results of their activities.

4. Creates trust when people have free access to data and they see that decisions are made based on the data.  They can also determine if the decisions are consistent with objectives and values communicated.

5. Creates loyalty.  When people are confident they are being told the truth, whether good or bad, they are grateful for the trust being put in them and are more likely to stick around through tough times.

6. Prevents corruption.  So many examples to consider, but think about how many government and business scandals would have been avoided if people were open and transparent in their professional activities. Watch this TED talk for more.

I think that, often, managers aren’t sure how some information will be perceived so they just feel safer in not communicating it at all.  My experience has shown me time and again that this strategy inevitably blows up, creating worse perceptions, AND creates ten times more work later when trying to manage the message once information has gotten out anyway.  No matter how bad the news, people are remarkably understanding as long as they can believe the motivations behind any actions were consistent with the values and goals previously communicated.  They way I see it transparency gives people the freedom to use their creativity and ingenuity to find better solutions to problems instead of using them to cover up mistakes and “manage the message”.

What If…

What if our organizations were run like NHL teams?

What if…

..our companies started each financial year with a precise understanding of what the goal for the year was

…every day, every employee knew how the company was performing relative to the goal

…each employee had clear metrics so they could see every day what their own performance was, and how it was contributing to the company’s goal

…after a great, productive day at work, thousands acknowledged it

…after an unfocused, unproductive day at work, thousands acknowledged it

… we paid our employees the most when they were the most productive – peaking between ages 34 and 45 and then gradually decreasing until retirement

mastery of a certain profession allowed one to achieve top levels of compensation instead of having to be promoted into management

… those who were most directly responsible for the revenues that the products bring in got paid the most money

… employees negotiated individual contracts for specified and relatively, short durations, and the final compensation was based predominantly on results

…these contracts were often negotiated by third party agents

…every employee knew what every other employee’s salary was

…employees performance was always watched and commented on by the media and the rest of the community

…most of the community cared about employees’ performances and had  strong opinions about who were the best and who weren’t pulling their weight

…companies  traded employees with other companies to acquire new skill sets or to give employees a fresh start, without necessarily adding to their salary base

…companies could send employees “back to school” (and, depending on the contract, pay them less) if their performance wasn’t acceptable or they needed more seasoning

…companies scouted universities, colleges and high schools for top prospects

…prospects who didn’t get job offers could get “tryouts” with companies to show their skills

I’m not suggesting that any of these items would be good or bad. It’s just something to think about.  Or, as a good friend of mine often says…”I’m not sayin’… I’m just sayin'”

Have a great Labour Day Weekend!