Tag Archives: John Riddell

The curious learner. RiverRhee Consulting Newsletter, May-June 2015

By Elisabeth Goodman, 13th June, 2015

Why be a “curious learner”?

I have just come back from an invigorating visit to Belgium and the annual awards ceremony for the students of the British School of Brussels (BSB), my ex-school and one that my father, Mike Goodman, was a co-founder of.  The school’s motto is “Learning together, inspiring success” and both the Principal of the school Sue Woodroofe, and the attending BSB Trustee, Belgian Minister of State Mark Eyskens, helped to drive this message home.

Leuven University Library

Leuven University Library – BSB students are presented with their annual awards in the nearby University hall.

The second influence for this newsletter’s theme actually came a few days earlier in the form of an article in The Observer of 7th June by Ian Leslie, author of “Curious: The Desire to Know and Why your Future Depends on it”. This is where I came across the phrase “curious learner”. Leslie’s observations on the importance of enquiring minds and continuous learning to create the intellectual capital that is crucial to today’s innovative world really struck a chord.

So what is the connection with RiverRhee Consulting?

We at RiverRhee are continuously developing our own knowledge

Sue Woodroofe suggested that the purpose of learning should not just be one of imparting knowledge, but of giving students the means to develop their wisdom! Ian Leslie suggested that we should be helping students to become not only specialists (suited for specific jobs) but also generalists, with a curiosity that enables them to span many disciplines; echoes perhaps of the likes of Leonardo de Vinci and the Renaissance man, but also of successful modern day managers and entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs and Richard Branson.

We are striving for something like this in developing our own knowledge at RiverRhee, continuously learning about new areas that will bring novelty and added depth to all of our offerings for enhancing team effectiveness and for creating exceptional managers and teams.

So for instance I attended the first of what I hope will be many more workshops with David Hall from The Ideas Centre to enrich how we facilitate workshops (see Facilitation – some new ideas) in general, and also approaches to continuous improvement in our Introduction to Lean Sigma training.

Using lego with The Ideas Centre for solution development

Using lego with The Ideas Centre for solution development

I have been exploring Motivational Maps with Joy Bemrose of Winning Workplace (this is also something that our Associate Lorraine Warne can also support) as something additional to share in our Supervisor Training and Introduction to Management courses. How to motivate their direct reports is something that our delegates often flag as a particular challenge.

Janet Burton and I are always looking for ways to deliver greater value to the delegates in our Introduction to Management course. The feedback that we receive is invaluable for this, but we are also going to pilot a new approach in next week’s course: inviting a guest speaker to lead a 30 minute slot on a new topic that we believe will be of interest. Next week’s guest is Jacqui Watson of SymplyChange Ltd, speaking on Transactional Analysis as an additional resource for dealing with difficult situations. We are open to suggestions as to what will appear in September’s course.

I have been working with another of our Associates, Margie Gardiner to develop some further content, in response to a customer’s request, for our Introduction to Lean Sigma course. Like many approaches to Lean and Six Sigma, ‘5S’ (Sort, Store, Shine, Standardise, Sustain) provides a relatively simple but structured approach for better organising and streamlining our work, and thereby make better use of our time and resources. This added content will also appear in my latest workbook “The Effective Team’s Operational Excellence Workbook” that will be coming out shortly.

Other ways in which we help our clients to be curious learners

Our ideal clients are those who come to us because they have a desire to learn some new principles and tools that will enable them to address their challenges at work. So we take an “action learning” approach to our workshops, and in our coaching and consulting. Our clients bring their challenges. We teach them some approaches. They apply the approaches and gain new knowledge and skills, as well as real solutions to their challenges.

People come to us as curious learners, and hopefully they continue as such beyond their interactions with us.

So our management workshops are very interactive, as shown in our latest RiverRhee Consulting: Management Workshops video.

An interactive exercise in our Introduction to Management course

An interactive exercise in our Introduction to Management course

As delegates to our November Introduction to Lean Sigma course will discover this topic is all about stimulating continuous learning for continuous improvement.

John Riddell’s and my upcoming conference ‘master class’ at CILIP’s 2015 conference will be promoting “learning before, during and after” to enable library and information professionals to act as ‘knowledge facilitators’ in their organisations.

Last but not least, October’s Managing Change course will continue to encourages those working in Life Science based organisations to learn to understand those affected by the change in order to more effectively deliver change programmes. In fact I was interested to hear Belgian Minister of State Mark Eyskens’ assertion that our general understanding of cognitive behaviour i.e. how we all think and operate, lags far behind many other branches of our knowledge. No wonder that their own and other’s behavioural reactions to change is the aspect that so many leaders of change find the most challenging!

