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The Leadership Journey
16 minutes | Aug 11, 2021
Guest: Carisa Wisniewski
Keep Top Talent Through Mentoring Want to retain your best people… Start with your leadership team. We’re used to the term mentorship being tossed around when it comes to top performers serving as role models and providing inspiration to promising stars rising through the ranks behind them. But are we missing something? Can high-level executives and governing boards benefit from peer mentorship as well? What does that look like and what’s the ROI? According to Carisa Wisniewski, Partner, and CPA at Moss Adams, “Mentorship is an investment of time upfront…so you have efficiency in the execution of whatever you’re trying to accomplish together. If your company is growing, you never outgrow the need for mentors”. The strategy for group mentoring at the board level was inspired by renowned Chairman and CEO of WD-40, Garry Ridge. (10:44). Her idea of starting at the top meant Partners would be leading the mentorship initiative. Ms. Wisniewski invited Garry Ridge to kick off the first session with her, and Moss Adams has never looked back. Peer Group mentorship for top-level leaders aims to ensure that everyone is not only using the same language but also meaning the same thing when they are communicating. Greater efficiency is the goal, alignment at the board, and executive level is key to achieving that goal. Her recommendation for keeping it interesting is to include guest experts from time to time and regularly introduce specific themes that are important for the group’s development (using articles, books, research). Be sure to encourage round-table style discussion. This approach creates an even playing field, newer members are heard and empowered to weigh in, the more senior members are challenged to think in new ways. The result is a better aligned, more diverse, and cohesive team. It’s common, when we reach a certain level of success, to start thinking that we’ve arrived, but this thinking can be detrimental to growth. Carisa says, “as a mentor, your job is to challenge the person to think deeper…you’re not giving someone answers. You’re challenging them to find the answer themselves.” (9:38) Carisa continues to introduce and apply this mentoring model with great success both within her role at Moss Adams and as a peer mentor for other organizations. You can hear the full podcast with Carisa Wisniewski here. You can find Carisa on LinkedIn and learn more about Moss Adams’ expertise in accounting, consulting, and wealth management at mossadams.com.
7 minutes | Jul 29, 2021
Ignite the HR Advantage
Ignite the HR Advantage The competition for attracting & retaining top talent is the toughest it’s been in 50 years! I asked expert Human Resource professionals what advice they had for CEOs who want to leverage HR to win the talent war and achieve the organization’s goals. What they said, what I learned, and how to ignite the HR advantage. That’s what we’re talking about in today’s podcast. As a coach to high potential and valued leaders within high-growth companies, I regularly seek out meaningful resources within the organization. Whether it’s a start-up with venture investors, mid-size, or Fortune 500 companies, I’ve seen a pattern for years. HR is often left out. Given HR exists to oversee all things related to managing an organization’s human capital, I wanted to understand what could be getting in the way and how to solve for that. So I went to HR Leaders on LinkedIn and asked one question “What advice do you have for leaders who want to Leverage HR to win the talent war and achieve their organization’s goals?”. It seemed like straightforward research, but the answers led to an important insight. The 6 areas of advice from HR leaders to CEO’s are: Trust HR with more than legal compliance (we want more than compliance, disciplinary & hiring/firing protocols) Provide a seat at the leadership table (where strategy is set & resources allocated to get things done) Share the organization’s goals (how can we help if we only know headcount goals) Ask the head of HR for a clear plan to achieve business goals (we have the expertise, education, and experience to impact goals through people) Facilitate conversations with C-level executives (we are left out, including us) Fund HR Budget to accomplish goals (without money we can’t get things done) My first reaction was ‘great advice’. My second thought was, “Why aren’t CEOs doing these?” Having worked with leaders at all levels in hard-charging industries like financial services and law firms, the advice from HR leaders is an indicator that CEOs and senior leaders aren’t thinking about HR as true business partners who can help them achieve the company’s goals. Don’t shoot the messenger and don’t stop listening. If you want to influence CEOs and senior leaders, stay with me till the end. Make note: As an HR leader, you know that behavior is directly linked to beliefs. In my line of work, it’s “follow the money and the beliefs” to get to the bottom of behavior! How can HR shift their behavior to influence senior leader’s beliefs about the value of HR? Coincidentally, while reviewing the data from our “HR Advice to CEO’s’ survey, I received a webinar from Talent Strategy Group on their 2019 Global HR Census. Check this out. 1,200 respondents answered their survey asking among other things where is HR now and where is it moving to. Here are the 4 big findings from the 2019 HR Global survey. At first look, it answered my question why many CEO’s haven’t embraced HR and I immediately saw this huge opportunity for HR to step into: People First, Business Second: People get into HR for humanistic work & balanced work life. The data said, “HR is not in business to help achieve business goals.” If this is true for you, don’t expect to ever get a seat at the table. Solution If you want to change this, ask yourself: “How can I align my passion to help people, with achieving business goals? How can I learn the business side?” If you are committed to people & business results: “how can you show senior executives that your work impacts people achieving business goals?” Next Generation Skills Gap: The lack of business knowledge results in weak influence skills, which impacts everything from people initiatives to budget. HR has not embraced or shown initiative in providing data that shows business-altering information. If this is true for you, you won’t get asked for HR’s plan to achieve the organization’s goals. You’ll get directives from the C-suite executives on the goals they believe you can impact – likely legal compliance. Solution Go to the C-suite executives ask for their organization’s strategy, create an HR plan that aligns with their plan, and clearly helps them impact their organization’s goals. Be sure to get feedback from the C-suite bench, ask them what’s on target and what needs more work. Tempered Ambition: Only 3 in 10 want the CHRO job. Only 4% are interested in being a CEO. This is likely another reason HR isn’t being invited to the table. Solution If HR doesn’t want to lead at the highest levels, who can you invite from the C/level or from another area to rotate into HR? If you want to be a CHRO, create a plan to get the business skills that will make you a high-value HR player. Engaged, Rested & Ready: Responses showed high agreement when asked about being engaged, rested, and ready. Solution This indicates there is room for extra effort: given your goals…where will you put yours? Now What? When I read the 6 pieces of advice that HR Leaders had for CEOs, I noted that each one of them was asking for permission vs leading and influencing the outcomes necessary to win the talent war and achieve their organization’s goals. First: Decide If You Want to Lead or Be Led Ask yourself, “How can I make the most of my extra capacity, do I want to invest in my professional value?” “How can I gain enough knowledge to make a positive impact on people and business?” If you want to lead, determine 1 – 3 goals that while being accomplished will add meaningful value to your organization, your boss, and all the people who are looking to HR to accelerate business results. Get an experienced success partner or coach. Pick someone who can help you fine-tune your goals, who can coach you to understand the mindset of senior business leaders, and advise you on ways to become a valued and priceless HR partner! Those of you who take these 3 steps will be on your way to igniting the HR Advantage, getting a seat at the leadership table, and giving your organizations and the people who work there an immense competitive advantage! Ready for More? To listen to more podcasts like this, please visit McCauleyandCo.com/podcast. Also, check out our online Blueprint for High Performing Leaders self-study program for yourself or members of your team. I walk you through your leadership purpose – including goals, challenge you to invest in your professional self, and give you proven tools to coach your team to achieve their goals. If you are serious about getting a seat at the leadership table, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll send you a complimentary chapter of ‘Your Leadership Blueprint Video with Workbook’ to get you started on the path to Igniting and Leading the HR Advantage. Until next time, I wish you the best in leading yourself and your team to a higher level of success on your terms. LISTEN HERE
