Category Archives: Technology and Business

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Failure IS an Option

By:          Joel Friedman

Yes, I said it. Failure is indeed an option.  How many times in your career have you heard your leader or someone in your organization make the statement “Failure is not an option!”?  I strongly disagree with this statement and believe that we need to remove it from our arsenal of business speak unless we are dealing with life and death situations.  It needs to be replaced with “Complacency is not an option!”

Creating a business environment where failure is not tolerated leads to passive and stale organizations that lack vision and creativity.  These organizations are content with maintaining status quo rather than moving the needle in a positive direction.  If we create an organization where failure is not tolerated and the failures are treated with shame, ridicule, and humiliation, we will never truly reach our potential.

True innovation can only come from questioning status quo, searching for solutions to complex problems, shifting paradigms, creativity and yes, sometimes failing in our attempts. We must create an organization where people want to succeed, but at the same time are not afraid of failing.  People in our organization should be more afraid of not trying.

When you or someone in your organizations fails, you must view this as a teachable moment.  Analyze what the intentions were, what steps were taken to succeed, what could have been done to prevent the failure, reassess the environment and develop a go forward strategy for success.  You don’t stop trying! 

As Wayne Gretsky said “You Miss 100% of the Shots that You Don’t Take!”  So go call your shotl

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Organically Improving Employee Feedback Survey Results

By Joel Friedman

How does your company use the Annual Employee Feedback Survey?  Many companies use this survey to establish Manager Performance Goals that focus on hitting a specific target on the next survey. 

Many managers take an insincere and superficial approach to meeting their survey goal.  Rather than focusing on enacting meaningful positive change throughout the year, many managers focus on gaming the system.  They create forced activities just prior to the survey distribution that they believe will help their results.  Some examples of these “forced activities” may be providing free pizza, an offside event, recognition activity, or even a “Survey Kick Off” party.   And in some cases, a manager will meet with their team and tell them exactly how to respond to the upcoming survey.

While these activities just prior to the survey distribution may indeed alter the survey results, they do not move the needle in a meaningful manner.  In order to attain lasting positive change, managers must own the behaviors (every day) that drive these results.

Key Message:                      

Positive change does NOT result from Employee Surveys!  Surveys are a useful roadmap to help assist you in identifying areas of focus.  Positive change results from your daily interactions and demonstrating behaviors that create a positive work environment where people feel like their opinion matters.

Each and every time you meet with your team, your peers, or your leaders, you should plant a seed of positivity and display behaviors that lead to meaningful results.  Plant as many seeds of positivity as you can!   As those seeds take root and begin to grow, they will spread and you will soon be able REAP the rewards

The Power of R.E.A.P.

Respect 

Team members want to be respected, regardless of grade level.  Every day we need to display to our teams that we respect each and everyone’s position and the importance of their contribution.  We also need to publicly recognize team members not only for exceeding expectations, but also for displaying the “soft skills” that lead to creating a positive work environment.

Engagement

If team members don’t genuinely feel that they are included, the needle will not move in a positive direction.  Disengaged employees will not only affect your survey results, but more importantly it will also create a culture of negativity.  And negativity breeds negativity.

Appreciation

If team members don’t feel appreciated, at best they will leave; at worst they will stay and become an anchor for the entire team. We must create a culture where doing your job is expected, but at the same time it is appreciated!  This is where team building activities, spontaneous lunches and offsite events help create a culture of appreciation.

Positivity

People want to be surrounded by positive people.  And more importantly people need friends. You want to create a culture where people love coming to work and feel like they are working with their friends.  This can be accomplished ensuring that people are Respected, Engaged, and Appreciated and have the opportunity build meaningful friendships.  Further, negativity should not be ignored, it should be addressed head on.  Many times people do not recognize their own negativity, how the negativity serves as a derailer for not only him/her, but its influence on others

Key Take Aways

  • Positive Change results from seeking feedback, creating a culture of inclusion, appreciation and demonstrating EVERY DAY that you CARE!  By displaying these behaviors you will move the needle!
  • A positive change cannot be forced.  You must own and actively promote the positivity and truly believe in the intent of your message.
  • If you don’t genuinely care, you will at minimum fail, and even worse you can destroy what little positivity exists.

Site Content Removed Due to Ridicule from Chris Byrne!!!

Last March, as I started my new position with Citi, I was immediately met with ridicule from my new boss, Chris Byrne, regarding the content that I displayed on my website.  Rather than encourage me to continue to produce and share meaningful content regarding my thoughts on I.T. Discipline and Management Practices, he proceeded to “bully” me and take pot shots on my theories and marketing of my agenda.

So instead of standing up to him and defending my position, I gave in to the pressure and reluctantly shut down the website.  Since then I have received many emails and calls begging to bring back the content.  So in an attempt to appease the masses, I am now bringing the website back.