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Archive for Empowerment

Traditionelle Organisationsentwicklung führt in eine Sackgassse




Heute erklärte ich den Teilnehmern des HR Summit beim 12. Deutschen Corporate Social Responsibility Forum warum traditionelle Organisationsentwicklung in die Sackgasse führt, weil es auf den falschen Annahmen und überholten Management-Theorien basiert.  Stattdessen plädiere ich für einen agilen Ansatz der organisatorischen Potenzialentfaltung.  Ein entsprechendes Programm entwickelte bei und für Magna International.  In der Kürze der Zeit war es nicht möglich, näher auf dieses Programm einzugehen.  Einen kleinen Einblick gibt die Kopie meiner heutigen Präsentation; bitte hier klicken.

Posted in: Empowerment, innovation, Keynotes, Leadership, Uncategorized

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A dream coming true – the ideal company


Doing what I love, loving what I do. No more, no less. An international organization and environment where people are open for the unique and unprecedented opportunities of the digital transformation, also known as the Industrial Revolution 4.0. It is a place where you can explore, discover and share new practices of business, leadership and client relationships. A work-life balance doesn’t exist only on paper but is lived, day in day out. Simply because people love what they do and do what they love. It is a balance between work and life; not in the sense that work is bad and life is good, but because both are positive and inspiring.

My own role is right in the middle of this environment. Helping people and organizations unfold their potential, growing ideas into concrete business results that delight customers, contributing to a happy workplace, and ensuring and sustaining business value through continuous self-improvement. It is role that mixes practices of empowerment, facilitating, training, consulting, managing, learning and sharing.

So, where, you might ask, is this place, this work? – As mentioned above, this is my dream, this is my vision, this is what I am driving for. It could be an existing company already practicing mindful leadership and nurturing a healthy, lively and agile community. Or it could be an organization or company that is realizing that traditional management practices of the 20th century no longer provides the answers to today’s challenges and therefore open up for modern human, holistic and mindful approaches to leadership and business in the Creative Economy. Those are organizations and companies that are or will become the masters of the digital transformation. Those are the employers of choice because they make a difference, serve the community and leave a positive dent in the universe. This is the place where I want to be and contribute to.

Illusion, phantasy? Or, can you pinpoint or recommend any organizations that are on the path described above and are looking for support? If so, please share.

Posted in: Creative Economy, Empowerment

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2016: what’s to BE


Yes, I do have a number of new year’s resolution.

colored_custom_year_text_11844Here is a list of topics I would like to write about:

  • Building a Happy Workplace
  • Forget HR: Why “HR” is detrimental to organizational health and business growth (and what we need to do instead)
  • The forgotten dimension of innovation
  • Who ought to be the real business enabler in an organization
  • 1+1+1 = x.  Measuring organizational performance
  • Shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world
  • Innovation: it’s all about people
  • Leadership in the Creative Economy
  • HIP Camp 2016 – Driving Performance, Inspiring Innovation
  • What we can learn from Social Businesses
  • Myopia of traditional economic theory

Conferences I will speak at or plan to attend are the following:

  • KAS meets WEF, Davos, Switzerland (Jan 20-24, 2016)
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Forum, Ludwigsburg, Germany (April 5-6, 2016)
  • Global Scrum Gathering, Orlando, Florida, USA (April 18-20, 2016)
  • PMI Global Congress EMEA, Barcelona, Spain (May 9-11, 2016)
  • PMI Global Congress North America, San Diego, CA, USA (Oct 2016)
  • Global Peter Drucker Forum, Vienna, Austria (Nov 2016)
  • HIP Camp 2016 – Driving Performance, Inspiring Innovation (location and date tbd)

It’s not all about work.

This is why I am looking forward to

  • Family time
  • Mindfulness. Being and motivate to be
  • Music: picking up my saxophone and clarinet again
  • Sports: skiing and snowboarding, taekwondo (3rd Dan?), running, hiking
  • the great outdoors

In other words, there are a lot of people, activities and things to look forward to in 2016.