12 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
Guest: Kaihan Krippendorff
Strategic Planning Kills Innovation How to Outthink Your Competition & Create New Markets If you want your organization to create something that has yet to be imagined, that your customers didn’t know they couldn’t live without before it was introduced, then you and your team must think in ways you haven’t thought of before. When it comes to strategic planning, the typical pattern is to rush through the ideas phase and get on with execution once the team has identified three good ideas. This common practice of settling for adjustments that produce little growth or long-term benefits are what keep companies in the middle of the pack or worse, being an industry leader and witnessing outside industries innovate and take over your market share. How do you break away from outdated strategic thinking to create growth plus new markets and out-perform the competition? I spoke with Kaihan Krippendorff, founder of the growth strategy and innovation consulting firm OutThinker which has generated over $2.5 billion in revenue for their client companies. Kaihan says, “If you don’t make time to sit and debate and explore what’s possible in the things you don’t know how to do, . . . you’re just going to repeat what has been done before.” His solution includes a five-step model for keeping the strategy conversation within your organization innovative and moving in the right direction. Imagine. Instead of looking at the immediate needs of the company, look ahead 10 years. What might the future look like, what might the needs of your end-users be at that time, what moves can you make now that will position you for a long-term payoff. Dissect. Break down your business model and take a look at the less obvious parts. For example, if your focus is typically on a product, try approaching the problem from a people-based perspective instead and consider how you would solve it differently. Expand. Generate lots of ideas, no matter how ‘out there’ they sound at first (aim for 100). Consider approaches that have never been used in your industry, but are proven winners in other fields. Especially don’t limit your thinking here to what you know has worked in the past. The more concepts your team can float, the better the odds are that you’ll find a few of the highly innovative ones that Kaihan refers to as ‘disruptive ideas.’ Analyze. Sort and prioritize those ideas. Maybe an idea that sounds a bit too big or unconventional has been put forward. It has great potential value, but how to make it work is not obvious. This may not be the one you try to sell to your board and shareholders right now, but don’t dismiss it. With some creativity and forward thinking, it could deliver substantial ROI in the future and potentially open up an entirely new market you have not yet considered. Sell. This is where you get your Board, leadership team, employees, management teams and investors to buy-in. It may feel safer and easier to stick to the more familiar strategies that are common to your business sector, but if you can sell them on a truly innovative idea it will propel your business into the future, an industry leader rather than a follower. You can listen to the full podcast with Kaihan Krippendorff here to learn more about the Outthinker experience. Visit Outthinker.com to see more of the exciting ways Outthinker is revolutionizing strategic growth within organizations. LISTEN HERE
16 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
Guest: Derek Zaba
Shareholder Activism: Are You Prepared? Being Proactive is Key With over $130b of assets under management and a professed goal of creating shareholder value through better run companies, shareholder activists continue to gain momentum by going after publicly traded companies. The good news is, with a well-documented, continually updated and well-executed plan, CEOs and their leadership teams can protect their companies from getting targeted. We asked Derek Zaba, co-chair of Shareholder Activism Practice and partner in the law firm of Sidley Austin, for ways to keep the activists at bay. Over the past five years, Sidley Austin has successfully defended companies against some of the most prominent activists in the industry. When asked what boards and leaders need to be aware of regarding shareholder activism, Derek says, “The most important thing is to plan early and make sure that you get out ahead of it, before an activist shows up.” Four Ways to Plan in Advance. Have a team of advisors in place who are prepared and can give you direction before, during, and in the wake of activist advances. Make sure your governance documents (specifically your bylaws) are up to date. Activists are up on the latest technologies and how to use them to achieve their goals, you need to be as well. Have a shareholder rights plan in place to limit the voting power of any one individual–in this case, the shareholder activist. Your initial response is critical. Regardless of whether or not you have a solid plan in place, if you do get approached by an activist, don’t fuel their agenda by being defensive or abrasive. There are several ways an activist will make their move, sometimes it’s public, others will approach your corporate leadership team looking for information to advance their cause, and oftentimes it’s a call directly with the CEO. If this happens to you, will you be ready? Ideally, you have prepared a calm and confident response to each of these circumstances. Be warned, one emotional or overly argumentative response can have long-term negative effects. In a nutshell, Derek advises, “Realize that activism is really more a question of when than if, and putting time into the preparation and getting out ahead of this is very, very worthwhile.” To hear everything Derek Zaba had to say on the subject, listen to the whole interview here. LISTEN HERE
15 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
Guest: Dylan James
The NASDAQ Way: Reimagine and Deliver the Future Now Since its launch as the world’s first fully electronic stock exchange 50 years ago, NASDAQ has kept growth and innovation at the forefront as critical metrics of success. And that continues today. With many of the most talked-about companies on the globe, Apple, Qualcomm, Amazon, Illumina and Tesla listed with their exchanges, NASDAQ is the place to be for those looking to have a long-term partnership focused on growth at every stage of an organization’s life cycle. When asked, Dylan James, the West Coast Vice President for NASDAQ, and Head of Relationship Management for NASDAQ’s Western Region and Texas shared what sets NASDAQ apart from traditional stock exchanges. And gave me these details on what to know if you’re considering listing your company with them. Relentless Innovation. The forward-thinking that led to the creation of the first electronic stock exchange did not rest there. Constantly-evolving technology continually changes how the world does business, and NASDAQ continues to lead with that. From being the first exchange to upload data to the cloud for safe storage to creating their technology (and selling it to their competitors), NASDAQ is obsessively looking ahead, anticipating trends, and then delivering whatever it takes to meet those opportunities and solve the challenges. Collaborative Partnerships. NASDAQ is committed to the quality of each listed organization’s experience. From the day of a company’s IPO, and through all the stages of that company’s life cycle, NASDAQ is there. With the investor relations tools and services they have developed and implemented, NASDAQ is uniquely positioned to support new companies through mentoring and connections to critical resources. Whether that company is going public for the first time or simply switching from a competitor’s exchange, NASDAQ is invested in the success of each new partnership. To sum it up, Dylan says “The job we do is help businesses build the brand and build their equity in the marketplace”. Company Culture. Besides being collaborative with listed organizations, NASDAQ has recently taken on diversity at the board level. As an organization, NASDAQ values inclusivity and support for local communities at home and around the world. Bringing those values to the highest levels of the business in a meaningful way is the latest move from a company that has always been at the forefront of its field. You can listen to the full podcast with Dylan James, the West Coast Vice President for NASDAQ, and Head of Relationship Management for NASDAQ’s Western Region and Texas, here. LISTEN HERE
15 minutes | Feb 10, 2021
Guest: Carin Canale
