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The PeopleCap Playbook

Timely insights and actionable people strategies for leaders.

Receiving Feedback is Humbling

people in audience

I have been working for months on the content for a 4-hour workshop to help executives lead effectively in a talent-driven economy. This past week, I had the opportunity to conduct the workshop with three consecutive groups of key leaders – totaling about 55 people. At the end of the workshop, the group leader asked each member to provide feedback on what went well and what I could improve. So, by the end of the week, I had stood in front of 55 people each of whom told me something negative about my presentation or my delivery. My self-esteem was in the toilet. Continue reading “Receiving Feedback is Humbling”

You Can’t Leave without Telling Me!

Recently, I was out of town facilitating a Board/CEO retreat. The retreat was incredibly productive. Everyone willing to put tough issues on the table and candidly discuss them. At the end of the retreat, strained relationships had been strengthened, expectations had been clarified and agreed upon, and there was an understanding and appreciation of the value each member of the Board could bring to the CEO. There was an enthusiasm, cohesion, and excitement in the group that hadn’t been present for months. To say that I was riding high would be an understatement. Continue reading “You Can’t Leave without Telling Me!”

No Short Cuts on a Ladder

Recently I attended my first wedding as a “friend of the Groom’s parents.” I’m happy to report the wedding circuit redux is as much fun as the first time around but with less responsibility. (I didn’t have to wear a bridesmaid’s dress or write a toast!) In between the first dance, the cutting of the cake and the dance floor favorite, “Twist and Shout,” the conversation among the parents of 20-somethings turned to child’s career plans.

One common theme from this group of highly accomplished professional parents was this: Our kids from the on-demand generation may not fully understand that the road to success is long. Continue reading “No Short Cuts on a Ladder”

Don’t Let Your Team Sink

image by mellin paulo bernardo
image by mellin paulo bernardo

How We Miss Each Other Based on Differing Interpretations of Shared Experiences

When I coach teams struggling to build trust and get on the same page, I’ve started asking a new question: “What is the pressure on you and where does it come from?”

Over time I’ve learned that in many types of relationships we miss each other, just barely, due to misinterpretation of a shared experience – like ships passing. Continue reading “Don’t Let Your Team Sink”

NACD Nashville: Compensation as a Strategic Lever for Boards

Meg enjoyed being part of NACD’s Nashville Panel on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, to discuss the expanded role of Compensation Committees in managing culture and talent.

NACD and Lipscomb University’s Dean Institute for Corporate Governance & Integrity in Nashville, TN had an interactive discussion on the board’s evolving role in compensation oversight, including:

  • The latest in compensation trends from Deloitte’s recent latest report
  • How compensation can drive both short – and long – term value creation
  • Compensation’s role in cultivating a vibrant corporate culture
  • Risks of various compensation approaches

For more information about NACD, click here.

Leading an Investor-Backed Company

 

puzzle pieces

Growth is a double-edged sword. Success provides the opportunity to grow. Growth is a reward for hard work and success. And yet, growth is hard. It often requires a new focus, new leadership, different skills, and possibly a new structure. As CEO, you are tasked with building a new, larger company while continuing to run the company that currently exists. The downside to growth is that it comes with significant risk; because so much has to change, you can’t just go back to the way things were if the change is not successful. In many ways, growth is an all or nothing endeavor – it is critical to get it right. 

This dynamic becomes even more complex when the growth is backed by investors who join your Board. Continue reading “Leading an Investor-Backed Company”

Performance Management is Evolving: The New Paradigm

paradigm shift key on keyboard

The necessity of developing talent is at an all-time high; yet, prehistoric performance reviews roam free – devouring hours of productivity and lowering morale without having any meaningful impact on organizational performance. Most HR departments don’t believe annual performance evaluations provide accurate data, and many managers and employees simply dread the process. In a study by Mercer, 95% of managers reported being dissatisfied with their performance management process and 90% of heads of HR did not feel their system provided accurate information. Continue reading “Performance Management is Evolving: The New Paradigm”

What We’re Reading: Measure What Matters

book cover Measure What Matters

One of PeopleCap’s 6 Imperatives for High Performance  is “Sharpen Focus.” We are always looking for creative ways to help our client companies set clear direction and align their organization accordingly. It was with that in mind that I picked up a copy of Measure What Matters by John Doerr to read at the beach this summer. It inspired me to sharpen my own focus and put into practice the organizational goal setting methodology detailed in the book that promises to “turn good ideas into superior execution.” Continue reading “What We’re Reading: Measure What Matters”

Culture is the Boss

The topic of corporate culture is ubiquitous. You cannot open a copy of the Harvard Business Review or a McKinsey Blog without seeing some reference to corporate culture and the need for executives and boards to manage it. And while there has been a lot published on this topic, we still find that many don’t quite understand what “it” is: They don’t understand what culture is and why it is so important. So, for them, I offer this explanation: Culture is the Boss when the Boss is not around. Continue reading “Culture is the Boss”

Succession is Not About the Corner Office

Photo by Philipp Birmes
At some point, leadership transition is a reality for all companies. One HR executive I recently spoke to is concerned that her 300-person company has built such amazing employee loyalty that approximately 35% of their workforce will retire in the next five years! Another organization is concerned that their founder-based brand will not survive the CEO’s retirement. And the CEO of yet another larger company has unintentionally sparked a c-suite jousting match leaving his executive team more focused on positioning themselves for his crown than on working together to run the company.

Whether a leadership transition is imminent or a decade off, succession planning is not about identifying an eventual replacement for your CEO — it’s not about who winds up in the corner office. Continue reading “Succession is Not About the Corner Office”

When It Comes to People Strategy, Success is in the Grind

Last year, I decided on a whim that I wanted to do a Half Ironman.

As I started to sketch out a plan, the enormity of the race started to sink in – a 1.2 mile swim, followed by a 56 mile bike, followed by a 13.1 run. I had a long way to go. I had never done a triathlon — not even a baby one. I had never swum a complete lap without stopping; my longest bike was 25 miles; and I hadn’t run in almost 2 years — and even then, my longest run had been 5 miles. Continue reading “When It Comes to People Strategy, Success is in the Grind”

People Drive Results

People drive results.

They are the key accelerator to success or the greatest impediment. If people are not performing at their highest potential, the business isn’t either.

The buck stops with the CEO.

A CEO’s primary responsibility is to achieve results –  primarily through other people – Board, Executive Team, employees, etc. Great leaders know how to mobilize, energize, engage and grow their people to unlock their potential and maximize performance. Continue reading “People Drive Results”

Talent Development Is a State of Mind

exchanging information

Years ago, McKinsey popularized the phrase “The War for Talent,” and warned that the companies who were best at acquiring and developing high quality talent would be the most successful. Fortune 100 companies answered the call, as did many companies in Silicon Valley, where there was an urgent need to stay on the cutting edge.

For most of the rest of the country, however, the War for Talent wasn’t much of a reality. There was plenty of talent available, and the skills needed were not difficult to find. That is no longer the case. The landscape has changed. Having an effective strategy to develop employees is no longer optional – it is an imperative.

Several factors are converging to bring the war for talent right to the doorstep of smaller companies. Continue reading “Talent Development Is a State of Mind”