Time to have some more conversations with Lorraine Warne on how NLP is an “instruction manual for the mind”.  We can learn a lot from personality tools such as MBTI and Belbin Team Roles too as per this recent testimonial from one of our clients: “I’m sure I speak for all of the team when I say how informative and valuable yesterday’s [Belbin Team Roles] session was.  I know that we will be able to use this new-found knowledge to grow stronger individually, as a team and as a business – thank you.”

Closing thoughts

I continue to do voluntary work as a Trustee with The Red Balloon Learner Centre in Cambridge, and have also recently become involved as a volunteer assisting the Cambridge Area 14-19 Partnership.  It is extremely rewarding to contribute to young people’s learning in this way and to gain a window into their world which is so insightful for our own approach to work and life in general.

I’d like to finish by quoting another article, this time in the Observer Magazine of 7th June, with Stephen Mangan who said: “I’d like my kids to know that everyone’s making it up as they go along. You want to find that balance between self-confidence and arrogance, and an ability to enjoy the moment versus an ambition to improve.” I might suggest replacing the word “arrogance” with “humility” and insert ‘by being a curious learner” before the final full stop. I certainly agree that we should have fun and enjoy our continuous improvement journey!

About RiverRhee Consulting

RiverRhee Consulting has been delivering training, mainly in the form of workshops, and coaching since 2009.

Subject areas include:

  • Supervisor and management skills.
  • Team building & effectiveness.
  • Operational excellence (Lean and Six Sigma).
  • Change management.
  • Project management.
  • Knowledge management.

We are training providers for several library and information groups such as CILIP, Aslib, TFPL.  Discounts are available for One Nucleus members, and through the Cogent Skills, Skills for Growth programme.

Do get in touch if you would like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house workshops, and how we can help you to create exceptional managers and teams in 2015 and beyond.

Elisabeth Goodman receiving the Cogent Skills Assured Training Provider certificate on behalf of RiverRhee Consulting

Elisabeth Goodman receiving the Cogent Skills Assured Training Provider certificate in May, on behalf of RiverRhee Consulting

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Building your team in 2015. RiverRhee Consulting Newsletter, January – February 2015

By RiverRhee Consulting, 2nd February 2015

We’ve had a busy start to the year delivering in-house training on management skills and performance reviews, and Janet Burton and Elisabeth Goodman are looking forward to delivering our popular “Introduction to Management” open access course in Melbourn (UK) in March. Details of this and other upcoming courses can be found at the end of this newsletter, or on the RiverRhee Consulting website.

We also like to add new skills to our portfolio each year, and thanks to Elisabeth’s recent accreditation, can now add the Belbin Team Roles alongside MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator), and NLP (NeuroLinguisticProgramming). These tools can be very powerful not only to help us understand our individual strengths and make better use of them, but also to foster stronger relationships and communication both within and outside the team.

Whilst white water rafting may be one approach to building your team, it’s not the one that everyone would choose.  We thought we’d devote this newsletter to exploring how you could use personality tools and other approaches to engage your team members in building your team in 2015.

Using personality tools to develop the team

There is a whole host of tools available to help us better understand our own and other’s strengths, and so plan how we can make better use of these strengths to build stronger relationships and improved communication within a team.

Some people are concerned about the risk of being ‘put in boxes’, but it is the individual’s choice to share their profile or not. At any rate, we can all choose to and do behave differently from our profiles, and we can and do learn skills in areas that are not our natural strengths.

As accredited practitioners, RiverRhee Associates can help your team explore the ethical and constructive use of such tools as Belbin Team Roles, MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator), and NLP (NeuroLinguisticProgramming) for developing your team.

MBTI summary slide

MBTI summary slide

 

Defining a common team purpose and goals

Strong teams don’t just rely on good working relationships. They are also aligned around a clear team purpose and goals: the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ of their day-to-day existence. Having common values will also enable team members to work together more effectively and so become a high performance team.

As Elisabeth describes in Chapter 3 of her recently published “The Effective Team’s High Performance Workbook”, “a team’s vision sets out what it aspires to do. It is a futuristic statement .. [that] is meant to inspire the team and attract its stakeholders to do business with it.” So a team might have a vision something like this: “we are recognised as a centre of excellence in what we do. Our peers consult us as a role model for how they too can excel in their work.”

The Effective Team's High Performance Workbook, RiverRhee Publishing, 2014

The Effective Team’s High Performance Workbook, RiverRhee Publishing, 2014

As for goals, the ideal is to have a cascade from the organisation’s objectives, through to those of each department and team and hence to the individual: a joined up approach that not all organisations that we work with find easy to achieve.

Finally, as also described in the book, “values represent how we go about our work: how we see ourselves, what we would like others to hear about us, what we feel is important.” These values might include expertise in the team’s area of work, being attentive and responsive to customers, or always behaving with integrity. Team building events are a good opportunity for people to share what values they care about, and which ones they could align themselves around as a team.

