king joffrey, game of thrones, rule, Toby Elwin, blog

One rule to rule all: listen hear

Many managers take control with the belief their technical expertise in their field is more important in their management role than the challenge to manage finite resources of people, time, and budget.

Any technical ability the manager had, as an individual contributor to meet their functional skill, is not as important as the ability to listen, to motivate, to teach, to learn.

To promote the contrary is to promote insanity.

columbus, capability model, Toby Elwin, blog

Capability model incompetence

Capability models rarely aggregate the sum of people capability. Organization capability is sabotaged by people capability, the organization capability model rarely covers the contingency of the unwilling, the unable, and the unmotivated.

Organizations are a product of social interactions, not industry feature. People decide to avoid each other or work together and that is the sum of individually-motivated competence, not organization capability.

brilliant mistake, health care, Toby Elwin, blog

Fast Start — The brilliant mistake of health and wellness

A healthy employee is a productive employee and health and wellness programs roll out across corporate America to capture this gain.

Compensation expert Carol Harnett shares her brilliant mistake from this Human Resource Executive article and detail on the data to her assumptions that reveal flaws in health and wellness resource commitments.

Fast Start questions brilliant mistakes.

change management, Toby Elwin, Darth Vader, alarm, blog

Change management alarm

Just as an alarm stops you from a current, resting state, change management relies on communicating to people what they need to stop doing and what people need to start doing in a new, functional state. Time to stop blaming and start changing.

company social media, strategy reflects organization, culture, sales, Toby Elwin, blog

Company social media strategy reflects organization culture — sales

Social media is a wasted investment if the wrong numbers are valued over the right ratios. Social media is not a sales promo blitzkrieg, social media is an engagement strategy.

Culture is the way things are done. Getting something done in a culture is understanding what the culture values and how to navigate.

A relationship built on a transaction is a relationship built on perceived value; sales or otherwise. A relationship built for a sale is a relationship that starts with the end game and that end game is more transparent to the mark than you realize.

Social media strategy provides proof of involvement and the real tolerance an organization has to listen to a diverse community of voices and harness the contrarians.

Four Horsemen, Apocalypse, Toby Elwin, community persona, person, marketing

Community persona for organization development

Why do people matter? Because people are the only way organizations, and communities, achieve or sustain anything. To understand people you need to understand what answers they look for.

Clear links from content to the place where action occurs is crucial. To move from selling to solving means a move from your motivation to get it done to another’s motivation to solve a challenge. Persona strategies create marketing goals more effective than traditional advertising.

facebook, employee engagement, wrong, Toby Elwin, blog

What’s wrong with employee engagement? Ask Facebook

Praise in public, scold in private. Many are coached on this. But what happens when a single manager’s lack of self-awareness meets the level of the Facebook video a father posted to his daughter? See video below?

What, you ask, can the paternal bond of a father and a daughter offer management? The situation, I witness far too often, is a manager’s tough love, just as a father hides behind, will snap an employee or co-worker back into line. The father in this video uses tough love and tough love seems a viable option in a far too many manager tool kits, as well.

churchill, roosevelt, stalin, performance review, Toby Elwin, blog

3 performance review politics that always trump merit

Politics trumps those who have shown reliable, merit-based performance.

When rewards are given to those with little merit, but through a host of politics such as cronyism, parochialism, and kleptocracy engagement is sabotagued and have little hope to achieve true engagement.

Merit-based performance would focus on the employee’s behavior that exemplifies excellence or the employee’s behavior that needs attention or improvement. When cronyism, kleptocracy, and parochialism gang up meritocracy has no chance.

Batman, Shakespeare, engagement perspective, Toby Elwin, blog

Engagement needs both context and perspective

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet … “, iambic pentameter aside, I appreciate Mr. Shakespeare’s point.

However, when I look at a word that is recently trending in a lot of companies and organizations, a word such as … oh, engagement, it seems to stink of some fetid cesspool, not quite the rose implied.

The value of context relies on engagement. Context without perspective is an allusion. Without context what is said rarely meets what is delivered.