Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Inner game of Squash!

There are more lessons to be learnt while playing!

I'm a beginner in the game of Squash. The place where I'm staying in Bangalore has good players. I really admire their maturity in hand-holding the new comers!

There is one guy whom I would call 'Raj', is very supportive. He speaks less and shares good tips on playing well. Today is my 7th day in the court... after many sweaty evenings, wrist pain, shoulder pain and silly excuses for not going to court... today I enjoyed my game. I lost all the four games... but I could find myself improving.

I decided to try out the 'Inner game' technique. i.e. have more of positive self-talk about the shots, the placement and less of criticism. It works! When I'm talking positively about my shots and get ready for the next one... my placements improved!

I guess the same applies for work too!

Monday, November 29, 2010

TRUSTED ADVISOR.....#2 - Situational Awareness

Insight #2

How do I demonstrate the situational awareness? some people call it 'Presence of mind'; some prefer 'thinking on the feet'; while others simply say 'Presence'!

Clients would appreciate and engage better with consultants who have 'Situational Awareness'...

few pointers to improve SA: ABCDs of improving SA
- Attitude - It is important to wear an attitude that says, 'I understand your world and I can add value'

- Business Acumen - having a world view of 'how stuff works' in the business context would definitely help. Hard works pays here... do your homework before meeting the client!

- Confidence - modulating voice to suit the context and superior command over language (right vocabulary)

- Discuss freely - before meeting the client, talk to few whom you know about the subject and ask pertinent questions 5W & H framework could be a better place to start.

TRUSTED ADVISOR.....#1 - Arrogance vs Assertiveness!

Every day, I get to learn something new at work. These insights comes from any one or any part of the organization that I interact with and at any point of the day! (Including the 2 or 3 coffee breaks I take in a day).

I shall share one of the many 'insights' here today!

A Client always sees a business consultant as a trusted advisor. If one needs to measure up to that clients' expectations, then need to 'speak' like one!!

So, how do you demonstrate that you are a 'Trusted Advisor'?

There are many facets to this...

Insight #1 - Arrogance vs. Assertiveness:

How do one demonstrate assertiveness?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Executive Presence!

As I begin my journey in Consulting world, I realize the importance of demonstrating 'Executive Presence' in each and every conversation I have (including the coffee breaks!). It is a paradox! I have to be myself and at the same time can't afford to let my guard down! Which is a bit tricky, I say!

People create impressions about you and they want to
1. See or visualize how you would be in a client situation?
2. Experience your 'Senior Voice'
3. Feel proud that you are part of their team!

How does one model 'Executive Presence'?

It is more often 'felt' .... than something that can be 'spelt' :-)

EP includes,
a. Confidence in self
b. Attitude - bright, positive and shining!
c. Content Credibility - knowing my stuff!
d. Assertiveness - Guts to speak my mind.... even though the crowd may think otherwise!
e. Communication - saying it with elegance/poise! using less words but conveying powerful concepts which brings out in-depth understanding...

Will bring out more...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Transition of a Practitioner to a Management Consultant. How to make it smooth?

I've recently made transition from an Internal Consultant to a full fledged Organizational Transformation (Change Management) Consultant. I've learnt a lot of valuable lessons from the last 60 days of my journey. Sharing a few here.... Please feel to add from your own (if any):

1. Understand the 'Framework' your new organization is using. Every consulting firm will be using their own proprietary 'Framework' or 'Model' or 'the way things are done here'. It is extremely important to know this thoroughly and start talking that language.

2. Forget that you were an achiever in the past. In Marshall Goldsmith's words, "What got you here, won't get you there". Think that you are starting afresh! List down the new skills you may have to learn in the new place to succeed.

3. Draw / Visualize the new market landscape. Talk to as many people as you can and try to understand the new market that you are in. Who are the players (Competitors)? What do they offer? How different are you? etc

4. Understand the internal organization dynamics (read - Politics) - Who could be your sponsor? Who could sabotage your efforts? Who could get 'Inspired' by your ideas (they are so inspired and take your ideas as their own - mind you... they are not 'Stealing' ;-) _

5. Be assertive. You've to balance between an aggressive 'prove myself' mode and a submissive 'I'm just a beginner' mindset. You do certainly bring some value and thats the reason they've hired you. So be grounded and speak assertively.

If you've done such transition, please share your lessons...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

OB professor at the University of Lausann on MBTI and NLP

Professor John Antonakis has built a career out of ripping into the sacred cows of modern management theory

He says, “There are too many snake-oil merchants in the guise of consultants, trainers and management gurus. Very little of what they claim is supported by hard evidence, most of which has been totally ignored by those making a lot of money by selling models and techniques that simply don’t work,” said John Antonakis in a recent interview withTrainingZone.co.uk.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Game Changer - Who? Me!

Game Changers

Posted on October 11th, 2010 by admin in Innovation, Leadership

By Mike Myatt, Chief Strategy Officer, N2growth

At one time or another all great leaders experience something that is so big, so impactful, that it literally changes the landscape. It’s what I call a “Game Changer.” A game changer is that ah-ha moment that creates an extreme, disruptive advantage or improvement. What’s interesting is that the best leaders proactively focus on looking for game changers. Sure, great leaders never lose sight of their core business, they pay attention to managing risk, etc., but they spend far more energy intentionally searching for opportunity, but not just any opportunity – a game changer. In the text that follows I’ll not only provide you with a blue print for finding game changers, but I’ll also ask you to share your experiences and insights as well. I hope this post is a game changer for you…

Mike calls SMARTS


Organization Alignment - Demonstration

Stephen Covey has a very dramatic demonstration that he uses to illustrate organizational alignment. In a large room with hundreds of people, he asks everyone to close their eyes. Next he tells everyone to raise there arm and point to true north. He then tells people to open their eyes and look around.

Everyone is pointing in different directions. He then asks the group to imagine that they had to take ten steps in the direction they were pointing. Obviously total chaos would result. He then pulls out a compass and shows everyone where true north is. With a compass, everyone could take ten steps in the same direction and the entire large group would be going in the same direction without bumping into each other.

Achieving alignment is one of the most elusive dimensions of business success. Applying Covey's demonstration, the first step is deciding which direction do we want to go. Where is "true north" for our organization? This may sound simple, but many organizations fail to get agreement at the top levels of where true north is for the organization. Instead, functional or department leaders create their own idea of true north. For an organization to have a chance of achieving a high degree of alignment, there has to be one true north for the entire organization. The definition of true north includes the vision, mission, and values of the organization. It also includes the key strategic objectives that support the mission and vision.

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/management-articles/organizational-alignment-1076014.html#ixzz14Yct7mwb
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