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November 2009

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Welcome to the November edition of our Business Performance Pty Ltd newsletter. Our aim is to provide you with insightful and practical advice on making your organization more successful at achieving your goals. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get your regular digest of management and training tips.

Our first article this month focuses on your leadership style. In some ways, poor leadership led to our current global financial mess. What type of leadership do our organizations need now to build solid social and commercial foundations for the future? In a day when many nations are grappling with exorbitant executive salaries and bonuses and highly dysfunctional performance metrics, Tom’s article provides some timely insights. Use this article to gauge your own success as a leader or point your up and coming leaders to his valuable advice.

Our second article this month takes on the question of how to make your company’s training more effective. Training budgets are still under strain, so it makes sense to employ whatever methods you can to aid learning and help the participants use their new skills where it matters most; on the job. What would you say if you could extend your training program into people’s workplaces? Leslie’s article provides some very simple, yet highly effective, tips for doing just that.

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Closing the Gap Between Success and Significance

by Tom Northup

Think of the person you most admire. This might be a teacher, a business associate, an inspirational leader, a mentor or friend who made a significant impact on your life. You remember them for what they did for you at a time when you needed their direction.

Contrast this person with the college professor who said, "You can interpret this story two ways, my way and the wrong way."

In the past, accepted business leadership styles resembled the college professor's attitude. Using a command style, executives demanded better, faster, cheaper, more efficient strategies, pushing employees to higher standards and criticizing rather than praising.

As a result, the driver leader struggled, employees refused to make an emotional commitment, the management team did not work in a unified fashion and the organization suffered.

The Changing World

Today's business leaders face a world undergoing change such as we have never seen before. New technology, international competition, lightning information availability, and new legal accountability challenge leaders to make not just directional but transformational changes to remain competitive.

In this environment, it is difficult for a CEO, President, or leader to drive an organization to realize its vision and to deliver sustainable results.

The Changing Leadership Model

Many leaders forget a basic adage of leadership. Their success depends on the success of their employees and co-workers. High level leaders understand that they contribute to this success by making it easier for their employees to do their jobs, by making them feel that their jobs have significant value and by treating them as individuals with valid opinions and suggestions.

Research shows that the organizational climate, the way people think about working for an organization, has a significant impact on human performance. The way employees perceive the leader and his management team drives the organizational climate and employee performance.

In today's world-class organization, people at every level must have a personal stake in the vision of the business. The world-class leader understands that the most important part of his job is to develop an organization where people want to work and want to do their best.

Like the person you admire the most, today's effective business leaders develop significance with their associates. They enjoy continued long-term professional and personal success. They leave an indelible impact on their employees, customers and suppliers because of what they do and continue to do for them.

Click here to read more about the new leadership imperative in the full article.

Succession Planner
If you are struggling to manage the pipeline of new leaders in your organization, check out our leadership succession planning tool, Succession Planner. It’s packed with a comprehensive spreadsheet tool and process guide for managing your organization’s leadership succession planning efforts.

Extending the Training Room into the Workplace with Job Aids

by Leslie Allan

Experienced trainers use a variety of training aids throughout their training programs. These include models, simulations, diagrams, mnemonics, reminder cards, templates, and so on. All of these are designed to assist trainees in the learning process. However, learning does not finish at the conclusion of the training program. In fact, for some training programs, work quality and efficiency will actually worsen immediately after the training. This is normal as employees stumble in their first applications of the newly learned skills.

Unfortunately, at this point, many managers give up and either overtly or covertly discourage further employee practice and experimentation. By providing and encouraging the use of job aids, you can help ease the anxiety felt by employees and get them up and running more quickly. Many training aids that are used during training are ideal for replication in the work environment. Think of these job aids as a way of extending the training room into the workplace.

Implementing job aids is especially useful when the task is complex, performed infrequently, carries high risk or uses an extensive or changing knowledge base. On the other hand, do not implement an on-the-job aid if the employee is required to perform the task automatically, without conscious deliberation or assistance.

Below, I have categorized ten types of training aid that you can usefully export from your training program. I have also included examples from previous programs that I have conducted or have seen others use successfully. If you see a job aid that you feel could be useful and it is not currently used in your training program, then make it so. You could even turn the creation of the job aid into a learning experience itself. At a suitable juncture in your program (following a theory session, for example), lead participants into an exercise in which they create the aid that they will use in their own workplaces.

Click here to read the full article about applying the ten types of training aid.

From Training to Enhanced Workplace Performance
To find out more about training aids and creating high impact training programs, check out the author’s comprehensive e-toolkit, From Training to Enhanced Workplace Performance. The toolkit is packed with proven strategies and techniques and over 20 customizable templates and forms for maximizing the effectiveness of your training programs.

Visit our website at www.businessperform.com for lots of expert guidance and practical tools designed to help you get ahead of your competition. Also, be sure to pass this newsletter on to friends and colleagues who want to stay up with what’s on. From all of us here on the Business Performance team, we wish you a productive month and look forward to communicating with you again soon.


In This Issue
Closing the Gap Between Success and Significance

Extending the Training Room into the Workplace with Job Aids
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