Continuous Improvement: Cures The Two-Year Itch

Several years ago I had a long but fun job interview. In that interview I was honest with my prospective employer about my strengths, my passions and my need to be challenged.

I pointed to my historical pattern of two years of achieving in a role, before I got bored and needed to learn something new and needed to make a greater difference. (Which usually meant I moved on…)

The interviewer smiled and nodded and shared that he had the same problem. …Until he came to work in this company…

He had my attention.

I had his attention.

And I got the job.

For Bosses on Boss’s Day: Have You Done Eough?

October 16th is Boss’s Day.

When I think of Boss’s Day I think of the bosses I’ve had, the bosses I’ve seen and the boss I’ve been. I think of the skills I admired and echoed.  I think of the skills I could see that were buried under layers of self-discipline issues and integrity challenges.  I think of the good, the bad and the ugly:

  • The boss that was in his late 40’s, that would have temper tantrums like a two-year old when things did not go well.  (Stomping feet, throwing things, and completely consumed with blaming someone instead of problem solving.)
  • The boss that was kind, fun, supportive, and late for everything!
  • A different boss that realized in a training that her constant tardiness felt like a slap in the face to many of her employees and they were questioning her integrity.   (Her discovery was profound and behavior-altering!)
  • The boss that listened first to understand, then evaluated if the team had the tools,training and support to do their job before determining how to handle poor performance.  (Building trust and a strong organization!)

The Enemy Within: Internal Customer Service Impacts Growth

This is the second post in a three part series about customer service.  The first post asked the question, “Can great customer service be taught to anyone?”

This post examines the need for people at every level of an organization to share a vision and view each other as their customer:

  • Have you ever needed something from a co-worker in order to do your job but encountered red-tape or bad attitudes?
  • Have you ever gone in search of answers about data that was required for a critical report only to be passed from person to person and from department to department, finding that no one would provide a straight answer let alone take ownership?
  • Have you ever sat through a meeting where it was more important to point fingers and place blame than it was to look for solutions?
  • Has your organization ever laid anyone off because it wasn’t generating enough revenue, and you know that you know, that you know; that the biggest challenges they are facing weren’t created “out there”  it was created by the silos, politics and turf wars within the organization?

Employee Engagement | Banging Pans and Throwing Fish in Corporate America

One evening several summers ago, my husband and I (who don’t have children of our own) were at a playground with my six and seven-year-old niece and nephew.  They took me to the highest part of a fort and told me that I was the princess, they were my guards, and that my husband was “the bad guy.”  I was instructed to stay in the tower and they would protect me!  In the moments that followed, my husband and I were transported back to a world we have nearly forgotten.

As I found myself savoring each second of that evening, I also found myself wondering why we don’t visit that world more often.

The entire experience made me think about the Disney Movie, Monsters, Inc., a movie about Monsters that power their world by capturing the energy in a child’s scream.  Through a series of events they discover that a child’s laugh produces much more energy than a scream.  …Ultimately transforming their entire world.  Do you see the connection to the workplace?