Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Not-So-Inconvenient Renewal: What Happens When Managers Change the Way They Manage

If you have been following my work over the last couple of years, you may be wondering if I actually practice what I preach with regards to organization renewal, change management, and most importantly, people management.

Every three years, the federal public service of Canada administers a government-wide survey called the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES). The 2005 PSES was administered just a week before I joined my current organization. The last PSES was administered in November and December 2008, and the results were released a few weeks ago. I have done the analysis, and the results speak for themselves: renewal is possible, and yes, people management does make a difference!

I have just put together a document entitled "A Not-So-Inconvenient Renewal: What Happens When Managers Change the Way They Manage". It presents the dramatic progress made by my organization between 2005 and 2008, as measured by the PSES.

The document is an epilogue to An Inconvenient Renewal: Are Public Service Managers Ready to Change the Way They Manage?, a paper I released in 2007 in which I stressed the importance of good people management and argued that while top-down change has its merits, many of the things that would make the most significant and palpable difference don’t happen at the top of the organization, but rather at the field level in the everyday interactions between managers and their employees.

I hope the PSES results will convince you that when managers change the way they manage, the ripple effects can be felt throughout the organization. To learn more about the renewal efforts in my organization, you may browse through some of the links featured in the side-bar of my blog under the header "My Websites, Papers, and Other Initiatives".

Enjoy you reading, and please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any question.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Awesome Reading Recommendations

I've been away for the last two weeks, both for work and leisure. When I returned I had over 300 articles waiting for me in my RSS reader. I managed to process them all, and here are my top recommendations, arranged by themes:

On Staffing:
  1. Interviewing Doesn’t Work
  2. The Job Mismatch Problem - The Five Costs of the Wrong Employee In The Wrong Seat
  3. Interview questions for a Team Leader

On Thinking:
  1. Executive Behaviors, Your Boss Has No Clothes and Revolution from the Bottom
  2. Risk, Bravado and Their Consequences
  3. Change Your Thinking To Change Your Results!
  4. Being Strategic: The Antidote to Fear

On Collaboration:
  1. 8 Suggestions to Improve Your Team’s Problem Solving Skills
  2. 12 Ways To Listen
  3. The Ten Cultural Elements Of Collaboration In [Communities]
  4. Collective Intelligence (video)
  5. Toe Stepping Up The Corporate Ladder (a satire!)

On creativity and innovation:
  1. What is the True Value of Creativity to Organizations?
  2. Cultivate A Culture of Creativity
  3. The How of Innovation
  4. Twitter's Ten Rules For Radical Innovators
  5. Prospect theory, risk and innovation

On Leadership:
  1. Leadership and the Art of Apology
  2. How Do You Spot an Emerging Leader?
  3. Leading By Example & Mistaken Beliefs
  4. Leveraging Your Strengths
  5. Learning from Mistakes Takes the Right Feedback
  6. Everybody Knows About Your Weaknesses – Do You?
  7. Don’t Gamble On Your Performance Review
  8. Three Important Questions
  9. Stop Making Excuses
  10. Exert Ownership in Your Workplace
  11. The Circle of Care
  12. 8 Steps for Acting on Inspiration
  13. Culture and Engagement
  14. Rejecting the Default Culture
  15. Trauma Free Renewal
  16. 3 Paths to Development
  17. Authority, Leadership, and Truth
  18. Generals Win Battles but Sergeants Win Wars
  19. What Leaders Must Do Next

  1. Your Firm’s Values Have No Teeth
  2. Going Beyond MBA Oaths
  3. Battling it Out During Tough Times: MBAs vs. Entrepreneurs
  4. Is it Time to Sell My Management Books?
  5. 5 Reasons You Keep Getting Stuck

And my favourite quote of the week:

"If you perform at your personal best, doing everything possible to make a success of the immediate situation, then doing it as a ‘leader’ or a ‘follower’ has no meaning." (Miki Saxon)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Dump Post: New Format

I'm back from a short but activity-packed vacation in Tofino with my old friend Patrick Di Fruscia who I had not seen in nearly 10 years. In addition to being a great travel companion, Patrick taught me a few photography tricks and as a result, I felt like my pictures improved in a matter of just a few days. Still, I have quite a bit of work to do before I can catch up to the level of his talent.

Speaking of photography, a new picture of the Tiananmen Square protests' "Tank Man" was published last week. I have used the photo seen across the world in one of my presentation to illustrate courage, but I find this new picture even more dramatic, as "Tank Man" can be seen walking towards the tanks, while everyone else is running in the opposite direction. I wonder what happened to him. I hope someday we will find out.

Some readers have written to me asking for a brief description of what the links I recommend are about. I'm testing the new format. Here we go:
  1. I've never been a big fan of the "symphony conductor as leader" analogy, but this post is actually quite good: 8 Things Leaders Can Learn from Symphony Conductors.
  2. Ann Bares asks "whether we should focus on being the best places or the best high performance places to work" in Rewards Metrics: Engagement versus the Bottom Line.
  3. Carmine Coyote offers a very interesting perspective on motivation in Musings About Motivation and Mike Chitty responds.
  4. Lots of interesting comments to Gary Hamel's post about "deep-seated impediments". The one left by Kausar Fahim especially rings true with me.
  5. MBAs have been getting a pretty bad rep lately, and this podcast entitled MBA: Most Bloody Awful explains why.
  6. Want to learn how to make a good presentation? Here are some lessons learned from TED and Change This, and Six Secrets of Top Communicators.
  7. Art Petty offers a common sense approach to management in general and project management
  8. Chris Brogan distinguishes between audience and community.
  9. Mark Gould navigates the seven Cs of knowledge.
  10. David Eaves discusses Public Service and Citizen Engagement in the Information Age.
  11. Three ways to impress your employees
  12. In what I found to be one of the most profound presentations ever made at TED, Liz Coleman issues a call to reinvent liberal arts education and criticizes the fact that "the expert has dethroned the educated generalist to become the sole model of intellectual accomplishment". Watching her talk, I could think of quite a few implications for change management and the federal public service.
Your feedback is always appreciated.