Identifying and agreeing opportunities to enhance working practices

Team building events are also a golden opportunity to review working practices, and to engage everyone in how these could be improved. As external facilitators, we help people to articulate what could be improved, and how, if needs be anonymously. We collate all of the suggestions for improvement, as well as confirmation of what is working well, and so facilitate constructive discussions during the team building event.

Areas covered in past events have included internal communication, clarity of roles, managing workloads, meeting management and more. Again, a full list of potential working practices to explore, along with suggestions for the pre-workshop diagnostic, can be found in “The Effective Team’s High Performance Workbook”.

Upcoming courses and events

We are delighted that John Riddell and Elisabeth Goodman’s application to present a masterclass on “How to add value to your organisation as a ‘knowledge facilitator’” at CILIP’s 2015 conference has just been accepted. This interactive session will give us an opportunity to share and explore insights from our book: “Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry”, Gower, 2014 and more!

Details of all our upcoming courses and events are kept up-to-date on the RiverRhee Consulting website. Here is what is coming up in the next few months:

  • Managing Change (with One Nucleus and Cogent) – 23rd February, Melbourn (UK)
  • Elisabeth Goodman will be co-presenting at the APM Midlands branch event – How to keep programmes on track and teams inspired during periods of change, 24th February, Nottingham
  • Introduction to Management (with One Nucleus and Cogent ) – 17th-19th March, Melbourn (UK)
  • Effective Project Planning and Management(with TFPL) – 23rd April, London
  • Introduction to Lean and Six Sigma (with One Nucleus and Cogent), 27th April, Melbourn (UK)

If you would like to find out more

Do get in touch if you would like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house workshops, and how we can help you to create exceptional managers and teams in 2015.  See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at elisabeth@riverrhee.com.

 

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Looking back on 2014 and forward to 2015. RiverRhee Consulting Newsletter, November – December 2014

RiverRhee Consulting, 11th December 2014

Introduction

December is traditionally a time when many of us reflect on our achievements, what we have learned and what we can look forward to in the coming year.

2014 has been our most active and varied year so far, in the just over five years of RiverRhee’s existence. We thought we would share a little about our achievements and our learning, and several things that might be of interest to you in 2015 under the headings:

  • Developing management and interpersonal skills
  • Managing and dealing with change
  • Continuous improvement
  • Knowledge management
  • Strategy facilitation
  • Upcoming courses

Developing management and interpersonal skills is an important area for growing SMEs as well as larger organisations

Interest in Elisabeth Goodman’s and Janet Burton’s off-site courses and customised in-house training and coaching for new managers and supervisors has really taken off in 2014. Our client base for management related skills is continuing to expand with bookings for January through to March 2015.

Delegates at our Introduction to Management course, September 2014

Delegates at our Introduction to Management course, September 2014

We have learnt that some SMEs can spare the time for people to attend our off-site 3-day Introduction to Management course and really appreciate the opportunity to network with and learn from colleagues from other companies.

Equally important though, is our ability to customise our Supervisor Training course so that the content and duration match what other clients would prefer to have delivered in-house. Elisabeth and Janet ran one such course for Red Balloon, Cambridge and subsequently shared the experience in the blog “There will never be enough time

Sometimes our support takes the form of short coaching sessions with individual managers – we did some of this in 2014, and are due to do more in 2015.

How to enhance team effectiveness is one of the topics included in supervisor and management training, and Elisabeth recently published “The Effective Team’s High Performance Workbook”, now available through Amazon as well as through the RiverRhee publishing page.

We’ve also found that SMEs appreciate the help we can give them in reviewing and rolling out improved performance review and appraisal processes . And we have used Elisabeth’s and Lorraine Warne’s skills in MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) and NLP (NeuroLinguisticProgramming) to help individuals understand their strengths and enhance their interpersonal skills.

Managing and dealing with change is a big topic of interest

We have run workshops and delivered seminars on the subject of change for Library and Information organisations (CILIP, UKeIG, Health Libraries Group), and at Project Management (APM) events in 2014 (see for example “Common factors for managing successful change“).

Changing the way we change - APM event at GSK June 2014

Changing the way we change – APM event at GSK June 2014

This subject continues to be something that people would like more help with, so that they can make change happen in a more positive and effective way.

We have introduced a new off-site course on Managing Change for Life Science organisations in 2015 and look forward to finding out how popular this will be.

Elisabeth Goodman became the ‘pillar lead’ for Capabilities and Methods in the APM Enabling Change SIG, and this is already giving her access to new knowledge to bring into our work with clients. We also recently heard that Elisabeth’s jointly authored article with Lucy Loh’s “Organizational Change: A Critical Challenge for Team Effectiveness” is to be included in a collection of such articles in an academic work entitled “Change Leadership” edited by Colette Dumas and Richard H. Beinecke which will be published by SAGE Publications in May 2015.

