One of the most talked about leadership trends over the past few years has been centered around the concept de jour od “creating a culture of innovation.” Unfortunately, too many leaders who don’t take the time and effort to fully read and understand the real meaning of the concepts will think that creating a culture of innovation is all about leading people to develop new products.Read More >
One of the most significant challenges facing leaders today is how to embrace and engage in the process of developing future leaders to be productive today and tomorrow. In a business world that is both changing rapidly at the same time resources are being frozen or reduced, today’s leaders don’t have the willingness or time to nurture human capital development. The pressure of living quarter-to-quarter and achieving ever-impossible-to-reach financial metrics is forcing leaders to push toward results regardless whether employees have the skill and / or the will to execute the strategies and decisions that will achieve those results. In other words, too many leaders have unrealistic expectations that inexperienced employees and leaders can excel at their jobs by being experts in their work.
It’s time to acknowledge the reality; no matter how great and wonderful an expert is today, at one point that person was a novice without experience, grit, or the skills to be effective. Think about it. At many moments in time all the typical business heroes – Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, etc.- were novices who were able to turn their environments and circumstances into unparalleled success. Unfortunately, as corporate training budgets evolve and shift towards buying licenses of self-serve crappy eLearning, the reality gets even more troublesome as employees and managers are even less likely to receive that skills and tools they need to move from novices to experts.
Given that the momentum of the “evolution” in talent development isn’t going to change any time soon, here are five practical suggestions that can be accomplished to move the needle to help employees and leaders move from novices to experts:
Provide a big picture view
Experts see the big picture; they see the system of business and they understand the business ecosystems of their own company, customers, and competitors. Experts use the knowledge of the ecosystems to accurately forecast the future based on analysis, facts, and skills.
Teach them the metrics and drivers of business performance
Once experts understand the big picture and the systems of business, they understand the key metrics of success and the drivers of business performance that the metrics are based on. By knowing the drivers of their own company, customers, and competitors, they effortlessly make the best business decisions.
Do everything possible to enhance the technical skills of their roles
Assuming employees will have or will easily learn how to be expert at their jobs is a huge mistake. It’s critical to do everything possible to provide the skills needed to enable employees to become technically exceptional at their jobs. If someone is in sales, then they should be the best at sales; if they are in marketing, they should be the best in marketing, etc.
Provide an environment to develop behavioral skills
Experts understand that it’s not all about the technical or business acumen skills; they also understand that without the behavioral skills such as understanding personality styles, having hard conversations, providing coaching and feedback, having emotional intelligence and many other factors that enable the work to be done with and through other people.
Create an environment that rewards desire
Experts are hungry for success and accomplishments. One of the most important things you can do is create an environment that drives people to become experts and use their desire as the fuel for success.
In summary, it is easy to forget that expertise is a concept that occurs only when the recipe includes training, development, resources, and patients. Skills such as Business Acumen, Business Leadership, and Strategic Business Selling are the foundations for how to achieve success through expertise.
The concept of “business leadership” in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous VUCA world means a lot of different things to a lot different people and can be measured many different ways. Large global organizations think their key metric of success is the creation of shareholder value; small start-up think their key metric of success is survival. While both approaches are technically right, I believe that ultimately business leadership is how well you execute your business strategy through the people who work for your organization and deliver your value proposition to the right customers.Read More >
Sales Enablement has been one of the most significant areas of investment for many sales organizations over the past few years. Sales enablement is defined as the process of providing the sales organization with the information, content, and tools needed that help sales professionals sell more effectively. The foundation of a sales enablement process and culture is to provide sales people with what they need to successfully engage prospects and decision makers throughout the entire buying process and beyond. Either provided by a Sales Operations group or as part of a Marketing team, sales enablement can become the “secret sauce” to revenue generation success. According to a recent analysis, companies that invest in state-of-the-art sales enablement programs and platforms increase their quota attainment by 50% which is a significant accomplishment.Read More >
After being a strong individual contributor for over six years, the employee was excited and anxious about being promoted to a first-time leader. This new leader understood the challenges and opportunities of the business including the fact that competition in the marketplace was increasing because of several new entrants with lower quality, lower priced products.Read More >