You've got goals. Maybe even BIG goals!
It's on everyone's mind at this time of year. Goal Setting. Resolutions. New habits. Projects to tackle.
Whether the goals are yours personally, for your team, or even your whole organization or business, how can you be sure you'll really get 'em done?
The key is having a solid process. One that addresses the usual stumbling blocks and pitfalls that can lead to falling short. Following a few essential steps can make all the difference between success and failure.
Whether your personal goals, team goals, or goals for your whole organization, my useful guide will walk you through the process to be sure you get where you want to go. Best of all, the guide is FREE.
To get yours, click here. Worksheets included.
Recruiters today typically seek out new hires based on best fit of skills and experience. There is less interest in developing a good employee than in finding an instant sprinter. Don’t get me wrong: it goes without saying that skills and experience are hugely important. Yet even with the greatest capabilities and when a person is the best technical match, this doesn’t guarantee a good fit overall.
Jeff Bezos, of Amazon fame, goes to the next level. He wants his execs to ask themselves these three incredibly insightful questions before hiring a new employee:
1. "Will you admire this person?"
2. "Will this person raise the average level of effectiveness of the group they're entering?"
3."Along what dimension might this person be a superstar?"
These are all crucial questions to ask of ourselves.
Photo by Bekir Dönmez on Unsplash
Let’s focus on the second question for a moment. Like me, you have likely experienced a time when a person was simply not a good fit for their team. Ironically, this often happens when someone excels at what they do so highly, that they operate as cowboys, leaving their team members behind. An exceptional player who motivates and inspires others can be a boon, but those who work at odds against their team members or stakeholders can pose serious problems. Similarly, someone who doesn’t respect others, or cannot get along with those around them, can demoralize an entire operation.
Now, being an independent operator isn’t always a bad thing. It’s only a problem in the wrong context. Sometimes we need individuals who can operate strongly on their own, be independently innovative, and who are highly competitive. Sales is one example. In such a context, a person who is highly collaborative and overly dependent on others may be the poorer fit.
A diverse team too can be invaluable; thus, we may select someone based on skills or backgrounds which compliment those of others. Yet if differences in expertise or perspective are too vast and remain unresolved, this too can be a barrier to collective progress and performance. Along with diversity, a team needs the maturity and capability to exploit their differences rather than be overwhelmed by them.
A close corollary, and related to Bezos’ question number three, is whether or not the team at hand will likely bring out the best in this candidate. After all, we aren’t looking to dampen the performance or development of a superstar. We just need to position our superstars in the right places. When the team and its individuals are enhanced, everyone wins.
Before bringing on a new hire or new team member, it’s useful to consider not just an individual’s strengths, but also the full context of the work to be performed. You can then better assess if that person is a good fit for enriching the whole and keeping things in proper balance.
We encounter risks every day. In business, we may be outdone by a competitor’s service or product. At home, there’s a risk you or I might slip on a newly mopped floor. There’s a chance that an unexpected traffic accident will make us late for an appointment. We could even get hit by a car while walking across the street!
Thankfully, not every bad thing that could happen does happen. And for many of the things that put us at risk, there are ways to minimize our vulnerability to them.
What is a risk?
In short, a risk is anything that has the possibility of a negative outcome. The two basic components of a risk are probability and impact where the value for probability is greater than 0% but less than 100%. (If the probability is 100%, it is no longer a risk, but a problem.) The impact or consequence of a risk may be low, medium or high. When we account for both probability and impact together, this is referred to as the exposure for that risk. For example, a risk with high probability and high impact, would also have high exposure, whereas a risk with low probability and low impact, would have a low exposure.
Here’s an example of a simple risk exposure matrix:
Just as we encounter risks each day, we also effectively manage many of them on automatic pilot. When I was a youngster, my mother taught me to stop and look both ways before crossing the street. I no longer think consciously about this, yet I perform the risk management ritual with great consistency. The outcome would still be bad if I were hit by a passing car, however my habit dramatically reduces the likelihood of it happening!
There are, however, many kinds of risks for which we have not developed an automatic habit of handling. Those kinds of risks require conscious thought and effort to deal with effectively.
Failing to deal with a risk does not mean we are free from its consequences. It merely means we are accepting the risk, either by explicit choice, or implicitly by ignoring it. In such cases we have done nothing at all to reduce our exposure to the risk and the consequences it may heap upon us. In other words, we’re allowing these risks to manage us.
Basic Steps in Risk Management
The basic steps in risk management are to identify, analyze, prioritize, and manage the risks. Whether you’re a leader in business or dealing with a significant personal matter, the same essential steps apply.
Mitigation plans are designed to reduce the likelihood (probability) of a risk occurring, or reduce the impact if it does. In other words, a mitigation plan is intended to reduce our overall exposure to the risk.
Contingency plans are different from mitigation plans in that they account for what we’ll do in case the risk becomes a reality. A contingency plan is what we implement if the risk turns into a problem and the bad stuff happens.
Both high and low priority risks should be monitored routinely in case anything changes.
In any endeavors of significance, the value of risk management cannot be overstated. Identifying and managing relevant risks will help leaders, teams, and you personally to operate more effectively, better meet your goals, and reduce stress!
Please join me for this interesting topic and discussion! For more details, check out the Webster Chamber of Commerce Power Hour page.
What would you most like to see in a newsletter centered on business performance excellence?
What information would help you the most?
Click here to tell!