Wednesday, August 26, 2015
As we prepare to launch our new Virtual Leader program, I’m thinking a lot about virtual presence: how “real” a leader feels when managing from a distance. I love this quotation from Terence Brake in an article he wrote for Training magazine called, “Lucky 13 Abilities for Global Virtual Team Leaders:”
“The leader without virtual presence creates uncertainty, which creates anxiety, which harms performance.”
That is very elegantly stated. Often when we begin to work with virtual leaders, we have to persuade them that having a stronger virtual presence (by putting themselves on web camera during meetings, posting photos in social media sites, and using Skype to connect one-to-one) will improve their ability to connect and build relationships. We hear consistent feedback from virtual meeting attendees that being on camera creates great rapport and connection.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
We have been developing our new Virtual Leader™ program this year in partnership with a wonderful client. As we prepare to pilot the fifth and final web workshop in the program, I’ve been thinking about the challenge of overcoming virtual distance as a virtual leader. How can the leader create a connected, motivating work environment when all of his or her communications are electronic? How can a team feel connected despite being geographically dispersed?
Take a look at this amazing TED Talk by Eric Whitacre, a composer and conductor who has engaged thousands of singers around the world as a virtual choir:
There is something profoundly moving about listening to this virtual choir making gorgeous music in collaboration with their leader. Mr. Whitacre’s noted, “Human beings will go to any lengths necessary to find and connect with each other.”
As virtual leaders, we are called to help our virtual teams connect authentically and meaningfully in the service of a greater vision.
Monday, April 13, 2015
I just read a terrific Harvard Business Review article about virtual distance titled, “The Subtle Ways Our Screens Are Pushing Us Apart” by Dr. Karen Sobel-Lojeski at Stony Brook University. Her research on virtual distance supports what many of us sense intuitively: if we rely solely on text-based online communication, we may never develop deeper relationships and deeper trust that result in great collaboration.
According to Dr. Sobel-Lojeski, when virtual distance is high, these problems occur:
- Innovative behaviors fall by over 90%
- Trust declines by over 80%
- Cooperative and helping behaviors go down by over 80%
- Role and goal clarity decline by 75%
- Project success drops by over 50%
- Organizational commitment and satisfaction decline by more than 50%
Our work with virtual presence (the opportunity to correct virtual distance) indicates that leaders and teams benefit significantly if they are willing to use web cameras in meetings and conversations to build a greater sense of social or virtual presence. My latest ebook, Eight Strategies to Lead Virtual Teams, digs into the power of increasing virtual presence for leaders and teams.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Darleen DeRosa recently wrote an excellent article on "Measuring the ROI of Leadership Development" for Business2Community.com. Her key points were that organizations must consistently take the following actions to measure the effectiveness of leadership programs:
- Conduct pre- and post-training assessments
- Collect feedback
- Evaluate leadership execution
- Appraise retention
- Assess succession
- Where are the leadership gaps in our organization?
- Which programs address those gaps?
- After a participant has taken a module, how are they applying what they have learned on the job?
- What difference is that knowledge making on the job?
Posted by Michelle Kunz at 4:04 pm 1 Comments
Monday, March 9, 2015
I recently read an article at TD magazine titled "Learning, Talent, and Leadership Development: Evolution and Revolution" by Annie McKee. It succinctly captures why effective talent management and leadership development are so critical. I completely agree with the two challenges: centralizing talent management to reduce fragmentation and focusing on developing leaders at the middle and executive levels. However, I think leaders at all levels in any organization have to develop self-awareness, empathy, and the ability to communicate, problem-solve, and address ambiguity and conflict.
Nick van Dam, partner, global chief learning officer, and client advisor at McKinsey is quoted in the article as saying, "If you don't have the right people capabilities in your organization, it's very unlikely that you'll be successful in the execution of your business strategy." Frontline leaders would benefit from developing their foundational leadership skills when they begin their careers, not just when they are promoted to middle management. My ebook, The Other Side of the Desk, introduces 25 leader behaviors for new and emerging leaders on the frontline. Check it out and let us know how we can support your leadership development efforts with new and emerging leaders.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
I’ve come across two interesting articles this week featuring the opinions of one generation about another generation. With 19,000 baby boomers retiring every day, many organizations are focusing on how to prepare millennials to step into management roles.
Check out this article “The Baby Boomer Legacy: The Millennial Perspective” which offers the observations of a millennial who values lessons learned from boomers: original technical innovation, disruption and patience, and client service.
