Trust Leads Corporate Change

From WilderWeber Leadership Group, a VT KnowledgeWorks member company:

Paula Wilder and Carol WeberWhen you are leading any change project, one ingredient, trust, makes all the difference in terms of your ability to get people moving smoothly toward your goals.  

There is little value-add when you focus on how much you trust others. 

Start by being trustworthy.

Focus on what you can do to increase others' being able to trust you.  Take time to honestly assess your trustworthiness.

How good am I at:

  1. Being clear:  saying what I will do and what I won't do?
  2. Listening to people and ensuring that they know I have listened?
  3. Having empathy:  understanding what matters to people and working hard to protect what is related to those things?
  4. Sharing myself authentically?
  5. Asking for feedback and acknowledging unasked for feedback related to my trustworthiness?
  6. Not pushing others to trust me more than I trust them?
  7. Extending my trust further, beyond my own comfort range?
  8. Not confusing being trustworthy with being a personal friend?
  9. Not being surprised that my trust-building is viewed suspiciously?
  10. Constantly aligning what I believe and what I say?

To discuss leading change in your organization, contact WilderWeber Leadership Group.

WilderWeber Leadership Group is a business consulting firm dedicated to helping leaders build sustainable advantage by facilitating change initiatives that deliver competitive marketplace focus and amplify organizational effectiveness.

Read more about WilderWeber Leadership Group on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks.

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks through Twitter and Facebook.

VT KnowledgeWorksVT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks corporate sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&THarris Office FurnitureHodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C.Hutchison Law GroupLatimer IP Law, LLC , LeClairRyanNew River Valley IP LawScience Applications International Corporation (SAIC)The Branch Group, and Wordsprint.

Our Specialty: Retreats that Create Change

From WilderWeber Leadership Group, a VT KnowledgeWorks member company:

StrategicStudio at VT KnowledgeWorksOur partnership with VT KnowledgeWorks has created a special offering, StrategicStudio, a retreat facilitation and planning service that helps your leadership retreats and team retreats get the results you want.

Contact us when you need to get your team away from routines to create focus and strengthen relationships. To request a complimentary consultation, contact: info@vtknowledgeworks.com.

Read Retreats to Create Capability and Results by WilderWeber Leadership Group.

Learn more about StrategicStudio and view the services offered through StrategicStudio.

See more from WilderWeber Leadership Group on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks.

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks through Twitter and Facebook.

VT KnowledgeWorksVT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, The Branch Group, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, LeClairRyan, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

How to Launch a Vibrant Partnership

From WilderWeber Leadership Group, a VT KnowledgeWorks member company:

Paula Wilder and Carol WeberOrganizations that are intentional about building strategic partnerships can create unifying endeavors that achieve new and previously unimagined results.   Too often, though, organizations enter into partnerships that appear to have great potential initially but over time the partnership breaks down and the opportunity for innovative results is lost.  

What are the fundamental actions partnership organizations must address in the early stages of co-creation? 

  • Indicate clearly how the partnership addresses urgent strategic marketplace needs.
  • Identify clear expectations for what, why and how the project will be shaped and guided.
  • Verify high engagement and commitment by the designated leaders.
  • Craft clear consistent leadership messages across all partner organizations.
  • Develop clear understanding of the cultural gaps that must be bridged in terms of both people practices and work processes.
  • Identify clear group aspirations for the project results and how the project will be conducted.
  • Develop clear data sets that establish existing and future desired measureable results. 

WilderWeber Leadership Group is a business consulting firm dedicated to helping leaders build sustainable advantage by facilitating change initiatives that deliver competitive marketplace focus and amplify organizational effectiveness.

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters is in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

You're invited to keep in-the-know about VT KnowledgeWorks on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, The Branch Group, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, LeClairRyan, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

What Do We Need to Change About Change?

From WilderWeber Leadership Group, a VT KnowledgeWorks member company:

It is not the strongest species that survive,
nor the most intelligent,
but the ones most responsive to change.
– Charles Darwin

Paula Wilder and Carol WeberImagine 100 people linked by hierarchy trying to create change.   We’ve all experienced this at one time or another – when it's a challenge to get to flawless execution on the part of the whole.  Imagine these same 100 people united by a deep commitment and sense of urgency connected in ways that create open-mindedness and support fluid information sharing and responsive solutions.  Which group is more likely to get to the desired change through flawless execution?