There continues to be an appetite for continuous improvement

We have continued to run in-house courses on Lean and Six Sigma, and are now offering this also as an off-site course in 2015. In fact, this is one of three courses (the other two being Introduction to Management, and Managing Change) that we are now accredited to deliver through Cogent as another source of potential subsidised funding for SMEs. (Elisabeth also continues to be a registered coach and trainer with the GrowthAccelerator programme and organised a fairly well attended free event with them at Babraham Science Park in the summer.)

We delivered a half-day version of the Lean and Six Sigma course as one of two seminars with Janet Burton for the Herts Chamber of Commerce, and there are prospects of delivering more of these in 2015.

We facilitated some in-house continuous improvement with an academic organisation during 2014, and a few of the delegates who visited our stand at One Nucleus’ recent Genesis event also expressed interest to Sue Parkins and John Riddell in potential support from us in this area in 2015.

(By the way, Sue joined our team of associates during 2014, along with Paul Hadland, Rose Bolton and Margie Gardiner.  We shared a little more about the team under the theme of “What motivates us in our work“.)

Look out for Elisabeth’s next book on the topic of continuous improvement in 2015: “The Effective Team’s Operational Excellence Workbook”.

Our work in knowledge management has picked up some new momentum

The big news was the publication of Elisabeth and John’s book with Gower “Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry” at the end of August. An immediate outcome was that we were invited to give an “inspiring” talk to help a Pharmaceutical company develop its knowledge management strategy.

Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry, by Elisabeth Goodman and John Riddell

Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry, by Elisabeth Goodman and John Riddell

Elisabeth also delivered a session on Knowledge Management to IMPI earlier in the year on behalf of TFPL, and worked with the Open University Library Services to carry out an audit and facilitate a stakeholder workshop for their metadata project.

Our strategy facilitation skills have been in demand

We returned to the EU organisation that Elisabeth and Lorraine Warne had worked with in 2013 to help them shape their forward strategy.

We called in another independent consultant, Janette Thomas, at the start of the year to help us with a strategic workshop with a health research organisation.

And Elisabeth has been working with a government organisation to facilitate a workshop and a focus group to help shape one of their strategies.

Upcoming courses

Details of our upcoming courses and events are kept up-to-date on our website. Here is what the list is looking like at the moment:

If you would like to find out more

Do get in touch if you would like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house workshops, and how we can help you to create exceptional managers and teams in 2015.  See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at elisabeth@riverrhee.com.

Meanwhile, we wish you a healthy and happy end of year and start to 2015…

 

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Five golden rules for performance reviews. RiverRhee Consulting Newsletter September – October 2014

Why focus on performance reviews and appraisals?

It’s that time of year again when managers and their staff are preparing for performance reviews and appraisals. It’s a topic that can be very emotive. If done well it’s a tremendous opportunity to build engagement, generate fresh energy, and position the organisation for growth and innovation. If done poorly or not at all, performance reviews can be serious demotivators and lead to organisational stagnation and attrition.

Performance reviews and appraisals and how to do them well were the subject of animated discussion in two recent management courses that Elisabeth Goodman and Janet Burton ran with One Nucleus and with the Herts Chamber of Commerce. The following are some of the key points that emerged from these and our previous work supporting SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in particular with their performance review and appraisal processes.

Some of the delegates at the recent 3-day One Nucleus Introduction to Management course, held at the Melbourn Community Hub.  Feedback from one of the delegates: “Thank you very much for an excellent course - I found it very informative and well run. I should have done it years ago.”

Some of the delegates at the recent 3-day One Nucleus Introduction to Management course, held at the Melbourn Community Hub. Feedback from one of the delegates: “Thank you very much for an excellent course – I found it very informative and well run. I should have done it years ago.”

1. Performance reviews are a 2-way process

The review should be, in transactional analysis terms (Eric Berne 1960s), an “adult to adult” conversation jointly owned by the individual and their manager. For the employee it is a time to get formal feedback on their work and to plan what they will be doing in the coming year. For the manager it is an opportunity to provide that formal feedback and direction. A manager could create an opening for that 2-way discussion by asking such questions as: “How could I help you to make 2015 a real success?”

2. There should be no surprises

Although the formal review takes place once a year, it should definitely not be the first time that comments on requirements for improvement, or positive feedback are exchanged. Nor should it be the first time that issues with or adjustments to objectives are first discussed. These things are relevant to day-to-day work and should be discussed as they arise.