Alignment Takes Effort Start with a Targeted Communications Plan In our current, work from home, hybrid world, communications from inside and outside of work are increasingly slowing down people’s productivity. With emails in the hundreds and distractions endless, (WiFi issues, kids learning in the next room, Amazon deliveries, etc.) staying focused takes a herculean effort. And, unintentionally many companies’ communications plans are making it worse! Mega growth companies have known this for decades. Growing a healthy organization in today’s world, no matter how big or small means being serious about creating and executing a comprehensive communication plan. If you want to accelerate momentum, everyone’s efforts should be in sync with the goals of the organization. This means confirming progress on the strategies that support the goals and consistent communications delivered regularly to all team members working to achieve those goals that include having a specific, regularly reviewed, acted upon, and reported communications strategy. We asked CEO Carin Canale Theakston, Chief Culture Officer and Principal Strategist for Canale Communications, Inc., about the advice she gives to her life sciences clients. Whether creating a new plan or enhancing your current plan, Carin points out, “It’s critical to regularly confirm that your communications plans and policies are linked to the strategic plan”. Does this really need pointing out? Canale Theakston says, “More often than you’d expect, communications plans don’t get revised or regularly inspected for alignment with the strategic plan.” It just takes one poorly worded email, a flippant remark from a disgruntled employee, or a smear campaign on social media to trigger serious consequences for a corporation’s image. She recommends three must do’s below to identify any areas for improvement! Align Your Business Objectives. How do you know if your communications plan isn’t in line with the overall goals and values of your company? Ask the people responsible for the plan to give you updates on the plan and how they are executing for alignment. Listen to their suggestions about how to make it stronger, ways to keep it top of mind, and ideas to keep the communications plan meaningful to the people who live with it daily. Confirm Who Owns It. Be specific regarding who is responsible for tasks, who will manage, and who provides input on the communications plan. Typically, it will be your Chief Communications Officer (or whoever works in that capacity) taking ownership and management of the plan on a day-to-day basis. That leader invites input from leaders in all the other disciplines of your organization. For publicly-traded companies, part of your communications plan will be targeted at investors. You will need input from them, CEO or CFO, plus all other key stakeholders. Business leaders sometimes assume that a communications plan should be written by, or for, CEOs and then passed down through the command chain. That approach can backfire because of a lack of information on what’s truly happening on the front lines. For companies that value internal employees or employee recruiting, it’s imperative that Human Resources have a voice in the plan. They will be using and verifying all internal communications protocols day-to-day, as well as having direct insights into how external communications can attract top recruits. If you are selling or producing a product, you should include the people in charge of the product and sales of your organization in the planning. They will have plenty of smart, street intelligence that will make the plan sound and easy to execute. Is It Working? A great plan is nothing if it is not being used by all and executed correctly. As CEO, make sure you regularly get reports from your Communications Officer providing examples of the plan being executed as intended. This keeps the plan aligned with the company strategy and allows refinement when necessary. Listen here to our full podcast with CEO Carin Canale Theakston, Chief Culture Officer and Principal Strategist for Canale Communications, Inc. LISTEN HERE
24 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
Guest: Mick Farrell with ResMed
ResMed’s Planning Delivers Epic Results Long before any news was reported on Covid-19, ResMed, a world leader producing and innovating cloud connected devices for people with sleep apnea, COPD and chronic respiratory conditions, observed an unusual trend. Reports coming from their subsidiaries all over the world, including China, were showing that demand for ventilators in Wuhan was increasing substantially. Based on their global intelligence, ResMed CEO, Michael (Mick) Farrell, and his team recognized that something big was going on. They immediately turned to their emergency response playbook (scenario planning), which they had created just a few weeks earlier. Though the playbook was designed for a different crisis, they recognized it would work even for a worst case scenario of a global pandemic. When asked the question “What needs attention now?”, the ResMed team was already in action. They modified their crisis plan by adding a Global Epidemiology Model, which focused their top priorities on the preservation of life and maximizing production to meet demand. By the time reports of outbreaks in Milan and New York were hitting the news, the ResMed team had secured their supply chains, adjusted their focus, and were already in mass production of life-saving respirators. How were we able to do this while so many other countries and companies were caught off guard, and left unable to secure the shipping and materials needed to fulfill orders on time? Being Ready, Adaptable and Agile When the pandemic hit, ResMed was already two years into a seven-year plan for growth, transforming a medical device hardware manufacturing company into a cutting-edge software driven digital health technology company. ResMed’s consumer devices were already uploading data to the cloud so that medical and tech professionals could easily access patient and client data. The sudden increase in the number of machines being turned out in the fight against the pandemic, meant a significant increase in the amount of data needing to be securely transmitted and stored. Rushing this amount of data into the system could easily have been a security and logistical nightmare. Instead, ResMed already had comprehensive plans for these expansions already baked into their 2025 vision. They quickly began implementing everything they could from the plan, with the goal to safely and effectively increase production immediately. New software meant to be officially released later in the year was put directly into service and the whole team pulled together to accommodate the shortened timeline. Dedicate a Crisis Team Yes, having a plan was a huge advantage during ResMed’s pivot to getting more ventilators where needed, it was how they put it into play that made it look easy. Execution came in the form of launching the project management office (PMO). With 12 executive leaders already prepared to pull together information from 140 countries, they worked closely with hundreds of suppliers, managed the supply chain and made sure their teams had what they needed to maximize ventilator production. The PMO meets regularly to review and revise the plan, provide direct leadership to the global team, and are working now on returning to their main business of innovating and producing cloud connected devices for people with sleep apnea, COPD and chronic respiratory conditions. Lessons Learned and Progress Made Mick Farrell underscored how indispensable the ResMed planning process became “When we pulled up our crisis plan, even though it was for a different crisis, we were able to quickly launch the majority of our plan. We didn’t miss a step.” As people began filling emergency rooms, the virus confirmed what ResMed already knew, that respiratory medicine is critical, particularly with communicable respiratory diseases. The pandemic has accelerated the importance of and advanced the adoption of digital health. It has also created a greater appreciation of healthcare being delivered outside of hospitals. People are recognizing that you can get quality care from skilled nursing facilities, life plan communities and home care, as long as you have the necessary medical equipment and are properly trained on how to use it. Breaking Limiting Beliefs Before the pandemic, Farrell confessed that he was not a fan of the work from home model. That quickly changed as he witnessed 65% of ResMed employees working entirely from home throughout the crisis, transforming its infrastructure into a global scalable digital communication system for 7,500 employees, all while achieving extraordinary results. The ability for Farrell and his leadership team to communicate with 3,000 people at once through webinars and online meetings has increased their connection with employees. This new way of working and connecting made it possible for ResMed to produce 150,000 ventilators from January to June and Mick was able get to know employees he had never seen before! Next Steps for ResMed From this experience, ResMed has learned how to accelerate their strategy during an unprecedented disruption, advance their global digital communications, and deliver valued products throughout the world. They have all worked tirelessly, buoyed by the fact their hard work helped save many lives. As they return to their core business of helping people sleep, breathe, and live better lives outside the hospital, there is much to be proud about. After celebrating the success of 2020, they are focused on 2021. With new goals to be achieved, teams will continue working hard, think ahead of the competition, and transform healthcare into a more valued experience for their customers. Listen to the Podcast