How we’ve done change in the past mostly hasn’t worked.  To get  significant results, organizational research demonstrates that we have  to think COALITION.  And, we have to continually focus on expanding  COALITION POTENTIAL.

Most organizations recognize that they can’t keep doing change the same old way.  So many organizational processes, perfected in the 20th century, are based on our extraordinary abilities to Decide and Execute.  In today’s turbulent environment, too often figuring out what information/data/perspectives result in good decisions can be a baffling challenge even for experienced executives – whether it’s shifting regulations, the impact of political elections, tightened quality expectations, or imploding global economies.

How can we do a better of job of ensuring that we are making decisions based on the “right” information?  Brain research tells us that we humans are attracted to Hazards (burning platforms) rather than to Opportunities.   It appears we may be wired that way.   The burning platform feels real, the opportunity ephemeral or risky.  Yet it's seeing opportunities that propels us forward and gets results.

How can we discipline ourselves to stay open, really open, to opportunities that we tend to be blind to?  Hierarchy creates blindness by keeping people in “cages,” if you will.   We hear a lot about “out of the box” thinking.  We suggest that the idea of cage is more apt because people can see outside of their space (their box), but they can’t see much.  Worse, people create the cages – whether it's others who cage you or you who cage yourself.  How can we create  “out of the cage” thinking? To do that well, it helps to link diverse perspectives in new ways to create the organizational sight for opportunity.  You may be asking yourself, "But isn't control (hierarchy and cages) a good thing?"  Yes – as long it's not over-control or the wrong controls.  Too often, our fears create too much control.

For leaders at every level, the challenge is to sustain meaningful urgency.   Without urgency or dissatisfaction, change doesn’t happen or doesn't happen sustainably.  How can leaders continually fuel a change message that links the need to change to a rationale that inspires people to engage?

Leaders can help by ensuring that people in the coalition are drawn to the positive promise of the future.   Creating effective individual and organizational change responses system-wide will likely be the central guiding quest of organizational leaders in the next decade. 

  • What opportunities is your organization blind to?
  • What are the smallest things you could tackle that would make the biggest difference?
  • How can you strengthen a sense of coalition?
  • How can you improve your organization’s change response?

***

WilderWeber Leadership Group is a business consulting firm dedicated to helping leaders build sustainable advantage by facilitating change initiatives that deliver competitive marketplace focus and amplify organizational effectiveness.

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

You're invited to keep in-the-know about VT KnowledgeWorks on Facebook and Twitter.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, The Branch Group, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, LeClairRyan, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

Ways to Increase Employee Engagement

From WilderWeber Leadership Group, a VT KnowledgeWorks member company:

Inform.    Provide high quality relevant information concerning the business environment and strategy to people at every level.

Involve.    Involve others in big issues.   Coach high potential managers to  lead.  Involve managers in the company’s strategic goals.

Structure.   Create and use teams.   Reduce differences between levels.  Support integration of middle managers to improve  coordination.

Reward.  Recognize success regularly, even small progress steps.

Create New Thinking.  Challenge old assumptions.  Provoke new conversations.  Create dialogue to deepen understanding.

Encourage.   Listen and support.   Understand obstacles.  Establish “can do” expectations. 

Accentuate Positive Potential.    Look for potential.  Emphasize strengths and talents.  Focus on high performers.

Focus on Solutions.     Focus employees on co-creating solutions to business challenges.

Think Long-Term.  Articulate Short-Term.    Articulate short-term and long-term goals and strategies.

Get Personal.   Increase the frequency and quality of times when employees can engage with leadership personally.

***

WilderWeber Leadership Group is a business consulting firm dedicated to helping leaders build sustainable advantage by facilitating change initiatives that deliver competitive marketplace focus and amplify organizational effectiveness.

