gender inclusive

Why your business isn’t as gender inclusive as you think, and how to change that.

‘’How gender inclusive is your business?’’

‘’It’s very inclusive. About 50% of our employees are women. We have a new policy which encourages female recruitment.’’

‘’That’s great! How many women do you have on your board?’’

‘’Oh. One.’’

‘’And how many female execs do you have?’’

‘’Umm…one.’’

‘’OK. What about your senior leadership team? What percentage of women do you have there?’’

‘’Yeah, maybe 10%? But we have around 20% at middle management level, and probably 40% or more at the lower levels.’’

…….

At the moment, this is pretty typical of most businesses. According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, only 16% of CEOs and 27% of Key Management Personnel in Australia are women. Businesses are conscious of the need and the benefits of having a better gender balance across the organisation, and they are trying to get there.

But gender diversity is about more than numbers.

It’s about what is really going on inside the organisation.

A report released last year by The Boston Consulting Group suggests what’s really stopping your business from moving forward with gender diversity. Do you know what it comes down to? The report says it’s a “a mismatch between the perceptions of women and those of senior leaders—who are overwhelmingly male at most organizations—regarding the main challenges to achieving gender diversity.”

Mismatched perceptions.

They give this example. When asked, women say their biggest blocks to building a leadership career are obstacles to promotion and issues with retention. Male leaders think the problem lies in recruitment, so businesses are focusing their gender diversity efforts on a system which is not the main issue.

Another example the report gave was the issue of flexible work programs. Across the board, men and women ranked it as the most effective gender diversity intervention, yet senior males ranked it at number eight.

What it boils down to is this.

Until you go out and talk to the people involved – the women in your business – you’re never going to know what the real issues are. You can’t be a gender inclusive organisation if you’re not dealing with the biases or mismatched perceptions behind the decisions which are being made.

You can’t solve a problem when you only have half the information you need.

Take a look at the gender breakdown throughout your business. Where are the females well represented? Where does that representation stop?

Now go out and find out why that is. Talk to your people, male and female, and you’ll be closer to the truth than you’ve ever been.

Now is the time to show leadership in gender equity and to take steps towards improvement.

To help your current and emerging female leaders, consider enrolling them in brave Women Leading so they learn to understand and use the skills they have. Strong female leaders will add balance to your business and ultimately boost your bottom line results. Call today on 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

 

Blue Ocean Leadership

3 Steps to Motivating Your Organisation’s Key Employees with Blue Ocean Leadership

One of the top challenges of leading change in your organization as you leave the “bloody waters” of direct competition to create new markets and demand in the open spaces of “blue ocean”, is getting your people to “opt-in” and “buy” your leadership. Motivating your employees to reach their full potential and give their best efforts is a significant challenge. After all, when most of us are given the choice, we tend to prefer sticking to the status quo in the mistaken belief that it promotes stability for ourselves and our company. Change is scary business.

However, if we want to be innovative and find our way to less competitive, open market spaces and maximize both our profit potential and the utility that we offer our customers, we must not only accept change, we must lead it.

It’s absolutely imperative that as leaders we find a way to sell our leadership to the key influencers within our business. We need these key players “on our side” so that they can help to “tip the scale” and help to motivate all employees to get on board and commit to being fully focused team members. Blue Ocean leaders lead change and engage employees so that they “opt-in”. These fully engaged team members take ownership and engage our customers who in turn engage with our non-customers and bring them on board. In this way, companies can grow both rapidly and at a lower cost.

The following 3 steps, inspired by ‘Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant’, can help you to get your employees to “opt-in” to your leadership and fully engage with your customers.

  • Place Emphasis on the Acts and Activities of Your Leaders
    Leaders can boost the motivation and results of their team by providing regular, constructive feedback on their team members? acts and actions. This practice should be implemented at each level of leadership so that each level focuses less on the personalities, values or abilities of individuals but rather coaches them on what concrete steps they need to take to improve their performance. By giving guidance and direction, any employee and any leader can improve their performance over time. This will motivate employees and leaders at all levels to constantly seek to improve their performance and give their best efforts.
  • Ask Your Employees to Help You Help Them
    Ask your direct reports and other team members what they need from you to be able to perform their job the best. After all, who knows the most about what is needed to accomplish a task or reach a goal than the one who must perform it? Sometimes, despite their best intentions, some managers hold their employees back and prevent them from reaching their full potential by not giving them what they need, when they need it, in the amount that they need. Your own people are your best resource for what it takes to serve your customers, cut costs, or innovate operations. So, give them a stake in the results by seeking their direct input.
  • Empower Your People at Every Level
    Micromanagement kills innovation and it can lead to resentment, pettiness and even laziness among employees. Many of us have had the misfortune of either working for such a company or being one of its customers. For example, as a customer, perhaps there was a problem with your order, and when you contacted the company to try to fix it, no one could help you, or it was a big hassle. As an employee, you could see where improvements could be made to lower your employer’s costs or improve service to customers, but the organization had no structure for you to make your suggestions heard or you had no power to effect change. Eventually, you stopped shopping there or you stopped putting forth your best effort and you just started putting your time in so you could collect your pay cheque. This is a common scenario at many companies, especially larger ones, and in time many of these companies will ultimately fail.

