What makes a great boss? Google has been asking this question for the past 10 years. According to this article, Google identified eight key behaviors back in 2008 and began training their managers accordingly.
Google has been studying and restudying their most effective managers and leaders, and in 2018 Google has expanded their list of qualities and skills possessed by their effective leaders/manager. The skills on on this update list include: coaching, creating a safe environment where employees are free to take risks, communicating, thinking strategically and making strong decisions.
We were delighted to see that one of the ability to skill sets new to Google’s list was the ability to collaborate across the company. Of course, in order to collaborate successfully, leaders must know how to exercise influence!
See Barnes & Conti programs on coaching, risk-taking, and strategic thinking and decision-making.
Also see our Exercising Influence program
Much has been written about millennials in the workplace, and “generational tension” or “generational issues.” Here’s an article that suggests that while different generations are indeed different, the key to managing any kind of tension that arises is to make all employees feel valued.
As we read the article, we couldn’t help but notice that the author is suggesting by example that one the key ways of making people feel valued is to use receptive influence tactics and behaviors such as inquiring—asking open-ended questions and drawing out—and listening.
Below are the author’s open-ended questions for older employees:
“How have you seen the organization evolve during your time here?” “You know the culture well — what do you think will be the secret of success in this transformation?” “What worries you most about the new approach?”
The author addresses the younger generation as well:
For a younger employee, capitalize on their youth and fresh perspective: “What was most exciting to you about joining the company?” “Where have you seen great ideas that we could apply here?” “What can you teach me that would help me keep up with the digital age?”
For both generations, the author concludes, “If you listen openly, you’ll hear insights you can act on.”
To find out more about influence tactics and behaviors, see our Exercising Influence program
Gregg Brown is not just a published author and change management specialist, he is a long-time friend and facilitator for Barnes & Conti. In this article, he makes a case that in order to manage change efficiently, two of the change manager’s most effective strategies include solutions-based thinking—which encompasses not just solving current problems, but finding solutions to prevent similar problems in the future—and influence.
To make the case for influence, Gregg quotes our own Kim Barnes: “Kim Barnes, a leading authority on influence, describes influence as the ability to move your ideas into action without the use of force and command. Most of us who are engaged in change management are often using other people to get things done, including the C-Suite, other departments, and stakeholders both inside and outside of the company as well as clients and customers.
For more about influence, see our Exercising Influence program
For our approach to solutions-based thinking, see Strategic Thinking
Does your organization or workgroup rely on “intrapreneurs”—the lone maverick in your company who comes up with that great idea while swimming against the coroprate tide—to innovate? An article recently published on the Harvard Business Review, makes a compelling case that successful innovation doesn’t come from the lone intrapreneurs, but from “a company-wide endeavor, supported from top to bottom by systems, structures, and a company culture that nurtures transformative ideas and products.” We’ve long recognized that innovation occurs when companies have a culture supports risk and innovation, and have a system in place to manage the innovation process.
According to the article, “The intrapreneurship concept… focuses its hopes on a genius who can swoop in to save the day. Instead, we must start thinking of innovation as a capacity that needs organization-wide support.”
How do you approach change in the workplace? Do you like to initiate it? Do you have lots of questions about why and how? Would you rather see things remain as they are? Barnes & Conti CEO Kim Barnes recently wrote and article entitled, “Your Change Attitude–And How to Work with People Who Might See it a Different Way,” which begins by identifying the four attitudes that most people have regarding change in the workplace. Kim continues to discuss how you as a change leader can tap into, incorporate, and find the value in each of these attitude, especially when the outlooks differ from your own attitude towards change. According to Kim, the change process may take longer, “but when you get there, you’ll look around and find that most people are there with you.”