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

 

Posted in: Centeredness, Company News, Creative Economy, Empowerment, Happiness, Institute, Keynotes, Leadership, TJEP company, Upcoming Events

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Surviving in a Matrix: Simple Techniques for Effective Project Management in a Matrix Organization


You love projects.  You love good project management.  And you love the exhilaration of power teams and project success.  BUT you are struck in a matrix?  Not the matrix of the movie.  But the matrix of a strong line organization where projects have all but a miserable existence.  The line organization is dominating, politics is prevalent, people care more about securing their own posts, maintaining the status quo and thus focus on their daily tasks, not willing to look outside their box or even beyond their own desk.  Projects?!  Gee, hell no!  Those are activities where you have to work with people from other departments, maybe even in cross-functional teams.  But, what do those folks know about my area of expertise.  Nothing!  Hence, it is better to keep things as they are.

Does this sound familiar? Or, have you ever experienced or heard of such an organization and setting? – If so, continue reading.

Surviving in a Matrix: Simple Techniques for Effective Project Management in a Matrix Organization from Thomas Juli

On Thursday, 2 October 2014 from 11:30 AM – 1 PM EST I gave a free webinar for the IT Metrics and Productivity Institute.  The webinar is entitled “Surviving in a Matrix: Simple Techniques for Effective Project Management in a Matrix Organization”.  In this webinar I introduce a simple, yet very pragmatic approach to structure, plan and set-up a project in a matrix organization with strong line management and a weak project culture. I explain the need and value for developing a compelling project motivation, vision and objectives. I outline how to engage stakeholders in building a work package structure, outlining a project organization, implementing an early warning system for plan deviations, establishing risk analysis and management. Last but not least, I elaborate on how to cultivate continuous learning in a matrix organization.
Don’t stay stuck in your matrix.  Learn how to survive in your matrix, introduce effective project management techniques and become a master of your own project success.

Posted in: Empowerment, Leadership, Project Management, Project success

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Select for success – with happiness


In April I will be a speaker at this year’s Project Zone Congress in Frankfurt, Germany.  Listen to what I shared in an interview with Stamford Global.  The whole interview is available at http://projectzonecongress.com/news-articles/select-success-interview-thomas-juli

http://www.stamfordglobal.com/userfiles/PZC2014/Badges/stamford_badges_05-02.pngSelect for success – interview with Thomas Juli

Submitted by Helina.Pukk on Fri, 2014-01-24 15:59

Thomas Juli is an experienced professional on leadership in project and program management, consulting and training, as well as in teaching. He previously worked for SAP, Sapient and Cambridge, but has now committed to helping others improve their leadership skills through which to experience more project success. He is a welcomed quest at conferences and his book has gained lots of followers. We recently talked to Thomas about what is needed for project success and what happiness has got to do with it.

Excerpts:

Thomas Juli: First of all, whenever I say this title people say ‘Well what do you mean by happiness and how does this fit in?’ and I explain ‘You know, there is an equation for project success and that is: LEADERSHIP + HAPPINESS = PROJECT SUCCESS’. And people look at me asking What do you mean? –Because happiness can be a result of project success’ and I say ‘No. It’s the other way around.’ For example, people say ‘I want to be promoted to the head of PMO and then I will be happy’, and then they achieve this stage. Are they happier? No, because life continues. Happiness is not linked with a career move or to anything. But if you’re happy internally and the team is happy, you can really create a lot of things because team synergy is “Team Magic”, what I call it.

Listen to the podcast here or download the whitepaper of the complete interview.

http://www.project-roadmap.com/project-portal/attachments/download/971

 

Posted in: Empowerment, Happiness, Institute, Leadership, WOW projects

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Top tips for project mangers who want to step up and become great leaders


Susanne Madsen, author of The Project Management Coaching Workbook: 6 steps to unleashing your potential, has recently asked me what my top tips are for project mangers who want to step up and become authentic and impactful leaders who add real value, build great teams and get results.  She would like to include my input in her new book “7 Keys To Help You Transform From Project Manager To Project Leader”.  Here is my response:

Develop the MVP’s of project success

MVPThe big question project leaders need to ask is what they really want to achieve; on behalf of the project and on behalf of the team. This is not just about project deliverables, but about project success as a process. It is about considering the overall picture with all its constituent parts. Project leaders understand the purpose/motivation, vision and objectives of the project.  And they know that the heart and soul of every project is the team. They ensure that the team has a common understanding of the MVP – Motivation, Vision and Project Objectives – as it gives the team a strong common denominator.