21 minutes | Oct 20, 2020
How Strategic Intelligence Gives Histogen a Leading Edge
Watch the Video above, or click below to listen to the podcast. https://media.blubrry.com/theleadershipjourney/content.blubrry.com/theleadershipjourney/Pascoe_audio_only.wav Notice: Undefined index: subscribe_post_type in /var/www/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/class.powerpress-subscribe-widget.php on line 175 Notice: Undefined index: subscribe_category_id in /var/www/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/class.powerpress-subscribe-widget.php on line 177 Subscribe to PodcastApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSS Well before COVID-19 became front page news, Richard Pascoe, CEO and President of Histogen, heard about unusual disruptions in materials being delivered by key suppliers in Wuhan, China. He quickly reached out to his industry connections and across the globe to ask if they were experiencing anything similar. Informed by Rich’s daily habit of gathering intelligence through reading targeted information about global and national trends, plus connecting with allies in a variety of industries, Mr. Pascoe, his team and their board quickly created a strategic plan. Using a war games approach to planning for the unknown, the Pascoe’s team identified several paths to successfully execute their company mission, including a worst-case scenario of a pandemic shutting down the world. With continuous communications and support from his board and a great team, Rich led Histogen through a successful merger, retained his team, kept Histogen’s bottom line secure, and served on a team that advised the U.S. Government on ways to quickly ramp up production of a COVID-19 response. Research shows that CEOs who seek counsel and intelligence from their internal and external allies make better decisions than leaders who keep their own counsel. It’s called Strategic Intelligence. Not only did Rich learn this early in his career as a decorated Army Leader, he has brought it with him to his roles as CEO and Board Member in every organization that he has worked with.Michael Maccoby, author of Strategic Intelligence: Conceptual Tools for Leading Change, states that Strategic Intelligence consists of a system of five talents that characterize some of the most successful leaders in business, government, and military. He defines these talents as: Foresight: The ability to understand trends that present threats or opportunities for an organization.Visioning: The ability to conceptualize an ideal future state based on foresight and create a process to engage others to implement it.System thinking: The ability to perceive, synthesize, and integrate elements that work together as a whole to achieve a common purpose.Motivating: The ability to motivate different people to work together to implement the vision. Understanding what motivates people is based upon ability, personality, and intelligence.Partnering: The ability to develop strategic alliances with individuals, groups, and organizations. This quality also depends on personality intelligence.Here are the four strategies that Rich Pascoe uses to put daily attention and time on keeping his Strategic Intelligence connections sharp: Read regularly and include periodicals outside of your industry. Look for sources of information to broaden your awareness beyond your immediate experiences.Connect with people across the world. Whenever you learn something that could be valuable for an acquaintance or colleague, reach out, and pass it forward. It’s easier than ever to create relationships across networks and timezones – the more contacts you have, the more informed you will be. Get involved with organizations that enable you to connect with other industry leaders. Actively network in avenues available to you to learn what is happening in other industries and across the world. These networks will give you insights, direct observations and information that will help you grow your company, improve professionally and prepare for the future.Look to outside opinions and experts – don’t be insular in your thinking. Consider and be open to all options. Strategic Intelligence includes asking the right questions of your team. Here are the questions Rich asked himself and the Histogen team as they designed their plan to thrive in this year of pandemonium: What do you know?What do you think you know? What is the end state you desire?Do you need to make a decision now?From there, determine if you need more questions, make sense of the data and then develop a course of action. Start wargaming, or scenario planning. (For more on scenario planning, listen to our recent podcast with Matt Ranen on Scenario Planning: It’s Not Too Late to Start). This process allows you to move forward with a smart plan, along with informed execution. Continuous evaluation of your decisions with leaders, teams and board members, will keep your plans on track or help you adapt them quickly to business demands or climate changes. Strategic intelligence is key for modern businesses to survive and thrive.
19 minutes | Sep 29, 2020
Zombie Computer Armies Target Your Work from Home Employees
Watch the Podcast above, or if your prefer, listen by clicking below.https://media.blubrry.com/theleadershipjourney/content.blubrry.com/theleadershipjourney/Villanueva_Podcast_Audio.wav Notice: Undefined index: subscribe_post_type in /var/www/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/class.powerpress-subscribe-widget.php on line 175 Notice: Undefined index: subscribe_category_id in /var/www/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/class.powerpress-subscribe-widget.php on line 177 Subscribe to PodcastApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSS According to the FBI, reported cyberattacks have increased 300% since COVID forced employees to work from home. While you are working, sleeping and everything in between, malicious botnets (networks of computers), and hackers are relentlessly testing for vulnerabilities that will give access to your company’s most valuable data. Once they’ve gained access to your devices (95% occur through human error), they will shut down your website, freeze up your sales process, lockdown e-mail, and stop all communications. Not only will they demand a hefty ransom to give you back control, they often simultaneously steal and threaten to sell your desired information on the dark web unless you pony up with even more money. Hackers have historically focused on big targets – the FBI, Apple, the Wall Street Journal, and Twitter have all been victims of cyberattacks this year. But more recently, hackers’ attention has included small businesses with 43% reporting being targeted.Working feverishly to stay several steps ahead are the defenders of your data – internal IT teams and external experts who build defenses against the most malicious, disruptive, and inventive cyberattacks that continue to evolve at an astounding pace. With ransomware, employee error and phishing on the rise, experts predict cybersecurity incidents will cost businesses over $5 trillion within the next five years. How do you stay ahead of malicious hackers? Kevin Villanueva, Partner at Moss Adams, where he leads the firm’s IT Infrastructure and Security Practice, recommends these three “must do’s” to protect employee and company data during this current work from home environment. Provide Employees with a Securely Configured Company ComputerIf you are not providing a secure machine for your employees to use at home, your company’s data is at risk. People often forget to update antivirus software on their personal computers. Employees may get distracted and innocently open up phishing links or allow other family members to share their personal computers. Having a company-issued computer allows your IT Department to keep security software regularly updated, get alerted for potential attacks, and protect against breaches.Educate – Provide Mandatory Security Awareness TrainingEducate your team on the identification of cyber threats. Teach them to identify suspicious emails and sites that could be spear-phishing attempts, Man in the Middle schemes, Trojan and Ransomware Traps. Follow Current Cybersecurity Best Practices and Standards Frameworks Look to the National Institute of Standards and Technology from the Department of Commerce for current guidance on how to address cybersecurity threats. Check out their 800 series, like NIST 800-53 and NIST 800-171 to receive specific guidance around asset management, logical access control, and user authentication and authorization. Not only free of charge, but they are also vendor agnostic advice and recommendations. If you process payment cards, look at the Payment Card Data Security Standard (PCDSS) from the Payment Card Industry Security Council which will help you keep that information safe. Watch and/or listen to our podcast to hear more expert recommendations from Kevin Villanueva on how he’s protecting Moss Adams’ clients from being devastated by a cyberattack. It is no longer a question of if your company will be the target of a cyberattack. Your best defense is having your entire organization well prepared to minimize the damage when hackers strike! As the saying goes, your best defense is a good offense.
