Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gen X vs. Gen Y - Hype

In an earlier post, I raised issues with Gen X and Gen Y stereotyping and taking the hype beyond what the data really says. I was happy today to see that the Society for Human Development has put out a publication on Generational Differences that goes even further than my warning. The publication, which is based on a seven year study by the Center for Creative Leadership, lays out the following on Gen Y:

  • Employees of different generations actually actually want a lot of the same things from their work.
  • Global demographics, education levels, living costs, economic issues, and labor market conditions may have the strongest influence on the way different generations view work.
  • Other findings.. regardless of age,
    • Resistance to change is more about what you stand to lose or gain.
    • Loyalty to the employer is more about your place in the company hierarchy than your age.
    • most employees seem to what security and a balance work and personal lives.
My hat is off to Jennifer Deal who is the study's lead author!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Is your work meaningful?

The need or drive to seek pleasure (Freud)

and the relentless pursuit of power (Adler)

were really just attempts to cover up,

but not necessarily fill, a

“void of meaning”

that existed in the lives of these individuals.

-Alex Pattakos on Viktor Frankl’s principle on the “search for meaning”

Thursday, November 22, 2007

1992 Olympics - Derek Redmond

In the spirit of thanksgiving here in the USA.. I want to give thanks for all that touch my life with love and leadership. I thought it would be nice today to share a video that reminds us all of how even when things are not so good.. we can reach forward and do great things... In one of the the greatest of Olympic moments, Derrick Redmond demonstrates what it means to be a champion!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

BIG QUESTION: Top Reasons People Consider Leaving Their Jobs?

If it is not succession planning.. it is retention that seems to be getting the most attention among HR and T&D experts these days. Leaders know that a huge workforce is retiring and that there will not be as many workers to replace them. Human capital may be more valuable than oil in 15 years....

A colleague of mine and I are working on some research related to retention. We know from previous research that most of us have thought about leaving our current job at least once or twice. Of course, we often do not act on these thoughts, but the thoughts themselves tell us something about retention.

You can help out a great deal by either responding to this blog with a comment, or sending me a private e-mail. Please feel free to respond to the blog in an anonymous post. It should not take you long to answer just one question.

The last time something happened that made you think your current job is not the one you want to be in... what was it that made you think about leaving that job?

Please share this post with as many people as you can.. I would love to get as many people as possible to respond.. If I get a good response, I hope to post a summary of the best of the posts and the most dominate themes..

Monday, November 12, 2007

CISCO Star Trek Show

I believe that we will see many new things in social networking in the next few years. Much of what we are doing now is the tip of the iceberg... Here is just one example of what I mean by tip of the iceberg. Innovation usually takes 20 years to mature and become viable, so take a look at the following CISCO presentation and then think of what this means:

CISCO's Chambers demonstrates the art of Telepresense

Imagine.. 20 years from know this may be the most common way of communicating. What is the implication of being able to project your telepresense to millions of homes or businesses or call someone halfway around the world for a nice evening chat. I am sure you can think of lots of ways this could be used. Will we end up with American Idol on Steroids? Will this technology enable leaders to network greater than ever before and communicate to their followers in more frequent and richer ways. Imagine what this one piece of technology might mean to the darkest side of humanity.. could it allow the leaders of countries like Israel and Palatine to work together for peace knowing that they can interact daily without security concerns. So here is the question for you.. If you were a leader today and hand this technology, what is the one way you would seek to use it for the highest return on your time in the telepresence chamber? Here is mine:

I would use it to enhance what are boring teleconferences we have. This technology would add richness to the conversations and also encourage everyone to be mentally present. Now it is your turn:

Gotta run.. I am scheduled for a holodeck session in 5.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Emotional Attachement = Customer Engagement

Hot off the presses.. Human Sigma is HOT.. A must read for anyone who is interested in customer or employee engagement. John Fleming lays out for us all a great model for evaluating our efforts at customer satisfaction that is logical and research based. I love it and plan to use it to complement my already robust customer service programs. The model lays out four levels of Emotional Attachment.. the kind of attachment that has been proven to positively impact the financial statement. The model looks at these four dimensions:
  • Confidence: What are you doing to create customer trust in your services? Would your customers say you always deliver on your spoken and unspoken promises?
  • Integrity: Do you treat your customers fairly? When something goes wrong, do you apologize for the problem? How fair are you in resolving the problem?
  • Pride: Do your customers have a positive sense of association and identification with you? Are they proud to be your customer? Does their association with you mean something to them personally? Does it define their own self-concept of who they are?
  • Passion: Would your customers consider life not worth living without you? Ok.. that is a bit much, but the concept is the same... Are you indispensable? Would they drive across town for you? How much passion do they have for you?
I will use a easy example to bring these home.. Think of the last time you flew somewhere on an airplane, where things didn't quite go as well as you hoped.. close your eyes and imagine yourself waiting to get on the flight...

Confidence: How sure were you that the flight would leave on time? Were you confident that you would get where you were going on-time and with your baggage?

Integrity: Now whatever went wrong has happened.. they have been delayed, or your bags are gone.. etc..Do you think they treated you fairly? Did they demonstrate respect for you?

Pride: After the flight.. did you go around bragging on how you traveled.. I mean, did you become a poster child for the airline?

Passion: Now suppose you are going to fly again next week.. how important is it for you to fly on this same airline.. if they can only offer you bad connections or cost more, would you still fly on them?

Most likely, you answered no to all of these questions. It is sad, but I think the deck is stacked against airlines. They don't help themselves much, but they have little chance of overcoming the confidence dimension. Some have risen above.. take Southwest.. you could argue that they do most of these well. I have run into a few Southwest Air Passion Freaks in my days.. Better examples might be Apple or Nordstroms.

There is another piece of this pie as well.. It also links up to employee engagement:
Confidence is about knowing what to expect.. Integrity is about respect and recognition, Pride is about belonging and inclusion (FIRO), and Passion is about connecting to some future goal.. The result is employee engagement.. which equals retention. Incidentally, these concepts also overlap with concepts in Lencioni's new book on misery! :)