  • Motivation addresses the purpose of the project.
  • Vision describes the ideal state after the identified problem has been resolved.  It gives the project a direction.
  • Project Objectives clarify and qualify the vision and describe the stepping stones toward that vision.

Ask ‘What makes you happy?’

In my own experience, most project teams may know the project objectives. But they often lack the understanding of the overall meaning of them, how they were developed and, more importantly, why.  But, it should not stop there. As a project leader, what you should do next is ask your individual team members about their personal MVPs. That is, what motivates them to be on the project? What do they envision for themselves personally and what are their personal objectives and aspirations? Give your individual team members time for reflection, and then ask each person to share their MVPs. This requires openness and trust; two ingredients of great leadership. As a leader reach out to your team and create an environment where it feels right to share this.

If you find it difficult to answer the MVP questions, ask: what makes you happy and why? How do you want to feel on this project? How do you want to be treated? And how do you want to treat others in their pursuit of personal happiness on the project? “[After all,] the only way to do great work is to love what you do, and to do what you love” (Scharmer, C. O., & Kaufer, K. (2013). Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies (p. 287). San Francisco: Berret-Koehler Publishers).

Spark Team Magic

The personal MVPs complement the MVP of the project. And yet, it shouldn’t stop there. The third dimension is the MVP of your team and community. Hence, ask your team what your MVP as a team should be. How does it fit in with the MVP of the project and how do you accommodate the individual MVPs within it? I have found these MVP exercises the most valuable investment in a project.

Leaders understand these three dimensions. They know that successful projects are not just about projects, but about people and a group of people forming a team or even a community.

The overlap of these three levels of MVPs can spark a WOW project where there is common understanding of the motivation and direction of the project as well as the drivers, visions and objectives of each individual and the team as a whole. This is a very, very strong foundation for project success.

 

New Upcoming Book by Susanne Madsen:
“7 Keys To Help You Transform From Project Manager To Project Leader”

This is the preliminary title of Susanne Madsen’s new book which has been commissioned by Kogan Page.  The goal of the book is to transform project managers into project leaders. The book aims to do so by shifting the project manager’s predominant managerial, reactive and task oriented mindset into one of empowerment, accountability, risk-taking and proactiveness – and to show them how to better focus on and lead people

Posted in: Book Recommendations, Empowerment, Happiness, Leadership, WOW projects

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Your Path to Happy Leadership and Project Success


WebinarankündigungToday, 18 September 2013, I will be giving a free webinar for the PMI Information Systems Community of Practice entitled “Leadership, Happiness and Project Success”.   Follow this LINK to learn more about dial-in information

2 Ingredients for project success

In this webinar I am exploring two crucial ingredients for project success: empowering leadership and happiness.  I explains why and how leadership can help build successful projects by actively accounting for happiness on the individual, group, project and organizational levels.  Attendees will learn how to find a clear focus of what they really want to achieve, create a strategy through principle centered leadership, resolve project issues and align their priorities for happiness and project success.

Target Audience:  YOU

The presentation targets anyone who is sincerely interested in finding new and transforming ways to project success.  These can be individuals, project managers, project team members, line managers, line organizations, companies or social groups.

Free Registration

Registration is free for active PMI members.  If you are not a PMI member and still want to view the presentation, have a look at my handout on Slideshare. Or, if you like to receive a pdf version of the presentation, please contact me directly.

What’s next?