20 minutes | Sep 9, 2020
3 HR Mistakes to Avoid When Scaling Up
Leaders of growing companies face relentless, critical and even competing demands to provide vision, resources and strategic focus, all while evoking aligned execution from their team. Whether a startup, midsize or Fortune 500, organizations that put an early focus on attracting, developing and retaining top talent are playing the long game of scaling up. In my work with midsize and Fortune 500 high growth companies, I find that many times HR is not considered a strategic partner, but rather a necessary administrative expense. Frankly…I used to think that way too. Then as I began researching additional ways that leaders could accelerate growth in their organizations, I realized the obvious – HR is being overlooked and it’s costing money and slowing growth. Listen to the podcast: This brings us to our podcast guest Alicia Parr, Principal and Founder of Performentor, a fractional, full-stack HR firm that works with high growth companies. With 20 years of HR experience spanning multiple industries, Performentor was founded by Alicia to deliver essential HR expertise to growing companies and help them thrive.I asked Alicia to share the top 3 mistakes she sees high growth companies make and what to do instead:Mistake #1 – Filling HR with an inexperienced playerWhen a company is growing, it’s common to fill the HR role with someone who seems available and able to perform that position. Although it’s tempting to tap the office manager or admin assistant to take on the HR responsibilities, you’re potentially setting your company up for future liabilities that will be time consuming and very expensive. Alicia’s beginnings in HR stemmed from the great job she was doing in payroll, so her employer asked her to take on HR as well, even though she had no prior training or experience. Alicia recommends getting clear on where you are now with your HR team vs. what would be ideal and start planning for the future. Ask your trusted inner circle …are we setting up and hiring our HR talent to be an essential part of our leadership team or do we view HR as an administrative necessity? Investing in HR early by bringing on experienced professionals will positively impact your ability to scale with less drama. Even having access to part-time experts can help you avoid costly HR entanglements.Mistake #2: Hiring an HR professional before you are clear on the roleIf you’re leading a rapidly growing company, you know you need expertise that includes administrative, tactical, and strategic abilities from your HR team. It’s tricky to find all of those skills in one person. Make a list with your team about what’s most important for HR to do as you continue to grow. Be clear that if you hire for a strategy skill set, you could end up overpaying for their administrative work, or if you hire someone that’s more tactical, they may overlook big picture alignment with strategy or people. Know what you want, how you want HR to grow, and put the right people into those roles, at the right time. Mistake #3: Hiring for a role that doesn’t add to the bottom lineAs you make the list of your ideal HR team, consider all the areas you want them to successfully lead within the organization. Are you looking for high-level administrative support, recruiting/hiring processes, high potential coaching offerings, HR process development? The list is long of what HR can do for your company and its future success, and it can get expensive. Enter Fractional Full Stack HR – borrowed from technology, full-stack refers to layering in more than one person for a more strategic, full-service experience. Different from fractional HR, where you get access to an HR expert, Alicia and her team at Performentor give you access to the specific expertise you want from HR (admin, ops, legal, high potential development, culture, etc). You only pay for what your organization needs. If you want to have greater HR functionality but are not ready to onboard all roles, take a look at a full-stack HR solution.Making the right talent choices within HR and bringing them into your high-level leadership circle will accelerate your human capital advantage and positively magnify your culture. Now that’s smart HR.
20 minutes | Aug 29, 2020
Scenario Planning: It’s Not Too Late to Start
3 Common Scenario Planning Questions “The true test of leadership is how well you function in a crisis.” Brian TracyIn an increasingly uncertain world of work, one thing we can celebrate is the end of the phrase – “We’ve always done it that way”. From day one of this pandemic, leaders who focused themselves and their teams on “What can we do now?” have been leading the way towards a positive current and future recovery. Those who did any type of scenario planning were positioned to pivot quickly and identify opportunities in a world that no longer behaves by the past rules. Are you behind in scenario planning? If so, it’s not too late to start. Listen to the podcast: We asked Matt Ranen, a veteran Scenario and Strategic Planner, to share some of his vast experience about scenario planning and its processes as well as success stories of companies that implemented their scenario plan during all stages of the global pandemic. Matt’s expertise comes from his work as a leader at Global Business Network (GBN), the pioneering scenario consultancy that helped elevate the field of scenario planning worldwide. During his time there, Mr. Ranen designed and led customized client engagements across a range of industries, globally, and served as an instructor in scenario planning methodology for both public and private courses. While at GBN, he developed new elements of the scenario methodology to connect it to strategy, innovation, and risk management decision tools. Matt answers the three most common questions executives have about scenario planning.What is the biggest misconception leaders have about scenario planning vs. the value that it delivers?Surprisingly, leaders think that scenario planning may provide certainty. That is not the objective – it’s a process that reduces uncertainty. It’s a process that allows you to prepare to be more agile, and it gives you the confidence to act when otherwise you may be paralyzed. Scenario planning forces executives to think bigger and more strategically inside all of the scenarios. It also enables you to have discussions about near term and long term strategies, which may reveal weaknesses in what may seem like a sure plan. It helps you answer the question of how you are going to sustain value in the long term. 2. How Does Scenario Planning Work?There are 5 key phases:Orient – Know what you want to study. What should be getting your attention? Where are the opportunities or potential Industry and company disruptors?Explore – seek out alternate perspectives, consider ideas that you might have overlooked. Hire scenario planning experts who will introduce you to alternative ways of thinking, different worldviews, and “wild ideas”. Consider them all. Synthesize – Take the information and create distinct scenarios about the future. Lean into those scenarios and plan tentative options around each of those futures. Choose/Act – The hardest part is deciding where you are going to lean into – where you will make a core bet and how it will enable you to pivot into the future.Monitor – The fifth phase is to continue to create scenarios after the initial work is done to add long term value. Every six months revisit the plan, make adjustments, and invite a wide range of people to work on that project. 3. What are examples of how scenario planning allows leaders to pivot to a positive outcome during a crisis? I have a client in the apparel industry, and by working together, we identified the necessity to transition to digitalization. Because we had been working on that before the pandemic, they were not hesitant to close retail brick and mortar stores to stem the bleeding. They didn’t have to ask themselves, “Are we sure?” they just pulled the trigger. Salesforce is another great example. Initially they preemptively did scenario planning regarding regulations around data and the impact it will have on their business. More recently they have produced Scenario planning material around how the pandemic will impact the economy long term. Regardless of where you are in your Scenario planning a regular part of your bi-annual business planning. Click here to download a Scenarios and Strategy case study example. You’ll be giving your team the tools to plan for long term value, plus readiness to successfully pivot during disruptions.
18 minutes | Jun 26, 2020
6 Ways to Boost Employee Confidence As You Reopen
As COVID-19 restrictions ease, leaders are inviting people back to the workplace. And, not everyone is ready or eager. What we’re hearing is a mixed bag of emotions, with some people excited to go back to their traditional office, others who want to remain virtual and many looking for a hybrid between both. Watch the Video: Listen to the podcast: We asked Adriana C. Cabré, VP of Human Resources for Crinetics Pharmaceuticals to talk about ways leaders can approach the return to the workplace that is a win for the company and their employees. She recommends that leaders offer options for returning, while being mindful of co-creating a path to productivity. The winning formula includes being flexible, providing your employees with resources that build their confidence during this uneasy time, all while giving them what they need to meet their business goals. Here are six questions to ask yourself and your team: 1. How can we reinvent our business while simultaneously taking care of our employees? Get your team together and talk about getting over the disruptions and brainstorm ideas about what opportunities are available to you now. List what’s possible on the business side, as well as understanding the human side. This gives you and your team a clear idea of where to put your focus and efforts. 2. What resources do I need to confidently lead my team? You hear this on every commercial flight – put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then help those around you who are in need. As a leader, you’re only as good as your mental health. Are you taking the time to reflect, ask for feedback or advice? Are you connecting with peers, co-workers and family members who you trust and will call you out when necessary? Don’t forget to invest in you, in order to bring your best as you lead others through these head spinning times. 3. How am I leading people to innovate? Now is the time to question every workplace process and protocol, then determine whether to improve and/or kill it. Especially target “this is how we’ve always done it” programs, thinking and habits. Ask your team and your employees for their ideas on how to restructure how people work. Challenge the core concepts of your business, ask what can be re-imagined. Recognize and reward innovation. 4. Consider each of your employees who are being asked to return to the workplace – ask them what is an ideal path? There are workers who cannot come back to the office until the virus threat is over. Identify ways to redistribute workloads and projects for those who can be onsite. Get strategic about balancing the needs of your company alongside the needs of your employees. 5.How are we measuring productivity? In the world of working from home, monitoring when a person logs on, how many meetings they attend, how many dials they make, etc, are not always true indicators of productivity. How can you and your team rethink the way you measure and reward productivity so that people are inspired to achieve results? 6. How can you improve the way you communicate with your team and your employees? Providing important and relevant information on a consistent basis wins you loyalty. Let your leadership team know when the company is considering changes and tell them that they will be the first to know when a decision is made. Transparent and timely communications will capture hearts, minds and extra effort, which is the ultimate win for your bottom line. Now is the time to double down on the people side of business. Discussing these 6 questions with your team will pay off in spades by building confidence, creating psychological safety and increasing loyalty as you invite employees back to the workplace! Learn more about Adriana C. Cabré at https://www.linkedin.com/in/adrianacabre/ . Learn more about Crinetics Pharmaceuticals at https://www.crinetics.com.