3. Objectives should cascade down from the organisation’s goals

What is often quite striking when we work with SMEs is how well connected and engaged people usually are with their organisational goals. There is a clear connection with what the organisation wishes to achieve and the individual’s role in supporting that goal. This is something that can be harder to achieve in larger organisations where there can be quite a gap between the two and quite a delay before objectives are confirmed for the coming year.

4. Performance reviews are an excellent opportunity to support personal and professional development

This aspect of personal objectives is what helps to make the discussion a two-way process. As SMEs are by definition often small there may be limited opportunities for progression through management ranks, but this should not be an excuse for limiting career development. Motivators for people in SMEs are often self-actualisation or, in the words of Dan Pink, mastery and autonomy. Providing opportunities for personal and professional development should be possible whatever the size of the organisation.

5. Make sure that your objectives are SMART

People may be dismissive of acronyms but this one is a useful one to ensure that both the individual and their manager are unambiguously clear about what they have agreed and how the successful achievement of objectives will be assessed, whatever the individual meaning of the letters. We use the terms Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timed and that seemed to work for the delegates on our courses!

How effective is your performance review process?

Do you have variations on these five golden rules?

Let us know if you would like us to tailor our performance review and appraisal training to help you with your process and coach your managers and staff for greater engagement, innovation and growth. You can also read more about this topic and other ways to create high performance teams in Elisabeth’s book “The Effective Team’s High Performance Workbook” now available from Amazon as well as through the RiverRhee Publishing website.

Other news and upcoming courses and events

RiverRhee gained Cogent Sector Skills Council accreditation during September, which, amongst other things, means that our courses can reach more small businesses across the UK. We are offering our Introduction to Management, Introduction to Lean Sigma, and also Managing Change courses through Cogent.

We will be active on the Project Management front again in the coming weeks. Elisabeth is now leading the Capabilities and Methods Pillar for APM’s Enabling Change SIG (Specific Interest Group). She will be co-presenting at APM’s Project Management in Practice event on behalf of the SIG, and will also be running the Effective Project Management course for TFPL in November.

Finally, do come and find John Riddell, Sue Parkins and Elisabeth on exhibition stand 2 at One Nucleus’s Genesis event in London on 9th December

If you would like to find out more

Do get in touch if you would like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house workshops, and how we can help you to create exceptional managers and teams.  See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at elisabeth@riverrhee.com.

 

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A ‘Fist of Five’ management tips and tools. RiverRhee Consulting newsletter, May-June 2014

A 'Fist of five'

A ‘Fist of Five’

Elisabeth Goodman and John Riddell recently attended a joint APM East of England branch and Enabling Change SIG meeting at GSK’s Pharmaceutical R&D’s Stevenage site in June, which was excellently co-presented and facilitated by Jacqui Alexander (Vice President, Accelerating Delivery Performance (ADP)) and Margaret Huggins (Senior ADP Consultant).

Delegates gained many great insights on GSK’s approach to ‘Changing the way we change’ and how to effectively engage people in change and action orientated learning. (Elisabeth has written a more detailed version of the case study which will be appearing in July’s issue of the APM’s Project magazine.)

The ‘fist of five’ was one of several interesting tips that we picked up afrom Jacqui and Margaret, and that we have since begun to use – it seemed a fitting inspiration for this bi-monthly newsletter!

One is for a unified team purpose, and the uniqueness of each individual

The first ‘W’ in the ‘5Ws and an H’ that we teach people in developing change management strategies is ‘Why’: how to clearly and compellingly express the reason for the change in a way that will engage people in it. Delegates at our joint UKeIG course with Shaida Dorabjee on Marketing and Internal Change yet again discovered how powerful that expression of that one unified purpose can be, whether when leading a change project, or when managing an operational team.

‘One’ is also for the uniqueness of each one of us within a team. There is a whole range of tools to help individuals and managers understand our unique strengths, preferences, and ways of thinking and behaving. We have a new book in development ‘The Effective Team’s High Performance Workbook’ that will be exploring some of these thanks to some terrific input from the likes of Steve Hoare, Paul Sanderson, David Sales, Jenny Day and Paul Wilson.

Two is for building rapport and recognising different points of view

There is nothing that beats a good conversation between two people for building rapport within a team or indeed in any situation. Whilst most of the students at our seminar at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy* identified ‘confidence’ as one of their key individual strengths, the ability to listen and express empathy were also there, and we definitely need these to build rapport.

(*See ‘Finding the leader within ourselves for more about this’.)

How to ‘deal with difficult people’ is one of the most popular topics in Elisabeth’s and Janet Burton’s ‘Introduction to Management’* course. Often it’s not that the other person is being difficult, but that we have two different points of view, perspectives, or ways of thinking going on: taking the time to understand those differences could make all the difference.

(*We are running a version of the course for managers at the Red Balloon Learner Centre in June, and also determining interest for a potential course for One Nucleus members in September.)