Institute FolieIn my webinar I am talking about my personal vision of helping build an Institute for Project and Business Transformation.  This cannot be done by oneself.  Instead, it takes the effort of like-minded people and a strong, performing team.  On this token I want to invite you to join this great effort.  Stay tuned for updates on this new and exciting project.

 

Posted in: Centeredness, Company News, Empowerment, Happiness, Leadership, Project Management, Project success, Training

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What I have learned about leadership as a ski-instructor


It is the heat of the summer and I am thinking of skiing?! Well, yes, why not.  I am thinking of skiing lots of time, regardless of the season.  Why?  Because it is one of my dearest passions.  Hence, there is no such thing as season-based thinking.  But there is another reason why I bring up skiing. It is through my many years as a ski-instructor that I have learned a LOT about leadership.  Let me share with you why, how and what elements I find critical in and for effective leadership:

Passion

I have been a passionate skier and snowboarder for as long as I can remember.  Sharing this passion in the form of teaching skiing and snowboarding is rewarding and fund.  My clients as well as other skiers can see and feel my passion which is contagious and thus can help them to improve their skiing.

P1090337Fun

Well, do I have to add anything.  Of course, I love skiing and teaching because it is FUN.

Empowering people

Sharing my experience and expertise with others gives me the tickles.  I cannot micromanage my clients, do a move for them.  I can show them, encourage them and help them build their own skills set through a progression of exercises.  But they have to do it.

Listening

A good instructor is a good listener.  And not only verbal listening.  You have to be able to read the body and emotional language of your clients.

Motivation – Vision – Goals

Good ski instructors can quickly find out what motivates their clients to come to a ski “lesson”, what their vision is and what their goals are.  They may not always be feasible.  But that’s not the point.  Understanding what drives your clients is a foundation for a joyful day and building a good learning environment.

Roadmap, planning

Yes, as a ski instructor you do plan your lesson.  The longer you have taught the more experience you have, the bigger the bag of tricks you bring a long.  At the same you know that it is futile to plan every single detail of your lesson.  It is not about the lesson plan a ski instructor may have, it is about the client.  And they are on vacation and may change their plans of the day.  If in this case you stick to your plan, you lose your client.  Hence, a plan is a good orientation if you stay flexible.  This brings me to the next point …

Let it happen

Learning how to ski cannot be accomplished in a class room.  You have to go outside and do it.  For the ski instructor this means you have to give your clients the chance to practice, practice, practice and ski, ski, ski.  Don’t try to control your clients. Let it happen and go with the flow.

Playing

Teaching is fun and rewarding. But it is not limited to instructing.  Playing, i.e., skiing, is and always has to be a central part of your successful lesson.

Frustration

I would have to lie if I claim that every single ski lesson is a bliss.  This is not the case.  There are days when things just don’t go as planned, everything is off track.  Frustration looms and it is just a bad day.  This is important, too, for you appreciate the normal and better days even more.

Corporate identity

I have worked at many ski resorts for quite a few companies.  Teaching skiing is always fun, no doubt.  And yet, it makes a big difference if you can also identify yourself with the mission of the company you work for.  At Vail Ski Resorts one of the corporate mottos is “Making vacation dreams come true”.  During the onboarding workshops prior to my first (of nine) seasons at Vail we were explained that it is expected from us to live by this motto.  Well, this wasn’t difficult at all.  “Making vacation dreams come true” means that as a ski instructor you go the extra mile to make a ski lesson a memorable experience to your cllient.  And whenever they have fun and enjoy themselves, you do, too.  Things flow freely.  Big smiles.

Sharpen your saw / continuous improvement

Being a fully certified ski does not mean that I have stopped training.  The opposite is the case.  Formally, every ski instructor has to attend 2-3 days of training every other year.  Personally, I am always looking for good training opportunities.  These can be formal trainings or skiing with peers and asking them for feedback.  If you want to stay on the cutting edge you have to do something about it.  This means that you always have to sharpen your saw.

Precaution and preparation

Skiing is an outdoor activity.  Weather in the mountains can change within minutes.  There may be a blue sky in the morning and a severe snow storm in the afternoon.  Good ski instructors take necessary precaution for themselves and their client.

