Get out of your comfort zone!

Make the magic happening - My Nut Share
Make the magic happening – My Nut Share

 

I simply just love this drawing! Found it on Instagram @6amSuccess – it is absolutely on point! As it got already shared on Twitter with the words “Found some Marketing in the Wild” I thought it might be time to get this thing on the blog – to clear up the wild a bit. Thanks for sharing @blogtolearn!

For more daily, inspirational and motivational quotes please check out the @mynutshare account on Instagram.

What is Culture? (Infographic)

What is Culture? Infographic by My Nut Share
What is Culture? Infographic (not fully comprehensive) by My Nut Share

Poor Performance – Beyond Lacking Ability and Motivation

Howdy,

in recent posts I talked about talent, potential and performance. As it has been said already job performance occurs in different stages and with different focus (task performance etc.). To see my other posts around this idea please check the category ‘talent’. Business Dictionary defines performance as ‘The accomplishment of a given task measured against present known standards of accuracy, complexness, cost and speed. In a contract, performance is deemed to be the fulfilment of an obligation in a manner that releases the performer from all liabilities under the contract’.

Well, this definition is quite technically and heavily focussing on task performance – how to perform in executing one task. Further research findings around ‘performance’ were pretty often in line with the model of MindTools – developed from ‘Developing Managament Skills’ by Whetten & Cameron, 2011. This model states:

Performance = Ability x Motivation

With ability being defined as a ‘person’s aptitude, as well as the training & resources supplied by the organisation’ and motivation defined as the ‘product of desire and commitment’.

Facts are:

  1. Ability and motivation are definitely important factors of performance.
  2. Performance is an absolutely essential measure of each company – no matter the company’s size.
  3. Individual’s performance can impact organisational performance.
  4. Many companies prefer focusing on good performance rather than negative performance.

Ability and motivation are important and regarding the fact that many companies are not keen or don’t have the financial resources to focus on too much employee development and training it is essential that abilities and motivation are in place. However, I don’t think this can’t be it. During selection processes we focus mainly on ‘who to select (in)’ – who is the right match for our company / role – whom to pick.

But when we review the impact individuals performance has on a whole team or even organisation shouldn’t we focus more on the parts that trigger poor or even negative performance? Shouldn’t these factors be at least as important as the ‘good’ factors? Shouldn’t we also focus on who to ‘select-out’? Whom to let go?

HR Zone states that good performance does occur on 3 levels:

  1. Relationships between individuals and their boss
  2. Relationships between individuals and their team
  3. Relationships between individuals and their wider organisation

I absolutely like this wider idea of performance. As it does say a lot about the underlying behaviours that form the relationships. Behaviour and soft skills are somehow developable as well as ability is somehow trainable and flexible. Motivation can somehow be increased through external factors like money and other rewards. But shouldn’t we focus on what motivates an individual from the insight? What are the internal motivators? Where does intrinsic motivation comes from? What are the underlying personality traits that form the person’s behaviour, thinking style and finally motivates a person?

In all these definitions above I miss the personality part of performance. Especially the parts that could lead to derailment and contra productive work behaviour which definitely can impact performance – negatively. The relationship levels give a first, nice indication about how people behave in contact with others but to get a real picture of this they must already be employed.

One of my favourite books  is ‘Why CEO’s Fail: The 11 Behaviours That Can Derail Your Climb to The Top & How to Manage Them’ by Dotlich & Cairo (2003). CEO’s who are obvisouly top performers by definition – how else could they have climbed up to the company’s top – are mainly not failing because of lacking ability or motivation. CEO’s mainly fail because of derailment, contra productive workplace behaviour. The  11 described behaviours like e.g. arrogance, mischievousness,  and perfectionism are formed by underlying maladaptive personality traits. Let’s just summarise – an individual’s performance can influence the performance of the whole company. How big also could be the potential damage when a CEO is not performing appropriately but is rather performing bad? Not bad in the definition of not hitting targets or not setting a vision but in influencing others negatively? Shouldn’t we focus, besides ability and motivation, on personality too? Personality traits are stable and unchangeable. This means we can’t change them with training or development. Shouldn’t we pay more attention to ‘whom select out’ in our selection processes rather than ‘who has the ability and motivation to perform’? Isn’t personality a main factor? Aren’t people the most valuable asset of each company? Aren’t people the ones who interact with your customers and who sell your products? So, why is the measurement of so called ‘maladaptive workplace behaviour’ not mandatory in selection processes?  So many companies use psychometrics like personality testing for their early stage selection process but focus in doing so mainly on the desirable traits they would like to select in rather the negative traits they would like to select out. Quite a few companies are not happy to admit that they do have low performers and are less happy to take action. I guess this is something that should be changed. What are your thoughts about this topic? How do you measure performance? I’m absolutely keen to get to know your view.