Three is the power of triads for learning and ‘self’ change

One of our former associates, Lucy Loh, first introduced us to the use of triads for practising and learning coaching skills, and it’s a technique we continue to use in our ‘Introduction to management’ and also our ‘Supervisor training’ courses.

Threesomes also appear in other contexts, for example in the three mindsets to change described by Richard McKnight, and also in our ‘Effective Team’s Change Management Workbook’.As we learned from GSK’s approach to change, all change begins with ‘self’.  We can also choose how to change ourselves by recognising whether we are in a ‘victim’, ‘survivor’ or ‘navigator’ mindset with regard to a change, and then taking the necessary action.

Four is the 4-box matrix for evaluation and analysis

The 4-box matrix or ‘Boston Square’ is an invaluable tool for managers and consultants! We use it to help delegates in our courses identify the quick wins from Lean and Six Sigma continuous improvement exercises; prioritise their time in terms of what is urgent and important, whilst also making more time for what is not urgent but important for the strategic development of their work and teams (based on Stephen R Covey’s ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’).

A 4-box matrix is also a very useful tool for segmenting stakeholders in terms of their level of engagement with a change, and the impact it will have on them.

Five is an optimum number for finding root causes and a useful performance rating scale!

We use the ‘5 Why’s’ in our Introduction to Lean Sigma training with Cambridge Network members and others to help delegates find the root causes of the issues that they are encountering. This is one of several techniques that we have been using in our current work with the Open University Library Services department.

Jacqui Alexander also used the ‘fist of five’ very effectively at the start of the APM seminar at GSK. It’s a technique she uses to ensure that any training session or meeting is meeting people’s expectations. They can show any number of fingers, with five being the highest, and also have the option of showing a fist if it’s not meeting their expectations at all. Needless to say, most people showed ‘5’ (there was only one ‘4’) at Jacqui’s event!

A 'five' rating

A ‘five’ rating

 

Other news

Kick start your business growth ambitions. We’re excited to have teamed up with GrowthAccelerator and St John’s Innovation Centre to offer a selection of interactive coaching sessions focusing on assisting potential high growth businesses to achieve their business goals. Find out more, and book to attend this event at Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge, on 7th August.

Come and meet RiverRhee Consulting. We will be having a stand at One Nucleus’ Summer Social in Cambridge on 18th June. We’d love to meet and have a chat with you if you’re coming along. You might also like to try your hand in one of our quizzes with a chance to win copies of our workbooks. We’ll also have leaflets available for discounted copies of our forthcoming book ‘Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry’.

If you would like to find out more

Do get in touch if you would like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house workshops, and how we can help you to create exceptional managers, enhance team effectiveness and create an exceptional team.  See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at elisabeth@riverrhee.com.

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What motivates us in our work? RiverRhee Consulting Newsletter, March-April 2014

What motivates us in our work?

In our Introduction to Management, and Supervisor Training courses with One Nucleus, we help delegates explore what motivates them and members of their teams in their work.  This is also a theme which Elisabeth Goodman is exploring as she writes the second of her RiverRhee Publishing workbooks – “The Effective Team’s High Performance Workbook”.  (The first, “The Effective Team’s Change Management Workbook” was published in November 2013.) There are many models depicting what motivates us in our work, and yet Abraham Maslow’s (1908-1970) hierarchy of needs is still one of the most popular.  His hierarchy ranges from the basic physiological needs, through social belonging, and on to self-actualisation. We have also been expanding the pool of RiverRhee Consulting Associates, and so we thought it would be fun to find out what motivates us in our work as a way of  introducing all of us to you.  We would be interested to hear if and how what motivates us reflects or resonates with you.  Do you feel the same, or differently?

Bringing ideas and new knowledge into our work and that of others

Knowledge Management is a key area of expertise for John Riddell, so it is fitting that one of the things that motivates him is: “when people learn something that enables them to do their job better, whether this is by using existing knowledge or creating new knowledge”.

John Riddell is a certified practitioner in Lean Six Sigma and is highly experienced in knowledge management.

John Riddell is a certified practitioner in Lean Six Sigma and is highly experienced in knowledge management.

Other things that motivate John: “I get a buzz when I’ve helped people to help each other. I also love it when a plan comes together!” Elisabeth Goodman also enjoys “Translating ideas into something tangible that will help people think about their work differently”, she uses this creativity to shape the range of training, coaching, consultancy services, and publications from RiverRhee Consulting.

Elisabeth Goodman is an experienced and certified practitioner in change management, Lean Six Sigma, MBTI, and an expert in knowledge management

Elisabeth Goodman is an experienced and certified practitioner in change management, Lean Six Sigma, MBTI, and an expert in knowledge management

She particularly likes “Introducing structures and tools to teams and managers to take away any pain or anxiety that have been preventing them from enjoying or feeling fulfilled in their work.”