Enjoying the environment

When was the last time you explained to a client “Welcome to my office!” and the client looked at you with awe and said “I wish I could spend some more time here.”  My office when I teach skiing = the mountains and the great outdoors.  They are not “my” office.  I may use the space.  And I am grateful for it.

Identity

Sometimes I wonder what it is that I love so much about skiing and teaching skiing.  Good question.  I believe it that the fact that teaching skiing gives me the opportunity to integrate passion and thus happiness with my work.  It is all one at one point.

Posted in: Empowerment, Happiness, Leadership, Miscellaneous

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You have to behave like a kid to become a leader

Can trainee programs teach leadership? Yes, but most of them don’t

I conducted a project leadership for members of a trainee program.  Attendees were motivated and full of energy.  Participation was very good and some of the insights and outcomes of the interactive exercises were even astounding.  Then, toward the end, the bubble of excitement bursted when one of the attendees asked for more detailed instructions how to apply “my” 5 leadership principles for project success.  “Eh, what!?” I thought. “Have I missed anything? Didn’t we just go through a number of exercises that addressed the very same question?” – What went wrong?

108088_web_R_K_by_Jerzy Sawluk_pixelio.deYou have to act like a little kid again to become a leader

What went wrong was that I mistakenly assumed that the trainees to think on their own, to leave their old perceptions behind at least for a few moments and to walk on their own.  Sorry, this was a mistake. What I didn’t understand or at least forgot that students these days have been drilled to memorize whatever the teacher gives them.  The less they challenge the material, the better.  For it is more important to get a good grade and pass.
This is legitimate and it works for the grand majority of people.  However, if you want to train leaders it is a dead end.  You have to take (most) students back to when they were little kids asking the annoying “WHY?” question over and over again.  And – you have to encourage these leadership trainees to go ahead and ask the WHY? question on a daily basis.  Even if they face obstacles, opposition and rejection.  If they don’t have the guts and maybe even don’t see the necessity to take these steps, they should not claim to learn something about leadership.  They may become decent managers but probably never reach the level of leadership.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGood trainee programs build playgrounds

On this token, can trainee programs teach leadership? – Yes, if they start teaching their trainees the necessity and value of asking WHY? and to start walking on their own.  – Luckily, they do exist. – If instead trainee programs focus on technical and old-school management skills, forget it.

Posted in: Agile, Empowerment, innovation, Leadership, Training

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What are self-organizing teams?


Following up some of the questions in my last webinar on March 6 I want to explain what distinguishes a self-organizing team from a manager-led and self-governing team.

self-organizing teamsManager-led teams are defined and led by someone from the outside.  A manager appoints a project manager and the project manager becomes the boss of a team. The team reports to the project manager; the project manager to the project sponsor or another manager.  The team does whatever the manager tells it to do.  It is an extension of a linear hierarchy we still can witness in many organizations these days.

In contrast to manager-led teams are self-governing teams.  These teams do not have exposed leaders at all.  Indeed there is not even an outside manager.  Teams are self-selected in the sense that team members have found each other and work on something their teams decide.  The directions of such teams come from the teams themselves.  A mob may serve as a good example.

Self-organizing teams are somewhere between manager-led and self-governing teams.  While the overall direction of the work of self-organizing teams may be defined from the outside, self-organizing teams decide by themselves how to execute these tasks, manage processes and monitor progress.  Self-organizing teams design their own activities that cumulate in final project deliveries.

Questions from the webinar:

Dinesh K: How do you rate productivity of different team (managed vs. self-organized vs. self-governed team)?

Productivity can be high in either team.  However, it is most likely that self-organizing teams have a greater productivity in the long haul.

Thomas D.: Do Managed Teams use teamwork?

Yes, they can.  However, don’t necessarily expect team magic, i.e., team synergy effects, to evolve.  Often a “team” which is manager led is more like a group of indviduals.  In case the manager empowers the team, true teamwork can evolve.

Posted in: Agile, Empowerment, Leadership

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