Aloha nui, happy 1st day of summer 2016! Let’s talk story,
Every manager has work-related adages and mantras they’re fond of, and so do I. One of my favorites which has weathered the test of time and weathered it well, is “Doing the Drill Down: Less is More.”
Less is More
What I consistently witness in workplaces that operate in crisis mode or teeter on that precipice, is that everyone (leadership, middle managers, rank-and-file, —everyone) is trying to do too much. A little done exceptionally well, will trump a lot juggled in mediocrity every time. Every, single, time.
With b) culture-building, we ask and answer the question: What will give us our bang for the buck in value-alignment?
In coaching clients, there is a set of diagnostics we count on for clues — we customize. We take note of the scattered attentions, and we look for their root causes to nip stuff in the bud, however we always zoom in to focus on the biggies. When you choose the right targets, they tend to reveal their domino effects, and the small stuff will soon fall into place, particularly when good communications are in place — good communication is highly conducive to continued momentum.
Jumpstart: The MWA Toolkit
For those who cannot work with us personally, yet do want our self-coaching tips for Managing with Aloha, we have a set of recommendations we’ve long referred to as the MWA Jumpstart, a toolkit with just 3 tools.
As with any good tool, these are meant to be used. Leave them in your toolbox and they no longer are tools, they are dusty, forgotten storage.
- The Book – Read it, then select the top 5 values you wish to work on.
Extra credit: Start a book club, with MWA as the first book you tackle.
- A Value of the Month Program – Start one, and stick with it.
- The Daily 5 Minutes – Mandate it throughout your entire organization.
A mandate is “an official order or commission to do something.”
These 3 tools are the LESS which will get you MORE than you can now imagine. They are listed above in order: Do 1., then 2., then 3.
Thereafter, the book becomes reference and resource. Your Value of the Month program creates and fosters your culture’s Language of Intention, and curates value alignment. The Daily 5 Minutes becomes your managers’ forever m.o. in becoming good receivers, and your culture’s forever m.o. in Speaking up.
A few more comments on each one:
The Book – Read it.
Reading Managing with Aloha first, is the quickest way to learn the philosophy. Believe me, this is not a sales pitch, for it is what it is. We’ve now had twelve years to compare the self-coaching results between book readers and those who go the route of trying to cobble together the information I publish on my websites and elsewhere. Reading the book is your best possible beginning in sending you on your way well.
Reading the book is LESS. It is the smartest approach;
the book is designed for sequential learning in the way it is written.
Cobbling together online info tries to be MORE, and often fails;
there is a lot on this site alone, and reading it can be very scattershot, not optimally in-context.
The biggest benefit you’ll gain from reading the book, is in learning how selected values drive specific behaviors. You will better understand which values you will eventually choose to focus on, in the value alignment you begin to tackle thereafter.
A Value of the Month Program – Start one.
If monthly sounds daunting to you, have a quarterly program. Either way, keep it alive and well, i.e. talked about often, and relevant to your day-to-day work. The pitfall of a quarterly program, is that people will try to cram initiatives at the last minute, just as they tried to do in school.
My best tip to you, is: Don’t get elaborate and fancy in your program design — Less is More!
This is how we usually start a program in workplaces we coach; we commandeer 20 minutes of their weekly staff meeting on a 6-week value rotation as follows;
Week 1: Value 1 – What are the desired behaviors we want to associate with this value? Why?— how does it connect to company mission and vision?
Week 2: Value 1 – the #AlohaIntentions connection to Speaking with Aloha.
Week 3: Value 1 – the #AlohaIntentions connection to Working with Aloha.
Week 4: Value 1 – the #AlohaIntentions connection to Managing with Aloha.
Week 5: Value 1 – the #AlohaIntentions connection to Leading with Aloha.
Week 6: Value 1 – the #AlohaIntentions connection to Living with Aloha.
Week 7: Value 2 – What are the desired behaviors we want to associate with this value? Why?— how does it connect to company mission and vision?
…and so forth.
By “commandeer” I simply mean we facilitate a Talk Story group session, and then set our follow-up expectations. Action is expected of all session participants: They must follow-up on whatever they specifically choose to do before we reconvene the following week. They become our Value Focus Leaders, and our Managing with Aloha champions.
The Daily 5 Minutes – Mandate it.
I get a lot of feedback about the Daily 5 Minutes, and this wonderful nugget is one of my favorites:
“You know what I love about the Daily 5 Minutes Rosa? It respects my intelligence.”
When I say “Mandate it throughout your entire organization” I also mean that everyone is in on it: They understand the what, when, where, who and why of the practice completely — don’t assume all of that, because you got them into the how.
We managers have this very annoying, and highly condescending way of communicating selectively, treating others on a need-to-know basis. How disrespectful! There is no TMI (too much information shared) in full-engagement workplaces. Information is shared enthusiastically and completely, with utmost generosity in the teaching and coaching of that information.
In the book, I describe how we went all-in when starting our Daily 5 Minutes practice at The Hualalai Resort:
Employees were brought into the plan and openly told about the program: they were asked to prepare something, and be ready to fill the silence when a manager approached them and said, “How about a break from the action here, let’s step away and Take 5.”
When you begin the Daily 5 Minutes, be sure you go all in too. To respect a person’s intelligence, is to convey to them, “I believe in you, and I know you have a lot to offer.”
If you have questions about any part of the MWA Jumpstart, please comment here or write to me — I’d love to hear from you.