Helping people generally

Being able to help others is a big motivator for all RiverRhee Associates.  Here is an example from Sue Parkins: “Helping people develop and achieve their full potential.”  Sue has a proven track record in using these skills to deliver business benefits both in the Pharmaceutical Industry and Healthcare.

Sue Parkins Sue is an experienced and certified practitioner in Lean Six Sigma and change management

Sue Parkins Sue is an experienced and certified practitioner in Lean Six Sigma and change management

Sue is also motivated by “Adding real value and enhancing a process or business”

“Working with folk who care about people and quality” is also a key motivator for Paul Hadland, a great attribute for someone who has honed his IT-related skills by working as an information scientist, systems developer, and director of strategic consulting.

Paul Hadland has worked as a management consultant on change projects in pharmaceutical, animal health, consumer goods and consumer electronics companies

Paul Hadland has worked as a management consultant on change projects in pharmaceutical, animal health, consumer goods and consumer electronics companies

Paul is also motivated by “Making a perceptible difference.”

Making a difference to how people work

One of the main ways in which we make a difference to businesses and teams is by helping them to enhance their processes.  As Rose Bolton puts it, it’s about “Working with people to find ways of doing things that make work simpler, easier, more efficient and effective.”

Rose Bolton has a proven track record in managing service improvement initiatives, including the development and implementation of IT projects

Rose Bolton is a Human Resource professional with a proven track record in managing service improvement initiatives, including the development and implementation of IT projects

We also make a difference by helping people to increase their personal effectiveness for their work within formal and informal teams.  This is reflected by Lorraine Warne’s motivation “I get a great deal of work satisfaction by passing on the knowledge of mind tools to delegates, (teaching delegates to dip into their super computer, the unconscious) to increase work excellence.”

Lorraine Warne has a passion for working with individuals and organisations so that they can increase their personal effectiveness.

Lorraine Warne has a passion for working with individuals and organisations so that they can increase their personal effectiveness.

Many of us are running our own businesses as well as working as RiverRhee Associates.  This also enables us to bring a diversity of experience to the RiverRhee team.  So Lorraine also has this motivation “Making a difference to the human race through running NLP Practitioner and NLP Master Practitioner courses and 1 to 1 coaching.” (Incidentally, Elisabeth attended one of Lorraine’s courses during March, so that she is now an accredited NLP Practitioner.)

Getting that positive feedback

One of the ways in which we build continuous improvement and quality into our work is by asking for feedback from our clients during and on completion of each of our engagements.  We take suggestions for improvement seriously, but also enjoy receiving that positive feedback. Here’s how Margie Gardiner puts it “A big motivator for me is when a client ‘gets’ it and can see how the tools and methods can be applied to their business problem and bring improvement – it’s the ‘aha’ moment from the client that brings the training to life in a practical, beneficial way.”

Margie Gardiner has an extensive background in business redesign and change management, Lean Six Sigma, programme management, clinical research, and training

Margie Gardiner has an extensive background in business redesign and change management, Lean Six Sigma, programme management, clinical research, and training

Sometimes that feedback may come a while after the event, as stated by Janet Burton, who incidentally neatly sums up many of the motivators of our team “I really am pleased when weeks or months after a training session, people come up to me and tell me just how much they enjoyed the training, how much they use their new knowledge in their work and how much difference it has made to their output and efficiency.”

Janet Burton uses her experience of training and management to help people develop their skills, enhance their confidence and change for the better

Janet Burton uses her experience of training and management to help people develop their skills, enhance their confidence and change for the better

Other news

In March we delivered a tailored version of our One Nucleus one-day course Smart Working for Business Growth and Innovation for an NHS-related organisation.  Many thanks to Janette Thomas of Accentbio Ltd who stepped in to help us with this course. Also in March, Elisabeth presented and facilitated a discussion at an IMPI (Information Managers in the Pharmaceutical Industry) meeting on “How Information Management roles are evolving”.  Thank you to TFPL for putting this engagement our way. We are also continuing to periodically deliver a tailored one-day version of Smart Working for Business Growth and Innovation to an existing client – with two more sessions running in April. A new contract also kicked off in April for some Operational Excellence consultancy with an academic library. We are starting to review the proofs for our publication with Gower “Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry” – which is now scheduled for release in September. Last but not least, we are looking forward to our forthcoming courses with UKeIG  “Getting Better at Everything you do” (May 14th in London), and with Shaida Dorabjee “Marketing and Internal Change” (4th June, also in London).

If you would like to find out more

Do get in touch if you would like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house workshops, and how we can help you to create exceptional managers, enhance team effectiveness and create an exceptional team.  See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at elisabeth@riverrhee.com.