With millennials projected to be the largest generation in the workforce as boomers retire, research reveals what it takes to attract and retain them. Read this blog (“Research Roundup: Millennials, Their Skills, and Their Training Needs”) to learn more about the value that millennials bring to the workforce: fresh ideas, tech savviness and adaptability.
If you’d like to explore these generational differences, strengths and values, plan to attend our next NetSpeed Leadership webinar, Leading Across Generations, on Tuesday, March 10 from 1:00 to 2:30 Eastern/10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Pacific.
This webinar is one of 24 courses in the NetSpeed Leadership2 program designed to develop the skills of new and emerging leaders.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
It's the New Year, beginning again with possibility and potential as we start our next transit around the sun. Last year at this time, I was imagining a newly revised NetSpeed Leadership program, all 24 modules, redesigned for the face-to-face and virtual classrooms. I wasn't sure exactly how we would accomplish that ambitious goal, but the NetSpeed team took charge and made it happen with excellence. By September 2014, we developed and launched NetSpeed Leadership 2. This interactive program has been well-received by clients who want to develop the leadership skills of their first-level supervisors and managers.
This couplet (often falsely attributed to Goethe) always inspires me to reach high to achieve goals: "Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!" I find that setting my intention to accomplish a mighty goal unleashes ideas, actions, and connections that guide me to the achievement of my aims. (And it really helps to have such talented people working on the NetSpeed team!)
In 2015, in partnership with a valued client, we are developing a new virtual leadership program for managers with remote or geographically dispersed teams. We want to help these managers develop deeper relationships, achieve higher productivity, and increase their teams' successes, even though they are working across the country or across the world from their direct reports.
What ambitious goals will you set for 2015? Are you stretching yourself and your team to achieve more than they thought possible? What partners could help you achieve those results?
If your goals for 2015 include the development of your supervisors' and managers' skills, we'd love to talk. Take a moment to download our ebook, The Other Side of the Desk: Five Leadership Guidelines for New Managers, or have your new leaders complete our leadership self-assessment.
Let us be your go-to partner in leadership development for 2015.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
If you want to bring your virtual classroom to life, think of your learners not as a passive audience, but as active participants in the learning experience. How will you engage them? How will you capture their opinions and ideas? How can you build peer-to-peer, social learning into the virtual classroom design?
Over many years of observation and personal experience, I classify the most common types of webinar deliveries into three categories: average, better and best
Average Webinar: Presenter delivers a one-way lecture with an uploaded photo instead of streaming video and asks the audience to hold their questions until the end. He may or may not have a host/producer collaborating in the webinar delivery. Participants in the audience multi-task while listening with one ear to the online lecture. Common participant comment: "I got a lot done while I was logged into that webinar!"
Better Webinar: Presenter introduces herself on camera at the beginning of the webinar, then switches to an uploaded photo. She may include a couple of polls and an opportunity to chat but relies on the host/producer to let her know if there is anything in the chat pane she needs to be aware of. Participants may skip the polls and chat and remain in passive observer mode, multi-tasking occasionally at their desks. Common participant comment: "There was a lot of good information presented. I'd like to get that slide deck to see what I might have missed!"
Best Webinar: Presenter facilitates an interactive web workshop, weaving polls and chat opportunities throughout the session. He may remain on camera for the entire webinar to build rapport. He works seamlessly with a host/producer to ensure that there are seamless transitions from one activity to the next. He uses participant names and reinforces their contributions. Participants are actively engaged every 2 - 3 minutes in the delivery of the session. It feels as engaging as a face-to-face classroom. Common participant comment: "That was so engaging and interactive, I completely lost track of the time!"
Your lively virtual classroom will benefit from an active host/producer. The presenter and the webinar host/producer perform a choreographed dance. Ideally the two have practiced the content, conducted a dry run, and are operating in complete synchronization. Without that choreography, a presenter has to interrupt the flow of the experience to make requests, such as, "Host, can you please open that poll now? Okay, let's close it and see what we've got. Can you publish the results now?"
Download our Webinar Production Checklist, to ensure a great virtual classroom experience.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
According to Fred Hassan (HBR blog), frontline leaders make up 50-60% of an organization's management team and directly supervise as many as 80% of the organization's employees. These emerging leaders are critically important to the success of any organization and its ability to attract, motivate, engage, and retain qualified staff.