 

My Nut Share – The WHY’s

Hello everybody,

My Nut Share, my business blog, has kicked-off last month and some readers found I put pretty much effort into ‘just a blog’ with having also a presence on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and of course the webpage itself. So I thought it might be the time to express my WHY. Why am I blogging? Why this name? And why do I want to blog about these three main topics.

  1. Why do I blog?

Obviously there are many good reasons why people or businesses do start a blog. My main reasons are that I do like blogging and I think it’s an awesome way to share what drives my mind. And especially to share it with people who are interested in it, hopefully. This blog is not going to give answers to all questions I might ask but it helps me to organise my thoughts. To create a proper blog post I am kind of forced to do some research, to learn about things, to extract the keys and to share my thoughts around them. I hope over the time to be able to build a network to exchange ideas and help to close the gap between research literature and practitioners point of views.

To summarise it: My Nut Share shall help to connect the world in a fun and enjoyable way and motivate others to not stay shut up but embrace your own thoughts.

  1. Why did I pick the name ‘My Nut Share’?

I absolutely do love squirrels and it’s my nickname. And squirrels do love nuts – to share something that is important to you makes a nut share.

  1. Why do I want to blog about these topics?

Talent

People are simply the most important asset organisation has!

Entrepreneurship

I am fascinated with entrepreneurial thinking and I do believe that intrapreneurship is still not getting enough attention by now. So I want to give a shout out to all (corporate) entrepreneurs out there.

Culture

I do believe that “Being global is not an option. It’s an imperative” (Cabrera, Unruh, 2012) – but many of us are not yet global enough. I am crazy enough to believe we can change the world or at least open up our mindsets and get rid of a couple of boxes.

Maybe My Nut Share can help to provide curious minds with a bit more cross-cultural confidence – myself included.

My Nut Share is somehow my learning process. A journey I got myself on and I am happy to share my findings with you. I am keen to see who might walk a bit with me on this journey.

Happy Blogging!

In case you want to check out My Nut Share on the other platforms, here are the links:

My Nut Share on Facebook

My Nut Share on Instagram

My Nut Share on Twitter

Intrapreneurs – The Corporate Entrepreneurs

A while ago I read an article at Entrepreneur, which was called ‘5 Reasons Why I Quit My Own Business to Work for Someone Else’ (Check out the article here). The 5 reasons have been:

  • Paid education
  • Accountability
  • Play a bigger game
  • Meaningful relationships
  • More disposable income

Entrepreneur Magazine is very well known for great articles that embrace entrepreneurship, support pushing your own boundaries and awesome advice on how to get your own business perform even better. I found this title pretty surprising and it caught my attention immediately. Some posted comments reflected that others shared my amazement. One person commented ‘this person has never been an Entrepreneur’. But do we really need to be self-employed to be an Entrepreneur? Does this mean every self-employed person becomes automatically an Entrepreneur or a solo-preneur?

In my last post I mentioned that we are obviously not capable of coming up with a general applicable definition of what entrepreneurship is. The term ‘novelty’ seems to be important. But is the environment we are operating in important as well? Who are the real drivers of innovation? Can’t it make total sense for a solo-preneur to get back into a corporate environment? To have the benefit of leveraging an idea ready for execution to much larger, already established client base? Shouldn’t we appreciate people as Entrepreneurs who thinking entrepreneurially and take over responsibility while operating in a corporate environment? Aren’t maybe some of this so-called Intrapreneurs ore corporate Entrepreneurs even more successful than many “real” Entrepreneurs? When thinking of entrepreneurs one might have Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson or Oprah Winfrey in mind – but how many Entrepreneurs in total do really kick ass and become that successful? What does success even mean? We are likely to talk only about successful examples when discussing entrepreneurship because these are the examples we are aware of – success stories sell better than serial success less failures. In corporate environments we tend to talk about brands in general and the brand’s reputation. However, we should not forget who is behind that brand! People, Employees, Intrapreneurs. In the following I’d like to give you a quick overview of intrapreneurship.