VT KnowledgeWorksencourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, The Branch Group, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, LeClairRyan, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

VT KnowledgeWorks & WilderWeber Leadership Group Announce StrategicStudio

From VT KnowledgeWorks:

VT KnowledgeWorks and WilderWeber Leadership Group have partnered to form StrategicStudio to help local and regional organizations plan and implement leadership retreats, custom workshops, and developmental training programs.

StrategicStudio - VT KnowledgeWorks and WilderWeber Leadership Group“We encourage organizational leadership to get away from daily routines and create a space where open, structured, and thoughtful conversations can take place without distractions,” said Paula Wilder, a senior partner with WilderWeber.  “Well-planned leadership workshops/retreats are a vital tool for recharging management teams and positioning an enterprise for continuing growth.”

StrategicStudio is a one-stop shop that provides professional business consulting, certified facilitation, and comprehensive administrative services to help organizational leaders plan professionally directed events, which may be targeted at setting strategic imperatives, improving leadership skills, solving problems, creating high performing teams, and clarifying competitive strategy.
 
“VT KnowledgeWorks and WilderWeber Leadership Group understand that retreats are an investment of both time and resources and that it’s critical to get the most out of your investment.  At StrategicStudio we will work with you to plan a retreat that results in a focused set of aligned strategic priorities that leverages your organizational capability, your competitive advantage, and your strategic assets,” said Jim Flowers, Executive Director of VT KnowledgeWorks.

***

WilderWeber Leadership Group is a business consulting firm dedicated to helping leaders build sustainable advantage by facilitating change initiatives that deliver competitive marketplace focus and amplify organizational effectiveness.

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships.  It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual.  Its world headquarters is in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, The Branch Group, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, LeClairRyan, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

Retreats to Create Capability and Results

From WilderWeber Leadership Group, a VT KnowledgeWorks member company:

Does your organization:

  • Look to top leaders for all the solutions?
  • Create results or rationalize the status quo?
  • Share power widely or withhold information and power?

Organizations with a “can do, roll-up-your sleeves” mentality across the ranks deliver results.

Two mindsets propel effective organizations forward.

Leadership can occur everywhere.

When you adopt a leadership mindset, you will create opportunities and  results you never anticipated.

Partnership – When your paradigm is partnership, you embrace information  sharing, initiating and making it easier for other leaders to do what they need  to do.  And, you set into motion actions that truly serve customers.

With a Leadership + Partnership mindset, you see the  challenges, stresses and dilemmas that others face at each organizational level and work strategically to create success everywhere.

Retreats, particularly ones with learning "sticks," are well-suited to help create the mindset shifts necessary to catapult the organization from status quo to desired change.

WilderWeber Leadership Group offers The Organization Workshop(TM) for your  organization – a life-changing event that creates insight, new strategy, and  self-efficacy in ways that few leadership development approaches can. Ideal for  retreats, the workshop is fast-paced, highly interactive and fun!  WilderWeber's  two-day retreat creates new linkages that create a clear path to business  results. We custom design it to meet your business needs.  Contact us at info@wilderweber.com or  540.443.9242.

We invite you to view The Organization  Workshop(TM) presentation, including 4 slides and a five-minute video that captures the spirit of The OW.

***

You're invited to learn more about WilderWeber Leadership Group on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks.

***

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a self-sustaining not-for-profit subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters is in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, The Branch Group, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, LeClairRyan, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

Why Hold a Retreat?

From WilderWeber Leadership Group, a VT KnowledgeWorks member company:

Benefits of retreats There are many excellent reasons to hold a retreat; they are an effective platform for improving leadership skills, solving problems, creating high performing teams and clarifying your organization’s competitive strategy.

  • Enhance or create a new vision for the organizaton.
  • Establish a strategic framework.
  • Charter a strategic or key process team.
  • Create high performing teams.
  • Establish higher levels of interpersonal relationships.
  • Amplify your organization’s culture.
  • Harness the collective strength of the group to enhance innovation.
  • Facilitate decision-making so you can make the tough decisions that may be necessary.
  • Resolve problems or correct course when things are going wrong.
  • Explore the outside environment; examine trends, venture into new territory and investigate “what if” scenarios.
  • Create productive mindsets by changing perceptions, attitudes and behaviors.

For more infomartion about organizational retreats, please contact WilderWeber Leadership Group

You're invited to learn more about WilderWeber Leadership Group on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks.  