15 minutes | Apr 9, 2020
Three Steps Boards Must Take During Dynamic Times
No doubt, these are dynamic and unprecedented times for Boards. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic and it’s daunting, challenging and severe demand on leaders of companies, the world economy was already a rapidly shifting experience for companies. Include the California mandate requiring adding women to Boards, and Boards are on a relentless treadmill of advising their CEO/Presidents’ on leading through crisis, while also executing changes to the Board. In our Strategic Partner Spotlight, Carisa Wisniewski CPA and Partner with Moss Adams dives into the three things the Board can do to meet challenges head on. Moss Adams regularly exercises these practices with their clients. Be Flexible. Think about ways the company can evolve to meet the current and future needs plus wants of customers and all stakeholders. Constantly look at what is changing in the marketplace. Identify where the Company can improve, where the shortcomings are, and where there is potential unrealized competitive advantage. Be open and prepared to adapt or challenge the current business model or test new technologies to keep the company viable and profitable long into the future. Be Proactive. If we have learned anything from this pandemic, don’t wait for change to impact your company. Deal with potential disruptions early enough that they don’t become disasters. If you see an opportunity to influence change, do it. If you know your Board needs to add a new member, make a list of the skill sets that are needed at the table and adjust your Board accordingly – then search for the right candidate(s). If you know you need to cut your headcount, don’t wait. Take action. Get Some Outside Perspective. Outside perspective from a knowledgeable, experienced and trusted firm is invaluable. This broadens your reservoir of ideas and helps the Board confirm the CEO/President is prepared for expected and unexpected situations that regularly present themselves to be solved. Moss Adams “West ethos” attitude embodies the spirit of the West – innovation, optimism and authenticity. The Moss Adams team believes in constantly scanning the horizon for new opportunities for their clients, delivering sound advice and making their clients more profitable, while helping their clients embrace the spirit of adventure and optimism in their businesses. Learn more about Carisa Wisniewski CPA and Partner at Moss Adams at https://www.mossadams.com/people/carisawisniewski. Learn more about Moss Adams at www.mossadams.com and in the latest Corporate Director’s Forum podcast!
17 minutes | Mar 30, 2020
WD-40’s Leadership Playbook During Crisis
“We will be stronger. Let’s not waste a crisis.” As the world battles the COVID-19 crisis, leaders heading businesses are making difficult, high stakes decisions under volatile, uncertain and ambiguous conditions. Garry Ridge, Chairman and CEO of the beloved WD-40 company, is responsible for developing and implementing high-level strategies, plus the oversight of all relationships and partnerships for the company. He generously agreed to speak with me about leading through crisis. Like many of you, Garry and his team at WD-40 are focused on navigating through this global pandemic. Following is the WD-40 Leadership During Crisis Playbook as shared by Garry. It starts with your people, “There is nothing better in a crisis than a highly engaged tribe with a very strong culture. We define our tribe as a group of people that come together to help protect and feed each other. That is at the core of what we do…we are a stronger tribe today than we were yesterday, because of this crisis.” There are 3 areas where the WD-40 tribe is focused: The safety and well-being of our tribe. Communicate regularly. Put a message out to your people every day. Show support and help your team clarify their thinking. Stay connected with your team, your customers and remember to support your vendor partners. Right now, the term should not be “social distancing” – it must be physical distancing and social connection. Make sure you and your people are becoming more socially connected. Maintain your business infrastructure, and be ready to thrive when we come through this. Ask yourself how you can maintain – to the best of your ability – your business structure. Brainstorm with your team: What do we know? What can we do with what we know? What don’t we know? Your people are looking for a steady hand on the rudder. It’s crucial right now. Turn up the volume on reminding them of your company vision, communicate often and stay connected. For more on Garry Ridge’s advice on guiding through this tumultuous time, listen to the podcast. To get a pdf of Garry Ridge’s Issue Response Plan, click the image below. Garry has been with WD-40 since 1987 in various management positions, including executive vice president and chief operating officer. He has worked directly with WD-40 in 50 countries, and is renowned for his accomplished leadership skills. As CEO and Board Chairman, he has worked directly with the WD-40 Company in over 70 countries. Mr. Ridge is an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego where he teaches leadership development, talent management, and succession planning in the Master of Science in Executive Leadership program. He co-authored the book “Helping People Win at Work” with executive coach Ken Blanchard. Remember to take care of yourself this week, and that your leadership is crucial.
13 minutes | Feb 25, 2020
Are you the Type of Leader You Would Follow?
People don’t quit their job – they quit their boss and the company culture. In our current world of 3.6% unemployment, your most valuable skill is your ability to attract and retain top talent. So, how do you keep your best people? Recent Gallup research found that at least 70% of the variance in team engagement is explained by the quality of the manager or team leader. Your skills in authentic leadership, relationship building and effective communication will continually be tested in order to attract, develop and keep the best people on your team. The good news is, most of what your top talent wants from you is not complicated nor difficult to deliver. After you listen to our podcast today, you will have a clear idea of where to start. Our guest, Scott Miller, is a New York Times Best Selling Author, Executive Vice President of Thought Leadership at Franklin Covey, podcast author and popular speaker. His most recent book is Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to become the Leader You Would Follow. He joins me to discuss critical leadership practices that, when applied regularly, will significantly impact your ability to attract, develop and keep your top talent. Like all leaders, he’s had his share of wins and mistakes during his 30+ years leading people and teams at Disney and Franklin Covey. Unlike most leaders, Scott is willing to lay bare his mistakes, discuss specific ways to approach difficult leadership situations and offer tactical advice that leaders can use to coach themselves to become the type of leader they would follow. Our conversation focuses on the challenges in Scott’s book that my clients will get big wins from addressing immediately. By turning these practices into consistent habits, you’ll be known as a leader that brings out the best in their people and top talent will line up to join your team. Here’s our focus: Declaring intent in your interactions and why it matters Delivering vs. avoiding difficult conversations Allowing others to be smart Taking ego risks – get off the bleachers and on the court Choosing fearless vs. reckless leadership What actions will you take now to become a better leader today?