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Creating Exceptional Managers – RiverRhee Consulting Newsletter November – December 2013

EXCEPTIONAL MANAGERS CREATE EXCEPTIONAL TEAMS

Are you supporting your managers’ development to position them well for creating exceptional teams?

RiverRhee Consulting has been privileged to work with several very talented, enthusiastic and relatively new managers in recent months.  These managers have been keen to develop their skills in various aspects of those three magic circles that were originally described by John Adair, and are still the bedrock of effective team management today: developing the individual, building the team, and managing the task.

Manager's responsibilities

Elisabeth Goodman and Janet Burton worked together to deliver our new One Nucleus three-day Introduction to Management course to managers from four Life Sciences organisations.  Delegates commented on the value of “Learning from others and a real understanding of what I should be doing”, and “Reflecting on my experiences and seeing how I could have dealt with previous situations”, “Overall an excellent experience”.

Elisabeth also coached two supervisors in a customised version of our new Supervisor Training course and helped another Life Science organisation to define and implement an enhanced performance appraisal process.

In this newsletter we explore some of the emerging themes from our experiences with these managers and organisations.

EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE REVIEW PROCESSES BUILD SUCCESS FOR THE ORGANISATION AND FOR THE INDIVIDUAL

Effective performance review processes are an opportunity to engage individuals in the goals and success of the organisation as a whole.  They are also a key vehicle for shaping individual roles and personal development.  Unfortunately negative experiences with such processes can lead to a loss of trust, a disinclination to ‘own’ personal performance reviews, and a disproportionate focus on how they will be used for salary or bonus assessments.

Some of the supervisors and managers that we worked with re-discovered the value of performance reviews and how to plan and manage SMART* objectives in a way that would reinstate positive attitudes within their organisations.

[*Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound.]

DIFFICULT PEOPLE ARE NOT NECESSARILY BEING DIFFICULT!

We know that we all have our own perspective on the world, and that this can influence how we communicate with each other, and yet it is easy to forget those differences as soon as someone is perceived as being difficult.

Psychometric tools ranging from Honey and Mumford’s Learning Styles, the NLP representational (or communication) styles, Belbin’s team roles and MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) can all help us to get a better understanding of our different perceptions and approaches to life and work.

If, even with the benefit of those insights, we still think that someone is being ‘difficult’ then there are various strategies at our disposal, such as active listening, coaching and assertiveness that could help a manager effectively address that situation.

THE ABILITY TO FLEX THEIR STYLE IS ONE OF A MANAGER’S GREATEST ASSETS

Different individuals within a team will draw on different aspects of a manager’s skills.  The team as a whole will require different management styles as it goes through the various stages of team development.  The ability of managers to flex their styles to best suit the individual and the situation is a topic that provoked a lot of discussion during our training courses.

The teams that we have been working with recently are all very local, but Elisabeth also facilitated a recent APM (Association for Project Management) East of England event where we explored the challenges and approaches for working with ‘far flung’ teams.  We have a project management related course, Effective project planning and management , which we ran for the first time with TFPL in November.

ENCOURAGING TEAM MEMBERS TO COME UP WITH POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS RATHER THAN PROBLEMS

Our third course with One Nucleus – Smart Working for Business Growth and Innovation – combines aspects of Lean and Six Sigma, Knowledge Management and Change Management, and focuses on good business practices such as identifying, analysing and resolving problems as they arise, rather than rewarding firefighting.

We included some of the problem solving techniques in our training for managers and supervisors, and whilst some people were already using the techniques in their organisations, others were keen to explore how they could use them to encourage their staff to come them with potential solutions, rather than just the problems.

NEWS ON OUR PUBLISHING ACTIVITIES AND ON CHANGE MANAGEMENT

We continue to be busy on the publishing front.  John Riddell and Elisabeth have now submitted their manuscript for “Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry” to Gower.  This is approximately one year ahead of schedule so we are waiting to hear what the revised publication date will be.

On the publishing and Change Management themes, Elisabeth’s new book: The Effective Team’s Change Management Workbook is now available under our RiverRhee Publishing label, and is starting to receive some good reviews.

Elisabeth also ran an interactive seminar as part of CILIP’s Prison Libraries Group’s conference at Birmingham’s new library, entitled “Navigating change in an ever-changing world”.  In the face of cuts and changes in funding models, staff cuts and other changes, they agreed that the key was to adopt a navigator rather than a victim or stoical survivor mentality, to be clear about their goals (focusing on quality for their customers), and to seek out and address the root causes for wasted time and effort.

Birmingham Library

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT MORE

Do get in touch if you would like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house workshops, and how we can help you to create exceptional managers, enhance team effectiveness and create an exceptional team.  See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at elisabeth@riverrhee.com.

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