The two most pressing issues faced by leaders, as reported in a recent Global Human Capital Trends report (Deloitte Consulting), are building global leadership (38%) and retention and engagement (26%). Yet many new managers are promoted to their first critical leadership role as a result of their strong performance as individual contributors and technical experts. They are often doers and achievers, not coaches and managers, catapulted from their former comfort zones into demanding roles that require new people skills. Without training and coaching, emerging managers may experience these challenges:
- Struggling to manage coworkers who were formerly their peers
- Focusing on performing their own tasks, rather than guiding the work of others
- Avoiding performance problems and conflict
- Relying on directive rather than collaborative or coaching leadership approaches
- Assuming agreement rather than assuring agreement to the department's direction
- Making unilateral decisions that are resisted by their teams
- Failing to build commitment and passion when their teams are in dispersed locations
New frontline leaders require tested models, skills, and behaviors to ensure a positive impact on the 80% of the workforce they supervise or manage. NetSpeed Learning Solutions has updated its flagship leadership skills development program, NetSpeed Leadership®, to help frontline leaders meet the challenges of managing employees in a complex, demanding, often virtual, world. With 24 customizable modules which you may license and deliver in the face-to-face or virtual classrooms, NetSpeed Leadership equips your organization to meet the needs of these emerging frontline leaders.
Download our ebook, The Other Side of the Desk: Five Leadership Guidelines for New Managers, to dive into 25 leader behaviors that can help your managers transition effectively to leading others.
And take our leadership self-assessment to explore your leadership type. We are happy to aggregate the responses of up to 25 managers in your organization.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Recently I presented an interactive session for the Los Angeles Chapter of ATD. (Yes, my fingers still want to type 'ASTD'.) I called it Making It Work: Strategies to Manage the Crazy Makers in the Workplace. From the number of people who showed up eager to figure out how to work with those crazy people in their workplaces, I knew we had landed on a topic that had sticking power.
When I started my consulting practice, I used to deliver a popular workshop about working with difficult people. I noticed that this workshop was often attended by the most challenging people I had ever met! It finally dawned on me that managers were sending their difficult employees, hoping that they would recognize themselves during the workshop and magically fix whatever it was about them that was driving people crazy.
Daniel Dana estimates that 60 - 80% of organizational difficulties are tied to strained relationships. In a recent study by CPP Global, it was reported that 85% of US employees surveyed experienced conflict at work and that 76% of them went out of their way to avoid the person they were in conflict with. In fact, in the US, on average, employees waste 2.8 hours per week dealing with unproductive conflict.
Here's the bottom line: For every person driving you crazy, there is probably at least one person that you are driving crazy as well. If you want to reduce misunderstanding and conflict, as well as collaborate with others to achieve results, it really starts by looking straight in the mirror. Are you ready to do a communication audit, to take a look at your own beliefs about communication? Are you ready to take ownership of your impact on others and practice powerful strategies to build accountability and collaboration at work?
Check out our book Peer Power: Transforming Workplace Relationships, co-authored by Cynthia Clay and Ray Olitt.
Thursday, October 2, 20140 Comments
Thursday, August 28, 20140 Comments
Friday, August 1, 20140 Comments
Thursday, July 10, 20140 Comments
Thursday, June 5, 20140 Comments
Thursday, May 1, 20140 Comments
Friday, April 4, 20140 Comments
Monday, March 3, 20141 Comments
Thursday, January 30, 20140 Comments
Tuesday, January 7, 20140 Comments
Thursday, December 5, 20130 Comments
Friday, March 15, 20130 Comments
Wednesday, January 2, 20130 Comments
Wednesday, December 26, 20120 Comments
Tuesday, November 27, 20121 Comments
Monday, October 29, 20120 Comments
Monday, October 15, 20120 Comments
Wednesday, October 10, 20120 Comments