 

Intrapreneurs are corporate Entrepreneurs

Intrapreneurs think, act and behave like Entrepreneurs with the difference that they are doing this within a corporate environment rather than an own company. This means the focus as well as the level of responsibility differs. While Entrepreneurs are responsible for their whole company and need to overview the operating business as well as the big picture. Intrapreneurs are mainly responsible for a single part of the business or a product and Intrapreneurs are not necessarily financially involved.

 

Intrapreneurs are drivers of innovation

‘Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard’ with these words Guy Kawasaki relates straight to a very well-known issue of many big companies. The execution and implementation of ideas is crucial and inevitable to stay competitive in the current market. Loads of large corporations have established their own departments solely focusing on idea creation. Some will shop ideas expensively from external consultants. With having loads of ideas on board the execution, the happening, however is often still neglected or poor. What companies now need more than ever are people who execute these ideas and implement them. What corporates need are hands-on intrapreneurs ideally at each hierarchy level. (Simon Parker, 2011).

 

Intrapreneurs understand the market and draw off trends

Like Entrepreneurs Intrapreneurs know the market they are operating in, they know their customers and their needs. Intrapreneurs are industry experts who seek new growth opportunities and question the why of each trend to identify and create value.

 

Intrapreneurs are not just employed but are part of the company

Intrapreneurs are not driven by money. Their goal is not to become super wealthy. Their reward needs to be broader than only money. Treating Intrapreneurs as part of the company, valuing their input and offer partial ownership might be a way more appealing deal.

 

Intrapreneurs take calculate risks and care about the company

Intrapreneurs take risks and like successful Entrepreneurs they do it with respect and pay attention to potential consequences. Intrapreneurs grow with independency and autonomy.

 

So, what do you think? Shouldn’t we treat Intrapreneurs the same way we hype and admire Entrepreneurs? Shouldn’t we appreciate the fact that this person has taken the brave step to leave independency and be willing to go back into a corporate environment to add value there – and is even willing to share his story on Entrepreneur Magazine? Shouldn’t we stop judging people over their title on a business card? Shouldn’t we trust and more appreciate the results and outcomes a person is delivering rather than the label the person is given?

Entrepreneurs the New Economical Superstars – a Definition

It seems nowadays entrepreneurs are becoming the new economical superstars who drive change, disrupt markets, exit innovations and create competitive edges by being one step ahead. The more surprising it is that there is no existing generally applicable definition of “Entrepreneurship” or “Entrepreneur” . Some would agree that entrepreneurs are the ones who build an own company, some would agree entrepreneurs are the ones who think entrepreneurial, take on calculated risks and make things happen – no matter in which environment. Others would maybe agree that entrepreneurs are a too heterogeneous and widely spread group to be treated as just ‘one special bread’.

Definition-wise we might lack a bit agreement but I think the definition of Eckhardt and Shane (2003) is a nice one as they define entrepreneurship “… as the discovery, evaluation, and exploitation of future goods and services … [by] . . . creation or identification of new ends and means previously undetected or unutilized by market participants”. I like this definition as it is not too limited to the act of building a new business but could also be used for entrepreneurs operating in a corporate environment, so called intrapreneurs. So, novelty seems to be the cutting edge within this definition. That goes along with probably a generally applicable opinion of what entrepreneurs should be like.

As I’m quite interested in the whole research around entrepreneurship and personality I would like to share with you my findings within the next posts and am keen to get to know your opinions and views about the new superstars.

For a daily dose of inspirational and motivational quotes please find My Nut Share now also on Instagram as @mynutshare (@mynutshare on instagram). Would love to see you there as well.

Stephanie

Personnel Selection and Performance

When talking about ‘getting the right people into the right place’ its mostly linked to the goal ‘to get job done’. So what does this exactly mean?  People differ in their ‘talents’ – their knowledge, skills, abilities and others differences. Therefore in order to reach this ‘getting it done’ goal personnel selection should define the relationships between the needed ‘talents’ and the performance outcomes they should ideally lead to.

Viswesvaran and Ones (2000) defined job performance as “scalable actions, behaviour and outcomes that employees engage in or bring about that are linked with and contribute to organisational goals”. Performance could either be related to specific tasks and goals or be a factor that influences goal achievement maybe indirect (Borman & Motowidlo, 1993).

So, to make the right decision in a selection context companies should define:

  1. What are the company’s goals? And are they transparent communicated to the HR departments?
  2. What ‘talents’ are needed? Was there a proper job analysis conducted to find out?
  3. How are these ‘talents’ gonna be found, attracted and got on board?
  4. What would be a good way to identify if it’s the right ‘talent’ before being hired?