You can motivate your employees to put forth their best efforts and claim ownership by empowering them at all levels of management. Your front line managers should be serving your customers, not their bosses. They should be empowered to make decisions that meet the customers? needs and solve their problems. The middle managers in your organization should be there to coach rather than dominate and control your front line and senior management should be focused on the larger goals and mission of your company rather than micromanaging day to day business operations.

By following these three steps, your employees will take ownership of your company and their actions. They will become focused on seeking ways to improve and innovate the day to day operations of your company, which will help your company to grow rapidly while decreasing costs and increasing service to your customers.

How can you use Blue Ocean Leadership to help your organization sail into new market space? If the idea seems too big to contemplate, talk to us about our Leadership Coaching programs and how we can help you navigate ahead.

1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

 

Building New Skills and Talents

3 Keys to Easily Building New Skills and Talents!

We are really good at the things we do often and because we are good at them, we choose to do them often.

We tend to ignore the things we are not so good at, and that is a pity when there are simple ways to turn these into talents and skills, too.

Today I want to show you 3 keys to easily building new skills and talents.

1. Understand how your brain works.

Let’s take a look at the brain.
Every time you do something regularly, you are building up a strong pathway through the nervous system and brain. You are building up the myelin in specific areas.
Myelin is an insulating layer that forms around nerves, including those in the brain and spinal cord. The purpose of the myelin sheath is to allow impulses to transmit quickly and efficiently along with the nerve cells. So the more often you perform a task or action, the smoother the ride is for the impulses being sent around your body.
You can expect that the first few times you perform a new task, the ride will be a little bumpy but we know that through repetition, you will improve your performance because your brain will help you do it.

 

2. You must practice with full attention.

In a book called The Talent Code, Brian Coyle tells us that deep practice can increase skill up to ten times faster than conventional practice.
So what is deep practice? It’s a form of attentive practice that fires off parts of the brain.

Coert Visser describes it like this:
The first step in deep practice is to look at the task at a whole. One way of doing this is to observe an experienced performer. A second step is to divide it into its smallest possible chunks (components) and practice and memorize these separately. Then, link them together in progressively larger groupings. A third step is to play with time, first slowing the action down and then speeding it up. Slowing down helps you to attend more closely to errors, creating a higher degree of precision.

So deep practice isn’t just about doing. It’s about analyzing, thinking and observing the task as it is done. It’s embedding it in the brain through extreme attention, and the struggle to perfect each component.

 

3. Be prepared to struggle.

You are learning something new so straight away you will be out of your comfort zone. Most of us hate making mistakes and find it really uncomfortable it we don’t get it right immediately. Yet it is often through struggle that we learn best –  the lessons really stay with us.
When we find a task difficult, we are forced to slow down and work at half pace or less. That gives us time to think as we act, engaging the full capacity of the brain in your learning experience.
Whenever you struggle from now on, know that you are learning something!

These are three important steps or techniques that you can use in your next skill development experience.

Please come back and let us know how you find applying these techniques to your learning.

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

Boosting Your Organisation’s Effectiveness

3 Steps To Boosting Your Organisation’s Effectiveness.

Leaders have a vital role in improving the effectiveness of their organization’s because at the end of the day it all comes down to the individuals and how functional they are when they work together under a skilled leader. Innovative leaders need to adopt a three-fold approach in order to bring about real change within their environment.

  1. Choice
  2. Recognition
  3. Accountability

 

CHOICE

You, as the leader, are the commonality; the person that brings everyone and everything together. Presenting information and telling your followers that ?this is the intended plan? will only get you so far. You want your team to understand your vision and enable them to make a choice in supporting you so it seamlessly becomes their vision as well. The wonderful thing about this process is that when your team members see others acting in a certain way, their brain kicks in with a process known as mirror neuron activity. What this means is that you only need a few hearty followers to show their support for your cause and others will soon follow.

 

RECOGNITION

Recognition, particularly before the group, can do wonders for the team as a whole. Positivity can spread like wildfire and celebration of work well done will set the standard necessary for others to achieve similar recognition. Meaningful rewards will also go a long way into benefitting organisational results; if someone is particularly keen to get an award such as an afternoon off then they are certainly going to do their best to achieve it. Knowing your team and understanding “what” will be a motivational factor to “who”, is all part and parcel of being a great leader.

 

ACCOUNTABILITY

I like the word accountability because it can have such a positive effect on a team but too often the word gets associated with negative connotations such as blame or criticism. By allowing your organization to be aligned with those who choose to support you, then your team will go that one step further and understand that they have to be committed to the cause via both their actions and the results. Understanding the “why” of what your team do from both their perspective and yours will enhance their significance and worth as part of the team.

Choice, recognition and accountability are three very strong words. When used appropriately by a leader, they can strengthen an organization’s dramatically particularly when they are directed towards the key influencers.

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au