13 minutes | Jan 23, 2020
4 Simple Practices to Accelerate Your Success
The work you do every day as a leader matters and it impacts all of your stakeholders, for better or for worse. Besides having performance goals raised every year, creating high performing teams, recruiting and grooming new talent, all while growing the bottom line – you’re also asked to have high emotional intelligence and social skills! Oh, and let’s not forget the important requests coming from your life outside of work.The intensity and demands my clients face while striving to deliver excellence and accomplish their goals is not for the weak of heart! Being a leader requires a commitment to the vision, aligning the team with the mission and championing execution of the strategies required to achieve the company’s and your own goals. Anyone who says business is not personal is – in my experience – completely disconnected from reality. In 20 years of coaching high performing executives in financial services companies, key partners of top law firms, and leaders within high growth companies, I can share stories from every one of the 1000’s of leaders I’ve coached about just how personal business can be (but I won’t, because it’s confidential). I have been witness to anger over broken promises about upcoming job promotions, distress over a valued employee’s betrayal, frustration over getting close but missing a goal that would have delivered a team bonus, dread about difficult reorganization choices, and the list goes on. On the flip side, I’ve seen immeasurable joy while celebrating hard-earned team wins, immense pride resulting from coaching individual contributors into high performing teams and the ultimate reward of being known and recognized as the leader that everyone wants to be on their team, just to name a few.Here’s what I’ve found…all high performers want to achieve their own and the goals of their stakeholders. They plan on accomplishing this in two ways 1) sheer will 2) by bringing the best version of themselves to the workplace and also at home 3) putting winning systems and processes in place. As Charles E. Hummel famously pointed out, the biggest challenge leaders face is letting the ‘tyranny of urgent things crowd out what is truly important’. You know what I’m talking about, unexpected fires to put out, people continuously asking if you’ve “got a minute”, a long to-do list not sorted by priority/importance/deadline, endless unproductive meetings popping into your calendar and only so many hours in a day. Without a system, the tyranny of the urgent can stealthily overwhelm even the most focused, committed and vigilant leader. That is where Goal Guardrails come in. Goal Guardrails is a bonus included in my Blueprint for High Performing Leaders program. In 4 simple steps, the Goal Guardrails formula will help you quickly identify, and actively manage your goals in order to keep yourself and your team on track to achieve your best selves and year. Here are the basic tenets of my Goal Guardrails plan: Get clear and specific on what you want to achieve in your personal and professional life. Write it down! Only 4% of the American population has goals and write them down. Just 1% look at those written goals daily.Identify what is most important to you about each goal. Why does it matter? Why bother putting in the extra effort? Getting clear on the “why” sets you apart from everyone else and your team ahead of the competition. Get an accountability partner and plan to meet regularly to review progress on your goals. Research from The American Society of Training and Development (ATD) showed that team members who shared their goals with someone on the team achieved 95% of their goals! Set up your environment to support your success and new habits. Put in place specific support systems that make it easy to do what is required for you to stay on track and accomplish your professional and personal best. Don’t leave your ideal future in the hands of sheer will power, it’s been proven time and again to be a terrible strategy!Today on the Leadership Journey Podcast we dive into each of these four Guardrails, why they matter and what you can do to make them work for you. Listen today to get started – you will accomplish so much more personally and professionally than if you leave your goals and dreams to chance! Get Your Goal Guardrails PDF Here!
15 minutes | Dec 9, 2019
The CMO: Your Company’s Secret Weapon
With a seat at the leadership table, a strategic budget and Board support… you will unleash a marketing super power. According to Board advisors, when a company brings in a new President from outside their organization, one of the first two positions that President personally fills is the Chief Marketing Officer role. Having an enterprise minded CMO who understands what is available in the changing world of marketing and can directly unite strategy with your analytics, is crucial to the present and future success of your organization. Technology has ushered in a new era of marketing. Analytic tools can now identify very targeted information about your customers social profiles, past and predictive buying behavior, interests and hobbies of existing and potential consumers. With the right budget and senior leadership endorsement, your marketing department can now have unprecedented insight into patterns of behavior that can exponentially increase the profitability of your company. Your leadership and Board must view the CMO as a core part of the leadership team. The opportunity cost of not having a CMO or fractional CMO in place will negatively impact your organization’s success – the most important being lost profits. Today I talk with Angela Hill, CEO and Fractional CMO of INCITRIO, an award winning global and local branding and marketing agency. Ms. Hill offers a critical perspective on what the marketing is able to deliver, when understood and executed correctly. We touch on three important ways to successfully work with an enterprise minded CMO, including: How the CMO plays a key role in advancing your strategic initiatives across your organization, from frontline sales to the Boardroom The importance that all parties understand and speak a common marketing language How the marketing department can potentially bring you a predictable, measurable outcome in terms of profitable revenue and growth Listen in as we explore the changing role of Chief Marketing Officer, what to look for in a good one, and what you can do if you do not currently have one in place.
21 minutes | Sep 11, 2019
Here’s How to Win on the Diversity Front
Corporate Directors’ Forum shares their Diversity Strategy Even with continuous, unassailable evidence showing that companies with diverse leadership teams have better innovation, cultures and financial performance, U.S. businesses are significantly lagging on the diversity front. While many leaders realize they must take action, many aren’t sure where to begin. What strategies need to be in place to truly impact diversity in your organization? In this Director’s Cut Podcast, Christina de Vaca, CEO of Corporate Directors Forum, discusses how she made it a goal to work with her team on increasing diversity among monthly guest speakers featured at CDF meetings. As the leader of an organization whose mission is “to help directors, and those who support them, build more effective boards through continuous education and peer-networking”, Christina recognizes the impact of leading by example. When you come to our next monthly meeting featuring Board critical topics, attend our Director of the Year event or participate in our annual Directors Forum in January – you will see diversity on stage and in the audience – and it looks effortless. Our CDF members have investors, customers, employees and suppliers demanding diversity, Christina and her team have shown how measurable progress can be made in under 2 years. It starts with having a vision, aligning your team with your vision and being persistent with execution. Christina talks about CDF’s journey and explains the 3 strategies she used to win on the diversity front: 1. What is your current vision for diversity? If you don’t have diversity on your radar, your organization’s future is in jeopardy of being outperformed by your competitors who do. Now is the time to create a vision that your entire team will embrace. Make sure to involve the right people during the process, include those with diverse backgrounds, culture, gender, also find influencers in the organization who are passionate about diversity and make things happen. Explain why you picked them, the reasons this is important to the organization and to you. Set deadlines and continually get updates so they know you are vested in getting this right. Have your team map out the ideal vision and test it with small groups of employees, ask them to encourage feedback both positive and negative. Make sure the vision on diversity lands how you intend. Early in my career I was asked to be on a committee of three to give feedback on a product for the Hispanic market. Myself, nor the other two on the committee had any credentials or cultural experience advising within that market. It was obvious they were using me as an influencer, knowing that and because of other missteps my confidence in leadership dissipated, I tendered my resignation and started consulting soon thereafter. 2. How will you align your team? Most business initiatives die of neglect, not outright resistance from your leaders or employees. Buy-in from key leadership is essential and how you get that is by including them along the way. Discuss the vision with your team, get their feedback regularly, make changes as necessary and continually confirm they are on board. Be sure to test and solve for resistance, concerns, unintended consequences and watch for signs that they are eager to make progress on impacting diversity. What Christina discovered is when she made diversity a goal, shared it with her Board and her team, she saw it quickly adopted as common practice for the CDF programs committee. Having the goal caused the team to seek out diverse speakers and reach out to resources that previously had been untapped. In less than 2 years, the CDF panel speakers and audience has become significantly more diverse and inclusive. 3. Who will create and execute the strategy? As Thomas Edison wisely said, “Vision without execution is hallucination.” Once your vision for diversity is clearly communicated and the leadership team is on board, it’s time to select the team to create and execute the strategy. Given diversity is a growth engine, confirm that you have selected top talent with proven experience to create and lead the plan. Christina advises listening to employees with diverse perspectives and backgrounds to help you find the right people. The CDF programs committee have become sleuths at discovering people and topics that provide additional layers of diversity as speakers at monthly forums. Ask within your company about who could add valuable opinions on creating a more diverse culture, and who might be a good fit to groom for future leadership roles within the organization. Finally, you’ll want your team to approve the strategy and plan, identify plus communicate metrics, allocate proper budget and continuously check in to see that goals are being achieved per plan. What may seem like a challenging shift into the “modern era of diversity” turns out to be less complicated than it appears. With a compelling vision, alignment on your Board and leadership team and smart execution, you will lead diversity to become a growth engine within your organization. Listen now: Mark your calendar for January 15, 16 and 17 for the Annual Corporate Directors Forum program featuring an all star speaker lineup: including Simon Sinek, Diana Enrique, Robert Jackson, David Greenberg and Mark Thompson. Don’t miss this chance to immerse yourself in candid content, panel discussions and peer insights with Board Members, Institutional Investors and leaders of public Companies.