Are those elementary first steps not done this could lead to high costs of poor selection.

Furthermore shouldn’t we think one step ahead and instead of just considering what ‘talent’ is needed in this actual moment? Shouldn’t we focus on the future? Wouldn’t it be useful to define what ‘talents’ or qualities will be needed to perform effectively in more than just one future role? Shouldn’t we focus on ‘potential’ rather than ‘talent’? Shouldn’t we consider a look at what performance a candidate is maximal capable of? Or should we focus on the typically shown performance? And which environment would be needed to support maximal performance?

I am keen to get to know your thoughts about ‘Personnel Selection and Performance’.

Stephanie

Develop Strengths from your Talents

While doing the research for my last post ‘What is Talent’ I came along this quote:

“Most people think they know what they are good at. They are usually wrong … And yet, a person can perform only from strength.” (Peter Drucker, 1909-2005).

This quote made me pretty curious, as I believe that most people aren’t aware of their strengths. Most people probably know what their weaknesses are but not really where they are good. I found a book called ‘Strengths Finder 2.0’ by Tom Rath (Webpage Strenghts Finder), which supports my hypothesis that most people rather than playing to their strengths try to improve their weaknesses. This coping mechanism can be very time-consuming and intense. Strengths Finder shall help people to get to know their talents and develop strengths out of this awareness. To focus on things you like and enjoy doing rather than to work even harder on the aspects you simple don’t like and aren’t good at seems like a nice and simplified alternative to me.

The book claims an easy structure where Talent multiplied with Investment leads to Strength.

Talent is hereby defined as ‘the natural way of thinking, feeling or behaving’.

Investment is defined as ‘time spent practicing, developing your skills, and building your knowledge base’

Strengths is ‘the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance’

Many companies wondering how to engage their employees but how many of these companies really DO a talent or strengths assessment and place their employees into positions where they actually fit in? Especially in sales roles this might simplify everybody’s job so much! Not every top seller is by definition a good leader. So why are still companies promoting people into manager positions who did a great sales job?

  1. These people will probably no longer bring the return they did when they were in an operating sales role
  2. These people ‘waste’ their time by trying to show their employees how to do it right – but have probably not even received a training and maybe absolutely no talent in leading and inspiring people

I don’t want to say that weaknesses are not important or should be ignored – the opposite is the truth. I believe it is truly important to know what are you good at and what not. For entrepreneurs apply the principle to know your strengths as well as your weaknesses to successfully buy-in people who accomplish your weaknesses with their strengths.

By the way I used the Strengths Finder 2.0 myself and it’s a really nice way to get to know yourself a little bit better and the derived action plan for developing your talents into strengths is a good toolkit.

Stephanie

What is Talent?

Well, here we go. My first blog post! Whoop whoop.

Probably since McKinsey consultants introduced  the term ‘The War for Talent’ in 1997 most people understood that ‘Talent’ is considered to be something awesome. Especially companies and HR within them are keen to find the best talents on the market and to win them. Fair enough! But what exactly is talent? Which talent do you need?

Fact is, there is until now, year 2015 – 18 years later – NO universal established definition of talent. Wikipedia for example states ‘Talent means the skill that someone has quite naturally to do something that is hard’.  Innovation Excellence defines talent as something we cannot acquire and ‘we cannot learn to be talented’.  Business Dictionary gives two definitions for talent. ‘1. A natural ability to excel at a duty or an action’ and ‘2. A group of people, such as employees, who have a particular aptitude for certain tasks’. OK so this means in those context we assume that talent is something we cannot develop but which is naturally given.

So, this would mean talent is given and as a HR person you would need to find that person with the talent that you need for your special task to be fulfilled. Sounds pretty challenging. And would the talented person even know that he or she is talented? Would a natural talent always beat hard work?

I’m not too sure with all these definitions. Shouldn’t we more think about

  1. Is the talent a ‘raw’ talent or has the person already taken any action to build on his or her talent to grow and strengthen it?
  2. What if a naturally talented person is lazy? Would a less talented person but with a high strive to perform be a better alternative?
  3. Are we really searching for talent or are we searching for potential?

Whatever talent might be I guess we should take into account that our world is changing constantly and we should be forearmed for future challenges. And without any doubt is our workforce the most important asset and value of each company.

I hope this may be some good food for thought. I am keen to hear your view!

Stephanie