Sunday, April 8, 2012

Training that supports long-term capacity building and short-term results

Even today, when training and learning (or development) is budgeted for by profit and not-for-profits, it is not a science.  Depending on management teams, or even individual personalities, training and development is too quickly abandoned if it doesn't yield the visible results it needs to.  Organizations need to establish their level of expectation when creating a training curriculum for its people.  Too often, the organization's mission - charter - objective (near and long term) are glossed over briefly and not tied to the objectives of the T&D program.  Understanding the organization's direction, objectives, commitment to goals lays the foundation for successful training and employee buy-in.

 Ask yourself these questions...

1. How does your T&D programs align learning with organizational mission and goals?
2. How is the T&D directly and indirectly motivate people to learn - and increase performance?
3. How does your program develop leaders - current positions and for succession planning?
4. How are you setting and measuring results; who is setting and measuring results?
5. How are you administering the training & learning? What is the mix of media and methods?
6. How are you tailoring the training and learning  to increase individual contribution levels?

Even if you do not have a formal T&D organization, successfully partnering with a coach or trainer will increase the success of your training. 

With the advent of technology and  mixed media, companies will encourage best-practices to be shared across the organization - mentorship and peer-coaching. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

CIO Magazine - 4 Personas of the Next-Generation CIO

Great article and a good thing. I think (based on my experience with CIO's) that they have been "performing these functions" in one form or another (albeit, not in heavy concentration) for years. It makes sense.

Personas of the Next Generation

Chief Infrastructure Officer
Chief Integration Officer
Chief Intelligence Officer
Chief Innovation Officer

The luxury of being able to focus on a single "expertise" is truly a luxury today. Executive Management is expected to multi-task, integrate, monitor, innovate and execute just like the people that report into them. I expect CIO's to surround themselves in their circle of confidence, with individuals who are fluent in these areas - reside deeper in the organization - and are the added brain cells needed to do these jobs well.

Good read.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Is it Time for a Job Change? IT Professionals Go Job Hunting.

In response to our economic and financial challenges, companies are faced with a workforce that is being asked to do more, in many cases, with less and some may look to make career changes.

According to CIO Magazine - "Companies have cut salaries and training, held back on bonuses and piled more work on employees in response to the economic downturn. These tactics may well be pushing many IT professionals to go job hunting, according to a recent Computerworld salary survey.

More than one-third (36%) of the 343 respondents to our recent poll said that they're looking to move to a new employer in the next six months. And 69% reported that they hadn't received a pay raise in the previous six months. The survey was conducted during the last two weeks in September.

For employers, the warning couldn't be more clear: As the economy improves, the most able IT workers might leave for something better."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Carlos Dominguez Cisco Telecommuting Survey:60% of workers prefer a Home Office. Over 2600 IT workers surveyed worldwide.

When I read the headline Carlos put on his FB page... I thought -- "and is anyone surprised?". Working at home is part of my DNA. My mother was a Builder and Real Estate Developer. She had home office in 1960. I grew up figuring typewriters, mimeographs (OK, so I'm dating myself), filing cabinets, files, label makers, calligraphy -- was part of everyone's decor. I learned to file - when I was 8 years old, or sort mail, or sharpen pencils. I learned to read blueprints and architectural drawings before I could form a coherent sentence. For me, being able to do my job - in a home environment - contributes to my professional well-being.

So I commented on his post, "Timeplex accommodated that before it was fashionable. They definitely got more hours out of me, than if I had been restricted to going into the office (even though it was only 8 miles away). I put in at least 4 hours of work before I went into Woodcliff Lake, even when I was in administration before breaking into management. My job was never a 40 hour work week... or only M-F... so having a functional home office made me more productive -- and Timeplex recognized that."

I know that some people do goof off - even I did - but I gave it back 150%. What Timeplex did, for me, was provide latitude. I may not have been making "big bucks" by standards -- but they gave me fabulous latitude that was priceless.

I remember one conversation I had with one of my favorite VP's (I was his EA) when he asked me what did I want to achieve - for myself - in my position as his EA. I answered "To have you weep at the thought of my going on vacation..." I wanted to establish value. I did - and consequently was rewarded. Hard work paid off - and I had fabulous mentors and established professional friendships that have lasted for over 25 years.

Maybe that is why I stayed with Timeplex for 13 years. The company was good to me and treated me respectfully ALWAYS. Since a huge portion of colleagues have gone on to incredibly successful careers in corporate and as entrepreneurs,I can only conclude that Timeplex encouraged, and nurtured, young visionaries who have gone on to be major players. In my own way, I walked with giants.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Woman-Owned Small Businesses Put the Customer First - Part I

Forbes Insights Study key findings:

• The majority of women business owners have a customer service strategy: 55% do it on a case-by-case basis, and 18% have a formal strategy. 27% do not have a dedicated customer service strategy at all.

• The recession proved challenging for many woman-owned small businesses, but it has made them increasingly determined to build long-lasting relationships. Customer service and customer retention are top priorities for companies right now and in the next 12 months.

• While a number of woman-owned small businesses are using the Web and social media for customer service, many are still not taking full advantage of these channels; 25% of respondents do not have a company website and 24% do not use any social media tactics for their business.

• Traditional methods for customer service interaction still rule the day—such as sending handwritten notes and interacting with customers via the phone.

As a result of the economic implosion the U.S. has experienced, woman-owned businesses are taking a customer-centric approach - making customer service a top strategic priority, though a large portion do not have a formal strategy and prefer to deal with customers on a case-by-case basis. Unfortunately, a large portion do not take advantage of exploring the types of innovative customer service "channels" that might set their businesses apart from the competition.

I will explore the findings in this study, and share the facts and figures that may help you in designing your strategy for the future. Ironically, Marketing is near the bottom of the priority list - but the fact is - marketing campaigns should contain all of the "top of the list" priorities, such as:

Customer Retention
Customer Service
Cost Containment
Maximizing Profitability/cash flow
Increasing productivity/efficiency

Unfortunately, many small business compartmentalize these objectives instead of integrating them into an overall strategy supported by the marketing that gets the word out there.

... more to come.

Cracking the C-Suite: Finding the Right Exec to Close the Sale

"Now, more than ever, it's essential to engage decision-makers with compelling reasons to purchase your product or service. One of the first steps in doing this is to discover who in the prospect organization holds the "real" buying power and when they are most likely to become involved in the purchase." Chief Marketer has another great article - and one that I personally think is quite valuable. I have already provided material on the C-Suite and this newest article adds to the list. Read the entire article here:

Friday, October 15, 2010

How to craft the perfect IT Resume - CIO Magazine

"Things to consider for this box are what you do best, your strongest IT strengths that set you apart from your peers, your IT skills that outshine those of others, the most notable IT resources you bring to a company. This part of the résumé is your best shot at being noticed and chosen for an interview, so in this area make yourself look unquestionably the best possible candidate. There is no room for modesty here."