Friday, October 5, 20120 Comments
Monday, September 24, 20120 Comments
Friday, August 31, 20120 Comments
Friday, August 17, 20122 Comments
Friday, August 3, 20120 Comments
Thursday, August 2, 20120 Comments
Wednesday, August 1, 20120 Comments
Tuesday, July 31, 20120 Comments
Monday, July 30, 20121 Comments
Thursday, July 26, 20120 Comments
Wednesday, July 25, 20120 Comments
Tuesday, July 24, 20121 Comments
Monday, July 23, 20120 Comments
Saturday, July 21, 20120 Comments
Tuesday, July 17, 20120 Comments
Tuesday, July 10, 20120 Comments
Monday, July 2, 20120 Comments
Tuesday, June 26, 20120 Comments
Monday, June 4, 20120 Comments
Wednesday, May 30, 20120 Comments
Thursday, May 17, 20120 Comments
Monday, April 30, 20120 Comments
Wednesday, April 25, 20120 Comments
Wednesday, April 18, 20120 Comments
Thursday, April 5, 20122 Comments
Monday, March 5, 20120 Comments
Tuesday, January 31, 20121 Comments
Wednesday, January 11, 20121 Comments
Monday, January 2, 20120 Comments
Thursday, December 29, 20110 Comments
Thursday, December 22, 20110 Comments
Monday, December 5, 20110 Comments
Tuesday, November 22, 20110 Comments
Wednesday, November 16, 20110 Comments
Wednesday, November 9, 20110 Comments
Tuesday, November 1, 20110 Comments
Wednesday, October 19, 20112 Comments
Thursday, October 6, 20110 Comments
Monday, October 3, 20110 Comments
Wednesday, September 21, 20111 Comments
Monday, September 12, 20110 Comments
Thursday, September 8, 20110 Comments
Sunday, September 4, 20112 Comments
Thursday, September 1, 20110 Comments
Tuesday, August 30, 20110 Comments
Friday, August 26, 20110 Comments
Monday, August 22, 20110 Comments
Monday, August 1, 20110 Comments
Wednesday, July 27, 20110 Comments
Friday, July 22, 20110 Comments
Tuesday, July 5, 20110 Comments
Thursday, June 23, 20112 Comments
Monday, June 6, 20110 Comments
Wednesday, May 18, 20110 Comments
Monday, May 2, 20110 Comments
Wednesday, April 20, 20112 Comments
Wednesday, April 13, 20111 Comments
Monday, April 4, 20111 Comments
Friday, March 25, 20111 Comments
Monday, March 7, 20110 Comments
Monday, February 28, 20110 Comments
Wednesday, February 16, 20110 Comments
Monday, February 14, 20110 Comments
Wednesday, February 9, 20110 Comments
Friday, February 4, 20110 Comments
Monday, January 31, 20110 Comments
Friday, January 28, 20110 Comments
Tuesday, January 25, 20110 Comments
Tuesday, January 18, 20111 Comments
Tuesday, December 14, 20101 Comments
Friday, December 10, 20100 Comments
Wednesday, December 8, 20100 Comments
Thursday, December 2, 20101 Comments
Tuesday, November 23, 20100 Comments
Wednesday, November 17, 20100 Comments
Friday, November 12, 20100 Comments
Thursday, November 11, 20100 Comments
Thursday, November 4, 20101 Comments
Wednesday, November 3, 20101 Comments
Friday, October 29, 20100 Comments
Thursday, October 28, 20100 Comments
Thursday, October 21, 20101 Comments
Wednesday, October 20, 20100 Comments
Thursday, October 14, 20100 Comments
Wednesday, October 13, 20100 Comments
Thursday, October 7, 20100 Comments
Wednesday, October 6, 20100 Comments
Friday, October 1, 20100 Comments
Thursday, September 30, 20101 Comments
Wednesday, September 29, 20100 Comments
Tuesday, September 28, 20100 Comments
Friday, September 24, 20100 Comments
Tuesday, September 21, 20101 Comments
Friday, September 17, 20100 Comments
Thursday, September 16, 20100 Comments
Tuesday, September 14, 20102 Comments
Tuesday, September 14, 20100 Comments
Friday, September 10, 20100 Comments
Thursday, September 9, 20102 Comments
Wednesday, September 8, 20101 Comments
Tuesday, September 7, 20100 Comments
Monday, September 6, 20102 Comments
Friday, September 3, 20100 Comments
Thursday, September 2, 20101 Comments
Wednesday, September 1, 20102 Comments
Tuesday, August 31, 20103 Comments
Thursday, August 26, 20100 Comments
Tuesday, August 24, 20102 Comments
Tuesday, August 24, 20103 Comments
Monday, August 23, 20100 Comments
Friday, August 20, 20100 Comments
Thursday, August 19, 20100 Comments
Tuesday, August 17, 20100 Comments
Tuesday, August 17, 20100 Comments
Monday, August 16, 20101 Comments
Friday, August 13, 20101 Comments
Thursday, August 12, 20100 Comments
Tuesday, August 10, 20100 Comments
Tuesday, August 10, 20100 Comments
Monday, August 9, 20100 Comments
Tuesday, August 3, 20100 Comments
Wednesday, March 17, 20100 Comments
Wednesday, July 8, 20091 Comments
Wednesday, July 1, 20090 Comments
Wednesday, June 17, 20091 Comments
Thursday, May 14, 20090 Comments
Friday, May 8, 20090 Comments
Thursday, April 30, 20090 Comments
Monday, April 27, 20090 Comments
Monday, April 27, 20090 Comments