***

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a self-sustaining not-for-profit subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual.  Its world headquarters is in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, The Branch Group, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law GroupLeClairRyan, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

The Hidden Power of Organizational Culture

From WilderWeber Leadership Group, a VT KnowledgeWorks member company:

Paula Wilder and Carol Huntley-Weber of WilderWeber Leadership Group will present "The Hidden Power of Organizational Culture" on Wednesday, May 4, 2011, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in Suite 1500 of RBXII at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.  A networking social will follow from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. in Wikiteria Market and Cafe.

Hidden Power of Organizational Culture from WilderWeber Leadership Group Decades of research in a wide variety of industries correlate strong financial results with winning organizational cultures. The findings are clear:  culture can make or break organizations. Great cultures advance strategy execution; weak cultures thwart it. This seminar will focus on several aspects of culture: 1) What makes a culture great; 2) Practical approaches for enhancing culture; and, 3) How to build on your culture’s unique strengths.

Come and enjoy a chance to kick around some provocative ideas about winning cultures.  Participants will leave with new insights about what they can do to enhance their organization’s success. Please send attendance confirmation to ccordiano@vtcrc.com.

You're invited to learn more about WilderWeber Leadership Group on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks.  

***

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a self-sustaining not-for-profit subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual.  Its world headquarters is in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, The Branch Group, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law GroupLeClairRyan, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

Investing in Your Organization Through Leadership Retreats and Off-Sites

A leadership retreat tip from Paula WilderFrom Paula Wilder, senior partner at WilderWeber Leadership Group. A version of this post first appeared on Handshake 2.0:

When are leadership retreats or off-sites worth the investment?

I’ll use a landscaping metaphor to try to shed light on this important issue.  Awhile back I hired a landscape professional.  After listening to my goals, he spent a day intently studying my yard and then created an affordable, sustainable plan for me to implement.   His professional design saved me valuable time and lots of money.

I have a new landscape challenge:  a Zone 6-7 area that gets afternoon sun and lots of wind.  I see three options:  annuals, perennials or shrubbery.    Annuals are opportunistic – great for one season.  Perennials are forever but the on-going maintenance is also forever!    How about a shrub that will mature and add lasting value with little follow-up maintenance?    I am emboldened by a recent landscaping ROI study:  a one $100 plant is worth more than ten $10 plants in terms of home re-sale.    I want my investment to pay off, so I am choosing shrubbery!

Back to “how best to invest in your organization’s landscape.”  Organizational leaders know their business needs.  Many business challenges do not require facilitated meetings or retreats.  They require flawless execution.  To work the numbers, I ask questions to help leaders determine whether investing in off-sites makes sense in their situations.

What productivity, effectiveness and profitability gains could be made if your people zoomed out to take a bird’s eye view of their landscape in order to:

  • Gain improved focus, understanding and commitment?
  • Collectively clarify the plan for the future?
  • Strengthen partnerships up, down and across organizational lines?

Leaders:  if you are trying to decide whether retreats are a good vehicle for getting the results you need to succeed, ask yourself:   “If my group went off-site, what might be lost?" and “What might be gained?”

***

If you have ideas about how to make sure retreat action plans get traction, we would love to hear about them.  Please email us at info@wilderweber.com.  We will post your ideas on What's New.

"Leadership Retreats and Off-sites: Cultivate the Soil" is the third in a series of three leadership retreat tips from Paula Wilder.

Leadership Retreats and Off-sites: Retreat in Order to Advance - Retreat Tip #1
Leadership Retreats and Off-sites: Cultivate the Soil - Retreat Tip #2
Leadership Retreats and Off-sites: Investing In Your Organization’s Landscape – Retreat Tip #3

Paula Wilder is an organizational effectiveness expert and senior partner at WilderWeber Leadership Group.  WilderWeber Group is a VT KnowledgeWorks member company in Blacksburg, Virginia.

You're invited to learn more about WilderWeber Leadership Group on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks.  

***

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a self-sustaining not-for-profit subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual.  Its world headquarters is in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, The Branch Group, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law GroupLeClairRyan, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).