23 minutes | Jul 16, 2019
Diversity has Board, Investors and Govt Attention
Why should you care? California made the first move in 2018 by passing bill SB 826 to insure that publicly traded CA companies reflect gender diversity on their Boards. Currently, women hold 17.7% of Board seats in Public Companies, which is remarkable given research shows that companies who embrace diversity were 43% more likely to report above average profits. Currently, at least three other states are working to make Board Diversity a governmental mandate. More states will surely follow. Not a surprise, the passage of SB 826 in California has broad implications for both public and private companies. This bill came on the heels of an increasing trend by institutional investors encouraging and/or requiring the companies they invest in to bring gender, ethnic and cultural diversity onto their boards. Massachusetts is crafting a similar bill, and the Illinois House of Representatives has just passed H.B. 3394. The premise of these bills are to ensure publicly traded corporate boards reflect gender diversity. If they do not, attention getting penalties are enforced. In California, the first penalty is $100,000. A repeat violation is a hefty $300,000 per offense. Today we’re diving into the topic of Board Diversity and how one of the largest Institutional Investors California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) is leading the charge on impacting positive progress! What’s Happening Now in the World of Board Diversity? Mary Hartman Morris, an Investment Officer within the Sustainable, Investment and Stewardship Strategies unit for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), joins our podcast to share how they’ve made progress on Board diversity within the companies they invest in. CalSTRS is the largest educator-only public pension fund in the world. With $236.9 Billion in their portfolio, when CalSTRS takes a stand on what they require and who they will trust their pension assets with…Investment Banks, Bankers and Institutional Investment Firms quickly adapt to their expectations. Ms. Morris discusses the multi-faceted changes made at CalSTRS alongside what they look for in the companies they place their investment money with, and why. Her insights, expertise and experience are invaluable for leaders looking to deliver sustainable and profitable results. She also co-chairs the Institutional Investors Committee of the Thirty Percent Coalition, comprised of 24 national and international members, representing $5 trillion in assets under management. Thirty Percent Coalition works to Increase gender diversity in corporate boardrooms across the U.S. and has already impacted almost 300 companies, who have placed women for the first time to their Boards. Change is upon us, Board Members are being tasked from all angles to move themselves and their organizations ever faster on the diversity front. Here are 3 questions your Board can ask now to make necessary progress: How can we add diversity to our current Board composition? Do Investors, employees, recruits, customers and community looking for diversity and improved performance have confidence in your current board composition? Ideally, the Board should reflect the diversity of all stakeholders viewpoints. What will be required of your Board in the next 3 years, and what changes must be made? What concrete actions can we take to disrupt the status quo? Create a strategic plan and lead your Board to take action. What can we change within our current methods for considering a new Board member? Traditional searches include ‘who you have known’ in the past or from your other Board Service work. Is it time to bring in a search firm to get the diversity many Boards are seeking? Should you add a seat? The Board’s duty is to consider the skill sets of its members, assess the performance of each member, discuss, document and lead the Board towards what the Company requires to move successfully into the future. What does Your Board require to make progress on the diversity front? We have an overabundance of stats making the business case for diversity, yet have made negligible progress. I’m convinced it will happen when there is intentional reflection, specific goals and leadership on the Board. It takes making a commitment, awareness of why, determination and vigilance. Sometimes an existing Board may require outside assessment, coaching or training from diversity experts like Trudy Bourgeois with Work Force Excellence who was a McCauley & Co Leadership Journey podcast guest achieve diversity. In the end, diversity in the workplace, and on Boards is a positive and profitable change that reflects the demands of your stakeholders – what they want from companies they work for, buy from and invest in. Listen here to Mary Hartman Morris, Investment Officer within the Sustainable, Investment and Stewardship Strategies unit for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), discuss how they are leading the way on diversity.
17 minutes | Jun 18, 2019
3 Strategies to Supercharge your Executive Career
76% of Senior Executives report they’re miserable in their roles…here’s how to change that. For the first time in 50 years, job candidates control the market! Why are many executives feeling dissatisfied in their current role? Much of it is because senior leaders and executives become so busy setting and executing strategy with their teams, they don’t take the time to design their own career strategy. What are you currently doing to proactively manage your career? In this podcast Kelli McCauley, President of McCauley & Company talks with Mark James, author of Keys to the CSuite, Executive Recruiter, Founder and President of Hire Consulting, about specific strategies and actions to take now to keep you relevant and known, when you decide it’s time for a career move. Give yourself an advantage and keep your network alive. Most executives are working so intensely on creating and helping their teams execute on the organization’s strategy, they make the mistake of not tending to their professional network. Once you’ve achieved professional success, maintaining and continually expanding your network is imperative for a rewarding career arc. Be sure you’re making a consistent effort to connect monthly or quarterly with people already in your circle and add to your network with connections to people from diverse industries, with different perspectives and important expertise. Get active in an association aligned with your goals, like; Corporate Directors Forum, Biocom, Financial Executives Incorporated. Beyond that, continue to cultivate your “trusted 12”. These are 12 people you trust implicitly, who will act as your personal Board of Advisors. These are the confidants you will reach out to when you decide it’s time to explore advancing your role or moving to another great opportunity. When it’s Time to move, Give Yourself the Edge At your level, competition is fierce, even in a Candidate’s job market and it’s likely you haven’t interviewed in years. Give yourself an edge by working with an Executive Recruiter or Executive Career Transition Coach – someone who knows the transition period well and can guide you around common pitfalls. In our interview and in his book Keys to the C-Suite, Mark James discusses how to win the role through extensive and deliberate preparation such as crafting and rehearsing your Reason for Looking (RFL), plus succinctly telling the story of what you do and how you make a difference. An Executive Recruiter or Career Transition Consultant will coach you on how to create and present an outstanding positioning statement, how to catch the interest of organizations you want to join, and how to gain a competitive edge in the interview so that you don’t end up being the number two or three candidate. An effective Executive Recruiter is well versed in negotiation tactics and will help you get the best compensation and benefits package possible. Give yourself the Best Odds of Success in Your New Role The best Executive Recruiters know you are facing a high stakes opportunity in your new role. Research from B2C indicates that 40% of new executives fail within the first 18 months. No one hires an executive expecting they will fail, but what have they put in place to ensure you will have the best odds of success? Executive Recruiters often negotiate for coaching packages to be included in the job offer. With current stats showing it costs over 200% of an executive’s annual salary to replace them, it’s smart money. Asking for 18 months of leadership coaching becomes an invaluable investment by getting you on the fast track in your role of creating and executing strategy with your executive team, connecting the culture of the company to achieve results and enabling you to perform at your best. In this current ‘candidates market on steroids’, now is the time to put these strategies into action, advance your career and continue delivering impact as an experienced Executive. Whether considering a change in an organization, looking to uplevel your current responsibilities or are currently in transition, these tactics will stack the odds in your favor as you proactively manage your career. In your career, as in life, there are no shortcuts. However, you can align with an executive coach that can reduce the potential mistakes that you will make along your career journey. To find out more about how McCauley and Co. can help, click here.
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