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By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The destination workplace: Management Tips

Management Tips

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Want a working environment that attracts talent? One where team members feel real commitment? Build a “destination workplace”—an organization with purpose, enlightened leadership, engaged employees, and of course competitive wages and benefits.

In this week’s first management tip, I’ll show you how to begin creating this kind of environment by establishing deeper connections with your team. In particular, we’ll focus on connecting with the most far-flung members—the groups and individuals working remotely. It’s important to know when and how to reach out to your remote employees to inform them, seek their input, and acknowledge their efforts. Each year technology allows more and more professionals to work anywhere, anytime, but theirs can quickly become an isolated experience. Don’t let them feel left out of the family!

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Storytelling in the workplace: Management Tips

Storytelling in the office

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This week we’ll dive into one of my favorite topics: storytelling. Using stories as a communication device can ensure that your message is understood and remembered. Why is that? Good stories inspire the listener, tap into emotions, and involve characters who are dealing with issues the listener truly cares about. When you capture your listeners’ emotions, they listen—and become truly engaged.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Improve your brainstorming: Management Tips

Improve your brainstorming

Civility and politeness are great traits to have in an office environment—but when it comes to brainstorming, they also undermine creativity in a group setting.

This week’s first tip turns brainstorming on its head. It’s often said that harnessing the power of combined ideas and conversation yields more creative results than the same number of people working alone, but it isn’t necessarily true. In fact, when groups fall victim to common brainstorming pitfalls, they aren’t any more creative than individuals. My first tip this week can help you and your team brainstorm successfully.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Understanding motivation at work: Management Tips

No matter how much talent your team members have, you’ll only get their best efforts when everyone feels properly motivated.

Many practicing managers are misinformed about what it means to motivate a team. They think that yelling or screaming or threatening will motivate people. They think that simply offering money will motivate people. Not true. Fear–based tactics can get you short-term compliance—but they’ll undermine your team’s long-term commitment and motivation. And money can be a useful motivator, but it’s often just a distraction that interferes with focusing on the inherent purpose of our work.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Decisions that matter: Management Tips

Managers make decisions at work all day long—big ones, small ones. Yet we spend too little time educating ourselves about how to make truly great decisions.

We don’t always consider the amount of time a given decision deserves, don’t always follow a coherent decision-making process, don’t always consider the standards that should be met. We rarely think about common cognitive biases that get in the way of strong decision-making. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In this week’s first management tip, we’ll talk about several quick ways to step up your decision-making game.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fueling Creativity: Management Tips

The business world has a long-standing love/hate relationship with the creative process. Managers regularly profess to embrace creativity, but they’ve usually been trained to avoid failure—and accepting and learning from failure is key to a successful creative process.

The good news is that a small but growing number of adventurous business professionals do recognize that failure must be embraced. They still value the need to work faster, smarter, and cheaper, but don’t run from failure or the lessons that can be learned from it. They accept that no great invention ever materialized out of thin air, but required attempts, trials, and experiments. Each failure provides valuable opportunities to teach us what we need to know in order to succeed. My first tip this week will help you understand how failure can become your best friend.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Building better relationships: Management Tips

Trust is the heart and soul of leadership. I’ve been told more than once that to understand leadership, you need to understand decision making and strategy, and that’s true—but these skills are wasted if you don’t first understand trust.

In my first tip this week, I’ll show you how trust moves a team from mere compliance to real commitment. When people trust you, they

• feel comfortable taking risks on your behalf, and being vulnerable to you; • believe in the quality of your ideas; and • will spend time helping others get on board with your decisions.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Understanding change: Management Tips

Change is often overrated. We’re programmed to believe that change at work is good, and necessary. But it’s not always true. Change is often difficult, and completely optional. In fact, most people and companies simply aren’t wired to deal with change effectively.

Every person and company has a finite capacity for change—a capacity that change often bumps up against and spills over. In a rush to meet changing market demands and stay on the cutting edge, companies often attempt to take on too much change, which is why many projects fail to finish on time and budget, or to deliver the intended results.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. In this week’s first management tip, we’ll discuss change capacity, and understanding which types of change to initiate or adopt. It’s important to know how to implement change, but that won’t matter unless you have a clear understanding of your capacity for change.

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