Why coaching, why now

Why coaching, why now

20 Apr 2018

Why coaching, why now teaser
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Writing this week's newsletter on a Tuesday night because 1. am busy facilitating this week 2. we have staff development day Friday (more on that later). What's a Tuesday newsletter mean? More fun and a bit more candour (not that we skimp on it normally). This week we cover the buzzwords as a proxy for poor strategy, working backwards from your stakeholder (like Amazon) and what's trending.
If knowledge = Power, what does Execution = ?
Buzzword Bingo
Training and consulting gigs with our clients around strategy and innovation often mean addressing the...*clears throat*...buzzword in the room. I love AI and Big Data as much as the next geek, but Buzzwords get a bad wrap and become problematic when they get used to mask deeper issues.
It's like hearing Trump throw "China" out as the problem and solution to every issue. At a certain point, we all learned that he doesn't quite know what he is talking about. 

Next time someone in the room says they are going to use "AI to accelerate organisation growth via a blue ocean strategy through rapid experimentation and a fail fast culture" don't break your pencil in half and pop a blood vessel. Zoom out a bit and try to understand what core issue they are trying to resolve. In our experience the issues are usually:
  1. A lack of clear strategic objectives / direction
  2. Some recent failure to meet key goals
  3. Wanting to sound well informed
People are people and we generally just want to be viewed as competent and capable. Helping said person to instead address the underlying driver of the buzzword bonanza can go a long way.

HOWEVER, I recognise that sometimes, it's a race to the bottom with Joe from Strategy. When that happens, Jenny (our marketing guru) and I worked together to create an Innovation Buzzword Bingo card. Our gift to you, a copy of it below:

 I'm ready for ya, Joe
Day One, every day
Amazon is famous for a lot of cool things. Like Alexa, 2 hour shipping and being able to buy almost anything at any time. How do they get there, you might ask? Not by chance, I can assure you.

Amazon's strategy and culture are built on being a Day One organisation. What the h3ll does that mean, Travis? Simply put, it translates to a few things:
  1. Hunger - as organisations grow, they tend to get lazy, slow and complacent. Sound like somewhere you've worked?  Policies about policies become the norm and we get distracted from what our core purpose is. Amazon does the opposite. RELENTLESSLY pursuing the next strategy for customer innovation. They do this via a method they call Working Backwards from the Customer.
  2. Hustle - even when Amazon is rolling in the dough, they are constantly adapting and changing to create the next growth opportunity. AWS, their digital arm, releases 3, yes 3, significant updates A DAY. Last year they did over 1,300 major updates. That pace of change requires a robust and hustle driven culture.
  3. Leadership - this stuff doesn't happen on its own. Solid leadership at all levels has to be fostered as part of the DNA of the organisation. Leaders and their teams are truly empowered to create effective strategic change on a daily basis. Teams are high performing and drive towards shared objectives.
For our Team Development Day, I'll be taking our team through a workshop on Working Backwards from the Customer, which I learned about through Amazon while in Sydney last week. The jist of it is that customer core needs are fixed and the services/products/widgets we offer are the evolution of a response to that. If we deeply understand our stakeholder (customer) core needs, we can build out enduring strategies to create value.

Want to learn more about how your organisation can do this? Shoot me an email, I'd love to chat about it. Want some humour? Here is a one minute video of Jeff Bezos describing what 'Day Two' looks like when asked by an employee.
Why it's always Day One
What's trending
We do a lot of different things here. The common thread is simply this: Real People, Solving Real Problems.

We love what we do and so share as much of it as we can without hard selling or droning on. One important part of that is to hit on what's trending. Right now, coaching is a key request. Coaching and 360s go together like a fine wine and brie cheese (yum). 
Coaching is one of the best personal and professional development activities you can undergo to drive action oriented change. Want to know more about coaching? Read our blog about "Why Workplace Coaching and Why Now" which has been making its way around the internet for some time now. Makes a good article to quote when convincing the decision maker to purchase coaching for you (or you for your people).

Want to find out more about coaching with us? Contact us here.

Love the newsletter? Send it to a friend. Hate it? Send it to an enemy.

Want to talk culture, strategy or just have a cuppa? Visit our site to see more ways we can work with you to move the needle in your organisation and create culture shifts.

Make Shift Happen. Happy Friday!


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